• I chose to do the first part of the “to be or not to be” speech from Hamlet, acting as Hamlet. It is Act 3, Scene 1, Lines 57-66. I learned that it is really difficult to choose the proper tone, inflection, and

  • Desdemona
    1.3.208-218
    At this point in the play, Othello calls for Desdemona to be brought before her father and the Duke so that she can explain to them how Othello was able to steal her heart and make her want

  • According to https://www.salon.com/2014/11/17/6_reasons_why_religion_does_more_harm_than_good_partner/, more than 50% of people said in a Huffington Post survey that religion today causes more harm than good, and

    • I do find your article really interesting Zach! I think it is a weird thing to think about, how something that is supposed to lead us to good can lead to so many conflicts. I think it is really hard to think about how many lives have been lost over the topic of religion. I do think that religion offers some good into our society, but is also astonishing how much harm it can bring as well. I read this article on how religion can hurt our society, and I think you should check it out!

    • I found your article to be very insightful and I agree with your point of view on religion. Although religion has been the source for a lot of good in the world, it has also brought so much war, violence, and inequality in the world.

  • Hey, Brooklyn. I really like what you are saying here, and totally agree with it especially in the context of our school. The restrictions are very well laid out, but many of them are ridiculous and obviously directed at the girls. If guys break the same rules, such as rolling shorts and shirts, there are rarely consequences whereas girls…[Read more]

  • This is very interesting commentary, Chisom. I agree with what you say in that all people deserve complete equality, but I’m a bit confused on what your definition of equality is. There is only so much that a government can do to prevent a lack of equality, and I think that the American government has actually done a rather good job, although it…[Read more]

  • Throughout thousands of years, there has been one main topic of war until very recently: religion. Religious wars throughout our history have been bloody, as is examined in this article about the wars of religion

    • Dear Zach, I found your article compelling and I am intrigued by what you said regarding “The world would be far less polarized and a far better place to live if religion had never surfaced.” With my faith I have never felt like I needed to be healed because of my sexuality and insted I have felt a magnitude of love and support to embrace my sexuality. From an article from the Huffington post George Carlin said to loud applause, “More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.” And he talks more about how more than 35 million soldiers and civilians died in the senseless, and secular, slaughter of World War 1 alone. I would agree with you that the world would be less polarized if we had one commong ground in our beliefs. Hope this helps and I do find your research compelling!
      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-alan-lurie/is-religion-the-cause-of-_b_1400766.html

    • I love your point about how it is against the rules in religions to fight yet they do it anyways??? It is funny to see this because I think many read religious texts and then pick and choose what they want to believe. With this tendency, people can “justify” themselves to do anything. To sum it all up, I think religion can be good but as you said about a few Muslims, some don’t see it for what it should be.

    • Zach,
      I agree with your position that you take in this essay, but I think there are a few ways to improve it. Your largest section of writing has to do with war, and I think there is an imbalance between the evidence and thought given to the war side of religion as opposed to the other detrimental effects of religion. Additionally, I think it was a very strong statement that you finished with. Your audience may have followed you until the very end and then been thrown off by the dramatic, unjustified words. Saying that it would be better for everyone if religion never existed while also not addressing any positives of religion makes it easy to counter your argument. Also, I would like to thank you for including the comment on the affected perception of Islam. Very interesting piece!

    • Hey Zach! Reading this the first thing that caught my attention was this line “More people have been killed in the name of God than almost any other topic, and I find that to be massively shameful for the religious community”.As horrible as it is, this is a true statement. We see people doing harmful and shameful acts on the name of Allah and pretend to be okay. We see that almost everyday in Africa, Nigeria, where Boko Harams use religion to justify their evil acts. https://www.thoughtco.com/christianity-and-violence-249551

    • Hi Zach, this is a great topic and on that is very interesting to me. I see what you are saying and I do believe that religion at times has hurt people, however I believe that on a personal level many people have been helped by it. The cost of religion is the fighting and need to be dominant over another people however some would say that we even do that in the increasingly secular world today. If there’s something one has and other doesnt there will be fighting. That’s just human nature.

    • Zach,
      I thought your post was interesting and your stance was unique. I agree that religion has lead to persecution but in a way I think it’s beautiful and is a true test of faith. Religion has been around forever and when things go bad, it gives you something to believe in. I think faith has done more good than harm. Everyday someone is discriminated against for their religion but also gives countless people the strength to not give up. Here is a source you can use to strengthen your argument on both sides https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/what-some-ways-religion-can-impact-life-better-454242

  • This is excellent commentary on this issue, Nathan. I am currently writing this from an airport after going through the extensive process of getting through security, and despite the hassle I still believe that it is a process that should be in existence. However, I think that in terms of cost to the government and resulting safety levels, the…[Read more]

  • Thanks for your post, Chanburak. I am in total agreement with you about the symbolism that is used in 1984, and how the party seems to be a metaphor. Julia and Winston are also a part of the metaphor, and how it is possible to escape from the loop. Sex in our society has become both a taboo and something that we either take for granted or don’t…[Read more]

  • This is very interesting commentary, Victor. When I write, I like to use as many of the senses as I can to draw my reader into the words, because without our senses we can’t get a clear view of our environment. Visual sensations are often times the best to use, because I would argue that it is the one that is the most important to us. It guides…[Read more]

  • Zach commented on the post, Zoos aren't cool 1 year, 6 months ago

    This is very interesting commentary, Carter. I am in full agreement with you that zoos are horrible and that in today’s humane world, they should not exist. It is hard to believe that we feel the need to establish ourselves as the greatest species by enslaving animals for our own viewing pleasure. Here is an interesting article on this topic:…[Read more]

  • Over the course of thousands of years, the vast majority of people have been a part of a religion. Despite having no clear evidence of the existence of a god or religious figures being who they say they are,

    • Dear Zach,
      I was very happy when reading your article as I am writing about a similar topic, “Can You be Good Without God.” I was quite pleased with some of the links you provided, as I will also use them in my research paper. Here is an article that I’m using, opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/good-minus-god/. I think it could help you out as well.
      Good luck on your essay.
      -Tony

  • In today’s world, 84% of people are a part of a religion (https://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/dec/23/84-percent-world-population-has-faith-third-are-ch/). For as long as humans have been d

  • This is really interesting commentary, Francisco. Drug abuse is obviously a massive problem in America, and I agree with you when you say that there needs to be a solution to the problem. Rehabilitation is the obvious choice, because it is designed to help people get onto their feet again. Our government’s current plan of attack appears to be…[Read more]

  • Zach commented on the post, Isolated America 1 year, 6 months ago

    This is really interesting commentary, Cicely. One of the things that really fascinates me about our country is that many see our diversity as a weakness, while it is obviously one of our biggest strengths. Very few other places in the world have as much diversity as us, because we are a country composed almost entirely of immigrants, more so…[Read more]

  • This is very interesting, Thomas. I especially like what you said about the idea of zombification, and that a society where everyone works only for everyone else causes a society where there is no individualism. This hinders progress in any society. When reading your discussion, I immediately began to think of North Korea, and how “the regime…[Read more]

  • According to deathpenaltyinfo.org (https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/death-penalty-international-perspective), in 2015 the United States executed the fifth most people in the world, behind China, Iran, Saudi Arabia,

    • If we get rid of the death penalty, what would be put in it’s place? I myself am not for the death penalty. I would rather that they rot in prison. Convicts who molest and kill children and sentenced to death are outcast per say in the prison system. If you kill a child and put in prison other prisoners will probably beat the shit out of you. Leaving on that note most people who are on the Federal Death Row list are half African American.

  • This is very interesting commentary, Ishak. I am impressed that after only three years in the U.S. you have developed very strong English skills. According to The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html#), being bilingual makes you think about the world in a different way, and in turn…[Read more]

  • This is an interesting post, Jack. I agree with what you said about kneeling for the national anthem, and how many people saw that as a dig at America and its history. I see it as one of the most patriotic actions we have seen in the past few years; the players are using freedom of speech to change something that they see as being wrong with our…[Read more]

  • This is a really interesting post, PJ. As a teenager, I can say that my phone has become a part of me, and when I don’t have it it almost makes me anxious. There is an article by CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/03/health/teens-cell-phone-addiction-parents/index.html) about how 50% of teenagers in a poll said that they were addicted to their…[Read more]

  • New technology comes out every day, and whenever it does everyone in America scrambles to get it.  We lavish in the light of the new-found device, and then shortly thereafter it becomes a part of everyday life

    • Zach, I fully agree with your post. I think we’ve become slaves to the modern consumerism and we would fail as a society without it, like a drug. Think of it like a leach that if it gets too big it will kill you if you take it off, technology has become so prevalent to every individual that we couldn’t function without it. I also agree we have to put things in perspective, really look at the pros and cons. We’ve become so distracted with the “newest” technology we don’t take time to look at the effects it will have on us. This was a very enlightening post, hope to see more from you.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

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