Monthly Archives: September, 2010

Studying Abroad Should Never be a Random Choice for Graduate Students

Although I think that it’s okay to study abroad without a clear purpose while you are an undergraduate student, it is certainly inexcusable to study abroad while you are a graduate student without a clearly defined purpose. I don’t understand why people are so random these days. As an undergraduate student, studying abroad without a clearly defined purpose can potentially have great benefits for you. As a graduate student, you should not be wasting time studying abroad if it does not have anything to do with your degree program and with what you plan to do when you graduate. It is my guess that many of these graduate students who are randomly studying abroad now are doing so because they think that this looks or sounds good. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that there is nothing that looks or sounds good about you wasting a whole bunch of time on something that has nothing to do with your degree program, or that is not going to help you to obtain a career in your field.

With the amount of time that some of these graduate students who are randomly studying abroad are consuming, they could be devoting this time to starting another degree program. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t think that you are going to be successful in your current degree program—just admit it! Go ahead and finish the degree program you are in, so that you will have the degree under your belt, and then start a new graduate program—it can be a master’s degree program or doctoral degree program. If you are a graduate student who is studying abroad randomly, don’t try to fool smart people about why you are randomly studying abroad—we see right through the lies! Duh! Many of the graduate students that I know who are randomly studying abroad are using their study abroad experiences as vehicles to escape failure and to compensate for so much of what they lack.

People worry too much about what others think about them. As I have long advocated and have written consistently and persistently about, just be yourself! So many people are always talking about how REAL they are, but these are some of the main people doing things that they don’t want to do just to please others. Being random is not cute—no matter how you try to dress it up.

If you don’t have anything better to do with your time, participate in some of the selfless acts that I do: mentor disadvantaged young people, volunteer with organizations that focus on improving the lives of disadvantaged people, raise money for unfortunate children and adults, volunteer for community service programs at a local church, and etc. These aforementioned selfless acts will prove more beneficial than random study abroad trips.

I could see if you are a graduate student and you get a chance to study abroad through the Fulbright Program—no one will turn this offer down. If you get to be a Fulbright Scholar, then you don’t have to worry about whether or not the opportunity fits your degree program—it’s so prestigious to be a Fulbright Scholar. However, for you graduate students who just randomly decided to go study abroad without a purpose, how dumb!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The Revolutionary Paideia September 2010 Person of the Month: Renaldo Cortez Blocker

It is with great pleasure that I name Renaldo Cortez Blocker as The Revolutionary Paideia September 2010 Person of the Month. Renaldo’s commitment to mentoring Black males across the country is noteworthy. Revolutionary Paideia is certainly committed to improving the outcomes and experiences of Black males across the nation. As you know, a person living or dead, is given The Revolutionary Paideia Person of the Month based on his or her embodiment of the spirit of “unsettling, unnerving, and unhousing” that gave birth to the creation of Revolutionary Paideia. Mr. Blocker’s unwavering commitment to ameliorating Black male student achievement is a commitment shared by Revolutionary Paideia, and this acknowledgement of his noble work is a small token of appreciation.

Renaldo also embodies the spirit of “unsettling, unnerving, and unhousing” that founded this blog by his ability to turnaround failing programs, activities, and organizations. I have had the great fortune to work with him on a number of projects and programs, and have found his work to be exceptional. He has changed the lives of so many people and constantly makes efforts to help others to experience success. He is a devoted servant to the community and disadvantaged populations.

Mr. Blocker is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Industrial and Systems Engineering and is a Graduate Engineering Research Scholars (GERS) Fellow. Renaldo also earned a master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a proud alum of Albany State University, where he completed his undergraduate degree with honors in Computer Science. Go Rams! Renaldo earned a master’s degree in Computer Science at San Francisco State University as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Bridge to the Doctorate LS-AMP Fellow. He has served as a Teaching Assistant at Albany State University and currently serves as one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dominant research interest focuses on ensuring patient safety during cardiac surgery in the operating room (OR), specifically concentrating on intraoperative handoffs. I could list more things about his academic record, but this article would not do it justice given my time limitations.

As the Undergraduate Advisor of the Beta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Renaldo, an active and exemplary member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., has done a tremendously job with helping to improve the academic, professional, social, and personal development of each one of his advisees. You can see his commitment to excellence reflected in his advisees. Although I could list numerous things that make Renaldo such a great Undergraduate Advisor for the Beta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., one of the foremost things that has stood out to me is he leads his advisees by example. He is the epitome of what a good Kappa man should be, and his advisees learn from his great example. Mr. Blocker’s advisees are proud of him and he is proud of them.

One thing many people don’t know about Renaldo is he is not someone you want to make mad. Although he is abnormally skinny (LOL!), his bite is much powerful than his physical frame would suggest. Renaldo is one tough man! As a fearless warrior myself, this is something that I can really appreciate about him.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, Black men do not always unite behind one another. In fact, there are some Black men at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the city of Madison, Wisconsin who would rather undermine one another than support their fellow Black men. Mr. Blocker is certainly a man of great character and committed to the success of all Black men and will never attempt to undermine anyone. He always sees the best in everyone—something that I admire about him.

Although Renaldo is not my biological brother, I consider us to be closer than most biological brothers. We consider ourselves REAL BROTHERS. Renaldo knows what true brotherhood is. Unquestionably, he is one of my two best friends.

Now, if you don’t think Renaldo is a strong person, I just have to tell you that you are so wrong. He has to deal with me all the time—you have to be extremely strong to do that.  I appreciate his unwavering support and loyalty. He is one my greatest supporters, which is not an easy thing to be, considering I am perceived by some to be such a controversial and radical person. Renaldo never allows any negative comments, attacks on my record, lies, and distortions about me to sway his support of me. He does what he can to protect my character and record—although he knows I don’t care what a hater has to say about me anyway. (I’m brushing my shoulders off right now too—LOL!)

Renaldo, your great work has not gone unnoticed.  You are a REAL ACHIEVER! You never have had to fabricate your record or make it seem like you have accomplished more than you actually have like some people do—your stellar record precedes you and speaks for itself. This is why it is not a problem for Revolutionary Paideia to endorse you and name you The Revolutionary Paideia September 2010 Person of the Month! I know my large readership will approve of my choice. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

What the Bishop Eddie Long Sexual Allegations Have Reconfirmed for Me about Many Blacks

It seems like almost all Black people have some type of opinion about Bishop Eddie Long regarding the sexual allegations that are being claimed by now four Black men. What is most troubling for me about this situation is what it reconfirms for me about many Black people: Many Black people are eager to tear one another apart. Now, what I have observed is many White people are willing to stay united behind members of their own race, even in the most horrible of situations. Black people, we can learn something from White people on this issue—let’s unite more behind our people. Now, I am not saying that we should simply unite behind Bishop Eddie Long no matter what he does and has done, but what I would like to see is for us to not be exploiting him like the media is doing. Before we make up our minds up about what happened, we need to allow the presentation of all the evidence to come forth.

Beyond this issue about Bishop Eddie Long, we need to be more loyal and united to one another. We have a history that demonstrates what we can do when we are united. It was our dominant unity and loyalty to one another that was instrumental in helping to defeat slavery and Jim Crow. Don’t just assume that this man is homosexual just because four men are claiming that he forced them to have sex with him. How many times have people claimed false things about you? How many times have people mischaracterized you? I am not suggesting that this is the case with these four men, but I am saying that it is a strong possibility that what we are hearing and reading from media accounts is not the complete truth. Let’s let truth prevail in this case, which means that we are going to need to gain more facts before we can intelligently start throwing this man of God under the metaphorical bus. No matter what is ultimately concluded about these allegations, I will not demonize this man of God.

What is it about so many Black people that make them want to hate on one another? What is it about so many Black people that make them enjoy seeing members of their own race suffer? I know whatever it is it needs to stop. It seems like many Black people do not want to see other Black people succeed. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, I have had the opportunity to experience many Black people who have tried to derail my success. Fortunately, these individuals have failed miserably, but the larger problem with their attempts is that they should be happy to see a Black man doing so well, especially considering many of the horrific statistics that exist about us.

What I’m going to try to do is have a conversation or interview with one of these Black people who hate on successful Black people to gain an understanding about why they hate on successful members of their own race. I think that the core problem that they have lies in their low self-esteem. The Black individuals at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the city of Madison who have hated on me all have the common problem of low self-esteem. As I reflect on all of the people who have hated on me throughout my life, I realize that they too have suffered from low self-esteem.

Black people, we are already a racial minority in America. Let’s not further complicate our situation by continuing to allow self-defeating mindsets to undermine one another.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Proud of the Performance of the Arkansas Razorbacks against Alabama

On Saturday, the Arkansas Razorbacks performed tremendously well against top-ranked Alabama. Until the 4th quarter, Arkansas really dominated the game. In the 4th quarter, Alabama was able to control the time of possession so well that it did not leave the Arkansas offense many opportunities to get on the field. Ryan Mallett had an outstanding game, but he did have a few costly interceptions. He is not the reason that Arkansas lost the game. Arkansas did not lose the game because of its defense. Everyone played tremendously well. The Arkansas Razorbacks lost the game because Alabama dominated the 4th quarter—the quarter that you have to win the game in.

The Arkansas players have nothing to hang their heads about. I have to be honest—I did not think that Arkansas could match Alabama’s physicality, but they certainly proved me wrong. Now, I knew Arkansas was more talented than Alabama and that talent proved to help them against Alabama, but Arkansas just did not perform well in the 4th quarter. The Razorbacks will need to improve how they perform in the 4th quarter of games if they want to win all of the remaining games on the schedule. I certainly believe that they are going to win the rest of the games on the schedule. Although the Razorbacks will need some help from some other teams in the SEC, they can still win the SEC Championship and play in the national championship game.

I would like to thank the Arkansas Razorback fans for how supportive and Hog Wild they were at the game. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium had its largest crowd ever. Arkansas fans, I know that the players appreciated your great support and your support will be needed for the remainder of the season. Continue to give our great Razorbacks your super support! Go to road games and let them know you really support them. The Arkansas Razorbacks are going to do some special things this year!

I heard some people really trying to downplay how great of a program Arkansas is—saying that we are not in the same class with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Florida, but I would like you to know that Arkansas has won a national championship before in football. Arkansas is 4th all-time in overall total number of national championships. Arkansas has outstanding academics and tremendous facilities. Fayetteville, Arkansas is one of the most pleasant places to live and with some of the nicest people you can find in America. Please don’t try to downplay the value of the University of Arkansas! Arkansas is a Tradition like none other!

I would like to congratulate Alabama on defeating Arkansas. You certainly beat what I think is the best team in the nation. You were simply the better team on Saturday. I take my hat off to you for overcoming great adversity to find a way to win on Saturday. Arkansas is the best team you will face all year. This Saturday Alabama will have to face Florida and things are not going to be easy for you. Next, Alabama will face South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. As we all know, going on the road in the SEC is always tough. Plus, having to deal with the Old Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier, is not any fun.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the Arkansas Razorbacks’ Special Teams—you performed wonderfully against Alabama. Keep up the good work! Good job, Arkansas defense! Keep playing hard and improving!

In closing, I would just like to tell the Arkansas players to get over this tough loss because it is not the end of the world. Go out and win the SEC and win the national championship! Keep fighting!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bishop Eddie Long and Recent Sexual Abuse Allegations

I just thought that I would share with my readers some brief thoughts about how I feel about the allegations that Bishop Eddie Long sexually abused two Black men (one was 17 at the time and the other was 18 at the time). Before you rush to judgment about what this man of God might have done, I would like for you to think for a moment about this: These are two Black men—you are not going to coerce two Black men to have homosexual sex with you. I will admit that I do not have all of the facts, and neither do you, but I would like for you to think about how there are money hungry people out there who will try to ruin your reputation, record, and character just to get paid in court. I also want you to consider that there are people out there who will say anything to get some type of fame. I want you to, therefore, consider that this is all a grand scam to gain money and attention.

Do I think that it is possible that Bishop Eddie Long sexually abused these two Black men? Well, all things are possible. My instincts tell me, however, that he did not sexually abuse these men. Before you rush to judgment and convict this man in the court of public opinion, I encourage you to wait until a full investigation of these allegations is complete. We may never know the full truth anyway, so take that into consideration too.

For those out there who want to get a quick laugh off of the whole situation, you are simply stupid. How would you like for someone to simply make allegations about you that could ruin your reputation, record, and character? Hmm…not so funny now, huh? For those on the Left who would desire to critique him negatively because he opposes same-sex marriage, you don’t have all of the facts to make a judgment about him, so do the right thing and let adequate facts about these allegations emerge.

I look forward to more factual information coming out about these allegations. I pray for Bishop Long, his church members, and all of those affected by this matter. May God bless Bishop Eddie Long and you as well!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Be Proud of What You Have Accomplished

When you have a record you are proud of, don’t allow people to make you downplay what you have accomplished. You have worked hard to obtain the record you have—embrace it! Don’t worry about people calling you arrogant. I hear that all of time, especially here in Madison, Wisconsin. Most of the time people call me arrogant because they are envious and jealous of me. This may be true for you as well, so simply disregard empty charges of arrogance. You know whether or not you are simply proudly stating the facts about your record or simply being boastful for attention. When one looks at my proud record of helping countless individuals without a moment of notoriety, it becomes quite difficult for a clear thinking individual to charge me with being arrogant. I will not, however, dim my lights just to give your darkness some sunshine.

When people attack your record, you have to respond to those attacks at some point. Now, I am not saying that you need to respond to every attack on your record, but there comes a point when you have to address serious and malicious attacks on your record. Just to let you know, when you try to viciously attack my record, you will no longer have any credibility after I am finished with you. Your record is your greatest investment. People who want to attack your record have to be confronted and addressed. Just as you would not allow anyone to steal your financial investments, you cannot allow someone to steal your record.

Although people lie and scandalize your name, please know that these are weeds that have to be plucked and trashed. You can be a good person and still not let people run over you and attempt to treat you like you are nothing. When you allow people to treat you like nothing, you are doing great violence to your own record. Your record is what you make it—don’t let other people allow your record to be stained. If you have aspects about your record that you don’t like, just work hard to correct them, and work hard to add the things you want on your record.

To the people who enjoy going out trying to destroy people’s records, you are truly the scum of the earth. Stop allowing your low self-esteem to cause you to hate on others. I would encourage you to spend more of your time on helping others and not on trying to bring people down. If you were devoting your lives to substantive things and selfless acts, you would not feel that emptiness inside of you that causes you to try to go out and destroy people.

To those people who have attempted to distort my record and destroy my character, I am proud to report to you that you have failed! Although there are numerous people out there trying to attack, distort, and destroy my record and character, I am winning and you are losing! I have each one of my enemies on a list, and one by one I have something special waiting for each one of you, especially for one particular man who has caused so much chaos!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Arkansas Razorbacks Prepare to Face Alabama in the Mountains of Fayetteville

After a closer than was needed victory over the Georgia Bulldogs on yesterday, the Arkansas Razorbacks, led by Ryan Mallett, get set to face the Alabama Crimson Tide, the defending national champions and #1 ranked team in the nation. While Arkansas did get the win against a Georgia Bulldogs team that they are simply better than, with or without A.J. Green, they did not show all of the things that they need to do to win against Alabama. Although it is always a good thing to get a win on the road in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Arkansas Razorbacks did not play like champions when they had a 14 point lead on the Georgia Bulldogs. If Arkansas is going to silence the critics, then they are going to have to play like champions for all four quarters each game.

Next Saturday, Alabama will come to one of the toughest places to play in the nation: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in the Mountains of Fayetteville! While Arkansas will have to play better than they played against Georgia to beat Alabama, anytime Ryan Mallett steps on the field the Hogs have a chance to win against anyone. The Arkansas defense has shown significant improvement from last year, so Alabama will need to be prepared for a much improved and more physical defense. Although the Arkansas offense has proved to be explosive, the offense still has not reached its full potential, which should certainly scare Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban.

Arkansas will not be awe-struck when Alabama steps on the field. They know that if they play their best that they can defeat any opponent, including Alabama. If Mallett leads his team to victory, you can certainly expect him to win this year’s Heisman Trophy. Without question, Ryan Mallett will face the toughest defense he will experience this season, but the great thing is he has faced this defense last year and knows what to expect.

I don’t want Arkansas to think that this game is the whole season. Arkansas will have more games after facing Alabama and should play each week like they are playing for the national championship. I know each one of the Arkansas players and know that they think that they can beat each team on their schedule, so with that confidence I think that they will have the mental toughness to take on any adversity they may face against Alabama. This is going to be a great game! I am predicting that the Arkansas Razorbacks will beat Alabama in a close game in Fayetteville, Arkansas! WOO PIG SOOIE!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Red Eye on the Fox News Channel

If you a person who stays up really late, you might really enjoy watching Red Eye with host Greg Gutfeld at 3 a.m. eastern standard time on weekdays. Now, I know you might say that you are usually knocked out sleep at that time, but if you happen to be up at that time for some reason check it out. Greg Gutfeld always leads a diverse panel of people who talk about virtually everything, even serious issues, in a very funny and satirical way. One thing you can count on from this show is you will be laughing. If you don’t stay up that late, then Tivo or DVR this show—it will not disappoint you.

For those who take life too seriously, you will really benefit from the laughter this show will provide for you.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tim Wise is Passionate about Racial Justice

If you are looking to read a blog that features a man who is passionate about racial justice, you will love to read Tim Wise’s blog (http://www.timwise.org/). I have to inform you that Tim Wise is a leftist writer and thinker. If you are a conservative or moderate, what he actually says on his blog will not comport with your thought. This reality, however, should not prevent you from reading his blog. One of the best ways for us to become better writers and thinkers is to read the positions of those we disagree with. By reading the positions of those we disagree with, we learn more about why we believe what we believe and learn more ways to attack the positions of our opposition.

This White man has more zeal about racial justice than many African-Americans I know. He has devoted his life, writing, and research to racial justice. Tim Wise understands the complexity and importance of race and racial dynamics in America. I can assure you that his blog will provoke serious thought for you—whether you agree with him or not.

I encourage you to take a look at Tim Wise’s blog (http://www.timwise.org/). He has some important things to say, and you will love his passion.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Chancellor Biddy Martin Please Remember Your Students’ Voices

Chancellor Biddy Martin should have asked her students about whether or not they support embryonic stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Although the generally liberal student body would have probably agreed with her to sue the federal government, she still should have asked her students about how they felt before pursuing this lawsuit. Of course, people will say that she did not have to ask the students before she did this. Of course, she did not. I don’t want to hear her say again that she always consults with her students about all matters before making a decision that could have an impact on them, however. Instead of checking with her students about whether or not they support embryonic stem cell research, she went ahead and made a decision to represent the student body like we all agree with it—never seeking our positions.

Instead of focusing on a lawsuit against the federal government about embryonic stem cell research, Chancellor Biddy Martin could be directing her attention to more pressing and important issues. She needs to work on improving the diversity of the student body.  Less than 2% of the total student body at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is composed of African-American students. What is even more horrible about this reality is African-American students are the largest minority group on the campus of UW-Madison. She also could be working on increasing the number of minority faculty members found on campus as well, especially African-American faculty members. It would be nice to see her devoting more funding to minority student scholarships and fellowships. Chancellor Martin, how about providing more funding for minority programs at UW-Madison. Please dedicate your time to working on more serious and pressing issues.

To the Associated Students of Madison (ASM), this is an issue that you should be concerned about. How about protesting and fighting about the fact that students were shut out on this issue? How about protesting and fighting for a more diverse student body and more funding for minority programs on campus? Damon Williams, Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate at UW-Madison, where are you at brother?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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