Class Notes 10/29

Iowa Supreme Court v. Marzen

  • Alleged Jesse M. Marzen committed numerous violations of the Iowa Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in:
    • A sexual relationship with a client
    • Disclosing client confidences to the public
    • Making a misrepresentation to a judge
  • The grievance commission found there was insufficient evidence of an ethical violation on the charges of a sexual relationship with a client and a misrepresentation to a judge
  • It was found that Marzen violated the rules of professional conduct and will have an indefinite suspension not to exceed six months

General Background Facts and Proceedings:

  • Jesse M. Marzen is an Iowa lawyer
  • Graduated from St. Thomas School of Law
  • Practiced law in Charles City and is currently the Floyd County Attorney
  • September 2006- a complaint filed by a woman named “Jane Doe”
    • She alleged Marzen engaged in a sexual relationship with her after representing her in a mental health commitment hearing
    • Soon after, a district court judge also filed a complaint against Marzen after hearing testimony from Doe
  • Marzen was a candidate for the position of Floyd County Attorney at the time the complaints were filed. The news of the allegations spread throughout the community and was highly publicized by local media. Marzen was still elected as Floyd County Attorney even after the allegations.
  • At the hearing on the complaint, Doe testified she had sexual intercourse with Marzen on numerous occasions while he represented her. Marzen quickly denied any intimate contact with Doe.
  • One member of the commission dissented from the dismissal of the sexual misconduct. The dissenting member believed the events established at least one occasion of sexual intercourse between Doe and Marzen during the course of their attorney-client relationship.
  • The board filed an application to appeal Count 1. Marzen only cross-appealed as to Count III.
  • Doe’s testimony revealed interesting information that would lead people to believe sexual intercourse did take place between her and Marzen.
    • She commented that Marzen had “funny”-appearing buttocks due to a loose fold of skin hanging from the lower portion of his buttocks.
    • Doe testified she engaged in sexual intercourse with Marzen on four additional occasion’s, all in different locations.
    • One of the witnesses, Amanda, had stopped by a home unannounced when she observed Doe and Marzen walking out of a bedroom. She claimed that Doe hastily offered a reason for her presence in the bedroom with Marzen.
  • Marzen denied the existence of any sexual relationship at any time with Doe. He testified Doe was never at his house. However, he acknowledged he had been at the house where Doe was staying on multiple occasions, but only for business purposes.
  • Marzen claimed he had more than 10 moles on his back, which Doe failed to mention
  • Marzen denied the presence of a flap of loose skin on the bottom portion of his buttocks. He did, however, acknowledge he weighed 325 pounds when he graduated from high school and lost between 125 and 150 pounds since that time
    • He also acknowledged he has loose skin around his waist and inside his arms.
  • In addition to his testimony, Marzen offered testimony from a number of witnesses
  • Rod Mulcahy, a lawyer in Marzen’s former law office, testified the attorneys and staff at the office would be there until eight or nine in the evening. He felt it would be difficult for Marzen to have had sex in his office during this time without being noticed.
  • Marzen also offered testimony from a number of witnesses designed to show Doe had a propensity to lie or exaggerate. Marzen offered testimony from John Farrell, a probation officer formerly assigned to Doe. Doe had sued Farrell for sexual misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and false imprisonment. Although Farrell denied any sexual harassment or other such conduct, he settled the lawsuit for $5,000.
  • Exhibits were used and a DNA test by the IDCI came back with negative results. Also had a doctors appointment where the report documented only that Marzen’s buttocks and perineum appeared “normal,” without a specific statement affirming or denying the presence of loose folds of skin.

Ethical Violations:

  • While Marzen’s attempt to evade application of the rule of confidentiality is novel, it cannot be sustained.
  • There have been similar scenarios that were unable to be sustained as well.
  • Marzen argues that, even if his disclosures constituted a breach of confidentiality, that breach was excused by the rule:
    • A lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary: to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s representation of the client.

Cedar Falls Candidates Forum

Cedar Falls is a wonderful place to live. I have only experienced living in Cedar Falls for a year and a half, but it has proven to be a place I am proud to call “home.” Towns don’t just become great on their own, it takes great leadership and guidance from those who care about maintaining the beauty and order of the town. The Cedar Falls candidates forum consisted of potential leaders all getting the chance to speak about why they would be great in that position. For one night, they were able to introduce themselves and answer questions, hopefully proving to citizens why they deserve a role of power in the community. As an outsider looking in, I was excited to learn more about the conflicts that have arisen in the past, and how each of these candidates would handle them. I was unable to attend the actual forum, but through watching the video online I was able to hear the sides of opinion each citizen presented. I was able to form my own opinions but was excited to get the chance to hear the opinions of my peers to see if they aligned with those I had formed.

One of my initial reactions was surprise. I was warned there might be moments that seemed awkward because it is an important election. It was more cut-throat than i had expected, where there were unexpected moments of calling out opposing candidates. One candidate who resorted to this tactic was Jim Brown. He would be talking about his own plan of leadership and then politely explain how Jon Cruz would not be able to be as successful as him. It almost seemed comical to me, because he was saying it in the nicest way possible, even with a grin on his face. It would take me a second to realize that what he just said was a slam on Cruz, and I grew to appreciate his approach. He seems to be a very kind individual, but you can’t always win just because of kindness. He is in the race because he believes he can make a positive change for the community, and he wants people to understand that it is time for a leader other than Jon Cruz. After watching the forum, he won my vote. I had a general understanding of all of the candidates after researching them in class, but after watching him speak I realized he would be getting my vote. His readiness for the forum was impressive, and he is obviously taking his potential role very seriously.

After watching Jon Cruz and David Haltermann, I knew they would both make credible candidates as well. They present the appropriate leadership qualities needed to be the mayor of a town, but their speaking at the forum did not win me over. Cruz seems worn, most likely from his repeated job of being mayor of Cedar Falls. I feel as if he has held power for much longer than any mayor should, and I feel that it is past due for a new leader. Dave Haltermann was interesting to watch as well. He was there for a reason, he has many changes he would like to see done, but I do not think he is mayoral material. He did not have his introduction memorized, which immediately put him on a different level than the other two candidates. I feel like he would play a great role on the leadership board but I do not see him being the mayor of Cedar Falls in the near future.

I was very excited to collect the opinions of my peers, to determine whether our beliefs lined up with each other’s or not. I began my interview process with Holden Feagler, a 19 year old intern with BMW in Cedar Rapids. I started by asking if he had any opinions on the mayoral candidates. “As an economist, I fully support Jim Brown for wanting to create more jobs instead of raising the city minimum wage. If Jim Brown were mayor one of his focuses will be creating new jobs, which would make Cedar Falls a much more profitable place to live,” stated Holden Feagler. Holden is an economics major at the University of Cedar Falls, and he seemed to resonate with a lot of Jim Brown’s ideals, and we were able to agree on the fact that we both wanted him to be mayor. Byron Fritch, a 19 year old intern with the University Physics department, has lived in Dike New Hartford all his life. This is a rural community outside of Cedar Falls. I was excited to hear his input as he has been in the Cedar Valley area during the past leadership of Jon Cruz. I asked him if he wanted Cruz to continue his position as mayor. “He hasn’t done anything too radical to upset me in the past few years. Although I do not agree with the housing ordinance he had passed. It might help to have a younger person in the position of mayor to bring more energy to the city,” said Byron Fritch. It was interesting hearing the perspective of a citizen who has experienced the leadership of one of the mayoral candidates. He shared the same belief that it is probably time for a younger mayor to take office to bring new ideas and energy to the city of Cedar Falls. The third person I asked was Nicolai Gibbens, who is a 21 year old working for a private painting company. “I do not approve of Jim Brown because he is trying to commercialize Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls is the perfect size where it is not too small and it is not too big. Making it bigger will not always make it better,” said Gibbens. I understand where Nicolai is coming from, as I come from a small town myself. It does seem that if Jim Brown is elected mayor there could be a definite increase in population from the increase in business and jobs. It is good to look at his plan with that perspective because there could be a lot of citizens with the same thinking as Gibbens. People are comfortable with the size of Cedar Falls and would not appreciate the inevitable increase of population that would come with Jim Brown being mayor.

After the process of viewing the candidates forum and hearing the opinions of my peers, I feel as if I have garnered an increased amount of knowledge regarding the mayoral race in Cedar Falls. I was glad I was able to get differing opinions rather than all of the opinions supporting Jim Brown. It was good to hear why people would and wouldn’t like Jim Brown as mayor. I feel like I have enough information to form a valued opinion and cast an educated vote. There are three credible candidates running for the position of mayor in Cedar Falls, and to be honest I would be comfortable with any of the three being elected. There are certain qualities that stand out to me that prove leadership I would want to follow, whether its the president of the United States or Mayor of Cedar Falls. Jim Brown has those qualities and I hope my vote will be one of many on November third that will land him the spot as mayor of Cedar Falls.

Blog Post #8

New York Teens Church Assault

Churches undergo a lot of scrutiny, from it’s members and especially from non-members. The Catholic priest scandals, to being simply judgmental. There is sadly a lot of negative news that stems from the church, which gives other churches bad images as well. Acts of wrongdoing shine a very negative light on Christianity as well, discouraging the people who consider having a relationship with our Savior. It is very disappointing when I find cruel articles revolving around a certain church, because I know some people will read them and that will be very influential in their thoughts about churches in general. This church article contains something I would never expect to come from any religious institution. There is a church in New York, and six of its’ members are being charged with manslaughter and second degree assault. I was shocked when I read the article, hoping I had read the article wrong. I had not, and I found disturbing information that lead to the death of one teen brother, and serious injuries of another. I wanted to investigate the unfortunate happenings closer, having no idea what would cause a murder in the church.

The brother who survived the attack, Christopher Leonard, spoke in court to explain what had happened. He is shown with his head lowered, speaking quietly about what lead to his brothers’ death. He stated how the pastor had asked them to stay late. One moment they were facing questions from their pastor, and then the beating began. Christopher testified that the weapon used was a cord “about 4 feet long”, and it was folded twice. I still was at a loss as to what either of the brothers’ could have said that would warrant a beating so severe, but Christopher solemnly explained what his deceased brother had said. Lucas Leonard had expressed a desire to leave the church, and that is what brought the violence to a start. He had suffered injuries so severe doctors could have believed that he had been shot. What I found next was the most startling of the information provided in the articles.

The boys’ parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard, are charged with first degree manslaughter. Their stepsister is also charged with second degree assault. I had thought the article had reached a low with the violence, but the fact that 3 of attackers were their family is the most disturbing information I could imagine. The fact that they were the cause in their sons’ death leads me to believe there is more to the story than what is told in the article. There has to be an ulterior motive, whether it lies in the church or the minds of the family. Mental illness comes to mind, and I hope there will be an investigation of the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford, New York.

The violent act was described in detail during the court hearing, where Christopher explained what personally happened to him. He told how he was hit everywhere except for his face, including his genitals. The disturbing information that showed how he was abused and violated is hopefully enough cause to imprison the attackers. It is such a weird concept because if the attackers are found guilty and go to prison, Christopher will no longer have his parents as legal guardians. In most cases you would not want your parents to go to prison, but I feel as if Christopher would be perfectly fine with that decision. It is hard to understand what the family dynamic is currently like, but I hope Christopher is staying in a safe place away from his “family.”

I am deeply saddened by the fact that his brother he was able to relate to is now deceased. Christopher’s body language clearly shows how devastated he is. His shoulders and how he holds his head clearly shows how damaged and hurt he is, physically and emotionally. I hope he can come back from this incident and go on to live a normal life, not letting this mess him up in the long run. I also hope this does not discourage his wanting to be involved in a church. I hope he understands that his church he attended is not anything like churches he could attend elsewhere. I am nervous that this incident will prevent his desire to attend another religious institution, but with prayer I hope he will have faith. I am also hoping this is the last instance of violence I will hear that takes place inside of a church.

Sources:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/21/us/new-york-church-assault-case/index.html
  2. http://wtvr.com/2015/10/21/teen-describes-new-york-church-assault/
  3. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/22/survivor-tells-deadly-beating-allegedly-at-hands-church-members/
  4. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-uncle-allowed-beaten-teens-34630482
  5. http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/teen-beaten-inside-new-york-church-testifies-against-sister-charged-in-the-assault-1.2620098
  6. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/nyregion/christopher-leonard-in-court-tells-of-attacks-at-word-of-life-church-that-killed-brother.html
  7. http://fox13now.com/2015/10/16/police-teen-killed-in-n-y-church-assault-wanted-out-parents-face-manslaughter-charges/
  8. http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/2015/10/police_teen_son_was_beaten_for_trying_to_leave_his_church
  9. http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_28985393/once-vibrant-church-became-place-fear
  10. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/16/parents-boy-fatally-beaten-at-new-york-church-in-court/

Class Notes 10/20

  • “It’s a good idea that we have the email/alert system, so that people do not go unaware that it happened.” -Hope Koerperich, communication major.
  • “I was actually happy that the person that it happened to was brave enough to report it and make us all aware of us, because if they hadn’t reported it the person could have gotten away with it, and we all would have been susceptible to it happening to us.”-Mckenzy Marley, communication major.

Police Chief:

  • This is something we developed a couple years ago, this particular message, and it’s very specific about being a sexual assault.
  • Has tips on how to minimize your risk, we call it risk reduction.
  • This was a little painful for me
  • We had an incident in the Fall of 2012, I wrote it and got a lot of feedback from, negative feedback
  • We are required by federal law to do this, that law also states that in this message we must put crime prevention tips that would minimize the likelihood of the same crime occurring with another victim
  • It’s not a blame the victim situation, it’s what we have to do.
  • This new draft of the email is much different than the first, it met the approval of the federal agency
  • The specific incident is bolded to draw attention to it.
  • If you read yesterday’s message, it states that it was reported to a campus authority, not the police department.
  • Clery act- there are several different groups that fall into the category, police officers automatically fall into the category. Anybody on the campus who has a significant responsibility for students: RA’s, athletic directors, etc. If you’re a professor who only teaches, you’re not a CSA.
  • CSA’s have the responsibility to report and notify other people if they are aware of a crime, they’re supposed to notify the clery officer for their campus (which is the police chief)
    • The officer has to evaluate it from crime alert, make sure it goes on the crime log, and count it statistically when they send in the results of the year to the board of education
    • The victim could choose not to investigate, this is a victim driven process, you want the victim to have control because their control was taken away from them.
  • Confidentiality is important, if they do not want their name released it does not have to be
  • You have to report the crime and also the geography, residential housing: a subcategory of on campus, off campus, public property
    • Geography is very important, the accuracy of what location the incident occurred in has to be precise
  • “Just give me a brief summary of what happened”- she can see what is reportable and what is not
  • Follow up question revolves around the location
  • If someone wants to do a police investigation, how long is that process?
    • There is no cost to the victim, the process’s length depends on so many things, could be any sort of length depending on witnesses and residence of the suspects, it can be a very long process.
  • Is it worth it?
    • That’s where the victim’s choice comes in. We have victim advocates.
    • People get used to watching the show’s CSI and assume the processes take little time but it is very inaccurate. It is what the victim wants, if they want to take the time to investigate they can choose to do that whenever.
    • They can also choose to terminate an ongoing investigation.
  • How effective have the investigations been?
    • I think we do a good job, most of the time: most of the victims do not want to pursue their attackers. One investigation began at 2:30 AM, and put in 80 hours overtime, and we did have closure on that one, unfortunately not the right kind of closure, but there was closure. The sooner you get to it the better of a chance you get to attaining the good result.
  • In Louisiana, it’s called battery, not assault. The way we would write assaults, I would read the report and review the clery definitions.
  • Penn State- Sandusky incident.
    • Once that became knowledge, nobody reported it. Several people knew about it and nobody reported it to the police. The coaches who knew about it, athletic director, vice president, and president had a legal obligation to report the crime. All of them did what they thought was right and told their supervisor, the person in power above them.
    • The clery auditors have not released the fine that they will impose on Penn State, and it’s been 4 years. Speculations revolve around millions of dollars will be fined.
    • Eastern Michigan- girl raped and murdered- they didn’t want anyone to know this happened and claimed she had committed suicide. Police chief was fired with criminal charges, many people were removed from power.
  • Clery applies to everyone on a college campus
    • It applies to faculty, staff and students
    • In the reports, we don’t want to talk about the victim or identify them in any way, maybe insert a suspect description
  • Under clery, we have 4 sex crimes: rape, fondling, statutory rape, and incest.
    • The last two are unenforceable.
  • Where can you find the report just issued? uni.edu
  • You can not compare universities for multiple reasons, one is because we have completely different populations, there is no use in a comparison because the data will be drastically different due to many factors.
  • Why do we have more thefts than the year before? How do you answer that? You can’t, data is just reporting what happened.
  • Why do we have less drug crimes than the year before? You can probably answer that. Better educated individuals are not making the same mistakes they would have made without the new info they have learned through classes
  • Making sense of the numbers, what do they really mean?

Blog Post #7

“I could have prevented 9/11” -Donald Trump

Many politicians are revered as admirable and honorable. Many do not fall into that category, and one in particular is Donald Trump. His career as a real estate agent and television star create quite the journey of becoming a presidential candidate. Recently on an episode of Saturday Night Live, a comedian from the show stated how he thought “America needed to stop doing things because they are funny.” This is in reference to him believing it was funny that Trump was running for president, but now that the election process is proceeding with Trump still involved, it worries him. He believes that America needs to stop encouraging Trump’s behavior because he doesn’t want him in the running anymore. I agree with this, and when he truly became a contender in the 2016 election, I decided to do some research of the man myself, instead of just abiding by what my peers were saying.

I simply typed in his name on YouTube, and found a video labeled “Top 10 crazy Donald Trump moments”. Instantly I realize that I would never want a president with a multitude of videos highlighting his worst moments, all of them being in a public setting. There were videos of him being rude to so many different people, and many instances where he incessantly reminded people about how wealthy he was. I soon realized that what the media and my peers were saying was true, and I too became scared that many Americans are actually in support of this man. I also had the realization that I had never in my life met one supporter of Donald Trump, and to this day I still have not met anyone who is intending to vote for him.

Knowing all of this information, when I was on CNN.com and found an article with the title “Donald Trump: I would have prevented 9/11”, I was not as surprised as I should have been. Such an outrageous statement would have taken me aback if it was muttered by anyone other than Donald Trump. I simply was not surprised that he would have the audacity to say something so outlandish only a month after the anniversary of the tragedy. I decided to take a closer look into the article to fully understand why Trump would make such a remark. “Trump says he’s not blaming George W. Bush for 9/11, but he claims that if he had been president, the attacks would have never happened,” according to CNN. This is due to the fact of how strict he is on immigration rights, in his mind the attackers would have not been able to be in a position to commandeer the US flights.

He also brought Jeb Bush into the mix, and said something that I have not been able to fully process and get over, truly showing the lack of respect Trump holds for others. “I’m not blaming George Bush,” Trump said. “But I don’t want Jeb to say ‘My brother kept us safe,’ because 9/11 was one of the worst days in the history of this country.” Trump also took to Twitter and in a demeaning manner tweeted about Jeb Bush and his brother. I personally do not someone as immature as Trump in any position of power in the American government. I also believe that with tighter security measures 9/11 may have been prevented, but I strongly believe that Trump would not have been able to prevent 9/11 with whatever security measures he plans on using. In an interview he stated that he is planning on building a wall separating Mexico from the United States, and also stated that he would have Mexico pay for it. These kinds of strategies will not “make America great again.” They are not even logical statements to make in the first place, and yet he is still in the running for presidency. After all of those accusations, Jeb Bush pushed back against the criticism with grace and class. “My brother responded to a crisis, and he did it as you would hope a president would do. He united the country, he organized our country and he kept us safe. And there’s no denying that. The great majority of American’s believe that.”

As the election grows closer, I can only hope that Donald Trump’s overextended stay in the limelight of the political battle for president comes to a close. America needs to stop doing things because they are funny. His attitude and personality is much better suited for a television network.

Sources:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/18/politics/donald-trump-jeb-bush-9-11/index.html
  2. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-my-immigration-plans-would-have-prevented-911/
  3. http://time.com/4077615/donald-trump-bush-september-11/
  4. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/18/trump-suggests-might-have-prevented-11-attacks-extending-feud-with-bush/
  5. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/trump-bush-continue-battle-over-9-11-comments-george-w-n446726
  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3278050/Donald-Trump-says-tough-immigration-stance-prevented-9-11-doubt-people-country.html
  7. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3278050/Donald-Trump-says-tough-immigration-stance-prevented-9-11-doubt-people-country.html
  8. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/donald-trump-says-that-he-would-have-prevented-911-if-he-had-been-president-in-2001
  9. http://www.vibe.com/2015/10/donald-trump-september-11-attacks/
  10. http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-10182015-htmlstory.html

Class Notes 10/15

Jon T. Crews:

  • Running for mayor
  • Address: 4815 Algonquin Dr. #3 Cedar Falls IA, 50613. Black Hawk county.
  • Candidate’s phone: 319-830-7075
  • Email: jon.crews32@gmail.com
  • Found his public Facebook account, very respectful. Has a wife, very involved in the community.
  • Searched his address and found out that he lives in an apartament in GreenHill Town homes
  • He does not live in a home like Jim Brown does, his wife is the co-owner of the apartment
  • Has a website crewsformayor.com
    • About Jon Crews: Born and Raised in Cedar Falls, was a Cedar Falls High School graduate, and attended West Point after high school. He served four and a half years in the U.S. Army active reserves while attending the University of Northern Iowa. He graduated with a teaching degree in 1970 and was first elected Mayor of Cedar Falls in 1971. At the end of this year, Jon will have served 30 years in the role.
    • His wife Ronelle was born and raised in South Africa where she received her doctoral degree.

David Halterman:

  • Address: 4108 Heritage Rd Cedar Falls, IA, 50613. Black Hawk County
  • Candidate’s Phone: 319-404-2285
  • Candidate’s email: dhalterman@cfu.net
  • David Halterman has had speeding tickets and has been pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt
  • David Halterman has a semi-private Facebook page, and does not seem to advertise for his campaign near as much as they other candidates
  • Has been called a “Horse’s Ass”
  • Seemed very friendly on the phone- told the class to approach him and ask any questions that we might have.
  • Can not find near as much information on him, seems like the least likely candidate during this campaign.

Will be attending David Halterman’s election parties on November 3rd

Class Notes- 10/13

Jim Brown:

Today in class we researched Jim Brown in detail. With the election approaching we wanted to gain more knowledge on the individual candidates wanting to lead the city of Cedar Falls. We were able to locate his Affidavit of Candidacy, and having located his information we were able to research into his personal life. At first it seemed like an invasion of privacy, but I realized that many journalists do the same to ensure the man/woman you are electing is who they say they are.

First we obtained is home address, and searching through Black Hawk County’s Property records, we were literally able to see every detail of his home. From how many bathrooms to having a fireplace, in the short 10 minutes of research I feel like I had been to his home before. There was even an entire layout of the home, which was alarming at first. We were also able to learn his wife’s name because her name was on the lease of the home, and we found who owned the house previously. Little details that I wouldn’t think I would ever need to know appeared, and that is something journalists would thrive for. I did not feel fully comfortable looking through this information but I understand its importance.

We then searched for his name on iowacourts.com to see if he had any divorces or infringements with the law. After narrowing down the search due to his very common name, we arrived with many results dating back to the 1940’s. We realized that none of the results were from the James Brown we were searching for, which is a good thing for him. He had no court dates or issues which will be very beneficial when he is campaigning for mayor. I feel as if he had, many journalists would bring his faults to light and that would be detrimental to his campaign.

I then searched him on FaceBook and immediately found his very private personal page. I then searched and found a public “Jim Brown for Mayor” page and there was a very personable campaign site. His slogan is “It’s Time.” “I also believe the position should be one of advocating and communicating with the public. I’ve witnessed much frustration over the past couple of years; the mayor should be the one letting folks know what’s coming and the process involved,” said Brown. He shows that he is very much a family man, with many personal photos of his wife and daughters, showing he is very modern and relational oriented. From his Facebook page he seems like a great guy, willing to volunteer and help out in Cedar Falls wherever he can. I feel like from just researching him I would consider voting for him.

Self Portrait Reflective Essay and Indesign Project

The Meaning of Aaron

It is easy to look at the world around us and describe what we see. We are presented with a challenge when the spotlight is turned on ourselves, trying to discern what makes you who you are. The introspective journey of creating a self portrait has been one that truly made me sit back and think about what has shaped me into who I am today. There have been so many opportunities and people that have shaped the course of my life, but being in my dorm room two hours away from my home restricted those options. I had to look deeper and become more creative, thinking about what describes me on a more personal level on an everyday basis. At first I wished I was at home to be able to take photos that describes what defines me best: a relational base. I have formed relationships with so many people that have influenced who I am, but as I sat in my dorm room alone, I became content with the objects I had to work with. I photographed many things that describe who I am externally and internally, finding things that have surface meaning but have depth as well.

As I began my initial survey of my room, I realized there was a lot more items than I had pictured in my mind. When you go through life tenaciously, not slowing down to realize what is all around you, it is easy to miss things. Little things that I had forgotten I had brought with me to college came into view, and I wondered how this was the first time I have even glanced at them. My first object I decided to photograph was what I consider my worldly base. I took a photo of the American flag hanging in my room. I didn’t want to have it be the cliché ‘land of the free home of the brave’ kind of thing, but more of a thought about how I have been shaped by the environment I was born into. America is the land of opportunities, and being an American is something I am very thankful for and proud of.

I will admit that at the time I had no rhyme or reason in the order I took my photographs, but instead was just searching for things that would help describe who I am. My next object was a stop sign. This object holds multiple meanings for me. Whenever anyone walks in my dorm they ask if we stole it, and the truth is that we absolutely did not. This reflects on my fear of punishment and respect for the law. I like to joke as if I am a rebellious college student, but in all reality I am the farthest from it. My roommate and I bought the stop sign at a thrift shop for decoration. Also in regard to the law, I have only had one infringement with the authorities of any sort. I wasn’t even pulled over, but a policeman came to my home and issued an “off the record warning” because a lady on a walk thought I was texting and called the police. When the officer confronted me about the charge, I explained that I was taking a picture of the sunrise. He did not believe me but when I offered to show him the picture he became flustered. I was very embarrassed about the scenario at first but with years passing I have found it very comical.

Steve Jobs has had an influence on my life as well as many others I know. A lot of my free times revolves around his inventions. My academic and social journey through life would not be the same if he had not spent countless hours in his garage designing what would soon change the world. The photo is of my laptop, and I attempted to take the photo with an ominous dark light surrounding the laptop representing the fallen Steve Jobs. I was very pleased with the product and am thankful for his talents.

Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to drink it because I didn’t want it to stunt my growth. Now in college, I feel as if that belief is true I might begin shrinking due to how much coffee I consume. I begin every morning with the magic of the Keurig, and by 2:00 pm I am on the hunt for at least two shots of espresso. Depending on my homework load I will either get one or two more shots to keep my brain functioning until it is time to sleep it off and do it all again the next day. I have fallen into a slippery slope of dependence on the “drug”, and the only end in sight for this dependency is graduation. Deep down I know it will not end then either, as the working world often provides free coffee in work lounges.

I was essentially born with four senses. My parents realized I could not see anything farther than five feet away from me late into my childhood, I blame my inability to play sports on this. I was ushered into the world of glasses but from an early age I have been using contact lenses. When my sophomore year of college began I did not expect to wear my glasses to class, because I did not like they way they looked. An eye infection caused me to not be able to wear my contacts for a few weeks. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I thought that maybe all I needed to see was right there in front of me. So as to not look into the distance but focus on what is readily present. At first this seemed like a good idea, but I eventually turned to my glasses for support when I could not read anything on the board in any of my classes. I reluctantly chose them as my answer during my period of healing.

The next two objects I photographed have a two distinct correlation: mileage and relationships. College produces many lifestyle changes. I purchased my first car, and within months of the purchase I put over 5,000 miles on it. At the end of last year I began a relationship with a girl whose family lives in Northern Minnesota, and I knew I would have to purchase a reliable car if I wanted to make the long distance summer work. I also purchased new running shoes, and with a steady increase of mileage each run I worked my way to running my first half marathon. I am training to run my next half marathon in a week, with my girlfriend. Both photographs hold much more meaning than what you would imagine them holding at first glance. One last fun fact, I hate running.

The core of my belief system revolves around my faith. When I was presented with this assignment of a self portrait, one of the first things I knew I had to incorporate was my bible. It is my foundation and has been my guide throughout my life. I am grateful that I have parents who helped instill these beliefs in me from a young age. I know for a fact that I am the man that I am today because of the path God has laid out for me. It most certainly has not been an easy road, and just this year I have gained clarity and peace that has strengthened a once strained relationship with God. Losing my best friend in high school in a car crash shattered my faith, but with guidance and prayer I have chosen to be thankful for the time God let me spend with Blake.

I am always looking for new opportunities, and I figured that the depiction of an open door is a good representation of that. I became very involved from the moment I began my college career, and one of the opportunities I was able to partake in was the creation of a short film. I entered a script into a screenwriting competition, and my script revolved around Blake’s death. I was selected to create my short film, and my photo of movies represents how much of a respect I have for filmmakers and cinema. It was one of the greatest experiences attempting to create a film of my own, one that I will never forget. I also submerged myself in an alternate reality of movies, reaching out for inspiration and developed a love and passion for movies. A wonderful quote from Jean Luc-Godard describes it best, “Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.”

My exploration came to a cease, and as I sat down looking through my pictures, I fell silent. Simply taking the time to dissect little things that make up my life was more than just an assignment. I realized that I have been too engulfed in looking forward to what will happen in the future I have lost sight of how beautiful life is right now. I have lost sight of what has gotten me where I am and what keeps me who I am. My self portrait means much more than the 10 photos will ever show.

Aaron Van Maanen indesign project-2

News Blog #6

In the news, there are a wide variety of things that are covered. There are positive happenings, but the news is almost always dominantly negative. It is impossible to look on FoxNews or CNN without seeing at least one article where something such as a murder or robbery has taken place. Sadly, many articles I have seen lately are about the murders of police officers. Considering I just went on my police ride along, each article about murdered police officers catches my eye more than before. They always carry a heavy weight to them, but after my experience of spending an afternoon with a police officer, I read the article with a new perspective.

According to FoxNews, an off duty police officer was shot multiple times and killed Sunday afternoon. The officer was identified as Terence Olridge, 31, during a news conference. The news conference also revealed horrifying news in relation to his shooting. It happened near his house as he was about to leave for work. Olridge’s fiancé, who is four months pregnant with the couple’s first child, was inside the home during the shooting. This portion of the story absolutely tore me apart. Not only did the family lose their loved one, but his child will have to grow up without it’s father. The emotional baggage this brings to the story is second to none, and the tragedy that was already terrible reached a new level.

A disturbing fact that is being highlighted with the story is that Olridge is the fourth Memphis police officer to be fatally shot in slightly more than four years. Olridge’s death also comes only two months after Officer Sean Bolton was fatally shot. Tim Warren was another Memphis officer who was fatally killed in 2011. Recently, a very heart warming moment in his daughter’s life was captured by many news stations. Warren’s daughter Jewel had been invited to a father-daughter dance and was “at a loss,” according to the Memphis Police Departments Facebook page. Six police officers volunteered to attend the event with young Jewel. On Today.com, there were many great pictures of the officers on the dance floor displaying their moves. A wonderful quote was also featured in the article. “We know we can not replace Tim, but we can be there for his family when we are needed. it was truly an honor.” This was spoken by Officer Amen. Officer Pfiel added, “It was an honor to be able to attend this event and to help keep Tim’s memory alive.” The show of support from the police was just the beginning, as local business donated flowers and photography to the cause. It is truly uplifting to see stories like this unfold from what initially was a tragedy. The impact the officers had on the fallen officer’s daughter is incredible, and her night will be unforgettable.

According to CNN, the city’s police director has expressed that the details are “very sketchy.” Director Toney Armstrong said, “we’re at the beginning stages of this investigation. There are more questions than we have answers right now.” There is a suspect being held in custody and the suspect’s sister was in contact with CNN. She said that her brother was washing his car and got into an argument with Oldridge. Police director Toney Armstrong released a statement that was very emotionally driven. “Please continue to pray for this department. It wasn’t very long ago that I stood probably in very close proximity to where I’m standing now, and i said something very similar to what I’m saying here. And it just doesn’t get easier. I didn’t think we’d be here again so soon.” With any death that occurs, it is very hard on the surrounding community. With so many deaths happening so close to each other, I can’t imagine the numbness the citizens in Memphis are experiencing. Because I am from a small town I may be considerably misunderstanding how people are feeling, but the death I experienced in my small town was one that brought an entire community together. Granted, there is roughly over 10,000 people living in the town I call home, but I have never encountered a more unified community experience than through the death of my best friend.

I am hoping there is similar unification happening in Memphis, something that could strengthen the city rather than continue to break it. My heart is broken for the families who have lost loved ones, and am thankful for the community members who are showing relentless support for those suffering.

Sources:

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/11/us/tennessee-officer-killed/index.html
  2. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/10/11/memphis-police-officer-shot-and-killed/?intcmp=hpbt3
  3. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/10/11/memphis-cop-shot/73789766/
  4. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/memphis-police-officer-shot-and-killed/
  5. http://wreg.com/2015/10/11/officer-dies-after-being-shot-in-cordova/
  6. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/memphis-police-officer-killed-in-cordova
  7. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/crime-justice/crime/memphis-officer-shot-in-cordova-in-critical-condition-21da67a3-b7fe-7647-e053-0100007f02eb-331931281.html
  8. http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/30235045/breaking-critical-shooting-in-cordova
  9. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/national/memphis-police-officers-escort-girl-to-father-daughter-dance-after-her-father-was-killed-on-duty
  10. http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/autopsy-released-in-death-of-sean-bolton

Class Notes 10/6

Mikayla’s Project:

  • Great photo of watch and coffee mug
  • Candid photo of studying with roommates
  • Filing cabinet?
  • Not sure what some of the photos are
  • Another photo of a calendar-like object
  • SAA name tag
  • Heel shoes
  • Cow pillow case
  • Can tell she is busy and involved, can tell she’s in college. Has a playful streak (shoes). Order is important. Likes to have fun after work is done. Has unique objects that she cherishes, tender hearted.

Photo Illicitation: the watch? Sentimental, always time oriented as well. Making sure she is always organized and on time.

The blue thing: Norwegian and live in Decorah, so much Norwegian art. Rose Molly: grew up with it, her grandma lives next to the Norwegian museum, has always had knowledge of her ancestors. It was a gift from her grandparents, very important to her. Reminds her of her grandfather who passed away last year. So much emotion packaged inside of it, relationships with her family.

Pillow: she got it in the 4th grade, she spent the whole year traveling Iowa as the Iowa Dairy princess, she likes engaging people about why she thinks dairy is important, one of her fun objects that also holds a lot of meaning.

The second calendar wasn’t a calendar: “Happiness is….” she makes memories and writes them in her book to hold onto them.

Shoes pictures: She loves country music, the song “red high heels” influenced her to get new red high heels as she grew throughout life. Kellie Pickler: original source for the inspiration of the picture.

Elizabeth’s Photo’s:

  • Loves Frosted Flakes
  • Eating chips and salsa, drinking beer while watching football
  • Sleeping
  • Roasted Marshmallow
  • Dog stuffed animal
  • Drinking games
  • American flag
  • Very organized, many different notes
  • Multiple photographs from her past
  • Driving with her friends?

Our assumptions: She is very outgoing and fun but at the same time is very organized. Seems really easy going, go with the flow. Spends a lot of time with friends being social. She likes to eat, playful. Deep spirituality about her, deeply very sensitive. She likes photography, sensitive, likes to have fun, social.

What the photos mean to Elizabeth:

American flag: I have always loved American flags, they stand for a lot. It is a photo of my home away from home, where I am most of the time. She cares about the environment and what surrounds her.

Most of your pieces were very tight shots, detail shots. Elizabeth appears to be a more experienced photographer by taking pictures of with a wider perspective and gets more space covered in her photos. Makes you feel like you’re there.

Highway picture: Highway 20, runs from Cedar Falls across Iowa to Sioux City, straight shot. Drive this once or twice a month whenever I go home. Grew up in Sioux City, means a lot that I get to travel the backroads of the Midwest. Went to school in Missouri before, in the city, and I did not enjoy it. Her boyfriend grew up in Waterloo and they met in Sioux City, and he works on Highway 20. They joke about why she didn’t stop and say hi when she drove on highway 20. Make highway 20 more personal and meaningful.

Entry and closing shots are important, first shows her face and then closes with her back.

Frosted Flakes: no exact meaning. Her touch on creativity. Do fun stuff with photography, huge box of Frosted flakes, her dad and her ate frosted flakes growing up and the small things they connected on she has continued in college.

Marshmallow: Not a whole lot of meaning, but a play on her perfectionism. She wanted to get it perfectly golden. She does have a soft sensitive side but doesn’t show it, different exterior portraying to others. Lot’s of meaning behind a picture of a marshmallow.

Ashtin’s Photo’s:

  • Giving blood/plasma
  • Baseball diamond
  • Photo of a tree and leaves
  • Highway 20 East
  • Lang Hall entry
  • Photos with friends
  • Running shoes and pavement
  • Really cool photo of street sign
  • “You are not alone”
  • Cat photo

Our assumptions: Enjoys being outside, caring, personal attachment to where she came from, surrounds themselves with images that give them comfort.

Street signs: Cross between Barker Avenue, very close to her house. Woke up at 6:30 on saturday to get the sunrise, wanted to represent her house but not just take a picture of the house. Understanding texture and color.

Think more about orientation. Most photos should be horizontal. Be wary of busy photos, can steal the spotlight. Perspective, background, composition.

Blood draw: Usually gives blood whenever she can, it’s an easy way to help people. If we could, why wouldn’t we? Went home and gave blood, tried earlier but her iron was too low. She doesn’t want them to take photos of her, she doesn’t want the acknowledgement.

Arm is cutting across the photo, look for natural pointers or guides, to take the eye naturally to the end of the shot. A very interesting way to learn about to photography is to have your own photography critiqued.

We did well on figuring her out as a person, the blood donor picture is maybe the most important to her, she is very caring and passionate about it. Likes getting the mix of UNI and home. Also loves cats. Couldn’t corral the dogs so she got a picture of “Wrigley.”

Lucas’s photos:

  • Went home to his farm, picture of the farm
  • Shooting a gun in a arena
  • Photo with a car
  • Glass of beer
  • NBC News for the Iowa game
  • Dressed up
  • Photo with random wall in Arkansas
  • Photo of smoking
  • Photos with friends

Our assumptions: Likes to have fun, prankster, very social, very caring person, doesn’t necessarily show it but the bottom picture of the farm is very character revealing. Friends and family oriented. No detailed pictures, just relationships. Believes in the second ammendment- gun photo.

Art wall photo: internship in Texas, went up to Arkansas for meeting. Liking to travel and see cool things.

Farm photo: helps his grandpa and family.

Dressed up photo: had a meeting in kansas city, at a brewery recently to celebrate the work.

Beer: had a drink with his mom this weekend. Talked about school and everything, plans for the night. Mom drinks with him but his dad doesn’t. Would’ve been great to have mother in the photo.