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Oranges within Apples by Osman Azami

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On the cover of the popular book Freakonomics, there’s an apple sliced open with an orange inside. We have often heard that we can’t compare apples and oranges. I argue otherwise; we can compare anything and everything. Despite being born and raised in Naples —a center of American conservatism—I typically have views left of center, but I definitely attempt to see the other side. I hope to tackle a variety of topics in this blog, typically concerning economics—within and beyond its traditional scope. I speak with enthusiasm but by no means authority. Although I sometimes forget it, I am still 18! I have always enjoyed speaking and writing, so it seems logical to get a blog. Formerly the Senior Class President, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, and President of the Investment Club, I played on active role on campus at The Community School of Naples hoping to leave a lasting influence and engage the student body in meaningful issues. I start this blog for the same reason, but now I extend my efforts to a larger community. Currently a senior, I will be attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania next fall.

  • 'Our Single Greatest National Challenge' Posted 10/31/2010 at 3:44 p.m. 0 comments

    There’s a significant issue that plagues our great nation, yet it gets relatively little political attention—education at inner-city schools. In a country as great as ours, it’s inexcusable that only five out of thirty kids will show up to their English class on a Friday afternoon at West Philadelphia High School. Where's the political will to do something?

  • Us and Them: We Are Not Saudi Arabia Posted 8/9/2010 at 10:28 a.m. 0 comments

    In response to the controversy over the mosque near ground zero, Newt Gingrich said, “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” My question: If we start acting like Saudi Arabia, what’s the difference between us and them?

  • Immokalee students are the STARs Posted 6/29/2010 at 9:05 p.m. 0 comments

    Last week, the Community School of Naples—my alma mater—hosted its sixth annual week-long camp that serves hundreds of elementary-age children from Immokalee who attend the Guadalupe Center’s eight-week Summer Tutoring and Recreation (STAR) program. The Guadalupe Center’s goal is simply stated but maybe not easily done—break the cycle of poverty through education.

    Students at CSN have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to do a lot of good for not only ourselves but also for others. The scenario at this camp probably represents the social extremes of Southwest Florida, but, for one week, that doesn’t matter. We share one campus and have one great time.

  • Roll Call Posted 5/11/2010 at 5:22 p.m. 0 comments

    For most, there is no sweeter sound than their own name. For me, I dread it and all its various pronunciations. I have grown to fear the abuse of a seemingly simple name and the thought of later correcting someone.

    To those of you who have similarly difficult-to-pronounce names, this is my experience.

  • Back to Banking Basics Posted 4/27/2010 at 1:28 p.m. 0 comments

    Although the purpose of many financial institutions is becoming less clear, and they are certainly not doing God’s work—as the CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein argues—they are needed.

    They invest. They innovate. They provide small businesses with the opportunity to grow and employ more Americans. We often lose sight of this. However, in recent years, so has Wall Street. Any reform must focus on transitioning banking back to basics.

  • Parenting Wall Street Posted 4/25/2010 at 6:05 p.m. 0 comments

    Parenting Wall Street

  • Sin Tax Syntax Posted 4/20/2010 at 1:42 p.m. 0 comments

    Today’s 4/20—known as the national day of pot. This is the time of year when the debate over the legalization of marijuana reignites. Rallies of thousands of people will be held across the country. Also, this year, in November, voters in California will actually vote on whether marijuana can legally be sold and TAXED in the state. What does history tell us about this possibility? What does it mean politically?

  • Teachers in Cyberspace Posted 4/18/2010 at 3:12 p.m. 0 comments

    Social networking has become a pillar of teenage life. And as teachers are joining the cyber world and even “friending” or “following” their students, there has been even more cause for concern.

    As a follow-up to some recent discussion of cyberbullying and the upcoming Community Forum on Social Media hosted by CCPS and NDN, this post discusses another danger of the website. The following article was published in the Community School of Naples student newspaper, The Hawk Squawk, earlier this year.

  • Another Link: Economic Neediness and Test Scores Posted 4/15/2010 at 12:33 p.m. 0 comments

    Can we link teacher compensation to improvements in standardized tests if another link exists between economic neediness and test scores?

  • Reapplying Reform: From health care to schools Posted 4/14/2010 at 2:54 p.m. 0 comments

    Reforming the public, specifically secondary, education system in the United States requires the same drastic overhaul as health care reform and deserves a very similar response.