Looking for Hugs with Swastikas By Soledad Alfaro

It’s been a cold winter. I’ve been trying to sort out the means of my anger the way this great country taught me how. So when they turned up the air conditioning inside the interrogation room to make my blood boil I just thought; Yall should know by the grins I’ve been given, that I was born cold blooded. Ohhh!! How I laughed. Sat there staring at that mirror smirkin’ at all that I done did, and how they  think a little air conditioning gone make me cringe. The door creaks open. When I look up a man walks in too insecure to fit his cheep pinstripe suit. Oh he’s just shakin’ in his boots. He can’t see I’m handcuffed to a table?

“BOO!” He don’t even flinch. Like he saw that comin.

“ Very funny Tom. Smoke?” He pulls out the dented package of Camel Backs from his inside jacket pocket. I take one.

“Light?” I lean my head forward as he strikes the match. Fire pleases me. It reminds me of good times.  

“Those are some interesting tattoos you got there Tom. Mind telling me what they mean?” I puff out a cloud of smoke into his face. I haven’t stopped making eye contact yet.

“Never met a man who was confused by a swastika before.” I say laughin.

“Mph, I guess that’s fair. So Tom,  mind telling me why you’re here?” I look him up and down quickly.

“You tell me. I didn’t cuff myself to this table.” He looks up from the manilla folder calm and smirking.

“So, you gonna tell me or not Tom? Cause I’ve got time. and we’ve got...”

“Let me guess. My DNA is everywhere and this isn’t my first offense they’ve caught me on. Save it. Cause I know you don’t. I’m not sloppy with what I do. And I know your lying, cause you’re tappin’ your foot faster than a winning horse in a race. You see Officer.....”


“O’neil, good name. Irishman. Me too as a matter of fact. You know we came over here and built this country from the ground up just as much as those gorillaz did? But we still had our skin color cause this means power.” I point at my hand proudly for him to see. I laugh.

“ You see, It always saddens me how a good white man like you shakes in his seat when he sees someone like me. Cause we’re one in the same!! Just lookin’ for a good ride you know? To feel that true white power we’ve been blessed with since birth.”

“You might be right Tom. So Why do you feel like it’s your responsibility to take care of these “Vermin.”

“I see. huh. You want a story. Just like the rest of em. You see people don’t hate me. How could they I make a good find for a story. It entertains people when they can hate or love. But people love to hate, and you best believe people love me.”

“Then give me a story Tom. If you’re so loved and hated. Spit it out.” He looks at me with dead eyes, like my fathers.

“I hate the gaps that we live in. The fact that we have to share the same grounds with animals makes me sick to my stomach. How everything shifts and changes. I remember when we looked at vermin with sideways glances like they didn’t even belong on the bottom of our shoes. The first time my father told me about purpose of the nigger I had to grit my teeth, because I learned how broken we are as a people struggling to come out on top. Cause I’ve got a whole lot of memories that make me wanna challenge the ideals of what it means to be a white man again. When daddy came home too dirty to sit from the coal mines in little stockton, indiana.

“Daddy! Can we play catch outside?”

“No, kid. Daddy’s too tired.” He always said that. While mumblin’ his frustrations of porch monkeys who shared his benches and wages and “morals!” Even way of life. The only power he had was his skin. So he used it. Every time one of those things would walk bye. He never cared much for me. Only joy he ever got out of his time was making cocktail bombs to light niggers on fire he said. And even then, he never felt like he had enough whiskey to ease himself to sleep. Momma was always waltzing with the wind anyway. Never payed me no mind. So the first time I played tag along with daddy I was ten. And boy was I excited. When you’re younger you always wanna lift up that curtain to see where your parents go, when they say “grown up stuff”. So I asked him can I come, and he said.

“Why the hell not. No son of mine is gonna grow up to be a pussy anyway so you best get on up and learn what it means to be a man.” I still can’t stand the smell of Budweiser. The way it hangs on breath like bitterness. But that’s what Daddy was. Bitter. I knew though, he was a man. And I needed to learn how to hold my head up in front of one. So we rode out in his busted up white pick-up truck. Painted with the confederate flag on the back of it. The only thing he truly loved. He drove us into town and we stopped at uncle Pat’s bar. It’s a small town. Everybody knows everybody. So when my dad walked in with his ten year old son no heads even turned. Not like now in these big cities yall have where everything is I.D’s and responsibility. We walked up to my uncle Pat wiping down the bar.

“How’s business?” Uncle Pat looks up at my dad and chuckles, like that was the dumbest question in the world. The bar was empty.

“Well this don’t help none.” When he pulled up his hand, I saw something that stuck with me for the rest of my life. His palm was covered with a black square kind of thing that was made by to separate lines that had curved with sharp edges inside of a white circle. Covered in another square that was red and bright. Like a flag.

“I told you, open hate is never no good for business. But you insisted. Always gotta be loud and proud Pat.” I hadn’t seen my dad laugh joyfully since I was five. He and Momma were dancing around the living room. It was christmas eve and I came down looking for santa.

“Hurts like a bitch too. Remind me never to get wasted with you ever again. Heyya Tommy.  Your Old man tells me you’re ready to play with the big boys now?” I always loved uncle Pat growing up. He was the only adult who had this warm feeling towards me. Like it was okay for me to be boy and not man for once.

“Yeah!! Daddy said it was time for me to learn how to be a man and I’m ready!”

“Well that’s good big guy. Cause tonight we’re meeting some friends and they know all about what it means to be a man. And it’s about time you meet them.” Uncle Pat climbed over the bar top and gave me one of his big rocket ship hugs, where he picks me up and throws me. After that he squeezes me until I can’t breathe.

“Put him down. He’s too old for that shit!” My dad hates when Uncle Pat treats me like a kid.

“Oh calm your fucking tits Lucas. The kid needs someone to love him every now and again.” I liked my dad’s name. I loved Star Wars as a kid, so I guess since his name was Luke like that Skywalker guy that maybe he could be the hero one day. He never was. Just gave me a lot of bruises and drank a lot of beer.

“Whatever, I don’t have time for pussies right now. Can we go? Have they started yet?” Uncle Pat put me down and stared at my dad for a long time before answering.

“Yeah we can go. They’ve started betting already too.”

“What round is Tommy up?”

“After Buchanico and Jackson.”

“Who’s he fighting?” Uncle Pat put on a smile that I had never seen him in before.

“ Eddie’s kid.”

“Ahhh!! yes!! that bastard has to watch while his kid gets fucking trashed. Teach him to mess with us again.”

There were only two Eddie’s in the whole town. One was Dad’s and Uncle Pat’s friend. He was fat and smelly. He didn’t have any kids. I don’t think he ever could give a woman his seed anyhow. The other one was Eddie Baxter. He owned the local Pharmacy. But his kid went to my school back then. His name was Lewis. The only nigger in our grade, so he never talked much. Still I didn’t know what they were talking about. When they started walking towards the back of the bar, there was this drop in my stomach.  I felt myself kind of weighing down trying to slow my steps. I was being a little bitch basically, is what was happening. So I gathered myself and stood up straight. Uncle Pat unclipped the keys that he always kept on his belt loop and opened this rusty steel green door, that you could only hear noise come out of when it was opened. When it was, there was this huge roaring noise of men's voices, and they were all proud. I recognised so many different faces. Friends dad’s, my teacher Mr. Shuels was there, even some of my friends who were with their dads. Like I said it’s a small town. They were all gathered around this cage that looked like a ring except there was no padding or anything it was just metal and concrete. There were no seats just men crowding behind each other screaming

“ Beat him! Beat the nigger!”

And the flag on Uncle Pats palm was hanging above the cage high. Proud. When we reached the front of the cage I saw these two boys, who were older than me. Luis Buchanico and Freddy Jackson. The men all around were waving bills in the air, no less than 20’s. Except for Freddy’s Dad in front of the cage. I have only ever seen a grown man cry twice in my life, and Freddie's Dad was the first time. His face was pressed up against the cage covered in his son's blood and these hysterical tears. Behind him Mr. Shuels was pushing his face against the cage and holding his hands behind his back. Uncle Pat was laughing hysterically.

“You see that Tommy? That’s what weakness looks like.” He wiped a tear from his face since he was laughing so hard. I remember thinking weak. Why didn’t he try to help his fucking son instead of crying like a little bitch while everyone laughed at him. But that’s what you get when you take cattle to slaughter. Freddy stopped getting back up after a while, watching him fall was surreal. His eyes didn’t match up anymore and he was looking at the ceiling and then boom he fell. This awkward exchange happened between the screaming of Freddy’s Dad there was just a wave of two different emotions. About a quarter of the bills floated out towards the center of the ring echoing with

“FUCK!” and

“Never Bet on NIGGERS”!

Others had a thrill in their voices. They were betting against who would win. You could always tell who lost. When they picked freddy off the ground I don’t remember if he was breathing. I remember his dad got lost in the crowd and was no longer being pushed up at the edge of the cage and Freddy had disappeared when I looked back up.

“Your turn kiddo.” I looked back, waiting for the voice of Uncle Pat but it wasn’t. It was my Dad. He hadn’t looked at me like that in a long time. Like he loved me. He held up a 100 dollar bill to my face and said:

“I’m betting on you.” Then something yanked my arm and I moved through the crowd of men quickly and found myself in the middle of the cage. There was this gigantic wave across the mens voices cheering. I felt tall. Like I was the strongest person in the world. Like a superhero. I then saw that cocksucker Eddie crash through the crowd and Mr. Shuels held him up against the cage just like he did with Freddy’s Dad. I looked at the concrete floor. It was bloody, but you could tell that this game was old by the stains on the concrete. Because they’re were the fresh ones from Freddy, and then others that had turned purple from being there for god knows how long. Uncle Pat Has Eddy’s kid by the neck and throws him into the ring. Eddy’s kid was a lot smaller than I was, He was fragile. Not like Freddy’s boy who was a football player and had a much bigger build. He was just skin and bone. they tore our shirts off and a bell rang. The men started screaming, this blood curdling scream from a crowd. And the little shit in front of me was shaking. He had fucking pissed his pants, and you could tell that he was holding back tears in his eyes.


“Yeah do it KIDDO!!”



I could hear my dad through all those voices, so I hit his face as hard as I could and he went tumbling down quicker than anything I’ve ever seen. He stood back up and his mouth was bleeding. And the entire side of his face was blown up like a balloon. He was barely standing, when I heard the voices again. So I clocked him in his face as hard as I could and I watched him go down screaming, and I kept hitting him over and over, And it felt good. You never know power until you watch someone worthless completely collapse beneath you. When I got up the bell rang. I looked at Eddy’s Dad with his face pressed up against the cage. That was the second time I watched a grown man cry.”

“Do you love your father?” Officer O’neil hadn’t moved. I forgot he was there for a while actually. I felt like I had just woken back up.


“ Do you, Thomas Gibson Love your father?” He staggered his words like my fucking father did before he hit me with his drunken hands. Like I was stupid.

“YES! The fuck kind of question is that? He taught me how to be a man. How to walk How to speak. And those fucking koons got what they deserved. Cold and hard on a platter for taking our place in the world. Like we didn’t fucking Own it!!” Shit! He sees it now. Never go vulnerable in an interrogation, ever. I do love my father no one will ever deny me that ever!! He was the only person who would ever love me.

“Did I hit a nerve?” He had this smile on his face like he knew he had me, I was losing the game. I don’t care if I go to jail. But I sure as hell won’t go a pussy. I’m giving them a story. People love a good documentary about someone they should hate.

Breathe, I have to breathe.

“No.” I say calmly catching my breath.

“So mind telling me why you did it Tom?” I’m still a little out of it. Forgot where I was who I was with. If you’ve ever lost control you know. How weak you feel. How everyone uncovers those dirty little secrets.

“How I torched the Nigger? Or skinned him? Which one do you prefer?”

“Well I’ve only got the one you burned sitting here. But you’re welcome to tell me about either one.” I lean forward over my cuffs and get close to his face.

“I would do it all again.” He stops. Leans back into his chair trying to hold his breath. I watch him get up and walk out. I know what he’s going to do now.Like all the others, he’ll ask for a new detective because they don’t know why they feel sorry for me. Everyone is a sucker for a good story.  So I stare through the mirror where they watch me from. I smile. Pretend like I have control between my teeth, when I know that I hated my father. That he was the first time I killed someone, and it felt good.

Manuel Mondragón

Pictures: https://docs.google.com/a/scienceleadership.org/document/d/1HjN6YwW9MvXaTOlDdtlzZrmjz0kS-kJJVT6fuXHvg5E/edit

Mi nombre es Manuel Mandragón. Los militares era muy bueno por mí. Durante la revolución me alié con Victoriano Huerta. Luego me nombraron Secretario de guerra y la Marina de guerra. Esto duró no mucho tiempo porque la gente creía que planeé mal para la revolución. Finalmente estaba exiliado en México, así que me mudé a España. 

Ésta es una buena pared poner un mural porque está al lado de una estación de policía.

A Closet of Mine

The sprinkle of water with the warmth of the sun washed away the dirt on his skin. The dirt of the mud from practice. Football games were always a battle ground. A field filled with large men running and shoving each other to the ground. Nothing laid in the head besides the idea of victory and looking good in front of others that stand before them. Being the man in the game. Being the man in everything. Its all that he had trained for, to be the best man, to be the strong man, to be a man. Now, he stood six feet, two inches tall, a three hundred pound moving body of muscle. He looks perfect. People thinks he is perfect. He is perfect.

His face placed under the shower head, he closes his eyes. There was a feeling of impending interest. Something he couldn’t deny but tried to. He needed explanations for these feelings or he felt that these emotions needed a cure. There was no way he could just walk out of that room and ignore all these feelings. Being a young adult now, he thought he knew himself. But now confusion took over his whole existence. He knew people that had these feeling and came out to the world with them. He never understood those people. He had made remarks in public and laughed about those people.

There was a specific time he remembered. It was during a party in his high school years. One of his friend, a popular boy like him, came out of the closet. Everyone in the school seemed to be talking about him. Before he came out of the closet, all the other boys in the school wanted to be his friends. They just thought he was so cool. However, the next day when the news of his sexuality came out, things took a big turn. Opening his eyes to try not to think any further. The reflection of himself through the white tiles stared back at him.

Slowly, he inhaled the air and exhaled his emotions, twice. Looking straight into the reflection of his eyes, he started to speak.

“James? I’m with you. I’m sorry... I’m sorry I was with those guys laughing. I, this critic, this shameless, this monster, am sorry. I didn’t mean it, I didn’t know anything back then, I didn’t know myself. Call me nameless, I don’t deserve an identity for what I’ve said and done before. The guys I hanged out with, they were horrible, they will probably never learn to become someone as strong and awesome as you… No one understood about the type of life you lived during that time. No one! Their brains, my brain, were all sized down to a piece of nail, when it came to your situation. Yes, the earth was created for an atmosphere where every man could stand freely. But I’m sorry we made you cripple in fear.”

As his frustration built, dark clouds grew bigger above him. His thoughts balled up a feeling of uncertainty. He could not stop these thoughts from rolling through him.

“Urghhh! Why do I feel this way? Man!” He thought to himself. Am I gay?  

The mist of the boiling water fogged up the mirror, the windows, the whole room, as he stood under the showering water, thinking.

“All those dirty looks, the scowling faces, the whispers of cutting words behind his back. Man! What were we all thinking?” The faint memory came back. He thought about how James’s friends and his best friends talked behind his back, including himself. He wasn’t James’s best buddy from the beginning, he knew that. However, they did consider each other as friends back when James didn’t announce he was gay and back when this infuriated, this nameless, this thought to be crazy person tried to figure out a part of himself.

There was a day which he clearly still remembered. It was about two days after James had said to everyone that he was gay. The news was fresh and it was the number one mostly talked about topic. Justin, one of James’s friend, started the conversation. “Its so hard to believe James is gay. I never would’ve expected it from a dude like him. Its weird, he’s weird. It just doesn’t suit him at all.” Every member in the circle jumped to say what they had to say. They all had their own remarks. Just knowing that James was gay, they categorized him. They put him down in the back of their head. They put him down in the back of their head just like this monster, this nameless person did.

A couple weeks after the hot topic news, James had made new friends. It seemed that he had gathered himself with people that understood him. Although that was true, there was a speck of feeling where James was still not fully accepted into that new society, nameless felt it in his guts and he still remembers that feeling. This specific, unpleasant feeling is what dreads him.

The hurtful intended rumors he had spreaded with the judgemental words were his pass. They were based off of his thoughts in the pass. The pass where he was a different person, or thought he was a different person at least. Now, it’s going to be a new story.

“My name is Robert Hardrick.”

He finally knew who he was. He wasn’t about to deny it any longer. Turning the head of the shower faucet, the water stops running down his skin and into the drain. He needed to stop this flow of actions and come out of the room. Come out of the closet.   


Aaron Tang

Q2 #7

Emily tiene diez años. Ella tiene curando de la lepra y vive de Recife de Brasil. La organización fue a cuarenta y dos escuelas, diez y seis miles niños y setenta miles familias. Una mujer habló de enfermedades. Ellos se celebra Diá Mundial de la lepra en veinte y seis de enero. Muchas personas tienen lepra en África y China donde hay ciento ochenta y dos miles . En dos mil dos, hay dos ciento y diez miles las personas tienen lepra en Brasil, India y otra compos.

Miré un programa en canal de la historia y ellos fueron a Asia. Hay fotos y vídeos. Yo pienso es desagradable porque son círculos. Vi a un hombre con lepra en la cara. No sé donde lepra vino, pero la doctoras deben ayudar los enfermos. Lepra dañe la piel y es fea. Lepra fue encontrado muchos siglos. Hiv es en Lepra. Las bacterias comen la piel y ellos crecen. Voy a feliz Estados Unidos no tienen la enfermedad.

En la foto, hay puntos blancos. Mi tía es una doctor y ella ayuda enfermos y yo siempre llamo en el telefono y haga preguntas. Yo quiero hacer un doctor porque puedo ayudar otras. Me gusta estudiar ciencias y salud. Luego, yo puedo ayudar mi familia.

Word Count: 211

"Lepra, La Lucha Contra Una Enfermedad Olvidada." EL PAÍS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://elpais.com/elpais/2014/01/23/planeta_futuro/1390506259_941223.html>.


Aaron Tang

Q2 #6

Los niños duermen tarde a las dos de la mañana. Ellos leen las noticias en facebook.  La sicóloga clínica habló a los adultos sobre sus sueños.  Los adultos tienen mucho trabajo porque cuidan de la familia. En el artículo dijo “entre ellas: concentración, memoria, creatividad y tolerancia, por mencionar algunas.” La gente tiene mucha tensión. Las personas no saben cómo dormir pero es difícil. Hay algunas ideas que ayuden. Las personas pueden escuchar música, leer un libro o tomar un baño. Ellos deben apagar el teléfono y trabajan de algo.

No me gusta insomnia porque yo tengo escuela al día proximo. Yo voy a dormir temprano, pero yo juego videojuegos. También, yo tengo mucho tarea. No puedo dormir temprano porque es difícil dormir en diez de la noche. Yo pienso Los estudiantes duermen hasta tarde porque no hacen tarea.  Yo uso instagram y snapchat. Cuando voy a dormir, escuchar música en Pandora. Mi familia támbien pueden dormir tarde. Al día, yo quiero dormir en clase, pero yo tengo mucho trabajo. Los fines de semana, voy a dormir durante doce horas. Voy a casa a las siete de la noche. Yo como la cena y luego hacer mi tarea. Tengo que dormir temprano y tengo que hacer mi tarea.

Word Counts: 208

"Consejos Para Combatir El Insomnio." El Nuevo Dia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.elnuevodia.com/consejosparacombatirelinsomnio-1694888.html>.

Bias as an Entity, by Josh Berg

Josh Berg

Bias as an Entity

Even to the most well-read, the idea of bias in history textbooks from which we pull a lot of our information, is a controversial and disputable topic. Many people cling to the ideas that they learned from these books. Others cast them away as if they are worth nothing and nothing can be obtained from them, not even a moral lesson. Some cases are far more extreme than others. People who feel that they have been lied to by their textbook learning have gone to great lengths to let others know about this issue. Others on the opposite side have done the same: "The Japanese textbook authorisation system has the so-called "neighbouring country clause" which means that textbooks have to show understanding in their treatment of historical events involving neighbouring Asian countries. It is just ridiculous," said Nobukatsu Fujioka, a denier of the Nanking Massacre. People have very strong feelings regarding the issue of misinformation and bias in books of learning. It is impossible to write from a completely objective standpoint. That being said, it is possible to be aware of biases. It is important to be aware of places where the author of a text may show inaccurate information and gloss over certain events or information because of their biases. Bias is present everywhere in the world, but can do us little harm if we know our own biases and those of others.

It feels bad to be lied to or misinformed, that said there is a more material, surface level issue than feeling bad. The fact of the matter is that our younger years are some of the most impressionable years that will shape the rest of our lives. Having very important details changed around and bent to the will of others, to achieve some twisted agenda can often take a toll on us. Our beliefs for the rest of our small existences can be affected if our intellectual food is poisoned at an early age. Think; of it as a poison. Feed your baby rat poison with every meal during his early life and he will surely be a sickly baby and a sickly adult. The same goes for your child’s intellectual nourishment.

There have been some very prominent cases of people concerned with the quality and truth of the classic literary textbook. There have been two particularly prominent issues of misrepresentation that could be considered one in their connection. A criteria for being an example was that the issue(s) had to have some retaliation against it/them. There has been an upset amongst many of the Japanese because of what they feel is a general misrepresentation of their history in Japanese textbooks. This misrepresentation is generally in the sections that could contain information about acts of war, atrocities and crimes. A teacher in Japan noticed the subordination of these type of events to mere footnotes. Another example of this diminishing of important events is present in how textbooks address the issue of “comfort women”. Comfort women were essentially a prostitution corps made up of unwilling women created by the Imperial Army of Japan. Unfortunately a dark, important and revealing issue like this is glossed over in textbooks. There have also been issues with Japanese textbooks shady handling of affairs involving China, which the Chinese have been less than thrilled about. There have also been issues in Chinese textbooks, so neither nation is innocent. The same facts are taught on the other extreme in China. When it comes to Japanese war crimes, no detail is spared about the awful things that happened. There has also been an outcry over misrepresentation of facts about the Nanking Massacre. There have been claims on both sides. China does not cut any corners in terms of teaching about the things that have happened during the Massacre, while some people in Japan claim that pictures of the event have been fabricated by the Chinese. Others would even go as far as to fully deny the occurrence of the Massacre. There is so much being disagreed upon, it is difficult to imagine one side being right.

These are events of the past. It isn’t that these events are not over, although there are times when the masses are lied to about current affairs. Governments are like people but on a large scale, not only because there is more than one person in most governments. They are large in the way that they are a hyperbole of a normal person. Everyone wants to present themselves in a good way, but governments take it to an extreme in how they and the politicians that make them up rarely acknowledge that they have ever made a mistake. No politician will talk about their biases. Bias is a Huge imperfection that shapes how the world turns.

You don’t have to censor war crimes in order to convey information in a biased fashion. Bias is an invisible thing that you can see everywhere. Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player. Woodrow Wilson, a progressive leader. Misinformation isn’t always conveyed intentionally. Unintentional presentation of misinformation doesn’t make it any less harmful. You could argue that scientific textbooks with their semi-objectively true facts could be considered biased. There may be a hidden agenda lurking in every fact we read. The author may not even know about their hidden agenda. It is important to be able to see the bias in the world, and accept its existence. Be aware of situations where someone may have ulterior motives, but also see the value in biases. Our biases make us individuals. This is not to say that we should not try to remedy our biases, but we must acknowledge the fact that we and everyone else will never be completely free from our biases. Our biases can do us very little harm if we are aware of them and notice them regularly. Look at the way that we look at things, and we will be able to look at and see much more.

Works Cited:

Oi, Mariko. "What Japanese History Lessons Leave out." BBC News. BBC, 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21226068>.

French, Howard W. "China's Textbooks Twist and Omit History." The New York Times. The New York Times, 6 Dec. 2004. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/06/international/asia/06textbook.html?_r=0>.

"Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Konoon the Result of the Study on the Issue of "comfort Women"" MOFA: Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the Result of the Study on the Issue of "comfort Women" MOFA, 4 Aug. 1993. Web. 21 Jan. 2014. <http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html>.

Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Print.

Psychology Is Not a Science

Psychology is not a science. And that’s a personal bias, and I will openly admit that I am fully aware of that fact that it is a bias. While it’s technically considered a “soft science,” I would like to dismiss it as a science altogether. And why would I like to dismiss this idea? Well, first and foremost, no psychology “experiment” is reproducible, and it doesn’t exactly have clear terminology either. What constitutes happiness? What is anxiety? What is insanity? And what makes us crazy? Within the parameters of the physics community, if you say velocity, everyone knows that. Physicists have a very specific way to measure velocity. There is no scale to measure things in psychology. Therapists always ask “how are you feeling today out of 10?” but its an arbitrary scale. What exactly is a 3? There is no strict, defined sense that makes psychology a unified field. Psychology's purpose is to study the human mind and functions, by studying given behaviors within an individual, but everyone can come to their own conclusion and they could all be right.

My psychology bias was probably started when I was fairly young, I was dragged to the school counselor, and then therapist and the psychiatrist and the whatever else. And everyone said a different thing, they saw things in a different way. What one doctor said was a good idea, another disagreed with and they had something else to say. I’ve always wanted to be a scientist, so I always saw things from the perspective of an astronomer or an engineer.

The terms with psychology are vague, and unquantifiable. Terms within other scientific fields are quantifiable. Speed is quantifiable, how many watts a light bulb puts out is quantifiable, temperature is quantifiable, but how depressed someone isn’t quantifiable. And that’s the thing, all diagnoses given by a psychologist can’t be proven like a doctor’s can. We can PROVE that someone has cancer or someone has pneumonia, but we can’t justify the idea that someone has generalized anxiety disorder because they’re nervous about presenting in school and meeting new people. Most people are nervous about that; nervousness is a biological result that has helped keep us out of dangerous situations and helped us stay alive. Fight or flight reaction is what has allowed the continuation of the human race. We still need to have the fight or flight reaction to be able to survive; it heightens our reaction time so can get out of dangerous situations.

Psychology has also failed to reproducible experiments with controlled variables. The thing about experiments within this field is that they can monitor brain waves and brain chemistry, but everyone is going to react in a different way because human beings appear to be arbitrary. This is also considered to be nuerology, because outside factors, genetics/pre existing medical conditions and current conditions can greatly outcome the results they get. The human mind and the human brain are far too complex for us to even begin to fathom at this point in our existence.

One of the arguments for psychology is that they can use it for forensics and to track people like serial killers and such, because they look at their past actions and then try and assume what the future actions of this person will be. I can predict a pattern, and people can be arbitrary so its not exactly accurate. There is nothing measurable or definable about the way that they track people. Sure, they can look at who the victim is and how they died or the murderer’s background and that might help them, but there is nothing to prove. There’s nothing to back them up in what they think.

Science, by definition, is a human attempt to view the world in an analytical attempt, a way to find out how nature works. Its a systematic attempt to find out what’s going on through controlled experimentation and observation.  Psychology isn’t any of that. Psychology is an attempt to see how the human mind works, which is impossible. And its not through any controlled experimentation. Sure, we can see how people react to things, but its not controlled in the least. Valid experiments are reproducible and have very clear controls, psychology boasts none of those. Its all based upon how people say they feel and how they think, and people can lie. Its not accurate.

There really is no objective to psychology. They want to understand the human mind, but everyone is different so they will never be able to produce a solid theory or conclusion. We can all agree that there are four states of matter: liquid, solid, gas, and plasma. We have reached that conclusion, and we purposely chose to go and find that conclusion. The purpose of astronomy to understand the world beyond our world and to look for life beyond ours. The purpose of psychology is to understand and to control the human behavior, which is impossible. We can’t control what people are going to do, and we aren’t always going to understand why people do things. There isn’t always a reason as to why we do the things we do.

It would be almost near impossible to have a full unification in psychology. Depression and PTSD and anxiety all affect people in different ways. And then because it affects everyone in a different way, there’s different ways to deal with it or treat it. And then there’s no way to prove that someone has something. Doctors can see the different chemicals in the brain or the different ways that brainwaves function, but that can also be changed by other variables.

One of the posing solutions to psychological issues is psychiatry, which is a the study of psychology under the effect of medication. Which is a chemical solution to a mental problem, because most psychological issues are believed to be caused by chemical imbalances (i.e., depression is a lack of serotonin).  

So, to conclude my argument, I still don’t think that psychology is a science. I don’t think that there is a fair justification and reasoning to make it provable and to make it scientific. As an aspiring scientist, I think that the hard sciences are the only valid sciences.

Berezow, A. B. n.d., n. pag. <http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/13/news/la-ol-blowback-pscyhology-science-20120713>. "Why Psychology Isn't Science."

Una Oda de Pancho Villa

Pancho Villa fue importante en la Revolución porque ayudó al ejército con armas y transporte.

Una Oda a Pancho Villa

ráctico, populares y exitosos

Cuando yo te veo pienso en hizo la revolución moderna

Me haces se sienten inspirados y confiado en mí y lo que podría hacer

Tú es mi el héroe

Dreams Don't Always Come True

When I was a rising freshman at SLA, the summer before that school year I went to a Phillies baseball camp. During that week of camp I had the opportunity to tour the Philadelphia Phillies baseball stadium. As the Phillies tour guides walked my group around the stadium, we were asked trivia questions about the Philadelphia Phillies organization. 

One question that was asked to the group of campers was, “ What was Michael Martinez's jersey number before he had number seven?”


As the rest of the group started to answer, I raised my hand and waited to be called on.



The entire group was surprised that I knew the answer to the question. As we continued the tour around Citizens Bank Park we ended up sitting down in the press box of the ballpark. The tour guide had another question for us.

“Who was the last Phillie to hit for the cycle?” 

Again the answers started coming from the mouths of other group members. “Chase Utley” one of them said and the tour guide said “no” and I raised my hand and said “ David Bell”. The tour guide said, “you're right”. Later in the day, I overheard one of the tour guides talking to another employee in the Phillies clubhouse and he said ‘this kid knew the answers to all of my questions”. I was able to hold Carlos Ruiz’s, who was the Phillies catcher at the time, bat because of answering the questions correctly. This made me feel important and special on that day. 

When I was in the eighth grade, I loved Evan Turner, who was the 76ers shooting guard and I still do today. I had a friend who loved LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The 76ers and the Miami Heat played a lot during that school year. The Heat won the first three games of the series against the Sixers and it did not look like the Sixers would ever have a chance to beat the Heat. On Easter sunday, the 76ers and the Miami Heat played for the last time that season. The 76ers won! The game winning shot was by sixth man Lou Williams. 

When that happened I told my friend, “ I told you so.” and he of course said the Miami Heat were still the better team but on that day the Miami Heat were defeated by the 76ers.   

I believe that the deeper role that sports plays in society is that it is a form of entertainment. Furthermore, I believe that people watch sports because they want to see the ability of these professional athletes. Most sports fans wish they could do the things that professional athletes do but they know they can not. Sports are games that were made for children and have become a profession. I believe that we start out with a love and passion for sports but as time goes on we lose sight of that passion and focus on the money and fame from that sport. Most sport fans have a dream of playing a particular sport professionally, but end up not being good enough or getting hurt and just becoming a fan. We all have the opportunity to become a professional athlete but not all of us have the right people around us to teach us or show us how to get to that level. Sports are also used by fans as a time to sit back and relax and watch a good show. The professional athletes are also our role models because when we were younger, we looked up to them. Everyone dreamed of having luxury. When we got older and we were not able to make a professional sports team, we would try to get a job in sports or become season ticket holders. Overall, we would all like to become a professional athlete but there is not enough space for everyone and you must be one of the best in that particular sport to be able to play on the team.               

Sports are everything to me and I love them. I love the different athletes, but what I really love is the sport itself. The fame is great, but I just love how passionate people can get over sports. Furthermore, I love that I could travel all around the world and people would know things about sports. Sports are a way for me to sit back and relax and get to know someone. Most people look at their phones to see who texted them, tweeted them, or posted something new on Facebook but when I look at my phone the first thing that I see is a news alert from ESPN and it is usually about something that has happened in the sports world that day. Most of the clothes that I wear are clothes made by sports brands. The different TV stations that I watch have to do with sports and the articles that I read have to do with sports. I can not even remember the last time, I went a day without sports. I believe that sports help me connect with people and help me to get to know them better. 

I believe that the general public is bias toward sports fans. This is true because the general public wants to be entertained and also wants to see other human beings do spectacular things. We all want the ability to run down a basketball court and dunk the ball with great force or be in a NFL huddle and be the starting quarterback calling out the play that could potentially win our team the game or score a winning goal in soccer and hockey and we as fans can not do that, so we cheer on other humans that can and we wear their jerseys and sneakers because we  wish we had the ability to do what they do. But at the end of the day we can not. Professional sports is a business. The business side of sports sometimes gets overlooked by the fans but this part is the most important part for the athletes. The athletes are paid millions of dollars but most of them do not know what to do with that much money and they usually run out of it within the first couple of years of their contracts. I believe that the owners of the different sports teams benefit the most from the money standpoint because of the way they use the athletes to fill the seats of their stadiums with fans.             




"III." An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge, by Ambrose Bierce; Page 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

Nebuchadnezzar's Slave

A man rushed through the door and walked briskly toward the steps leading to where Nebuchadnezzar sat in his throne. The man kneeled and tilted his head down. He heard a powerful, booming voice. “You may rise” Nebuchadnezzar said. The man stood and announced “Your conquest of Judea has been successful”. Nebuchadnezzar looked pleased. To conquer Judah was not his original intention, but eventually, it became clear that in order to capture the Egyptian Army, they would need to get through the Judeans. The city of Jerusalem was held under siege longer than expected and Nebuchadnezzar had grown anxious for its destruction. “Good” Nebuchadnezzar said. “Do you have the slaves?” “Yes sir.” the man said. He yelled and the doors to the throne room burst open once again. Two lines of slaves, none of them particularly strong looking, walked into the throne room in chains and tattered clothing. All of the Judean soldiers and strong men would be used to build monuments and other massive structures. These slaves were here to serve the King, Nebuchadnezzar.

Cheers burst forth from the crowds. The people of Babylonia adored Nebuchadnezzar. He had completely rebuilt the Empire and had turned Babylon into a thriving city-state like it once was when Hammurabi was king. Nebuchadnezzar smiled and waved. He loved his people. Even many of the ones whom he had conquered he had also come to love. As he walked through the busy streets of Babylon, he could not get the face of one particular slave out of his mind. He was a new slave, a Judean, who had been assigned to serve Nebuchadnezzar his wine. As Nebuchadnezzar’s cup was being filled the night before, he caught a glance from the slave; a look of disgust that unsettled the King like nothing else before. As Nebuchadnezzar thought of this slave’s look and the feeling that it brought, he grew confused. Nebuchadnezzar was a warrior at heart. He had killed many men and looked into their eyes which were raging with anger, as he did so. Why was this slave’s look of anger and disgust particularly bothersome to a person who had experienced much worse hatred? As he walked, the question kept popping into Nebuchadnezzar’s head. He called to his attendant “I want all of my house slaves lined up in the throne room when we get back”. “Yes, sir” his attendant said. As Nebuchadnezzar began to think about this slave again, he could hear his attendant yelling orders at a messenger in the background.

Nebuchadnezzar slowly walked up the palace steps surrounded by guards. He continued thinking about this slave whose face had been stuck in his head for nearly a day now. When he reached the palace doors, the guards opened them for him. In his throne room, on either side, his slaves stood perfectly still. After Nebuchadnezzar settled, he walked up and down his throne room, carefully looking for the slave whose face had fixed itself in his memory. He asked a slave “What is your name?”. “Arishaka” the slave replied. “Where are you from?” the King asked. “I am an Assyrian”. This was not the slave he was looking for. Nebuchadnezzar looked disappointed. He turned around. Nebuchadnezzar was startled. He saw the slave as though he had appeared out of thin air. “What is your name?” “Benjamin” replied the slave. This was a name that stood out to Nebuchadnezzar. Even though the language of the Judeans and Babylonians were very similar, somehow there names were very different. “Where are you from?” Nebuchadnezzar asked. “Judea” the slave replied. Nebuchadnezzar was obviously satisfied. The King dismissed everybody from his throne room.

A man rushed through the door and walked briskly toward the steps leading to where Nebuchadnezzar sat in his throne. The man kneeled and tilted his head down. He heard a powerful, booming voice. “You may rise” Nebuchadnezzar said. The man stood and announced “Your conquest of Judea has been successful”. Nebuchadnezzar looked pleased. To conquer Judah was not his original intention, but eventually, it became clear that in order to capture the Egyptian Army, they would need to get through the Judeans. The city of Jerusalem was held under siege longer than expected and Nebuchadnezzar had grown anxious for its destruction. “Good” Nebuchadnezzar said. “Do you have the slaves?” “Yes sir.” the man said. He yelled and the doors to the throne room burst open once again. Two lines of slaves, none of them particularly strong looking, walked into the throne room in chains and tattered clothing. All of the Judean soldiers and strong men would be used to build monuments and other massive structures. These slaves were here to serve the King, Nebuchadnezzar.

Cheers burst forth from the crowds. The people of Babylonia adored Nebuchadnezzar. He had completely rebuilt the Empire and had turned Babylon into a thriving city-state like it once was when Hammurabi was king. Nebuchadnezzar smiled and waved. He loved his people. Even many of the ones whom he had conquered he had also come to love. As he walked through the busy streets of Babylon, he could not get the face of one particular slave out of his mind. He was a new slave, a Judean, who had been assigned to serve Nebuchadnezzar his wine. As Nebuchadnezzar’s cup was being filled the night before, he caught a glance from the slave; a look of disgust that unsettled the King like nothing else before. As Nebuchadnezzar thought of this slave’s look and the feeling that it brought, he grew confused. Nebuchadnezzar was a warrior at heart. He had killed many men and looked into their eyes which were raging with anger, as he did so. Why was this slave’s look of anger and disgust particularly bothersome to a person who had experienced much worse hatred? As he walked, the question kept popping into Nebuchadnezzar’s head. He called to his attendant “I want all of my house slaves lined up in the throne room when we get back”. “Yes, sir” his attendant said. As Nebuchadnezzar began to think about this slave again, he could hear his attendant yelling orders at a messenger in the background.

Nebuchadnezzar slowly walked up the palace steps surrounded by guards. He continued thinking about this slave whose face had been stuck in his head for nearly a day now. When he reached the palace doors, the guards opened them for him. In his throne room, on either side, his slaves stood perfectly still. After Nebuchadnezzar settled, he walked up and down his throne room, carefully looking for the slave whose face had fixed itself in his memory. He asked a slave “What is your name?”. “Arishaka” the slave replied. “Where are you from?” the King asked. “I am an Assyrian”. This was not the slave he was looking for. Nebuchadnezzar looked disappointed. He turned around. Nebuchadnezzar was startled. He saw the slave as though he had appeared out of thin air. “What is your name?” “Benjamin” replied the slave. This was a name that stood out to Nebuchadnezzar. Even though the language of the Judeans and Babylonians were very similar, somehow there names were very different. “Where are you from?” Nebuchadnezzar asked. “Judea” the slave replied. Nebuchadnezzar was obviously satisfied. The King dismissed everybody from his throne room.

He was almost certain he would be killed. Why would the king look at him that way? What other type of satisfaction does such a tyrant have from a slave if he does not kill him? Benjamin was severely concerned. He decided there was nothing to do but pray. He closed his eyes and began. After five minutes of silent prayer, Benjamin was violently pulled from his position. God did not hear him. Benjamin was brought back into the throne room. This time, it was only him. Usually, there were some slaves surrounding the oppressor to serve him. This time, he was alone. Nebuchadnezzar stood from his throne and walked towards the slave. “You said your name was Benjamin?” “That is correct, sir”. “And last night, you served me wine. Is that also correct?” Nebuchadnezzar asked. The slave replied “Yes. This is also true”. Now, Nebuchadnezzar knew for sure that he had the right slave. “While you were serving me wine, I noticed an unpleasant look from you. Why was that?” Benjamin knew exactly what the dictator was talking about. Initially, he felt shame and anger that he could do something so foolish. He wished his mistake didn't cost him so dearly. Then, he felt the way he had when he gave the despot that look. His family was killed, his city destroyed. This man lived for nothing. He responded with this thought in mind. “You destroyed my home, killed my family, and took me as your slave”. The king was more than surprised that a slave had the audacity to respond in this way. “Saying something like that could easily get you killed” Nebuchadnezzar said. “Yes. Have you not brought me here to kill me?”. “Your disgusted look has stuck in my mind for a day now. That is why I brought you here. To learn why you look so negatively upon me. I still don’t understand your anger. You have been made a part of the greatest empire on earth”. Benjamin was frustrated now. “How would you feel if you had been conquered?” Benjamin asked. Nebuchadnezzar was a little offended when he heard the question. He really believed that he ruled the greatest empire on earth and seeing it destroyed seemed like an impossibility. Nonetheless, Nebuchadnezzar began to understand what the slave was talking about. With a new understanding, Nebuchadnezzar freed the slaves of Judea except for the prisoners of war. From that day on, the Judeans thrived in Babylonia and even when the Babylonians had been conquered and Cyrus of Persia let the Judeans back into Judah, many of them refused and stayed in Babylonia because of what Nebuchadnezzar made possible.

Media and Discrimination

Media and society have a lot of news reports and people usually believe them. Sometimes people do not have any proof if someone is guilty or not, but they still think they are. Whatever people in the media say, on television or even on the radio people believe it. It looks like what is happening it should be true in the world, but it does not always have to be true. The media encourages to be biased by judging people without knowing their life background, and also discriminates against people by assaulting them of doing something without any proof.  

In the documentary, “The Central Park Five”, people give their opinion about this case where a woman that was jogging was murdered and raped. There were also problems in society as well. According to historian, Craig Steven Wilder, "We were a city coming out of a series of crises and an enormous economic crisis. A school system that was in collapse; Political institutions that seemed to be failing the people  and not meeting their needs; Old, fashionable, beautiful, noble neighborhoods falling apart." People in New York City could see how their economy changed. Their school system and institutions changed for worse, and people did not get things they need. In other words everything started to fall apart. It was not a good thing because people did not care after a while what was happening around, if they already got used to it. Whenever we do not get our needs things change. People need to feel safe in their city and have something that is important to live.

Adults were not just the only ones that could be involved in the crime, teenagers could also have to do with it, but it all started when crack came to the city. According to Koch, "In about '84, crack came to New York City and that increased crime. No questions about it." After crack came to New York City people realized that crime was increasing. After using crack people’s mind change. They started to become angry and they could not control it because of the drugs.

Usually people can not stop themselves because the drug is kind of controlling them. Websites show what percent of people used crack back then versus now. According to a website about using drugs, “According to government surveys, eight percent of high school seniors reported using cocaine at least once during their lifetime. This is markedly lower than the peak of 17 percent for the senior class of 1985.” Now, people do not use crack as much as they did in 1985. It is actually a big difference. In ‘84 people used a lot of crack and that is why there was more crime. Most of teenagers used it, which shows how this affected their society, and also how their school systems changed.

After crack was in the city a lot of things changed. People were blamed for crime, and other things too. According to Wilder, "Most of the homicides were young, poor, working class black and brown kids. And the dominant social message was no one cared if you lived or died.” People believed that black and brown kids were the ones that were guilty, even though there was no proof. "When the crack wars happen, all of a sudden teenagers have lots of cash and guns. ... We were supposed to be afraid. It would have been irrational not to be afraid. But the people who suffered most with the rise of criminality, guns wars, drug wars, were actually the people we blamed." Crack was not a good thing for New York City. It made it look bad and people started to do things they never did before. It was really easy for people to change if they saw others use crack, especially teenagers. Teenagers are the ones that will have an impact on the future. If they use crack for a certain time, younger kids will follow them and use crack too. This is not what we want our future to be. We want our society to be safe.

When it comes to race discrimination there are a lot of people starting arguments, and all of society is kind of divides into different parts. They call each other names, and then blame each other for crime. According to Calvin Butts, "As far as I'm concerned, in the late eighties in New York City, the black community was under assault. "The most endangered species in America," that was a popular phrase, was the young black man." In the late eighties people mostly blamed  African American people for crime. They called them ‘the most endangered species in America’. I do not think people should call each other names because this is how everything starts. They blame each other and after that race discrimination starts, and people flight. This is not how our society should look like. We should respect each other. We can not just blame someone without any proof.

Back then there was a lot of murders  According to Jim Dwyer, "In those days, there were probably 6 murders a day." People did not pay attention to all of them, but this one was different.” Because back then they blamed African Americans for doing any crime, they assaulted black community for crime cases. They accused them because they were in a park at that time. They did not have any evidence that showed police they did it. They made them believe by saying the truth what happened that day, and then they will go home. They actually thought if they say the truth they will go home, but that did not happen. They actually were blamed for it and stayed in jail for a good few years. After they went through other papers and DNA they found a person who actually did it. He said he did it and after that happened, people wish they knew that before they made five other men blamed.

According to the news report called International Business Times, “In 2003, Richardson, Santana and McCray filed a lawsuit against the City of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress, 27east.com said.” What media did back then was judging people, and discriminate them especially African Americans after crack came. It was not right to do that because everyone has rights, and just because crack came to New York people should not judge them. Also on the other website, news report they talked about after they came out of the jail, “On Facebook and Twitter, where Salaam said he communicated with the four men he still refers to as his "co-defendants" and with other friends on Friday, several expressed surprise, joy and something else. He said that some, including individuals who do not live in New York City, closed their tweets, retweets and Facebook posts with the words, "John Liu for Mayor." After the whole case finished a lot of people were happy. Their families believed them they are not guilty. People on different kinds of websites posted things about that case. Rumors start like that. People post things online and then change words around and it is totally different, then a statement was said before.

None of us wants media to change things around and make a different statement about us. We all should respect each other and not blame people around us without any proof. Everyone is different and just because something came to a city like crack back then, does not mean all African American community needs to be assaulted. Americans could use crack too and be guilty for crime too. There should be no discrimination around the world because it causes wars and fights. We all want our city and world to be safe, and feel safe.


1. Documentary “The Central Park Five”

2. "Cocaine and Crack Facts." And Effects. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.


3. "Central Park Five." NY Daily News. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.


4. "Central Park Five Lawsuit: New York City Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio 

Agrees To Settle Decade-Long Case Over Wrongful Convictions." International Business Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.


mayor-elect- bill-de-blasio-agrees-settle-decade-long-case>

5. Ross, Janell. "John Liu Urges Central Park Five Settlement, Becoming First New York City Elected Official To Do So." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 Jan. 2013. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.


Home Network (Lucid Chart)

Home Network
In the beginning of the year, we were learning about the School District Policy and the SLA's Policy. Both about how they would like you to use the internet and what's appropriate and not. Setting down the rules. 

When we were first learning it, I thought that it was somewhat unnecessary to learn it all. I kept thinking, why is this important? or when am I actually going to use it in life? or I don't need to listen because these rules don't really apply to me because I don't watch porn or anything. But once doing this chart, I learned that having access to all this internet could possibly put you in danger if you're being careless about not protecting anything that has access to the network. 

From reading the rules from both policies, I am now even more convinced that it is a scary world, and that you have to protect your information if you're going to have a lot of things that are able to access the network or internet. I am also way more cautious about what I post or who I talk to online. I also amke sure to read some of the pop ups that come up on my computer, etc, because you never know what the other side of your line is.

Biases, Words, and Humanity

I sometimes fear that myself and the world around me wears a white glove. Knows their boundaries too well, where to filter, what shouldn’t be seen. What frightens me the most about this white glove, is that it conceals any raw, naked sensation of reality; giving a softened, decorated version of our environment. We aren’t aware, or we aren’t aware enough of what surrounds us, what’s behind the curtain, what we’re told we are not supposed to see. The minds inside of this decorated reality have no concept of question, no concept of any other reality; just acceptance for what is and what should be. And of course, as there is commonly one person responsible for presenting an idea, there is only one human that is responsible for shielding a population of other humans behind a fantasy of deceivery, a false perspective, an extremely large riddle.

The secret behind biases, is that they all essentially start with riddles. One person believes that they can persuade another to believe he or she is correct, and therefore gives them a series of strange words that makes their point seemingly override any other point. As no idea is completely original, this perspective has probably derived from another person’s perspective; another person’s usage of words to reach persuasion. I’d like to think of it as a food chain of opinions; our minds and mouths being vessels for these opinions. One thing that is particularly interesting about biases, is that they usually hide behind the purpose to educate;  as teaching experiences that must be delved into a population of brains. When educating with bias,  the masses you are educating may never realize the slant of your perspective. The finesse you have with articulating your opinion can lead to others believing it is fact; the result of a sly play on words.  The best kind of riddles are those that no one ever realizes are riddles.

A man like Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, had lots of fun with riddles. They were all that he could speak in. He was a Harry Houdini of words. He used a single idea, articulated it quite nicely, shared it with few people, who then shared it with more people, who then shared it with an entire population. This resulted in a movement, which then resulted in a political party; teaching a brand new mindset to a plethora of brand new minds. This idea then develops into worldview and demands to be practiced. I compare him to Houdini, as an act like this is very similar to a magic trick. Painting a picture with certain colors, making it as though you’ve used every color. Hide all the ugly bits and decorate the pretty, interesting things. Use certain vocabulary and literary tools as smoke and mirrors, deceive those around you by making every angle of your sentences appear perfect. It is the creating of an exaggerated illusion, making a distorted reality; a hyperbole for the eyes. In Goebbels’ speech, “Knowledge and Propaganda,”  he states that “An idea always lives in individuals. It seeks an individual to transmit its great intellectual force.” You can only truly have fun with your medium of idea presenting when you realize how much power you can have. I believe that the most vital thing we do as human beings is communicate, and the most vital tool we have for communication is words. Goebbels knew precisely the kind of power he possessed with his words, and conducted miniature magic tricks with them;  a pile of sophisticated riddles, persuading a mass of people to unify in discrimination against all Jews. Adolf Hitler so very closely had the capability to rule an entire continent, merely with his words. 6 million Jews, and 6 million non Jews were killed because of his words. He made everyone around him, in front of him, and beneath him hate, simply with words.

Now, whenever if I educate myself on Nazism, The Holocaust, or World War II, how can I evaluate their viewpoints and behaviors as someone who aspires to be an observer of all perspectives? How can I eliminate my pre-existing biases, and reason with my reflective biases? I would think the only way in which one could possibly reflect upon such evil acts and mass destruction of humanity is to evaluate the humanity. It was not merely a story, or a blood stain on a European atlas. However, almost all wars and monumental tragedies are taught in ways in which they’re completely non-humanized. It is a pure history, concealing the raw sensation of its personalism; like a white glove, making it impossible to touch. It is a pile paragraphs experienced by many authors, written by only one. How can different perspectives be acknowledged, if something is told in only one perspective?

I, of course, have many pre-existing biases and blind spots that I encounter on a daily basis, most of the time unintentionally. One of these, that I believe is absolutely vital for me to be aware of, is my lack of experiences. I have no idea what it’s like to need something I cannot have, I don’t know what it’s like to fear for my life, and I’ve never had to prove my bravery to anyone. All three of these are the most human experiences of those who have lived, breathed, and bled through World War II. I cannot reach out and touch their experiences if they do not reach out and touch me. What good is it if I’m too book smart, and can only learn from words alone? Wouldn’t my mind be absorbing a decorated illusion as opposed to a raw truth? Wouldn’t my mind learn to interpret a decorated illusion as a raw truth?

Every single person in this world has a set of biases; if they did not, they would not be alive, or fully engaged in life. We all form biases from things we hear, things that are said, opinions that seem justifiable, through a series of many words and riddles. The only way in which we can acknowledge and eliminate these biases is if we find the humanity in them, search for their imperfections, accept their ugly traits. It is much easier to say that all who kill, discriminate, and hate are evil; it is much harder to say they are human beings, that they are one of us. It is much easier to paint ourselves and our environment as an attractive deceivery, as opposed to revealing its naked reality. It is much easier to use our words as shields to protect others from what they do not want to hear or see.  What we must all do is wipe the dust from certain corners of our pupils and see the imperfect angles of everything. Biases cannot ever fully be eliminated, but our world would be so much healthier if there was more acceptance and awareness to everything inside and around it.

Figuring Out My Bias

If you just look around you will see an ad, on the computer, on your phone, on the radio, you name it, there’s an ad there. As a young woman living in this world where not very many people are satisfied with how they look or what they have, it’s hard to stray away from bias. Whether it’s subconscious or not, just by looking at an ad I have a bias toward it, either positive or negative, but once I see the details I’m not so intrigued anymore. The pressure as the mannequins stare down at you while you walk by the store, the confident feeling you get when you see the huge red sale signs as you peer at the shirt you’ve wanted for months now, and the thought of having a bag filled with new things is just enough to make a person go into a store. Finding out the truth is the downfall.

I took two IATs one showed that I had a slight bias toward European American children as opposed to African American children, while the other showed that I had little to no preference between old and young people. I didn’t know that I had a bias toward European American people, because I am around both races all the time. The race test showed that I have a bias, but I am not entirely certain what kind of bias it was referring to.

The race test showed my bias toward European American children, by seeing how quickly I was able to press a key when the positive words were associated with European American kids as opposed to African American kids. This made me realize how many biases I associate with certains people, not just race. When you walk down the street, you see so many people, and no two look the same. Without realizing it you associate one person with a certain group and another person with another group. I personally try to stay away from men that make vulgar comments, or anyone that is loud on the subway. I associate those people with negativity and being rowdy.

My mom always tells me to either sit near the driver, or near a woman who has a child or children with her when I am by myself on the subway.She and I both assume that someone who has children is less likely to bother me or anyone on the train. If I am near the driver, if anything happens, the man or woman would see it. I feel safer when the subway is quieter, like later in the afternoon when not very many high school students are on it making tons of noise. I also feel less comfortable when I am the only white person on the train, because I don’t like any attention to be on me, or to stand out at all.

I also have a bias toward clothes, and associate what people wear to what I think their personalities are. If somebody is dressed with a similar style to me, I assume that person and I would probably get along, whereas someone who dresses in clothes that present themselves in a way I wouldn’t quite feel comfortable, I would think that they had a personality that I would not get along with. When I see someone in a business suit or dress clothes I tend to feel safer around them. I don’t know why, I just do. That is just one of the many biases that I have in associating people with a certain group, without getting to know them, based solely on outward appearance.

Like I stated before, the age IAT showed that I have little to no bias when it comes to young or old. The test was the same as the race test, I had to type a certain letter for positive words and either older or younger people, then they changed the associations around on me. I did the same or slightly different when they changed it around. I wasn’t surprised by these results, because I feel comfortable around all ages. I have more bias based on looks rather than age. The test also asked questions about how old I felt, what age I wanted to be and what age people think I look. I think that my responses to those questions helped determine that I didn’t really have a bias, because for some responses I stated a younger age, and other responses I stated an older age, so the answers showed that I didn’t associate being old or being young with negative words.

I have biases toward trendy clothes, but I won’t overpay for them. I am easily drawn to try on outfits, or shoes, or anything else that catches my eye, but I don’t dive into getting whatever it is until I know the details. A big part of advertising is propaganda, and making the viewer believe they are getting a better deal than they actually are. Again, I have a bias toward the way something looks or how I look. I like to project an image of who I am. It might be comfy sweatpants one day, and a dress and heels another, but I want the way I look to represent me.

We can’t escape bias no matter where we get it from. It may be from our parents, or from an ad we see walking to school. It isn’t something that is good or bad, sometimes, it just is. Bias is something that is natural. Without even thinking about it your brain associates one thing with another. Its not until you analyze your own bias that you realize how hard it is to escape it.

Examining Bias Towards Weapons

Brian Torres Q2BM

Today in society, we constantly depict events that involve various kinds of weaponry as both good and bad things. We live in fear from these things knowing that any second, something like what you see on CNN and places like FOX News could basically happen right in your backyard. Throughout the past few years I have lived to see many events happen that have involved different kinds of weaponry. Some of them good, and some of them have been bad. Overall, I feel as though some of the biggest events that have happened have not only been bad, but have caused massive changes to happen in society.

One of those examples can be traced to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I remember coming home from school and my mom was sitting in the living room with her eyes set on the tv. I turned my attention to the tv and all I saw was all this coverage happening on a shooting that had just happened earlier that day at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. A man named Adam Lanza had killed his mother, taken her rifle and started shooting at people inside the school. In total, 28 people were killed and 2 people were wounded. After the shooting, gun control laws were questioned and still are questioned today. 

In a way, I feel as though the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting affected me in a way where I was more aware of my surroundings in the weeks following that day. I guess a reason to explain that would be because my parents and my aunt kind of instilled this idea in my head where I in a way became a little scared that it might happen to me or somewhere near me. So for like the next two weeks after this, I was kind of hesitant on taking any further public transportation because I thought something would happen even though I caught Regional Rail everyday on my way to school. 

Another recent event that I remember was the 2012 Aurora shooting. I remember this clearly because at around 2 in the morning, a friend of mine texted me and my phone’s ringer(which I forgot to silence before I went to bed) went off and woke me up. I got up and looked at my phone. Out of nowhere I see this text saying that my friend went to see the midnight viewing of “The Dark Knight Rises” and his mom took him and left the theatre because a news report came on her phone saying that some dude in Colorado had gone and shot up a whole theatre room during a midnight viewing of that same movie. 

The next day(well maybe about 7 hours after my friend woke me up with that text), everything was confirmed when I walked into my parents’ bedroom to see which one of them would take me to school. As I walked in, my mother was watching the news on the tv and the Aurora shooting was all over the news. Now I was upset because now I knew my mother(considering how much she exaggerates things) wouldn’t let me go the next day to see the movie.  I told my mom, “We are in Philly, that happened in Colorado, I highly doubt it will happen here.” I still didn’t get to go so I was pretty upset about that.

Honestly, when asked about which side of this issue I am on, I don’t really know what to say to them. Part of me is for open gun rights, but at the same time, the other part of me wants all this violence to end and for things like this don’t happen as easily and as often as they do. Already in this school year, since the school started in September, there have been 16 reported incidents in which a shooting has happened in or near a school in the US. What I find intriguing, is that the shootings that everyone knows about and that have a large amount of news coverage are the ones where a large amount of children/students die at or near the school. 

What about the shootings where maybe 1 or 2 or maybe up to 5 people die and the media just puts it aside, and yet we live in a country where we have one of our main focuses set on stopping violence in and/or around schools. Why is it that a man can go into a school and kill 28 people and the news is all over it, but what about the shootings where the shooter kills/wounds up to maybe 6 people and the families are practically left to mourn on their own for the loss but a parent of a child at a place like Sandy Hook Elementary basically has the entire country mourning with them.

Don’t get me wrong, I, like every other American, was mourning the deaths of the children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, but I just don’t think we should be kept in the dark about that stuff. I believe that when it happens, since it happens at or near a school building, no matter how many people get murdered, I believe the press should display the same amount of coverage over that as a shooting that they would describe as a mass murder. 

So, to conclude this essay, I just want to say how much all this has affected me, it affected me a lot. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting made me feel scared to take any excess public transportation, so I started walking from Suburban Station to school and the 2012 Aurora shooting got me upset because it was because of that movie that I had to wait a while to see a movie I had been looking forward to for almost a year. Again, like I said earlier, throughout the past few years I have lived to see many events happen that have involved different kinds of weaponry. Some of them good, and some of them have been bad. Overall, I feel as though some of the biggest events that have happened have not only been bad, but have caused massive changes to happen in society.

Artículo #7

Will (Guillermo) Amari


Señorita Manuel

La invención de Hugo, el Scorsese más mágico

Yo tengo nunca ir al cine y miró el filme, Hugo por Martin Scorsese. Pero los críticos dije Hugo con muy bien. Yo estoy un gran fan de Martin Scorsese. Él es un buen director de cine. Mi favoritas películas por él es Goodfellas, Raging Bull y Taxi Driver. Todos las películas son con el actor, Robert DeNiro. Él y Martin Scorsese son buenos amigos. Robert DeNiro tiene un Oscar por Raging Bull. Martin Scorsese tiene un Oscar por su película el Departed. Para mi, ellos son las mejor.

El artículo es aproximadamente Hugo, Martin Scorsese's mágico filme que es puro y inocente. No es como sus películas sobre la mafia y las drogas. Hugo es diferente de Goodfellas y su nuevo filme llamada, El Lobo de Wall Street. Hugo es sobre la historia de un niño que es un huérfano y su vida. Él es un trabajador de relojes en la ciudad de París. No es una película por sólo niños, adultos puede miro también.

Yo no quiero examinar la película Hugo. Porque que es aburrido para mí. Que es por que yo leí el artículo. Yo estoy fascinado con películas. Ellos tienen buenas historias. Hugo sin embargo, no interesa mí y hay que respetar mi decisión. Es cómico todos el mundo dije me, "Ir al cine, buscar Hugo!" Yo quiero buscar El Lobo de Wall Street. El artículo compara El Lobo de Wall Street con Hugo. Un es más puro. Un es más loco.

Palabras: 254


Food BM

Recipe/Recipe Analysis 

Dish: Delicious Jerk Chicken

This is a dish that most of my family enjoys to eat. It is from the Caribbean Islands which my family is from. It is a simple meal to make, and is not as unhealthy another types of chicken people from the Caribbean might make. 

Yields: 8-10 people

Time: 95-200 minutes


16 Raw Chicken wings

Jamaican's Choice Jerk seasoning

Botticelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

McCormick Ground Cayenne Red Pepper

2 Bowls

2 Foil Baking Pans

Paste Brush

How to make:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • Wash off chicken wings in cold tap water and place each of them in a bowl when finished
  • In a separate bowl mix 3/4 of the jerk seasoning, 1-2 teaspoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons or more of red pepper (depending on spice level)
  • Taste mix to see if it is to your liking.
  • Evenly spread the jerk mix paste on each piece of chicken evenly, placing them in a a pan when finished
  • No more than 8 pieces of chicken wings per pan
  • Cover with foil and place in oven for 60 minutes
  • After 60 minutes uncover chicken and let bake for 45 more minutes uncovered
  • If the pans have a lot of liquid then do not flip chicken, but if not flip each piece of chicken to the other side.
  • Bake until browned a little
  • Turn oven off and take out both pans of the jerk chicken
  • Let the wings cool off…. then serve!

c)  Usually in the islands people will make this dish with all natural ingredients. More than likely they raise their own chickens and make their own homemade seasoning. But since we are in America and I do not have chickens or spices growing in my backyard we had to get all of the ingredients from the grocery store. The chicken that we used most of the time is farm grown and USDA approved. And the jerk seasoning is always from the grocery store but it is a Jamaican brand. The calories are…….. Since this is chicken this meal will give my body protein. The sodium from the seasoning will also give my body some energy. If I was to eat this everyday it wouldn't necessarily be unhealthy since it is not fired or processed too much..I just might get tired of the taste. For the chicken I have no idea where it is from. It is from the US but could be from various states. The chicken is probably grown in one place and packaged in another. For the jerk seasoning it is a Jamaican company but they have factories in different countries. The one I have was made in Jamaica/Costa Rica and distributed from Queens, New York. The olive oil was made in Europe and is shipped from Hauppauge, New York. And the red pepper is made in Hunt Vally, Maryland. so the jerk seasoning or olive oil had the farthest way to travel. At the market everything cost around roughly $15-$20. Compared to fast food to feed 8-10 people it actually cost the name. Of course the people getting paid off this meal are the people who make the products as well as the supermarkets. 

Product 1: Jerk Seasoning

  • Is made in a factory in Costa Rica or Jamaica
  • Then sent to somewhere in the US
  • From there is sent to the distributer in Queens, NY.
  • Then they sent it to the market trucks and stores who use the seasoning

Product 2: Red Pepper

  • The peppers are grown and crushed 
  • A factory puts them together
  • From there they are shipped to distributers
  • They then sell it to markets and stores that use it.

For both of these things I could have easily went to the farmers market or a produce junction and got all of the ingredients to make them. They would have been locally grown and not have taken so long to get here. Socially wise I would have been helping out local farmers and produce people by buying it and then making it myself. But this way was less time consuming and more convenient . 

Food Rule:

My slide is basically talking about the amount of food you should eat. My grandmother would always tell me that if it is bigger than your fist then you are eating too much,


I think that for somebody my age I eat a normal teenage diet. I try to only eat out once a week as possible. When I'm home I eat some junk food but also some healthy food. I try my best to get as much fruits and veggies as possible. I am now starting to eat more healthier than I was before and cutting put all fast foods. Some changes could be to just plan my meals ahead. Getting enough healthy things from the market to last me all week. As well as making healthier food choices when I am out with my friends or go out to eat. From this change I will feel better about myself as well as making sure I will live as much as a healthy life as I can. It will be hard because I know sometimes my taste buds will want fried chicken instead of skinless baked chicken, but long term is greater than short term. Since I will be starting college at the end of this summer my diet will e filled with a lot of unhealthy and cheap snacks. But I plan on excessing and buying as much cheap healthy food as possible to make sure I maintain a healthy life.  A major problem with our food system is that we don't have enough time or money to eat healthier anymore. That we have become accustomed to eating meals that are more unhealthy and easier to obtain that we have forgotten what it really means to eat right. And I honestly think that this will not change. Unless McDonald's decides to have a healthy menu then this countries eating habits will continue to not be healthy at all.

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Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 1.34.36 PM

Food BM-Owen Grzywinski

Apple Pie:



1/2 cup of brown sugar

5-6 apples.

1/8 teaspoon of salt.

1/-1 and1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch.

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Pie dough


Core and slice the apples.

Put in large bowl and mix in ingredients above.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Put apples into pie bowel and cover with dough.

Cook for 45 min or until golden brown.

Social ramifications:

This recipe has been in my family for generations. I grew up watching my mom and grandmother making this pie.It's fairly simple to make, all together it all costs less than $15 so it's not that expensive. I usually use apples from my local co-op so they're about as organic and healthy as it's going to get. Everything else though comes from a box, including the dough which is from Pillsbury. I think that's where most of the unhealthy stuff comes from in this meal. There are a lot of process stuff in that dough whereas if I had just made the dough myself, it wouldn't be anywhere near as bad.


Obviously you wouldn't want to eat this everyday. It's a dessert and should therefore be eaten only on special occasions. I usually only have this during Thanksgiving, it's something of a tradition for my family. If you were however, I think you would start to get pretty fat from all the sugar and stuff that's in the dough and the mix I put over the apples. 


As far as meals go, I think this is pretty good. It doesn't cost a lot, it could be way less healthy and you can get all organic ingredients for it if you wanted to. Fruit pies in general I think aren't that bad, it just takes something that we're all supposed to be eating and turns it into something even better. The apples in this case came from Weavers Way Co-op farms which is local so they didn't have to come from very far. I have no idea where the sugar and the rest of the ingredients came from though, there wasn't a label on any of the packages.  

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Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 8.20.27 AM

Advertising Racial Bias

Jim walked through the doors with a big smile on his face. He felt confident and prepared. He was up half the night finishing the outline for the advertisement. He normally wouldn’t have worked so hard on an outline, but he felt that this particular one deserved the effort. After all, this wasn’t just any ordinary advertisement he and his firm were creating. This wasn’t just an ad for some stupid product or service, like a kitchen appliance, or a cell phone plan. No, this ad was for something that mattered. This ad was for a company that helped homeless children in America. This was an ad for something that helped people, and did good things for society. This was why Jim went into advertising in the first place, to help create advertisements that helped the world (Ways of Seeing).

Jim was working with his collaborators on creating an advertisement which they would later pitch to the company that was helping the kids. Today he was going to meet with his colleagues and put the ad together. His job had been to design the basic format and layout of the add. His colleagues had other responsibilities, such as picking the images they would use, and putting the soundtrack together. They were going to compare ideas to put this ad together. The elevator arrived on the tenth floor. Jim got out and walk over to the conference room. When he opened the door he found that the others were already inside. His co-workers Milo and Chris were waiting for him.

“ Hey Jim,” said Milo, “ How are you?”

“ Good,” Jim replied.

“ Good, well let’s get down to business. What’s your idea for the layout of the ad?”

Jim eagerly pitched his idea for the layout. He told them what the ad would say, and how it would say it. He emphasized using a sad tone of voice and describing how much these poor kids suffered.

“ This will play to people’s sympathy” he said confidently. “ They will see how sad these kids are, but then we’ll tell them how they can help, and then we show some smiling happy kids or something to show how happy their donation will make someone. They will see themselves as the answer to the problem, when really their individual donations do so little in the long run.”

Chris and Milo both liked the layout; they agreed that it was effective and persuasive. Chris was in charge of creating the soundtrack for the add. He played some sad music, and then some happy upbeat music at the end. Jim and Milo agreed that this really set the mood and the feeling that this ad was trying to create. Then it was Milo’s turn. Milo was in charge of picking out the images of sad and happy homeless children that the ad would use. He showed them a slide show of many photographs of little kids.

“Obviously this is too many images to put in the add.” he said “I was hoping that we could pick out the ones we want.”

“Yes, there are a few that I think should definitely be in this ad,” Jim said. Then he went over to Milo’s laptop and copied all of the photos that he liked and put them in a separate folder. “I think that these kids will really pull at people’s heart strings, and make them want to donate.”

Milo looked at the images that Jim had selected. His face was placid and expressionless. After looking through them he paused, thought for a moment, then looked at

them once more. “I noticed that all of the photos you liked were of caucasian children,” he

pointed out.

Suddenly Jims face looked serious, like he had just been accused of some sort of crime “What are you implying Milo?,” Jim asked “Are you implying that I am a racist who thinks that white kids deserve help more than minorities? Because that’s not what I think. It’s just that I think that these particular kids will make people feel sorry for them, and want to help.”

“Because they’re white” said Milo.

Jim sighed. “Look, Milo. I personally don’t care what race kids are, but let’s face it, that’s not how the rest of the world sees it. This ad will be shown in a predominantly white community, and therefore these images will appeal more to the public.

“I’m just worried that it’s a little bit racist. After all, most of the homeless kids in America are African American .” Milo informed him.

“ Look, it doesn’t matter whether or not the ad is racist, what matters is if it is effective (America’s Youngest Outcasts). I’ve looked at some statistics. 90% percent of the local population is white. White kids will appeal more to them.” Jim stated

“I just worry that this ad may be a little offensive,” said Milo.

“I don’t think many black people will mind. I mean look at Chris, he’s black and he thinks that these images are ok,” Jim pointed out, “Right Chris?

Chris paused for a moment, thinking about what to say. Finally he spoke, “Actually I do think that we should include a few photos of African American kids. We have some images of black kids that I think could be very effective. Look at this photo. This poor little guy is only about three years old. He’s the youngest one we’ve got. I think that his age will make people feel sorry for him.

Jim examined the photo. “He is very young, but I just don’t think he’s that cute. People will want to help cute little kids. Look at this one. See this little blonde-haired girl? Doesn’t she just have the cutest little blue eyes?

“While your definition of cute pertains to little blonde-haired blue eyed white girls, others may find black children just as cute,” Milo pointed out.

Jim started to get frustrated. He wasn’t a racist, and he didn’t like that he was beginning to come off as one. It wasn’t his fault that this was how the world was. It wasn’t his fault that the people of this town would relate better to a little white kid that resembled their own children. “I don’t think that white kids are any cuter than black kids,” he stated “But the rest of this town feels differently than I do. We have to face fact and play to the interests of the people. That’s how advertising works. We spread products, services, and ideas to the people by pertaining to their needs. We find out what they like and we give it to them. It’s how things and ideas are created. It’s how advertising, and spreading products and ideas shapes the world.”

Milo looked at Jim and said, “The thing is Jim, I just don’t think that you’re giving the people of this town enough credit, This town isn’t the same as it was twenty or thirty years ago when you moved here. People have changed. There is more racial equality, and I believe that they will want to help homeless children of color, just as much as white children.”

Jim was annoyed. Milo and Chris just didn’t understand advertising. He had been in the business longer than them. He knew how to appeal to people’s interests. But, they were too stubborn to agree with him. If they wanted to show images that wouldn’t work as well in the ad, then that was fine with him.

“Let’s leave it up to the charity people. We’ll make two ads, one with my images and one with yours. We’ll see which one they like best. I have some work to get done, good bye.”

“Good bye,” said Milo, “And may the best ad win.”


1. "America’s Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness."Familyhomelessness.org. National Center on Family Homelessness, n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://www.homelesschildrenamerica.org/pdf/report_cards/long/fl_long>.

2. Ways of Seeing. Dir. John Berger. 1972. Online Video.

3. Geobbels, Joseph. "Knowledge and Propaganda." Hochschule Für Politik. Berlin. 09 Jan. 1928. Speech.

A Writer’s Point Of View

*Ring* Ring*

I pick up the phone, “Hello?”

“Hi this is Nathaniel Archibald, from the Boston Review, I’m calling for Ms. Bolton.”

“This is she.”

“Good, we have some good news about the job you interviewed for the other day... You got the job and we would like you to start on Monday.”

“Oh that’s great! Thank you so much!”

“You’re welcome, Ms. Bolton. We are looking forward to seeing you Monday morning.”

“See you then.”



Monday Morning

My alarms are set for 6 am. I have to be there by 9 am. This gives me three hours, it takes a half hour to get there. If I take the bus and leave by 8:15 I will have time to spare. I take a shower and blow out my hair and put on makeup. I spend 20 minutes picking out the right outfit.

I have never been so excited to start a new job. It has been a while since I worked at job I liked. The last time was probably when I was in high school and I got a job a the pizza parlor where the cute senior worked. This new job is better than the best. I’m the new writer for the Boston Review. This is what I have dreamed about since I was a little girl.

I have my coffee and am out the door. I’m so ready for this day. I couldn’t sleep at all last night. The Buses are packed with men and women in their suits and nice shoes. Everybody is on their phones reading the latest news. I see one guy reading the Boston Review. To think in less than a week my name will be on these people’s papers, they will be reading my articles, that I wrote. The idea almost made me miss my stop. I jump off the bus, the streets are packed, but I nudge my way through. I see the building. I stand and stare. 36th Floor, suite 309.

When I get up there the receptionist calls someone and tells them I’m here. He tells me to sit and wait. I people watch. I watch people running around with clip boards and binders filled with papers. Everything is so energetic. It’s so alive. I snap out of my trans when I hear someone calling my name. It’s a tall man wearing a suit and tie, he gestures for me to come with him.

“Hi Ms.Bolton, I’m Tom Bradshaw, you can follow me this way.”  

I feel like a little kid in a candy store. Looking in all the offices. Seeing all the people hard at work. This is me. I am a part of this. I am this. For the first time in a long time, I’m really motivated to do the right thing. We stop in front of an office with my name on it. My name, is in gold letters on a black plaque. It was mesmerizing.

“This is your office, Ms. Bolton.”

It had a window and everything. It was picturesque.

“And I believe your first assignment is on your desk. You will be covering the school shut down in Cambridge.”

“Thank you so much, I will get started right away.”

Mr. Bradshaw walks away. I sit down at the desk and look through the file. I look through my new @bostonreview email. I have an email from an unknown name telling me that the rental car was waiting for me outside and that I should pick up the keys from the secretary. I assume that they want me to go get a closer look. I call the school to set up a tour. The most important thing they tell you in journalism classes is to never tell the people that you are interviewing that you are a reporter.. When people know they are getting interviewed it makes the whole experience a lot less realistic. So I told them I was a prospective parent.

When I get to the school it is almost empty, there were maybe 10 kids per class. Every student in a black blazer, girls in skirts, boys in slacks, both in white shirts with red ties. It was a very classy school. After the half hour tour, we were taken to a large bulletin board with all the students biographies. I couldn’t help but notice that every single one of these kids that went here were children to either famous or political parents. I thought I had enough for my story. I sat down and started to write.

 Many have heard of the school closings in the city and country but some of the schools making the biggest noise maybe should be the ones to be shut down. I recently took a visit to the 2nd most prestigious K-12 school, the Elizabeth Banks School. It is one of the many getting closed in the Boston area. With an annual tuition of 24,000 a year it does not seem like such a tragedy if it does get closed down. There are currently 100 kids in the entire school, the smallest school on record for this area.

The piece goes on with the many reasons why the school should be closed because they don’t meet the requirement for students, so on and so forth. I dropped it off on the editor’s desk that night before going home.  

I had slept easy that night. Proud of my achievements. I had written my first article. The next day I woke up proud. There was a different kind of bounce in my step that day. I got to the office and started researching my next article.

*Knock* *Knock*

There was a knock on my door, I look up from my computer. It is the head editor of the paper.

“Oh. Hello Mr. Smith”

“Hello Ms. Bolton”

“Please come in, sit down”

“Thank you, but I won’t be staying long.”

“Is something the matter? Did you not like my piece on the clossing of the schools?”

“It’s not that I didn’t like it, it is just that I’m not sure this is the right message we want to send to our readers.”

“I’m sorry I don’t think I understand. You told me to write an opinion piece and I did.”

“Yes and it is a great opinion, but I just think that maybe you should write for the opinion of our readers… not your own.”

“Are you telling me you want me to lie?”

“No not lie. Never that.”

There was a long pause.

“This company was started by my family years ago. It was passed down from generation to generation. It started off as just a little paper nobody would ever read, but then it blossomed and it was sold by the hundreds everyday. But the times have changed. People aren’t reading the newspaper anymore, it is all about the online stuff. The only people that read our paper are old men who drink their coffee and read their paper every morning because they don’t know how to work a computer.”

I couldn’t help but laugh, he smiled.

“Do you know what I mean? We have to keep our readers happy.”

“You want me to tell them what they want to hear.”

“Exactly! I knew you were a smart one, that’s why we hired you.”

It boggled my mind to think about what Mr.Smith had just said. When I became a journalist it was because I liked to write about current events. I wanted people to hear my opinions, but now it seems like that isn’t actually what is going to happen. I have two choices, quit and try to find a job that will let me write what I think is true but the chances of that may be slim, or keep my job and twist stories for the rest of my life into what the upper class of the Boston area wants to hear.

I would have the power as someone of the press that would be able to change the way people look at things by giving bias information just so they would buy and read our paper.  

Vietnamese Stir Fry: Dalena Bui & Danielle Little

The More, The Merrier

Dalena Bui Reflection

In this unit I learned how our food is not what believe it is. As we learned what goes into our food, not really much ingredients we call food is there. The FDA doesn't protect us as much as we like to think. So many chemicals and dyes go into our food and the FDA regulates them as okay? But our bodies can't digest these certain chemicals and thats why we have so many diseases relating to the way we eat. 

We have a choice to eat healthy and unhealthy but healthy eating is vert expensive. Also getting fresh vegetable and fruit is very hard and sparse. Unless someone lives on a farm or is willing to drive very far for some fresh food it isn't happening. Also the farmers we think provides us with healthy food, that always doesn't happen either. Many farmers spray their crops with pesticides that harms our body. 

For me I eat very little junk food because I don't like the taste. When I younger I grew up on fresh, healthy foods so I grew up loving my veggies and fruits. I can make better choices in what I eat but for the most part I eat pretty healthy considering my lifestyle. Also I could also check if the food I'm buying is fresh but also where can I get them locally. 

Dalena Bui & Danielle Little Vietnamese Stir Fry 

 Serves 4-5

Time: about 20-35 min

The Ingredients 

White Noodles

Seasonings ( pepper, chili powder , a little bit of salt)

Shredded Carrots 

Shredded Cucumbers 

 Sesame oil 


Lemon Juice 

Green Onions 

Lime Juice 

Fresh Cilantro 

Dalena Bui Food Rules 

-Eat less processed food

-Shop in the veggies and fruit aisles only

-Avoid the snack sections 

-Buy organic foods from local farmers 

-Eat at least 1 home cooked meal a week. 


1. Get a pot of boiling water and put in the noodles to make it soft. Cook for about 15 min

2. The start washing your vegetables. Make sure to have a vegetable wash so you can get all the dirt off

3. Then start slicing your veggies. Make sure you have a grater for the cucumbers and carrots. The veggies must be thinly sliced for the stir fry

 4.Remove the noodles from the put and drain them 

5.Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and put in the noodles and start stirring

 6.Then mix in the veggies with noodles. Stir for about 15 min

7. Let it cool down for 5 minutes 

8. Top it with fresh cilantro 

7. Then serve. 


Dalena Bui Analysis 

This is a really popular dish in my house because its really healthy because of all the veggies that is involved. This dish uses veggies purchased from Trader Joes. I decided to get the freshest ingredients possible. The only thing I didn't purchase from Trader Joes is the white noodles. I got that from the Vietnamese market my family shops at.


Everything I purchased came to a total of $15 dollars. This dish is meant to be served for a lot of people since it is a stir fry. Since the entire dish is a process and a lot of the ingredients are organic. The vegetables I use it fresh because I talked to a worker at Trader Joes and they say they buy from local farmers so this also benefits the farmers when I bought the vegetables 

The only unhealthy part of this meal is the white noodles used because traditionally we use white noodles and it makes the dish taste better. It could be made with whole wheat noodles but traditionally Vietnamese people use white noodles. This dish would be a 8/10 on the healthy scale. There are things that could make the aspect of the dish healthier but overall its a very fast yet healthy meal 

Danielle Little Reflection

Within this unit, I have learned the definitions behind the labels. For an example the true difference between low-fat and reduced fat. Or wether or not organic is better than non organic fruits and vegetables. I have also learned in the unit the different between supermarkets such as Shop Rite verses Whole foods. In my household we only by organic items and only shop at Whole foods and trader joes. 

Out of habit I would always by organic products, because I was taught that these items are best for me and my future diet. Reaching the end of our unit I am learning and researching the difference between many different food products that my parents have taught me either to avoid or buy. 

In my household my mother is a vegan leaving the rest of my family members to follow her vegan diet in the house. Twice a week, once on a weekday and weekend I eat outside of my household "diet". I would like to slightly change my food choices, to become less snack oriented by focusing on just eating 3 meals per day with 1 or 2 snacks. 

Danielle Little Food Rules 

-Do not eat any foods that have been cooked with Dehydrated Oils

-Eat less dairy products 

-Eat less processed foods 

-Buy more organic products 

-Cook more meals at home 

-Add veggies to your meal 

Danielle Little Analysis Part 2

In this dish, were involving many different kinds of veggies, that comes from different backgrounds. Such as Bok Choy is a Chinese vegetable. I will be including veggies that my family uses in our stir fry. Such as green onions and shredded carrots. The only processed food in our meal is from the oil we use in the stir fry, and either rice or white noodles. We will either go to whole foods market or Trader Joes. 

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.23.44 PM
Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 1.23.44 PM

Singapore Fried Vermicelli Recipe

Ellen To - Food Slide
Ellen To - Food Slide


1/2 of a pound of dried rice vermicelli

16 large shrimp

2 cup of Chinese bbq pork (Char Siu)

1 cup of chicken breast.

2 large eggs

1 large yellow onion

6 cloves garlic

1 1/2 handful of bean sprouts

1 stalk green onions

3 tbsp of mild yellow curry powder

1 slice of fresh ginger

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili sauce or grounded red chili peppers

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp granulated white sugar





Finely chop the green onions into long pieces.

Thinly slice the ginger.

Thinly slice the yellow onion.

Mince garlic.



Peel and devein the shrimp.

Add salt to shrimp.

Then set aside.


Slice the chicken into small pieces.

Add salt to chicken.

Then set aside.


Lightly beat the eggs.

Then set aside.


Slice the Chinese BBQ pork (Char Siu) into very thin strips.

Put the Chinese BBQ pork (Char Siu) in a bowl.  

Then set aside.


Noodle Prepping:

Boil water.

In a larger bowl, add boiling water to the noodles until they are fully submersed. It should take about ten minutes for them to soften.

Then drain and set aside. 



In a small bowl, mix together the curry powder and sesame oil until it turns into a paste.

Then add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste, and sugar to the paste.

Then set aside. 


Wok-ing It:

Heat up the wok on high until it is hot.

Add the oil and coat the whole surface of the wok.

Add the shrimp to the heated wok and cook until it is pink on both sides. Don’t over cook it.

Add the chicken to the heated wok until cooked. Don’t over cook it.

Remove the shrimp and chicken or push the shrimp and chicken to one side of the wok.

Add the eggs and a pinch of salt to the bottom of the wok.

After the eggs are cooked, break them up into pieces with the spatula.

Push the eggs aside with the shrimp.

Add the ginger and the onions to the wok.

Add the garlic and the sauce to the wok. 

Mix everything together until everything is heated.

Add the Chinese BBD pork and the noodles.

Stir the ingredients until everything is cooked together. 

Add the bean sprouts and green onions.

Give it a few stirs and enjoy!

--- Last minute things:

Add salt if needed.




1/2 of a pound of dried rice vermicelli

3 tbsp of mild yellow curry powder

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili sauce or grounded red chili peppers

1 tsp granulated white sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil



Whole Food:

16 large shrimp

2 cup of Chinese bbq pork (Char Siu)

1 cup of chicken breast.

1 large yellow onion

2 large eggs

6 cloves garlic

1 1/2 handful of bean sprouts

1 stalk green onions

1 slice of fresh ginger


I think that most of the ingredients came from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the United States of America, and Hong Kong. The dried rice vermicelli traveled the farthest distance coming from Korea. The whole foods, sauces, spices are from the United States of America. All of the vegetables and meat were commercially grown.


Some social ramifications are focused around what we have learned about purchasing food items from certain Asian countries. My family member and I don’t buy anything that is a product of China or Hong Kong because their regulations are horrible and they are always having recalled items that are shipped to the United States of America but the recalled items are not announced. The recalled items are usually recalled on the Chinese broad casting channels but a lot of people in the United States of America don’t speak Cantonese or Mandarin.


My family is extremely lucky to have such a huge garden back yard in such a busy city. We grow pears, blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, chili peppers that range on every level of spicy, green onions, string beans, a wide variety Asian herbs, tomatoes, and bitter melon. When comparing the green onions from my garden to something that is commercially grown, we grow everything organically, with out any added chemicals. A commercially grown green onion is treated with a variety of herbicides and pesticides along with added nitrogen levels to the soil.


As for chili peppers, my families just grows them in direct sunlight and water them in the early morning and at night. When looking at the commercially grown chili pepper, chili peppers are grown in argo-ecosystems. To keep away cutworms, aphids, white flies, flower thrips, mites, and pepper weevils, the plants are spray with a chemical pesticide when the flowers start to bloom.


Overall, the meal costs about $15 and the companies and farmers profited from the food purchases. 

This unit has opened my eyes to both the smaller scale and bigger scale of our food system. When looking at the small scale of our food system, I have learned what to keep away from in a supermarket and how to navigate the supermarket. I have also learned to eat healthier and to look at the ingredients going into my food instead of just the name brand labels. Before this project, I would go out and buy the generic brand name items.  I am now I am more cautious and open to new things. I also avoid eating out and try to help my family eat healthier. I am


On a larger scale, I have learned that this country is so far into debt, not only the government but also the farmers, which makes it a to harder for a change in the right direction. When we watch parts of Food Inc, I saw that all of the larger brand names were taking advantage of consumers and farmers because of their financial situations. I also saw the unnecessary cruelty that the animals were put through. I think that the animals should be treated right and provided with a healthy and better life compared to what they are provided now. I have also learned that eating healthier is not always the easiest lifestyle for a typical family due to the expense they would they would have to pay and go to for healthier and organic whole foods.

Food Project

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 7.55.34 AM
Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 7.55.34 AM

Angel Food Cake


  • Sugar

  • Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour

  • Wheat Starch

  • Powdered Egg Whites

  • Leavening

  • Corn Starch

  • 1.25 Cups Water


  • Preheat oven to 350°F

  • Blend cake mix and water

  • Mix until smooth

  • Pour into pan

  • Bake for 38 to 48 minutes.

  • When done the top will be golden brown and flaky.

  • Wait until cool then remove.  


  • Because the  Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour, Wheat Starch, Powdered Egg Whites, Leavening and Corn Starch were a part of the mix they are processed. So about 90% is processed food at least.



  • One slice is a serving and thats 140 calories. There is no saturated or trans fat. No cholesterol, There is 280 mg of sodium  23 g of sugar, 3g of protein, 15% Calcium and 4% Iron.  Even though nothing the cake is over normal levels but a lot of sodium it could cause high blood pressure. If you eat nothing but this meal every day you would be missing most of what you need to a balanced diet. This could make you hypoglycemic.  


  • Because it was processed that means that whoever grown these things were probably not organic farmers. Because of this that means that there were problemy many different pesticides and hormones used to grow these things.


  • This meal cost two dollars. This is just as if not cheaper than a fast food desert. The FDA has a lot of sugar regulation. (c)Sugar content claims --(1)Use of terms such as "sugar free," "free of sugar," "no sugar," "zero sugar," "without sugar," "sugarless," "trivial source of sugar," "negligible source of sugar," or "dietarily insignificant source of sugar." Consumers may reasonably be expected to regard terms that represent that the food contains no sugars or sweeteners e.g., "sugar free," or "no sugar," as indicating a product which is low in calories or significantly reduced in calories. Consequently, except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a food may not be labeled with such terms unless. Is one of them.  The rest can be found at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=101.60. Who made money off your meal?  Pinnacle Food Corporation and Duncan Hines.


  • Sugarcane is made in Florida,Hawaii, Louisiana and Texas. To get to philadelphia it would have to be driven or flown. If i grow my own sugar there would not be a need for gas to get it here. Plus sugar that is made with high fructose corn syrup is is short supply because corn is being used for fuel.  Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour is missing the original, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals found in whole-grain wheat.  With consumers increasingly aware of the detrimental health consequences of consuming processed, milled grains, food companies and bread manufacturers have been steadily shifting away from using the term “white flour” and instead using “wheat flour” on their products. So if I grow my own wheat it would be better for me and again there will be no need for gas.

Personal Reflection:
I have learned a lot this unit. I think that the biggest problem in out food system is that the government and FDA does not monitor our food in the right ways. We could have food that is labeled genetically modified. This way less people would pay it. And we know that this is true because of the study that we read about at the hospital. If people see healthy food option they will buy it. The other problem is that eating whole foods is so expansive. I think that if those prices were the same as the prices are the average store them everyone would eat healthy. However when a whole food tomato is 5 dollars and a genetically modified is three for one dollar that is what makes the difference.  I think that the thing that stuck me most was that fact that most of our food is made of corn and or soybean. My part in this system should be someone who buys and eats whole foods however like I said its too costly. Because of this I dont think that I will be be able to make any change to this until I am an adult. BUt I would be will to make that change if it was the one paying for it.

Family First!

Sauerbraten Meatballs (James’ Great-Grandmother’s Recipe)(Also Henry’s new adopted Great-Grandmother’s Recipe):

1 ½ ground chuck (I use 1 lb. gr. turkey and ½ lb. gr. beef)

Mix with onion, 1 egg, s & p

¼ c. bread crumbs - ⅓ c. milk

Make small patties, about 3” across and thicker than a hamburger.

Brown well in little oil.

Remove patties - In same pan make sauce-

⅓ c. Vinegar - 1 ½ cups water - few bay leaves 10 or more whole cloves - about 10 gingersnaps ½ tsp. salt. 1 or 2 bouillon cubes - simmer about 1 hr. or bake 350º

(A note to my dad on the other side of the card)

I use the turkey meat because of no fat. By browning the meat well, you get a richer sauce. The gingersnaps (yes, cookies) thicken the gravy. You will learn by experience the taste. You may want more spices, or more vinegar etc. The sauce will taste sour but when it is put over the meat, the meat will absorb the vinegar and it will no longer be to sour.

The last batch I made was the best ever with the turkey meat.




Whole Grain (Non-Processed)

½ lb. gr. beef

1 lb. gr. turkey

⅓ c. milk

¼ c. bread crumbs

1 ½ cups water

⅓ c. Vinegar

½ tsp. salt

1 egg

10 bay leaf cloves

Analysis of the analysis:

We put a lot of these ingredients under non-processed because of the time period that it came from. James’ Great Grandmother grew up with this recipe during the Great Depression making it hard for her to get any processed version of the ingredients listed above. The Gingersnaps were definitely processed. But most things would have been easily accessible back then. Today, most, if not all of the ingredients are mass produced and altered to the point where they bear little resemblance to the original product. With the exception of James’ eggs because they are produced in his backyard. :D

This food rule promotes eating with the family. It's a food rule that holds true to the tradition of my family for sevearl reasons that I don't feel like going into. Basically, when it's time for dinner ( which is usually healthy ) Everyone drops everything no matter how important. Eating with the family promotes family bonding.
Food Rule.001
Food Rule.001