Monday, October 25, 2010

Social Capital Poem by Stevie Burkes

The businessman,
And the banker,
The fisherman,
And the shoemaker.

The little princess,
And the firedog,
The mom and pop
And the coast guard.

The mailman,
And the teacher,
The waitress,
And the preacher.

The farmer,
And the newborn
The mechanic,
And the Capricorn.

Today is a day of celebration,
For the good ‘ol town of Calabash.
The tasty blue crab festival,
Begins with a splash.

With the crabs on the stove,
The band a-jamming.
The volleyball court set,
The party's a-swinging.

Each year,
Around this time,
Our town unites
For dinnertime.

It brings together
All the town’s folk,
In a place of gathering
Don’t forget the Coke!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Newpaper Lab

To whom it may concern:

I am a senior in the high school program of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, but am native to the Shallotte area. I grew up reading your newspaper and was pictured quite a bit for academic and sports achievements in my younger years. I am contacting you in response to an AP Government and Politics assignment here at school. Presently we are studying social capital and have discovered that fewer and fewer Americans are reading the newspaper, creating a decline in social capital and networking. Our assignment is to think about how the local newspaper of our hometown builds the social capital of its community. 

I truly believe that your newspaper connects the county and finds the commonality among our small diverse population in order to bring everyone together. You are able to connect our whole area through the education system’s news, high school and community college sports statistics, and the wide range of business ups and downs our county acquires. You are able to give information that interest students as well as information that our senior citizens will want to read. These things connect our community as a whole and help to increase our social capital. 

I encourage you to continue to print the local news and help our community to engage in festivals, support our student athletes, and give recognition to those who constantly give back to the community. I think you are doing fantastic and hope you keep covering “the story;” our community needs the information. As a result of being such a small community, I feel that the Brunswick Beacon is the heart of our social capital and it just keeps beating. Keep up the good work!

Thank you for your time.


Stevie Burkes

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cell Phone Withdrawal

This is my very nice and supportive roommate Leah Elizabeth Smith. Even though it meant she couldn't call me for 48 hours which made her sad, I surrendered my phone to her late one night. Really this only made her sad because she didn't hear Harry Potter ringtones for 48 hours.  I seldom use my phone and often let it go uncharged for days, so I thought this would hardly be a challenge for me. I didn't get a cell phone until my junior year of high school and I don't use text messaging so I am not extremely dependent on my phone for communication. As a musician, I rely on e-mails for rehearsals because they are coordinated mostly by the music faculty via e-mail. Otherwise, I do the majority of my work individually (practicing) and while I occasionally use my phone to check the time and make quick calls home, it is not a major part of my life. To stay in touch with my friends from home I use skype and facebook. If I did not attend UNCSA, this would probably be different. Living in a residential community, I am generally able to find people when I need to, even when my phone is not charged, because I normally do not have time to socialize or study in groups until after in-building curfew. However, it is frustrating to my friends and peers that I do not keep my cell phone on, and they even complain that I do not use text messaging, as they are so heavily dependent on it. They often complain that I am "hard to reach" but I feel that not being dependent on my phone helps me make more personal connections with people because I try to seek them out in person. Regardless of my lack of phone dependancy, it is still frustrating when I want to make a call and my phone is dead, and it was especially difficult during this challenge, because I had to coordinate weekend plans for transportation with my parents. I eventually had to re-activate my phone an hour or two early because of a family emergency, but this challenge is normally a part of my weekly life.