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Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It is a great time for my family and the food is amazing. We have fried turkey and baked turkey. Personally, the fried one is my favorite but it is something that we only started 3 years ago so it is not really a tradition yet. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is dessert. For dessert, my sister makes banana pudding. It is my all time favorite dessert.

Besides the food, the family time is wonderful. We have ways of bonding without each other all day and weekend. On Thanksgiving morning, my whole family runs the Turkey Trot together. It is a 4 mile race through Shelby Farms. Then on Friday morning all the girls in the family go shopping while my dad, my brother, my brother in law, and I all go hunting. On friday evening after the excitement of hunting and shopping is over, we decorate the Christmas tree as a family and watch basketball and drink together. It is the only time that I am actually allowed to drink in front of my parents.

Decisions

I am a terrible decision maker. No matter how small the decision is, its always hard for me. Even just deciding what to eat is hard for me. I think I get it from my dad, he is a very indecisive person. He waits until the last minute to make a decision, which i do too. Because I am indecisive, i hate shopping. Even if I am just going to get a new pair of shoes or something like that it takes me forever to decide what to get.

Decisions like those have no long term effect. Deciding what to eat or what to buy should be so simple and I should not stress over them. But I do. Now I am in college and they expect me to be able to decide on a major. I have no idea, this is the hardest thing I have ever been asked to do. What I decide to major in will affect my entire life, that is what my job will be related to. Right now I feel like I want to major in agriculture so I can get a job related to farming. I love farming and always have but I don’t know if its what I want to do my entire life. I am just really unsure of what I want to do.

Things I miss

I really have enjoyed my time up here at Tennessee, but I often think about all the things I am missing being up here. I miss things like my church, the people there are watched me grow up and helped me grow in Christ. I miss my family and friends that are back home. Its different not having those people that will just drop everything to help you out. Among all the things I miss, cars and hunting are what i miss the most.

My two biggest passions and then things I care the most about and know the most about are cars and hunting. I can walk around a car show for hours looking at cars that people have put a lot of time and money into making them look nice. When I was still living in Memphis, I spent every Thursday night at the corner of Stage and Kirby Whitten Road where there was a car show. Some nights during the summer there would be over 250 cars out there. My dad and I would take his Corvette up there and it was like a bonding time for us. I miss going to these shows and walking around with my dad and him talking to me about the cars of his childhood. The other thing I really miss is hunting. During the fall and winter, my dad, my brother, my brother in law, and I spend every available morning in a deer stand or duck blind. This was another one of those times that i got to bond with my family. I really miss not being able to just grab my gun and get in the truck with my brother or dad or brother in law and drive to the farm to just hunt for a little while.

Globalization

Before I go into my thoughts on this subect, let me first say that I know nothing about it. I have never left the country and all I know about other countries is what I have read or seen on TV. In my opinion, the United States has a great influence on other countries around the world. For a long time, the U.S. has been a like a world power, a country that others look up to. In more recent years other countries have began to compare to us more closely. This may be because we are declining in power as other countries, such as China, become stronger powers.

American products are found all over the world. When watching movies you see people in other countries drinking coke and driving American cars. Products like these are big in globalization as are illegal drugs and endangered species. These two products are the top in international trade. Drug users are in every country. There are no requirements to be a drug user, anyone can do it. The endangered species are traded because of the value of some of their parts.

Political Issue: Consolidation in Shelby county

I am from Germantown, Tennessee. It is a small city just outside of the city of Memphis. Both of these cities along with a few others are located in Shelby county. While Memphis is the county seat, the city and county have separate governments. There are currently seven cities in the county with their own government. Located in Shelby county are two public school systems, Shelby County Schools and Memphis City Schools. This is where the major issue is with consolidating the city and county government.

In the next mid term election, all of the residents of Shelby county will vote on whether or not the city and county governments should be consolidated. The schools factor into this because the Shelby County School system is one of the top school systems in the state while Memphis City School system is probably one of the worst. Every year Shelby County Schools rank very high among other public school systems in the state in the field of academics, while there are middle school students in the Memphis City School system that cannot even read. I believe that every child should have an equal opportunity to learn but i do not believe that academics is the reason that city officials want consolidation. Another issue among the city schools is that they are broke, all their money is spent, while the county school system has done a very good job of budgeting and is able to sufficiently finance their schools. I think that money is the primary focus of city officials and that, to me, is the wrong reason to consolidate. In order for me to want consolidation to occur, it would have equally help each of the currently separate governments. There are approximately 900,000 people living in Shelby county and unfortunately, about 670,000 of these people live inside the city limits and would most likely like to see these governments all combine into one. The government of Memphis is pretty well known as being terrible and many people in the city are tired of it and would really like to see the city ran by other people.

My Grandfather

Over the past 18 years my grandfather has been one of the most influential people in my life. As a 94 year old man he has more knowledge than I could ever imagine having as a teenager. I have spent much time with my grandfather throughout my life. As a small child I can remember him baby sitting me at my house while my parents were gone. He would teach how to do many things such as ride a bike. He would take my siblings and me down to the farm to fish and shoot guns. I still vividly remember many of our trips to the farm and my grandfather helping when I would get my line hung up in a tree or caught on something in the lake. He loved to take us on walks around the property and tell us the history of it. As he and I both grew older things turned around. Instead of him coming to our house to cut our grass, I started going to his house and cutting his grass. For the past 7 to 8 years, I have been cutting his grass once a week. In this time that I am at his house a lot of it was always spent just visiting with him. He told me many stories about life and lessons he’s learned along the way. He taught me many things over the years like working on cars and different things about landscaping.

My grandfather is one of the greatest people I have ever known. I respect him so much. He is now 94 years old and has been married to the same woman for 69 years. In the past few months, his health has really declined. He has spent the majority of the past 4 months in the hospital. Last week, doctors determined that there is nothing more they can do for him medically and they released him from the hospital into the care of hospice, whose job is to just keep him as comfortable as possible for the remainder of his time. Although he is unresponsive to everyone and just lies in this hospital bed all day, I am anxious to get home to see him. I am happy that he is the man I got to call my grandfather.

Civil War

Dear Family,

I’m sorry to do this and leave in the middle of the night. But i had to avoid any confrontation that may occur because of my decision. I have enjoyed growing up in the south but at this point I am not sure of who i agree with. It has been tough trying to decide between the north and the south but i think i have made the right decision.

I have left to enlist in the Union army. I plan to fight out this horrible war with those i agree with most. I believe that government being involved is a good thing and it will help build the country as a whole. Even though we treat our slaves well, this is not the case throughout the south. Slavery is a bad thing and even without slaves we can still make a living. Having hired help will strengthen the economy even more.

I am sorry that this decision i have made does not agree with your beliefs. This is what i feel is best to do and i must begin to make my own decision. Hopefully at the end of the war we can put this behind us and be a whole country and whole family again.

Boats

I have always loved being on the lake. My family and I have been going since i was a baby. I learned how to waterski when i was only 5. I have spent alot of time on Pickwick lake, which is located at the intersection on the Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama state lines. And i have also spent much time on my favorite lake, Hamilton, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. One of my favorite parts of being on the lake is seeing different boats, there are rarely two of the same boat on the same lake. Having a boat is something i really hope i can afford for my whole life. I’ve put alot of thought in the boats i would like to have.

The first boat i would like to buy after college is a Malibu Wakesetter 247 LSV. This is a wakeboarding boat meant to put out a big wake for more fun when riding behind it. I think this is one of the best looking wakeboarding boats on the water. the way it sits in the water and the way the lines flow make it look very good. The next boat i would like to own after the Malibu is the new MasterCraft 300. The 300 is a 34 foot cabin cruiser. MasterCraft is a well known company for its production of competition and tow boats and more recently its top of the line wakeboarding boats. The 300 is a very sleek looking boat meant for just anchoring or cruising or staying just one night on the lake. My last “dream” boat is the Azimut 120 SL. This is one of the sleekest yachts I have ever seen. The 120 SL is a 116 foot yacht that is powered by 3 Rolls Royce engines. I would want to keep this boat on Pickwick Lake because it would be only a short drive from my house and you can get almost anywhere you want to go from Pickwick on the Tombigbee waterway

The 1970’s

If I could live in any decade i would choose the 1970s. The 1970s had many good things. The main reason i would want to live in this decade is because of the cars. I’m really into cars and the big companies produced man high power cars, my favorite being the 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454. Dodge had the powerful 426 Hemi, while Chevrolet also produced a 427 big block and a 502 big block. Although the 454 drew most of the attention, these two were also very popular Chevrolet motors. In the early 1970s, muscle cars with powerful engines were the big thing until hiked insurance rates on these cars and pollution issues came into play in 1973. The cars of this decade still turn heads and they were much cheaper and it was a lot more common to see them back then.

The other reason i would like to live in this decade is the music. Many bands that are still popular today made a name for themselves in the 1970s by having good music and putting on good shows. Grateful Dead, Led Zepplin, Fleetwood Mac, Lynryd Skynryd, and Pink Floyd were all big names in this decade and are still some of my favorites today. Seeing one of their shows in the 70s would be unreal. It would be awesome to have these bands touring and coming to you city for a concert instead of some of the bands that tour now.

Law Enforcement Officers

May 20, 2010 is the day I graduated from Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee, a small suburb of Memphis. Just across the Mississippi River in West Memphis, Arkansas was another event that I still think about a lot to this day. Two West Memphis police officers made a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40 that would be their last. Sargent Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans stopped the white minivan of Joe Kane, 16, and his father Jerry Kane. The events that unfolded from there were later released to the public in the form of the dash cam video from the officers car. The teenage boy got out of the passenger side of the minivan with an ak47, aimed at the two officers, and fired repeatedly. Chief Paudert and Officer Evans were shot a combined total of 25 times and were left dead. Before the two suspects were killed 90 minutes later they had injured two other law enforcement officers, Sheriff Dick Busby of the Crittenden County Sheriffs Department and Deputy Chief W.A. Wren of the West Memphis Police Department. A little over an hour later, the suspects were located hiding out in the Wal Mart parking lot and commenced to have another shoot out with police. A young wildlife officer for Arkansas Game and Fish was brave enough to drive through the gun fire to ram the minivan with the steel bumper on his state truck. The two suspects were killed in the shootout in the parking lot.

I have read much about the shootings and learned a lot through it. I have gained a much greater respect for law enforcement and what they do everyday to protect us. My dad has been a Germantown police officer for over 20 years and seeing something like this happen so close to my home really makes me appreciate him while at the same time frightening me of how a tragedy like that could happen to him. Although police officers run radar and pull people over for minor traffic violations, their main concern is the safety of everyone in their community. On average a police officer dies every 53 hours, about 165 a year. Many officers lose their lives protecting us so we dont lose ours and I am thankful to every officer that protects me currently or has ended their watch while protecting their community.