man, woman and child holding hands on seashore

Family Is Important

During these hard times what we need more is Family. May it be by the relation of Blood and Genes, or a group of people so close they consider each other family. Family is important. No matter if you don’t like your brother, cousin, uncle, etc. They are the only family you will ever have, and no other can replace them. Family is precious. We must learn to protect our family, make sure no harm falls upon them, and for them not to be lost. Like I said During these hard times Family is what we need the most.

Since the start of quarantine, many haven’t been able to see their loved ones face to face. Nor spend Special quality time with them. Nobody knows when the time of someone is up, so we must learn to cherish our family. Family is important because it provides love, support, and a framework of values to each of its members. Family members teach each other, serve one another, and share life’s joys and sorrows. There will never be another in the world that would do something like this. Family can also be the cause of one’s personal growth, which can lead to a brighter future. Your Family is your only Family; hold onto them never let go

¨ Don´t know why, but it sounds depressing Sorry? ;)¨

four people on seashore

Economic Changes

“With schools closed and the streets empty across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic, many parents are spending their days tethered to their homes, trying to think up activities to occupy their children”. Families are spending more time together because they are quarantined inside their house and parents are doing work online and schools are going online and knowing that the parents are finding new activities to do with their children but in a safe way. Not being around people as much or having them over for an occlusion which you can still have but with some restrictions that they would have to follow.

A lot of people are working from home because of the coronavirus and it made a lot of people to figure out a new routine and how they are going to do online work. “The coronavirus is putting remote work to a gigantic test, and at a totally unprecedented scale”. But knowing that they are capable of adjusting to what is happening at the current moment then people are going to be fine. Working from home can be challenging sometimes because there might be problems that need to be fixed or you are doing something else, but at least you are learning from your mistakes.

The virus has changed how adults go to work and students go to school, but this change is making people be more creative about what they do and how they do it. It has made people have challenges about how they’re going to do the work that they are supposed to do; and as for students, how are they going to adapt to school having a different way of learning and knowing what the days are going to be like.

Immigrant Struggle

Immigration Struggle

What do immigrants have to go through? Based on what I see happening in my community, Oakland, and others has made me think how some immigrants have had to deal with a lot of stress and worries because of Donald Trump. According to “The radical immigration changes under Trump that went unnoticed” it explains that “Ever since US president Donald Trump took office, his administration has pursued radical anti-immigration policies that have garnered global attention. The government has separated families, detained children, and even used force to prevent asylum seekers from crossing the southern border. At one point the president suggested shooting immigrants in order to stop them” (Merelli). Immigrants care about each other and their families like everyone else, and these new policies are degrading. Based on the research it is clear that Donald Trump has made it worse for Immigrants because he is ending support programs for families and increasing trauma for immigrants.Firstly, Trump has made it dismal for immigrants because he is ending programs. In the article called “A looming change in immigration policy is spooking Bay Area families” By ERICA HELLERSTEIN, who is an award-winning investigative journalist

and feature writer, covering politics, gender, and human rights she explains how if Donald Trump continues to take away the food resources like food stamps or medicaid then people will struggle with getting food and keeping their kids bellies full and healthy. In this article Hellerstein also mentions Yuri’s story and said “She worries, she said, about how she will keep her children’s bellies full without food stamps. But she doesn’t want the use of social service programs to put her at risk for deportation somehow” (Hellerstein). By analyzing the research it is clear that Donald Trump is just giving more fear to immigrants and he is making it worse for the people he said he would support. Donald Trump is making innocent people suffer for example kids, it’s not their fault their parents or they are immigrants and that is no reason for Trump to take away food stamps for people.On top of cutting support programs,Donald Trump has also increased trauma for immigrants. In that article called “After family separation at border, Guatemalan teen’s mental health collapsed during 11-month detention” By Rebecca Plevin she talks about how Artemio mental health is from being separated from his. Plevin said “Officials separated the father and son…When Artemio and López were reunited in Southern California in June, López realized his son was a different young man. Artemio, who used to labor in his family’s fields and play soccer in the afternoons, had lost weight and paled, and had all but stopped speaking. He didn’t sleep well and wouldn’t eat or drink water” (Plevin). Based on this quote from Plevin’s article it is clear to me that Trump doesn’t only affect people emotionally but also mentaly. All of the actions that Trump is taking are affecting people a lot and one of those people was Artemio and his family.

What worries people the most is if Artemio will ever be the same young boy he was before.

Though Donald Trump is doing this harm, People don’t stop their fight and they Protest for their rights and what they think is right.

Image result for immigrants protesting in oakland

In Conclusion, Immigrants have never had it easy on them and Trump is just making it worse and is also affecting the community more because he is allowing murder against inoccent people who are just trying to work to feed their families and Exeed.

Loneliness Is A Battle With No Winner

Mama believes that I despise my adorable sister, Maggie, and I do not blame her for the way she perceives me because my mother did not get an education beyond 2nd grade. I know how it was almost impossible for a black person in the 1920s to get an education, especially for girls. As I was growing up in my Mama’s house, I realized that we were poverty-stricken. I wanted to have a better life for my family and myself. So I decided to get an education in order to be able to unshackle my family and myself from the bondage of ignorance that I believed was part of the reason why my family was poor. I remember when I was young and naive, our old house that I despised engulfed by the flames. I was so gratified because I wanted to wipe out all the memories that I resented while living in my old house. I remember seeing my beautiful sister getting eaten by the flames, and unfortunately, I was completely paralyzed that I could not even help her, probably because I wanted the house to be wiped off the surface of the Earth or because I witnessed my adorable sister being hunted by the flames? All I know that at that time I was dazed and overwhelmed.

Also, I remember when I was trying to enlighten my family by teaching them and showing them the other worlds, they felt like I was intimidating them. I do not blame them for their feelings, but I do blame them for the fact that they believed that I hate both of them and never attempted to listen and open their minds. After I felt completely disconnected from my family, I decided to travel to build my own future due to the fact my mother and sister seemed to love each other, living in their small and very-limited world. After five years of being away, I bought my own house and got married to a man that I love and believe will assist me in my journey of prospering. This is the reason why I left my own family. I left them to become a better person and help them in the future, but I never hated the family that I grew up with.

As I started to get involved in my life overseas, I came to realize that family is very precious and indispensable. I will never forget those days when I did not have any  6company but the bleak darkness of the midwinter. My husband left for a business trip and I was all alone at home. While he was away, I played dead, hoping the loneliness would leave me alone, and to avoid the empty side of my home. Each night insomnia used to sweep me up in his arms and dip me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove-light. Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feels like the perfect company. So I decided to go for walks but my stuttering kneecaps clanked like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists. They ring in my ear like clumsy church bells, reminding me I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness that I can not baptize myself in. But this was not what really made me realize that family is vital to a healthy life, but the fact that I abandoned my own family because they could not comprehend and accept me.

My loneliness made me feel me that I was obligated to reunite with my family, otherwise it would haunt me until the last moment of my life. So I went back to my home country hoping that I would get accustomed to my family. I was compelled to incorporate new methods and means in the way that I treat my family to assure them that I am not an outsider. But still my family rejected reunification, and this was the moment I came to realize that I was born alone. My fate is to be alone. The hollow auditorium of my life started to get wider and bigger as I decided to go back overseas. Still, Mama does not understand 

The Meaning of Family

“With family on your side, there isn’t a battle you can’t lose”. It is more than fair to say that America is one of the most diverse countries one may come across. Each and every citizen has different view points, ideas, and ways of life. No two Americans are the exact same which makes it hard to understand how they could both stand firm in their American citizenship without distinction. But, that is something built into the intrinsic values of our nation and a paramount point in our ideals as a sovereign state founded on freedom. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in this case, that is very true. Your family is the reason you are who you are as an American, they give you an identity. Being faithful to the people that love you and living by good family morals are some of the most underrated values of being an American citizen that truly do mean a lot in the long run. 

In my book, “This Is Not The End” by Chandler Baker, Lake Devereaux stumbles upon a life- changing situation- her 18th birthday. In this utopian society, on your 18th birthday you have the opportunity to resurrect one person from the dead. Now, this is a hard choice for anyone let alone a teenage girl. It comes down to a choice between what is right for her family versus what she wants. In American society, family is valued with high regard. Most of the way a person behaves and lives their life is due to how their parents and surroundings they lived in shaped them and grew to be their moral supports and role models. Similarly, Lake learns how to make decisions based on what she knows is something she can stand by, something that she and her family would be proud of. However, with all the problems life throws at you it is hard to know right from wrong. 

Not until very late in the book does Lake truly understand what family means. Not until she has lost everything and everyone that loved her. Realizations like these make one understand truly how important it is to keep the people that believe in you close and even put them over yourselves at times. In a 2014 study by Feeding America, researchers found out that roughly 26.5 million American families struggle to manage feeding their family along with other normal necessities such as education and housing and clothing (Huffpost). This means that 1 in 7 people need help by food banks to provide for their meals. This shows the struggles many people will go through in order for their families to stay afloat. The study talks about many hard decisions Americans have to make if they want the best for their family. For example the choice of buying a greater quantity of food rather than greater quality or feeding the family instead of paying utility bills. Although none of  these situations are similar to Lake’s, it goes to show how important family is and the sacrifices you have to go through to make things work. 

Lake’s brother, Matt, is a quadreplegic. This means all of his limbs are paralyzed from the neck down. Little does Lake know that the reason for his injuries was because of her- because he tried to save her. Seemingly so, this took a huge toll on the family and their connections with each other. I think this brings up another topic, family morals. Most families have their set of rules that make their lives go round. Nobody just automatically knows how to live their life and what to do, for example, simply being a nice person comes from ideas and actions you learn from the people you surround yourself with. This too is another value of an American citizen that goes hand in hand with having good family connections. Bryan Zitzman explains the meanings of social conduct and morals. He explains that “Our family values help us shape our own personal values and morals–which in turn helps define who we are and how we make our way in society.” (Zitzman). As an American we also have our own set of values that we live by known as the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance. Although not necessarily blood related, you could look at America as a big family which started back with George Washington. Just like in a regular family, without people there to guide us, life would be very difficult and we wouldn’t know how to act when faced with big decisions and changes. 

After reading this book I feel like I have a better sense of what the meaning of family is and how it can make or break your life. Life may throw big challenges your way but sticking to your morals and family values will help you through. As an American citizen, even though it may not be written or set in stone anywhere, it is important to have faith in your family and those that love you. I have learned that if you trust in the process, with perseverance and passion, you really can overcome whatever problems you experience.

Works Cited:

Baker, Chandler. This Is Not the End. Hyperion, 2017.

“How America’s Hungry Families Balance Nutrition, Housing And Health Care.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017,

L., Ryan. “Family and an American Identity.” Family and an American Identity – American Creed,

Zitzman, Bryan. “Family Values.” Beliefnet, Beliefnet Beliefnet Is a Lifestyle Website Providing Feature Editorial Content around the Topics of Inspiration, Spirituality, Health, Wellness, Love and Family, News and Entertainment., 11 Oct. 2019,

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. 

How to cope when life falls apart

The silence and bright lights surrounded my life for three years;it was fearful. I’ve never felt death walk around within dull walls until I stepped foot into what felt like a dream, a dream that felt endless.

I remember binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and witnessing a surgeon perform brain surgery for the first time. Most of the time everything works out perfectly, but there are those difficult surgeries that turn out devastating and the hardest part is telling their family the bad news. My brother was eight when he was diagnosed with brain cancer and my family definitely did not know how to handle anything at first.  

Every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. I remember asking “how did he get it?” Yeah. I know. What a rhetorical question to ask, but I’ve always been a curious person. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death among children in the United States, so I thought I was going to lose him forever.

How do you prepare yourself for the worst news ever? You don’t, you learn to cope. Everything, and I mean everything, drastically changes. Denial becomes a big factor in trying to cope, but staying in denial gets you NOWHERE. I was embarrassed. Angry. Worried. Hospital visits are the worst. I just hated the way they made my stomach churn like an endless whirlpool. It’s common to have Nosocomephobia, especially from horrible and terrifying past experience.  Arguments and noise fill your everyday life. Money becomes a huge problem predominantly because of our low income. You need to be ready to hurt and ache. For the most part you feel numb and clueless. Your life is welcomed with arms and quickly ends in a goodbye. I couldn’t have imagined how my brother felt. One thing that does change that you would least expect is your loved one. The physical changes are heartbreaking, from losing weight to burn marks from radiation. My brother was not my brother anymore. How can I say that? Well, Cancer changes you!!

You learn to attend events in which they support and help fundraise. I was in eighth grade when I made the decision to cut my hair for St. Baldrick’s foundation. I cried. A lot. As time went by I grew more aware of what was actually occuring and realized something important—bravery. Bravery comes in all shapes and forms, so it’s amazing what hope and faith can do. Remission is the best fucking part. Complete remission is like death for cancer, it’s gone.  

Despite the statistics of possible death, my brother was strong and kicked cancers ass. So, carry a diary around and be ready to face this endless dream because cancer will be around for a while. But, stay strong and have a great support system to guide you. Don’t let cancer ruin you or your family. Also, cancer t-shirts become prized possessions. They were my practice attire during every volleyball season. I felt proud.

Isadora “Missy” Randall

Lost in the thoughts
Oblivious to reality
Vivacious you are
Essential to me

You hang up on my glowing blue walls
‘09 was a hard time
Still can’t get over it
Mom has your pictures on Facebook so I saved em to my gallery
Your on my instagram
When i’m feeling down or mad i go to you
It’s the closest I can get to you
I miss you gramma
I wish we had videos together or more pictures before you left
Life’s been hard without you near
It’s hard to remember the memories cuz it’s been so long
Just promise me one thing, that you’ll be the first to meet me halfway?
Okay? Okay.

I am From

I am from my dads scrambled eggs in the morning
From Nike and Louisville Slugger
I am from a big house with blue paint, steep stairs and modern, simple lines
I am from towering pine trees, with nonstop showers of needles
I am from giant Thanksgivings and constant questions
From Ted Lyman and James McMahon
I am from the smell of dew at six in the morning and constant traveling
From Guns n Roses and James Taylor
I am from atheism to only Christmas
I am from Berkeley, California, England And Ireland
From the stories of my ancestors
From the baseball blood running through my grandpas veins
From our wall of history and memories
From the effort put into my sisters memorial
I am from love

In this assignment, we were asked to write a poem about qualities that make us who we are and what we have been through. For my poem, I chose to write about the things I like about my family and myself. I enjoyed this assignment because when I thought about what made me, me, it brought back memories and made me realize how important small things can be. When I read my poem, it reminds me of all the good my family does for me and for everyone else. When other people read this poem, I hope they recognize how important family can be.

Family Comes First

I believe that my family is what shaped me into who I am. I’ve come to believe this because we’ve gone through a lot to get to where we are today. My brother, my dad and I have went through dark times together. This belief was tested when my dad was at his lowest and we had to live in his friend’s living room. The living room was small, and there was two medium sized couches but my dad had to buy a fold up mattress so him and my brother could sleep on it while I slept in the other room with 3 other kids. We had to share one bathroom, didn’t really have our own privacy as much and we didn’t really like the food they made, so we mostly ate microwave food. A couple months later we moved into our first apartment. He did all of this on his own as the only financial contributor of the family. He handled everything:  providing clothes, a roof, and food for us, as well as taking my brother and I out for “Sunday Fundays.” He cooks every night even when he’s tired and drained from work, and he gives us everything we ask for; even when he doesn’t have it, he does what he can to make it possible.

I put this belief in action when, as the older sibling, I took care of a lot of the responsibilities my dad couldn’t handle while being at work. I had to clean the house, do dishes and sometimes cooking for my brother if he was hungry. I had to mature faster than a lot of people my age because of these responsibilities. I realized I had to stop asking for things I wanted and only ask for things I need. Also, because of my belief, I was motivated to find a job in order to be more self-sufficient.

My beliefs are true because it was and will always be us. We’ll always stick together, argue with each other, and make choices with each other. My dad has taught me a lot about responsibility which further reinforces my belief. This belief has taught me a lot and motivated me to do good things and this will impact me in the future because it helped me grow up earlier at a young age and provided me with an advantage over many of my peers.




Oakland is a sanctuary city which means it helps protect immigrants from deportation. This is good because it helps make people feel safe. Feeling safe is important because when a person doesn’t feel safe they feel like they always have to be prepared for something harmful to happen to them.

Since Oakland is a sanctuary city, the city basically can’t expose undocumented immigrants living as residents in the city to enforcement’s like I.C.E, which helps undocumented people feel safer. This is true for Oakland because the Mayor Libby Schaaf doesn’t believe that she should expose her undocumented citizens to  endangerment. In the article, “Sanctuary cities: Top 3 Pros and Cons” it discusses what the mayor has to say. The Mayor of Oakland Libby schaaf stated, “I like to compare this to conscientious objector status. We are not going to use our resources to enforce what we believe are unjust immigration laws”(Schaaf). This quote shows that since Oakland is a sanctuary city then the people in power believe that they shouldn’t help give resources to immigration enforcement laws because they know it is unlawful. This shows the undocumented immigrants that some people in power are on their side. Knowing that people in power are on their side it makes an undocumented immigrant feel more safe because they know they have more of a chance of staying safe.

This also shows that immigration unites people in Oakland because it is uniting them to go against a cause because they are aware of the endangerment of undocumented immigrants and through uniting they feel safer. Additionally, in an interview with an undocumented immigrant, Oakland resident Maria Palma said, “ I do feel safe in Oakland knowing that important people are going to make sure, I as a community member can live safe and not be separated from my family” (Palma). This shows the importance of Oakland being a sanctuary city because if Oakland wasn’t a sanctuary city then undocumented immigrants would be endangered of being separated from their families. This was a highlight from the interview because she stated those words with relief and happiness knowing that she wouldn’t have to be separated from her children which is a fear a lot of mother’s face when their cities aren’t sanctuary like Oakland.

Oakland is one of the few cities that is sanctuary because of this, the city helps prevent the separation of families. This is true because if it is protecting the undocumented immigrants then they won’t be taken away by immigration law enforcements, they would be able to stay with their families. In the article “Diane Guerrero’s Emotional Interview on Parents’ Deportation Hits Close to Home”by Maitri Suhas . Diane Guerrero, a well known celebrity,  exclaims what it feels like not in a sanctuary situation, she states,“They would have liked to fight deportation, but without a lawyer and an immigration system that rarely gives judges the discretion to allow families to stay together, they never had a chance… Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and, at 14, I found myself basically on my own”(Suhas). This shows that it is a good thing Oakland is a sanctuary city because it helps keep families together. Keeping families together is important because in this article of the interview on Diane Guerrero, she told the viewers her story because she wanted to speak out about how harmful family separation is. Her experience matters because if Oakland wasn’t a sanctuary city there would be more children who have to go through what Diane Guerrero went through when her parents weren’t able to fight for their justice.

In a interview, with a Oakland student who used to be undocumented, Jennifer Duran when asked the question, “Do you feel safe living in Oakland?”, Jennifer answered with “yes I do feel safe living in Oakland now because now I do have residency, I used to have fear of getting deported for myself and my family because i thought I would get deported through my appearance”(Duran). The purpose of this question was to understand Jennifer’s experience living as an undocumented immigrant in Oakland. This shows that Oakland being a sanctuary city is a good thing because Jennifer Duran’s fears would’ve come to life if Oakland wasn’t a sanctuary city. Not only Duran but many children in the U.S. also have the fear of getting separated from their families if there were more sanctuary cities like Oakland they would not have to live their lives in fear. Oakland being a sanctuary city helps Duran because even if she didn’t know it was a sanctuary city she would’ve still been safe. This proves that Oakland being a sanctuary is a positive contribution because there are immigrants that have the same fears Jennifer faced when she didn’t have residency. Sometimes their fears come true because they don’t live in a city like Oakland.

Some people might believe that Oakland shouldn’t be a sanctuary city because it makes documented citizens  feel unsafe but that is only because people believe that immigrants are bad since they’re stigmatized as criminals. This is untrue because in the article “Immigrants in surge ‘not dangerous individuals,’ Border Patrol chief says” written by  Kyle balluck. Gil Kerlikowske is talking about what he has seen so far in his job as a border patrol agent. Gil exclaims, “These are family members, these are not gang members, these are not dangerous individuals I think that we all need to work through this problem together as Americans”(Balluck). This quote shows that  immigrants are not criminals because someone who protects the border has seen so much in his work that he is now aware of the injustice immigrants receive. This quote proves that Oakland being a sanctuary city is a good thing since it helps people feel safe, this is true because the undocumented immigrant families who coming over to the U.S. are just looking for a safe place for their families, which is found here in Oakland.

In conclusion, Oakland being a sanctuary city helps provide the feeling of being safe to their community members. A way to stop the stigma around immigrants being criminals is to create more awareness for other people to learn more about their stories. When we hear their stories we will have more empathy because we know that their stories are truly sad since they have to work hard for their families. Maybe it’s time for America to be more like Oakland.

Work cited:

2010, Ivan. “Sanctuary Cities: Top 3 Pros and Cons.” ProConorg Headlines, Could Not Be Found, 8 Dec. 2016,

This source talks about the pros and cons to sanctuary cities. This source is credible because it values both sides of the it can’t be bias. This source was important to have in my blog because it is about the key topic of my claim.


Balluck, Kyle. “Immigrants in Surge ‘Not Dangerous Individuals,’ Border Patrol Chief Says.” TheHill, The Hill, 4 Feb. 2016,

This article is about the views of a border patrol agent who says he does not believe that illegal immigrants were bad people. This source is credible because it is talking about the view of someone who is supposed to detain people from copying the country but has seen so much unfairness he is going to speak out for them.

Duran, Jennifer. “The Safeness of Residency .” 21 Dec. 2018.

=This interview was about Jennifer’s feelings towards living in Oakland. Her feelings matter to my blog because she was a undocumented immigrant so she has has experience about the main topic of my blog. She is a trustworthy source

Palma, Maria. 16 Dec. 2018.  “Living in Oakland as a Immigrant”

This interview was on her experience living in Oakland and how she feels about Oakland now. This source is credible because she has lived in Oakland for 20 years. She cannot be biased because she is just talking about her feelings towards Oakland and this interview was opinion based.

Suhas, Maitri. “’OITNB’ Star Opens Up About Parents’ Deportation.” Bustle, Bustle, 13 Nov. 2018,

This article was about the story behind Diane Guerrero opening up about her experience of when she was 14 and her parents got deported. This article is not biased towards the star because it only states what she said on the interview. Guerrero is a credible source because she always empowers the viewers to not give up because of her experience with deportation.


Family Comes first

I believe family comes first because family will always be the first people to be there for you. Yeah, everyone can have friends but friends can be there for you for a while but not always for the long run.

Your family is there for you through your bad, sad,and happy moments. For example, I had met this girl in the beginning of my sophomore year and we really did not like each other but then we had got to know each other pretty well after a few months. We became best friends and did everything together everyday, but when we started our junior year she started acting weird. She wouldn’t really talk to me, and it really bothered me. She started hanging out by herself she seemed like she did not want nothing to do with anyone. No matter what I tried, it just didn’t get better.

From there we just stopped being best friends. I honestly I didn’t tell her anything because that was her choice to remove herself from being my best friend.

My mom always gave me advice on everything she was my number one person to go to when I had problems I really had more trust with her then friends. I told her what happened with my “Best friend” and she told me that she probably need time to herself she probably had things going on so i just left her alone.

Not everyone will stay in your life forever we will meet new people throughout our lives.

Another example is that me and my cousin from my dads side, I remembered that she and I would always fight and stop talking to each other over little things.  We would try to stay mad for at least an hour. but we couldn’t stay mad forever. We were family we would always be there for each other no matter what we needed to talk to each other because we would also make each other laugh and smile.We make jokes we talk about everything we always apologize to each other after arguing or having our fights. I have learned not to stay mad, it isn’t worth it.

What I’m trying to say is that family will always be there for you no matter what the situation is because they truly care for you. Friends can tell you they care, but they don’t show it like my family does.

Not Loving the Right Person


Hi, my name is Cece. I’m a 9th grader at Life Academy. My poem is about how my family and I fight about how I’m bisexual and my mother and father don’t accept me because of their religion. I wrote the last part for them as a message because I just want them to accept me and for who I want to love even if it means that they have to go against their religion. I hope you enjoy my poem and is able to understand the message.

Not Loving the Right Person

I wish we were fighting over food

instead of the person

I love.

Adults say I should love a specific person


My heart says I should love

Whoever I want.

Fighting everyday because of who I chose to love

Is not the person they want me

To love

Problems start with beliefs,

What I believe against

What they believe.

Why can’t we both just believe that it’s ok to love whoever you want.

Teams between the family.

One team accepts,

The other opposes.

How can we get along if the teams don’t play together

Sexuality gets in the way of family

Some accept

Some deny me as if I was a stranger looking for shelter

Others hate the idea

Problems start with beliefs,

What I believe against

What they believe.

Why can’t we both just believe that it’s ok to love whoever you want.

Love can mend situations,

Love can destroy someone,

And love can bring two people closer

like how glue brings itself close to paper.

Hate causes problems,

Hate causes feuds,

And hate can put family against one another.

Can you just let me be ?

Can you let me love who I want ?

I swear I won’t let them hurt your lil girl,

All I ask for is for you to accept me for who I am and for who I want to love.

Is that not a simple request ?

I know it means you’ll have to go against what you believe

Problems start with beliefs,

What I believe against

What they believe.

Why can’t we both just believe that it’s ok to love whoever you want.


for your lil girl,

Can you go against them ?

My Personal Shadow Box

Joseph Thornton

My Shadow Box Artist Statement


My Shadow box is separated by two main things. The outside of my shadow box represent dominant narratives and stereotypes about my identities and the inside represents my counter narrative and parts of me that make me who I am.

On the outside in the back of box I include pictures of a danger sign, a gun, and marijuana. These pictures show the dominant narratives of black people that we all smoke weed and we are violent and dangerous. The right outside of my box I include a picture of a bunch of different sports equipment such as a football, soccer ball, and basketball. I include this to show the stereotype that since I’m a teenage boy I should like playing sports since that’s something that teenage boys commonly like to do. And finally, on the left side of my box, I include a picture of a man lifting weights and a stereotypical picture of the male brain. The image of the man lifting weights  is important because it represent the belief that people of the male sex should be big and strong. I included the picture of the male brain because it perfectly represents what people assume males think about and things we have in our head. So in all, the outside of my box represents the dominant narratives of my race and my sex.

Now moving on to the inside of my box. This part of my box represents my chosen identities and my true self. There are also things that show my counter narrative for some of my identities. To combat the dominant narratives that all black people are violent and dangerous I include pictures of me and my family to show that black people are just as loving and caring as any other race. Furthermore, I combat the belief that teenage males are all interested in sports by having pictures of my actual interests such as music, anime, and comic books. I’ve honestly never really been interested in or realy liked sports. Even though my parents and most people would tell me I should play football or basketball and trying to push me to pursue that. I prefer stereotypical “nerdy” interests, I guess you would call it. And I’m not afraid to admit that because it’s what I’m actually interested in and what I like. Finally, I combat the dominant narrative of males just being big and strong by including quotes that question and challenge male stereotypes. I included this because I read these questions and felt that they were all questions I thought about at one point in my life as a male. So I wanted to include that because of that strong reaction I had to them.

All together, my shadow box includes dominant narratives and stereotypes I believe are forced onto me because of my assigned identities along with my counter narratives and my chosen identities showing how I see myself and how I wish to be seen.

My Shadow box

When people look at me they might think that I’m dangerous or that I’m an immigrant which is my dominant narrative.But, I’m not dangerous nor an immigrant I am a strong independent Mexican female who enjoys competitive swimming and embraces her culture this is my counter narrative. I have chosen to include pictures of my childhood to show how I have grown up but also all the traditions that have been celebrated in my culture. For example my baptism, a few months after I was born my parents chose to baptize me because it’s part of my culture and religion most of my family is baptized and I want to continue this tradition as I grow older and have my own kids. Also, I choose to Include a white ribbon that has my name on it and symbolizes the date in which I had my first communion. I felt like this was important to include in my box because having my first communion is a tradition but it’s also a part of my culture that I wanted to include. I am Catholic and I love having faith in God because it makes me feel like I have someone that supports me even though I can’t see them. I chose to include my Virgen de Guadalupe because I have a lot of faith in my Virgencita and I was also named after her so that also shows that she is a big part of my identity and culture. I am Mexican American which means that I’m half Mexican and half American but I chose to embrace the fact that I’m Mexican the most. I included the Mexican flag because it’s where my parents were born and it’s a place that symbolizes my culture and where my ancestors are from. I am very athletic meaning that because I’m female people see me different but regardless of my biological sex. I choose to try my hardest and never give up. Many people might think a lot of negative things about me because of my race. I am a Latina who has a lot of power and I will not let anyone tell me otherwise or dehumanize me for being a strong Independent female.  

Christy’s Shadow Box

This shadow box represents me in the inside and how the world sees me on the outside. The outside of my box represents the dominant narrative which is what society sees. Society thinks that all girls are supposed to wear dresses and their gender expression is “super girly.” They also see women as weak or all girls like pink, whereas I myself see me as a strong female that likes the color blue and likes wearing sweatpants. This is a counter narrative because I’m interrupting what society thinks by using my own voice and speaking for myself. I have chosen to include a lei of flowers because as a native Hawaiian I grew up making and wearing leis for festivals or traditions. My ethnicities are Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Filipina, and Vietnamese. I have chosen to include a keychain that says love and blessed from a temple gathering I went to with the Tzu Chi foundation. This foundation is amazing and helps everyone from all around the world. The Ohana in the middle of the sparkly blue “water” means family and I chose to put in the water because out of everything I choose to love I choose to love my family. Family first.

The Ugly Duckling Animation- Kindness and Reality

Do you like ducks going in adventures? Well, you’re in for a ride! My animation is based off the fairytale “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen. The duckling is bullied his whole life for having gray feathers. All the farm animals refuse to play with him because of his looks. One day, when the duck is walking he is captured by an old woman greedy to receive eggs from him. The woman, her cat, and then hen make fun of the Ugly Duckling for not being able to do anything but be his ugly self. Later as the nights pass, he escapes and lives in the reed bushes for months. He matures into a beautiful swan and finds a new family who cares about him. My alternate ending is where the Ugly Duckling finds no escape and has to live with the torture of the old woman and the cat. He is then exposed for being a male and kicked out of his only shelter. He suffers in the harsh weather and slowly matures into a bird. When he talks with the other swans he is still rejected. Fed up with being looked down always, he decided to leave to the West and start a new life. I worked on writing the script and making changes in red to cut out parts and in blue to add any new changes. I used storyboards to plan out how the setting and the characters would look. Then I began programming on Scratch.

I linked this document, so readers can see my work process behind the animation.

New Doors

A couple of months ago, I was sitting at the dinner table with my mom and dad. I was eating and they were just having a conversation as they went through the mail. “Lombriz, leeme esto” my dad said to me as he handed me a letter for me to translate. I began reading through it and was able to perfectly understand it until I began to think about the words I had to translate. I began to get frustrated because I was unable to translate words I perfectly understood in english to spanish, my first language. My dad took me out of my thoughts as he said, “Entonces, que dice?” I began explaining him the more simple words I was able to translate and then I choked not knowing what to say next. I tried to use other words to fill in the blanks but none made the letter clear. I saw my dad’s face as he got irritated and upset that I was not able to do the one thing he asked me to do. “Entonces pa que vas a la escuela si no aprendes nada? Que no pones atención o que?” he exclaimed at me as he stood up and snatched the letter from my hand. I sat there in shock not knowing what to say. Not being able to help the only people I want to give back to, made me feel useless. All my parents ask of me is to do good in school, help around the house, take care of my younger brothers and work.  At the same time, I understood that translating was also out of my learning since in school we don’t learn spanish and the words I speak in spanish aren’t the same as in English. However, it made me think of other places where my parents will face not being able to understand some English. It also made me think of all the other people who in this country understand little to no English. My dad and I were able to sit down after and talk and I explained to him that the English we learn in school isn’t related to bills nor do we have a Spanish class that would allow us to learn how to translate. He apologized and said he understood. I am truly fortunate and grateful towards my parents for opening new doors for me allowing me to learn a new language.

Its Going To Be Alright

This is a story of my family dynamic and love. A story where my father had a serious back pain where doctors here couldn’t do anything about. My father could not work at all, so it was very rough for us to live here and pay rent. We decided to go back to Guatemala, without knowing if we were able to come back to the USA since we were undocumented. It is an experience that I will never forget that happened in my life.

Memoir Piece- Esthefany Frazier

I was not born in the United States. When my mother told me that I was going to come here and be with my family I was super excited. I have gone six months without seeing them and it was truly killing me from the inside out. So, when it came to the day that I was leaving I intentionally forget about the people I was going to leave behind. For example the aunt that I was staying with and cousins. Well anyway. I was just  focused on getting to the United States. I was ready to feel be with my siblings. So the day I left I put on my prettiest dress, packed my bags and potentially. When my cab came to pick me up and take me to the airport it really hit me. I was really leaving. For a moment there I felt kind of empty. I looked over to my aunt and I could see that I shattered her heart. I was like her second kid and now I was leaving her. All these emotions hit me like a rock. And the waterworks just came rushing down. I eventually ended up flooding the house with my tears. After an hour of hugs and kisses and goodbyes and be goods I was on my way. I got on the plain and everything was just so foreign to me. I somehow felt out of place. The plane took off. I thought the trip was going to be short but i played myself.  When I set foot into SFO Airport I wanted to cry with joy. I was finally going to be reunited with my family and it felt so good. It felt good because I was no longer the forgotten child I once was. I saw my siblings and my stepfather at the end of the airport waiting for me, so I ran. I ran into the arms of my family. We went home and helped me get situated, it was the best feeling ever.

Love is in the Family

Comic memoir

Where I Come From

Tribute to My Uncle

Vicente Pena

March 20, 2018

Period 4


Tribute to Manuel

La verdad es que nunca lo conocí muy bien pero se que fue un buen padre a sus hijos y buen esposo a su esposa. Me acuerdo cuando le dieron la noticia a mi mama que se murió. A ella le afecto mucho eso porque lo quiero mucho a su hermano. Cuando se murio mi tio mi mama voló a méxico inmediatamente para estar con mi familia. Mi mama lloro mucho y allí fue cuando me di cuenta cuanto amor le tenía mi mamá a tío. Me hizo sentir muy mal y pensar cómo trato yo a mi hermana unas veces. Fue una buena persona que le ayudaba a mi abuelo darle de comer a todos los animales y le encantaban los caballos. Mi tío no sabía de la televisión porque nunca tenía tiempo siempre estaba ocupado trabajando. Mi tío trabajado tanto que cuando comía no le importaba que era nomas comía mucha comida. El originó en el pueblo de San Sebastián Durango Mexico. Escogí a mi tío porque cuando le dijeron a mi mama que se murió ella estaba desesperada y quise recordarlo para darle orgullo a mi mama y recordar de qué persona tan especial fue. Una cosa interesante es que él podía cuidar a los caballos mejor que nadie pero no era el mejor para montar. Y todos mis tíos trabajaban juntos para amansar los caballos y eso fue lo que el asia.

El Charro

Oh how beautiful is the party of the sun,

People from all over our little ranch gathering in a small circle

Everyone’s heart stops as soon as they hear those magical words


The last Rodeo…

Since my uncle passed my mom has never been the same

My support system,

The house feels different,

The person who constantly told me that she was proud of me said it rarely now

Booom My uncle finally jumps of the bull

The crowd cheers.. Shows over.



I kept asking myself,

Why did my parents divorce?

Weren’t we going to be the perfect family?

Time passed and my father left

He left to Mexico


Another bump in my road

Why did he leave?

When is the next time I’ll see him?

He said he would be there

when I needed him,

But he was not.

I started to have resentment on him

Even if I didn’t want to

There was something in me

That didn’t allow me to see him as a


I had mixed emotions

I was sad

I was upset


I stopped talking to him for years.

My mother had finally convinced me to talk to him

I called

He was in the hospital

I wouldn’t have known if I had not called.

I realized that not talking to my dad was not right.

I thought,

If something happens to happens to him

I wouldn’t forgive myself.

A couple years passed by   

And I finally had the courage to go see him in mexico,

I had different expectations for the trip.

When I got there,

He didn’t even go pick me up

It was his driver.

And it was not because he was sick,

It was because he preferred work instead of me.

I let that one go,

The next 2-3 days passed by

I didn’t see him because he was out of town with his family.

Yeah that was a rough time for me

I wish he would have at least invited me

So I can spend time with him and his family.

On my last day in Mexico

I saw him,

I wasn’t too happy to see him, but

He apologized for everything he had done,

I accepted his apology


He is my dad.

And I was glad that he was fine, in terms of health.

Although me and my dad don’t have have best relationship,

We know we will always be there for each other.

Making Up

Meeting Destiny

This is a comic about my niece and I talk about my love for her.

When I Met My Dad For The First Time

My Family

I can only describe my family one way. Hardworking. My dad wakes up everyday at 5 or 6 am in the morning, works a very physical job as an electrician for around 12 hours. My mom cleans houses and teaches a Zumba class, and still cooks dinner for us when she gets home very exhausted. My older brother attends a 4 year University after graduating from a prestigious private high school. I work very hard everyday to get the best grades possible. My younger brother works very hard to make those around him feel welcomed and helped. The reason why we are a hard working family is because, of course hard work gets you very far in life, but because we are immigrants. My parents figured out pretty soon that people with disadvantages actually receive less help in the United States. My parents always taught me that no one really cares about us, so it is up to us to work hard for what we want. That is why I am hard working, will continue to be hard working, and will make this a valuable lesson to pass on to future generations.  

The most valuable lesson that I have learned from my family is the power of happiness. I asked my parents what is it that I can do to make all of their sacrifices worth it, and they replied with, “find something in life that makes you happy.” At that moment, my life now had a bigger purpose. I thought about all the chapters of my life, and how my life book had just gotten bigger and more empty. Ready to be filled with my journey to happiness. I am extremely lucky to be born into a family that has taught me so many things that make me who I am today. This is my family dynamic, and now you know why I am the way that I am.

Family Jealousy

Why do you hate so much.

Why do you hate that we are doing good?

Why do you hate on the happiness we have?

Why do you hate so much on us?


Do you think that we don’t notice your hate? Well we do.

But we don’t say anything because it is not our fault. You are just killing yourself with all that hate that you have towards us.


So you see the hate you have for us does not affect us.

You see hate isn’t working, so come up with something else.

You start spreading rumors about us, so we could look bad in front of everyone.

Why do you do this?



You are our family.

Why are you hating?

Are you unhappy?

Are you okay?


Why do you always have my families name especially mine in your mouth.

What have we done to you?


You see, hating us does not affect us.

My parents tell me, “ Let them hate on us, we just keep moving forward”


I cannot say I hate you

But I really dislike what you do.

You may be related to me but that doesn’t mean anything.


It isn’t my fault that you’re unhappy.

It’s not my fault people don’t like you.

It’s not my fault you have the life you have right now.

Nothing is my fault.

So what do you have against me and my family?

Why do you hate us?


I cannot say I hate you

But I really dislike what you do.

You may be related to me but that does not mean anything.


You are just killing yourself with all that hate that you have towards us.

You are just killing yourself.


My family relatives has this hate and jealous relationship towards me and my family.


Being family is determined more by behavior than blood


When I saw you for the first time

Blessed to have my family.


Family is forever.

Even when we lose those who make part of our families and mean so much to us.

Eventhough it will never be the same.

You learn to cherish the old memories.

We are taught to love those whom we grow up with.

Those, who are our blood.

Until the unfortunate happens.

Until they are taken from us.

We then realize to not take family for granted.

And live every moment, cherish every hug and show unconditional love and support towards one other.


It’s hurts to see someone go especially when they’re taken by a thing like breast cancer

I saw her fight a tough battle, I saw her try to stay positive, I saw her in a hospital bed. Until I couldn’t see her anymore because she was gone forever.


We all go through rough times.

We are all put through different situations.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer was my aunts toughest moment.

She was loving,generous and humours.

But cancer didn’t take that from her.


And that’s what my family and I will always remember the loving person she was, the positivity she always tried to bring into our family even while trying to fight cancer.


As we go on we have all learned to become even more united, continue to help one another and always stay as one.


I’m blessed to have a family that I can count on who can support me and be there for me even when we are going through tough situations.


I can count on my family when I need a good laugh, or advice, or even a “Get it together Jovana”.


As I go on through life I hope to make my family proud and try to give back to them what they have given to me not only materialistically but continue to give them my unconditional love,support because they mean so much to me.

Intense Approach

We are exactly the same,

I just couldn’t agree with what you were saying.

We argued back and forth,

We both said some things that we didn’t mean to say.

I said some things that I should have said,

Because you are my mom,

I should have never talked back to you that way.

We both know things shouldn’t have been that way.


So we didn’t end up talking that whole day,

We passed by each other like if we didn’t know each other.

It hurt me,

But I know it hurt you too.

That same day I kept thinking about everything that was said,

I thought to myself,

“Why would we get mad at each other over something with no meaning?”

I wanted to approach you and talk about it,

I knew it wasn’t the time though.


We both woke up early,

As we always do because we always talk to each other.

I saw you,

I wanted to say something,

You saw me,

You wanted to say something.

It just wasn’t coming out of each other.

I didn’t know how to approach you.


We have always been really close to each other,

I tell you everything,

Whether I have a problem or just how my day went.

There are no secrets in between both of us.

It should have been easy to approach you.


So I did,

Yes I was nervous,

Yes I wasn’t sure what to say,

But you are my mom.

We should always be close to each other and make up for things.

Even more for some absurd argument that should have never escalated.

I said,

“I’m sorry”(Of course we had a separate conversation)

We hugged,

It felt like the best hug ever because we had never been this way.

So we made up,

We both smiled at each other,

I still remember I told you,

“I’m sorry mom, I am just like you.”

Family Dynamics


What matters to me the most are my nephews and nieces, because I feel the need to be a role model to them. If it wasn’t for them I probably would have not came back to school after I dropped out my sophomore year. When I dropped out of school, I didn’t really care until I had a conversation with one of them. I was asking him what he wanted to do in the future he said a profesional soccer player, he then asked me “What about you tia”. I stood there with no answer, thats when I knew I had to go back to school, and set an example for them. No one means more to me than them. I currently have four nephews and four nieces, and one on the way. Growing up I never had no younger siblings, I am the baby out of my siblings, so when my nephews and nieces came into this world they took the role of being my younger siblings. I think having a role model and having someone for them to look up to is very important. Coming from a big family and being the baby, people will probably think that I had a lot of role models in my life, but I don’t really. Out of all my seven siblings only one of them graduated, and I don’t blame them for their mistakes. But it would have maybe been a different situation if I did have them as a role model. That is why I believe that my nephews and nieces need someone to have as a role model, and even more so realize that shit can be done, after hella times failing. I believe that it is even more important to have someone who struggled and still made it than having someone who just successful the whole time. For me it is very important to have them look at me as their role model. Like I’ve said before they mean the world to me. My nephews and nieces will always be good as long as I am alive, they will always have my support and will always get my advice when they need it. Nothing in this world means more to me than the well-being of my nephews and nieces who are here in the physical world already and still many more who are yet to come. My oldest sister is next month giving birth, so just another nephew who I will have to be a role model too. I still have three other siblings who are yet to have children until then, the ones who are here in this world will always have me as their backbone and hopefully, they look at me as their role model.

To: Dad

I had not seen you in 8 years


8 years where I learned how wrong you treated my mother,

And my mother became my father as well,

And my brother became my male role model.


But where were you?


8 years where I only heard from you through awkward conversation on the phone

That probably lasted 5 minutes,

But they felt like an eternity.

Every time you asked what was new, I had nothing to say.

I could not find the right things to tell you because you just would not understand.


I think that happens when you talk to a stranger,

You don’t know what to say or how to act when you’re with someone you don’t know.

I didn’t know what to tell you.


I finally saw you after 8 years.

You were working and, when you saw us,you didn’t know what to do.


And I didn’t know how to feel,

Whether to cry of happiness or resentment.

Resentment that you didn’t look for us in 8 years.

We had to look for you.


Children of 14 and 16 had to look for their own father,

Because their father was too much of a coward to look for his children

and too much of a drunk to reason,

but that’s what made us let you go.


You looked at my brother and then you looked at me as if not knowing if we were real

or just a dream.

You had tears running down your face and I did too,

But I don’t know if they were sad tears of finally seeing you or tears of just feeling sorry for you.


There was such an immense ache in my heart because I wanted to punch you for not caring about us but how could I do that if I finally had you.


You had us wrapped in your arms

But I felt so trapped.

I just wanted to escape

Because you weren’t home.

You were a stranger.


I was hugging a stranger

And that wasn’t right.

My Family

My family,

Is made of love and tears

Laughter and years

And grows stronger every year.


My family is like music

Filled with high notes,

Filled with low notes,

But always a

Graceful song.


My family is gold,

Nothing can buy them

And nothing can buy

Me away from the love

For my family.


My family helps me when I’m down

Lifts me off the ground

They are people, I can can depend on

If someone gets in trouble, they will defend

They are the ones who understand.


My family truly cares,

They don’t judge or compare

They’ll accept me, even if I’m wrong

Because our bond is the power of love.


My family has share special moments

Living in New York,

Meeting my mom’s side of the family,

Roads with blankets of snow,

Making and play fighting with snowballs,

Walking around New York City,

Streets filled with crowds of people,

Seeing all the tall beautiful buildings,

Eating the big tasty pizzas that

Only New York City has,

Those special moments where the best

When I look back, it’s truly divine.


My family has gone through difficult times,

The death of a special family member,

A grandfather and a dad,

Together we cried ocean of tears,

Our eyes swollen from all the tears

As we felt empty inside

It was painful,

It was hard,

But we knew he was in a better place,

Watching down on us with a smile on face,

His smile always in our minds,

Although he was gone

His spirit will live on each and every one of us

Forever till the day we die

Our family stayed strong

As he’d want us to not feel sad

We remained together

Stronger than ever

Because he will forever be in our hearts.


My family’s love is great to have in life

And even when they die in this earth

They would always live in our hearts.


My family love is never hidden

It’s always shown

Our love for each other is never impaired

They give unconditional love,

Strength and guidance

To anyone they know.


My family likes having family reunions

Because the reunion is a time to see each other,

A time to remember,

A time to share old stories ,

And a time to make new memories

Together we eat

Together we talk

Together we laugh

Together we dance

Together we celebrate

Our future as a family

The reunion is a coming together

That strengthens the bond for

Our Family

And reminds us of the gift

Of unity.


My family’s bond can never be broken

Even through a nuclear explosion,

If just one of us lives, we all live

Always and forever we are family,

My mom,







And me.


Why I’m Grateful As Hell



I’m grateful for my parents because

It’s not easy coming from another country

To a country that’s not your country.

It has being one of the toughest things

And, the most challenging decision  

Me and my family have gone through.


And, it’s a thing I never wanted to do

I never wanted to come to the United

States to start a new life.


I didn’t ask for a new life but the chance was

given and I crossed the border with my mother

And, my siblings at the age of 7.


I remember every single detail from the top

Of my head my mother saying we were leaving

And that we were finally going to see my father.


I remember hugging my grandmother so tight

Begging her to not let my mom take me with her

Because I never asked for this.


Now that years have passed I now realize that

My mom just wanted the best for my siblings and I.


I’m grateful because thanks to my parents I am where

I am right now and what I’m doing is for them.


I want to make my parents proud because they brought

Me and my siblings from Mexico at such a young age while

Leaving people behind just to have a better future.


It’s been 10 years and I still remember the day I stepped

My foot inside our first home in the United States.


The house we first moved into felt like everything

I ever imagined, my very first room was in that house

With a huge bed, while back in Mexico

I would sleep in the floor with my siblings covered with thin covers.


I’m grateful because thanks to my parent’s strength I am

Where I am today living under a roof and having food to eat.


I’m grateful for the life I live every single day and the things

That occur to me and make me want to be a better person in life.


I’m grateful for living the way I do.

I’m grateful I crossed the border.

“Why I’m Strong As Hell”

It was hard at first.


Junior year.

The start of the semester.


New school year.
New teachers.

New start,

A start that was supposed to be exciting.


November came.

The thoughts of Thanksgiving came.




But it was all a tragedy.

Thanksgiving became a dark night.

Laughter became crying.


My dad had left.

It was just my mom and I.

In a blink,

Everything changed.


It was hard at first.


Going to school with that in mind.

Laughing moments and school work were my distraction.


Going home to not seeing that person.

That important person in my life.

16 years and 10 months

Aren’t easy to forget.


It was hard at first.


But I learned to be strong.





No one will be there forever.

I had to to lift myself up,

Keep going,

And be strong.


It was hard at first.


The Unforeseen Consequences of Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting is a style of overbearing parenting that can have adverse effects on young people through stifling their course of self growth and independence. A 2018 study on some of the results of helicopter parents said that they are “characterized as overly involved, protective parents who provide substantial support (e.g., financial, emotional, physical health advice) to their emerging adult children, often intervening in their affairs and making decisions for them”. Helicopter parenting seems to be on the rise lately, as more and more parents keep a tight leash on their children in an effort to protect them. The intentions of these behaviors are often well meaning, but the long term effects typically do not help the kids in their transitions into independence and self reliance.


A 2016 study on college students at a large university in the U.S. surveyed students for autonomy support from parents, helicopter like behaviors in parents, degree of self efficacy, anxiety levels, depression symptoms, life satisfaction, and physical health in an attempt to uncover correlations between autonomy support and positive behavior traits and overparenting’s connection to negative characteristics. Through this scientific study they produced results that weren’t surefire and still require more support and more surveying, but from what they did collect they could draw results supporting the development of self autonomy in young people and and how that ability connects to other aspects of life. They concluded through their data that “higher levels of autonomy support were related to higher life satisfaction and better physical health,” and that “Helicopter parenting was significantly and inversely related to self-efficacy”. These results support a part of their hypothesis predicting that parenting traits supporting autonomy would lead to healthier people while helicopter parenting would lead to a lack of self efficacy and independence. For college students who are just beginning to enter into a version of the “real world”, self efficacy is a critical behavior trait that plays into their daily life and success in their education and personal health. They did state that “Autonomy support was significantly and positively related to self-efficacy, …. but not directly related to anxiety nor depression,” which was unexpected to me, but based upon the data they collected there was not a connection to anxiety or depression through the development of autonomy, however, self efficacy is still a vital ability for all growing people moving into adulthood. This study produced basic evidence for the positive results of autonomy support from parents, while highlighting some of the drawbacks of helicopter parenting.


While for some parents it is not easy to let your kids have some freedom, I think that without giving them exposure during their youth and letting them face and handle difficulty they will be brutally unprepared for the problems they encounter after they fly the coop. I’ve worked with kids over the past two years as a ski instructor and the amount of parents who barely give their kids breathing space during the day is shocking. I understand that the world is quickly changing and it can be scary to let your kids be exposed to a lot of the danger present around us, but they need the space to grow independently, with parent support of course. Young people need opportunities to put their bright minds to work problem solving and learning about their surroundings, if someone caters to their every need they will come to a harsh reality when they encounter life on their own upon moving out or heading off to college. What have you seen helicopter parenting do in your life? Would you consider your parents to be helicopter parents?


Works Cited

Reed, Kayla, et al. “Helicopter Parenting and Emerging Adult Self-Efficacy: Implications for Mental and Physical Health.” Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 25, no. 10, June 2016, pp. 3136–3149., doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0466-x.

Overprotective Parenting Leads to Struggling Young People

Overprotective parents cause for all kinds of problems in kids, essentially through preventing them from learning how to handle difficult situations on their own, an indispensable skill for all people. Through the removal of risks, challenges, fears, and hurt feelings children are stripped of opportunities for growth and development necessary for their growth into more freedom and independence. Many kids are treated as exceedingly fragile in multiple ways, and through this treatment they are made to be so. In order for our emerging youth to be the strong independent people they need to be in this evolving world, they need to have parents that give them opportunities to learn how to solve problems for themselves, which often requires failure before success, something we’ve come to reject.

Allowing our kids freedom to grow and learn on their own is critical for their development, as well as their current lives. A 2013 UK study directed by Professor Dieter Wolke found that “Children with overprotective parents were 10 per cent more likely to be bullied. Positive parenting traits (authoritative parenting, communication, involvement, support, warmth and affection) made children 19 per cent less likely to be bullied.” Life isn’t always friendly, there are situations where you have to stick up for yourself, despite others doing you wrong. These are lessons best learned early to be employed throughout your life, because bullies do not go away despite involvement from authority figures. Everyone has spats of dispute in their life, and has to find a way to deal with them. Beyond handling social issues, simple problem solving is something that I see young people struggle with quite often when they are without help from an older person. This reliance on external aid directly leads into learned helplessness and an inability to solve problems with critical thinking on your own, an important life skill. I’ve seen high school students often come across situations where instead of looking for a solution on their own first they immediately ask a teacher or adult how they should do something, and while this may come from not wanting to do something wrong, it makes you wonder what some people would do without people constantly around them to help them throughout the day.

I am not trying to say that parents shouldn’t be there to help their kids deal with difficult or stressful situations, but there is a big difference between solving their problems for them and solving their problems with them. In the report of the study on bullying Professor Wolke says, “children need to deal with stressful situations in mild doses to learn how to cope.” I think this is accurate, in that parents shouldn’t be leaving their kids to figure it all out on their own, but shielding them off from all resemblances of difficulty makes for a person who is unable to handle hardship and will cause lots of problems later on in their life. Raising a child is not easy, and there are a lot of lessons that you have to try and teach your kids for them to grow into strong young people, but dealing with difficulties is a part of life, and as they grow older, no matter how protective you are through their youth, they will be confronted with these realities. There is a necessity for young kids to have some independence in their problem solving and social interaction in order for them to be able to deal with whatever life throws at them. The overprotective coddling parenting styles of today’s age stifle the learning in young people and cause them to be unprepared for challenges they will face later in life, but it is hard to manage that balance of being overbearing and letting the leash too loose. So the question is how do we allow kids to learn things independently yet keep them safe and healthy? It’s hard to say what really is the best way to promote independence while still upholding a safe tether.

My name connection

Lilian Maria Garcia Tista is the name my parents gave me. They named me after their mother’s. “Lilian “ connects me to my grandma because she is my motivation. “Maria” links me to my second grandma’s family and the Virgin Mary. I am proud of my name because I carry my grandma’s spirit with me. It reminds me where I come from and who I want to become.

Lilian Estela is my motivation. My grandma is a very hardworking woman. She would carry a pot of food in her shoulders everyday to go around town and sell them. Money was the only friend she could count on in order to put food in her children’s plate and give them a good education. She would move mountains for her children and family. My grandma is as sweet as pie. Her hugs make me feel loved and the way she would comb my hair was like soft waves from the ocean. Everyone can feel her contagious love, her heart is as warm as a fire. She motivates me to succeed in life and always be humble. That life throws you big obstacles but is the way you overcome them that makes you be successful in life. That if you fall you have get up and don’t give up until you accomplish your goals. She motivates me to be the best person I can be in life. I want to make her proud and show her the woman I am becoming thanks to her unconditionally love.

Maria del Rosario is a kind woman who would prefer to not eat to give someone else her food. I will always have her in my thoughts. The taste of her tamales, soft and moist filled my mouth with flavor. The way she would swing from a hammock, right to left until it stopped and she would do it again. Last but not least, all the advice she gave me to live a good life. To always laugh and be happy, to treat everyone the way you’d want to  be treated, to be kind, respectful, strong, and to unfailingly have faith. Her family is catholic and very religious. I relate with that god knows the best for you and that miracles can happen. I am connected to her family through religion, meals, traditions, laughter, commitment, and beliefs. It so happens that “Maria” is the name of the Virgin Mary in spanish, “Virgen Maria”. My middle name not only links me to my wonderful grandmothers but to the mother of everyone who protects you with her mantle. I hope I can live up to my beliefs and become the person I can be.

I, Lilian Maria G.T,  wear my name with pride as it connects me to the most important human beings in my life. It reminds me where I come from and pushes me to become a better person. I’m glad my parents gave me my name, “Lilian M.” because it reflects who I am. I will always be connected to my grandmothers because of my name so their spirits will be with me throughout my life and until I die. My name will always be surrounded with love, kindness, faith, and humbleness.


Reflecting on My Name

Esthefany Frazier

Last Revised: 02/6/2018

English 4- 3rd Period



I am Esthefany Navil Frazier Marte. Emphasis on the Marte. The word ‘Marte’ means Mars in spanish. We are the strongest family in Bandera. The town Bandera is like a slow, very slow. No action. Just still. That is until the Martes get together. My family is loud we fill the town with our conversation like a radio fills the car with music. Our hands wave and swing like crazy because our hand gestures can not be left out when we talk. We are so dramatic that we blow up the story like a balloon. We put in as much detail as we possibly can fit into the story. And to wrap everything up into a nice little bow is our attitudes. We have the attitude of 1000 teenagers.


We got strength in numbers. There are generation and generations and generations before and after me and we all hold the family name with pride.

The pride in the family name is huge. So huge that if someone was to try to hold it up, their hands would crumble. We are full of life, laughter, love.

We are fighters. We have each other’s back. Our family before anything and anyone.

The the name I carry defines who I am and I would not want to change on bit of it. I like to embrace it and show it off. The name makes me stand out. I am loud, dramatic a fighter, I Love , And I laugh. I am who I am because I was raised around those omnipotent people. They taught me to respect and value. So, I can later show the generations after me to respect and value the family name.

Reflecting on the Significance of My Name in 2018


Stephanie Borrayo Villalvazo, that’s my full name but, most of the time I go by Chata. When I introduce myself to people I say, “My name is Stephanie but you can call me Chata, like everyone else.” Chata means flat, in my case a flat nose. I got this name when I was only a few minutes old. My dad held me for the first time and said, “Mira que chata está esta niña.” So, I kept the name. I grew up as chata, I never complained because I thought it was cool. I was the only Chata in my family, it made me feel unique. Until this day, some of my family and friends forget that my name is Stephanie. When they hear or see Stephanie it takes them a minute to process that Stephanie and Chata are the same person. But, I don’t mind it, because it happens to me sometimes. Chata is a part of who I am. It may even be a better fit than Stephanie. Don’t get me wrong, I love my name and my nose. But I really like Chata too.

As I hear he song Sangoloteadito I find the need to dance because it talks about a girl named called Chata who is always having a good time dancing. I like it because it fits exactly how I am. Chata brings out the fun side of me, where I’m always happy and looking to have a good time. As I continue to go by Chata, I will continue to look at the bright side of things and have a good time. On top of that, I have decided and will continue to decide who I am. As of right now, I am Chata.

Reflecting on the Significance of My Name in 2018


3 words of memories


My name is Luis Alexander Acetun Toc. But on paper it is Luis A. This is because there always seems to be another Luis in the classroom. My name is divided into 3 parts. Luis is what everyone calls me. Acetun is the last name that I got from my dad. Toc is the last name that I got from my mom. Both my last names are pretty unique and hard for people to say when they try for the first time. I would say that it shows my origins. I am from Guatemala and my last name definitely shows it.


Luis is a name that my parents decided to give me. I am thankful for it because I was told that my grandmother wanted to name me Julio. I was extremely lucky that I was not called that because I really dislike it, no offense to anyone with that name. Luis reminds me of my everyday activities, my past and future. Luis reminds me of my 5 AM wake up time to workout. It reminds me of the struggles that I have been through when I was young. It puts a healthy amount of fear in me to not be lazy and see time go by without working on my future.


With my last names is where my story is kind of told. Acetun is from my dad. And Toc is from my mom. My dad was a man that worked hard for his family. I really enjoyed going to work with him because he worked with tourists and visited many places. Those early interactions gave me a perspective on Americans. I thought they would all be giants but as time went by I realized I was wrong. Acetun reminds me of all the few good memories I have of him. My mom is in my earliest memories. I can remember all the fun times I had and all the lessons I learned and still learning.


Cerrano Generation to Generation

Cerrano generation to generation

Cerrano is the name my family passed down from generation to generation is a name that I am proud to have and write it with pride when I write it on my work or important document a name that will follow me all throughout my life and will be affected by the actions I take and will be the legacy that I am remembered with my actions will be remembered by my name.

Cerrano is the legacy that I will continue the legacy i will leave behind and keep my bloodline on going .

Cerrano that last name to me comes from a family that do what they think is morally right most of the time letting emotions get the best influencing our decisions not wanting to quit when they are passionate about something pushing on until you feel like you can’t no more having extreme determination.

Cerrano comes from a family that keeps their word and honor deals that are made the best way possible and to go through with any deals made to our best extent a family in uniform that did what they thought was best for their country knowing the risk but still taking it believing that it was for the greater good in their hearts.

Cerrano is the name I was given like my ancestors before me and will be passed down generation to generation remembering the deeds that were made under the name Cerrano as an example for their deeds.

I was born with the last name Cerrano and I will die with the name Cerrano as future generations will see my deeds and I will live on in death with the only thing I can pass down being my last name for I will not be forgotten.

Cerrano till the end.

Photo by Daniel Cruz Valle

The Developing Identity Of My Life

Salvador Pedroza-Juarez is my name. All my other brothers don’t have the “Juarez” in their name. I like that I do because it ties me to my Mom’s and Dad’s family. Salvador is my name and it was given to me because my Dad wanted one of his children to inherit his name. I am very proud to have my Dad’s name because he’s my role model and I really look up to him. Also it is a coincidence that me and my Dad look very much alike, people tell me that I looked exactly like him when he was young.

Almost everybody gets a nickname one way or another, but for my name comes with a nickname. Usually a Salvador nickname is “Chava”, I don’t mind when people call me Chava. It started in middle school when people began to call me Chava, but I like it more when some people call me Salvador. It makes me feel better about who I am and why I was given the name that I was given. It is rare to hear people calling me Salvador besides some classmates and teachers that call me like that. Although I preferably feel better being called Salvador, there is a special side to why I also like being called Chava.

I think that my nickname has a much more complex meaning than my actual name. Everyone mostly calls me Chava, and I don’t mind when people do I think that it lets me know more about myself. Something that I have really gotten mad about is when I get confused with someone else because when I think about it I want to be recognized by my name. Not by someone else that I might look like. It is just something that has bothered me for a long time, and because of past experiences with my dad, in which he’s told me to always get recognized by myself not by other people. Since my dad is Chava too, everyone else in my house calls me Chavita. I had a really significant moment with my dad when I got called that way because he told me, “You are big, you are your own person, not because I’m here means that you’re small. You’re bigger than me and be recognized by who you are.” Something that really got me thinking about my true identity and the person that I am.

Now at the stage that I am in life, I still don’t fully know myself or my true identity because I am young. Though till now I have learned a lot of who I am, and people might not like the way I am and that is okay. As long as I know who I am and never change when I am around people, I always hope to be the same person, and furthermore throughout my life learn more about myself and who I am. People have played a big role in my life to help me determine my true identity and the way that I want to portray myself as a person.


Reflecting on My Name 2018

Jovana Lopez-Cuevas


These names defining who I am now and who I will become in the future.

Also how people will view me throughout life.

Two of these names given to me by someone who I care for a lot.

Someone who I admire a lot for his hard work and sacrifice to raise me.

Dad, hardworking and caring, always positive and humours.

You will forever be my motivation to continue and follow my dreams.




The name that connects me to my dad and his family from generations back.

Family is my priority.

The connection with my family will forever be meaningful.

Impossible to break.




The name who connects me to my mom and her side of her family.

Mom, someone who has shown unconditional love to me as well as support.

The name that reminds me of my abuelita’s warm hot chocolate

The unforgettable warm hugs she always gave me.


My name is something I will always embrace because it was given to me and I have learned to live up to it, I am proud of where I come from and the names given to me. As I grow older I will continue to remember all the memories that connect me to my family “Jovis” the nickname that reminds me of my joyful childhood full of smiles and sunshine. As well as highschool the memories I’ve made with unforgettable friends and all the unforgettable laughs. In the future these names will be connected to a degree in nursing, it will also be used by many people, with dedication and motivation I hope to live up to these names.

Reflecting on the Significance of my name in 2018


Miguel is the name that I inherited when I was born, and it will be the name that I take to the grave. Growing up, I believed that my name was a bit funny and odd at times, but I didn’t really know too much about it. Whenever I thought of my name, It was like a frog in the desert, I had no clue where it came from, or why it came to be. Withdrawn from my family all the way from Mexico, I could never even begin to think of the history that the name Miguel carried.

I shared the name Miguel with my mother’s uncle, who was considered by the whole world, as better than ordinary. I learned that he was the exact definition of humble, and was know to lend a hand to anyone, even a stranger from another universe. Despite the poverty and violence that he experienced and witnessed throughout his life, he maintained a reputation for being a dedicated strong hard worker. He was aimed towards providing his loved ones a better future no matter what got in his way. No one ever felt unloved by him, not even the clouds in the sky. To me, it appeared that he carried the weight of the world, and his passion and drive for everything around him gave a clear meaning to the name Miguel. Many a times I hear the name Miguel everywhere I go, but it’s just another Miguel in the willows of time. It doesn’t put a grin on my face, but instead it reminds me of how unique the history behind my name is. Knowing where my name came from and what kind of meaning it carries inspires me to be the best person that I can be, and hopefully retrace in uncle’s steps of being dedicated towards achieving my greatest goals and desires. My name will serve as a platform of support to remind me who I am, and what aspirations I hold for the future.


The Label That Follows


Kristofer Ramos, a name that follows me everywhere I go, also the first thing I say when meeting someone new. My name represents me and my family wherever I go whether I like it or not so I have learned to embrace it and portray not only myself but my family in a positive way.

When I was younger I had millions of nicknames but I choose Kris because I liked the way it sounded instead of all the other ones, till this day people still call me that. I have a positive relationship with that name too.

My parents raised me with the mentality that nothing in life comes easy. If I wanted something I had to work hard for it. Nothing is easy and it never will be easy especially for a person of color. I think I do well with that with things that enjoy doing like sports I want to push myself to be the best I can be at all times and better the people around me.  

Apart from my first name being different I share the same last name as my dad and my younger brother. I am very honored to share my last name with these two important people in my life. I am proud to be able to represent not only them but everyone else in my family wherever I go. My dad is respectful, hardworking, compassionate towards other people the list goes on.  I want to portray himself through me, I want to be just like him in terms of personality. I still have a long way to go and many things I can learn from him.

I also aspire to be a role model for my younger brother the same way my dad is for me. The same way I am learning from my dad I want him to learn from me. I can also learn a couple of things from him. For example he always tries to see the positive in things and is always

A Random Choice

Yahaira Sarahi Celis Garcia

That is what I was registered as at birth.

Yahaira, that is what most people call me.

A random name that my mother chose

But that I cherish.

And that is what matters.


Even though people disarrange the spelling,

It doesn’t bother me.

But then again, I ask myself,

“How can they misspell it really that hard?”

It is not Jahaira

Or Yajaira

Or Yahira.


My middle name, Sarahi is also misspell most of the time.

Most people spell it without the H.

My name has the H and I proudly write it.

Both, my first and middle names have a variety of spellings.

I like my spelling because it is unique.

We are both unique.

And that uniqueness demonstrates my challenging life.

I simply see myself through the eyes of my names because they are different from the rest.


Celis was given from my dad.

I don’t talk to any of his hatred family.

Because they don’t even like me.

They are like snakes, trying to throw their venom.

Either way, it is not like I need them.

I have been able to live my life to the fullest, enjoying every little moment without them.

Even though I don’t talk to his family, we are still family and that can’t be change.

We are all connected like a spider web.

After all, I am thankful for him.

He has made me realize that those closer to you won’t always be there for you.

You have to learn to do stuff on your own like a baby.


Lastly, one of the most common Mexican last names, Garcia.

I inherited Garcia from my beautiful mother and grandma.

I also hope to inherit their power, hardwork, and determination.

My mom has worked,

really hard,

since age six to be able to help her huge family.

After all the obstacles she has been through,

she manages to keep a smile in her face

and help others without expecting anything in return.

My grandma has had challenging situations with her health.

However, she has been as strong as a lion and has overcome everything.

Garcia for me is a close family that;



and gives the hand

to every individual.


Once again, Yahaira,

A person that knows what she is capable of doing and will keep shooting for more success.

A person that is willing to help others and appreciates friendship even if many others don’t. Yahaira Sarahi Celis Garcia, the name that will follow me everywhere I go.

Reflecting on the Significance of My Name in 2018

I am an incarnation

Or at least I think my name is.


“Rosario” doesn’t just go back to my panicky parents,

Screaming at each other trying to figure out a name,

In the same hospital room

Where I just had been given birth to.

My name goes all the way back to my older brother.

All the way back to my parents going on a family trip.


Everytime I asked my mom,

Why my brother and I had the same name,

My mom recalled it a little like this…


“Everything started when the annual trip  to celebrate La Virgen Del Rosario in Talpa around March, was right around the corner. People would gather around a bus stop. That bus would take everyone over to Talpa for that day and come back all together.


Your dad, Alberto, suggested for us to go to Talpa to offer the health of our first child to the Virgen. I  agreed since at the time I was on my first trimester and I wanted everything to go good for my baby. This trip would also be our first trip out of the city together and I couldn’t be anymore exuberated.


We ended up going to Talpa on the Virgen’s special day. Your dad and I promised to her that we would name our first child after her as long as she took care of him or her.


This is how your brother was named, Rosario Alberto.”


Unfortunately my brother past away a little after his birth but they kept their promise to La Virgen.


My second brother, Carlos Alberto came a year after him,

But he did not take the name.

The first boy was already Rosario Alberto,

My parents did not want to name their second boy the same.


Four years later after my oldest brother,

Was me.


My parents took the opportunity that I was a girl to call me,

Rosario Berenice.


I never had a chance to meet my brother,

But I feel like I have a connection with him through our names.

We are a bond that can’t be broken.


I also will always remember the picture of him,

In a coffin for a one year old kid,

But still to little for him.

He was dressed in a brown franciscan brother clothing,

His lips as red and plumped as raspberries.

His pictures framed with a sunset background

And dolphins at the horizon of the sea.


I will always be honored to be named after him

Because I know,

He’s watching over me.

Reflecting on the Significance of My Name in 2018


China is the name that I am called by my family and family friends. I have had this nickname for as long as I can remember,  it is like a rock I have carried my whole life. They call me China, because of my curly hair. My curly hair looks like ramen noodles and is that is what stands out about me when you first see me.


I am not called by “Lisseth”, my  real name, when it comes to my family and family friends. In most Latin cultures, families tend to give their children nicknames and call them by that nickname. That is the reason why I am always called by China and never as “Lisseth”

I value my nickname, because it’s something important to me and I feel happy about it.

I got used to always being called China, and now it feels strange when I am called by my real name. I feel a good harmony when I am called by nickname, it feels like when you listen to your favorite song. China is surrounded around laughter and joy. China came from my family that lives in L.A. China represents my curly hair which I got from my dad’s side of the family. I was the only one who got curly hair, my big sister didn’t.


China is the name I have heard being called by since I came out of my mom’s womb.

“Hola China” is what I hear every time a family friend is greeting me at a family party. I have a lot of nicknames, but the one that I personally connect to the most is China, because that is the nickname that I am called by the most and is the first nickname that I ever got.


My government name is “Lisseth”, but I will always be remembered as China. I have many unforgettable memories with my nickname. China is what represents my family and where I come from. China is what brings back those memories as a child and all those good times I’ve had. China is a part of me that will forever stick with me and remind me of who I really am. China was the name that was given to me from my family to stand out from others.

Do Parents Have Different Standards for Their Sons Than for Their Daughters?

In recent years people have really started to fight for the rights of women. Eliminating the wage gap, speaking up about sexual harassment, encouraging body positivity, and countless other things are being fought for on a daily basis. However, one thing that gets overlooked is how parents treat their children. Researchers have begun to study different ways mothers and fathers interact with their sons and daughters.

Many of these studies conducted usually focus on how mothers treat their children rather than focusing on the behavior of both parents. Jennifer Mascaro, who currently is a researcher in Biological Anthropology at Emory University, explained that for many studies subjects are usually male, “but this is one of the rare situations in which there’s a lot more research on women than men.” This isn’t surprising considering females are usually associated with motherhood and parenting.

The study done by Mascaro, published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Behavioral Neuroscience, focused specifically on fathers’ interactions with their toddlers. This study found that when fathers interacted with their daughters they used comparative and complex words such as “much” and usually talked about emotions such as sadness. With their sons they used words with competitive connotations such as “win” and were more likely to engage in rough physical play and activity.

Negative emotions usually focused on and validated when it comes to girls, being constantly described as “moody” or “dramatic.” Boys, on the other hand,  are usually taught to hold in their emotions, they have to be strong, tough, and unbreakable. These qualities were subtly taught and encouraged to the toddlers by their parents. Both mothers and fathers tended to focus more on emotions and feelings with their daughters. Parents were also more likely to tell detailed stories to their daughters that focused on complex emotions. When it came to their sons parents would be more likely to engage in physical activities.

Interestingly, fathers commonly referenced different body parents of their daughters and not their sons. They would point out and say things such as “tummy” or “face” often times trying to get their young daughters to notice the way she looked. This is something researchers think could be related to the high amount of pre-adolescent girls having body dissatisfaction.

Fathers brains also process time and interactions with their daughters differently then with their sons. Mascaro also found that when dads saw pictures of their children, the brains of fathers with daughters reacted the strongest to their daughters’ happy expressions. The brains of fathers with sons reacted most to their sons’ neutral expressions. They are unsure why this happens, but they are striving to discover whether this is the result of some biological difference in the fathers reactions about different genders, or whether they are the product of social and cultural norms about how girls and boys should behave.

It should be noted that there are limitations to this study. This includes its small sample size and the fact that they only studied people from one area of the United States. This means that conclusions about fathers from other countries and other cultures with different societal norms can not be made. Other factors such as parental age, the number of children one father has, ethnicity, income, and hours the fathers worked per week, were very similar for all dads in the study regardless of their child’s gender, researchers did not take into consideration other important factors such as the education level of the fathers.

While this study may not have drawn many solid conclusions it opened up a world of questions that are currently being tested and studied around the world. If we begin to understand where gender stereotypes are being taught we can start to eliminate them.

Hypothesis link:

Faces of Foster Care

Although many American systems are damaged, one that is often overlooked is the foster care system. Foster care, according to the National Adoption Center, is “a temporary arrangement in which adults provide for the care of a child or children whose birth parent is unable to care for them. Foster care is not where juvenile delinquents go. It is where children go when their parents cannot, for a variety of reasons, care for them.” Foster care is either informal or arranged through a social service agency or court. The goals of the foster care system are reunification with the birth family or adoption by the foster family, but this does not always happen.

Children in foster care experience many hardships. Some will be separated from their siblings, others will bounce between multiple foster homes, and many will be subject to abuse from foster parents and siblings or people in their new areas. The goals of foster care are often not reached, as kids will not be reunited with their family or placed into adoptive homes but rather are tossed from foster home to foster home. According to Children’s Rights, on any given day, approximately 428,000 children are in foster care in America. On average, children remain in state care for about two years, and six percent remain there for five years or more. In 2015, over 670,000 kids spent time in foster care, more than 62,000 children, whose parents’ rights had been terminated, were waiting to be adopted (the average waiting time is two years), and over 20,000 young adults aged out of the foster care system without a permanent family. Those who leave the system without finding a lasting home are more likely to experience unemployment, homeless, and be incarcerated as an adult.

On Foster Focus, foster care alumni reached out to social workers with descriptions of what social work was like for them in hopes to impact the system. Here are some accounts:

“Reaching out for help by telling someone about the abuse at home, getting taken away and having your family blame you for breaking your family apart. Foster care feels like YOU are being punished for the abuse and neglect your parents caused you. That’s foster care.” — Sara I. Gamez

“People ask me all the time, ‘what’s foster care like?’ Remember when you were a kid at the mall with your parents? You get distracted by a toy and lose sight of them. Remember that feeling of panic? How the faces around you were strange and scary? That’s foster care.” — Chris Chmielewski

“Foster care feels like being thrown out with the trash. Dumped. Unwanted. Unloved. Ugly. Dirty. Unworthy of the air in your lungs. As though you’re taking up space meant for a person better than you. That’s foster care.” — Rhonda Sciortino

“Being in foster care is like having an asthma attack. You’re gasping for air! Even though you need help, you just can’t be sure who you can trust. You have to decide whether to accept support from others and breathe calmly so that you may live, or to let go slowly and ‘die a lonely death’ because your fear of trusting another person is bigger than life itself. That’s foster care.” — Pamela Campbell

“It’s kind of like going to a thrift store, all the unwanted clothes and shoe placed in a trash bag. Then left to be sorted and put on the shelves for display. Like someone trying you on for size then getting rid of you when you no longer ‘fit’ their needs. That’s foster care.” —Nikki Thompson

“While attending a foster care fundraiser a man said to me, ‘I couldn’t imagine what life would be like without my parents.’ I responded, ‘I don’t know what life would be like with parents!’ That’s foster care.” —Dr. Vivian Dorsett

Foster care can be a big struggle for many. So how can we fix the broken system? Social Work Today gave five strategies for change (see link for more details).

  1. Strengthen Families of Origin
  2. Support Case Workers
  3. Educate the Public
  4. Help Children Deal with Unresolved Grief and Loss
  5. Guide Children in Building Connections

We need to be aware of the foster care system and work to make this place somewhere all children feel accepted, loved, and safe.

Can the Way You Were Raised Make You a Criminal?

Two of the largest factors of the human personality are nature and nurture. Some argue that the two are separate, but others argue that they are interrelated. As science has delved deeper into the human person, nature and nurture have shown equal importance to the qualities of the human being. However, Psychology is often not as exact of a science compared to Physics or Biology. With that, there is nothing necessarily proving that either of these factors are truly that important, rather, time and time again there have been patterns showing the effects of both environment and genetics.

For example, a mother could raise her child to have good manners which is an example of environment, but the child may respond better to her whims based on genetics. Furthermore, a child could be born blond, but could grow up to the expectations that society has for blonds. In this sense, we cannot be outside either our environment or our genetics, but then how can people not conform to society?

There are occasions where a person does not fit to society’s standards. This can be due to a lack of relationship with a caregiver or abuse or it can be rooted in psychological problems. These developments are just as much a part of the reality as a functioning society. So getting a person to behave and contribute positively to greater good should be easy so long as they are raised right and standards are set for them.

However, according to this article by The Economist, the actions of criminals is not so much dependent on just how someone lives. Even if society were to be truly equal to all and every person were raised well, we cannot avoid the genetics of it. The human person is prone to some amount of trouble, and some more than others. The truth is that personality may not be something predictable or easy for science in this moment and interference with personality holds its own moral implications.

My Father

Every time I look at my parents’ picture of the day they got married, I enjoy it because they educated me and gave me life to be in this world. I grew up with them. They are very important for me, even though my sister and my mom are separated from my father in the Dominican Republic.  My mom is already in the process so he can come.

This artifact evokes so many memories of my father, Marino: when he raised me, when he went to Domingo and I saw him, and finally when I was half years old, I spent  me vacations together with my dad. He took me out and everything, and I never missed anything of him. I went to holy Sunday every week.  I have been separated from my father for two years, ever since I moved to New York.  When I look at this artifact, I think of him. 

Transcript: He asks me what I am doing, and I tell him I’m watching TV. “aqui en viendo televsion”

I need him. I want him to be here. My dad is the person I love most in this world. It is difficult for me that my dad is not at my grandmother’s house on holy Sunday. My strongest memory that I have of my father is once when he went to bed and was watching tv, he did not realize that it was me behind him. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and he gave me one too.

When I go to sleep every night I think about that the first time I came to the United States. I start to cry because I feel lonely and we need him. The day we came here I know he was sad. He is the best father. I need my father to tell me, “I love you and I’m coming soon.”

Extinction of Expression

Language is a conduit for thought. It is timeless and encompasses a past and a present. Through words, we as humans express our thoughts in a way unique to our surroundings. Korean speaker will have access to different meanings than a French speaker and the French speaker from an English speaker. However, more than half of the languages spoken today are considered endangered by linguists. These are the languages from the small towns or tribes of indigenous people. They hold on to words that many of the world does not know and some will be irreplaceable.

In my personal life, my own family has speakers of an endangered language and endangered people. The art, history, religion, stories, and so much more is bound to be gone with the language. It loses its pertinence as the people stop speaking the language. My great grandmother determined the language to be superfluous knowledge in an English speaking world. In these decisions, languages fade, and unique thought patterns cannot be verbalized as easy as before.

My intention here is not to guilt the people of large language communities, nor to pressure people to learn more languages. Rather, value the languages around you and if that means learning a new language then do it. Preservation of culture may not have any meaning other than sentimental, but that is a motivation to some extent. I ask that you look at your own culture every now and again to see what the people who came before you had to say and what they thought, even if that involves a translation.


Only Child Syndrome

I have always wondered how I would be different if I did’t have a sibling. People always talk about being an only child as if it were a bad thing. Today, one out of every five families has an only child, this is twice that of what it was thirty years ago. Most times people will only have a single child because of financial reasons or because people are starting their families later in life, decreasing their chances of having a second one. There are more reasons, these are just two of the most common ones.

Being an only child has a prejudice that dates back all the way to 1896, which states that only children are “lonely, spoiled, bossy, and maladjusted temperamental little humans,” Bill McKibben emphasized this in his writing, What Only-Child Syndrome? He goes on to explain the science behind what could make an only child different, which he states that there aren’t many. They are not as lonely, whiney, and spoiled as the prejudice would like people to believe because though they may have missed out on the interaction of having siblings, most times they spend a lot of their childhood within nurseries and daycares interacting with other small children.

One difference that an only child might experience when they are older that is different from people with siblings is taking care of their parents. According to the article, Brothers And Sisters And Nobody, people without siblings will have to take most of the pressure of caring for their parents when they get older, while children with siblings are more likely to share the care.

These articles all had a lot to say about the personality comparisons between only children and children with siblings, but in the end it also said it can never be know for sure and in the end is all circumstantial when it comes to the individual.

The Impacts of a Twin

Having a twin seems like something very beneficial. From the time you’re born you have an ally, someone to support and influence the decisions you make. Yet are all of these preconceived ideas really accurate? How does having a twin influence someone’s life, and are the effects positive or negative?  

There are two types of twins identical and fraternal. Identical twins come from the same fertilized egg which splits shortly after conception forming two separate embryos, while fraternal twins come from the fertilization of two eggs using two sperm. Fraternal twins and identical twins are used in many different scientific studies and the data is most commonly analyzed and compared to one another. The gender of twin is also taken into account. For example fraternal twins that are male and female are often compared to fraternal twins that are the same gender.

A study done by Edinburgh University tested over 800 sets of identical and non-identical twins to see if environment or genes impacted someone’s personality more. The research concluded that genes play a larger role in personality development than environmental factors. The researchers determined this by analyzing how the twins interacted and by assessing their individual personality traits. They determined that “identical twins were twice as likely as non-identical twins to share the same personality traits, suggesting that their DNA was having the greatest impact.”

While genes seem to have a larger effect on a person’s development than their twin, researchers from the University of Washington did a study to see if having a twin impacted someone’s. Surprisingly, twins psychological responses to one another is similar to that of a married couple triggering a “twin protection effect.” Their current study explored how being a twin might impact one’s survival. The found that up until the age of 65, twins were more likely to survive then the general population. They also found discrepancies when comparing fraternal twins to identical twins. Identical twins are more likely to survive than fraternal twins, and male identical twins seem to be the most protective of each other. This shows that the twin relationship provides support in a tangible and emotional form, proving that twins ultimately do impact each other lives in a very large way. 

How Much do our Early Years Affect who we are as Humans Now?

We can see how our early years like once we are talking and walking are important to our growth as humans but the very early years like our first months to 3 years old have been found to also have profound affects on our lives perhaps an even stronger connection then some of the more traditional formative years like 4-12 and our teenage years.  a study done on child development discovered that the types of emotional support received until the age of 3 has a strong affect on the way that we connect with education, how we do socially and how we form romantic relationships even though these things will come up 20 to 30 years later.  Children raised in supportive homes tend to do better on tests like the ACT and the SAT and that support has to be found in the first 3 years of life.  Social skills that we build as children can also have a profound affect on how we act when we get into the professional world, in a study done over 20 years proved that children that are used to being around and working with other children early on tend to led into how well you do getting jobs and things of that nature.  These situations and surely other things we go through from the our earliest years can help build us into the unique and interesting people we are today and can affect who we all are in our later lives.

Where does the influence of my parents show in my life?

Based on my knowledge from what my parents have shown me, my mindset and the ways I think will be branched off from what they have shown me from a young age. We often hear this phrasing of, “You sound or act just like your mother!” which in some instances can be very uncanny. My thought of this is that your whole life, day in and day out, you are with two people who have been with you your entire life. Our brains are like sponges, what we hear around us and see within our lives will soak into our brains and form the way we see things or act in a certain way.

Biologically there has to be a reason for this mindset formation. What is it that is continually molding our actions based on the lessons we learn through our parents? From an outsider’s interpretation of my acts, what is implicitly derived from my parents that I am now sharing with the rest of the world? Why is it that I may not even realize I am acting in a manner like my parents? Why is it that sometimes I do realize my behaviors resemble theirs?

Child Development found that the type of emotional support that a child receives during the first three and a half years has an effect on education, social life and romantic relationships even 20 or 30 years later.”

“While tallying up the results, the researchers accounted for the participants’ socioeconomic status and the environment in which they grew up” –Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk

“Ultimately, they found that about 10 percent of someone’s academic achievement was correlated with the quality of their home life at age three. Later experiences, genetic factors, and even chance explain the other 90 percent”, Raby says.

“Central to a concept of culture, therefore, is the expectation that different cultural groups possess distinct beliefs and behave in unique ways with respect to their parenting.” –Cultural Approaches to Parenting

“Children’s experiences with their parents within a cultural context consequently scaffold them to become culturally competent members of their society.” –Cultural Approaches to Parenting

My basis of saying our brains are like sponges was completely accurate. The thing I now know and did not before is that before we even have a recollection or memory or really even before we know what is truly going on, the way our parents talk to us and show us the world was being engraved into our mind as the way things are meant to be executed. So the culture you grow up in and the nature versus nurture aspects encompassed in our life are what truly mold us. Your parents’ role with the first three years after your birth is so extremely crucial that psychologists are still doing research to the day to figure out why this all happens and how we can manipulate it.

Photo by gagilas

Is it Morally Right that the American Culture is accustomed to Nursing Homes?

In the United States of America, older indiviudals are often seen as a burden in American households. Often times, when a person reaches a certain age, it is the norm to move them into a care center facility. Medical insurance, retirement funds, or other family members pay these facilities to assist those who are in need of aid; where they usually become more isolated from society. Although there are many facilities that are more qualified than others, a wide range of problems occur repeatedly in nursing homes. A.C. Thompson, with a documentary called, “Life and Death in Assisted Living,” said, ” [often we see a] lack of staffing, lack of training, [employees] who weren’t trained [well], or medication errors. [Meaning, residents receive] the wrong [prescriptions].” There are serious malfunctions with in these systems that put older American citizens at great risk.

After traveling to Cambodia, I learned that the Khmer culture has great etiquette towards their elderly population. Within this  culture, it is apart of their tradition to live with their elders. As an elder, they are expected to cook meals and care for children while the husband and wife work. Having a role in their family, and community provides these individuals with purpose, support, and comfort. Whereas, in care centers, American elders are not given meaningful responsibilities or surrounded by the people they love. When someone is moved into a nursing home, it is thought of as a place where they are sent to die. That is not how older American citizens should feel, or be treated.

It is true that having an elderly person living in your home can be demanding as their health declines and they become more dependent. But, that shouldn’t be a determing factor that influences our society to believe abandoning these members of our community is acceptable. Even though assisted living centers have improved, they are not adequate enough to sustain every need of each resident.  Which is why American households should be more willing to invite their elders into their homes, and provide them with the same support and comfort that other cultures do. It is morally wrong that the United State’s culture has become desensitized to leaving their elders in the care of strangers. As a Nation, The United States of America,  should encourage all age groups to honor the wisdom and service older individuals can offer, because as of now, they are being forgotten.


The Power of Siblings

How would I be if I had different siblings?

I know that siblings shape a person. Whether you are an only child, have one older sibling, three younger siblings, or are the middle child of five, the effects of having siblings runs deep. In a podcast by NPR, Jeffrey Kluger, author of the book The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, discusses current scientific research about the role siblings play on our behavior.

One of the biggest areas where we see the effects of siblings is in conflict. Klugger pointed out “one of the most profound effects siblings have on you is that area of conflict resolution skills, that area of relationship formation and maintenance.” When resolving a conflict between siblings, you have to learn to share, compromise, and react when you do or don’t get your way. This is a skill you take from your toddler years throughout your whole life. According to an article by U.S. News, siblings may also buffer stress and inspire us towards good or bad behavior.

Not only do siblings in general have an effect, but specifically order, gender, and number also play a role in development. In an article by Psychology Today, it states “Birth order has a powerful impact upon children’s emotions, behavior and personality development. By a twist of fate a child is born into a particular spot in the family, and from this position, he will have unique emotional experiences. Each spot in the order has it’s advantages and challenges.” For example, many firstborns experience lots of love and attention, leading to high self-confidence but also high expectations from first-time parents. Children born second have the advantage of calmer, more experienced parents and learning from someone older, but may be rushing to keep up with their older sibling.

Middle children often get the reputation of being left out, since the older and younger kids are doing things for the first or last time of the family. However, they benefit from having the experience of having an older and a younger sibling and learning how to deal with peers of all age ranges through the differences of their siblings. Younger siblings are usually more adventurous, outgoing, and creative, but can also be more rebellious and take advantage of parents who have loosened up with experience. Finally, only children have the reputation of to be high-maintenance, perfectionists, and spoiled, since they never learned how to share. However, they can also be more self-motivated and organized.

Siblings have a profound effect on people’s lives. We are shaped by our family experiences and the way we grow up translates into our later years. How have your siblings had an effect on you? How would you be if you had different siblings— order, gender, or number?

Survey for MALE students: Domestic Violence and Male Values

My name is Gary Tuione. I am a senior attending Fremont High School in Oakland. My Graduate Capstone research project is about domestic violence against women, and I am specifically looking at how men form their values system about people they are romantically involved with. Your answers will help me understand male perception about domestic violence. This survey is anonymous and should take approximately 10 minutes.

CLICK HERE if you are willing to take my survey. Thank you very much.


Photo by [Daniela Brown Photography]

11 years ago you left


It’s been 2 years since you left…


I´m 4 years old now I remember you. I go to preschool.


It’s been 2 years since you left me. I’m in first grade. You missed my 6th birthday party.


It’s been 9 years since you last saw me I grew very tall Daddy.


It’s been 10 years already Daddy. I’m finally double digits!!! I’m in the 3rd grade.


I stayed back in the 4th grade Daddy.


Daddy i’m a  woman now. I got it. When I was 11 years old!!


I turned 12 years old way back in January…


I’m going to graduate from middle school in two years.


Who’s going to walk me down the aisle??

I really wish you were here with me.


Uh… do you remember me Daddy??

I bet you don’t …You left me when I was two. You’re probably really happy now.


You probably already have a new family a new wife, new kids.

I thought that I missed you and I thought that you missed me too but…Guess not.


 I’m already going to be a teenager in two months and 12 days.


You probably don’t even remember me,Samantha,Diego paty, or spike.


Do you remember when you got him for Samantha??

We were all so scared of a little puppy.


You missed so many things. Vickys pregnant with her 2nd child. Her name is going to be Jasmine.


Diego has his first girlfriend named River.


Paty got her heartbroken for the first time.


Samantha’s getting her car in february she’s turning 18!!!! She’s going to be a young adult.


I wrote you so many letters.

I cried for you so many times. There was this one point in the 2nd grade when I didn’t want to speak to anyone because I missed you so much that if I talked I would of cried and cried.


Samantha still has the flower you gave her.


I have trouble with the people at school dad .They bully me but you know I deal with it. The teachers don’t seem to care how I feel.


I dream about you every single night and think that every day you’re going to come home and be at the edge of my bed saying i’m home sweetie.


Diego and paty say that they hate you and samantha is starting to hate you to. I don’t really want to say that I hate you too because I really do miss you Daddy.


I’m really confused. Like should I miss you?? should I hate you?? I don’t know what I should feel!!!.


At the end of the day…

            I miss you Daddy.


The New Trend?


Did you know that 90% of drug addiction starts in the teenage years. This shows that many people who deal with or have dealt with drugs started using or trying to when they were is high school or younger.Based on my research drug addiction often starts in High School due to peer pressure and depression. In my Blog I will be stating why.


Paragraph #1 – PEER PRESSURE

Peer pressure is one problem facing teens that cause them to be involved with many drugs because many teens think that if they do drugs and be “high” all the time they are “cool” and people will like them even more. This is supported by the statistic that “Did you know that 55% of teen surveyed why they did drug said it was due to peer pressure ( Drug free world). This shows how over half of the people that they surveyed say that they were doing drugs at least forcefully or did them just to fit in or make new friends. Also that many teens that were peer pressured to do drugs might also be a encourager for other teens to try. They would try to influence them to do them as well since that’s how they started they want to turn more of the people around them like them so they might not feel lonely while doing them. This also shows how there is a revolving door when it comes to teens being peer pressure to doing drugs since they just keep doing it to each other. It’s like it keeps going and the more and more we let kids be without any help they won’t look for it. Peer pressure is something that plays a huge role in teen drug addiction and is something that many teens face even without Drug addiction.

Paragraph #2: Depression

Many teen who deal with depression often cope with the use of drugs. Some common drugs used to cope are:  Marijuana, Club Drugs, Crack/ Cocaine, Meth, and Prescription drugs (NIDA). To start, in an article that addressed the topic it is telling that depression have the same roots as drug abuse. The article states, “ Depression can arise from a blend of biological, genetic, psychological and environmental factors. Addiction has similar roots, so it’s unsurprising that the two frequently co-occur.” (Addiction Center). This shows that drug and depression are mostly common and can be occurring at the same time. Many teens who deal with depression often feel alone or abandoned and don’t know how to express their feeling with others or to tell someone what is going on. That can be a reason why they would cope with drugs because they would help them feel better and makes them feel a way that without them they don’t. Leading to them to fall deeper in the hole of not finding help and think that what “help’s” them is drugs. Depression is something that a lot of people don’t really like to talk about they like to keep it to there self since they is no real way to express yourself to someone.Moreover, depression is something that also develops with traumatic effects. When teens go thru trauma of car accident or loss of friend or family many tend to use drugs to get over or “Forget” the situation for a while. Even so that “One in six Teenagers have admitted to take prescription drugs to get “High” or change their mood” (Rehabs). This shows that teens may use the drugs they do to change their mood since they might be sad and are to afraid to tell people so they want to to “fake” their way with drugs. They also might feel a satisfaction when they take it since it take there mind off all the stress they might have. But this is clearly not the healthiest way to take thing off your mind they should try to take rehab and consuelo g because overtime it will be harder and harder to get off their drug addiction. Deppression is playing a serious role in drug addiction and we need to try different ways so teens can overcome depression and addiction at the same time


Paragraph 3:

Based on understand that peer pressure and depression cause teens to do drugs, it is important that we find care and benefits for them to stop abusing and get better with their mental health. The best type help that teens with drug addiction can take is being able to go to a local rehab and as well feel a love at school if they can’t find it anywhere else and try to have great relationships with the People among them and have trust as well with them.
Counterclaim– -Some may argue that some teens start before high school, and therefore, depression, and peer pressure aren’t the main reasons why they abuse drugs at an early age , but instead home and family problems may be the main cause . In an article/story that I analysed it was about a girl who’s addiction started when she was just 10 years old. Her name was Savannah and unfortunately it started with her parents offered  her the drugs to start her abuse in pills. In her story it says how her parents fought a lot and aswell used drugs. In the article/story it she says “I struggled with depression and my parents’ physical and verbal abuse, so then I started abusing myself with the drugs, cutting, bulimia” (Savannah).This shows how when her parents abused her verbally and physically she would switch on and think that drugs were the thing that protected her from all the bad stuff that happened. She kept  her addiction and tried even worse things but luckily when she was 15 years even though she was depressed she finally got help and went to rehab. Her abuse in her life made her who she is today and  *if you would like to read the whole story this is the link  In general she could have overcome her addiction without going to juvenile hall to get help if he school gave her school access to a rehab program and counselor. drugs photo

Hansel and Gretel (ReMiXEd)


There was an age-old story, adored by many. But now, the story has been flipped! The story, “Hansel & Gretel” is a classic tale, told from generation to generation ever since the Brothers Grimm created it. Yet, this version has never been heard before. In the “Hansel & Gretel” tale, two children are led into the woods by their father whom was forced to do that by his wife, their stepmother. After the first time they are led into the woods, history repeats itself because of their raging stepmother. The second time, the pair of siblings couldn’t find their way home, but instead found a delicious candy home, belonging to an elderly woman who was quite the opposite of sweet. The woman puts Hansel in a cage and asks Gretel to help her set the oven. In the original, she tricks the old woman and burns her to escape with her brother and find her way back home. But now, the viewer can choose! In this animation, the reader can choose to trick the old lady or to run away! View it and believe it!


In technology class we were focusing on creating interactive Scratch animations. We then got a look at classic folk tales that I had never thought twice about… until now. What would’ve happened if the character made a different decision? How would the story have turned out? That’s what we put into our hands to discover. We experimented with this in class using the story, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Soon enough, we were able to fly off and start our own individual projects  using other folk tales. I used the story “Hansel & Gretel” because I grew up hearing it all the time, so it was interesting thinking of another way to hear the story. Once we had developed the idea for this project, we created a script. Based off of that script, we created 2 storyboards, Act 1 and Act 2. Using all of these resources, it was finally time to put it all to action and create a Scratch animation.

Here’s the link to the script, just in case you’re interested in viewing it:


Here are the storyboards used to create this project:



The Boy and the Wolf Remixed

Original Script:

Took about 2 days to do. Sorry it’s too short.

Here are some storyboards to show how much work i did.

Act 1

Kid: Bye Mommy. Why won’t you come to school with me?

Mom: You know why, I have special guests coming today.

Kid: Why don’t they come to school with me?

Mom: You know that they are adults and not kindergarteners.

Kid: Ok

Mom: Bye, I see you tonite

(Kid leaves house)

(Walks a couple miles to school.)

(Wolf stalks lonely child)

(Kid sees Wolf)

(He starts running)

(Wolf starts running after him)

Kid: Help me!!!

Wolf: Ha ha, You will be a delicious dinner.

Kid: Mommy!!!

(Sits down and cries)

Wolf: I’ll put you out of your misery

(Wolf smirks)

Kid: *sniffles* Can you play song that i can dance to?

(Close up of puppy dog eyes)

Act 2A: Original Ending

Wolf: Fine.

(Wolf takes out his recorder)

(Plays Let it Go)

(Kid starts dancing)

Kid: Let’s get groovy!

(Kindergarten teacher comes running out of the school which is literally 20 feet away.)

Kindergarten teacher: What is this noise?

Wolf: It’s Let it Go

Kindergarten teacher: (Finally sees whats going on)Ok. Let me call my other students. Buddy, Buster, Something Wong, and Smelly, come out.

Wolf:(Thinks) Oh boy, more food!

Dogs: Can we listen too?

Dogs: Can we listen in multi-language?

(3 dogs appear and chase Wolf)

Wolf: Noo, I thought I played Let it Go really well!

Act 2B: Alternate Ending

Wolf: I know that trick. Your school is right there. (Points to a building 20 ft away.)

Kid: Pretty please.

(Close up of puppy dog eyes)

Wolf: NO!

Wolf: This will be delicious.

(Screen turns black)

The Fairies Remixed


“The Fairies” is a fairy tale collected by Charles Perrault. It is about a girl who receives the gift of having jewels fall out of her mouth after giving water to a beggar disguised as a fairy. Her sister is jealous, so she also goes to draw the fairy some water. However, she is cruel, like their mother, so she decides not to and receives a curse to have snakes and toads fall out of her mouth. Her mother drives the two girls out of her house. The good sister meets a prince, marries him, and they all live happily ever after, but no one wants to take in her sister because of her curse, so she dies alone in the forest. I created an interactive animation version of the story that, if the watcher chooses to, can lead to a happier ending for the bad sister based on the moral decision that she makes.



To make this final animation, I had to first go through a series of steps. The very first thing I did was create some short, simple interactive animations for practice. I then chose a story to work with. After choosing my story, I wrote a script to use for the dialogue in my animation. Then, using StoryboardThat, I created a storyboard for each of my acts, including the alternate ending, to plan all the scenes out and know how each character would have to move and react to each part of the story. I then created a project plan to plan my time out over the course of a week to make the actual animation. I then finally set to work creating it on Scratch. When I was done, I wrote a modified project script including all the changes I made throughout the creation of the animation and edited my project. After a tiring weekend, I was finally done. I shared my animation and rested.


Child Development Within Broken Homes

     I’m going to be researching how a broken home affects child development. I decided to research this because my parents are divorced and I’m interested in child development. I’m wondering if all broken homes act the same, or if there is a better time for the parents to divorce more than others. There might be other questions that might pop on later on, but right now I’m researching the basics.

In this article, there are different stand points of how divorce might affect a child, ranging from preschool to adolescence. On the emotional side, it says older kids will be less affected than the younger ones. But when it comes to the social standpoint, teenagers are more likely to act cynical towards people they talk to, and may even start to show bullying behavior. My parents lived with each other after they got divorced because they didn’t want to split the household up. It may be because of this I never developed bullying behavior.

The end of this article explains that divorce “changes not only the structure of the family but also its dynamics” (Green). Older kids may start to act more like a parent to their younger siblings and take on more roles around the household, such as more chores. I know that this fact is true with my family situation, even though I don’t have younger siblings. Every night I cook dinner and take care of the house because my dad is at work.

Are there exceptions to these theories?

Do parents even matter when it comes to their child’s emotions/education/social life?

Does a child’s emotions/education/social life depend on the time their parents get divorced?

Work Cited

Green, Anna. “The Effect of a Broken Family on Development.” Our Everyday Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.


How far Would You go in Defending Yourself?

The book that I have just started reading is Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. In this book, once you turn fifteen you need to start working or else your food rations will be cut. The main character is Benny and his brother is a zombie hunter which is their family business but he doesn’t want to be a part of it. He doesn’t want to be a part of it because both of his parents were turned into zombies and he doesn’t want to one day have to kill them again?. That made me think of what I would do if I was in a situation like that.

I think that if I were to be in a situation where I was in danger but the person endangering me was a relative, I would try to defend myself as much as I can. I wouldn’t want to harm them too much but just enough for me to get away from them, so if it came to a point where I needed to kill them I wouldn’t have the courage to do it either. What I want to know is what you guys would do in a situation like that?

We Need Your Help To Keep The Human Race Going!

Dear Future President,

First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on becoming the next president, it’s not a very easy thing to do.  I wanted to address some very important issues that we are having in the world right now.  

One important issue I really care about is abortion because I think that technically speaking women can make their own choices, but aborting a child is killing another life and that’s not right. That child will never get the chance to see the world and that’s one less human being in the world.  

I personally don’t agree with abortions and I know many people would agree with me that abortions should not be allowed, and if they are allowed that you have to have a good reason to abort the child. 

I believe there’s never really a good reason to kill another human being in the first place, so I think you should do something about this as soon as you can.  I hope you understand and will take my proposal into consideration.  Thank you for your time Mr/Mrs president.  

Photo by Swaity

Immigration Freedom

Dear Future President of the United States,

An important issue that I care about is immigration. It is a major issue in our country and I know a lot of people are worried about it.

I believe that we all are supposed to be treated equally as Americans and have the same rights as Americans.I think it’s unjust that Latin Americans should be kicked out of the United States. If this cause happens, it will affect families by separating them. Latinos come to the United States to have a better life, such as education.

If you don´t kick out Latinos I promise you that this country will be a great country. A country of freedom.

Please consider not kicking out Latinos.  


Stop Deporting Innocent Immigrants!

Dear Future President of the United States,

First off, congratulations on becoming the new president of the U.S. I would like to talk to you about something. Immigration and deportation is a major issue in our country. I believe that immigration should be allowed in the U.S. Recently people have been leaving U.S. because they don’t have legal documents. I think this is unjust because after that after suffering the walk all the way to here, the U.S, then they have to go back, after all, that. Isn’t that messed up? 

Our country needs to accept immigrants because they won’t harm the U.S. They only come here for a better life than their home country. We need a president who will be a leader and accept immigrants because they only want to be happy. When you are president, please consider allowing immigrants in the U.S. because I’m pretty sure if you suffered to achieve something, and then after all of that nothing happened, you wouldn’t like that.

Photo by Elvert Barnes


Dear Future President of the United States,

Congratulations on being the new president. An important issue that I care about is immigration. Immigration is a major issue in our country. I think this because they are lots of people that are immigrants, and lots of them want to stay in this country. 

Lots of the immigrants come to this country to have a better life. To have a better future. I think you should make a law that says that all undocumented people that come to the United States without papers. 

I think lots of the people have the right to stay in this country. I think most parts of the United States are made up of immigrants I am not only talking about Mexicans, Guatemalans. I am also talking about people who are coming from Syria. They are coming to this country because there is a war where they live and they need to escape before something bad happens to their family.

Everybody in this country has the right to stay in this country. My parents are immigrants who came to this country. They came to this country to have a better life/future. I hope you make a good decision for immigrants.

Yours truly,



Photo by laverrue

Make Our Community A Better Place

Dear Future President,

I would like to congratulate to for being the next president. I would like to talk to you about an important issues in the United States.

The issue I am about to address is all of the police brutality that is happening to people of color. I think that is unfair to harm someone just because they aren’t white. People of color should be treated the same way as white people. I think that color doesn’t define us. Things that define us are are personality. Color is just a part of us it doesn’t mean we should be treated differently.

I have a feeling police are just taking advantage of their jobs and harming people for being innocent. Think about it like this, your family member is walking down the street and they are harmed because they are of color. I bet you will probably be devastated because they didn’t even cause harm or trouble.

Another issue I have is the problem about immigration. I think that immigrants decided to leave their country for a certain reason. You think that all immigrants are bad, but they are not they just want to get away from their troubles back at home. Yes some people do cause harm, but for the most part they just really want a better life. I think you should just give them a chance. I feel really strongly about this because last year my cousins immigrated from Colombia. Their reason was only so that they could be with their family. I know you think they are taking jobs, but really they are not. Like I have been saying they just want a better life.

If you would just make these changes this world could be so much better.




Photo by Fibonacci Blue

Apprehension of Families

Despite popular belief, the majority of families and unaccompanied children migrating into the U.S. through the border with Mexico are not those from Mexico, but Central America. It is people from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador who are seeking relief from poverty and violence by immigrating. However, when these families and children have reached the border they are greeted by Homeland Security who is ready to detain them. This detainment is what is known as apprehension, or otherwise the arrest of removable “aliens.”

In 2016 the amount of apprehensions from Central America doubled when compared to the apprehensions of 2015, according to data collected by the CBP (Customs, and Border Protection). In the first half alone of 2016, there have been 32,117 families who have experienced apprehension instead of the protection they sought from the U.S. government. Despite the fact that these families are fleeing from gang and cartel violence the number of apprehensions of these people continues.

As the National Guard’s deployment to the Texas-Mexico border has been extended by the governor of Texas, it is expected that these apprehensions will continue to grow. Unlike the other states that share a border with Mexico, Texas experiences a greater numbers of families attempting to cross the border. About ⅔ of family apprehensions in 2016 occurred at the Texas-Mexico border, where the National Guard currently assist the CBP. This amount of apprehensions has lead to a backlog of cases, leading these families to spend weeks on end in detainment, instead of under protection from violence in their native countries.


Where I Am From


I am from Oakland

A place where everyone wants to do drugs and be thugs

A place where gunshots are nothing

And school means nothing

A place where people buy Js and MK to say they got something

A city where hateful word are always being spoken

But feelings and emotions remain unspoken

A city where people think they’re all alone

And are told they can’t make it one their own


I am from family

A family with short temper waiting to explode like a burning fuse

A family where my mom not only played mother but father

A great role model


I am from my dad dying when I was four

Shutting people out as soon as the tears started to pour

I was sick to the core

I am from all types of music that’s what got me through

But who knew time was no healer I still feel blue


I am from sadness and hatred

From hurt and laughter

From falling apart and standing back up

I am from slow to trust but quick to forgive

I am from all my perfections and imperfections


I am from Oakland

Why do siblings stop talking to one another after being so close?

In I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, there are twins-Jude and Noah-that used to be super close but sadly some things happen that start to ruin their relationship. Jude tells the later years, while Noah tells the earlier years. Jude is the cool twin while Noah is the weird one, however there personalities swap in the future. This is so relative to know a day siblings because I feel like now with all this technology you don’t really connect with the people around you. Also some siblings will stop talking to one another because they are too focused on their social life and start thinking that their siblings are an embarrassment to them.

I have 10 siblings and I am the youngest so I’m the 11th child. My siblings and I hardly have any conversations together anymore unlike when I was younger and we were all pretty close. My brother most likely hardly talks to me ‘cause he sees me as embarrassing (which I guess I am:p). Any how everyone will judge someone just by who they are seen with so they’ll never want to be seen with their siblings(unless they’re cool).  We all started separating when technology came into our lives. I got an iPod as well as my sisters then my brother got a phone so we all got extremely addicted to them, no matter how much we denied it we knew it was true. It didn’t really bother me as much because I was too into my iPod to care.however now that I don’t have one it bothers me a whole lot.

I do know that in some families they may stop talking because of other reasons, such as jealousy or just not accepting them for who they are. I believe however that the main reasons are technology, and being embarrassed of them. If there is anything else I missed please comment. Again these are my opinions so feel free to disagree.

Behind the Curtain

I am from Oakland, California
but not the one people know
the one that is hidden behind a
curtain, that no one thinks to show
I’m not from a struggle
not one that I recall
not one like others who
have been through it all
The only struggle I know
is the one I face with my race
because I’m super white but I have a
the black face I’m white-washed,
I’m watered down
I’m not really black, and that’s
only because I don’t listen to rap
I am from a family that loves
me, a mother and a father
a place to sleep and a
glass of water
I’m from a pink ribbon that says
Margie on the front
A cross behind it
A poem that reads
I’ll make it through the darkness
I’m not from Oakland, California
but not the one most know
because the only struggle they see
is the one that CNN shows

Photo by Eric Fischer

Gender Wage Gap

One of the political issue that has been reiterated many times recently, especially during the 2016 presidential election, has been the gender wage gap. Gender equality has been ever more present as well with the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president this year, becoming a pioneer that has cracked that “high glass ceiling” and become a heroine for many girls across the country. However, even with those advances, the wage for a woman doing the same job as a man (same quality, etc), is making around 80 cents to the man’s dollar. The question becomes, what is the reason for this?

Currently, “there’s no country in the entire world where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job” ( And, according to the World Economic Forum, it is predicted to take a little over 80 years for this gap to close (new report by the World Economic Forum). While the United States is certainly no the worst in the world, where in some countries women make less than 50% than men, it placed 65th in the world at the end of 2014, meaning that it is behind many other industrialized countries ( The wage gap is getting smaller, too, yet is seems “to have plateaued in the mid-1990s” ( It has become a more pressing issue now, though, because of how different fields are becoming less stratified, and the sex composition becomes more equal in higher paying jobs. Before, women were paid less because they tended to “accumulate less labor market experience than men….and they anticipate shorter and more discontinuous work lives than men” because many begin to create and raise families ( Thus, many companies began to see men as a more reliable investment in the long run, receiving higher wages and on-the-job training, and climbing higher up the ladder simply because of the longer amount of time they spent in the work force. Today, however, a greater number of women are entering the workforce that requires higher education, such as law, medicine, and engineering, and are working for a longer amount of time as the average age at which women are starting to have their first child is older than ever (as well as the average number of children they bear is going down in many industrialized countries), so now the gap is more obvious as women are now doing the same higher-paying jobs as many men and are being paid a fraction of their annuals income.

Photos by Mike Licht,,

Photo by Mike Licht,


To Next President,


I would like to address the problem of wage increase in jobs. I know it’s a topic that everyone at least talked about once, and that shows something must be done. The increase in housing and food prices has rose over the years, while wages have stayed the same. The economy is growing in rapid speeds, and it troubles me that we’ll only be able to live off these checks that barely provide necessities. All I ask for the next president is to be able to provide higher wages starting now instead of waiting until 2020 for it to finally reach $15 an hour. I thank you for listening to this request.



Mariah Velez

Prejudice and Judgement

The book From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun consists about a young boy who is 13 years old, ever since he could remember it has always been his mother and him.

This boy’s name is Melanin , his father disappeared when he was just a little boy. Melanin and his friends have always made fun of “fags” or “gays” as they like to call them.

His mother has a friend named Kristin, Kristin is a “white woman”. One day Melanin’s mother confesses to him that she was “in love with Kristin.”

Right now Melanin is in shock, because he doesn’t want his mom to be a “Dyke”. They are now both stuck between prejudice and embarrassment. Melanin is not ok with this because he knows that his friends will make fun of him, but he also has to think about his mother’s happiness.

His mother, however wants the best for Melanin and she is willing to push her feelings to the side just so Melanin would be content and happy, but she wants him to also have consideration with her . She hopes he’ll one day understand it’s her right to be happy and feel loved once again.


Photo by SanFranAnnie

Where’s the better place to live, New York or Utah?

utah photoI am researching whether I would prefer to live in Utah or New York. When considering this question many words popped into my mind such as environment, people, hospitality and comfort. I researched the pros and cons of both New York and Utah and from there I will be able to decide based on my preferences what I prefer.

On the website movingtonewyorkguide I read an article called, Pros and Cons of Living in New York – the Ultimate List . According to this article, there are pros and cons to living in New York and Utah. First, I am going to evaluate the pros and cons of living in New York. The pros to living in New York range from career opportunities, safety, great dating scene and safety. Out of these pros I think the most important pros are safety, career opportunities, and awesome public transportation, respectively. Currently New York is the safest large city in the country despite its reputation for being crime ridden. Next, New York City is home to many headquarters for companies, ranging from finance, modeling, and marketing which is appealing for many different people. As for transport, New York has one of the easiest, cheap, well connected transport system whether that be by subway, train or taxi. If there is a will there is a will. As for the cons, ones that may make you want to reconsider to moving to New York also range from a variety of different things, including the weather, expenses, and very crowded. In New York City, expense comes into play when considering your living situation and pretty much anything else you want with monetary value. Taxes are high, living spaces are small and everything cost a fortune. A local resident even states,“Welcome to the land of the $10 dollar bud light.  Yes, you can seriously pay $10 for a bottle of light beer at some high end bar….. I’ll give you a few seconds to recover from your mind being blown upon discovering that fact.” Another con is the fact that over 8 million people live in this city and that makes for a lot of trash and noise. Now, personally, New York has an extra pro for me and that would be my family. My mother’s side lives in New York and I have grown up visiting them and it would be nice if I could see them more often.

The next article I read was called “A Calfironian in Utah: 5 Pros and 5 Cons” by Kelsey Anderson. In this article Kelsey reviews the pros and cons to living in Utah. The biggest cons mentioned in this article is that of the inversion layer, liquor laws, and Sundays. The inversion layer is a serious issue during the winters here. Because we are in between two mountain ranges the pollution gets caught in the valley and causes horrendous smoggy, polluted air. The next con is liquor laws and the fact that anything about 3.2% is considered liquor which means you have to buy regular coors light in a liquor store rather than a grocery store. The last con is Sundays. Due to the fact that Mormonism is the majority, it has a huge effect on the state. On Sunday, close to most stores are closed or have short hours on sunday due to religious duties. Kelsey points out that cons can hit you at the same time, although she has found a solution to “make like a chipmunk and stock up at the nearest State Liquor Store on any day, except for Sunday. Because everything is closed on Sunday.” The pros to living in Utah include mountain accessibility, people are nicer, cheaper to live here and outdoor activities. The mountains are a 30-40 minute drive away and sometimes even closer than that. People are friendly and like to keep the conversation going. It is cheaper to live here than in major cities around the U.s. Real estate is cheaper, gas, utilities, food and restaurants everything is cheaper. Lastly, it is full with outdoor recreation such as hiking, swimming, biking, skiing, snowboarding and running, Great for athletic people.

These two places are considerably different and if anything can be considered opposites. After some research, logically I would prefer to live in Utah. I can deal with Sundays and liquor laws (obviously since I am under 21) but it would suck to live in a highly expensive place that is crowded such as New York. I love my family in New York but the cons of New York outweigh the pros and therefore the answer to my question is I would prefer to continue living in Utah, plus the skiing is great!

Religion’s Effects on World History

Many stories throughout history have been driven by major religions. If oe looks closely to major events, wars, and rises and declines of major civilizations, it is almost always over a dispute of belief (in addition to resources/geography). The consequences of these events can be seen much later in history as well, creating new issues.

Let’s start this story with the Jewish religion. Almost always, the Jews have been persecuted, being pushed in and out of different regions in the Middle East. The biggest force movement was the Jewish Diaspora, where the Romans invaded Israel and caused a large-scale dispersion of the Jews among the “gentiles”, or non-Jews. However, not only was that an issue for the Jews then, it came up again over a thousand years later during the Holocaust, and now the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as “the Jews perceive a special relationship between the land of Israel and themselves” and :only those Jews who migrate to Israel have hope for continued existence as Jews” (Encyclopedia Brittanica: Diaspora). The assimilation and acculturation due to the Diaspora changed the Jewish life and culture fundamentally. It makes you question, what would be the fate of the Middle East right now if the Diaspora hadn’t happened in the first place?

There are countless more examples. From the Moors driven out of Spain, to the “Catholics and Protestants arguing over various issues of faith…which has led to terrible violence”, to “the violence between the Hindus of India and a former part of India called Pakistan that is mainly Muslim”, to the Crusades, many, many wars are driven by the quest of upholding a faith (
Kings History Department: World Religions). Some of the most brutal historical events were caused by a question of pride, especially in modern times, such as the conflict in Yugoslavia or the genocide in Rwanda and the Congo. Things like this force brother against brother, threatens the security of many people, and has many consequences down the line. If religion had not existed, the world could be radically different, both in past historical events and the future. So many cultures are defined by religion, and some of the effects those historical events are not only bad, but could be argued to have caused the proliferation of knowledge, technological advances, and learning experiences. They were crucial in shaping the systems in play today, and how the world is interconnected.

Better Lives

Dear President,

Hello, my name is Janet Becerra, and I am writing to you because there is a problem in our country and it needs to be solved soon.

The problem I am talking about is Immigration. Immigration has been such a huge conflict over the years and I think that it is time to resolve this conflict. Every day, many people are separated from their families all because of deportation. Some people don’t come here to do harm, they come here to do better and make a change in their life. There are many hard-working immigrants in the United States. They do it for their family that they have now left behind and they do it for their children so they can have a better life than they did. We all know that they’re not suppose to be here, but as long as they’re not harming anyone, why not let them stay? Why not help them so they can have a better life, like the rest of us who live here?

My grandfather was an immigrant that would come and work and then would send money to my grandmother so she could buy food and items for her children. That’s the only way that my grandparents were able to provide for their children. Also, my grandma used to make dresses, wash clothes, iron clothes, and sew clothing, that’s how she would make a little bit of money. He never harmed anyone, he was just here to help out his family, like many others. My grandfather, along with many others, earned his money by working very hard out in the fields, where work can get very cruel.

My mom was also an immigrant. She always tells me stories of the times that she had to walk out in the desert when border patrol would arrest them and just of everything that was going around her. My mom attempted to cross 5 times and 4 of those times were fails. When she finally made it she lived in San Diego with some family members. As soon as she got here she also started working to send money to my grandma in Mexico. She used to clean houses and worked in the fields. My mom, grandpa and one of my aunts worked in the peaches, cherries, kiwis, pears, tomato and just about anything that was being harvested and hiring. My mom is another example of immigrants that didn’t come to do harm in the US. They came for a better life.

Thankfully she now has her Green Card and can be here. Her and my dad stayed here to give their children a better life, and I could never repay them for that. My dad was born here in the US but was raised in Mexico because that’s where my grandparents were born and lived. I’m glad that they chose to come and stay here so that my siblings and I could have the life they couldn’t have. They had to drop out of school so they could help put food on the table and pay bills. My parents take education very strict since they didn’t have the opportunity to continue, they want us to take advantage of it and become someone important in this crazy world.

Yes, there are some immigrants that do come and do harm to this country and I agree, they should be deported back to their country or end up locked up. They’re the ones that should get punished, not the ones that are trying to make a living. I understand why the United States doesn’t want them here. For example, in the article “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again” it said, “ The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: U.S. taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc.” But also, who else is going to be doing all the work? I’ve worked in the fields before and not once did I see a white person out there. I would only see Mexicans and a couple of Indians, but usually, if I saw someone white they would be in the office with the AC on.

Immigrants are a big part of the United States now, Mexican Immigrants alone make up 14% of the U.S. There are a little over 11 million of immigrants in the United States, and trying to deport them all is honestly impossible. Plus, “there would be a dire economic result from removing millions of hardworking residents…” as said in the article, 5 Reasons to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants. Without the Immigrants, it’s predicted that by 2026 there will be a shortage of 20 million workers.

Everyone is an immigrant in the United States. The Americans weren’t here first, it was the Native Americans. Plus, Mexicans were once rulers of California until they were overrun by the Americans. I find this so stupid. Just like the say,  “ We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” Also, said in the article 5 Reasons to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants was, “The government doesn’t own the country and political borders are just lines on maps. Treating law-abiding people like criminals simply because they didn’t meet the bureaucratic requirements of migration abrogates their natural right to travel and Americans’ natural right to freely associate and make contracts.”

Immigration is a natural right and a natural right is a right inherent to our humanity, and the freedom of movement is such a right. The idea that immigration needs to be “authorized” by the government flies in the face of that freedom. So, like I said at the beginning, Immigrants should have a chance to be here in the United States as long as they’re not harming anyone. All they’re doing is working hard and providing for their family and trying to have a better life than they did in their country. That’s not a crime. It’s honestly a huge sacrifice.

Photo by Caelie_Frampton

Addicted to drugs

I just read a Wikipedia article: Cannabis. (2016, June 13). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:46, July 25, 2016 from

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.”

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 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

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


Why do teens smoke weed?

In Buddy T’s essay “Why Do Teens Use Marijuana?” from Verywell. N.p., 2016. Web. 12 July 2016, the author says that smoking marijuana runs in the family. If people in your family smoke, you might too.

When we consider the issue of teens smoking at a young age, some might wonder: Why are they smoking?” Buddy T’s post addresses this question because he talks about why kids smoke at a young age:

“If they have parents, grandparents, older siblings, or even aunts and uncles who smoke marijuana, research suggest that children are much more likely to begin using marijuana than those with no family involvement with the drugs.”

This is basically saying that teens think that smoking is cool. But most of the time kids smoke because they are going to bad things in there family.

This might make one wonder is it really necessary for people to be smoking when they are going through things. I think people should ask for help, not go smoke because that makes is more bad for their problem.

Another point Buddy T makes in his post  is:”Children who have been physically or sexually abused are at greater risk than other teens for using marijuana and other drugs. They turn to drugs to escape the fear and pain of abuse.“” This is important  because that will make people scare of smoking because when they in drugs they may get abused.

A third point addressed by Buddy T’s is: “If there was one simple reason you could focus your efforts toward addressing that issue and help protect your child from early marijuana use, which is important due to the harm that it can do a child’s brain that is still developing..” This is significant, because probably if the parents don’t get there kids mad they will not go and take drugs or if they don’t got friends that stay smoking they probably won’t smoke.most of the time they smoke because they are trying to be cool with their friends.

What we can appreciate about this writer’s work is that we get to know why is the kids smoking. We can look forward to seeing what this writes next, because I will get to know about marijuana more and it will get me to stop smoking. I will be able to tell people why they should stop smoking and I will tell people to go look for him to learn  about marijuana.