Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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.

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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.

Untitled…

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Other Writing, Uncategorized

Every time I feel them coming on…i fight them back to where they belong. You’ll never see me being anything but strong…

First Time for Everything…

Posted: August 18, 2010 in General, New Poetry, Poetry

Greetings Readers.

My last post, almost 3 weeks ago, I talked about my first ever poetry submissions to publications. Well, as is expected in the writer community, I soon got my first rejection.

On August 12, The Hobble Creek Review sent me this;

Dear Terrance:

Thank you for thinking of Hobble Creek Review. Unfortunately we will not be taking any of your poems for our next issue. I want to wish you the best in placing your poems in the near future.

Sincerely,

J***** E****, editor

So I have 3 poems that I wrote, but were rejected.  One of them I submitted to another publication so I can’t publish it anywhere yet, but the other two will be published, one at a time, before the end of the month. So get ready. One will be up before the end of this week.  Be on the lookout.

I have to admit before I go, getting a rejection letter did sting as much as everyone said it would, but still more than I expected. I know the stats and ratios and odds of getting published, but  it can still get to you a little bit. But the importance of the process is to get back up and do it again. And so, I’m still writing, and will still be looking for more publishers and presses to submit my work too.

Keep the faith.

Is it possible to write 2 different books on different subjects at the same time?

Greetings dear readers.

I have returned from my short vacation and am not back in the familiar environment that is school and work. But today as an Idea for a story crossed my mind I wondered to myself, is it possible to write two books at the same time about different subjects?

When you think about it, a book takes a certain level of commitment, research, time and energy. Two books would no doubt then be twice the effort. So would 1 person who is already undertaking the time-consuming job of researching and preparing for one such project, successfully split his/her attention as to double the output without sacrificing quality.

I ask this question because today i had an idea for 2 stories which I could write, that would be absolutely from my point, and the only research required would be technical aspects. But as I’m already trying to pursue one project, would it be wise for me to start another before the current one is totally finished? I for one am always up for a challenge but I think this would even be a lot for me.

Perhaps I will just pen down the shells for the other project now and continue with what ive already been working on. I wouldn’t want to shift focus and lose any thought process I might have had. Or perhaps working on something else will just cause my creativity to flow more freely and improve my other projects. I’m not sure.

I’ll keep you posted…

Well, im supposed to be vacationing. Probably not gonna happen.

****

That was my sentiment a few days ago. Currently I’m at home, a trip I dont always make often or for very long, but here I am this week.  So far it has been a nice shot of relaxation, especially since once I go back to DC its to two jobs and school starting in a few weeks. Oh joy. I cant complain however because I am blessed beyond all measures, and I thank God everyday for what he’s done and is doing in my life.

Yesterday was the Poetry in the City event on Lansing’s Capital steps, where I performed ‘Liar In Me’. I did pretty well, and saw my buddy @aseelmachi out there as well. Currently, I am focusing on submitting poems to the e-zines which I mentioned in my last post, and making more good work to submit to others later on, and to later include in the book.   Im finding out that I am continually on the right track in a lot of ways, and I hope and pray this trend continues.

Since it rained, hard, for most of the day, the poetry in the city event wasnt nearly as well attended as I feel it could have been. However, it still had a pretty good showing despite those odds. I have also found yet another medium where I can publish my poems, being the New Citizens Press Newspaper.   It always, always about exposure.  So continue to be on the lookout for new material from me, and I will continue to work to give it to you.

I feel like this may be my shortest post ever. But then again, I am on vacation. 🙂

Be Blessed