Wednesday, December 2, 2009

02 December 2009
The Best Vacation
Anyone who works for a living will agree that vacations are a way to escape from their reality, even if only for a little while. I will go out of town just for the weekend to escape the hustle of the daily grind; however, it is not until I get the chance to go to my favorite spot to vacation that I truly get the chance to unwind. Lake Gaston provides me a chance to get back in touch with my family and the opportunity to truly relax.
Heading to Lake Gaston is always a fun task within itself. It takes a few hours to pack the trucks and get all the family members in the vehicles, but once we are underway it is a great ride. Everyone in my family lives such different lives: some of us are students that work full time, while others are parents for the first time, or working and counting down until retirement. It is sad to say that when we are back home we are busy and really do not have enough time to keep up with each other. So, this car trip usually starts out with us catching up. Everyone tells the others what has been going on, how happy they are or unsatisfied with this and that. After a few pit stops and a screaming baby or two we have finally arrived at Lake Gaston.
The rest of the family is unpacking the vehicles and settling into the house while it is my job to launch the boat. This is my favorite part of the vacation because now I know that I am truly on vacation. Once the boat is in the water its time to let the wake boarding begin. For the most part, every person in my family will attempt to wake board; whether or not they get up does not really matter. We all will laugh when someone wipes out and even try to get a picture of the crash so we can Facebook it. After several hours of riding, or a pulled muscle or two which ever comes first, I will turn off the engine, grab a beer, and jump in the water. There we all will float for hours on end. While we are in the water, we are telling more stories and getting the chance to get to know one another again. All the conversations we have will end in laughter some how.
Once we all are done with the water sports and floating in the river it is time to come back to the house and prepare dinner. This is where my aunts like to show off since both of them are amazing cooks. It makes it easier for me if they do the cooking since it gives my dad and me a chance to go back to the water and attempt to catch the ever elusive record breaking catfish. Fishing with my dad is my favorite part of the trip. Even though we never get the ‘big fish’, it does not really matter since I get some time to spend with my dad. Once the fishing is over with, we go back to the house were a feast has been prepared. The food is beyond mouth watering. All of us are around the table telling stories from the day and laughing, and then someone breaks out the alcohol and friends from across the lake come over. There is a house party that would make most college kids jealous. Everyone in my family, from the ages of 21 to 65, you have beer pong, corn hole and flip cup games going on. There was even a beer bong that made it out there last year. Finally, when the party winds down it is time to go to bed just to get up and do it all over again.
For many people going to exotic places is their idea of a great vacation. My idea of a great get away is about two hours away from Norfolk on the boarder of Virginia and North Carolina. Peaceful evenings and family time make this destination the perfect place to get away from it all.

If you would like to learn more about Lake Gaston please go to this site:
This picture was taken from this website:
Want to learn the best way to fish for catfish:

02 December 2009

This Semester of English 111

After the time of the pre-entrance exam, I was a little excited when the counselor reviewed the results of the exam and stated I did not have to take a pre-requisite class for English, and I could start out with English 111. Then, I remembered how much I hated writing and dreaded, ever so loved by teachers, research papers. However, I figured I need to take this class to graduate, so I might as well get it out of the way. So, on the first day of class in came Mr. Gasparo. To my surprise he was not what I was expecting at all; I thought the class would have been taught by this little old lady that smelled of formaldehyde and was as mean as the day is long. Paul told us not to worry, that this class would be easy and although I was reluctant to believe that statement I gave his class a fair shot. After going through his course, I agree that there are some weaknesses but overall enjoyed his class and would recommend him as a teacher to other students.

With all good instructors or course there are always ways to improve. One thing I did not like this year was the fact we had to type in a blog. I do appreciate the concept that Paul is trying to broaden our horizons, but this is an English class and I do not want to put any of my works on the internet. The next issue that I had with this class is that when Paul would cancel class, it seemed the amount of homework he would issue was endless, and basically I considered it busy work. Lastly, the only other gripe I had about this class was kind of out of Mr.Gasparo’s control: Blackbored. That is one of the worst computer programs that this college uses. All the time Paul would ask you to print something off of Blackbored and the file would come back corrupt. I know that program is supposed to help students, but all it really did for me this year was give me one big headache.

Although the gripe list for Paul’s class is short, the positive side of his class has a long list. For example, I appreciated the fact that Mr. Gasparo pushed us to our limits and was always trying to get us to think outside the box. Even when I did not agree with him, he would present an argument in a fashion that would make me respect the other side’s viewpoint. Next, the assignments that were given out were always in-depth and by the time they were due, it was easy to complete since he had prepared us fully in the weeks before by showing us examples and outlining in our textbooks the sections it covered. Another good reason to take this class is that if you work with Paul he will work with you. That is usually not the case with some college instructors. All he asked is that you kept him informed, and if you did your work you would survive his class. Also, the extra credit that was assigned in his class is a good aspect and a reason to take his class. I am not a strong English student, so his offering extra credit was extra beneficial for me and my grade. Lastly, the style in which Mr. Gasparo teaches is somewhat unique. He is always coming up with ways to make this subject less dry and more appealing to the individual who despises English (such as myself).

All in all this is an English class that I would recommend for students that are looking for a good instructor. Even if there are some small issues that could change the course for the better, Mr. Gasparo takes the material outlines and makes it his own. His demands, style, and method of teaching are unique; therefore, helping students better understand and appreciate a subject that is feared by most. I strongly recommend this class and instructor for student such as myself that do not like English. Mr. Gasparo will end up changing your mind, I promise.

The image above was located at this site:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Diagnostic Essay; The Best Vacation

The Best Vacation

Anyone who works for a living will agree that vacations are a way to escape from their reality, even if only for a little while. I have been known to leave town for a day or two, but nothing can ever comes close to helping me relax more than my favorite place to visit, Lake Gaston.

Going up to the lake gives me a chance to enjoy the simpler things in life. Taking the boat out on the water for a day of aquatic activities is one way of enjoying my free time. I will attempt to wake board until I can no longer stand on the board. Once I have no strength left, I will stop the boat and hop into the water. There I will just float, drink, and relax for hours. Another reason I enjoy vacationing at Lake Gaston is it gives me a chance to reconnect with my family. All of us lead such separate lives that, while we are there, it allows everyone to share what is going on in one another. Not to mention, getting us all together is bound to create new and hilarious memories. At the end of the day, just before the sun goes down is when I truly get time to unwind. Sometimes, I will just sit down by the water with a cold beer in hand and watch the boaters pass by. Other times, I am down at the pier with a fishing pole trying to catch the ever elusive record breaking catfish.

For many people going to exotic places is their idea of a great vacation. My idea of a great get away is about two hours away from Norfolk on the boarder of Virginia and North Carolina. Peaceful evenings and family time make this destination the perfect place to get away from it all.

Picture was taken from the website: