HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

May 10, 2010

Should high school seniors be allowed to work half a day?
In today’s struggling economy and yield usage of credit cards, many high school students are faced with debt from the early stages of their lives.
There can be separate views pertaining to the above question. The foremost would be, “Is the student grade suffering?” In the event a student grade is suffering I believe they must focus on education as the lost time will not recover. Taking care of finances can be placed on a hold until securing a stable job.
If a student grade suffers, they have a higher risk of letting go a scholarship opportunity.

Growing up I believed in taking on responsibility at a younger age otherwise I wouldn’t have been where I’m today.


Air Travel Fees

May 3, 2010

An all new fee structure

 

 Across the nation airline industries continue to find ways to “unbundle” services so that anything travelers have grown accustomed to are now offered only a la carte. Recently I was approached through a friend of mine with concerns and experience of a recent air travel on Delta Airlines which turned out to be nowhere near satisfactory based on the multitude of fees such as $15 for pre-paying online for checked baggage, $20 for paying for baggage when checking in at the airport, and $8 or more for a meal on the flight.  In order to remain competitive, airlines try to keep fare prices low. When that strategy starts to break down and airlines can’t compensate for the cost of flying in the normal way (increasing bookings, and decreasing flights) and they still resist raising fares, they look for new ways to earn revenue. So now we’re charged for meals and luggage both of which were once included in the fare price for most flights. JetBlue charges consumer for pillows and blankets on their flights. 

 Can the industry include any additional micro-fees?   

Spirit Airlines will become the first airline to charge for carry-on luggage. Not too long ago Spirit Airlines stated that checked bags are no longer the only type of luggage subject to extra charges. Each carry-on item will now cost Spirit Airlines traveler $20 when members of the airline’s discount club, where membership costs $39.95 per year, pay online in advance, $30 when non-members pay online in advance, or $45 when anyone pays at the gate. 

Why pay twice???

Spirit has two goals. The first is to decrease listed fares in an industry where customers, like me, shop mainly for the lowest fare regardless of the carrier, not loyalty. The second goal is to create a disincentive for customers to bring more luggage into an already crowded cabin. 

These new fees take effect July 1st, 2010 for travel on or after August 1st, 2010. 

The Daily Mail of London writes “no-frills [Ryanair] is working with Boeing to redesign the cabin and develop coin-operated toilets on 168 of its planes. Not content with charging passengers for use of the facilities, the airline is also looking at reducing the number of toilets on board, leaving just one available cubicle for up to 189 passengers.” The airline plans to charge either €1 or £1 on flights of an hour or less, according to ATW Online. That works about to between $1.30 and $1.55 for the privilege of using the toilet. 

A Ryanair official tells the Mail the carrier hopes the toilet fee will change customers’ habits. “By charging for the toilets we are hoping to change passenger behavior so that they use the bathroom before or after the flight,” Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara tells the paper. “That will enable us to remove two out of three of the toilets and make way for at least six extra seats.” 

Cabin of Ryan Air

Nevertheless, the quest for lower fares invites these fees. Here are some more ideas for new ways for the airline industry to take our money: 

  • $1 for entering the lavatory
  • $9.99 a minute for talking to a flight attendant
  • $2 for the privilege of reclining your seat back an inch
  • $1 to use a tray table
  • $20 for access to fresher air for the entire flight

Pay or Jump

As an airline employee, I disagree with the additional fees being imposed by the airlines worldwide. Union labors continue to fight for the right of all represented employees and contract negotiations results in a long yield time.   

Each airline CEO knows their respective organization financial stability and improvement vision even if it entails charging consumers to earn revenue. In today’s economy it’s all about being survivable and Spirit airlines CEO defended his company prior to his own image. At this time of moment, Spirit Airline CEO is focused towards making revenue without a loss in clients. It is too early in time to tell whether the move of carry-on luggage charges would be beneficial financially and statistically. 

What is next?

We could continue the debate against these unwanted airline fees, at the end of the day, who’ll pay for the fees? Who’ll travel on an airline with such imposed pricing structure? Who’ll take the luxury vacation regardless of the fee of a carry-on luggage? Think about it. We as human have the tendency to argue and debate over such items but let’s face it we’re paying for our checked luggage and meals on the flight. 

At the end, several years from now this will be a mute topic, and we’re all going to be travelling via air, paying for that piece of carry-on luggage and usage of a lavatory. 


Oral Composition

April 26, 2010

1. What is the authority of the commentary?

2. What type of argument is attempted (definition, evaluative, other)?

3. What evidence is cited? Is the evidence convincing? Valid? Verifiable?

4. Where do the two viewpoints conflict? How and why?

5. Which do you judge to be the most convincing? Why?


Golf Balls

April 26, 2010

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
When 24 hours in a day is not enough;
remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class
and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly,
he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
and start to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured
it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again
if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand
and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded
With an unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table
and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively
filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions
Things that if everything else was lost
and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else —
The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued,
‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are
important to you.

So…

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time
to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

‘Take care of the golf balls first —
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled.

‘I’m glad you asked’.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.’


The good and Bad

April 17, 2010

Life and a famous saying of my grandfather, “You’ve not enjoyed the best of life unless you’ve been faced with the worst of life.” Life is full of surprises and comes at us in an instantaneous moment without a notice. We all learn from our life time experiences and moments. Every generations wants nothing less than the best of the best, which is not easily available.

Relationship is a two-way street, it takes both hands to clap instead of a single hand. Being in a marriage is a full-time job and tasked with responsibility.

I recall the training and schooling acquired at Spartan College of Aeronautics to earn an Associates of Aviation Maintenance Technology, one of my instructors had stated that in the field of aviation, majority of us would had gone through a divorce at least once. It’s the nature of the business and not every person is considerate and willing to cooperate in such circumstances. At first I laughed and thought that there was no way those comments would be part of my life well sure enough I’ve been wrong all along.

Everything happens for a reason. I was married for 2.5 years which resulted in a divorce. At first I was devastated and broken down but thanks to the support of my parents, friends and family each step for the next 2 years, it made me nothing but a stronger and better person in life. Trust is a major thing for me which had ended my marriage.

A marriage is a great thing and there are many benefits and perks around it, but at the same token it’s not worth being in a marriage which was constantly full of negativity and backstabbing. Trust is like a ship, which once broken, it could be mended but the crack will remain.

During the divorce process, I upgraded my SUV from a 97 montero to a brand new 4runner, and moved from a smaller apartment into a townhouse in Las Colinas area. I was no longer diabetic after losing the stress weight which was gained during the marriage time frame. I was no longer being yelled or questioned as to why a family member would call or visit me. I weighed a whopping 399 lbs and have dropped down to 255lbs since the day of divorce. I am not done with loosing weight either.

They say behind every man success there’s a female. In my life a special lady exists whom encouraged me to return to school and work towards my MS at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. No matter what happens in life, education is one thing that will always belong your very own. I am looking towards graduating with honors at Embry Riddle along with moving up the ladder within management. I am looking forward to the next move up to a Level 5 manager title and further movement in my career at American Airlines.

I’ve been asked many times as to whether I like or love my job, and my answer always been the same, I love my job and enjoy it. I love the fact that I could travel from Dallas to Hawaii in first class for less than a week’s cost of gas in the 4runner. I am looking forward to a healthier, happier and prosper life ahead.

There is nothing more important than being healthy and loving that special person in life. We’ve got to learn from the negatives in life, pick up, move forward and ahead of  our life.


Evaluation Argument

April 17, 2010

There are many cultures in this world.Each of us have our own belief but at the end of the day no matter what happens there is only ONE GOD. Growing up we’ve learned of the vast languages around this world. The era has advanced to such heights where english is no longer the only language desired instead multi language speaking individuals are in high demand. Our homeland is a service nation. The best managers around the world are Americans. India and Pakistan nationals are highly educated in the field of computers, engineering and health care.Many of us were impacted by the aftermath of Sept 11th, 2001 which will never be forgotten. As an American Airline employee, born and raised in Tulsa, with ancestors in Pakistan and a practicing Muslim I recall the morning of the attacks and the aftermath of security clearance check at an airport travelling. I’ve elected to shed light upon an Indian movie named ” My name is Khan” filmed in the San Francisco area. This movie is heart touching and it is based on the nature of the scene followed the attacks of -9/11/01. 

 My Name Is Khan makes two strong statements;

  1.  B.C. [before Christ] and A.D. [after death] are designations used to label years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. There’s a third designation now – 9/11. Post September 11, the world stands divided. Terrorist outfits continue to strike in the name of religion and the common man, not even remotely associated with these groups, is bearing the brunt. The world is not a safe place anymore.
  2. There are two sets of people in this world – the good and the bad. No matter how strong the evil forces are, good always triumphs.

My Name Is Khan mirrors the era we live in. Not a day goes by when you haven’t heard,read,watched news of terror attacks and innocents being killed. We live in turbulent times. Also, the movie states – and states very strongly, without mincing words – Not all Muslims are terrorists. Let me alert you. The story unfolds feverishly from the very start itself. So if you miss a scene or two, chances are you would’ve missed some vital links in the story. The fact is, there’s too much happening in the first half. Although the narrative tends to get leisurely paced at times, the wheels continue to move from one episode to another.

 On the whole, My Name Is Khan is a fascinating love story, has an angle of religion and a world-shaking incident as a backdrop. It not only entertains, but also mesmerised, enthrall and captivates the viewer in those 2.40 hours. At the same time, a film like My Name Is Khan is sure to have a far-reaching influence due to its noble theme.

 Over the past 9 years I have learned to balance my life style and let it be made aware that Islam is not about violence but peace. I have personally lived in Pakistan for a period of 10 yrs and travelled the whole country.

Mountain Surrounding Naran Valley

As with every movie, negative critics exists and I’ve given this movie the highest ratings possible as it pertains to the treatment of Muslims post the attacks. The movie clearly conveyed the message stating that “My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist.” 

I will conclude with saying that next time you spot a Muslim in your daily life, stop and say hello to them, ask a question and learn about the person.


Life of Shak

April 9, 2010

Each living being  in the universe has an expiration date. As a human we all come into the world and leave this world after accomplishment. Each of our life cycle is predetermined by God.

Shakil Khan of Fort Worth , Texas passed away at the ripe age of 103 peacefully surrounded by his girlfriends. Funeral will be at 10 Am on June 6th, 2083 at the Irving Islamic Center. Shakil was a friend to everyone he met and an  avid aviation maintenance operation VP and a passionate griller. He was a proud member of the Irving Islamic Center and Professional Aviation Maintenance Association. His work ethics was something you rarely see these days typical of the spirit of people who are truly salt of the earth. He loved his family and friends and enjoyed cooking for all them whenever possible. 

Shakil was born June 2nd, 1980 to the son of  Bakhsh and Naheed Khan and passed away on June 5th, 2083. He was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and lived there till the age of 10 and moved to Pakistan and graduated from Edwards College an affiliation of Birmingham University with a Pre engineering degree in science in 1998. He returned back to Tulsa Oklahoma at the age of 18, where he continued his education at Spartan College of Aeronautics. Upon graduation he immediately joined American Airlines.  He was a devoted Muslim, whom cherished his family and loved ones. He had a passion for aviation and continued working till the age of 80 for American Airlines where he had retired after 61 years. He pursued higher education at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

If there was one thing Shakil enjoyed doing on his days off, it would include firing up the coals and grilling. Therefore in his memory we’ve arranged for smoked brisket and turkey to be served after the ceremony. Besides the grilling, he enjoyed travelling, going to the casino to make use of uncle sam’s unearned money. Most of his life he diligently worked on a cure for natural toxic human gas which had yet to be discovered. His longest relationship lasted more than his only marriage.

Shakil believed in wearing expensive cologne throughout his life. He took pride in dressing with style.

He had a limited number of true friends through out his life. His true friends were like brothers to him.

Shakil never believed in giving up. He continued and would not settle for any thing less than perfection during his life time. Every thing had to be perfect and his way or the highway.

Today many of us grief the loss of Shakil amongst us. His loss will be felt deeply in the aviation world at American Airlines and the stock market for expensive cologne will take a major decline.

Let us all pray that Shakil Khan rest in peace in heaven and may God bless him.