Monday, September 30, 2019
Alex Ewanyk American Musical Theater History Writing Assignment 1 Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado 2/7/13 Most would agree to say that two is better than one. William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan are by any means no exception to this. Gilbert, a playwright, and Sullivan, a composer, combined their talents to make the dream team of musical theatre. Together they have made some of the greatest and sophisticated musicals the world will ever see. The best of their shows are still being performed today, one of which is their famous musical, The Mikado.The Mikado is a comical musical which poked fun at a few aspects of EnglandÃ¢â¬â¢s culture at the time. It quickly became popular among both the British and Americans. It eventually became popular in many other countries, which was an extraordinary feat at the time. Gilbert and Sullivan have an interesting history before coming together to make their great works such as The Mikado. Before William Gilbert started writing, he was an attorney. O n the side he would write poems which led to a series of his illustrated comical poems getting published by a few popular British magazines.This eventually opened the door to his career as a playwright. During the time Gilbert was starting his writing career, Arthur Sullivan was already making waves as a serious composer. He knew this was what he wanted to do with his life and for good reason. He was a great composer who could make a song to fit any mood. Sullivan was already making a great deal of money with his works and felt very comfortable, but both he and Gilbert could never have foreseen what was next to come. In the 1860Ã¢â¬â¢s John Hillingshead, the owner of the Gaiety Theatre hired Gilbert to write and Sullivan to compose their first work together titled Thepsis.In the crowd at the showing of Thepsis was aspiring producer Richard D'Oyly Carte and saw something in the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. He eventually contacts them to write a curtain raiser which turned out to b e very profitable. After the money started coming in, G;S were hooked. From then on, their career together officially started. The rest is history. One of Gilbert and SullivanÃ¢â¬â¢s most famous work was a comedy called The Migato. The synopsis of this amusing musical is as follows. Before the story begins, Nanki-Poo, the MikadoÃ¢â¬â¢s son, fled from his fatherÃ¢â¬â¢s palace to escape being forced to marry Katisha, an elderly lady of the court.Nanki-Poo has become a traveling performer who falls in love with Yum-Yum, however he canÃ¢â¬â¢t marry her because Ko-Ko, her guardian, has decided to marry her himself. Nanki-Poo learns that Ko-Ko has been sentenced to death for violating the MikadoÃ¢â¬â¢s law against flirting. Nanki-Poo arrives in Titipu to determine if Ko-Ko has been executed, and therefore, if Yum-Yum is free to marry him. He encounters Pooh-Bah, a corrupt public official, and Pish-Tush, a noble, who informs him that Ko-Ko was saved at the last moment by a set of events, and then raised to the high rank of Lord High Executioner.Nanki-Poo loses hope when he learns that Ko-Ko plans to marry Yum-Yum immediately. There have been no executions in Titipu since Ko-Ko became Lord High Executioner. Ko-Ko receives a letter from The Mikado ordering him to execute someone or else lose his position as Lord High Executioner. As Ko-Ko ponders his dilemma of trying to find someone to execute, Nanki-Poo appears, saying that heÃ¢â¬â¢s going to commit suicide because he canÃ¢â¬â¢t marry Yum-Yum, the women he loves. Ko-Ko offers to allow Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for one month, after which, he will become his execution victim.Suddenly, Katisha appears and discovers Nanki-Poo, her lost love. After she is driven away, she rushes to inform the Mikado that his son has been found. As it goes into Act II, Yum-Yum is preparing for her one-month marriage to Nanki-Poo. Ko-Ko arrives with the shocking revelation that he has discovered a law decreeing that when a ma rried man is executed, his widow must be buried alive. Because of this the marriage between Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo is canceled. Nevertheless, Ko-Ko must find a Ã¢â¬Å"substituteÃ¢â¬ for execution or he will be decapitated by The Mikado. Nanki-Poo contrives a solution to save Ko-KoÃ¢â¬â¢s life.A false contract confirming his own execution, but in exchange, he must be allowed to marry Yum-Yum and leave the country forever. Ko-Ko agrees. The Mikado finally arrives in Titipu. Ko-Ko believes that the purpose of his visit is to confirm that an execution has taken place so he produces the contract and proceeds to describe the execution with gusto. However, The Mikado has actually come to Titipu in search of his lost son and learns from the contract that Ko-Ko and his ministers executed his son. He declares them guilty of Ã¢â¬Å"composing the death of the Heir ApparentÃ¢â¬ .Their only hope to avoid execution is to show Nanki-PooÃ¢â¬â¢s alive. Nanki-Poo hesitates to reveal himself, f earing that if Katisha learns that he has married Yum-Yum she will have him executed. The dilemma is resolved by Ko-Ko, who, at Nanki-PooÃ¢â¬â¢s suggestion, woos, wins, and weds Katisha. In the end, all conflicts are put to an end as they celebrate Nanki-PooÃ¢â¬â¢s marriage to Yum-Yum and Ko-KoÃ¢â¬â¢s marriage to Katisha. This show quickly became extremely popular in England due to how it related to them but was also popular in the U. S. because of how funny, amusing, and ingenious it was.During the time The Mikado was created, the British were going through an Ã¢â¬Å"all things JapaneseÃ¢â¬ craze. They were in a sense obsessed with the Japanese culture and customs for some reason. So in a sense, Gilbert was poking fun at this obsession while writing this play which centers on Japan in a humorous fashion. Let it be understood that he wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t making fun of Japan, but playing with the fact that people were trying to mimic the Japanese ways. As The Mikado got introduced to the U. S. , Americans actually started to adopt this trend of all things Japanese. Ã¢â¬Å"Mikado-ManiaÃ¢â¬ was the name given to the American craze.A funny fact about The Mikado is that itÃ¢â¬â¢s one of the few musicals that every caused a diplomatic argument. When the prince of Japan visited England in 1907, the work was temporarily banned from being performed. This ban in turn backfired because the prince actually was hoping to see the play during his visit. This fact alone shows how widespread talk of The Mikado was. Gilbert and Sullivan will go down in history as one of the greatest stage musical teams of all time, if not the greatest. With works like The Mikado, how could they not be one of the greatest?Their plays have even been performed in other languages such as French, German, and Yiddish. After 120 years The Mikado is still one of the most frequently produced musicals of all time and fully deserves to be. Bibliography Ainger, Michael. Gilbert and Sullivan: A Dual Biography. N. p. : Oxford UP, 2002. Print. Kenrick, John. Ã¢â¬Å"Gilbert & Sullivan 101. Ã¢â¬ Musicals101. com. N. p. , 2000. Web. 1 Feb. 2013. ;http://www. musicals101. com/g;s101. htm;. Ã¢â¬Å"Plot Summary. Ã¢â¬ Gilbert and Sullivan Archive. N. p. , n. d. Web. 06 Feb. 2013. ;http://math. boisestate. edu/gas/mikado/html/summary. html;.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Waking in the dark, the sun not yet lighting the where the land meets the sky, I build the fire and begin my work for the day. I step in line beside my sister in law as we walk the path down to the stream to begin collecting water for the day. Each day since we have come here the dirt along the path has become smoother, beaten down by the repetition of our feet as we women come daily to draw from the water source.When we once more move on to follow the herds as the season changes, the smooth expanse will be left behind to be swallowed once more by nature. It has been our path for a small time but has always belonged to nature, who will reclaim it once we are gone. Though each day we walk together, the early morning walk to the stream is largely silent as we each think of the daily tasks ahead. This morning, I quickly run over my tasks for the day, allowing extra time to help prepare the buffalo if the hunt is successful.A successful hunt means more work today but peace of mind as wel l since I know we will not go without. For now though, my task is simple Ã¢â¬â to gather the water as I do every morning. The first thing I do this morning, as I come upon the stream is to step out of the worn moccasins that will encase my feet for the rest of the day and let the cool water rush between my toes. It is here that I watch the sun begin to color the sky, changing from dark to day.Between the water needed for cooking and cleaning, there will be several trips this morning to the stream. On the third trip to the stream, I hear the splashing of the boys bathing and playing at being warriors and begin to hurry. My sister-in-law is no longer by my side but back beside her own fire, preparing the morning meal. I hurry up the path noticing that the camp is now fully awake, as my two boys rush past, impatient for a full belly before going to tend to the horses.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
The Liberal welfare reforms of 1906-1914 saw a remarkable change in government policy from a largely laissez-faire (a policy of non-intervention) approach to a more interventionist approach. The Liberal government, led by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman would do more in the way of social reform than any government before it, establishing an obligation to help the more vulnerable members of society who were not in a position to help themselves. Two social surveys were published at the beginning of the twentieth century which shook the people of Britain. They undoubtedly paved the way for a whole range of government led reforms. Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree, two very wealthy businessmen helped sponsor investigations in to the causes of poverty in Britain. Their findings were; up to 30% of the population of the cities were living in or below the poverty levels, conditions were so bad that people could not pull themselves out of poverty by their own actions. Both Rowntree and Booth agreed that the main causes of poverty were Ã¢â¬â illness, unemployment and age (the very young and very old) In 1908 Herbert Henry Asquith took over the Liberals and soon the wheels were set in motion in regards to the social reforms. Asquith would later promote two significant figures whose partnership was said to be the strength behind the reforms Ã¢â¬â Winston Churchill the young man in a hurry and David Lloyd George the Welsh wizard. There were many factors and motives for the reforms being passed, such as: National Security Concerns Ã¢â¬â During the war, one in three potential army recruits were refused on medical grounds. The government would have to do something to ensure basic health levels among working class men. Concerns Over National Efficiency Ã¢â¬â BritainÃ¢â¬â¢s position of being a world power was under threat from emerging powers such as Germany. In order to maintain its position it had to run smoothly with a strong, well educated work force. New Liberalism Ã¢â¬â The new liberals, Herbert Asquith, Winston Churchill and Lloyd George argued that in certain circumstances it was necessary to intervene in poor peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives to help with their social problems. Political Opportunism Ã¢â¬â The Liberals were scrutinised for their reforms as many historians thought their introduction was to gain a political advantage rather than helping the poor. The Liberals knew they had to gain support from the working class as they were competing with the newly-created Labour Party. Between 1906-1914 the Liberals focused on the following four groups in society Ã¢â¬â the old, the young, the sick and the unemployed. In 1908 old age pensions were introduced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lloyd George. It gave a pension of five shillings per week (25 pence) to persons over the age of 70 whose income was less than Ã £21 a year. Smaller amounts were paid to people with a slightly higher income. People who earned more than Ã £31.50 a year received no pension, along with individuals who failed to work or who had been in prison. The Act was seen as a step in the right direction; however it did not address all problems. Money received barely paid for basic necessities, financial help was needed long before the elderly reached pension age. More importantly very few working class people reached 70 during this period (life expectancy was just 45) From 1906 the Ã¢â¬Å"ChildrenÃ¢â¬â¢s ChapterÃ¢â¬ allowed local authorities to provide free school meals for poor children. However it wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t until 1914 that school meals were made compulsory. In 1907, medical inspections were introduced but it was not until 1912 that free medical treatment was made available that the situation could be better. The reforms included age restrictions being put in place to make it harder for children to buy cigarettes and alcohol. Finally in 1908 juvenile courts and borstals were set up to replace the sending of young offenders to prison. The Liberal government introduced the National Insurance Act in 1911. For the first time, health insurance was provided for those who paid into the scheme. An employee would pay 4p each week, his employer paid 3p and the remaining 2p came from the state. However the workers wife and children did not benefit from the scheme no matter how sick they became. Further restrictions were that employees would only be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks for being off due to ill health or injury. The second part of the National Insurance Act dealt with unemployment. Insured workers were given 35p a week for a maximum of 15 weeks in a year if they became unemployed. Again the act only provided insurance for the employee and not his family. It was meant only for covering temporary unemployment and only applied to a small number of trades. The findings tell us that the Liberals made a remarkable change from a laissez-faire approach to a more interventionist approach. However the reform only made a small indentation into resolving the problems of poverty which faced the people of Britain in 1905-1914. The old age pension scheme paid out inadequate funds that barely paid for basic necessities, very few people ever reached the age of 70. Unemployment benefits were only provided to workers for short periods of time and did not include their family. Free school meals and medical inspections were introduced but very few local authorities were able to provide. Yes the government were willing to intervene to help the poor but the poor had to help themselves also. Ã¢â¬Å"If we see a drowning man we do not drag him to the shore. Instead, we provide help to allow him to swim ashoreÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â Winston Churchill
Friday, September 27, 2019
Fashion analysis of louis vuitton - Essay Example The purpose of the paper "Fashion analysis of louis vuitton" is to analyse Louis VuittonÃ¢â¬â¢s high fashion collections for Autumn Winter 2009 (AW09) and Spring Summer 2010 (SS10) and to investigate the supply chain and production processes of the company. Besides advertising through celebrity endorsement and sports sponsorship, Louis VuittonÃ¢â¬â¢s success is attributed to the control it maintains over all its operations from creative design to distribution. This ensures not only a commitment to quality (New York Magazine 1985), but also its high operating margins of around 45 percent as compared to those of its closest competitors. Marc Jacobs is Louis VuittonÃ¢â¬â¢s high profile designer. Summer 2010 (SS10) collections depicted designer Marc JacobsÃ¢â¬â¢ blending of various influences. Olde world appeal was combined with Ã¢â¬Å"a little bit of French fancy, a sprinkling of 80s bad taste and a Playboy bunnyÃ¢â¬ look . The fabrics used were mainly cashmere, wool, silk, s atin, lame velvet, fox fur, taffeta, embroidered panne velvet, re-embroidered printed fabrics, leather and diaphanous tulle. In Figure 1. above, the mixed influences are clearly visible, and the clothes range from the Ã¢â¬Å"sublimely wearableÃ¢â¬ to the Ã¢â¬Å"gorgeously unusual to the not so delightfully strangeÃ¢â¬ . The collection is divided into groups based on different colours. The black apparel were most appealing, and the touches of colour at the sashes added to the beauty of the dresses. The oversized shoulders lent an unusual but attractive look.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Walt Disney and Organizational Value - Essay Example The study also talks about how the value of organization is enhanced by close collaboration and communication between different organizations. If two organizations willingly share information with each other it would become increasingly important for the success of the organization because the organization is exposed to more learning opportunities in this case. Hence, an organizational value is not only created by its resources, but also by new knowledge and information that it can learn over time. This will also lead to organizational development. (Winklen) Another important aspect of organizational value creation is the organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s willingness and ability to meet the needs of its stakeholders and customers. No business can thrive without having satisfied customers because they bring money to the organization. No organization would be able to operate efficiently if its customers are unhappy or does not transact with the company. Many customers often ask for too many things . Businesses, as a result, are forced to do conjoin analysis in order to decide trade-offs. They would be willing to sacrifice certain less important features of a product or service and replace them with important elements to create value for their stakeholders and customers. Many companies which fail to develop customer-driven approaches fail in their ability to satisfy and retain their customers over long run. They are forced out of the business by their competitors who focus on constantly creating and disseminating value for their customers. In the recent fast and competitive environment, there is no luxury for any business to become complacent, because if a laid-back strategy is chosen, the cut-throat competition in the industry will force the company out of the business. (Toomb and Bailey) A study done by Krista Jaakson highlights the organizational value dimensions as showed in the Figure 1 below. The model highlights three dimensional levels. The first level is about surviva l values, the second level is about ethical value dimension and the third stage is about well-being dimension. Any organization starts from the survival value in order to succeed in the first changing business environment. In the first stage, organization has to set its system rights. They need to develop proper financial report systems, set conservatives values, and control volatility in the economic environment. After all of this is achieved, the organization moves to the second level of value dimension. Here the organization is concerned about ethical values. In this level, there is greater advocacy for creating interpersonal value, ethical values and general humane behavior. The third level of value is achieved through developing proper vision values, emotional values and self actualization values. Achievement of this results in proper value creation for the organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s stakeholders. The sum of all these value dimensions is greater than the amount of input used in valu e creation. It is where the synergy is created and the value created by the organization is greater than its costs and efforts involved in creating the value. (Jaakson) Figure 1: Organizational Value Dimensions Source: (Jaakson) Walt Disney is a large company. The majority shareholder of the company at one time was Steve Jobs with over 10% equity investment in the company. It is AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s large media conglomerate. The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s financial statements are decorated with amazing financial figures. In 2011 alone, the company earned
Modern and Contemporary Style - Essay Example This piece of art portrays the film industry icon of French nationality, Sarah Bernhardt as taken by Emile Tourtin in 1877. It can be seen that unbelievable height of imagination and creativity has been use to produce this masterpiece of art. In-depth evaluation of the picture explores the color tone variation that brings out the best of visual impression (Brommer 47). The main object that is Sarah is dressed in cream white dress which stands out as the background color subsides. The gradually faded color towards the background exposes the original and natural appearance of this great actress. Besides, the artist seems to have noted spacing. The main object seems to capture the Centre with equidistance from the corners of the portrait. The blend of textual feeling from the visual perspective and color is observed with the cream white dress at the front and relatively rough background outlook. The shape of the picture is consistent with its size offering the best of its visual view. Contrast in color offers a better pattern and emphasis through smooth transition of the actress dress to the background space. Balance of the picture is evident from the position of the actress body parts that includes one hand on the chin while another rests on the dress. Emile shows significant expertise that characterizes quality display of art. This work displays the historical concepts that characterize art. The sculpture is a reflection of the artistÃ¢â¬â¢s impressive presentation skills. In respect of this master piece, the ability of the sculptor to bring out the best of art is open to all. In respect of this piece of art, the sculptor applies the elements clearly to address critical issues that pattern the message being sent by this work. Variation of color tone is offering a clear visual impression of the object with a sharp contrast between font view and the background. While
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
How Far Were The Parlements Responsible For Bringing About An End To The Ancien Regime - Assignment Example Parlements were political institutions that developed of the previous "Kings Councils, the Conseil du Roi or Curia Regis. Originally there was just one Parlement, that in Paris, but by mid-Fifteenth Century there was one in Toulouse, which extended its authority over much of Southern France. From 1443 until the explosion of the French Revolution there were fourteen other parlements created, in cities such as Arras, Grenoble, and Perpignan. Importantly, all these cities had always been administrative capitals of their regions (often stemming from the Roman rule) and had strong traditions of independence from central control. Officially parlements were not legislative bodies, but rather courts of appeal. However, they did have the responsibility to record all edicts and laws and could refuse to apply such laws when they went against "fundamental law", or the local costumes. Increasingly, and this was particularly the case with the Parlement of Paris, the parlements began to "challenge royal edicts" (Doyle, 2001, p.1). These challenges often took the form of deliberate delaying tactics until the king held a lit de justice or sent a letter de cachet that would essentially force them to act. The parlements developed the power to pass arrests de reglement, which were laws that essentially applied within their jurisdiction. So the Parlements were, in fact, part of the bedrock foundation of the Ancien Regime, and it was their wish to preserve that regime, with bourgeois, noble and royal privilege that may have led to its demise, at least in part. The apartments often prevented central authority (ie. the King) from carrying out miscellaneous reforms, such as changes to fairer forms of taxation. The ironic part of their attitude is that the parlements' refusal to allow these reforms actually challenged the very absolute power of monarchs that was at the basis of the ancien regime.During the eighteenth century, the parlements started to increasingly challenge the authority of King, ironically because he sought to change France. Thus they "frequently protested royal initiatives that they believed to threaten the traditional rights and liberties of the people . . . in widely distributed publications, they up the image of a historically free France and denounced the absolute rule of the crown that in their vi ew threatened traditional liberties by imposing religious orthodoxy and new taxes" (Encarta, 2006) (my emphasis). The Parlements, while essentially conservative institutions in their wish not to change the precepts of the ancien regime, actually provided part of the energy that would lead to its downfall.
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Efficiency Market Hypothesis - Essay Example Efficient markets do exist in theory. For example according to financial theory there are efficient stock markets that especially don't permit market manipulation by investors. However the practical scenario negates this proposition very often. For instance the rally of the stock could be attributed partially to the equity issue and not to the efficiency of the markets. The stock market crash of 2008 can be identified as a situation in which a stock market experiences a sudden and major decline in value of its underlying stocks. However crashes can occur mainly due to the rising stock prices and excessive economic optimism (Cuthbertson, 1996). Further it can be caused by the collapse of a speculative bubble, financial crisis or economic crisis. A substantial change in stock markets and price behavior can be caused by psychological influences that often lead to bubbles. Thus EMH is flawed to a certain extent because there is no such grantee that share prices would be solely determined by a pure interplay of market forces, i.e. demand and supply. In fact the crash in 2008 occurred due to structural deficiencies that in turn were characterized by a flurry of activity in which overvalued shares were traded hectically during the immediately preceding period before the crash. Stock market influences on the investors' policy decision making process and corporate strategy have been discussed against backdrop of an evolving environment of change. This is because of the fact that business organizations are becoming more popular because their survival is directly proportional to the size of the market rather than the manageability (Elton, and Martin. 2003). Compact small business organizations have been described as economically unproductive in times of financial recessions because their excessive dependence on internal organizational capabilities leads to poor decisions. Therefore it's essential now to discuss the various theoretical underpinnings of the optimal capital structure in order to determine how efficiently the stock market would be able to function in the absence of the above mentioned shortcomings such as bankruptcy costs and information asymmetry. In addition, there are some highly influential theories. With the help of them it's possible to discuss how best an efficient stock market can be brought into existence (or not) thus rendering both capital structure and dividend policy of the firm irrelevant. However the extent to which those stock market imperfections can be overcome would determine the degree of perfection of the stock market in a given situation.On the other hand the success of big firms has been attributed to their ability to raise both debt and equity capital and the relative size of the market. In the first place financial recessions dependents on the firm's ability to raise capital. Since the market value of the firm is affected by the way in which the capital is structured, managers might prefer to raise debt instead of equity thus bringing down the value of the firm in the eyes of the investor (Copeland, and Fred, 1988). Subsequently shareholders might be compelled to sell their shares at lower prices. In such a scenario big corporate entities are able to survive on pre commitments made by institutional lenders who will not
Monday, September 23, 2019
Why is education important to enlisted service members - Essay Example A service memberÃ¢â¬â¢s removal from society during their term of service can be an incredible challenge to them, and free education can help diminish this problem. Like prison inmates, enlisted service people spend a great deal of their time sequestered from Ã¢â¬Å"normalÃ¢â¬ society Ã¢â¬â while on deployment they live by different rules and codes than they would back home. This can make re-transitioning into society extremely difficult, but education, which provides both paths to suitable employment on return and can provide perspective for a life in the military can help smooth these transitions between Ã¢â¬Å"normalÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"militaryÃ¢â¬ society. Another important reason to provide a free education to service members is the different skill qualities and career length they get from working in the armed services. The average military career is not a life-long one Ã¢â¬â most people choose to retire from this grueling career path relatively early in life (compared to other professions) some get out as soon as their first term of service is done, while some make it into their thirties and forties. When they retire, they often have a long and productive life ahead of them Ã¢â¬â but not necessarily that many skills that can translate directly to a new job placement. Yes, some gain technical skills in communications or maintenance, and of course they learn things like trust, team work and so on from working in the military but this may be of only limited utility. Education, either in the form of courses, certificates or anything else, can help enlisted people get a happy and productive second career in civilian life. Education may not be the silver bullet to all of humanities woes, but it can help smooth transitions between military and civilian life, leading to important long term benefits for the people who serve our country. Providing one hundred percent tuition assistance can help armed services members with their return to civilian and post
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Gap in Gender Pay Essay INTRODUCTION: Although women are steadily making their mark in the business world and heading major corporations, the question remains, are they still earning less than their male counterparts? Throughout time there has been a definite difference between men and women and their median income. This wage gap cuts across a wide spectrum of occupations. However, in 1963 the Equal Pay Act was signed making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who hold the same job and do the same work. There may be many reasons for this gap in salaries; most of them may not be necessarily based on gender. The following research will investigate what causes the gap in earnings, if any, and examines various factors that may have an effect on the earnings of men and women. I. RESEARCH PURPOSE The purpose of this research is to determine whether or not women who are working the same types of jobs, with the same amount of education and experience are being compensated the same as men. Although women have made a significant pace in entering the workforce and in exploring a wider range of occupations, they may still be treading behind in wages earned compared to their male counterparts. Many years ago, it was thought that because women were not as well educated as men, did not have as much experience as men, and did not work as hard as men that the range of pay should not be the same. This is no longer true and women have been graduating from college at the same rate as men and are working just as hard as men. However, the wage gap between men and women remains and nationally, women earn 77 cents for every $1 earned by men (Head, 2008). Thus, despite a sense of continued progress toward gender equality in the workplace the gap between men and women still persists. The significance of this research issue may reveal an underlying discrimination between the sexes that many may believe has narrowed. The importance in equality of gender pay is not only that it is the right thing to do, but an equitable and competitive pay package improves employee recruitment and retention.Ã This concept benefits both the employer and the employee, male or female. Nonetheless, as long as this gap remains the more likely this issue will provide a main source of debate among the organizational workforce. II. PROBLEM DEFINITION: The study, by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, found that 10 years after college, women earn only 69% of what men earn. (USA Today, 2007) Defining the problem starts with an examination of the evidence to determine how big the gap truly is and whether discrimination is to blame. Essential variables that may have an impact on male-female wage differential such as ethnic background, age, and industry will be measured. Our team will research and find out how big the gap is what could be the cause, factors such as: a). Hours of work- some tend to think that men are more likely to work longer hours. b). Education levels-some tend to think that men on average is higher qualified and women invest less in their education. c). Workforce participation and experience-industries tend to think that women spend less time at work because of their domestic responsibilities to their children and family. The majority of organizations assume that young women are going to leave the workforce when they have children, and therefore will not promote them. d). Why is there such a gap between the amount on a mans paycheck compared to a womans? e). Occupation type- some think women are looking for an easy way out and they tend to seek out and cluster around a few occupations and industries because of the tastes of employers, male employees and customers. f). Are women given the same opportunities for advancement as men? Our team will investigate what percentage of these factors contributes to the difference in pay between these two genders and seek to find out if discrimination plays a part in this pay gap and will the gap disappear through educational achievements. Why do woman not have equal job opportunities? Jobs held by women pay less than jobs held by men, even though the job requires the same education and skills. A newly hired woman will get a lower paying assignment than a man who started working there the same time for the same employer. Not only that also, women do not receive the equal chances in promotions like men. Equal pay has been an issue for all working women for the past few decades. III. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS While some studies may reflect a sense of continued progress towards gender equality in the workplace, the federal government currently confirms that the workplace earnings gap amongst men and women is still prevalent today (About Management.Com). It is the educated guess of this team that men are paid at a substantially increased rate for performance in positions than women are paid to operate in those same positions. This hypothesis is deducted from observations made from current work situations, random peer discussions, and updated articles. More than forty years after the Federal Equal Pay Act, hard working women are still being paid less than men are on the job. There are numerous speculations that can be made in an attempt to explain this is behavior, such as career selections being made by men and women. Women tend to make decisions about employment based on convenience, meaning that women migrate to positions that will allow for them to maintain a active home life and still maintain a 40 hour work week, whereas men will more than likely trade an active home life for longer work hours, safety risks, frequent travel, longer work hours and extended commuting times to make the higher pay. While these practices may not be fair, they are a reality. The research provided in this paper will lead to three possible outcomes; it will either prove that men are paid at higher rates than women to operate in the same or similar positions, women are paid at higher rates than men to operate in the same or similar position, or men and women break even when it comes to wages and position. References Head, Lauren Lawley. (2008, April 23). Pay Gap Worth Steaming Over: Bizwomen.com. Retrieved April 29, 2008, from http://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/index.php/2008/04/23/pay-gap-worth-steaming-over/ Coutts, Justin. (2004, February). Policy Backgrounder, Business Roundtable. Retrieved April 29, 2008 from http://www.nzbr.org.nz/documents/policy/policy-2004/PB_No1.pdf Arndt, Bettina. (2006,October 16). Herald Sun.com. Why Men are paid More. Retrieved April 29, 2008 from http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20586168-5000117,00.html
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Importance of Human Resource Development (HRD) INTRODUCTION It is often debated and generally accepted that human resource development (HRD) activities are important in an organisation. But the question lies within to what extent and how much does it contribute. The reason may lie in the facts that it is not easy to show the direct link between the two activities and that it is both difficult to define HRD precisely and its effect may not be experienced in the short run (Torrington et al., 2005, p.357). The purpose of this paper is highlight on the question on the extent to which HRD contributes to the performance of an organisation. ORGANISATIONS AND HRD Swanson and Arnold (1996) asserted that HRD is a sub-system that operated in the main system; the organisation. In order for the organisation to be successful the objectives and goals of the subsystems must be aligned towards achieving the set goals of the main system. For example, the primary objective of the organisation would be to maximise return on shareholder investment. We may find that the objectives of training and development would be a level removed down, that is to maximise the capabilities of the employees, induce innovation, and produce high quality products and service. They may be different but a closer look at each of these objectives reveals that they serve a singular purpose; maximise the return (Swanson Arnold, 1996, p.15). HRD and Motivation Motivation is certainly the key for the people to keep returning to the job. However it must not be viewed through a single window which shows you that rewards and bonuses makes people motivated. In fact rewards and bonuses and all other financial and intrinsic benefits are classified as hygiene factors. These factors acts as motivators up to a certain level, beyond that they become satisfiers. Extrinsic factors such as the pure feeling of achievement, recognition, job enrichment, job enlargement and training and development are motivating factors. Achievement, job enrichment, job enlargement and training and development are essential elements of HRD and as we can see these elements dominate the motivating factors (Cohen, 2008). Training and development According to Mathis and Jackson (1999), Training is a process whereby people acquire capabilities to aid in the achievement of organisational goals. Simply put training facilitates individuals with the knowledge and skills that are required to perform the present job. It differs from development where, development has a broader impact in providing new skills that is required to perform both present and future jobs (Mathis Jackson, 1999). For example Tesco states that when they have well trained employees on the shop flow it benefits Tescos business image as customers are more confident in the competence and knowledge of staff they deal with. Tesco offers a wide range of training and development opportunities both on the job and off the job to its employees. Tesco takes both organisational objectives and individuals training objectives in account. Tesco believes that efficient and effective training and development programs, helps them to create the flexible and committed employees, delivering the highest standard of service, which is crucially required for their growth and success (TheTimes100, 2009). Organisational Learning CIPD defines learning as an environment where individuals learn to learn and possess the capabilities that enable them to do so to help their employers to build and retain competitive advantage (CIPD, 2008). According to CIPD a firm can achieve competitive advantage when individuals actively seek to acquire the knowledge and skills that promote the organisations objectives. In other words organisations must transform into learning environments, where continuous learning is experienced, thus transforming into a Learning Organisation. Learning organisation thrives for continuous improvement of its capacities in order to make the organisation ready to face the future. For example learning and development process at Corus; a Tata Steel company and Europes second largest steel producer with annual revenues of around Ã £12 billion, employing around 40,000 people worldwide, is moderated by structuring the learning process within their organisation through setting up a Corus Academy. The Corus Academy was based on sharing best practices and maximizing common approaches. Its main objective focus on Constant Improvement was achieved through the sharing of ideas across the entire company, where both individual and organisational learning occurred simultaneously becoming a learning organisation itself. (TheTimes100, 2009). Other Employee Development Approaches Development is the growth or realization of a persons ability and potential through the provision of learning and training experiences (Armstrong, 2006). Different Organisations adopts different activities in order to enhance their learning capabilities. According to Armstrong (2006), a balanced approach is required, making use of the various forms of learning and development to produce a coherent strategy that contains the plans for creating and maintaining a learning climate and developing and implementing complementary and mutually supportive learning activities both formal and informal. Coaching and Mentoring Coaching and mentoring are informal development activities that organisations practice to facilitate learning. Coaching is an approach based on a close relationship between the individual and one other person, usually their immediate manager, who is much experienced (Torrington et al., 2005, p.394). According to Kram (1983) mentoring benefits from two aspects; the career aspects that primarily enhance career advancement and the psychosocial aspects which enhance a sense of competence (Torrington et al., 2005, p.394). The continuously analysis and constructive criticism and guidance received from the coaches and mentors directly contributed to positive performance. Organisation also benefits, saving a great deal of cost using their own senior experienced staff to develop the junior staff. The Annual CIPD Survey Report 2009 on learning and development practices showed that in-house development programmes and coaching by line managers continue to be rated the most effective learning and development practices in UK (CIPD, 2009). This is perhaps why firms such as Baker Tilly, the seventh largest accountancy practice firm in the UK with a turnover in excess of Ã £200 million a year and 2,500 staff and its international network being the eighth largest accountancy grouping in the world, strategizes its people development activities to focus on more informal programs such as coaching and mentoring. The firm believes that formal training gives the building blocks for development and learning. However coaching and mentoring and other types of informal development schemes helps people understand for themselves what it is they can do to enhance their ability to meet their objectives all stages, and help them eliminate barriers for performance (CIPD, 2009). Talent management Career Development Talent management is often described as a future-focused activity, encompassing the identification, development, engagement and deployment of talent, with organisations using it to develop their workforce to meet the strategic needs of the organisation (CIPD, 2008). Swanson and Holton (2009) argue that career development theories that describe adult career development are important contributors to HRD practice because they describe adult progression through work roles. Charles Handy stress that employees today must look out for themselves to build their own career. He also notes that education will becomes an investment and varied experience will becomes an asset (Stone, 1998), that will eventually give advantage to employee in the form of employability. Although the traditional view on career development is no longer viable, its integration with talent management creates an opportunity for organisations to develop succession plans. Creating and managing talent and career development processes enables companies to nurture talent for the challenges of the future as well as the present (Eigenhuis Dijk, 2008). For example, when Jack Welch retired in 2001 from General Electric, after having served as the CEO and chair of GE since 1981, he was succeeded by Jeffrey Immelt. Immelt was enlisted for the post as early as 1994 including some 24 candidates to replace Jack Welch. GE identified the next best candidate who would replace Jack Welch on his retirement way ahead. Such capabilities of succession planning are rear unless organisations have competent stars who share the same set of objectives as the organisation. This saves the organisations from going into a cultural and psychological shock, yielding costs that are enormous. Having outs ide top managers to replace comes with disruption all across the board (Eigenhuis Dijk, 2008) creating a turmoil in the management. Net Geners: Learning Gets Social Tapscott in his book Grown Up Digital refers to the generation of individuals born between 1977 and 1997 as Net Gens. Tapscott argument was that whatever that applied to the generation before them in terms of management, training, learning and development would not apply to the Net Gens. For Net Gens technology is like the air we breathe. They are never scarce of information. For them social networking and information sharing sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube are both their mentor and coaches asserts Tapscott. He implies that organisations must change their ways of training and development to adopt this wave of informal learning into their mainstream learning programs. Organisations must encourage Net Gens to develop in their own chosen style; perhaps this will be the only way to capture their talent and capacity. These platforms give an enormous advantage with regard to developing the Net Gens and benefiting from their capabilities. Organisations can in other words make work and learn a fun experience for the fun loving Net Gens (Bingham, 2009). Knowledge management Perhaps the most important aspect of HRD is to retain the knowledge invested over the time on individuals. Employment has become more mobile, where individuals change their jobs in pursue of building their career. In other words, as an individual leaves an organisation the knowledge also leaves with him. Finding ways to retain this knowledge in a database or in retrievable form that is accessible by others in the organisation turns information into useful knowledge crucial to improve process and increase profits (Bogardus, 2004). For example Coruss information sharing network is backed up by databases that are shared by firms all over the world. A problem in a firm operating in Canada can get the solution and best practices that was applied for the similar problem in a firm operating in another country. Conclusion The bottom line is that HRD is directly related with improving and enhancing the performance of the employees, which is regarded by many organisations as the only competitive advantage that can be sustained. This competitive edge is achieved by organisations that discover the knowledge, skills and ability of their work force and build them to achieve unique differentiation. Empirical studies on business effectiveness and sustainability from all over the world suggests that, people are the key to the success of the business. For example, a study conducted to find the employee engagement level in pan-European employees showed that the human resource activities as a whole facilitated a 5 percent increase in engagement levels each year. The study also showed that human resource interventions aligned with customer satisfaction correlated by 72 percent and financial performance correlated by 68 percent (Ward, 2008).
Friday, September 20, 2019
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Modern World The futuristic world that Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, so vividly describes is frighteningly close to our own. It might not seem so at first glance, but if you take a closer look, you'll find that Bradbury wasn't far off the mark with his idea of what our lives would be like in 50 years. As he envisioned, technology would be extremely sophisticated, families would start becoming distant, and entertainment would take a more significant role in our lives. The problems at the present might not be as extreme as Bradbury's, however, if left unchecked, they could grow to be just as monstrous as he predicted. Since the 1950's, scientists and engineers have made enormous advances in the world of technology. Back then, computers were still becoming common, and now pretty much every family has at least one. As technology becomes more widespread, people find excuses to buy more of it and become sucked into a world of digital screens, cell phones, and electronic planners, rather than that of notebooks, pencils, and good old-fashioned face-to-face conversations. Although it is tremendously useful in numerous ways, it is unsettling to think of how in-control technology is of our lives. Would you be able to last a whole day without using your telephone, operating your computer, listening to your CD's, or enjoying that nice warm beverage that's been heated by your microwave? The answer is probably no. Even though you might not think that technology has power over your life, if you look carefully, you'll find you're mistaken. Do you know what "family time" is? How often do you spend time with your family? Do you enjoy it? Would you rather be somewhere else?... ...uation would be extremely close to how Bradbury envisioned it. I think Ray Bradbury sums all this up in a quote from the book: "Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?" This shows that people are gradually thinking less and less. They want life to be easy. They want their technology; they want their entertainment. They don't want to be intellectually stimulated. We can still prevent our future from becoming like that of the book. How? The answer is extremely simple: Think. Use your brain for knowledge, not watching TV and playing video games. Read as many books as you can. Pay attention in school. Someday you'll be glad you did. As Isaac Asimov so wisely said, "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Jamaica Observer is a news organisation and publication and is one of the major daily newspapers operating in Jamaica today, alongside its competitor the Jamaica Gleaner. The Observer was conceived by businessmen Gordon Ã¢â¬Å"ButchÃ¢â¬ Stewart and Delroy Lindsay and was developed with the aid of Trinidadian businessman and Trinidad Express owner Ken Gordon. The paper originally launched in March, 1993 as a weekly publication, with its issues being printed overseas in Miami, Florida and then delivered back to Jamaica to be sold. The Observer eventually moved to a daily format in December, 1994, and moved from its offices located at Fagan Avenue, St Andrew to a new compound on Beechwood Avenue in 2004. The paperÃ¢â¬â¢s founding editor, Desmond Allen, remains with the paper to this day as one of its three executive editors (according to the newspaperÃ¢â¬â¢s editorial information). Based on what was shared by executive editor Vernon Davidson during our visit to their headquarters, the editorial hierarchy of the Jamaica Observer seems to follow the typical order of a standard newspaper, with its three ...
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Women and the Novel Ã¢â¬Å"Novels on novelsÃ¢â¬âshelves on shelves arise, of various merit, as of various size: But good and bad, promiscuous as they fall, A greedy host advance, and swallow all Like Egypts reptile race, they crowd their way, Nor rank nor age, nor place, their progress stay, They throng the gaudy mansions of the great; they greet the poor pan in his humbler state; nor in the proudest dome or meanest hovel, can human blood and flesh resist a novel" (Ware) During the 18th century a new genre of reading came into existence: novels. Ã¢â¬Å"Novels were different from earlier prosefiction [as they abandoned] traditional structure: (Kerber 236). Novels allowed readers to experience other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s lives. Ã¢â¬Å"Characters became real people with real names who led lives much like those of their readersÃ¢â¬ (Kerber 236). As books became more readily accessible novels became increasingly popular especially with women. This is where the problems began. A womanÃ¢â¬â¢s responsibility (according to the patriarch society) was to the homeÃ¢â¬âto raise her children to be good Christians and to be servile to her husband in all things. Some people began to feel that reading distracted women from their duties. This is illustrated in the following poem. And see! They mount the toilet of the fair, and seek and find an easy homage there. Domestick drudery can scarce advance itÃ¢â¬â¢s claims in competition with romance grumbling the brother or the husband goes and thus discovers, that romantick scenes are not the thing for ladies in their teens. Balls parties mean-times, are alike forgot; Poor Byron lies unread, and Walter Scott: cares, duties, pleasures without notice pass; And everything neglected, but the glassÃ¢â¬â (Ware) There was a real fear that reading novels would disrupt the womanÃ¢â¬â¢s duties by giving them "false ideas of life and particularly made women unsuited for and unhappy with the domestic roles for which society destined them" (Nienkamp xiv).
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
It is not the pedigree or the school that is the mark of success but rather the ability of an individual to use the training and the education. This is something that I have always believed all my life. I have never been intimidated by those who come from private schools and neither have I been intimidated by those who go to conventional high schools. I have been firm in my belief that there is so much more that I can gain from an independent study program. The best education is one that is flexible and can adapt to the necessities of todayÃ¢â¬â¢s world. Oftentimes, education in conventional high schools is strict and rigid. There is no room for creativity and very little room for self-discovery as one is limited by the confines of the classroom. This limitation stifles oneÃ¢â¬â¢s personal intellectual and psychological growth not to mention the contamination that comes from other sources a child is exposed to. There is no room for growth over and above what is uttered by teachers and instructors who are not so much motivated by the childÃ¢â¬â¢s educational development as they are by their next paycheck. This is the advantage that an independent study program provides. It is flexible enough to adjust to the needs of the student. It also allows those who are fast paced to explore other avenues that they wish to explore and learn about. It allows talented individuals to push the limits of their talents and fully achieve their potential. The manner by which independent study programs allow students to tailor fit their study programs is a definite advantage because it allows them to grow at a pace that is more comfortable to them. An education is something that is not fixed. It is not something that is forced on anyone. It is a partnership, a relationship between the teacher and the student that comes from an understanding of the limits of the student and the goals of the teacher. Education is about being the best that one can be.
Monday, September 16, 2019
Around the world there are many themes that we find over and over in many cultures and from many periods in time. One of the reoccurring themes that everyone goes through in the lifetime is the theme of coming of age. This occurs when a young person goes through the transition from childhood to adulthood and has life experiences that matures a person. We all have experienced a coming of age story by reading them in books, seeing them on TV or in movies, or maybe even personal experiences based on ones culture. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s clear that coming of age is a crucial element of our self-representations and conceptions. Generally, all of living is a process of coming of age as seen in the novel, Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield, who is sixteen-year-old boy with the mind of a ten year old. He thinks of innocence as important in the beginning of the novel. But later on in the book, Holden slowly grows to be an adult. For example, when Holden gets soaking wet by rain when he is watching his little sister ride the carousal he Ã¢â¬Å"felt so damn happy all of a suddenÃ¢â¬ (213). This symbolizes Holden entering adulthood because he realizes the happiness in life. He realizes that he is too big for the carousel and is happy that his sister is happy. HoldenÃ¢â¬â¢s childish personality continued to wash away as he reached a stage of maturity. Over the course of the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is taken from a position of innocence, in which she believes that she is safe and that there arenÃ¢â¬â¢t many Ã¢â¬Å"bad peopleÃ¢â¬ in the world, to the position where she has witnessed some of the bad things that have happened but realizes that she is not entirely safe. That is tested at the end of the novel when Scout was attacked while walking home with her brother Jem. Similarities were show in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Hucks maturity begins to grow as he first starts to show emotions toward a runaway slave, and by the end of the novel, has grown up to the point where, when Jim, is captured, Huck decides to give up playing games after Tom is shot to ensure that he would get medical attention that he needed. In an episode of Malcolm in the Middle it revolved around Malcolm trying to help his classmate Dabney get into a paintball match despite the resistance of DabneyÃ¢â¬â¢s overbearing mom. Once Dabney unleashes years of repressed aggression, his mom comes around to try to drag him off. Dabney reacts back by saying Ã¢â¬Å" IÃ¢â¬â¢m no longer your little boy anymore. IÃ¢â¬â¢m your little manÃ¢â¬ showing that Dabney has matured and stands up and says what he believes. In the movie Edward Scissorhands, Edward is taken in by a family who he depends on. The family teach him how to think for himself so that one day he can gain the independence that is necessary for him to go out on his own. Edward living off of the familyÃ¢â¬â¢s support and trying things for himself is a coming of age process in itself. When he starts acting out and making his own decisions he is transitioning into an independent mindset that eventually allowed him to make the choice of living alone and fend for himself. Roman Catholics believe that Confirmation Ã¢â¬Å".. completes the process of initiation into the community and it matures the soul for the work ahead.. During confirmation God the Holy Spirit comes upon the person, accompanied by God the Father and God the Son, just as he did at Pentecost. Ã¢â¬ (Acts 2:1Ã¢â¬â4) Those who have been confirmed are called Ã¢â¬Å"Soldiers of GodÃ¢â¬ . This refers to their spiritual duty to fight evil, darkness, and Satan. In Nigeria, young girls known as Iriabo spend several weeks in Ã¢â¬Å"fattening roomsÃ¢â¬ being pampered and wearing copper coils around their legs to restrict movement as part of a ritual marking their official transition into womanhood. In Senegal, Bassari boys undergoing the Kore rite and are taken into a sacred forest where they experience a symbolic death and a return to infancy, a state of ritual purity from where they are reborn as mature members of the community. (Hipple) Ultimately, the coming of age experience is a very much so significant time in ones life. People have to continue to find themselves and explore who they are even after the coming of age experience. It has lasting effects on a person as it has an impact on our dreams and desires that we want to fit into our world.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
The gentle breeze of summer is kissing the rice fields of a well known man named Pedro. His majestic house is facing the fields as if they were being observed in a daily basis. Pedro is known for his kindness with his neighbors. He is able to help them in times of need and he is really ready for giving his hand to the charity. Though he resides in a rural area, his sons and daughters were sent to urban places where they can have new information about the world. The schools or universities where his children study are of high quality. Moreover, one of his daughters often get high grades at school that he really becomes so proud of her. Their neighbors are getting envious with the achievements that they get from the universities. Pedro thinks that he can retire at an early age given that there will be someone who will take care of the farms and, that will be his children who can make the business expand. One morning, Pedro realized that there were already 6 months since he last saw his firstborn. The 20 year old girl was taking up a course in the premium University of their State and is trying hard to pursue a degree in medicine. He named the girl Gennovive as the name may imply uniqueness and extravagance. Indeed, this girlÃ¢â¬â¢s education costs the largest among the 3 children of Pedro. Since she is pursuing medicine, Pedro and his wife Hanami, get used to seeing her only once in a month. But this time is different. With a very troublesome afternoon, Gen was scolded by his father for having a number of failing grades at school. This is the first time that the girl received those kinds of marls in the class cards. Emotions of Gen Ã¢â¬Å"The sole reason why I got those grades is the difficulty of the subjects themselves. Ã¢â¬ Those were the words Pedro remember Gen told her the time they had the encounter. The only thing that Gen was concerned about was to help his dad in putting up a new business and expanding their assets as she graduate from her school. She sobbed, closed herself in her dim lit room to reflect her shortcomings during the previous semester. She has some faults, yes! Letting someone get into her heart with such a close relationship and loving him whole heartedly. After some time, she found herself broken with the memories of her so-called boyfriend. Things that she could not confront with her dad, these are such examples. After that, she was too busy grieving for her loss only to realize how miserable she was with the mourning and crying. It was too late when she decided to take a step away from her past, from the man who actually stole her everything. Long Awaited With some tears on PedroÃ¢â¬â¢s face, he saw a silhouette of a girl who eventually approached her and hugged her with tears. Ã¢â¬Å"Dad, I am sorry! Ã¢â¬ . Both of them were over whelmed that they did not notice Hanami approaching. Gen told her father of how she coped with her sadness and the reasons while she failed the last semester. In turn, she gave her dad 3 medals that she garnered for some contests in their university plus the news that she was chosen to be a delegate for the international campaign for health. The whole house was very happy for her arrival. Just like the story of the Biblical Prodigal Son, Pedro invited his closest friends to have a dinner at their place to celebrate GenÃ¢â¬â¢s come back and the victory of being chosen as the delegate of the nation.
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Ã¢â¬Å"WHAT DID YOU DO?Ã¢â¬ I was sitting on the end of a row of seats at Jill's fashion show almost a week later, in downtown Palm Springs, waiting for things to start. I hadn't even known Trey was at the show and was startled to suddenly find him kneeling beside me. Ã¢â¬Å"What exactly are you referring to?Ã¢â¬ I asked him. Ã¢â¬Å"There are about a million things I can take credit for.Ã¢â¬ He scoffed and kept his voice pitched low, which wasn't too necessary with the dull roar of conversation around us. Several hundred had turned out to see the show. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm talking about Slade and friends, and you know it,Ã¢â¬ Trey said. Ã¢â¬Å"They've been really upset about something this week. They keep complaining about those stupid tattoos.Ã¢â¬ He looked at me meaningfully. Ã¢â¬Å"What?Ã¢â¬ I asked, putting on a face of innocence. Ã¢â¬Å"Why do you think this has anything to do with me?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Are you saying it doesn't?Ã¢â¬ he asked, not fooled in the least. I could feel a traitorous smile playing over my lips. After raiding Keith's apartment, the Alchemists had made sure his tattooist partners no longer had the means to administer illicit tattoos. There'd also been no more talk of Zoe replacing me. It had taken days before Slade and his friends had realized their connection to performance-enhancing ink was gone. I'd been observing their furtive conversations with amusement this week but hadn't realized Trey had noticed as well. Ã¢â¬Å"Let's just say that Slade may soon no longer be the superstar he's been,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Hope you're ready to step up and take his place.Ã¢â¬ Trey studied me a few moments more, apparently hoping I'd add something else. When I didn't, he simply shook his head and chuckled. Ã¢â¬Å"Anytime you need coffee, Melbourne, you come see me.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Noted,Ã¢â¬ I said. I gestured toward the still-growing crowd. Ã¢â¬Å"What are you doing here anyway? I didn't realize you were interested in today's hottest fashions.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I'm not,Ã¢â¬ he agreed. Ã¢â¬Å"But I've got a couple of friends working on the show.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Girlfriends?Ã¢â¬ I asked slyly. He rolled his eyes. Ã¢â¬Å"Friends who are girls. I have no time for silly female distractions.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Really? I figured that's why you got your tattoo. I hear women go for that kind of thing.Ã¢â¬ Trey stiffened. Ã¢â¬Å"What are you talking about?Ã¢â¬ I remembered that Kristin and Julia had mentioned how strange it was that Trey had a tattoo of his own and Eddie had later mentioned seeing it on Trey's lower back in the locker room. Eddie had said it looked like a multi-rayed sun made of very ordinary ink. I'd been waiting for a chance to tease Trey about it. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't play coy. I know about your sunshine. How come you always give me such a hard time, huh?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ He was truly at a loss. More than that. He looked uncomfortable, worried Ã¢â¬â like this was something he hadn't wanted me to know about. That was weird. It wasn't that big a deal. I was about to question him more when Adrian suddenly made his way to us through the crowd. Trey took one look at Adrian's stormy face and immediately got to his feet. I could understand his reaction. Adrian's expression would've intimidated me too. Ã¢â¬Å"Well,Ã¢â¬ said Trey uneasily. Ã¢â¬Å"Thanks again. I'll catch you later.Ã¢â¬ I murmured a goodbye and watched as Adrian slipped past me. Micah sat beside me, then Eddie, and then two empty seats we'd saved. Adrian sat down in one of them, ignoring Eddie's greeting. Moments later, Lee came hurrying in and took the other seat. He looked troubled about something but still managed to be friendlier than Adrian. Adrian stared stonily ahead, and my good mood plummeted. Somehow, without knowing why, I had a feeling I was the reason for his dark mood. We had no time to pursue it, though. The lights went down and the show began. It was emceed by a local newscaster, who introduced the five designers showing tonight. Jill's designer was third, and watching the others go before her made the anticipation that much more intense. This was worlds away from the practice sessions I'd seen before. The lights and the music took everything to a more professional level, and the other models seemed so much older and seasoned. I began to share Jill's earlier anxiety, that maybe she was out of her league. Then Lia DiStefano's turn came. Jill was one of her first models and emerged wearing a flowing, silvery evening gown made of some fabric that seemed to defy gravity. A half mask of pearls and silver covered up her part of her face, obscuring her identity to those who didn't know better. I would've expected them to tone down her vampire features a little, to possibly give her a little more humanlike color. Instead, they'd played up her unusual looks, putting a luminescent powder on her skin that enhanced her paleness in a way that made her look otherworldly. Every single curl had been arranged into place, artfully falling around her and bedecked with tiny glittering jewels. Her walk had improved vastly since that first practice. She'd practically slept in those high heels and had gone beyond simply not trying to fall over. There was a new confidence and purpose that hadn't been there before. Every once in a while, I'd catch a faint glimpse of nervousness in her eyes or an adjustment in her stride as she managed the tall silver heels. I doubted anyone else noticed those things, however. Anyone who didn't know Jill and her traits well would see nothing but a strong, ethereal woman striding down the catwalk. Amazing. If she could transform this much with only a little encouragement, what more was to come? Glancing at the guys beside me, I saw similar feelings mirrored in their faces. Adrian's was filled with that brotherly pride he often had for her, all traces of his earlier bad mood vanished. Micah and Lee both displayed pure, unfiltered adoration. To my surprise, Eddie's expression was adoring too, along with something else. It was almostÃ¢â¬ ¦ worshipful. This was it, I realized. In coming out as this beautiful, larger-than-life goddess-like creature, Jill was giving flesh to all of Eddie's idealistic, protective fantasies. She was the perfect princess now, with her dutiful knight waiting to serve. She appeared two more times in Lia's line, stunning each time, though never quite matching that initial debut in the silver dress. I watched the rest of the show with only half an eye. My pride and affection for Jill were too distracting, and honestly, most of the clothes I saw tonight were way too flashy for my tastes. There was a reception after the show, where guests, designers, and models could mingle over refreshments. My little group found a corner near the hors d'oeuvres to wait for Jill, who had yet to make an appearance. Lee carried an enormous bouquet of white lilies. Adrian watched a waitress go by with a tray full of champagne glasses. His eyes were filled with longing, but he made no moves to stop her. I was proud and relieved. Jill, balance, and alcohol were not things we wanted to mix. When the waitress was gone, Adrian turned to me, and I finally saw that earlier anger return. And, as I'd suspected, it was directed toward me. Ã¢â¬Å"When were you going to tell me?Ã¢â¬ he asked. It was as enigmatic as Trey's earlier opening line. Ã¢â¬Å"Tell you what?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That the financial aid isn't going to come through! I talked to the registrar's office, and they said you knew.Ã¢â¬ I sighed. Ã¢â¬Å"I wasn't keeping it from you, exactly. I just didn't have a chance to tell you yet. There were kind of a lot of other things going on.Ã¢â¬ Okay, I actually had been putting it off, for exactly this reason. Well, not exactly. I hadn't anticipated he would get so worked up about it. Ã¢â¬Å"You apparently had enough time to pay the auditing fee, though. And enough money. But not enough to fund new lodging.Ã¢â¬ I think what was more upsetting about this than the topic was the insinuation that I had somehow chosen to act in a way that would inconvenience him. Like I'd purposely subject myself to this if there'd been some way to avoid it. Ã¢â¬Å"A onetime payment was easy to slip in,Ã¢â¬ I told him. Ã¢â¬Å"Month-to-month rent? Not so much.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Then why bother at all?Ã¢â¬ he exclaimed. Ã¢â¬Å"The whole point of this was to get me money to get out of Clarence's! I wouldn't be taking these stupid classes otherwise. You think I want to ride the bus for hours each day?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Those classes are good for you,Ã¢â¬ I countered, feeling my own temper rise. I hadn't wanted to lose control, not here and certainly not with our friends witnessing everything. Yet I was appalled at Adrian's reaction. Couldn't he see how good it was for him to do something useful? I'd seen his face when he showed me his paintings. They'd given him a healthy channel to deal with Rose, not to mention a sense of purpose for him. And besides, it killed me to see how casually he could just toss aside those Ã¢â¬Å"stupidÃ¢â¬ classes. It was another reminder of the unfairness of the world, how I couldn't have what others took for granted. He scowled. Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ËGood for me?' Come on, stop being my mom again! It isn't your job to tell me how to live my life. If I want your advice, I'll ask for it.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Right,Ã¢â¬ I said, putting my hands on my hips. Ã¢â¬Å"It's not my job to tell you how to live your life Ã¢â¬â just my job to make it as easy as possible for you. Because God knows you can't suffer through anything that's a little inconvenient. What happened to all those things you told me? About being serious about improving your life? When you asked me to believe in you?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Come on, you guys,Ã¢â¬ said Eddie uneasily. Ã¢â¬Å"This isn't the time or place.Ã¢â¬ Adrian ignored him. Ã¢â¬Å"You have no problem making Jill's life as easy as possible.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That is my job,Ã¢â¬ I growled back. Ã¢â¬Å"And she's still a girl. I wouldn't think an adult like you would need taking care of the same way!Ã¢â¬ Adrian's eyes were filled with emerald fire as he glared down at me, and then his gaze focused on something behind me. I turned and saw Jill approaching. She was back in the silver gown, her expression full of radiant happiness Ã¢â¬â happiness that plummeted as she got closer and realized there was an altercation going on. By the time she was standing next to me, all her excitement from a moment ago had been replaced by worry and concern. Ã¢â¬Å"What's happening?Ã¢â¬ she asked, looking between Adrian and me. Of course, she had to already know because of the bond. It was a wonder his dark feelings hadn't messed up her performance. Ã¢â¬Å"Nothing,Ã¢â¬ I said flatly. Ã¢â¬Å"Well,Ã¢â¬ said Adrian. Ã¢â¬Å"It depends how you define Ã¢â¬Ënothing.' I mean, if you consider lying and Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Stop it!Ã¢â¬ I cried, raising my voice in spite of my best effort. The room was too noisy for most to notice, but a couple people standing nearby glanced at us curiously. Ã¢â¬Å"Just stop it, Adrian. Can you please not ruin this for her? Can't you just for one night pretend there are other people in the world who matter besides you?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Ruin it for her?Ã¢â¬ he exclaimed. Ã¢â¬Å"How the hell can you say that? You know what I've done for her! I've done everything for her! I've given up everything for her!Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Really?Ã¢â¬ I asked. Ã¢â¬Å"Because from what I can tell, it doesn't seem like Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" I caught sight of Jill's face and promptly cut myself off. Behind the mask, her eyes had gone wide with dismay at the accusations Adrian and I were slinging back and forth. I'd just told Adrian he was selfish and not thinking of Jill, yet here I was, continuing to engage with him on her big night, in front of her and our friends. It didn't matter if I was right Ã¢â¬â and I felt certain I was. This was no time to be having this discussion. I shouldn't have let Adrian bait me into this, and if he didn't have the sense to stop things before they got worse, then I would. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm leaving,Ã¢â¬ I said. I forced as sincere a smile as I could for Jill, who now looked on the verge of tears. Ã¢â¬Å"You were amazing tonight. Really.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Sydney Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"It's okay,Ã¢â¬ I told her. Ã¢â¬Å"I've got some things to do.Ã¢â¬ I groped for what they would actually be. Ã¢â¬Å"I need to, um, clean up the stuff Keith left behind. Can you get her and Eddie back to Amberwood?Ã¢â¬ This was directed to Micah and Lee. I knew one of them would step up. I felt no need to make any such provisions for Adrian. I honestly didn't care what became of him tonight. Ã¢â¬Å"Of course,Ã¢â¬ said Lee and Micah in unison. After a moment, though, Lee frowned. Ã¢â¬Å"Why do you need to clean up Keith's stuff?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Long story,Ã¢â¬ I muttered. Ã¢â¬Å"Let's just say he left town and won't be back anytime soon. Maybe never.Ã¢â¬ Inexplicably, Lee seemed bothered by this. Maybe during all the time Keith had spent at Clarence's, the two guys had become friends. If so, Lee owed me. Jill still looked upset. Ã¢â¬Å"I thought we were all going out to celebrate?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"You can if you want,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"As long as Eddie's with you, I really don't care.Ã¢â¬ I reached awkwardly to Jill. I almost wanted to hug her, but she was so elaborate and magnificent in her clothing and makeup that I was afraid of ruining her. I settled for a halfhearted pat on the shoulder. Ã¢â¬Å"I meant it. You were breathtaking.Ã¢â¬ I hurried away, half-afraid that either Adrian or I would crack and say something stupid to the other. I had to get myself out of there. My hope now was that Adrian would have enough sense to let the topic go and not make this night any worse for Jill. I didn't know why the fight with him upset me so much. He and I had been bickering nearly since we'd met. What was one more quarrel? It's because we'd been getting along, I realized. I still didn't think of him in human terms, but somewhere along the way, I'd come to regard him as a little less of a monster. Ã¢â¬Å"Sydney?Ã¢â¬ I was stopped by an unexpected source: Laurel. She had touched my arm as I passed by a group of girls from Amberwood. I must have looked really mad because when I fixed my gaze on her, she actually flinched. That had to be a first. Ã¢â¬Å"What?Ã¢â¬ I asked. She swallowed and stepped away from her friends, eyes wide and desperate. A fedora covered most of her hair, which Ã¢â¬â I'd heard Ã¢â¬â she still hadn't been able to restore to normal. Ã¢â¬Å"I heardÃ¢â¬ ¦ I heard you might be able to help me. With my hair,Ã¢â¬ she said. That was another favor Kristin had done me. After letting Laurel suffer for a few days, I'd had Kristin put out the word that Sydney Melrose Ã¢â¬â with her dorm room pharmacy Ã¢â¬â might be able to fix what was wrong. I'd also made sure, however, that it was understood that Laurel wasn't my favorite person and that it would take a lot to convince me. Ã¢â¬Å"Maybe,Ã¢â¬ I said. I tried to keep my face hard, which wasn't difficult since I was still so upset over Adrian. Ã¢â¬Å"Please,Ã¢â¬ she said. Ã¢â¬Å"I'll do whatever you want if you can help me! I've tried everything on my hair, and nothing works.Ã¢â¬ To my astonishment, she shoved some yearbooks at me. Ã¢â¬Å"Here. You wanted these, right? Take them. Take whatever you want.Ã¢â¬ Another five days of scrubbing with heavy detergent would actually fix her, but I certainly wasn't going to tell her. I took the yearbooks. Ã¢â¬Å"If I help you,Ã¢â¬ I said, Ã¢â¬Å"you need to leave my sister alone. Do you understand?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Yes,Ã¢â¬ she said quickly. Ã¢â¬Å"I don't think you do. No more stunts, bullying, or talking about her behind her back. You don't have to be her best friend, but I don't want you interfering with her anymore. Stay out of her life.Ã¢â¬ I paused. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, except to offer an apology.Ã¢â¬ Laurel was nodding along with everything I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Yes, yes! I'll apologize right now!Ã¢â¬ I lifted my eyes to where Jill was standing with her admirers, Lee's flowers in her arms. Ã¢â¬Å"No. Don't make this night any weirder for her. Tomorrow's soon enough.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I will,Ã¢â¬ said Laurel. Ã¢â¬Å"I promise. Just tell me what to do. How to fix this.Ã¢â¬ I hadn't expected Laurel to approach me tonight, but I had been expecting her one of these days. So, I already had the small bottle of antidote ready in my purse. I retrieved it, and her eyes nearly popped out of her head as I held it in front of her. Ã¢â¬Å"One dose is all you need. Use it just like shampoo. Then you'll have to re-dye it.Ã¢â¬ She reached for the bottle, and I jerked it back. Ã¢â¬Å"I mean it. Your harassment of Jill ends now. If I give this to you, I will not hear one more word about you giving her a hard time. No more grief if she talks to Micah. No more vampire jokes. No more calling Nevermore and asking about tall, pale people.Ã¢â¬ She gaped. Ã¢â¬Å"No more what? I never called anyone!Ã¢â¬ I hesitated. When the tattooist had mentioned someone calling and asking about people who looked like vampires, I'd assumed it was Laurel running with the vampire joke. From the baffled look on her face now, I no longer thought that was true. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, if I hear about any of the other stuff continuing, then what happened to your hair will be nothing in comparison to what happens next. Nothing. Do you understand me?Ã¢â¬ She nodded shakily. Ã¢â¬Å"P-perfectly.Ã¢â¬ I handed her the bottle. Ã¢â¬Å"Don't forget.Ã¢â¬ Laurel started to turn away and then cast another uneasy glance at me. Ã¢â¬Å"You know, you can be scary as hell sometimes.Ã¢â¬ I wondered if the Alchemists had had any idea what I'd be doing when it came to this job. At least this settled one thing. Laurel's desperation convinced me the vampire jokes had only been a tactic. She didn't really believe any of them were true. It did, however, raise the unnerving question about who had asked about vampires at Nevermore. When I was finally out of the building and heading toward my car, I decided I really would go to Keith's. Someone needed to sort through his belongings, and it seemed like a safe way to avoid the others. I still had a couple of hours before curfew at Amberwood. Keith's apartment hadn't been disturbed since the Alchemists had raided it. The telltale signs from before were there, where we'd discovered his stash of Clarence's blood and silver supplies. The Alchemists had done little more than retrieve the essentials they needed and had left the rest of his belongings behind. My hope in coming tonight had been to get ahold of his other ingredients, the ones not used to manufacture illicit tattoos. It was always handy to have extra amounts of those chemicals on hand, be it for destroying Strigoi bodies or making dorm room chemistry experiments. No such luck. Even if his other supplies hadn't been illegal, the Alchemists had apparently decided to confiscate all chemicals and ingredients. Since I was here, though, I decided to see if any of his other possessions were items that would be of use to me. Keith certainly hadn't held back in using his illicit funds to furnish the apartment with every comfort of home. Scratch that. I doubted his home had anything like this: a California-king-sized bed, giant flatscreen TV, a theater-worthy sound system, and enough food to throw parties every night for the next month. I peered through cupboard after cupboard, appalled at how much of that food was junk food. Still, maybe it'd be worth taking some of it back for Jill and Eddie, so I bagged up the more portable sweets for them, organizing by color and size. I wondered also about the practicality of hauling the TV back to Amberwood. It seemed like a waste to leave it for the Alchemists' repo crew, though I could already imagine Mrs. Weathers's expression if she saw us dragging it up the stairs. I wasn't even sure Jill and I had a wall big enough to hold it. I sat down in Keith's recliner to ponder the TV issue. Even the recliner was top of the line. The luxurious leather felt like butter, and I practically sank into the cushions. Too bad there was no room for it in Ms. Terwilliger's room. I could see her relaxing back in it while drinking cappuccino and reading old documents. Well, whatever became of the rest of Keith's stuff, it was going to require the rental of a moving truck because Latte certainly couldn't handle the TV, chair, or most of the other things. Once this was decided, there was no reason for me to stay any longer tonight, but I hated to go back. I was afraid of seeing Jill. There was no reaction of hers I welcomed. If she was still sad from the argument, that would make me feel guilty. If she tried to defend Adrian, that would upset me too. I sighed. This chair was so ridiculously comfortable, I might as well enjoy it a little longer. I dug into my messenger bag, looking for homework, and remembered the yearbooks. Kelly Hayes. I'd had almost no time to think about her or the murders, not with all the drama surrounding Keith and the tattoos. Kelly had been a junior when she died, and I had a yearbook for each of her years at Amberwood. Even as a freshman, Kelly took lots of space in the yearbook. I remembered Mrs. Weathers saying Kelly was a good athlete. No kidding. Kelly had participated in nearly every sport Amberwood offered and been exceptional at all of them. She'd made varsity teams during her first year and won all sorts of awards. One thing I also immediately discovered was that Kelly was definitely not a Moroi. That much was obvious, even in black and white, and confirmed in the sophomore-year color spread in the middle. She had a very human build and tanned skin that clearly loved the sun. I was skimming the index of the junior yearbook when I heard a knock at the door. For a moment, I didn't want to answer. For all I knew, it was some loser friend Keith had made while here, looking to eat his food and watch TV. Then I worried it could be something Alchemist related. I found the Kelly tribute section I'd been seeking and set the yearbook down before tentatively approaching the door. Looking out the peephole, I caught sight of a familiar face. Ã¢â¬Å"Lee?Ã¢â¬ I asked, opening the door. He gave me a sheepish smile. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey. Sorry to bug you here.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"What are you doing here?Ã¢â¬ I exclaimed, beckoning him inside. Ã¢â¬Å"Why aren't you back with the others?Ã¢â¬ He followed me into the living room. Ã¢â¬Å"I Ã¢â¬â I needed to talk to you. When you said you were coming here, it made me wonder if what my father had said was true. That Keith isn't here anymore?Ã¢â¬ I sat back down on the recliner. Lee took a spot on the nearby loveseat. Ã¢â¬Å"Yup. Keith's gone. He was, uh, reassigned.Ã¢â¬ Keith was off being punished somewhere, and I said good riddance. Lee glanced around, taking in the expensive furnishings. Ã¢â¬Å"This is a nice place.Ã¢â¬ His eyes fell on the cabinet that had held the alchemy supplies. Its door still hung precariously from its hinges, and I hadn't bothered tidying up where the Alchemists had cleaned out its other contents. Ã¢â¬Å"Was thisÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ Lee frowned. Ã¢â¬Å"Was this place broken into?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Not exactly,Ã¢â¬ I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Keith, um, just needed to find something in a hurry before he left.Ã¢â¬ Lee wrung his hands and looked around some more before turning back to me. Ã¢â¬Å"And he's not coming back?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Probably not.Ã¢â¬ Lee's face fell, which surprised me. I'd always gotten the impression he didn't like Keith. Ã¢â¬Å"Will another Alchemist be replacing him?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"I don't know,Ã¢â¬ I said. There was still some debate on that. Turning Keith in had stopped me from being replaced by Zoe, and Stanton was now considering just having me fill in as the local Alchemist since the duties were light. Ã¢â¬Å"If someone does, it may be a while.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"So you're the only Alchemist in the area,Ã¢â¬ he repeated, sounding sadder still. I shrugged. Ã¢â¬Å"There are some in Los Angeles.Ã¢â¬ That inexplicably perked him up a little. Ã¢â¬Å"Really? Could you tell me their Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Lee stopped as his focus dropped to the open yearbook lying at my feet. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh,Ã¢â¬ I said, scooping it up. Ã¢â¬Å"Just a research project I'm doing on Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Kelly Hayes.Ã¢â¬ The cheerful look was gone. Ã¢â¬Å"Yeah. Have you heard of her?Ã¢â¬ I reached for a nearby piece of scrap paper, intending to use it as a bookmark for the tribute section. Ã¢â¬Å"You might say that,Ã¢â¬ he replied. I started to ask what he meant, and that's when I saw it. The spread they'd done in honor of Kelly had pictures from all parts of her high school life. Unsurprisingly, most of them were pictures of her playing sports. There were a few from other areas of her social and academic worlds, including one of her at the prom. She wore a stunning blue satin dress that made the most of her athletic figure and was giving the camera a big grin as she wrapped an arm around her dashing, tuxedo-clad date. Lee. I jerked my head up and looked at Lee, who was now regarding me with an unreadable expression. I turned back to the picture, scrutinizing it carefully. What was remarkable wasn't that Lee was in the picture Ã¢â¬â though, believe me, I hadn't figured out what was going on with that yet. What had me hung up was the timing. This yearbook was five years old. Lee would've been fourteen at the time, and the guy looking back at me with Kelly was certainly not that young. The Lee in the picture looked exactly like the nineteen-year-old sitting across from me, which was impossible. Moroi had no special immortality. They aged like humans. I looked back up, wondering if I should be asking if he had a brother. Lee saved me from questioning, though. He simply regarded me with a sad look and shook his head. Ã¢â¬Å"Shit. I hadn't wanted it to happen like this.Ã¢â¬ And then, he took out a knife.
Friday, September 13, 2019
Property Development - Essay Example With the help of a case example the paper will mainly highlight the merits of traditional residual valuation approach over other valuation methods. Property valuation and different property valuation techniques has been a subject of intense discussion between researchers, academicians and developers. Different approaches to property valuation have been widely contested between different stakeholders. The issue of property appraisal often takes socio-political color due to the range of stakeholders directly affected by the process. According to Williams and Ventolo (2001, p-65), market value means the most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Though the theoretically property valuation is defined by some others Hamid (1996)"as means to interpret market without the personal bias, value, emotion and poor assumption", property appraisal is often looked from a personal perspectives of buyers and sellers. Kahr and Thomsett (2005; p-48) states that valuation is distinguished via attributes of properties and markets; further classification of value are based upon the priorities of investors or owners, including cash flow and potential rental income tax benefits or limitations and perception of future growth in market value. Principles that guide the valuation are: Progression: this principle implies that the value of property will increase due to market demand and better locality. Regression: this principle implies that opposite of above principle also holds true when the value of a property may decrease due to negative market sentiments. Conformity: The principle states that valuation of property tends to appreciate with the similar properties in a similar location. Substitution: This principle implies that a property's greatest potential market value is also limited by the valuation of similar properties in a similar locality. Change: This principle tells that all variables used for valuation tend to change resulting in changes in value of the property. Anticipation: This principle implies that valuation depends upon the expectation of future growth. Contribution: This principle states that the investment on an existing property may contribute in valuation, though it is not necessary that increase in valuation is equal to investment. Plottage: This principle implies that the consistency in ownership, zoning and usage of land tend to increase the value of land. Highest and best value: This principle states that the value of a land is maximum when the land is utilized in best possible manner. Competition: This principle implies that the valuation of a property varies according to supply and demand of properties in market. Property appraisal aims to determine different type of values such as market value, value in use, investment value, insurance and taxable value, and liquidation value, which gives rise to need of different valuation methods and standards. These valuation systems also vary in different countries according to their laws and economic practices. In, UK five valuation methods are used which are discussed in following sections whereas in US
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Cold War conflict - Essay Example But was the defeat of the Soviet Union the only thing that happened during the Cold War' There is more to this story from which America emerged smelling like a rose and putting itself on the pedestal of world redeemer; after all, it had been the nation instrumental in freeing the world from the clutches of Hitler and then afterwards, barely snatching the world from Russia's snapping communist jaws. Who really paid the price of victory' It was the defenseless and even back then, marginalized third world countries which, depending on what kind of resources that the U.S could draw from them, controlled with the skill of a master puppeteer. This was mostly done by putting into place right wing dictatorial leaders who would ensure that these mostly new democracies would not be lured into communism and gang up with the Soviet Union against the U.S. The end results were disastrous to say the least, and it was these broken countries that were left behind to pick the pieces as America stood o n an international podium to receive accolades for her victory. It is no secret that with the abolition of slave trade in the late 1800s the little interest that the United States had in Africa simply petered out. The colonialists had divided the continent into territories that they claimed for themselves and ran ragged as they chose. America, being an anti-colonialism nation, disapproved from a distance but did not step in to intervene. However, after the Second World War and with the rise of the Cold War, America's interest in African states was on full alert1. America had this fixed perception of African countries and other third world countries as not being ready for their own democracy. She saw African countries as being too primitive and backwards for self governance. The U.S believed that African countries had to be guided into self governance as it was something completely beyond their comprehension. This resulted in years of U.S meddling with African affairs that has persisted to date. Why the United States suddenly took an interest in the affairs of African nations is because they believed that these nations were not ready for independence. The United States was afraid that the freshly independent nations, who had such limited experience of democracy, would be exposed to communism and that they would embrace it instead of capitalism. But the U.S could not afford to have an Africa aligned to the Soviet Union; hence they became active in African affairs because now they had a vested interest. The only way to avert such an eventuality was by determining what kind of governments that there would be in these 'unstable' African nations. The kind of governments that the U.S preferred were the authoritarian types which were not tailored on true democracy. Such governments would ensure that the people stayed in line and could feed propaganda to the masses as they deemed fit. The U.S took it upon itself to not only tell African states how to govern themselves but also chose African leaders who she felt would forward her own agendas. Right from the
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Plato's Apology - Essay Example 1.2. SocratesÃ¢â¬â¢ method was to approach every known wise man and interview him in order to find one wiser than him. In asking a series of questions, he is able to deduce the speakerÃ¢â¬â¢s wisdom (21c) 1.3. Socrates found that when he probed each wise man with questions, he always discovered a fault in his ideas, which showed him not wiser than Socrates (21d-e) 1.4. Socrates surmised what the Delphic oracle meant by him being wiser than the other Ã¢â¬Ëwise men.Ã¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Å"I am wiser than that other fellow, because neither of us knows anything of great value; but he thinks he knows a thing when he doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t; whereas I neither know it in fact, nor think that I do,Ã¢â¬ thereby making him wiser in that single respect (21d). 2. SocratesÃ¢â¬â¢ defense: 2.1. Against the old accusations 2.1.1. Socrates was accused of receiving money for teaching. While he denied it, he said that there is nothing dishonourable about this (19e to 20a). 2.1.2. The accusation of being too inquisitive Ã¢â¬â a Ã¢â¬Å"busybodyÃ¢â¬ (19c) Ã¢â¬â Socrates simply denied, and countered that his accusers were angry at him because he unmasked their lack of wisdom. 2.2. Against the new accusations (by Meletus) 2.2.1. On the charge that Socrates corrupted the young, Socrates asked Meletus if he believed the laws, the judges, the Councillors, the people in the Assembly, all contributed to the improvement of the young, Meletus answered yes, and that only Socrates corrupted them (24e-25a). Socrates drew a parallel with horse trainers, and showed that normally, majority of influences would tend to be bad and the few good. This showed Meletus charge is not for the welfare of the young, but for his own spite (25c). 2.2.2. On the charge that Socrates was an atheist because he believed in demigods, Socrates pointed out that this was a contradiction in itself, since to believe in demigods was to believe in God, and therefore he could not be an atheist at the same time (26a-27e). 3. When Socrates proposed his own punishment, he first argued that what he had done was to provide a good for others, for which his punishment should actually be some Ã¢â¬Å"benefitÃ¢â¬ (36d) such as Ã¢â¬Å"free meals in the PryteneumÃ¢â¬ (37a). One might say that by such levity, Socrates was treating the entire matter trivially; this is hard to imagine, however, since he was a perceptive and wise man and could appreciate the gravity of the situation and the seriousness of his adversaries. One could only deduce that he was being brutally honest and rational in asserting that he deserved to be rewarded rather than punished, for the good he had done to others, and treating no one unjustly (37b). 4. SocratesÃ¢â¬â¢ view of death is a blessing, not an evil (40c) and the afterlife can only be one of two things Ã¢â¬â a non-existence, or transformation of the soul to a different world. If it were the first, then the dead person will have no awareness at all, like a deep sleep whe re the sleeper did not even dream, which is then Ã¢â¬Å"a marvellous gainÃ¢â¬ (40d). If death were so, then Socrates would count it to be a most Ã¢â¬Å"agreeableÃ¢â¬ thing comparable to a single nightÃ¢â¬â¢s rest. On the other hand, if death were a transformation then he counts it as the greatest blessing, to be rid of the false Ã¢â¬Å"jurorsÃ¢â¬ who ruled against him and instead be in the presence of the demigods and great men who lived righteous lives (41a). By so dissecting the possibilities of the afterlife, Socrates is able to comfort his friends with his vision of death. He goes to meet death as a great adventure, or at the very least a restful sleep. Therefore, Socrates did not fear death, but only saw it as