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Hi Family & Friends! 

As it was a great 2013, this 2014 year is going to be awesome! In June 2014, I will be spending 5 weeks studying abroad in England & Scotland for school - how exciting!! I will be using Tumblr to keep you all up to date as to what is going on while away in Europe! 

This study abroad will cover both my World Politics and International Development majors. The 30 of us going will spend 5 weeks studying and seeing what parts of Western Europe have to offer students pursuing degrees in Political Science, and also open up our eyes to what the world has to offer from an educational standpoint. (so no, no golf will be played in Scotland as my father seems to think HE will be doing when HE comes and visits. ;) )

To add to the above excitement, we also are allowed 2 long travel weekends to see more of Europe. Per the distance we are allowed to travel is unlimited and we don’t jet off to China or the Middle East, I’m planning on taking a trip or two to Eastern Europe! I bet you are wondering why Eastern Europe… 

The reasons behind the want to travel to see the eastern countries in Europe stem from being touched at a young age during the break-up of the Yugoslavia empire and the civil wars that were going on in the 1990’s. When I was in 3rd grade I saw on the news that those countries were going through a civil war and it broke my heart. I knew that my mom’s family was involved in the wars and it hit me hard. In addition to that, my mother’s heritage comes from Eastern Europe in the country of Croatia. So from a young age of 9 years old I knew I wanted to make it a better place, and I also wanted to walk on the ground that my family once lived and walked. Now that I have the chance, I pray that we are allowed to see the eastern part of Europe so that so many of the above things can be…well…seen. The above is one of the main reasons as to why I went into Political Science and International Development (in the hopes of ending up in Eastern Europe one day) and to think it started at age 9…crazy, but good things are to come! 

So from now until I leave in June and return in August, I will update this website so you all can keep up with what is going on. From January to June nothing too much will be posted, but from June to August I will update this site at least 2 if not 3 times per week. As my family and friends I’m sure you’ll want to know what I’m up to and you can bet you will be kept posted. I will post the link on Facebook (FB) and email those of you who want to receive emails about Tumblr updates. I’m not 100% sure how to use Tumblr yet but we’ll work together to figure it out! :)

Keep an eye out for new posts and emails! 

Happy 2014 - let’s make it a good year!

Much love,

Amanda 

sociology451:

This week’s topic was all about older generations, and the ways countries need to look into balancing out the discrepancies age has led to in regards to policy issues. Of the plethora of solutions proposed by the four articles we had to review this week, a particular idea proposed in the article…

I’m on the same page with you, Lauren. Promoting more people to have children is not exactly the best idea right now with all of the challenges we are facing with resource depletion like you mentioned. There simply isn’t enough to go around (money, space - well maybe some but not much, resources etc.) at the moment, but maybe there will be.However, there are some countries that need the fertility though but not the U.S.. Italy, for example, will need it eventually because their population is old and will be dying off, so maybe Bongaarts is worried about that age gap being present once the older generation(s) is gone? But no, I agree with you otherwise! 

sociology451:

Immigration in America is a good thing in my opinion. I see no reason for the world to not expand and grow. I find it interesting that some people think of immigration as a bad thing and want only Americans to live in America, when their ancestors probably came from somewhere in Europe. I see many…

I agree with you 100%. Immigration is a good thing for Americans. The world has to expand and grow because that is what has been going on for years and years - and what will continue to happen for years and years. People tend to forget that America is a land built by immigrants, so why is there such a fuss over welcoming more people into the country? We all will benefit from more people coming in and building a lifestyle maybe not right away but in the future it will happen - these things take time. To add, if one is worried about blending in, we all are different and should be cognitive of one another all of the time - as in who we are, where we come from, and be accepting. Times are changing fast…it’s better to adapt instead of stay closed minded. Nicely said, Elizabeth! 

sociology451:

As a woman, the readings about the Mexico City Policy struck a chord with me. I believe women have every right to choose when they want to have children and that they should have every available birth control resource to choose from. The Science’s Compass article spells out how revoking the aid…

I agree with you 100%, women should have choices and not be controlled. Teaching and educating is really the only way to prevent HIV/AIDS and other issues that can arise. You’re right, proper education would have helped this entire issue. 

sociology451:

This was a very interesting article. Vallin and Mesle showed the trends in graphs and data on how overtime human life expectancy has continued to increased. While in some cases, life expectancy has been slowed (due to man made diseases, etc) it is quite intriguing to see the increase overtime….

You make a lot of good points and for the time being I think that we have reached our limit because we do not know much more about the future or the realities of life expectancies right now - but maybe we will in 10 or 20 years? In time, just as the article states in more words than not, life expectancies will increase over time as medical technology advances. Nothing drastic will happen over night but in time life expectancies will increase maybe by 5 years? Who knows but we will find out! 

sociology451:

I really enjoyed this week’s readings especially McFall’s article. I personally was not very familiar with demography prior to this class and felt that he did an good job putting the basics of population and demography in an easy to read and understand format. I especially found it interesting…

It really does make you wonder what the world will be like in 2050 if we do not change our lifestyles - I totally agree with you, Amanda! It just makes you wonder and think how can we change things for the better… It is also crazy to think that, at one point, 82% of the population was in developing nations and the question “why” is just mind blowing.