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‘I am’ is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that I do is the longest sentence,” says author George Carlin.

This somewhat philosophical quote on first glance seems to pose a great meaning that only the greatest professors or distinguished learners would be able to understand. If I were to have seen it just a couple of weeks ago it would have made me really have to think hard, or probably just continue on as it would not have made sense. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve made a clarification on something that never was a problem or even a thought before. The voice. My voice. The simple yet powerful substance that I have lived with for fifteen years after one day in English class proved to develop into something so incredibly new.

Succeeding the reading of the James Baldwin text on African American language, we watched a short documentary on the differentiating accents in specific regions throughout the United States. The film did not surprise me much as the stereotypical country southern accent, the rough and tough new york accent, and that of that of the “normal” person who chronicled. All of which I’m familiar with. It was the question Ms.Pahomav asked after the ending of the film that sparked that my interest in the voice. “ Do you have an accent?” This once seemed straightforward question lead into an energetic debate between myself and friend Tk.

“ I don’t have an accent, but you do,” I said.

“What! I don’t have an accent!” Tk hastily replied.

“Yes you do Tk.”

“Well if I have a accent then you do to.”

“ No Tk you definitely have an accent, I sound like me.”

The defiance Tk had in telling me that I did have an accent just did not make sense as I did not have anything too special or unique coming through. For me an accent was something that was distinct in giving a listener your history as of where you come from. The typical british, australian, or even south african accent. Those that give the severe sense of personality, and are without a doubt what the average person would call an accent. Me on the other hand felt that my “accent” was nonexistent. I heard people from Philadelphia have a certain type of speech so if anything I believed that is what Tk was referring to, but was there more. That night I went home thinking of whether I sounded of something that I had yet to hear. Even going as far as recording myself a few times saying different things trying to detect an oddity. Even then it was still similar to what I have been hearing my entire life. I couldn’t shake the feeling of wanting to know if I my voice was more than I knew it was. A few days later me and friends Ajanae and Tk were discussing Tk’s valley girl voice, and how she sounds like a girl from Seattle. Being that Tk told me that I had an accent I decided to get a second opinion by asking Ajanae what she thought of my voice.

“ You have a philly accent I guess.”

“ That’s what I thought but Tk said I had an big accent.” I replied.

With this I understood that there was a Philly sense in my voice. One that I had never picked up on since most people I encounter on a regular basis sound pretty similar. Although I had an answer I still felt that there was still something more to be discovered. The question had grown from the simple do I have an accent to what about my voice makes me...me. What about my voice set me apart from the millions of other people in Philadelphia, how different is it from those all across the country, across the world. The question of what about my voice made made me the individual I am. For most of my life I had not cared to much because as people we usually think of something like our voice as just something. Not much. That thing that we always had and will always have. The thing that if you’re lucky can lead to a successful music career or even make you the state’s most watched news anchor, but nothing ever to serious. It was now that I became so interested in discovering the answer to this simple yet extremely complex question. First thing I did after spending hours pondering this question was ask other people not specifically about them, but what they actually felt about their own voices, and how it made them who they are. Starting with my mother who gave me the simple “I don’t know, it’s just my voice,” to my friend Fatimah who believes “ I sound like I sound because that’s way I sound.” These answers not offering me as much help as I originally sought out. Finally I went to my close friend Danielle who I have known for a long time in hopes that she could give me what I was looking for. It was her answer that finally did it for me. All she said was “ your voice is just you I guess. You’re the only one who has it.” It was at that moment that I finally realized that my accent and my voice is me. Jevon. I kept trying to compare myself to everyone else, when everyone else is not me. The problem I faced was attempting to group myself into a category of people instead of seeing that everyone is their own group and they are all their own person. My accent might not be the most common one but it is not meant or supposed to be. The accent I have is mine and it’s one that only I’m supposed to have, and that I’m supposed to make as me. Throughout this I have learned that everyone has their accent, their voice, their ways, and their personalities that set them apart, and it is when you look at yourself that you realize you are you and nobody can be that.

Secondhand Smoke Kills


2fer #2: Secondhand Smoke Kills


Since the year 1964, over 2.5 million nonsmokers in the United States have died from secondhand smoke related health problems. In 1995, the first statewide law on smoking in public places was enforced in California. Since then, there continues to be waves of laws in different states making it illegal to smoke in public places.. Some smokers say that banning public smoking is an infringement on their individual freedom. However, people who inhale secondhand smoke are not doing so consensually. There are too many people being put at risk by secondhand smoke. Because smoking causes bigger concerns to other people than to the smoker, smoking in public places should be banned.

Inhaling secondhand smoke is just as hazardous as smoking. People that are exposed to secondhand smoke absorb the same about of chemical compounds that the smokers do. The chemical compounds that come from cigarettes and tobacco are proven to contribute to many different diseases including heart disease, asthma, and immune system deficiency. Out of the 4,000 chemical compounds in cigarettes, 69 are proven to cause cancer. The EPA, International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the US National Toxicology Program all consider secondhand smoke as a “known human carcinogen”. In addition, there is evidence that secondhand smoke is linked to lung cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, brain tumors in children, and many other kinds of cancer. Many people are in danger of life threatening diseases due to smoking in public places. When people to smoke in public places, it puts many other people in harms way of dangerous and life threatening diseases.

While secondhand smoke causes many different diseases, it is also proven that is has a large impact on newborns, infants, and babies still in the womb. Exposure to secondhand smoke while pregnant increases the chances of pregnancy and delivery problems such as miscarriage and stillborn birth.The Institute of Environmental Medicine in Sweden has proven that the most common health threat associated with secondhand smoke is lower respiratory infections in children under five years old. The National Cancer Institute’s studies show that children are exposed to secondhand smoke more than adults at a two to one ratio. Despite the slow decrease of smokers worldwide, more than two-thirds of the children in the United States are exposed to secondhand smoke in their everyday routine. This exposure can cause major health issues as they get older. If smoking was banned in public places, fewer  children would be exposed to it.

Secondhand smoke kills children and adults that are nonsmokers.  In the United States, 42.1 million adults smoke cigarettes.  In one year, approximately 58 million nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke caused 603,000 deaths in 2004. An estimated 49,000 of those deaths were caused by heart disease or lung cancer. Since 2004, the number of smokers in the United States has decreased. However, there are still millions of people who smoke, and they millions of nonsmokers at risk of inhaling secondhand smoke everyday. People are dying because of something that is legal.

It is not the goal of a smoker to kill people with their secondhand smoke. However, it still happens. The medical risks and death rates caused by secondhand smoking can be cut down drastically. Although the harms of secondhand smoke may only seem important to secondhand smoke victims, it should in fact concern anyone that smokes as well because their family and friends are at risk to become secondhand smoke victims. One way to protect the health of many people is to quit smoking if you are a smoker. Another option is to make sure all children go to a tobacco-free daycare or school. Even if a person changes everything in their power to avoid secondhand smoke, there will continue to be places where they can be exposed to secondhand smoke. Dreams of a secondhand smoke-free society will never come true if the country does not start by eliminating smoking in public places.




Works Cited:

  1. "Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/general_facts/>.

  2. "Secondhand Smoke." Secondhand Smoke. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/secondhand-smoke>.

3. Öberg, Mattias, Maritta S. Jaakkola, Alistair Woodward, Armando Peruga, and Annette Prüss-   Ustün. "Worldwide Burden of Disease from Exposure to Second-hand Smoke: A Retrospective  
Analysis of Data from 192 Countries." The Lancet 377.9760 (2011): 139-46. The Institute of 
Environmental Medicine, 26 Nov. 2006. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. 

What is the Language of Communication

What is the Language of Communication


We shook hands.  

“Yo, what’s up?”  I said.  I leaned back against a locker and looked down at my shoes before returning eye contact.  When we talked we always seemed to be feeling each other out at the same time.  He gave my shoes a glance as well, which I wanted him to.

“Nothing much.” he replied.  “We’re probably about to dip. You could come or just chill later.”

“Depends what’s going on, I’ll text you.” I told him, as I turned, and continued to walk down the hall and towards the exit of my high school.  

This is how I feel the way people at school usually talk. It does a good job portraying an outline of the typically dull and boring conversations we have, with the people we claim to be close friends with.  This isn’t true about everyone, but there are some people we see almost everyday, and yet we still are not completely comfortable speaking the way we want around them.  We build a character in ourselves, for each person we communicate with, each with a unique set of physical and verbal qualities.  It could be the gestures we use, the different words we use, or especially the tone of our voices,  depending upon who we are with.  It is the filters we put on our own speech, depending on our circumstances, as well as our attitude and what we desire to get from the conversation, that determine the characteristics of our relationships.  So, there are many details that drive the way we communicate, including comfort, our persona, and attitude.

Comfort is a very important part of speech.  It provides confidence and clarity.  If in a given situation, you naturally have the courage to speak a lot, then you are probably very comfortable letting your voice be heard.  Comfort is very powerful in speech as well.  It allows the speaker to think clearly, so they can word their message in the most clear and persuasive way.  For example, if someone is giving a presentation, if they stay level headed and do as they practice, they are far more likely to succeed.  This applies to any time someone is speaking.  Although they may be nervous still, the more comfortable they are, the better.  

The way we speak is very important to ourselves.  Whether it be an accent, dialect, or another part of our speech that is specific to us, we take any comments about it very personally and are very insecure.  Gloria Anzaldúa, a cultural scholar, says “ [...]so, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language.” Insult someone’s speech, and they will feel personally attacked.  Our voice is our identity and when the way we talk is criticized it can make us feel illegitimate and we lose our voice.  When I speak, I sound very normal to myself.  I have even recorded myself speaking to listen to my voice outside my head, and have found that my voice is somewhat naturally monotone, which I don’t mind since it will not stand out in an unusual way.  However sometimes it makes me feel bored or boring.  For instance, I always looked up to people who could keep a crowd entertained and make them feel, whether it be laughter or excitement, they were enjoyable to be around.  Because of this, whenever someone ignored me, I felt that I was being boring, and that I needed to prove myself as fun.  This sometimes could lead to anxiety, with me getting nervous and over thinking what I would say next and how I would say it next time I saw a specific person.  

However I have learned to speak with more emotion, and this problem doesn’t exist so much now.  I think something that has really helped me with presentations.  No one wants to hear a robot spew facts at them.  They want to listen to and feel the power of a story, so I used presentations as a way to practice speaking with emotion.  I mean by this, speaking in a way where I change the tone of my voice, and show in my face that I care about what I have to say, because if I do not, neither will others.

How we display our image of ourselves is another huge part of interactions.  Body language is one major theme of our persona.  If we are slouched over and facing away or smiling and nodding understandingly, it completely changes the way you come off.  The former appears cocky but not confident, while the latter makes one seem empathetic and trustworthy.  I used to find hand gestures and other body language silly because I thought that if no sound was coming out then it was fruitless.  However, I now know that an important part of all speech is physical.  Like how when I leaned against the locker with my shoes forward, I was showing that I was more interested in myself than my friend who was talking because I wanted him to notice me and I showed that I wasn’t watching him.  

One more very important towards how we use language is our attitude.  This is similar to our persona and is encompassed in some areas, but there are a few main aspects that stand apart.  First is our intentions when we start a conversation.  If we are trying to pitch an idea we will talk very positively about what we are saying, however if we are complaining we will speak in a mumbled and low tone.  Our attitude comes off sometimes by accident when we internalize ideas and then talk about them.  Sometimes, stubbornness can come from attitude.  If there is a preconceived notion in someone’s mind that something is true or more important than something else, there is a tendency in people to ignore the information given to them regardless of it’s value because they are only able to accept what they went in trying to show.  Furthermore, having pre-existing ideas about a person can change your attitude when talking to them.  

I remember this happened to me once.  Back at my old elementary school, I admit that I could be a trouble maker.  Nothing serious, but I would be called into the office, along with a few friends, more than anyone else.  This bad reputation ended up hurting.  It was lunch time, when

Ms. Debbie walked up to the table I sat at, to say “Ethan, I’m going to have to pull you to the side for a moment.” I had no idea what this could be about.  What have I done wrong?  I’m fairly certain this is a mistake.  Then she asked me what I had for lunch that day.  I said, “I had the hot lunch” which referred to whatever the main cooked meal had been that day.  She gave me a suspicious look, and gestured towards me to follow her out of the cafeteria.  We arrived in the principal's office.  The principal told me that there had been chips stolen from the cafeteria.  To this day I’m not sure why I was suspected.  Perhaps someone gave them a false.  Regardless, I believe if I had a good reputation, I would not have been judged that way, and it would had been a simple, “Did you steal” question, without all the mishegoss I had to go through, because of how I was viewed.

Also part of attitude, there is reciprocal behavior.  Depending on how past interactions have went, there could be hostile or positive attitudes shown.  I know if I feel negatively about someone, because they have done me wrong, when I see them next I will vengefully, and with a negative attitude.

To reiterate, the language of communication is very complex, and is comprised of many details. Some of the larger ones that shape our relationships the most are how relaxed we feel when speaking, which determines what information we are willing to release, as well as how others perceive, as well as our personalities, which are unique and define us socially.  Together, these things encompass a large majority or how we all communicate.


Who am I ONLINE? Zaire


The video we watched in class was "I Am A Witness", The activity we did in class was getting with a partner and trying to figure out who we are online. what this video brings to me in mind is if you see someones being bullied, you can light they day up by helping them or just being nice. Online my name appears as a football player that plays for Temple University. A goal for internet trolls is to lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response. 

Body Image and Women:

There are women of all different races and sizes across the world, and none of them are identical. The images in the media only represent a small slice of the diversity in the world. Images of popular women that appear in the media and in magazines have an effect on the women who are viewing these images. Many people follow what they see when it’s a new trend or is popular for the moment, but some women are easily influenced and change not for themselves, but for spouses, the media, etc. As a result, women do not always acknowledge their own body types as beautiful.

It seems that women are heavily influenced by what they see in life, what they want, and to what other people seem most attracted. In this case having a specific body type is important to most women. Studies at a colleges like Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts show that 70% of women look down on themselves after looking at the images and seeing the readings of women in magazines. “People see the same images over and over and start to believe it’s a version of reality,” says Deborah Schooler, one of the researchers. “If those bodies are real and that’s possible, but you can’t attain it, how can you not feel bad about your own body?” When thinner women are broadcasted all over they are disguised in make-up, their body is altered by the computer, and more. This is all to make it seem like these women are perfect and naturally beautiful. But perceptions of perfection are subjective. This then causes other women to want what they see for themselves because they feel it’s a better look. Their body is no longer looked upon as good enough. This shows how women pay attention to how popular women are being displayed and they then want that for themselves.

Models are very popular and they are shown many times on television, in magazines, and social media networks every day and it has a big impact on women. When they see certain women being projected as a particular image that is deemed beautiful, they are influenced into thinking that’s how they are supposed to look. However, some women have low self esteem and others just believe that skinny and tall is better. When reading an article a woman said “Being thin and/or muscular has become associated with being “hard-working, successful, popular, beautiful, strong, and self-disciplined.” This explains how women feel like they won’t succeed if they don’t look this way. This most likely has an effect on their work performance.

The look that women usually see attract the most attention are tall and thin. According to magazines, tv broadcastings, etc.  they have a beautiful body and they are supposed to represent the ideal for all women. Another article I researched about mentions how “Very few women possess the genetics to naturally produce the ultra-long, thin body type.” With this being said, it is challenging for other women who constantly see this projected in different places like New York Times magazine and know they can’t have that body for themselves. If the media showed more of women who are in shape, but maybe heavy set then it would make more women feel comfortable with themselves. Instead they only display this one particular image of women. Women who don’t fit this criteria are rarely spoken about in a positive way.

It would benefit society as whole if mainstream media created a situation where women could feel comfortable with their bodies. It would be ideal if women were not constantly exposed to unattainable media images. The things that appear in the media are designed to look perfect. Therefore, women can take that into consideration and adjust their bodies if necessary to them, but it shouldn’t be dependent on other things. The popular women that are shown aren’t always reliable enough to base a personal body image off of their portrayal.



Works Cited:

  1. "Body Image." Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/nutrition_&_eating_concerns/body_image.php>.

  2. Women's Ideal Body Types Throughout History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 8, 2015.

Reflection:

I needed to adjust my thesis statement and include more people or magazines in my paper and less of my opinion. Mostly I worked on making sure I had enough context for my quote and explaining why it mattered. Lastly, I researched/changed all of the suggestions that were written on my 2Fer.  


Home Connection Williams

Home  Connection
My Local Area Network devices are six smart phones, three laptops, a printer, and a computer. The three laptops and six smart phones are connected to the wifi. and my computer and printer is connected to the modem by wire.
I've once had that OMG moment when I first learned that there were to different modems to connect to the wifi and by wire because I thought it was always connected with one modem. Something I would tell people that they need to know about having ISP/Home network is that everything in your house that is connected to the internet, it have to be connected to something first to get connection to the internet such as a modem. 

Suspension 2fer

Suspension is a common way to discipline students who commit an offense against the school’s code of conduct. To suspend a student simply means that they are not allowed to come to school for a certain amount of time because they broke a school rule. Most American school administrators believe that the use of suspension as a tool to discipline students is successful. However, contrary to popular belief, suspension is an extremely ineffective way to discipline students because it only creates a wider gap between them and their education.

One of the biggest flaws with the system of suspension is the lack of communication between the student and administrator. Even though a small meeting is conducted, where the cause of the suspension is discussed. However, it is not enriching enough to make a positive change for the student. After the short meeting, students are isolated from their school campus and are unable to work with their administrators to try to solve the problem that landed them with a suspension in the first place. Students do not learn anything constructive about what went wrong while they were absent. So, they end up in trouble again for similar reasons. Many times, students misbehave due to bullying, personal family issues or even a misunderstanding in the classroom. Instead of removing them from school, the administrator should try to talk with the student along with a psychologist and make them feel heard and understood. These feelings will help improve the student’s behavior. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, “School psychologists work with administrators to design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming, and school mental health programs have been shown to improve educational outcomes by reducing out-of-school suspensions…” By working with a professional who can truly understand the student, the root of the student’s problem can be found.

The system of suspension cause students to unnecessarily fall behind on school work due to missed classes. While the student's peers move onto new subjects in class, they are at home wasting time that could have been used productively. Instead, the student will have to make up the work at a later time while also trying to keep up with current school work. This causes a backup in the student’s academic progress. Suspension can also be harmful to the whole class’s academic success. According to Dignity in Schools, “Schools with high suspension rates score lower on state accountability tests and rank lower in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) achievement rankings in mathematics, writing and reading than schools with lower suspension rates.” By being absent from even one class, vital class material is missed, making it hard to follow later lessons. So when students come back to school after a suspension, they are lost in many classes. This means that their teachers will have to spend more of their time teaching the same material again, instead of being able to move onto other topics and skills. These negative effects of suspension continue to widen the gap between students and their education.

Another huge flaw with the system of suspension is making students feel excluded and unwelcome in their own school community. After committing an offense, students need support from their school so they can understand where they went wrong and why they shouldn’t do it again. However, when they are suspended, they feel like they are not wanted and don’t belong. This feeling causes students to resort to other activities to pass time. In some cases this means criminal activity. According to Dignity in Schools, “...80 percent of youth incarcerated in a state facility had been suspended...from school.” Instead going to school, students are lured into situations that can possibly land them in jail, like drugs and dangerous gangs. Instead of being suspended, the students should be disciplined while still being able to attend their classes. This would make it so that students would have less time to fall into the trap of criminal activity and would help shorten the gap between them and their education.

When asked, administrators might say that suspension is an effective way to discipline students, but on closer inspection suspensions only ruin the delicate relationship between students and their education. The practice causes students to lose communication with administrators, fall behind academically and even feel unwelcome in their own school community. The best solution to this problem, as mentioned before, is by conducting an additional meeting between the student and administrator with a psychologist on board as well. This technique will also help bridge the gaps between the administrator and student, instead of students feeling resentful towards them and school in general for being punished. This kind of resolution would be a more useful way to spend their time, without creating a gap in the student's education. It could also help come up with a solution to the student’s initial problem.


Citations:

School Psychologists: Improving Student and School Outcomes. N.p.: National Association of School Psychologists, 2011. School Psychologists: Improving Student and School Outcomes. National Association of School Psychologists. Web.

"Fact Sheet on School Discipline and the Pushout Problem." Fact Sheet on School Discipline and the Pushout Problem (2010): n. pag. Fact Sheet on School Discipline and the Pushout Problem. Dignity in Schools. Web.


Reflection:

In this revision, I worked the hardest on the conclusion paragraph. In the conclusion of my original 2fer, I just summarized and restated the thesis. In my revision, I tried including some potential solutions and why my thesis even matters. I also tried using sentence structure techniques learned in class, to make my conclusion stronger.

Language Reveals You

“Hello. Can I have 2 large Italian hoagies with everything on it?”

“I’m sorry, you want 2 large what with everything on it?”

“Um, 2 large hoagies please.”

“Hoagies...what in the heck are...Oh, you’re a Philly boy! You want some subs.”

“Um, yeah sure. Okay.”

While in North Carolina visiting my cousins, we left the house to go to a food shop a couple blocks away. When we got there, we all ordered what we and the rest of our families wanted to eat. The above conversation is of myself and the cook behind the counter. After this conversation, I turned to my cousins and asked why that man never heard of the term “hoagies” before. They then told me that the people in North Carolina don’t say that word. Instead, they say “sub sandwiches.” I was intrigued that other people in the United States had a different name for hoagies. However, I was even more intrigued that he knew that I was from Philadelphia just because I said that word.

About a week later, when my family came back home, I did a little research on this and found out that it was only the people in Philadelphia that said the word “hoagies.” Just about everyone else in the U.S. said subs. I was amazed! So I looked up more words associated with the city of Philadelphia and found the term “jimmies.” Personally, I hated this name and still do. They are called Sprinkles. That’s just a fact. However, apparently in Philadelphia, most people call this famous ice cream topping jimmies.

Even now, I researched more words and phrases that are common to use in Philadelphia for this essay. I found that a regular phrase I use, “water ice,” is really only used in this city. I was actually stunned to find this out. For many years, I, and the rest of the city of brotherly love, have called “Italian Ice” “Water Ice,” and have never thought twice about it, regardless of what people of other cities say. The same goes for the term “Sixers,” a nickname for Philadelphia’s Basketball team. I rarely call them by their whole name, the 76ers. I and pretty much the rest of the people in Philly just call them by the Sixers.

Researching and uncovering the different phrases used by multiple people in Philadelphia that I use as commonplace has told me a lot about myself, both after my experience years ago and now while I research and write this paper. I’m a Philadelphian, one who is more engrossed in the lifestyle and language of the city than I thought. I use these words and phrases practically on a daily basis in my everyday life. My language defines my life, my family, and everything else about me. These words could possibly reveal my origin, my background, my family, my friends,and, as stated, my lifestyle as a person living in the city of Philadelphia. When explaining what it meant to “put your business in the street” in England, James Baldwin goes further on the point of revealing one’s self through speaking his language in his paper “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” He said “You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and, alas, your future.” I agree with with this quote. By only talking regularly, you’ve quickly revealed just about everything about you. Unfortunately, this may not always be a good thing in the long run.

I’ve heard people call the city of Philadelphia by a few derogatory names, one of which was the negative nickname of “Killadelphia.” Admittedly, there are a lot more casualties and killings done on purpose than desired or wanted in this city. People see this and begin to categorize Philly as a horrible city where the people hurt their fellow people. So hearing words or phrases known for originating from a place where relatively horrible things can take place may cause people to think negative thoughts and act with fearful actions towards people in Philadelphia. As a resident in this city, it makes me feel uncomfortable hearing these stereotypes distributed to all of the people who live in Philly. To illustrate this, I’ll explain a bit more about the example at the beginning of this essay paper.

After I said the word hoagies again the second time, the cook behind the counter had a fearful eye motion when he figured out where I was actually from. He then swiftly went to the counter behind him to work on the “sub sandwiches.” I then saw him converse with his fellow worker.

He said “Watch out for the black guy back there.”

It was then that I asked my cousins why he never heard of “hoagies” before. After they said what they said, it hit me why the cook had a fearful glint in his eye: he realized that I was from Philly and thought that I might do something bad because of this, because of the stereotypes he may have heard or possibly made about us Philadelphians. This is what caused me to be intrigued enough to research the subject of words and phrases common in Philadelphia. People become fearful when they hear certain words or phrases.

Now, using all of the research I have done for this paper, I can finally respond the question “What might the language you use say about you?” with a full answer. I, as a person living in Philadelphia, use language that has the potential to reveal my own lifestyle. Even though people may give me labels thanks to the words I use, I and the other people in Philly know that these labels hold no truth. My language may reveal different aspects of my life, like my origin and history, but I think that these aspects are some of the best parts about my life. My language came from these origins, which means my language is a part of myself today.

2Fer: Is Paper Dying?

The emergence of the Internet brought upon a digital revolution of how information is both created and stored. As a result, the landscape of media consumption, is shifting quicker than anybody could have possibly anticipated. In fact, many are singing the swan song of corporeal books and printed information, as the world marches towards an increasingly digitized age. But in truth, it may not be all that simple, because for a variety of reasons that stretch from the practical to the psychological, paper may in fact be around for quite awhile yet.

Based on the current beleaguered state of of newspapers, this claim seems almost absurd. Print newspapers seem to have taken the full brunt of the rise of digital media, as numbers around the world are showing the rapid decline of newspaper sales. Statistics from stateofthemedia.org shows the shocking data: from 2003 to 2012, American newspapers sales from advertisements plummeted from over 46,000$ to just a little over 22,000$. In response, many newspapers and magazines have seen it fit to make the transition to become strictly online news providers. One of the world’s oldest newspapers: Lloyd’s List newspaper printed its last material copy of the news outlet in December of 2013, declaring that from now they would operate solely on the inter-webs to bring people crucial information. it seems all the more likely many more newspapers and magazines will follow suit, especially the UK’s Guardian, which has openly admitted in the face of declining sales, that they are working towards the paper strictly existing online. But what’s important to remember is that newspapers are just one facet of media that is distributed on a wide-range scale, and depending from what angle is being perceived, the landscape looks very, very different. Newspapers are simple there to carry crisp and concise information, something that obviously a digital alternative would do better, at least in terms of distribution and speediness of updates. When the needs of the readers become much more complex, that’s when simply reading words from a screen simply doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.

Take the second piece of media formally associated with paper: books. According to Statista.com, book sales have remained relatively stable for the last few years, while The Kindle, Amazon’s digital alternative for printed novels, has done abysmal in sales, at least in comparison to expected numbers. Investment website Forbes.com estimates an annual revenue of 265$ million to 530$ million a year for Amazon every year from e-books, which may seem like a lot, except when you compare that to the net worth of Amazon’s CEO: Jeff Bezos, who Forb.com estimated at about 29.9 billion dollars.

All of this information points a deeper, more ingrained psychological aspect to why paper may not be circling the metaphorical drain quite yet. While reading has shown to improve comprehension and concentration, e-books are plagued by many minor annoyances that material copies simply do not have. The brain isn’t able to process information as thoroughly through a digital format, getting more easily distracted from processing, reading e-books for long periods can cause eye-sores and headaches, and needless to say, you never need to worry about a paper book running out of batteries.  The Washington Post recently published an article in February that showed a staggering majority of college students polled prefer traditional paper books to their electronic counterparts, for many of these exact reasons.

When asked, people might say that paper is falling out of the eye of public media as the Internet becomes increasingly relevant to society. But on closer inspection, they might realize that that paper in truth adds psychological and practical advantages to the reading experience, advantages that aren’t likely to be implemented into a digital format any time soon. It’s difficult to imagine in our modern world that a better alternative to paper for storing information won’t eventually be perfected, but as it stands currently, paper doesn’t seem to be on the way out, at least in the foreseeable future. The simple truth is that the world of the Internet is still one that is being built, one still in its adolescence, and in the kaleidoscope of the new possibilities available, we’re still figuring what works currently. In some areas, like how we get our news, the digital revolution seems undoubtedly the future, but as shown, not all areas of media or the human experience is going to translate immediately and smoothly into this new era. Like everything, an adjustment period will be needed, and that adjustment period will likely last longer for paper than we will see in the rest of lifetimes.


Works Cited:

  1. Lawler, Ryan. "The Death Of Paper." TechCrunch. Techcrunch, 2 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

  2. "» Newspapers: By the Numbers." » Newspapers: By the Numbers. Stateofthemedia.org, 7 May 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

  3. Musil, Steven. "World's Oldest Newspaper to End Print Edition." CNET. CNET Magazine, 25 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

  4. Wallop, Harry. "The Kindle Is Dead, the Book Is Back. Or Is It?" The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 9 Jan. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

  5. "Revenue of the U.S. Book Publishing Industry 2014 | Statistic." Statista. Google, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

  6. Trefis, Team. "Estimating Kindle E-Book Sales For Amazon." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2 Apr. 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.

  7. Rosenwald, Michael S. "Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


Bob Ross, A Tale of Kind Words

“So now you’ve gotta make a decision. He’ll go right… there. Yeah, that’s a mighty beautiful ol’ tree.” he would say. “Oh yeah that looks real nice.”

I had been watching “The Joy of Painting,” a show from the 1980s and 90s with Bob Ross showing everyone how to paint and how to enjoy painting. He had an accent from a place that I couldn’t tell, but it was very nice to just listen to him talk. I had no interest in the actual painting; I just wanted to listen to Bob Ross.

“Tommie, we’re gonna go out now!” my mom yelled to me up the stairs. We had been planning this adventure for a couple hours. My mom, dad, and I were going to go to the Wissahickon Creek to just explore it.

After about 20 minutes, my mom pointed to one of the trees, exclaiming “That tree is huge!” Without even thinking about what I was saying, I responded.

“Hoo, boy! That’s a mighty big tree!”

“Mighty?” responded my dad, trying and failing to hold back back a snicker.

Prior to that, I don’t think I’d ever had referred to something large as “mighty”, but that was something Bob Ross would say, and while watching him I had grown fond of his accent. He sounded very homely and kind.

I’ve done this sort of thing multiple times. For example I used to watch a lot of interviews of English bands I liked. They, as expected, would speak with an English accent. If I had spent a while watching them, for the a couple of hours I would have the faintest accent. Sometimes I wouldn’t speak to anyone else in that time so I wouldn’t notice; I’d just be talking, but sometimes I would talk to someone and they would notice and mention it to me.

After learning that I did this, I tried to pay attention to whether I was just some weirdo or if other people did it too. I found that even within my family, it happens a lot. My brother and I would watch comedians on YouTube and later that day he’d quote something they said, we’d laugh, and that would be it.

However, after really noticing what I did with people’s language, I started to notice that when he quoted the jokes, he would use language that I wouldn’t usually expect him to use. It wasn’t like he’d just start cursing, but it would be easy to tell that he would change the way he spoke. One time we would just be talking and he would burst out and say “MJ BABY, LAKERS BABY, CHICAGO BULLS BAY-BEE!” and we would both laugh. He speaks similarly to how I speak, with that same boring type of speech, so it is surprising to have him say baby like that.

I’m from a part of the world most people would consider a ghetto. That place is Philadelphia, but according to the people I talk to that don’t know that, I don’t talk with what they consider a traditional Philly accent. When I talk to people over the internet and they ask where I’m from, they seem surprised when I say Philly.

“You never say jawnt or hoagie, you can’t be from there,” they would say.

“I know, everyone says that,” I would respond truthfully.

I’d describe the way I talk as very basic. The way I speak doesn’t really give away the place I’m from. It’s how my family talks, and I’ve never liked it. If anybody were to talk in a way that isn’t fairly slow and easy to understand, I would have trouble understanding them. I’ve always wanted to speak in a different way than I do so I’d be able to understand more people.

On the plus side, it’s very easy to understand me when I talk. My words aren’t jumbled, the words I use are just English. They’re not from any specific part of the English-speaking world.

However, every time I try to change the way I talk, people laugh at me. They’re used to me saying things that they’d expect me to say, and every time it’s not something they expect they make fun of me. Even people I’ve never met before seem to notice that the way I’m speaking to them is probably not the way I’m “supposed to speak.”

Whenever this happens I quickly revert to the way I usually talk and forget about it. I’d try this many times until I realized that what I had done is prove to myself that the way I usually speak, my normal, boring way of speaking, is one of the ways people identify me. As James Baldwin once wrote, “[Language] is the most vivid and crucial key to identify. It reveals the private identity and connects one with...the larger, public, or more communal identity.” I had always wanted to talk a different way, but in wanting that I had been asking for a new identity, which I did not want. People are treated differently based on the way they speak, but if I speak in a way that is generally easy to understand, I figured I would have a better chance of having the other things about me dictate who I am to other people.


The Instability of Football

The Instability of Football

Less than a year ago, emerging NFL star Chris Borland retired from football. After a rookie season with more than 100 tackles, he was destined to be one of the next great NFL linebackers. But the 49ers’ player decided to give up the money and fame, because he was worried about his mental health problems down the road. Borland’s early retirement has marked a new age in football, where players are actually starting to rethink the repercussions of the game. His decision is a small representation of the larger problems at hand in football. As a result of the downsides that come with the sport, there are additionally declining numbers of participants. Therefore, despite the NFL’s popularity, football will eventually cease to exist as an organized sport because it is not physically or financially sustainable.

It is no secret that football causes injuries. This has been true since the beginning of the game. However, as of recent, an understanding of how detrimental it can be to one’s brain and body has come to light in large studies. A 2007 article published by The New York Times touched on how problematic the game can be to young players. According to the report, since 1997, fifty or more youth football players have experienced serious brain damage or died as a result of playing the game. In 2012, the Huffington Post added that the chances of NFL players being diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) or Alzheimer's is 4 times higher than the rest of the world.  Studies like this make clear just how dangerous the sport of football is to its players. It shows how troubling football is to the body and how the world is coming to more knowledge of it. These statistics are just beginning to have an impact on the world of football and ultimately won’t help the game’s sustainability in the long run.

Injuries in football create a cause and effect system. As more people get injured, the more money it costs. This is due to rising insurance rates and increased costs to protect those kids when they are injured. Chris Fischer of WTSP in Tampa wrote, “The Florida High School Athletic Association mandates, each school has a medical base plan of $25,000 per athlete before the student can even step foot on to the field of play.” This information shows how pricey and expensive football is to run and handle. Not only does each player need to pay insurance to get on the field, but the school districts and teams need to also pay hefty sums to run games. As people continue to get hurt, insurance and costs to run a football organization are going to rise. As they grow, more teams, schools districts, and players will be unable to pay the fee and play.

All of these problems also force a lot of costly legal issues, especially in the NFL. ESPN’s Rick Reilly added to this notion in a 2013 article, when he touched on the gigantic lawsuit the NFL had just paid out. Because of their harmed brains, the league handed out about 765 million dollars across more than 4,500 former NFL players. The hefty costs will surely not cease with these retired professionals, and might even begin at the high school and college level. The NFL can handle the lawsuits, but will smaller organizations be able to give out millions of dollars? Regardless, people will continue to ask for money as compensation for their damaged brains and it does not bode well for football.

At the same time, the world is becoming better informed about football today and the injuries and legal matters that go along with it.  In a recent poll by HBO Real Sports and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, it was documented that 86% of adults noticed a connection between concussions (a common occurrence in football) and long-term brain trauma. Due to the influx in price and injuries, parents, teams, and players are starting to rethink if the game is worth it. According to The New York Times, in the past five years, football participation in high school has fallen by 2.4 percent, despite the rise of overall high school students. Furthermore, the Press Herald of Maine added that football in its state has decreased by a whopping 14 percent from 2006 to 2014. All of this shows how football is beginning to decline in number of players. Who knows how long it can sustain the information spilling out about injuries or the increasing amount of money it costs to play the game. However, if the sport cannot do anything to solve these problems, it seems as if participation in football is going to keep slowly declining.

Although football is still one of the most popular games in the United States, it is significantly descending. According to the International Business Times, 114 million TV sets in 2015 were turned into the 2014-15 Super Bowl. But if fans stop and look past the NFL’s success, they would realize that the game doesn’t only have professional teams, but smaller organizations that cannot afford the costs of football. The NFL has made large amounts of income to help support their cause, but they are an extreme outlier. Paying for millions of dollars worth of lawsuits and regulations may not be a possibility for high schools or PeeWee football teams. Therefore, football is sure to have trouble in the future and some day it may just be history.


Works Cited

"Young Players, Serious Injuries." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Sept. 2007. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/09/16/sports/20070916_CONCUSSION_GRAPHIC.html?_r=0>.



Almendrala, Anna. "Here's What We Know About Football And Brain Injuries." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.

<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/18/football-brain-injuries_n_6894534.html>.


"Concussion Concerns May Lead to Fewer Boys Playing Football." The Chart RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/23/concussion-concerns-may-lead-to-fewer-boys-playing-football/>.


"Thin Rosters Have Some Football Teams on the Edge - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram." The Portland Press Herald Maine Sunday Telegram Thin Rosters Have Some Football Teams on the Edge Comments. N.p., 04 Oct. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.pressherald.com/2015/10/04/participation-in-varsity-football-at-several-maine-high-schools-has-fallen/>.


Reilly, Rick. ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9932209/nfl-becoming-guilty-pleasure>.


Schulzke, Eric. "High School Drops Football, Replaces It with Soccer for Homecoming." Telegram.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.telegram.com/article/ZZ/20151005/NEWS/310059861>.


Fischer, Chris. "What Does High School Sports Insurance Cover?" 10NEWS. N.p., 13 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.wtsp.com/story/sports/high-school/2014/10/13/sportsinsurance/17216061/>.


Riccobono, Anthony. "Super Bowl Ratings: How Many People Watched The New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks Game?" International Business Times. N.p., 02 Feb. 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://www.ibtimes.com/super-bowl-ratings-how-many-people-watched-new-england-patriots-seattle-seahawks-game-1803116>.




“Those Dumb Arms…”

Imagine this scenario: A woman needs a hysterectomy, the surgeon wants to do it robotically, instead of working directly with his hands, he'll will sit at a console, manipulating a set of robotic arms outfitted with tiny surgical instruments to do his work for him. In recent years, this imaginary scene has become reality, and robotic surgery has been recognized for being one of the most beneficial advantages in the medical field. Many Americans believe that the added usage of technologies has created a significant advantage in this modern world of surgery. With that being said, however, those people fail to realize that the added usage of robotic surgery creates a higher risk of complications among patients which caused significant rise of adverse events since robots are unable to perform range of things human surgeons can perform.

Becnel Law firm are one of the top firms dealing with medical malpractice suits. “The Da Vinci Surgical Robot” is being used as a minimally-invasive alternative to the abdominal incision prostatectomy. According their firm, robotic surgery has been the cause of serious traumatic situations for patients all over the country. According to Becnal Law Firm, “Having only the sense of sight to discern whether something has torn is far less accurate than being able to actually feel the tear with one’s own two hands. Because of this, more patients are suffering from damage to tissue and blood vessels.” These kinds of tear may leave the patient in serious bleeding conditions afterwards without the doctor’s knowledge. These robotic machines do not have any system to detect any misbehavior in blood flowness or the muscle structure that a doctor can notice if the surgery was done by hand. Becnel Law Firm also states, “Robot arms are used 10-15 times, instead of the three times recommended. As more surgeries are performed, the arms degrade, causing a loss in energy that travels down the arm to the tip of the instrument the surgeon is using.” The loss of energy may result in the machine not cooperating with the surgeon and leaving the patient with torn tissues, bleeding, scarring or bladder injuries, which are not easily curable with the machine. Degradable arm can result in an unsuccessful operation causing the patient to go through the robotic surgery once again.

Robots certainly don’t have the mentality to perform tasks that normal human beings can do easily, when faced with unexpected challenges. They can only do things that it’s assigned by the surgeons. Numbers of deaths may even rise because of the advance usage of these robots. Noticeable changes can be seen when looking at the rate of success the machines have achieved. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal,  “Because of the rising number of incidents—282 injury reports last year, including 28 deaths, up 34% from the year before—the FDA inspected Intuitive earlier this year and in July issued a warning letter stating the company hadn't reported certain safety changes to its Da Vinci robotics system, asking for additional corrective actions. The machines were used without any additional corrective actions which are supposed to be updated every year for any surgical equipment. Companies that are producing these kinds of machines are not legally documenting the effects which are causing problems in the long run. The increasing usage of these machines also increased the rate of death up to a shocking 34%, showing clear misbehaviour caused by these machines. Although recovery time may be faster, taking chances and trusting some machine that are not yet qualified  to support these kind of surgeries may not be worth it.

The Division of Biology and Medicine is composed of Alpert Medical School and the Program in Biology. They perform serious tasks with new technologies which enables them to interact with innovative research and allows them to write on behalf the equipments they use. As the usage of robotic surgeries increasing, the amount of time for the staff to actually stay in the OT is increasing, too. Alpert Medical School stated that, “Robotic assisted heart surgery can take nearly twice the amount of time that a typical heart surgery takes. In a longer surgery, the patient undergo anesthesia for a longer period of time and it costs more to staff the procedure.” The longer the staff have to stay in the OT, the slower or less  focus they will have for their patients. Study shows longer hours for residents may result in less focus on their actual patient. Not only longer anesthesiology require higher bills, it will also cause the patient to undergo a surgery that will take twice longer time than if it was done by hand. In reality, undergoing long hours of anesthesia may leave older patients to become seriously disoriented and delirious for days. Although these conditions may seem normal for going under anesthesia for long hours, being old and dealing with these complications shouldn’t be healthy for them. American Society of Anesthesiologist, an educational association reported patients having “Cognitive dysfunction,” after long hours of anesthesia, causing patient to be in risk of long term memory loss.

In conclusion, robotic surgeries are beneficial for patients sometimes in the future but not now. Robotic surgeries are causing much complications which is causing both the patient and the surgeon to be in a pitfall. Not only that, the whole medical community will be responsible if something harmful happens to the patient because of robotic surgeries. Some surgeons are not fully yet certified for doing these surgeries but even though they do so. In addition, some robots are being overused because of the financial downside of these things. If robotic surgeries really needs to be used in present day, the regulations behalf how it's going to be used should be monitored frequently.


Work Cited

  • "Disadvantages to Robotic Surgery." Disadvantages to Robotic Surgery. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

<http://biomed.brown.edu/Courses/BI108/BI108_2004_Groups/Group02/Group%2002%20Website/robodisadvan.htm/>


  • "Muscle Strain: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatment of Muscle Strain." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

<http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/muscle-strain/>


  • "Prostate Removal Robot Surgery Lawyers | Robotic Injury Attorney For Prostate Removals | Bad Robot Surgery." Bad Robot Surgery. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

<http://badrobotsurgery.com/prostate-removal-robot-surgery-injury/>


  • "The Pros and Cons of Robotic Surgery." WSJ. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

<http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304655104579163430371597334/>


  • "Effects of Anesthesia." Effects of Anesthesia. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

<https://www.asahq.org/>





Robotic Prostatectomy

Is explicit material harmful to kids?


  Is explicit music and television bad for children? There are two sides to this argument. The side that says this is very harmful, and the side that says either no, or that it’s only a little. Why do people take this situation so seriously? Adults pay so much attention to what children listen and watch because they fell that it can influence the kids to do bad things, or to think about things in a negative way. That is why they are concerned. Ultimately, kids will be ok with seeing most of the violent and sexual tv, and the same goes for explicit music. The kids will be affected little to none.

   

      The website Dailymail.co.uk has a story about a study on this topic. This story says that kids copy the verbal aggression that they see, as well as the physical violence that they see. This worries adults because this could lead to bullying and violence if kids really are that influenced. Not only that, according to psychologytoday.com, multiple sexual images can make a person act sexually active before they are ready. Because a lot of time the sexual content in entertainment is not portayed the best way, it can make kids think that it is ok and consequence-free. Also, boys who see graphic sexual content are 3x more likely to enagage in sexual acts then boys who haven’t. So, this side has some points. Not only that, apa.org says that violent tv can make young people more aggressive, and less social. Not only that, they can actually start to have more fear about the world they live in. But, still, there are ways to avoid that. Even if Leonard Eron, who is a Senior Research Scientist, is right about TV being respsonsible for 10% of the violence among young people, there is a way to prevent that without banning kids from seeing violent or sexual things.

   Many people feel that it is ok for kids to listen to explicit music and watch these type of tv shows. An author on madamenoir.com said that she doesn’t really censor her kids from her music. When her daughter was 3, she cursed towards one of the songs. She told her daughter that foul language is only for adults to use, and she hasn’t cursed since. Madamenoir.com is trustworthy because it is about black women’s lifestyles, so they talk about things like mothering. It’s obvious that this came from a real mother’s experience. On boards.straightdope.com, a mom asked whether she should let her 13 year old son listen to metal music, and a lot of people said yes, one mentioning that he sounds to be a kid without many behavior issues. That was justification to let him listen to the music. On todaysparent.com, one dad named Eric Alper said that he does let his kid listen to explicit music because he wants to be a cool dad, and not be the type that shuts her away from certain music. Also, psycnet.apa.org says that minors have their views on sexual activity don’t change that much when they hear explicit music. They gathered a group of people to listen to explicit music, then a censored version of that song, and then a non sexual song. The people still had similar views about women and sexuality. That really defeats the people saying that it does change the views of people, since this is coming from psychology website.

     Sometimes, the kids don’t understand song lyrics. On todaysparent.com, one dad named Eric Alper said, “It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t understand what she’s singing – I’m just happy that she’s singing.” It is true that kids don’t always understand song lyrics. There is another example from commonsensemedia.org. The author of the article said that her 8 year old kid wanted to download “Whistle” by Flo Rida. The song was about oral sex, but the kid thought it was about blowing whistles. That is why she let daughter download the song. On circleofmoms.com, one mom asked when will her 15 year old be old enough to hear explicit music. One person said the daughter would rebel. Another said that if she’s a good kid, she should be ok. And another brought up how people used to be against Elvis and The Beatles. Those things are all true. If a teen is mature, he/she can handle any type of music. Same with a kid. People have been hearing inappropriate things for a long time, and they have turned out fine. If a mature person sees another person eat food off of the floor, that person won’t join in. Same goes with entertainment. Morals need to be shown to these kids so they don’t go wild when they see & hear different things. The entertainment can’t be blamed for the way our children came out. If children are raised right, they will turn out fine. If the kids start acting out, the parents need to fix it by having a discussion. If that doesn’t work, therapy or grounding will probably solve the problem. Nothing will influence them for the worse after that. It is the parent's’ responsibility. If 10% youth violence is caused by TV, then parents need to fix that. They need to sit down next to their kids and tell them what is right and what is wrong. They need to promote positivity, and explain why violence is wrong. They also need to tell them why they are too young to be having sex, as well as too young for alcohol and drugs.

For all of the kids who are affected, the real question is how are these parents raising their kids. That’s the problem. If parents talk to their kids about right and wrong, and make sure their kids are mature before letting them watching certain things, they will be ok. The stuff then will have little to no effect on the child. If not, the explicit music and tv shows could become the parents. It is the parents responsiblity to prevent this. Parents and gaurdians need to be involved in their lives as much as possible. If parents do that, the rest will take care of itself. If the parents don’t do this, their kids could end up crazy or sexually active, and then parents will end up blaming tv and music when it’s not the artists or the tv show’s’ fault. It’s actually theirs. The suggestions mentioned in this paper will have kids being able to watch and hear what they want, and have them not turn to do negative things. Parents can prevent most of this from happening by just talking to their kids, as well as being involved in their lives. Simple actions can lead to massive results. That is the conclusion.


Works Cited

"Should I Let My 13-year Old Listen to These Heavy Metal Groups? - Straight Dope Message Board." Straight Dope Message Board RSS. 26 Jan. 2010. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=549506>.


"At What Age Should I Allow My 15 Yo to Listen to Explicit Lyrics?" Circle of Moms. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-circle-moms/at-what-age-should-i-allow-my-15-yo-to-listen-to-explicit-lyrics-476704>.


Howard, Cori, and Eric Alper. "The Debate: Do You Let Your Kids Listen to Explicit Music? - Today's Parent." Todays Parent. Rogers Media, 2 May 2012. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <http://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/the-debate-do-you-let-your-kids-listen-to-explicit-music/>.


Clark, Laura. "Cartoon Violence 'makes Children More Aggressive'" Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1159766/Cartoon-violence-makes-children-aggressive.html>.


"The PTC Mission." PTC Mission. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <http://w2.parentstv.org/main/About/mission.aspx>.



Filucci, Sierra. "My Daughter Wants to Download Raunchy Music." Common Sense Media. 28 May 2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2015.



"Explicit Lyrics: Do You Censor The Music Your Kids Listen To?" MadameNoire RSS. 13 June 2014. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://madamenoire.com/561276/explicit-lyrics-do-you-censor-the-music-your-kids-listen-to/>.


"Sex, Violence, and Profanity in the Media Fact Sheet, TV Statistics - Parents Television Council." Sex, Violence, and Profanity in the Media Fact Sheet, TV Statistics - Parents Television Council. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/facts/mediafacts.asp>.

"Psychologists Study Media Violence for Harmful Effects." Apa.org. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://www.apa.org/action/resources/research-in-action/protect.aspx>.


Sprankle, Eric L., and Christian M. End. "The Effects of Censored and Uncensored Sexually Explicit Music on Sexual Attitudes and Perceptions of Sexual Activity." Http://psycnet.apa.org/. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2009-07965-002>.




What I Revised
I worked on my sources and information. I saw how Ms. Pahomov did not like the me using debate.org as a source, so I replaced it. I replaced it with quotes from a dad on todaysparent.com, and a commonsensemedia.org article. I also fixed a lot of spelling errors.




Out of the Closet


"God hates fags." "Homosexuals are possessed by demons." "Scientology classifies homosexuality as an illness." These are a few examples of the derogatory words written on picket signs paraded around at any homophobic protest. Many people that belong to certain religions believe homosexuality is a decision and not an identity that someone is born with. Christianity is the main religion where the mindset is that. They compare it to the means of a disorder or a disease. They believe that it can just go away with treatment, and for a time the medical community agreed. However, homosexuality cannot be cured because it is a sexual orientation that can be hidden or masked but does not go away. Trying to “treat” a person of homosexuality can result in serious mental health problems.

"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." That is a clear line in the old testament of the Christian bible that shaped many people’s opinions on homosexuality. According to a Washington Post poll, 35% of Americans oppose marriage equality, meaning those people are most likely against gays and believe being gay is a decision. This was before June 26, when the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage be legal in all 50 states. There was pride, happiness, and rainbows throughout the country but, not everyone was happy with that decision. Those unhappy people were the ones who did not want equality for homosexuals and wanted them to change.

In the 80s through the 90s, there were several methods through which Christians expressed their disgust towards gays. They have always spread their message that homosexuality is a curable disorder. Conversion therapy, a treatment that aims to convert any homosexual to heterosexual, was very popular. This type of therapy started around the 19th century, and persisted for over a hundred years. Recently president Barack Obama expressed his support for the ban of these therapies. Studies show that the conversion treatments do more harm that what is believed to be good.  "There is no scientific evidence that reparative or conversion therapy is effective in changing a person's sexual orientation. There is, however, evidence that this type of therapy can be destructive," says Rodrigo Munoz, a president of the American Psychiatric Association. These treatments can cause serious mental health problems in the patients, coming from the urge of the patient to change, but being unable to do so. They just feel as if they are not normal and do not fit in with society.

Up until 1973, homosexuality was listed a mental illness in the DMV (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual.) Research into the origin, causes, and development led to its removal within the book. Some theorists argue that it emerges in adolescence, while some argue that an individual’s upbringing can influence homosexuality. Further scientific research prove not only that homosexuality isn’t a choice, it also suggests that is an inherited trait.  According to a 2014 study in the journal Psychological Medicine, “A gene on the X chromosome (one of the sex chromosomes) called Xq28 and a gene on chromosome 8 seem to be found in higher prevalence in men who are gay. That study, involving more than 400 pairs of gay brothers, followed the 1993 report by geneticist Dean Hamer suggesting the existence of a "gay gene." This biological evidence contradicts the arguments that these people choose to be gay.

Religious beliefs, however, have mostly stayed the same. The Christian bible, a collection of sacred texts, has much authority over the lives of Christians. There are many verses proclaiming that homosexuality is wrong which clearly suggests that it is a choice. Fortunately, there is some evolution on the part of Christians. The Nalt Christians Project, a group of christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality, says, “Without an explicit directive from God to exclude and condemn homosexuals, the Christian community’s treatment of gay persons is in clear violation of what Jesus and the New Testament writers pointedly identified as one-half of God’s most important commandment: to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.” Christians don’t have to support equality, but it is important to respect it and to know the facts and accept that it is not a decision, but an orientation.



Works Cited


Cox, John Woodrow. "Poll: Gay-marriage Support at Record High." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/poll-gay-marriage-support-at-record-high/2015/04/22/f6548332-e92a-11e4-aae1-d642717d8afa_story.html>.

"Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality." The NALT Christians Project RSS. N.p., 23 July 2013. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <http://www.notalllikethat.org/taking-god-at-his-word-the-bible-and-homosexuality/>.


"Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture." AllPsych. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <http://allpsych.com/journal/homosexuality/#.VhxM_ELFvVr>.


Merritt, Jonathan. "How Christians Turned Against Gay Conversion Therapy." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/how-christians-turned-against-gay-conversion-therapy/390570/>.

Technology and Children

For years, professional researchers as well as parents and teachers have been tackling the topic of what television does to children’s development. Many people have been under the impression that TV is not harmful to young brains and provides distractions and entertainment when needed, but studies completed  in the last couple years have challenged that belief. Researchers have conducted hundreds of experiments trying to prove what’s right for kids. One common outcome is that children under the age of two should not be exposed to TV because there is a higher chance they will have developmental issues. Television can damage the brain development of young children because it doesn’t provide them with the necessary skills they learn by interacting in face to face communication.

In the earliest stages of life, proper brain development is very crucial, and the biggest influence on this development is the actions of the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the newborn child. What a child is and isn’t exposed to in the first years of life can negatively or positively affect a child’s future development. In an article published by The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, Families, the author explained that  “Infants prefer human stimuli-your face, voice, touch, and even smell--over everything else. They innately orient to people's faces and would rather listen to a speech or singing than any other kind of sound.” Videos and TV aren’t prefered by babies and doesn’t help with their initial brain development. Face to face interaction helps children learn different skills like identifying sounds, facial expressions, and different senses while TV doesn’t provide any of these skills. Without these vital initial skills, proper brain development could be jeopardized. 

Despite the debate about the affect of children and technology, many parents, daycares, and child care facilities use television to keep young children occupied. Most of these people don’t want to bring harm to the children, but they might be tricked into believing that TV produced for children will help. Dr. Cris Rowan, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, wrote an article giving information into the use of technology on young children. He says, “This situation has prompted France to ban its broadcasters from airing TV shows aimed at children under three years of age (CBC News, 2008), and Disney to offer refunds for their “Baby Einstein” DVD‟s (NY Times, 2009).”  “Baby TV” is popular among parents with small children who think that these programs will improve their child’s intelligence, but many of these shows do not show improvement at all. In fact, they affect a child’s brain development negatively. Even France saw the harm in TV for infants and banned the “Baby TV” shows and offers refunds to the famous baby program “Baby Einstein”.

Doctors and scientists haven’t found health effects from technology in children younger than two, but they have found them in older children. Infants watching TV can lead to long term effects that might not be detected until they are almost ready for school. An article published  by the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics stated,” Media use has been associated with obesity, sleep issues, aggressive behaviors, and attention issues in preschool- and school-aged children . . . Although parents perceive a televised program to be a calming sleep aid, some programs actually increase bedtime resistance, delay the onset of sleep, cause anxiety about falling asleep, and shorten sleep duration.” Obesity, sleep issues, aggressive behavior, and many other issues are very serious. These problems bring stress to parents and kids and frustrate them because they know that something could have been done earlier in the child’s life to prevent it. When technology is used in such young children, important pieces they need for growth are missing and are expressed at an older age. Early proper interaction with infants can make their development stronger and improve their skills later in life.

If parents stopped to think about it, they would realize that the effects of TV on children under the age of two is not just about their developmental issues down the road, but about their interaction with other people as well. Even though Baby TV claims to be doing good for children to become smarter, it does not help children interact with each other. As a result, when children eventually go to school, and have been exposed to Baby TV earlier in their lives, they have a harder time interacting face to face with other children.  Television and technology are amazing things, but when used improperly, can be harmful. Infants under the age of two should not be exposed to any type of technology because their is a risk of harmful brain development that may appear later in life. Babies at that age need hands-on interaction to develop good skills later on in life but things like “Baby TV”, that claim to make babies smarter, do the exact opposite.




Citations


  1. "The Effects of Video and Television on Young Children: Research and Reflection for Christian Educators | Lutheran Education Journal."Lutheran Education Journal RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://lej.cuchicago.edu/early-childhood-education/the-effects-of-video-and-television-on-young-children-research-and-reflection-for-christian-educators/>.

  2. "SUPPORT US." ZERO TO THREE. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://main.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ter_key_brainFAQ>.

  3. A Research Review regarding the Impact of Technology on Child Development, Behavior, and Academic Performance. (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

  4. "Media Use by Children Younger Than 2 Years." Media Use by Children Younger Than 2 Years. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2015. <http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/128/5/1040.full>.




Illegal Immigration

Ty Ellerbe

Fire stream 


Many Americans have expressed negative feelings towards illegal immigration.These groups feel  feel as though immigrants are getting freedom and benefits for free, and that these immigrants don’t give their fare share of contributions to the United States. In reality, however, Illegal immigrants bring endless opportunities and hard work to America. Illegal immigrants should be accepted in America because they work as much, if not harder, than the average American citizen to be considered a part of the society in America.

For the longest time, illegal immigrants have come and done the jobs that many Americans won’t do and will do. They have gotten jobs ranging from janitors and store owners to lawyers and doctors. There is an endless amount of jobs that illegal immigrants have here in America, that contribute to the well being of this country. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that immigration would increase U.S. employment and raise wages. Illegal immigrants bring nothing but skill and opportunity. Illegal Immigrants contribute to the unemployment rate, which is at 5.0 % according to the Bureau of labor Statistics.  Having Illegal Immigrants come to America helps America financially.

Another financial benefit of immigrants is that they create new businessness for America. These new businesses help America in a very big way economic and financial aspect. A study put out by National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) found that venture-backed companies with at least one foreign-born founder are responsible for an increasing amount of IPOs and subsequent job creation (Fast company).  Huffington post shows you companies such as google, at&t and ebay, that are run by immigrants. These Immigrants that own these billion and trillion dollar companies are working ten times hard than natives of America to be successful in this country.

Contrary to popular belief, illegal immigrants also pay taxes. Many Americans believe that while illegal immigrants are here, they are living off the government for free. The Fiscal times says “The 50-state analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released on Thursday found that roughly 8.1 million of 11.4 million undocumented immigrants who work paid more than $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012, even while they were living illegally in the country.”  Since a lot of people believe that illegal immigrants are living in America for free, they feel as if they have not earned their stay and should pay as much as a citizen does to live here. The statistic proves those people wrong and that even though these immigrants are illegal they still follow the same regimen as a person who is legal and are not trying to live here for free. They are giving their hard owned money just like the natives of America.


All in all, Illegal immigrants are earning their way in America like anyone else. There is no difference between the natives of America and illegal immigrants except of for the fact that they are illegal. Illegal immigrants work so hard to escape hardships unknown from their countries. They come to America, for a better chance at life and for more opportunities. They are willing to show how much they want to be in America and are not taking it for granted like some Americans do. They want to be here and they are putting in countless day and nights and working harder that most Americans. It’s time they are showed the respect they have deserve.


Bibliography

“Forbes.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2015. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlenzner/2013/04/25/40-largest-u-s-companies-founded-by-immigrants-or-their-children/>

“Databases, Tables &Amp; Calculators by Subject.” Bureau of Labor Statistics Data. Web. 7 Nov. 2015. <http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/lns14000000>

Fairchild, Caroline. “16 Iconic American Companies Founded By Immigrants.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/american-companies-founded-by-immigrants_n_3116172.html>

“The Shocking Stats About Who's Really Starting Companies In America.” Fast Company. N.p., 2013. Web. 7 Nov. 2015. <http://www.fastcompany.com/3015616/the-shocking-stats-about-whos-really-starting-companies-in-america>

“Why Immigration Is Good for U.S. Growth.” Washington Times. The Washington Times, n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.


A Linguistic Escape From Philadelphia

“Wuhter”, my father said. His Philadelphia accent is almost nonexistent, especially compared to the deeper accent of my mother. However, it comes out in certain words, like the usual English term for H2O.

“Water”, I correct him. I always correct people, certainly my parents with their sometimes bizarre Philadelphian pronunciation, which are seemingly dying out anyway. I’ve corrected what is probably the most annoying pronunciation of all, my mother saying “iron” as “ahrn”. (I have heard that this is an exclusively South Philly thing). I tell my father that they are “sprinkles” and not “jimmies,” and my mother that it is “sauce” and not “gravy”.

All in a day’s work for a so-called (by his own mother, no less) “grammar Nazi”.

It’s not just grammar, though. Every word I say is carefully chosen and very formal. Sometimes, in the presence of friends, I let my hair down a little and might curse or use slightly less stuffy language. But otherwise, I probably sound more like an Edwardian gentleman than a 21st century teenager.

I hardly, if ever, use slang words. Most of them sound cheap, synthetic, and disposable, the junk food of language. I balk at them because they sound unnatural and useless. Further to the point, they have no place in a sentence – they sound like they’re tacked on merely to sound cool, while the best words will last forever.

For some people, it’s easy to use slang. But I like rigid routines, and order. I like to control, and it isn’t even really my fault. It is something that you can’t detect at first glance, something you can’t really see. It is  Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism.

It’s not like I’m trying to make everything perfect. For me, it just flows naturally, just like other teenagers say “get turnt” or “on fleek”. I can’t help it that I speak and write in a patrician manner – it’s just part of my mental hardwiring. My brain is different from everyone else's – and I’m proud of that. I don’t care if you think I sound like a snob or take things literally or can’t stand mispronunciations,I crave order and stability in a world that offers very little of it.

It’s perhaps a choice of lifestyle, as well. A lot of teenage and youth slang revolves around an eventually unsustainable lifestyle-partying, concert-going, urban exploration, and living life like there’s no tomorrow. Meanwhile, I prefer quiet moments – looking at small architectural details, analyzing the lyrics of British rock bands, overthinking things, and generally just enjoying the company of either myself or a close friend.

I think my family has something of a choice as to whether they could speak in a more formal and proper dialect. There are plenty of Philadelphians and ex-Philadelphians (including some of my aunts and uncles) who you’d think had never been inside the City of Philadelphia in their entire lives. However, there are many people in my family, who, when they open their mouths, sound absolutely embarrassing, if not in reality, then at least to my ears.

In the musical adaptation of “Pygmalion”, “My Fair Lady”, the protagonist, Henry Higgins, sings, “An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him/The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him”. Change “Englishman” to “American” and you can see that there really isn’t much of a difference in lingual judgement once you cross the Atlantic. In the United States, we look down our noses at people depending where in the country they come from. A Bostonian might regard a Texan as sounding slovenly, and a Texan might find a Bostonian’s accent snobbish. As James Baldwin once wrote, “A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles; neither sounds very much like a man living in Quebec; and they would all have great difficulty in apprehending what the man from Guadeloupe, or Martinique, is saying, to say nothing of the man from Senegal.” In this same manner, I find my relatives’, specifically my mother’s accent, to be thoroughly grating.

The fact that a lot of my friends, especially those in the middle class, have parents from other parts of the country does not help – indeed, some of them have no family at all in and around Philadelphia. While this can be typically chalked up to gentrification, it also makes me feel slightly nervous, knowing that I sound absolutely proper, and it’s not because of my breeding. Through a pre-existing mental condition, speech lessons, and an exposure to British television programming at an early age, I sound like I should be on the CBS evening news, instead of (with apologies to Mr. Springsteen) the streets of Philadelphia.

When I think about all of these other places, I think about where I want to go. On one hand, I feel a very deep kinship to Philadelphia. I am absolutely smitten with the precise terraces of rowhomes, the way the stoop meets the sidewalk, the diverse styles of architecture, the abundant (if sometimes wild) streetlife, even the relative lack of green space as compared to other cities in the nation. However, my very voice betrays my ambitions. Even though I am of nearly pure Philadelphian blood, I sound so polished and formal that I don’t really fit into a neighborhood of bizarre mispronunciations (that my mother seems to use constantly) and an inability to say “drawer”. Although I resent the gentrifiers, and the way they displace hard-working residents, I am, in a way, closer to them than the natives. I speak properly, have obscure, intellectual interests, and listen to the Who and Radiohead rather than Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. I love Italy (I still have vivid memories of my visit to Rome in 2014), but disdain the cheap mockery that Italian-Americans are unknowingly doing to their heritage.

When I walk through my neighborhood, I don’t feel like a native. Sure, I know the streets like the back of my hand. But with my quirky t-shirts, and headphones plugged into my phone, I could easily pass for a hipster or a yuppie. I walk among the rows and churches, and despite my deep roots, I feel like a “stranger in a familiar land”. I have the experience of being both at home and completely alienated.

And yet, sometimes, this feels perfectly fine. I am me, and nobody else. I don’t care if I really don’t sound like the rest of my family, or if I alienate myself from my friends occasionally. I’m me, and only I have control over that.

Communication

Haisha Hahsy

Fire  Stream

Communication

Communication over time has evolved rapidly with the change of each generation, and most, have developed their own new way of communicating with themselves and each other. The older generations are usually known for their wisdom and experiences throughout their lives, while the younger generations are thought to need to learn more. The older generations can learn from the younger generations about the way they communicate.

Communication has altered over time just as young generations have turned into older generations. Older generations have usually been recognized as having wisdom and being more wise for the life experiences they have had. So the younger are always the ones to learn from them.  Older people are always the people the young are supposed to look up to.

     The younger generation always has adapted and created new ways of communication. The older generation can learn that these new ways can be used to the fullest to make life a little easier.  Over time the ways of communication has changed rapidly. From spoken word stories from past generations being told over again, to today’s microblogging and online content collaboration.  Now matter what the situation has been, consistently the young generation has always been able to keep up with it.  The older generation always tells the younger generation they need to communicate more .  Daily Mail a big news producer in the US and especially in the UK tell us how texting and emailing on phones made communicating, better with others. “More than half also use a text or email message to apologise for a workplace mistake.” Daily Mail also tells us about how relationships are more truthful in text compared to when their is no texting.  The older gen think, that the new ways for communication are useless and do not need use of. For it is making us speak with less emotion.

Phone calls are what the older generation seems to be used to  but  young generation favors apps like Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, and Keek.  Pew Research Center, tells about the younger generation vs the older generation texting differences on a daily basis. The younger generation sends an average of 109 messages per day while the older generation sends about 41 messages per day.  Frank Newport an economy expert and journalist tells us about the percentage of sending text messages between the younger and older generation. Ages from 14-25 have 68% chance to send a message while 50-64 year olds have the chance of 26%; then 65 and above have a 8% chance. The older generation can learn from the young generation that there is a need to notice that there are different ways of communicating.  Messaging only takes a few seconds while making a class takes the time to prepare for. A text you can send anytime on the bus, fastly in class, or even right before going to bed. While making a call you cannot do at most places including the bus and class.  There are much easier ways now to communicate with others.

The older generation has always told us to learn from them but now it is the other way around. Now the older generation can learn from the younger generation about communication. Now there are different ways of communicating that are much easier and fit better into one's life on a daily basis. CBS News tells about the iphone in the year of 2007 and the percentage increase of 450% texting and making life easier for most.  

Although the older generation might not think new communication matters much it’s influence goes beyond our daily lives to all humans. Communicating the new way seems much more efficient yet the older gen still need to look at the younger. Understand where they are coming from. For the young generation cannot go back to using telegraphs.


Sites:

  • Reporter, Daily. "How Texting Makes the Hard Things in Life Easier for Cowards." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 17 Apr. 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1015825/How-texting-makes-harder-things-life-easier-cowards.html>.

CIC's work to be exhibited at the Philadelphia Int'l Airport

Last year, SLA's Community Involvement Club (CIC) decorated dozens and dozens of egg shells for Cascarones por la Vida. We have just been informed that our work will be displayed in the Philadelphia International Airport's Art at the Airport exhibition this fall! It will be in the international departures and arrivals gates area.  

If you're interested in doing community service, come to our meetings on Thursdays X (204) and Y (207). We have many opportunities coming up including:
- volunteering at the Philly Marathon on Nov. 22, 
- sorting toys at Youth Services, Inc (YSI) in West Philly for their holiday drive on Dec. 12, and
- wrapping gifts for Brighter Holidays on 15th and Pine on Dec. 5th, 7th and 12th.

Sign up for the holiday service projects here.
Sign up for the Philly Marathon here. PW: klove Team Affiliation: Team SLA
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Science Education

New scientific discoveries are made every day. Technology is an ever-present force in almost every American’s life. In schools, there's a very vocal push for STEM education, to make sure that the United States stays competitive with other nations in producing computer scientists and engineers. With all of this, it would be very reasonable to assume that science education is in a great state. This, however, is not the case. The importance of science is overlooked by almost all of the parties who have influence over it. Compared to other classes, especially English and math, science is hugely under prioritized.

One major hurdle towards STEM success is that the standardized tests that often decide kids’ futures basically don’t care about science. For example, the SAT has eighty minutes devoted to math and between one-hundred and one-hundred-forty minutes devoted to English, depending on whether or not students take an optional essay, and zero minutes devoted to science, although recently, there was a slight push to include questions relevant to science in the English and math sections. The ACT has sixty minutes devoted to math, either eighty or one-hundred-twenty minutes devoted to English, depending on whether or not students take an optional essay. and only thirty-five minutes for science. These tests are so important to students that high school curriculums are often based around helping kids do well on these specific tests. As these tests are mostly lacking science, students and educators have very limited motivation to learn and teach about science, respectively. Additionally, science SAT subject tests are nowhere near as as ubiquitous as the traditional SAT is. If learning science has such limited relevance to college acceptance, schools will always prioritize the avenues of education that send their students to college. Therefore, science takes a backseat to reading and math.

Costliness is another significant issue. Science education, in its most effectively educational form, is more expensive than math or English education. Science education is most effective when peppered with laboratory experimentation. Researchers at Penn State found that “...school laboratory activities have special potential as media for learning that can promote important science learning outcomes for students [sic].” However, “construction costs can reach $150 to $200 per square foot [for school laboratories], according to Motz and other experts, an especially daunting proposition, considering that NSTA recommends 1,440 square feet for a lab serving 24 students. Adding laboratory furniture and cabinets can cost another $25,000 to $60,000 per room.” This is because laboratories require advanced equipments, materials, and types of major upkeep that reading and math classrooms don’t need, because of the nature of science. Chemistry classes require expensive chemicals; biology classes require specimens; physics classes require models and modelling materials. Scientists barely receive enough funding to run a lab; schools certainly don’t. Since science is more difficult to fund than other classes, science is rarely taught properly.

Even the government is out to get science. In 2002, there was a law passed called the “No Child Left Behind” Act (NCLB). NCLB makes schools enforce standardized testing, and schools that fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on these tests for enough years consecutively suffer harsh consequences. AYP is just an average improvement over their previous year’s cores. Much like the SAT/ACT, NCLB places a testing emphasis on English, specifically reading, in this case, and math. “No Child Left Behind requires that… each state must measure every child's progress in reading and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12… states must also have in place science assessments to be administered at least once during grades 3-5; grades 6-9; and grades 10-12.” This means that K-12 students are to be tested on math and reading seven times each and science only thrice. Even more importantly, however, is this: “Science is not included in AYP calculations.” Because of this, the three times they are tested on science won’t affect their schools’ AYP, and won’t cause their schools to suffer or not suffer. Teachers don’t have the motivation to prioritize science at all when the federal government practically punishes them for teaching anything but ELA and math.

The College Board and whoever designs the ACT spit on science by ignoring it and removing the motivation to teach and to learn it. State governments spit on science by refusing to create budgets that will allow teachers to properly teach it. Finally, the federal government spits on science by passing laws that force teachers to emphasize ELA and math over science to a huge degree. Science education isn’t just about school, as anyone who might stop to think about it would realize; it’s about the safety of American innovation and the health of the populace. Science education promotes the advancement of medical and technological sciences, which are integral to a continually growing society. The powers that be all have the ability to change their rules, their allotment of money, and their allotment of test space, but since NCLB was introduced, science education has been on an apparent downward spiral towards technological and medical illiteracy.


Works Cited:

"Description of the ACT." Test Descriptions. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

Hofstein, Avi, and Vincent N. Lunetta. "The Laboratory in Science Education: Foundations for the Twenty-First Century." The Laboratory in Science Education: Foundations for the Twenty-First Century (2002): n. pag. Pennsylvania State University. Web.

"SAT (2016) vs PSAT (2015)." RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

Sawko, Jessica. "Update on 2015 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)." California Classroom Science. N.p., 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

Schachter, Ron. "School Science Labs." District Administration Magazine. N.p., Nov. 2008. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

"Testing: Frequently Asked Questions." Testing: Frequently Asked Questions. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.


ProyectoU1S1

During class we learned all about how to say what time it, tell the time, and ask what time it is in Spanish.  During this video we use someone running late as an example of when you would ask what time it is.  The boy frantically runs to a girl, asks what time it is, then is on his way.