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Increasing Diversity in Wilmette Real Estate

Today in class we discussed the debate over the addition of affordable living in Wilmette, IL. As a resident of Wilmette, I took it upon mys...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Frazzled For Finals

With finals approaching in a few weeks, I decided to look into the effects finals week has on students. Everyone knows that the week of finals is very stressful for students and it is commonly dreaded by students. During this time, students experience loss of sleep, have bad eating habits, and may skip their usual workouts and stress relievers.  Different students have different experiences with finals, many find it very stressful while others have no problem taking these important tests. Studies show that "cramming" all of your studying in before a final is not an effective way to learn the material and will not improve the outcomes of the test.

Students need to take action to lower the stress and anxiety they feel leading up to the tests. Researchers recommend that you try to exercise and take several breaks for your brain during the study process. Accumulating daily stress can ultimately lead to anxiety attacks so it is important for students to try to remain at ease. In 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, showed that 7 percent of college students misused Adderall leading up to final exams. The Journal of American College Health found that only 11 percent of college students reported being well rested and this number decreases significantly when finals come around.

It is important to take care of your body when finals come around. Take a deep breath and try to relax.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Disaster in Paris

On the 13th ISIS launched an attack on Paris that left 129 dead and 352 wounded. These terrorist attacks took place in six different locations. The bombs were released outside of the Stade de France in a game against Germany. In addition, the attackers terrorized those in a concert hall and at least two restaurants. The police are taking the attack very seriously and have taken in many suspects for serious questioning.
Terrorism has been reaching new extremes recently and something needs to be done to end the War on Terrorism. Following the attack, France is boosting their nation's security by improving their war technology and increasing their number of soldiers, similar actions should be done all around the world to prevent similar tragic events from happening. President Holland of France said, “Terrorism will not destroy France, because France will destroy it." This is a strong statement that is hopefully truthful.
ISIS has threatened the United States following what they see as a successful attack. In a video released Monday an ISIS fighter exclaimed, “I swear to God, as we struck France in its stronghold Paris, we will strike America in its stronghold, Washington." This statement has caused large amounts of stress for the United States, and the government is taking this threat very seriously. Actions are taking place in order to handle the situation and hopefully prepare for it the best we can.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Increasing Diversity in Wilmette Real Estate

Today in class we discussed the debate over the addition of affordable living in Wilmette, IL. As a resident of Wilmette, I took it upon myself to further my knowledge on the controversy. Wilmette is full of beautiful homes, that are not affordable to many.  The Wilmette Village Board recently approved a $4.1 million dollar contract with M & R Development, and as a result the developer agreed to donate $80,000 to providing living for the lower-income residents. This kind act has sparked a debate across the town of Wilmette. Could the money be put to something more beneficial to the town than affordable housing? 

The average cost of a home in the United States is $188,900,  while the average cost of a house in Wilmette is around $800,000. This statistics show that buying a house in Wilmette is about 423% higher than the US average.

Many residents believe that the addition of affordable housing is taking away from "the image" of Wilmette and could lead to higher crime rates along with many other negative impacts. The development is being urged to contain 15% low priced units. Many believe that the donations should be put to providing housing for the elderly and disabled rather then just simply those who take in low-income. It doesn't seem fair for residents to prevent anyone from living in such a great neighborhood like Wilmette. Even those with lower than average income rates should have the access to the benefits of living in a town like Wilmette. Several hearings are planning for the next 6-8 months before a decision will be made on what to do with the $80,000. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015


       Well, another Halloweens has come and gone.    While many of the Halloweens blend together this year was a bit of a change for me.  For the first time in 18 years I did not trick or treat with the kids, so it was a little sad.    I will always treasure the memories of taking the kids from house to house, usually carrying some piece of discarded costume in one hand and a beverage in the other.   
In addition to door duty, I have, over time, evolved into the family pumpkin carver.  As the kids have lost interest this has largely become a solo project.  I put the pumpkins out at 3pm and by 3:15 the squirrels had chewed on them.                  As it turns out, it was a good thing I was there to work the door because, despite our disfigured pumpkins,  we got swamped.  I do not know the count but we had hundreds of trick or treaters.  Although it rained most of the day, by four PM the precipitation had ceased and the kids were out in force.    Now I guess you could say we brought a little of it on ourselves, we gave away both full size candy bars and little flashlights that project the image of the Chicago Cubs logo.   With respect to full size candy bars, I have seen, first hand, the news that a house is handing out full size candies spread like wildfire as kids run into each other and compare notes.  So while I was surprised that my wife chose full size candy bars to give away, I was not surprised so many kids came to our house.  Although the last few dozen trick or treaters were disappointed as we ran out of full size candies and only Callan’s run to the store saved us from being completely without candy.
It was also a good thing that I had door duty all night because I caught a handful of kids coming back to house more than once.  Full sized candy bars and Cubs flashlights will do that.  One kid complained that his friend has come twice and did not get caught.  As you might imagine, I was unsympathetic.  
         As the trick or treating wound down we continued our own Halloween tradition of having people over for a variety of soups and chili.  We had a nice little crowd of friends, relatives and neighbors.  It was festive but low key and, unlike many past Halloweens, it broke up fairly early. 

Alas, another Halloween has come and gone…

-Mr. Ricketts