Hofstra University Honors College's Blog

Posts tagged ‘Boston’

Can YOU disconnect this summer?

Now that we’re almost a month into Summer Break and mostly full swing into our plans, I wanted to share an article from the Boston Globe about bringing technology along during our vacations.

The full article is here but I wanted to post a few quotes as well.

“I know it sounds bad,’’ said Wallace, of Roslindale, as she worked on her laptop at Panera in Brookline, “but seeing if I had an e-mail was more exciting than looking at the sunset.’’

She’s 22, the same age as me. I’m pretty sure if I were in her position, I’d totally be taking photos of that sunset… (Whether or not I’d be using an iPhone and then posting them to facebook is a different matter because I don’t have one yet)

 

The article goes on to describe how people are demanding wireless wherever they vacation, even if it’s camping. Did you know 5,000 of our 13,000 campgrounds now offer wireless? It boggles my mind. We have become so connected that we can’t function even on vacation unless we have our Kindles, laptops and smartphones with us.

I remember packing a backpack of things to keep entertained during a trip – either a plane or car ride. There would be coloring books or a sketch pad, kids puzzle books, a magazine as a treat, and a book or two for me to read. As I got older the bag included a gameboy and then an iPod (the kind that just plays music). But now it’s either my laptop or my iPod touch or both. (I’ll still have the books though.)

 

If the kids build a sandcastle on the beach and mom doesn’t update her Facebook status, did it happen?

I love this quote – reminds me of our generation’s insistence that nothing is official until it is on facebook. But there’s a difference between using the site to record memories – like the first sandcastle of the season, and live blogging every sandcastle of the summer. Some people know the difference and can leave their technology at home while others remain tethered to their smartphones.

Just something to keep in mind now that vacation season is starting up.

Advertisements

Veteran’s Preference vs Language Skills

(Cross Posted from my own WordPress)

Boston has long used veteran’s preference to get returning vets into jobs such as the police and fire departments. This year, Boston Fire Department has asked to set aside 15 of 50 spots in their academy class for people who speak Spanish. (And yes, they actually have to ask for an exception to sidestep the law)

And well, I let the quote speak for itself.

But a group of military veterans, normally given preference for the jobs, has challenged the decision. Alleging in legal documents that the bilingual requirement is being used to “recruit people of color into the uniformed ranks,’’ the veterans have asked the state Civil Service Commission to investigate.

So when did knowledge of a language determine your skin color? I’m sure this wasn’t the only line of reasoning the veterans put in their legal documents, but this quote makes them seem very racist. Later on in the article, the lawyer for them complains about how they came back from serving in Iraq/Afghanistan to find the rules have changed on them.

And there’s even more background, like how the BFD was legally bound to hire/diversify at a one to one ratio meaning for every white candidate they hired, they needed a black or Hispanic one as well. That rule was disbanded less than ten years ago and since then the department has hired a group that is 88 per cent white.

I don’t really understand why the veterans are so angry. The department finally realized they need more staff who speaks Spanish when they respond to calls from Spanish speaking people. Boston has a huge Hispanic population in one neighborhood, and significant populations in other neighborhoods that are on the other side of the city. In other words the Hispanics are basically all over. It’s time the department diversifies again.

The veterans can always apply again next year, right?