by

November 28, 2021

 

The Divided States of America

America is nowhere near perfect. Our history is not all sunshine. The shadows from our past loom over us and we still continue to make mistakes. However, in America, we have a drive to improve. Americans always want to take things to the next level. Once we complete one goal, we want to hit an even bigger goal. I am confident that with our drive to improve, Americans will create a better country for future generations.  

Americans are very goal-oriented. We have individual and common aspirations. A lot of the time, we have different goals than the person next to us. In the film American Creed, an interviewee states, “in America, it does not matter where you are. It matters where you are going”. In America, we have the opportunity to work hard to achieve our goals however, Americans are in an unfair race. Two different people could have the same finish line, but drastically different starting lines. Americans continue to try and make the starting lines closer together but unfortunately, the reality is, that things will never be fair or completely equitable.  Some people will have to work harder than others. In America, we are forced to “break the idea that we are a prisoner of our own circumstances” (American Creed). It’s hard to be a proud American knowing that things are not fair; especially when you have to work twice as hard as someone else. On the other hand, there is a guilty feeling when you realize your achievement is nearly impossible for some. Americans value the opportunity to achieve their goals even if their starting line is not the same. 

Often times our goals bring us together although, they can drive us apart. Americans value their freedom and individualism. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of freedom is, “ the quality or state of being free: such as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action”. The definition of individualism is, “ the conception that all values, rights, and duties originate in individuals”. Freedom and individualism go hand in hand. With this comes a lot of responsibility. Sometimes Americans get caught in the gray space between freedom and rights. This causes a lot of division in our country. However, when we have a common goal it brings us together. Americans value the freedom to achieve their individual goals. 

Currently, our nation is divided on the Coronavirus Pandemic. We have some people with the common goal of getting the virus under control. On the other hand, we have another group of people who don’t fear the virus and want to continue a normal life. Some people are in between these viewpoints. The opposite common goals are what is currently dividing our country. Americans fear opposing views. Right now, it is hard to live in America and not judge other people for views you don’t agree with. This crisis has been treated as more of a political issue rather than a public health issue. It seems like America is in a “virtual civil war”. We have two different views that are fighting through media and it is resulting in deaths. On October 13th, 2020, the Washington Post stated, “at least 215,000 people in the United States have died of covid-19”. To be an American, you eventually have to realize that it is not about you; it is about everyone else. 

So with all of this division, what has held us together? That would be our American Creed. The American Creed is not one size fits all. With the millions of people in the United States, it is impossible to have one specific value or goal that every single person agrees with. One of the interviewees in the film American Creed stated, “the American Creed is what holds us together and all we have to hold us together is a story”. Change is inevitable and Americans are constantly growing and changing. This growth is what influences our culture. In America, we are lucky to have so many different cultures. And each individual culture has experienced different changes. What is holding us together, is the lessons we have learned from our past. Maybe not everyone agrees with the specific lessons; but the mistakes, hardships, triumphs, and continual growth will never go away. 

Works Cited:

“American Creed.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 27 Feb. 2018

www.pbs.org/video/american-creed-ikwuqf/.

“Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America’s Most-Trusted Online Dictionary.”

Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/.

William Wan, Jacqueline Dupree. “Coronavirus Cases Are Rising in U.S., Sparking Worries the next Big Wave Has Begun.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 13 Oct. 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/10/13/coronavirus-cases-rising/. 


Once and Future President

President John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He was “the youngest man elected to the office” and “also the youngest President to die” (“The 35th President”). President Kennedy initially wanted to be a journalist but abandoned those plans and instead prepared to run for congress. Eventually, he made it as a presidential candidate and ran against Richard Nixon and won, officially being sworn into office on January 20, 1961. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. His death “sent shockwaves around the world” indicating how he was a larger-than-life heroic man (“John F. Kennedy”). President Kennedy, though, left a country that had changed for the better under his leadership. This shows that he was truly one of the greatest presidents and leaders.

    King Arthur of the Britains is known for his Knights of the Round Table and uniting his land’s people. As a monarch, his ideas about government reshaped English society. He and his group of fellow heroes accompanied him on his adventures fighting off small invaders and would go on to defeating larger enemies. With the help of Merlyn, King Arthur held strongly to his beliefs and built an empire. Arthur’s leadership shows through these successes, he led his military and his people to a time of prosperity. Arthur met an untimely demise, but his impact carried on through the nights of the round table and the country he left behind.

    Both President Kennedy and King Arthur were regarded as great military leaders, leading their countries with passion, having their time as leaders known as “Camelot”, and they both had tragic ends. Although King Arthur used violence, he did only so for the reasons he thought were just. President Kennedy was an honest leader and he created a better country with his optimism and showed the country what leadership in a time of need is. He and King Arthur share many similar accomplishments in doing what they thought was better for their country.

Works Cited

History.com editors. “John F. Kennedy”. History, 6 June 2019, 

https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/john-f-kennedy. Accessed 18 September 

2021.

“John F. Kennedy The 35th President of the United States”. The White House,

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/john-f-kennedy/.

Accessed 17 September 2021.

“John F. Kennedy: World War II Naval Hero to President”. National Park Service

https://www.nps.gov/articles/kennedyww2.htm. Accessed 18 September 2021.


America’s problem with wealth

One American value that always seems to show up when talking about these things is equality. So why is it that America is still so unequal? I’m not talking about racial inequality, or gender inequality, but about wealth inequality. “In 2013, the top 10% owned 76% of the wealth, while the bottom 50% held only 1% of the wealth.” (cbo.gov)  The government overrepresents the wealthy, as they can fund campaigns and get their views represented compared to the general public who have a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy” (rt.com)  In my book Our Revolution, this is one of the many issues Bernie Sanders wants to address. In his speech when he announced that he was officially running, he says, “There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.” (120) While these numbers may be exaggerated, there is still truth behind them..

When you start adding demographics to this, the results become even more striking. “From 1984 to 2009, the wealth gap between whites and African-Americans increased from $85,070 to $236,500.” (Shapiro et al. 2).  In 2009, a study done by Pew Research Center found that the median wealth of a white household was almost twenty times that of black and Hispanic households. (Taylor et al. 14) The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that “in 2017, the median weekly earnings of women were 82% of that of men.” (BLS Report 1075 1)  These gaps could possibly be explained through inheritance, as families that start out with more money have more of an opportunity to let their kids do better. This reasoning also applies to the wealth gap in general. People who have more money have more opportunities to make more, and those with less money do not have the resources to do so. Despite being called “the land of opportunity”, America doesn’t seem to be allowing it.

So how can we fix this? In Our Revolution, Sanders has some ideas. These include raising the minimum wage to a living wage, equal pay for equal work, making it easier to join unions, and getting more people in full-time jobs. Most of his ideas are aimed at raising the common American up, instead of pushing the rich down. Of course, this will not be easy. Like I said earlier, the wealthy have an unproportional amount of power in the government, so attempts to pass legislation will likely be brought down. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. If America truly wants to value equality, then we have to start changing something.

 

Works Cited

“​Oligarchy, Not Democracy: Americans Have ‘near-Zero’ Input on Policy – Report.” RT International, 15 Apr. 2014, www.rt.com/usa/us-democracy-oligarchy-policy-512/.

Sanders, Bernie. OUR REVOLUTION: a Future to Believe In. St. Martin’s Press, 2018.

Shapiro, Thomas, et al. The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide. Brandeis University, Institute on Assets and Social Policy. 2013

Taylor, Paul, et al. Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics. Pew Research Center, 26 July 2011

United States, Congress, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2017.” Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2017, Aug. 2018. www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-earnings/2017/home.htm.

United States, Congress, Congressional Budget Office. “Trends in Family Wealth, 1989 to 2013.” Trends in Family Wealth, 1989 to 2013, 18 Aug. 2016. www.cbo.gov/publication/51846.

Wolff, Edward N. Recent Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: Rising Debt and the Middle-Class Squeeze—an Update to 2007. Working Paper No. 589. Bard College, Levy Economics Institute, 2010

Image source: By Stephen Ewen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27391254


Confederate Monuments of America

The removal of Confederate monuments from our cities and gathering spots is necessary for our country to move forward into a new era, ditching a history of pain, anger, and hatred from the present and putting it right where it belongs. These monuments of the Civil War, no matter what their intended purpose may be, have become havens for the far-right, subjugation of minority groups, and false narratives of the truth of the Civil War. These monuments also tend to be the ground zero of many large, terrible protests and riots, such as the “At Ready” monument in Charlottesville, which hosted the “Unite the Right” rally, which became legal. While it is good to hold protest, and it is legal under our Constitution, the ultimate choice to remove said monuments is up to the local municipalities who own the area.

Going back to the “At Ready” statue of Charlottesville, Virginia, despite the protests against its removal several years ago, it was still elected (and paid for) by the city to me safely removed and transported to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, a group which specializes in history. These institutions are where these monuments belong. Public grounds and parks are inappropriate to hold them due to their connotations and connections to the hatred and disgust our nation has faced, and continues facing through many forms of racism and bigotry. Personally, however, I can feel lenient to certain memorials towards the South, at least based on intention. From my understanding of the monument production of Confederate memorials in the south, there were two main groups that we still see today. The statues and memorials both paid and made by Confederate veterans soon after the war’s close. These tend to depict major generals, such as Robert E. Lee, and the intention was for memorial of the dead and fallen, or of the Triumphs of the generals. The other group consists of those made in later reconstruction, and in the 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan was at its strongest. These monuments were paid for by foundations such as the Daughters of the Confederacy or other private means. These groups used the monuments as another front to push the absolute lies and treachery of “The Lost Cause,” a romanticization of the Confederacy during the Civil War. These monuments were also used as scare tactics against the segregated blacks of their communities, to keep them from power or voting. No matter which “group” they may belong to, nor their intention, modern times have twisted, corrupted, or continued these messages of hatred, and they must be stopped.


Why is nuclear energy not only outrageous but inefficient?

Nuclear warfare is not only inhumane but inefficient against carbon emissions. The catastrophic events experienced in Japan are prime examples of the profound dangers as a result of nuclear warfare. Those who did survive had an 46% risk of leukemia. Nuclear energy is not only dangerous but incapable of fixing our climate issues. Despite the pros of it being cheaper and more effective than fossil fuels, the cons exceed. Nuclear energy accidents are more risky and there’s a limited fuel supply. The impact it has on the environment and the amount of radioactive waste produced is another problem.Lastly, the material used for these nuclear power plants is not renewable making the harvest of nuclear energy difficult. Overall, nuclear energy hasn’t proven to be a reliable solution to climate change and energy source issues. Nuclear energy is far too risky to provide accurate experimentation on to prove the effectiveness of it as energy, power, and weaponry.


Substance Abuse

Substance abuse has proven to be a large problem in America and especially within the Native American Indian Population. Starting as young as 8th grade, many Native teens report exposure to substances such as Alcohol, Opium, Marijuana, and other drugs. I was inspired to research this topic after reading several works from Sherman Alexie and There There by Tommy Orange.

Alcohol addiction is one of the most important themes throughout the stories. Substance abuse is detrimental to Indian communities and leads to an unbreakable cycle of addiction throughout generations. Www.continuumrecoverycenter.com asks the question, “Where does a young person find support when their peers and role models are using drugs and alcohol?”. These addictions lead to a series of other effects all contributing back to substance abuse. 

This issue is not hard to find, and there are organizations working to help make a difference, “The objective of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to a level at or below the general U.S. population”(Source 1). So far the problems facing Native Americans with substance use are still very high. It’s very important to understand why we see a higher rate of substance use in native American populations.

According to source 2, “~5x as many Native American teens use Cocaine and ~2x more smoke than the rest of America.” We see this disproportionately for many reasons. Source 3 goes in-depth about these reasons. “30% of Indian households are under the poverty line and many more barely scrape by, this creates high levels of stress and mental health issues. Source 3 points out that “many Native Communities lack doctors and as a result, there is a high amount of self-medication.”

These are just a few of many ways that the cycle of abuse is started. I think that it is very important that all Americans become educated on the history of Indigenous peoples to be able to understand the current state of modern Native peoples. 

Source 1: “Indian Health Service (IHS).” Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, www.ihs.gov/asap/

Source 2: “Substance Use in American Indian Youth Is Worse than We Thought.” Nora’s Blog, NIDA, 11 Sept. 2014, archives.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2014/09/substance-use-in-american-indian-youth-worse-than-we-thought

Source 3: Continuumrec, and Continuumrec. “5 Reasons Native Americans Have Higher Rates of Addiction.” Continuum Recovery, 3 Apr. 2020, www.continuumrecoverycenter.com/blog/5-reasons-native-americans-higher-rates-addiction/.


Feedback request on Human Trafficking thesis 🙂

Dear Youth Voices Community,

My name is Bladimir Gallegos and I am a Junior at Fremont high-school.

I feel as if my research on the topic of human trafficking is very intriguing although I need to find more information that can answer more of my questions .

This is my current thesis statement about human trafficking.

Human trafficking in the form of sexual exploitation is cruel and inhumane because it unjustly and predominantly violates the human rights of girls under the age of 18.

In order for my thesis to be considered proficient, I have to have a focused, articulate, creative, and debatable thesis on an issue of social inequity.

My thesis will help guide how I read my sources and conduct my field research. I would greatly appreciate your feedback and help on my thesis statement as it is written so far.

Sincerely,

Bladimir

Fremont High School

Architecture & Design Academy

Class of 2019


Cats and Dogs {we are heroes too}

So far, the characters in “hombre perro y super gatito” remind me that in the world there are animals who help people. The characters remind me this because of what I have read on “hombre perro y super gatito”,the characters save the city from a bad person, and it´s something similar to the world, but dogs can’t save the world of something that can destroy it; even though cat and dogs can’t save the world they can help with a lot of things,for example, they can help people with anxiety, and dogs can even help detect cancer and other thing. 

Has an animal ever helped you?


Struggles of Indigenous Women

The issue I have chosen to study is Indigenous Women. The articles that I looked at talked about how many women are killed. Every day, Indigenous Women have to worry about their lives. I chose his topic because I wanted to spread awareness about it because it’s not something you see in the news a lot. It’s something that has got to end.

People die every day. Although I don’t think it’ll impact other people. However, black people go through a similar struggle. They have to face police brutality all the time. It’s not exactly the same but people still die all the time from each group. 4 out of 5 women are affected by violence every day. These women face murder rates 10 times more than the national average.

I didn’t really find in any of the articles how people are helping but I’ve seen people on social media speak out about it and raise their voice. These killers need to be caught and charged for their crimes. Nothing is being done about it and that really upsets me. It would be helpful if people spoke out more about this and tried to find places to donate to Indigenous Women. I want to continue to learn about this topic and find ways to help.

Sources

“MMIWG2S.” CSVANW Coalition to STOP Violence Against Women, www.csvanw.org/mmiw/

“Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.” Human Rights Documents Online, doi:10.1163/2210-7975_hrd-9902-2016008.

Segers, Grace. “Congress Tackles Crisis of Missing and Murdered Native American Women.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 2019, www.cbsnews.com/news/congress-crisis-missing-and-murdered-native-american-women/.


What To Know About Coronaviruses

Coronavirus is a virus that typically affects the airways of birds and mammals, including humans. Doctors have linked them to the common cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and covid-19. They also affect the gut.

These viruses are more likely to cause the common cold than serious illness. However, coronavirus has also caused some more serious outbreaks.

Over the past 70 years, scientists have discovered that coronavirus can infect mice, rats, dogs, cats, turkeys, horses, pigs and cattle. Sometimes, these animals transmit coronavirus to humans.

Researchers first isolated a coronavirus in 1937. They found a coronavirus responsible for an infectious bronchitis virus in birds that had the ability to devastate poultry stocks.

In the 1960s, scientists found the first evidence of human coronavirus (HCoV) in the noses of people with the common cold. Two human coronaviruses are responsible for most common colds: OC43 and 229E.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0042682214004723

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8888

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/general-information.html


Will raising minimum raise help the poor?

Jason Furman and Sharon Parrot’s article, Raising the minimum wage will reduce poverty, states that an increase in minimum wage would ensure that a parent, working full time at minimum wage, would not have to raise his/ her child in poverty. The author states that the increase would provide $4200 additionally to annual earnings which would trigger an additional $1140 in refundable Child Tax credit, ultimately improving the family’s cash income. In the end a family would be above the poverty line instead of being under. Therefore, the raise in minimum wage would help some families. Although it may be true that some people benefit, the overall hope to decrease poverty fails. James Sherk’s article, Raising the minimum wage will not help the poor, states that raising the minimum wage actually reduces workers’ job opportunities and working hours, and therefore an increase in minimum wage will not help the problem of poverty. Shrek states that those who initially earn the wage gain will gain, but their hours of employment will decline resulting in no difference of wage. For every 10% increase in the minimum wage, employment is reduced by about 2%. Therefore, in the intent to help poor families, they are actually worse off. So the raise in minimum wage is a mistake because it is not fixing the problem it is striving to fix- Poverty.

Although a rise in minimum wage seems nice initially, in the end it harms earners. The rise in minimum wage will not help everyone. Both authors have different conclusions, but come to similar reasoning. James shrek claims that most people earning minimum wage are those ages 16-24 which means they are teens or college students. Raising the minimum wage will not allow the poor to get out of poverty. His thoughts on initial growth shows that minimum wage would be helpful initially, but in the long run it will fail. The second article, though wanting to provide a reason to increase in the minimum wage ends up refuting himself by saying they will fall below the poverty line again in the future. The author also makes claims that the rise will not help everyone. The second article makes a strong argument that in fact, raising the minimum wage will not help the poor and instead harm the nation.

Sources:
Furman, Jason, and Sharon Parrot. “Raising the Minimum Wage Will Reduce Poverty.” Poverty, edited by Viqi Wagner, Greenhaven Press, 2007. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010159282/OVIC?u=onlinelibrary&sid=OVIC&xid=55361953. Accessed 24 Oct. 2019. Originally published as “A $7.25 Minimum Wage Would Be a Useful Step in Helping Working Families Escape Poverty,” www.cbpp.org, 5 Jan. 2007.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/a-725-minimum-wage-would-be-a-useful-step-in-helping-working-families-escape-poverty

Sherk, James. “Raising the Minimum Wage Will Not Help the Poor.” Social Justice, edited by William Dudley, Greenhaven Press, 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/EJ3010397240/OVIC?u=onlinelibrary&sid=OVIC&xid=bc408ff2. Accessed 24 Oct. 2019. Originally published as “Raising the Minimum Wage Will Not Reduce Poverty,” Heritage Foundation, 2007.

https://www.heritage.org/jobs-and-labor/report/raising-the-minimum-wage-will-not-reduce-poverty


An Inherited Immune System

In the last decade, Neanderthals, the now extinct homo sapiens who inhabited Eurasia around 40,000 years ago, have proven much more closely related to modern day humans than what was once thought. Neanderthal DNA, extracted from bones found in various caves around the world, has been closely examined by scientists as an explanation for human outward characteristics.

Aside from hair, nails, and skin, Neanderthal genetic material still influences the immune systems of particular populations. An article from Jef Akst expresses the relationship between modern human genomes and that of Neanderthals stating that “Neanderthal DNA at various sites in the genome influences a range of immune and autoimmune traits” (Akst). With the rise of COVID-19 and the mystery as to why it affects some populations more than others, researchers have recently started looking to Neanderthal DNA to shed some light on why certain immune systems have fallen to the virus while others recover. 

While only a small percentage of humans still carry Neanderthal DNA, that small percentage bear genetic material making it hard for them to survive COVID-19. Entering the human population via gene flow, Neanderthal haplotypes, a group of genes inherited from a single parent species, “may thus be a substantial contributor to COVID-19 risk in some populations” (Zeberg). Through arduous research, scientists found a connection between humans who carry a Neanderthal inherited chromosome 3 and an increased risk of death as a result of COVID-19.

Analyzing the symptoms and DNA structure of around 3,200 COVID-19 hospitalized patients, the researchers concluded that “a gene cluster on chromosome 3 [is] a risk […] for respiratory failure after infection” where the risk is “conferred by a genomic segment…inherited from Neanderthals” (Zeberg). A heavily respiratory based virus, a chromosome that hinders the functionality of the respiratory system will obviously cause those who possess the genome to suffer. Such research has provided insight into why certain populations have been more seriously affected by COVID-19 than others, a critical observation for suppressing the virus. 

While Neanderthals are not to blame for the current state of the pandemic, their DNA gives insight into some mysteries of the disastrous virus. Along with presenting one possible prerequisite for a COVID-19 complication, analyzing such genetic structure could be used to understand the prevalence of other diseases in specific cultures. An immense obstacle to understanding the human reaction to infectious diseases has been why one population reacts differently from another, and Neanderthal genomes yield information that can transform the perspective of research scientists in this field. 

Works Cited

Akst, Jef. “Neanderthal DNA in Modern Human Genomes Is Not Silent.” The Scientist Magazine, The Scientist Magazine, 1 Sept. 2019, www.the-scientist.com/features/neanderthal-dna-in-modern-human-genomes-is-not-silent-66299

Zeberg, Hugo, and Svante Pääbo. “The Major Genetic Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19 Is Inherited from Neanderthals.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 30 Sept. 2020, www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2818-3.


America Means: Illusion of Freedom

When it comes to the concept of “America”, most people think of a free country with democracy and freedom. However, according to Ibram Kendi, the reality of the American Nation is quite different. The article titled “Denial is the heartbeat of America,” introduces the idea of this country running a false narrative while refusing to admit their flawed bigger picture.

For example, such events as the raid at the US Capitol on January 6, are deemed “un-American.” Let me be clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the United States of America. About the US capitol raid, President-elect Joe Biden, along with other representatives and senators, said, “Do not represent who we are.”

What denial allows politicians to do is say that events are un-American, but they are not admitting to the problems, so they are not doing any problem-solving to those problems. So the problems keep happening. They are stating that the U.S capitol raid is not the real “America” and that’s where the denial comes from in this country. In other words, Kendi believes that “to say that the attack on the U.S. Capitol is not who we are is to say that this is not part of us, not part of our politics, not part of our history. And to say that this is not part of America, American politics, and American history is a bald-faced denial. But the denial is normal.”

To say that this is not part of America, American politics, and American history is a bald-faced denial.

Ibram Kendi

From my perspective, Kendi portrays America as an outright lie, which I find to be convincing because he provides evidence and other references that reveal America is denying every event that makes it appear like a bad country. The example he gave us was a representation of what it looks like to deny the truth of what is happening in this nation. 

On the other hand, the poem “Let America be America Again,” by Langston Hughes suggests that the American dream never existed for lower-class Americans, nor did people have the rights and equality that every immigrant wishes for. Langston Hughes wrote the poem in 1935 and published it the following year. While riding a train from New York City to Ohio, Hughes wrote the poem, reflecting on his life as a struggling writer during the Great Depression.

Hughes addresses his own disillusionment with the American Dream in the poem, implying that the country has failed to deliver on the promise of liberty and equality for all. In addition to condemning America’s unfairness, the poem expresses confidence that the American Dream will soon be realized.

Ibram Kendi defines the  American vision as a lie, while Langston Hughes argues that the “American Dream” never got equal representation in society. I believe that Hughes is arguing that America was in denial during his experience around the 1900s and that in today’s society we are still having these same problems. 

There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”

Langston Hughes

In “Let America be America Again,” Hughes expands the idea of denial in today’s society. Hughes writes, “There’s never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.” This idea emphasizes that America was supposed to have democracy and freedom, but it became clear that this was a false reality for him and others. Hughes states, “The land that’s mine–the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME- Who made America / Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, Must bring back our mighty dream again.”

Since Hughes’ time, we have seen working conditions improve while enforced labor laws and new opportunities have helped those in poor communities. Although improvements have taken place, these alone are not enough. This has been made clear as protests and riots continue to happen around the world. Langston Hughes said that we will soon embody the American dream but this is a hope deferred for many living in today’s world as they face the results of many years of denial from a dishonest nation.

Kendi connects to Hughes’s point where he states, “All of what we saw in the U.S. Capitol is part of America. But what’s also part of America is denying all of what is part of America. Actually, this denial is an essential part of America. Denial is the heartbeat of America.”  Kendi elaborates on the U.S Capitol attack as a reference towards America being in denial of its true face which connects to the idea that the “American Dream” is a false reality.

My first and second sources here define America as the idea of denial in a “free country,” while my third source provides the story of an immigrant living through the challenges of denial. Jose Antonio Vargas describes his migration from the Philippines to the United States as a teenager. He discusses his academic and professional achievements while living with his grandparents and holding an undocumented status in the United States. Vargas outlines the challenges he encounters as a result of not having the proper qualifications to be in the United States.

Jose Vargas defines an “American” as someone who takes pride in working hard and achieving their goals. He believes in this in order to figure out why he considers himself an American. Vargas says, “There are believed to be 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. We’re not always who you think we are. Some pick your strawberries or care for your children. Some are in high school or college. And some, it turns out, write news articles you might read. I grew up here. This is my home. Yet even though I think of myself as an American and consider America my country, my country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.”

My country doesn’t think of me as one of its own.

Jose Antonio Vargas

In other words, Vargas is saying that he is living under denial because when he considers himself American, he knows that in reality, this country won’t accept him for being undocumented. Vargas wants us to know that he holds the same ideals as every other American, but in America, it’s defined as someone who lives in the country legally and has proper legal documents proving citizenship.

Hughes writes, “I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek/And finding only the same old stupid plan/Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak”, which relates to Vargas’s life where he seeks opportunities as an immigrant to follow the “American Dream.” 

I believe that the term “America”  doesn’t have just one definition. In my opinion, America is a country that boasts the illusion of freedom when in reality, many are left out of this picture.  As I’ve researched above, we see the story of Jose Vargas and his challenges in the U.S. I agree with the sources because I can tell that their definition of America is applied to today’s modern America. From this country being in denial, the limited freedom for many, to experiencing the challenges undocumented immigrants faced. 

As a Latin-American male, I realize that my upbringing and ethnicity set me apart in a number of ways. Because of this fact, I also found that some people in America may stereotype me and this has influenced my experience in America. I still believe that there is not just one definition of America because everyone has different experiences but, I can say that there is denial in this country.

American Literature, in my opinion, can be described as literature composed of various people’s stories about America, their experiences in America, and their definitions of America. In Jose’s, “My life as an undocumented immigrant,” his own definition of America was to be hard working in society to be able to become a citizen. That wasn’t the case for only Vargas because many other undocumented immigrants are having the same issues as Jose in today’s world.

Tommy Orange’s book “There There” is an example of this. It tells the tales of many American Indians and their experiences in the United States. The book portrays the hardships endured by American Indians living in the United States. It informed us, for example, that the prejudice faced by American Indians following their colonization continues to this day. 

Sources:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/denial-heartbeat-america/617631/

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/147907/let-america-be-america-again

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html


Support in curating my sources: Domestic Violence Against Women

Dear Youth Voices Community,

My name is Gary Tuione.

The social inequity problem I am looking into is “Domestic Violence Against Women.” The demographic group I am most focused on for this inequity is women being violated by men because I hate the fact that women are being abused and can’t stop it on their own because of men having more advantages than women. The reason I feel this is an inequity is because women are being abused by men mentally, verbally, and physically. Therefore, I believe no women should be mistreated in any way for any reason whatsoever.

Right now, I believe a solution to this problem would be (Searching for solution)

Some might argue that women deserve to be abused or women are the main perpetrators of domestic violence, making my research focus debatable.

Fremont High School seniors are now curating sources to explain our inequity and its impact on society and to develop arguments for why and how this inequity needs to be addressed. If you have ideas for sources I should explore, please send me those ideas or links in the comment section. I would greatly appreciate your feedback and help.

Sincerely,

Gary Tuione

Fremont High School


Immigrants Create A better Community


                                                                    Immigrants Create A Better Community

 

“I think they’re great, they are what keep Oakland from turning into a “white- washed” community. Immigrants bring the culture to Oakland”( Hernandez). Claudia Hernandez, a 30 year old who has lived in Oakland her whole life shared a quote explaining her thoughts on immigration. To begin, immigrants need to continue to be  welcomed to Oakland and appreciated because they create a more diverse, democratic community and are hardworking and contribute to the economy.

DEMOCRATIC AND DIVERSE

Immigrants in Oakland create a better democracy with more diversity. In the article Here’s The Right Way To Create New, Diverse Businesses by Christine Lagorio, it addresses an interview she had with the Mayor Of Oakland, Libby Schaaf. The interview confirms what the Mayor feels  when it comes to immigration. The article states,Some undocumented immigrants, have become so woven into our communities. Having a diversity of perspectives and life experiences is a vital part of both our democracy, and of a creative, evolving society. These are values that I know my community celebrates” (Lagorio). Schaff states “These are values that I know my community celebrates”, to show how appreciated immigrants are in the community. Oakland values what immigrants bring to the community, immigrants allow there to be more diversity and many different people with all different stories. Immigrants in Oakland create a better future, children will grow up in a community where they can learn from many people from all over the world. This is important because immigration is creating something different for Oakland. To add, another quote from the article, 3 Ways immigrants Are Helping American Culture and Business Soar by Anjana Sreedhar (a news writer) can also support how immigrants bring the diversity. Sreedhar writes, “Thanks to immigrants, America is able to increase its language capacity. Diversity of cultures also fosters diversity of thinking and overall tolerance, especially because immigrants mesh their cultural practices with American customs”(Sreedhar). Here one can see the  benefits of having a lot of diversity in a community like Oakland. Immigration allows there to be more opportunities for Americans, they get a chance to interact with more people who come from different countries and who speak different languages. Therefore, they don’t disregard immigrants because Oakland values immigrants for what they bring to the community.

ECONOMIC BENEFIT

Secondly, Immigrants don’t come to America to commit crimes, they come for a better future. They arrive to Oakland looking for jobs that they wouldn’t be able to find in their own countries, meaning that they positively impact the economy as well. In an interview with an Oakland resident and a College Track Oakland staff member, Liz Fuentes, she \states,  “Many people, including our president, believe that immigrants bring more violence, drugs and gangs to Oakland. But in reality I believe that they bring a lot of diversity which is very good. They are also good for our economy because they come here looking for a place to work”( Fuentes).  Immigrants help the Oakland community with the economy and diversity. Immigration makes a strong contribution to the economic growth in Oakland. The economy is benefitted by immigrants who begin their own businesses allowing non-immigrant people to also have jobs. Also, the amount of money that people make with their jobs would increase as the economy begins to offer more resources.

However, some may think that immigration causes severe issues. Immigrants are seen to be thieves, gang members, and drug lords. But In reality immigrants are people who want to live in America like everyone else. In an interview with Delmira Regalado, an Oakland resident for the past 16 years now and immigrant herself, Delmira speaks about who immigrants truly are. She states, “In general immigrants aren’t bad. We are just hard working people trying to make living. I’ve been in this country 16 years now and not once have I tried to hurt someone or put anyone at risk” ( Regalado). Regalado  is trying to enlighten others to leave behind the stereotypes that people have towards immigrants. Many people assume the worst of immigrants just because they move from one country to another. It is unfair for immigrants to live with the fact that people don’t trust or see them as real people. Immigrants are human too, they do so much for the Oakland community and Oakland values and appreciates it all.

In conclusion, Immigrants are wanted and needed in the community because they bring the diversity and the economical benefits to Oakland. Immigrants are what keep Oakland different from any other community. Immigration allows Oakland to be unique and valuable.

 

Work cited:

Fuentes, Liz. “Immigration Interview.” 12 Dec. 2018. 

I interviewed Liz Fuentes about immigrants and how they better Oakland. Liz is an Oakland Resident and a College Track Oakland staff member.

 

Hernandez, Claudia. “Immigration Interview.” 10 Dec. 2018.

I interviewed Claudia Hernandez, a 30 year old who has lived in Oakland her whole life and witnessed immigration expand.

 

Lagorio-Chafkin, Christine. “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Immigration, Diversity, and Entrepreneurship.” Inc.com, Inc., 14 Mar. 2018, www.inc.com/christine-lagorio/oakland-mayor-libby-schaaf-interview.html.

Libby Schaaff is a credible source because she is apart of the democratic party supporting immigrants arrviving to America. She is also the Mayor of Oakland.

 

Sreedhar, Adjana. “3 Ways Immigrants Are Helping American Culture and Business Soar.” Mic, Mic Network Inc., 26 Oct. 2015, mic.com/articles/28614/3-ways-immigrants-are-helping-american-culture-and-business-soar.

Adjana is the New York University, Everyday Ambassador.

 

Regalado, Delmira. “Immigration Interview.” 10 Dec. 2018. I interviewed Delmira Regalado an Oakland resident for the past 16 years now, and an immigrant herself.

 

 


YES, The Government Does Protect The Environment

There are many American values like personal control over the environment.  The environment has become a huge discussion today and how the government is trying to preserve it. Some  Americans say the government actually does something to protect it and others say they are not actually doing anything. Sixty-two percent of Americans say government is doing little to protect the environment(Qtd. Newport). Most Democrats say that the government should make the environment a priority. On the other hand Republicans say that the  government does enough and a little too much to protect the environment and that it will reduce economic growth in America, and people had supported the economic priority for a long time but in the past few years it has changed.

Many Americans saw that the environment was changing due to industrial growth, it caused air pollution in large cities. In economics, pollution of any kind is known as an externality, meaning that the people responsible can escape the problem but the whole society has to face the consequences. Many people, mostly environmentalists, believe that the government has to protect the environment  and regulate people from destroying the environment even if it meant sacrificing some habits that make our daily lives easier. The government established some regulations and systems that reduce the pollution. There is the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ). It was made during Nixon’s presidency. Its goal was to protect human health and the environment by setting regulations made by Congress.

 The government does protect the environment because they make regulations and programs to try and save the environment . When Nixon was president he made a program that was made to find ways to reduce climate change, preserve wildlife and protect our health. The EPA ensure that Americans have clean air, land, water, reduce environmental risks based on the available scientific information, clean contaminated land and toxic water with the help of the responsible parties. Review chemical before they can be used. They do this by learning about the environment and inform the people on the environment then set regulations to make sure that the environment is not destroyed more than it already is and also give grants to parties before resources are used.

 When people say that the government isn’t doing anything to save the environment they think it’s because they see that the environment is dying slowly but that is not entirely true because government has researchers that know our time on earth is about to end. The government regulate businesses on how they produce goods without destroying their surroundings. From the information we can see that the government is really involved in helping the environment more than people. Others may say that if they were really involved then today issue on the environment would not have happened but that is not  on the government but on they people who decide not to listen. The government does try to reduce climate change and greenhouse gases in the environment and also preserve wildlife and proper use of land and water, but they can’t just end it all, it takes money, cooperation and a lot of patience, it also takes us to do the little things that may make a big impact in the future. Since the EPA was created many more programs and agencies were made to protect the environment and our health like Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Environment Agency, Department of the Environment and Energy, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Animal & Plant Health Agency, and many more. So if anything it is quite obvious that the government is doing something to protect the environment but it’s the people who decide to not listen to them or procrastinate on doing something. 

Moffatt, Mike. “The U.S. Government’s Role in Protecting the Environment.” ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 11 Dec. 2018, https://www.thoughtco.com/us-governments-role-in-environmental-protection-1147507.

Newport, Frank. “Americans Want Government to Do More on Environment.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 4 Sept. 2019, https://news.gallup.com/poll/232007/americans-want-government-more-environment.aspx.


Does homework do more bad than good?

Homework can do both good and bad, but it seems to be doing more bad than good. The amount of homework students are assigned can sometimes be harmful. High-achieving high school students say that the amount of homework they receive leads to sleep deprivation, headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, stomach problems, and other health issues. Excessive homework can also lead to cheating.

Studies have also shown that low-income students have a disadvantage when it comes to homework. This is because they have less access to resources needed to complete their work. 41 percent of kids in the US live in low-income families. These students might not have access to items such as pens, paper, internet access, a computer, or even a parent or tutor that could help. They also might have to work a lot to help support their family which leaves them with less time to work on homework. 

Homework can also lead to alienation from society. Stanford University conducted a study that suggested that any more than two hours of homework every night is counterproductive. Some students who participated in the study reported doing slightly more than on average three hours of homework per night. It was found that spending too much time on homework means that, “students were not meeting their developmental needs or cultivating other critical life skills.” Many students felt obligated to put homework over many more important things occurring in their lives. 


Marijuana and the Obstacles It Faces

The legalization of marijuana has been an increasingly relevant topic, as many states have either legalized it medically, recreationally or both. As this has been happening, countless debates have been evoked; many believing that marijuana should be removed from the criminal justice system and should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. 

People who are pro-legalization believe that marijuana will have many positive impacts on society. According to Elizabeth Hartney, this includes, reducing crime related to possession of amount of marijuana, creating jobs and generate money which can be used for different programs, and the  black market being limited or eliminated. In contrast, People who are against the legalization of marijuana believe that there is a message being sent to young people that drug use is acceptable. They also believe that physicians and companies will no longer have control over medical marjuana, and companies will not be able to drug test workers for marijuana. These arguments are both supported very well and is what makes it so hard to resolve. 

According to Sean Williams, a specialist in the healthcare sector and investment planning, The US will not likely legalize marijuana in 2019. The Senate and presidency is still controlled by Republicans, meaning the chances of a reform is not likely. This is based on pollings that have concluded that most republicans had a more negative view of cannabis than people who identify as Democrats or independents.


Do violent video games contribute to increasing youth violence?

https://nowcomment.com/documents/116606#.W88xDUtKjD4

When looking at the evidence and scientific studies, it is hard to deny that there is some correlation between playing violent video games and aggressive mentalities. However, the real debate comes when discussing the importance of such effects. How can we measure the importance of that shift in mentality along with other life factors to determine the real effect of video games? An article in Psychology Today titled “The Truth About Violent Video Games and Kids, Part 1” points out that,“What’s even more surprising is that researchers on both sides of this controversy generally agree that the size of effects of violent video games on thoughts, feelings, or behavior is “small” when aggregated across studies. They disagree about how important these effects are.” Some might argue that the odds of an increase in youth aggression is important enough to be a threat, while others counter argue that.

Another thing to think of is the amount of people who play video games. According to an article on NBC News titles “Here’s what we know about the links between videogames and violence”, “Forty-nine percent of American adults play video games on a computer, TV, console or portable device (like an iPhone), according to a 2015 survey from the Pew Research Center. And another 10 percent consider themselves to be “gamers.” To say that video games definitely increase violence would be like saying that half of the US population is violent or dangerous. That can not be the case. Again, we must look at other factors in people’s lives to determine whether playing video games could lead to other aggressive, or maybe even violent, behaviors.

In conclusion, I believe that the question we should be asking ourselves isn’t “do violent video games cause violence?”, but instead “do violent video games contribute to youth violence?” and “how significant are their contributions?” I have yet to find an article that provides proof that violent video games directly cause anyone who plays them to act violently or commit crimes. However, there is proof that they may change the way someone approaches a situation, the way someone thinks, and sometimes change small things in their behavior. These can be contributors to one’s acts of violence, but these factors are usually also paired with other distressing aspects in a person’s life, such as domestic abuse or parents’ neglect. The most important thing to think about is how much of a risk violent video games can be when coupled with these other real world problems.


Are you an American?

I believe in America. My friends and family believe in America. My entire school believes in America. But what do we believe in? What does it mean to be an American? Are there strict requirements to be an American? I believe that there are none. I believe that America holds its ground on freedom, whether it be religion or culture. I believe that you can be whoever you want to be in America, and that the idea of freedom is the idea we should all believe in.

Where do these ideas stem from? Beliefs are ideals that you are confident are true. I connect the word ‘beliefs’ with the words trust, faith, and confidence. These words are the main themes that branch to even more words, like freedom, prosperity, joy, that can connect with our own society. One or maybe many of these words are words that people have to believe in when coming to America. 

Many people come to the United States in search of freedom of any sort, such as freedom of religion or freedom of speech. Some are in search of wealth and prosperity: the “American Dream”. Others just enjoy the thrills or the leisure of the US. All of these are possible only by believing in our fellow citizens. We, as Americans, live in a society where fellow citizens depend on each other to make the right choices for their future as a whole. Only through trust and courage can we continue to live in this large and diverse community.

Essentially, those who believe in the American creed are dreamers. They are the ones who dream of having things they don’t have in their environment. Of course there are already citizens that can dream for wealth, but those citizens are the ones who already enjoy their rights. Not only is America a place where dreamers gather, but it is also founded by dreamers–dreamers who came in search for territory. America was built on immigrants and their ideas that would keep developing into the foundations of America.

Although America has faced great obstacles in the past, we still are hindered from internal problems. These problems mostly have roots in our current society and politics. These politics have greatly divided the American people and set a controversial stance on what standard values should be. Yoram Hazony, author of the “The Virtue of Nationalism”, states that, “it’s American nationalism that the U.S. needs right now. Never in our lifetimes have we seen America’s various tribes so divided, so intolerant of one another, so quick to delegitimize and even threaten violence” (Hazony 2018).

The Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation that funds political research, asked a series of questions that were asked to different political parties in 2011, 2012, and 2016 to see where we are as a nation. In many of the reports, the Republicans who supported Trump were much more firm on their stance of exclusiveness on American identity.  Many of those supporters believe in requirements such as speaking English (80%), having European ancestry (30%), being born in America (63%), or believing in Christianity (69-72%).

Some people may argue that America has its own kind of culture based on what the majority believe, and that following that culture is what makes an American. However, even with moves to restrict new immigrants, the US Census Bureau says a new immigrant moves to the US every 33 seconds–exemplifying how culturally diverse the country is. The US is also known as a “melting pot” due to its influences and form from various cultures. There is also no official language, according to the US government, and, although 90% of the population speak English, 300 non-English languages are spoken throughout the nation, as stated by the Census Bureau. Religion is also dominated by Christianity with 71% identifying themselves with the religion, according to the Pew Research Center in 2017. There are also many traditions that are connotated with America, such as the numerous holidays celebrated, foods, like hot dogs or hamburgers, clothing brands, media, and sports. Are these all things that are a part of the American culture?

Yes. All of these traditions have a part in American culture, but another key part of American culture is cultural openness. Numerous times have I mentioned that America is the land of freedom, and I intend to believe that America will stay that way. It is also true that I mentioned the standing opinion of American identity exclusion, however, the conclusion of the Voter Study Group from the Democracy Fund found that the exclusion of American identity, based on its study on religious exclusiveness, has decreased significantly and had been continuingly decreasing. This signifies that the nation, as a whole, continues to grow more open to diversity.

Overall, my final verdict is that there are no strict rules for anyone to have an American identity. The people that make America represent the characteristics of bravery, courage, and liberty. But those people that make up the country are people who can either come in search of this dream or are already born into the warmth of freedom. It doesn’t matter who you are, for as long as you believe in America and what it promises, then you exemplify a true American.

Works Cited

Hazony, Yoram. “How Americans Lost Their National Identity.” Time, Time, 23 Oct. 2018, time.com/5431089/trump-white-nationalism-bible/.

Vavreck, Lynn. “The Great Political Divide Over American Identity.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/upshot/the-great-political-divide-over-american-identity.html.

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “American Culture: Traditions and Customs of the United States.” LiveScience, Purch, 14 July 2017, www.livescience.com/28945-american-culture.html.


Changes in Life and Circumstances

My name is Husnain and I am not good at anything. In fact, I am pretty bad at everything except one thing. I am good at working hard. Working hard has been drilled into me ever since I was a little kid because of my parents and their struggles. Something important to know about me is that I am proof of the phrase “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

My family and I came to the United States in 2005. My life changed quite a bit when we immigrated. Although there are a lot of similarities between the United States and Canada, there are also quite a few differences. For starters, I had to get used to living in a smaller town. We immigrated from a big city like Toronto to a small town called Okemos. There is much less diversity, fewer things to do, and overall a different lifestyle. Another difference was dialect. In Canada, English is spoken everywhere. However, the use of slang and spelling was different. For example, the word “center” is spelled “centre” in Canada. My life did not change drastically, but there was certainly an adjustment period that took place when I immigrated.

Unfortunately, injustice takes place everywhere. I had a friend who was also an immigrant like myself and was getting used to living in the United States. Ironically, he was also from Toronto and moved to Okemos. He was being picked on and called a terrorist in 7th grade. In retaliation, he called the oppressor, who was white, “fat and ugly.” The two boys got called to the office and my friend got in trouble and sent home because “he was being emotionally insensitive” to the other kid’s health conditions. The worst part was that the other kid only got lectured and no real consequences. This is outrageous because this shows bias towards the white boy over the foreigner. Obviously, the white boy should have gotten the harsher punishment, but injustice and unfairness took place.


Media: What Is It Good For?

Media sets the narrative of the way we live our lives. During World War II, people idolized FDR and his fireside chats with radio as a primary source of information. A few decades later, there was the first televised presidential debate between JFK and Richard Nixon. In the past few years, social media has transformed the way government communicates with citizens and how we interpret political issues. Social media offers a more efficient way to receive information about events and important information however, with more sources of communication, the more polarizing this country has become. 

In one article I read, the writer examines the “negativity bias” found in media coverage. News organizations feel the pressure to appeal to their audience while negative news coverage captures people’s attention more opposed to positive feed. In my mind, this follows the same logic as why people are fascinated with murder documentaries and soap operas. Trauma and life wretching events grabs people’s attention because we put more weight on the negative aspects of life than the positive. The article linked its argument to a study done by researchers at UCLA Irvine after the Boston Marathon bombings. The study surveyed a national sample of over 4,000 adults to give their initial stress response, their degree of exposure to the bombing, their level of exposure through media, and any previous exposure to traumatic events. The surprise in this research is that the people who witnessed the bombings or had a connection with someone who suffered from the bombings weren’t as likely to report high levels of stress. The study results show that people who were exposed to six or more hours per day of bombing-related media coverage were nine times more likely to report high levels of post-traumatic stress. This information shows how much power the media controls over our emotions and actions. The negativity bias is pushing conservatives further to the right and liberals to the left with fewer individuals in the middle finding common ground.

In another article, it examined more uplifting media coverage and information that bridges a sense of unity among the public rather than segregation. It used YouTube sensation, Kid President, as an example of inspiring media content. Kid President was a YouTube child star who rose to fame from 2012-2016, who is known for his widely streamed video, “A Pep Talk from Kid President to You.” The study used affirmative action as a strong influence to promote minorities to more positions of power. 

In another article I read, a New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat expresses the argument that media creates a better image for the more popular candidate while not giving information to the voters that would be more useful to them. 

In the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama was up for reelection against a Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. At the time, I was quite young and didn’t spend much time thinking about politics but I would try to listen to my parents talk about the election. I had a preconceived bias for Obama since my parents voted for him and my first ideas about political issues in this country were associated with his ideals. All candidates are human, therefore they have strengths and flaws. This is important when looking for information about recent political events. People cannot rely on every news organization to be politically neutral so they need to search for a large variety of sources to grasp different perspectives. Media should be serving the public with valuable information over current events, however, we the people, are serving the media by appealing to their political agenda. 

Sources Cited:

Oliver, M. B., Kim, K., Hoewe, J., Chung, M.‐Y., Ash, E., Woolley, J. K., & Shade, D. D. (2015). Media‐induced elevation as a means of enhancing feelings of intergroup connectedness. Journal of Social Issues, 71(1), 106–122. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12099

Gorvett, Zaria. “How the News Changes the Way We Think and Behave.” BBC Future, BBC, 12 May 2020, http://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200512-how-the-news-changes-the-way-we-think-and-behave.

Douthat, Ross. “The Media Bias That Matters.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Sept. 2012, douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/the-media-bias-that-matters/?searchResultPosition=2&mtrref=www.nytimes.com&gwh=799A98F998D89BF04A18F58ED540149D&gwt=regi&assetType=REGIWALL.  


“Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

Most kids growing up in the 2000’s were most likely watching Disney Channel or maybe Nickelodeon. But when I was younger, my mother would always put on 80’s movies and TV shows. Of course, I’m not complaining! 80’s movies taught me about kindness, how life isn’t always a fairytale, and the ability to empathize with other people.

The movie that especially stood out to me was the movie The Breakfast Club. The Breakfast Club is an impactful film that conveys the change of concrete thinking of a “single story” and the ability to understand differences between one another by putting forth empathy. The film also further explains that when you put forth empathy it involves experiencing another person’s point of view or adapting to the behavioral aspect of caregiving. 

The “popular girl,” “the basket case,” “the geek,” “the bad boy,” and “the jock.” All of these characters display empathy at one point or another throughout the film. For example, when “the bad boy”, John Bender, talks about the abuse from his parents many of the other characters like Claire Standish (“the popular girl”) empathize with him because they only assumed his single story of being a failure or a criminal.

Furthermore, the article “The Dissolve Reviews” states that “Regardless, those of us who grew up with The Breakfast Club aren’t kids anymore. We’ve grown up, gotten jobs, become parents. Some of us may not even use the term “neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie” on a regular basis anymore. (Some of us.) It’s only natural for us to look at The Breakfast Club now and empathize more with the adults than we used to, perhaps even to notice that Hughes’ portrayal of grown-ups here is more nuanced than it initially seemed.” This quote further shows how empathy plays a huge role in this movie and in the lives of the listeners. It helps depict how as we learn and grow we continue to empathize with others because we are better able to understand that people are more than just “a single story.”

Throughout the movie, we also see a behavioral aspect of how all the characters react to one another. According to “Very Well Mind”, “Empathy leads to helping behavior, which benefits social relationships. Humans are naturally social creatures. Things that aid in our relationships with other people benefit us as well. When people experience empathy, they are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors that benefit other people.” This quote overall depicts the true meaning of empathy and how the behavior of individuals impacts our view on a “single story.” Our behavior is what we put out into the world and by putting this behavior out we are communicating with hours.

The movie Breakfast Club is the ultimate representation of empathetic behavior and how it impacts the way we look at a “single story.” The sentence “We’re All Pretty Bizarre. Some Of Us Are Just Better At Hiding It; That’s All (Breakfast Club)” shows how none of us are perfect and how we are more than what a person thinks of us. You are more than “a single story,” and always remember BE YOU.

Works Cited

Chaney, Jen, and By. “The Adult Sympathies of The Breakfast Club.” The Dissolve, thedissolve.com/features/exposition/952-the-adult-sympathies-of-the-breakfast-club/.

Cherry, Kendra. “Why Empathy Is Important.” Verywell Mind, 2 May 2020, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-empathy-2795562.

Grubbe, Logan. “We’re All Pretty Bizarre.” The Odyssey Online, The Odyssey Online, 16 Oct. 2019, www.theodysseyonline.com/were-all-pretty-bizarre.


How Police Brutality Affects People of Color in Oakland    

Why is police brutality common in Oakland? In the article, Oakland police: controversial history sets tone for city’ discord. Harris states, “White people account for only 16% of OPD vehicle stops, and 6.7% of motorists searched. Black people in Oakland, by contrast, account for a whopping 48% of vehicle stops, and 65.8% of motorists searched” (Harris). Police brutality can lead to violence and death but is there any way for police to stop targeting People of Color the most?

To begin, police brutality is a problem in Oakland because many police officers target mostly all People of Color because of stereotypes and there is no process to discipline police officers who act wrong. In the article “Street Stories in Oakland”  by Stacy Johnson. Johnson points out, “Police brutality in Oakland, California is a reality that goes unaddressed far too often…Oakland’s process for disciplining police officers accused of wrongdoing is a broken and inadequate system that has evaded the public’s scrutiny for too long” (Johnson). This shows that police overuse their power by going too far and doing something wrong. Also, it points out that if police assumes a Person of Color is pulling out a gun they will pull the trigger and end up killing someone who could be innocent. But People of Color might be trying to show that they are unarmed. Lastly, police are stereotyping People of Color by assuming that they are dangerous. This article is trustworthy because it had a lot of statistics about how many People of Color police have killed. This shows that police brutality is a problem in Oakland because police underestimate people and just end up killing them. Furthermore I interviewed Angel Calmo who lived in Oakland for about 16 years he explains, “Police go way too far because they think their in control of society and we as People of Color and taxpayers we pay them to protect the community and serve the country with respect but police are not doing any of that instead killing people who didn’t do anything wrong”(Calmo). This clarifies that People of Color who live in Oakland pay their taxes to give police an opportunity to do their job and do what they are supposed to be doing correctly but they go too far. This statement is trustworthy because Calmo has experienced and seen things that police have been doing wrong generation by generations. Additionally in the article “Law Enforcement killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 percent were black” by Alex Barreira and Arielle Swedback they wrote, “These deadly encounters were just three of the 90 officer-involved killings of Oakland residents since 2000…The most alarming discovery: 74 percent of Oakland residents killed by law enforcement between 2000 and 2016 were Black men and women” (Barreira and Swedback). This explains that when police encounter People of Color, police  are more likely to hurt or kill People of Color. This shows that throughout the years there are more People of Color in Oakland being targeted by police and the number has been increasing. Lastly, this point out that police are stereotyping People of Color since it is 74 percent of black women and men that had been stopped by the color of their skin. This source is trustworthy because it had a lot of information about what was happening in Oakland and many statistics showing the rate of how many people of color have been killed. Moreover, I also interviewed Silvia Mendoza about why do do other people think People of Color are targeted by the police she states, “Police think that they are immigrants and take them away from this country and well this is  one of many problems in Oakland and police focus more on other things that don’t matter like sideshows than worrying about killing innocent People of Color” (Mendoza). This shows that when police have to deal with a certain job they focus mainly on something that isn’t that much of a “big” problem such as sideshowsy instead of worrying about who they just shot and if they were even unarmed. This also shows that police aren’t being taught what is wrong and right in situations when they have done something

Others may say that police are doing a great job for this city in the article “Stanford big data study finds racial disparities in Oakland, Calif., police behavior, offers solutions” by Stanford University they explained how they are finding more and more data from police and what they could improve they wrote, “Police agencies are guided by the commitment to serve communities with fairness, respect and honor” (Stanford University). In other words this quote means that some people think that police are doing what they are supposed to be doing and are following the rules they are supposed to follow. This source is trustworthy because it was posted in 2016 which was posted recently. Also because they weren’t being biased about they were talking about.

In conclusion, I believe police brutality is a problem in Oakland because most police don’t worry about what is important and target mostly People of Color in most situations they are in. Also police are not being trained to do what they are supposed to be doing correctly and are stereotyping People of Color by assuming they are armed.

                                                 Annotated Bibliography

 

Swedback, Alex Barreira and Arielle. “Law Enforcement Killed 90 Oakland Residents Since 2000, And 74 Percent Were Black.” East Bay Express, East Bay Express, 9 Jan. 2018, www.eastbayexpress.com/Oakland/law-enforcement-killed-90-Oakland-residents-since-2000-and-74-percent-were-black/Content?oid=4940357. This article talked about who were the people who got killed by the police and it talk about the most police have been killed are black men and woman. Also it was published recently so there probably are data from now.

 

Calmo, Angel. “Police brutality in oakland.” Jan. 2018.

I interviewed Angel Calmo about police brutality because he had a lot to say about the topic and had some experience with the police but not that much negative. Also because he has been living in Oakland almost his whole life and probably has seen or heard of someone who got killed by police and are innocent.

 

Johnson, Stacy. “Oakland Under Arrest: Policing the Police – A Brief History of the Oakland Police Department.” Street Stories: Oakland, www.streetstoriesOakland.com/items/show/40. This article talks about how there has been many arrests in Oakland and how its gone too far. This source is trustworthy because it had a lot of information about police brutality happening around Oakland.

 

Mendoza, Silvia. “Police brutality in Oakland.” Jan. 2018.

I interviewed SIlvia Mendoza because she is very against police brutality and hates that police only target people of color. Also because she wanted to address what the community does for the police to be in Oakland but are not doing their job. Silvia is trustworthy because she has been living here almost her whole life and had very explicit information about police brutality.

 

University, Stanford. “Stanford big data study finds racial disparities in Oakland, Calif., police behavior, offers solutions.” Stanford News, 11 Aug. 2016, news.stanford.edu/2016/06/15/stanford-big-data-study-finds-racial-disparities-oakland-calif-police-behavior-offers-solutions/.

This article talked about both sides how police brutality is bad for Oakland and are trying to find ways they can fix police brutality. Also it talks about what other think other than being against police brutality. This source is trustworthy because it is not being biased throughout the source also it was uploaded recently.


The Koalas and Kangaroos are at Risk!

In NSW, Australia the bush fires are out of control right now. They have burned almost two million hectares and are still going (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50511963), burning hundreds of wild animals. The animal hospitals are filled with koalas and kangaroos that are suffering from severe burns. These animals are hard to save from the fires because of their quiet nature. Very few native australian forest animals are vocal unless put in extreme pain or danger, and at that point it’s too late. 

Aside from the endangerment of the animals these fires are showing the impact of climate change. There’s still about a week left until the summer officially begins, yet Melbourne has already experienced the hottest day since 1874. Some scientists have tried to link this to their carbon dioxide emissions. They emit 1.3% of global emissions and only 0.3% of the global population. This is very disproportionate and could show a reason for these extreme fires (https://time.com/5735660/sydney-bushfires/).  

The combination of the hot temperatures and strong winds creates for deadly fires. Destroying much of Australia’s forest and farmland the smoke has covered sydney and nearby cities, creating harmful air conditions and knocking out power. (https://www.aljazeera. com/news/2019/11/australia-bushfires-smoke-blankets-sydney-191122123014179.html). Not only do these conditions put children and the elderly at extreme risk but many peoples homes have been taken due to the fire. This only being the beginning of summer shows the dry and worrisome summer ahead. 


The one where they’re in the 2010’s

Adults will always make fun of teenagers for wearing what they wore in high school, and right now that’s the 90s kids. According to Angela Velasquez of rivet “parts of it are living on in 2019. With nostalgia running high for the ’90s, fashion is rolling out and reinventing some of the decade’s boldest trends for a new audience.”(https://sourcingjournal.com/denim /denim-trends/19-fashion-trends-90s-cool-again-133798/). Why is it that the nineties are in right now, only thirty years after the decade? One explanation could be due to politics.  

Just like current issues uncertainty of the president was very prevalent in the nineties. President Clintion was also going through an impeachment investigation and lead to uncertainty, especially among teenagers (https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/culture-magazines/1990s-government-politics-and-law-overview). Weather it’s dressing grungy with baggy clothes and jeans or dressing like a preppy school girl these are both acts of rebellions. Showing more and more skin and more and more baggy clothes moves away from the classic american style and to one adults might look down on. Style is just another way to rebel besides actions and beliefs. 

Another reason could be from the infamous sitcom Friends, and more specifically Rachel Green. While friends was immensely popular when it came out (in the nineties) it has come back and hugely affected the teenage population. “[Rachel Green] captured the true essence of ’90s and early 2000s style, making everything from plain T-shirts and miniskirts to button-up vests and bold, floral dresses look trendy. And even though ‘Friends’ may feel dated now, Rachel’s fashion looks have certainly passed the test of time.” (https://www.insider.com/rachel-green-best-outfits-on-friends-2018-2 ). You can see her style in every store from Brandy Melville to Urban Outfitters; it has continued to be a staple style, and one the youngest generation looks up to. 


Stories From Immigrants

One of the biggest issues of the United States is the threat of deportation and determining whether an immigrant came here legally or illegally. What my article is about is the point of view of the immigrants that traveled to the US. My goal is to make sure you understand what immigrants went through to travel to the US and make sure that this country becomes a safe place to live.

The first story is from a man named Thomas Peterffy. Thomas Peterffy was born in the basement of a Budapest hospital on September 30, 1944. Peterffy planned on leaving Hungary to escape communism, and Peterffy came to the US, illegally. Peterffy moved into an apartment and his emotions when arriving to America was happiness, but a little fear. “It was a big deal to leave home and my culture and my language,” says Peterffy, “but I believed that in America, I could truly reap what I sowed and that the measure of a man was his ability and determination to succeed. This was a land of boundless opportunity.” Peterffy got a job as a draftsman in a surveying firm. By the late 1970s, Peterffy had saved $200,000 and founded a company that pioneered electronic stock trades, executing them before the exchanges were even digitized.

The next story is from Mary Green, who immigrated from Seoul, Korea to Chicago, Illinois in October 8, 1969. In January 1969, Green was abandoned in the doorway of an empty building in Seoul, Korea. After being found by a passerby, she was taken to a hospital and for four months, she was fighting infections. One day, however, Green gained a severe staph infection and was emigrated to America, where she was treated for the staph infection. Through her childhood, Green faced racism in America because of the Vietnam War and the distrust of Asians in America, but she was loved by her new family and still called America home.

Before I tell the next story, I just want to add that there was a site that I looked up that had more than one immigration story. I picked two out of (what I assumed to be) 25 immigration stories. The first one was from a woman named Marisela, from New York. Her story starts off with her and her family living in Guadalajara, Mexico. The neighborhood that she and her family lived in was very dangerous. After Marisela found out that her father was killed, her mother wanted to move to America because her mother wanted to live in a safer place and believed America would help them. Over the years of living in America, Marisela grew up to be a police officer in New York because she wanted to prevent crimes like what happened to her father. “I thank America for the opportunities,” Marisela says, “and will be forever grateful.”

The next story is from a man named Bahareh, who now lives in Chicago Illinois. He and his family absconded from the multisystemic injustices in Iran and immigrated to the US in hopes of extended opportunities and freedom. The one big quote from his story is this: “My experiences as an immigrant child growing up in the US helped me gain an appreciation for the gift of life. This is because my immigrant story is tied to so much loss and despair…pain and anguish that has yet to heal 30 years later. Through the years so many of my family members passed away, and I never got to see them again. I grew up here wishing that just for one holiday in my life I could have family around and feel the love that everyone else seemingly felt.”

The final story is not in first person, but it is important. It is about a German refugee, Walter Ade. Walter Ade was a German native who grew up in the Sudetenland during WW2. His father and his older brother served in the German army but were both casualties of the war. Walter’s mother encouraged him to emigrate to the US in 1949. Walter’s mother stayed behind, hoping her husband was still alive and held by the Soviets. Good new (in case you wanted to know) the husband was alive and was released by the Soviets. Walter emigrated to America and settled in Springfield.

After reading all those stories you probably want the moral of this article, don’t you? Well, the moral is this: our American creed is to make sure immigrants feel safe in this country. They came here for a better life. If we, as Americans, help each other, no matter the race or gender, then this country truly is America.

My Mother’s Immigration Story

To start things off, my mother (just like my father) was born in Poland. According to my mother, she emigrated in March 1998. Her reason for leaving Poland to live in America was because she married my father. I asked my mother how she felt about immigrating to the U.S. and what her expectations were. She replied that she was scared and that she didn’t know what to expect. I asked her if she currently missed Poland or not and she said she does.

Sources

Peterffy, Thomas, editor. Immigrant Stories That Will Make You Believe In The American Dream Again. 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/monteburke/2016/10/04/6-immigrant-stories-that-will-make-you-believe-in-the-american-dream-again/#30a1c8138027. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.

Green, Mary. Coming to America Saved My Life: A People Editor’s Immigration Story. 2017, people.com/human-interest/coming-to-america-saved-my-life-a-people-staffers-immigration-story/. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.

My Immigration Story. https://myimmigrationstory.com/. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.

Ade, Walter. 2017, https://www.illinois.gov/alplm/library/collections/oralhistory/ImmigrantStories/Pages/Ade,Walter.aspx. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017


What is American Culture? Some inequalities in America

The country that we live in the United states of America is home to many different cultures, beliefs, and people.  I think that being diverse is what makes our country truly ours. Being how we are makes it extremely difficult to describe American culture. I strongly believe that even if we are different, that shouldn’t determine how we are treated or the opportunities given to us.  

America has many different cultures, beliefs, and people which makes it hard to describe what american culture is. For example Kim Ann Zimmermann said that “The United States is sometimes described as a “melting pot” in which different cultures have contributed their own distinct “flavors” to American culture” (Zimmermann 4). This describes America as being full of a variety of different culture, which makes it really hard to define american culture itself.

Not everyone has equal opportunity to succeed despite what it says in the Declaration of Independence (US 1776) that everyone should have equal opportunity to succeed in the America. I believe that everyone doesn’t currently have that opportunity. Sherman Alexie talked about this in his document describing his childhood “Superman and me.” In this he stated that failure was accepted inside his reservation, and that you would just follow in your parents footsteps. Alexie also talked about living and going to school on the reservation, which wasn’t getting him anywhere. In order to expand his mind he had to look and find more books to read. Later on, he states that he never had a writer or poet come into class and talk like he does now to try to guide kids in the right direction. This shows how in America, people from all around with different backgrounds aren’t getting the chances that other people in this nation are getting. This is going against one of the key things that is stated in Declaration of Independence that everyone should be given the same opportunity to succeed in our capitalist economy.

In addition to, our justice system despite our background or the color of our skin, we should all be treated equally. In the book, “Black and White,” the plot focuses on the clear divide between people of color and caucasians, and how are treated by our justice system. Eddie, who is caucasian and Marcus, who is black, are best friends with bright futures, with basketball scholarships that are just waiting to be signed. They ruin their chances by doing a few stickups that later get both of them caught, but Marcus takes the brunt of it.  In the book they go over how black people are often stopped by cops or victimized by some of the people in their community. One instance is when they are on a subway train on the way to their game when they come across someone that says “Stupid n*****s, you’re all the same. Go back to the f*****’ jungle,”(Volponi 101). This man saw colored people as second class citizens which is wrong we are all equal. Throughout the book, there is a struggle for fair treatment in the justice system, which relates to my point that equality in America, should mean equality to all, no matter the color of someone’s skin.

I believe that you can’t define American culture because of its “melting pot” structure. I also believe that in our society today, equal opportunity isn’t being properly enforced in some places, which makes it hard for kids to make something of themselves in our capitalist economy. Finally, the justice system should treat people based on their crime, not by the color of their skin. To conclude, I don’t believe that you can define American culture, beliefs and creeds because there is such variety of things that can define it which makes it nearly impossible to define what each of those mean to each and every individual in America. Also it should be a given right that everyone should have the same opportunity to succeed, no matter who they are or where they come from. In addition equality should always be instated anywhere and everywhere in America, especially in our justice system where I believe that you can’t judge someone on the color of their skin, or where they come from, or how they talk. Which I think is constantly happening.    

Volponi, Paul. Black and White. Viking, 2005.

Zimmermann, Kim. “American Culture:Traditions and Customs of the United States.” livescience. https://www.livescience.com/28945-american-culture.html

Sherman, Alexie. “Superman and Me”. Los Angeles Times, April 19 1998.


The Coming Break

As the winter break is soon approaching high school students are stressing for their finals week. There are many ways that students are handling the stress. These include but are not limited to “Avoid junk food and excessive caffeine, take naps, find a study partner/group,take 5-10 minute breaks and go for a walk”(Raven J.). It is really important for the students to try and maintain their stress levels. 

The reason students should try and handle their stress is that persistent stress due to finals can lead to the student having less self esteem which can lead to them performing poorly than they would have. I personally can relate to this. In my junior year I was really stressed about my world history finals exam. So I’ve made sure to at least look over the review, have at least 9 hours of sleep prior to the exam and think positively about myself and my abilities. Surprisingly I did really well. 

Which leads me to say that stressing over the finals is pointless as long as you prepare yourself for what is about to come. Finals week can also be very exciting. This is because you can’t help thinking about what to do once all these exams are over (which in a way is a stress reliever) and how you don’t have to wake up at 5 or 6 a.m to get ready for school. 

Sources:

https://www.collegexpress.com/articles-and-advice/majors-and-academics/blog/5-ways-manage-your-stress-during-finals/

http://boulderanxietypsychologist.com/how-to-cope-with-final-exams-7-dos-and-donts-for-high-school-and-college-students/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03069889008253567


Know Your Place

Manipulation, corruption, and violence are the strings attached to all those in power and/or power-hungry. Jack, the young antagonist, is fully immersed into a calculating persona in which he desires power above all else. He constantly is treading the blurred line of manipulation with the façade that he cares for the boys like a parent. In Lord of the Flies, Jack is the embodiment of hierarchical manipulation through his constant guilt-tripping, invalidation of others, and continuous act of comparing himself to others. 

Jack guilt-trips Ralph into thinking he asks too much of him by expressing that the boys want meat. Jack plays the victim role by using his peers’ desire for meat in an attempt to create this facade that he cares about the entire group (Golding 44). However, in reality he is using this technique to avoid his correlating responsibilities that are fairly proportional to the influence he possesses. A manipulator plays the victim often to create this falsehood that the other individual is the bully (Nimmo). Consequently, by using emotional triggers Jack gains even further influence over the young boys.

Furthermore, Jack’s constant invalidation of Ralph’s wishes and superiority highlight his own desire to be on a pedestal. Invalidation is most commonly used as a self-defense mechanism instead of an offensive attack (“3 Common Tactics of Manipulative Parents”). Jack illustrates this aggression through his constant as well as very broadcasted reiterations of his prominence and sharpness as head of the hunters. His goal is to be revered rather than thought of as just another average, immature boy. Thus Jack’s motivation to continue to invalidate everyone’s ideas, especially Ralph’s, because it efficiently solidifies and asserts his dominance to the lost group of boys.

Consequently, being the umbrella over Jack’s other manipulative drawbacks, he keeps placing Ralph and him on a scale of who is more valuable to the group. Researchers have studied manipulators and stated that, “If they are successful in their manipulation, they will continue to do so until you are able to get out of the situation” (“Manipulation: 7 Signs to Look For”). Therefore, Jack continuously sneaks in snide remarks throughout the entire book in which he attempts to place Ralph on a lower pedestal than himself. He compares how his work is better and how he has more leadership qualities and keenness. All this pettiness and insecurity resulting in his endless comparisons branches from a crazed hunger for power that was catalyzed further by his appointment, granted it was a self-appointment, as leader of the hunters.

Jack, from Lord of the Flies, is the perfect example of how not to lead because he embodies the core values of destructive manipulation. He exudes these values of guilt-tripping, invalidation, and constant comparisons through his unnecessarily rude and controlling actions and words to his peers. Although one can normally argue that the line defining manipulation and obsessive care is blurred, you can tell Jack does not possess any compassion in his corrupt mind because he only grows more fervent in his mission for power, throughout the novel, which exhibits that he is not regretful and/or sorry. In conclusion, this analytical exploration depicts that those who are in power, whether conscious of it or not, are arguably fluent in manipulation.

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin.

“Manipulation: 7 Signs to Look For.” WebMD, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/signs-manipulation

Nimmo, Karen. “The 7 Deadly Sins of Psychological Manipulation.” Medium, On The Couch, 24 May 2020, https://medium.com/on-the-couch/the-7-deadly-sins-of-psychological-manipulation-cdbf61d7e879

“3 Common Tactics of Manipulative Parents.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behavior-problems-behavior-solutions/201912/3-common-tactics-manipulative-parents.


Plastic Pollution

Our ocean, the heart of the planet, the magnificent body of water that covers more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, and the reason for many essential benefits for humans. It is why people are able to live. The seaplants, water, and animals all play a role in the importance of the ocean. They produce oxygen for humans to breathe, regulate the Earth’s Climate, and are an important food source that many people love (CondorFerries). This is just a small number of reasons why we need our Ocean to live, but with the increasing measure of plastic pollution, our ocean ecosystems are able to dismantle from the bottom up. 

Each year, it is estimated that eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans. More than a million seabirds and a hundred thousand marine animals die from this plastic every year (CondorFerries). Now this does not begin to tell the effects of what plastic does. To put it all into perspective, if we keep putting plastic in our oceans, there could possibly be more plastic than fish by 2050. What many people do not know is that most of our ecosystems are invisible to us; there are many tiny creatures and if they  die, they affect everything up the food chain (Parker). Even up to the orcas, one of Earth’s biggest animals. It is a significant growing global pollution epidemic that starts with us. 

Creating awareness and educating people is the first step to ease the impacts of plastic waste. People must know the importance of our Ocean and why we need it to survive. One of the biggest plastic users is the package industry; we must try to limit single-use plastics (Z, K.). Another everyday step humans can take is to be conscious of recycling and realize how it works. Lastly, you can donate to organizations that are focused on the wellbeing of our environment and join various initiatives that help to clean our oceans (Shayle). 

Ocean plastic pollution is a prominent problem that will not go away anytime soon. It’s crazy to think about, but it starts with us and must end with us. Our oceans are the main reason why we are able to breathe and provide millions with their main source of protein. It not only harms our ocean’s ecosystems, but will ultimately affect us also. Right now the best thing we can do is realize our impact, and do what we can. It will feel like our actions do not make a difference, but they in fact do. 

Works Cited 

CondorFerries. 100+ Plastic in the Ocean Statistics & Facts (2020).www.condorferries.co.uk/plastic-in-the-ocean-statistics. 

Parker, Laura. Plastic Pollution Is a Huge Problem-and It’s Not Too Late to Fix It. 10Feb. 2021, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/plastic-pollution-huge-problem-not-too-late-to-fix-it. 

Shayle. “Top 3 Global Issues What Can You Do to Make a Difference.” Evolve Abroad, 9 Mar. 2020, evolveabroad.com/top-3-critical-global-issues-what-are -they-and-what-can-you-do-to-make-a-difference/. 

Z, Karina. Why Should You Care about Ocean Plastic Pollution?15 Apr. 2020,medium.com/age-of-awareness/why-should-you-care-about-ocean-plastic-pollution-f4987467168c. 

#RHS


Stop Police Brutality!!

Police Brutality

Dear Oakland community,

The purpose of having a police force is to preserve the safety one seeks, but what happens when that safety shield gets broken? In the case of police brutality, hate, violence and stigma against people of color is placed, inducing fear.

Based on our research, police brutality is a public health issue that should be addressed due to its damaging effects on the Black/African American Community. Police brutality is associated with poor mental health, how well people perform in various aspects of their lives like school. Not only that but it carries a stigma which makes people feel unsafe.

To begin, police brutality is one of the several ways institutions use to oppress others based on their race. The article titled “Antwon Rose’s killing by police affects blacks’ mental health across the country” by Alexander Tsai et al. was published in 2018 and addresses the impact police brutality has on people across the country and how those incidents result in the poor mental health of Black/African Americans. It emphasizes, “Instead, black Americans experiences collective psychological upheaval in the aftermath of police killings of unarmed black Americans because such incidents reflect structural racism — the totality of ways in which our society devalues black lives” (Tsai). Throughout centuries, the Black Community has been fighting for their rights and to be seen as a human. Meanwhile, the continued police brutality cases only bring the reminder that this racism and unfairness is still present through the institutions. Racism is used through the institutions in society to maintain control over certain races. That is why the majority of the people in control are of white race so they decide what rules or content to put out in society that only benefits them and helps them stay on top. Seeing that police institutions are mainly targeting people of color, puts extra stress on the community creating an unhealthy mental state.

Besides the fact that police brutality is used to oppress others and procures poor mental health. But, it also creates an impact on the way people feel, whether or not they feel safe and secure. On the article, “The Ripple Effect: Police Violence, Black Americans and Mental Health” by Melissa Riddle Chalo, who is a contributing writer. Chalo highlights, “Additionally, being exposed to police violence naturally causes feelings of disillusionment and distrust of a government institution that is supposed to exist to protect the community”(Chalo). When the institutions who have power act unjustly by doing acts of police brutality, this type of behavior is normalized and continues to proceed. This is abusing their power to get control of people just because they are law enforcement. All this violence gives rise to fear, that now black people don’t know who to seek safety in and they build distrust towards the authorities. This distrust keeps people from speaking up and going to authorities when they have problems because they feel that the authorities are not trustworthy and/or reliable.

Not only is police brutality used to oppress others and imply fear, but it has an intense negative impact on education within the black community. In the article titled, “Police Killings and Violence Are Driving Black People Crazy” by Brentin Mock who worked as the justice editor at Grist and now is a staff writer at CityLab, it discusses studies that have shown that police killings and violence affect the mental health of African American students in a negative manner. Mock writes, “Classrooms that have large numbers of students who’ve been exposed to violence end up having lower test scores than students with fewer or no students exposed to violence” (Mock). Clearly education is getting affected because of police brutality. This is significant to the Oakland community because there are lots of cases of police brutality and that is one of the reasons why our academic scores are decreasing. For that reason, police brutality should be addressed because by doing that, it can help ease our community’s achievement gaps.

Proceeding my research about police brutality, I found that a lot of police brutality cases are in the Oakland area as well as the fact that people of color are targeted much more by police brutality. That is why the community that was surveyed was mostly people that live in Oakland, and we hoped to find out many of the correlations that the participants had with police violence. We got a total of 20 responses to answer our 15 questions about their thoughts, experiences, and encounters with police. When participants were asked if they have ever had an incident where police brutality occurred near or in their neighborhood, 55% of the participants responded with yes. Moreover, something that we came across was that although not many of the participants were Black/African American, all the Black/African American participants stated that they have had a negative encounter with police before. This only shows the institutional racism and stigma that is present towards people of color.

Figure 1: This shows the amount of people that have been exposed to police brutality. Over 5 people haven’t experienced police brutality.

Have you ever had a negative encounter with police before?

Figure 2: This bar shows the participants ethnicities as well as their answer to the question on whether or not they have had a negative encounter with the police before. 100 % of the Black/African Americans answered with yes, and 100% of Asian participants responded with a no.

Figure 3: 55% of people have had an incident where police brutality occurred near or in their neighborhoods.

Based on my research I found that the Oakland community has had a plethora of negative encounters with police before. So, the steps I would take as an Upstander, Organizer, and Health Advocate to help the public issue of police brutality is to get people more informed about the effects of this issue, have people talk about how police brutality has affected them, and lastly build new laws against police brutality towards people of color.

Aim #1: Get people more informed about police brutality through social media.

The steps I would take for my first aim would be to make an instagram for police brutality, where there would be more information on the effects of police brutality and some ways to help this issue. I will make sure to post everyday and add to my story. The posts would be of actual footage of police brutality, quotes, and artwork as well. This would be effective because it would make people be more aware of this issue and help get more people to support the cause. Nowadays, people are all over social media and spend hours on their phone every day. Younger generations would be able to be informed and in the future they can be able to do something about this issue. Though some obstacles that I expect are not getting noticed, gaining followers and making sure to provide quality content for everyone of different ages.

Aim #2: Speakers

My second aim is to get people from different backgrounds and cultures to speak about how police brutality has affected them. This would be effective because it would bring more attention to the issue through the voices of others and it would provide different perspectives that one may relate to. I would also encourage other schools to do the same and find different ways to approach this situation. Many individuals relate to this and can be able to give advice to each other on how to approach certain situations. This is a great idea because it doesn’t have to be only at school but can be continued on social media, where people can share their stories as well and build rise to this important issue. The steps I would take is to first find people that would want to speak about how police brutality affects them and then organize a whole school meeting where they can share out. I would also invite others on social media to do the same, that way more people are aware of this and if they have a story to share they would be able to. I would need approval from the principals to allow this meeting to be able to happen and support from students who would want to speak out.
Some obstacles I would expect is actually finding people that would want to talk about that issue because I know that it can be a very sensitive topic.

Aim #3: Build new laws: Political Organizing

My third aim is to make new laws against police brutality and it would be effective because the issue would be addressed and actually have something done about it, like a solution in a way.
The steps I would take is to organize people and come into an agreement on the laws that would be effective to prevent or fight against police brutality. I would also have famous people talk about these to make sure people are informed. Obstacles that I would expect is to actually having the new laws be approved because it is difficult to create specific laws.
I think laws protecting residents from excessive force utilized by police should be implemented.

Institutional racism and control have been portrayed through police brutality acts, these violent acts are not just targeting anyone, they are mainly focusing on the people of color specifically the Black/African American community. This implements insecurity amongst the communities of people of color, following lack of trust, fear, and leaving a trace of poor mental health. Such negative impacts affect the daily life in all aspects, for many it is their performance in school, work, etc. We hope that you recognize the significance and the negative impacts that this issue brings, and take into consideration the suggestions we depicted as possible solutions towards the ending of police brutality.

I would like to appreciate you for following through and I genuinely hope that we can help make a change and hope you can help me bring more attention to this issue through my instagram account @justice_police_brutality. It is vastly important that we get our message out there to stop the injustice of police brutality, when we come together we are able to create a greater change. #policebrutalitymatters #makeadifference #justice

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Tsai, Alexander, et al. “Police Killings of Unarmed Blacks Affects Mental Health across the Country.” STAT, 27 June 2018, www.statnews.com/2018/06/27/when-police-officers-kill-unarmed-blacks-it-affects-blacks-mental-health-across-the-country/.

“The Ripple Effect: Police Violence, Black Americans and Mental Health.” The Canyon, 1 Oct. 2018, thecanyonmalibu.com/blog/the-ripple-effect-police-violence-black-americans-and-mental-health/.

Mock, Brentin, and CityLab. “The Spillover Effect of Police Killings and Violence on African Americans.” CityLab, 28 June 2018, www.citylab.com/equity/2018/06/police-killings-and-violence-are-driving-black-people-crazy/563654/.


The Downside to School Uniforms

There is a wide debate about whether or not school uniforms should be worn. Although they do keep their students unified, there are more reasons that point to the fact that they do more bad than good. They restrict their students’ freedom of expression. In the US Constitution, the First Amendment guarantees that all individuals have the right to express themselves freely. The choice of clothing for a student is a “crucial form of self-expression.” Therefore, students should have the freedom to dress in whatever way they feel is fit. 

Conformity is also promoted through wearing school uniforms. Schools claim to be encouraging diversity, but wearing uniforms is the opposite of that. A student at Harford County said, “The ultimate socializer to crush rebellion is conformity in appearance.” I believe this statement to be very true, and that there is no reason all students should have to wear the exact same thing.

School uniforms can also be a burden for poor families. Some families do not make enough money to afford them. This is unfair to make them pay for something that does not affect their children’s education. The clothes a student wears should have no connection to the education they are receiving. 


Asian American Activism

High School textbooks don’t have anything on Asian Americans during the civil rights era. There were a lot of Asian activists in the mid to late twentieth century. All of them are not well known amongst most youth in America. So I decided to research some examples of Asian American activists. Two of the more interesting and complex figures that I had come across are Richard Aoki and Yuri Kochiyama.

Richard  Aoki was born in 1938 in San Leandro California as a third generation Japanese American. He spent a large part of his early life in the Topaz Internment Camp in western Utah. After the end of WWII, he and his family moved to Oakland California in a predominantly black neighborhood. As a young adult he enlisted into the army, but discharged shortly after as conflict rose in Vietnam. During his college years, he met Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. Seale and Newton would go on to form the Black Panthers Party and invited Aoki to join. As the group grew in popularity, Aoki become compelled to bring the same reform to his ethnic group and others. He separated from the Black Panthers and attended college at UC Berkeley. He would help organize many racial group for Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans. These groups would combine forces to protest at UC Berkeley for the creation of an American ethnic diversity program. In 1969, UC Berkeley gave into the demands of its students and created the Ethnic Studies Department. The department is still in effect today teaching students about the culture and perspective of minorities in America, while inspiring young adults to be loud in their political activism. Aoki would eventually become a counselor at Merrit College in California. He remained active in political and social reform until his death in 2009 at the age of 70.

Yuri Kochiyama was born in San Pedro California in 1921. She was a passionate student and a gifted writer. During her time at the Jerome Arkansas Internment Camp, she encouraged Japanese women to write letters to the GI’s of the 442nd (the United States Japanese battle regiment of WWII). After the camps, she married a Japanese GI and moved to New York City. She attended ethnic group classes and participated in many protests. After being arrested in a protest in 1963, Kochiyama and her felloe protesters were taken to a courthouse to be tried and sentenced. During the court hearing, Malcolm X came by to show his support for the activists. Kochiyama met Malcolm and was invited to his office to talk about his ideas and philosophies. Kochiyama was forever changed and became good friends with Malcolm X. She lent major support for civil rights activists by hosting meetings and providing housing for some of the most important leaders of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity. She is famously known as the women who holds Malcolm X’s head, after he had been shot, in Life Magazines infamous photo. After the death of Malcolm X, Kochiyama went on to lead protests for African Americans, Puerto Ricans, women, and Asian Americans. She died at the ripe-old age of 93 in 2014.

Today, there are not many publicly known asian american activists, nor are there Asian Americans on the level of Martin Luther King, Ceasar Chavez, or even Malcolm X. In general, Asian Americans are not represented well in media. Activists like Richard Aoki and Yuri Kochiyama should be more well known in American society and Asian people should be more active in todays landscape.

Authors Note:

My name is Keaton Yoshinaga. I am an 18 year old Japanese American from Salt Lake City, Utah. My grandmother was an internee at the Colorado Internment camp, while my grandfather was an internee at the Arkansas Camp and served in the 442nd. Growing up, I had very few asian hero’s to look up to. When it came to Civil Rights Activists, I mainly looked up to Martin Luther King. The reason why I chose more radical activists, was because I thought that it would show a very interesting and unique look at Asian American activism. There were many Asian leaders who were supporters of Martin Luther King and believed in peaceful protests (I will leave it to the reader to research them), but I thought that it was be more fascinating to shed light on the radical asian movement. I do not believe in radical protest or reform; I was simply interested in learning more about the Asian Civil Rights Movement. I hope that asian american youths (Yonsei and Gosei) across the country will take a greater role in standing up for their culture and community. I will be doing the same.


Breaking Tradition on Inauguration Day at the National Mall

The National Mall in Washington, D.C. is not just the location of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as my previous article talked about. Designed in 1791 by L’Enfant by the orders of George Washington, the National Mall “represents the American character and our democratic experience to the world more than almost any other image of our country” (pbs.org). The National Mall lays in the heart of the District of Columbia and symbolizes the country’s journey to freedom and all it stands for today. Normally on Inauguration Day, thousands upon thousands of people gather here to watch the new president sworn in surrounded by everything America represents. However, this year broke the centuries old tradition due to the pandemic and security reasons. 

On January 20, Americans had to watch the streamed version of this historical day. Because of the recent riot at the capital, instead of supporting the new president in person, individuals had to stay home, and the National Mall was closed to the public due to “the safety and security within the area of the National Special Security Event designated by the Department of Homeland Security for the 59th presidential inauguration” (CNN.com). Instead of the normal traditions, a “Field of Flags” filled with over 200,000 flags was put in place to represent the absent attendees of the inauguration. To make up for the closed down National Mall, “The Presidential Inaugural Committee lit the Field of Flags with 56 pillars of light on Monday night, representing each of the 50 states and U.S. territories. The pillars lit up for 46 seconds — for the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden” (CNN.com). Amidst a pandemic and security threats, America still sought to create a solution to an inauguration day that would go down in history. In front of these flags, Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, declared to create a better future for America, united as one in the values of freedom, justice, and equality.

Works Cited

“History of the National Mall.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 18 Sept. 2020, www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth/history/national-mall-pierre-lenfant/. Accessed 21 January 2021.

Cole, Devan. “An Inauguration like No Other: Notable Moments of a Momentous Day.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 Jan. 2021, www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/biden-inauguration-notable-moments/index.html. Accessed 21 January 2021. 


Empathy in America

In the past year, America has experienced great suffering in regards to racial injustice, political polarization and the pandemic. These issues, regardless of their extreme prevalence, are only a small number of the issues that American’s have had to face this year. Each of these issues, affecting people of all age groups, has forced our country to once again face the never-ending question of whether or not our country lacks empathy. Empathy, the ability to understand and share how another person is feeling, is often considered to be a key factor in building and maintaining a properly functioning society. However, many have felt as though several Americans, whether it is citizens or leaders, lack any form of empathy. It is this question alone that has split our nation into two completely separate extremes. 

According to Judith Hall in her opinion piece in Scientific American, “You don’t need to be a scientist to see that America is experiencing an empathy deficit.” Whether it is American citizens and leaders who refuse to wear masks or those who continue to deny the racial injustice that is present in our country, it is evident that America needs to reclaim its sense of empathy. One controversy in which this lack of empathy is prevalent is the controversy of whether or not one must wear a mask. Because this action is solely for the benefit and consideration of others, choosing not to do this is selfish and shows a lack of understanding of how others feel. If our country was empathetic, there would not be such a large group that refuses to partake in this safe action. Another time where Americans have lacked empathy is during the protests of racial injustice. A study describes how one third of our country still does not believe that there is any form of racial injustice still present in America (scientificamerican.com). This statement on its own reveals that we lack empathy because several of our people refuse to acknowledge the perspectives of those who are suffering with issues that we are unable to imagine. 

Empathy, often defined as, “the ability to share and understand the feelings of another (Oxford Dictionary), is vital to the success of a country and its people. A lack of this important trait leads to division, disagreement, and an extreme lack of unity amongst our people and leaders. Although many Americans do show empathy, we must stop giving those who lack it a leadership platform or any advantage in our society. In the following years, we must work to avoid extreme political polarization, remedy our country’s empathy and, with that, reunite as a unified, dignified country. 

Sources Cited

Hall, Judith. “The U.S. Has an Empathy Deficit.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 17 Sept. 2020, www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-us-has-an-empathy-deficit/.

Oxford English Dictionary: Empathy https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/empathy


How do we hold up these freedoms?

American values, cultures, and creed can be interpreted in many different ways by very different people. This is what makes America, America. One thing that is very prevalent in American culture, is the freedoms we have, this is one of the most defining things about America. It can be seen in defining American documents like The Bill of Rights. These freedoms have been challenged by the current problems we face. Gun control is at the forefront of these problems. How do we embrace our freedoms and liberties, but also protect the safety of our country?

To some people the right to have a gun and protect yourself Is very interwoven with being an American, some may even say owning a gun is as essential to our idea of an American as the freedom of speech, of the press, and of religion. Rachel Segal compares gun owners’ beliefs on guns to their reluctance to new and harsher gun laws in her article  “Which Gun Policies Could prevent Mass Shootings”. She says “there’s the risk that certain proposed background checks may require government databases to keep gun owners’ personal information indefinitely. This could lead to future database searches unrelated to the information when it was first collected”(Segal) this could invade on gun owner’s privacy in a way that isn’t fair. Lauren Frias talks about possible answers to this issue in her article “Which Gun Control Policies Could Prevent Mass Shootings, According to a Gun Violence Expert”. She believes universal background checks can sometimes be unreliable. She says. “…that there are several incremental holes in the implementing the policy that could still allow potential mass shooters to obtain a weapon, according to a VPRP study” (Frias).

Gun control is a very current issue that has been in the news very often. Later in her article, Segal talks about gun control and says “…it will take more than universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders to prevent future mass shootings”( Segal ) she implies that this issue probably has to be solved by changing our views on some of our rights. We have the ability to protest and bring about change to our government, but how do we do this while also upholding our core American values? In Rachel Segal’s article, “Is There a Need for Tighter Gun Control?” she explains that “Gun control proponents aren’t interested in taking away citizens’ guns. They cheer the Second Amendment”(Segals) she argues that people who advocate for gun control aren’t trying to take away people’s rights they just want to interpret the amendment in a way that is relevant to the time and keep guns out of the hands of people who want to cause destruction. Segals insists “ Research asserts that federal checks could cut gun deaths by an estimated 90%

This recent problem has brought us to the question of how do we uphold our American rights but also ensure the safety and prosperity of our country. This question can be answered by many different people and they can have contrasting ideas about it. This brings me back to my main point on what an American truly is. Americans aren’t just one idea or philosophy, we are the combination of all different philosophies and points of view. 

Works cited

Frias, Lauren. “Which Gun Control Policies Could Prevent Mass Shootings, According to a Gun Violence Expert.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 14 Sept. 2019, www.businessinsider.com/gun-violence-expert-gun-control-policies-could-prevent-mass-shootings-2019-9.

Segal, Rachel. “Is There a Need for Tighter Gun Control?” Theperspective.com/, 12 Aug. 2019, www.theperspective.com/debates/living/perspective-on-gun-control/.


Cults

Throughout history cults have controlled a group in order to advance a governing body’s agenda by suppressing people’s freedom of speech, thought, and intellectual property. However, the title, cult, is just an umbrella term for many different kinds and the different actions they take to have their followers continue believing. In a New York Times article written by Glenn Collins, there is a quote that states, “Many cult groups have developed basically similar and quite compelling conversion techniques for exploiting the vulnerabilities of potential converts” says John G. Clark Jr. from Harvard University Medical School (Collins). Clark’s words demonstrate how cults that are completely different, all can have similar ways of drawing people in through their persuasive words and promises.

The leader of anything is always the one everyone listens to. In this case, cult leaders are the one that their followers listen to and whatever they say must be true, right? The members are desensitized to what is or was normal due to the leaders being master manipulators. Margaret T. Singer from the University of California Berkeley says, “The techniques of many cults fall under the general rubric of brainwashing” (Collins) highlighting how the leaders can manipulate and twist the way that new followers think in order to draw them into, what most would say, is a trap.

This trap can be seen in history when it comes to the political party of the Nazis. One of the most feared and destructive leaders in history. They brainwashed thousands of people to think that a religion was the cause of Germany’s downfall. However it wasn’t just those of Jewish faith, but many others. This belief led to the torture and loss of innocent lives. The Nazi party committed many crimes throughout their control, but one that is well known was their experimentation of twins. The twin experiments that took place were unnecessary, yet physician Josef Mengele was fascinated.

Mengele was a eugenicist, someone who advocates for improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. In an article by Erin Blakemore it states, “They believed that selective breeding could be used to encourage acceptable behavior and wipe out undesirable traits” (Blakemore) proving that the Nazis wanted to find a way to make a society of people with traits just like them.

The Nazis, cults, and even the novel, Brave New World, possess leaders who want their followers to believe that what they think is right. The followers have no way of saying whether or not it is just because they are just as brainwashed as their leader.

Works Cited

Blakemore, Erin. “Why the Nazis Were Obsessed with Twins.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 8 July 2019, https://www.history.com/news/nazi-twin-experiments-mengele-eugenics.

Collins, Glenn. “The Psychology of the Cult Experience.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Mar. 1982, https://www.nytimes.com/1982/03/15/style/the-psychology-of-the-cult-experience.html.


Why Gun Control Won’t Work

Gun control is in the news a lot these days. While murder rates have declined in recent years, mass shootings have been on the rise. The number of people killed for shooting has risen steeply. In 2016, 49 people were killed in the Orlando nightclub shooting. 58 people were killed in the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. Even though mass shootings are a tiny fraction of all homicides, they drive much of the debate on gun control. Unfortunately, most of the proposals will do little to prevent deaths from gun violence. 

One common proposal by gun control advocates is improved background checks. Currently, private sales of guns are not subject to background checks. This is the so-called Gun Show loophole. So there is considerable public support for Universal background checks, it is unlikely to reduce gun violence. According to the National Review, “The Florida shooter had no criminal record and had not been judged mentally incompetent, and so he was able to purchase rifles and other long guns legally, passing a background check in the process.” Criminologist David Jacobson points out background checks won’t prevent criminals from obtaining guns. According to Jacobson, “surveys of inmates show overwhelmingly that criminals obtain guns on the black market or the grey market.”

There is widespread support for keeping guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous or mentally ill. Omar Mateen, the Orlando nightclub shooter, Had a long history of threatening behavior. In high school he was suspended multiple times for a total of 48 days. The FBI had investigated Marteen twice, but decided he didn’t pose a threat. Under current laws, people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others can be taken into custody. But the bar is high, and And mental health agencies Are often reluctant to intervene. One could argue that moral laws won’t help if we aren’t willing to enforce the laws we already have.

Sources:

Davidson, Jacob. “A Criminologist’s Case Against Gun Control.” Time, Time, 1 Dec. 2015, https://time.com/4100408/a-criminologists-case-against-gun-control/.Editors, The. “Gun Control Isn’t the Answer.” National Review,

National Review, 17 Feb. 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/parkland-florida-school-shooting-gun-control-not-answer/.


Empathy in Action

A single story can impact how empathy plays a role in identity in many ways. Empathy can play a big role in a person’s identity because it allows individuals to put themselves in another’s shoes and experience their situation. Forbes.com states, “Empathy in action is understanding a colleague’s struggles and offering to help”. Doing this can strengthen both of the individual’s relationships by understanding the other person’s point of view. According to Forbes, “We all crave connectedness and it seems our brains are hard-wired to mirror other’s experiences”. Whenever it is difficult to understand another person’s reactions, decisions, or behavior, it is important to use empathy to make the situation more transcending. 

A single story is crucially important to people who are only judged on certain interactions in life. It is important to realize that people can not be labeled and looked at from a single perspective. This can create an unhealthy stereotype of the individual that may not be accurate. Facinghistory.com has made known that, “Adichi’s speech provides a framework for discussing stereotypes, prejuduce, and discrimination with your students.” The idea of stereotypes are dangerously effective, as they can negatively impact an individual’s life. As empathy can be a good thing, it is important to realize that stereotyping is something to shy away from. 

Work Cited

Brower, Tracy. “Think Empathy Is A Soft Skill? Think Again. Why You Need Empathy For Success.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 June 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/tracybrower/2019/06/16/think-empathy-is-a-soft-skill-think-again-why-you-need-empathy-for-success/

“Stereotypes and ‘Single Stories.’” Facing History and Ourselves, www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-holocaust-and-human-behavior/stereotypes-and-single-stories.


Capitalism vs Democratic Socialism.

A common idea that is spread among the youth of America is a move from a capitalist economy to a socialist economy. This idea comes from the experienced failure of capitalism in the American society that younger generations have been witnesses of. From high rates of unemployment, a minimum wage versus a livable wage, and the crash of 2007 there are a plethora of reasons the youth would want to turn away from the capitalist economy we live in. But would a move to socialism actually benefit the American people and economic society? Is there any substance to this so-called democratic socialism that democratic candidates are encouraging. 

Capitalism arose during the industrial revolution and help America flourish. Capitalism now is the economic practice in the united states. The capitalist is the Ceo business owners of different business tycoons, with the workers being under them.  The main issue that is associated with capitalism is the capitalist treatment of the worker. The capitalist own their output of production, they control their output of production and the products flow into the economy. They own everything they do and the relationship between the capitalist and the worker are run on and thrive on conflict, mainly about working wages and working conditions. The relationship takes a toll on the workers the product production and the product itself. The workers feel underpaid, overworked, and unfairly represented. Often times the capitalist makes, on average, 271 times that of their worker. Worker unions are often prohibited or limited in their actions to actually improve upon the workplace. 

A change to a socialist economy is the proposed solution to the drawbacks in a capitalist market. However, the socialist economy being presented is different than that of the soviet union style socialism with its extensive government control and punitive tax on the very rich. The new socialism is described as democratic socialism. This new form of socialism will establish a second bill of rights, bringing with it the right to a good job with a liveable wage, high-quality health care, education as high as needed, affordable housing, a secure retirement, and clean environment. These changes would be incredible for the growing economy and middle class. Establishing the right to a quality job with a livable pay wage would lessen the tension between worker and employer. With more government watch within the economy, unions would be easier to form and give the workers the tool they need to feel secure and respected within a workplace.  

The capitalist market we are currently under makes it hard for a respected relationship between the Capitalist and the worker to form. The workers are often underpaid, unprotected, and overworked, with the possibility to start and maintain a union being slim with the added doubt of its ability to make a tangible change. A democratic socialist economy would implement liveable wages and better work environment for the workers. The distribution of wealth would be level and the right to a good job and education would be promoted. 

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/020915/what-are-differences-between-capitalism-and-socialism.asp

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/why-socialism-is-back

https://nowcomment.com/documents/162227


Childhood Hunger in America (Part 1)

Childhood hunger is a problem that is often overlooked in the U.S. even though millions of children experience it in our country. Regarding this issue, three sources stand out to me the most. 

“Ending Childhood Hunger in America”

The first source I looked at regarding childhood hunger was an essay titled, “Ending Childhood Hunger in America” by Mariana Chilton and Jenny Rabinowich. The essay starts by noting that over 17 million children experience hunger and food insecurity in the U.S. The problem roots from the fact that many Americans are unaware of the hunger problem that exists in this country, and the unwillingness of government officials to take action to solve nationwide hunger. Across the world, it is recognized that food insecurity is a human rights violation. From 1995 to the present day, the number of people per year that have increased food insecurity has dramatically increased from 35 million people to 49 million people per year, or 14.6% of the population. Not only is food insecurity a painful suffering for young children, it also has been shown to have negative effects on academic performance. Students who regularly experience food insecurity often have lower grades in reading and math, have a harder time paying attention, and are prone to suffer from suicidal thoughts and depression. What is striking is that food insecurity is not inevitable. The U.S. is producing more than enough food to feed all of its citizens, but it looks over many people who go hungry every day. The author also outlines a four-step plan for resolving this issue in the United States as follows:

Step 1: Understand and recognize the types of people more susceptible to food insecurity 

Step 2: Government agencies must recognize the reasons that create hunger in the U.S. and create policies to remedy food insecurity

Step 3: Raise awareness to others in the U.S. about the problem of hunger as many are unaware

Step 4: The public must participate to solve the problem of food insecurity

Lastly, the author concludes by adding that to carry out this plan, it requires the participation of the country to solve childhood hunger, not just a group of people.

“Report Reveals The Reality Of Childhood Hunger In The U.S.”

The second source, “Report Reveals The Reality Of Childhood Hunger In The U.S,” is an article by the Huffington Post that shares much of the statistics behind childhood hunger in America. The author reflects upon a report conducted by the nonprofit, Share Our Strength, titled, “No Kid Hungry” regarding the effect food insecurity has on academic performance. The study included 500 parents, their children aged from 13-18, and 325 teachers. The author notes that 1 in every 6 kids in the U.S., and 62% of low-income parents worry about running out of food. Additionally, 23% of low income families have been forced to reduce the size of their children’s meals due to financial insecurity, and 34% of the families cannot afford nutritious meals for their children. 59% of these children have come to school hungry, 46% note that being hungry negatively affects their school performance, and 12% say that they are too hungry to be able to do homework at night. Many teachers actually use their own money to cover the cost of food for students who do not eat at home, which amounts to $300 each year. The author states that hunger afflicts so many communities in America, yet it is a very solvable problem if federal programs that regard school meals would step in. The problem is that with Donald Trump’s proposed budget, it would cut costs of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Lastly, the author concludes by urging readers of the article to share the No Kid Hungry report with others in order to spread awareness to help solve this issue of childhood hunger in the U.S.

“Why does America have so many hungry kids?”

The last source, an article from CNN titled “Why does America have so many hungry kids?” starts with a story. One day as a woman named Elle Dingman was volunteering in Missouri distributing food to those in need, a two-year-old boy walked up to her and held her hand. This story serves as a segue into the fact that this boy, Ryder, as well as many other children in the U.S. go hungry every day and an estimated 13.1 million households with children suffer from food insecurity. In the article, the parents of Ryder were interviewed and they noted that they have been living in a small hotel room for some time now. The family struggles financially with the parents working more than one job. In the U.S., the south has the highest rates of food insecurity with an average of 17% of households that experience food insecurity. Most households that experience food insecurity have children, but some schools have made efforts to help these children in need. Blessings in a Backpack is a program that provides school children with a backpack full of food to help them over the weekends. However, once school is over, programs such as these disappear and there must be a consistent effort to solve food insecurity year-round. Volunteer work helps supply families in need with food, but the author believes this effort should expand nationwide.

Chilton, Mariana, and Jenny Rabinowich. “Ending Childhood Hunger in America.” Human Rights, vol. 37, no. 1, Winter 2010, pp. 15–16. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=48994184&site=ehost-live.

Bologna, Caroline. “Report Reveals The Reality Of Childhood Hunger In The U.S.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 4 Aug. 2017, www.huffpost.com/entry/report-reveals-the-reality-of-childhood-hunger-in-the-us_n_59836e88e4b08b75dcc5d0bb?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAEvB0rY4KF0baMziZn50sxV65uCg6xY608ziDJDqFmKRIk96IgWTPV17uEwkBjvPGx6-2tgn7oJmioS1-QKg_eChjwQ_T0DRZzZtzv8Z56TljKepTzaxR9kbZ3bVwdz-Rxzx_Aqy9a-c9nwoVkcbItQ58toUY6j_NVHy43naEVEB.

Patterson, Thom. “Why Does America Have so Many Hungry Kids?” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 June 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/health/champions-for-change-child-hunger-in-america/index.html.


What’s this about a 5-minute test? Investigating Sources

I’ve been learning more about Mike Caulfield’s SIFTing moves from his site “Sifting Through the Pandemic” (https://infodemic.blog), and I’m applying his first two techniques “Let’s Hover!” and “Just Add Wikipedia” to two sources I found to answer my question about the new test.

I want to learn more about this new test that seems to give you results while you wait. This feels important because finding out who has the virus seems to be an important next step in pinpointing our response to this thing. We need to isolate people who have the Coronavirus from people who haven’t been affected yet.

Source One: Jan Heemstra on Twitter

I went to Twitter and searched for “5-minute tests.” This is the first Tweet that came up.

I hovered over Jen Heemstra’s profile and was immediately convinced that she was a source that I could trust. She is an Associate Professor at Emory University in the Chemistry Department. Following the links to @EmoryChem and @HeemstraLab confirms my impression that she is somebody who might know something from her own research about testing for the Coronavirus.

Even though there isn’t a check verifying that Jen Heemstra is who she says she is, the fact that she has almost 50K followers and that the image on her Wikipedia and her Twitter profile image match leave little question. (Oh, right, did I mention that she has a Wikipedia page that confirms all of this?)

Let’s add Wikipedia. Here’s the summary paragraph of Jen Heemstra’s Wikipedia page. I first scanned the Wikipedia page for Emory University where I didn’t find much about Professor Heemstra, then I found her page. This is the first, summary paragraph:

Jennifer Margaret Heemstra (née Cary) is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Emory University. Her research makes use of the ability of nucleic acids to self-assemble and recognize other molecules. Alongside her research, Heemstra is a science communicator and writes a regular column for Chemical & Engineering News.

Wikipedia contributors. “Jennifer M. Heemstra.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Jan. 2020. Web. 29 Mar. 2020.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jennifer_M._Heemstra&oldid=937080004

This left me wondering what her research into “the ability of nucleic acids to self-assemble and recognize other molecules” has to do with a test for the Coronavirus. I’m not sure at this point, but it’s enough to make me think that she has the expertise needed to evaluate the 5-minute test.

After hovering over her profile and reading the first part of her Wikipedia page, I’m convinced that I can trust Jen Heemstra’s claims about the new Coronavirus test. Further, I feel encouraged to see that she is also described as a “science communicator and writes a regular column” for a peer-reviewed journal. I can’t wait to learn from her.

Source Two: Emily Mullin on Medium

Next, I turned to Medium, and I searched for “5 min test” again, but I didn’t find anything about the Coronavirus. Then I searched more directly for anything about the “Coronavirus test” and Emily Mullin’s post was the first to appear.

When I clicked on her profile link, I learned that she is a writer “covering the intersection of biology and technology.” I thought this was certainly the area of expertise we need to assess these new 5-minute tests, but I also wondered how much of her information would be first-hand the way it is with a scientist. Almost 5,000 followers on Medium is important to note as well.

When I clicked through to her twitter profile, I found that she is a “science writing instructor” at Johns Hopkins University. This is an impressive credential, but as a writer and teacher, not as a scientist. So this gives me some pause about how much to rely on the information she relays. On twitter, she has almost 11,000 followers, so there are a lot of people who find her trustworthy, but if I’m being extra careful these days — and I am — I’ll want to verify anything she says with more direct scientific writing. Is that fair? What’s there to lose from checking things like this?

Oh, yeah, we can be pretty certain that Emily Mullin is who she says she is with the checkmark certifying here profile. And I did look for her and for OneZero on Wikipedia without much success. I could look longer, but I think this is supposed to be a quick check, and I’m not saying that I don’t trust Emily Mullin, just that I’ll need more to back up her claims than I need from a scientist.

Ready to Read

Okay. Let’s read.

With confidence, I’m going to this thread under Jan Heemestra’s tweet: https://twitter.com/jenheemstra/status/1244043096301731845

Then, with more caution, I’ll read Emily Mullin’s post on Medium: https://coronavirus.medium.com/a-5-minute-coronavirus-test-7c82ad2e8f2


Can Women even afford to choose?

A lot of embryos are killed in the process of IVF, however abortion is still more. IVF is often a procedure only available to those of high class and money. The procedure is also not included in the pro-life stance. Abortion is a procedure that makes people question the ability of a woman to make her own decisions, but the IVF procedure doesn’t have that same feeling. The Anti-abortion movement is focused solely on abortion, not IVF procedures. The IVF procedure is definitely an aspect of pro-life stances but some people cannot even afford to get an abortion, not mentioning the cost of an IVF procedure.

pro choice  photo

Photo by kateausburn

Abortion isn’t always a viable option for those who cannot afford it. It is not available for those that are low-income to obtain an abortion. Women no longer have rights but have privileges with the money. The Hyde Amendment doesn’t allow for the federal government to pay for abortions unless she can prove that her pregnancy resulted from rape, resulted from incest, or would endanger her life. The opposition is that taxpayers that oppose abortion shouldn’t have to pay for abortions but it ignores the taxpayers who do need abortions. Abortions are a right and to have equality for all, women must have a choice to get an abortion.

prolife  photo

Photo by victorpanlilio

Although IVF procedures are included in pro-life stances, only rich people can afford such luxuries. If a person is unable to afford an abortion, then why should they be able to afford the cost of raising a child. Both procedures cost lives and money. It is important to not only consider the prospective child, but also the woman who has to go through a pregnancy. Both procedures should be more accessible to everyone to promote a woman’s right to choose. If everyone had access than women could actually choose what to do with their own bodies.

Links:

Paragraph 1: https://newrepublic.com/article/150545/glaring-exception-coming-battle-reproductive-rights

Paragraph 2: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/03/yes-i-do-want-your-taxes-to-pay-for-abortion

Citations:

Donegan, Moira. “Yes, I do want your taxes to pay for abortion.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2019. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/LEGREW783977919/OVIC?u=onlinelibrary&sid=OVIC&xid=c46fc918. Accessed 22 Oct. 2019. Originally published as “Yes, I do want your taxes to pay for abortion,” The Guardian, 3 Dec. 2018.

Scornavacchi, Emma. “The Glaring Exception in the Coming Battle Over Reproductive Rights.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2019. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/USFJXC182679299/OVIC?u=onlinelibrary&sid=OVIC&xid=8811de9f. Accessed 22 Oct. 2019. Originally published as “The Glaring Exception in the Coming Battle Over Reproductive Rights,” The New Republic, 8 Aug. 2018.


Immigration and Remembrance (Streamed live on Jun 8, 2016)

Youth from across the country, including a group who are currently visiting the border, will be talking about immigration.
How has immigration impacted your life?
Participate by sharing YOUR STORY and talking about how immigration is affecting our country.
What reform is needed, and what can you do to work for reform??
Watch this video https://youtu.be/bDJkqBioTFs made by +Karen Fasimpaur , and plan to join us
http://edtechtalk.com/ttt on Wednesday, June 8 at 9PM Eastern/8PM Central/7PM Mountain/6PM Pacific.?
For more information, visit https://crossplanting.wordpress.com/?

Chat from June 8, 2016

20:46Karen Fasimpaur: If any of you are joining the hangout, click the link above.
20:46Karen Fasimpaur: Lucy, you have the hangout link?
20:47Joe Rodriguez: I’ll be listening in from here.
20:47Karen Fasimpaur: Cool
20:50Karen Fasimpaur: Joe, the students from LA are on. Yay!
20:50Karen Fasimpaur: Lauren, Sally and Arin, can you click to get in the hangout?
20:51Joe Rodriguez: I saw documentary on Pilgrimage for redemption. It was awesome!
20:51Joe Rodriguez: Great to hear Karen..
20:52Karen Fasimpaur: Thanks, Joe. It was a lovely project to work on. We went out on another cross planting this morning. So sad.
20:53Joe Rodriguez: Wow.. I do have a family story.. 🙁
20:53Karen Fasimpaur: it’s a heart breaking situation
20:53Joe Rodriguez: My dad’s younger brother got lost on the border in 71..
20:54Joe Rodriguez: at 18 years..we never heard from him again
20:54Karen Fasimpaur: tragic
20:55Karen Fasimpaur: Joe, if you want to join hte hangout, there’s room
20:56Joe Rodriguez: the youtube stream starts automatically right?
20:56Joe Rodriguez: I’m ok here for now.. willing to jump in later
20:57Karen Fasimpaur: cool
20:59Peggy George: Hi everyone!
20:59Karen Fasimpaur: Hi Peggy
20:59Karen Fasimpaur: Ann, are you in the hangout? Can you hear us?
21:00Joe Rodriguez: Hey Peggy
21:00Ada Okun (watching): Hi, I’m excited to listen in.
21:00Karen Fasimpaur: Hi, Ada. Great see y ou.
21:00Peggy George: not seeing the stream here yet. have you started it?
21:00Joe Rodriguez: don’t think so..
21:00Karen Fasimpaur: not sure
21:00Peggy George: Hi Joe! Great to see you again!!
21:01Joe Rodriguez: Awesome show on Saturday..
21:01Chris Sloan: I liked your video Karen
21:01Karen Fasimpaur: Stream is going live now
21:01Peggy George: seeing it now 🙂 thanks!
21:01Karen Fasimpaur: Thanks, chris. It was a labor of love.
21:01Joe Rodriguez: oh yeah.. can hear it now
21:01Karen Fasimpaur: thx peggy
21:01Joe Rodriguez: cool… a packed hangout
21:03Peggy George: wonder if Lucy has a fan nearby?
21:04Joe Rodriguez: a very complex issue.
21:04Karen Fasimpaur: I’ll mute her when she’s done talking
21:04Peggy George: ok thanks 🙂
21:05Joe Rodriguez: My granpa and brother crossed the border in 1943… to work unloading railroad trucks in Pittsburg
21:05Joe Rodriguez: grandpa
21:06Peggy George: that’s what I thought! a fan 🙂 I’m sure it’s hot there!
21:06Chris Sloan: You called it Peggy. You’re such a pro
21:07Joe Rodriguez: I remember webcasting in 100 degrees plus with no fan 😀
21:07Allison Fay: I’m from Wilkes University too!
21:07Joe Rodriguez: a great assignment
21:07Peggy George: I have turned my fan off on any occasions too and I know how hot it can be!
21:08unnamed: also from Wilkes University!
21:08Peggy George: Karen I think Lucy’s mic is still active or her video wouldn’t keep popping up.
21:09Gail Desler: 8 minutes in – and this is already such a powerful ttt session.
21:09Chris Sloan: Hi Gail
21:10Peggy George: Hi Gail! So glad you could join us! I agree! Awesome group of people tonight!
21:10Joe Rodriguez: Hi Gail.. great to see you here
21:10Karen Fasimpaur: Hi, Allison. Great to see you all here
21:11Joe Rodriguez: Wow.. such a powerful experience.
21:11Karen Fasimpaur: It is super hot here right now
21:12Gail Desler: Thanks Chris, Peggy & Joe. Such an important topic for educators.
21:14Joe Rodriguez: Experience with a powerful way to get educated… to walk in the shoes of others
21:15Peggy George: so true Joe!
21:16Joe Rodriguez: Immigration reform is very complex.. it is more than pure economics.. there are so many social issues involved also
21:17Joe Rodriguez: What about being a Dreamer? Growing up American and realizing you don’t have access to the American Dream
21:19Gail Desler: In response to current climate, I’m trying to document the coming to America experience: http://blogs.egusd.net/tor/student-gallery/immigrant-refugee-projects/
21:20Joe Rodriguez: Looking forward to reading it @Gail
21:23Karen Fasimpaur: HI, Gail. Ditto
21:24Joe Rodriguez: There are far more economic gains from migrants than any kind of cost to society
21:24Peggy George: these students are so articulate! making great points!
21:24Gail Desler: Would like to add this ttt session to the Time of Remembrance On Coming to America resources
21:26Chris Sloan: The Time of Remembrance page looks really interesting Gail.
21:27Joe Rodriguez: Labels can cause a lot of harm.
21:27Allison Fay: We as humans tend to need to put people in certain boxes.
21:27Joe Rodriguez: I like migrants.. it transcends borders
21:28Gail Desler: It’s in response to some very real concerns about challenges refugees/immigrants in the Sacramento area are facing.
21:28Joe Rodriguez: yep the distinction is importan
21:28Joe Rodriguez: the move west.. the okies coming to California as migrants 🙂
21:29Karen Fasimpaur: “Migrants’ is a common term social justice organizers here use, but I rarely hear it from anyone else
21:30Karen Fasimpaur: Its a lot safer here than in LA where I used to live 🙂
21:31Karen Fasimpaur: Link from what Moira was talking about – see esp last few paragraphs
21:31Joe Rodriguez: I had not really come across it in this context
21:31Allison Fay: I’ve recall reading that biologically we tend to judge people/label immediately as it calls back to a time where we needed to make snap judgements in order to survive. Being able to see the complexity behind people and issues speaks to our evolution. Some are more evolved than others…
21:32Karen Fasimpaur: Similar issues with other labels
21:32Joe Rodriguez: Great point Fay, sometimes we are segregated in our cities and it’s hard to understand other’s point of view
21:33Karen Fasimpaur: that sounds familiar…I never really learned to navigate that very well
21:39Joe Rodriguez: I agree Paul Immigration is part of a larger converstation around social issues.
21:42Karen Fasimpaur: There’s another big federal ICE crackdown targeting families. I just don’t understand that
21:43Joe Rodriguez: I remember growing up in the 70’s in an immigrant family in this situation. There is a lot of fear and stress..
21:45Joe Rodriguez: Easier said than done…
21:47Joe Rodriguez: Interesting term.. your status
21:47Joe Rodriguez: out of status..
21:48Sister Lucy: Veronica said she is joining–I invited her–from Milwaukee
21:49Sister Lucy: please invite her to speak when appropriate
21:49Karen Fasimpaur: Here’s the link to the Kalamazoo Promisehttps://www.kalamazoopromise.com/10things/10ThingsYouNeedtoKnow
21:49Karen Fasimpaur: “The Kalamazoo Promise is for ALL students of the Kalamazoo Public Schools”
21:49Karen Fasimpaur: Will do Lucy
21:49Gail Desler: #Stop ??? didn’t catch the whole term
21:50Karen Fasimpaur: Yulin
21:51Gail Desler: Thanks, Karen.
21:51Karen Fasimpaur: The militarization of the border here is frightening to me
21:52Karen Fasimpaur: empathy
21:53Peggy George: that daily fear is so real! I am familiar with it first hand in my own family. For an adult just driving down the freeway causes fear that they may get stopped for some reason and get deported as a result.
21:54Karen Fasimpaur: Yes, and there’s been a lot of issues lately with AZ law enforcement trampling rights on this issue (esp re: traffic stops)
21:55Karen Fasimpaur: “Hispanic”…another label
21:55Karen Fasimpaur: hard to avoid but also damaging
21:56Chris Sloan: Kudos to Notre Dame High School for providing such a powerful education experience for the students
21:57Joe Rodriguez: @Chris I agree learning by doing
21:57Gail Desler: Agreeing with @Chris. Would love to see a write up on the Notre Dame program.
21:57Karen Fasimpaur: And also kudos to the group here on the border that host so many groups like this. It’s powerful and meaningful work
21:58Joe Rodriguez: We need to have more of these classes available to youth.. love the idea of social justice curriculum.
21:58Peggy George: telling their stories is not as easy as it sounds because their parents have warned them that it may cause problems for them which could lead to deportation
21:59Joe Rodriguez: The Zinn Project seems to be doing a lot
21:59Chris Sloan: And if you haven’t yet, check out Karen’s video https://youtu.be/bDJkqBioTFs?list=UU_cNeUyGme-SZ1_RtnD9GOQ
21:59Joe Rodriguez: http://zinnedproject.org/
22:00Gail Desler: “Finding ways for people to share their immigration stories, so important” – Agreeing with Paul.
22:00Peggy George: thanks to all of the students and guests in the Hangout for sharing your experiences and advice! Outstanding conversation!!
22:00Gail Desler: Yes, an outstanding conversation!
22:00Karen Fasimpaur: From Moira “People need to understand each other. Misunderstanding is always one of the main reasons of discrimination or something like what I said”
22:01Karen Fasimpaur: Thanks to everyone in hte chat room for being a part of the conversation here.
22:02Joe Rodriguez: Thanks folks it’s been thoughful conversation
22:05Karen Fasimpaur: Joe, thanks for helping get the LA students here with us!
22:05Karen Fasimpaur: From Moira: “Be sure to check out my page, The Movie Destroyer We have new stuffs on movies maybe every month My sci-fi book, Miracle Line, is possibly that will publish next year. If anyone is interested, please search for Miracle Line on Facebook”
22:05Joe Rodriguez: I am glad Andres was able to bring his students into the conversation
22:07Peggy George: Karen, that was a great point about how the border patrol policies are forcing them to cross in very unsafe places leading to more deaths in the desert. I hadn’t been aware of that.
22:08Gail Desler: Night all. Great conversation!
22:09Joe Rodriguez: good night all…

I remembered this when I read quotes from Simone Biles about why she stepped back from competing at the Olympics to protect her mental health. I think it's a great example of also modeling when to NOT persist. Link in full comment.

I think it’s really important that high-profile athletes are modeling what it looks like to know one’s own limits and how to advocate for their own physical and mental health. The price for when people don’t feel like they can do that is often too high. As educators, I think we also have a responsibility to help our students develop this ability – and to support them in those choices.

“I was like: I think the girls need to do the rest of the competition without me. They were like ‘I promise you’ll be fine, we watched you warm-up’. But I said ‘no, I know I am going to be fine but I can’t risk a medal for the team and I need to call it…

You usually don’t hear me say things like that because I usually persevere and push through things, but not to cost the team a medal. So they were like: OK, if Simone says this, we need to take it pretty serious. I had the correct people around me to do that.”

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/27/sport/simone-biles-tokyo-2020-olympics/index.html


This reminds me of the Kalief Browder case were a black man was accused of stealing a back pack and was sent to Rikers Island for 3 years. He never stood trial or was found guilty of any crime, he spent three years in prison.


This is Soweto…

https://www.outlookindia.com/outlooktraveller/resizer.php?src=https://www.outlookindia.com/outlooktraveller/public/uploads/articles/explore/South-West-Township-in-Johannesburg-,South-Africa.jpg&w=500&h=400


The Purpose Found in Pilgrimage

As people get caught up in the stress and anxiety of everyday life, we tend to feel lost and confused. This often relates to the lack of a sense of purpose or peace in our minds and hearts. These feelings can have something to do with weakness in one’s faith and religion, but it does not have to be spiritual by any means. Many people tend to feel emotionally and mentally overwhelmed by the chaos and business that constantly occurs in the world around us. With this complicated, overloaded, and confusing life that most people possess, I believe it is important to seek tranquility, clarity, and guidance through pilgrimage.

A pilgrimage can be defined as “a long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance”(“Pilgrim Definitions”). As a student in high school, I have not had the opportunity to go on a legitimate pilgrimage. But, I have gone on a few long hikes with my family before, which relates to a small version of a pilgrimage in my head. When I experienced these day-long adventures and walks on the mountains of Acadia in Maine, I remember possessing a clear state of mind and allowing the surrounding nature to captivate me. I felt at peace as I fully experienced my hike and was present in the moment without worrying about the stress or anxiety that I have had at the time. Finally reaching our destination at the peak of the mountain filled me with so much happiness and a little bit of pride as well. In order to maintain a good and strong mental health, utilizing your free time by going on long walks outside can be very beneficial to cleansing one’s instability and transforming themselves into feeling positive, peaceful, and grounded. 

Pilgrimage “can be a life-changing, transformational experience” where you can let “go of the old to let the new come in” (“Why Pilgrimage?”). Going on a pilgrimage can allow people to achieve a new awareness and result in discovering more about themselves and what their life’s purpose is. I do think that long journeys with no distractions from the crazy world can help us to focus on what’s important and truly matters in life. Doing so allows people “to have a greater appreciation for life’s gifts” (“Why Pilgrimage?”). The adversity and difficulties of life like the ones you’d face in a pilgrimage, are just as important as the joy and delight you experience when you find your purpose and reach your destination.

Works Cited

“Pilgrimage Definitions.” YourDictionary, www.yourdictionary.com/pilgrimage. Accessed 30 October 2020.

“Why Pilgrimage?” Pilgrims Way, https://www.pilgrimswaycanterbury.org/why-pilgrimage/. Accessed 30 October 2020.


Make Better Choices

Author

Nowadays people talk about having abortions so that teenage mothers would not have to take care of their babies. This topic is best for building a website because there are a lot of teenagers getting pregnant at an early age and not knowing what they’re really getting into.

This topic affects many people because their are many lives being ended at young ages. Some questions for this topic would have to be: Have the group conferences actually helped the teenagers with having abortions or just giving them up for adoption? How many websites are there about abortions? And why is this important topic ignored?

Probably teens with children feel as if they aren’t ready, but their mistakes shouldn’t lead to things that major. On this type of topic we would try to interview women who already have children or had to go through having abortions.That way you can get a better understanding of what they had to go through.

You can’t just ask someone how does it feel to skydive if the person has never actually skydived. For this type of situations you should mainly contact a doctor. That way they would have a better explanation as to why teens decide to go for abortions for the only answer. They have a choice such as adoption which at least would not lead to the child being killed.

For a better understanding of the process you can go to women’s health center and take photos of the steps to have an abortion. With these steps it can show how heinous abortions are. Some terms for this topic would have to be sad, horrible, gruesome, curious.

Good website names would have to be: Parentingaborts.net, pregnancyaborts.net, Noparenting.net, or   nobaby.net

 


Why do we have different religions?

I think that people have different religions because in their countries they have different beliefs and different gods and they think that all religions are different, but it is not like that, they are all one, but in their religions they have different rules just like us, in schools. There are different people with different beliefs and religions, such as Latinos, Muslims, etc. One of the rules of women who cannot let a man touch until they get married, they also cannot interact much with other people who are not from their own religion such as Latinos, for example at least from the same religion.

I would like to know why in Islam they have to be covered almost whole to the face?  I would like to know what they do when Muslims go to church if they go? I would like to know how they live with their family?  I would like to know when can Muslims marry and if they can marry like Latinos? I would like to know who was the first president in Yemen?  I would like to know where the muslims live?


My true feelings

  Dear Dee,

                    I am writing this letter to you at this very moment, because I just feel like is time to speak my truth and address the issues between us it is time to tell you what I felt every single time that, Mama put you ahead of me and made me feel like I was really nothing just like I was not capable of reaching  to the gold pedestal that she had you on. Even at some point our mom was such as a strong supporter of the descriptiveness idea that I was nothing compared to you. At some point she was so sure that I was literally nothing that she made me believe that I really was just a simple piece of a human being, while you just got all her love and admiration something that I never had from her. However, what really made me this way was the discourage that I was getting from you as my sister you never step up and stand to defend me from our mother reckless behavior towards me. Even though we never had the closest relationship as you now know and after our house burned down  to ashes and that accident happened with my hands it had not been the same, since then I feel like that not only we lost everything in the fire, but also we might have lost our love as a family having to deal with the heart wrenching notion that I was just not good enough to be treated like you was by our mother. Today, I still reflect on the idea that I am maybe not enough to be loved. Although, at some point I wanted to be in your shoes, I feel that at the end of the day our mother did give me something in life that is going to make me fulfill and reach all the potential that I have and that thing was resistance to all the negativity around me, because more than just be taken down by the negative it gave me strength and tools to make myself stronger and I thank her for all the times that she tried to make me feel that I was less than you but what she did not know was that she was just making me better than what you was through her eyes in some way or another.

Sincerely,

Maggie.   

——————————————————————————. 

Photo by Free-Photos (Pixabay)


Samil’s Life

Hi My name is Samil.   My family is very important to me. It is important to know that I am very shy.  I was born on November 13, 2002. Recently something familiar happened to me that I would not like to talk about now, I prefer to keep it to myself. Well, right now I want to be in my country, but I have to be here in the United States to have better opportunities and be someone in life in my country.  I don’t have the same possibilities that I have in the United States. I lived in the Dominican Republic where I was born and at this time I have been living in the Bronx New York for 2 years.

 At school I like to be with my friend while I study. I am very good in classes when I concentrate on classes. I am a very good student but there are times when school stresses me.  For example, when every teacher gives me work every day. I like Gym. I also like lunch if I can talk to my friends without anyone taking my attention away. After school I work in a warehouse. For example, when a person calls to the warehouse to order, for example, a sandwich, I take it. Because I earn money without having to do the wrong thing, without having to attack a person, I like it because I earn money working.   

Many teenagers try alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Some teenagers test these substances only a few times and do not reuse them. Others cannot control their impulses or cravings for these substances. This is known as a substance abuse problem. Teens can try a number of substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, household chemicals (inhalants), prescription and over-the-counter medications, and illegal drugs. Teenagers use alcohol more than any other substance. Marijuana is the illegal drug that teenagers use most frequently.  

Most of this thing that is said in this paragraph happens in my community. I see many people lost in drugs and alcohol. In the school I studied, I met a friend who used drugs and when he did not have drugs he could not be calm in a place because the drug reached a point where he was already addicted.  I have a friend who has become addicted to the drugs we have at the same time in this country. I remember the day my friend used drugs. My friend can’t leave the world of drugs. I try to help him but he doesn’t listen to me. 


The hidden Struggle of my life.

My desire to become an independent woman and have the strength of being around people more often were the biggest challenges for my life. I could never be independent because my family did not trust me to go outside of the Black Neighborhood  that we were living. They have always believed that there was nothing impossible for Dee, but it was a lot of obstacles for me. It felt that just Dee was the only one who got a decent education and I was left behind. But I honestly can say that I have never envied my sister. Well I did want to become something more like her but that was all because I wanted to  get the acceptance of my family. 

The hardest part for me was feeling all those overwhelmed feelings in which my mom never gave me a hug, my grandmother looked at me in a different and unusual way. It felt that no one cared about me. I always felt left behind because I always wanted to have everything. And when I say everything, I mean love. But I never got anything. I was always lonely. I couldn’t have an education because I wasn’t someone’s favorite. But being someone’s favorite is  not the biggest achievement that anyone could have in their life. It was a struggle but it was like a nift stabbed in the chest but the more pain you have you need to keep it to yourself because you’re alone in a desert without any help to get out. 

As I was living in a world were black people still not accepted or mostly approved by society. I Maggie personally felt that beside all the differences that I was facing outside home were nothing compared to the ones I lived at home from own family. At a young age, I lived with my grandmother Mama and my sister Dee. Dee was always getting the best from everyone and I was always put last. There was not a specific reason of why she always get everything and my own family forget me. I have always been a great child as well as my sister but many people always thought that I felt a sense of envy towards her. In some ways I admire her because of her outgoing  personality and her strength to be an independent black young woman within all at home. 


Jazz Hands

Hands are funky little things. Doing something as simple as grabbing my phone, brushing my hair, even typing this up right now, makes me realize how amazing they really are, for allowing us to do so much. Life would be very hard without them seeing that we’ve become dependant on grabbing things ever since we first started evolving as a species.

         Hands are different for everyone. Mine have hairy knuckles, my fingers are thin but chubby, long but look short, how my hands can be seen as both feminine and masculine, whatever that means. I had never guessed that one’s own hands could be used against themselves. People would tell me that I needed to get rid of the hair on my hands, that I needed to paint my nails if I wanted to be seen as a girl. Not knowing why or how to react, I developed a bad habit of hiding them. I would pull the sleeves of my sweater, hide them in my pockets,  or stand with my arms crossed and my hands tucked away from sight. For eight-year old me, my hands had become what identified me as a girl. 

         I’ve always been an extremely self-aware person. When it came to my hands and what others thought about them, of course it would stick at the back of my mind. I’ve been dealing with anxiety issues for almost three years, at this point I’m good at managing it but sometimes I let it get the best of me. In my head, my hands never truly defined whether I was ‘too girly’ or ‘boyish’. I knew that my hands were barely any part of myself that decided that, but to others it did and it was because of that, that I wanted to change everything they thought made me less of a girl, so that they would see me how I wanted them to; a girl. 

          Gender norms and stereotypes aren’t anything new to me or to anyone really. They’re everywhere and are applied to everyone. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing but when it gets too far, it becomes something really toxic. Toxic masculinity, toxic femininity, misogyny, sexism, all things that heavily rely on gender norms come from how society is so heavily based off of them. All throughout history, we’ve been told what to do, what to say, how to act, who to be as a person based off our gender and nothing more. The influence that it has on people, especially young impressionable people who tend to worry the most, invalidates the feelings and thoughts of many struggling to find their own identity within themselves. Little things like blue being a masculine color, pink being a feminine color, to things like women expected to be hairless and men expected not to care about their body hair. As the list goes on, it starts to get ridiculous.  

         Hands are very convenient, they’re a natural human appendage and to put someone down for something like hair on them is pointless. Often times I wonder how I would live without them. My dad lost two fingers in an accident about a year ago and he can no longer write, so I have to help him a lot of the time. Now, if losing a few fingers is just as bad to lose the entire ability of writing, imagine losing an entire hand. I’ve always wanted to ask if he misses writing or using his fingers at all but I’m too scared to bring it up. Then I think about those people born without hands. They’re doing amazing, how does one live without such an important part of our bodies that we have become dependent on? It’s kind of crazy but then again everything about them is. 


Taking Risks

Without hesitation, I believe that it is better to live life when risks are taken. The act of going outside the box, stretching your comfort zone, and exposing yourself to things you are uncertain about helps you. By taking risks, we realize what our full potential actually is. Gymnastics is a sport that is full of risk taking. Sprained ankles, broken bones and pulled muscles are all common within the sport. My teammates and I always heard of broken bones that lead to death, and being paralyzed resulting from falling from the high bar, or landing on your neck after a vault. For many people, gymnastics is not a good sport and a definite out for them because they do not want to take the chances of having a life changing injury.

For me, gymnastics was my sport. I welcomed the risks that were being thrown at me. People around me would tell me and even my parents that they were crazy for putting me in a sport with such danger. But my parents would always respond on how being in the gym for 24 hours a week was a life lesson for me. It taught me to acknowledge dangers of doing certain skills, gauge capabilities on what I could and couldn’t do, that working hard will reward you in the long run, and taking risks in the right way and working through tough times with help you overcome many fears in your life.

It’s a fact that I did sprain my ankles multiple times, I did break bones, and I did pull muscles. I had mental blocks on a daily basis that kept me from doing certain things. There was a certain point in my career that I refused to flip backward on the beam. During this time I was attempting to transition from level 8 to level 9 and if I didn’t figure out a way to execute these skills on the balance beam I would be held at the same level for the second year in a row. I was told by my coach that ‘if I didn’t take the risk and do the skills then I am risking my chances of moving up a level.’ When she first said that I didn’t really pay attention, but that night it really sunk in. If I don’t take a chance of performing these skills I will be stuck behind. This really made me realize what risk taking is about.

The more risks you take, the more you learn about yourself, after this, I had so much more confidence within myself. I wouldn’t trade the lessons I learned or the skills I acquired by taking the risks I did in the sport for the world. I am grateful for the athleticism, mindset, lessons, and life skills gymnastics presented to me. It is better to take risks, and figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are early so that later in life we are not hiding behind our fears, and wondering how life would be changed if you had done something differently. Instead, take risks, find them early, and live a fearless successful life.

Photo by Erin Costa


The story with my mom Dominga in Tlaxcala

With my mom Dominga, there have really been a lot of great moments, but the best story with my mom is when I would go out with her to the park on Sundays to eat ice cream, or go out with her in the summer to swim. I was 3 or 4 years old when I realized the truth: that she was a great woman. Before I immigrated to New York, I was with her. I spent a lot of time with my mom, but since coming to the United States I hardly ever see her. Often I try to communicate daily with her, even if it’s an hour or two a day.



I think that my mom and I are the same in the personal aspect, sentimental and in all aspects, we have always supported each other and we tell our things that we are really so the same but at the same time so different,

That for me is the best woman in the world and is and will be the only person who will always truly interest me in all aspects, that woman is my life, and I love her very much.

My first strongest memory with my mom, the best thing is that she never left me alone and she was always with me fighting until the end, always together she and I really remember everything she lived with my mom. Now I miss her because we are not together and I really thank her for everything she did and the great support she gave me.

I think my relationship changed a little with her despite the fact that I try to talk to her every day, but it will be because it is very different to do things and say them only by phone because the interaction between my mom and me is by phone or by facetime of WhatsApp only thus we have been in communication.

Today I live in Brooklyn with my uncles I emigrated from the city of Tlaxcala Mexico, approximately 10 months ago. My mother and father still live in Ayometla Tlaxcala,

Questions

  1. How have you been in this quarantine?
  2. What are you doing in this quarantine?
  3. Have the Ayometla people taken this about the coronavirus seriously?
  4. Now, in this quarantine, have you lived with people or done some group activities?
  5. Have you seen a case of coronavirus in Ayometla?
  6. How has the government instructed them or what precautions should they take or are they taking?
  7.   How has your life changed due to this pandemic?
  8. Finally, how has this quarantine served you?

Excerpt 1 Question:Qué está pasando en ayometla que tiempos de sanidad siguen? En si hay una carro que anda perifoneando las reglas que tenemos que seguir entonces, solo usar cubre bocas y no lavarse las manos pero mas bien donde yo vivo no se ha escuchado mucho esa gracias a dios.

Excerpt 1 Translated response: What is happening in Ayometla what times of healing follow? As if there is a car that is interfering with the rules that we have to follow then, only use mouth covers and do not wash hands but rather where I have not heard much, thank God.


WHY WE NEED ZOOS!!!

In recent years, zoos have become a very controversial topic. Many argue that zoos should not exist because wild animals belong in the wild. Which is a valid argument besides the fact that the wild in which the wild animals belong is being destroyed by humans. 

Zoos do a great job in informing the public about endangered species and what needs to be done. If it weren’t for zoos many people would not know about various species and many animals would have possibly gone extinct due to people just not knowing about them. According to Dr. Dave Hone with the Guardian, “Many [species] are already extinct in the wild and only survive because of populations kept going in captivity.” It is important to realize that without zoos smaller animals that are not as popular as the elephant or the lion would have been long gone if it weren’t for zoos. Although these animals do not live out in the wild at least they are alive and are able to educate the public about similar smaller species like them who could possibly also go extinct. 

Climate change has become a serious problem for species in the Arctic. Animals such as the polar bear or arctic wolf are facing serious problems due to the shrinking ice in the Arctic. According to Dr. Dave Hone with the Guardian, “[C]limate change has already harmed over half of all mammal species on the endangered species list… and that is only likely to increase as more species are put under pressure from climate change and other environmental pressures.” Thanks to zoos, these animals have a future. Their future in the wild has become impossible due to the rapid changing they are experiencing in their environment. It is sad to think that in my own lifetime it is possible that an amazing, strong animal such as the polar bear could go extinct in its natural habitat and that the only thing keeping them on our Earth is zoos. I am grateful to zoos for protecting these animals and showing the public what amazing creatures we could lose if we don’t make a change. 

Not only are zoos good for conservation and education but they also help with helping wild animals. According to Dr. Robin Ganzert with Time Magazine many zoos are coming up with vaccines to give endangered wild animals who would otherwise die due to the disease. 

Many people believe that zoos are a horrible place where animals are abused and mistreated. This is NOT the case. An organization called The Humane Conservation Association is in charge of informing the public that the animals at a particular zoo is well taken care of and that the animals are happy. These standards are set by professionals who know about the animals. If the standards are not met then the organization will give suggestions and not pass the zoo. It is important to look for the Humane Conservation Association’s logo on the zoo’s website before going to that zoo to insure that the animals at that organization are happy and well taken care of.

Zoos do so much for animals around the world. It is important that we all realize how important zoos are to endangered animals along with informing the public about animals around the world.


Jack is Back

My name is Jack Hastings and I am from Greenville, North Carolina. This is my senior year at JH Rose High School. As a journalist I wrote for the news section in my freshman and sophomore years and this year I am the editor for the sports section. My freshman year someone told my mom how great journalism class is and that I should definitely take it. During my freshman year, journalism was by far my favorite class. I enjoyed the family feeling the class had and I knew it was a class I had to continue to take. 

I am particularly good at eating food and I like to consider myself a hard worker. I am stubborn about getting the task done and I never quit until I get my job done. I am a firm believer of putting We above Me. These attitudes help me succeed as a journalist because I always work to put quality work to make the team look good. 

Everyday I have this burning question inside me. Where can I get the best cheeseburger in Greenville? I constantly lose sleep over all of my options. Is it Cubbies?  Sup Dogs? or maybe it’s Jack Brown? Because of this burning question I have crowned myself “Beef Chief”. This is a video segment where I will go to all the cheeseburger restaurants in Greenville, and score and review the shops. This segment will answer my burning questions, so make sure you stay tuned for “Beef Chief Meats…” for quality content. If I could interview anyone in the world it would have to be my fellow food reviewer Guy Fieri. I would ask him about the favorite places he has ate all throughout his years of reviewing food and where has been the worst places he has eaten. This year will most likely be my last year writing journalistically, due to college and career hopes, but for the remainder of this year I would continue to write my sports articles and shoot to make sports the best section in the paper. 


Family and Fentanyl: How the ongoing opioid crisis is affecting the Deep South

Factory work, Friday night lights and fentanyl: all three have become daily life in this Mississippi town.

 

It’s early in the morning. Now-retired nurse Betty Hayhurst climbs out of bed and begins breakfast for her family. She walks out onto the patio to watch the various woodland creatures crawl out of the rolling hills of north Mississippi. She removes herself from the encapsulating natural scenery and turns on the morning broadcast to hear the harrowing news: five people have overdosed due to fentanyl in just a few short days in the town just south of her peaceful property. 

 

A drive down US Highway 45 from Hayhurst’s home in Kossuth, Miss. lands you in rural Prentiss County, and more specifically, its county seat of Booneville. It’s the town where Hayhurst’s son and grandson lived before moving to the state’s capital. It’s the town where she practiced medicine and worked to heal the local residents. It’s the town where she instructed inspiring health professionals on how to master their craft. But now, it’s the town that has fallen victim to an ongoing opioid crisis that’s ravaging the country, particularly lower-income and marginalized groups.  

 

What is fentanyl and who gets these pills?

 

Evidence gathered from a scene was taken to the MS State Crime Lab and tested positive for fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl,” Booneville Police Chief Michael Ramey said.

 

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl is the painkiller that is designed for cancer patients. The synthetic opioid is 80-100 times more potent than morphine, and is typically mixed with heroin when abused. The other drug mentioned by law enforcement, acetyl fentanyl, is even more dangerous than its potent brother and has no recorded health benefits according to the DEA.

 

Fentanyl is just one of the major opioids being prescribed to patients. In 2017, Mississippi, the 2nd poorest state in the union, had its health providers prescribe 92.9 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports.

 

Statistics obtained from the DEA show that over six million opioids were sold in Prentiss County between 2006 and 2012. That is enough for 34 pills per resident for the entire county. Furthermore, Booneville’s top distributor of opioids was AmerisourceBergen, and their top pill manufacturer was Par Pharmaceutical. 

 

Data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that of Booneville’s population of 8,757, 28.1 percent living below the poverty line. Coupled with the town’s median household income dropping at a steady decline, the effects of the drugs flooding the streets are being felt by not only the victims, but those around them.

 

Kiana Davis is a Barnard graduate and current Public Health major at Emory University. After growing up in a household where prescription drugs were often abused, she worked as a field educator for a health organization in north Mississippi, where she was forced to reconcile with not only the addictions of other families, but her own.

 

“Right after my mom had [her third child], she had a procedure and was prescribed a ton of prescription pain meds,” said Davis. “Like, too many prescriptions for one pill cabinet. And when coupled with the postpartum depression, it was those pills that she eventually tried to commit suicide with.”

 

Fourteen years after her mother’s attempted suicide, her mother was found dead from an appearant accidental overdose. Davis went on to become a field educator to help those affected by substance abuse. She would go talk to individuals in rehabilitation centers and teach drug awareness at the local schools, and it was here where she soon saw the overwhelming influence it has on American society as a whole. 

 

“Women are most likely to attempt suicide with pills,” continued Davis. “People think that drug addicts are just poor and ‘trashy.’ They were poor and uneducated and used drugs. The opioid crisis does not discriminate. It can affect any community or person. I was teaching a class in Thrasher (a town right outside Booneville) and I asked the students to raise their hand if anyone in their family suffered from drug or alcohol abuse. Every child raised their hand.” 


Where is it happening? Why?

 

Davis’ story is not unique to Booneville. The data from the Drug Enforcement Administration shows two trends in opioids across the country: 75 percent of pills were distributed by six companies, one of which being Booneville’s top distributor, AmerisourceBergen. Moreover, 88 percent of pills where manufactured by three major companies: SpecGx, Actavis Pharma and Par Pharmaceuticals, Booneville’s major pill producer. Booneville is no exception to the crisis facing America; it is the example.

 

“This is happening in Booneville and everywhere,” said Hayhurst. “In the late 1950s and early 1960s, fentanyl was introduced, and we began using it to introduce anesthesia. It was not meant to be used as an opioid until the 1990s.”

 

In 2017, the Center for Disease Control reported that nearly 70,000 Americans overdosed due to prescription opioids, and while those statistics are down from 2016, synthetic opioid deaths are continuing to rise, especially fentanyl.

 

“The root cause for addiction is psychological trauma,” Davis said. “We don’t deal with psychological trauma, we numb it. We jump from relationship to relationship, or we watch Netflix, or we drink, or in some cases, we deal with it through drugs. In school, we are never taught how to deal with psychological trauma, and that’s mainly because we have a lack of mental health services.”

 

Davis, like many other Americans that have been forced to reconcile with the loss of life due to prescription drug abuse, was left wondering: what can be done about this?

 

“It was hard. [Her mother] was a force, but I think the physicians can help the most,” Davis said. “Many physicians were not aware of how addictive opioids can be, and a lot of that is because of big pharma.”

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlined how the rise in the opioid epidemic began and how it has evolved into the killer it is today. When opioids first became big in the late 90s, the large pharmaceutical companies advertise that these drugs were killing more than just the pain of the patients. As the sales of opioids increased, the body count rose with it. Once providers became aware of the adverse health risks relating to opioids, they began to roll back their leniency of prescriptions, but it was far too late; big pharma had enslaved their market. With doctors prescribing low dose and fewer refills of opioids, patients began seeking elsewhere for the numbing effects and found relief in drugs such as heroin. Here is where fentanyl became popular, as it was commonly used alongside heroin, which increases the chance of overdose.

 

What can be done?

 

As Betty Hayhurst fumbled around her kitchen, putting up groceries in the redwood cabinets that line the wall of her kitchen, she gave a huge sigh. “They need help,” Hayhurst said.

 

Unfortunately, that lack of help is too little too late for millions across the country, especially those two lost lives in the small rural town just south of Hayhurst’s estate. “At the end of the day, these pills and drugs and everything we use to numb ourselves don’t get rid of the pain,” Davis said. “They just trick your brain into thinking it’s not there, but it is. It will still be there.” 

 


Do drugs affect your body?

By examining the article called “Here’s How Many People Have Fatally Overdosed On Marijuana,” “A total of 17,465 people died from overdosing on illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine in 2014, while 25,760 people died from overdosing on prescription drugs, including painkillers and tranquilizers.”(The Huffington Post). Based on the evidence, it is clear that drugs are bad for people and it can hurt them in different types of ways.

Drugs are bad for people because individuals can overdose or it could affect their health. For example, in an online article called “Overdose is gross: What happens to your body when you O.D.” by Destinations to Recovery, they stated, “If a drug overdose does not lead to death, it can lead to serious, long-term consequences. Some people who overdose on drugs and survive have to live with permanent brain damage.”(Destinations to Recovery). The words in this quote show how dangerous drug overdose can be to the body. Examples of long-term consequences are impacting people’s brain, that may cause memory loss and it will also cause users not to move as easily as they used to.It will be hard for you to write and read. Also, when people overdose that can cause a lack of oxygen and they can lose consciousness. Some types of drugs that can damage your body if you overdose Heroin, Cocaine, Crack, Hallucinogens, Amphetamines. Therefore, it is clear that drugs can damage you physically and mentally. This is some ways that drugs can affect you and hurt you.

 

Another way drugs can hurt people, especially women, is when women get pregnant and use drugs that can cause birth defects. For example, in an article called “Effects of drugs abuse and addiction,” they said that “Nearly 4 percent of pregnant women in the United States use illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and other amphetamines, and heroin. These and other illicit drugs may pose various risks for pregnant women and their babies. Some of these drugs can cause a baby to be born too small or too soon, or to have withdrawal symptoms, birth defects or learning and behavioral problems. Additionally, illicit drugs may be prepared with impurities that may be harmful to a pregnancy (Gateway foundation).This shows that women that are about to give birth can affect the baby because of the drug use they can die or they can come out deformed “not normal”. This also shows that 4 percent of women that take drugs can also affect the baby because of the drugs they take.

 

Some people may think that some drugs are used for medical purposes and are positive. In an article called “What is marijuana?”It explains “Scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications.Because the marijuana plant contains chemicals that may help treat a range of illnesses or symptoms, many people argue that it should be legal for medical purposes. In fact, a growing number of states have legalized marijuana for medical use” (National Institute On Drug Abuse). This shows that marijuana is medicine and it can help treat illness and that it is FDA approved and that marijuana is legalized for medical use. But it is not healthy because it still will affect your body and people’s brain and immune system.

In conclusion, drugs damage people’s body even though it can help and work as medicine but it can affect women while pregnant. It can also affect people in their brains and immune system and other kinds of ways that drugs can affect you.

 

Photo by digitalbob8


Is the price tag of college worth the education?

We live in a society where we are expected to go to college straight out of high school. Many people don’t end up paying off their student loans until late into their adulthood. Bigger bucks are spent when students go into college having no exposure to what career they want to pursue. Although many don’t know what they want to do for their entire lives, students often jump into a major to avoid the disapproval of going to a ‘less prestigious’ state or community school or being undecided. This eventually leads to students switching majors and having to spend more time in and money on college causing extended student loans. Is the education of a college or university worth the price tag?

Consumer Reports has partnered with the Center for Investigative Reporting to show the truth about college education and its cost. There are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Friedman from Forbes highlights that “this is the second-highest amount of dept in the country behind the mortgage.” 45% of people paying off their student loans say their education wasn’t worth the cost and of this percentage, “38% didn’t even graduate,” and 61% of college students didn’t even graduate in four years. This is usually due to changing your major or taking classes that don’t apply to the major the student eventually chooses. But should an 18-22-year-old really know what they are going to do for the next 45+ years?

Having a college education is good for society, having educated voters, workers, developers all helps to advances our country. However, the price tag is most commonly not worth the education. This is why it is important that the issue is highlighted and we make a change. Some suggestions have been offered but no solution has been developed. For example, the idea of an affordable college or even free college is a topic of interest for the country. Free college is really important for the lower class because without it they will never have the same opportunity for a good education let alone one they won’t be paying for their entire lives if we don’t change the way the system is laid out.


What Is Did The Tech Boom Cause?

The rent in Oakland has doubled in price in the past 10 years! But that’s not the only number that has increased in the last ten years, 4.1 million jobs have opened in the Bay Area and 10 months of straight employments(Avalos). The tech boom opened a large amount of tech jobs during the early 2000s and in the late 90s. A lot of huge tech companies came to the Bay Area, especially in San Francisco, and helped build the economy. According to the research the tech boom was great at first because it opened a large amount of jobs for the public but 10 years later it raised rent and forced former residents to move out.

The tech boom was very helpful to the community because it opened a huge amount of jobs for the Bay Area community. George Avalos is a business reporter for the Bay Area News Group. He explains in the article called “Tech employment in Bay Area reaches record highs” published in Mercury News in June 14, 2019 “At the end of April, the Bay Area boasted 831,700 technology jobs — 113,000 more than the dot-com peak of 718,700, which was achieved in December 2000”(Avalos). The tech boom opened over 800,000 jobs for the public it this was just the beginning of the tech boom imagine how many jobs/ companies have opened because of the tech boom in the last 10 years. All of these help a lot of people look for what they want to accomplish in their life and also brought a lot of exposure to the Bay Area. This caused lots of mainstreams stores arrive to the Bay Area which helped grow the community. As shown by an Oakland resident. In an interview with Jorge Rodriguez he is an Oakland resident that has been living in Oakland for over 20 years and he said “when I first got here There wasn’t much of options for jobs but now all these tech jobs started opening up then big stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, starting opening up then more jobs and technology spread around”(Rodriguez). As Rodriguez said the “big stores” or the mainstream stores started opening up and helped convince lots of people to start to move to san francisco which helped grow the population by 100,000 in the span of 10 years which helped grow the economy and also made san francisco be one of the best cities in the world

The tech boom was also very unhelpful because it raised the rent and displace a large amount of residents. The tech boom almost doubled the rent in the Bay Area is a lot in the span of ten years. The tech boom helped create a lot of more housing but it’s overly priced to live in the Bay Area, especially in san francisco, the average rent in san francisco is $3,733 thats double then the national average,also is illogical that the rent is that high because no one will pay it. The rent is undeniably high, the rent went up by 1,000 since 2011 and this also cause cities around san francisco that the rent goes up so everywhere someone would go in the Bay Area it wouldn’t be the cheapest house and that’s a very significant increase which the average person might not be able to afford and are forced to move somewhere they don’t want to be as shown in the text by cnn written by Ahiza Garcia Which is a writer for CNN Business covering technology from CNN’s San Francisco Bureau and she wrote “The Bay Area’s tech boom famously created an influx of companies, workers and jobs, but in 2012, it ignited a housing crisis that’s made it difficult for many people, especially those in minimum wage or entry-level jobs, to live nearby.”(Garica). The housing was such a problem the writer chose to use the word “crisis” which just goes to show how much of a problem the housing was during the tech boom and still a housing problem now. If there’s a housing problem and the rent is an abnormal amount of money who will want to live here, no one and that’s horrible because then the community will be smaller and smaller to the point wend a large portion of the city will have to force to move out of the city and try to adapt into a whole different life style. In an interview with an Oakland resident named Alicia Mikery and she said “when I first came to Oakland I didn’t see all of these tech companies but now every where you go there is a tech company offering a job”(Mikery). A lot more jobs are being offered and this will lead to more people coming to the Bay Area and for this the city will need for housing and that will cause the rent to go up because of all the new housing and people will be forced to move out and this will cause an influx of problems.

In conclusion, According to the research the tech boom was great at first because it opened over 800,000 jobs for the public but 10 years later it raised rent and forced former residents to move out. If the city doesn’t start to change something the Bay Area will turn into desperate city because the rent will be to high and no one will be able to afford so for the longevity of san francisco the city as the people have to make in endeavor to ty to fix San Francisco before the government ruins this city for our predecessors.

Annotated Bibliography

Garcia, Ahiza. “The Bay Area’s Tech Boom Is Hurting Businesses.” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Oct. 2018.

This article talks about how the tech boom hurt the Bay Area. It brings up points like the housing crisis and the rent amount. Garcia Ahiza is a writer for CNN Business covering technology from CNN’s San Francisco Bureau before that she was covering sports. She has many jobs and has written many articles and has a lot of experience of writing. This article also recent it was written a little over a year ago which shows the information is still valid.

Avalos, George. “Tech Employment in Bay Area Reaches Record Highs.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 3 July 2019 

This article talks about the increase of jobs Oakland had and the article also talks about how the tech boom positively help Oakland. The article also talks about the worst parts of the tech boom and why it negatively affected the community. George Avalos is a Bay Area news reporter and he has covered a lot of topics. Avalos has written many articles about the Bay Area and has talked about a lot of the problems that their is in Oakland. He writes about the pros and cons of all the topics he writes about 

Avalos, George. “Big Boom: Bay Area Tops 4.1 Million Jobs, 10 Straight Months of Employment Gains.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 21 Sept. 2019, 

This article talks about how many jobs the tech boom opened and how helped the jobs were for the community. Also talks about the rate that the jobs are growing by and why it’s nice. It’s also very credible because the article was released just about two months ago, which means it’s very up to date. The author also specializes in the Bay Area and Oakland so he knows what he’s talking about.

Ramos, Douglas. Rodrigez , Jorge. “Tech Boom Interview.” 26 Nov. 2019.

This interview was about how Oakland has changed over the years and what has it affected. We also talked about some of the big stores finally coming to Oakland and why it was helpful for the community. Jorge has lived in Oakland for over 20 years so he has seen a large amount of change Oakland has gone through. He also was here during the tech boom first launched and all these tech companies came to the Bay Area.

Ramos, Douglas, and Alicia Mikery. “Tech Boom Interview .” 25 Nov. 2019.

This interview talks about how the common people are offering tech jobs now. This interview also talks about how easy it is to look for a tech job. Alicia has lived in Oakland for the last 18 years she has seen a large amount of the tech boom and has a good idea of what the tech cause and how it helped and didn’t help. She also knows a large smog the Bay Area she travels a lot around the Bay Area and knows this area very well.


Feel The Struggle

Blog Post Chapters 2 & 3 Street Life

 

After reading the first three chapters of Victor Rios’ Street Life, I feel surprised about the events he is telling his audience. In looking at the imagery he uses to tell his story, I noticed that he uses visual and kinesthetic imagery in the first three chapters of his autobiography.

 

The first type of sensory detail I want to focus on is kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 1, Victor spoke about how he would question the importance of school and the reasons why he thought it was useless. The sensory detail that follows is ”Losing faith, feeling inferior, being neglected, and fleeing poverty and tragedy led me on a path of self-destruction.” The effect this has is to make the reader feel how complicated and difficult his life has been. He wants to emphasize the struggles he has dealt with. With all these problems he leaves the reader feeling sympathetic. The word fleeing makes you visualize someone running as fast as they can, with all their strength trying as hard as they can to escape oppressive situations and experiences in their lives. With all these problems having to run away from, it made you feel fatigued and tired just thinking of constant stress from fleeing.

 

The second type of sensory detail I want to focus on is kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 2, Victor spoke about how his mother Raquel, tried to abort him as a fetus while she was in jail. The sensory detail that follows is ”She began to feel her uterus trying to expel me, with pain and blood spouting”. The effect this has is to make the reader feel the forced, excruciating pain Raquel is feeling. This quote also gives us a sense of desperation. Raquel is so desperate she is willing to risk her own health and voluntarily self-inflict pain, to get rid of her child. Readers who oppose abortion might feel a sense of anger and disgust for her selfish decisions.

 

The third type of sensory detail I want to focus on is both visual and kinesthetic imagery. In chapter 3, Victor described the emotions he felt when being bullied because of being fatherless. The sensory detail that follows is ”I felt less human. I felt like a dog at a pound. Each time someone called me bastard, my chest shriveled, and my eyes would tear up in and anger and pain”. The effect this has is to feel the profound pain he feels, and how abnormal and different he feels. The emotions he experiences when reminded of being fatherless makes us feel anger towards the people around him who make him feel like an outcast. It describes how the lack of love and affection results in feeling less acceptable in his society. This quote makes the ones who have both parents feel grateful for what they have.

 

Overall, Dr. Victor Rios wants me to understand that life for the people around him and himself, was very different than the average life. He wants to emphasize the fact that growing up was tough and that evolving into the man he is today was not an easy task. However as the living proof that he is, he shows us that it is not impossible to defy the stereotypical outcome of a person who grew up in the conditions Victor grew up in. Change is very possible.


Literary Analysis of “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron

In the tender poem “She Walks in Beauty”, the author, Lord Byron expresses his love for this lady through his captivating words overflowing with admiration and adoration for this lovely lady. Lord Byron was a charming young man who lived in the early 1800s. He was mostly known for his romantic pieces of literature and captured the heart of many during his time. Some even said his entire physical appearance oozed of romanticism which explains how everyone was at his feet. However moving on to the poem, there is a lot to unpack on this poem and the way that Byron chose to write it. There are many life questions this raises for me, as a reader of this poem. For example, What is love? How does
One express their feelings for someone? How does one compare someone to things that are the complete opposite? Taking a closer look at Byron’s poem, some of these questions can be answered through his words and the form of his poem.

In the 1st line of the first stanza, Byron starts off his poem by repeating his title and then uses figurative language (simile) and says “like the night”.  He writes, “She walks in beauty, like the night”.  I said, the speaker uses night instead of day in order to emphasize that their beauty is beyond what the light sees. Throughout the poem, Byron subtly writes in things that mean light and things that mean dark for example, dark/bright (line 3), shade/ray (line7) raves tress/lightens (lines 9 & 10) and so on.   So I started to wonder why would someone describe another person in dichotomies.

The poem answers this question  by portraying a speaker who is infatuated with a woman to the point that anything makes her look angelic. That comparing this lady to two opposite things just means that there’s beauty in everything and that he thinks that in the same way, there’s beauty in everything about her.
My other comments are similar questions as to why he uses light and dark to talk about this lady but it does raise another question. How do you write about love in a way that fully expresses it? I believe it would be hard to be able to properly express his feelings but the tone of the poem makes me think that perhaps the words just came to him and he wrote them down. Well I believe the strategy the author uses is that he just has to compare her beauty to something so he can get his message across.




Stories about Equality

Everyone knows that the community is the one that is most affected by the issues of society. Through those three short stories that I read, “Everyday Use”, “ How to Date a Browngirl Whitegirl or Halfie” and “ Lesson” I notice that they do have a connection because in the three stories the authors try to convey the message about respect of each other and how people have to interact everyday. When I was reading those three stories I really felt that they were very interesting because the three authors use their main characters to show what was their main idea and life is a matter of high regard to others.

The authors use the literary element of the theme to demonstrate the similarities and differences in their stories . For example, “Everyday Use” the author uses the theme to display the way people understand their lives and how important it is to recognize what someone from your family did for you. Moreover, in the story “ How to Date a Browngirl Whitegirl or Halfie ” the author uses the main idea to teach us about even though a young boy dated girls from different races, he has to act with esteem in order to get what you want. In the “ Lesson” the author uses his characters to demonstrate the decision that Dee made complicated her status, but in the end she understood that she has to respect her sister. However, these three stories show some differences. For instance the three stories do not turn around to one main theme because at some point their main topic is different.
Additionally, in three short stories, the literary element that the authors use is the character to show the similarities and differences that their stories have. The three short stories show how their protagonists react to each other the way they should treat each other. For me, this tells us what really happens in society, how to treat people. The difference that those three stories illustrate is based on their characters because showing how their decision to make them suffer, however, in the end, they can not reach her goal.

Moreover, the authors use another literary element the voice to represent the style of the authors the quality that makes their writing unique. For example, in the tree stories, the authors use the voice to show different ways to make the reader feel something.in addition, The three authors tried to teach us one lesson that happens in society currently. Also, he wants to appeal to readers to wake up and make some changes about issues in society. The unlikeness between the three short stories the authors use the voice to demonstrate how their stories are very unique in their field. For example, in the tree stories, the authors use the voice to show different ways to make the reader feel something.The three authors tried to teach us one lesson that happens in society currently. Also, they want to appeal to readers to wake up and make some changes about issues in society. The unlikeness between the three short stories the authors use the voice to demonstrate how their stories are very unique in their field.

Finally, the three short story “Lesson”, “Everyday Use” and “ How to Date a Browngirl Whitegirl or Halfie” are alike because they demonstrate that everyone has the same love and we don’t know what can happen in our life, therefore, we should treat everyone with the equal. Also, those authors transmit a message about how people respect each other because people do not have the right to dominate another one. Three authors want to teach the readers the realities of society. and the lesson that I can take away from that story is we can always alter people’s consciousness. Despite our social class, we can always be together.

Photo by GDJ (Pixabay)


why do we want to become citizens?

Dear, mr president

 

There are many things to be changed but I think that giving the people that are immigrants the chance to become a citizen is wonderful. Giving them the opportunity to become a citizens will open up doors that they didn’t have when they were undocumented or back in their country. With that being said, I believe the first step into giving immigrants the opportunity to achieve the “American Dream” is by quickening the citizenship process. For example buying a house or getting a credit card they all require a social security number or a pursuit for higher education. All of this require them to become american citizens so that they can live that American Dream” we all come here for that to give our kids a future so they don’t have to go trough the things they did.

That’s why everyone leaves their home town for a better future to be able to make their dreams a reality.We all want to live that lifestyle we all desire so much. Like my parents their dream is to be able to go buy their first house or get a new car without having to drive so far to dealerships that sell cars to people that don’t have a social security number. Or just in general go to a dealership and just buy a car or buy a home they can’t because they aren’t a citizen and that’s money the government and the economy is missing out on and for people to invest in the community. So why make is so hard? For them we all deserve a chance.

Give the chance to those who deserve the chance so they can become successful as well. Live the “american dream”  there is 8.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the united states 73% of nation’s population. All of thoughts people suffer because they don’t have the chance to live the lifestyle that they want to live.Because they are not legal and i feel that everyone should have the right to become one because if you can’t be one then thats inequality an amendment being taken away from them because we are all humans.

 


Plastic Around The World

Did you know plastic has been around for more than 50 years? Also, did you know that plastic never leaves the planet? Yup, you read right! Plastic never leaves because it never actually gets destroyed. Individuals tried to get rid of it but it’s way too much plastic in the ocean as well as on the surface as a consequence we look around and we see plastic or trash. A big amount of the plastic made till this day is single used. We should stop buying single-use plastic, like single-use water bottles to water bottle caps; we should buy things like reusable water bottles along with reusable bags. Plastic is not good for the environment.  

Plastic is useful in a few cases such as airbags, helmets, hair product containers, phone cases, cups to go from fast food restaurants, gloves, straws, forks, spoons, toys, water bottles, grocery bags. Greater things or objects that I have just listed are single used products. Single-use products are usually not necessary but the needs that someone or some people need it but not everyone needs a bendable plastic straw. People are getting lazier by the minute at a maximum of us. People most only buy plastic utensils including plates so they wouldn’t have to wash after each plate they use plus it’s cheap. Part of the people that chooses plastic are people say they can’t afford the reusable things but you save more on reusable things you waste money every time you buy a new pack of plastic water packets.

Did you know 448 million tons of plastic produced globally in 2015?  Plastic made by humans was made in the 1900’s such as plates, utensils, and cups. About 700 sea creatures from zooplankton, seals, sea lions, seabirds, fish, whales, and dolphins have been affected but the plastic in the ocean. Between 4 and 12 million metric tons of plastic goes into the ocean each year. In 2017 (all over the nation) only 9% was being recycled. Some plastic is hidden in products they are called microbeads or scientifically it’s called polyethylene.

Plastic is dangerous for us and for other sea creatures. The fish and other sea creatures eat plastic and they are in the food chain so that means most of the plastic ends up in our stomachs. By 2050 it’s estimated that we’ll have created 13 billion tons of plastic waste. Lots of animals are being harmed by plastic by getting stuck in plastic and just by thinking they get full of them eating plastic. Plastic is creating pollution such as people trying ways to get rid of it. I personally think we should get rid of the single-use plastic but if it’s reusable we should be able to reuse it.

Work cited

Anastasia, Laura. “How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet”. How Plastic Is Trashing The Planet,

2019, p. 4, Accessed 13 June 2019.

“How We Can Keep Plastics Out Of Our Ocean | National Geographic”. National Geographic, 2019.

Hutchinson, Brian. “7 Ways To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today”. Oceanicsociety.Org, 2019, https://www.oceanicsociety.org/blog/1720/7-ways-to-reduce-ocean-plastic-pollution-today. Accessed 2017.

Our Changing Climate. image. 2018. Accessed 3 Aug 2018.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Not What You Think It Is | The Swim”. 2018.


Why Are Many College Students In Debt?

In the article, “Drowning in Debt” I learned that college graduates struggle for years to pay off their college debt. Many students find it hard to pay their tuition because college is expensive. Over the past 30 years, college tuition has risen tremendously due to the rising salaries of professors, dorms, and other facilities.  According to a study from Wisconsin University in 2017, they found that it usually takes around 20 years for graduates to pay off their debt. Many students do apply for financial aid, but sometimes that isn’t enough help or others don’t qualify for the aid. Their alternative will then be to take out loans. 

These high tuition prices have caused controversy between politicians. Some like Bernie Sanders have proposed canceling existing student loan debt and making both public and community college tuition-free for every student. Many schools have opposed this idea because if tuition is free they won’t be able to offer the same quality of education for their students.

The problem of debt leaves many students asking themselves if college is worth it. Some students say their debt is all they have in their mind and they feel like they’re just drowning. On the other hand, economists believe that college is worth it because it’s been proven that those with a college degree will be better off than those who only have a high school diploma as they have better chances of succeeding. 

Personally, I don’t think I will ever take out loans. My parents have told me that they will support me throughout college so that I won’t have to worry later about being in debt. But unfortunately, others don’t have the same support or they don’t qualify to get assistance, so their only other option is loans.  And since some are afraid of being in debt they will get discouraged and not want to go to college or they take a year off to save up some money.  This is why I think they should make more resources to help students pay for college and not end up as badly in debt.

-Should college tuition be free?


Private Advantage?

I have always been a private school kid, and I’ve always been told that because of it I’ll have a better shot in this life. I’m a Judge kid and because of that I’m supposed to have this greater shot of getting into college. I started to wonder, is that true? Do I really have all that bigger of a shot to get into college just because of the kind of schools I’ve always gone to? This has begun to interest me so much more.
The first thing I came to find started out with the common thought that all private school kids are rich and snobby. (I’m neither, but I can see how some may think that.) Then it shoots to how that isn’t always right. Yay, thanks. It goes into the costs of private schools, amenities, and curriculum. At the very end it does something really short on what I’m looking into. “It has been shown that college acceptance and college graduation rates are higher for private school graduates. But that doesn’t mean that every private school student who applies to college gets accepted. “ It just wasn’t enough. It didn’t brush enough upon what they said they were talking about. It talked about what goes into a private school more than anything.
Another I found goes into the story of 17 year old Jessica Assaf. She had perfect grades, and had always attended private school. She applied to Brown and didn’t get it. It also states that one of the elite private schools graduating class get into elite colleges. It also says “many private schools do have some advantages, such as better student-to-counselor ratios that allow them to put a greater emphasis on the college counseling process.” It also says “college admissions staffs ‘do a fantastic job scouring public schools for poor and middle-class students who distinguish themselves,”’.”There’s two sides to it, but I don’t feel like I’ve learned enough to really make a distinguished call on this. There’s not as many students in private schools as there are in public.


Will a plastic straw ban actually be effective when it comes to saving our oceans and environment?

Plastic straws may help you drink without spilling, but the long-term costs are to high. Americans use 500 million drinking straws each day. When they are thrown away, they pollute our landfills and oceans. Marine animals sometimes mistake the plastic for food. There’s a viral video on YouTube that shows a turtle with a straw stuck up it’s nose! It’s okay for people to be attached to using straws, but there are good alternatives to plastic ones. People can buy paper or steel straws to carry with them. And many cities across the U.S. have restricted the use of plastic straws unless a person requests one. Passing more laws to ban plastic straws will not solve problem, but it is a good first step.


Renewable Energy

I have chosen to study renewable energy and its importance in the world today. “We’re in a race against time with climate change”(). It is important to me because it could end up being the key to human survival. I believe that everyone is impacted by this issue because there will be no survival without it. Why there are “ substantial obstacles in the drive to cut carbon”() it can be done. 

The article entitled “Scotland’s Energy Future Faces Major Obstacles,” written by Andrew Black, is an in-depth look at trade-offs that Scotland faces in their fight for renewable energy. According to the author, Scottish and UK governments are trying to cut carbon consumption as their primary energy source. At the same time, Scotland’s “big energy” companies are contributing to the fight for renewable energy by investing in more green energy. Scotland is one of the few countries that can rely on renewable energy 100% of the time when “conditions are favorable.” The article states that while Scotland has made progress, even more, can be done Scotland is working towards decreasing energy demand, stricter laws on building both new housing and other significant new buildings, and an improved ability to store more energy

The article titled “From Walmart To Google, Companies Teaming Up To Buy More Solar and Wind Power”illustrates the environmental goals of big energy consumers like Google of Walmart. Camila Domonoske, the author, focuses this article about how big companies are working towards using more renewable energy. For instance, according to Domonoske, Walmart is using energy from solar panels that they have built-in order to use a higher percentage of renewable energy. Domoske also discusses the challenges that big companies face as they move towards more renewable energy. One of the main obstacles is managing the fact the most solar and wind-powered energy sources do not supply energy consistently; rather, they do it in bursts. This makes it nearly impossible for a company to rely on these energy sources entirely. By using many individual references and facts, this article was useful in explaining the great strides that big companies are taking toward a more energy-efficient future as well as the barriers they face.

I have chosen to study renewable energy and its importance in the world today. “We’re in a race against time with climate change”(). It is important to me because it could end up being the key to human survival. I believe that everyone is impacted by this issue because there will be no survival without it. Why there are “ substantial obstacles in the drive to cut carbon”() it can be done. 

The article entitled “Scotland’s Energy Future Faces Major Obstacles,” written by Andrew Black, is an in-depth look at trade-offs that Scotland faces in their fight for renewable energy. According to the author, Scottish and UK governments are trying to cut carbon consumption as their primary energy source. At the same time, Scotland’s “big energy” companies are contributing to the fight for renewable energy by investing in more green energy. Scotland is one of the few countries that can rely on renewable energy 100% of the time when “conditions are favorable.” The article states that while Scotland has made progress, even more, can be done Scotland is working towards decreasing energy demand, stricter laws on building both new housing and other significant new buildings, and an improved ability to store more energy

The article titled “From Walmart To Google, Companies Teaming Up To Buy More Solar and Wind Power”illustrates the environmental goals of big energy consumers like Google of Walmart. Camila Domonoske, the author, focuses this article about how big companies are working towards using more renewable energy. For instance, according to Domonoske, Walmart is using energy from solar panels that they have built-in order to use a higher percentage of renewable energy. Domoske also discusses the challenges that big companies face as they move towards more renewable energy. One of the main obstacles is managing the fact the most solar and wind-powered energy sources do not supply energy consistently; rather, they do it in bursts. This makes it nearly impossible for a company to rely on these energy sources entirely. By using many individual references and facts, this article was useful in explaining the great strides that big companies are taking toward a more energy-efficient future as well as the barriers they face.

In the article, “Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million to Help End Coal,” New York Times journalist, Lisa Friedman, examines how one former politician is trying to take climate change into his own hands. Friedman explains that Bloomberg’s plans for renewable energy are inspiring politicians as well as other wealthy individuals to donate to the future of energy. According to this article, it would take 950 billion dollars to go 100% renewable. This includes 800 billion dollars for the actual machines and another 150 billion for the extra storage capacity.  Friedman argues that what Bloomberg is doing is more about starting a movement and less about what he is doing. We have Bloomberg and others like him to thank for thinking creatively, for dedicating time and resources, and for taking a big step forward in the right direction.

This connects to the There There because they are both about the natrol good and bad in people. Whether if it about a Pow Wow or renewable energy people will always have greed and remorse. And those two emotions both play a large role in There Their and Renewable energy.

In order to understand my topic better I would need to do more research about our planets projected future and what role renewables play in it. I would also have to do more research about how each person can do more to to be more environmentally conscience. I believe that that research should somewhat persuade the reader to eco-friendly.


Empathy and the American Single Story

Americans’ apathy leads to a single story of entitlement and privilege that deteriorates the world’s view on the capability of Americans to have meaningful relationships. The world’s view on Americans’ dedication and work ethic circle around the ideas of privilege and prerogative. They stereotype Americans as living a life of security with everything being handed to them. This single story is complex to overcome because it unfairly places Americans in a position of power where the necessity for empathetic relationships is unneeded. 

Empathy is necessary to live each day with to be able to understand and sympathize with others. In the Editors’ Picks article Harris states, “‘Empathy is essentially the science of understanding”’ (Burnett). Harris uses his musical abilities to sympathize and connect with others who are living their daily lives. Harris is an example of empathy in America and he uses empathy to understand others and go beyond their single story. Empathy is, “…getting a reading as well as you can of what they’re going through, what they may be suffering from” (Alan Alda On The Importance). The single story of Americans’ entitlement leads to a belief of a lack of empathy. This single story only looks at the greater majority of Americans instead of looking at individual Americans’ possession of empathy towards others. Alda goes on to state that Americans are smart enough and are good at heart to help each other. Especially during these times, Americans need to care for each other. People have done this by making and donating masks, holding food drives, and sending letters to our first responders. Americans genuinely care about the well being of others and desire to see them live a life of purpose. Americans are good at heart and want to learn more about others and erase their single story. Americans can overturn their single story and demonstrate the necessity of empathy in living a purposeful life. 

Works Cited:

“Alan Alda On The Importance Of Empathy During The COVID-19 Pandemic.” NPR, NPR, 13 Sept.2020 www.npr.org/2020/09/13/912424799/alan-alda-on-the importance-of-empathy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic. Accessed 14 Oct. 2020. 

Burnett, John. “Stefon Harris – Vibraphonist, Educator, Thinker – Teaches Empathy From The Bandstand.” NPR, NPR, 30 Mar. 2020,www.npr.org/2020/03/30/822024071/  stefon-harris-vibraphonist-educator-thinker-teaches-empathy-from-the-bandstand. Accessed 14 Oct. 2020. 


Guns Guns Guns!!!

I think that the main problem with gun control today is education. So many kids today see a school shooting and just assume that the answer to the problem is banning all guns. I think before you start saying that banning all guns is the solution, you do a little research. Every single pro gun control post I have read on youth voices is honestly hard to read and wolfley misinformed. It seriously sounds like most of them get their news off instagram. 

I think it would be nearly impossible to ban guns in America. U.S civilians own 393 million guns. For one, who plans on going into all these homes and buying these guns back, I don’t think anyone is going to be willing to take american guns away from them. Secondly if the government plans on buying them back, that is a lot of money. Lets just assume they will buy back all 393 million guns for 10 dollars(The average cost of a gun is between 600-1000$), thats already 3 billion. So who plans on spending that much to buy back all those guns. 

There are many reasons I don’t think gun control would work but let’s start by showing what happened in Britain.  In 1997, Britain passed a law requiring civilians to surrender almost all privately owned handguns to the police. More than 162,000 handguns and 1.5 million pounds of ammunition were “compulsorily surrendered”. After these strict gun control laws were passed not only did homicides in England and Wales significantly change, they went way up. Another example I found from the same source was about Washington D.C. In 1976, the Washington, D.C. City Council passed a law generally prohibiting residents from possessing handguns and requiring that all firearms in private homes be (1) kept unloaded and (2) rendered temporarily inoperable via disassembly or installation of a trigger lock. The funny thing is these strict guns laws not only went to no effect, but the murder rate shot up in the following years. 

I’m not trying to deny we have a gun problem in America but I’m saying that banning them wont help. 85% of Americans believe in universal background checks, and I feel that this is a big part of the problem. We can’t have unstable or mentaly unsound people getting there hands on guns. I also agree with making stricter laws on assault weapons. That is stuff like bump stocks or grips to make it easier to use, I don’t think most Americans need an AR-15 with a scope and vertical grip. But if I leave you with one thing after reading this, it would be to go do some research on guns before saying we should altogether ban them. 


Oakland Roots SC

I went to an Oakland Roots game. And the fans were wearing the Oakland Roots jerseys and there were fans playing the loud drums and people screaming “Lets go Oakland lets go.” When I heard those words I went along with it and started saying them as well. It made me proud as a kid living in Oakland.  Later, there was a block party celebrating Oakland Roots first soccer game and a lot of Oakland artist came to sing. Oakland is excited and proud for having this team represent Oakland. Oakland Roots was first an idea in 2016, and was form in 2018 but played their first game in 2019 of November 2 (Oaklandrootssc.com). Based on the research, the Oakland Roots is positive for Oakland because it is positive for the community base, benefits the kids and promotes soccer.

First, we will look more in depth in the importance Oakland Roots has brought in our community and how it has partner with other organizations to bring back the old Oakland culture. Over the years the Oakland culture was slowly fading away but Oakland Roots has been helping bring that culture back into the community. For example they ask Oakland rappers to come to there game and sing for the Oakland fans and they love to bring communities together  In the article Oakland Roots they stated, “Oakland Roots have partnered with 20+ youth soccer clubs and organizations from across the East Bay. These partnerships will provide collaborative opportunities to help grow the beautiful game and make professional soccer games more accessible for local youth” (Oakland Roots). This quote demonstrates community based because they keep partnering with many organizations that will just keep increasing the opportunity these youth will get. It helps bring the community together and it gives these youth chances to experience their first games. 

Not only is this just a sport, but this can help out a lot of youth from their past and make them have a reason to stay motivated and passionate. In the article International Futbol X- Change

“Studies have shown that players of competitive sports such as soccer tend to have higher grades overall and lower rates of depression and to participate less in risky behaviors such as taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Players tend to see their challenging work and perseverance pay dividends on the field with their sports performance, and they learn to apply those lessons to the other areas of their life as well” ( International Futbol X-Change). This illustrates that the youth tend to do positive in school because of soccer. That also means that they would be eligible to play for their schools. In an interview with a teacher from Life Academy named Andrew Pablo about the Oakland Roots SC he said that the Oakland Roots SC has impacted youth into motivating them to play soccer and makes kids wanna do vast in life and not do dangerous  things that can effect them he also said that financially they are doing a really titanic job buy selling a lot of merchandise

(Pablo). 

To sum up, the Oakland community is happy and proud to have a soccer team to rep the city and the heart of the Bay Area they built communities by partnering with over 20+ youth soccer clubs and that helps out the youth become more positive with playing soccer and making soccer a beautiful sport. 

Annotated Bibliography

“Oakland Roots SC.” Oakland Roots SC, OAKLAND ROOTS SPORTS CLUB, 2019, oaklandrootssc.com/.

This is the home page of the Oakland Roots SC. And can find history, news and get a lot of information from this page and buy Oakland Roots jerseys. This site is credible because it comes straight from their organisation. There are community base club where they look to bring people in together from the Bay Area and make soccer a game for everyone no matter if they are athletic or not. I predict that in the future everyone will be inspired by everything Oakland Roots did for our city and what they are bringing back to our beautiful city. I recommend everyone to try soccer and see how much of a fun beautiful sport this is. 

Pablo, Andrew. “Oakland Roots SC Interview.” 2 Dec. 2019.)


Why is Lore Important in a Fantasy Story?

“A good fantasy story is immersive. It pulls you in and makes you feel like it’s real, even though it very obviously is not (Edwin).”  The best way to write an immersive fantasy story is through world-building and lore.  With good world-building and lore, the fantasy world becomes believable and consistent.  “World-building lays the groundwork for your characters to develop, providing the stage for where your creations will perform (MasterClass).”

 One way to introduce lore is by using “a story within a story.” Instead of giving the facts straight up, the protagonist uses it to raise questions and keep the readers engaged. Adding bits of lore here and there makes them ask questions and want to read more.  “The biggest advantage of using lore to establish a fantasy world is that a piece of lore doesn’t have to be long or detailed. Lore can say a lot with very little.  More than that, it can invoke curiosity far more than dry exposition can (Edwin).”  Without lore, the world would seem bland, unfinished and not well thought out.  

A magic system is included in world-building (if there is any magic) and sets its own “laws” for the world.  Developing a magic system is important- it sets limits on magic so the readers know what it can and cannot do.  Even if the writer wants the limits of magic magic to remain a mystery, there should be a clear explanation on how it works so the readers won’t get confused.  

Some may argue that lore isn’t the most important part of a book, but the plot and characters.  After all, why would we care about the lore if we don’t care for the main characters or plot?  The only way that characters can be built is through the lore. Without lore, the plot cannot exist.  Think of lore as the foundation, or stage, allowing the other aspects of the story to grow and expand.  Lore is what creates the story and setting- the characters and plot is what keeps the reader interested. In a way, they’re all equally important for a good, engaging story. However, remember that before creating characters and thinking of a plot, world-building should come first, so you know the limits of the characters and if the plot is unrealistic for the world you created.


Amanda Character’s in the ” Glass Menagerie”

We live in a world where family relationships are complicated. They can not even talk to each other and always have feuds. In addition, even between siblings, they can get along with each other. They always judge each other without thinking they are only one family. The third and four sections of “ The Glass Menagerie” By Tennessee might leave a reader feeling interested because the scenario of these chapters makes me think about different relationships that exist between family. They can not have a normal conversation with each other. As I noticed Amanda and her son were not able to sit together and play together. It was very difficult for them. Even between Amanda and her daughter, it was very hard for them to talk and smile together.  An example of the character of Amanda. She is a mother who wants to get involved in all her children’s life. Also, her ambition and materialist as a woman. However, the one thing that she overdone because she wants her daughter Laura to fall in love with someone who is wealthy and married.  One example from the play is when it says, “ I know, but it’s not good for you. We have to do all that we can to build ourselves up. In these trying times we live in, all that we have to cling to is – each other. . . . That’s why it’s so important to – Tom,! – I sent out your sister so I could discuss something with you. If you hadn’t spoken I would have spoken to you” this is to show us how I deserve to get my daughter married to someone who has a good class then us. Since I’m tired to still live in my conditions of life. Then I am a woman who cares about society thinking I like to compare myself”. I think the description that I am quoting here adds really change the sentiments and thoughts of the readers because through that they can know how Amanda is. Moreover, they can see that Amanda wants her daughter to be successful in the future. She wants to have a good life through her daughter. A reader’s questions might start on page 167 to 172 “TOM: Then most young men are not employed in a warehouse. AMANDA: The world is full of young men employed in warehouses and offices and factories.

TOM: Do all of them find adventure in their careers?AMANDA: They do or they do without it! Not everybody has a craze for adventure.TOM: Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!AMANDA: Man is by instinct! Don’t quote instinct to me! Instinct is something that people have got away from! It belongs to animals! Christian adults don’t want it!” . In addition, from this quote AMANDA: “ they do or they do without it! Not everybody has a craze for adventure”. This means that Amanda desires for her daughter to have a man that is already working. This is why she still disturbs her daughter to get married to a man who works or has a career that can help them to have a good status that she desires.  It is really important because in our society now a lot of mothers want their daughters to get married to rich men that can help them with their condition lives.  The author uses some literary elements to help the readers to understand the play.  After this part of the play, most readers would likely look forward to reading the rest of this play because it shows what happens in some families in real life.  The next thing that will occur in the play will be the character of Tom because he is a selfish man and ambitious like his mother Amanda.


Police Brutality and Body Cameras

One “solution” for Police Brutality was to have police officers wear body cameras, this was supposed to help us give evidence when brutality occurs, but also decrease brutality as a whole.

These cameras have failed to help end police brutality, not because they aren’t giving enough evidence, but because we have no access to it. Officers and police departments are allowed to withhold the information and footage on a body camera from the public.

While body cameras as a whole have decreased the use of violence during police encounters, there is still a monumental amount of brutality that occurs and the victims are not able to get justice without the evidence on the body cameras.

Increasing the money given to police departments to get body cameras will not end or change the police brutality that occurs. One solution for this problem would be to make body camera footage available to the public. Police departments should not be able to investigate their own officers for brutality, there should be a 3rd party to investigate and release footage to the public.

Also, police departments should not be able to receive any more money to buy body cameras, they should be able to use money from their existing budget. You could say that it is important that police departments should have the ability to fix the problems of their department on their own, but we have seen many times that leaving these situations to these departments never gives the victim the justice that they deserve.

Black and Latinx people have encountered brutality at higher rates than white people, we have seen innocent men and women killed and harassed by police officers on body cameras many times, and they still have no justice, the third party with no bias could get them the justice they deserve. This solution is reasonable, cost-effective, and better for the community as a whole.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/253932


Social Media Free Speech

In the article, “YOU DECIDE School Social Media Free Speech Case” (BTW) we see that there was controversy on whether or not a school system should punish a student for their actions outside of school. The student, Brandi Levy a cheerleader with hopes of making the varsity cheerleading team, did not make the team. Levy was furious, she took her anger onto social media and she published a post that included vulgar language and obscene gestures (middle finger). Levy’s school stepped in and punished her for her actions, suspending her from all cheerleading activities (1 year). Many people wondered if the school had the right to punish the student. The parents filed a lawsuit against the school and ultimately won. The school believed they should intervene in certain situations, and this was one of them. The school may have felt that there was a threat toward the school’s varsity cheer squad or the varsity cheer squad may have taken offense, which could be classified as bullying (cyberbullying). The supreme court disagreed with the school, the ruling was 8-1 in favor of the levy. The supreme court believed that the school violated the First Amendment Free speech right of the student. Schools have the right to intervene when bullying or harassment, threats (toward teachers and students),  academic misconduct, online schooling, & hacking are present. 


Should private social media posts be regulated by school administrators?

I believe that Levy should have not been punished. To me, it seems that she was expressing her anger, which she has the right to do, but she could have handled the situation differently. She could have talked to the coaches and asked “coach, how can I become a better cheerleader, in what areas do I need to improve in that would put me in a better position to help the team?”. Taking this route would have solved the problem instead of making the problem worse. When we are full of anger, we tend to do certain things that we may regret, which is why we must think through every decision we make. 


Protests in Oakland

 ‌ ‌“Ain’t‌ ‌no‌ ‌power‌ ‌like‌ ‌the‌ ‌power‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌people‌ ‌cuz‌ ‌the‌ ‌power‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌people‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌stop”.‌ ‌These‌ ‌words‌ ‌are‌ ‌chanted‌ ‌for‌ ‌protests‌ ‌in‌ ‌Oakland.‌ ‌These‌ ‌words‌ ‌symbolize‌ ‌change,‌ ‌Oakland‌ ‌is‌ ‌famous‌ ‌for‌ ‌its‌ ‌protests.‌ ‌In‌ ‌the‌ ‌article‌ ‌titled‌ ‌‌How‌ ‌the‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌Area‌ ‌Turned‌ ‌the‌ ‌protest‌ ‌Movement‌ ‌Into‌ ‌a‌ ‌Way‌ ‌of‌ ‌Life‌‌ ‌it‌ ‌explains,‌ ‌“O‌ver‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌five‌ ‌decades,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌Area‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌the‌ ‌epicenter‌ ‌of‌ ‌protest‌ ‌movements‌ ‌like‌ ‌no‌ ‌other‌ ‌region‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌United‌ ‌States”‌ ‌(John).‌ ‌Protest‌ ‌in‌ ‌Oakland‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌happening‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌long‌ ‌time.‌ ‌‌Based‌ ‌on‌ ‌research‌ ‌and‌ ‌interviews,‌ ‌protesting‌ ‌is‌ ‌important‌ ‌in‌ ‌Oakland‌ ‌because‌ ‌it‌ ‌creates‌ ‌movement‌ ‌and‌ ‌change‌ ‌and‌ ‌it‌ ‌helps‌ ‌shape‌ ‌the‌ ‌community‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌better.‌ 

One reason why protesting is important in Oakland is because it creates movement. For example, Colin Kaepernick a famous football player, said “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.” (John). This is saying that Kaepernick uses his spare time when he’s not playing football, on protesting and standing up for others. This matters because what Kaepernick said is that he believes that america could become a better place. 

Another reason why protesting is important in Oakland is because it helps shape the community. Everytime a protest is occurring it helps give Oakland a better appearance. For example, Barbar Vega an interviewee said, “No a ido a un protest pero se que hacen una diferencia en nuestra comunidad” (Vega). She is saying that she hasn’t gone protesting but she supports it because it makes a difference in our community and Kapernick also said that. 

Some people however might think that protest aren’t important. This is true because some people might think that protesting isn’t important in Oakland and is just a waste of time. For example in the article, How the Bay Area Turned the protest Movement Into a Way of Life by Paige St. John, she wrote, “And this being the Bay Area, some people plan to bring their dogs to the event Saturday and then leave dog droppings behind in a counter-protest against the right-wing forces”. This means that some people don’t have any respect for the positive space and the community that others are trying to build to make Oakland a better place. People should be mindful because protests are always for good causes. 

In conclusion, protesting is important in Oakland because it will help us support one another to shape our community and create movement.  even famous people that are busy make time for protests because they believe that protest is something great that’s helped our community. Protesting is gonna have a positive effect because the community will come together and make a change. 

Annotated bibliography, 

 John, Paige st. “How the Bay Area Turned the Protest Movement Into a Way of Life.” How the Bay Area Turned the Protest Movement into a Way of Life, 26 Aug. 2017, www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-bay-protest-tradition-20170826-htmlstory.html.

This article is talking about the history of protesting in the Bay Area. Paige writes on the fact that the Bay Area has always been a hub for people to express their feelings about different events and issues in our country. This is credible because it was made 2017. This is relevant to my topic because its talking about the topic Paige St.John has the authority to write this article because Paige St. John won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative in 2011, and she covers state politics.

Vega, Barbara. “Protest in Oakland.” 27 Nov. 2019.


Should we trust Artificial Intelligence

According to the Oxford dictionary, Artificial intelligence is- the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Artificial intelligence throughout history has not been prevalent until the last 50 or so years. It is one of the worlds’ most controversial topics. It has people speculating on whether it is a good idea or a bad idea, what it is going to be used for in the future, and whether it is a good idea or not. Also we must take into account that we are making machines that could can take away job opportunities from the everyday person. 

Right now AI is being tested out. Most of it is in the beginning phases of becoming an actual product but many places around the country have actually integrated AI into the everyday scheme of things. You might not think about it but even our smartphones are a form of AI, they are able to look up almost everything on the web, they are able to track where you and sometimes where others are and they even have a voice command system that we call Siri. While they are not the most advanced form of AI, they are a very small step into a future filled with AI. Another new type of AI that is being introduced is smart cars. Companies like Tesla have made so much progress that we already have a fleet of semi-automatic cars on the road. These cars are able to drive themselves with very minimal human interaction at all and they have a built in GPS that you can type in where you are going and it will take you right to that certain place. There are many other places in our society that AI is very prevalent such as Video games, computers, Music and Media Streamers and many many more.

AI, while may be very beneficial in our everyday lives, it also poses a big question, should we be trusting non living  things to ultimately influence the things and ways that we see and interact with others in our everyday life? for many people they would say yes because they are so attached to their electronic products that they can not imagine a life without it, but there are also plenty of people that would say no under the argument that we should never trust any program to keep track of our lives

AI can and most likely will be used for many different things over the years, many will be good and many will be bad. For the most part people who program AI and people who design it need to think about what they really want their creations to go to work as. The should also consider whether this is really the best thing for everybody and not just making big choices about what they will go to work as based off of how much money is involved in the deal that they are making. While right now we have a good grasp on how much AI can benefit us, we must know that if used incorrectly, and for the wrong uses, it could end up leading to very bad things to come in the future.

Sources:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5424a424-c590-45f0-9e2a-ab05daff032d


America Means Opportunity. Or Does it?

When it comes to the concept of “America”, most people think of freedom and opportunity. According to Jose Antonio Vargas, the concept of being “American” means working hard and being able to accomplish honest work and enjoying life in America is a validation to be “American”. However, some people, including those that are part of our government, don’t view it this way. In the article entitled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” this idea is addressed by Vargas who is an undocumented immigrant and he shows us the relationship that is found between an immigrant and American citizenship. Vargas states “I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, I would be rewarded with citizenship.” In other words, Vargas believes through his hard work, he will eventually be able to be granted citizenship. Vargas uses his life journey and experiences as a successful journalist as a way to explain his perspective of someone who lives in America, while hiding his “true identity” to be able to be accepted by others around. From my perspective, this source portrays America as a place of opportunity, but also a place where legal status is a major part in one’s identity and lifestyle.

In contrast, Antonio H. Hernandez defines America as a place opposite from being a land of opportunity. The ideas found in Hernandez’s upcoming statement emphasizes the feelings many immigrants might have while living in this country. “People say this is a land of opportunity, but a lot of the time there are no opportunities, no jobs. And if you’re an immigrant you don’t get paid as much, and if you go to the hospital sometimes they won’t take care of you. An American with papers has more opportunities than an American without.” This is a powerful example that illustrates the injustices undocumented immigrants get when coming to the United States. Basically, the author is saying that America isn’t what many people perceive it to be and there can be many misconceptions on what it’s like to be an immigrant in America. I think there is a lot of truth in both sources because it’s coming from real life experiences and it’s something that you can see that is reoccurring from both perspectives. 

In my opinion, America means having an opportunity to do or become something you perhaps wouldn’t be able to someplace else. My experience as someone who lives in the Bay Area,  helps me see “America” as a multicultural, diverse, and welcoming place. However, this also, in a way, affects my experience and views of America because the Bay Area and especially Berkeley, is a very liberal area and I know that it’s not like this in other parts of our country. However, also living in the Bay Area gives me hope that one day our county will be able to fully embrace all who reside in this country, and give everyone equal opportunity and rights. I find the arguments outlined above to be an example of the advantages and disadvantages of our country, as the sources were based off of people’s experiences  who immigrated to this country. American Literature can be defined as literature that apprehends the American experience of all and flourishes the American identity. In the book “There There” the author focuses the narrative of the story to be about the experience of American Indians in today’s society. The novel highlights the oppression American Indians have experienced ever since colonization and how it continues to affect them to this day.

Sources 1:

“My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” Article

Source 2:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39

 


Should Standardized Testing Still Be Used When Viewing a Student’s Potential?

The article “Standardized Tests Provide Valuable Indicators of Students Potential” by Jack Buckley, the senior vice president of research and evaluation at the American Institutes for Research, is about the research of how valid standardized testing is when accepting kids into college. He believes that test scores, combined with gpa, has significant validity in how a person will do in college. Buckley goes on to say that if schools were to just rely on gpa, and not test scores, it would be implausible. He backs these points up with facts from research he has done on the topic. He says that new research has shown “Grades have been on the rise for the last 20 years, while SAT scores have remained relatively steady.” Here, he is saying that since gpas have been on the rise, in mostly white high schools, it would not be fair or possible to measure a student’s academic performance. If all of the gpas are getting higher, then they need something else to decipher a student from the big group. Test scores do that. https://hechingerreport.org/opinion-standardized-tests-offer-a-neutral-yardstick-in-college-admissions/

On the other hand, there are people who believe standardized testing shouldn’t even be a factor at all when accepting kids in to a school. Nicholas Tampio wrote the article “Commentary: Time to Ditch the SAT.” Nicholas Tampio is an associate professor of political science at Fordham University in New York City and author of Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy. He believes the SAT should be done away with altogether. He claims that it “…is incumbent upon Americans to find other ways to measure student learning and facilitate the college admissions process.” He too has done extensive research on the topic and provides links in his paper to the sources he used. One point he uses to back up his claim is that the test does not measure the abilities of students, each with their own different strengths and talents. Another thing he says is that kids do not take the time to learn. They are just trying to answer as many questions right-they aren’t using actual thinking when trying to find an answer. They aren’t analyzing the passages. He says, “They were taught not to read the passage in its entirety or think about or appreciate what they were reading; the goal is to answer as many questions correctly in the time allotted.” He believes that they can find an alternative way to teach children to become energetic citizens rather than stressed out, standardized test takers. https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2018-04-13/commentary-time-to-ditch-the-sat

Although both articles make very good points, I tend to lean towards the second one. I also believe that standardized testing should be less of a factor when determining the acceptance of a student to universities. I agree with Tampio’s statements when he talks about how the test does not actually teach students any information. It teaches them how to be good test takers–they aren’t actually learning and comprehending the information. I do see the points that article one is making as well though. I understand when it says without test scores, it is hard to set students apart from one another. I personally believe that they should look at extracurriculars, course rigor, etc. Overall, the admissions process can be a very difficult and controversial thing that is going to take time to evolve. 


Sustainability as a Trend

The environment has become quite the concern of many people. However the reasons behind the efforts to move to a more sustainable life have become less ethical in reasoning and more to follow a trend. Modern social fads such as the whole “ save the turtles” movement, has influenced many teens to ditch all plastic straws and switch to reusable one’s is just one example of how social trends are moving us to sustainability. In saying that are the reasons behind this trend ethical and are those who follow it actually care, or are they just becoming apart of the trend. How has social media influenced these sustainability trends and are those contributing doing it for ethical reasons. 

Sustainability as a trend has spiked in interest since the seventies with the rise of hippy culture. Ideas of giving back to the earth and being more environmentally conscious have allowed many to become apart of a cause. In the modern world sustainable products are much easier to come by and many are taking the switch to be more sustainable. Reusable straws are the main example of how people are coming to less plastic use and becoming more sustainable. But the issue is if those who are making the switch doing it in all departments. While the switch from plastic to metal or glass straws is great, many use it as an excuse to get more fast food beverages, which are often made of paper or plastic and cannot be recycled. Those who do switch to more sustainable products are praised on social media, they use their sustainable lifestyle as a popularity gain.

There are a plethora of plastic waste that contributes to pollution and unsustainability. Our everyday objects such as Milk cartons with plastic linings, disposable water bottles, soaps with small plastic beads (https://www.eartheclipse.com/environment/environmental-effects-plastic-pollution.html)  are large contributors to plastic waste. What is so bad about plastic waste is the chemicals that emit from it. The plastic is made of pure chemicals and decomposing takes up to thousands of years, and if burned the plastic releases toxins that are contributors to water, land, and air pollutants. When the toxins are ingested after long periods of time they lead to respiratory problems. When the plastics are found by wildlife, they are often mistaken for food and often animals will choke and die on the plastic waste. (https://ntepa.nt.gov.au/waste-pollution/plastic-bag-ban/environmental-impacts)

While the trend of replacing plastic straws with reusable one’s has had a positive effect on the environment, it’s not enough. To reduce plastic waste we have to make up for the past one hundred years of plastic use. So many common everyday plastic objects can affordably be replaced with more sustainable objects. Although all the reasons of the younger generation to switch to sustainability may not be in the best interest of the environment, it still encourages change and has a positive effect on carrying out the idea of a sustainable society.


Healthcare for Immigrants

Dear Gavin Newsom: 

Did you know 1 in 4 immigrants live in California (XAVIER BECERRA Attorney General). Meaning that California holds the most immigrants than any other state. And from what my team and I learned, you have helped these immigrants with their health by giving them options and even encouraging Calforinians to volunteer in food banks. But my team and I believe that there are more ways to help immigrants and that there are still disregarded problems in California that relate to these immigrants. 

According to our primary and secondary research, the public issue being addressed is Immigration reform and health and the issue matters because all lives should equally receive healthcare options for a long lasting life despite the fact of their citizenship status and it would be an act of dehumanization in the land of the free if they don’t receive those medical/food resources like everybody else. 

It is important to see that immigration is a public health issue because Immigrant Children often severely struggle with mental disorders which can cause them to die earlier than others. In an article named Caring Across Communities: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Diverse Children and Youth by De Milto L, it talks about the program they offer to refugee and immigrant people that gives mental health services and why they are doing it. Basically, informs what the organization, Caring Across Communities: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Diverse Children and Youth, does and their motives. And their mission  reads, “Children from immigrant and refugee families are at higher risk than other children for depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, social isolation, lack of social integration, and undiagnosed mental health disorders. They have limited access to mental health care, and often come from cultures where getting help for mental health problems carries stigma.” (De Milto L). This implies  the fact that children from immigrant families are of higher risk developing some sort of mental disorders than a child who is not from an immigrant family. This could be due to lack of  healthcare access in the community and often the system is not diverse, which can make immigrants feel less comfortable. People don’t trust the system often.  These mental disorders can  be stuck with these children for their rest of their lives which leads to an unhealthy life and a short life. If health options continue to be a problem for them, their mental health will worsen so badly that it will be irreparable. These immigrant families are seen as subsidiaries because of their undocumented status. These struggles with their mental health will probably affect other aspects they do in life, for example education and jobs. Immigrants are well known for their stereotypes which are that they steal jobs and that they are criminals and illegal. If they don’t get healthcare they need, these stereotypes will continue to live on.

    Aside from immigrants having a lack of health care options not only  leads to developing mental health disorders, often immigrants don’t take care of their own life because they prioritize their children over themselves.  In an article named, The impact of local immigration enforcement policies on the health of immigrant hispanics/latinos in the United States, written by many authors who contributed an investigation. In this investigation, they wanted to understand how the immgration enforcement policies affected the use of healthcare services for hispanic/lantix immigrants in North Carolina. Their outcome from this investigation reads, “Hispanic/Latina mothers sought prenatal care later and had inadequate care when compared with non-Hispanic/Latina mothers. Participants reported profound mistrust of health services, avoiding health services, and sacrificing their health and the health of their family members.” (Rhodes). When the results were examined, they saw that hispanic/latinx mothers seek for prenatal care much later than normal mothers usually would and that once they did, the care that they would receive was insufficient. Also, there was a lack of trust for the healthcare system and family members sacrificing their health for others. These mothers shouldn’t be in a situation where their limitation of healthcare options is a threat. Healthcare is not enough for them, it isn’t helping as much. These families are given healthcare options that give no effects to a robusting life. This is an act of dehumanization by making healthcare accessible an obstacle for immigrants. This act was probably not made intentionally but these families are struggling. These immigrant families shouldn’t depend on one solution which is sacrificing. This is also dehumanizing by making life cost another when all lives shouldn’t. Hispanic/latinx are mostly affected by this issue which makes sense because most of the immigrants that come to America come from latin countries. But that still doesn’t make my team and I question why they have “ inadequate care” unlike other mothers. 

    My team and I created a 20 questions survey and had 23 participants fill it in. All of these participants were from the Bay Area, specifically Oakland. My team and I believed that Oakland residents had more access to healthy foods than to the healthcare system since Oakland has a huge food bank accessible for anyone. My team and I then reviewed the survey and saw that 65.2% (15) of adults who took the survey don’t live off of food stamps but 34.8% (8) of adults do. Also, we found out that 39.1% (9) of respondents have reported that they have been denied from health care and 60.9% (14) have not or are not sure. Furthermore, Only 4.3% (1) of respondents are against the healthcare system and 95.7% (22) of respondents are not. 

Figure 1: Respondents who were denied from the Healthcare system. This pie graph shows how many participants were denied from healthcare. “Yes” means they were denied from healthcare and “no” means they weren’t. That 17% weren’t sure so they could go either way which is interesting. Others don’t know or are not sure if it has ever occurred to them. 

Figure 2: Participants who live off from Food Stamps. This bar graph shows that people who do live off of food stamps and the people who are not sure are an equal amount. It’s under 5, so it’s 8 of them. This argues that more people have access to healthy foods than the healthcare system and that there are people who get food from food stamps which might be a sign that they struggle to purchase food from grocery stores.        

Figure 3: Participant’s level of trust for the Healthcare System. This pie chart represents how much trust the respondents have for the healthcare system. Almost half of the respondents have a medium level of trust for healthcare. This argues that more than half of respondents have a low level of trust for the healthcare system. So this means that if they don’t trust the healthcare system, they don’t know how unhealthy they probably actually are. 

Based on our survey data, the community, Oakland residents, needs to be aware of the need to have more health care/food resources available to them and why it’s so important to them. If most of the participants have been denied from the healthcare system it would make sense they lost trust in the system. Therefore we have come up with aims that we hope will solve our public health issue. 

Aim #1 Virtual: Educating the people on Social Media about why Healthcare is important for immigrants as much as it is for US Citizens 

My team and I believe that our community believe that when immigrants have  limited  access to healthcare, this makes a difference to their health. Immigrants are degraded in our system. If these immigrants still have mistrust for the healthcare system, they might develop some sort of disease or condition that they are not cautious of. Not just that, but they might also be struggling to provide food for their family. We want our community to be aware of the present resources they have. If they are not able to purchase food from grocery stores, we want them to know that the food bank is always available. So we have decided to use the Social Change tactic, Media & Propaganda. We also decided to create a statistics sheet. In this sheet, it will include facts about immigrants and healthcare and the food banks in Oakland. This sheet will be titled  “No one is illegal in a stolen land.” Most of these statistics and available resources that we will include in this sheet will be from our secondary research,  that is our supplies for our aim. We plan to use no money for this since it will be typed and posted on our social media. Our team has individual personal social media so we will be posting them there. But we are well aware of the impediments that we might face during this action which are that people will disagree or apathy. 

Aim #2 if Shelter in Place Ends: Start a petition to build Hospitals for Immigrants only in every state

In my second paragraph, I mention that hispanic/latinx mothers had looked for prenatal later and once they did receive care, it did not help as much as it did with other mothers. Most immigrant families receive healthcare that is usually not enough which leads to one family member putting themselves in danger so others will not. So my team and I decided to use the Social Change tactic which is Building Alternative Institutions and thought of building hospitals for immigrants only. These hospitals will give out resources and medical care that is actually needed and helpful. Immigrants NEED health care and these hospitals might possibly be their only option/resource. These hospitals will also include mental health resources. These hospitals will be located in every state, especially in the Southern States, which are California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. But we plan to first start in California. And if it works we start a petition in every state so that a hospital is available for immigrants all over the country. Our budget depends on the hospitals that will be built. My team and I are aware that some people might disagree on building these hospitals, xenophobia and racism. We know that if we do this, we might not have enough signatures and these hospitals will not be built in every state. 

Aim #3 If I had no limitations (unlimited funding and access): Fundraising money to buy medicines, do check ups, and give out food/healthcare resources to immigrants that have just arrived to the United States

When immigrants first come to the United States, they come here for economic opportunities. But what does not come to mind for them is the medical needs for them. Which causes health issues for both sides of the border. These immigrants might not be aware of the diseases that they might be bringing to America. So in order to keep both sides of the border safe, my team and I have thought of giving out medicine, checkups, long lasting foods, and food/medical/mental health resources so that they know their resources once they come to America. This action connects to the Social Change Tactic: Civil Disobedience and Direct Service. Of course, the supplies that will be needed for these actions are the medicine and foods. But both can be expensive so we will fundraise money to get all of it. This action will happen all across the border. We will also have another pedition so that many people can help us do this illicit action. Challenges my team and I know we might face so that there won’t be enough money or that someone will tell the authorities about this illegal action while signing the pediton. 

Finally, thank you, Gavin Newsom, for taking time to listen to us and the issue my team and I will hope to fix with your help. California holds the most immigrants than any other state. That would mean that millions and millions of people struggle to stay alive because they don’t receive medical care or don’t have enough food. We need to help these people. No one should struggle like that all and it shouldn’t be because of their citizenship status. Everyone deserves to live a long and healthy life. We hope that even a little help from you, we can change this for the better. Thank you, Gavin Newsom. 

Auto Bibliography 

“Addressing Mental Health Needs of Diverse Children & Youth.” RWJF, 26 July 2019, www.rwjf.org/content/rwjf/en/library/research/2011/11/caring-across-communities–.html.

“Immigration FAQ.” State of California – Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General, 1 Feb. 2018, www.oag.ca.gov/immigrant/faqs.
Rhodes, Scott D, et al. “The Impact of Local Immigration Enforcement Policies on the Health of Immigrant Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25521886


Is Nicotine The Way To Go?

Nicotine largely affects the area of the brain responsible for attention, memory, learning, and brain plasticity.

Brain development continues throughout adolescence and into young adulthood.” However, different portions of the brain mature at varying speeds.

For example, the areas for social and sexual behaviors are fully developed at an early age with puberty. In contrast, the development of the frontal cortical areas responsible for cognitive control over behavior extends into young adulthood.

“There are more than 250 chemicals in cigarettes known to be harmful, with at least 69 that cause cancer.” Some of the cancer-causing chemicals include arsenic, formaldehyde, nickel, carbon monoxide, and even cyanide.
Nicotine can have mind-altering properties and cause cravings that are sometimes uncontrollable. Many experts still recommend that no one under the age of 21 should try any form of it, especially with the compelling evidence showing nicotine can alter the function of the developing brain.

Even when you isolate nicotine, inhaling it is still a lousy delivery system that stresses the lungs and probably increases the risk of lung disease. But when taken orally (such as with nicotine gum or lozenges) or through a transdermal patch, without all of the other chemicals in cigarettes, it may be a different story.


You, Yourself, and Your Being

In life, artwork, and especially literature, the narrative is often formed to the understanding of good vs. evil. There stands a protagonist and an antagonist—hero vs. villain, one vs. all, or, perhaps, man vs. himself. Personality, too, develops through and can be defined by a battle of internal parties; what we create demonstrates conflict and a weighing of scales out of no coincidence.

Which is the hero and which is the villain is not so easily determined, however, as in your favorite fairytale. Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud explores the mystifying dynamic of influences, composed of the id, ego, and superego, that creates a conceptual structure of personality and behavior and answers the investigation of humans and their capacity for a controlled balance. 

Freud identifies personality as a complex construct made up of the id, which is ruled by raw, primal instinct and desire, as well as the ego and the superego, the latter acting in reflection of our morals as gathered from parents and society, the former acting out of logic and direction—a tie to reality. The id forms first, allowing us to fulfill the necessary instincts to survive and activating the pleasure principle, which demands immediate gratification of personal desires.

Freud describes this instinct-honed influence as “dark, inaccessible…[a] cauldron of seething excitations,” establishing it as an unpredictable and overbearing drive, “only able to be observed by studying content of dreams and neurotic behavioral clues” (“How Studying…”). We experience fantasies, daydreams, and even hallucinations in the id’s primary process response to being denied immediate gratification. Immersing ourselves in the unexplainable reactions of our deep subconscious is the only way to consciously fulfill their purpose. Then, during sleep, the mind processes memory and emotion, following the internal rules of its person, for while “some people dream in color, others only recall dreams in black and white,” revealing the subjectivity of mental interpretation according to the id’s impulses (“Brain Basics…”).

The ego is what develops to seek a real-world answer to these mental pictures in a secondary process, check the id’s impulses—giving guidance to the drive, and act in accordance with social acceptability, the root of the superego. The superego then embodies conscious values of right vs. wrong and emotional response, working to “suppress all unacceptable urges of the id and…make the ego act upon idealistic standards rather than upon realistic principles” (“Id, Ego, and Superego…”). Just as the id must have limiting factors, and the ego grants them in reflection of what develops the superego, the superego offers its own limitations to each of the others in order to establish personal guidance for judgment. The three components of personality and behavior according to Freud overlap and balance one another, and this internal balance is key to a healthy psyche. 

Through a study of the human personality in terms of its primal and long-lasting instincts, exposure to reality, and moral foundation, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud uses the id, ego, and superego to illustrate the conflicting influences that battle for control of our actions, which dictate the perception of our being.

If one has an overpowering id, they may, on theme, act impulsively and without control, separating them from the whole with a lack of outward consideration. Evenly, if the superego is overly dominant, extreme morals may cultivate distorted judgment and make an individual closed to acceptance.

When the ego can sufficiently moderate between the two in communication with reality, however, there is adaptability, and a personality is—in theory—stable, proportionate. None of the three components is a separate entity determining behavior, but while they attune to one another’s desires, each does stand for a distinct pull that reasons for why humans act when, where, and how they do.

When one holds too much power, all work against us in their lack of proportion until the imbalance is acknowledged, allowing for in our narrative the identification of a protagonist, an antagonist, an equalizer. Equilibrium and well adjustment are the goal, which can be accomplished through a measured Freudian sense of self-analysis and frequented dealing with counterbalances. 

Image Credit: Snappy GoatFree Images – SnappyGoat.com- bestof:Sigmund Freud


The Question of Gun Reform in the United States

In an article written in the New York Times, the author states that stricter gun laws will benefit the society of the United States, but unfortunately the U.S. government is failing to act. Kristof uses the shooting in New Zealand as an example of effective leadership as the Prime Minister changed gun laws nearly 10 days after the shooting. He stated that the United States should emulate this behavior. For example, he mentions that when Connecticut enforced tighter gun licensing laws in 1995, firearm homicide rates dropped by 40%. Conversely, when Missouri eased gun control laws in 2007, firearm homicide rates increased by 25%. Additionally, he believes the implementation of thorough background checks is a concept that everyone can agree on. More than 90% of gun owners support universal background checks. He suggests that guns should also be manufactured to be “smarter” so that only authorized users may use them. Experts have even suggested that we could reduce gun deaths by about one-third, saving 13,000 lives a year by investing in smarter guns. Either way, Kristof states that violence will still occur, but we can reduce these acts of violence by bringing awareness of the issue, and persuading Congress to act.

Conversely, John G. Malcolm states that the problem of mass shootings and gun violence are due to lack of mental health treatment, and not increased gun ownership. This article emphasizes protecting the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution that ownership of firearms is an individual right that should not be infringed upon. Malcolm believes that as U.S. citizens, we have the right to uphold the amendments written in the Constitution. Additionally, he mentioned that lack of mental health treatment is the primary cause of mass shootings, not the ownership of firearms. Malcolm believes that it is up to the families to raise their children with enough support to become well-functioning citizens in society. Additionally, he mentions that it is up to the states to teach about mental health in schools so that mass shootings can be prevented if one feels isolated because of their condition and wants to retaliate with violence. He mentions that gun ownership does not correlate with increased violence. He notes that people own more guns in rural areas, but more gun violence occurs in urban areas, where people have less guns, and thus, are less protected. Malcolm believes that gun ownership will actually prevent gun violence.

I believe both articles present valid statements that I agree with. On one hand, I agree with Kristof that more thorough background checks should be executed for gun owners in the United States, making it harder to obtain a firearm. On the other hand, I agree with Malcolm that lack of mental health education persists in the United States, causing those with mental health conditions who do not face treatment more likely to commit gun violence. I agree with Kristof’s argument more. Even though Kristof believes that more strict gun laws should be implemented in order to provoke change, I believe this should be done in conjunction with more thorough background checks. I also believe that even though Malcolm states that the right to own a gun is explicated in the 2nd amendment and should be upheld, the founding fathers who wrote the Constitution had no way of predicting the powerful automatic firearms that would be invented hundreds of years in the future. I think that the presence of automatic weapons should have no place in society. We must make sure the United States is a place where anyone feels safe to reside there. We must reform current gun laws in order to protect this ideal.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/20/opinion/new-zealand-gun-control.html

https://www.heritage.org/crime-and-justice/report/the-newtown-tragedy-complex-causes-require-thoughtful-analysis-and


Addicted to drugs

I just read a Wikipedia article: Cannabis. (2016, June 13). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:46, July 25, 2016 from https://simple.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cannabis&oldid=5420164

I feel interested this article because it says that when it comes to “alcohol, tobacco, and hard drugs, most people who use marijuana can stop taking it when they want, while experiencing only minor withdrawal symptoms.” But the best thing about taking marijuana is that you are able to stop not like the people that drink alcohol or other types of things. This matters to do that all they do is smoke because they could stop if they want to. One time my sister and I stopped a man to ask him if he drinks, and he told us that he does and he had tried to stop but he couldn’t because his body was to used to it.

One sentence from this article that stands out for me is: “This means that if a person starts taking heroin, meth, or cocaine, that person’s body will physically need to keep taking the drug. If they try to stop using the drug, they may become very sick.” That is the worst thing about drugs that people will get addicted to it and will not stop using it. This matter to a lot of families because they don’t want their kids to get addicted to drugs at a young age. Something that I remember is when my brother started to smoke. We all were mad at him in the family because we didn’t want him to be addicted to the drugs.

I’m pretty sure this is accurate because in “Understanding Addiction Cravings” it says:

“People who have addictions often have to deal with strong urges, or cravings, to take the drug again. Cocaine addiction produces very powerful urges that can easily drive a person to use again and again – regardless of cocaine’s many destructive consequences.” Rehabs.com

Another sentence that I agree with was: “Some hashish users like the feeling of these visions and thoughts, while others may find them scary. However, people rarely get hallucinations after smoking or eating cannabis.” This stood out for me because Most of the people smoke because they like it not because they have to do it or they going to things at home. This really matters to the teens that are smoking life because they don’t want their kids to be on those types of things. My friend told me one time that her mom used to get mad when she used to go home high.

I double-checked this fact through Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/does-smoking-cannabis-cause-cancer#evidence They recommended that, until we have more definite evidence, doctors should warn people of the possible harmful effects of marijuana smoking which makes me feel pretty sure that it is true.or shown that smoking marijuana causes lung cancer, even in people who smoke a lot of marijuana for a long time.” I think this statement is not accurate, because of what I found in Cancer Research UK, where it says: “In 2006 a systematic review looked at marijuana use and lung cancer risk. Although they could not find a significant link between marijuana and cancer, the reviewers reported that smoking marijuana increased tar exposure and caused changes to the lining of the small tubes in the lungs.” Read more at http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/does-smoking-cannabis-cause-cancer#evidence

What I learned from this article is something that I learned from this reading was that many people that are using drugs may get addicted to it and their body will get sick if they stop using it.something else that I had learned about Wikipedia article is that most of the people that are using drugs are doing it because it makes them feel good.


Related XP: Post on Social Media


 


Gun violence

Dear Oakland Teenagers who want to make a change in gun violence in the community.

We are writing to you because we want you to know about gun violence in Oakland. We hope that after reading this letter you help the community in fighting gun violence. 

According to our research, gun violence is a problem.

The first problem is that gun laws are not strict enough. I say we should make a law where if you own a gun you could only use it if it’s a life or death situation. Or if we could only have it at surden age. I say these should be turned into a law and if they don’t follow it they should be arrested.

The second problem is the community does not have enough programs to stop gun violence. This shows how we can make more programs for people who were in any actions of gun violence and that the more people join the programs less harm of gun violence they will be. This will also help people get their mindset to the correct path if we had more programs about gun violence since people who are part of gun violence they get bad habits and their minds will be with horrible flashbacks.

Thirdly, the people being harmed or oppressed by gun violence are those who are unexpectedly shot. The shooter benefits from this harm because he/she enjoys it. The level of oppression is institutional because it involves people breaking the law. People that cause harm have made the issue worse because they don’t agree and follow the law.

The community was surveyed about Gun Violence to find out what they knew. We surveyed because of our  school or family members. The number of surveys was 15.

Based on the surveys data it shows that people said that gun violence has  increased by a lot and decreased.

Figure #1:It is titled `people who were involved in gun violence ” It shows that many people who were not part of gun violence which is good because many people who were part of gun violence got a lot of trouble on their mental state but since many were not part of this violence it shows good health on the community. Another fact is that many people will feel more safe out then there will be more interactions and people won’t have to feel danger anymore. This also shows good things since the graph shows us how less people are not part of any bad habits.

Figure #2: The Graph shows how gun violence has increased a lot mostly because of death rates going up. Also that but because everyone nowadays is trying to act hard or have it because they think it makes them cool. But we could change this by making guns harder to sell and stop selling it to young people. 

Figure #3It is clear from the graphs that making guns harder to buy and by using them for emergencies only. Gun violence will decrease if we make this a law or if they just stop selling guns to people.

Based on the Survey and Research as we need to educate people about the issue of gun violence and how they can push the community to make the violence stop. 

Aim 1: Educate

What we’re going to do to advocate and spread the information is make more surveys to get info and make changes to the community.The steps we will take are getting the surveys ready so we can send it to people or family so we can get their opinion.The obstacle we expect are people probably refusing the survey.

My second aim is to make big and small flyers that we can hand out and post up around school or outside of school with information.The steps we will take will be getting a lot of paper so she can do the flyers.An obstacle we will face is people ripping off our posters.

My third aim will be making a lot of billboards and youtube ad’s so people can see them and advocate.First I will make a contract with youtube so I broadcast my message across screens.

explanation.

We would know if we were successful if we see more students spreading the need for more gun laws, community interventions, and true gun violence statistics. 

Thank you for listening. Are you willing to help now? Can we count on you?

Work Cited

“Four Experts on What Has Worked to Curb Gun Violence in Oakland.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 Dec. 2019, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/12/whats-driving-the-sharp-decline-of-gun-violence-in-californias-bay-area.

Key facts about gun violence worldwide. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/arms-control/gun-violence/


Racism and Schools

  1. “Racism in America: `The struggle will define us’.”

https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9312281438&site=ehost-live

– Derrick Bell, a professor at New York University School of Law, claims in his book that racism is a significant part of American life; it keeps America alive. “Even poor whites gain self-esteem by looking at black faces at the bottom of the well.” The government has done a substantial amount to combat racism, and has limited themselves with racism. However, Star Jones, legal correspondent of NBC television news, says that racism will never go away. People will always have a certain type of hatred towards a minority or certain type of group. “You either learn to live with it or you die from it.” The Civil Rights Act of 1991 helped to change the civil rights forum from the courts to Congress. Congress is now more available, and they can be more responsive to issues. To solve this issue, Bell suggests licensing discrimination. The idea is to have the people who intend to discriminate buy a license that would be shown in any public or business setting. The money from these licenses would go to civil rights funds, and there would be penalties for people who discriminated without a license. However, some say this idea already exists to some extent in New Jersey. A statute allows suburbs that discriminate to pay off housing that people are unwilling to set aside for minorities. Carrying out Bells idea would be hard because it somewhat infringes on the 1st Amendment rights of citizens. This article helped me see the different perspectives of racism in America as a whole. It showed how we can attack racism in society, the more broad environment compared to schools. 

2. “Should Schools Have a Policy on the Use of the N-Word?”

https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=139637242&site=ehost-live

– The article begins with a story about a man named Marlon Anderson, a black school security guard, being called a racial slur. Anderson responds by telling the black high school student to not call him the word. Because Anderson said the racial slur when he told the student to stop, he was fired. The issue here is that the n-word is being thrown around so easily by many different populations. People have become numb to the idea that the word has caused so much harm to African American culture in history. The word is very toxic to any environment, and the use of it is unnecessary and immoral, especially at school. Because of the school’s knowledge of the words used, the school has taken a rigid stance on the use of it in any format or environment whatsoever. Something that could help is education of the word. If students or teachers took time to educate others on the word, it would help them understand the turmoil and pain that came with it. Also, there needs to be more diverse input to situations like this. There needs to be a black person on the board of the school to have a different perspective. There was some pushback to these solutions. Teachers would respond with that they are white and they don’t have the right to talk about the n-word. There is a fear to talk about the word in a school setting. Also, the fact that the word is being used in a friendly manner, does not help with the fact that it is unacceptable. The word shouldnt be able to define someone or their situation. The way to fix the problem is to educate, not punish. This article showed me an issue with racial slurs and how the school went about it. It shows how the school made mistakes, and how we, as a nation, can learn from them, and what we can do for the future of schooling. 


Social Media and Social Change

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” – Herbert Spencer (“Herbert Spencer Quotes”)

It is a universal philosophy of those in the education system to strive for the fulfillment of scholastic potential and personal growth. In the pursuit of knowledge, we must engage in opportunities to learn with this question in mind: “In what ways is the content of what I am learning going to contribute to the good of others?” Education exists in many forms, but the most common way to receive information is through the media. The powerful extent of social media as a form of education and the attention it directs to current societal concerns prompts the advancement of humanity toward social reform.

In light of recent events, the interconnectivity of social media has proven to be a major source of awareness on various topics geared toward social change, like racial injustice and gender equity. Social media, for this generation in particular, is the most prominent outlet of information, with statistics showing that “96% of students that have internet access use at least one social network” (Wade). Students are more likely to actively respond to information when it is presented to them in a way that is easiest for them to identify with.

Personally, the social media platform that has provided me with the most information is TikTok. TikTok is an app where creators create a wide range of content, including comedy, dance, or education, through 15-60 second videos. The hashtag #LearnOnTikTok was adapted by users who have the intent to share ideas that are learned in the classroom and spread awareness of current events.

Because of TikTok, as well as other social media platforms, I have become more aware of the issues happening in our society and am able to contribute my thoughts and opinions in a way that is effective and easy. The Black Lives Matter movement and the hashtag #SayHerName have brought attention to police brutality and racial violence toward black people, demonstrating the powerful influence social media has on its audience. (“Social Media for Social Change: 5 Ways Social Media Can Create Social Change).

Media platforms have become the spark for social justice movements and have elevated them on larger scales. By promoting on social media what we hold to be valuable for reform, we strengthen our unity as a society to push for change on subjects we are most passionate about.

Social media is constantly changing with the times, and it is the most accessible form of education that exists. It increases the extent of visibility of material vital for social change. While social media is effective in providing copious amounts of information, it is what we do with that information that matters most.

Education is social change. Education regarding current social matters is activism. Victims of social injustice share their stories, and from hearing about these experiences, we are educated about concepts beyond ourselves, gaining the ability to understand our privileges and powers and using them to connect with and fight for the good of others who are marginalized and oppressed in society.

Works Cited

“Herbert Spencer Quotes.” brainyquote.com, BrainyQuote, https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/herbert-spencer-quotes. Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

“Social Media for Social Change: 5 Ways Social Media Can Create Social Change.” nnedv.org, 29 June 2016, https://nnedv.org/latest_update/social-media-social-change/. Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Wade, Lori. “How Social Media is Reshaping Today’s Education System.” csic.georgetown.edu, Georgetown University, https://csic.georgetown.edu/magazine/social-media-reshaping-todays-education-system/. Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.


Do dolphins and whales use ultrasound only for communications?

Humans cannot communicate underwater unless we use our bodies to communicate. When humans do activities underwater such as scuba diving, we need to use bells that sound like dolphins’ sounds to communicate underwater. We can hear the sound of a bell, which is like an ultrasound from dolphins and whales, but we don’t know what they are doing with the ultrasound. Through the article and the journal, we are able to know how dolphins and whales use the sound for communication and for other things.

According to the article,’Whales, dolphins, and sound’, the author said: “Sound is very important to whales and dolphins for hunting, navigating and communicating.” “Toothed whales (including dolphins) have developed a remarkable sensory ability used for locating food and for navigation underwater called echolocation. Toothed whales produce a variety of sounds by moving air between air-spaces or sinuses in the head. When swimming normally, the sounds emitted are generally low frequency; the echoes from these sounds provide information about the seafloor, the shorelines, underwater obstacles, water depth, and the presence of other animals underwater.”. According to the journal,’Convert underwater acoustic communication using dolphin sounds’, the author said: “Dolphin whistles were used for synchronization while dolphin clicks were used as an information carrier. The time interval between dolphin clicks conveys the information bits.”

Dolphins and whales use ultrasound for communication, and they also use for hunting and navigating in murky and dark water. Even if the bells that humans use underwater sound like an ultrasound, that doesn’t mean that dolphins and whales can understand the sound of the bell. I watched the video that has the sound of a whale and I thought the reason the whale made a sound is that it communicated with other whales but after reading the article and journal, I realized that they make a sound not only for communicating but also for looking for preys.


Preventing Skynet

“Google Tackles AI, Robotics Safety to Prevent Future Toasters from Killing Us in Our Sleep”, by Joel Hruska, is a three page synopsis of a 29 page extensive study done by Cornell University and Google that analyzes safe practices when it comes to developing concise, effective, and adaptive AI systems.

As Hruska states, the mains points of safe Ai design entail; 1) Avoid negative side effects, 2) avoid reward hacking, 3) scalable oversight, 4) safe exploration, and 5) robustness to distributional shift. He uses an example of video on the web created by Boston Dynamics. It features a 60 pound robot performing daily chores. These tasks included placing cups into either the dishwasher or recycling bin and delivering beer to its operator.

While this is a limited example of what robots functioning under sound AI are capable of, it is only an example in 2018. This is only one of hundreds of machines that compile databases, run simulations, and operate in industrial settings, in a few decades we are looking at a world dominated by computers.

In a Ted Talk held at Erasmus University by Etienne Augé, the speaker persuades the audience why science fiction is necessary. It is not because it invokes the imagination, while that may seem to be an important part. Science fiction “shares communities with politics and propaganda”. It is a form of mass persuasion that we enjoy and experience. “It is about telling a story to inspire people… preventing and inventing the future, not predicting it”. Science fiction has debuted countless post apocalyptic worlds, such as Terminator, or dystopias, such as Matrix. Like Augé states, these are predictions for what the world could possibly shape into with careless pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, heeding the signs of our times, studies, research, and caution becomes critical in ensuring the prosperity of our world.

As we work towards the future, we are not set on a predestined path. We are actively experiencing our errors. As long as we proceed with care, we can avoid Skynet. We see the consequences today of technology and how it influences the separation between the haves and have-nots. That is why AI can become a tool to fix this schism, not expand it by being used as a tool of commercialism .

References:

HRUSKA, JOEL. “Google Tackles AI, Robotics Safety to Prevent Future Toasters from Killing Us in Our Sleep.” PC Magazine, Aug. 2016, pp. 11-14. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cph&AN=117128586&site=ehost-live.

TEDxTalks. “Why Our World Needs Science Fiction: Etienne Augé at TEDxErasmusUniversity.” YouTube, YouTube, 23 Mar. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJkixvgJqsY.


Questions about “Sex Without Love” by Sharon Olds

In the 15th line of the last stanza, Olds in this line was basically just comparing how people love the pleasure but not the one actually causing this pleasure.  She writes, “love the priest instead of the god”. People are confusing love and pleasure. This line is very interesting because it is interesting how she can compare both religion and sexual intercourse from each other. The question that this line raises for me is, how can people have sexual intercourse without actually getting attached. The poem answers the question by comparing sex to certain things.

I wonder if I am the only person that disagrees with people having sexual intercourse without any strings attached? The poem answers my question because the author is confused about the same thing as me. The poet answers this question by explaining her feelings and her experience. Some words that she used that showed the point of the poem by saying, ‘’not love the one who came there with them, light rising slowly as steam off their joined skin?’’ this shows how the poet is questioning sexual intercourse without an actual relationship. This makes me wonder if everyone goes through the same thing when it comes to having a sexual relationship.




Maggie’s hard life.

When my sister Dee, Mama, and I lived together, I always felt ashamed that Dee saw me. My body was covered with burn scars on my arms and feet since the day that our old house burned. Dee always hated that house, she was standing under a tree seeing how the flames crumble our old house while I was sticking at mama with painful scars in my body and my dress breaking up little by little.

I have noticed that Mama always paid more attention to dee than me. I was like the black sheep of the family. Dee always gets what she wants and never accepts a no as an answer. It’s like if people have never been able to say that word to her. Mama often sees those tv shows that is about a famous comedian interviewing a child that had “made it” with their parents feeling proud of him. Mama’s wish has always been to be on that type of program with dee. Mama start to acquire money to send Dee to school. She could never be educated given her situation. She has worked very hard throughout her life to raise us. Dee often read to us what she learned in school in a strict and controlling way. After finishing high school, Dee keeps studying  and surpassing herself away from Mama and me.

Time passed and Mama received a letter from dee basically saying that it does not matter in where are we living, she will come to visit us but she wasn’t going to bring any of her friends. On a normal day, me and Mama saw a car approaching our house. Since I saw her getting off of the car, I immediately know it was her. Dee finally came back to visit us. She was walking toward us dressing a long orange dress and a bunch of jewelry all around his neck and arms.

“Don’t get up,” says Dee, she goes back to the car and goes out holding a camera and took us some pictures of us. I was behind of  mama considering that I never liked being photographed. She was quickly showing us many photos of us but those who show surroundings of the house and the animals quickly she broke them because she never liked to show her friends where she grew up. She out the camera back in the car and then kiss mama in the forehead. She didn’t even bother to greet me, as if I wasn’t there. A simple “hello sister” would have been enough.

Anyways, we were having dinner like the old times. After that, I was alone in the kitchen  and Dee was in Mama’s room with her, they were talking about something but I didn’t pay much attention but then I heard something that really mattered to me. “Mama, can I have these old quilts?”, without realizing it, I dropped what I was carrying and then I slammed the kitchen door. I was feeling irate, bitter, fatigated and more feelings of sadness. Mama offers me those quilts because she knows that i will appreciate those quilts that mama and my aunt made from some tops that grandma pierced before she died. Knowing Mama, in the end she will give to her because Dee will continue insisting until she get what she wants. She always get what she wants.

I left the kitchen without any hope of keeping the quilts that Mama offers me and I stood in from of them. “She can have them Mama”, I said very discouraged, “I can remember Grandma Dee without the quilts”. After I said that, something unexpected happened. Mama was hoggin me. Then she grab my arm and placed me in the bed. She grabs the quilt from Dee’s hands and put it in mi lap. I was very surprised with my mouth open. “Take one or two of the others” Mama said to dee. But she turned without saying anything and went out to her car. We follow her and when she was near to the car she says “You just don’t understand”. “What don’t I understand?” Mama says to her.

“Your heritage” Dee said to mama, the she look at me and kiss my cheek, “You ought to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it.” She said to me. Dee put her sun glasses and left in her car. I smiled. But this time I didn’t have a mock laugh and not scared, it was a real smile. Mom and I watched as the car disappeared from our sight and watched the rest of the sunset until it was time to go to bed.

Sunset by annemiekecloosterman on 2016-10-04 19:34:31


What Is Life Without Risk

The book “Paper Towns” by John Green is a really interesting and captivating book with things people have or may have gone through in life. The book also adds a bit of mystery to it which keeps you hooked and still interested which you may not find often.

The First few chapters of “Paper Towns” by John Green might leave a reader feeling curious/hooked because so many things happen from the midnight trip to payback to sneaking into seaworld. It’s just very chaotic but not in a bad way. An example of this is on page 74.  “And before I could even say anything, the snake lashed out and bit her left ankle” This is so unexpected and crazy because they never expected this to happen to two kids who wanted to be adventurous and try something new and then this happened it’s just crazy.

We learn something interesting about one of the characters, Quentin on page 70 where it says: “Fine, but when SeaWorld, Incorporated, or whatever  sends a letter to Duke University  saying that miscreant Quentin Jacobsen broke into their facility at 4:30 in the morning….” This is typical of how this character acts in this book, so far. He often seems to be cautious and nt very adventurous. If you are the outgoing type of person you may not want to unless your goal is to break his shell.

After this part of the book, most readers probably will be looking forward to reading the rest of the book because you might want to know what happened after words and how things might change.  What’s probably going to happen next is after they get caught they leave on their way home and have some sort of conversation.


Fahrenheit 451’s and today’s version of utopia

To begin, the novel Fahrenheit 451 connects to 2017 because both the superiors in the present day and the novel have done things to shape society into their version of a utopia without the consent of their citizens.

In the novel, everything that happens takes place in the future where everything is different. Such as the protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman and his job is to burn books- as well as the structure that shelters them (instead of putting out fires like the firemen we know today). The reason being is because books and literature are illegal and are to be feared by the public as the government does not want their citizens to have their own argument- to have different opinions that can be debatable and give people the knowledge we have today.

Of course, this could show coercion as this law, the law that books are illegal, was forced upon the public by the government or superiors and in turn, the public simply accepted and went with it. And while some people in the novel resisted and kept books in their homes, the firemen would eventually find out and simply burn their home and the books. Sometimes even the owner if they resisted being arrested. “You burn the books and then you burn the ashes,” one of the protagonist’s antagonists, Beatty, had said to Montag. Which then shows how the firemen simple burn the knowledge of the books.

To compare, in today’s society, our new president of the United States, Donald Trump, has made the travel ban where refugees and immigrants cannot come into the United States. And of course, he has done this without the consent of the U.S. citizens. Meaning that is was forced upon us. And while people are resisting the travel ban, there may be a chance that the travel ban will be discarded- but then again, maybe not. And this goes to show how the novel Fahrenheit 451 and our society today compare to each other.

Photo by marco monetti


Why is the U.S so unfair these days?

Dear Future President of the United States,

Congrats on being the new U.S president. Was it hard to get to this place for you? Well, I have two important issues that are happening right now that need to be solved.

An important issue that I care about is police brutality. This is a major issue in our country. In the United States today has a very strong police department, recently a lot of African-American people are receiving a lot of violence towards them without those people doing anything against U.S laws. I think it is unjust that the police department thinks that they have enough power to go around and start killing black people.

According to an article in News ELA about a young juvenile he was playing with a toy gun and White man saw him and he thought that it was a real gun. The first thought that popped into my mind was how would a young boy can have access to a real gun and not have his parents know that he has access to that particular gun. A few moments after the misunderstanding policemen came and out of nowhere the police shot the young boy.

When you are a president, please consider police brutality because a lot of unfair justice is happening in our country and it is not fair that the police believe that they have so much power to go around and kill without a reason.I just don’t have enough words to say how brutal police departments are treating black people I just ask myself how about if that juvenile was a White boy would they have treated this scenario.

Another important issue in our country is how kids use social media. If you haven’t noticed yet, a lot of kids get bullied in schools and through social media. In my opinion, I think kids at some point their parents should check what they post or they follow. I have social media but older or even younger kid take the advantage of that privilege and take to use it for who knows what.

A lot of kids younger than 15 years old commits suicide because of those posts or comments. A lot of them get bullied because of their physical size, their skin color and a lot of people nowadays don’t feel comfortable with their bodies. That is all those social media bullies want for you not want to live anymore.

In my opinion, I think that the social media bullies don’t realize the physical or the mentally abuse they do to their victims. It is not fair for innocent people to be bullied for something that they didn’t do or that it’s not their fault. It’s not fair for an average teenager to live a life that most teenagers do especially being in a world that is all through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. This social media violence needs to be stopped.

Sincerely, Mariane

Photo by Paul Loubet


Immigration and Deportation affects Families

Immigration and Deportation affects Families

 

What are the effects on families dealing with immigration?based on the research i’ve done on Immigration and Deportation it can impact families in a harmful way because it causes many problems for them, like stress and worry and financial problems. They can feel constant worry about the situation.Immigration is harmful because they fear that they’ll be separated.

 

Immigration and deportation can be very harmful toward the family’s because it causes alot of worry and stress. During researching Claudia Barajas a mother of 4 who lives in Oakland for more than 30 years was interviewed,she stated, “I think it make it difficult for families because as a immigrant you live in fear that you’ll be taken away and will struggle more¨(Barajas). If families live in constant fear that they’ll be separated from each other. This is a challenge for the families because it can take away from other things because they are thinking about what might happen to them. While also reading an article ‘‘U.S. Citizen Children Impacted by Immigration Enforcement’ about how the children are affected by American Immigration Council.org stated, “A child’s risk of having mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and severe psychological distress increases following the detention and/or deportation of a parent. Since late 2016, doctors and service providers have reported anecdotally that they have seen more children exhibiting stress- and anxiety-related behavioral changes, including symptoms of “toxic-stress,” due to fear that a family member will be deported” (American Immigration Council). If the children mental health is affected just from worry of being separated they’ll most likely have a even more drastic change in their daily life because they’ll wont have one or even both of their parents with them. If they were to have both parents or even just one parent deported it can make it very difficult for them because their taking on a change that won’t know how to take on such a big change. It will be new for them and they’ll won’t know how to feel about it. Immigration and deportation is  harmful due to the fact that children are worried about what will happen to them and their parents. If the families worry so much it can cause depression and other mental health problems because of how much stress comes from this issue.

 

Additionally, Immigration and deportation can make family struggle with paying bills and taking care of everything around the house. In this article ¨How Today’s Immigration Enforcement Policies Impact Children, Families, and Communities by Joanna Dreby, an author that talks about deportation and the effects on family and is an expertise on it,  Dreby stated, ¨While many single parents in the United States face similar circumstances, in this case it is the government’s own policies that create the conditions for single parenthood. In addition, the tenuous legal status of many parents left behind adds a double burden on these families to provide for their families while also raising their children”(Dreby). If they’re left to deal with everything on their own it can make it very difficult because they have to work harder in order to make sure everything is payed. It can cause the families stress because the parents have double of everything to do  and their children would probably be affected as well because they’ll see everything that’s going on with their parent and would see changes in their household due to the stress. If the bills double it makes it very frustrating for the parent dealing with it because they’ll work extra hours and still have to take care of the kids while trying to pay all the bill it’ll make it very hard. Moreover, Alondra Alvarez a mother that lives in Oakland was interviewed“She agrees that families can struggle with things around the house like paying bills and taking care of children”(Alvarez). They’re being affected because it can make them struggle with things that are important for them to keep a roof over their head and be taken care of. This will cause the families to stress because they’re going to try manage everything around the house without one of parents there with them.

 

Many people, however, may say that deportation is necessary and  good because immigrants aren’t helpful and just bug the community But, immigrants are also humans who have a right to be where they want to be and also should have and opportunity to do better and have a second chance. They’re being discriminated based on where they came from. There’s a lot of stigma around being an immigrant because usually theyŕe targeted by the people around me. To start off, Immigrants can help in various ways. In the article, ¨Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy” by Jason Furman, Danielle Gray it talk about how immigrant help better the community it stated, “According to the Small Business Administration, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are immigrant” (Furman, Gray). Additionally, in a article ¨Seven Surprising Ways Immigration Helps Build a Stronger America by Nataly Kelly, she said, “many Americans wrongly believe that immigration hurts the economy. There is consensus among many leading economists that immigration actually gives economies a net boost. In fact, a report from the Migration Policy Institute indicates that immigration unambiguously improves employment, productivity, and income, especially when an economy is growing¨ (Kelly). This is shown that there is stigma around immigration because they believe just because theyŕe coming from a different place they won’t benefit the community. If you see they actually help benefit communities even if they think they’ll just be harmful. They help build a stronger community for the people around them. They also build opportunities for the people around them. If non-immigrants continue to build a stigma for the immigrants people around them they will start to believe them and its build stereotypes about who they are.

 

In conclusion, Families are affected by deportation and immigration because there is  a great deal of damage done towards them which challenges them in different way. If we try our a best to change this issue and try to discuss a way to change the stigma around the issue families would feel more supported by the community around them.

 

Work cited

 

Alvarez, Alondra. “Interviewed about Immigration .” 12 Dec. 2018. This interviewed was about immigration and the effects on families. This is a credible source because she knows about the process because of her mother also she an Oakland resident.

 

American immigration council. “U.S. Citizen Children Impacted by Immigration Enforcement”May 23, 2018.This article talks about how immigration changes the view of the families and how children are affected. This is a trustworthy source because it trustworthy and it pass the craap test.

Barajas, Claudia. “Interviewed about Immigration” 12 Dec, 2018. This interview was about immigration and the effects on families. Claudia Barajas is a credible source because she immigrated to Oakland and is an Oakland resident.

Derby Joana. “How Today’s Immigration Enforcement Policies Impact Children, Families, and Communities” August 20, 2012. This article talks about families and the impact of immigration. This is a credible source because it has trustworthy statements and Joana is an expert on immigration.

 

Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy.  Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy, 12 July 2012 . This article talks about how immigrants help benefit the community. This is a credible source because it passed the craap test and doesnt hvae bias opinion.

Kelly Nataly Seven Surprising Ways Immigration Helps Build a Stronger America.” Seven Surprising Ways Immigration Helps Build a Stronger America,Jan. 2013. This article talks about reasons immigration helps. This is a credible source because is has no bias opinion and it helps support without having false evidence.


Living without Papers

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”

This is not only what Donald Trump believes about Mexicans and undocumented immigrants, but what many Americans believe and support as well. Well, not every American — there are citizens who don’t have a deep and unnatural hatred for immigrants. But there are millions of citizens who are not affected by these types of comments whatsoever. I am not one of them.

I am the daughter and relative of multiple undocumented immigrants. At first, I didn’t realize it was such a big deal, but as I grew older, that changed. I began understanding how it affected me, and most importantly, my family.

My father is a mechanic who generally fixes truck chassis. The job sounds plentiful to some, but I’ve seen firsthand what it’s really like for him. My father wakes up at 5am every morning from monday to friday, sometimes on saturdays if money is lower than usual. He drives two hours to and from and gets back at around 5pm if he doesn’t work extra shifts. He has been working this job for twenty years but has only had a small raise in exchange for his expertise and hard labor. My father works on his hands and knees most of the time — and if his hands aren’t covered in some oil, grime, or paint, they’re handling hot and dangerous tools that release fumes that can then affect his health overtime. He comes home exhausted and underpaid to pay bills and keep food on the table. My father has no retirement plan or savings, every dollar he makes is used to support the family financially and get my sisters and I through college. Two of my sisters are in college right now, and I am about to go to college as well. My father works to make this happen as my mother has no job. This is something american citizens can relate to, but what they cannot relate to is that my father cannot speak about mistreatment, underpaying, or search for another job because he is undocumented. Because he is undocumented, he cannot risk speaking out against his boss because he risks getting sent back to Mexico. My father can’t save to retire because he doesn’t get paid enough to save. My father is 59 years old working more hours than the average american — who works 34.5 hours per week according to the most recent data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — but can’t have the same retirement perks or raises just because he doesn’t have a couple of documents.

I’m scared for my father. I’m scared that he will have to keep working until he exhausts himself until he can no longer physically move. I’m afraid of seeing him spending his senior years working a job made for younger, able-bodied people because if he doesn’t, there won’t be financial support from the government to keep the family stable. I work everyday to hopefully be able to financially support both of my parents before I have to watch them die of old age and exhaustion trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. American citizens experience things similar to this, but what they don’t experience is being completely independent in dealing with financial problems because asking the government for help is not an option to us.

Because of these hardships, my life has been permanently shaped around it. I often find myself thinking of ways to be able to help my parents’ lives be easier for them in the future. I look into how to get credit in order to finally get a house that belongs completely to us and not have to worry about a landlord possibly take it away. I find myself wanting to work harder so my parents won’t have to work at all, because they have been working nonstop every since they stepped foot in this country. I find myself bettering my understanding of the English language so I can then be able to translate efficiently to my parents without having to google a word. I find myself worrying about my mother when she goes out to a store by herself because she doesn’t know English and someone may not be kind enough to help her if she were to be in trouble. I find myself never traveling out of country because it’s not fair that I get to leave and not worry while my parents stay at home by force. I find myself worrying about leaving my parents in the house alone and coming back to it empty because the government doesn’t believe they have the right to exist on american soil. I find myself thinking about all these things, and then realize that these thoughts and emotions have never ran through millions of people’s heads. It’s a privilege for them, to not worry about if someone they love is not being respected and treated right just for being in the country without a certain piece of paper. But it is a common problem, one that the privileged need to be aware of in order to make change and make undocumented immigrants’ lives easier.


Diet versus exercise: Which works better?

For leading a healthy lifestyle, it simply comes down to diet and exercise, the most effective method is where things get controversial. Anyone with common sense would most likely tell you that in order to get the maximum results it is best to combine them both; However many people still try to pit the two against each other to see which yields the most results. When a new year starts many people set goals of losing weight or just simply trying to get healthier, but they often give up on their goal. Why? That part is simple. It is because they do not see results or they think that they have to choose between dieting or exercising.  

Living a healthier lifestyle can be frustrating especially when many of those who try often fail and give up because they make the most common mistakes when it comes to starting. The number one mistake is that people commonly believe that results are instantaneous; however, that is never the case. I think that many are led to believe that that results will be almost instant because of so many commercials out there that advertise products for example meal replacement shakes that help you “lose ten pounds in a matter of days,” but the truth is that those are just marketing schemes. Results can take weeks, months, and even years before they are noticeable; Working out for a few days then waking up with an athletic body is only in everyone’s fantasy. Most goals and dreams in life are not instant so why should a healthier life be? Patience is one of the many keys in order to achieve a goal such as this.  

Calorie counting is another mistake a lot of people make and what I mean by that is people think that they can still eat what they want as long as they track their calories, but that is only true to a certain point. While tracking calorie intake is a good idea it does not mean that a person should eat what they want. For example, a piece of fun-sized snickers is about eighty calories and while that may not seem like much, those are empty calories. That one single fun-sized Snickers has the same calories as twenty pieces of baby carrots, the only difference is carrots have nutritional value while the snickers does not. Nutrition is the reason we eat, to give our body energy. Tracking calories is definitely important because as Dr. Jay Kenney a nutrition specialist at the Pritikin Longevity center says “excess calorie intake is the main cause of weight gain” so it is important to make each calorie intake count. While it is not bad to treat yourself every now and then lots of people do it excessively which is a major factor in weight gain.

Fast Food places also tend to get blamed for the obesity problem, but the funny part is that the same people blaming them are the same ones going there late at night and ordering food that packs a ton of empty calories. The mistake many people make is thinking Fast Food places only offer unhealthy food, but there is a reason why they also have a healthy options menu. I work in a Fast Food place and all the time I see the same people get the same junk food and it makes me wonder why they choose to get a burger that is about eighty if not ninety percent of their daily calorie intake and large fries and a large drink to go with it because that one meal exceeds the calorie count of an entire day’s worth meals. I understand that many people are in a rush so they want to grab food and go, but it is good to keep in mind that fast food places sell yogurt, salads, grilled chicken and other healthy things. Through media, we are always lead to believe that Fast Food is the only reason for the obesity problem, but in reality, it is the people’s bad choice making skills. Although Fast Food Places have been changing their ingredients to make their food a bit healthier such as McDonald’s removing preservatives from their fried products and using only natural meat, for example, is a great way to start dealing with an issue such as this. I am not saying people should not eat fast food I mean it is hard to resist delicious food like that, but many do it excessively which is terrible for their health.       

Another very common mistake people make is thinking they can eat whatever they want as long as they exercise daily, but this is not true for everyone. Some people just naturally have a higher metabolism than an average person so they can put a buffet out of business by eating everything and still not gain a single pound. I have a couple of friends who are like that, they can eat a ton of junk food or any food and just sit on the couch without any gaining any of the weight because they have a higher metabolism, while me, on the other hand, being one of the unlucky ones, would have to run like a dog and lift weights for hours just to burn off the calories from a slice of pizza.

Genetics are one of the things often looked into to see what role it plays in weight control and while research has recently shown that things such as food preferences, dietary patterns, and exercise behaviors are all likely to be determined by genes, they do not play a major part. Genes play a part in determining susceptibility to overweight, but there is no evidence that it plays a part in the actual weight fluctuations or weight gain. “The bottom line is that biology is not destiny. While genes influence susceptibility to overweight and have an influence on weight-related behaviors, the genes cannot be expressed unless the environment supports them” (The Weight Watchers Research Department).  

Exercising has many unique benefits such as it “Reduces blood sugar, heart attacks, strokes, and burns calories” (Killoran, Eugenia). Regular exercise helps keep our body in shape and our mind sharp. Exercising is a great habit to have because it is one of the things in the world you cannot have too much of because the more of it you do the better your health will be. Exercising is often a great way to relieve stress Dieting also has many health benefits such as it helps with weight management, weight loss, and proper nutrition because if we constantly consume empty calories such as junk food not only is weight gain imminent, but our body is also not going to be properly nourished, leading to health problems and illnesses.  

The whole subject of getting healthier is an important subject to me because many of the challenges I have had to go through and experience first hand so I’m familiar with what works and what does not. I first started working out mid-June of 2014 because I was obese and had been since childhood and my cousin who had majored in biology at MSU was worried about my health, so he started helping me change my lifestyle. He started taking me to the gym with him and working out for about three hours showing me proper workouts and since it was summer when I first started we went to the gym daily. Progress was very slow for me and I did not see much results because even though I was exercising for hours which felt endless my diet was very bad. I was a kid who loved chips, soda, and junk food which was all terrible because years of that sort of a diet had made my cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight horrible. Each time I saw my doctor she would shake her head with disapproval because it was all terrible, especially for a fifteen-year-old kid. My cousin drew up a diet plan for me which I combined with exercise for about eight months, yet I still did not see much results. Eventually, I started doing my own thing around late March of 2015. I used many of the workouts that my cousin had shown me and still do to this day, but when it came to dieting I made my own plan. A close friend of mine had also introduced me to a couple of trainers who introduced me to using health supplements to assist me because I was a very lazy person at the time and I always lacked energy, but supplements, proper diet, and daily exercise helped me lose majority of the weight and within about five months I had lost seventy pounds of fat and had gained thirty pounds of muscle. After all of that everyone was happy about my hard work especially my parents and doctor, but most of all I was happy because I had done something I thought I would never be able to do. All of that happened about seventeen months ago and since then I have gained a lot of muscle mass and my health is better than it ever was. What keeps me going is my strong determination to get in the best shape of my life and the fear of turning back into my old lazy self.  

The other issue many people who want a healthy lifestyle have is that they just do not know where to start and what to do. I was once one of those people who wanted to live a healthy lifestyle and not knowing what to do can be frustrating. The first thing that will help is creating a diet plan focusing primarily on a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and heart-healthy fats, like olive oil) and limiting processed foods (such as frozen meals, deli meats, and refined carbohydrates) will reduce daily calorie intake significantly. This is actually very similar to my diet and from my personal experience, I would have to say it works great because it does the job of reducing daily calorie intake so seeing results is more likely with this sort of diet. The second step in starting a healthier lifestyle is creating a routine. Many trainers recommend that when creating a routine it is very important to set it up so it works the best for you. Copying someone else’s routine more than likely will not work because they set it up to work for themselves not necessarily for others. Another important step is to make sure that you have proper exercise equipment and the easiest way for that is to get a gym membership which does not have to cost you a ton of money a gym with the most basic exercise equipment will work especially for beginners. What I find is that those that try to start exercising more than often lack the energy to do so because they are either too exhausted from work or are just too lazy to workout and I know how both of those are like. When it comes to exhaustion best thing is to fit a quick power nap no longer than two hours just to refresh the body. When it comes to laziness it is a lot trickier because obviously if a person does not have true motivation they will not care, but if they are just lazy because they do not have much energy, then supplements  are a great place to get a boost, but it is important to make sure they will help and not have any bad side effects. Supplement use for getting healthier or giving yourself a boost prior to working out is something that has varying opinions from doctors. Many doctors say that there is nothing wrong with supplement use when it comes to giving your body a boost for weight loss or energy to workout, but they also say that supplements are not meant for everyone which is why they recommend checking with a physician prior to using them because many are not approved by the FDA.

If my personal experience has shown anything it is that exercise and diet work best when put together, but it also shows the importance of diet because I did not see any results in my look and body shape till I implemented a diet that worked for me. My tips for those trying to get healthier is to create a routine that works with your life schedule, spend any free time at the gym working out rather than spend it doing nothing because thirty minutes of lifting weights, stretching, or even walking on the treadmill is far more beneficial than sitting on the couch watching tv. Eating healthy is also a huge part of living healthy, getting enough sleep is very important and it is something many professional trainers recommend and it is always important to stay hydrated especially when dieting.   

Both diet and exercise are very important for a person’s well-being. As Dr. Jay Kenny puts it  “ Don’t make it an either/or choice” (Killoran, Eugenia). Dr. Kenny says that compared to the nineteen-seventies, people in the U.S weigh more and the main cause of obesity is not from lack of exercise, but rather from poor diet and food choices. “For staying slim and overall good health, both food and fitness are important. But science is now discovering that Americans are getting fatter largely because of what they choose to eat and drink” (Kenny quoted in Killoran).

Tom Venuto, a bodybuilder, freelance writer, success coach, and gym owner has spent his life in advising other to lead healthier lives and so he has also jumped into the argument of which is more important diet or exercise. Venuto has argued that “you cannot separate nutrition and training” and that “The two work together synergistically and regardless of your goal….. You will get less than optimal or non-existent results without paying attention to both.” (Venuto, Tom).  According to him it really shouldn’t be a choice between nutrition and training, but at certain stages “more attention on one component over the other can create larger improvements”. He explains that Beginners (those that are starting to get in shape) nutrition is the most important. Those that are advanced trainees should focus more on training because by this point their nutrition is in place. Overall he points out that no matter what you do or how hard you do it “You can’t out-train a lousy diet!” (Venuto, Tom).  

What exactly is the answer to the importance regarding whether exercising or dieting grants better results? This is a question which will ring for many years no matter how many answers are out there for this one question. Research has provided an answer to that and it is dieting which yields the most results. While both are essential to living a healthy diet, eating healthier will keep your body functioning at full capacity as long as it has the proper fuel(nutrients) to do so. When it comes to their body people do not really think too much about how they treat it. I like to think of them as a nice car; just imagine what will happen to a car if you pour the wrong viscosity grade of oil in its engine. Eventually, that will shorten the engine’s life or if you pour a lower grade of gasoline than the recommended one that will cause damage to the engine. What we put in our body to provide it the required nutrients is very important to our well-being. I’m not saying that exercising is a bad thing. In fact dieting and exercising make up the best duo since Batman and Robin. They work better together, but when it comes to picking one dieting is the better choice because you can run all you want, but as long as you provide the improper fuel you will start to eventually function incorrectly and might even develop serious health problems besides obesity. Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist and former director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic has said in his research that in living a healthy lifestyle and losing weight “seventy-five percent” is solely diet based and “twenty-five percent”  is exercise. “An analysis of more than seven-hundred weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart. On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers lost only six over about 21 weeks. It’s much easier to cut calories than to burn them off.” (Talbott, Shawn). Talbott’s research study showed that in order to eat healthily it does not mean a person has to cut calories completely low as that will result in a slower metabolism and he has concluded that “For a healthy daily calorie count, allow 10 calories per pound of body weight” (Talbott, Shawn). He believes that if people did that and ate only necessary calories than they would be losing regardless of how much they exercise. “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet,” (Talbott, Shawn).

Photo by mojzagrebinfo (Pixabay)


The True Power Source Behind King Arthur

King Arthur was an amazing legend that many people still talk about today. A plethora of movies, books, and TV shows that revolve around him and his leadership have been made and watched by so many. A common trait seen in Arthur is his compassion for his subjects. He ruled fairly and fought to protect every last one of them. He would die to help his citizens, which made him incredibly honorable and noble. However, Arthur could not have been the famous and chivalrous King that he is known to be without the powerful sorcerer and friend, Merlin.

At the beginning of the show, Merlin, Merlin and Arthur are “enemies”. Their hatred for each other is seen specifically through their bickering. Arthur believes Merlin to be only a wimpy servant, while Merlin believes Arthur to be a perfect example of arrogant royalty (The Adventures of Merlin). However, after Merlin becomes Arthur’s main servant and helps give input in certain decisions, their bickering becomes more friendly. Arthur comes to trust Merlin with almost anything. They grow to have a friendship that not many servants and Kings have: a brotherhood. Although Merlin is not and could never have been a Knight, Merlin sits next to Arthur at the Round Table as one of Arthur’s most trusted advisors (Merlin).

Yes, Arthur has his brotherhood of knights, but Merlin went on all of Arthur’s quests (whether he was supposed to or not). This demonstrates that Arthur truly only trusts Merlin, as he was deceived in the past by those he loved. Arthur shares his plans with his wife Guinevere and his knights, but has been betrayed by all of them, except Merlin. Even the main enemy in the show, Morgana, states, “Arthur is nothing without Emrys ” (Merlin). Emrys is Merlin’s sorcerer name. Emrys is said to be the doom of Morgana because he has such pure and true power. Merlin always used his power to help, support, and protect Arthur on his adventures.

Because Merlin is the only person that Arthur could count on for all important decisions, Arthur could not have been such a great leader. Merlin helped shape Arthur into the legend people know today through his magic and brotherhood that the two created. Therefore, the compassionate and strong leader of Camelot, King Arthur, would be nonexistent without his right hand man, Merlin.


Deforestation in Indonesia

Four days ago Indonesia ended a deforestation pact with Norway which was supporting the limiting of carbon emissions caused by deforestation. Without enough progress being made Norway decreased financial support as the carbon emissions got worse, and less progress was being made to limit the amount of environmental damage done. The plan was to cut increasing amounts of carbon emissions and deforestation down, being completely clean by 2030. Without the proper funding this goal might not be such a possibility. 


Virtual classes, advantage or disadvantage?

Virtual classes have gotten to their peak this past year. Many of these reasons are not only because of the high cases of covid, but also because of students who work full time jobs and students who cannot make it to traditional in-person classes. It gives them an opportunity to participate in class, without physically being there. Have the ability to learn and be part of a class without having to feel left out. However, with all these advantages there are its disadvantages. 

“With remote learning moving into the long term, experts say the mental, emotional and academic impacts of that shift are likely to be challenging”(Burke). Many disadvantages include no personal contact, poor time management skills, and lack of interaction. All of which could lead to more serious problems like poor eye sight, stress, and depression, along with many others.

 Virtual classes are worse for the younger generation. It impacts children’s health, not only physically, but mentally. Many students are more hands-on learners, being in physical classrooms.  Research has shown that “Generation Z” students — those born after 1996 — have surprising preferences for face-to-face learning, even though their parents rarely see them without their smartphone in hand”(Reed). Having to stare at a screen for 7-10 hours a day affects the eyesight, impacts sleep, and can be a major distraction. While there may be many benefits to virtual classes, there are many more disadvantages to top them. 

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Problem Section – Ocean Pollution

Since the beginning of time, humans have used the oceans as their own personal trash can, dumping so much plastic into the ocean that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. However, the dangers of ocean pollution extend to humans as well as marine life, putting all life on Earth in danger. Our heavily polluted oceans littered with plastics, chemicals, and other wastes, cause many other subset problems that affect almost every aspect of lives all over the world.

    The world as we know it is threatened by ocean pollution, which causes an extreme increase in climate change and rising sea levels. The pollution of oceans actually heavily affects climate change because oceans help regulate the temperature of the Earth (Fleming). Since oceans are becoming more heavily polluted, they are unable to properly regulate their own temperatures as well as the temperature of the Earth. This has led to a drastic increase in ocean temperatures and majorly contributes to global warming. The increased temperatures of the ocean water also causes sea levels to rise, since water expands when it gets warmer. “As the level of the sea rises, salt water can intrude into freshwater systems on land, which may have significant impacts on the quality and availability of drinking water” (Fleming). Water is a necessary substance to sustain life, and getting clean water will become much more difficult and expensive in the future if this problem is continually ignored and unsolved. This means that people, namely poor families, all over the world will struggle to access water- a basic necessity for survival- because humans have left an obvious problem unchecked for centuries. These same middle/low class families also rely on the oceans to support and provide for them in other areas, such as food, and they do not have the resources they need to support themselves when the oceans are unable to provide for them.

    The oceans also take on roles and contain substances that people do not typically expect to support life on Earth. Trees and plants usually get all the credit for providing oxygen for us to breathe, however, the oceans, specifically the coral reefs, also provide us with 80 percent of the oxygen we breathe (Sakurra). Ocean pollution has put our coral reefs in danger, which means realistically, we may eventually not have enough oxygen to survive without breathing aids and machines to assist us in simply breathing. However, coral reefs do more for our world than just providing oxygen. They also protect the coastline from the rising sea levels that can cause massive destruction on our shores and beyond (Sakurra). With rising sea levels, storms are more likely to increase in severity and become more common, meaning coral reefs are necessary to protect coastal cities from these severe storms. Realistically, without coral reefs and with an increase in harsh storms, all coastal cities will eventually be completely destroyed and submerged, causing a global economic crisis as we scramble to support those affected by these storms.

    Furthermore, ocean pollution appears to be increasing the frequency, severity, and global geographic extent of harmful algal blooms or HABs, which are moving poleward (Landrigan). Harmful algal blooms (HABs) release toxins that contaminate drinking water, which both directly and indirectly harms humans. Humans drinking contaminated drinking water may have serious consequences for our health and may cause many diseases. However, livestock are also affected by this contaminated drinking water, and because of this, our main food sources (livestock and seafood) are put at risk because of ocean pollution. Unfortunately, this will lead to an unstable and more expensive food source in the future, which will once again put poor families at a disadvantage because they will not be able to afford the food they need to survive.

    It is safe to say that ocean pollution is a very serious problem that will have many detrimental effects, especially on humans, if left unchecked and unsolved. Life as we know it will be completely changed forever and our world may even come to an end if we do not work to solve this issue. People all over the world are affected by ocean pollution, which has and will continue to get worse over time, especially as we now live in the “plastic age.” Our oceans have provided for us since the beginning of time, and if we do not return the favor, our lives will drastically change for the worse.


Is The Idea of Freedom Still An American Value?

American creed, culture, and values are not a set of finely tuned definitions or principals. Rather, they mean something different for each individual American. For example, for an immigrant escaping religious persecution during the Nazi Reign, an American value might mean the ability to practice your religion freely, without fear of being killed or hung. For a rural farm kid, American culture is the ability to live off the land and be dependant on you and only you. Lastly, for a poor, inner city family, two American values might be hard work and dedication. In addition, having hope that those values will lead to a better, happier life for themselves and their prosperity. In my opinion, a value that most people would agree upon is the idea of freedom. In America, each citizen is guaranteed freedom from oppression.

Freedom, in a modern definition, means freedom from oppression, not responsibilities (Fish). In America, we have numerous rights that protect us from oppression, but not responsibilities. For example, embedded in the US constitution is the Bill of Rights. These rights are meant to protect us from the government, various political and business leaders, and other citizens that are abusing their power. However, the Bill of Rights does not protect us from our civic responsibilities. Nowhere in our constitution or bill of rights does it prevent US citizens from voting, paying taxes, and obeying the law. Those are all duties that we should and/or need to do in order to maintain our freedom. Fish is a famed philosopher and has written numerous books, essays, and articles regarding topics such as freedom, politics, and mathematics. In addition, his Jewish heritage gives him insight into a time when people of Jewish descent experienced little or no freedom at all.

Now, let’s take a look at some other countries in the world, ones that do not offer freedom from oppression. These places are all over the world, but one in particular is North Korea (The People’s Challenges). In such countries, they do not give their citizens the freedom to be themselves. In many cases, they are not given a choice of where they can work, where they can live, and who they can interact with. In addition, a powerful elite can oppress the people because they have few rights. They are not free to do what they please because there is little in place to protect their freedom. The goal of The People’s Challenges Group is to rescue refugees without cost or condition and ensure their safety on their journey to freedom. They have rescued over 3,000 refugees from the country of North Korea and brought them safely to freedom and safety. Many of these people will do anything for freedom from oppression.

We Americans tend to regard our country as the best in the world. Why? In America, we are granted so many freedoms that people in other parts of the world are not. All of these freedoms protect us from oppression. For example, we have the right to free speech, to protest peacefully, and speak what is on our minds. We do not have to fear for our lives if we speak out against the government. We don’t have to worry we will be enslaved or killed. Our idea of freedom is based around our founding fathers belief of  “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (US 1776)”, also known as our “inalienable” rights. This rights are given to us by God and guarantee our freedom, which cannot be taken away. In addition, the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights guarantees individual freedoms, such as the freedom to keep and bear arms as well as the freedom to practice our own religion, and protects us from oppression. The idea of ‘freedom’ is what sets America apart from all other countries on earth.

“The Value of Freedom.” Shlomi Fishs Homepage RSS, Sholmi Fish, 24 Jan. 2004, www.shlomifish.org/philosophy/the-eternal-jew/the-eternal-jew/freedom.html.

 

(US Const., preamble)

 

“The People’s Challenges.” Liberty in North Korea, www.libertyinnorthkorea.org/learn-nk-challenges/.


How Has Covid-19 Enhanced the Danger of a Single-Story?

There is much danger in only understanding a single story. You can miss the most crucial information from multiple sides. Throughout the past seven months, our world has suffered greatly, “People are dying every day in the United States of COVID-19… trust in public health officials is dropping” (Garcia-Navarro).

Throughout this time, people have been extremely confused on what to believe, and it greatly affects their behavior. This results in people struggling to trust the healthcare professionals, but these are the people who have put their time and effort into conducting research regarding this virus: “In short, Americans are confused and mistrustful of the people who are supposed to get us out of this health crisis” (Garcia-Navarro).

People are constantly questioning what is safe and what is not: Can I go out in public? How many people are allowed to attend? Will there be proper social distancing at this event? Do I need to clean each surface I touch? Do I have to wear a mask? We need to have empathy for everyone during this time because we are all going through this together and we do not understand fully what to do. 

The danger of a single story is relevant during this time as well, people only read one news article about a virus spike and make their own conclusions. The more we learn about the virus and its patterns, the less the danger of a single story will be evident. Even healthcare professionals are learning every day what is the safest thing to do, even if that means taking away certain events and activities. What is safe one day may be too dangerous the next.

This is why empathy is so important; we need to respect what everyone is comfortable with and work from there. Whether a pandemic is consuming our world or not, empathy can be used in a variety of spaces in everyday life: “‘Empathy is essentially the science of understanding… it’s necessary in elementary schools, on a collegiate level and in a corporate boardroom’” (Burnett). Empathy is a key way to connect with the people around us because it shows them that we care about them and the situation that they are in. There will always be a new obstacle that we have to face, and empathy will make these obstacles easier to overcome. 

Works Cited

“Alan Alda On The Importance Of Empathy During The COVID-19 Pandemic”. 13 Sept. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/09/13/912424799/alan-alda-on-the-importance-of-empathy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

Burnett, John. “Stefon Harris – Vibraphonist, Educator, Thinker – Teaches Empathy From The Bandstand”. 30 Mar. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/03/30/822024071/stefon-harris-vibraphonist-educator-thinker-teaches-empathy-from-the-bandstand


Make Your Choice

Imagine a young high school student. She is a senior this year and in the thick of college application season. Piles of homework line her desk, boxes upon boxes left unchecked on her to-do list, some homework assignments are pulled up on her screen. She doesn’t really know what to do, but she knows she needs to relieve this stress somehow. Hand hovering over the vape that her friend gave her, she made a choice. In a world full of discomforts, drugs provide an instantaneous yet ultimately unsatisfactory reprieve from stress, sadness, or boredom by simulating joy, eventually resulting in dependence and addiction in a person instead of cultivating healthy coping techniques. 

Addiction is a sneaky thing. Often, a person will learn they are addicted too late, or simply not even care until it becomes nearly impossible to shake the habit. As someone who has never dealt with nicotine addiction before, it may be hard to understand how one gets to the point. The body is hardwired with a “reward system, called the mesolimbic dopamine system,” and it is “one of the more primitive parts of the brain. It developed as a positive reinforcement for behavior we need to survive, like eating. Because the mechanism is so ingrained in the brain, it is especially hard to resist” (Raven). Originally an important part of survival, this system has become the downfall of many people. In order to “reward” themselves after feelings of deep sadness, anxiety, pain, etc., people reach for their vape or cigarette. Doing so makes it harder to resist every time. Unless able to rewire the brain’s reward system or quitting the drug, the person will be stuck dealing with addiction that can only get worse.

So what does dealing with addiction look like? For many people in this situation, a dependence is built, leaving the person feeling depressed or angry. An article titled “Depression and Vaping” says that “even if you rarely felt sad before quitting vaping, you may feel increased sadness, irritability or sluggishness after quitting. These mood changes are usually temporary while your body adjusts to being without nicotine.” While the quick fix seems like a good idea in times of tribulation, the long-term effects are much worse. Not only have those negative feelings returned, but they have also been heightened. Sometimes, the easy way out is not always the best way out in the long run. The sufferings that come from withdrawal and addiction are ultimately much worse than having taken the initiative to cope healthily in the first place. 

Luckily, there are ways to cope with stress healthily and without destroying one’s body. The CDC recommends dealing with stress by taking care of oneself physically first, making time for friends and family, and taking breaks from the things causing stress in the first place (“Coping”). Instead of reaching for dangerous stimuli, try doing something fun, whether that be taking a walk outside, painting a picture, or playing a favorite instrument. Surrounding oneself with good people will always help as well. The easiest way to avoid the effects of a drug addiction is to never get to that point to begin with. 

The student weighs the device in her hand and slowly drops it in the garbage can beside her. It clatters as she watches it hit the bottom, and she stands up to go outside. Earbuds in her ears and a rejuvenated pep in her step, she breathes in the fresh air, once again ready to tackle the work ahead of her. She makes a plan to take more frequent breaks and make time for her family and friends. The constant worry and stress had ultimately taken up more time than had she taken these breaks in the first place. She knows that this plan will be more than just a quick fix to her problems. When the time is taken to figure out a more permanent solution, things will work out much better in the long run.

Works Cited

“Coping with Stress.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 July 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/stress-coping/cope-with-stress/index.html

“Depression and Vaping.” Smokefree Teen, https://teen.smokefree.gov/quit-vaping/depression-vaping.

Raven, Kathleen. “Nicotine Addiction from Vaping Is a Bigger Problem than Teens Realize.” Yale Medicine, Yale Medicine, 19 Mar. 2019, https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/vaping-nicotine-addiction.


How to get books into the hands of the people during COVID (Solutions U)

The pandemic has greatly affected the ways we go about our daily business, most notably by turning large crowded areas into places to catch COVID-19 and thus limiting our interaction with the outside world and each other. This caused problems for various institutions and businesses, including libraries. This kind of space is harder to keep clean and safe, so, many libraries are searching for ways to get their books into patron’s hands without putting anyone at risk. Ebooks and seminars are being favored for their easy accessibility but when it comes to physical books, home delivery and curbside pickup are becoming rapidly adopted tactics.

For Wisconsin’s Altoona Public Library, home delivery, a service they already offer, is risky for both the employees and the elder people in assisted living to whom they usually deliver. The two solutions that are being considered, not only in Altoona’s public library but in libraries across the nation, are curbside pick up and books by mail systems. Curbside pick up allows for patrons to request books and a pick up time and the librarians can leave them at the curb for pick up without any sort of in-person contact. Patrons who cannot drive unfortunately can’t make use of this system, but rather can utilize the books by mail system that sends the books in the post to their residence. Both of these systems existed before the pandemic, but the closure of the buildings has put these programs into the spotlight.

Unfortunately, these systems do have some drawbacks, such as very long holds being placed for many books. It would be reasonable to assume that many are frustrated that they cannot get a hold of the things that they want to read simply because someone else got it delivered to their home and it might take a while for it to be back in circulation. The lengthy wait times affect the possible enjoyment that one might get out of reading if someone has to settle for second best.

While it is fairly reasonable, the library and the consumers have to spend more money in order for mail delivery books to get where they need to be. Postage is an expense, and while it might not matter too much to someone who got 1 or 2 books, the library may have to mail out hundreds to thousands. This also doesn’t take into account the possibility that the books may be damaged during transport. But while each solution has its drawbacks, it is the best option that is currently available that limits the number of people present in the library and provides services for people who can’t go out. This method would work fairly well in our community as there are a number of libraries around the valley.

Another possible solution could be to invest more in digital and audio copies of books. This allows for more people to read the same book at the same time (cutting down wait times), in a format that is suitable to them. But older folk and those who simply prefer to read a physical book would still require the other two services provided. Overall, the more options that libraries have, the more people they can reach without spreading their books too thin.

Link to now comment annotation: https://nowcomment.com/documents/254630


Should Schools Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Online Speech?

Schools should not be allowed to limit students online speech because it violates their firsts amendment right, it is hard to find out who even bullied, and many cyberbullying events were not committed in school.

Students should be able to exercise their First Amendment right without having limitations from school because the school system is not above the bill of rights. In the J.S. vs Blue mountain school district case, the student(J.S.) was suspended for exercising her First Amendment right by creating a website expressing her opinions about another student that was considered mean and hateful. It was also deemed a distraction in class and the school felt it was one big reason to to suspend her;however, the website was created outside of class time and it traveled into the school just like any other news, trends, or other subjects that can also cause distractions in the classroom. In the J.S. vs Blue mountain school district case, the United States Court Appeals for the Third Circuit asserts that “talking in class was not a unique incident [that is, it was not the only time students talked in class]”. This shows that they violated J.S.’s first amendment right over something that was supposedly, “a distraction”. Also In the same case, the United States Court Appeals for the Third Circuit concluded that “the School District violated J.S.’s First Amendment free speech rights when it suspended her for creating the profile”. This shows the school was in no position to deny J.S. of her liberty to create a website that expresses her opinion about someone else. For those that would also consider this to be unethical, just think about when situations exactly the same as this happen towards people like politicians, celebrities, etcetera. There is not as much problems that arise when it is with these people. I would also like to add that it is not illegal to hurt someone’s feelings and it would be unrealistic if everybody took someone to court for hurting their feelings. Finally, students should able to exercise their first amendment without restrictions from the school.

Another reason why schools should not be allowed to limit students online speech is because it is to hard to even find the person who commited the bullying. Even if schools did put a restriction on students online speech(which is basically impossible because it would take years to develop a system or program that could do such a thing), it would be to difficult to pinpoint the person that was doing the bullying. Nowadays, people can say what they want to say about other people(exercising their First Amendment) without anyone even knowing who they are. In a survey of british school teachers who had been bullied,by the Association of Teachers and Teacher Support Network, they found that out of the small 15.1% of teachers that actually got bullied, 41.9% of the people who bullied them were people they did not know. This shows that even though they might have stopped the 44.2 % of students that were bullies, there are still many more out there. The internet is so powerful that anyone(including students) can practically go in using fake emails and accounts with random names to cyberbully(express their opinions online),while remaining anonymous. I don’t know the type of software required to find a students true identity just to restrict them from saying a few sentences, but I know that it might also be costly and take way too much time to fully implement into our school systems and our own personal online networks. This goes to show that students should not restricted students online speech because even if they did it would be too hard of a task to do because it would be extremely difficult to find someone that bullied.

Finally, the last reason why schools should not limit students online speech is because it did not even happen on campus. Similar to the first paragraph, the K.K. vs. Berkeley County Schools case, it shows how K.K. was suspended for a myspace.com discussion group she created(out of school) claiming that S.N. was being sexually promiscuous. In this case, The United States Court of Appeals asserts that “There is surly a limit to the scope of a high school’s interest in the order, safety, and well being of its students when the speech at issue originates outside the schoolhouse gate”. This shows how they also feel that a school should not be too worried about things happening outside of their schoolhouse but instead should stick to ensuring that this does not happen in school. We also do not fully understand how dangerous this actually is. In an ACLU statement submitted to a subcommittee hearing on cyberbullying, Laura W. Murphy and Michael W. Macleod-Bell claim how “there is very little research to suggest the dangers to young people are dramatically worse offline than online”. This shows that even though a school is supposed to protect the high schools safety, order, etcetera,  schools should not have the right to punish and limit students when the severity of cyberbullying is not fully understood compared to regular bullying. This shows that schools should not limit students online speech is because it did not even happen on campus.

In conclusion, schools should not be allowed to limit students online speech because it violates their firsts amendment right, it is hard to find out who even bullied, and many cyberbullying events were not committed in school.


Should Abortion be Illegal?

Abortion. A very controversial topic in today’s society. Many people think that abortion should be legal and available to anyone, whereas others think quite the opposite. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a “fundamental right” and that it shouldn’t be denied to anyone. In this battle, the proponents brought up many issues regarding the women’s needs and focused on how the government shouldn’t be the one to deny this. The opponents were on the opposite side. They refuted the proponents statement and thought that human life begins at fertilization and that it was unconstitutional to kill an innocent human. So since this is still a relevant and important topic in today’s society there is one common question that arises: “Should abortion be legal or illegal?”

In the US, pro-choice is very common. Many have come to the conclusion that abortion is a women’s right and it shouldn’t be limited by governmental or religious authority. They say that the women’s’ choice outweighs any right claimed for an embryo or fetus. In an article called “Why Abortion should be legal”, it talks about how even if abortion was outlawed women would find a way to get abortions illegally. As a society, we wouldn’t want that because getting an abortion illegally is a very unsafe way to get rid of a fetus and in some cases, lead to death. During Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court went over the issue on the constitutionality of laws that criminalized and/or restricted access to abortion. They made the executive decision that under the due process clause in the 14th amendment that they had the right to privacy to decide what they wanted to do.

On the other side of the argument, many people think that abortion is the killing of an innocent child and that that is morally wrong. The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act was enacted “to protect unborn and children from assault and murder.” It states under federal law, that anyone intentionally attempting to harm or kill an unborn child should “be punished.” Another huge argument made is that life begins at conception. This means that unborn babies are human beings with the right to life. Upon fertilization, a human individual is created with a unique genetic identity that remains unchanged throughout the span of its life. This individual has the right to all human rights, especially life. Jerome Lejeune, a French geneticist, says “The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence.” These are just a few of the arguments that are presented on the other side.

So what do you think? Do you think that abortion should be legal or against the law? Do you think that women have the right to choose what they do to their body or not?


Equal Opportunity: The Key to Success

When our founding fathers established this country, a major proponent that they wanted in this United States was equality for all. This was a major difference between monarchical England and their vision for this country. While England had a more distinct social classes where one king rules over the people, the US became a nation that would be run as a representative democracy. Although equality did not encompass everyone living in the US at the time, many different efforts and movements have chipped away at this definition to apply to virtually everyone living here. Today, equality means that regardless of one’s race, gender, or religion, they are granted the same protection and opportunities as each other. An American is a person who is given an equal opportunity to succeed in their life. This is not restricted to those with citizenship. Other types of people, such as immigrants, are granted this right as well. 

As seen in Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, despite inhabiting the Americas before the Europeans, Native Americans have been treated with disrespect and discrimination. When Arnold was still at Wellpinit, the school’s materials were not good and it seemed as though he would never have a future there. However, after a talk with his teacher, Mr. P, he is convinced to move to Reardan in order to be more successful with his education. This switch enabled him to have access to better resources and further advance his learning. He was not rejected because of his Native American heritage. In fact, he adjusted quickly and was able to enjoy Reardan. Because of the decision to move schools, Arnold was able to lay the groundwork for a better future.

Despite having good intentions, America did not start off as the land of freedom and equality it is today. However, through the efforts of multiple movements, this changed. An example of this change can be seen in the Equality Act. According to the Human Rights Campaign, “The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.”(Human Rights Campaign). This eliminated the idea that LGBTQ people could receive discrimination on such things as housing and credit just because they are LGBTQ. With the ratification of this act, those in the LGBTQ community can do things like apply for a job without having to worry about being judged on their sexual orientation. 

A major turning point for equal opportunity was the deliverance of the Emancipation Proclamation. During the height of the Civil War, President Lincoln delivered a speech that would set the precedent for a lot of civil rights acts and laws in the future, not only in the US but all around the world. With this document, he stated, “…I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.”(Lincoln). In essence, this speech would declare all slaves in the Union free and would eventually end up freeing all slaves across the country after the North won the war. This had two major effects on the future of this country. First of all, it allowed for the freed slaves to pursue their own goals rather than being forced to stay in servitude. Even though they would have trouble finding work due to lack of experience and discrimination, over time, more and more African Americans would become integrated with American society. Also, the Emancipation Proclamation laid the groundwork for some of the major civil movements in the future by encouraging those who saw an injustice to enact change. Such movements include the civil rights movement and women’s suffrage movements. They would help define what equality means today.

Americans are those who hold equality as an essential value in their lives. Despite not starting off that way, major events in history have updated what these values truly mean within the United States. These events started with people who wanted to change the country and who took action. Change is constantly occurring, so be the person who enacts it.

Works Cited

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Cornelsen, 2010.

Cicilline, and David N. “Text – H.R.5 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Equality Act.” Congress.gov, 20 May 2019, https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5/text.

Human Rights Campaign. “The Equality Act.” Human Rights Campaign, https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act.

“Transcript of Emancipation Proclamation (1863).” Our Documents – Transcript of Emancipation Proclamation (1863), https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=34&page=transcript.


Cyber Bullying Is Actual Bullying

Author

Dear Teens of 2018:

We are writing this to you to show that cyberbullying is actual bullying. The majority of the people reading this have experienced cyberbullying, this includes being cyberbullied, witnessing cyberbullying, or even being the cyberbully.  

The issue we care about is that people are using the internet to cause harm to others via text, video, posts, and maybe even music. These people who cyberbully other people most likely don’t know that cyberbullying is actual bullying. Most adults don’t notice bullying online happening until it escalates to in-person bullying. The issue that starts, or begins cyberbullying is either someone they know in real life and wants to harm them by calling them names over a screen or post pictures, and/or videos making fun of or slandering someone over the internet. Teens and pre-teens are most responsible for these kinds of actions because they don’t have their prefrontal cortex fully developed yet until they are at least 25. Teens use the amygdala to process information since the prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed yet, this is the emotional part of the brain. Teens problem solve and decide emotionally, instead of rationally and long-term thinking (Understanding the Teen Brain). This causes teens to say illicit comments they don’t really mean, or posts/say harmful words with no empathy about what the victim would feel. The oppressed group is really anyone on the internet because they can talk to literally anyone in the world using the internet. Anyone can be a target, and anyone can be the one targeting other people to cyberbully another person. The issue on the internet is that people are more careless when using the internet than the real world. This matters because pre-teens are mostly getting cyberbullied and the adults are the one that got the kids oppressed. In some way, the people benefitting from this inequity is the adults because the children are just starting and getting used to the internet but the adults are on the on hand experiences in the internet because they were here the longest in this world. The internet has every single level of oppression because the internet is not always an awesome place, sometimes the internet has darker mystery inside such as the dark web and it was made from adults and the adults have more experience on the internet.

The people that are our allies are in the organization Stop Bullying (https://www.stopbullying.gov/) This website shows that people want kids and young adults to be equal with the actual adults in the internet community and it shows that the people want to know who is the people that are bullying the kids and young adults. This shows that this team wants to know who really is behind those keyboards who are the people that are oppressing the kids and young adults. It could be the kids that are oppressing the adults. This is an example of community organizing. The second tactic of social change against bullying is propaganda, using propaganda we can show that cyberbullying can affect a victim emotionally which can cause them to self-harm or be emotionally unhealthy. All these factors can lead to many things like, insecurity, depression, self-harm, and maybe even negatively affecting their social life in real life. There are examples of cyberbullying propaganda on Media Smarts (Media Smarts).

Based on past tactics and our experience our plan next week is to make an Instagram account to spread awareness that cyberbullying is actual bullying, and that cyberbullying has the same effects of bullying in real life.

In conclusion, thank you for reading our proposal on (cyber)bullying.

#CyberBullyingIsActualBullying

Sincerely,

Nevin and Fernando

Annotated Bibliography

“Cyberbullying Tactics.” StopBullying.gov, Department of Health and Human Services, www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/cyberbullying-tactics/index.html. This website is very trustworthy because it comes from a .gov domain which means it is run by the government. The website also has very much information about all kinds of bullying, it also has resources to contact.

“Cyberbullying Posters.” Body Image – Music, mediasmarts.ca/digital-media-literacy/digital-issues/cyberbulling/cyberbullying-posters. This website is all about cyberbullying which is very trustworthy because their whole goal is to spread awareness, prevent, etc.. on all kinds of bullying

“Understanding the Teen Brain .” Eastman Institute for Oral Health – University of Rochester Medical Center, University of Rochester Medical Center Rochester, 2018, www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051. This website is very credible because it has been updated this year. It is also from the University of Rochester Medical Center which is very credible because it comes from a University.


Premature Labor

Dear Pregnant Mothers, 

I am writing to you mothers because you could be  affected by premature labor. You are affected because some mothers might have habits while being pregnant which put mothers at risk of having premature labor. If you have a preterm baby your child can have ll.4% health complications. 

Therefore, based on the credible Research , premature labor is a public health issue because some mothers do not understand how certain habits affect their babies physical and mental health and it can be prevented.

Mother’s Health During Pregnancy             

Firstly, mothers do not know or do not understand  how drinking, smoking, and too much stress can cause premature labor. In an article named “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)” Published by CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) it said “There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer” (CDC).When you are pregnant and drink alcohol and beer you would have a higher risk of having a premature baby. Premature labor is when a baby is born 32-33 weeks after the day it was supposed to be born. In an article named “Why are babies born early?” the author Armando Fuentes, a doctor who specializes in fetal medicine, explains “A premature birth is more likely to happen when a mother has a health problem — like diabetes — or does harmful things during her pregnancy, like smoke or drink. If she lives with a lot of stress, that also can make her baby be born too early” (Fuentes). Additionally not only does drinking, smoking and too much stress affect the baby, it depends on the mother’s health too if a mother has a health problem the mother can have a higher risk of having a premature baby when she’s pregnant. If  mothers don’t understand why this is harmful for the baby and what it causes then the amount of babies who are born premature is going to increase and there will be a multitude of premature cases. If it increases more than more babies/humans are going to have health problems in this world when they develop. I want to enlighten mothers to understand what is beneficial for them and their child while pregnant. In an article named “12 Ways to Stay Healthy During Pregnancy” published by Audra Meadows, MD, MPH is an obstetrician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). She explains 12 important ways to stay healthy and discusses Alcohol, Tobacco Use and Stress. She says: Women should not drink alcohol before and during their pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD can cause abnormal facial features, severe learning disabilities, and behavioral issues.Alcohol can impact a baby’s health in the earliest stages of pregnancy, before a woman may be aware she is pregnant. Therefore, women who may become pregnant also should not drink alcohol…Smoking is unhealthy for you and your unborn child. It increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), premature births, miscarriages, and several other unhealthy outcomes…Reducing stress is crucial for improving birth outcomes. Pregnant women should avoid, as much as they can, stressful situations. Recruit your loved ones to help you with this” (Meadows).

Babies Physical & Mental Health

Secondly, Drinking, smoking, and too much stress can harm a child’s health. The  child can have physical and mental health difficulties because the child was born earlier than expected for a child to develop in the womb. In a credible article named “Premature Babies” published by March of Dimes it said “Premature babies may have more health problems than babies born later. These include problems with their brain, lungs, heart, eyes and other organs” (March of Dimes). When a premature baby is born it would be born with health disabilities that were mentioned by the program. Therefore mothers who do not understand how certain habits affect their babies physical and mental health they still do it because they are addicted to drinking, smoking, or have too much stress with work or house cleaning or even with their children or husband at home. Stating that “Premature babies may have more health problems than babies born later” Babies who are born later have less health and physical problems than premature babies.. In an article named “Premature birth statistic” a program named Tommy’s explained “1 in 10 of all premature babies will have a permanent disability such as lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness. 1 in 2 of premature babies born before 26 weeks of gestation will have some sort of disability (this includes mild disability such as requiring glasses)”(Tommy’s). When having a preterm baby it can affect the baby in many ways it can affect it with health or even mentally. When babies are born on the day that it was supposed there’s a less chance of the baby having health problems. To preclude  these mothers please do not drink, smoke, and stress too much in little situations. This is how you can prevent premature labor from happening to your child. 

Survey response

We surveyed 27 Oakland teens and adults in the Bay Area about what they know and what they think about premature labor. One of the questions that were in the survey was “When you hear the word premature labor what comes to mind first?” one of the respondents says “Babies born before they are at full term. They are usually smaller than the average full-term baby, and often have health complications as a result” another respondent said “I don’t know, babies?”. Not all of the Oakland community knows about premature labor and this is not the whole Oakland community there are more people in the Oakland community to educate and to understand why premature labor is harmful for the baby’s health and development.This is a small portion of the Oakland community that was surveyed.

Pie charts and Graphs about survey

Figure 1 is titled: When a premature baby is born does it have health problems?

It shows that  Only 18.5% of the participants think that when a premature baby is born they do not have health problems.

This argues that less than half of the community think that there is no solution for premature labor.

Figure 2 is titled: Number of people who believe that everyone should know about premature labor by age. 5 stands for strongly agree and 1 stands for strongly disagree.

It shows that  12 – 18 year olds and 25 – 35 year olds believe that everyone in the Oakland community should know about premature labor but, 18 – 25 year olds and 35 – 40 year olds believe that no one should know about premature labor.

This argues that the participants who took this survey  do not agree that everyone should know about premature labor; this would affect the community because if the community does not know about this there would be a Multitude cases of premature labor.

Figure 3 is titled: Number of people who experienced premature labor by gender

It shows that More than half of females had experienced premature labor. More than half of males had not experienced premature labor.

This argues that less males know or experienced premature labor and more females have. This means that more males have to be educated so when his wife is pregnant he would know to warn her about drinking and stress can harm the child and have a premature child.

Based on the research and the survey, to be a health advocate and upstander for Premature Labor I will use social media and propaganda also I am going to use Building alternative Institutions. 

Aim #1 Educate the Oakland community virtually by explaining why smoking and drinking while pregnant can have a higher risk of having premature labor using social media and propaganda. 

Firstly, I am going to talk about social media and propaganda. I will use this tactic of social change to help me spread the word and make people understand why Drinking and smoking is terrible for the baby’s health. Also to make them understand while doing those harmful substances the mother can have a higher risk of premature labor (baby born earlier than expected). By educating Oakland residents about premature labor and what causes it and how to prevent it would decrease the rate of women having premature labor. How I would educate Oakland residents and all over the world would be through social media (Instagram) because it would help me by posting important information about premature labor. Therefore, we will post helpful facts, tips, and videos how drinking, smoking and too much stress harms your child and gives you a higher risk of having a preterm baby. However I am going to expect some obstacles that some people will Ignore the post and not read because they are not interested in Preterm labor and this situation is not talked about in the Bay Area.

Aim #2 While not being  sheltered in place I would  put up posters in the streets and give out flyers.

Furthermore, by putting posters in streets and giving out flyers it would help spread the word to people who do not know about preterm labor. This would be effective because it would be colorful and decorative to catch people’s attention and make people want to read what it is about. The flyers would be effective because we would pass them out to people who pass by us.The supplies that we would be needing is paper and colorful and bright markers and it would be showing how drinking, smoking, and too much stress while being pregnant harms the child and the mother would have a higher risk of having a preterm child. It would also show the definition of preterm birth because as it showed in our survey response not all of the Oakland community knows what preterm labor is. The obstacles that I would be expecting are people getting the flyers and throwing it directly in the trash without even taking a single look at it because they are not interested in premature labor.

Aim #3 If I had no limitations : Create a clinic for pregnant women 

Secondly, I am going to talk about Building Alternative Institutions. I will use this tactic of social change to build a clinic for women who are Interested or want to know more about premature labor also we will help women who are at risk of having a premature baby. It is open to all genders who want to know about premature labor or are curious about premature labor.

Additionally, if I had no limitations I would use building an alternative institution in order to create a clinic for pregnant women that can be for all genders who want to know about premature labor or do not understand the reason why premature labor is dismal for baby’s health. Also it is open for pregnant women who are at risk of having premature labor and needs information on how to prevent premature labor. The steps that I would be using is I will congregate a group of people to help me sign a petition to get people’s name who agrees to build a clinic for people to get information about premature labor and for women who are at risk of having preterm labor. In order to get Information about premature labor I would talk to professionals who know about the topic of premature labor. Also nurses who take care of a baby once the baby is born I would also use the Internet to find credible Information that I can take and learn from. The obstacles I  expect are that on the internet there might be untrue information about premature babies which can hurt the mother and the child.

I plan to measure my success by seeing that I have oodles of followers on Instagram and posting important information about preterm labor. Also I will know that my actions are successful by the number of followers likes and comment on my posts lastly 

I appreciate you so much for taking your time by reading this important information and spreading the word to people and friends that you know and explain what premature labor is and having evidence to back up your statement. If you would want  to see my posts and collaborate here is my Instagram account @prematurelabor please send my Instagram account to your friends family and anyone you know thank you 

Sincerely

Aida Pablo

Work cited

“Alcohol Use in Pregnancy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Apr. 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html.

“Premature Babies.” March of Dimes, www.marchofdimes.org/complications/premature-babies.aspx#.

“Premature Birth Statistics.” Tommy’s, www.tommys.org/our-organisation/why-we-exist/premature-birth-statistics.

“Why Are Babies Born Early? (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Armando Fuentes, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Oct. 2018, kidshealth.org/en/parents/born-early.html.


What Rights Do We Have As Americans?

What rights should people living in the US have? Here is a question that many non-citizens have while living and working in the United States (U.S.). I believe that if you live in the U.S., you’re entitled to all the rights provided by the United States Constitution.  During the Reconstruction, this idea of “equal rights” was demonstrated when they passed the right of the 13th Amendment, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The 13th amendment shows that during the Reconstruction Era slavery wasn’t allowed unless it was punishment for a crime because it was considered inhumane. This example shows that if you live in the US then you are was entitled to all the rights that the Constitution states that citizen will have. Similarly, events in modern times illustrate that people living in the US should be treated equally. However, we run into some walls as being equal in the US.

For example, the freedom to worship as you wish has caused much conflict in the US such as accusing many Muslims as terrorists. In recent history, as I just stated many Muslims were accused of being terrorist. This event shows that people are being judged by who they worship but anyone living in the US should be able to do as they please when it comes to religion. Also, anyone living in the Us citizen or not should also have the right to freedom of speech.

During the Reconstruction, there were laws that stated that no matter what race you are and what role you played in the Civil War you would be allowed the right to vote. The right to vote was very important during that time because it allowed you to make sure your voice was heard and also for your opinion to be included on how you think the government should operate. Even though, slaves weren’t required to vote until they were actually considered citizens they still had a mind of their own and that’s one of the main reasons why the law was passed for African-Americans to vote.

These events share many commonalities because they show that the rights of most people living in the US weren’t fully honored as much as the Constitution said it would. One right that is not fully honored is the right of having equality in this country. Till this day many African-Americans still suffer from racism. Even though in the 14th Amendment ” it forbids states from denying any person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Meaning that no one living in the US citizen or not should be restricted the basic rights of US citizens or other persons.

In conclusion, the basic rights of people living in the US are the Amendments but most of the rights are not fully reached by our government. We as a nation need to come up with a plan to change that!

Sources:

 “Primary Documents in American History.” 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Primary Documents of American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress), www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/14thamendment.html.                         

  “13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/historical-docs/13th-amendment.                                                                         

 


“Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?”

I read a few fascinating articles on how illegal immigration into the U.S. has many benefits, which is what I am arguing as well. However, I read the different arguments to this question: “Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?” a pro-con website. It is helpful to build my argument based on the thoughts of the other side. Therefore this website was really helpful.

The Pros to the question (meaning they believe immigration is a burden) addressed many of the economic concerns to the argument. However their arguments were contradictory and were not as supported by facts as was the Con’s side (arguing that illegal immigration is actually beneficial). The Pro side argued “In 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household received around $24,721 in government benefits and services while paying some $10,334 in taxes. This generated an average annual fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of around $14,387 per household. This cost had to be borne by U.S. taxpayers… Under current law, all unlawful immigrant households together have an aggregate annual deficit of around $54.5 billion.” However, does this take into consideration the fact that the top 1% does not even pay as much taxes as the middle, lower middle, and lower classes? the top 1% gets so many tax cuts that they do not get taxed as much, therefore not benefiting society, yet illegal immigrants who live off lower than minimum to minimum wage are expected to pay more taxes than a CEO of a successful company. There is more of a deficit to how the top 1% doesn’t pay taxes. “The estimated wage suppression and fiscal costs are relatively small, and economists generally view the overall economic benefits of this workforce as significantly outweighing the costs.”

“In 2012, researchers at the Cato Institute estimated that a mass deportations policy would reduce economic growth by around $250 billion per year. Those costs would not be evenly distributed: Those at the very bottom of the income distribution, particularly those without a high school diploma, may even earn higher wages in the absence of undocumented immigrants.” Undocumented workers keep wages balanced and make up most of the GDP. Without their work, the U.S. would be more in debt than it is. If their was a mass deportation, there would be an economic depression because there would be no flow in the economic cycle. There would be no consumerism, not as much taxpayer money, and not as much labor.

“Even though illegal aliens make little use of welfare, from which they are generally barred, the costs of illegal immigration in terms of government expenditures for education, criminal justice, and emergency medical care are significant.” Illegal immigrants are not the problem in this case. Lazy people living off welfare when they can actually get off their butts and work are the problem. The fact that people are mad that their taxes go towards illegal immigrants (which it barely does considering how much illegal immigrants “benefit” from it) and not mad that their tax money is going towards lazy, unemployed people on welfare shows that most people are just complaining about illegal immigrants that aren’t white and are hypocrites of the situation. Illegal immigrants also do not get great education or criminal justice because of the costs that taxes aren’t going towards. Taxpayers money goes towards lower class white American-born citizens’ poor public education too. We have a poor education system in this country, it has nothing to do with illegal immigrants. As for imprisonment and the criminal justice system, illegal immigrants are arrested more because of their color, as are any people of color; this is a fact that we have seen since before the Civil Rights Movement. Taxpayer money is going towards getting white rapists from Stanford out of jail in 3 months and keeping in people of color imprisoned for being found with a dime of weed on them. Most of these Pros towards the main question are based on systemic racism, and are simply trying to push out hard-working illegal immigrants of color, when they actually benefit society as a whole.

 


Should the Work Week Be Four Days Instead of Five?

Should the work week be four days instead of five? Many people currently work five days a week, which leaves only two days off for families. People are not able to enjoy their time with their families because weekends are  too short. They also don’t have time to see their friends. For example, Muslim people have to leave their job or school on Fridays to observe prayer. How would you feel if you weren’t able to share a special day off with your community? I propose that the government officially change the work week to a four day week. A four day work week would let people be happier and would let companies make more money. 

One reason to adopt a four day work week is that people will do their work better. For example, students will have enough time to do their homework and will have a lot of energy on Monday. I am a Muslim high school student and the schedule is tiring for me. As a Muslim I go the the mosque every Friday. Friday is like a holiday for us and we have to go pray at the mosque only if we have a good reason to not go. For example If I’m sick and I don’t want to pass the disease to other people, then I don’t have to go and school is not an excuse. When people started schools they chose Saturday and Sunday to be the days off because on Sunday many students used to go to church. And now since all people have rights in this country I want my right to go to the mosque on Fridays without having to make up my work. That would help me improve in school because what’s making it hard for me is that I have a lot of work to do that I missed on Fridays. 

One reason for switching to a four day work week is that people will have more time with their families. Imagine having two days to really see your parents. One day you go grocery shopping and you don’t really get to have fun with your family. And the next day you want to hang out with your friends. For example, a four day work week can give parents more time with their children. According to Andrew Barnes, a CEO from New Zealand, there are many benefits to both men and women. “Women — who typically took more time off for caregiving — suddenly had greater flexibility built into their schedule. Men also had more time to help with their families, Barnes says.”

Although some people might argue that companies want people to work five days a week to make more money. However, according to a Japanese study, when workers worked four days a week the company made more money than what it used to make with a five day work week. For example, If you work 5 days a week you will only relax 1 day because the other day you’ll be busy getting things for the house. And that’s why the concept is gaining ground in places as varied as New Zealand and Russia, and it’s making inroads among some American companies. Employers are seeing surprising benefits, including higher sales and profits. Based on the studies that have proven that they do better when they have three days off, so then they deserve to have 3 days off.In conclusion, a four day week is beneficial for people, companies, and schools. The issue of working five days a week is significant because people do not get enough time to themselves. If this problem is not solved, then it won’t only affect employees. It will also affect many companies and employees might change their job and work somewhere where they provide a four day work week.

NPR article

Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five?

What if You Had a Four-Day Week? Why Don’t You?


Gentrification in Small Communities

Gentrification is an issue that has become more and more pressing in recent years. Most often when we hear the word gentrification, we think of kicking out residents of smaller communities. In an article by the Washington Post, they discussed the benefits of gentrification, and why we don’t have to kick others out to create something good. While most often we see gentrification cause home values to skyrocket, kicking lower income families out, there is a different way to do things. Bringing in new investments from banks and mortgage companies can help small local businesses thrive while still keeping the local residents. When new, slightly wealthier people come into the picture, they bring the opportunity for new businesses and new opportunities. In a study done between 2000 and 2013 when 73 communities were gentrified in Los Angeles, only 13(22%) showed signs of displacement. During this same time period, only 13% of black communities were displaced in Portland, Oregon. Gentrification can do good things when done right. It takes planning and proper funding to make gentrification beneficial for everyone.

Tol, Jesse Van. “Perspective | Yes, You Can Gentrify a Neighborhood without Pushing out Poor People.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 Apr. 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/04/08/yes-you-can-gentrify-neighborhood-without-pushing-out-poor-people/


Opposing Viewpoints: NASA Funding

NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a US government agency responsible for science and technology relating to space. This often means crafting space vehicles and missions that allow the US to explore and understand our universe. This has become a controversial Administration in terms of spending. Some people argue that NASA is a waste of taxpayer money and that money could be better spent somewhere else. Whereas in reality NASA is a good source of taxpayer money that works not only to help us explore the universe but also develops technology that is detrimental to life in the US. 

Those who are against the federal government putting so much money into NASA argue that much of the budget for NASA goes into designing and building large structures that are no longer in use. For example launch pads that are built but are not in use, additionally these structures cost millions of dollars to maintain each year. Many projects that they have received money to make are not finished being built and are just wasting away not getting worked on. The money that is spent on NASA could be spent somewhere else much more effectively, for example it could go towards education, health care, or infrastructure developments. 

These arguments are true, in that there are problems with the funding for NASA, but this does not mean that NASA should be cut out altogether. When money is given to NASA it is given for certain projects, that means that NASA does not get to choose where the money they are given actually goes. This means that politicians can cut off funding for any program whenever they want and this is especially prevalent when presidential administrations switch. This is a problem because many of the projects that NASA work on need more than four years to make and put into use, when they aren’t able to receive funding to finish they will go uncompleted. Additionally NASA is very important not only for the space vehicles, satellites, and probes that they make but the technology that they develop while making these things. Without NASA we would not have memory foam, comfy tennis shoes, or scratch free glasses. The work that NASA does is necessary for continuing in our country’s greatness, instead of cutting funding for NASA the government should do a better job of giving consistent and properly allocated funding. In fact, studies show that in the years that NASA receives more funding they tend to do really cool things, for example, going to the moon.


What The World Will Be Without Youth?

I am absorbed by your Instagram video where you said that the current generation is badass. It is rare to see an adult stand up to defend what the youth in the past and today can actually do. As for me, I think that these young people are working together to make this world a better place. They are just correcting the mistakes that were already done in the past. As we can see today, in this world most of the things that are happening are just a repetition from the past. The same mistakes are repeating. People are suffering. Not only the government is working on that but the youth getting involved in it is making things way better, because they are not lazy. They go out and say what they think.They are always on the streets, working really hard to make their voices heard. They are not stopping until they get what they are fighting for. One thing you said that stands out for me is: “I think that young people are more informed and dynamic than their predecessors. I think that they are more sensitive, in a positive way, in that they actually care about other peoples’ experiences and lives. One thing that I love so much about mill — this new generation is the radical acceptance that I see from so many and they actually take time to read and understand our history, the history of the labor movement, civil rights, history of racial struggles, history of economics, history of the United States, history of colonialism.” I think this is beguiling because it is not just charming but it is like a most powerful way to talk to people as they deserve it. I can say that the youth deserve to be seen and heard, because their words matter. As of now, most rallies, clubs, groups, gangs etc….are made because they want their communities to see them and get involved.

I extremely agree with you that youth are badass, they are getting involved in their community’s issues. The youth call for a better future by interacting with one another and to stand and help their community. One reason I say this is that it is rare to see youth do things on their own. So if they are willing to work like badass they deserve to be recognized, which gives them the strength to work hard and change the world. There is also a part of your video when you said, “They’re not afraid to have those conversations. If anything, I think they’re profoundly courageous because they’re willing to puncture more taboos and have conversations that, frankly, older generations sometimes struggle to have.”  This set of words just makes me want to say things that I wanted to say for so long. It is just giving us courage and not to be afraid of showing ourselves. But there is something about it. Even if they are not afraid to have those conversations, still there is no action . It just looks like their voices have not been heard. What can you do/say about it? Recently I was looking at videos by young activists, and one of them is a good example of what I’m saying here. 1For example, Edna Chavez’s video was about shootings that has happened in the schools and in neighborhoods. I’m especially inspired by the video by Edna Chavez because she is an inspiration. She gives the youth the reason to speak up and to have courage. So, she explains the issues of gun shooting that is happening in school and everywhere else. She lost her family because of gun shooting, and now she is asking for the government to take control. Something memorable in the video is when she was explaining the tragedy that happened in her life, and many others that have faced the same problem. As for now she wanted to stand up with the youth to fight for what is right for us and for everybody else. It is a good example of the point I am trying to make with, you AOC because it is just confirming you said about the youth being badass. They are just doing what’s right. They want to get involved, they want their voice to be heard, they want to show that they care, they are motivation for the future, and the next future generation to be ready and open minded.

“It is normal to see posters. It is normal to see balloons. It is normal to see flowers honoring the lives of Black and Brown youth that have lost their lives to a bullet.” CHAVEZ, E. March For Our Lives In-text: (Chavez, 2018). Your Bibliography: Chavez, E., 2018. March For Our Lives. Available at: [Accessed 28 March 2018].

This is basically saying that seeing people die is not the end of life. People should fight for that to not happen again.They should stand up together and stop the violence. 

I’ve also been learning about Youth Revolt which is about youth from different countries standing up to make their voices heard. They were also protesting for their rights and their communities right. The young protesters that I find most inspiring are the ones who were protesting for civil rights. The Civil Right Activists, including young protesters, participate in one of three Alabama marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. They were demonstrating that their rights matter not only for men but also for women. They were marching for the civil right, a right that will allow women to have the right to vote.

I think this history is a good example of something you said in your video: “ I think this new generation is very profound and very strong and very brave because they are actually willing to go to the streets.” I agree with you here, because not just this new generation but also in the past, those generations were badass too. They were getting involved in any ways to help their elders.

Thanks for taking the time to read my letter. I look forward to seeing what you do or say next time because the world needs people like you to make youth strong. You are an inspiration that push this new generation to believe in themselves and the power that they have which is their voice, and their personality.

One of the reason why I choose this video is that since I heard about them in my internship, I have been following them and all I see about them is that they are youth of action, they call themselves ” Teen Take Charge”. They have fighting for everybody not just for students. They the voice of all of us, they are representing all students in all borders. They are fighting against segregation, education, racism, discrimination, and so many more. They inspired me the first beginning that I meet them, they are giving a lot of students the courage to go to school with no fear. All I can say about them is that they are just confirming what exactly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said about youth being BA

Image: AOC by Mike J Maguire on 2020-02-24 15:42:40


Pro Choice

Women’s rights have always been a huge debate in history. Women have had to protest for their right to own property, education, vote, and to be treated as equals to men. Even now women still need to protest for the right to do as they please for their own body. Abortion is a controversial topic and it raises the question of should we ban it or should we allow it to continue in the country.

One of the main arguments against abortion is that the women who choose to abort are killing a human life. This argument has been disproven. It has been stated that a fetus cannot survive by itself and is therefore not considered a human life yet. Laws are made to prevent abortion at 24 weeks when the fetus only has a 35% chance of surviving outside of the womb. A study done by medical professionals showed what happens to babies born between 22 and 27 weeks. “The study, involving nearly 5,000 babies born between 22 and 27 weeks gestation, found that 22-week-old babies did not survive without medical intervention. In the 78 cases where active treatment was given, 18 survived, and by the time they were young toddlers, seven of those did not have moderate or severe impairments. Six had serious problems such as blindness, deafness or severe cerebral palsy. Of the 755 born at 23 weeks, treatment was given to 542. About a third of those survived, and about half of the survivors had no significant problems.” The fetus cannot yet survive on its own and making the mother carry to term when she doesn’t want to is inhumane.

Legal abortions are important because they help prevent the woman from being in a dangerous situation. Almost 42 million women worldwide get abortions every year. Out of those 42 million about 20 million are unsafe and 5 million of those will have some type of long term health complication. “Worldwide, some 5 million women are hospitalized each year for treatment of abortion-related complications such as hemorrhage and sepsis, and abortion-related deaths leave 220,000 children motherless.”  Unsafe abortions are considered to be one of the easiest preventable causes of maternal mortality. There are many things necessary in order to keep the woman safe and healthy during the abortion procedure. “Every woman admitted for emergency postabortion care may require blood products, antibiotics, oxytocics, anesthesia, operating rooms, and surgical specialists.” Banning abortion isn’t going to stop abortion but rather force women to go for more dangerous alternatives. Illegal methods of abortion could harm the woman and could even lead to death. It is better to provide a safe way to abort than make women risk their lives by taking matters into their own hands. “Methods of unsafe abortion include drinking toxic fluids such as turpentine, bleach, or drinkable concoctions mixed with livestock manure.” There also also other ways by inserting foreign objects like twigs and coat hangers into the woman. These methods put the woman at a huge risk with their health just for an abortion.

Pregnancy is a huge matter in a woman’s life and it should be up to her whether she wants to continue it or terminate it for whatever reason. Women have been considered as second class citizens and have had to fight for their rights and to be treated with equal respect to men. Abortion should be a part of one of their rights as it is their body that they are devoting to childbirth. Why are we deciding that the life of the unborn is more important than those of who are giving birth to them. The United Nations has stated, “Fourteen years after the Millennium Development Goals went into effect, 222 million women who want to avoid or delay pregnancy still cannot obtain modern contraception in developing nations. In 66 countries, abortion is either prohibited in all circumstances or allowed only to save a woman’s life. Women in these circumstances have virtually no control over the size of their families — a serious problem that carries over to other important decisions they must make about their lives, like their education or employment.” While strides have been made for gender equality, women still struggle for their right to their own body in the United States.

If equality is to exist in this world women should get more than just the right to vote. Women need the right to choose what to do with their bodies. Banning abortions would be a devastating blow to women everywhere. All the rights women have fought for would mean nothing if they cannot have a choice in their future.


Latinx Community

̈ ̈Oakland is my home and I can’t imagine leaving. But it hurts to see the culture I grew up with fade away. Because when the people who built this community leave, they take Oakland’s spirit with them.¨(Villa). These powerful words said by Emiliano Villa mean that he doesn’t like seeing Oakland change and the Oakland culture leaving. He has seen Oakland change throughout time in it’s good and bad days. He does not want to leave because this is his community the community that the whole Latinx people have helped build. Based on the article that Emillino Villa wrote and many others that I have examined about the way that the Latinx community has always adapted to a changing Oakland starting with its first migration to West Oakland then their move to Fruitvale and now with gentrification the Latinx community is resisting and not going to move away from Oakland. 

The first time the Latinx community had to adapt to Oakland changing was when they first migrated to West Oakland from Mexico. For example in the article History of Hispanic Culture In Fruitvale written by Azucena Rasilla, it states, “ … the first Latinx Oakland neighborhood was located in West Oakland. It was there where Mexicans fleeing the revolution of 1910 migrated to this Oakland neighborhood to build community” (Rasilla). The Mexicans that fled in the 1910 revolution they had to adapt to a whole new environment. When they ran away from the revolution they left everything behind and had to start from scratch in a froeigen country, they knew nothing about. They started adapting to Oakland by starting to take on jobs like longshoremen, workers in factories and as canneries and also got jobs with the Southern Pacific railroads. Some latinos even owned their own little business and started opening them around 7th street . “Mi Ranchito and La Bourinquena were the first Mexican grocery stores to open”. This explains that, “The heart of the Mexican Latino community was around 7th st: 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th streets, and Market Street,” (“History of Mexican and Latino Americans.” LocalWiki, localwiki.org/oakland/History_of_Mexican_and_Latino_Americans.) 

In 1950s-1960s the destruction of West Oakland began the latinos were displaced once again, . Based on the graphic novel  “How Did We Get Here?” written by Miriam Waldeno, it explains that the government started creating new freeways on top of many colored people’s homes, destroying them and forcing them to move out, this was called the “Urban Renewal”.  They unknowingly had to move to East Oakland and Fruitvale (Walden). They once again had to start over and acclimate in East Oakland an example of them modifying was by them forming the Chicano Revolutionary Party and joined the black panther party to fight against police brutality because they both faced police brutality (“History of Mexican and Latino Americans.” LocalWiki, localwiki.org/oakland/History_of_Mexican_and_Latino_Americans) .

Now, the Latinx community is being affected again, by gentrification, but they are persisting. For example in the article “Development without gentrification? Oakland’s Fruitvale is the model report says” it discusses the changes in fruitvale and how the rent keeps on going up but the Latinx community is staying. To illustrate it reports, “Rents in Fruitvale rose a whopping 83 percent, compared to 71 percent in similar Bay Area neighborhoods and 66 percent in similar California neighborhoods,” on the contrary “At the same time, Fruitvale lost only 1 percent of its Latino population, 4 percent of its black residents, less than one percent of its white residents and gained 6 percent of new Asian residents”(Baldassari). The Latinx community isn’t going to move away from Fruitvale even if the rent is going up and is really high because that’s their home. Also since the Latinx community has been here for many years and many own their own homes so the rent going up or increasing doesn’t affect them at all. Even though gentrification is still going on it is unambiguous that the Latinx community is not going to move again because fruitvale is the heart of the Latinx community. 

In conclusion, the Latinx community has survived in Oakland for several years despite the countless times they have been displaced in different parts of Oakland. The Latinx community has been through so many obstacles yet they still remain here and are not going to move away again despite that there are still people that degrade them. The idea of staying in Oakland stays inmutable to the Latinx community despite the president trying to exclude them from here. 

Anotedated biogliografi

Baldassari, Erin. “Development without Gentrification? Oakland’s Fruitvale Is the Model, Report Says.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 16 Apr. 2018

“History of Mexican and Latino Americans.” LocalWiki, localwiki.org/oakland/History_of_Mexican_and_Latino_Americans

This article discusses all the history and journey the Latinx went through and faced to get to Oakland. How they were displaced unwilling and how they adapted to their home no matter where they went. They found ways to accumulate and built a community. 

Rasilla, Azucena. “History of Hispanic Culture in the Fruitvale Neighborhood.” History of Hispanic Culture in the Fruitvale Neighborhood, Visit Oakland, 31 Oct. 2019, www.visitoakland.com/blog/post/history-of-hispanic-culture-in-fruitvale/.

This article discusses the history about how Latinx  migrated to west Oakland first, than migrated to west oakland. Then the chicanos joined the Latinx during the civil rights movement.This article is credible because it’s written by a journalist that is from Oakland. Also I am looking for information about Fruitvale in the present and this article was published Sep. 13, 2019. 

 Villa , Emiliano. “Gentrification in Fruitvale.” YR Media, 18 Nov. 2018,  yr.media/identity/gentrification-in-fruitvale/. 

This article discusses how Fruitvale is changing rapidly and how there is more and different people moving in. Also tells how Fruitvale isn’t the same anymore. If the people that built the community and brought the community together were to leave they would take the community spirit with them and Oakland wouldn’t be the same anymore.


Should everyone go to a four-year college?

 Many high school graduates have a difficult time deciding what to do after they graduate. Many think that four year colleges are better than community colleges without knowing the difference, and some people go just to make their parents proud of them. But, in reality they don’t want to go. And some people might want to go to college to get educated, but they want a shorter or a cheaper way. As many people know a four year college education could be expensive without scholarships or a lot of money. As a result, people do not get the opportunity to go to college because of the expanse, or their bad grades. I believe that there is a solution for all of these issues. People think that when they get rejected or fail in one thing that they are rejected from everything. Community college is the perfect solution for making up high school credit  and it’s also cheaper than a four year bachelor’s degree.  

One reason to choose community college is that it costs less money than a four year college. For example, taking one year of community college can cost about $1,128. On the other hand, one year at a four year college can cost 5 times more. Studies have shown that going to UC Berkeley can cost $14,543 in tuition if you are a California resident. If you are from outside the state it costs $44,007. According to the nerdwallet article, students take loans that they can’t repay because “they’ve been told that a college degree is a ticket to success.” As a result, students attend colleges when they cannot afford the tuition. Student debt is a big problem. Students should try to look for a beneficial path that they can follow and not make them give up all the hard work at the end. 

 Another reason to choose community college is that there are smaller classroom sizes at a 2-year college compared to a 4-year college. For example, If you want to get help from a professor, it’s easier to do so at a community college. According to an article published on vittana.org: “The basic courses that every student must take at a 4-year university might have up to 300 students attending the same class. Attending the same class as the community college level might put you in a room with 30 other students instead.” Students who are used to high school classes do not have to deal with something new like a class with hundreds of students. Students can get to know each other more easily and communicate with each other and the teacher. Consequently , students that need teachers’ support should think about what kind of college will get them this opportunity. 

      

Additionally, some students want to take a shorter path. An associate degree is the solution. It takes only two years to graduate from a community college and get the associate degree. Although some might argue that getting a bachelor’s degree makes it easier to find a job or get a higher salary, I disagree because you can go to a community college, or attend a one year program and get the same benefits as a four year college degree. With an associate’s degree you can be an air traffic controller, ASN nurse, radiation therapist etc. Therefore, knowing what career you want to be in the future will make it easier for you choosing between community college and a four  year college. 

    Finally, community college has many benefits over a four year college. Getting a bachelor’s degree is not necessary for everyone, and it could be a waste of money for some students and even cause them to go into debt. If nothing is done to educate students about the differences about these types of colleges, they would just think that four year colleges are the only choice for them, and that community college is only for beginners.

Sources

https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/student-loans/why-students-borrow-loans-cant-repay

What is depression?

Now a day, depression is a very serious and common mental illness. Same as normal disease, it’s just like your mind is sick. People have depression normally have many negative thought, and many of them will try to hurt or kill themselves. According to the research, there’s estimated 1 million suicide deaths each year.

So what can we do for them? I think the most important things is to suggest them to go see the doctor, and don’t let them feel alone. Actually there’s already a very effective medical treatment, but most of the patient unwilling to face the problem, because they don’t think they’re sick.

Last month, there’s two female Korean artists who have depression suicided, it’s pretty sad that nobody can help them. So if anyone around you have looks like something wrong, please stay with them, and give them attention. At least don’t think that’s doesn’t matter, because it’s a serious problem.


Human Trafficking

Dear Oakland community,

“At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage” (http://www.heatwatch.org/). Human/Sex Trafficking occurs more ofen than you think. Alameda County is thte county in California with the most cases of Human/Sex trafficking. It is known that 75% of trafficking victims are women (http://www.heatwatch.org/). This matters regardless of your gender because someone you know may be in danger here in Oakland. According to research, Oakland should be more aware about sex/human trafficking  because anyone can be a victim and being trafficked effects vicitims negatively mentally and physically. 

Firstly, Oakland needs to wake up and notice trafficking because anyone can be a victim. In the article titled “The Victims” by National Human Trafficking Hotline, it mentions how there isnt a specific type of people  who are targeted it explains “The victims of this crime in the U.S. are men and women, adults and children, and foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. Although there isn’t a certain feature that you may have that will lead to being a victim. But it is more common for runaway and homeless youth to become victims of trafficking.” This shows that everyone is in danger and vulnerable. That means it is better to be aware of the issue 

 “Human trafficking victims have been identified in cities, suburbs, and rural areas in all 50 states”(National Human Trafficking Hotline) how there isnt a general area in the united states where yoo would be more likely to become a victim of human trafficking. Basically it’s all up to your awareness of whether or not you feel like you are in a situation in which you could become a victim of human trafficking.

Secondly, Oakland needs to be aware because of the negative consequences to mental and physical health that are caused by them being trafficked as this quote from the article titled Mental health and human trafficking: responding to survivors’ needs, it concludes  “mental health problems – including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder – are prevalent among trafficked people” the reason people need to be aware of victims mental health is becuase those issues to someones mental health will cause victims to self harm like cutting themselves or even worse committing sucide. If we are more aware of the situation, then we can also become more aware of the solution to the problem.

Survey:

I completed a survey and gave it out to the  People in Oakland. The survey was primarily based on the communitys opinion on how much they now about human traffficking and the effect of human trafficking and if they know about the negative efffects.

This bar graph is also made from our survey which ask people’s opinion if having more job opportunities for teens would decrease the number of sex trafficking, and 11 of the 20 respondents agree with that statement. !0 of those respondents are women and the other 10 are male. The reason I personally think more job opportunities would decrease the number is because in an article titled “The Victims” by The National Human Trafficking Hotline, they state “Runaway and homeless youth are vulnerable to trafficking.” This quote just proves that if the youth had a job, then they would have more opportunities to be successful and have less of a chance of becoming homeless.

To be an upstander for this topic i would post on youth voices, but not only that but i will make an instagram post linking all the important information and the contact information for help and support if you have spotted trafficking, or know someone involved in trafficking. 

 An aim I want to do to help get the word out for the Oakland community to be more aware of this topic is to make a post on instagram. Instagram is a good choice because many people use it from various age ranges to teenagers to adults with kids.  Another reason I think it’s a good idea to post on instagram is not only because it is easily accessible to many different people of different ages, but also because if there’s anything another person wants to add to give more information to the community, then they can send me a private message about the term or comment publicly under the post. Although posting on social media seems like a good way to get the word out to the community, there is a lot that could go wrong or not as planned. For example the post doesnt get as much attention as i hoped for, which that would mean that the percentage of people knowing what is human trafficking is would stay the same and not increase as shown in the bar graph that 75% of our survey respondents are confident of their knowledge of human trafficking. Which is obviously a good and high number, but i hoped the number could increase to at least 90%, so i need to be a resource for peoples knwledge of human trafficking.

The second aim would be focused on Job Opportunities. This bar graph is also made from our survey which ask people’s opinion if having more job opportunities for teens would decrease the number of sex trafficking, and 11 of the 20 respondents agree with that statement. The reason I personally think more job opportunities would decrease the number is because in an article titled “The Victims” by The National Human Trafficking Hotline, they state “Runaway and homeless youth are vulnerable to trafficking.” This quote just proves that if the youth had a job, then they would have more opportunities to be successful and have less of a chance of becoming homeless.

A third aim is to make flyers in class. The flyers would contain the website and number of the National Human Trafficking Hotline. That website would help you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking. I would post the flyers around the school primarily around the entrance. I would also go to the Bart station in Fruitvale because there is a lot of foot traffic in that area, which would help get the  word out to the community.

Most importantly, a precaution you can take is to prevent going out to places while it’s dark, if you go out while it’s dark make sure you are accompanied by someone else. Another precaution is to carry pepper spray, or even a taser to help defend yourself against your attacker. An “extreme” precaution you can do is get a firearms licence either open carry or concealed carry. 

In conclusion please be aware of your surroundings and be prepared and aware of any situation you are in if you are alone and in the dark which is when you are the most vulnerable to be attacked because your life depends on it. 

Thank you,

Nahum

Work Cited!

Human Trafficking. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://humantraffickinghotline.org/type-trafficking/human-trafficking 

This source is useful because it went straight to the point. It also is the hotline for human and sex trafficking. In the article it also has their number to call or text.

What You Need to Know About Human Trafficking Awareness Month. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/what-you-need-know-about-human-trafficking-awareness-month  

This website helped me better understand what human trafficking is and the effects.

H.E.A.T. Watch – Stop Human Exploitation and Trafficking. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.heatwatch.org/human_trafficking/statistics 

This website gave me the information about California and it also had information about the Alameda county.


America Means Inequality

I have lived in the United States of America for my entire life, growing up in the Bay Area gives me different views of what it means to be an American to other people. The idea of what it means to be an American can alter wherever you are in the country. To some it means extreme patriotism and to others it just means to be living here. To me America means freedom and the extreme opportunities given. Yet, others have had very different outlooks on what this country is.

The country that I see as a land of freedom and opportunity has been a land of false advertising to others. The idea of our country being a place where everyone is equal is just a lie. In “Let America be America Again” by Langston Hughes he talks about how America has never really been America. In our own countries Declaration of Independence it states, “all men are created equal.” This part of the document was written by a slave owner which highlights the ways in which our country is built on unkept promises. Langston Hughes talks about all the ways in which African Americans and many other groups of people who have been oppressed don’t have the same opportunities as white people in America. In a particular part the author says, “ O, let America be America again— The land that never has been yet— And yet must be—the land where every man is free. The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—.” This conveys that America means a country that has only worked well for white men so we need to make it a place that works for everyone, as promised in documents like the Declaration of Independence.

While some see America as a country that has not worked for them, others have been able to live the “American Dream”. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a book, told from narrator Nick Carraway’s point of view, about the lives of his wealthy friends. One of those characters, Jay Gatsby, is a very rich man who came from a poor family. This book shows another side of America which is the people this country did not give false promise. As he comes from a poor family and ends up an extremely wealthy man.

Like Langston Hughes said previously, many Americans have not been given the opportunity and freedom they were promised years ago. This same idea is prevalent in Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”, a poem she performed at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on January 20, 2021.  She talks about how we can make America a better place by giving equal treatment to all. The poem states, “Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president.” The ways in which they do not compare is she seems to talk about how we all need to unify to adopt these standards. This is largely because of how different the country is nowadays versus in the 1930s.

As stated earlier I believe that America is a country that many have found to be great due to the fact of the ways in which it has allowed them to succeed in life. America is a country that many have found to be great, whereas others have found it to be a place not providing equality for them. Growing up as a white, middle class, male I have felt the United States has been a great country that has worked very well for me. Yet, I have grown up in an extremely diverse region which allows me to observe the ways in which it doesn’t work for people of color and other marginalized groups. So, I agree with all of these texts, for some the country is a place where your wildest dreams can come true and for others you are not given the opportunities you were promised.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940. The Great Gatsby. New York :C. Scribner’s sons, 1925.

Hughes, Langston. “Let America Be America Again.” Poets.org. The Academy of American Poets. 07 May 2013 <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15609>.

Gorman, Amanda. “Amanda Gorman’s Poem Stole the Show at the Inauguration. Read It Again Here.” Town & Country, 17 Feb. 2021, www.townandcountrymag.com/society/politics/a35279603/amanda-gorman-inauguration-poem-the-hill-we-climb-transcript


Domestic Abuse: Pandemic within a Pandemic

Some people know domestic abuse as something daily or regular in their lives and others who have never experienced it. However, even if a person has not experienced first hand they should care about all the victims and try to find solutions. This is a pandemic within a pandemic.

As seen in the news: A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide. Domestic Abuse increased during Covid-19 as Covid19 cases surged in the United States in March 2020, stay at home orders were put in place. “Mounting data suggests that domestic abuse is acting as an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic” (Taub). The schools closed and workers were laid off, furloughed, or told to work from home. “Stay-at-home orders, intended to protect the public and prevent widespread infection, left many IPV (Intimate partner violence) victims trapped with their abusers”.

Although restrictions were lessened the effects of the pandemic continued. “One in 4 women and one in 10 men experience IPV, and violence can take various forms: it can be physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological.2 People of all races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic classes, and religions experience IPV” (Evans). The emergency number in Spain received 18 percent more calls in the first two weeks of lockdown than a month later. The French police reported a 30 percent increase in domestic violence. As we hear or see, people can not ignore this is a huge issue for many victims who are suffering and who feel helpless. Sadly many of these crises are set to become much more frequent.

Most people who experience IPV don’t seek help and this pandemic has shown how much work needs to be done to ensure that domestic abuse victims have access to support, refuge, and medical care. What we could do is show our support by having the hotline at all grocery stores, malls, and post on social media for others to be aware as well. Talk about the importance of mental health.

If we as a society normalized the idea of getting help as a positive thing instead of a negative there would be more people reaching out. Also, we could help by wearing a mask and help stop the spread of the virus so everyone’s lives can go back to normal without victims having to accept they have no choice but to stay with their abuser because the virus is impeding their leave.

Works Cited

Evans, M., Author AffiliationsFrom the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, F. P. Polack and Others, Consortium, W., &amp; A. T. Widge and Others. (2020, December 10). A Pandemic within a Pandemic – Intimate Partner Violence during Covid-19: NEJM. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2024046

Taub, A. (2020, April 06). A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/world/coronavirus-domestic-violence.html


Homelessness in Chicago Public Schools

As of the 2017-2018 school year, 17,894 homeless Chicago children and teens attend CPS schools. Data also shows that 2,041 of those homeless teens live on their own without a parent or guardian. We believe that Chicago should be helping these students out and offer a shelter of these children so they can continue attending school and live in a safe place.


Domestic Violence: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

 As we talked about in an earlier post, we stated that domestic violence was becoming a pandemic within a pandemic. Sadly abusive relationships got worse by not letting the victims leave their abusers because of Covid. Due to COVID, many plans or opportunities were put on hold. Victims lives are being treated horribly in their homes without seeing a way out. Hopefully the vaccine can be the light at the end of the tunnel and start making the world turn again and move forward. 

I hope the victims can see it as well. As well as for COVID to  pass quickly so the women, children, and men as well can move forward with their lives to stop the abusive cycle they live in. There started a rise in child abuse cases and they ended up related to Covid-19.  I think many of us would agree that movement restrictions are unwanted. Many domestic abuse victims em weren’t fully considered. Movement restrictions were implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus but it might of made violence in homes more frequent and more dangerous. Like I said before what we could be doing to help this is by wearing our masks, taking the vaccine, and taking nutrition fortifying everyone’s health. We can all work together to help others suffering, by doing what’s right and stopping the spread of the virus and reaching out to domestic abuse victims and letting them know they’re not alone.

Works Cited

Evans, M., Author AffiliationsFrom the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, F. P. Polack and Others, Consortium, W., &amp; A. T. Widge and Others. (2020, December 10). A Pandemic within a Pandemic – Intimate Partner Violence during Covid-19: NEJM. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2024046

Taub, A. (2020, April 06). A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide. Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/world/coronavirus-domestic-violence.html


What Do We Deserve?

What do we deserve as people living here in the United States? Should people be treated unfairly because of their race, sexuality or religion? I don’t think so. Like the human beings that we all are, we should all treat each other with respect and not mistreat anybody because of stupid reasons. As I am thinking about this question “ WHAT RIGHTS SHOULD PEOPLE LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE?.”  The first thing that I thought about when I heard this question was my parents. I remember when both of my parents told me their stories about how much they suffered in the desert while coming to the US. I always thank them for the sacrifice that they made for me and my brother, so we could have a better life. And for them too because they wanted to find another opportunity to reach their dreams. I think that people like my parents shouldn’t be mistreated only because they wanted to have a better future in this country. I think that people who live here in the US like my parents should have the rights to build a future freely without worrying about other people.

According to the reconstruction era, people tried their best to have the equal right no matter race, sexuality, or religion. The Freedmen’s Bureau was an act during the reconstruction era created in 1865. This act was passed on March 3, 1865, in order to aid former slaves though food, housing, and education. This showed that African-Americans had rights because they had education, food, and housing after the civil war. Another act that happens during the Reconstruction Era was the black codes. The Black Codes were laws that were passed by the southern states after the civil war with the intention and the affection of restricting African American slaves their freedom and to make them work in a labor economy with a low wage. This shows that in even though African-Americans were “freed” they weren’t really free because they didn’t have the right to speak up and to say their opinions. According to these acts and laws, African-Americans were mistreated only because of their race. Thank god that today we are not focusing on slavery because it would’ve been awful.

Events that are similar to the black codes and the freedmen’s bureau today are that people are discriminating transgenders and immigrants. For example, a was in prison for four years only because she was transgender. When she was in prison she got raped, beaten, and threatened to death. After she got out of prison she felt scared of who she was. She didn’t know what to do after she got out of prison. This is the reason why I’m saying that people should accept everybody so people like Ashely won’t feel scared of being outside and be secure of who she is. Another example is that all of the immigrants that Hispanics right now are confused and worried because they don’t know if they are going to be deported. Donald Trump is taking all of the immigrants and residents worker permit. I don’t think that’s fair because they’re some people that really want to work in this country to earn money to take care of their families. In the middle of 2017, Donald Trump said that he was going to build a wall so no more people could come to the United States. He also said that all of the Hispanics are criminals and drug dealers and that is not true.That is offending us because everybody knows that isn’t true.

That’s why I think that people should get equal rights so everybody would treat each other with respect and that there would be no more discrimination against our nation.

 

Photo by Elvert Barnes


The unique class of 2020

2020 is a year quite like no other. I have been looking forward to this year ever since I could remember. I was always so excited to get my cap and gown, get my diploma, and finish off by throwing my cap in the air. All of the high school memories that have been a tradition are just gone, or at least different. There is no senior prom, no senior sunset, no  senior traditions. However, if there still are some traditions, they are quite different. The class of 2020 has come to an abrupt end.

Thinking about the idea of saying goodbye to everyone is hard  even if you hated high school. It is the end of an era and you will most likely not see the people you spent four years with ever again. Finishing high school is difficult, but this year has been even harder. The ending came much more abruptly and the goodbyes did not occur. For me, I knew about the virus, but the idea of school’s closing just never occurred to me. I never thought the last day of the third quarter would be the end of high school.

When schools closed, everything seemed to fall apart. In the matter of 3 days I lost the chance of seeing friends, my job, and my high school memories all thanks to Corona. When everything occurred I was upset. At one point everything was fine and then at the next everything was gone. The biggest idea on my mind was finishing high school and getting through finals, but since corona all the thoughts in my head are about when will it end and wonder if life will ever be normal.  

To finish high school this is really hard. Having to just focus on school without being able to see friends is difficult. School is about learning, but it is also about socializing and online school is hard to stay motivated in when you do not have friends by your side. Facetime and snapchat are not enough to make up for the lack of in person connection. To end high school so quickly sucks because I will never have the memories that most seniors have had. I will not get to look back and think about the memories of graduation and being to say goodbye to friends. I will not get the chance to say goodbye to teachers. The class of 2020 is different and will be remembered as the year COVID-19 took over, but yet we are also the class that has stayed strong and gets to be unique.


Computational Thinkers NOT Robots

How can parents support the development of computational thinking in young children? People usually say that children are too young to develop computational thinking, but there are age-appropriate computer programs and activities that can help introduce computational thinking in young children. Computational thinking can be defined as taking a complex problem, breaking it down, and finding possible solutions to it. Computational thinking is important because it fosters problem-solving and creative thinking.

When people think about computational thinking, they immediately associate it with computer science or math. Does this mean that in order for young children to be computational thinkers they have to be good with computers and math? This is not necessarily true. Young children can use their computational thinking across different content areas and everyday context that do not require the use of a computer. An example of how young children can activate their computational thinking skills is through simple daily activities. For example, when picking up their toys after play children are problem solving by thinking and reflecting on their cleaning by making sure that the toys are put back to the place where they were originally found. Another example is when getting ready for school children are taking small steps such as brushing their teeth, getting dress, gathering their materials and more to complete a more complex activity. This makes me think that parents should be more involved in learning about computational thinking and how they can help their children develop this skill in order for them to be able to find possible solutions in any given situation.   

How can teachers encourage parents to incorporate computational thinking in everyday activities? Teachers should work together with parents to help develop computational thinking in young children. Teachers can provide parents with examples of activities or games they can perform with their children to help them use their computational thinking skills.  I believe that if teachers and parents work together, they will not only prepare children to think creatively and define and solve their own problems, they will also help strengthen their relationship with that child.



A sprite is a special character image and a costume can be described as different movements/poses that can be made by the sprite. 



 My Scratch Program includes my family composition, things I like to eat, and things I like to do.



This is a project I created by following one of the tutorials in Scratch. Scratch has many step-by-step tutorials that can help users learn about new skills they can use in Scratch.



All the sounds I incorporated in my build a band program were taken from the Scratch website. I included instrument sounds such as C Trumpet, Tap Conga, and C2 Elec Guitar to better represent each instrument in the band. Also, I included other sounds like Drum Funky and Hi Beatbox to make it sound more like a real band.



 In this project, I remixed another creator’s program. Remixing refers to modifying an existing program on Scratch to contribute to the creators ideas.


Social Distancing Now

Researchers say that COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading due to the movements of people with no or very mild symptoms. Those who are unaware that they have the virus continually move around especially. That is why social distancing is so important when it comes to combating coronavirus. The main question concerning health officials was how has the coronavirus been spreading so quickly around the globe and why is this happening even with increasing travel bans and restrictions?

UC San Francisco epidemiologist Jeff Martin says “Social distancing will be the key phrase in the days and weeks to come. The term simply refers to avoiding close contact with other individuals in order to avoid catching the virus yourself and to avoid passing it on.”  Many factors contribute to the so-called reproductive number of the new coronavirus, which describes roughly how many people an infected individual will go on to infect. Which is estimated to range from 1.4 to 6.5, with an average of 3.3. The higher this reproductive number the faster the virus will spread. Some factors that affect the reproductive number include how inherently contagious the virus is, how susceptible people are to infection, the number of contacts between people, and lastly the duration of the contact.

Social distancing in daily life means banning large gatherings, encouraging telecommuting and closing schools, and no crowded public transit if possible. Social activities are now discouraged and if you are 60 or overstaying home, in general, is recommended. According to the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America is that everyone should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people and avoid eating or drinking out at restaurants, bars, or food courts. If a person in your household is tested positive for coronavirus your whole family should stay at home and not go anywhere. 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/why-social-distancing-is-key-in-containing-the-new-coronavirus#Asymptomatic-cases-may-transmit-the-virus

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/03/416906/why-experts-are-urging-social-distancing-combat-coronavirus-outbreak


Separation of Families

What can we do about the kids that have parents that are deported and left here in the United States?(Deportation, process of deportation, kids health(mental, psychological), parent/kid separation, choice of staying or going)

 

In this article about the mental health impact of immigrant kids, the article talks about how kids are affected when they are separated from their parents. The structure of their brain gets messed up if they go through traumatic experiences like separation from parents. When they are separated without being told where they are going or any idea of what will happen, their brains go into a flight or fight mode. In the long run, it messes up in how they respond when they are placed under stress. It affects them in their future lives because the trauma they have from being separated from their parents can cause learning difficulties and psychological problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder

https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/06/21/child-separation-immigration-policy-spiegel/

 

This page talks about how many U.S citizen kids live with undocumented family and how this affects them now and in the future. There is an estimated 4.1 million U.S citizen children under the age of 18 that live with at least one undocumented parent. The kids are also more prone to mental illness than others. The risk of having depression, anxiety and severe psychological distress increases if there is a detention or deportation of a parent. If the parent is in final stages of being deported, they have to make the ultimate decision of taking their kids with them or letting them stay in the United States.

https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/us-citizen-children-impacted-immigration-enforcementimmigration photo


A problem no one is solving

It seems like we are all aware that plastic consumption is at all time highs. Even if you specifically or people we know aren’t doing much about it, for the most part we all know it is a problem. I feel badly when I use plastic but I do it anyway because it’s easy, cheap, accessible and overwhelmingly common. Plastic is everywhere in our grocery stores but as we know it is also everywhere on our planet including our oceans and shores. If our awareness is heightened by plastic water bottle and straw use why are we not banning it and other plastic products like many other states and countries have?

The Toronto Environmental Alliance reported that many cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland and Mexico City, states like Hawaii and North Carolina have banned plastic bags, along with, states in Australia and India have taken action on this problem from as early as 2007. They also said that “countries like Italy, China, Bangladesh, many countries in Africa including Rwanda, Kenya, the Congo, and South Africa” (tea 1) have banned plastic use all together. So what is stopping the entire United States from taking action? 

The first problem is that mass production is defined in our country and other larger countries. Big manufacturing businesses know that their products will stay preserved for a longer period of time if they are surrounded by plastic. Even buying your products without plastic like at a bulk food store or farmers market is more expensive because the only people selling it in that manner are small local business owners. If we were to ban plastic use it would target big businesses and possibly affect the economy in a negative manner. However considering how economically focused our country is this is a big reason why plastic is still around.

The second problem and possibly the bigger problem is that plastic is cheap. It can be produced quickly for a million different things and be extremely durable while being cost efficient. If you drop a glass container on the ground it’s going to shatter but if you drop plastic it might at most get a scratch. Businesses have noticed this and taken it to an extreme. In 2016 the Ellen McArthy foundation published research about plastic production, solutions and predictions for the future they included a very intriguing statistic that “the cost of … plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, is conservatively estimated at USD 40 billion annually — exceeding the plastic packaging industry’s profit pool” (Ellen McArthy 15) In summary the damage that plastic is doing to the environment is more costly than the money saved by using the product. Then reading into their sources I found another statistic that was written in 2014 projecting that “the market is estimated to reach US$ 370.2 Bn through 2020” (Transparency 1). Considering that we are now in 2020 imagine what that market is worth.

History repeats itself and unfortunately considering ours, our tendency is to put off issues until they have extreme visible effects. When we take out the trash we never see it again, or if we throw our water bottle out of the window on the highway it is of no concern to us anymore. Soon enough this cheap, durable “solution” is going to cause our country and quite frankly our world some big problems. Until our government and its people notice the environmental effects like predicted plastic islands in our ocean or outnumbered fish to bottles, we aren’t going to do anything. It’s cheap and it’s easier to keep doing what we are doing than to start everything from scratch.


The Benefits and Drawbacks of Gun Control

I truly believe that there are benefits and drawbacks to gun control. For example, having gun control can decrease the risk of accidental injuries. “From 2005-2010, more than 1,300 people who were the victim of an unintentional shooting were under the age of 25. Over 30% of unintentional deaths caused by firearms could be prevented by the addition of a loading indicator and childproof safety lock. Even in gun control legislation included safety measures alone, lives could be saved.” (https://vittana.org/). Another reason we should have gun control is that having access to a gun increases the risk of violence. A study by Linda Dahlberg shows that “simply having a firearm in a home increases the risk of a homicide or a suicide occurring. That increase remains no matter how many guns are owned or how safely they are locked in a gun safe.” Another example of this is a study done by Arthur Kellerman, showing that people that live in a home with a firearm look towards a homicide risk that is 40 times higher than people who live in a home without a firearm. “The risk of a firearm-related suicide is 90 times higher when a gun is in a home.”

Although there are benefits to gun control, there are also drawbacks. For example, guns are not the only weapon that can be used for destruction, therefore fewer guns do not change an individual’s intention to harm others. Also, most deaths caused by guns in the United States are from suicides, not homicides. “Out of the 10,000+ firearm-related deaths that occur every year in the United States, more than 7,000 of them are suicides. That data point shows a need to improve access to mental health services, community support, and other resources that can help people in crisis.” (https://vittana.org/) Lastly, having gun control cannot and will not change the value of human life. In most cases, gun violence occurs because people do not have respect for the value of human life. 

As I said before, there are benefits and drawbacks to gun control. Many people are afraid of guns because they don’t understand what they are and what they’re real purpose is. I grew up around guns, so I am not afraid to hold one in my hand or shoot one because I know that its purpose isn’t to kill others but to protect people. Most people, including myself and my family, own a gun because they use it for sport or to hunt game. I believe that if a person gets to know how different weapons work, including guns, then they can make better decisions on how and when to purchase or use them. When the United States was first founded, some of the only reasons guns were used for war and hunting game. There is no mention in early United States history about mass shootings in the early days of America. There is a reason for that and that reason is that the people in those days respected life. I believe that if we instill that value in us once more, then that is the biggest protection against gun violence. 


What it Means to be American

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, tells the story of how a young African couple and their son move to America from Cameroon in order to pursue their American Dream. Overall, this was an amazing book and it really put into perspective how lucky, even privileged, we are as American citizens. We have the privilege to be who we want to be and pursue any sort of dreams we have and to me and the characters in this book, that is amazing. I thought it was very interesting how this book showed the perspective of immigrants and it reflects the author’s view of America very loud and clear for all the readers to understand. Mbue sees America as the land of opportunity and dreams and the reason why I enjoyed this book so much was because that is exactly how I see the American Dream as well.

One of the biggest questions I had about immigration was how they see America, what their idea of the American Dream was and I also want to raise some questions about how immigrants are unfairly treated.  In my book, the two main characters coming from Africa saw America as this amazing place where they would do anything or be anything. It seems that when immigrants think about America they think that “…the streets here in the New World would be paved with gold” (Vallorani).  It is very clear that most, if not all immigrants see America as this amazing place where anything is possible and that is what I believe it means to be an American and what also helps to shape the American Dream.

I would also like to shed some light on how poor and unfair immigrants are treated in the United States because it is a huge issue within the immigration process. As many people may know, Americans have a fear that immigrants are coming into America to steal their jobs, but in reality they are trying to better their lives just like the rest of us. As a matter of fact, “‘…undocumented workers often work the unpleasant, back-breaking jobs that native-born workers are not willing to do.’” (Hoban). Immigrants are doing a lot of Americans favors by taking the jobs they don’t feel like doing and therefore should be treated with the kind of respect they deserve. Most immigrants are just trying to make a better life for themselves just like the 15,583 Syrian refugees that came to America between 2014 and 2016 to escape the civil war in their country (Kallick).

Being an American really means something to immigrants and they should be allowed to pursue their dreams in America as they wish without any prejudice or unfair treatment. Native born Americans can sometimes take advantage of all the privileges we have such as voting and having the opportunity to express our thoughts do to freedom of speech. Being an American means pursuing your dreams and having the freedom to do so. America is the land of the free and to most immigrants that is the most important thing to them and their families.

 

Works Cited

Hoban, Brennen. Brookings, 24 Aug. 2017, www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2017/08/24/do-immigrants-steal-jobs-from-american-workers/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2018.

Kallick, David D., et al. Center for American Progress , 13 Dec. 2016, www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2016/12/13/294851/syrian-immigrants-in-the-united-states-a-receiving-community-for-todays-refugees/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2018.

Mbue, Imbolo. Behold the Dreamers. New York, Random House, 2017.

Vallorani, Brandon. ForbesBooks, Mar. 2017, forbesbooks.com/immigration-american-dream/. Accessed 3 Nov. 2018.

Photo by Elvert Barnes


Childhood Hunger in America (Part 2)

Childhood hunger is a problem that is often overlooked in the U.S. even though millions of children experience it in our country. I decided to look at 3 additional sources regarding the legislation that will lead to an increase in childhood food insecurity.

“This is (Not) America: New Trump Administration Rule Will Create More Hunger and Poverty”

This article, published by the Food and Research Action Center (FRAC), regards a new rule proposed by the Trump administration that cuts funding going towards the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as “food stamps”. By cutting funding towards SNAP, hunger and poverty would increase throughout the nation. It also makes it especially hard for low-income families, and families of color to access programs that aid nutrition. The Department of Homeland Security received over 266,000 comments in opposition to this rule, but the rule is still going into effect. FRAC is currently working to help give proper access of nutritious foods to these families.

“The Ripple Effect of Taking SNAP Benefits from One Person”

In this article from The Atlantic, the new rule in Trump’s administration as mentioned before, is explained more in depth. This rule is estimated to cut nearly 700,000 unemployed people from food assistance provided by SNAP, and targets “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWDs). This administration depicts ABAWDs as people who should be cut from financial assistance because they ought to be working anyways. However, this rule inadvertently affects children and the elderly as well. It overlooks the fact that these unemployed people cut off from food assistance may have been providing for their children or the elderly that reside with them. Not to mention, the new requirements to be eligible for SNAP are difficult to attain for families, such as the requirement of 80 hours of work per week. Cutting this program makes it extremely difficult for low-income families to have accessible, healthy food.

“US Kids Shouldn’t Go to School Hungry”

This article by Common Dreams illustrates how budget cuts for SNAP makes a large impact on public school lunch programs. Nearly half of the children in America live in low-income families, and many of which are eligible for free breakfast and lunch programs at their public school. The National School Lunch Program is beneficial to nearly 30 million children in the U.S. The Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act in conjunction with SNAP has made healthy food more accessible to school children. Rolling these programs back would take 3 million struggling families including half a million children off free and reduced lunch programs. It is essential that children need nutritious food to function properly at school, and these programs have been shown to reduce childhood obesity, poor health, and food insecurity. The Trump administration defends this proposal by saying that SNAP is rife with financial fraud. This is a complete fallacy. In fact, this budget cut makes life harder for the poor in society.

“This Is (Not) America: New Trump Administration Rule Will Create More Hunger and Poverty.” Food Research & Action Center, frac.org/news/this-is-not-america-new-trump-administration-rule-will-create-more-hunger-and-poverty.

Dickinson, Maggie. “The Ripple Effects of Taking SNAP Benefits From One Person.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Dec. 2019, www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/12/trump-snap-food-stamps-cuts/603367/.

Dolan, Karen. “US Kids Shouldn’t Go to School Hungry.” Common Dreams, 7 Sept. 2019, www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/07/us-kids-shouldnt-go-school-hungry.


The Problem

                          Do people, in general, know that in one night in the United States half a million children and adults sleep outside because they are homeless? (National Alliance to End Homelessness Program) This can stop if men or women try to volunteer and step up to help the community out so that homelessness can end. 

Illustrated by a large number of other groups around the world and the Bay Area studies have shown that there is a large number of homeless people around the world. Groups are trying to stop all homelessness around the world and share out any other resources, that will help us contact people to deal with homelessness. And what people do is dismal because it contains messing up the environment for any Oakland Citizen.

A website that was found is a group that wants to help out the community but are trying to bring some homeless people to comprehend and adapt to all the rules. Some rules that they should have is that homeless people should clean up along the street line and clean up so that we don’t have a lot of trash. If homeless people don’t comprehend the rules then the mayor Libby Schaaf can order to take their homes away and go to a different space. In the article by “National Alliance to End Homelessness Program,” they want to take homeless people to bring themselves to public space, which I’m going to talk about later in the blog. The article “National Alliance to End Homelessness Program” states “ The Alliance works collaboratively with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity, leading to stronger programs and policies that help communities achieve their goal of ending homelessness”(Schaaf). This article is saying that this program works publicly or privately and they try to achieve to end homelessness. Also, this shows that there are other programs like this one that could or do the same concept but with other resources, a possible change in the future of Oakland and around the world.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Another website that was found out that was very relevant to this topic is an article by “Responding to Homelessness” a report by Libby Schaff is another program that helps the community by giving out resources on who to call or what to do to make spaces cleaner. The Article “Responding to Homelessness” states “Between 2015-17, the homeless population grew by over 25 percent, jumping from 2,191 in 2015 to 2,761 in January 2017”(Responding to Homelessness). This article is saying that the homelessness rate has grown in totally different ways and there have been lots of amounts of homeless people coming into the bay area. Also, throughout 2015 there have been other groups like “Bay Area Homelessness” and “Bay Area Economic Institute”.

One of the most important groups that are very helpful is the Bay Area Economic Institute because during 2015 the number of people has multiplied in the homeless rate around the Bay Area and now the Bay Area Economic Institute has sort of helping the community and is going to continue to go step by step to help the community out and try to clean up some of the messes around the bay area. “Bay Area Economic Institute” The article states “The number of residents who believe homelessness is the region’s top problem has nearly tripled since 2015”(Schaaf). This article is saying that people have thought about the topic of homelessness and people had said that it’s the biggest problem the Bay Area has since 2015 and they want it to change!. Also, if people do make a change now in the future there will be major consequences because there weren’t any changes done in the present. A prediction that I have is that in the future it will be too hard for any other group to stop homeless people from continuing to live on the street. What do you think?

In Conclusion, the problem with Oakland and the whole world is that the homeless people rate is growing by a huge amount and community people and organizations are contributing to the problem. If people can keep helping out the community there can be a big impact on the problem that the city struggles with.

                                                        Annotated Bibliography

Zavala, Neyzer, and Jose Zavala. “Homelessness Interview.” 30 Nov. 2019.

I Interviewed him because he has been here more than me so I figure that he will now more about homelessness and how it affects us. This quote passes the CRAAP test because the quote that he gave me is up to date and comes from a credible source.

Zavala, Neyzer, and Carlos Zavala. “Homelessness Interview.” 21 Nov. 2019.

I interviewed him because In school he is learning about homelessness and how it affects us. Also, he could give me better and relevant information. This quote passes the CRAAP test because it comes from a good reliable source and it gives me good information about the topic.

Zavala, Neyzer, and Robertson. “Homelessness Interview.” 25 Nov. 2019.

I interviewed him because he was indeed an elementary teacher and he once taught us about the problem with homelessness and how can it be changed. This quote passes the CRAAP test because it’s up to date and it is a credible source because it shows relevant and useful evidence towards the topic.

National Alliance to End Homelessness Program. 12 Jan. 2012, b.3cdn.net/naeh/9892745b6de8a5ef59_q2m6yc53b.pdf.

Schaaf, Libby. Responding to Homelessness. 27 Jan. 2017, www.usmayors.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Responding-to-Homelessness-in-Oakland.pdf.
Schaaf, Libby. “Bay Area Homelessness.” Bay Area Homelessness | Bay Area Council Economic Institute, 15 Mar. 2015, www.bayareaeconomy.org/report/bay-area-homelessness/.


United We Stand

Since I grew up in America, being an American should be nothing new to me, but the concept of being an American is a lot more complicated than what I first thought.  To an outsider, being an American is nothing more than living in America, but to an American it means much more. The values that make someone an American throughout the past and today are unity and the never ending need for improvement. These values make America the strong country we are today.       

Unity is a significant value to an American because unity holds our country together.  As a united country we survived the Great Depression, defeated slavory, and pulled through 9/11. We are tough, we got through it and without being united after those hard times United states as a nation would crumble apart.   Our country is, after all, named the United States of America. In Mcamey’s article  “What Does It Mean to be an American,” they expand on unity saying “Unity doesn’t mean everyone should have the same culture. America is beautifully diverse. Being unified is simply being able to come help each other out.”(McCamey) This unity makes America stronger not only as a nation but more importantly as a community.  

Improvement is an important value to Americans because we know that no matter what we do,  America will never be perfect. The forefathers who wrote the constitution of America, one of America’s most important documents knew this when they wrote “ in order to form a more perfect union.” (The Constitution of the United States)  They did not say a perfect union rather, “a more perfect union.”(The Constitution of the United States)  They put this in there to leave room for improvement.   Konrad expands on this idea of improvement by saying, “When looking back on the atrocities in our country’s past, you would conclude that Americans aren’t perfect. But Americans are humans, and no human is perfect. We cherish our values and ideals, and even fight to the death for them. America was founded on the hope for a better way of life, and the hope for a society built on the principles of justice and equality” (Konrad)   Yes, America isn’t perfect but its never ending goal of improvement makes it as perfect union as it can be.  

 For these reasons these values set America out from all other countries.  These values of unity and of never ending need for improvement Americans have both now and in the past, make America the strong country we are today.  Although these are not the only values that make up an American, these values are the most important.   So thank you all Americans for staying united and open to improvement in the past, and let’s hope we can do the same in the future. 

Works Cited

McCamey,“What Does It Mean to Be American?” What Does It Mean to Be American? – American Creed, https://writingourfuture.nwp.org/americancreed/responses/123-what-does-it-mean-to-be-american

Konrad, American Culture and Values.” American Culture and Values – American Creed, https://writingourfuture.nwp.org/americancreed/responses/1297-american-culture-and-values.

The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription. National Archives, United States National Archives and Records Administration, 28 Feb. 2017, https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript


Procrastination in Teenagers.

Procrastination is well known throughout most of the population, especially in highschool and university students. Parents see procrastination as irresponsible behavior, or just something that teens do. But, there are countless reasons for teens to procrastinate, some that they don’t know how to control. It tends to show up primarily with schoolwork and responsibilites they have.

The article “4 Reasons Why Teens Can’t Stop Procrastinating ” explains four reasons that teenagers may be procrastinating. It could be a sign of a mental illness and dealing with it in an unhealthy way. For example, a teen could be procrastinating as a way to rebel against a parental figure, or any other adult in their life. Others may do it because they have an undiagnosed condition, like depression, OCD, anxiety, etc. This clearly can have a negative effect on teens and their families. Some teens, they may not even realize that they are not having problems, and their families don’t notice. They could continue to have self doubt, which can be extremely harmful for their wellbeing. “The cure for this malady is elusive, because procrastination is an attempt to resolve underlying issues we are not necessarily aware of — like anger, perfectionism, and self-doubt. While it does eliminate the anxiety associated with these problems, the root causes remain.” Fortunately, there are ways to overcome negative self by realizing the damage, and come up with a solution for it.  

In the second article “Procrastination or ‘Intentional Delay’? It gave information how undergraduate and graduate students also deal with procrastination. This shows that it is not just teen students, but other people who have a bit more experience “Graduate students worry about performing inadequately or fear their success may raise others’ expectations of them, he says. Other students may actually think they get a thrill out of delaying their work and believe they work best under pressure, though that’s not borne out in the experimental data, says DePaul University psychology professor Joseph Ferrari, PhD. Several studies in Steel’s 2007 meta-analysis suggest procrastination is negatively related to overall GPA, final exam scores and assignment grades.” Although, there is such a thing as healthy procrastination. That can end up leading to healthy styles of learning, and are successful to some. “They found that although active procrastinators reported the same level of procrastination as their traditional or passive counterparts, they demonstrated a productive use of time, adaptive coping styles and academic performance outcomes that were nearly identical to—and in some cases even better than—those of non-procrastinators.” It all depends on what type of procrastination it is, and if the students are using it in a healthy way, to their advantage, it can be beneficial. The struggle is just getting to the part where they are able to use procrastination as a strength and not a weakness.

Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-unmotivated-teen/201804/4-reasons-why-teens-cant-stop-procrastinating

https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2010/01/procrastination


Should the Minimum Wage Increase to $15 an hour?

In a Washington Post opinion piece, Helaine Olen argues that It’s long past time to raise the minimum wage. (Olen, 2019) Olen claims that by increasing the minimum wage, many people would see a pay boost increase as people with seniority would also gain a higher pay salary and the Republican idea of lowering or eliminating the minimum wage is unfathomable. The evidence used polls, pass legislation, direct quotes from politicians, and Economic policy institutions to support the benefits of raising the minimum wage.  

An economics professor, Jonathan Meer argues that we need to examine Hidden Costs of the Minimum Wage (Meer, 2019) The professor’s main claim is that if you increase the minimum wage employee benefits would go down, companies would move toward automation and discrimination of lower-class workers. The evidence used was Censuses, evidence where higher wages failed in Seattle, and university research to support to not increase the wage.

Although wages would increase for the lower, companies may move towards automation and cutting employees to keep within a budget. For example, a small business would have to cut employees because it can now handle paying all the employees the new wage.  New wages would be great for lower-class families, on the other hand, companies can not handle the high increase in wage payment. 

Even though the idea of higher wages is great, many people fail to see the hidden host of raising the wage to $15 an hour.  Companies might not raise their minimum wage in spite of public outrage.  Despite public demand, the United States may not see a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour. 

My position on the issue should be raised from the national $7.25 an hour, but not to 15$ an hour. That minimum wage of $15 an hour will make companies cut employees and move to automation because they can not keep up with the new wages for all current employees. However, the minimum wage should be increased so the single mom does not have to work three jobs all at minimum wage. I have a mix of agreement in the arguments in that I see the point in both arguments, but a middle ground should be made to move the economy forward and have companies grow in the wages. 

Citations

Meer, Jonathan. “Hidden Costs of the Minimum Wage.” Econlib, 6 Apr. 2019, www.econlib.org/hidden-costs-of-the-minimum-wage/.

Olen, Helaine. “Opinion | It’s Long Past Time to Raise the Minimum Wage.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 14 June 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/14/its-long-past-time-raise-minimum-wage/.


The Power of Language through Texting

There are numerous ways one can express their feelings whether it be through talking, singing, acting, or writing. I believe that in our world today, writing is a big part of our lives.  And not the kind that requires a grade or a comment, but writing as in texting. “According to CTIA, 6 billion SMS messages are sent each day in the United States, over 180 billion a month, and 2.27 trillion each year. This comes out to approximately 81% of Americans texting regularly and about 97% of adults use this form of communication” (Morreale). In today’s society, everything is at our fingertips because of technology, and that only makes communication easier. 

Texting is such a big part of our lives that every age group is doing it. Some might say that our fingers are glued to our phones through socializing with others, while others may think it is a blessing to communicate easily with friends and family. Language and communication has gradually become part of our daily routines. It is how we talk and understand others. “Through quick messages that we type with our thumbs on our phones, we keep in touch with friends and family; we flirt and fall in love (Jarenwattananon and Novey). Our language develops through texting because there are always new ways to improve our communication. Through abbreviations, shortcuts, and acronyms, our language gradually evolves.  Adults are learning the “hip and trendy” ways to talk to their kids through texting and teenagers’ only form of communication is through typing on a little screen. With messaging, the power of language is seen very clearly because we are conversing with others in a way that fully allows us to understand each other.  Messaging allows us to learn new things because of the constant communications with others.  It is something that we always do that has allowed us to live our lives as easily as we can. 

We have been able to create our own languages through messaging. Our own ways of communicating with each other and understand one another’s thoughts come from texting. Today, a lot of teenagers use the acronyms, “LOL” and that has evolved throughout the years. It started with it simply meaning “laughing out loud.” But over the years, it has changed into almost a completely different meaning for kids. No one says LOL to actually mean that they’re laughing, “it became not even real laughter at all. It became more of a marker of irony or softening ‘I’m not angry at you,’ ‘I’m not feeling hostile’ – you know, these additional subtle social meanings (Jarenwattananon and Novey). Language consistency evolves with texting and it is being used worldwide to communicate with others. 

Language shapes who we are as individuals because it is a way to express ourselves, “Being able to communicate is not the same as having language. Having language means that you are able to communicate in such a way that others understand you. Language becomes more powerful when understood by a wider community than just those closest to you” (Neimeijer). We communicate with others and it gives us this connection and way to control our lives. While there are several ways to communicate, I believe that today many people are turning to texting to express themselves. 

Works Cited

                                                                                                                                                   David Niemeijer Founder and CEO, et al. “The Power of Language.” AssistiveWare, www.assistiveware.com/blog/the-power-of-language.

Cornish, Audie. “Our Language Is Evolving, ‘Because Internet’.” NPR, NPR, 31 July 2019, www.npr.org/2019/07/31/747020219/our-language-is-evolving-because-internet.

Megan MorrealeMegan has been writing about enterprise technology. “Megan Morreale.” SMSEagle, www.smseagle.eu/2017/03/06/daily-sms-mobile-statistics/.


Equality In America

Being American is viewed differently by every person. I view it as being accepting and giving everyone an equal chance. Equality is an important value to have in the United States, but we know that equality has been something America has struggled with since the beginning of the nation. Many laws have and are being passed to make chance equal for everyone. People are not receiving equal chances and treatment because of reasons like religion, color, views, sexuality, etc.

People’s chances have always been limited due to one reason or the other. Back in the 1900s African Americans chances were not equal to those of white people, they got worse education, low paying jobs and often times the poorest housing in the area. Flash forward to 2019 and that is no longer a problem. We all receive the same education, and jobs are chosen on who is most qualified and not skin color. People make new laws to try and make things equal for everyone.

Recently there was an Equality Act passed on the seventeenth of May this year. It states that it will “provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across all key areas of life,”(HRC). The key areas include employment, education, public services and spaces, as well as federally funded programs. I think that this is important because people are losing opportunities at jobs and housing because they are different. It is a big problem for someone to have a harder time getting a job because of their sexuality.

The Act protects them against discrimination. If someone prefers a certain pronoun you need to call them that, If it is at work or you job and you refuse to call them by their preferred pronouns such as he/she/they you can get fired. While at school you can get in trouble. Peter Vlaming, a french teacher was dismissed for refusing to use a female students preferred masculine pronouns(Heritage). This act also forces hospitals and insurers to pay for therapy against any moral or medical obligations. A few hospitals have been sued for not performing surgeries which tie to gender change. The Act also expects parents to comply, an Ohio family lost custody of their daughter since they wouldn’t put her on testosterone supplements(Heritage).

Equality is important because it makes everyone have equal chances and feel equal. Equal opportunities in the workplace and education are the most important I feel. This Equality Act won’t be the last one to be passed, there will be more. I think this because it is very hard to achieve Equality because there will always be a group that isn’t receiving the same treatment from the rest. These laws try and make America the best place for people of all groups.

Human Rights Campaign. “The Equality Act.” Human Rights Campaign, 1 Oct. 2019, www.hrc.org/resources/the-equality-act.“The Equality Act.” The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org/gender/heritage-explains/the-equality-act.

Image: “Equal rights for all, special privileges for none”Thomas Jefferson by katerha on 2010-12-07 12:04:02


The Components of American Culture

When thinking about American culture, I think about what Americans do everyday and what they’re accustomed to. Many Americans have jobs and have to attend school. Sadly, that does not answer the question. What is American culture? American culture involves a fast and efficient daily schedule with food on the go, sports, and competition in everyday life. There are so many different components of American culture so here are five. 

 Americans in general like to live ‘big’ and have big goals and dreams for the future. We in society imagine ourselves driving the most expensive cars and living in the most expensive houses. We think of careers we want to pursue and those with the desire, think of having a family to share that passion with.

Next, we love to eat on the run. There are fast food places, EVERYWHERE. All healthy foods are expensive and take longer to prepare, but the drool inducing cheeseburgers and fries are quick, easy to serve, and cheap. We the people can eat fast food in the car, on the bus, and even order it during lunch if you’re a teenager going to highschool. In a study for DoSomething.org, 20% of American foods are eaten in the car.  In the modern world, most people find it inconvenient to sit down and have a formal meal or and have a cup of coffee with a friend. Restaurants that imply you to sit down, order a meal, talk and eat, then leave, now offer and drive through where you can just get food and go, just like that. You can even walk into a restaurant and order food “to go”. This process is made to be convenient and quick for the average consumer/American, even if it’s not healthy or beneficial for you. This can lead to the question if a person is truly independent or not because the reliance on fast food can come to the point where grocery shopping is no longer needed. 

One thing that is similar to eating on the run is eating out, especially before or after local football games, highschool graduations, or any celebration that involves friends and family. It’s fun and very convenient for us. It’s affordable, and everyone can split the bill. Most restaurants are densely populated on Sundays, and eating out allows us to experience different food cultures and experience more of what we like and don’t like. 

One of the biggest things in America is sports. Whether it’s parents watching their children play for their school, or going to a stadium. Just imagine over 10,000 people in the stands on a saturday, eating hotdogs with paint on their faces. Screaming and yelling because their team is falling behind. Going shopping for the right jersey and shoes hours before, then going out to eat to celebrate, or because you’re just hungry with friends and family. Employees watching as their stores begin to fill with people, all wanting discounts. Lines are getting longer and longer, stores all meeting their daily goals, thanks to sports. It’s the perfect Saturday for Americans who love sports.  

We the people thrive on competition. It is in everything. For a few examples there are shoe stores competing against each other, running each other out of business. Two business women working for the same promotion and two pizza places right across the street from each other. American culture consists of many different things, including efficiency, competition, the idea of living luxuriously, and being involved with sports. 

Works Cited

DoSomething.org. “11 Facts About American Eating Habits” . https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-american-eating-habits#fn10

Cummings , Elizabeth. (2017, March 1).  “10 Things to Know About U.S. Culture ” .https://www.interexchange.org/articles/career-training-abroad/10-things-to-know-about-u-s-culture/.

Elisha, benjamin. (2018, August 23). What is American Culture?”. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-american-culture.html


STOP THE BULLYING

Have you ever been bullied at school before?The definition of bullying is the to seek harm against others or to  intimidate. Based on the research Bullying can cause suicidal thoughts in teens, so schools need to pay more attention to the student by helping students get involved with their interests.

Bullying can create many negative comments like people are giving insults and maybe bullying on social media and can make people commit suicide.  Some students can even get depression so that would make the student antisocial and there is somethings that a teenager would do if they had more depression, They would give the things love the most, get more of a attitude, get more tired. Those are signs of suicidal and how they slowly start getting away from things and how they don’t care of what happens anymore. This information is from a  website about suicide and this organization was inspired by the film named Trevor. This website assists with prevention with suicide and and how you can help out and have edvice to prevent suicide (Trevor Project).

If schools pay more attentions there would be less students getting bullied and if teachers could help out and stop the bullies.Christina Archibald said “I don’t think teachers pay enough attention to students in how they feel because teachers pay attention more to the education rather than the students feelings.Life Academy can improve on how the students feel.” She is trying to say that teachers have to pay more attention on how the student feels.that would help out the student and maybe the bullies can get more of a punishment so that would show the bully that he or she to stop and cut it out. And if the student is getting bullied inside the classroom then maybe the teacher can help out the student and stop the bully and if it keeps happening you can change the students classroom or the bullies. And as I relate to how students can have suicidal thoughts teachers can help out with that  to take the student to a counselor for they can get some help. I had experiences when I used to go to my old school that there would be multiple fights and teacher wouldn’t even know. My brother Brandon he got into some fights when he was in high school

If students can be more in clubs that would help a lot more  because it would help for the student get some friends for they can relate or hangout. And if students get in activities that they like in school or after school then there would be a higher chance that the student would have more friends and be able to talk to more people or other students so that would give the student more confidence. If the student would be hanging with other students that would show that there would be less bullying and more interaction.In an interview with  Juan Pablo an Oakland Resident and Latino American he said “I used to be in a program because I used to not have as much friends so I would go into a program called chess club and that’s how I met jose” (Pablo). Juan got into a program that’s how we both were able to meet.So getting into clubs would work for getting friends if one is by himself and has no friends. So from a website that people give advice about how to help people get friends some are people are talking about how to get friends when they are in college and the advice is sort of like high school and they talk about how you have to express yourself put yourself into the groups like asking if you can sit with somebody at lunch it’s great advice  

Schools need to pay more attention to their students because students may have suicidal thoughts if they are being bullied and picked on. If schools include more activities like clubs, students can bond and make friendships and learn to support each other while doing what they love.

“Facts About Suicide – The Trevor Project.” The Trevor Project, www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/preventing-suicide/facts-about-suicide/. It shows how to prevent suicide and how people can help on prevent it. And the website has on for the past 20 years and has a lot of job openings for people that want to help.


Water Bottle Ban

In the past decade or so environmental issues have been put under a microscope by a population that isn’t just aware, but educated on the issue. As trash continues to grow and swell in our ocean, people have begun to wonder what is the most effective way to cut down on the most common thing seen in the ocean that also manages to be nearly un-biodegradable for over a decade, plastic. Plastic forks, straws and bottles, just to name a few, are under fire for being a non necessity good that we can cut down on. Plastic bottles are not only generally unnecessary but also something that we can rid of and greatly reduce the steady rise of plastic in the environment.

There are nearly 50 billion plastic bottles consumed every year, of which 30 billion come from the U.S. annually. Water bottles are made of completely recyclable polyethylene terephthalate plastic, however these plastics don’t biodegrade they photodegrade, which means they break down into smaller fragments over time. Those fragments absorb toxins that pollute our waterways, contaminate our soil, and sicken animals. Also plastic bottles contain Bisphenol A, which is used to create the clear and hard qualities. This chemical is also an endocrine disruptor which has been proven to be hazardous to human health and cause cancer in some cases. Plastic detritus is a plague upon our environment and our output of these materials needs to be slowed indefinitely.

It is clear that plastic bottles are something that causes massive environmental problems. This is often overlooked, however, for their large part in the economy. Even though a staggering 1,500 bottles are consumed every second, it is hard to imagine that there is an end in sight unless people either choose to cut down on plastic use or are forced to by legislation. If a population can commit whether voluntarily or be forced to cut down on usage of plastic and other raw materials, tangible efforts could be just around the corner.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.htmlhttp://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/whats-the-problem-with-plastic-bottles/http://www.gogreen.org/blog/impacts-of-plastic-water-bottles


Stopping Domestic Violence in Oakland

Dear Oakland Community:

Did you know that ethnicity and race are related to domestic violence? Oakland is a diverse community which means that there is a high probability of domestic violence. This needs to stop and you can help. 

Based on research, domestic violence is a problem in the community that should be addressed and everyone should be educated on this topic in order to know how to fight against it; It is the silent killer.

Domestic violence needs to be addressed and talked about because anyone can be affected and people need to know how to fight against it. According to the article Addressing Domestic Violence Against Women: An Unfinished Agenda written by Ravneet Kaurn and Suneela Garg who work for the Department of Community Medicine, they state, “Domestic violence against women is an age old phenomenon. Women were always considered weak, vulnerable and in a position to be exploited. Violence has long been accepted as something that happens to women. Cultural mores, religious practices, economic and political conditions may set the precedence for initiating and perpetuating domestic violence, but ultimately committing an act of violence is a choice that the individual makes out of a range of options.” (Garg, Kaurn). Oakland is a diverse community, there is a variety of cultures, ethnicities, and race here. Unfortunately some of those cultures, ethnicities or races have normalized domestic violence and violence in general. Although anyone can be affected, female identifying people are typically the gender that is most affected because many cultures have carried the idea that men are supposed to be dominant and stronger than women for many years. This idea is extremely degrading and if children see that their parents are fighting and there’s nothing being done about it then they will begin to think that it is acceptable and they will normalize it. Many abusers become abusers because there was violence in their home while growing up or there was a parent missing, if a kid sees violence in their home often, then they too will have a high chance of becoming abusers. This means that there will be even more violence in the future. This can be stopped by being educated,  by being educated you can help the people being affected by domestic violence, whether it be by convincing them to get out of the relationship, which can be difficult or giving them resources and helpful advice.

Domestic violence needs to be addressed as an issue that affects everyone because we can fight against it and we can stand up against it. The article We need to stand up to domestic violence written by Cathreen Killedjian who is an experienced multimedia journalist with a history of working in online media. She is also a social media manager and has a masters degree focused on journalism from USC and a Bachelor’s degree in english and communications from Loyola Marymount University. She explains, “Domestic violence is not a women’s issue; it is everyone’s issue. Women are not the sole receivers of domestic abuse — men are affected by it greatly as well”  (Killedjian). Everyone is affected by domestic violence, it is not only one gender’s issue.  If we keep portraying domestic violence as a women’s issue, then people of other genders won’t know if what they are experiencing should even be considered domestic violence. 

Moreover, part of understanding that it affects everyone is that it needs to be talked about more so it can be prevented. Killedjian states, “Since there is a lack of dialogue about it, most people also remain unsure of whether what they are going through even merits the term ‘domestic violence.’ We need to open up our society’s dialogue about domestic violence so that we can provide support for those who are being affected by it every single day. Abuse is a cycle, and we need to provide a way to stop it.” (Killedjian). Domestic violence affects everyone and everyone needs to be involved in standing up against it. People are also uneducated, they don’t know about resources in Oakland that could help their situation and it isn’t their fault for not knowing this, this topic of domestic violence isn’t really talked about so it’s not a surprise that people aren’t aware of this. Also since this topic isn’t really talked about, people don’t know if what they or someone else is going through is even considered domestic violence. 

We surveyed 27 teens and adults in the Bay Area about their thoughts regarding Domestic Violence. Many people said that some ways to prevent domestic violence is to educate and bring awareness to the issue, as well as providing clinics/shelters and counseling. They were also asked who was affected and a majority said that everyone is affected which is a positive idea because they know that everyone should be involved in preventing domestic violence, but we still need to educate the rest of the Oakland community because we only surveyed a small percentage of Oakland.

Figure 1: Is Domestic Violence A Big Issue? 27 Oakland  Residents were asked if they thought that domestic violence was a big issue. 22.2% said yes and 74.1% said maybe which shows that they probably aren’t sure. 

Figure 2: How many people do you know who’ve been affected? 27 people were surveyed about the amount of people they knew who were victims of domestic violence. 15 people knew someone who had been a victim and 9 people didn’t. 

Figure 3: Do you know someone who’s been affected Vs. Race. We asked people of different races if they or someone they know have been affected by domestic violence. Many people in our community know someone who has been affected and no matter what race they are, this shows that domestic violence affects everyone. 

It is clear that our community still needs to be informed about what resources are available to people in the bay area, specifically the Oakland  community. There needs to be more education surrounding domestic violence and prevention. Looking at the data from figure 2, it is clear that we need to fight against domestic violence.

Based on the community data and research, it is clear that the Oakland community needs to be more educated on domestic violence and they need to know where to go for help and resources. 

Aim #1 Virtual: Educate the Oakland  Community About Domestic Violence and Where to Get Help and Resources 

It is important for the Oakland  community to know where to find help and get resources to help them or someone who is being affected by domestic violence. In the survey data, a multitude of people said that they were not sure if there were resources in Oakland  that could be useful. Due to this data, we will use the tactic of social change which is media and propaganda in order to educate Oakland  about where to find resources related to domestic violence in order to help someone who is a victim. Many of the people in our community weren’t sure if the resources that are currently in Oakland  were helpful or maybe they just weren’t sure where to find them, but this shows that people need to be enlightened about where to go for help and how useful the resources are. In order to spread awareness and let people know where to find help, we will post on different social media platforms  in order to target different age groups because different age groups use different platforms. We will use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook because those are the most well known apps in which we can really spread awareness to this topic and target different age groups.  In order to get the most attention, we will post twice a day on evenings during the week and on weekends about three times a day on evenings as well. We will post on evenings since we are in shelter in place many people wake up at a later time. The only supplies we will be needing is our cellular devices. This will have no cost but we do expect some impediments. Some challenges that we may come across will be that since the people that use social media the most are teens, they won’t find this topic interesting and ignore the posts. 

Aim #2 if Shelter in Place Ends: Host an Event so People can Come and Talk to Professionals and Get More Information.

We want our community to be more informed about the help that victims can receive or how to help someone who is being affected by domestic violence. It is important that our community feels comfortable speaking to someone, especially a professional or someone who is really educated on this topic. We will be using the tactic of social change which is community organizing in order to host an event where professionals and people who have knowledge on domestic violence can come and educate the Oakland  community. This event will be extremely  beneficial to the Oakland  community and people will hopefully be more enlightened about this issue. We would need to have a fundraiser because this event will cost around $1000-1500. We need this money to pay for the venue, chairs, tables, and food. Some challenges that we may face could be that we won’t be able to raise enough money, or we will have a difficult time convincing people to come, whether it be community members or the professionals that we need in order to educate our community.

Aim #3 if I had unlimited funding and access: Create more shelters/safe spaces for victims to go

 Not only do people need to know how to fight and stand up against domestic violence, but people need to know where a safe place to go is (shelters), especially if they don’t have a family member or a friend that can temporarily give them a place to stay. According to DomesticShelters.org which is an online and mobile searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada, they have helpful tools for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence. They state, “There are currently 5 domestic violence and abuse shelters and programs in Oakland , CA with 5 offering a hotline and 3 offering emergency shelter” (DomesticShelters.org). There are only 5 domestic violence shelters and programs, many people don’t know about these shelters, which shows that people need to be more educated and there needs to be more shelters closer to where domestic violence is mostly reported. If people don’t know where a safe place to go is, they’re going to be stuck in that harmful, dehumanizing relationship. There not only needs to be more shelters but also places where people who are trying to help victims can go to get helpful resources and become educated. In these new shelters we will have medical staff present at all times, counselors to make sure people feel safe and translators and staff that speak different languages because Oakland is diverse and many different languages are spoken here . These shelters will also have a cafeteria and day care. There will be separate rooms for people with children and depending on the person’s health status we will determine if they should share a room with someone else. These shelters will be built in areas that are high in crime and where domestic violence cases occur the most. We will also  want to create language focused shelters in order to ensure that people are comfortable where they’re staying.  A challenge that may occur is that people will be scared to come in and ask for help.

We will measure success by looking at how many followers we get on our social media platforms and how much recognition each post gets. We will also measure success by looking at how many people are willing to donate and fundraise money to host our event. This is quantitative and qualitative data because we will look at the amount of people that donate money, and the amount of followers and likes we get on our accounts and also the feedback we get on our event and the comments regarding our domestic violence posts. We will know that our actions are successful once we are able to host our event and our social media accounts get recognition by people all over the bay area. 

Thanks to our wonderful Oakland  community for listening. We hope to make a change in Oakland and we hope that we help prevent domestic violence in the future. #StopDomesticViolence #FightDomesticAbuse #EveryoneIsAffected

Work Cited

Kaur, Ravneet, and Suneela Garg. “Addressing Domestic Violence against Women: an Unfinished Agenda.” Indian Journal of Community Medicine : Official Publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, Medknow Publications, Apr. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2784629/

This article was about how domestic violence affects health and especially reproductive health. It also explains what leads to domestic violence and how it affects children. It gives a plethora of detail about this topic and it was published by the US National Library of Medicine,National Institutes of Health.

Killedjian, Cathren. “We Need to Stand up to Domestic Violence.” Los Angeles Loyolan, 2 Nov. 2018, www.laloyolan.com/opinion/we-need-to-stand-up-to-domestic-violence/article_00c9f37d-17d7-5b55-b62f-63ecab4d7df6.html.

 This article talks about a silent protest held by Belles Service Organization in front of the Loyola Marymount University’s library. It talks about what was said at the protest and feelings that arose during the protest. It ends with the author explaining how everyone is affected by domestic violence which means that everyone should help fight against it.

“Oakland , CA Domestic Violence Help, Programs.” DomesticShelters.org, Theresa’s Fund, www.domesticshelters.org/help/ca/Oakland

This website talks about domestic violence shelters and emergency shelters all over the United States and Canada. It talks about many different topics regarding abuse. It also gives articles, books and more resources to those who are victims or who are trying to help a victim.


Gender Equality

Oprah Winfrey said, “Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.” So gender equality is an important issue in society. Gender equality is a process of equality between men and women. To ensure fairness, it is often necessary to adopt strategies and measures to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages of women, which hinder men and women from doing business in a level playing field. Equality leads to equality. Gender equality requires men and women to have equal access to valuable goods, opportunities, resources and rewards in society. Where gender inequality exists, women are often excluded or disadvantaged in decision-making and access to economic and social resources.

Therefore, a key aspect of promoting gender equality is empowering women, with a focus on identifying and correcting power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their lives. Gender equality does not mean that men and women become the same; only access to opportunities and changes in life is neither dependent on nor restricted by their gender. Achieving gender equality requires empowering women to ensure that decisions at private and public levels and access to resources are no longer favored by men so that men and women can participate fully in productive and reproductive life as equal partners.

First, there are differences between the roles of men and women, and differences in different approaches are needed. Second, there is systemic inequality between men and women. In general, women have significant disadvantages in accessing resources and opportunities. In addition, women are under-represented in the decision-making process that determines their society and life. This inequality limits the progress of any society because it limits the opportunities for half the population. When women are unable to reach their full potential, that potential is lost to society as a whole. Program design and implementation should strive to address one or both of these factors.

https://www.unfpa.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions-about-gender-equality#

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/


Should self-driving vehicles be allowed to drive on public roads in the Unites States?

Since the beginning of 2012, 17 states and the District of Columbia have debated legislation regarding authorizing self-driving cars on their roads. However, only California, Florida, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. have actually enacted any such laws. Of course, that may not mean that autonomous vehicles are illegal to operate on the roads of other states, only that they are not expressly authorized.

Most states’ laws are silent as to whether a human being holds the wheel or not. They typically require a human to be “operating” the vehicle, but the specifics of how many of the vehicle’s tasks must actually be undertaken by the driver and which can be taken by the vehicle are not clear. Of course, the laws of most states assume a human being will be in control, but this legal vagueness means that autonomous vehicles may technically be allowed to operate over the roads provided a human being sits behind the wheel.

Ultimately, just as with the Internet, the technology itself will decide how the law evolves to cope with self-driving vehicles. Google and Tesla envision a world where autonomous vehicles are the norm, and car travel becomes safer than flying. If that is the case, it is a given that a great deal of legislation and government regulation will occur over the next few years as this technology becomes mainstream.

This matters to me because I am a lazy person and I have always been enthralled by the idea of self driving cars. When I was just learning to drive I was blessed with the opportunity to be able to drive a Tesla model X. The Tesla model X has the option to be able to drive itself. Since then it has been my dream car to have. I think that the roads of the future will be a lot safer with self driving cars on the road. I also think that it will help with people driving under the influence and will give people the option to not have to have a designated driver.


The Paradox of “Social” Media

Social media and technology have a large presence and impact on modern society. About 40 percent of the world or 3 billion people use social media for communication. Teenagers in this day and age have not been able to experience a world where social media does not exist. Surveys show that 90 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have used social media. Social media has a profound impact on the lives of teenagers at a pivotal point in their lives. While social media may have some benefits, it is very harmful for teenagers’ communication skills, stress levels, and mental health. 

As adolescents are constantly using Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter to communicate, they miss out on the opportunity to communicate with others face-to-face. People do not need to respond to non-verbal and emotional cues when they use social media to communicate which leads to less experience and awareness of others’ needs (Lewison). These social cues can only be received and addressed in face-to-face communication. Teenagers also can quickly become bored during in-person conversations due to the need for the instant and colorful feedback that social media can give. This decreases the number and quality of in-person interactions. The lack of face-to-face communication that teenagers experience today can have a great impact on their futures, especially when they will need to rely on their communication skills in professional interactions. 

Teens are frequent users of social media due to its appealing and addictive nature. They seem to have a constant craving in which the more they get, the more they want. Teenagers are often stressed because of the demands of the many commitments they have including school and other extracurriculars. They feel as if they do not have enough hours in the day to complete everything they need to get done when, in reality, a good portion of their time was spent on social media. Furthermore, when teenagers are faced with stress, they commonly choose to escape by scrolling through social media which is where the stress originated in the first place (“Social Media Stress Can Lead to Social Media Addiction”). Teenagers devote a detrimental amount of time on social media which keeps getting worse due to increased addiction. 

Social media also affects the mental health of many teens as they often compare themselves to others on social media and receive hateful comments. As teens scroll through their social media feeds, they often see manipulated images that cause personal insecurities. Even though it is easy to remember that people edit their images and tend to share just the highlights of their lives, the feelings of dissatisfaction and envy do not diminish (Robinson). The dissatisfactory feelings can also correlate to depression and anxiety. Teenagers can also experience cyberbullying. About 10 percent of teens report that they have been bullied on social media. Teens can receive hurtful comments and posts that can scar them emotionally and affect their mental wellbeing greatly.

Teenagers today are living in a society that is largely based on technology. They frequently feel the pressure to use social media for communication which can cause a myriad of issues. Teenagers miss out on opportunities to develop their communication skills through face-to-face communication. They also experience a large amount of stress due to their addiction to social media. The mental health of teenagers is deteriorating as they regularly see superficial posts and hateful comments. It will be interesting to see how the constant use of social media will affect the current generation of adolescents as they are the first generation to grow up where the constant use of technology and social media is the norm. 

Lewison, Kiera. “Social Media Effects on Communication.” University of the People, 7 Jan. 2021, www.uopeople.edu/blog/how-social-media-affected-communication/.

Robinson, Lawrence. “Social Media and Mental Health.” HelpGuide.org, www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm.

“Social Media Stress Can Lead to Social Media Addiction.” Science Daily, 27 Aug. 2019, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190827125559.htm. 


Poverty and the Blight

Poverty is a major problem around the world. The issues of hunger and poverty are struggles that almost every character faces in Hunger: A Tale of Courage. In the novel, a potato blight causes the crop to fail and leads to extreme hunger for the Irish. This problem is heightened by the fact that the English do not help and still tax them to keep their home. This main issue starts a domino effect and causes many others to appear. This novel shows what may happen if nothing is done to lessen poverty today and the similar experiences impoverished people today face. 

One of the major struggles for every Irish family in the novel is to decide how much food a person should get. This decision is extremely hard to make for parents who love their children. If their children do not get enough food, then they will see their children slowly suffer in agony from hunger. However, if they do not get enough food, then supporting their children will be near impossible. Another struggle of families is to decide where and how to get food in the first place. This is heightened by the wheat tax every family has to pay to keep their home. Searching for berries, herbs, and whatnot expends precious energy and finding food is not guaranteed. So, many families have to eat the same dish for many months. And for Lorraine’s family, they ate a thin and watery kale gruel every day. These two struggles are prominent in both impoverished and low-income families today. Globally, one of the major factors of poverty is not having an adequate supply of food and/or clean water.

In the novel, Lorraine finds an English girl named Miss Sussana having a grandiose picnic with her dolls. Miss Sussana asks Lorraine to have a meal with her because of her loneliness from only being around her dolls and her urge to have a conversation. This event starts one of the most interesting struggles in the novel to me which is Lorraine’s internal conflict on whether to eat Miss Susanna’s food or not. I find this interesting because Lorraine has a chance to finally have a good fulfilling meal, but hesitates on whether it is just to eat. She thinks this because she thinks it is unfair for her to be the only one to be full. After her mouth waters from the food set in front of her, she gives in and eats until full. This causes her to feel guilty about her actions. Her guilt prompts her to ask Miss Susanna if she can bring anyone else for the feast. She defiantly states that she will tell her dad and make him sic the dogs on Lorraine if she brings anyone but herself. This event has caused Lorraine to have a full belly, yet feel guilty for her choice. Today still, many people may feel guilt from taking advantage of certain situations even if it may benefit them like stealing or taking advantage of someone’s kindness.

Another conflict I find interesting is when a thin man with three naked children goes to Lorraine’s house and begs her family for food. When the strangers ask Ma to be able to come inside her home, she refuses initially because of the fear that they might hurt her. However, she gives in as to not upset them. This shows that the problem of hunger has gotten so out of hand that she fears that crime is becoming increasingly prevalent with the lack of food and that there are people worse off than her family. Usually, there tends to be a higher rate of crime when people are desperate. 

These issues have all stemmed from the initial problem of the blight. If nothing is done to help combat the issue of poverty, many more people today could go through similar experiences with what the characters have faced in dealing with poverty.

Works Cited

Napoli, Donna Jo. Hunger: A Tale of Courage.New York. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2018. Print.

Mokyr, Joel.”Great Famine.” Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Famine-Irish-history

“Effects of Poverty on Society, Health, Children and Violence.” Poverties. 7 Mar. 2011, https://www.poverties.org/blog/effects-of-poverty

“The Top 9 Causes of Global Poverty.” Concern Worldwide US. 4 Feb. 2019, https://www.concernusa.org/story/top-9-causes-global-poverty/


Social Seesaw: When Women’s Rights Increase, Do Men’s Rights Decrease?

In today’s day and age, many might argue that when it comes to gender roles for both men and women, women are the ones that have it harder. However, this is not always true. Issues relating to female discrimination have been considered and attended to over the last century.

It is true that if one looks back a hundred years or so that women definitely did not have all the rights that they deserved, but we have come a long way since then. Society has spent quite a bit of time considering women’s rights and expectations, yet we fail to consider what this issue might be like for men.

As Hentschel, Hellman, and Peus state in their article on The Multiple Dimensions of Gender Stereotypes, “…stereotypes also can induce faulty assessments of people – i.e., assessments based on generalization from beliefs about a group that do not correspond to a person’s unique qualities.” Along with women, the stereotype for men should be taken into consideration as well.

From a young age, most boys are taught how to act as a male would. In a bit posted by Colorado university they state that “In most homes, boys are told that “boys don’t cry” and to “man up”.  These colloquialisms are ways of relaying the message that as a member of a certain gender, there are rigid expectations.” In relationships, men are the ones who are expected to make the first move and pay for the woman’s dinner. While all these things are good and gentleman-like, women need to do their part in a relationship as well.

Finding the balance between household responsibilities or responsibilities in a relationship is crucial. Expectations should be set by the couple, not what society says. This is explained on the website Rm 2B safe for youth when they explain, “If you or your dating partner feel as if you have to live up to these images, then there might be conflict, disappointment, and frustration.” Therefore, it is not only women who struggle with the idea of gender stereotypes, but it is also men as well and it is crucial to take both into consideration. 

Works Cited:

Hentschel, T., Heilman, M., &amp; Peus, C. (2019, January 04). The Multiple Dimensions of  Gender Stereotypes: A Current Look at Men’s and Women’s Characterizations of Others and Themselves. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00011/full

Men and Masculinities. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://wgac.colostate.edu/education/gender-and-identity/men-and-masculinities/

Stereotypes &amp; Relationships. (2017, March 31). Retrieved October 22, 2020,  https://www.roomtobesafe.org/knowledge-center/healthy-and-unhealthy-relationships/stereotypes-and-relationships/


Is Video Gaming Considered a Sport

In the article, “Is video games a sport?” I learned that gaming is a sport you can join and compete with over people but I learned that this type of sport is unhealthy for your body not like other sports that are more healthy. Gaming is a sport because you need lots of practise and skill like and sport to be good at it but also you need a lot of thinking, knowledge of the game, and strategy in this time of sport. Gaming as a sport is bad for you because it can be unhealthy by being on the chair for hours and it can lead to cancer and it can lead to eating unhealthy for your body not like other sports. 


Do you think gaming is a sport or not?

I think what is happening in “Is video games a sport?” is that gaming can a sport so people can compete in and have fun in it but it shows that gaming can lead to unhealthy choices and it can even lead to cancer if you sit on a choir for days, but despite all that gaming is a sport to have fun in and it more easier to join in like a team or by you self. 


Commonality of Defects

Children are born all around the world that do not conform to the stereotype of normal as society labels it but to be more specific born with birth defects. Every year there are 140 million children born (The World Counts) of those about 120,000 are born with a birth defect, to be put simply that’s every 1 in 33 (Birth Defects are Common). As you can see it is much more common than the media and society cares to acknowledge because if they were to publicize it they would then need to inform and provide easy means to help parents with said children. Narrowing in on the commonality of a child born with defects, people should set aside the negative stigmas and focus on producing resources and awareness since the likelihood of having a child with said birth defect is more common than led on to be.

Stigmas are seen world wide linked to children that are born with defects. The most common defects, as seen from Boston’s Children Hospitals are, “ Heart defects, cleft lip, and Down syndrome,” adding on, it says the causes of these are based only on your DNA (Birth Defects). This means parents have no control over the outcome of their baby making it extremely hard for them to watch their child be a victim of stigmas. To put the harm of stigmas on display, picture the amount of adolescents who are bullied for being different in any way, now think of the children who have no other choice but to be different. Stigmas are not only harmful to the child it is being placed upon but also those who believe the stigmas because they cannot truly understand what it is like to have a defect.

To produce awareness and resources for not only the thousands of parents with children with disabilities or defects but everyone willing to learn and help we need more media coverage along with more accessible hospitals and organizations. One organization that is not well known but produces some media attention along with help to parents is the “National Birth Defects Prevention Network” (NBDPN). This organization’s main goal is to use its network to produce statewide organizations that spread awareness and resources (National Birth Defects Prevention Network). There are very few organizations that are trying to help in the ways that are needed like the NBDPN, so to produce the resources and attention that is necessary to spread awareness there must be an increase of organizations.

Defects continue to burden families and especially those with them everyday and as a society it is our duty to spread not only awareness but resources to prevent stigmas. Collectively to increase the essential needs of those with defects we must continually work to spread organizations that are made to prevent stigmas and create opportunities to those who need it most.

Works Cited

“Birth Defects Are Common, Costly, and Critical.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 Dec. 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/infographic.html.

National Birth Defects Prevention Network, https://www.nbdpn.org/.

The World Counts, https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/toxic-exposures/polluted-bodies/how-many-babies-are-born-a-day/story.


Woman’s Rights Being Taking Away In front Of Our Own Eyes.

We are pro-abortion. This topic was picked because we watched the news and seen the laws that Alabama and Missouri has passed on their views on abortion.  There is pro’s and con’s to this serious topic, and every side needs to be heard. We feel that making abortion illegal is not fair. How can the State make and tell a woman what to do with her body and get away with it. Trump’s first day in office he signed a ban on federal money going to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions. According to a Washington Post article, Trump is pro life to a certain extent “Alabama law enacted last week that makes performing abortions a felony unless a pregnancy seriously risks a woman’s health, Trump reiterated his position that abortion should be legal following rape or incest”. This is still not the point. He still want a regular abortion legalized.

    Donald Trump stated over the weekend making tweets saying “That abortion were aimed at telling the conservative and anti-abortion movement to tone it down and unite around more mainstream positions, after the highly restrictive Alabama law and others like it have stoked the abortion debate, senior administration officials and White House advisers say”.At least 61 bills like this have been introduced across the country, in states including Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas and West Virginia.  https://www.legiscan.com/WV/bill/HB2903/2019   Even in states considered safe havens for abortion rights, such as New York and Illinois, anti-abortion lawmakers have introduced bills as a kind of protest.The wave of restrictions is due primarily to the Trump administration’s judicial picks.    
This is what trump did: “One year into his presidency, three of those items remain undone. Nevertheless, opponents of abortion have made significant progress in changing the direction of federal and state policies”.

Indeed, on Friday, as anti-abortion protesters gathered in Washington for the 45th annual March for Life, the Trump administration announced two new policies. One is a letter to states aimed at making it easier for them to exclude Planned Parenthood facilities from their Medicaid programs; the other is a proposed regulation to allow health care providers to refuse to perform services that conflict with their “religious or moral beliefs.”

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/22/579661047/in-trumps-first-year-anti-abortion-forces-make-strides To the students around the country how do you feel about the abortion act? What do you suppose Trump or other people thats for this act should do or suggests? Do you feel abortion is right? Is putting a law on a women body right?


Immigrants in the U.S.

New York is a very multicultural state. You got Chinatown, Little Italy, etc. One thing that you might wonder about this is why are there so many different ethnic groups in this one place? Why did they choose to leave their home? What was it like moving from their home to America? 

In a demographic of New York 2018, it shows that besides “white” people (32%) Hispanics and/or Latinx are the largest ethnic group, making up 29.1% of the total population in New York City. Not only in New York but “Hispanics are the largest minority in the U.S.” said a CNN article.

This leads to wonder, why are Hispanics moving to America? Well from my own family my mom moved here from Guatemala with my brothers and my sister. When I went to ask her why she said that she just wanted a better life for her children. My mom said that when she got here she didn’t have any money and had to live in a shelter for a few years until she could get enough to pay for an apartment. Now I might not know why many Hispanics are immigrating to America, but from I know or can infer is that they just want a better life for their families.


Don’t Text And Drive

In the article “Stay Alive” I learned that it is super important to not text and drive. Technology is a huge part of our everyday lives and many people are always on their phones but it is important to put your phone down when driving. If you are on your phone while driving you are not only putting your own life at risk but other people’s lives as well. You can possibly end up in an accident that could have been preventable. Texting and driving are extremely dangerous. Don’t put yourself nor anyone in that situation. No matter what the case might be a phone call, a message, an email any of that can wait till you are done driving. If you simply can’t wait then pull over to take care of business but don’t text and drive in general don’t be on your phone while driving.


Do you text and drive? If you do or know anyone who does, please remind them to not do it, because it is not safe.

I think texting and driving is something that should be taken seriously. It is extremely dangerous. You’re at risk of ending someone’s life including your own. No one ever wants to be put in that position of receiving a call saying a loved one has passed due to a car accident because of texting and driving. There have been many deeply sad incidents that have occurred because of this we must learn from other experiences and be wise to not text and drive for our own safety and others. Simply don’t let technology control you that you desperately need to be on your phone 24/7 it’s not safe at all. Be mindful of those around you.


Color Revolution

The “color revolution” refers to the movement of political power in Central Asia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern European countries in the ideological and non-violent manner since the end of the 20th century.

Let first learn about what can make color revolution, in the economic field, the economic development of a region has been sluggish in the short term and many problems cannot be solved at one time, which provides an economic soil for the “color revolution”

Second, in the political arena, if the corruption phenomenon in the ruling party is more serious, it will cause the people to disagree or disapprove of the ruling party, which provides a political incentive for the implementation of the “color revolution”.

Third, if there is not a correct core value to guide, pluralistic values ​​will cause the division of ideas, leading to confusion of values ​​and ideas. This provides the cultural basis for the realization of the “color revolution”.

Fourth, if social governance can’t keep up, people’s livelihood issues can’t be solved effectively, and the shortage of public goods supply will cause people’s dissatisfaction. If the public’s emotional problems are serious and it is difficult to form a consensus and form cohesiveness, it will give the some countries the use of public sentiment and use populism to incite public sentiment. This provides a basis for public opinion to achieve the “color revolution.” Some countries forces always use unreasonable, non-moral means and actions to confuse a country or a region. This is the real face of some countries.

The result of the color revolution can make chaos and bring war to a specific area then to the whole country. In these case, a country’s power in that area will be destroy then other country can have more control on the economic field. By bringing war to other country, the country who start it can have a more stable position in these world. Now there is only two player in this world. They are China and US. US make color revolution in HK so they can create chaos and make the capital in HK flow back to US. China and Russia also kid America out of Syria and stop its expand. It’s hard to say which country will be the last winner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_revolution
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/color-revolutions
https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14990.html

Are You a True American?

Are you a true American? Most of you reading this might have never thought about it. So what does it mean to be an American you ask? Well it depends on your perspective. What I think being American means is that Americans have responsibilities that should help fellow Americans and America to be better and not for selfish reasons. I think the belief of a true American is that we are created equal as the Declaration of Independence states that “all [people] are created equal”(US 1776). Equality is not the only American value since there are many other values of being an American. Some American values include Individualism, being responsible on their own, and equality where all men and women are created equal, and future and progress which means Americans want to look forward and change than traditions as explained by University of Portland. 

This topic leads up to the question: What is the American Creed? After some research it seems that it is and I quote “I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.” –Written 1917, accepted by the United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918. 

The American Creed is all about the people and how the government should be for the people and that the people of America should be in unity. Now let’s talk about the final point of what it means to be an American: the American culture. Since America’s citizens have many immigrants, a lot of the culture is from multiple different cultures from different types of people. There is a wide variety or religion and language celebrated in America making America a “melting pot” of culture. Now it’s your turn, do you agree that these ideas make up the idea of what it means to be an American? Or do you think that what it means to be an American depends on each person’s perspective?

Works Cited

“American Values and Assumptions.” American Values and Assumptions | University of Portland, www.up.edu/iss/advising-services/american-values.html.

“The American’s Creed.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, www.ushistory.org/documents//creed.htm

Zimmermann, Kim Ann. “American Culture: Traditions and Customs of the United States.” LiveScience, Purch, 14 July 2017, www.livescience.com/28945-american-culture.html.


Immigrants

Did you know that immigrants come to the United States for reasons such as  trauma and this motivates them to come to the U.S.A. In the article “Mercury News” is about the people that have been deported back to there home country. Most of the immigrants go to a detention centers or lawyers so the can help them with their case. When the authors Ali and ETHAN said “In total, the ICE Air operation flew nearly 43,000 people in and out of Oakland during that period. Almost 27,000 were being deported. The other 16,000 were being transferred, part of a detention and relocation system that advocates and immigration lawyers. What this is talking about that the ICE has flew 43,000 in and out of Oakland during a period” Tadayon and Baron. Some of the people were deported back to their country and the others were going to a detention center. ICE is “The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law…”(ice.gov) Immigrants is a person from a different country come to the U.S.A illicit. Deportation is when the law expels a specific person with no residents from the country. Based on research/interviews it shows that immigrants feel harm in their home country and come to the U.S.A for a better life; but they fear deportation because they don’t want to go back with the violence. 

First, Not all Immigrants but many have the choice to come to the united states to get rid of the violence and for a better life and so they can help their family.This is true because immigrants come to the United States for a better life. This article discusses the reasons why immigrants come to the United States. It also talks about the motivation that they come to the United states. In fact, In the  article it said “To join their families, to work, and to seek safety and refuge from war, violence, and natural disasters”(Soros). This article discusses the reasons why immigrants come to the United States. It also talks about the motivation  them come to the United states. The reason that the immigrants come to the united states is because want to feel safe because in there home country it wasn’t safe. This created all the negativity in their home country and this motivated to come to the United States. This is abnormal. I interviewed one of my family members and was asking her questions. One of the questions was “What motivated you to come to the United States”. And one of her reasons was that she wanted to come to the United States because she wanted to get rid of the violence. Where she lived in El Salvador it was very dangerous because there were always fight about gangs. And secondly, she also said that she wanted to help the family because in El Salvador the life there is very hard  she said“ you get paid 6 dollars fro 12 hours of work time” and when she came to the United States she also said “it was very different no violence and get paid more.” So what this is trying to say is that the lives from two different places it is very different.

Secondly, Immigrants have a fear of deportation don’t want to go back to the violence. This article is about the reasons that they leave their home country and come to the United States. When George soros said “ In 2010, for example, 13 percent of the people apprehended at the U.S. southern border came from Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle—Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. With violence and crime now at unprecedented levels—they are among the top 10 most violent countries in terms of homicides—that number had jumped to 42 percent in 2016. What this is talking about that the three countries are very dangerous and they come to the United  States to get a better life with no violence. This matters because families are losing people who they really care about or this motivates them to leave their home country and go to the United States for a better life. Also when the authors said Ali and Ethan said “Oakland International Airport served as the staging ground for nearly 1,000 flights chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement between 2010 and 2018, carrying detainees on their way to deportation or transfer between detention centers.During those periods of time they went back to the violence that they didn’t want to experience again.

In conclusion, Based on research/interviews it shows that immigrants feel harm in their home country and come to the U.S.A for a better life; but they fear of deportation because they don’t want to go back with the violence. As a child of an immigrant what they have said to me is somewhat similar from the story that i’m writing but from what ive heard that it is very dangerous because of the two rival gangs that are two streets away from each other the MS-13 and 18th street gang. And in my perspective when I went 3 years ago it wasnt that dangerous because I was pretty far away from the dangerous area and I didn’t experience any violence but I saw a lot of violence in the news about gangs. So immigrants come to the United States for a better life.

Annotated Bibliography 

Soros, George. “Why Does the U.S. Need Immigration Reform?” Open Society Foundations, Open Society Foundation, May 2019, https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/why-does-us-need-immigration-reform.“Why Does the U.S. Need Immigration Reform?” Open Society Foundations, Open Society Foundation, May 2019, https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/why-does-us-need-immigration-reform

This article discusses the reasons why immigrants come to the United States. It also talks about the motivation that they come to the United states. It was published in 2019 meaning it is recent and it’s giving recent information.

Ferguson, Cat, et al. “ICE Used Oakland Airport to Deport and Transfer Tens of Thousands of Immigration Detainees.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 22 July 2019, www.mercurynews.com/2019/07/21/ice-used-oakland-airport-to-deport-and-transfer-tens-of-thousands-of-immigration-detainees/

This article discusses the reason why the Oakland airport deport thousands of immigrants back to their home country and the amount that go back between a period of time . It was published in 22 July 2019


Dangers of Underage Drinking

One major issue affecting many people is alcohol abuse, including teenagers. Drinking has short term and long term effects including injury and addiction. I personally feel that this is the most important underage substance use issue. Of the more common substances used by teenagers like vaping and smoking it is the most dangerous.  Not only is it the most dangerous now but in the future as well as it is highly addictive. Drinking as a teen has the possibility of ruining someone’s life forever.

One major concern is just how hazardous underage drinking is excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year according to the CDC, 4300 that would have been avoided if they understood how to be safe while drinking. It’s not just deaths but serious injuries. In 2013, there were approximately 119,000 emergency rooms visits by persons aged 12 to 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol according to the CDC.  Alcohol is a very addictive substance and people who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives . Being physically addicted to something as serious as alcohol is no laughing matter. It’s dangerous to that person and those around them. Especially at an age when their future depends on what they do now an addiction to alcohol is a great way to mess up their future.

Something needs to be done to address the amount of people who are being negatively affected by alcohol especially through underage drinking. In the past people have been harshly against drinking. All campaigns have been zero tolerance. But that hasn’t helped, the actions taken did  nothing. I believe we need to be against underage drinking but realize that many are gonna to do it anyways, so they should be aware of how it affects you, and how to be safe while drinking. Warn against its effects and give ways that people can be safe while doing it. It’s more effective to tell people how to be safe than top tell them not to do something.  Because if they go ahead and do it anyway they won’t know how to be safe with it. This is directed toward teens, educate them on the negative effects of drinking, and if they choose to do so while knowing the risks learn how to be safe.

Sites used

https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm

 

https://drugfree.org/article/how-to-address-underage-drinking/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA4aXiBRCRARIsAMBZGz-AFRc8jk6VP1N3TrDAck_L3z3xkzNvYm6WyTEdmp_2KNpJn2-Vfy8aAkuQEALw_wcB

 

https://www.centeronaddiction.org/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAhKviBRCNARIsAAGZ7Cfv02Hrz2khiygHW0mV1IdlsJmmtE6_C1nu3kUtzax5ze84usfye0EaArrvEALw_wcB


America’s Breaking Point

When the year 2020 began, no one expected a pandemic to hit so suddenly and so quickly. It has impacted not only the United States, but the entire world. However, the U.S. has suffered far more than many of the other countries combined. Throughout the year, COVID-19 has spread like a wildfire and cases are still increasing to this day. People have suffered financially, physically, and even mentally from the spread of this virus. The impact of this virus on society has caused many people the burdens of overwhelming stress and anxiety. Even though the year is almost over, it seems as if the spread of the COVID-19 virus will never stop. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to deal with many unforeseen challenges and has taken a significant toll on society altogether. Many countries have “taken measures – some of them stringent – to slow down the spread of SAR-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19” (Cohut). While most countries have succeeded in slowing the spread of the virus, the U.S. has failed to do so.

The United States has especially fallen victim to a lot of criticism in the way they have dealt with the pandemic. People have been under so much stress already with the virus alone and the increasing criticism just makes it harder to ignore. People started to protest, claiming that the government’s call for lockdown was hurting them financially. Medical professionals have also spoken about the virus saying that “the protesters may well be putting other people’s lives and health in danger” (Cohut).

The virus has not only caused a worldwide uproar, but also caused tension and division among American citizens. People’s livelihoods have been abruptly interrupted by this awful pandemic and it has taken quite a toll on food systems. The virus isn’t the only matter concerning the heath of the people. The global pandemic “presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work” (“Impact of COVID-19…”). Not only is the virus affecting people’s mentality, but also their finances.

The fear of the spread of COVID-19 has caused severe panic and caused many businesses to shut down temporarily. Although many businesses have since reopened, unfortunately, another wave of cases hit and businesses are suffering yet again. People have been doing their best despite the circumstances but the pandemic has caused many hardships over the course of a very long and unforgiving year. 

Works Cited

Cohut, Maria. “COVID-19 Global Impact: How the Coronavirus Is Affecting the World.” Edited by Paula Field , Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 24 Apr. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-global-impact-how-the-  coronavirus-is-affecting-the-world.

“Impact of COVID-19 on People’s Livelihoods, Their Health and Our Food Systems.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 13 Oct. 2020, www.who.int/news/item/13-10-2020-impact-of-covid-19-on-people’s-livelihoods-their-health-and-our-food-systems.

#RHS


AVTR the car of the future?

Within society today we face more complex problems everyday. One of our biggest problems is the amount of pollution we create and put into our air. According to Linda C. Brinson someone who studies the air quality and pollution we create “75% of our carbon monoxide pollution comes from cars.” Mercedes Benz AVTR is an intelligent self driving all electric vehicle. The purpose of the AVTR is to provide easy travel on top of preventing any automobile related pollution. 

You may be asking yourself, if the AVTR is electric how is it going to charge without any pollution being created in the process? According to the Mercedes website the AVTR features a graphene-based organic cell chemistry which completely rare, toxic, and expensive earth material’s. This translates to lower prices for the buyer as well as the elimination of gas saves a significant amount of money.  

Not only does the AVTR eliminate the problems modern day cars bring, yet it does it at the same time as being one of the most efficient electrical vehicles. The AVTR has a 700 kilometer range or 430 miles. Compared to modern day cars this is an improvement of about a 100 mile range. To further increase the range Mercedes is looking into their new promising neuromorphic hardware which makes sure the sensors, lights, and any other electric features in the car other than the motors and battery are pulling as minimal energy as possible saving a significant amount. 

For more information of the Mercedes AVTR visit the website below 

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/vehicles/passenger-cars/mercedes-benz-concept-cars/vision-avtr/

Car pollution statistics visit below 

https://auto.howstuffworks.com/air-pollution-from-cars.htm

Casey Pratts


Are zoos bad for animals?

When I am going to the zoos, I can see lots of various animals and I feel that animals in zoos don’t feel comfortable and they want to go back to the place they used to live. I have never thought about the pros of zoos because I thought there are only cons of zoos. These days, there are ethical issues with animals and many people are interested in the issues. Some people do the activities for animals such as not going to the zoos, using the products without animal tested, and being vegans. Through the article and journal, we are able to know the pros and cons of zoos and how they impact on animals.

According to the journal,‘The Pros and Cons of Zoos Explored’, the author says: “This means that if they experience any health concerns, they can be assisted by vets almost immediately. This is extremely important for some of the world’s rarest animals, whose own survival and the survival of their offspring is vital. As well as providing breeding programs, animals can be regularly assessed for parasites, infectious diseases, and cancers”. The author also explains: “For example, an Orca in the wild can survive as long as 100 years, yet in captivity, they typically don’t reach 30 years of age. This illustrates that the Zoo environment does not always succeed”. According to the article, ‘Hundreds of zoos and aquariums accused of mistreating animals’, the author says: “The report said Cango Wildlife Ranch ‘offers visitors the chance to pet cheetahs and servals in an enclosed yard, taking selfies with the animals under the supervision of staff members’”.

By reading these articles, I learned that animals would feel uncomfortable to be in zoos because they can’t move well due to the size of the cage and they would lose their hunting skills by getting food from the staff at zoos. However, they can take advantage of being zoos like they can take veterinary care and don’t need to worry about their food. There are lots of pros and cons for animals but I think we don’t have the right to decide the animals should be in zoos. So, if animals lost their family or were close to death by other predators, humans can rescue them but humans can’t bring them to make the zoos.


Anxiety

Anxiety is an illness typically diagnosed alongside of depression. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety five years ago when I was 13. Anxiety, to me, is described as a feeling of worry and always being nervous. Constantly feeling like someone is watching you, sweaty hands and feeling like a huge ball is at the pit of your stomach. I strongly believe we all have some sort of form of anxiety, just some being worse than others. At the time of my diagnosis I was told I had anxiety due to a traumatic event I went through at age 10 which also caused me to have depression and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). PTSD causes my abnormal sleeping patterns and makes me irritable. Anxiety is a very difficult concept to grasp and causes a headache, literally.

There are many types of anxiety that you can be diagnosed with. Separation anxiety, typically affecting children, is when you have an attachment to a person or an object and letting go physically hurts. Selective mutism, occurs when a person chooses not to talk in certain social situations. Specific phobia is having fear of a specific object or task like flying and heights. Panic anxiety causes panic attacks without warning or with triggers and always having fear of that next attack. Generalized anxiety is the uncontrolled worrying. I have a mixture of generalized and panic anxiety.

Through research I have discovered that anxiety is associated with many other disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome, also called IBS, is characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. In early 2016, just two years after being diagnosed with anxiety, I was diagnosed with IBS and all of these symptoms affect me along with one fifth of adults. The colon is partly controlled by the nervous system, which is why anxiety and stress triggers your IBS symptoms. In my experience, when I am stressed out, like after an argument, I start to feel my stomach cramp very badly. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this; medicine only helps calm the symptoms down. Trichotillomania is characterized by repeatedly pulling out one’s own hair, most commonly from scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes. I also found this out while researching, and this fact completely caught me off guard. I have never heard of this disorder nor been diagnosed, but I relate to it. When I am very nervous I find myself picking at my eyelashes and eyebrows. I mostly pull my eyebrows out and I never related anxiety to it very much. Other disorders related to anxiety include ocd, excoriation, hoarding, and body dysmorphic disorder.

Anxiety will always be a part of my life, but after researching I definitely learned a lot more than I knew before. This helps me understand how to control my anxiety and hopefully I may help others in this same situation. Anxiety and all the quirks that are associated with do not have to be frowned upon if we just speak about the topic and educate others.


What does it mean to be American?

Being American means different things to different people. Being American to me means having freedom, equality of genders and race, and living your American Dream. I believe the Bill of Rights shows the basic freedoms of an American. There are multiple examples of equality and the American dream just by reading or watching the news. 

The Bill of Rights includes the first ten amendments. I believe the most important amendment is the first. The first amendment states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (The Constitution). This means that the government has no right to deny us our main five freedoms that every American has. 

During this time in the 21st century there has been many events tying to equality of gender and race. Some of the biggest events that took place that helped gender equality was, the first female to become selected to run for president by a big party in 2016. As of right now race equality is being pushed to be more equal. In the past months there has been multiple aggressive arrest by white cops against African Americans. Some people are even judged or not given a fair chance because of their race. 

Another thing that makes us American is that we believe and try to reach our own American dreams. Everyone has their own dream, but everyone makes it to their dream their own way. No two people have had the same path to their dream. I think people come to the U.S because they heard about how people have reached their dreams. Everyone has a chance to make it in America, but not everyone has an equal chance. 

Work Cited

Dann, Carrie. “Hillary Clinton Becomes First Female Nominee of Major U.S. Political Party.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 27 July 2016, www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2016-conventions/hillary-clinton-becomes-first-female-nominee-major-u-s-political-n617406.

U.S. Constitution. Amend I. 


Cyberbullying

Imagine you find out some kids from your school created a Facebook page dedicated to making fun of you. How would you feel? See we were given a right, a right that is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution; freedom of speech. What that means is we as the people have the right to say and do whatever we want without fear of censorship from the government. What we have witnessed over the years especially with the rise of technology and the web is cyberbullying. Since cyberbullying is new and seems to be recurring, people in power such as judes, Congress, policymakers, etc don’t particularly know what to do in situations where it involves schools. Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, to name a few, are where people go to express themselves. But when does “expressing” yourself cross the line and become harassment?

Cyberbullying is certainly a controversial topic. There are those who believe it should not be limited and those who believe there are cases in which if it were limited people would receive justice. In the case of K.K v. Berkeley County Schools, K.K was punished for her “strong” use of speech. If the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, were to rule that her actions were justified because it was her right to speak her mind it would be extremely unfair. K.K’s actions were not only NOT okay, but they hurt the person who the “hate website” was created about. K.K created a “discussion group” on MySpace.com and in the group they would talk about a fellow peer, S.N, and her “sexaul promiscuities”. In Tinker v. Des Moines, the Supreme Court decided that if a student’s conduct “materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder

or invasion of the rights of others” it will not be protected by the First Amendment.

In a letter written to school administrators, the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights asserted that schools should take an initiative to stop school-based harassment and discrimination. Those who cyberbully not only target pupils but teachers as well. Thus creating a hostile environment. In a political cartoon by Jimmy Marguiles, he illuminates the idea that there is cyber bullying happening to teachers and its happening more often. This can cause a teacher to not perform well when giving lessons or when helping students with classwork. Now, you might be thinking, How is it possible that teachers can be victims of cyberbullying? Well, it’s true. According to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and Teacher Support Network, 15.1% of teachers experience cyberbullying, 38.6% experience reduced confidence and self esteem because of it, and 44.2% of cyber bullying is done by pupils.

As everyone knows cyberbullying is a widespread problem. It is one of the major causes for suicide and I believe, even if most of it happens off school grounds, schools should still have the right to punish those who discriminate others. As the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights stated, “A school is responsible for addressing harassment incidents about which it knows or reasonably should have known”. Harassment causes a disruption in school and in most cases leads to more problems. Many people are afraid to speak up because of the fear that the person cyber bullying them won’t be punished. Students should not fear speaking up.

In conclusion, schools should be allowed to limit students’ online speech.


How Does Cell Phone Use Affect Our Health?

Handheld technology certainly has its pros and cons. The pros include easy communication, access to news, a platform for change, and much more. However, there are some significant cons to cell phones concerning your health. Both mentally and physically, use of cell phones can be taking a bigger toll on you than you realize.

Mentally, new research is coming out that found a correlation between excessive cell phone use and anxiety and depression. A team from the University of Illinois wanted to see the influence that high levels of engagement with the Internet and cell phones have on college-age people. They “surveyed over 300 university students with questionnaires that addressed the students’ mental health, level and manner of cellphone and Internet use, and motivations for turning to their electronic devices. Questions included: ‘Do you think that your academic or work performance has been negatively affected by your cell phone use?” and “Do you think that life without the Internet is boring, empty and sad?’” They found that people who said they were addicted to social media scored much higher on anxiety and depression scales. Also, they discovered that those who use technology as a means of escape rather than a way to combat boredom scored high on these scales. Another similar study found a link between overuse of phones, depression, and anxiety and having fear of missing out and a need for touch. They also scored higher on depression and anxiety scales due to lack of or a description of social activities from being addicted to your phone.

Physically, phones can have a direct negative impact on eyesight, posture, and hearing. Cell phones are also well-known to harbor germs. In a London study, a team sampled near 400 cell phones and hands to measure levels of bacteria. The results shows that “92% of phones had bacteria and 82% of hands had bacteria, including E. Coli.” Obviously, bacteria is easily transferred between hands and phones, making it very easy to get sick and spread the bacteria to other people or areas of the body. Constant phone use can also take a toll on your hands. Rapid message response can lead to pain and inflammation of the joints as well as discomfort or minor strain injuries in the thumbs.

Mobile devices also take a toll on your sleep, which negatively affects both your mental and physical health. As we all known, sleep is extremely important for all aspects of people, including socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Keeping your phone in or near your bed increases the temptation to check it late at night, when you should be relaxing and winding down. Using your phone at this time suppresses melatonin due to the harsh blue light, which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Phones can also disturb your sleep with constant notifications, leading up to an hour of lost sleep as well as a lower quality of sleep. This severely impacts your body’s natural sleep cycle. People who use their phones in bed are also at a higher risk of insomnia.

Although technology is full of good purposes, there are some health issues associated with extreme use, too. Reflect on your use of cell phones to make sure you are doing what you can to increase your quality of life and limiting these negative mental and physical effects cell phones may have.


Listen up: Child homelessness

Dear Oakland Teenagers who do not know other teens who are homeless,

We are writing to you because we want you to know about children who do not have a home. Also, for you to have consideration and empathy for these children. We hope that after reading this letter you help children who are homeless more.

According to our research, Children who are homeless is a public health issue because children do not have healthy food to eat and are not going to the doctor and dentist.

Fanny:

The first problem that homeless children face is not having healthy food. According to the article titled “Homelessness and Oral Health” they explain “Unreliable sources of food and inadequate nutrition reduce a homeless person’s oral health. Persons who obtain food from garbage cans or stores and restaurants that donate leftover food are more likely to have gross decay.” All homeless people are harmed by food because that food they eat could cause illness.

Monse:

The second problem for homeless children is they do not go to the doctor or dentist as much. For example, in the report titled “Homelessness and Oral Health” which was published in June 1999 it explains that” More homeless children have never seen a dentist than children from families with low incomes who were living in houses.7 Among homeless children ages 5 to 9 years, 96 percent required dental care and 44 percent had pain or infection” (mchoralhealth.org). This is significant because it is a problem that they haven’t seen a dentist before. This is wrong because for example what if a child wants to eat something and is in pain or they are not eating well they wouldn’t grow. Homeless children is a public health issue.

EXPLAIn the survey (3-4 Sentences)

We gave a survey to people of Oakland, Richmond and San francisco. 

The people who took the survey were people between 14 and 18 years old and the majority was from Oakland and Richmond. 

Figure #1: This graph is titled “What is the biggest worry for someone without a home?” and it illustrates that the biggest worry according to the opinions of the people surveyed that food is the biggest worry. For example, 44% of people think food is the biggest worry which is two times more than medical care and violence.

Figure #2:It is titled “If Oakland had One Goal, what do you think Oakland should do to help the homeless?” It shows that 88% of the people that did the survey said provide homes. 

Figure #6: The Graph is titled “ Why do you think children are homeless?” and it shows that 64% of respondents think it is because of their parents.

It is clear from the graphs Oakland needs more empathy and needs to be nicer to Homeless people because children are running away because of mean parents, Oakland has a housing crisis and people need homes, and homeless people don’t feel safe or have what they need. We need to be nicer.

Based on the Survey and Research as Upstander for Children who are Homeless we need to educate people about the issue and provide Food and a Dentist/Doctor for free.

Aim #1: Educate

We are going to hang up papers on the windows in stores in Oakland. We will do liquor and grocery stores because a lot of people go there, especially right now. We would include our graphs on these papers to educate people. A challenge we may have is that people won’t actually read them.

Aim #2: Give Food

To give food, we can do a foodbank at our school (life academy). But first we would give paper out saying that it would be free food for people. Something that would go wrong is people actually not going. Also, we may be giving out food they may not like.

Aim #3: Give Dentist / Doctors

If we had all the money we would provide dentists and doctors for homeless children. The doctors can drive to those who are homeless. They can go two times each month. They can focus on the whole family. They would be paid by a foundation and we would raise money. Something that can be a challenge is that the child has never been to a dentist and is scared and may not want to go. Also, it is possible that the family moves.

We would know if we were successful if we give out our survey again and see if the results change. Also, we would want 20 people to come to the food bank. And we would be successful if the doctor met with everyone who needed it.

Thank you for listening. Are you willing to help now? Can we count on you?

Fanny & Monse

Work Cited

Hassan, Anser. “Homeless Encampment Filled with Women and Children Torn down in Oakland.” ABC7 San Francisco, 7 Dec. 2018, abc7news.com/4851067/.

“The Daily Beast.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, www.thedailybeast.com/.


Homeless

Dear Oakland Teenagers who do not know other teens who are homeless,

We are writing to you because we want you to know about children who do not have a home. Also, for you to have consideration and empathy for these children. We hope that after reading this letter you help children who are homeless more.

According to our research, Children who are homeless is a public health issue because children do not have healthy food to eat and are not going to the doctor and dentist.

The first problem that homeless children face is not having healthy food. According to the article titled “Homelessness and Oral Health” they explain “Unreliable sources of food and inadequate nutrition reduce a homeless person’s oral health. Persons who obtain food from garbage cans or stores and restaurants that donate leftover food are more likely to have gross decay.” All homeless people are harmed by food because that food they eat could cause illness.

The second problem for homeless children is they do not go to the doctor or dentist as much. For example, in the report titled “Homelessness and Oral Health” which was published in June 1999 it explains that” More homeless children have never seen a dentist than children from families with low incomes who were living in houses.7 Among homeless children ages 5 to 9 years, 96 percent required dental care and 44 percent had pain or infection” (mchoralhealth.org). This is significant because it is a problem that they haven’t seen a dentist before. This is wrong because for example what if a child wants to eat something and is in pain or they are not eating well they wouldn’t grow. Homeless children is a public health issue.

We gave a survey to people of Oakland, Richmond and San francisco. 

The people who took the survey were people between 14 and 18 years old and the majority was from Oakland and Richmond. 

Figure #1: This graph is titled “What is the biggest worry for someone without a home?” and it illustrates that the biggest worry according to the opinions of the people surveyed that food is the biggest worry. For example, 44% of people think food is the biggest worry which is two times more than medical care and violence.

Figure #2:It is titled “If Oakland had One Goal, what do you think Oakland should do to help the homeless?” It shows that 88% of the people that did the survey said provide homes. 

Figure #6: The Graph is titled “ Why do you think children are homeless?” and it shows that 64% of respondents think it is because of their parents.

It is clear from the graphs Oakland needs more empathy and needs to be nicer to Homeless people because children are running away because of mean parents, Oakland has a housing crisis and people need homes, and homeless people don’t feel safe or have what they need. We need to be nicer.

Based on the Survey and Research as Upstander for Children who are Homeless we need to educate people about the issue and provide Food and a Dentist/Doctor for free.

Aim #1: Educate

We are going to hang up papers on the windows in stores in Oakland. We will do liquor and grocery stores because a lot of people go there, especially right now. We would include our graphs on these papers to educate people. A challenge we may have is that people won’t actually read them.

Aim #2: Give Food

To give food, we can do a foodbank at our school (life academy). But first we would give paper out saying that it would be free food for people. Something that would go wrong is people actually not going. Also, we may be giving out food they may not like.

Aim #3: Give Dentist / Doctors

If we had all the money we would provide dentists and doctors for homeless children. The doctors can drive to those who are homeless. They can go two times each month. They can focus on the whole family. They would be paid by a foundation and we would raise money. Something that can be a challenge is that the child has never been to a dentist and is scared and may not want to go. Also, it is possible that the family moves.

We would know if we were successful if we give out our survey again and see if the results change. Also, we would want 20 people to come to the food bank. And we would be successful if the doctor met with everyone who needed it.

Thank you for listening. Are you willing to help now? Can we count on you?

Fanny & Monse

Work Cited

Hassan, Anser. “Homeless Encampment Filled with Women and Children Torn down in Oakland.” ABC7 San Francisco, 7 Dec. 2018, abc7news.com/4851067/.
“The Daily Beast.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, www.thedailybeast.com/.


Checking the evidence on a Wikipedia article about California’s High-Speed Rail

I just read a Wikipedia article:

“Route of California High-Speed Rail.” – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

I read this article because it talk about the bullet train which is the topic i’m going to be focusing for the senior project. I felt like this article was really helpful because it talked about the routes the bullet train will probably have and it gives a pretty good idea on how the train will operate. This is the article that not only it gives us an idea but it also talks about the people who are willing to be opposed.

One sentence from this article that stands out for me is: “Some cities along the Altamont route, such as Pleasanton and Fremont, opposed the Altamont route option, citing concerns over possible property taking and increase in traffic congestion.” I think this is not a so smart prediction  because in my personal opinion i believe that if we have a third way of transportation other than car, airplane and normal trains that will be three times faster than them people will take that any day.

I’m pretty sure this is accurate, because Delta airlines just had a glitch in their system and this caused thousands of flights to LA and all over the Nation,If we had a bullet train i’m pretty sure people would have already taken it instead of being stuck in the airport for two to three days. “Delta Flights Resume but Cancellations and Delays Continue.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016. http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/08/news/companies/delta-system-outage-flights/

Another sentence that I can agree with was: “A coalition that includes the cities of Menlo Park, Atherton, and Palo Alto has also sued the Authority to reconsider the Altamont Pass alternative.[8][9] More than one hundred landowners along the proposed route have rejected initial offers by the Authority,” This stood out for me because the landowners do not know what could they be missing out on having the bullet train pass by their city they could make money on making t-shirts on some kind of business that would bring money to their pocket and more people would come visit the city because they have a bullet train in their backyard.

I double-checked this fact through http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/08/what-a-train-ride-from-los-angeles-to-san-francisco-taught-me-about-californias-high-speed-rail-future/375870/ which makes me feel pretty sure that it is true.

There’s something in this article that I think might not be accurate. It says, “and it seemed important to Charley Atkins, Travel Town’s late founder, to preserve California’s steam engine for future generations.’’.  I think this statement is not accurate, because of what I found “What a Train Trip From L.A. to S.F. Can Teach Us About California’s High-Speed Rail Future.” CityLab. N.p., 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2016., and here it says: <’’he Statewide HST System was to cost as little as $33 billion. [Note 4]   Now the Rail Authority has said it could cost nearly $100 billion to link San Francisco to Los Angeles [Note 5] and they have refused for the last decade to update their projected cost for the entire statewide system.’’.

What I learned from this article is that building the bullet train will affect everyone statewide and it will benefit everyone by making the traffic flow smoother and it will give everyone a fourth option of transportation. People may think that this won’t work and it will just be a waste of time and money but we will never know until we actually have it.


A Unique Practice in Sweden

Although actively avoiding talking to strangers sounds cold, it is a common practice in Sweden. Swedes even have terms for small talk that translate to “cold talk” or “dead talk” (Nilsson).  This emphasizes the Swedes disdain for talking about unimportant information. Often times when they are walking down the street, they will actively avoid eye contact with strangers so as to avoid this futile conversation. They will also look at the store windows or anything around them to achieve their goal of not speaking to or chit chatting with strangers. If a tourist visits Sweden and attempts to strike up a conversation with a local, odds are the local will give the bare minimum response in order to end the discussion as quickly as possible. This is because these types of dialogue are not valued among the Swedes. 

It is believed that this practice has remained popular in Sweden due to the fact that there were relatively low amounts of immigrants which resulted in little exposure to other cultures and practices (Nilsson). Since there were a small number of immigrants the Swedes practice of avoiding conversations involving unimportant topics has remained to present times. A different hypothesis about how this practice came to be is how Sweden has a relatively low number of citizens for how large the country is (Nilsson). This would result in normalcy of not speaking to people who are not close to their homes. 

Even though this practice might portray the Swedes in a cold and distant way, they are still a very polite and friendly country in their own way. They would simply rather you not start a conversation without having a valid reason. 

Works Cited

Nilsson, B. (2020, December 04). Travel – Why Swedes don’t speak to strangers. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20201203-why-swedes-dont-speak-to- strangers?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2F


Print Is Dying, And No One Can Heal It.

 

The Panolian Newspaper is just one of many print formats that has been affected by the new age of social media. 

Since 1882, The Panolian Newspaper (located in Batesville, Mississippi) has been delivering news all across Panola County. It has helped thousands of locals keep up with what’s happening around their own community. However, in the new age of social media, people are starting to rely more on mobile devices to tell them what is going on around in the world we live in today ,and it’s not just affecting The Panolian, it’s affecting print journalism all around the country.  

“Most people want news right now, even if it is the total truth.” Myra Bean, a writer at The Panolian said. “ Most readers overlook journalistic ethics in their pursuit of the news by the day.”

Myra Bean has been working for The Panolian for 27 years and has noticed the downfall of other nearby newspapers including The Southern Reporter (which was located in Panola County at the time) in 2013.  

“Many [daily newspapers] have cut down on the frequency of their publications”. Myra Bean states. “Some have gone to [weekly newspapers]. Then the [weekly newspapers] have noticeably less pages and sections each week, much to the dismay of readers. Advertisers are not using the newspapers to get their messages out anymore. They are using social media which reach less people than the newspaper despite the number they proclaim.” 

It’s not just affecting local newspapers, but it also affects local magazines. Rebel Nation Magazine announced in April that they were closing its doors. The magazine first debuted in July of 2013, and covered all aspects of Ole Miss sports for six years. Sadly, it became a victim of a harsh reality.

“People my age grew up without the internet so all of the information was provided in print formats (newspapers and magazines).” Greg Pevey, the founder of Rebel Nation Magazine said. “Young adults have grown up in the computer age where everything they need is at their fingertips online. People around my age still love and appreciate magazines and the feel of holding one in their hands, but the newspaper industry is pretty much going all digital now.

Not only does Greg Pevey have experience with Rebel 
Nation Magazine, he also has worked with the Delta Business
Journal, Delta Magazine, and Mississippi Sports Magazine.

For some, Newspapers has always been their way of getting information whether it was for upcoming local events and news, or major things that is happening around the world. Many older people in Panola County are upset to see that newspapers are slowly going out of business and doesn’t want to see their county lose their main source of news. 

“It hurts to know that few people are interested in having a physical paper in their hand.”  Ethel McKinney, a retired nurse from Sardis, states. “With the new age of the internet, most younger people are hooked on that system of entertainment and many read very little.” 

She was right. According to SproutSocial.com, in 2014, platforms such as instagram had been seeing a year over year increase of no less than 100 million in terms of monthly users. However, between September 2017 and June 2018, the number of monthly active users had increased by over 200 million. That is over 50 percent of what the rate of monthly active users was before 2014. 

McKinney was born in Sledge, Mississippi but has called Panola County her home for the past 69 years. She makes sure that she reads The Panolian every Tuesday and Friday to see the latest news and upcoming events around her community. She also stated that she feels as if the younger generation does not read a lot of print and that falls on the parents. 

“Young parents work and do not always require their children to read books or pay attention to their studies,” she stated. “The many technological inventions starting with television has played a large part in that. It provides vast hours of entertainment.” 

The Panolian is one of the oldest newspapers that covers local news in Mississippi. They have cut back on pages and staff in the past few years ,but they have not given up yet. With the support of the older community, The Panolian will continue to publish every Tuesday and Friday to give us information about what is happening in their community. 


Taken Away

Everyone knows about kidnapping but not everyone knows that not only females are kidnapped a lot of males get kidnapped too. In the past couple of years there has been more kidnappings in Oakland. An unacceptable amount of girls get kidnapped, but that isn’t the worst part. There is almost the same amount of boys who get kidnapped just like girls. 

Kidnapping is becoming a huge problem in Oakland. This isn’t helping the community, because more boys and girls are getting kidnapped and getting taken away from their families. There is a large amount of children getting kidnapped in Oakland there is more girls getting kidnapped, but that isn’t all, the rate of boys getting kidnapped isn’t that far away from the rate of girls getting kidnapped. In an article with kidnapping statistics written by Xaiver Bercerra it stated, “Male-36,244 Female-44,226”(Becerra). This is saying that there is a higher rate of females being kidnapped. In this quote the rate for females is 44,226 that is a various amount of females going missing, but for boys it is 36,244 that means that there are 7,982 more girls going missing than boys going missing.. This is still a lot of boys going missing. Many people think that there aren’t many boys going missing, but according to these statistic there is more boys going missing than people thought. This is a really big problem because 80,470 children go missing in Oakland; This is almost 100,000 children. If this isnt a big problem think about 80,470 parents getting their children taken away. Almost 100,00 kids are getting taken away from their parents. This causes parents to feel anger, depression, and guilt. Almost 600,000 people live in Oakland, if this many people live in Oakland then 80,470 is extremely large amount of children going missing.

Secondy, there are many possible reasons why people kidnap. So many people kidnap for weird reasons, most people kidnap only for money. In an article written by Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P he stated, “The high unemployment rate in many countries has forced citizens to find other ways to make money—and some of those ways are illegal. Kidnapping a rich person can be a lucrative business. A cash-strapped unemployed person may believe that when he kidnaps someone who is rich, he may be able to become rich himself” (Uzochukwu). This Is basically saying that when some people are unemployed and they can’t find jobs and they still need to make money they decide to kidnap kids of rich people thinking that they will become rich as well. Which is obviously illegal but they still do it because they want to make money a faster way since they are forced to find money in different ways. This is only one reason people might kidnap. This is understandable because many people do kidnap for money by taking a child calling their family for money and they will get their child back. So how do we stop people from kidnapping? A possible way for preventing kidnapping is always watch the children and keep them safe. If this is not possible try giving children a weapon if they have to walk home by themselves. This Is a good way because if they feel like they are being watched, being followed, or someone is violently harassing them then they would have protection if they need it. Another possible way according to this quote would be to help people find a job who really need one. If people get jobs that they are happy with and jobs that they can deal with then there would less likely be kidnappings in Oakland this would be because they are getting money in a job they can adjust to. 

Lastly, in an interveiw with David Roberto he states “ Kidnapping is a horrible thing and I feel it’ll be hard for people to stop” (Roberto) This is saying that he doesn’t think that people will stop because some people aren’t able to change. He thinks that because he was scared for his life since his sister almost got kidnapped. So many people say that there isn’t and will never be a way that people will stop kidnapping because people can never change their actions and it is impossible for people who kidnap to stop kidnapping, but other people may say if parents keep their children or child close to them then kidnapping won’t be a problem. In conclusion boys and girls both get kidnapped and their is a possible way that children can stop being kidnapped and taken away from their homes and family.

Annotated Bibliography

Bercerra, Xavier. “REPORTS OF MISSING CHILDREN IN CALIFORNIA.” REPORTS OF MISSING CHILDREN IN CALIFORNIA, California Department of Justice, 2018, oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/missing/children/ch-ann-reports-2018.pdf.

This article shows dates of how many children have been kidnapped and if it was more boys or girls who had been kidnapped.This article is credible because it has .gov which means it’s made from the government and it is also credible because is current because it shows dates that go all the way to 2018.

Uzochukwu, Okwagbala. “Kidnapping: Overview, Causes, Effects, and Solutions.” Owlcation, 1 Nov. 2019, owlcation.com/social-sciences/Kidnapping-Overview-Causes-Effects-and-Solutions.This article shows why people decide to kidnap and how is is a global problem. It also shows examples of the causes and effects. This passes the credible test because it is recent. If you go to the article then you can see under the author’s name clearly states that it was updated a month ago on november 1st. This means that most of their research is relevant to our present.


America’s past and present

In reality, the word ,”American”, refers to the the cultural and societal influences that make one part of American society. One side of American history is that the U.S. grants privileges and freedoms that are unique compared to many other countries. A lot of this has to do with our religious history and systemic ideals in our democratic government. However, our past has also denied privilege from minority groups and the country has involved itself in empirical ideals throughout its history. Many Americans say that our history directly defines us and that we live up to it, which is very controversial considering how progressive our country has been to change society and government in its short history. The video titled, “Clip from the news room” addresses the concept of how people should realize that America is no longer the best country in the world. For example, the man giving the speech states that, ” We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined.” Later on in the speech however he states the things that once used to make America the greatest country: standing up for morals and being an intelligent, radical country. People need to take into account that American pride mainly comes from ideas and events that took place in the past, not from American ideals today.


Why are we likely to empathize with anti-heroes?

In one of my previous blog posts, I discussed some key differences between heroes and villains. Heroes are typically portrayed as “perfect” characters who empathize with others and work to protect these people from the villains. However, the concept of heroes and villains in society is not purely black and white because people cannot be defined as completely moral or completely corrupt. There is a lot of gray area that almost every human falls into, making stories with perfect heroes and innately evil villains unrealistic and hard to relate to. As a result, in the media today, the concept of heroes and villains is slowly being altered and replaced by the anti-hero and anti-villain. 

An anti-hero is the protagonist of a story who typically acts in ways contrary to society’s standards and has questionable morals (“How to Create an Antihero That Readers Love”). Stories or films with these types of characters tend to be more popular in society today, and the audience generally empathizes with these anti-heroes who stand for almost everything society is against. In reality, we tend to empathize with these characters because the more we relate to a character in a story, the more we like this character and root for them to succeed (Bedingfield). In other words, anti-heroes make literature and film more realistic as most people are typically anti-heroes in their own right. 

Anti-heroes also must overcome the same emotions and hardships that we endure in life, meaning they must be strong and determined in order to face their demons and achieve their goals (“The Psychology of Anti-Hero: Why Do We Admire Them so Much?”). Typically, we either believe that we are strong people or we wish to be strong people, so seeing a character we are able to identify with gives us hope that, like them, we will have the strength we need to face our own demons. As we know, humans are far from perfect just like anti-heroes, making it easy to see ourselves in these characters. This is especially attractive to us because anti-heroes are almost always redeemed at the end of films or novels, allowing us to believe that redemption is possible for ourselves as well.

Works Cited

Bedingfield, Will. “Why We’re Destined to Sympathise with Anti-Heroes like the Joker.” WIRED UK, WIRED UK, 5 Oct. 2019, www.wired.co.uk/article/the-joker-movie-review. 

“How to Create an Antihero That Readers Love.” Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, 4 Feb. 2014, www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/how-to-create- an-antihero-that-readers-love. 

“The Psychology of Anti-Hero: Why Do We Admire Them so Much?” Steemit, steemit.com/psychology/@dysfunctional/the-psychology -of-anti-hero-why-do-we-admire-them-so-much.


Inauguration Day 2021

On January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn into office and officially became the 46th president of the United States of America. In his inauguration speech, he spoke of healing the wounds that have America divided. He went on, “To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words and requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.”

However, President Trump, who has falsely insisted since his loss to Biden in November that the election was stolen from him, wasn’t in attendance. It was the first time since 1869 that a former president doesn’t attend the ceremony of their successor. Biden has repeatedly pledged to get “100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” by his 100th day in office. 

The presidential election of 2020 was interesting and the outcome was a victory. Donald Trump is out of office and we have new leadership. We can only hope for the best and that Biden is an honest man who will keep his word.


The Fake Creed

Whether or not you can consider someone American comes down to one easy, objective answer. Are they legally recognized as an American by the government? If someone has the correct documentation required and actually lives in America, then any other reason doesn’t matter. A lot of people like to take a stance on a necessary level of national pride or patriotism, but that’s a whole lot of bologna. This country was founded by people who were fed up with how their country was treating them so they revolted and founded a new one. There’s also a lot of discussion around an American dream, and how people should strive for it, but it doesn’t really make sense for someone to not be considered American because they don’t work for the right dream, especially when that dream is different from person to person. Lastly, some have the idea that Americans already do and should act in a similar way, but really there are so many different types of people who live all different styles of life that are all great and as a whole make up American.

One problem that comes up when talking about what makes an American is what they should do and strive for. But this should also account for people who live in any other country, and are more like basic ideas every person should strive for. Many people even take the stance that America is a country with a lot less freedom than others in the modern-day. For instance, bettering everyone’s ability to express their voice. Free speech is an integral part of any democracy and especially America’s. So in a sense, you could say that it’s a human right everyone in America should fight for in other places around the world, but some people disagree with that. This presents a problem when deciding what should be considered an American idea. Some may say it should be an average of what most people think is right, but at one point most people in America thought slavery was the right thing to do, which obviously isn’t. To summarize, being considered American should really only be decided through the objective legal process. Otherwise, it becomes too subjective to make one clear decisive requirement to be considered American. 

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/educators/naturalization-information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

https://internationalman.com/articles/the-american-ideal/

Citations

“First Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution.

“Naturalization Information.” USCIS, www.uscis.gov/citizenship/educators/naturalization-information.

Thomas, Jeff. “The American Ideal.” International Man, 21 Aug. 2017, internationalman.com/articles/the-american-ideal/.


Lack of Coverage in Sports for Women

For my first blog post, I talked about the lack of coverage for women in athletic activities and related it into our main topic of the year – single stories. I agree with everything that I said in that first post but with more research, I have come to learn more about the lack of coverage in sports for women. In an article written by Mariga Marig for the Medium website, she talks about women in sports and the issues on pay gap, media coverage and overall women representation in sports. In 2017, it was reported that about 90 percent of sport television hours were being devoted to only men’s sports as women’s sports were being viewed as less important or significant to the media. The only time women get to truly shine in their sport on T.V. is during the Olympics and that does not include all sports. Most stories that are relating to sports and women usually don’t include the highlight in their careers rather the issues going on with their bodies or anything else health related. Women are not getting enough time in the spotlight which can be considered the media. In 2017, “Bowdy explains that when Wimbledon first decided to offer equal prize money for both men and women, only 9 out of 44 sports emulated the same” (www.mariga0099.medium.com). This goes to show how women continue to be underplayed and underrepresented for the amount of work they go through. In my previous blog post, I related this situation to single stories and I believe that it still applies here. Women continue to become glued to this single story that they are not as good as men in sports and other activities. The issues with media coverage and pay attest to this fact. In conclusion, I believe that my other blog post goes very well with this one because it allowed me to further my understanding on this topic and look into more research. 

Works Cited 

“Women in Sports – Issues on Pay Gap, Media Coverage and Overall Women Representation in Sports .” Medium, www.mariga0099.medium.com/.


Is America The Greatest Country In The World?

America strong is not about its system, but its military. America’s military is the most special in the world. Not only because it’s the most powerful one in the world, but also because it can make money by itself. We all knows that military needs the money from Government because to maintain a military really needs lots of money, but all the country have to have one to protect themselves. But America military is different, they can make money for the Government. We all knows about America has lots of carrier fleet. And these fleets actually is controlling the trade of all the world. For example, if America wants to block a country. Of course he can cut off all the trade from outside of that country. This is the way how America make money from it, America makes the rules for everyone, under its rules, America can make huge profits from it. When they have more money, they can maintain a bigger and stronger military, and that’s why America have fleets all over the world. So McAvoy’s speech is more like a pure patriot, which is very provocative. He ignore what make the country real strong but tell these young people how weak their country are, because this is a  patriotic education speech at all. In fact, America is still the greatest country in the world. The reason for the world use dollar for trade is because America has the military to keep its credit. This should be change in another question, when will America won’t be the greatest country in the world. The answer for that is when the America no longer has the strongest navy.

https://www.thetrumpet.com/14192-the-history-and-future-of-the-us-navy
https://medium.com/@Inflab/why-america-is-the-greatest-country-in-the-world-e6064544cae2
https://www.nationofchange.org/2018/05/11/why-america-is-the-greatest-country/

Psychopaths

Psychopaths can be both born and created. Chemicals in the brain can be unbalanced from birth and can be brought out by the environment someone is raised in. Even in the tightly bound nature of the young developing mind, supposing that infants can choose between good and evil, along with adults, might not be that crazy after all because babies have proven they can choose between good and bad by participating in multiple experiments using puppets and other child appealing toys.

In the capacity of the mind of a baby, scientists have used toys in experiments to record data of a baby’s thoughts of good or evil. Babies interpret things differently than those of adults, teens and even toddlers. Babies interpret the motivation of others based on movements and the intentions they sense and pick up on. Scientists use puppets and toys to create different scenarios to perform to babies, along the lines of good toy, bad toy. These different variations of experiments help show scientists the narrow-minded nature of the developing minds of infants. Stafford says, “even the youngest humans have at least some sense of right and wrong…an instinct to prefer good over evil” (Stafford). Leading into the results of the experiment, almost after every experiment performed with infants, they almost all chose the good toy as opposed to the bad toy.

Adults can grow up also being able to choose between good and evil, in the sense that based on the way they are born and raised some might choose good in some situations and some might choose bad in others. In that, “the brains of psychopaths exhibit little empathy or desire to do anything that does not benefit themselves” (Smithstein). The amygdala is the part of the brain that is affected in the brain of the psychopath that affects a person’s emotions and decision making. On the opposite side of the spectrum, altruistic usually means a person that shows selfless concern for the well being of others. An altruistic person has a significantly larger amygdala than a person who makes poor decisions and lacks emotions. The way that some are raised also positively or negatively affects the decision making process. In the beginning, “we are all born to a greater or lesser degree, hardwired to be kind to others…some of our goodness is what we are born with” (Smithstein).

To wrap up, we are all born with a sense of good and a sense of bad, with the option to choose. Although making poor decisions and lacking emotion is part of a physical condition of the brain, for the most part psychopaths are made and corrupted by society. Infants being used to perform experiments can prove that people are born good and with stable decision making skills. The way that people are raised and the morals that they are taught and the ones they are not taught make up a person who can make decisions, good or bad.

Works Cited

Smithstein , Samantha. “Are We Born Good or Evil?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-the-wild-things-are/201409/are-we-born-good-or-evil

Stafford , Tom. “Are We Naturally Good or Bad?” BBC Future, BBC, https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20130114-are-we-naturally-good-or-bad.


Child Custody

The issue that I have chosen to study is child custody. My topic on child custody is important to me because I’m a teen who dealt with my parents, and who gets legal custody over me. This issue has started when I was 3, and I’m now 17, so for 14 years, and it’s still ongoing until I turn 18. There is no doubt that divorce, and splitting up a child’s custody, will have a great effect on that child in many ways.

Thankfully, however, these effects are not always bad. For instance, (Negative) Children of divorce may excessively worry about their parents if either one of them does not “heal” well and/or there are financial problems after the divorce.  These types of “grown-up” worries are often overwhelming for children and can affect them academically and, certainly, emotionally. (Positive) If the marriage was horrible (abusive in any of the myriad ways abuse is manifested), divorce can sometimes have a positive impact on children — it frees them from the chronic and, often, debilitating stress that comes from living in a volatile home-life situation.

It is necessary to take action to address this issue to communicate the many different family lifestyles. The many ways that people have attempted to address this issue are the following, forming welfares, daycares, and support groups for the children. However there is no cure for stopping parents from having divorces, separation, and who gets full custody of the child/children  (or even 50/50). It’s normal for people to go through poor relationships, of course, that doesn’t always happen, but it’s good for the child to have support, and to understand that many children, go through the same situation. I propose a blog post, that targets teens/children.

I created this blog to have teens educated/ gain some knowledge on this issue, and to unite with other teens that deal with this similar situation. This project connects to the concept of rhetoric or persuasive communication. I utilized pathos, ethos, and logos in the blog post I created. I used logos/ logical reasons such as the many pros, and cons of how divorce and shared custody impacts children. Additional research one would need to do, in order to better understand my topic, would being able to recognize, “The Legal Custody Laws,” so one can grasp, the actual process, and struggles a parent has to go through, to find the final results, of who of the parents are capable of having full custody of the child/children by law.

Works Cited

https://www.grainemediation.com/2015/01/how-does-divorce-and-shared-custody-impact-children/

The Western Wall: A Pilgrimage for Identity

Throughout history, people have traveled to sites they hold sacred in order to request divine intercession and strengthen their spiritual bond via self-reflection. This practice, known as a pilgrimage, was very common during the Middle Ages as religion was one of the few deliverances of hope for the people However, as the world has become more secular, how has the meaning of pilgrimages changed?

 Today, pilgrimages don’t necessarily entail a religious aspect. People may go on pilgrimages in order to escape the weariness of everyday life or to reconnect with society. Pilgrimages to religious sites have changed as well as they go beyond just their spiritual function by also helping people to reflect on and find companionship in their shared ancestry.

For Jews, the Western Wall, also known as the Kotel, harbors deep meaning that represents individual and “communal histories” (MJL). The Jewish people have undergone many hardships, and the Kotel provides a place for Jews to unite after centuries of diaspora and oppression.

Per Jewish tradition, the Kotel is all that stands of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The Temple was considered the intersection of God and man, a center of divine communication. Although the Temple has been destroyed for nearly two millennia, the memory of the holy site has been preserved by sacred texts and the ongoing pilgrimages of the Jewish people. As a result, the Kotel has become a “place of memory” which fosters a connection between Jews past and present and helps strengthen the Jewish identity (MJL).

The Kotel also shows the “natural evolution of the Jewish faith” as it has become the center for modern festivals and holidays (Perez). One such celebration is Holocaust Rememberance Day, a commemoration of the despicable acts of the Holocaust inflicted upon the Jewish people. Communities all around the world gather together and watch the Western Wall in order to remind the Jewish people of their shared history and unity. 

Overall, the wall is a reflection of the miseries and triumphs of the Jewish people. It represents how pilgrimages have changed from a solely religiously motivated endeavor to a journey prompted by the quest for deeper ancestral understanding and an exploration of identity in relation to religion. 

Works Cited

Mjl. “What Is the Western Wall?” My Jewish Learning, www.myjewishlearning.com/article/what-is-the-western-wall/. 

Perez. “Yom Hashoah: Holocaust Memorial Day.” My Jewish Learning. www.myjewishlearning.com/article/yom-hashoah-holocaust-memorial-day/.


What is Lucid Dreaming?

Whether you are breathing underwater or flying across the world with wings you grew yourself, dreams feel so vivid in the moment that one does not even question the complexity of their abilities. But when your alarm wakes you from your dream, you question how you even thought the series of events was real, or maybe you do not even remember the dream you just came out of. Dreams feel so real because they are a simulation of our real lives, but when we are sleeping, we have no such reality to compare our dreams to. Sometimes you are able to lucid dream which is where one is able to recognize they are in a dream, which can lead to having control of their dream in some way. When lucid dreaming, one can control the people, surroundings, and emotions in their dreams by just imagining them into the dream. About one in twenty times we are able to recognize the bizarreness of our dreams and come to our senses (Murugesu). It is most common for lucid dreaming to occur during the four to six periods of REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movements) throughout the night, which is when our eyes dart from side to side to create the longest and most numerous dreams. (Murugesu). Some people are able to control when they lucid dream with practice, but this is rare as only about twenty three percent of people have lucid dreams once a month (Nunez). 

Keeping a dream journal, or a place to write down your dreams if you remember them, and reality testing are two ways one can start to know if they are in a dream. Reality testing is a habit that can be acquired in the real world that is used to recognize differences in our dreams. An example of this is drawing a dot on your hand and looking at it every hour so when you go to look at your hand in your dream, the dot is not there and you can realize you are dreaming. Dreams are such complex ideas created in our minds that have little to no explanation that leave us wondering what the true meaning of our thoughts are. Though there may be no meaning at all, it is still fun to create an alternate reality for ourselves to live in where time is irrelevant and anything can happen.

Murugesu, Jason. Why Do Our Dreams Feel so Real?, 12 Sept. 2017, www.newstatesman.com/2017/09/why-do-our-dreams-feel-so-real.

Nunez, Kirsten. “Lucid Dreams: What They Are and How to Experience Them.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 June 2019, www.healthline.com/health/what-is-lucid-dreaming.


Bread stapled to trees

The Internet is full of interesting and especially odd ideas. These ideas sometimes get so successful that even communities about these ridiculous ideas are formed. One of these weird communities is called r/BreadStapledToTrees. People in this community on Reddit go around looking for tree “victims” to staple bread to. You take a picture of it and post it to the Subreddit to brag about. But the question that we need to ask ourselves is “why does the internet staple bread to trees?” and “where did it come from?”

r/BreadStapledToTrees currently has 258000 members in the community. There are 234 million Reddit users in the world. That means that more than 1% of all Reddit users are a part of this odd trend. So obviously a ton of people appreciate it. But no matter where I search I cannot find any history on the community. 

If you google “bread” the Wikipedia definition of bread is: “Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking”. The definition already defined bread as “a staple food”. In conclusion, stapling is in bread’s nature. Another idea of where this trend came from is when Christ died on the cross. Christ referred to himself as “the bread of life” while talking to his apostles. Soon after he himself was “stabled” (nailed) to a “tree” (wood). For all I know this is where it could come from. 

As I stated earlier these are all conclusions with not many fact-based arguments. But is it a bad thing to staple bread to trees? No, not at all. In fact, by stapling bread to trees, we start helping the trees. Birds build their nests up in the trees and the trees get nutrition from the birds pooping near them. When we staple bread to trees it attracts the birds to the tree. So, stapling bread to trees is a wonderful thing and it helps our forests just a little more by giving them the nutrition they need. That’s why I think we all need to start stapling trees on a regular basis to help the environment. 


Australian Bush Fires

I’ve chosen to study the Australian brush fires, and global warming. Global warming is going to affect me for the rest of my life, so I’d like to know as much as I can about how I can help. Fires have been burning for months now burned nearly 18 million acres. This burning is destroying habitats for animals that take residence only in these areas which means that multiple species are on the verge of extinction. Along with that these fires are not going to get better since our climate is worsening at its the main cause of these extreme conditions.Climate change only worsens the conditions for fires and droughts only make for more intense fires and longer fire seasons. “A large oceanic temperature gradient, the Indian Ocean Dipole, affects weather in East Africa and Australia. And how climate change could make this season’s disastrous weather the new norm.” says Vox videos, they are basically explaining to us how this directly relates to global warming and what proof we’ve obtained. Basically there is an area in the indian ocean that we’ve been tracking called the IOD. it’s been known that when the ocean is moved in certain directions it shifts the atmosphere in both Africa and Australia, if the heat moves towards one place then it creates an excess of water and rain (the current floods in africa) and so therefore it’s cold on the other side cause large droughts which have led to Australia’s largest fires yet. 

Currently for the fires the US has sent firemen to Australia and people are donating money to help in all ways, however for years people have been trying to solve global warming. Unfortunately, it requires each and every person’s help and acknowledgement before we’re going to make any drastic changes.So we want to make sure there is scientific fact proving it and add more of the emotional part to tug at heartstrings.We want to bring awareness so we’re just going to talk about what’s happening in Australia to the animals, people, and environment. We also included photos that show what’s happening rather than just saying it is. We do however have a small solution that has been around for years and will help not necessarily prevent but regulate situations similar to this one. “The Aboriginal people would set small-scale fires that weren’t too intense and clear the land of the extra debris. The smaller intensity fires would lessen the impact on the insects and animals occupying the land, too, as well as protect the trees and the canopy.” In our actual artifact we didn’t use this as a solution since it probably wouldn’t be helpful if a whole bunch of random people started doing this, it needs to be skilled professionals who know what they’re doing so we leave that to those who are in charge and from the sidelines we will just bring awareness. 

For further research I’m going to try to keep up with the new information thats flooding in. I think this project is hard to do at the moment and will get easier as the fires slow down. I’m also going to keep up with the IOD to see if other weird things happen there similar to this. I will obviously also keep up with similar events that are occurring around the globe and help bring awareness to them.

Works Cited

Parvaneh, Danush, et al. “Why Australia’s Fires Are Linked to Floods in Africa.” Vox, Vox, 17 Jan. 2020, www.vox.com/videos/2020/1/17/21069394/australia-fires-floods-africa-iodAsmelash, Leah. “Australia’s Indigenous People Have a Solution for the Country’s Bushfires. And It’s Been around for 50,000 Years.” CNN, Cable News Network, 12 Jan. 2020, www.cnn.com/2020/01/12/world/aboriginal-australia-fire-trnd/index.html


American means community

Although some might say being American is to act like an American and to act a certain way, I believe it means to be a part of a community that supports you and you can support. In reality, many people believe that being American means to be free and equal. The speech “Russell Means Speech to the Senate” addresses how American Indians address themselves as American Indians instead of others like Indians or Native Americans. They reside in America and support one another as a community, that’s why they see themselves as American. Being American is mainly what you see yourself and not a title other give you.

I believe “American” should represent the idea of being in a community that is continuously supporting you through tough times. I would hope that people believe being American is about support and community and not just about freedom and equality. Many people’s hopes when being an American is to get freedom and have equal rights which may be hard to achieve, so I hope that people also realize that being a part of a supporting community is being an American. The video titled “Marine Life in the Midwest” is a powerful example of being an American and having a community that is supportive and have similar morals as you. The marines identify themselves as American and they do because they are a part of a community that supports one another and served America.

American Literature can be defined as literature that Americans write that are about subjects in the real world put into text. Things like police brutality, abuse, racism, unequal rights, etc. are examples of things authors of American Literature write about. 2 examples of American Literature are To Kill a Mockingbird and The Hate U Give. I believe these two books are to be known as American Literature because of how both books talk about real world issues that Americans struggle through. To Kill a Mockingbird was about racism and how a white man decided to defend a person of color after the person of color was accused of raping a white women. The children were abused by other children at their school because of their father’s decision to defend a person of color. The Hate U Give was about police brutality and how a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. There are a lot of different interpretations about how American Literature is defined but they all connect back to it being American.


What “American” means

When it comes to the concept of  “America”, most people think of freedom and how Americans are very patriotic. According to Jose Antonio Vargas “American” means that if you work hard enough and achieved enough and you are proud to be in America you are an American. The problem was that it wasn’t the government’s definition and he needed documents. The article titled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant “ the relationship between immigrants and American citizenship. Jose Antonio Vargas states “I convinced myself that if I worked enough if I achieved enough,  I would be rewarded with citizenship.” The author relies on examples throughout his life and how he worked extremely hard through high school, college and his career as a journalist for companies like The Huffington Post but still tried to remain hidden. In my opinion, this source portrays America as a place where hard-working people are rewarded but also portrays America as a place where legal documents are the only thing that matters.

Similarly, David Koch defines America as a concept and if you work hard and are kind to your neighbors and help them out you are an American. According to both David Koch and Jose Antonio Vargas being an American is having a good work ethic and showing love to your fellow Americans. The examples reinforce the idea that being an American isn’t about if you are legal or not but if you show that you want to be in this country and contribute. David Koch states “ It’s just a concept that’s always there. To me it’s just a hard work ethic, a commitment to the country, to the community, always wanting to give of yourself to make the whole better, to make the country stronger, to help your neighbors.” In other words, David agrees with the definition of Jose in that if you are proud to be here and show it through your hard work and love to your fellow Americans you are an American.

In my opinion, American means being kind to everyone and working hard and contributing to the greater good. My experience growing up in Berkeley and being half white and half Japanese helps me see “America” as a place where illegal immigrants are American because they work very hard and love this country and affect my experience in America because I learned from my grandparents who were treated as illegal during WWII that if you work hard and show that you love this country but also remember to never forget the past you are an American. American literature can be defined as literature that shows the many different perspectives and experiences across America.  

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html

Exploring Equality in America

Throughout history, Americans have changed and become different in their values and beliefs.  Equality, as an example, started out differently then it is defined now. The American writers from the past had a different idea of equality when they were making our country then we have today. For example, in the very beginning, equality was between the white men owning land in the United States, and over time it evolved to include more people, like freed slaves and women. These evolutions have occurred to face the changing times,and have affected how equality is seen today. Equality has improved on many aspects of it, such as voting, but we still have some work to do on others, like opportunity, income, and equal treatment for all. 

First off, let’s talk about equality of opportunity. According to Arthur C. Brooks of the Washington Examiner, “ If you are the 70 percent majority, you believe that everyone should get a chance to succeed” (Brooks). This shows that the majority of people in America, want equal opportunity for all, including the choice to try or not. In America this doesn’t always happen which means that people that deserve to succeed because they worked hard, don’t always receive their fair opportunity in society. In order to fix this, we would need to allow equal opportunity for everyone while allowing the people who don’t want to try the ability to fail and learn from their mistakes.  

Next, a big problem in our society is the fairness of income between genders. There is a big difference in income between men and women today in our society. In an article from Inequality.com it states, “Among full-time workers, women earned less then 81 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2016” (Equality.org). This shows the major gap in income between women and men in America. Even if we say that everyone is equal, women still get paid less for doing the same jobs and working just as hard as men do. This needs to be fixed if we are to say that we are equal as a country because if women can work the same amount or harder then men, then why can’t they receive the same reward for doing so. 

Finally, discrimination in America has become a big deal lately, especially with African Americans. African Americans have come a long way from slavery to receiving their equality and rights in America. Yet, they still face some discrimination in society. One topic in the news that has been addressed a lot is police brutality against them. As stated by Lisa H. Thurau and Johanna Wald in their article, “In 2015, Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring analyzed 1,100 killings by police and found that the death rates for African Americans (and Native American) disproportionately higher than than their populations” (Thurau & Wald).  The number of people who had been killed by that point and continue to be murdered today is unacceptable. We need to have stricter laws about people who break these rules, and better ways for police to handle those situations in order to prevent more deaths. 

Equality, while improved from back in the day, still has a long way to go in order to be completely true for everyone. If we as a society and country could improve each of these examples and some other examples that we are lacking in, we could maybe reach the equality for everyone that we stated when we first wrote the constitution.

Citations

Brooks Arthur C. “American Fairness Means Equality of Opportunity, Not Income.” AEI, https://www.aei.org/articles/american-fairness-means-equality-of-opportunity-not-income/. Accessed 17 October 2019.

“Economic Inequality Across Gender Diversity.” https://inequality.org/gender-inequality/. Accessed 17 October 2019.

Thurau, Lisa H & Wald, Johanna. “Police Killings, and Brutality Damaging Mental Health of Black Community. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/spotlight/2018/09/14/police-brutality-damaging-black-communitys-mental-health/1218566002/. Accessed 17 October 2019.


Nurturing Eyesight

All around the world, people have different perceptions of eyesight. Some people have it worse than others. This could be from genetics, it could be dependent on how one takes care of their eyes, or even a combination of both. Eyesight is important to overall health and should be something nurtured correctly, especially if eyesight genetics are not in one’s favor. To a certain extent, what one does in their daily life can affect their eyesight over a period of time because human eyes are sensitive and need balance and care to be maintained.

Genetics play a major role in determining the basis of an individual’s vision. There are many types of “vision-related conditions that are typically inherited” such as; Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism, Colour blindness, and Amblyopia (“Is Eyesight Nature or Nurture?”). These conditions are not always passed down through every generation. Some children may not receive a condition like one of these, whereas their sibling might. On the other hand, “certain vision problems have mixed genetic and environmental causes” such as blurred vision caused from staring at a screen for too long (Gautier). For instance, if a young child over watches YouTube videos on a daily basis, he or she, months later, may complain about blurry vision when trying to see things in the distance. Balancing the time off and on electronics in this case, and in general, is a beneficial step in maintaining one’s vision. 

Along with balancing the use of electronics there are many other ways people can nurture their eyes to maintain, or even strengthen their vision. These tips include eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and avoiding smoking (“Eye Care | Vision Care”). Not only do these tips benefit eye health, but also the overall health of an individual. These tips are things that should be constant to maintain the health of the eyes. Following these criteria once or twice a week will not be as effective as following them five to six times a week. 

The health of an individual’s eyes are something that can slowly diminish over time if not properly taken care of. The way people nurture their bodies and eyes will affect their overall health, either in a positive or negative way. It is important that people take note of their responses to certain things like too much time on the computer, not enough exercise, or overeating, and try to make changes to better oneself. Nurturing oneself, not only in the circumstances of nurturing vision but oneself as a whole, should result in positive outcomes because it shapes how you live. 

Works Cited 

“Is Eyesight Influenced by Nature or Nurture?” LASIK MD, https://www.lasikmd.com/blog/is-eyesight-influenced-by-nature-or-nurture

Gautier, Dr. Stephanie. “Genes and Vision Problems: Kelowna Optometrist: Isight Optometry.” Optometrist Kelowna, 18 Mar. 2019, https://isightinfo.com/nature-or-nurture-genes-and-vision-problems/

“Eye Care | Vision Care.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 Sept. 2021, https://medlineplus.gov/eyecare.html


My Opinions About the Safety Pins

“The Incredible Reason You Might Start Seeing Everywhere” is a really positive article in such a difficult time. I think it is a great idea for ANYONE to be able to wear these pins, no matter if your woman, black, Muslim, or even a WHITE man. After reading about these pins, it seems like they symbolize that you support other minorities and that you are not alone in this more than anything, even if the president is against you. This is such a powerful idea. But in the article “Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing” it basically said that white people shouldn’t be allowed to take a stand with minorities because it is all the white people fault that the nation is like this. EVERY white persons fault at that. Which is really a dumb idea, because the whole idea of only certain races wearing a pin relates to the Jews and Hitler. Also, not every white person wanted trump to be the president. This article actually made me more upset to stereotype every white person to be a Trump supporter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dear-white-people-your-safety-pins-are-embarassing_us_58278b9de4b02b1f5257a36a

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/safety-pin-trump-brexit_us_58251b53e4b0c4b63b0c11a9

Photo by Public Domain Photos

Photo by Damian Gadal


Negative Health Impacts of E-Learning

Due to the Coronavirus, e-learning is an effective way to reduce the spread of the virus, while providing students with the opportunity to continue their education. However, e-learning can negatively impact students’ emotional and physical health. Students are affected emotionally through lack of sleep and increased screen time. Many colleges have shut down due to the virus causing students to remote to class at home. Many students experience a time change and have to change their sleep schedule to attend class on time. When student sacrifice their sleep, it negatively impacts learning outcomes and causes deficits in the emotional and impulse region of the brain (Balram). In addition, the increase in screen time causes students to be locked to their electronic devices. Jennifer Katzenstien, director of psychology and neuropsychology at the Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, found that “increased screen time usage, especially for non-academic activities, has found to be linked with increases in depression, anxiety, and perceived attention problems” (Balram).

The mental health of a student is closely related to their physical health. When students experience increased anxiety and depression, their immune system is weakened and they become more vulnerable to the coronavirus or the flu (Schroeder). Furthermore, students’ physical health is being affected due to lack of physical activity. Due to increased screen time and an additional workload, students are attached to their electronic devices. This causes students to remain stationary for multiple hours, which leads to students feeling extremely sluggish and lazy (Balram). Physical activity provides many health benefits linked to an increase in brain activity. However, since students are less active, they take less breaks from school as well as lose the opportunity to benefit the brain and release

Works Cited

Balram, Amrita. “How Online Learning Can Affect Student Health.” Letter, 20 Apr. 2020, www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2020/04/how-online-learning-can-affect-student-health

Schroeder , Ray. “Wellness and Mental Health in 2020 Online Learning.” Inside Higher Ed, 1 Oct. 2020, www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/wellness-and-mental-health-2020-online-learning.


The Effects of Media

As we know, language can be used to inform others, both in a positive or negative manner about a multitude of subjects on many different platforms. Social media platforms are both a blessing and a curse, in my opinion. They can be used positively, to educate and inform others, but they can also be used negatively, by bringing people down as well as giving false information to the public. The media can have both positive and negative effects on an individual in terms of their mental health, opinions, and how they receive information. The media can also influence our perspectives and views on certain subjects, which I believe is most prevalent within the news media.

Since we are in the middle of a pandemic, election, change of president, and civil unrest and uproar, politics seem to be all the news is talking about. Most news platforms are very informative, but some have a sort of bias to them based on their political view or religious beliefs. Though some news channels try to not show their stance, others are very vocal about what they believe in. With unbiased news stations, the information is received in a reliable manner, leaving viewers satisfied knowing that the information they just learned is in fact true. Examples of unbiased news sources include PBS, Wall Street Journal, CBS, Daily Mail, as well as others (Pryor). On the other hand, biased news stations may give false or misleading information to their viewers, in an attempt to sway people one way or the other. Examples of biased news sources include ABC, CNN, Fox News, New York Times, and many others (Pryor). Unbiased news sources are the most accurate when it comes to political topics, for example, because words of a political figure are not twisted to make them look better or worse. In regards to things other than politics, unbiased new sources can also be beneficial when learning more about COVID-19, for example. Younger teens and adults are more likely to receive their information from social media platforms, such as Instagram, whereas older individuals tend to watch or listen to the news or read the newspaper. Both of these have room for error though. Many social media accounts, though informative, are not always factually accurate, and usually have a bias associated with each post. News sources also contain a bias, but they are also more factually correct (Beusekom). 

Media as a whole has forever changed the way we communicate and will continue to communicate with others. We as a society have shifted from talking on the phone or in person to constantly texting others and having very little to no human interaction whatsoever other than on social media platforms (Edwards).  Though this is okay during the pandemic and having to stay home as much as possible, many people that have developed these bad habits will continue to live as if COVID-19 still existed once it is over. Social media has caused many individuals to develop something called FOMO, or fear of missing out. Though this may not seem like a huge issue to some, it can trigger anxiety in others and put them in a panic. Depression and anxiety are very often linked to the amount of social media usage and are a more talked about topic on social media platforms. Those who have these mental health illnesses can relate with others and have an outlet online which may not have been possible before in their normal lives (Robinson). 

Any form of media is detrimental to a number of things, a few of those being the way we receive information as well as our own mental health and wellbeing. Social media and technology are especially important during this time of COVID-19 to talk to friends and loved ones we are not able to see. One thing that all individuals should be cautious of no matter the circumstances is the amount of media you incorporate into your daily lives and its effects on you both positively and negatively. The media, if used correctly, can be a positive, very informative and safe outlet and tool for many people that can be used for years to come. 

Works Cited 

Beusekom, Mary Van | News Writer | CIDRAP News | Oct 14, 2020. “Trust in COVID Info 

Sources Varies by Demographics, Beliefs.” CIDRAP, 14 October 2020, 

www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/10/trust-covid-info-sources-varies-demogra

phics-beliefs.

Edwards, Mandy. “How Social Media Has Changed How We Communicate.” Future Of Work

17 March 2015, fowmedia.com/social-media-changed-communicate/.

Pryor, J.J. “Who Is the Least Biased News Source? Simplifying the News Bias Chart.” Medium

Towards Data Science, 11 January 2021, 

towardsdatascience.com/how-statistically-biased-is-our-news-f28f0fab3cb3.

Robinson, Lawrence. “Social Media and Mental Health.” HelpGuide.org

www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm.


America Means: Diversity

When it comes to the concept of America, most people think of fast food and “The American Dream.” According to Damien Caves and Todd Heisler’s project where they interviewed people along Interstate 35 about what it meant to be American, there was a large variety of responses.  The article titled “Way up North” examines how people coming from different backgrounds define America. One interviewee said, “Being American? There are all sorts of ways to do it here, but I think the concept is to have everyone get along together-to have a better understanding of different cultures.” In other words, they are describing America as a country that doesn’t have one distinct culture, but rather a country that unites many cultures to form the American identity. Furthermore, they elaborate by describing how because of the diversity in America, there must be a willingness to understand others who are different from yourself. In my opinion, this source portrays America as diverse, which I find to be a very important part of what makes America unique. America is a country of immigrants, which I think is a central aspect of American identity. Because of this, a diverse group of people can bring parts of their culture such as food, art, and beliefs to form “American culture.” I also think that while the speaker emphasizes the importance of having understanding for other people from different cultures, there are lots of people who don’t welcome this diversity and are anti-immigrant, even though most of us are immigrants or come from a family of immigrants.

Source 1 emphasizes the importance of having a willingness to understand people from other cultures, and Source 2 describes how American Indians are treated by the government, expanding on the lack of understanding for their wellbeing. The information found in Russel Means’ Statement to the Senate Special Community on Indian Affairs describes the unfairness American Indians have been subjected to as a result of discrimination. Russell Means says “We can be anything we want to be except American Indians.” This is a powerful quote because it suggests how a fundamental value of America is that you can be anything you want to. However, he is describing how the government has passed laws throughout history up until the present day that targets American Indians and makes it difficult for them to succeed. In other words, despite Source 1’s call for understanding, discrimination continues for many groups; including on America’s first immigrants.

In my opinion, America doesn’t have one culture because there is such a variety. However, I think an important part of American identity includes the idea of diversity. My experience of growing up in the Bay Area helps me see “America ” as multicultural and diverse. The Bay Area is generally a very welcoming and liberal place which gives me hope for the idea of compassion of people who are different from yourself to spread more throughout America. I find the arguments outlined above to be very good sources of what makes America special. American literature can be defined as a literature that captures the American experience and develops the American identity. In the book “There There,” the author captures the experience of Native Americans in the present day, examining how history has affected them. The book highlights how the oppression that American Indians have experienced since colonization continues to impact them today bringing the importance of more understanding for other cultures to attention.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/russellmeanssenatetestimony.htm


Vaping Matters in Other Countries

In the article, “China and India turn against vaping. But Europe sees it as safer than cigarettes,” Bloomberg from the Los Angeles Times, features the developing clash between perspectives on vaping starting with one country into another. In comparison to cigarettes, vaping is viewed as a better option. However, due to its growing health concerns, countries outside the U.S have different views about it. The two largest markets, China and India, are holding back on the e-cigarette market. A few chemists from Portland State University have discovered that “e-cigarettes could sometimes produce more cancer-causing formaldehyde than regular cigarettes.” So, when a regular cigarette is lit, formaldehyde is produced by a chemical reaction and is found at high e-cigarette vapor levels, which has been retained as a safer smoking alternative. Thus, debunking the widespread view that vaping is better than cigarettes. 

Moreover, due to the increasing health issues associated with its use, India has imposed an all-out ban on e-cigarettes. India’s health secretary even goes on to say, “Why are we debating if it’s more harmful or less? It is harmful. It is addictive.” It’s not clear If China aims to restrict or introduce tighter regulation of e-cigarettes or vaping products. Yet, they argue that the “hazards of e-cigarettes should be highly valued.” While India and China’s views remain the same, Europe disagrees entirely. 

British public health officials endorse vaping as a way to wean people from consuming regular cigarettes. European authorities have coupled their support of e-cigarettes with stricter restrictions that have made the new products more appropriate to health officials, such as banning advertisements to minors and enforcing lower nicotine content limits.

Every country has different attitudes toward vaping. With many saying it is safe, vaping appears to divide views, while some argue it should be outlawed because of the risk it presents. Still, whether or not vaping is permitted in one’s country, it’s an ongoing problem.

Sources: 

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-09-19/china-india-turn-against-vaping-but-europe-sees-it-as-safer-than-cigarettes

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-10-31/is-vaping-safe-scientists-disagree-on-health-of-e-cigs-like-juul


The Widespread Problem among teens today: How the Pandemic has increased social media usage

As a follow-up article in response to my last article in which I reflected on the widespread problem of anxiety and depression among teens, I realized there was much more that needed to be said. Indeed, it is not a secret that the global COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of everyone, but I believe teens have been one of the hardest hit. As a teenager myself, I have had to manage an enormous amount of new emotions and had to figure out how to handle it over the past 10 months. Not only were many sports events, dances, and other gatherings canceled, teens have had to learn to cope with another factor that I can confidently say I myself was not ready for: isolation. 

At the start of the pandemic, it seemed that having no school for two weeks was going to be no more than just that; a two week break from the stresses of school and everything it encompasses. However, as time went on, the slow realization that life was not going to go back to normal anytime soon set in, and I discovered that my life was going to completely change. For teens and high school students everywhere, it was disappointment after disappointment, and it seemed as though the cycle was never going to end. In addition to these cancellations, the factor of isolation contributed to the intensity of these changes. According to the article “How social Isolation Affects the Brain” by Catherine Offord, the “absence of human contact is associated with declines in cognitive function.” For teens especially, whose lives revolve around friends, teachers, sports, and extracurricular activities, the transition to isolation did not come easy at all. The article included a quote by Stephanie Cacioppo, a professor at the University of Chicago, which states “We’re a social species. We really need others to survive.” So what was the response of many teens that were forced to isolate themselves from the rest of the world? How did they cope with the gravity of the circumstances around them?

Perhaps this is not the case for all teens, but it is arguable that a large percentage of young people turned to social media in response to these setbacks. Social media, for many, myself included, can help one to escape reality; it offers one the ability to hide from his or her problems. In short, it potentially becomes addictive, as our brains receive “a rush of dopamine and sends it along reward pathways,” allowing us to “feel pleasure” (Offord). For a young person that is forced to handle the devastating effects  of COVID-19, along with the many additional lifestyle changes that came with this virus, it is only natural that he or she would turn to social media. It is not only highly accessible, but constantly relevant in the lives of all teens. Its relevance contributes to its popularity; teens want to be included in the loop and stay updated on the lives of other people, because it offers escape. Ultimately, social media has proved to become a source of addiction to many teens who find themselves struggling to manage their emotions and problems in their lives. 

So what can we do? My last article explored the different ways in which one can restrict their social media usage. But why? Personally, I realized that the damage of social media is much greater than solely brain damage and addiction. Quite simply, I do not want to miss out on my life. I do not want to miss spending time with my family while I still can, because as we all know, life is short. Why spend your life hovering over a screen obsessing over someone else’s life when you could obsess over your own, wonderful life? This realization was what I truly needed to put my phone down, and I hope perhaps more teens will come to realize that there is so much more to life than an Instagram post, a celebrity birthday, or a Snapchat story. We must begin to live our lives for what is truly real, not for what is hidden behind a screen, which, very likely, is photoshopped.

Offord, Catherine. “How Social Isolation Affects the Brain.” The Scientist Magazine®, www.the-scientist.com/features/how-social-isolation-affects-the-brain-67701.

“Social Media Addiction.” Addiction Center, 20 Nov. 2020, www.addictioncenter.com/drugs/social-media-addiction/.


Celebrating Christmas During Covid

2020 has brought us closer together than ever before; however, the way we celebrate the holidays this year is anything but together. People love celebrating the Christmas season and look forward to their family gatherings and traditions every year; however, this may not be possible this year. With the Covid-19 pandemic still a major influence in our world today, people all around the world are wondering what the beloved Christmas holiday will look like. Although there may be no Christmas parties or New Years Eve celebrations, there are still multiple ways to enjoy the holiday season. With concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic surging, families are finding innovative ways to connect with their friends and family and spread holiday cheer.

Christmas is a holiday strictly dedicated to spreading joy to those around and joining together with family to celebrate your Christmas cheer. This year is anything but normal and the holiday season is no different. Additionally, “A major concern during the holiday season is coronavirus spread related to dinner parties, with households moving into tight quarters with friends or family that don’t live in their home” (Krstic). The typical large family gatherings and parties to celebrate the holidays can no longer happen with concerns over interactions with others. Although the quintessential holiday traditions are not possible, experts are encouraging families to create new memories for their families to look back on for years to come. Many people are looking forward to their family zoom calls or outdoor activities to create some normalcy during the holiday season. However, “Zoom fatigue is real, though: If you can, make events in-person and outdoors, even if it means a quick chat while everyone’s bundled up” (Milbrand). Even a small amount of time spent with family, even in cold weather, will offer a sense of a typical holiday season. We now know that this time spent together is more precious than ever, and people should not take for granted the time they have together. Furthermore, “If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how much the people in our lives mean to us, so go ahead and spread some happiness where you can” (Milbrand). Even a small act of kindness can brighten someone’s day and offer some holiday cheer into their life. This year we can find meaning in the little things and be grateful for what we have. Although this year may look different for the holiday celebrations, we can still find creative ways to come together and celebrate our blessings. 

Works Cited 

Krstic, Zee. “An Infectious Disease Expert Explains the Safest Ways to Celebrate Christmas This Year.” Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping, 30 Nov. 2020, www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/a34693025/is-christmas-canceled/. Accessed Dec. 2 2020. 

Milbrand, Lisa. “7 Safe Ways to Celebrate Christmas That Have Nothing to Do With Zoom.” Real Simple, Real Simple, 28 Oct. 2020, www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/  holidays/christmas/how-to-celebrate-christmas-during-coronavirus. Accessed Dec. 2 2020. 


Pilgrimage: The Art of Wandering

The human being is, by nature, a creature of curiosity. We are drawn to what we don’t understand and haven’t seen. We fixate on nature and that of others in hopes of discovering our own. It is in the purposeful exploration of both the physical and personal aspects of nature that we conduct pilgrimage. Pilgrimage, coming from the Latin words peregrinus and per ager, translates directly to “stranger” and “through fields” (McGeary). As we wander in new territory, we accept the foreignness of which we seek. In history, the word and its association have often been indicative of a holy and spiritual journey, typically afoot, in search of some form of fulfillment. We commemorate sacred memories of past fulfillment in travels of our own. For example, one can pilgrimage through the Holy Lands of and around Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem, where various basilicas and locations directly connected to Christ remain. To one such visitor, “the biblical texts and the very spot where she stood helped her to witness sacred events and so to believe more deeply” (A Pilgrim’s Perspective). This woman walked where she knew bigger footprints to be, and her presence there was graced with fortified belief. Reaching the satisfaction and resolve that responds to the need of our being breeds freedom and healing of the strangeness we first venture to endure. 

 Emblems of pilgrimage in our history illustrate the deepest of human needs in both solitude and numbers. Do we turn inward with self-reflection, or do we find solace in creating change among others? On one hand, theologians to which some of the earliest ideas of pilgrimage trace, such as Saints Jerome and Augustine, “endorsed spiritual travel as a retreat from worldly concerns” (Sorabella). Spiritual awareness is cultivated within and shared outward if possible, so to step away from the faults and distractions of life would, ideally, clear the air for such internal peace. Recall May 17, 1957, though, when the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington held thousands of people in one place, rising together for a more active response to civil rights issues and commemorating the Brown v. Board of Education case, described by Martin Luther King Jr. that day as “a joyous daybreak to end the long night of enforced segregation” (Cave). This pilgrimage, every bit as enlightening as a journey through the Holy Lands, seems to be rooted in the turning toward, rather than away from, worldly concerns. Striving for greater human fulfillment, thousands participated in a united pilgrimage that established deeper faith in a future clean and free of the long-lasting racial divide. In light of this momentous event, the Saints’ ideology takes on new significance; the worldly concerns which we are meant to abandon have to do with our own miscalculations as faulted beings, and tend to them we must in our pilgrimage. 

    Pilgrimage is defined by the departing for a journey which seeks to bring one or many closer to a transformed state of living. It is unlike any ordinary expedition in the renewed sense of being that we plant at our destination. The seed of an idea, the roots of a home—pilgrimage breeds growth all the same. As the “ultimate trope,” this wandering endeavor “is really a ritual reenactment of our sacred human condition within reality” (McGeary). The most universal form of self-revelation, we set off again and again to question the world, and each time, our place in it takes new form. We create monuments and basilicas in honor of past pilgrimages so that we may journey once again and revive its meaning for ourselves. Providence to strangers in the open fields of the earth, pilgrimage offers free healing to the unfulfilled soul and mending to the fractured society. 

Works Cited

Cave, Damien. “A Pilgrimage for Equal Rights.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 31 Jan. 2016, www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/national/unpublished-black-history/prayer-pilgrimage-lincoln-memorial-martin-luther-king-jr-1957.

McGeary, Kacie. “The Art of Pilgrimage.” Passion Passport, Passion Passport , 16 Feb. 2019, passionpassport.com/the-art-of-pilgrimage/.

Sorabella, Jean. “Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pilg/hd_pilg.htm.

“A Pilgrim’s Perspective: The Pilgrimage of a Lifetime.” The Holy Land Franciscan Pilgrimages, Franciscan Holy Land Pilgrimages, 31 Mar. 2018, holylandpilgrimages.org/a-pilgrims-perspective-a-pilgrimage-of-a-lifetime/.


How to reduce the rich-poor gap

Before we answer this question, we should know what the rich-poor gap is and why is that so important. Parently, the rich-poor gap is the gap between rich and poor, also known as Economic inequality. In the economy, there exists a phenomenon where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Some people will keep being poor over generations and will stay in the lower class forever. They will never get a chance to change their lives, or even struggling to survive. The low income can’t stimulate the economics of the country which will decrease the GDP of the country. That’s why it’s so important to reduce the rich-poor gap.

So what can we do? First of all, education is always a significant one. I totally agree with the quote “Education should be a great equalizer, not a source of division” (CNN). Providing the same educational opportunities and resources in the public school to ensure the poor people have an equal opportunity to learn knowledge and change their lives. Knowledge is definitely the wealth for everyone.

The second way is to give money to the poor by taxing the rich and help with unemployment. I am pretty sure that most people will disagree with me on this one. Nowadays, AI occupies at least half of the job market, or even more in the future, some people’s skills become unnecessary. Some job positions will be replaced soon, but for the people who’re already too old to learn the new thing, they will lose their jobs no doubt. When people don’t have enough money to spend, the economy will fall. “more and more concentration of income and wealth in few hands”(Garima Mittal). The only way that they can get money is Welfare. Where is the welfare from? From the tax that rich people pay, especially indicates to the AI or technology companies. But what will be the benefit for them? From two perspectives, one is to appease the people from robbing, violent, and insecurity. Another one is to give them the money to improve and stimulate the productivities, which they can earn back the money in a different way. It will form a win-win situation.

This has always been a difficult social issue in every country, it won’t be as easy as I think. It might never be solved, but we should know that this is happening.

References:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/29/opinion/sutter-solutions-income-inequality/index.html

https://www.groupdiscussionideas.com/how-can-we-reduce-wealth-gap-between-rich-poor/

The Covid-19 in America

America has now become the country with most covid-19 cases confirmed.Due to the shortage of medical resources, medical staff have to re-use the existing sanitary clothing, or make temporary supplies themselves, which results in the medical staff not being able to protect themselves well and leading to more serious  infections. At the same time, Americans don’t give the test to all the patients in time, so they don’t know the spread of the virus exactly.. Public health officials are basically acting blindly, not knowing where the next virus outbreak will be. Comprehensive testing means that infected patients can be identified and isolated, thereby reducing the need for statewide asylum orders. Such orders have frozen the US economy and left millions of workers unemployed.

“In late February as coronavirus infections mounted in Wuhan, China, authorities went door-to-door for health checks – forcibly isolating every resident in makeshift hospitals and temporary quarantine shelters, even separating parents from young children who displayed symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how seemingly mild. Caretakers at the city’s ubiquitous large apartment buildings were pressed into service as ad hoc security guards, monitoring the temperatures of all residents, deciding who could come in and implementing inspections of delivered food and medicines.” This is how china deal with the covid-19, it’s extreme but necessary and it works.

But should America do the same thing as china? Not really. Each country has its own special situation. For example, the population in America is more spread than China, which means it will be relatively easier to deal with the virus. But no matter how, the government should take action now. Trump can’t ignore the virus anymore. The only thing that can save the economy is to lock down the city where viruses already break out, and reduce the public activities as much as possible. 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/26/opinions/us-most-confirmed-cases-sachs/index.html
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/04/01/coronavirus-covid-19-china-radical-measures-lockdowns-mass-quarantines/2938374001/

Concussion Rates in High School Compared to College

https://nowcomment.com/documents/169793

This document shows the variation in concussion rates from high school to college. The largest difference that I noticed was that concussion rates for football was almost cut in half going into the collegiate level. I’m guessing this is either due to the athletes having not as much variation in the skill levels between them and their opponents or because the players understand how to play the game with safer contact when compared to high school. Another part of the graph I thought was interesting was that in sports with both men and women teams, the women have higher concussion rates than the men. A reason I can see for this is that women do not have as much neck strength as men, so when they are doing the same activities they are more susceptible to getting concussions.


Australia’s Warm Winter

There have been thousands of fires in Australia since July and it has only just been reported on.  Hundreds of brush fires have been lit and continue to burn and as Australia enters its driest months, the number of brush fires is likely to increase.  Because Australia is south of the equator, when it is winter here in America, it is summer in Australia making the air dry and causing droughts, and leading to a higher risk of fire.  These fires affect not just humans, but also the diverse ecosystems in Australia, changing lives forever.

The BBC reported that around 30 people have died in these fires and over 3,000 houses have been completely destroyed.  Of course, these fires can completely change lives and can set many families back, uprooting their lives. These families have to find new places to live which is can be hard and expensive.  Some brush fires get so bad that whole towns/villages get burnt to a crisp. 

The total annihilation of human settlements is not the only thing affected by brush fires.  When reporting about the fires, CNN also included a segment about the wildlife in those areas.  They reported that over 500 million animals have been affected by the fires.  The fires burn their habitats and destroy them. Millions of these animals have perished at the hands of the brush fires.  These fires affect everything in Australia, whether it’s big or it’s small.  


PETA vs Marines

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatments of Animals) has recently written a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Berger, to stop the “crude killing of animals during the annual Cobra Gold 2020 military exercise.” Thailand and the United States sponsor the Cobra Gold, an annual multinational military exercise. This year’s Cobra Gold exercise consists of cybersecurity, amphibious assault, combined arms live fire, and humanitarian assistance. It also encompasses jungle survival training led by Thai military instructors. 

PETA in its statement to General Berger stated, “There are also vegan options too with the jungle being rich in fruit and other lush, edible vegetation.” I do not believe PETA should get involved with what the military should or should not do when it comes to training Marines how to survive in the jungle, or survive in general if they ever get behind enemy lines. Yes, it may be disturbing to cut off a cobra’s head and drink it’s blood, but when you are behind enemy lines trying to survive in the jungle with no water in sight, or no drinkable water, what other options are there? Humans are animals as well and we are at the top of the food chain. Marines learn how to survive by performing the act itself so they can have confidence and experience later on if they ever need the training. Hands-on experience will be a lot more beneficial and helpful as opposed to having a PowerPoint to Marines saying that it’s ok to drink cobra blood because I said so. 

In conclusion, I believe PETA, who has killed a lot more animals in their shelters than Marines have during this training exercise, should stay out of this. At the end of the day, when you are stranded behind enemy lines and looking for something to eat, would you rather try to find a plant that is edible and won’t harm you, or would you want to find an animal that you know for sure you can eat if cooked right, or raw. Some hazardous plants can look similar to safe plants and could be a fatal error. Eating other animals, such as chopping off a cobra’s head and drinking its blood for rehydration, as well as being able to eat it, is far more valuable. Animals have meat, and meats have protein and other essential nutrients that can sustain life. You’re trying to survive and the last thing you would care about is whether or not you’re going to piss some people off for killing an animal and eating it to survive. 


Immigration to Oakland

Immigration In Oakland

Did you know, deported Immigrants can have very serious psychological damage and trauma. Nearly 4 in 5 are scared of being forced to live in the countries they migrated from because of the dangerousness and violence(Ashmeet Kaur Oberoi et al.). Important terms to know to understand are, Psychological Damage: Damage to the mental and emotional state of a person. Trauma: An experience so disturbing and horrifying they remember it for a long time. Deportation: Kicking someone out of a country who was not born in that country, to abduct them out of the country. ICE stands for Immigration Customs Enforcement, responsible for immigration enforcement(ice.gov). Based on the research, ICE and deportations do not help the country but only negatively impact immigrants because they cause psychological damage and separates families.

ICE and deportations negatively impact immigrants because they cause a lot of psychological damage. To begin, In the article titled, “The Effects of Deportation on Families and Communities” by Ashmeet Kaur Oberoi and others discuss about the psychological damage that occurs during deportation. Also, the article talks about how the people who are left behind are affected and their psychological damage. The authors explain, “Nearly 4 in 5 families screened in family detention centers have a “credible fear” of persecution should they be forced to return to the countries from which they migrated (US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2016). Many of those deported are forced to return to dangerous, turbulent environments, and deportations have resulted in kidnapping, torture, rape, and murder (Stillman, 2018). Deported individuals often find it challenging to support their families, and coupled with the trauma and stigma of the deportation, may find it difficult to maintain contact with family members”(Ashmeet Kaur Oberoi et al.).  4 in 5 families have real fear to return back to their countries because of what waits for them in the country they migrated from. They should not be forced to return back to the country they migrated from because the conditions are unlivable. They have to live everyday with the fear for their lives because they don’t know if they will live to see the next day. As a result of the deportations, many people have been killed and tortured because of them and have had their lives ruined. Families have been ruined as a result because many deportees go through a lot of mental and emotional damage. Which makes it harder for them to be up to date with their families because they are going through a very tough time in their life.

 Secondly,  In the article titled, “The Effects of Deportation on Families and Communities” by Ashmeet Kaur Oberoi and others discuss about the psychological damage that occurs during deportation. Also, the article talks about how the people who are left behind are affected and their psychological damage. The authors explain, “Family members left behind suffer multiple psychosocial consequences. Separation of a child from a parent due to deportation is associated with economic hardship, housing instability, and food insecurity (Capps et al., 2015; Chaudhary et al., 2010; Dreby, 2012).”(Ashmeet Kaur Oberoi et al.). Deportations does not only affect the people who have gotten deported, but also the family that is left behind in the U.S. The people who are left behind will have to grow up with a single parent. They will have to live financially unstable and will need to live with a lot of government help. They will not have one permanent home and will have to move constantly. They will be hit with food insecurity, this means they will live in a place that is not close to a supermarket. They will not have easy access to healthy foods. This is not the lifestyle anyone wants to live, It is not a healthy lifestyle.

Thirdly, when I interviewed Melecio Cox, an Oakland resident, about immigrating from Guatemala to Oakland, He stated that when he was going through Mexico he saw many beatings, robbing and injuries(Cox). On his way to the United States he witnessed many events that could have caused him to have trauma. Witnessing all those horrific events could have made him think and fear and ask himself, “What if that was me?”. This sort of guilt could haunt him and make him fear those events for the rest of his life. During the interview, I asked the question, “Did you ever live with fear in the U.S?”. With which he responded, yes I used to always live with fear. I used to fear being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being caught by ICE. I feared going back to Guatemala and once again living in poverty I tried to escape(Cox). Melecio had to live day by day with the foreboding feeling of being deported back to Guatemala and being forced to live in the destitution he had to grow up in, inadequate money and food. Before he got his papers, when he first arrived to the country, everyday he never knew if he was going to make it back home or be deported. Living with this fear for a very long time can have its effects on a person.

ICE and deportations negatively impact immigrants because they seperate families. In the article, “Deported Oakland nurse wins H-1B visa lottery, will return to U.S.” by Tatiana Sanchez the article talks about the story of how a nurse was deported back to Mexico and how she was able to return back to the country. Tatiana Sanchez explains, “Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, 47, and her husband, Eusebio, became the focal point of a national immigration debate last year when they were deported amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The undocumented couple had steady jobs, no criminal records and three children who had been born in the U.S.Mendoza-Sanchez had to abandon her job as a registered nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland, where she cared for patients with cancer, heart and kidney disease for two years.”(Tatiana Sanchez). Even though she was a mother with 3 children, ICE did not care that she will be separated from her children. This connects back to the first claim because the children could have gone through trauma when they were separated from both of their parents. They could have been living with foster parents that they don’t know. They will have to live with the fear of what if their parents get deported again. Maria could’ve had been dismal and emphatic about how much she missed her children. Maria was not a criminal, to contradict, Maria saved people’s lives and is innocuous. She was a nurse at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California. Her main job is to help people with cancer, heart and kidney disease. She got separated from her family simply because she was not born here. She was one of the few lucky people to get a Visa to return back to the country. Many immigrant families are not as fortunate as hers and don’t get the chance to return back to the country.

To conclude, Deportations do not help the country because they only cause emotional damage, mental damage and trauma to Immigrants. Maria and her children could’ve been traumatized when they were separated because they would have felt alone knowing both of their parents are in a different country. Almost all families that are in detention centers are terrified of being deported back to the countries they came from. If this country is really worried about people’s safety it should not make policies to put people in further danger and traumatic situations. Instead, ICE should only deport criminals who are a threat to our society and not hard workers who only want a better life for them and their families.

Annotated Bibliography 

Cox, Melecio. “Immigration to Oakland.” 29 Nov. 2019.

This interview was about Melecio’s experience on immigrating to Oakland. He explains many of the events he witnessed on his way to the border. He has seen people getting beaten up, bleeding, and very badly injured. Melecio Cox is an Oakland community member. Originally from Guatemala, he immigrated to the U.S for a better life. He experienced immigrating first hand.

Oberoi, Ashmeet Kaur. “The Effects of Deportation on Families and Communities.” Community Psychology: Social Justice Through Collaborative Research and Action, Community Psychology, www.communitypsychology.com/effects-of-deportation-on-families-communities/.

The article discusses about the psychological damage that occurs during deportation. Also it talks about what issues of the people who are left behind have to face. Also, about the trauma and what causes their trauma. This source is credible because it came as a group effort. All the people who worked on this article have ties to a University. So of the people who worked on this are not even from the U.S, so they got more of a story from a different perspective. I trust this source because they can all   revise each others work so no one makes mistakes.

Sanchez, Tatiana. “Deported Oakland Nurse Wins H-1B Visa Lottery, Will Return to U.S.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 1 Dec. 2018, www.mercurynews.com/2018/11/30/oakland-cancer-nurse-deported-to-mexico-has-a-chance-to-return-to-u-s/.This article discusses on how a nurse got deported back to Mexico but she got to return to the U.S. This Article discusses the story she had to trough. It Also talks about her job as a nurse in an Oakland Hospital. This article is credible because it was published in 2018, which means it is still fairly recent. Also, it comes from a journalist that writes for The Mercury News, a credible news source. I know this source is true because many other news sources have covered the same story and the important ideas are the same.


Life Lesson

By reading the three stories: Everyday use, the lesson, and how to date a girl, I see they are all connect to each other.  These connections are based on the literature element we use to compare them. In this project, we will talk about how the three stories are connected to each other and how each of them is different from the rest. In everyday use, there is a mother who has two daughters Dee and Maggie. She loves more Dee than Maggie. She puts Dee at school and even sent her to an Interns to study. But Maggie was the one at home taking care of her mother. She never went to school, and she was always sad. She thinks that her sister life was better than her life. I may say that she was jealous. In the lesson, the protagonists was a kid living in a poor neighborhood with her friends. Some of them don’t have a house, and others don’t even go to school. I think Maggie’s mother doesn’t even care about her. The stories How to date a girl is about a boy who is learning how to date a girl from his elder brother. As we can see all these stories have a similarity part which is education. I think this is important to talk about education of children because the future depend to the children.  If we educate the kid very well their future will be fine and they will be able to make the future better. 

Based on the literature element of the narrator, we can say that Everyday Use is connected to how to date a girl because both narrators are learning something new from Someone else.  They are getting educations for the future. Everyday use is also connected to the lesson because both narrators are talking about their family. The narrators are learning from their mistakes. Each of them has a part that is not different from the other stories. For example, in everyday use, the narrator was a person who didn’t love her two daughters at the same time but at the end of the stories, she learns that because of her mistake, her second daughter was always sad, and lonely.  In the lesson the narrator was shellfish. In addition to that, the narrator didn’t want to learn something from outside of her neighborhood. In How to date a girl, the narrator wanted to help his younger boy.

In the literature element of the theme, the three stories are connected to each other because the objective of the narrators wanted to show the reader how connection between our life and the life of other people is important? Also, there is some part of each story different from the other stories. In the case of everyday use, the author wanted to tell us that when we love one of our children more than the other we can cause the destruction of the family. On how to date a girl the author wants to teach us that we need to have patience in order to do something good. In the lesson, the author demonstrates to us that we shouldn’t enemy with those who don’t love. And sometimes we should be friend with those we don’t like in order to go forward. 

These stories are also connected to each other according to their mood. Some part of everyday use and the lesson have the same mood which is sad. There are some similar moods between everyday use and how to date a girl that is: the mood of tense. As well as How to date and the lesson because of they both a part where the mood is tense. But overall they all have the mood of gloomy.

In conclusion, these stories are good to study in college or in high school, because it makes the student learn more about literature elements.

 MoteOo (Pixabay)


Not Your Mascot

In this artifact I put an image of a football field with the Washington Redskins mascot symbol (before they changed their name). This is saying that Native people shouldn’t be used as mascots because it is dehumanizing and blatantly disrespectful.  When you see hundreds if not thousands of other sports teams with animals and objects as their mascots, it makes it seem as if they are saying that Native people aren’t human.  

This artifact has a photo by photographer Sings In The Timber, and it is depicting an Indigenous person in regalia walking by a more than likely Caucasian person with redskins merchandise.  This is eye opening because you can really see how wrong and uncomfortable it is.  Indigenous people aren’t characters, they are human people.  Many people have come forth and have tried speaking out against this and have said how wrong it is.  People can learn more about this by searching up the photographers name, and looking at other similar pictures and information.

This artifact has an image of an Indigenous person holding up two middle fingers with images of different redskins logos on them as the main focus.  This is implying that Native people are not on the side of the teams with these names, and are actually very against it.  In the person’s face, you can see that they don’t look too happy, and this explores the point further that they do not support the use of the terms.  Below the image is a hashtag in the middle of a half-circle with the words “Notyourmascot”  which is a hashtag used to speak out about this issue.  To learn more about this, you can just type in the hashtag on Instagram.


History Not Left Behind

Racial profiling in the United States has become really serious, not just now but back in history. No small thing about history was obviously the slaves, almost all the African Americans would be used as a tool so they can make the white people’s life easier.

Now in the present, we still have the same problem but African Americans aren’t being used anymore. Now there’s equality in the United States, but some people still believe in the past history. But now it’s still hard for them because in the minds of many people they still are like they were centuries ago.

When does this happen nowadays? Well, most likely every day. You don’t know, but it goes from getting followed on a store to getting stopped by the police for no reason at all only because of their skin color.

Now they have stood up for themselves. In the summer of 2013, after George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the movement began with the hashtag #BlacLivesMatter. The movement was co-founded by three black community organizers: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.

What is Black Lives Matter? Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic injustice towards Black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.


ok boomer

We have chosen to study why parents don’t like social media,video games, this issue is important to me because I deal with some of these issues for example my parents don’t like violent video games because they think it’s going to make me violent because what’s happening in the news right now.Many people are impacted by this issue because they cant use social media and play certain games because their parents think its bad,one example is that video games don’t cause violence because there’s been many scientific studies that debunked that issue it’s more about the person’s mental state and instead of blaming people they blame video games.In addition many people are impacted by this and in result of that they cant play online with there friends.


Language and Relationships

The power of language is the most important factor in today’s society. There are a wide variety of forms of language prevalent throughout the world: oral language, written language, and body language. Individuals express their ideas and feelings using these many forms. While different types of language may be used, the primary purpose for all forms of language is to communicate with others. It is a key factor in the success of communication. The power of language has many positive attributes, which are shown through the statement, “The ancient art of reading aloud has a number of benefits for adults, from helping improve our memories and understand complex texts, to strengthening emotional bonds between people” (Hardach). It conveys the importance of human connection that is formed through social intercourse. Through the power of language, relationships are made around society, which is demonstrated by the quote, “There were participants who talked about how when someone is reading aloud to you, you feel a bit like you’re given a gift of their time, of their attention, of their voice,” Duncan recalls. “We see this in the reading to children, that sense of closeness and bonding” (Hardach). In order to share experiences with one another, communicate effectively, and create stronger bonds, we use the power of language. 

The more language is used, the more powerful one’s connection with the community becomes. Social relations are strengthened the more human interactions occur because “Language is delineated as “a social practice” (Fowler 61), by which power relations are established and sustained” (Sourgo). The success of any relationship relies on one’s ability to communicate well. Efficient transmission is based on the way we talk and listen, especially how we respond. Overall, the power of language develops the aspect of civilization, helps individuals to participate in society, and make connections with the world around them. 

Works Cited

Hardach, Sophie. “Why You Should Read This out Loud.” BBC Future, BBC, 17 Sept. 2020, 

www.bbc.com/future/article/20200917-the-surprising-power-of-reading-aloud.

Sourgo, Youssef. “Power, Language and Social Relations: Doing Things with Words.” Morocco 

World News, Morocco World News, 17 July 2020, 

www.moroccoworldnews.com/2013/07/99544/power-language-and-social-relations-doin

g-things-with-words/. #RHS


The Importance of a Second Language in a Multilingual World

Today, although most of the world is multilingual, many Americans are not fluent in a second language. This is due to the lack of emphasis on foreign language by the United States education system as only ten states require foreign language courses as a high school graduation requirement (Engle). Some argue that it is unnecessary for native English speakers to learn another language because English is the “language of the world/business.” While it is true that English is the most prevalent language, learning a second language is highly beneficial as it leads to heightened cultural understanding, an attribute much needed in today’s divided world, and offers a host of cognitive advantages.  

Language helps express our feelings, desires, and questions to the world around us. Words, gestures, and tone are utilized in order to portray emotion and communicate with others. The ability to communicate through complex processes such as writing and spoken language is what “allows us to form bonds with each other and what separates man from animal” (De Valeos). Learning a second language provides access to different cultures and a unique insight into the way of the world. It encourages empathy, openness, and prompts a curiosity of other countries’ histories and cultures. By opening up an avenue to understanding others, people can become more tolerant and patient. 

Travel requires the desire and willingness to adapt to new cultures. In some occupations, it is essential to be able to communicate with many different peoples as the global business community has become more and more integrated. Even though many countries study English in addition to their native language, it is “arrogant to assume that everybody speaks his or her native tongue” (De Valeos) . Likewise, it is extremely rude when Americans ridicule immigrants for their broken English. By learning a second language, Americans can become more responsible global citizens and empathetic to those who have trouble articulating their thoughts. (Burton). 

The communication skills formed as a child will provide a strong foundation for success later on in life. They also shape a person’s cognitive ability by improving memory and judgement by encouraging rational and nuanced thinking (Engle). If Americans want to be active and intelligent participants in a multilingual world, foreign language is critical. Thus, it is necessary that the United States create an accessible, widespread, and standardized foreign language curriculum in order to prepare the future generations and the nation for “security and prosperity” (De Valeos). 

Works Cites

Burton, Neel. “Beyond Words: The Benefits of Being Bilingual.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 28 July 2018, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201807/beyond-words-the-benefits-being-bilingual

De Valeos, Leonardo. “Importance of Language – Why Learning a Second Language Is Important.” Trinity Washington University, 13 July 2020, https://discover.trinitydc.edu/continuing-education/2014/02/26/importance-of-language-why-learning-a-second-language-is-important/

Engle, Jeremy. “How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language?” The New York Times, 29 Mar. 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/learning/how-important-is-knowing-a-foreign-language.html


Sports Inequality

In the book Proud, Ibtihaj Muhammad describes the discrimination she faced because she was a woman, because she was African American, and because she was Muslim. Still, she continued to achieve success through determination, confidence, and strength. Throughout American history, women have faced gender, racial, and religious discrimination in sports, but now many women are challenging this inequality through their accomplishments in sports, and nothing will stop them. 

Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first Muslim woman to compete in the Olympics for the United States. She and her team won the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics. However, the path to the Olympics included many obstacles mainly because she was a Woman and Muslim. She experienced much success in the fencing world, however, this success didn’t earn her respect in the eyes of her trainer Sam. Ibtihaj remembers “He refused to invest his time with me, treating me like a chore, or worse, a waste of his effort…my only guess is that he lacked a general respect for women”( 151). Ibtihaj’s trainer spent more time with his male students and he didn’t take her seriously which gave off the impression that he didn’t believe in her and her goal to be in the Olympics. Ibtihaj didn’t give up though. She was asked by Hillery Clinton if she would like to be part of the Department of States council to empower women and girls through sports. Ibtihaj jumped at this opportunity to serve others and she started traveling the world and speaking to children at schools about her experiences as an athlete. This was something she loved because she was able to reach out to other girls like her remind them that they can achieve their dreams too.

A New York Times article called “8 Times Women in Sports Fought for Equality” describes eight famous cases where women made a difference in the sports world by promoting equality. Discrimination against women in sports is not new. In 1967 a woman named Katherine Switzer entered the Boston marathon as “K.V. Switzer” to be officially registered. At the time, women weren’t allowed in the race. During the race, an official even tried to remove her from the race, but she finished anyway (“Mervosh”). Her determination proved that women and men were equals in sports and she could finish just as well or better than some men. Five years later, women were allowed to participate in the race. Katherine Switzer made a difference and she showed other women that they too could change rules and ideas that they thought were unfair. 

Many women are also focusing on the pay inequality in sports. In the Women’s National Basketball Association (W.N.B.A) the players often receive one-eighth of what NBA players are paid. Skylar Diggins-Smith, a W.N.B.A player has brought attention to the pay gap between men and women in sports. This disparity in pay is an issue across all sports. The USA women’s soccer team had a legendary battle for better pay and even filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation for gender discrimination. Venus Williams is another well-known sports figure. She fought for and won, equal prize money for women tennis Wimbledon Champions (“Mervosh”). These fantastic athletes are using their struggles and success to help eliminate gender discrimination in sports. 

However, it can be difficult for women to have their voices heard. Women make up 40% of the participants in sports, but they only get 4% of the media’s attention (“Saiki”). So, to support equality in sports Nike has created a new sports Pro Hijab meant for Muslim athletes (“Weinreb”). Because Nike is such a powerful company and brand they have lots of influence all over the world and are helping to change stereotypes and make sports more accessible to all genders and faiths.

Women such as Ibtihaj Muhammad are changing the way girls around the world think about themselves. Ms. Muhammad has set an example that says no matter what gender you are or what religion you choose to follow you can achieve anything you set your mind to. These women who are standing up for equality in sports are creating role models for the next generation of girls to be inspired by. 

Mervosh, Sarah and Christina, Caron. “8 Times Women in Sports fought for Equality.”The New York Times: Sports, The New York Times Company, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/sports/women-sports-equality.html. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019. 

Saiki, Yurika. “Gender Discrimination in Sports.” Eigo Daily, Eigo Daily, 2019, http://www.chukyoeibei.org/mag/?p=1758. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019. 

Weinreb, Michael. “Muslim Women Athletes Changing Skeptical World View.” Global Sports Matters, Arizona State University, 13 Nov. 2018, https://globalsportmatters.com/culture/2018/11/13/muslim-women-athletes-changing-skeptical-world-view/. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019. 

Muhammad, Ibtihaj. Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream. New York, Hachette Book Group, July 2018.

Image from: Rolling Stones


America Means Sluggish and Unhurried Change

People wonder what the root cause of America’s inequalities are and what prevents the inequalities from being solved. In “Denial Is the Heartbeat of America,” Ibram X. Kendi details that America means denial. Furthermore, he describes how denial is one of many factors that play a role in creating these inequalities. But also how denial is the strongest force that keeps these unequal systems in place. Throughout the article, he references many historical instances in which the government or Americans have done terrible things and that these events are forgotten and never acknowledged. He argues that many Americans are in denial that unequally systems even exist. It goes so far to say that the denial is deeply ingrained in American government as it was basically built on denial. What he most effectively argues is that denial is what is keeping America from changing in a positive way. He explains that, “Humans—like nations—are not going to perform radical surgery on cancers that they don’t think are part of them”(Kendi). This underscores the importance of acknowledging a problem is there before attempting to solve it. In summary, Kendi believes that America is built on denial and that’s what prevents rapid positive change.

To many, America means progressive change and improvement. In the poem, “The Hill We Climb,” Amanda Gorman, speaks to the progress that America has made but also to the collective unity required to make more progress in the future. For instance “We will rebuild, reconcile and recover”(Gorman), overall, her message is one of hope and optimism for the future. Although Gorman touches on the setbacks that this nation has had in the past, she takes a much more hopeful tone than The Newsroom’s: Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world, anymore. In “Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world, anymore” the professor in the panel explains how the US has fallen behind and is no longer the greatest country. He takes a strikingly pessimistic and discouraging view on America now and how it will be going into the future. There is evidently an extreme difference between the tone and especially the hopefulness in these two pieces.

Although the differences between Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” and “The Newsroom’s” scene are stark, there are also some small similarities between the two. Firstly, they both agree that something can be done to fix the issues in America. Gorman says “We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the windswept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution, we will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked south” (Gorman), in this quote she underscores the importance of unity to solve the problem. Take The Newsroom “The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one” (The Newsroom), in this quote they also speak to the ability to fix problems in America, by recognizing there is one. To put it succinctly, both pieces talk about a potential path to fixing the problems in America.

The way I view America is as a place that usually strives to do the right thing but at an agonizingly slow pace. In other words, I agree that we generally go in the right direction of change however it happens sluggishly. Take the climate change movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo movement, what they all have in common is that they have brought attention to the issue. But have they actually brought significant policy change? I would argue that although they have been effective in bringing attention to the issue, they have not been very successful in changing legislation. This illustrates that America is generally changing in a positive direction, however it’s not quick enough. Finally, to me America means sluggish and unhurried change.

Works Cited:

ABCNews. “Poet Amanda Gorman Reads ‘The Hill We Climb’.” YouTube, YouTube, 20 Jan. 2021, https://youtu.be/Wz4YuEvJ3y4

The Newsroom, “Why America Is NOT the Greatest Country in the World, Anymore.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 June 2012, https://youtu.be/VMqcLUqYqrs

Gorman, Amanda. “The Hill We Climb: the Amanda Gorman Poem That Stole the Inauguration Show.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 20 Jan. 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/20/amanda-gorman-poem-biden-inauguration-transcript

Kendi, Ibram X. “Denial Is the Heartbeat of America.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 27 Jan. 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/denial-heartbeat-america/617631/.


Racism

Racism is an issue that is commonly argued about in the U.S. Racism according to Audrey Smedley is, “any action, practice, or belief that reflects the racial worldview-the ideology that humans may be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races”.” Racism has been around since the 1500s, the biggest event to start racism was the African slave trade. The problem has not gone away over hundreds of years and doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. 

In the book Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie, there is a good amount of racism involved, especially after the first murder. In the university near the town Native Americans aren’t allowed to have PowWows because they don’t want any uprisings on campus. Also, the newscaster states that, “ My sources say certain evidence makes it clear that an American Indian might be responsible for this crime”(Alexie 56). The newscaster jumps to this statement because the victim was scalped. In the next few pages Maire, John’s new friend, says that Scalping was brought over by the Europeans and was adopted by American Indians. 

Today, We see racism in our everyday lives. It has affected us all in some sort of way. There are multiple movements for equality of races in the U.S. Even in big companies like Facebook there is still discrimination. According to Jessica Guynn from U.S.A Today, “The 12 current and former black employees offered up a long list of microaggressions, the weight of which they say builds over time.” Racism and discrimination should not be in the workplace because it can slow down efficiency and overall hurt the business.

Racism isn’t going to go away anytime soon, but the sooner we start to try and get rid of it, the sooner it will be gone. There have been many cases of racism in the workplace and even with cops in many places across the U.S. In the end Racism needs to end and everyone needs to be treated equally. 

Work Cited

Guynn, Jessica. “Black Facebook Employees Complain Racism, Discrimination Have Gotten Worse.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 10 Nov. 2019, www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/11/08/facebooks-current-and-former-black-employees-allege-growing-racism/2534615001/.

Selfa, Lance. “The Roots of Racism.” SocialistWorker.org, socialistworker.org/2010/10/21/the-roots-of-racism. 

Smedley, Audrey. “Racism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 Mar. 2017, www.britannica.com/topic/racism.


What’s the deal with Airplane Safety?

A fear of flying is not unusual, in fact it’s so common, there’s a name for it.  It’s called aviophobia, and 1 in 3 americans experience it. But is there a need for this fear?  Is it common for people to even experience a plane crash in their lifetime? The simple answer is no, but what proves this statement true?

From 2012-2016, over 3.3 billion passengers travelled on the domestic airways.  So you may be asking, how many of them died? It seems like we see plane crashes a lot, but that just simply isn’t true.  In this time, only 2 accidents, both occurring in the same year, 2013. During those 2 accidents, only 9 people died. In fact, there hasn’t even been a commercial airliner crash in the United States since February of 2009.  Which is ironic, because most people won’t even affiliate with a plane crash some how, or some way, in their entire lifetimes.  

All in all, the main takeaway is that airplanes are much much safer than any of us could ever even imagine.  Especially commercial planes, which are all either turboprop or jet, are extremely reliable, and it’s virtually impossible for a jet engine to stop working unless some outside force acts upon it.  For example, in 2017, there were 0 deaths by commercial aviation. Almost 700 people were killed on a boat, 760 by train, and an astonishing 37,133 deaths on the road. Lastly, Dr, Arnold Barnett speaks out about airplane safety, saying that a person would have to fly once a day, every single day for 22,000 years before you would statistically die in an airplane crash.  Debunking the myth that planes are unsafe.


DACA

DACA is an acronym that stands for the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals. It is a program put into place during the Obama administration that allows children of immigrants, who themselves are not legal citizens, to keep getting the education and employment in America that they deserve as humans with natural rights. The Trump administration wants to rescind DACA, which could upend more than 600,000 people. About 690,000 young adults are currently in the DACA program and there are 34,000 additional first-time applications. To be eligible, applicants had to have arrived in the US before age 16 and have lived there since June 15, 2007. They could not have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012. DACA recipients have been able to come out of the shadows and obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs. They also pay income taxes just like any American citizen. However, the program does not give them a path to become US citizens or even legal permanent residents. Fortunately, under DACA, Dreamers, the term for those in the program, were able to apply to defer deportation and legally reside in the US for two years. After that, they could apply for renewal. The Trump administration put an end to new DACA applications in September and accepted renewal applications for another month which means that if Congress doesn’t act, starting March 6, as many as 983 undocumented people could lose their protected status every day, nearly 30,000 people a month, on average, for two years, as DACA permits start to expire.

“To target these young people is wrong because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama wrote in a post. “It is self-defeating because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people and who we want to be.”

“It’s wrong because it’s bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it’s wrong because it’s cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home,” Bill Clinton said.

“Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” Biden tweeted.

Getting rid of DACA hurts the economy as well. A report from the Center for American Progress found that 87 percent of DACA beneficiaries are using their work permits and 83 percent of those working also attend school. Besides lost tax revenues, American businesses would face billions in turnover costs, because employers would lose qualified workers whom they have trained and in whom they have invested. “Why would you take people out of the work force, who are part of the system and paying taxes?” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told the New York Times that five years after DACA is repealed, the U.S. gross domestic product would be $105 billion lower than if DACA were to remain in force. “Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions” if DACA is ended.

Rescinding DACA is not a legal requirement, and is wrong on many levels. It is wrong for our country to push out Dreamers for a choice that was not theirs. They did not choose to be born in a country that was oppressing to their families, and they did not choose to immigrate to a new country when they were just young children. They deserve the same human rights as any legal citizen, and they do not deserve to be deported to a land they do not know, a land they can not call home even if they were born there.


I Just Remembered, I Have ADHD

So needless to say I am writing this from home, as everyone because of your friendly neighborhood corona virus. And honestly I gotta say, I’d rather be in school. My friends are there, it gives me something to do all day, classwork is better than homework, and its just easier to focus. Not that I was all that focused anyways. But so yeah I have ADHD and needless to say this more independently focused style of living has not been kind to my people.

Fortunately someone named Katelyn Boden is a pro at working with her ADHD and used everyone’s favorite distraction (twitter) to offer advice based on her experience. Tip #1 obviously being Take your meds. https://www.additudemag.com/working-from-home-adhd/ Amongst other advice the most useful tip was to stay put at your work station until all your work is done. This is easier said than done,but it does make finishing everything easier.

Another unfocused wanderer wrote about their experience, and it’s pretty similar to mine. They had transcended time into an eternal state of checking their phone, walking about the house for a bit, checking their phone, and realizing they had gotten none of their work done. To help fix this they created a group schedule with their nephew who was also ADHD. I found out I have this really hand app on my phone called calendar. I started it using it to make a schedule, and by golly it helps tremendously. So yeah, being cooped up with no direction is fun, especially when you cant pay attention or sit still. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-brain-quarantine/


Why Police Brutality is a Worldwide Issue

132 people have already been killed this year by law enforcement, and it’s only March (Statista Research Department). Police brutality is a term used to refer to “various human rights violations by police,” which may “include beatings, racial abuse, unlawful killings, torture, or indiscriminate use of riot control agents at protests” (“What Is Police Brutality?”). This has been occurring around the world due to a “400 year problem,” but the idea of police brutality and actions of unnecessary force have both been around for centuries (Ahmad). Police brutality occurs among every race, ethnicity, and gender virtually anywhere in the world. Minority or impoverished communities, specifically African Americans, have had the most loss and been a major target for police violence, as news stories gained national attention this past summer. These actions “violate the right to be free from discrimination, the right to liberty and security, and the right to equal protection under the law” (“What Is Police Brutality?”). This is an issue because many people, sometimes even innocent people, are killed or wrongfully mistreated by those who are supposed to be there to protect, and most of the time there is little to no repercussions or consequences for the officer’s actions. 

    Police brutality is most common within the United States, with “around 1,000 people” being killed every year by police,with some years having larger numbers than others. On a more global scale, an average of five people per day are killed in Rio de Janeiro, 122 poeple were killed in 2019 due to the actions of Kenyan officers, 600 protesters were killed by police in Iraq between October 2019 and January 2020, and over 500 people were shot and killed, with more than 300 shot and injured due to the actions of law enforcement in Jamaica (“What Is Police Brutality?”). As time goes on, this violence will only continue to worsen. We as a society should care about this issue because though it may not directly affect us, it affects the country as a whole in one way or another. If nothing is done to lessen or end police brutality, numerous people, even innocent people, will be killed at the hands of law enforcement and nothing will be done about it We will live constantly in fear of death, and the newer generations will think that this is normal, not realizing how grave the actions of the officers truly are. As a society, we should all work towards putting an end to this, and actions should be taken to prevent this from ever happening again in the future, whatever the cost. 

Works Cited

Ahmad, Mukta. “Police Brutality, a Structural and an Institutional Problem.” Medium, Medium, 

17 May 2019, 

medium.com/@m.ahmad/police-brutality-a-structural-and-an-institutional-problem-a840

6fb2339b.

Statista Research Department. “People Shot to Death by U.S. Police, by Race 2021.” Statista, 1 

March 2021, 

www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/.

“What Is Police Brutality?” Police Violence | Amnesty International

www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/police-brutality/.


The Advent of AI Technology will not Devalue Human Life

Most of us know of Terminator, IRobot, and countless other films depicting a dystopia of our own creation. The rise of an age of technology, man versus machine. This fiction is becoming more likely as everyday we are introduced to robots capable of self-navigating, self-learning, self- adapting, and capable of “composing their own music”. So, the question arises: where would humans place in this newly established 22nd century hierarchy?

According to nbcnews, a distinction should first be drawn between the mindless and the sentient robots, and “it’s really the mindless robots we need to be cautious of. Conscious machines may actually be our allies”. While sentient robots are still an object of fiction for decades to come, rudimentary mindless bots already populate our world. Simply, these are robots who follow a series of memorized commands/algorithms. If sentient AI can truly be fabricated, hope remains there a new era of cooperation would dawn upon man, and machine.

Abc News paints the portrait optimistically. In a new age where robots and people function in society, robotis will dominate the economic and labor fields. However, much like the consequence of the first agricultural revolution of 18,000 BCE, this opportunity allows humans to seek occupations in empathetic fields and perform service jobs of love”. Both humans and AI would function coherently in a new society, each facilitating their talents.

Below is a compiled list of my research thus far:

https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-09/artificial-intelligence-automation-jobs-of-the-future/8786962

https://via.hypothes.is/https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/tech/what-rise-sentient-robots-will-mean-human-beings-ncna773146

 


The United States and Political Corruption in the Congo (DRC)

When relearning the American Independence story, I began thinking about the story of independence of my home country Democratic Republic of Congo. I was disheartened to find that the little I did know about Congo’s independence was very different from the independence of the United States. Congo declared independence on June 30, 1960. Almost a year later, its founding father, Patrice Lumumba was assassinated and the Congo entered a 30-year long dictatorship under Mobutu Sese Seko. I have always wondered how Congo and other former colonies in Africa and South America just couldn’t get democracy to work while the United States and Canada had an easier time establishing democracy in comparison? What’s with all the violence and political corruption in these countries right after independence?

Congolese Independence occurred smack dab in the middle of what would come to be known as the Cold War. The Cold War was a tension between the United States and the Soviet Union for political supremacy through propaganda, military coalitions. The US was constantly trying to contain communist Soviet Union and its communist allies and prevent them from spreading. When DRC declared its independence from Belgium in 1960, a new opportunity opened up for the US and USSR to fight their Cold War. The outbreak of a revolt in Congo’s mineral-rich Katanga province served as a perfect chance for foreign interference. Congo’s prime minister, Patrice Lumumba asked the US for help in dealing with the conflict but surprisingly received no aid. He then looked to the Soviet Union for help. This act came across to the Americans as an attempt to further communism in the Eastern Hemisphere. An act the US had to indirectly but actively fight. 

Behind the scenes the US had already been working to assert control over the Congo.In 1960,Larry Devlin, the CIA Station Chief in Congo, began providing financial aid and advances to Joseph Mobutu, head of the Congolese Army, to overthrow Patrice Lumumba. When the US encouraged then-President Kasa-Vubu to dismiss his prime-minister Patrice Lumumba, a political stalemate ensued between the two political figures. Mobutu took this chance to enact a coup d’etat replacing all government officials except for Kasa-Vubu who would continue to play his ceremonial role of “head-of-state.” At the advice of Larry Devlin, Mobutu was handed over to the Katangan rebels and murdered. Over the next three decades, the Congo would be plunged into a dictatorship under Mobutu that would drain the country’s economy, plunge the inhabitants into poverty, and painfully silence any voices of dissent against the government. This kleptocracy and harsh dictatorship maintained the United States’ financial support until the early 90’s, all to maintain the U.S. policy of containment against the Soviet Union.

Learning about the huge role the Cold War played in how African countries “stabilized” after independence truly enlightened me. I never knew how much control Europe and the US had in African countries after their independence. Understanding how political corruption has been built into the Congo’s history starting months after its independence gives me a new perspective on events in Congo today. The process to offset this “tradition of corruption” will take some time . Thankfully, this process has already been started and is quickly gaining momentum in the Congo and the international community.

http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=2&sid=9bdc1885-4ff6-4da7-ae7b-458a78395f25%40sessionmgr4006&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=sih&AN=237307
  • In the Shadow of the ‘Great Helmsman’: Mobutu Sese Seko’s Life and Legacy in the DR Congo
http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/84996/1/africaatlse-2017-09-07-in-the-shadow-of-the-great-helmsman-mobutu.pdf

Letter to Future President about “Student Loan Debt”

To: Future President

From: Nhia Thao

 

Dear Future President,

 

As my graduation has recently passed on June 2nd, 2016, I looked at my financial aid for college and wondered, “How will I get through college with only this much financial help?!”. Coming from a lower class family, I have thought and thought if going to college will be worth it with statistics showing that student debts have increased over the years. I would like to know what you can potentially do to better those who have problem with money for college.

 

Student debt has increased to a dramatic $33,000 with the total student debt being an enormous number of 1.2 trillion dollars or should I put it as $1,200,000,000. There is also a known $3,000 accrued every second for those students with loans. “The latest studies say that 70 percent of college graduates leave school with student loan debt that in 2014 averaged $33,000.” by America’s Debt Help Organization. Closely related this is The Institute For College Access & Success, which provides with nation wide student loan debt ranging under to $28,950 which is lower, but it also says that it depends on the state and college. Also, The New York Time’s A Student Loan System Stacked Against the Borrower said that the student loan debt has raised from an amazingly low $13,000!.

 

People go into college to get a college degree, but come back out with lots and lots of debt and no experience for a degree they have earned which they loaned money for. From The New Year Times, A Student Loan System Stacked Against the Borrower,  a story by Patrick Wittwer, 31 years old, had to pay back his student loan of $50,000. Which he included that it feels as if he was setup to fail in the first place. Furthermore, student loan services are not making it of ease for those who are borrowing loans to help pay for college. Some services go against the borrower and set up a plan which is only consisting of high interest rates and which can only help destroy their lives after college. A quote from the article says “Mr. Wittwer said he is currently paying $756 a month on his student loans, the minimum amount.” which is awfully high for each month when someone is barely surviving on a month’s pay.

 

Coming from another country, trying the best a person can do in school, just to be in debt is not the goal I am trying to reach. I’m looking at my financial aid and comparing it with the needs to live on campus, tuition, food, and other necessary needs one must have in college. I wonder to myself, if it is possible to go on and earn the degree I want to earn with something I have to pay in the future. Also, I am currently working for a couple months now and helping pay bills in my family. The money I earn usually is spent on expenses that are necessary. With working and trying to balance school is really hard for someone who works as many hours as someone who works full-time. My daily routine consists of school and work, but I do not mind doing it since it is necessary for me. Something discouraging to me is that one of my professor is still paying off her loan which reach a high of $140,000 after interest accumulating after a long time. After hearing her story, how would an upcoming college student feel about going to college and earning a degree only to be paying off student loan for life? Even a student closely watching his or her budget can fall into these circumstances and fall behind emotionally and be unstable about if they can keep going in college to do what they have always planned to do since they were a kid.

 

College should be something a person can go to earn a degree in what they love to do since childhood or even if they decide to change it over and over again as long as dedication is put into. I have thought and thought about this for a long duration of time now. I came up with a policy in which can be put in is to let college be free of charge as long as you pass your classes. Otherwise, if you fail you would have to pay that class because failing shows that one is not dedicated into it. If college was to be free, I would have less homeless people, less people stressing out in life worrying about how to feed their family when they have to pay off their debts, less people dropping out of college, and we would have more of people who attend college more for what they love, people who can be of help to society more because they have less stress, and for those who cannot become something they want because money is a problem for them. College is the hope and faith of our new generations proving to those generations who have worked hard for them to have opportunities.. Thank you for your time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Nhia Thao

 

Resources

https://www.debt.org/students/

http://ticas.org/posd/home

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/11/business/a-student-loan-system-stacked-against-the-borrower.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FStudent%20Loans&action=click&contentCollection=your-money&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=collection&_r=0

Picture

http://blogs.denverpost.com/opinion-cartoons/2014/05/15/cartoons-day-student-loan-debt/42971/


Gun Control

The next topic is gun control, because of how controversial it has been. Gun control has been a recent topic due to the increase in mass shootings over the last couple of years. The benefits of stricter gun control are public safety, the potential to lessen mass shooting, and less violence. Gun control is a hard topic to push because of organizations like the NRA and the support that they have. Even though there are pros that come with this topic there are also cons. 

On the other hand, gun use has advantages that need to be considered. Implementing more gun control could cause more problems than already exist. Problems that could arise include creation of a black market selling guns if they could not be bought legally, fewer guns isn’t going to change what a person is going to do, and there are over five million members that are a part of the NRA. Gun control comes with two sides, so making a direct decision is hard because it impacts both sides of gun rights and gun control. 


New Unique Values for American’s?

Being an American means a lot of things, whether you were born here in the United States or immigrated and are an American citizen, you are an American. People are debating on the values and creed of American society, but in reality there isn’t a specific thing that we can call an American value. The whole idea of America,  is being diverse and the unification of many different cultures, religions, and values. Someone from another country might ask what makes America different than other countries and there are a lot of things. 

When finishing my book I realized a lot of things that corresponded to American values. The main character is an empath meaning that he can he can take away the bad emotions and physical injuries of another person he cares about, showing a form of “empathy” for others. Empathy I think is an important American value that we overlook, but is much needed in today’s society. We often make stereotypes of people and judge people based on how they look or speak, but don’t know how their life really is. For example, in class we learned about Native Americans and most of our class discussed how they didn’t know the problems going on in reservations and how we often stereotype what we know about them. It’s important that we understand what other people are feeling and what kinds of things they’ve been through and that is what America is all about.  “The realization that the American political climate has of late become hostile, unproductive, and downright horrid is nothing new to anyone.  The partisanship and tribalism that exists in our public discourse seems to find strange new ways to isolate and anger every corner of civilized society “.(Shanker, 2017).  I feel like the American people are also feeling this way lately, there has been bad blood between different parties of government and a split in the U.S. Back in the 1900’s there wasn’t as much hostility as there is now, nowadays we want to shun out the people who we once accepted and showed empathy toward. I know that empathy is a core value in American culture and will continue to be in years to come. 

One of Bruisers themes is family, and how family can affect you incredibly. Bruiser had dealt with abuse from his uncle, but not from physical abuse. Bruiser was an empath and he could feel everything someone he cared about fealt. Bruiser’s uncle wanted to keep him close to him so Bruiser could take away all of his pain. Bruiser’s uncle minipulate’s Bruiser in doing what he wants him to do, which is a bad family characteristic. Later on the Bruiser and his brother get adopted by a loving but tense family, this is where Bruiser learns about love and care. In America, the family is the basic foundation of our knowledge. “Well it’s because family is the core of most families, people are alive to reproduce and develop a family that can carry on their “legacy “”. (shah 2019). From my family I have learned a lot about care, love, sympathy and so much more. This country has built its foundation on family, from the earliest days family was one of the most important things in someone’s life. Bruiser had opened my eyes to new topics that I would have never ceased to see, and gave sight to new unique values. 

Crampton, Dianne. “Empathy: Why It Is Important.” Core Values, 7 Nov. 2018, https://www.corevalues.com/team-cultures/empathy-why-it-is-important/.

Shanker, Pradheep. “Sympathy, Empathy, and the Lack of Both In American Civil Society: The American Spectator: Politics Is Too Important To Be Taken Seriously.” The American Spectator, 5 Sept. 2017, https://spectator.org/sympathy-empathy-and-the-lack-of-both-in-american-civil-society/.

SHUSTERMAN, NEAL. BRUISER. BRILLIANCE AUDIO; UNABRIDGED EDITION, 2011.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hyL8AQu6eqMQ7qTJGJM7DTAmD3NtZEIPolaVjslg_hk/edit

“Chapter 5: Family and Personal Values.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 19 June 2012, https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/06/19/chapter-5-family-and-personal-values/.


How Language Affects Perception

Some evidence has revealed that language can affect perception and thought. The “linguistic relativity hypothesis” from the 1930s states that language shapes ideas and greatly affects how people perceive the world. By the 1960s, many scholars rejected this idea because of a lack of scientific evidence, but many researchers still believe that language influences the way people think. At this point, researchers are not certain of the extent of its influence, but they have found evidence that supports the notion that language has some sort of effect on thought and perception.

“Languages do not limit our ability to perceive the world or to think about the world, but they focus our perception, attention, and thought on specific aspects of the world” (Benítez-Burraco). Language shifts people’s focus and reflects what is important to the people who speak it. Interestingly, people who speak some Australian languages orient themselves in space better than English speakers, and they often know north from south, even in darkness and in buildings, because their languages use absolute spatial deictics. They do not say “that car.” Instead, they say “that car to the south.” Their language allows them to become familiar with the cardinal points. Each language focuses its speakers’ concentration on certain aspects of the world, revealing what different cultures value.

Color perception has provided a way to test the claim that language affects the way people think and see the world. For example, English speakers use the one basic term “blue,” but Greek speakers use the word “ghalazio” to describe a lighter blue and the word “ble” to describe a darker blue. Researchers found that, because Greek speakers have two different basic terms for shades of blue, they view light blue and dark blue as more unlike each other than English speakers. This leads researchers to believe that a difference in language has a slight influence on color perception. They also found that it is easier for people to distinguish between two color tones that have two separate names; for example, blue and green. Cognitive scientists are using new technologies to test linguistic relativity by directly tracking blood flow and electrical activity in response to sensory input. Researchers are also studying young infants in order to understand the brain’s ability to process sensory information before learning words. “Taken together, these experiments point in a surprising direction: Language does, indeed, influence our ability to perceive the world around us” (Madhusoodanan). Researchers in Japan used a method that tested babies’ neural responses to different colors and shades. They found that the babies had an increase in blood flow to certain parts of the brain when they were shown a color switch between blue and green, revealing that they perceived the two colors differently. When the babies were shown two shades of green, there was no change in blood flow. After more research, it was discovered that babies prefer looking at colors they perceive to be new or different. Babies were able to lump colors together into five groups before they could talk, but several studies have shown that language appears to influence adults’ perceptions of color. A researcher explains that “languages teach us to distinguish more tints” (Madhusoodanan). Language adds different perceptions of color onto a basic biological understanding.

Researchers are continuing to find evidence that supports the idea that language affects thought and perception. “A growing body of evidence suggests that a person’s mother tongue shapes the way they think about many aspects of the world, including space and time” (Moxley). Language is extremely powerful because it influences each person’s view of the world, and this allows diversity in thought as different people approach world issues differently.

Works Cited

Benítez-Burraco, Antonio. “How the Language We Speak Affects the Way We Think.” Psychology Today, 2 Feb. 2017, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-biolinguistic-turn/201702/how-the-language-we-speak-affects-the-way-we-think.

Madhusoodanan, Jyoti. “Scientists Probe an Enduring Question: Can Language Shape Perception?” Undark, 4 Apr. 2018, undark.org/2018/04/04/language-brain-cognition-perception/.

Moxley, Mitch. “Can Language Influence Our Perception of Reality?” Slate, 6 June 2014, www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/uc/2014/06/can_language_influence_our_perception_of_reality.html.


Why new generations do not want to have kids anymore?

China’s birth rate has once again hit a record low. According to the latest data, the birth rate has fallen to a record low, as the country moves into an aging society. It seems that fewer millennials are getting married and having children at an early age, with the rise in first-time births among women over 35 after the two-child policy was introduced. There are two main reasons why young people are less likely to have children

First, economic pressure.  The study shows that economics has for the first time been linked to falling fertility.  Although it has been nearly a decade since the 2008 financial crisis, economic insecurity is likely to persist, causing young would-be parents to think twice before having children.  Others argue that the pressure of housing prices has delayed childbearing, and these economic pressures have led millennials to believe that raising children is too expensive, so they are delaying or even giving up childbearing in order not to affect their living standards.

The economic pressures are not confined to young people at home, but in other countries as well. .(https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/life-insurance/cost-of-raising-a-child/)

In addition, with the pressure of higher and higher housing prices and the pressure of survival, their basic life can not be guaranteed, let alone the combination of the family to have children. More importantly, now the cost of childcare is also high, different from the former children, as long as the guarantee of eating and drinking everything is ok, now children have early education classes, talent classes and other extracurricular tutoring needed to participate in, the cost has increased greatly.

Secondly, raising a child, for the parents, needs to pay a great deal of financial and material resources, and bear a certain amount of mental pressure. They don’t just swoop in and grow up, but they require 300 percent of the effort and energy of their parents.  Especially for mothers, from the beginning of pregnancy, her life is almost only about children. Before having children, they can go shopping and travel with friends in their free time, but after having children, kids will completely “destroy” all their social life, and it will occupy their personal time.  Therefore, young people nowadays are more willing to keep a pet as emotional sustenance when they feel lonely.  Having a child is not the same as having a pet. After deciding to have them born, young parents must grow up quickly and bear the burden of the future for at least a few decades. Before they are ready for all this, young people are more willing to devote this energy to their own lives.  Of course, I believe that with the reduction of the cost of childcare, there will also be young people who feel the joy of childcare and are willing to become qualified parents.https://www.phillymag.com/news/2020/02/01/millennials-having-kids/


America Means A Horrifying Place to Find an Amazing Opportunity

When people think of America, they usually think about the “American Dream” or “The Land Of Opportunity”. After all, people from all over the world come to America seeking a new and better life. But others beg to differ. In the Article “The Way North”, by Damien Cave and Todd Heisler, they interview many people and ask them the question, “what does it mean to be american”.  Many people said that it means being an honest and hardworking individual, but according to Joselyne Mahoro, it meant something else. “Being an American is very different. When I was in Africa, I could only eat once a day. Here, I can eat as often as I want.” Joselyne sees America as a place where you will be able to have enough food and water. Not a place where she can make a living, but a place where she knows she will be able to live, to have a future. I agree with what Joselyne said. In my opinion, America has many opportunities for people, from being able to have a good career, to just having the necessities to be able to survive. I don’t think many people think twice about that.

On the other hand, in the song “BLK Girl Soldier”, by Jamila Woods, she sees America in a different way. The main topic in this song is about how America still discriminates against African American people along with women. In the song, there’s a lyric that says “Last Century Last Week.” This lyric relates to how America’s treatment towards women and people of color a century ago still happens in today’s society. For example, the lyric “We go missing by the hundreds. Ain’t nobody checkin’ for us” states that women and women of color go missing everyday in America, and how the media reacts when a person of color goes missing vs. when a white woman goes missing. Just like a century ago, it still happens. People of color still get killed because of the way they look. Women go missing, get sex trafficked, and get murdered still, to this day. Jamila sees America as a dangerous and hateful place. I agree with Jamila as well. America still has racism, discrimation, and sexism, it’s not just a happy place full of opportunities. In my opinion, I don’t think many people think about the dark side of the United States when asked what America is, and it has a very big dark side. 

  America will never have one definition. In my opinion, America is a horrifying country to find an amazing opportunity. I definitely agree with both sources on what America is since I was taught at a young age to appreciate what I have. As a Latino male who lives in a household that is in middle class, I can say that I have had more opportunities than other people, but I have also learned that some people in America may not like the way I look, or may think that I am not a good person based on my skin color, and that affects my experience in America. I don’t want to visit certain places in America because I fear that I’ll be discriminated against and hated. This is my experience in America as a Latino male. So many people have many different stories of America, some written in our American History, others written in a letter to a family member. I think American Literature can be defined as literature made up of different people’s stories of America, their experiences in America, and their definitions of America. An example of this is the book “There There” by Tommy Orange. It captures the stories of multiple American Indians and their experience in America. It showed us their struggles of being an American Indian living in America. For example, it told us that the discrimination American Indians faced after their colonization still happens today. And that is what American Literature is, a story someone has of their experience in America. 

Sources

“The Way North” by Damien Cave and Todd Heisler 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/us/the-way-north.html?_r=0#p/39

“Blk Girl Soldier” by Jamila Woods 


Today’s Children Tomorrow’s Future

Dear Representative Ocasio-Cortez,

I feel tempestuous about your Instagram video because it emphasizes how current generations are responsible, smart enough to implement what they craved for. You are very confident and inspiring to the people from the new generation and how we are the government.

One thing you said that stands out to me is: “His new generation is the radical acceptance that I see from so many and they take time to read and understand our history, the history of the labor movement, civil rights, the history of racial struggles, the history of economics, the history of the United States, the history of colonialism.” I think this is remarkable because you use some of the examples of how our young generation does not step back to learn or give value to our history and other memorials events that happened in the past. We always look forward to bringing out the past history and showing our interest by seeing that from different perspectives. We have the courage to accept the fact even though it could be bad, we always try to make it better by not repeating the same mistake.

I do agree with you that our young generation is not so sensitive or emotional. Even if we are, it is a positive way because we know how to solve problems and are intelligent enough to take leadership roles and choose the government. Compared to the past, where people were going through different things. Lack of resources was not letting them make an enormous change in the world. The last generation also called the “silent generation” are those born from 1925 to 1945 – so-called because they were raised during a period of war and economic depression.

One reason I would agree with her is that we aren’t afraid to accept criticism. Another reason is that we always work to develop the country and discover something new.

Recently I was looking at videos by young activists, and one of them is a good example of what I’m saying here.

I’m especially inspired by the video by Blair Imani because she is a queer Muslim woman and she empowers the lives of so many Muslim people that are being discriminated against in a world where not everyone is going to accept who they are.

It is really good that she does not let herself down and does not let herself be affected by the denunciation. In addition, demonstrate what she is capable of to people. In reality, many people face discrimination just because of the beliefs in certain religions such as Islam, and Hindu which really does not make any difference in their personality or hurt anyone.

The memorable thing was that she raised her voice to hear her words around the world. She was embarrassed to say that she is a queer Muslim. The link of the inspiring video that I had watched is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNa3EhyN5Zc&feature=emb_logo

I’ve also been learning about how all the people have been facing so many problems and Youth are protesting for their water point which the government want to use to build some pipeline to factories and the young from china protesting to get the right to have a higher education to achieve the goals The young protesters that I find most inspiring are the ones who is fighting for education

I think this history is a good example of something you said in your video: “I think this new generation is very profound and very strong and very brave because they are actually willing to go to the streets” I agree with you here because whatever we do not get, we fight for it and never give up on it until we achieve. However, I would say at the same time, the past generation was as we are right now.

Thanks for taking the time to read my letter. I look forward to seeing what you do or say next.

These four brave and young activists stepped into to make the world change. Emma Gonzalez, Jaclyn Corin, Sarah Chadwick, and Nza-Ari Khepra are part of the surge of young activists building a new movement to denounce gun violence and call for safety in all of our communities. And this is why they march. The reason I chose this video to shows that we are living in a world where still gun violence. even there is no safety insecurity in the school. The kids who go to school for a bright future, it ends up giving up their lives because of gun violence. These activists want their voices to hear because they care about this issue. they lose their people and can feel it how it is hurt. the politicians do not care so much about it because this issue does not harm them. this is why they march to make a great influence.


Importance of Workplace Communication

    As our world continuously evolves, the manner in which we communicate and use different forms of language has developed too. There are numerous forms of language; however, the most common and effective form is verbal communication. As citizens of a verbally focused society, it is important that we continue to improve our communication skills in order to better connect with others. The power of language has a ripple effect on the relationships that we establish and the ways in which we maintain them. 

    Communication is needed in relationships because it institutes respect and trust through our ability to distinguish and respond to others’ feelings. Indeed.com states, “Communication is the act of sharing information from one person to another person or group of people.” Communication is the means by which people are able to carry out their relationships in a meaningful way. It is needed in all aspects of our lives including the workplace. Communication in the workplace is important to establish greater trust and respect, improve teamwork, problem solving, and overall social and emotional health. Additionally, “Communication in the workplace is very important for companies to work effectively and be productive” (Importance of Good Communication at the Workplace). Employees can experience an increase in productivity and commitment if they are able to effectively communicate with coworkers. Conversely, a lack of communication will inevitably lead to problems within the workplace. Poor communication creates lower productivity and an overall lack of motivation because employees do not have the resources to properly perform their jobs. (Importance of Good Communication at the Workplace). It is important that employees are constantly striving for better communication and coherence in the workplace. The power and degree of communication that we have can either be very beneficial in connecting with others, or extremely detrimental creating separation in our lives. 

Works Cited 

“4 Types of Communication (With Examples).” Indeed Career Guide, 28 May 2020, www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/types-of-communication. Accessed 10 November 2020.

“Importance of Good Communication at the Workplace.” InCorp Global, 27 Oct. 2020, www.incorp.asia/blog/hr/importance-of-good-communication-at-workplace/. Accessed 10 November 2020.


The American Freeways

Instagram posts of the Salt Lake air pollution that reside in my feed each winter always makes me cringe. How could live in such a place with that kind of pollution. The think grey blanket that sits in the valley can be so bad, we can’t even see the valley. There are a lot of factors to the pollution, but a main one is cars. Now let me switch to the freeway, the American freeways. These concrete paths criss cross the United States, running right up next to these cities. They enable thousands of workers each day to commute from their suburban homes to the cities. But not always in leisure or speed.

Could freeways be the problem to our pollution? It is possible, but we need to investigate the positives and negatives of the classic American freeways. Many freeways experience congestion, with some cities, like Los Angeles, wasting commuters time sitting in traffic. A past solution was to expand these highways, though several economists have shown the irony of doing this. Increasing highway space actually encourages more drivers to take the road. So with more drivers on the road, the congestion doesn’t improve, but instead gets worse. This is called induced demand.

Cities have begun a process to remove these freeways, part of the urban renewal movement. In an article in The Atlantic, the city of Dallas discusses plans to stop repairing I-29, the freeway the runs right through the city, and work on demolishing it. Also, another article from The Atlantic, the article discusses poverty that freeways may have caused. By forcing people to move, lowering home values because of its presence, causing health issues from pollution and noise, freeways may have caused more issues than they solve.


https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/11/highways-destroyed-americas-cities/417789/

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/03/role-of-highways-in-american-poverty/474282/

 


The Dangers of Spreading Fake News Pt. 2

2021 just started, which means the news has been centered around politics and the vaccine lately. With everything happening related to the elections and COVID, fake news has been spreading more rapidly. Dr. Anthony Fauci explained how President Donald Trump tweeted a misleading fact about the numbers of infected individuals and deaths in the country due to the virus. Fauci cleared the false claim up by stating that the deaths are in fact real and that if you were to go visit a hospital you would see all people sick in bed. 

In order to reduce the spread of fake news, Buchanan suggested that when we come across fake news we should do nothing about it. When we call someone out, it just does more harm than good. Buchanan stated how fake news has been used to try to influence political processes and the spread of false information online may discourage people from getting vaccinated. It can be tempting to comment on false information, but when we do then it increases the likelihood of it reaching other people.

Older immigrants who don’t follow along with the mainstream English-language are more likely to hear and receive disinformation about American politics. Most immigrants receive information from their friends, rather than news channels or a messenger platform (Hong). 

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/running-numbers-fauci-laments-surging-covid-deaths-trump/story?id=75015805
https://www.niemanlab.org/2021/01/how-to-reduce-the-spread-of-fake-news-by-doing-nothing/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/20/opinion/fake-news-disinformation-immigrants.html

The Impact of Empathy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As discussed in my previous blog post, “Empathy and the American Single Story”, Americans are in need of empathy now more than ever. With the stresses that the coronavirus pandemic induced, Americans need to feel understood and appreciated. The power of empathy is immeasurable. To feel completely understood by another is essential to live a meaningful life. The coronavirus pandemic left individuals feeling lost, anxious, misunderstood, and striving for meaningful connections. Seeing the death and pain that plagued our country, millions of Americans sought to reach out to others to create purposeful relationships and grow their empathy. 

Empathy is necessary to live each day with to be able to understand and sympathize with others. Additionally, “Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place” (Cherry). Empathy allows a person to recognize the feelings of another. It provides individuals with the ability to grow in their relationships with others. Scientific American states, “Out of all the fears, stresses and indignities our citizens are living with, there emerges a kind of primal insecurity that undermines every aspect of life right now” (Hall). Americans feel unsure of how to proceed with their lives. After months of social distancing and isolation from others, Americans are struggling to know how to act and empathize with others. The pandemic has resulted in a deficit in Americans’ empathy towards others. The solution to this problem is found in Americans themselves. The article encourages Americans to, “Take the time to ask those you encounter how they are feeling and really listen” (Hall). Americans need to take the time to understand others. Taking time to listen and trying to empathize with others will lead to the meaningful relationships that all Americans are in need of. It allows for mutual understanding and connections between people. Americans possess the capability to sympathize with others and create meaningful relationships during the coronavirus pandemic; this is found in their ability to empathize.               

Works Cited

Cherry, Kendra. “What Is Empathy?.” Verywell Mind, 2 May 2020, www.verywellmind.com/ what-is-empathy-2795562. Accessed 13. Jan. 2021. 

Hall, Judith. “The U.S. Has an Empathy Deficit.” Scientific American, 17 Sept. 2020, www.scien tificamerican.com/article/the-us-has-an-empathy-deficit/. Accessed 13 Jan. 2021. 

                                                                                             


Should the drinking age be lowered to 18?

The drinking age for years has been a big topic of debate among the government and among everyday people. The drinking age has been 21 for a long time now and there are still some people who argue that the drinking age is too high and that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. On the other side there are a heavy load of people that think the drinking age is good where it is or that the drinking age should actually be older.

Some people feel that the drinking age should be lowered because they feel that it is time for people to start understanding all of the things that people can do before 21 that can be considered much more risky or dangerous such as the fact that you can vote, adopt children, sign up for Iraq or become a commercial pilot at 18. People argue that these things can potentially kill you and put your life into jeopardy so why can’t something that is potentially not as lethal as going to war still be legal at a later age. While this can be put into a valid argument their are a great number of people that also feel differently.

There is still a majority of people that feel like the drinking age should be raised or kept the same. Their argument is based on the idea that while our nation does have a big problem with underage drinking, lowering the drinking age to 18 would not stop any sort of hard core drinkers and pretty much would just make it legal to drink as to what we consider underage. It is hard to see from a standpoint why going from drinking in a house or frat would to bars would make any sort of difference to hardcore drinkers that will always find a way to get their hand on alcohol which was a major argument for the pro lowering drinking age people. There is also the argument that the brain has not properly developed at 18 and there is a tone of scientific evidence to back them up.


Herd Mentality

Ever since humans are little kids, everyone always tries to fit into a group. While growing up, people search for the constant validation of fitting in and not sticking out. This desire to conform to society may cause a sort of herd mentality. During everyday situations, herd mentality plays a big role in the decisions of humans because what the majority of people do seems to be the correct moral choice.

Herd mentality expresses how people can be influenced by their peers. People can take on different behaviors that they would not take on individually depending on the situation. A test was conducted in the 1950’s to test herd mentality, the results showed that “people conform or change their behavior to match social norms” this emphasizes that people will change their actions or personalities in order to fit into a group (“What is Mob Mentality?”). In this specific test, the experiment was created to be a situation that would not be encountered in everyday life, but there are many situations that would cause herd mentality on a day to day basis.

Herd mentality can be as easy as being influenced on what you drink at a restaurant. Picture this situation, you go to a restaurant set on drinking apple juice but everyone else who is eating with you orders water. When it’s your turn to order, you order water instead. This decision seems correct at the moment, not only was your mind easily changed but it “keeps you from standing out in a group” (“What is Mob Mentality?”). Although this situation may seem simple and harmless, herd mentality can get progressively more complicated. The challenge stems when “evaluating personal beliefs contradict what others are doing” (“Herd Mentality”). Herd mentality can get people into situations that go against their values. The problem begins when no one wants to stand out in a group, they all follow the leader.

Herd mentality can be harmless or lead to more serious problems. It is important that people don’t always conform to groups even if it makes them stick out. Although herd mentality is part of human nature, society as a whole can work on not needing constant validation from others.

Works Cited

“What Is Mob Mentality?” WebMD, WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-a-mob-mentality.

“Herd Mentality: Are We Programmed to Make Bad Decisions?” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 16 Dec. 2014, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141216212049.htm.


The History Of Life Academy

Did you know that OUSD only made small schools in neighbourhoods that they found poor? After they made 40 small schools in poor neighbourhoods they found out that making small schools didn’t improve test scores (Murphy). Life Academy became a small school in 2001 because the district thought that making many small schools was going to increase test scores but unfortunately the whole making a lot of small schools plan didn’t work because they found out that the test scores, and dropout rates didn’t improve and that’s why they made Life Academy into its own school in 2008.

Life Academy became a school in 2001 because of something called the small schools movement. The small schools movement was a movement that happened through 1999 – 2007. The district only closed down the middle and high schools that were on poor neighbourhoods. Then they will build small schools to replace the school that they closed down. The district signed off on the small schools movement because they thought that with smaller schools there will be better test scores ,and decrease the amount of dropout rates change. To prove that point in an article written in 2009 called Oaklands small schools movement, 10 years later by Katy Murphy, Murphy wrote, “But many of its problems — low test scores, high dropout rates, staff turnover — remain.”(Murphy). Now, for that reason the district signed was to bring up test scores but it really didn’t help. 

Secondly, in an interview with Venus Mesui a worker in Life Academy since it was invented told me that the school was part of many small schools in 2001 and in 2008 it moved to its current location because the test scores were not looking good.Venus also talked about how when Life Academy was established there were many schools that were made with it. The real reason why those small schools were being made is because of the small schools movement, the small schools movement was a movement that the district signed off on 1999 which said take out schools in poor neighbourhoods and replace them with many small schools in that location because the district thought that this movement was gonna help test score and decrease dropout rates, it ended in 2007 and that’s how Life Academy was made into its own school, because they saw that it didn’t help with anything (Murphy). Mesui also told me that the other schools that were at Fremont at the time closed down which shows that since the test scores didn’t work the district didn’t want the small schools anymore, which also shows that making small schools was a bad idea.

Some Oaklanders might agree with that it really didn’t improve everything the district wanted to improve. This move also destroyed people’s relationships with friends and teachers. Losing a relationship with a friend sucks because you have been talking to them and learned so much about them. But also some Oaklanders agree because if life was in fremont still the whole environment would have been dangerous because fremont has a lot of fights and that would be awful because people would get hurt. If the person reading this isn’t from Oakland Life Academy is a middle/ High school and Fremont is a High School, the larger school, is considered a very dangerous place because they are always fights over there. The reader might also be thinking isn’t all of Oakland dangerous? The answer to Oaklanders is no it is not, it’s a beautiful city and isn’t always dangerous and not to trash Fremont or anything but that is one of the most dangerous places in Oakland, and it’s a high school, hopefully one can see that if Life Academy was in that location, Fremont would have been bigger and there would have been more fights so it was a idea that they moved Life Academy to the Calvin Simmons location.

In conclusion, Life Academy became a small school because the district thought that making small schools was going to help test scores and reduce dropout rates. If Life Academy was still at Fremont the whole Life Academy community would have been a disaster.  So know in 2020 there’s a budget crisis in Oakland, should OUSD keep small schools open?

 Annotated Bibliography

Gutierrez, Erick Erubiel, and Venus Mesui. “Life Academy Switch Interview.” 5 Dec. 2019.`

In the interview Venus talked about how life academy moved and when it was established. Venus Mesui is a worker at life academy that has been working at Life Academy since it was established.

Murphy, Katy. “Oakland’s Small Schools Movement, 10 Years Later.” East Bay Times, East Bay Times, 15 Aug. 2016, https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2009/05/05/oaklands-small-schools-movement-10-years-later

In the article Katy Murphy talked about the small schools movement and what it was. This is a credible source because she’s an oaklander and she knows what shes talking about and it’s from a website that’s all about Oakland and Bay area.


In the United States People Can Speak any Language They Want

This text is telling us that the people who lived should not have problems or an excuse to learn the english language because they were born there.

One claim that I got from this picture was that English is a language to learn and people should have excuses to learn it.

Photo by jairojehuel (Pixabay)


Dangers of Youth Sports

One of the areas scientists and parents are interested in regarding concussions, is youth sports. Extensive research has been done surrounding youth football, and the frequency at which concussions occur in this particular sport. Studies have shown that the amount of concussions incurred during these sports are absurd numbers, and most importantly, the number of concussions go unreported in all of these sports is particularly frightening. Parents and coaches are unable to fully diagnose and acknowledge many of the concussion-like symptoms that a player may, or may not, have. This creates a situation where young athletes are put at further risk now, and later in life, for symptoms based around brain trauma, maybe even including CTE. Science has continued research in order to allow for coaches, parents, and doctors, to better diagnose symptoms of concussions, with mood swings and irritability all being things seen in patients with concussions. Another important facet of this, is the idea that kids brains can be more susceptible to long term damage from brain damage, compared to that of an adult. This goes against some traditional thought, that says younger brains are more resilient to this form of trauma, based around the plasticity of the brain. “Plasticity doesn’t seem to work that way,” says Robert Stern, the director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Boston University. Instead he argues that many of these young athletes who play high contact sports are at a heightened risk for issues surrounding their brains. This demonstrates a link between many youth sports and adverse reactions from their brain, something that has possibly grave implications for the sports. While hockey does rank at the lower end of frequency of concussions compared to other sports such as football, the risk is still very prevalent. USA Hockey has attempted to reduce these risks, mainly from making body checking illegal in all games for players aged thirteen and under. Some have questioned the effectiveness of rules such as these, citing incidental contact and a lack of enforcement as factors. While this is true, from personal experience, the amount of head contact is definitely reduced in these younger age groups. Another potential factor that isn’t mentioned as much, is teaching and practicing safe checking and physical contact. This is something, that, in many traditional circles, is not talked enough nearly enough, and from my own experiences, can lead to drastically negative results.

https://nowcomment.com/documents/136875


What causes obesity?

Obesity is one of the most common problems which is rapidly growing in today’s society. Obesity is a health problem which is not only related to what we eat, there are so many other reasons for obesity.

According to data,published by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015, which is the list of the countries by body mass index, US ranks 17th  out of 190 countries. In an article about obesity in the US, it says: “Nearly two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight or obese.” Also it shows that the prevalence of obesity in the US has more than doubled over the past four decades. If we look at the reasons for obesity, it is not only about what you eat or how much you eat?

According to a website, the most common reasons for obesity are: physical inactivity, overeating, genetics, frequency of eating, medications, psychological factors, diseases, social issues. In addition to physical inactivity, I think that technology has an impact on obesity,because it causes inactivity. For example, people do not have to go to the bank for sending money to someone, they can do that with one click from their computer at home. Also I think that it is inevitable for everyone to eat fast food because in today’s world everybody is busy and usually they do not have enough time to cook so most of us prefer fast foods.

As a solution for obesity, one of the websites about health and obesity suggests eating more fruits,vegetables,nuts and whole grains; exercising, even moderately, for at least 30 minutes; cutting our consumption of fatty and sugary foods; using vegetable-based oils and says “So walk a little more, eat a little less— and do what you need to do to maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index).”

In conclusion, obesity is a serious health problem which, in my opinion, it is inevitable in my opinion for US and other countries, and it is not about what we eat. It is about our lives, genetics and other diseases.


Empathy with Covid-19

As discussed in a previous blog post, “Empathy in Action,” a single story can impact how empathy plays a role in identity. Empathy is important because it plays the role of a person’s identity and allows others to put themselves in another person’s shoes. Especially in times of COVID-19, many people, teens in particular, deal with situations that can place a significant impact on their mental health.

The council recovery website states that, “One study found that 80% of adolescent girls feel “more lonely and isolated than before” (TCOR Marketing). Due to an increase in mental health issues, the process of using empathy must also be increased. Practicing empathy during the pandemic is a practice that everyone must learn to use. 

Not only does using empathy toward others help benefit them, but it also may benefit the person using it. In an article by VeryWellMind, it discusses the key takeaway that, “There are many benefits to practicing empathy—especially during a global pandemic. In addition to helping you connect with others, being empathetic also helps you regulate your emotions in times of stress” (Cherry).

Being aware and empathetic with other people’s needs and emotions can help you understand why an individual might be acting a certain way. NoahHelps website discusses the importance of empathy during times like these and says, “Empathy and the willingness to understand are a critical part of compassion which leads to action. Think of others and look for ways you can help in your community” (Jewell).

Other ways individuals can help their community are listening to others, engaging in acts of service, and putting yourself in another person’s shoes. Although staying at home and empathizing with others seems small, this can impacts a wide variety of people. 

Work Cited

Cherry, Kendra. “How to Practice Empathy During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Verywell Mind, 30 Mar. 2020, www.verywellmind.com/how-to-practice-empathy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-4800924

Jewell, Tiffany. “5 Tips for Practicing Empathy During the COVID-19 Pandemic – NOAH: Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health.” NOAH, Tiffany Jewell https://noahhelps.org/5-tips-for-practicing-empathy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

TCOR_Marketing, Author: and Category: “How COVID-19 Is Affecting Teens’ Mental Health.” Council on Recovery, 5 Oct. 2020, www.councilonrecovery.org/how-covid-19-is-affecting-teens-mental-health/.


Death Penalty in the Chi

By Elijah and Lalo

Do you feel like people should face the death penalty? Here in Chicago or in the United States in general don’t have the death penalty rule. While in other countries there are many more people killed by the government than in the U.S.

I don’t believe anyone deserves to get the death penalty. First, for once its a violation of are 8th amendment freedom from torture. The way they are executing these criminals. Also meanwhile they are taking are human rights away by doing this because you can not have rights if you are dead.

I feel like a better alternative for countries that still utilize the death penalty. Instead of killing someone we just give them live in jail with no parole. This is a way better alternative because after all you will at least preserve the right to life.


Plastic Bag Ban

Do bans against plastic bags and plastic waste actually work? Many places have already begun  plastic bag bans/ fees with some of the largest cities being Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Other cities have also started charging fees for those who would still like to use plastic bags. Some states, such as California, have started recycling programs for plastic bags as well as encouraging users to “Return to a Participating Store for Recycling”. As of 2017, 32 countries have banned plastic bags. 

According to reusethisbag.com, “160,000 bags are used every second,” globally. Of these 160,000, approximately 1-3% are recycled. In a year, 500 billion plastic bags are used. “That’s 150 bags per person, per year, for every single person on Earth — or enough to circle the globe 4,200 times,”(reusethisbag.com). By banning plastic bags in 2012, San Jose, California saw a 60% decrease in creeks and rivers. They also saw an 89% reduction of plastic bags in storm drains. Seattle banned plastic bags in 2012 and by 2017, there was a 76% decrease in commercial plastic bag waste.  There are many other places that have bans but as of June 2019 only California, Hawaii, and New York have banned plastic bags statewide. 

These examples show some of the positive effects of the bans placed. Since these bans have started there have been decreases in plastic bag waste and the presence of bags in storm drains or waterways. There has been an increase in recycling programs and regulations for plastic bags as well.

Resources not linked to previously:

https://www.seattle.gov/council/meet-the-council/mike-obrien/plastic-bag-ban

Age Does Not Define Your Knowledge

Dear Representative Ocasio-Cortez,

I am passionate about your Instagram video where you call the current generation badass because it helps me to understand that