Archive for May, 2011

Can I Rise…

Posted: May 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

No rest for the weary

No sleep for the wicked

This path must have been chosen

Because I damn sure didnt pick it

Did I volunteer

Or was I chosen

Perhaps in my sleep

While I dreamed

When my heart was still frozen

After I tried to save you from the vapid empty  depths

Where your soul lived

where i gave all i could give

and then more than i possessed

and you promised to repay with the things you never had

but your obvious lies i didnt protest

Perhaps there

in those murky desolate remains

perhaps there is where I volunteered

myself

into these chains

my debt still unpaid

and my sacrifice squandered

i am loves eternal slave

destined to trudge the paths we both once wandered

or can i rise?

can i dare dream of one day walking again in the light

Without the cover of a disquise

Can I find redemption written in the night skies

Or are my stars no hope

And  is my only salvation

Locked somewhere in your eyes

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Howard ROTC Conducts Military Ball

Cadets and Guests gather for Annual event

by Terrance Williams

The Howard University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) conducted its annual Military ball this weekend at the Crystal City Hilton Hotel. A myriad of cadets and guests arrived for the event dressed in their Army Greens, as well as formal dresses and tuxedos for the gentlemen.

A Tradition of Excellence

The Howard University ROTC program was one of the first in the nation started for the training of black officers in the military. The program is nearly as old as Howard University itself, and has over 10 General Officers. Participants take military science classes and participate in weekend trainings, as well as physical training (PT) three times a week, and other optional and mandatory and optional events. Cadets who excel have the option of attending summer trainings such as Airborne, Air Assault, Mountain Warfare, and Combat Diver school. Upon completion of the program, a cadet is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and has an obligation to serve at least 5 years on active duty.  The military ball is one of the yearly events which cadets also participate in.

The keynote speaker for the event was the 51st Quartermaster General, and first woman to be awarded the General’s Star in the Quartermaster corp, Brigadier General Gwen Bingham. A native of Alabama, she graduated and commissioned from the ROTC program at The University of Alabama in 1981. She holds a B.A. in General Business Management, and Masters in Administration and in National Security Strategy and Resources. She spoke to the cadets about making sure you do not let others define how far you can go or how high you can achieve.

A Great Opportunity

In addition to cadets and their guests, the military ball is also attended by alumni, distinguished guests, and active and reserve officers in the military. This provides a rare opportunity for cadets to make connections with possible people who have been in their shoes, and are already at the place where they are heading. “Military ball is a great time for cadets to interact with officers,” says Junior ROTC Cadet Terrie Hoover. ” It gives us a chance to ask questions about our future careers and possibly find a mentor to successfully guide us along the way.”

For the guests it is an equally exciting event. Wilsar Johnson, a Junior at Georgian Court University in New Jersey who was invited by a cadet, commented on how much she enjoyed the experience. “It was an honor to be invited to such a prestigious event. The men and women were very disciplined and poised. As a student, it inspired me to work harder,” she said.

In addition to dinner, dancing, and a quest speaker, select cadets also received various awards and were able to participate in a raffle for gifts which varied from Howard University Bookstore gift bags to a PlayStation 3. Though the dates, speakers, and venues change, it is clear that in this regard, the Howard University Bison Battalion is committed to continuing their tradition of excellence well into the future.

Taking Down Osama

US Special Forces Team Kills Bin Laden in Pakistan

By Terrance Williams

Late in the night of April 30, 2011, President Barack Obama announced to the nation that the FBI’s most wanted Terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, was killed by a US Navy Seal team in Abbottabad Pakistan. The news was met with celebrations at the White House and in New York City at Ground Zero, the former site of the Twin Towers.  Over the coming days, more details would be released about the way in which the raid was carried out and executed, and how the Al-Qaeda leader was finally brought to justice.

Newspapers around the globe reported on the morning of May 2 that Bin Laden was killed at the hands of a US Special Forces Team inside a compound in Pakistan. President Obama shared the news with the American people around 11:00pm EST the previous night. The raid was reportedly carried out with ‘textbook precision’, and executed nearly perfectly. “A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” the President said to the American people.

A Long Time Coming

The death of Bin Laden comes nearly 11 years after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This single attack, which Al-Qaeda took credit for, was the worst attack on American soil in history, causing over 2,700 casualties in a single day. Many see it as retribution, and some family members of 9-11 victims cited a sense of relief.

The planning of the raid which eventually brought down the Al-Qaeda leader was 5 years in the making. Through information obtained from Guantanamo Bay detainees, intelligence officials obtained the name of a courier who was said to have information. No one was able to provide a real name however. Upon finding and following the individual and setting up surveillance, they were led to a compound in Pakistan which was said to be over 5 times larger than everything around it, with 10-18ft. walls around it, three stories, and a seven-foot wall on the top-level as if to hide someone over six feet tall. Despite the novelty of the compound as well, various clues led officials to believe something strange was occurring inside. The dwellers burned all their trash rather than have it taken out, and the building had no internet, phone, or cable. After several years of constant around the clock surveillance, it was determined that there was a high probability that Osama Bin Laden lived inside.

Prepared for Anything

After discovering the compound and gathering enough intelligence, the SEAL team which would raid the house earlier this week began to run rehearsals. A full scale replica of the compound was built, and drills were run from August 2010 until it was time to go ahead with the mission. The team had enough time to prepare for almost any contingency.

On the morning of May 2, the SEAL team was dropped by helicopter inside the compound, and after a firefight, killed Osama Bin Laden. The entire operation took 40 minutes and ended with no American casualties.

The body was DNA tested for verification of the identity, then taken aboard an aircraft carrier to be buried at sea, ensuring that it would not be dug up or that it would become a rally point for other extremist. All Muslim burial customs were observed as well in the burial of the body.

More details will continue to surface as the days and weeks continue. However one detail remains constant, this is a huge win. A win for Obama, for America, and for the War on Terror.

Facebook App to help Students find Money for College

By Terrance Williams

Coming soon to Facebook, an app for Financial Aid. Devin Valencia, a recent graduate of the University
of Nevada; Las Vegas is developing an application with the help of The College Board and The Bill and
Melinda Gates foundation which will take information from a persons Facebook page and match them
with scholarship, grant, and loan opportunities.

Valencia entered a competition sponsored by the College Board called the Get Schooled College
Affordability Challenge. The challenge, which came with $10,000 in prize money, was to find a way to
simplify the financial aid process. In an interview with Fox Business, Valencia said her idea for the app
stemmed from the amount of information people put on Facebook. “Facebook is someplace where
people feel okay sharing information about themselves, and it’s easy and comfortable to use, so I
thought it was a good starting point — guiding someone through this process.”
Skepticism among Students

Some students however, are skeptical about the application and its usefulness. “I don’t see how it can
be any more useful than scholarship search engines and seeing advisors, ” said Charla Boveland, a Junior
Broadcast Journalism major. “I would use it because free money is always nice, but I don’t think its
necessary.”

According to Valencia, the application would demographic information provided on Facebook, such
as gender, age, interests, and the school you attend. “You can also enter more information to narrow
it down. Say you want to major in journalism, you can input that information and Connect Fund will
connect you directly to opportunities in that field. It will also explain how grants work, how to apply
for and repay loans, etc., so students have an idea of how to apply and get funded,” she explains in her
interview with Fox Business.

Terrie Hoover, a Junior Accounting major shared a similar skepticism however. “It would be useful in
certain situations. If they’re different offers that no one had seen, from other websites then yes, it
would be more beneficial. But if it’s the same scholarships that other search engines like Fastweb had,
then probably not. I would check it out maybe once or twice to see if there’s something different, that I
hadn’t seen from other search engines, but if it’s the same stuff then no.”

View From the Top
Derek Kindle, from the Office of Student Financial Services at Howard University provided an administrative view of such an app. “We do believe that social networking sites provide a convenient and quick way for students to learn about various educational funding sources. The type of Facebook application the UNLV is developing will certainly assist students in identifying funds,” he said.

“Our team is currently working on plans to use more social media to communicate general messages and scholarship information to students. We hope to launch such plans in the 2011-2012 academic year. As we are in the early stages of this process, we have not yet made a final decision on what social media networks would be used (and to what extent). However, we will be using Howard University students to assist us through the development process.”
In addition to the prize money, Valencia was awarded $100,000 in start-up money to develop the app.
She hopes to have it up and running this fall, or by January 1, 2012 at the latest in order to have it
available for students in the upcoming school year.

Heads Up

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

To all my avid readers. I know I have not posted any poetry, short stories, or really any updates in a while. School really kicked my butt this semester. But never fear, I will be writing again very soon. The next 3 posts you see on this blog will be News articles for a class I am currently taking. Feel free to read and comment as you like. More poetry on the way.

Stay Tuned.

-TMPW