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Fashion In Music

Fashion In Music

The way people are is a reflection of someone else or a collection of things deriving from other people. The way hip hop affects violence it also influences many of its sub-cultures. In the 80’s when hip-hop began to take on the face of hardcore rap with groups such as NWA is when rap was born and it completely took over the minds of people. Rap gains more negative attention than it does positive. The way rap artists carry themselves in most cases is considered ‘ghetto’ though they influence more  than just black people that is often the misconception. When the consumer sees something in a magazine naturally someone might want it. Rap music videos have this same affect on the minds of people which helps formulate the minds of them at a young age. Fashion can influence the minds of people Fashion can also make them feel obligated to be a consumer because of popularity of the project.

Artists have casual fans, but also dedicated fanatics who support them despite the ongoing evolution of them. For example, Kanye West is one of the most influential artists of all time; his following of both kinds of fans is huge. Kanye has a large catalogue of not just music but clothing and footwear as well. Kanye arguably has the largest sneaker of all time; the Nike Air Yeezy series has made itself one of Nike’s largest releases besides competitors under Nike such as Jordan, Kobe, and Lebron’s sneakers.  

Recently, the Air Yeezy 2 ‘Red October,’ which retail for $245, caused a lot of excitement to Kanye fans and the sneaker world. There has been much speculation as to whose sneakers are more popular between Kanye and Michael Jordan until Kanye in his song “New God Flow”  silenced all critics when he said “Hold up I ain’t tryin to stunt man but the Yeezy’s jumped over the jumpman, went from the most hated to the champion god flow guess thats a feeling only me and LeBron know.” Here he clearly states that his sneaker has reached  a standard as the “God” of shoes; he quotes his Air Yeezy’s jumped over the jumpman.

In these very instances the consumer does not realize that Kanye is marketing himself and his brand the consumer only hears what he is saying and they feel inclined to have that shoe in addition to the fact Kanye is comparing himself to GOD! He later makes his longing for Godly status more apparent in his most recent 2013 album titled “Yeezus”.  The relevance of Kanye makes him one of the most powerful entertainers on the planet. After the discontinuation of Air Yeezys the Red Octobers released making the value of them extremely high.

The Red October released back in February on selling out worldwide in only 11 minutes. Nike released these shoes in the midst of a feud between they and Kanye; Ye’ later went to multiple radio stations to remind the world of how displeased he was with the release that no one saw coming. Nike’s website along with footlocker were crashed due to sneakerheads and Kanye fans combined itching to be the first with the Red October priced at $245 retail. In consignment stores such as Flight Club NY & LA they carry the Air Yeezy series these sneakers are priced from anywhere to 2,500-1,000,000. The consumer spends their last to afford this shoe just to be like Kanye he projects himself as a godly figure people follow him like he is Jesus which is why he calls himself Jesus.

After the excitement of the Red Octobers went down fans always wanted to know what was next from Kanye. The biggest Kanye fans buy all of his highly expensive clothing whether it be the Yeezys, his A.P.C. line or his collaborations with Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, and other big named designers. People feel that the way he projects himself as an artist makes fans feel as though they need his product, his Air Yeezys are so rare that he cannot sell them in stores at that retail price, which is why they were released online. Jordan release lines are often around the corner and down the block but never do they crash twitter and the nike website.

Hip-Hop as a whole has major influence on what its followers feel like they must have in their closets, yet again fashion combined with music influences the minds of people and makes them feel obligated to be a consumer.

If an art has a huge effect on a large group of people it is important that it promotes positive things. In addition to the fact that people will spend their last to look like who they look up to it is important that the consumer understands that the artists specifically are promoting other brands to generate revenue and not to overspend.

  • Bibliography

Website Title:

Article Title: The Kanye West Guide To Everything In Fashion


Electronically Published: June 17th 2014

Date Accessed: October 23, 2014

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The Law, the Worse Influencer

I had previously written a 2fer about alcohol. In the paper I takes about how the legal drinking should be lowered to 18. Now looking back on my paper I see how I could have added more to my paper. I decided to add a couple new paragraphs to defend my argument and to enhance my paper.

In the United States only people 21 years of age or older can consume alcohol. Despite of the this, many teens go ahead and drink anyway. The strict law has encouraged teens to drink more. This law has an negative impact on the teens in the country. The drinking regulations and lack of education in the U.S. has triggered a rebellion and therefore, influencing teenagers to overly consume alcohol.

Parents are always striving to raise their children the best they know how. While doing that that parents may weigh their children down with harsh regulations. This is restricting kids to be a kid and live their lives.  According to Dr. Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist, “strict parenting deprives children of the opportunity to learn self-discipline”. Life is a process and you learn from it, parents should allow room for lessons and mistakes. Those things are vital for character development and  for room to grow. Strict parenting may also cause teens to act out and develop behavior problems. For example, when some young adults enter college they do a lot of wild partying, drinking, and experimenting with drugs. This may be a result of strict parenting mixed with a lot of freedom.

This strict parenting relates to the strict drinking regulations in the U.S. The fact that teens aren’t allowed to drink make them want to drink even more. Therefore they might binge drink or drink and drive. If the drinking age was lowered teen dui rates and binge drinking would decrease. The U.S is one of the six countries that have a drinking regulation as high as 21 years of age. 132 countries have lower drinking ages. In the United Kingdom where the legal drinking age is 18, only 20% of accidents were caused by drunk driving in 2011. Whereas in the U.S. in 2011,  38% of the accidents were caused by driving under the influence. That’s almost a 20% difference.  Teens in the United Kingdom have experience and are not as eager to rebell in comparison to the teens in the United States.This proves that if teens were given more opportunities to be responsible they would be wise.

In Bermuda the legal drinking limit is 18. Bermuda has a population of 64,564. Out of that population only 9 people have been killed by automobile accidents. These are just accidents not detailing drunk driving. That’s impressive, even if the population there is smaller.

The National Minimum drinking Age act was put into place in 1984. Before that the standard age for drinking was 18. Regulators noticed that the chaos on the street was at an all time high. Therefore they decided to change the age. Back then, people were not really educated about drugs and alcohol. Now people can learn about those things in health classes, commercials, through the internet, and though many people. Now that people are educated, drunk driving has gone down. Every year it seems as if the percent of drug related fatalities have gone down tremendously. In 1982  60%  of driving fatalities were caused by drunk driving. In 2010 only 31% of of driving fatalities were caused by drunk driving.

In the United States 18-year olds are given a pleather of opportunities. They can lease an apartment, join the military, vote, open up a credit card, and do many other things.  If 18- year olds can do this then they should be given the right to purchase alcohol.  If at this age they can be trusted with guns to defend our country they should have to right to purchase alcohol.

Lowering the drinking age to 18 would be economically good for the economy. If more people are allowed to purchase alcohol then businesses would make more revenue. Bars, restaurant, and  other establishments would highly benefit from this. There would also be a greater tax revenue.

Alcohol is becoming less of an issue in the U.S. People are realizing the issue and striving to 

change and be more responsible.  As the people change, so should the law. Adults should be

able to control what they consume and be held accountable for that. The government should 

adapt to American’s new way of thinking.

Work Cited:

State University of New York. "Minimum Legal Drinking Ages around the World." Minimum Legal Drinking Ages around the World. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Drunk Driving Statistics." Drunk Driving Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Alcohol Education Trust - Facts and Figures." Alcohol Education Trust - Facts and Figures. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014. 2011 Drunk Driving Statistics. "Http://" 2011 Drunk Driving Statistics. N.p., Winter 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

Griggs, Brandon. "Should the U.S. Lower Its Drinking Age?" CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

"Drinking Age" ProConorg Headlines. N.p., 18 July 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
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Jaime Vaquero


“Whuya Meee! STOP KECKING! Para, Por Favor, Me duele!” I yelled

“NO, Shut up, you STUPID MEXICAN!!? ENGLISH!!!” Yelled the boy that was kicking.

“Stop, PLEESES!?” I yelled as the pain started burn as if they sat my body on fire.

I was the bullies punching bag, or as they said “The MEXICAN trash bag”. I’d sometimes wish that I was die. Not being able to pronounce word in the  third-fifth grade, it makes you stupid, dumb and worthless, that you're no good in this world. I didn’t know why people bullied me for. I’d cried all night, wishing that someday it would stop, and wishing to correct my english too! English is too hard!

“I no like thet projeck” I get made fun off for a long time from these stupid project, reason was about me and where I’m from and all the other thing. This was my second year at Olney Elementary School. The year before, people kept asking me where you taco, other  asking “Can you go do yard” I’d cried because I was scared, I never did nothing about, because I was weak, fat and slow at everything. People didn’t like me, maybe because I wasn’t cool for them. Many people said that I was stupid for what I did, for example I’d help the teacher clean up in whatever we did in class. My parents raise to help people and care and not be mean or rude to other, so that people wouldn’t do back. I was that one kid that the teachers like but not the student.


“Ugly monkey!”

“Go make me taco! Or go my yard!”

This was all 4th grade year. It was that dumb project, people don’t need to know where I’m from and what I do or don’t, what I believe and don’t. All I had is to go thought the year, i’ll start soft, but end strong.
A year later, school is about to start in 2 weeks for now. Summer was a peacefully time where I don’t have to worry about people messing with me or other thing like that. Summer goes by fast, it splits by our hands and you have to go to school, that is when my worrying start, only for me (sadly!!!).

“Mi hijo, despertate, la escula esta a punto de comenzar...Rapido Mi Hijo!!!”

“No, madre, no quiero, Por Favor!!!

“Rapido o te meto tu chinga!!”

“Ok, ja voy!!”

Who knew that even days could go by fast too! School was up now. (I’d wished that I was dead!!!)

“What the hell is he wearing on his feet?”

“Theyua a tiype uf shoes in mexico…”

“Yo bro, you homeless or wat!”


Great, my day stupid is starting off crappy. One special thing that help me go through the day was learn, learning help ignore these dumb people didn’t know any better. The first day has end, now I have a whole year of school. Great, that was amazing. Second day, it might be better than, yesterday. When I got to school, people were hearing to rape song, in my opinion I didn’t like rap, because they didn’t make sense. Everybody got hype and that, it was just song!

“Yo these song tough right!”

“I guess…”

“What! You GUESS, Yo something is wrong with you, bro, this song is the shit

bro. Oh right, you're mexican, you wouldn’t understand, LOSER”


Why was he so rude about, it is just a song. I guess I was supposed to get hype,

just for a song. I got bullied for not liking rap song. People got hype for the most stupidest thing in the world, that they don’t realize that the most important thing the world is your family, not the material that you get. For example, I was happy that I got new shoes, other people in school super hype that they got the new, very prices shoes that were $200 or a shirt that was $50, in my head, that was stupid.

Into the month two, a very big boy was coming from home and I was walking next to him. “HAAA!”(uh-oh, I got to get beat up) I tripped on my shoelace and scrapped his shoes, I think they were jordan.

“Sorry, I’m very sorry. (Inside of me, I was scared as hell, my body was paralyzed)”

“What, loser… look what you did, clean or else you trash bag”

Obviously, I did it, because so far I did get beat up, not yet!! I was happy that he didn’t punch or something like. (Hopefully this school year goes by fast, I need it to)

“Madre, ja es Junio, la escuela java terminar!” I yell to my mother.

“Ja lo es!”

“El verano ja va a empezar!”

School, this school year was a lot better, this was the very first great school, that I had ever have in my 5 years of school. All I had to do is survive the last 4 more day of school.

“3….2….1….I DID IT!!! Summer, YES!! No School, Mean No Worries”

My heart was rushing fast because I had made it through the year, without big problem.

Overall, now I bigger, older, smarter and braver. I’m now in 10th grade, my english has gotten a lot better over the years, and english has many way to be spoking. Identity and language are a great mixture, reasoning why is because without language you wouldn’t like the Identity, and if you know the identity and don’t know the language then what is the point of having that identity, if you don’t know it.


ILP- Arch Street Preschool

Day Started- October 29,2014 
As soon as I arrived, Liz introduced herself and showed me around. It was a very nice school and seemed to be a caring environment. Once she showed me around, I had the choice to pick which job I wanted for the day; I chose to play with the children. By the time I got there (1:30) the kids were still sleeping, so she brought two other people and I into her office to review the handbook when being in environment with children. It was simple, then children started to wake up and I was assigned to just play with them, watch them, basically keep them company. It was a simple task and I really enjoed it. The children were really nice and cute. Very cute. Then, I left at 3. 

November 5, 2014 
Today was my second day of voluneteering and it was an easy day. I helped put a little boy named, William, to sleep and after, we sat together and he ate his lunch. I also played with Maxamillion- he has a disorder- and he was alittle wild, but i understood his reason. At times it was hard to communicate, but I tried my best to keep him calm. I then left at 3:15. 

November 12, 2014
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Ain't What You Say But Whose Interpreting

It was the night of my SLA interview. My mom dropped me off in the morning, around 9 am and we all traveled up to the fifth floor and settled in the 10th and 11th grade english classroom.  The huge windows showcased the picturesque Philadelphia skyline. The suns rays reflected off of the buildings and made room warm and cozy.  It was beautiful.  As the hours passed, the kids left one by one, until, I was the only person in the medium sized classroom. It was pitch black outside and the room was dead silent.

“It’s your turn.”

I slowly stood up, made my way to the door, and we walked around the corner in the vacant hallways. My hands were clammy and shaking from my uncontrollable nerves. We approached the classroom door and the girl turned over slightly to look at me. ”It’s ok to be nervous. Just be yourself and you’ll do great.”

“Thanks.” I tried my hardest to create a smile that didn’t look overly forced. I failed. I pushed open the door. The man and the student next to him both smiled and welcomed me in. I kept making mental notes to remind myself to enunciate my words and pronounce all of my vowels. The last thing I needed was for them to think I was unprofessional. The man and the student began to ask me questions about my project. The whole time I was zoned out trying to suck back all of um’s, like’s, and so’s that were forcefully trying to creep their way back into my sentences.

“What do you think you can bring to the SLA community?”

“I ...ah ...wahhh...I...umm… could you repeat the question please?”My face was bright red and my hands were soaking wet. But most importantly I knew exactly what the man had just asked me, i was trying to think of something that sounded interesting. I was also trying to redeem myself for saying umm so many times I just needed to breathe and put on a different persona.

“Yes of course sweet heart. What do you think you can bring to the SLA community?”

“I believe that I can end cliques and also I could just be a person that anyone can talk to.”  

Nervous was an understatement. I felt as if I had to erase all of the “Tianna” out of my system and try to become someone else. In The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingstan, the protagonist’s mother cuts the tongue of her daughter to help her speak, and in his quote she is explaining why. ”I cut [your tongue] so that you would not be tongue-tied. Your tongue would be able to move in any language. You’ll be able to speak languages that are completely different from one another. You’ll be able to pronounce anything.”

The way you talk is sort of like a sponge. It is made up of your environment, your city, your age, in some cases your race or sex. Most of those things are things that people use to make assumptions about your character. It is easy for them to judge you based off of the way you speak because everything that makes up the way you speak can also be used to discriminate against you. So in order to avoid that, people feel the need to code switch so that people can not make false assumptions about who you are and where you come from.

When the author says “cut your tongue ... your tongue will be able to move in any language“, it reminds me of when you code switch. You cut all the ties that connect you to where you come and many more things that make you, you.

Code switching is when you switch the way you talk when you enter a different setting. There are many different reasons why people code switch. One example would be, when you switch from speaking slang with your friends to speaking standard english when you have a conference with a teacher. Another example would be when you speak spanish at home and you switch to speak english outside of the home.

In the passage “Hunger of Memory” by Richard Rodriguez , Richard describes growing up in Sacramento with his Mexican immigrant parents. In the quote on page 13, Richard explains how his parents have two different personas, one in the comfort of their home and one for when they have to speak to people in a more formal setting outside of the home.“In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, not always grammatical English. And they would have to strain-their bodies tense-to catch the sense of what was rapidly said by los gringos. At home they spoke Spanish. The language of their Mexican past sounded in counterpoint to the English of public society. The words would come quickly, with ease. Conveyed through those sounds was the pleasing, soothing, consoling reminder of being at home.” Richard explains how his parents had to acquiesce in order to get what they need so that they could get ahead. Similar to Richards parents  I also had to acquiesce to a different vernacular that was deemed socially acceptable which was different to the way I’m used to speaking.

After the interview I learned how important it is to develope a different persona for when you enter more formal settings like an interview. This is  because the way you speak is a label for many things, negative and positive. People seem to take you more seriously when you speak standard  english. Although that isn’t right you don’t want to sabotage yourself from getting an opportunity. But you should always be proud of the way you talk speak because it is what makes you uniquely you.

The Three Personas

¨ Who is it?¨

¨Ummm, someone named Charles.¨

¨Oh, that’s my client from work. Here, pass me my phone.¨

I grab her purse and blindly forage for her phone.

¨C’mon hurry up!¨

¨Wait a minute...almost got it¨

I quickly hand her the device and watch as she answers the man on the other side of the line.

¨Hello? Charles?  Why yes, this is Amy Silveri from Quality Progressions…. Pardon? Yes, I will be visiting your house for a brief meeting regarding the placement of your child...¨

This is a daily routine that I see everyday with the interaction I have with my mom. Now anyone who’s grown up in a black household knows that they’re parents always change the way they talk depending on who they’re talking too and depending on that person’s race. For years I’ve heard my mom’s voice change from her work environment to her social environment. And it wasn’t until recently where I’ve noticed that I do this as well.

There are three types of Jaiye’s.

The white Jaiye.

The black Jaiye.

And the regular Jaiye.

The white Jaiye can be described as the voice I use when I talk to everyday white people. White people I see at school, who I see at supermarkets, who I see walking down the street. My voice suddenly becomes higher and softer and my vocabulary immediately advances. I speak more slowly and my facial expression changes. I make sure to smile and to always appear happy, as if everything is going great. And as I’m doing this, I think to myself, ¨ I hope they don’t think I’m ghetto.¨ and all the other negative stereotypes attributed with blacks. As soon as a white person speaks to me my brain instantaneously reminds myself to ¨Change your voice!¨, and in doing this I automatically become a new person, a new identity, an alternate self. It all becomes a facade.

The black Jaiye is alternately, the voice I use with my blacks peers. It’s the voice where I’m most comfortable with. It allows me to express my individuality better and I feel more accepted with the fact that I’m black. I feel more connected with my roots and the life that we as blacks live. My words become a constant blur; I talk faster, louder and I use slang. ¨Hi¨ or ¨hello¨, becomes ¨Yo¨ or ¨wassup¨. ¨Isn’t¨ becomes ¨ain’t¨.  I use words like ¨jawn¨ and ¨drawlin’¨, words that are indigenous to Philly and that I hear everyday . My native tongue.

And the regular Jaiye is a combination of the two. My language neither leans towards the white dialect or the black dialect. My tongue isn’t biased. I find myself using this the most throughout my everyday life. It has the perfect amount of respect and proper mannerism yet it still holds onto my personality and characteristics that derived from me being African American. The slang and the style is still there yet there’s a proper sophistication in the way that I enunciate the words as they leave my mouth. In doing so, I’m not judged for being too black or too white; too ¨ghetto¨”or too ¨snobby¨.

Throughout my entire life I’ve always had these different personas and evidently, the reasons why I code switch is because of the influence that language and dialect has on today’s society and the way we are viewed as people, especially for a young  African American woman in America.

James Baldwin, a well known African American writer who tackled the topics of race and oppression as well as the topic of African Americans in the white man’s society, wrote an essay on the influence of language on blacks in America and how it has influenced the way we live today. He explained that the way we speak, impacts the social recognition of African Americans, as well as other people of color, stating that, ¨It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity.¨ Our language, dialect and accent gives us power in this world.  As black Americans, it is prime that we remind ourselves to code switch,  in a society where the mass majority does not see us as intelligent or deemed fit enough into today’s society and a primary reason for this is because of the way we speak. Brought over to this country as slaves, English was never our original language nor was our dialects natural to English. We all developed various accents that people would describe as ¨ghetto¨ and for that, the world views us as ignorant belligerent fools who deserve no chances in life. In doing so, we retain back all power lost and all of the stereotypes pin-pointed towards us are then withdrawn.

As for most blacks, code switching isn't something that we want to do. It’s something that we’re forced to do to reject oppression. People tend to judge us off of our tongue and because of that, we do not get the same opportunities as others. Because of this, the vast majority of blacks live in a life reflected upon poverty, imprisonment, drugs and negativity. But who are we to change who we are to fit the social norm? It is not our fault that we speak like this. We were forced to, and in the end, we've adapted the various dialects and accents that travel across this country. Code-switching is appropriate when needed, but don’t change the way you speak entirely. Language mirrors identity.


Violence Over Sneakers

Sneakers have always been apart of our lives since the Michael Jordan era. Many young teenagers now don’t remember who Michael Jordan is but remember him for his sneakers. The sneaker culture now has now been focus on what sneakers someone has and if they have the most exclusive sneakers amongst friends and others. But with that comes a price.

Many incidents have been occurring about someone getting shot or killed over a pair of sneakers (mostly Jordans). On December 22, 2012, 2 men were shot in Texas over their Jordans (to be specific Jordan 11 Bred). Both men were leaving the mall with the sneakers in hand until they were approached by 2 men in a car and told them to give up the sneakers. 1 man got away safely but, the other victim tried to get in the car and drive away but was shot at in the back of the head by the men who shot through the back window of the car. All of this over a pair of sneakers is unacceptable. There should be no reason to kill an innocent person for a pair of sneakers. Sneakers are sneakers. Yes, some of them are rare one and some are limited to a certain number of pairs made but that doesn’t mean that a person should rely on violence to get one of those pairs of sneakers if they didn’t get one themselves.

Another incident where someone was robbed of their sneakers involves college students who go to a excellent college but decided to beat up a student for his Nike Foamposites while his friends video taped the fight and watch. Every student who laughed and video taped the fight including the student who beat the other student up for his sneakers were all expelled from the college. These were people who were accepted into a very good college but doing one little mistake caused them to be expelled.

Now the sneaker culture isn’t always having bad and cruel incidents with it. There is good things that come with it too. Sneaker Con is a convention that is held in different states and countries all the time. It’s a convention where people who love to collect sneakers get a chance to connect with people just like them and sell their sneakers or trade them. This is a great way to show their love for sneakers in a organized way. This is also a learning experience for young people who go to these conventions in a way. Let’s take a look at one story about a young sneaker collector named Alex who is 15 years old. Alex was featured in a ESPN article called, "Sneakerheads: The Business of Reselling Sneakers.". Alex is many of young sneaker collectors who buy and sell sneakers making up to a much as $1000 dollars. During the documentary, it follows  Alex and his friends at a sneaker convention. While they are there, Alex becomes a smart deal maker. Alex is in the middle of making a deal with one person (which ends up ending with a deal of $340 dollars), Alex finishes another deal halfway down the table worth $320 dollars which he wasn’t apart of at the moment. Alex and his friends continue to make deals with people and bargaining with them to get the right price.

After that, Alex’s father is sat down and talks about how he feels about his son and what he does. Alex’s father says that he somewhat likes what Alex is doing. He says that it is showing him that he knows how to handle money and how negotiate with his money. But, his father also says that he does not like it as well because he feels that instead of spending time on a Saturday morning on the computer trying to purchase a sneaker coming out that day, he could be studying and doing his homework. This is true but this could also be another way for young sneaker collectors to learn how to manage money and how to use it wisely and not spend it on things without really thinking about it.

So what can we do to maybe stop all this violence over sneakers and create somewhat of a balance of peace with the sneaker culture and people? One way that may be able to solve these problems is to lower the cost of sneakers. A pair of Jordans used to be $150-185 dollars but this fall, the prices will be raised by $15 dollars. This will now make the highest pair of Jordans $200 dollars. A pair of Lebrons are roughly $200 dollars alone. But creating exclusive sneakers, it then raises the prices. Some going up to $350 dollars. The lowest cost on sneakers now by a well known basketball player is Kevin Durant sneakers where the cost is $150 dollars. If sneakers by well known brands were normally this price, there wouldn’t be a problem with everybody to get a pair so no one will be killed over them. With that being said about everyone getting a pair, it would help people out if there were more pairs of certain sneakers instead of having only making a certain number of sneakers and having people go crazy just to be able to say they got a chance to get a pair of the sneakers.
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Filesharing and Torrenting Music

With the current day and age technology is continuously evolving, making everything easier to come by and find. Going on google can lead to information, apps, games, and programs that help with over efficiency and productivity. These search engines can also be very helpful for finding Bit Torrents and bittorrent compatible files. These Torrents are most commonly used for illegally downloading music files like albums and songs from different bands/composers, getting all the tunage with minimal work and no pocket money. File sharing and illegal downloads are not killing the music industry, because what keeps music alive is the mutual love for it fans share.

It is becoming a common trend to illegally download things like music, books, games and apps Focusing on music, many people (mostly with jobs in the music industry/community) have been continuously saying that torrenting music is killing the industry. That supporting the band(s) or artist(s) would be putting money towards the music to allow more to be made. Although other people have been countering with the argument that the love of music kept it alive this long and will continue to do so with or without the music being top purchased on iTunes.

Dee Snider, a rock and roll legend and member of the band Twisted Sister was interviewed by on the death of rock and roll. His opinion was,

Rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well and thriving on social media, in the streets, and in clubs and concert halls all over the world. And the bands playing it are more genuine and heartfelt than ever because they are in it for one reason: the love of rock ‘n’ roll.”

This comment can be transferred to any genre of music. Most bands and artists have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and Instagram profiles, they leak previews of their new albums and give out free merchandise bundles. Which is according to the logic that ‘torrenting music is stealing from bands’

Recently there was a case study done by Time Magazine titled, “Illegal Music Downloads Not Hurting Industry.” This study concluded a lot of interesting data. Including:

  • Men are more likely to download music.

  • People with higher education stream more music.

  • Average income doesn’t affect the amount of music streaming.

  • Based on cultural differences/economic structure in different countries downloads vary across the globe.

The study proved that, “Specifically, the study found that legal purchases would be about 2 percent lower without illegal downloading available—meaning, yes, illegal downloads boost legal downloads. Their conclusion: people who download pirated music mostly do so for tunes they wouldn’t have ever spent money on. The positive effect of streaming was even larger.”

The article also made the point, “Clicking on a legal download website does not equal buying music, past studies have found that “some people buy and steal a lot of music because they love music”.”

The final outcome/result of the study is that the people that illegally download their music wouldn’t buy it if they didn’t torrent it. Meaning that there was no initial ravine for the music industry to be making for them to really lose any money.

Works Cited:

Kreps, Daniel. "Gene Simmons: 'Rock Is Finally Dead. It Was Murdered'"Rolling Stone. N.p., 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 03 Oct. 2014.

Hartmann, Graham. "Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Responds to Gene Simmons’ ‘Rock Is Dead’ Claim Read More: Dee Snider Responds to Gene Simmons' 'Rock Is Dead' Claim | Http://" Loudwire Network, 11 Sept. 2014. Web. 3 Oct. 2014. Rothman, Lily. "Your Illegal Music Downloads Not Hurting Industry, Study Claims." 

Entertainment Illegal Music Downloads Not Hurting Industry Study Claims Comments. N.p., 21 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.

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Accents Do and Don't Matter

Thirty or so kids, all from different neighborhoods which make up the small city of East Providence, claimed seats in a tiny classroom, on the first day of 2nd grade. As a way to introduce ourselves to the class, our task was to write a short paragraph about who we were (the question of identity, in the eyes of a second grader, offers a pretty open ended answer). I began my introduction, Hi, I’m Ella Donesky and I was born in Toronto, Canada. My favorite colour is green. The next day, my paper was returned with a red “x” over the “u” in “colour.”

My dad is Canadian and he speaks Canadian English. Though I was also born in Canada, the majority of my life was spent in in the United States, first in East Providence, Rhode Island and then in Seattle, Washington. Rhode Island, the smallest state, is divided down the middle by the Narragansett Bay and the Pawtucket River. The result is the east side of Rhode Island seems to have been influenced by Massachusetts and Boston, and west side of Rhode Island more by Connecticut. Growing up on the eastern side, my friends, neighbors and classmates spoke with accents similar to the Bostonian accent. I, however, spoke like my parents and their friends (further, I only ever spoke Bulgarian with my mother unless there were other people around). My dad taught at Brown University and my mom taught at RISD, with are both across the river from where we lived. The English I learned was the Canadian English my dad spoke with me. He also taught me how to read before I started Kindergarten in the USA, and I went to daycare in Toronto before moving to Providence. Nearly all of the books we owned were Canadian books with Canadian spelling. In addition to acquiring my dad’s accent and writing, a few of his “Canadianisms” slipped into my vocabulary.

“Pass the clicker,” I would say to my friend, sitting beside me on the couch.

“Oh, you mean the remote?”

Sometimes, they wouldn’t understand what I was trying to communicate.

“Grab a few serviettes and we’ll clean up this mess.”

“A serviette?” They would ask.

“Sorry, napkin.

I didn’t know if I should call someone’s aunt “ant” or “ont”.

The confusion that would follow my use of the jargon was an indicator that these words were not ones they typically heard in their home or neighborhood. Not only that, but it made more clear that there were differences in the way I spoke and the way my peers spoke. In spite of the differences, it never occurred to me to try and change the way I speak. After all, I didn’t think I was speaking incorrectly, I was speaking the language my parents taught me, and the language I spoke with them at home. It felt entirely natural and I was fine with the differences with others.

This may clarify why in my six years living in Rhode Island, I didn’t adopt the Rhode Island dialect. A friend of mine grew up in a household where both her parents spoke with British accents and her accent sounds identical to her parents’. Yet, she lives in Newton, Massachusetts. The one word I picked up in Rhode Island and continue to use, is “bubbler,” or what you would more commonly refer to as a drinking fountain. I rarely use Canadian English, now, and it’s very easy to switch between the two, but during my early formative years, this was the only English I knew (I also spoke fluent Bulgarian exclusively with my mother). Throughout elementary school, it was confusing to me when words that were very naturally a part of my vocabulary and to which I didn’t give a second thought, were considered incorrect. To my peers, these words were foreign. The differences in the language I used when compared to the language my classmates used was only made more noticeable. My teachers began to understand that I wasn’t making spelling errors or using an incorrect form of English, I was writing and speaking in a more “Britishized” version of the English language, which is in use in Canada, the form of English I was most used to and in which I was first taught.

In East Providence, there are two predominant speaking groups, recent immigrants, and those whose family have lived in East Providence for generations. Among my peers, my perceived accent acted as a sort of third type. Accents often suggest socio-economic status, level of education and whether you are an immigrant or not. All of these may have been an issue for me. However, at the time, I wasn’t so aware of the politics. Among my friends parents were professors, doctors, and lawyers as well as janitors and factory workers, etc. My awareness was just that of difference, but not of judgmental difference. Difference was fairly neutral at the time. I only became of aware of the differences when my friends would come over to my house and say “Your dad sounds funny,” or “Your mom talks weird.” My friends pointed out their accents, but I didn’t hear it.

My move to Seattle was a culture shock, or lack thereof. Accents didn’t come up much. Seattle is not known for having a strong local, regional accent. It’s an American town, but it’s very close to the neutral seeming accent that is largely northwest and not so different from the way Canadians speak. So my dad and I didn’t stand out. But my mom did. I’d gone from living in an environment where diversity was the norm to living in a mostly white city with very little diversity. Unlike regions in the UK, for example, which carry distinct regional accents from areas that are not to far apart and are often indicators of status, these factors were hardly identifiable in my classmates. My friends would tell me “Your dad sounds like a professor,” and he was a professor. My mom was also a professor, but no one said the same about her. I believe it was because she had a Bulgarian accent. Furthermore, my grandmother speaks five languages, including english, but when she was in America, my friends only heard a old lady who spoke English with an accent, and they may have made negative assumptions. Most Americans can’t tell if British people are smart or stupid, as the joke goes, because British accents have long been associated with education and being upper class. Accents are tricky and you have to be very careful about how completely you rely on them to create your perception of someone. In James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” he discusses language and what it reveals about the speaker “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify.” The identity of myself, my father, my mother and my grandmother all became filtered through these issues and changed according to context.

Two years ago, my family moved to Philadelphia. Known for it’s distinct accent, Philadelphia offered a slightly more diverse environment for me than Seattle. Though it was still primarily black and white, the ethnicities were more evenly dispersed. Science Leadership Academy is not a white suburban school, unlike my middle school. It seemed that I wasn’t perceived as speaking that differently, however, until it became known that I was Canadian. What people know about Canada gave them their impressions of me, and the stereotypes simply didn’t hold.

“Say ‘aboot’.”


“No, no, no. You’re Canadian, say ‘aboot’.”


“M’kay, say ‘eh’,”

“Say ‘water’,”


I remember driving across the country from Providence to Seattle in a big “Penske” truck, nudged between my mom, dad and dog, entertaining myself and them with all of the accents I could conjure. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that this could be offensive to anyone, because I didn’t experience it that way. It was simply a response to my growing up in multicultural environments. Today, I’d be more careful in order to avoid seeming disrespectful.

As I’ve grown older, the issues have shifted slightly. I’ve become more aware of the role that accents play in the way one is judged, as well as the way people’s perception of accents is most often determined by the immediate environment. In many ways, accents determine how you’re perceived in any given circumstance.

Untold Story of Language: Blessing or Curse?

  "Why don't you speak Spanish in this house boy?" My father said for the seventh time Spanish. "If you can understand my english, then why should I speak Spanish if I prefer speaking English?" I replied. He did not say anything after that. He hated it when his kids spoke to him in English then. Since we were "born Spanish" he wanted us to speak Spanish. He especially hated when we would use English slang around him. This whole language problem caused tension in the house for about half a year. Whenever we were at his friend's houses and spoke English, I could tell by his facial expressions that he was embarrassed that his friend's kids had no problems with speaking Spanish but we did. "Why don't you repeat that in Spanish?" He would ask. Me and my sisters all thought the way he acted was so ridiculous. But it kept on going for almost half a year. It also only began to get worse after some time.

   "You know what...I don't care anymore" he said randomly one day in the car. "You guys want to speak your language then go ahead." To my father, being able to speak perfect Spanish makes us the “perfect” Puerto Ricans, he thought that if every Puerto Rican he knew could speak great Spanish, then we as his kids should be able to as well. I felt relieved about that but it was just the beginning of my problems with the way I talk. I started talking more and more like the people I hung around. I began using way too much slang and that wasn't just a problem for my dad but it was a problem for some of my teachers at school as well. One day, fifth grade, I had a presentation to do on a project about grizzly bears. "Your voice was too low and I could not understand some of the words you were using...what is 'trynna'?" My fifth grade teacher, Ms. Schuler, said right after she told me I failed my presentation. I honestly felt like she was being racist for grading me on the way I was a science presentation. Other students were surprised because they thought that I had one of the most well presented project. I didn't feel like talking for the rest of the day because I felt embarrassed. The way I speak is one of the main things that shape me so why is it a problem with other people? I have an A in every class so why is the way I speak so bad? I had so much hate for my teacher that day. Since my mother were together at the time, all I could do was go home and complain to her.

   "I tried to tell you that your 'friends' are bad influences" my mother said. I didn't think so though. They were are my "brothers." Even to this day they are. “Pshh, she trippin’ bro. She actin’ like I be smokin’ bud or something,” my friend Derrick said after I told him. I eventually got over it and ended up having no problems with the way I talked till I got to seventh grade. Science class. The teacher Mr. Dukulah, you might recognize him as the teacher who was prosecuted for sexually abusing a family member for eight years. His speech was no better than anybody's speech in the class, actually the school. He had a really strong African accent and sounded just like the one comedian Michael Blackson but he felt as if he spoke perfectly fine. He would even judge the way we talked. That class was difficult for everyone because he thought the way everyone was speaking was incorrect. People hated him. When we heard that he was arrested everyone was shocked and sort of thought that it was funny. People use to say he was a rapist because of the way he use to look at the girls in class. He would even make them do unnecessary things that they did not want to do. So it was ironic that he was charged with rape. Everyone failed most of their presentations because of what he thought was “good speech”. He taught in Africa a couple years before he came to the middle school I attended so he was accustomed to people having strong African accents. It is like the world is separated by languages.

   I not only have have been in bad situations because of the way I speak though. In eight grade I won a poetry contest because of my speech:

"Am I really good at this or is the truth untold ?

Either way ya fear shouldn't deny ya goals

Always heard first sight shouldn't defy ya goals

But if often times I'm right then sorry that's the way it goes

Say if time froze would you spend the time to right ya wrongs..."

Everyone in the lunchroom, snapping as I "spit" the poem like a rap. Afterwards I had people coming up to me like "yo the way you said that one line made the whole thing crazy!" I felt great because for once, the way I spoke was a good thing...people began to like it because supposedly it had "style".

   Speeches around the world are all so different though and they can be a good thing or a bad thing. For example, for certain men a woman with a certain accent could be the perfect wife. For a movie director, an actor with a specific accent could be a star. But for a national or worldwide company, not being able to speak “proper” could be what gives them bad reviews. It things like this that make language and speech a blessing and a curse.

   In 'If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?' by James Baldwin, he says "Language, also, far more dubiously, is meant to define...". He means a completely different thing but to me this quote is very critical to what I am explaining in this essay. Language is meant to define and to translate, not a way to show class or intelegence. For example, in my poem, people did not really care how I was saying the words. Yes my accent supposedly made it "crazier" but people cared more about what I was saying than the way I said it. The world does not understand that everyone speaks differently. To some people from different countries, the way we speak English could be completely differentfrom the way they do.

   The north and the south are split with accents just like the east and the west. Language and accents could be good and bad depending on where you are located. But the big question is: was there or is there a “correct” accent somewhere out in the world or will was the world always separated because of speech? I have experienced speech prejudice in both good and bad ways and it is reasons and questions like this that make language and speech such a mystery...almost like a story that has not been fully told.



Q1 art presentation

Artist's Statement:

In this course I learned skills that I will use throughout my art career. I liked the outlet it gave me for art. In my art I try to represent the world around me in a way the also allows my view. I do this by ways like what I choose to draw. Also I use how I draw as far as my median, line weight, style, etc. I hope you can see that in my art.

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I Know Big Words, I Swear

I’d like to thank the British for my vocabulary. Not in the traditional sense, either. I don’t watch any British TV shows regularly, or much television at all, really. I knew words like “lithe” and “raucous” before I knew my times tables, thanks to British car magazines. I liked cars, and I wanted to read reviews of new cars, but I didn’t plan on learning anything I could use in school or to impress the types of people who are impressed by kids with big vocabularies. Essentially, I tricked myself into learning. That probably says something about me.

Language-wise, I suppose I’m pretty interesting. I was born in Concord, New Hampshire, and lived there until I was about 8. After that, I moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You may notice that people from both of these places typically have thick accents, but I do not. Nobody in my family has a strong New England accent either. Why is that? I don’t know. One theory is that accents are generally associated with the lower class, who have less money to travel and pollute their regional accent with the sounds of other places. My family isn’t particularly wealthy, but we have enough means to travel on occasion. This could be a factor, but I don’t think it’s frequent enough to have a distinct influence.

I found a test on the New York Times’ website that determined where your vocabulary comes from, and it said that I had a vocabulary and accent typical of Southern New Hampshire, which makes sense. This test is very well done because not only does it incorporate the words you use, it also includes questions about the pronunciation of words like “been” and “aunt”. An example of where my New Hampshire accent shows through, is in the pronunciation of the word “been”. I say it like the name “Ben”, but farther south it is pronounced like “bin” or “bean”. Some research I did shows that the accents of different regions of the United States come from the accents of the immigrants who settled there. For example, accents in New England are influenced by the English accent of the period, because most of the settlers to New England were English.

Which returns us to the British. For reasons I cannot explain, the British nearly have a monopoly on automotive journalism. The British are also known for their eloquence and passion for the written word. When I was little, I wanted to read about cars as much as possible. As an aside, cars are still my hobby, there’s just a lot more doing and planning than reading for me now. At the time, the best way to get information about cars was to read magazines, which led me to publications like Top Gear (like the show), Evo, and the creatively named Car Magazine. Each magazine had its own unique character, and I simply couldn’t stop reading each and every magazine I stumbled upon, whether it was an inherited issue from 3 years ago from one of my dad’s work friends or a new copy found in the imported section of our local Borders. Getting a brand new magazine was a relatively special occasion, thanks to the relatively high cost of the imported magazines, especially in comparison to their sparse content appropriate for their price back in the old country. The additional insight and beautiful photography was worth it, at least for me. I didn’t realize I had learned so much from these magazines until about 7th or 8th grade, when we began studying SAT words. I knew about 70% of the words, and I didn’t know why. I was reading Car Magazine’s 30th anniversary issue when it clicked for me.

As proud as I am to be different and from another place, I still can’t help that my accent is relatively subtle. I would love to write a wonderful reflection paragraph detailing the oppression I face daily due to my unusual dialect, but nobody seems to notice I have an accent at all. For the most part, people are surprised when I tell them I’m not from Philadelphia. The most obvious way to tell that I’m from somewhere different becomes revealed only in winter.
“Aren’t you cold?” they say, less frequently than the rest of this essay would have you believe. I’m not cold. I’m from a place where we have real life actual winter, and if you’re interested I can tell you a story about when I carved an igloo in the large snowbank next to my old house that was so big I could sleep in it. For the record, I did not sleep in the igloo. That would have been dangerous.

A while ago in English class, we read an essay by James Baldwin called “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” Among other things that are less relevant to this essay, Baldwin mentions how people from different places and different cultural backgrounds can sound completely different. He also states that black English has so much slang that it is almost unintelligible to the untrained ear. At one time, being from a highly monocultural place, I was that untrained ear. I remember at recess being confused at the strange sentences that were flying around, swirling in the air and trapping me. It was only about 350 miles away, but it felt like another continent.

The hardest part about slang is that nobody teaches it. You can learn it, but by the time you have it figured out, you are months or even years behind, and your new knowledge is no longer relevant. This used to be a problem for me, but now I have it figured out, for the most part. Slang isn’t made to be hard to understand. I made myself sound like this massively uncomfortable white guy who is constantly out of the loop, but I was really only like that for a year or two, while I was adjusting to living in a city. I had more important things to worry about than language.


Our Names and Our Society

I redid all of my citations, I also added in new information. I tweaked my thesis a little bit! 

Its so hard for people with ethnic names to be hired for a job because our society focuses more on first impression more than the deeper aspects of our humanity. Everyone has a name whether its a “common” name like Sophia or Emily or different like Adonis or Adri. A name is something that is not in our control, so why is it so hard for people with ethnic names to be hired for a job.  Is it because our society focuses more on first impression then the deeper aspect of our humanity.   

I believe that for our society to function we need to move forward, but how can we move forward when we get stuck on little things like not hiring someone because of their name. I first heard this job discrimination while I was helping my mom create her lesson plan. At first I blew off the idea, thinking my mom was joking, but its been a question I’ve been dying to figure out to know why. It turns out that this name discrimination is unfortunately true.  “About 40 per cent more likely to choose to interview a job applicant with an English-sounding name than someone with an ethnic name, even if both candidates have identical education, skills and work histories.” (the globe and mail ).

There are no excuses for not hiring someone because of their name. Company owners want their businesses to attracted people into buying their product. Some products talk about the organization on their label or often give a website to go to. If someone was really into this organization they can go off and research more. What if a customer found out that the company wouldn’t higher people with ethnic sounding names. They might want an explanation as to why.   “Foreign sounding names may be overlooked due to a perception that their English language skills may be insufficient on the job.”(The globe and mail)

“When you’re calling someone with an English-sounding name, you know what you’re getting into. You know you can call Bob Smith and can talk to him as quickly as you want to ...”(The globe and mail)

“I personally am guilty of gravitating toward Anglo names on résumés, and I believe that it’s a very human condition – [a result of]resistance to change.”(The globe and mail)

“... It’s difficult to imagine hiring someone with a long first name, as it might be impractical in terms of answering the phone and saying it. People with easy-to-use shorter names are easier to hire and work with.”(The globe and mail)

“I’m down to about seven seconds to vet a résumé ... I do realize how unfair the whole process is.”(The globe and mail) (Theses are explanations as to why hiring people with ethnic name would be bad).  This is not an explanation these are excuses.

“For Larry Whitten, owner of the Whitten Hotel in Taos, N.M., names mattered so much that he ordered a group of Hispanic employees change their names to sound more Anglo Saxon . For example, changing Martin (pronounced Mar-TEEN) to plain-old Martin or Marco to Mark.”  (NBC news) I think that my name is relatively common, but it can be americanized. When people ask me what my name is I will tell them my name is Magdalena and they will say something along the lines of: “oh what a beautiful name” or “I have a friend with that name” (sometimes I will say Maggie). I decide to say Maggie sometimes because it easier to say, and by doing this I’m like one of the bosses who changed his employee name to make them easier to say.  To me my name isn’t that different but to a future employer, or interviewer my name might be too long, or too “hard” to say.  Going to a school that encourages you to be a leader, ask questions and find the out answers I think it would be interesting to create a project where half of the applicants have ethnic names and half don’t. We could then send these out to different companies and see how many calls each person would get back.  I think that this will help further expose the wrong they are doing to theses people.

To conclude a person should not judged on their name, but on the quality of work, because someone with  a different sounding name can excel at a job. Its all about personality and not overlooking people.


"Baby Namer Tool from The Bump." The Bump. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. < (sanskrit)?nat=indian (sanskrit)>.

Tahmincioglu, Eve. "Like It or Not, Name Can Impact Your Career." Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <>.

Immen, Wallace. "How an Ethnic-sounding Name May Affect the Job Hunt." The Globe and Mail. 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <>.

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The Beatles and The Beach Boys by Nebil Ibrahim

Some people conceive creativity to be something that is achieved by being solo or in a group and that competitiveness detests gaining inspiration from rivals. Many people have a mentality that in order to be successful they have to have inspiration that does not come from someone else. There have been many examples to the contrary of that in different fields from literature to science. In the music industry an example would be The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Rather than despising each others' songs and success, The Beach Boys and The Beatles openly used each other for inspiration and creativity.

One of the biggest examples of this reciprocal relationship would be The Beach Boys’ album “Pet Sounds” which was composed soon after The Beatles’ album “Rubber Soul”. The albums both have very slow,peaceful, and innovative music and at their time, were considered to be the greatest albums of all time.  “The album “Pet Sounds (1966) was the Beach Boys‟ response to the Beatles, ‟Rubber Soul”. With the help of the Wrecking Crew and the rest of the Beach Boys members, Brian Wilson produced this album to top the seamless fluidity of songs he heard on Rubber Soul.” (Hui) This shows how The Beach Boys directly took inspiration from The Beatles and incorporated it into their own work. If it weren’t for The Beatles the Beach Boys would not be as successful because they wouldn't have “Rubber Soul” to inspire the production of “Pet Sounds” and bring in the creativity they needed.  When The Beach Boys listened to “Rubber Soul” and were amazed at the fact that the album was innovative in the sense that it did not only have a few hit songs with a couple of b-sides to put it all together. They used The Beatles’ example to make “Pet Sounds”. “Pet Sounds” was voted to be the second best album of all time by Rolling Stone and it topped “Rubber Soul” which was voted as the fifth.

The Beatles were looking for inspiration for their next album which they found in “Pet Sounds”. They used this inspiration to produce their next album, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. “To me the greatest influence on “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was The Beach Boys’  record “Pet Sounds”, and I think Brian Wilson was a great genius.” (Paul McCartney) This shows how willing The Beatles were to take inspiration and how creativity and inspiration can come from competition. Without having used The Beach Boys’ for inspiration Sergeant Pepper's would not have been. It was voted as the number one album of all time by Rolling Stone, right over “Pet Sounds”. The Beatles’ ability to not only be able to accept the fact that “Pet Sounds” topped “Rubber Soul”, but also be able to use inspiration from it to make Sergeant Pepper was crucial to their success.

Aside from taking inspiration from albums,The Beatles and The Beach Boys also gave direct feedback towards each other. The lead vocalist of The Beach Boys, Mike Love, was on a trip to India with Paul McCartney. “I was sitting at the breakfast table and McCartney came down with his acoustic guitar and he was playing Back In The USSR, and I told him that what you ought to do is talk about the girls all around Russia, the Ukraine and Georgia.” (Love) McCartney did end up incorporating the advice of Love into the song. The Beatles were very willing to take advice from The Beach Boys on their songs. If McCartney had chosen not to take Love’s advice, then “Back in the USSR” would not nearly be the same. The healthy relationship between the two bands enabled them to be able to take advice from each other in order to become successful.

Although the use of other artists to use for creativity and inspiration may only seem important  to artists and the music industry, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about the sharing of ideas in all other fields. The use of it has been seen throughout all fields. Its use has been inspired by many musicians such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys.  The benefit of the relationship between them can clearly be seen in record sales as they have an estimated 700 million combined.  It’s effect can be seen through music as well as art and literature. The greatness of their relationship is a sign of how great rivals can be used as inspiration.
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The Untrained Ear

The Untrained Ear

¨What’s bout to be the move?¨

¨Ion even know forreal!¨

¨I’m tryna go to the movies… I need a laugh¨

¨We gotta see a movie that’s gonna be the bid though¨

¨That Kevin Hart jawn did just come out...¨

¨Ard then. That’s the move¨

 One of my closest childhood friends and I were trying to figure out what we were going to do in order to keep us from staying bored how we already were. A conversation that to some will sound foreign and to others sound ignorant. Yet to us, it’s the language that’s most comfortable to speak. It is a combination of ¨Black English¨ and what I call ¨hood slang¨. Languages to me, but nonsense to most others.

  People who do not speak either of these languages, Black English or Hood Slang, may hear me speaking a foreign language and they usually do a series of things. The most common is a signature look. The look has ¨I bet she can’t even read correctly¨. Another reaction that’s common is the stare of confusion. A stare of disarray. The stare of uncertainty. My overall favorite reaction is when there’s a comment made. Usually it’s something as simple as ¨Huh?¨ or ¨What?¨ that’s said. A blatant remark that slips through their ignorant lips. People judge and base your knowledge of topics off of the way that others talk and carry themselves. It’s not fair or just.

¨I’m bored… ¨

¨Find something to do. I don’t know what to tell you!¨

¨You feel like takin me to H&M?¨

¨You got H&M money?¨

¨No. But you do! I ain’t gotta job.¨

¨Well I guess you ain’t goin to no H&M¨

¨MOMMM! You drawn...¨

I was bored over a long weekend when I had off from school. At the time, nothing was more important than subduing my outrageous shopping addiction. As most spoiled teenagers would, I resulted in asking my mother to take me on a quick shopping trip.

  A common tone of conversation that’s typically held in a Black English household.While reading it, plenty of people may think that how I speak is in no way shape or form appropriate to talk to your parent. That’s just like telling a French mother and daughters  duo to not speak French to each other. It’s our language. It may sound unusual to the untrained ear, but there’s really no other way to communicate. People try to connect the dots and interpret an entire life story by simply hearing how someone speaks. Except it doesn’t work that way. I can speak as ¨illiterate¨ as possible, but no one will care that English has always been one of my best and favorite classes. They won’t care that my mom is highly intelligent with multiple degrees.

   One summer a few years ago I attended a leaders conference camp that took place in Washington D.C. It hosted children from ages 11 to 15 that lived all over the United States. I was in a line to sign in and to get my room key. A girl in the line decided to spark a conversation with me and our conversation ended up taking a different path than what I had imagined.

¨Hi, Im Carolyn, what’s your name?¨

¨Hi Im Jamilah¨

¨Where are you from?¨

¨Philadelphia, How about you?¨

¨Really? I bet you eat Cheesesteaks every night for dinner and say all these weird words¨

  ¨Weird words¨? The way how I talk is weird because I live in Philadelphia?  


¨Hi, How are you?¨

¨I’m good and yourself¨

¨I’m well. Thanks for asking¨

  ¨Standard English¨ is a language where you have to make sure you pronounce all of the vowels, consonants, and syllables. There’s a lot of work that goes into just saying one word correctly. Just like many others in the world, I am also more than capable of speaking ¨Standard English¨.. For the simple fact that many people speak it, is the exact reason why I despise speaking it. If a situation does not cause for me to speak ¨proper¨, I will not do so. ¨Proper¨ to me includes pronouncing my words correctly, using correct grammar, and etc.I also despise it because I find it boring and it has no personality. It’s no fun. Speaking ¨Standard English¨ makes you sound like millions, if not billions of other people across the world.

   There’s nothing to differentiate you from the others that are out here in the world. The language is very general. You greet people saying things such as ¨Hi¨ or ¨Hello¨, and depart by saying ¨Good Bye¨. There’s no energetic approach to a conversation by saying ¨HEY¨ or  ¨Wassup¨ or leaving someone yearning to converse again by saying ¨See ya later¨. There was a quote once stated by Jay Danzie stated, ¨ Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.¨ Your trademark should be unique and like no other. Your business card should be fun and also like o other. And your logo should be all of the above. ¨Standard English is like a white business card with black font. Boring. Bland. Tedious. It’ll end up being just another unwanted conversation.

   All in all, there are so many other languages that can be spoken; the ones that are classified as languages and the ones that are not. Speaking in languages, dialect, and tones that are appealing to others should not be as judged as they are. Speaking different from someone else should be a great and appreciated thing. It’s great meeting someone who is different from yourself and it should be appreciated. Your identity is everything, but the way that you speak is not necessarily your identity.


The Real Reasons Marijuana is Illegal

The Real Reasons Marijuana is Illegal

Since the sixteen hundreds the use and production of marijuana has been very popular. Early in American history, cannabis was used for the production of rope, sails, and clothing. After the production of cannabis became popular the inveterate recreational use of smoking marijuana became almost as mainstream in The United States as the use of tobacco. Cigarettes have been known to cause major health problems whereas marijuana has it’s own effects, but certainly not as severe. The use of cigarettes is still extremely popular despite all the negative aspects. The popularity of cigarettes could be due to historical events in The United States. Furthermore, the issue of the legalization of marijuana has been wrestled with by authorities for hundreds of years in The United States. During the Great Depression many white Americans were scared that Mexican immigrants were going to promote the recreational use of marijuana. Soon after the increase of immigration in the United States marijuana became outlawed in 29 states. Cigarettes are more accepted in American society because marijuana consumption is associated with minorities and social outcasts while cigarettes are used by righteous citizens.

Throughout the United States history Americans have been smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes are made up of many chemicals, but the most commonly known ingredients are nicotine, tar, and of course tobacco. Smoking cigarettes seems to be an incorrigible habit many cannot stray from.  However, since marijuana is illegal many have the idea that all aspects of the plant are completely negative. When there is actually medicinal marijuana that is legal in twenty-three states in The United States. The National Institute of Drug Abuse stated that, marijuana can help treat conditions including pain and nausea caused by HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other health conditions. Not only is medicinal marijuana legal in almost half of the states of America, but in Washington and Colorado marijuana is actually legal for recreational usage. These states have clearly recognized the positive aspects of marijuana.

Unlike marijuana, cigarettes offer no health or treatment benefits at all. In fact, an article published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including an estimated 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.” However, over forty million people in The United States of America smoke, which could be due to historical events in The United States. During the Great Depression, there was a massive decrease in employment across the country. Many American families were surged with anxiety about employment, and the increase in Mexican immigration escalated resentment and fear towards immigrants. The Library of Congress states, “...As unemployment swept the U.S., hostility to immigrant workers grew, and the government began a program of repatriating immigrants to Mexico.” Mexican immigrants were labeled violent and juvenile, and were automatically linked with the growing concern of marijuana usage.

Many families were afraid that Mexican immigrants would increases the recreational use of marijuana. At the time of the Great Depression marijuana was not illegal, but there was required labeling of any cannabis contained in over-the-counter remedies. The Public Broadcasting Service has a section of  programing that is called Frontline. Frontline is a television program that produces and broadcast documentaries about various subjects, such as drug consumption. An article provided by Frontline gave a timeline and history of marijuana which states, “... a flurry of research which linked the use of marijuana with violence, crime and other socially deviant behaviors, primarily committed by racially inferior or underclass communities. By 1931, 29 states had outlawed marijuana.” Marijuana gained a bad name because of animosity about unemployment while tobacco and cigarettes gained more popularity.

The use of cigarettes became extremely popular with American soldiers, and with the faster production rate of cigarettes many people began to smoke for fun and it was actually even seen as a healthy activity. The glorification of the American military certainly affected the cigarette industry positively. Throughout the nineteenth century tobacco use was extremely common, and it wasn’t until the 1960’s that cigarette labeling was mandatory. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention states, “Early on, the U.S. Congress adopted the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 and the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969. This law; required a health warning on cigarette packages, banned cigarette advertising in the broadcasting media, called for an annual report on the health consequences of smoking…” However, almost fifty years later and still over forty million people are smoking because cigarettes are over glorified.  

There are absolutely no health or treatment benefits to smoking cigarettes yet they are legal everywhere in The United States. On the other hand, marijuana does have some health benefits yet is illegal in forty-eight states.  Misconceptions of race and economic connections with marijuana have proven not to be true, and that needs to be recognized by legislation. State governments need to revisit laws against marijuana, and look at the models of marijuana sale in Colorado and Washington. If smokers stopped to think about it, they would realize that marijuana consumption is not all about the health aspects, but the history of drug use in the United States as well.

Work Cited:

"DrugFacts: Marijuana." National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). National Institute on Drug Abuse, Jan. 2014. Web. 08 Nov. 2014. <>.

(Huffington Post) Stuart, Hunter. "If You Support Legal Marijuana, Memorize These 13 Stats." Huffington Post. N.p., 19 Apr. 2014. Web. <>.

(Reuters article) Coffman, Keith. "Colorado Voters Approve 25 Percent Taxes on Recreational Marijuana." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 06 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention) "Fast Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <>.

(Library of Congress) "Mexican - Depression and the Struggle for Survival - Immigration...- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources - Library of Congress." Mexican - Depression and the Struggle for Survival - Immigration...- Classroom Presentation | Teacher Resources - Library of Congress. The Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <>.

(The Public Broadcasting Service) "Marijuana Timeline." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <>.

(The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention) "Legislation." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <>.

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Going from being different to normal.

When I came to Philadelphia from Bethesda,Maryland, I talked different than everyone else. It was weird to hear everyone without an accent like mine. It was not a rich,or thick accent but it was enough to know I’m not from Philadelphia. On the first day of kindergarten at my new school , I was nervous what would happen. I knew I was going to be the odd one in the class because I didn’t talk like everyone else.

I walked into the room, with my backpack and my lunch in my hand.As soon as I walked into the room, I was ready to get the day over with. The class scared me a little bit, the wall were painted white, there was educational posters all over the place.We were told to sit in a circle on the alphabet rug in the center of the room. It was time to take the attendance, Oh boy I said to myself sarcastically.



Instantly the whole class laughed at me and I was embarrassed so I sunk in my chair. The class thought I was weird, what a great first day so far.  My teacher would have us read a sentence from the morning paragraph on the chalkboard. The teacher called my name to read the first sentence. I had to read it in front of the class.

“ Good mmmorrninng cccllaass, tooday iis sseepttember 8th 2005.”

They laughed again.

At least I came into kindergarten knowing how to read some words.All but one person laughed at me. She had long brown wavy hair, and a very nice smile.Her skin was tan, and she had big brown eyes that sparkled.  At that moment in time I wanted to thank her.

I did everything in my power to stay away from talking.I did try to talk when necessary, but that was only when the teacher asked the group a question in general. I had to ask go to the bathroom. “ Mrss. Paaagggee, maaay I goo too thee bathhroomm ppplleeaasee?”

It was play time,everyone went off to the different centers. There was a housekeeping area, dolls, coloring, blocks, and legos. While my classmates played I stood in the middle of the room looking for something to play with. I noticed the girl who didn’t laugh at me was playing with some other kids. I thought I would ask to join them.

“ Con I playy too.”

“Sure, I’m Brittney and don’t worry about those other kids they mean.” I knew we were going to be best friends. I joined the group on the rug and we played with the legos and bears.

“Whhaatt, the nnamme oof the cciitty?”

“ Wee are gooinng too naamme it beaarr ciitty.”

It was hard adjusting, to my new friends and how they talked. If I wanted to fit in I needed to learn to talk the way they did. Then I could be normal. I listened to how they talk and try it on my own.  After a few tries I got the hang of it. My friend Brittney helped me realize that I can adjust to the way they talk pretty easily.It didn’t matter if I talked different it was my peronalitily that they liked. Now people don’t even realize that I have an accent. They only notice if I tell them I’m not from Philadelphia.

Sometimes when I get annoyed my accent shows more than I intend. In one of the stories we read in class I notice this one part that spoke to me. “ I used it to win in arguments, to express myself, and to show who I am.”  When I saw that sentence I felt moved by it. I use language not only to express how I feel but to describe who I am. I use my accent for power sometimes. When I use it for power I will get very defensive.

Everyone laughs or thinks it cute because my face gets all red. My accent will get thick and heavy and it’s pretty scary but pretty cool at the same time. When I sing a country song it’s strong and sounds amazing. I enjoy it because it makes me different and unique.  My friends love hearing my voice when I sing country. It sounds so natural.

Language is one of the best ways to be yourself. It is always cool to hear others talk if they don’t speak English. So many cultures have languages that have cool dialect or accents. There are many ways to express yourself. whether it’s art, music, or writing. Language shows people how you speak. Everyone has a different way, but they need to learn the correct way to speak. That way is not using slang words and incomplete sentences.

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Dr. Seuss and Imagination

Dr. Seuss is one of the most well known children’s books writers of all time. His unrealistic but imaginative drawings can be noticed anywhere and his rhymes can even stick with people through adulthood. Children ask for these books over and over again, until they can “read” the book by themselves. They memorize the rhymes and stare at the pictures until they are ingrained into their minds. Dr. Seuss books are a good way for children to open up their imagination and learn through their imagination.

According to Dr. Howard Gardner, there are multiple ways for children to learn, or anybody for that matter. There are eight different intelligences in the brain and one or two of them are the most prominent while people are working or learning. For example, if someone absent-mindedly taps on the table while listening to a lecture, they most likely have a prominent Musical Intelligence. Or if someone would rather look at charts than reading directions to learn something, they would most likely have a prominent Spatial Intelligence. A child might need a teacher to tell them exactly what to do rather than watch how to do it. This child would most likely have a Linguistic intelligence. Dr. Seuss books can play up to Spatial, Musical and Linguistic Intelligences which would all help the child learn better in a classroom when the teacher lets their imaginations run wild. These intelligences focus in on the rhymes and the illustrations that are in Dr. Seuss books. Overall these three intelligences are in everybody and so when they are more prominent, Dr. Seuss’ books will help the children’s imaginations loose and they can learn better using their intelligences.

Dr. Seuss’ books help children’s imaginations open up with his rhymes because he makes new words that kids haven’t heard before to make rhymes work. Rhymes also help a child learn phonics and reading skills. ( With Dr. Seuss, books children are learning how to form sounds in their mouths and they are learning when to use these sounds in a sentence. For example, when someone asks a question, the end of the sentence usually gets a little bit higher than the rest of the sentence. Without this subtle lift, questions would sound so different. Children learn by saying rhymes or listening to rhymes that when someone asks a question, their voice goes up. All of this is important to children, especially when someone reads out loud to them from a Dr. Seuss book, their little brains will have so much new information and so much to copy and learn from. They will learn how to imagine different places and things with the words that Dr. Seuss gives them and with these hard words, they can also learn how different letters make different sounds.

Illustrations in other picture books are usually meant to provide setting and characters to the story. Dr. Seuss’ books do that as well but these illustrations let the child think of something out of this world because the illustrations are so unrealistic and nothing like the world that the child knows. For example, in The Lorax, the setting is similar to the real world but there are trees with tufts of hair on the tops and the Lorax looks like a naked toe with a large mustache. Children have such great imagination that they don’t see a naked toe but a trustworthy man and a great place to live. Illustrations can also relate all of their imagination back to words in the book. According to RIF (Reading is Fundamental), which is a literacy non-profit based in America that gives children the chance to read and learn, children use illustrations to help them understand the meaning of a word when they don’t know. For example if the book says that a Lorax is sitting in a tree and the child doesn’t know what a Lorax is, they immediately look over at the picture to find the creature that sits in the tree. Pictures are often dismissed from books as the reader matures but they are still important in every book, for every reader to imagine a new world.

Dr. Seuss’ books were popular when they came out because of the wild illustrations and because of the crazy names he gave his characters. Children today still read his books as a way for their imagination to run free but also to learn about phonetics and important reading skills. Adults still remember rhymes from his books and illustrations, picking out “Dr. Seuss trees” in different landscapes. Dr. Seuss can now be named a teacher because every child who reads or looks at his books, is learning from the best.

Works Cited:

"10 Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Kids." Early Moments. Sandivk Publishing, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014

"Learning Style: Linguistic." Linguistic Gifts and Talents. Pearson Education, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Facts about Children's Literacy." Rss. National Education Association, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Getting the Most Out of Picture Books." Reading Is Fundamental. Reading Is Fundamental, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

Whiting, Karen. "How Rhymes Help Children Learn." Suite. N.p., 10 July 2010. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

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Language and the Problem's It Causes

When I was younger language was a conflict in my home and it still is most times because I have to switch from English to Albanian and sometimes when I help my parents to English then translate to Albanian then when that's done I have remember to show my brother that he should speak Albanian because it his first language even if he has great understanding speaking should come first because it his culture. Then after that I have school and in the beginning for me  language in school was quite difficult to speak to because sometimes the transaction it would confuse me I remember once being in class doing my work and teacher calls on me asking me Also what is the author saying in the text I say “He is saying that too much good thing is sometimes bad” and I thought I had answered right but the teacher and students are looking at me like I am a little green man from another planet and I am asking them take me to your leader.

I repeated myself again and as the word “He” came out my mouth I realized that I was talking Albanian they had right look at me like that as I tried to mumble up some sort of and apologize to my teacher while I heard the laughter of an entire class I just wished that I could end the day already. That was the first and not last time that I have confused my languages together I mix them up every once and a while because the constant switch between it has become a reflex if that's best way to word it so most time I will just talk and the switch just happens I really don't know why it happens but I have tried stop it best I can which has cause me to lose accent that people use to say that I used to have Twenty-four seven  but a part of it I have and will never lose because it my connection to who I am. When I look back now to all mistakes I used make and the blurting out of Albanian in class while answering a questions I laugh because its who I am.

I would think that language is not just conflict for me in school but in other aspects of my life as well it some times its hard to articulate properly like people wish you to do or even find the right words to say when I talk. When I usually have a conversation or try to with my parents it end up with me halving it all ways

“Aldo did you do your homework yet”

“ Yes Why do you need me”

“ We are leaving come down and watch your brother down stairs”

“I will just go” “ Also what did you say I said come down stairs”

“ I said that I am”


I understand that seems like a normal back forth dialogue right there but if I had not translated it you would not have understood they time I had this conversation with my mother she did not understand me and not because I was far she could not here but because some words That I learned in Albanian I had forgotten or overpowered by the English. Its like when you have to fragrances together one is lighter and the other is stronger the lighter one will be overpowered by the stronger fragrance in the end as it always does that's what happens with my Albanian It get overpowered by the English and most of my vocabulary is diminished into a few phrases that even a novice could say with just few weeks of practice.

“ Aldo you know you don't sound Albanian at all right”

“ What does that mean I don't sound Albanian”

“I am just saying that  you sound like a Greece who tries speaking Albanian, You are a wolf in sheep's clothing if you will ”

 One of the many conversations that I have had with people that seem to think that my Albanian does not sound 
genuine to them and I thought that switching to English Albanian was a problem. Its not the biggest problem that 
I have had with Albanian people when I speak its just one of many I face these problems at home school no 
matter people tell me that I do this constantly but that was the first time someone had said that to me I was a 
wolf in sheep's clothing I felt really offended because Albanian is my national language it came to a big offensive 
to me when someone says that to me but in every way he was right that day I mean I have so many problems 
with my ability to speak and my vocabulary is atrocious . Even though I have had all these problems with my 
ability to articulate that's who I am this is way I talk and I can not change that even if  its to fit in to this norm that people have placed and causes them to judge one another on the way we talk. All the problems that I have 
Phased at home school and even out school with me confusing my languages or people telling me I do not sound like a real Albanian it has helped me learn a few things  one of them being that I will never be able to escape the conflicts that I have with my language be it home and communicating with my parents because my vocabulary is not what it used to be that is one second is that I will have no Idea what this norm is that people have placed this unspoken rule that too speak perfect English must talk like this I will never have that because no matter how much accent I lose I will always have most of it with me it  makes us different special and third and finally is that I may be a wolf in sheep clothing like that friend mine said to be but I don't really care because that's who I am and I have learned to accept that about my self and the way I speak imperfections and all if these problems with my language never leave then I will be happy because all these problems also have memories and that's something that I don't want lose I would rather argue and here my parents laugh and me when I speak half Albanian English and have people not accept the way I talk and even have friends say that I am not really Albanian because in Hart I know I am and this is the way I speak flaws and all and Its great.
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2fer Revision

Joseff Filamor

There has been an ongoing conflict over the banning of marijuana but the majority of people seems to be concerned over the fact that cigarettes are still legal. Understanding that marijuana gets people high and there is still a debate over if it should be legalized. With alcohol it is used for celebration and other activities, but the common message towards alcohol is to not abuse it and the same goes for marijuana. There is not a legitimate reason as to why the tobacco companies are not shut down. Smoking is just as bad as any other drug and does not do any good.  Cigarettes are not illegal because of their successful marketing.

It is one of the most addictive substances that it is on the same ranking of heroin. It is so addictive it makes smokers unpaid tobacco spokespersons for tobacco companies. According to - a website/organization focused on ending ciggerette smokers - runs commercials on mtv often. The website focuses on celebrities smoking and how it does nothing but help the tobacco companies. It also gives facts about the tobacco industries such as;  “On their websites, tobacco companies encourage people to quit smoking. However, in 2006, a court found that tobacco companies manipulate nicotine levels to keep smokers addicted. The tobacco industry spends more than $24 million each day marketing its products in the U.S. alone.” In March of 2006, had a press release on their website concerning the tobacco industries trying to shut down  “The real reason the tobacco companies are so anxious to destroy Legacy's effective and hard-hitting truth® advertising campaign is because these ads keep kids from smoking by telling them the truth about how the tobacco industry has targeted them and deceived them about the harm caused by tobacco use.”

The whole plot of smoking that makes the industries so effective and successful. The addictiveness of the nicotine inside the actual cigarette that keeps people going back to buy them. Along with the fact that cigarettes are being used by either celebrities and others in the media, it gives the tobacco industries even more attention and publicity. Even with the attempts to shut them down and prove the industry is corrupt, they are still not illegal because of the successful marketing to back them up. When asked, tobacco industries might say that it is the smokers fault for choosing to do so, But on closer inspection, due to their marketing of cigarettes, it's giving people more reason to smoke.

“Truth - Home." Truth - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>

"About Smoking." N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

"Tobacco Companies’ Efforts to Shut Down Truth® Anti-Smoking Ads Show They Haven’t Changed - Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids."Tobacco Companies’ Efforts to Shut Down Truth® Anti-Smoking Ads Show They Haven’t Changed - Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>.


After opening up my first 2fer essay again, I immediately realized a lot of mistakes. Whether it was punctuation, grammar or simply just common errors, I corrected them first. I then moved on to improving my conclusion. I replaced the last few sentences with a stronger ending.
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The Evolution of the White Dove's Whispers

Evolution of the White Dove’s Whispers

By: Shaina-Nicole Keenan

Pure. Fine. Untainted.

I was born and raised in southwest Philadelphia. The majority race in the region was and still is African-American. There are handfuls of Asian and Hispanic families, and a very sparse amount of white families. I am apart of one of those very few families.

I attended the elementary school in my neighborhood from Kindergarten to Fourth grade. I was one of three Caucasian students in the entire school. When I was five years old, starting school for the first time with larger classes, I spoke properly and clear. I never used slang. Up until I was in third grade, I never let people tamper with my dialect. I was a fine dove, with pure feathers. I flew my own path and sung my own song.

Inside and outside of school, I spoke impressively for an elementary school student. My family has many friends, and I was introducing myself to new people constantly. I was also a true “chatty kathy”, I loved to talk. Here’s an example of a typical scene with stranger and I:

“Hi cutie, what is your name?”

“Hi, my name is Shaina-Nicole Margaret Keenan,”

“You have the prettiest eyes, sweetie.”

“Thank you so much. They are from my daddy,”

Reading impacted my language and dialect incredibly when I was younger. I always had a book in my hand. This is how I learned to speak and use proper grammar. Adults were amazed whenever I opened my mouth and let the words fly out. Yet, my peers were not always so intrigued.

As I gained more and more friends, my original dialect and vocabulary was tampered with. My feathers were starting to get dirty, and ruffled. As one of two white girls in the school that is centered in a neighborhood where language was a dying cause, it was hard not to be manipulated into speaking like my peers.  

There was an unrealistic difference in my dialect in the span of three and a half years. My language evolved along with my personality. I was blind to fact I was growing up in a time where kids everywhere had no sense of language. By the fourth grade, I was someone else. Here’s an example of a typical scene with a friend and I:

“Yo, dat teacha is so f***** irkin’.”

“Right yo, she was really drawlin’ the otha day,” I would say.

“I was finna pop her in her ugly mouf.”

Once I graduated from my neighborhood school, I went to a prestigious school in Center City. The population of students was very diverse. There were a lot of African-American students in my class from neighborhoods just like mine. So although I tried to escape bad language, it followed me.

Before I started at my new school, I thought about why I truly spoke the way I did, and the person I had become. I tried to find a common ground between my old dialect and the dialect I wanted. No matter where I went, Southwest would always be a language I felt comfortable with. Despite feeling at home with the improper dialect, I wanted to start fresh at my new school. I did not completely abandon my old dialect, I migrated it with my original dialect to feel most comfortable talking to new people.

James Baldwin once wrote, “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by a reality they cannot articulate.” This relates to my situation incredibly. My language changed so much over the course of many years; I continuously evolved it. I felt like I had to describe my struggles with language with people who would criticize me, it needed attention. Since I was constantly obsessing over how I would sound to certain people, I let my language overshadow my life and personality. My reality was muffled and lost. Submerged by the circumstances of my undecided languages, this quote resonates and encompasses my struggle perfectly.

I kept that constant new dialect throughout middle school. Yet, language is always evolving. As we grow older, day by day, year by year, we are always changing. Our language and dialect is shifting along with us as humans.

I will never be the pure white dove I was. My feathers will never be as bright of a white as they once were. I am okay with that. I am still soaring, and although my feathers are ruffled, wrinkled, and a little

dingy, they are mine. I sing the song of my ever evolving language. My language is my own. The whispers of my white dove’s songs are my past, my present and my future; I am always soaring high, singing my broken song that I am proud to claim!


Quiet Voice, Loud Mind

“Why do you never talk?”

“You’re always so quiet, are you always like this?”

These questions get thrown at me as I answer with a simple shrug and stay in the background of the conversation. The day carries on and this is the usual pattern. I stay quiet during class or table discussions and never draw attention to myself. Even within a small crowd, I don’t get the courage to speak, it takes enough just to introduce myself. The courage never does come and the nerves take over and they lock the idea away.

I had a group project that was to be presented to the class. As it got closer and closer to my group’s turn, I got even more nervous. I was scared that I would do something stupid and embarrass myself in front of the whole class. The presentation starts and I feel like I have lost all the words that I had prepared to say. Most of the speaking was done by my group members, except for one little slide that I spoke for. Most of the time my back was turned to the class. Whenever I turned to look at the eyes staring up at me, I would start to stutter. I walked back to my seat once we were done, relieved that I was able to make it through.

A mock debate was taking up two class periods. As everyone took their seats in the circle of desks, I tried rehearsing in my head what I was going to say. Everyone had their names labeled on the desk and the debate began. People discussed each of their opinions, once one person talked another person raised their hand. I listened to each point trying to figure how I would fit into the conversation. After each new argument, I would be too scared to add my own opinion. Would it be the right moment? I would wonder to myself. By the time I finally go through my entire thought process, someone else was picked to speak. Eventually the class period was over and we were moving on to the next class. My opportunity to maybe speak up a bit more had passed.

“You’re so loud.”

“I can’t help it.” I answer back

“You're probably making up for all the time you don’t talk during school .”

Once I get home, I become a new me. I am louder and can’t seem to stop talking. It’s as if I’m making up for not talking through the day. It’s the only place where I’m fine with the attention focused all on me. When I am at home, I feel more comfortable and feel as though I can speak whatever is on my mind. People I am closer to also see this change in the way I talk. The more comfortable I feel around the person, the more I talk to that person. When I am more comfortable, I feel safer to express my inner self. I share my opinions more and speak up more.

The class filled with raised hands as the teacher did yet another class discussion. Everyone is eager to share their opinion, everyone but me. I sit in my seat listening to everything people say about the topic. When someone raises an interesting argument, I suddenly have an idea to oppose or agree. Even with this idea floating around inside my mind, my hand stays down as others raise theirs. It’s as if my shyness holds my hand to the table, stopping me from sharing. As I get more comfortable, this grip slowly releases it’s strength.

“Whatchu guys up to?” I say walking over to my group of friends.

“Nothing much, just talking about Geometry.”

“I know. I can’t believe what we have to do for the last benchmark.” I comment

As the year carries on, I adjust a bit more into this new situation. I can talk to smaller groups more easily. My words flow out my mouth freely as I add more and more to the conversation. The words are no longer trapped in the back of my mind by my mouth. When talking in a class discussion, it still takes a great amount of courage to raise my hand and say what is on my mind. Once my hand is raised though and I get to say what I want to say, I feel as though I have made a little accomplishment. Presenting still makes me nervous with all eyes and attention on me, but once I start I can make it through even with a little eye contact. I feel as though I walk out of my quiet shell a little and show a bit of what I’m thinking.

Talking has always been a problem I have in public. For me nerves, take a big part of my limited speaking. I get nervous of all attention on me and in end don’t talk at all. I might try to be as close to talkative that I am at home, I can never fully be there. My quietness can sometimes cause my opinion to not be heard as loud and clear. My words are sometimes trapped in my mind as my mouth stays shout.

Talking is the way that people can communicate. Communication is the one thing that connects everyone together. With me getting nervous speaking in public, I cannot communicate with others better. Over the years, I have tried to speak and open up faster. Though I try to adjust faster, there is still a time where new situations keep my opinions caged in. Opinion is a big part of who someone is and when they are unable to convey that, you can never truly understand that person.


The Fine Line Between Speaking Your Mind and Disrespect

“ Sianneh!!” my mom would scream

“ Yeah?” I would reply

“ Did you leave this trash here?”

“No,it was Josh.”

“ Alright, pick it up then.”

“ But shouldn't Josh have to pick it up since he put it there?” I would say in a calm voice

I was rude, by my parent’s standards anyway. The way they thought a child should respectively address someone who was older than them, was different from my own understanding.

“ Just pick it up and stop being so disrespectful !” she would yell.

“ But I wasn't-”

“ I said do it now! Are really going to have a problem with this?” She says this  with the look that told me that if I pushed any further, a smack would surely and painfully follow. No questions asked. So I do myself the biggest favor in the world and keep my trap shut and put away the trash. She gives a nod that says “Smart move” and walks away.

This is what usually happens in my house. I have a brother and sister, so sometimes things can get really messy. It gets on my mom’s nerves so I try my best to clean up after myself so she doesn't blame me for it. However, she always shifted the blame on all of us and I thought that that was unfair of her to do that. I tried to speak my mind, but she always seemed to misinterpret my intention and associated it with me using rude language on her. Having parents that are from a different generation and culture, can be really difficult when trying to understand their morals and values that are so different from your own.

“ You guys need to learn how to clean up after yourself more. I am so sick and tired of cleaning up after you guys” she screamed.

In my parents’ generation, discipline was everything when they were my age. It was especially enforced in language. The way you talked showed how much respect that you had for your elders. Because you were a child, it was believed that you didn't know any better. Being that your elders had been around longer than you, it would only be right for you to just listen to them because they knew what was best for you. These were the kind of things that my parents were used to when they lived in Liberia. It is a country in Africa and they had lived there for their entire childhood. Growing up, my parents had a hard. They had to escape a civil war by having to leave behind their loved ones to come to the United States that they barely knew about. Never growing up where they came from, it was always hard to follow through like they had done. I developed the belief to speak my mind if something my parent were doing bothered me or upset me, yet they always took it the wrong way.

James Baldwin had said in his essay “ If Black English isn't a language, then tell  me, what is that language “is the most vivid and crucial key to identity: It reveals identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity. There have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language was dangerous.” Now I know that the way I speak to my parents doesn't put me in mortal danger.But, I still can’t help but relate to what he is saying. I always used to feel that I needed to be careful about the way I was speaking to my parents because any wrong word could set off a massive argument that never ends well for the child. And I mean never.   

I had started to think that maybe I was getting rude on them and I that I should try to change the way that I talked to them.So that was what I did.I would try to just follow their instruction without putting any comments that they would take as a sign of defiance. So that usually meant that I kept quiet. They seemed to be really happy with this and I thought I would be too.

However, I quickly learned that I shouldn't have to do that.That was when I decided that I just needed to talk to my parents and figure things out with them.

“Mom, Dad I need you to understand that I am not getting smart with you when I respond to one of your comments. I am sorry if you took it the wrong way, I really am, but I feel like I should have the right to say something if I see something that is unfair and feel safe enough to voice my opinion” I said to them when I sat them down to talk to them one day. And they had agreed with me. 

“ I understand that you are growing up and that you live in an age where it is encouraged for you to freely speak if you feel wronged. Thank you for coming to us and telling us how you feel. We will try to be more understand and talk it out more.” My father said. And my mom agreed with him too. 

Because of that, I am able to communicate more effectively with my parents. I learned to just try and sit down and talk to them to explain that the language that I use with them does not mean any disrespect to them.  


The NFL's Lackadaisical Approach to Crime

When it comes to American football, the nation’s most popular sport, virtually every player is  placed into the limelight. When players commit crimes, that limelight is either drastically brightened or dimmed. The NFL chooses to protect its players and its integrity as any sports league would want to do; this is key to the longevity and popularity of the sport. However, the NFL shows a conflicting combination of mercy and confidentiality to criminals within the league because there is a need to cover up the inherent barbarism of those who play the sport, especially when it comes to domestic violence.

USA Today has a comprehensive database of all NFL arrests (including citations, indictments, and detainments) between 2000 and 2014, and an article from proffers a visual rendition of this data in relation to other men in the age group of most football players. The combination of these data sets shows two things: first, the outcomes of a majority of NFL players’ crimes are left undetermined. This means that over the last decade and a half, hundreds of cases have gone unfinished and unresolved, leaving room for further error on the part of the players. Secondly, a little higher than 55 percent of those arrests are due to domestic violence. Though much lower than the national average,  it’s still a high number compared to men in general. “...55.4 percent is more than four times worse than the league’s arrest rate for all offenses (13 percent), and domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of arrests for violent crimes among NFL players, compared to our estimated 21 percent nationally,” writes Benjamin Morris, the author of the FiveThirtyEight article. Morris proposes that “If the NFL is capable of reducing any harm its players are causing — whether through harsher suspensions or other policies targeting behavior — it may have a legal (or at least moral) duty to do so.”

Morris’ statement presents the crux of the argument. There is an understanding that football players are capable of causing harm not only to one another- but to those in their homes,  to those in their communities, and to themselves. Many fans might argue that policing one’s off-field demeanor may take away from their aggression on the field and their effectiveness with play execution. However, one must ask where the line between the passion that fuels sport crosses into something unacceptable. Those numbers are concrete and the data is unwavering- over the last ten years, out of 93 cases, at least two thirds of those domestic violence charges have no resolution or have been rapidly acquitted without punishment from the league. The punishment generally comes from the team and few players were cut days after their arrests. However, those few are the exceptions to the rule of lackadaisical policing within the NFL. What can be done about these situations? What can league commissioner Roger Goodell do when it comes to punitive judgement for those who commit crimes in the NFL?

Considering Goodell has had to face a flurry of drama and controversy since he became the commissioner in 2006,  he has done well to keep his composure. Yet this summer’s headlines about former Baltimore Ravens Running back, Ray Rice, seem to have expended all of his calm. In past years, domestic violence has been lightly dealt with and pushed under the rug as something to become a common statistic within the league. However, the Ray Rice case has helped Goodell and the league as a whole see that something must be done. On August 28th, USAToday published a copy of a letter the Commissioner wrote to the coaches and general NFL community, addressing the domestic violence problem within the league. In this letter, Goodell outlined the repercussions for domestically and sexually violent players. He shows that there will be very little leniency for offenders: “Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant. Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted.

Despite the new disciplinary standards, there is still a small amount of leeway given to members of the NFL. Though they are stern and strict, they are rules that can still be bent. A pliable rule is one of the most dangerous things an institution can adopt as exceptions can be made left and right to accomodate for the credibility and popularity thereof. Although the new standards that have been set mention that a second offense will result in banishment from the NFL, there is still a possibility for reinstatement. There is hope for those who commit heinous acts, covered by the veil of a new set of rules. The NFL takes a strong position against domestic violence, but not one strong enough to ensure that the numbers of both victims and perpetrators is reduced to none. All a criminal needs is the hope that he will not be caught.  When the NFL shows this small and subtle amount of leniency is shown on heinous acts like domestic violence, it does nothing but perpetuate the idea that barbarism is a commonly accepted theme within the league.

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The Hockey Code

The Hockey Code

By: Stephen Buchanico

“Aye bud, your sauce ain't so tasty tonight, I smacked that biscuit right outta the air.” I replied with . “ Lucky tap buddy, I still got it back and dangled right by ya.” I flew past him and rifled a shot top shelf where momma hides the cookies and turned shouting. “ but that snipe makes up for it ya?” Hockey is like a different world, there's a whole language that comes into play when you get into it. It becomes like second nature to talk in that sort of language. “aye how bout that snipe bud?” Top cheese all day.” Its just something that you pick up as you get into the sport, and something that you don't forget. I use it around other hockey fans, players and friends. Its just a code that is picked up from playing and being around others who use it. If I said “He water bottled the biscuit like 99, made the goalie look like swiss cheese.” I'm pretty sure a lot of people would just look at me like i'm speaking another language. But I can say that kind of thing, or use that kind of code, around my friends whom i play hockey with, and they will know exactly what Im talking about.

One time I was on the bus with a couple of my teammates the day after a game, and we were just talking about the game. There were three of us and we were in the back of the bus and there was a lady sitting, listening in. “There chirps were pathetic yesterday.” I said. “Oh yeah I know, the one bender told me I had no flow and he was buzzed hahaha.” my close friend and team mate said. I peeked over at the women whom was listening in and noticed she had a very confused look on her face, I was about to say something and then I heard, “excuse me, If you don’t mind me asking, what are you guys talking about?” My teammates and I laughed and replied with “We are talking about our hockey game yesterday.” She still looked a little confused, “oh ok, well what were all those words?” we laughed again and replied to her, “There just hockey terms,” and my teammate chimed in with, “its just what we say.”

It was just like in the story with the girl who got the mouthguard and had a funny lisp. She said “Nobody takes me serious anymore.” People who don’t know what I am saying could not take me serious either. They would get too confused at what I am saying, just like the women on the bus. That was the first time I actually realized that we sound a little strange to people who do not know what we are talking about.  It seems a little weird to use the hockey code outside of places where it is easily picked up, like the rink or just around others who know it.

In my opinion, it is just like using a different language in a place that does not speak it. You would not go to somewhere that speaks mainly french and try to speak spanish, just like you would not go to a football game and talk in hockey code. That is how big of a change it is, all of the vocabulary, like snipe, gino, bottled, bar, cheese and so many more, are very confusing to many people.

Hockey code is different from other sport codes as well. In most sport, the fans know the code of the sport because it is not as deep. For example, football code is not as deep, because most of the words in the vocabulary are related to the rules of the sport, which makes the fans easily understand it. Hockey, on the other hand, is much deeper than that. For example, an average fan would call a bad player, just a bad player or a scrub, but a hockey player would call a bad player a bender, which is a player whose ankles bend because they do not tie their skates tight enough, which affects their skate and makes them bad. That is just one of many examples of words that are known by mainly only players, and not fans, unlike many other sports.  That is what makes it unique, and in some cases very confusing and different from other codes that people might hear everyday. Some call it weird or different but it is just because they are not used to it, If they were in the rink every day, they would not think it was weird, they would be fluent in it.