Luke Risher 2fer revision

Luke Risher

9/17/15

D band


Today America is dealing with a very broken education system. Many schools are struggling for necessary resources, such as nurses, while other school maintain luxuries of wealth. Such a inequality calls citizens to look at the system and what is not working. Right now, a major determiner in how much funding schools get, how capable a student is, and how well a school in doing is standardized testing. However, many people from educators, to parents, to students themselves say this system doesn't work and they work towards alternative methods. Because standardized testing is unjust and inefficient alternative, more applicable, and constructive education methods are what society needs to draw on to better societal education.

Since 2002, when the No Child Left Behind act passed, resulting in nationwide standardized testing, the United States has dropped internationally in several subject categories including math, and science along with no change in reading. Those subjects are all on American Standardized tests. This is after 44% of school districts were forced to narrow down on social studies, and the arts to focus more on teaching to the test. Right now Finland uses no standardized testing and is ranked as the number one in education internationally. These facts prove the inefficiency and negative affect of a system set up around standardized testing. A Brookings Institution study found that 50%-80% of increases in scores were only based on yearly preparation. Standardized testing doesn’t make exceptions for non english fluent students. Standardized testing is so stress inducing that teacher booklets include teacher procedures if students vomit or pass out. Despite these issues, the U.S spends 1.7 billion on standardized testing a year. Because the inefficiency, cost, and injustice of standardized testing, the education system needs to find different models of education.

A great thinker on alternative methods is Paulo Freire. Paulo Freire was born in 1921 in Brazil. His family suffered poverty. This childhood experience gave him the critical lens on the way education worked. He lived most of his adult life as a thinker, writer, community organizer, and educator. Much of his writings were on education systems and how they did and didn’t work. An organization dedicated to Paulo Freire thinking has a quote summarizing his idea of dialogue “Each must trust the others; there must be mutual respect and love (care and commitment).  Each one must question what he or she knows and realize that through dialogue existing thoughts will change and new knowledge will be created.” These ideas and concepts make up the Freirean model. This juxtaposes the system where the primary concern is information transferred for regurgitation. The Freirean model is ultimately more memorable for all participants, and much more applicable to the real world. If people have a lasting relationship with each other, they can build on top of previous knowledge and educational experience. Because dialogue is within a relational system that standardized testing can never recreate it is more applicable to the real world, encourages engagement from all students not leaving any behind, and nurtures community through two way exchanges versus just top down. this model creates and better system of education and evaluation of students.

The Freirean model may sound difficult to pull off, but it can happen in a traditional setting. Science Leadership Academy (SLA) is a project based school that uses the scientific method of thinking across all subjects. In the “Mission and Vision” section of SLA’s website it states three questions that guide its work. “How do we learn?, What can we create?, What does it mean to lead?” These questions are key to an alternative model. “How do we learn?” Science leadership is a very diverse school (Asian-6%, African American-38%, Latino-10%, White-36%, Other-6%) this shows a more diverse group students benefits from the project based method then standardized testing. All questions in standardized test are either a one answer multiple choice question or a carefully formulated “open ended” question that also have a very basic answer with strict instructions that allow for no expression or creative thinking. In contrast, In a project there are instructions, but they also have extensive room for thinking and creating student's own thought and innovation and this allows instructors to see more clearly the thinking processes and knowledge of the students. Standardized testing is a top down system that allows for no qualities to be measured except how well students can complete a multiple choice test. If Americans want student leaders, if Americans want innovation, if Americans want a system that works for a more diverse group of students standardized testing is much worse than project based learning.

Standardized testing cost billions of dollars, takes up hours of valuable class time, and doesn’t accurately measure students ability. There are many other ways to measure and teach students beside standardized testing. Relational teaching and dialogue helps create and better learning environment and encourages higher participation of students. Project based learning uses more thinking and encourages innovation and creativity. If all affected by the education system thought about it, the system of standardized as an overall negative effect on education, therefore it should be replaced with more beneficial methods of education.










work cited



"Concepts Used by Paulo Freire." Freire Institute. Freire Institute. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


Bentley, Leslie. "A Brief Biography of Paulo Freire." Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Inc. 29 May 2012. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


Popham, John. "Membership." Educational Leadership:Using Standards and Assessments:Why Standardized Tests Don't Measure Educational Quality. 4 Mar. 1999. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


"Standardized Tests - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. 3 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


Jouriles, Greg. "Here's Why We Don't Need Standardized Tests." Education Week. Lesley University, 8 July 2014. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.


"Problem." - Standardized Education in America, and Why You Should Not Support It. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.






The Changes of My Language

My language changes a lot when I’m at home and when I’m not at home. At home I can understand what my parents are saying, and I can communicate back to them in the same language.

Can you come here and help me?” my mom would say in fujianese.

“Okay” I would say back.

When I communicate with my parents I would respond back to them in either fujianese or english.

“Addison, come here and take out the trash.” my dad would say in fujianese.

“Okay.” I would say back in fujianese.

When I go to my grandparents place they would always speak in fujianese, they would never understand me if I spoke english. So when I want to say something I would try to explain it to my mom and then she’ll say it to them or sometime I can respond back to them.

“You have to learn how to speak fujianese because when you go to China you want to learn how to speak with other people there.” My grandparents would say in fujianese.

“ I know.” I would respond back in fujianese.

“Do you? Do you know?” They would ask me in fujianese.

“yes.” I would say back.

Speaking my own language is really difficult for me because I can’t say words that my parents would be able to say. For example, if they say something to me in fujianese, the only way I could respond is in english.

“Call dad and tell him to buy food vegetable for dinner cause we need it.” My mom would say in fujianese.

“Okay” I would respond back.


On the phone with my dad.


“Hello, dad? Mom said go buy some vegetable home.” I would say in fujianese, but in a weird way.

“What? Put mom on the phone.” My dad said in fujianese.

Speaking my language is hard for me because I never actually got a bunch of experience in speaking it because since I was born in Philadelphia, I was introduced toEnglish more than chinese (fujianese). My family would say to me that I’m not asian because I do things that asian people would do. For example, I can’t use chopsticks or speak their language. When any of my family members say to me ever I would feel


Now going to my school/ out of school language. My friends would say I sound black because my voice is low and I dress black. People would say I curse a lot. So I tend to curse more outside than at in my home.

“Bro, can you help me with this?” My friend would say.

“Nah, I’ll help you later because I have to do my s**t” I would say back.

Speaking in school really brings out my english language because at home I only speak english to my brother. So at school I feel more free in speaking english, instead of struggling at home trying to speak fujianese. I noticed that my language can change drastically, once I step outside of my household.

“Yo bro you down to chill today?” I would say to my friend.

“Yeah I’m down bro, just give me the time” My friend said back.

“I gotchu ya.” As I respond back.

When me and my friends were walking down at South Street, these group of teens called use racial names. But once me and my friends confronted them, they apologized because they thought we wouldn’t understand a thing they said, but they were wrong.

“Look at these chinks, go back to China.” As one of the tennager yelled, smiling at his friends after he said that.

“What the f**k did you say?! Just because we asian, means that we don’t understand a thing you say? You really think that you’re cool for saying that? If you think that is, maybe you should find something better to do with your life. Now say something f***ing stupid again and watch adjust your face!” As my friend snapped at the straighter.  

Trying to hold him back before things go bad.

“Okay dude, I’m sorry.” As they said

“Just f***ing leave, before he really f**** you up!” As I shouted

That day I noticed some people can be racist to you, no matter how you look because we was called out by random people just on how we look like.   


Cyber-Bullying


Niah Lombo

Air stream

English 3


When people think of bullying, they often think of scenes like being pushed into the lockers and being called names which everyone points and laughs at you… However, Bullying has extended far beyond school and into the world wide web. Even though these acts of aggression take place outside of school boundaries, school officials should have the authority to discipline students who engage in cyber bullying because... Doing so will help improve the online behavior of students and decrease incidences of cyber bullying-related suicide attempts.


Ryan Patrick Halligan was a 13 year old student in Vermont, when he was bullied by his classmates in school and cyber bullied online for almost a year. A classmate told him that she had a crush on him online, like anyone he was happy and flustered to have someone like him. but what he didn’t know that the whole school saw the messages. He told his parents that he didn't want to go back to school after being humiliated to the point he left the classroom in tears. After being bullied in school and online, he began to research ways to kill himself. Early in the morning, when his family members were still sleeping, Ryan Halligan committed suicide by hanging himself. His body was found later by his older sister. It all had started on the internet and ended with the internet, if someone would have taken action and punished the kids for bullying Ryan then maybe they would have saved him and others.


Sarah Lynn Butler was a seventh grader from Hardy, Arkansas, committed suicide on September 26, 2009. Sarah, who had just been voted Queen for her upcoming Fall Festival, was teased at school, and later on received bullying messages on her MySpace page.  Her mother would often check her Facebook page to make sure nothing was out of the order and once she noticed the hateful comments she confronted Sarah. Sarah brushed it off and then blocked her mother so she can’t see her page. Sarah hated to go to school because her online bullies also went to school with her, she was afraid to go to school because of them. What makes it worse is that they don’t see the face of the people they are bullying, so the comments or inboxes become harsher and harsher.  On the morning of her suicide her mother login on Sarah’s Facebook to see “she was just a stupid little naive girl and nobody would miss her.” When her parents returned home they found that Sarah hanging in her closet. She left a suicide note that said she couldn't handle what others were saying about her.


These two stories are not unique. Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet. As of 2010, 8% of public schools reported that cyber bullying had occurred among students daily or at least once a week at school or away from school. Out of the schools who reported having cyber bullying situations, 4% reported that the school environment was affected by cyber bullying. Just because it doesn't happen in school doesn't mean that it won't be brought back into school.  The phones, laptops and etc. may not be at school but the hatred of the person will always be there until someone stops it.

 At present, no federal law directly addresses bullying. In some cases, bullying overlaps with discriminatory harassment which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). But once it is outside of school property (School, Bus, Athletic Game, or on a school computer) there is nothing they can do unless it is physically affecting someone at school. School officials should still be able to discipline someone who is a cyber bully outside of school. Mental and physical health are both equally important, it’s easier to heal physically than mentally.

Everyone goes to school to get an education, and if fear is getting in the way of that than school officials should be able to get involved even if it is not occurring at school. That's like a teacher noticing bruises on a kid and they believe that the child is being abused, they are allowed to report it because a child's life is in danger. That is the same thing as cyber bullying, but the bruises are invisible. If making a school a good and safe environment is the goal, then cyber bullying should be addressed not only by the parents but the school officials also.






Sources:

  1. "Section 13A03.1 - Act of Mar. 10, 1949,P.L. 30, No. 14 Cl. 24 - PUBLIC SCHOOL CODE OF 1949." Section 13A03.1 - Act of Mar. 10, 1949,P.L. 30, No. 14 Cl. 24 - PUBLIC SCHOOL CODE OF 1949. U.S. Department of Education, 2015. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.

  2. "Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies." Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies. Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies. GOV, 2015. Web. 6 Oct. 2015.






Vaughn Matthews 2fer Revision

Vaughn Matthews

Air Stream

The Importance of Sports

Whether it involves health, economics, or entertainment, sports have a very positive effect on the world around them. However, the most important reason that sports is popular is that sports are a form of of diversion from the burdens of life.

Sports keep the body in shape and keep it fit. People say it’s important to do physical activity for 60 minutes a day. Almost every sport uses all of a person’s body parts in order to the play it correctly. When played for a long time, it can result in a healthy body and good health. When playing for a team, there are practices, games and events. These practices in the sport involve exercise. Practices are held almost every day and are usually an hour or longer. During practices, the person is focused on playing at their best, not what’s going on in their life.

Sports have always been considered entertainment. The word “sport” comes from the Old French desport meaning “leisure”,  The oldest definition of sports dates back to the 1300s is “anything humans find amusing or entertaining,”. June 16 will make 70 years that the NBA has been broadcasting games for joy and the entertainment of fans. The FIFA World Cup is the world’s most widely viewed sporting event. “an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany and the 2010 event in South Africa was broadcast to 204 countries on 245 different channels.according to fifa.com. This is important because when soccer fans watch the world cup, they’re caught in the moment. They’re worried about what’s happening in the game and not what’s happening in their life. It gets them hype for a little while.

Sports can also bring people together. Two years ago, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) had lost a teammate Nick Pasquale, in a car crash. His number was 36. Signs were hung everywhere with red and blue ribbons to show support for Pasquale. The number 36 was painted on banners and fans had put out a few hundred blue and gold balloons during the moment of silence for Pasquale. When the Nebraska Cornhuskers played UCLA they had the number 36 as a decal on the back of their helmets and after the game members of both teams joined in a prayer at the center of the field together. This is an example of how a sports game can bring people together, and lift their spirts even though a a tragic event had happened to them.

Sports are a way of departure from the heavy loads of life.  A sports game is like an unscripted drama. The result of each game is unknown by everyone. Some people say “it is only a game”, but is the Grand Canyon “only a hole?” Absolutely not. While watching or playing sports, the mind is not focused on what is happening in real life. It’s focused on what is happening in the game. The mind is focused on what is happening in the present and what is going to happen. When the mind is focused on what is happening in the sport, it’s not worried about the bad things that are going in someone’s life.

As previously stated, sports have been around for over a decade. People have very different views and outcomes of them. They result in good health and keep the body fit, they entertain people, they bring the community together, they bring wealth, and they keep the mind off of the worries of life. This is good for the whole world because keeping the mind off your burdens helps someone stay positive . Overall, they have a positive effect on the world.


I had a lot of work to do in the “Thesis” category.  Before the revision I didn’t do such a great job on the analysis relating to the thesis. I also had to make corrections with my style and how I arranged my 2fer.

Who Am I Online Reflection, Seng


  1. In class, we watched a video about bullying. In this video there was a boy who suffers from bullying. His classmates abuse him both physically and mentally, not only at school but also online. Our classroom activity was to click an eye emoji which would help out the boy during moments where he could have been bullied. 
  2. This video brings up a topic that I have talked about at school which was about bystanders. Just like in the video, if we did not click on the eye emoji, we would basically be a bystander, either too scared to help, ignoring the person getting bullied because we are expecting someone else to help, or to simply see what happens next. Although, if we do click the eye emoji, we would be the person who actually helps, which not a lot of people do. 
  3. Online I appear as a hardworking person because I would see pictures and websites about the awards I won or the organizations that I volunteered for. 
  4. Based on my appearance online, people would probably think of me as a student who does their work and tries to help out.
  5. The goal of internet trolls is to lie and in all desperation, try to get a reaction from innocent people, either making them sad or angry. Internet trolls gain happiness from other people's pain.
  6. The positive results of online anonymity is that usually a person would be able to torment others or do whatever they want without getting caught. The negative results of online anonymity is that on the other hand, when someone is getting bullied online by a person with no identity, they would never find out who did it. This would be negative because they will not be able to figure out who the person that is causing them frustration is, which is even more frustrating.  
Screenshot 2015-11-10 at 3.13.42 PM
Screenshot 2015-11-10 at 3.13.42 PM

Sauce

It’s about 6:00 PM. My siblings and I are busy with homework and my father is trying to figure out what he wants to make for dinner. After a little bit of time passes he asks me “Do you want macaroni if I make some?”

“Sure, but only if you make it with sauce,” I replied.

“You mean gravy.”

“No I think I meant sauce. Gravy’s the stuff that goes on mashed potatoes.”

“That’s brown gravy.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Makes sense to me. You’ll realize you’re wrong one day.”

This kind of argument happens at least once a week in our home at this point. Little things in our vocabulary differ for some reason. For example, my dad calls it “macaroni,” but I call it “pasta.” He calls them “jimmies,” but I call them “sprinkles.” There’s even little things that are different, like how we each say “water.” I say it like “wah-ter,” and he says it like “wood-er.” Of course, these aren’t serious disputes and we get a good laugh out of it in the end. However, I’ve just started noticing more than ever how different our language really is. Why is it like this? We both speak English and we were both born and raised in Philadelphia, so what’s the issue here?

Due to these chats with my father, I’ve been doing some thinking on the topic. In doing so, I realized that this kind of stuff happens on even larger scales as well. It almost blows my mind that I haven’t seen it like this before. Even though a lot of people may speak the same language, they’re not speaking it exactly the same. Most people, myself included, don’t think twice about what they say on a daily basis, thinking it to be the right way to speak. However, the language varies quite a bit depending on who you’re talking to and where you are. Differences can be as small as the pronunciation of “water” as I’ve mentioned before or they can be completely different words as a whole. Try going anywhere besides Philadelphia to order a “hoagie,” and no-one will understand what you are talking about. The word “jawn” doesn’t exist anywhere else either. I’m pretty sure we are also one of the only places that calls it “water ice,” as opposed to “Italian ice.” This kind of talk is exclusive to Philly. The language that you use can help someone determine where you’re from. Language helps in creating an identity to associate with where you’re from. Saying you speak English isn’t enough to determine your roots. You could speak like a Southerner, Northerner, Philadelphian, New Yorker, or a Texan, and the list goes on and on almost endlessly.

I’m sure that at some point in your life you listened to someone talk and thought they sounded funny or weird. Whether it was because of their unfamiliar accent, or just because they said a word that you don’t know, someone else has probably thought the same thing about you. Different does not necessarily mean bad or wrong, and it certainly does not in this case.

Another big thing I’ve started to pick up on is that making up your own language can be worked into the dialect you already have to make it more personal to you. In fact, my family uses words that isn’t necessarily in the vocabulary of a lot of other people.  If I said the words “jabroni,” or “vu,” I’m sure you’d be confused unless I explained further. Like I said before, language helps shape your identity as far as where you’re from, but making language your own pushes that idea even further by making you into who you are as an individual.

In the long run, debates relating to this subject are unneeded. Who cares if we sound funny to everyone else? Who cares if people say we’re wrong? Who’s to say the way we speak is wrong anyway? There is no one set way to speak, as I’ve said multiple times. Just because one thing is said more often doesn’t make it correct. Explaining or teaching someone about the way you talk isn’t gonna kill you. It doesn’t matter that we prefer to use different words or pronunciations. Novelist and social critic 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.” No-one speaks exactly the same. Any little thing can be different from the “norm.” Language differs from place to place, and that’s just how it has to be. Just like how some people speak French or Spanish, some people speak Philadelphian or Southern. It’s part of what makes people special. If calling it “gravy” is how my dad wants to speak then so be it. Hell, someone could call it “doodleshoof” for all I care, as long as they’re happy with it. I’ll think I’ll just stick with “sauce” for now though.

The Trifecta: A Complicated Balancing Act

It was at summer camp, we were sitting on the Rainbow Treebench. I stopped staring at the other people near our cabins and looked over my shoulder. “You know, I got something to say to you.”

“Really? What’s that?”

“Well, you know me and I know you quite well,”

“Uh huh.”

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never met someone like you and probably never will again. I cherish this friendship of ours and I’ve been looking for a best friend. I offer the title to you, do you accept?”

Those were the words I used at 11:43 pm one July night this past summer. I spoke with fear, uncertainty, and emotion. All three of which, are characteristics I rarely exhibit in public. Now I won’t tell you the end of the story, as I have a very private personality and don’t like to share those types of details. The main point, I should point out, is that most people know me to speak with confidence and with authority, as well as trying be non emotional as possible. I know that I speak very differently in different situations but why? I think it’s my past that holds the secrets.

You see we all speak a different language, whether it be Pig Latin, German, or one of the other 6000 plus languages spoken. There is however another thing that sets us apart, out tone and manner in which we speak, for each person they have their own very unique past. Although they may choose not to reveal it, it comes out in the words they speak. Some may speak in a very personal manner or others in a distant and monotone way as I prefer. You see, as Richard Rodriguez writes about his childhood, “Outside the house was public society, inside was private.” We all have our boundaries, whether it be our school, home, or friends. For each of those situations, we all speak differently, a different coding or programming for the different places and people in our lives. See our parents may try to rear us in a manner that is proper to them so they may request that their son or daughter speak politely and so as sons and daughters we do. When we are around friends however, they may not care or have the same values as our parents and that allows us to talk however we feel.

When you meet a new person, some may opt to say nothing and give a polite nod of the head as I do, others may choose to greet them with a nice hello and a handshake like the rest of my family. This is all is dependent on our background and upbringing, as well as where we come from geographically. As James Baldwin 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;” I speak English and even though at least 220 millions others do as well, each of us has a distinct "Speak". Our “Speaks” can set us apart from others by the words we use, tone, pronunciation and so on, giving ourselves our own method uniqueness.

At school and in most any place I speak as Richard Rodriguez describes about his school memories, I speak, “Directed towards a general audience, words meaningfully said and clearly spoken.” I tend to also be more general with my sentences, making sure to include as much details of my audience as possible. By doing so I can create an authoritative and inclusive setting. I also tend to bring in very big words to portray how knowledgeable I am. A great example was my daily conversations with my old history teacher.

“How are you doing today Chuckie?”

“I am doing alright, a bit exhausted and exasperated about members for a group project I am doing.”

I need not to go further as the key word is “exasperated.” I am pretty sure that most kids would use the word “annoyed” because that is the word they know for this type of situation. I, on the other hand happen to know the definition which I will refrain from stating as not to bore you. Before I continue, even now I write in a "Speak" that is completely different than my others. I have a writing "Speak", as well as my general and personal "Speak". My writing "Speak" is such that only when I write can I say what I want to and not trip myself up while thinking on the fly compared to speaking what I want and saying the possible way. However, my favorite and most reserved "Speak", is my personal tone, only revealed to my closest confidants. I never use it in a public situation, and if I do it is all by accident.

My personal “Speak” is filled with a oodles of emotion, dancing from happiness to query in a single sentence, then dodging fear and landing on uncertainty in the next. It decloaks my hidden side from those who are not worthy of reading the book about my past. See, some event happened in my past, and it showed me how susceptible I was to ridicule shutting me off from my old way of speaking. I made a complete turn with the way I began to speak to people in public whom I didn’t know well, and only when people have gained my trust do I feel comfortable speaking my personal “Speak.”

So now that I have given you a glance of what it is like to be Chuckie, I should sum up things. Trying to balance other people's opinions and feelings as well as my way of talking is tough. Sometimes when I try and switch between the three “Speaks” things get jumbled, said the wrong way, or lost in translation. I do change my “Speak” for the people I’m around because otherwise I would be a mess, a very confusing one no less. Being me however, represents us all and each person's distinct way of being and language to others.

Speaking My Own Language

“Guys what do you want to do this weekend?

“We should like definitely go to the mall.” I exclaimed. “You talk so white,” my friends Naby and Bryan replied.

Whenever my friends tell me I talk white I think to myself, how can someone talk white? Is there a problem with the way I talk?  What am I saying that is different from what others are saying? Why should it matter if I talk white, black, pink or purple? What does it have to do with anything?  Personally, I don’t see how I talk white, I don’t have a problem with the way I talk so why should anyone else? I think I talk proper because that’s how I was brought up.

This talking white thing bothers me because I just want to know what people mean when they say I talk white. When I make new friends I tend to ask them if I talk white to see what they will say. Some say yes and others say no.  “Do I talk white?” I may ask. “Yeah you do” “Do I talk white?” they say, mocking me. They usually laugh and make jokes and continue to mock me. I never knew one’s voice or choice of words could sound so funny, I think to myself. I don’t understand where this talking white thing comes from. What’s the big deal?

I have to believe that perhaps my upbringing contributes to my language development.  I have been raised for the most part in the Greater Northeast section of Philadelphia and live in quite and ethnically diverse neighborhood. I have attended private schools that were predominately African American and transitioned to public schools whose make-up has been predominately White. I have made and maintained friends of all nationalities and religious backgrounds. Due in part to these things I have mentioned, I have to wonder if I’ve picked up a specific way of speaking from attempting to create my own language when interacting with the multitude of friends that I have. I imagine even speech can be influenced because of the people you’ve been around your whole life.

While I do consider upbringing as an influence on how I talk, I cannot believe that this is the only or major factor simply because many of my family members comment on this as well.  “There’s the accent,” they say or “you guys,” they tease.  Often times I find myself limiting conversations to one or two words just so I won’t have to hear whatever remarks they are waiting to give about how I talk.  Although I am no longer bothered when this happens, I recall times that it totally upset me, because I wasn’t speaking any differently than anyone else I knew. I never mentioned any of these feelings to my family; however, as I got older it seemed as if they slowly stopped criticizing me about the way I talk.

Despite the fact that my family has eased up on the speech comments, it is something that I continue to deal with in school among my peers and when I’m hanging out with certain groups of friends.  For instance when I am with my African American friends I may say, “hey guys do yous want to go to the park?” and immediately they reply with;  “Imani, why do you say yous, that’s how white people talk.” While I know I should probably be honest and tell them how I feel, I’ve always felt like they would judge me about taking it to heart.  As such, I decided that it’d be best when with them to speak in a way that they could best identify. Yet, code switching in this way reminds me of Maxine Hong Kingston’s assertion that; “ a ready tongue is evil.”   Trying to speak in a way that is not natural for sometimes results in me saying things that are inappropriate and uncomfortable.

My best friend Tiffany  is White and when I’m with her I tell her how I feel about the “ I talk white comments” and I tell her how I never felt so insecure about something so little before. It was to the point where I didn’t feel comfortable talking or speaking around certain people. She’s has the ability to calm me down and tell me that there’s no problem with the way I talk. She reassures me that I don’t have to change something so unique for people that have no idea what they are talking about. Tiffany always reminds me how proper I talk and how I shouldn’t be insecure about that because I have manners and am a very courteous person.

Having a friend who understands my perspective is really empowering.  It helps me cope with being mocked and criticized.  It also helps because she is a listening ear and that allows me a chance to get it off my chest. Tiffany has helped me realize that I need to take a stand.  Everyone does things differently and we are all individuals with our own unique styles.  Richard Rodriguez  in his text “Hunger of Memory” indicates; “people involve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances.” this quote reminds me that we all have a specific way in which we use language and to feel empowered we have to use language to navigate our destiny. No one should be judged or criticized by how they speak.

“It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify,” James Baldwin. I strongly agree with Mr. Baldwin because one's language identifies who they are. Regardless of how I speak, I have a voice which is my instrument and I should be able to speak however I want without my friends, family or whomever criticizing and teasing me. I feel comfortable with my language and how I speak, I shouldn’t be ashamed of something that is mine. How I speak is powerful and unique!  


The Growth of Tongue


“Arielle you speak too fast.”

I panted lightly having laughed for about forty-five seconds at a joke between me and my sister. I held onto the seat belt, bracing myself for what I was about to hear.

“Slow down! I remember you used to speak very slowly and clearly, I miss that.”

I didn’t want to be mad because my grandmother was only telling me this because she loved me, but I couldn’t escape the fact that she soiled a perfectly good joke.

“I will,” I nodded.

Nyla looked at me. I looked at Nyla. Quite frankly, neither of us really cared about the critique given because our cheeks were too rosy to take our minds off of bursting out laughing. I was silent for the rest of the ride home, because an unmovable lump had grown in my throat. This was not a rare series of events though. My grandmother kept a close eye on us since we’re her only grandchildren and she had so many insecurities about how we grew up, I guess because we’re the first American children she ever had part in raising. Speech is one thing that she payed a lot of attention to because we were city bred, raised around people who had a constant relaxed dialect. It bothered her when she heard someone mashing words together or speaking quickly. Of course, through the eyes of a child I took it was an insult to my handle on the English language.

She wasn’t the only one who noticed the change way I spoke. The older people at my church would always remind me of the me they ‘remember’, the me they miss. I remember that me fondly, the one who went to school with white socks and came home with brown ones; the one whose pigtails were always loose at the ends and who smiled cheekily through missing front teeth. The one who wrote a letter and displayed it in front of the whole church.

The same people would always remind me how when I was younger I would pronounce my words very clearly, but I don’t anymore. I just laugh at their remarks. I always laugh.

I’ve only grown about two feet since I was in first grade, therefore it’s always completely understandable to be quickly reminded of my younger self and the way I once behaved. Little do they know I’ve changed so much. Little do they know that since the letter I moved out of the small two-bedroom apartment I and had started public school and morphed into an inner-city kid who knew a lot more slang since my Christian school days. I’m sure they don’t even realize that I won two spelling bees, gained a plethora of new words and phrases and opinions, and had even seen the seven hardest years of her life.

I was always being given a mirror to compare myself with the girl looking back at me, always told how a young me was a better and how ‘I grew up too fast’, even if it wasn’t always directly. My sarcasm baffles my aunts and uncles who last saw me in diapers and I surprise them when I talk about the media or politics. I outgrew the same hand-me-downs from my older sister the same way I outgrew my old tongue. I was once an optimistic brat who always had too much to say with words spilling over the brim but was also too smart for her own good. It was a short time ago that I realized that my language was a party trick, the one thing people noticed about me because it was always unpredictable. I think that’s what adults love about kids, seeing what kind of madness they’re going to crank out of their juvenile brains before they even realize what they’re doing. I walked head-first into a lot of those situations when I was young, clumsily stumbling into my own language that would finally reach its final stage of evolution. Unfortunately, it was a language that people could no longer recognize. I was older, mindful and had a lot to say. It was hard for people to identify the me I had become.

Ghandi once said: “Language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.” I consider speech as a significant sign of growth because it is one of how much it changes. Environment, experiences, and even people are large contributors to the elements of one’s language, and just as children grow, so does one’s tongue.


Standardized Tests

Extreme anxiety, endless hours of preparation, and billions of dollars all go towards an inaccurate representation of students and their capabilities on information that will eventually be forgotten. According to TIME Magazine, standardized tests have been around for more than 50 years and for more than 50 years they have been a controversial subject within schools. Standardized tests should no longer be incorporated in schools due to the incapability to show all students’ skills, the unnecessary cost, and the intense stress and anxiety.

Standardized tests are just not an accurate measurement of every student’s performance because they only test a narrow range of skills and knowledge. Not every child wishes to pursue a career that uses English, mathematics, or writing. Some children want to pursue skills of theirs that are not being tested on standardized tests. The American Institute for Learning and Human Development put it this way: “Standardized tests don’t value creativity. A student who writes a more creative answer in the margins of such a test, doesn’t realize that a human being won’t even see this creative response; that machines grade these tests, and a creative response that doesn’t follow the format is a wrong response.” Standardized tests shouldn’t be given to students because it does not test on all skills. It is simply telling children that creative fields are not as good as the ones that require more logic. Not to mention, even the material that the tests asses on are things that will only be in the children’s minds temporarily. The Brookings Institution published a study in 2001 that found that 80% of what children learned by studying for the test was temporary and did not affect long term learning. (Procon.org) If standardized tests are not even helping kids learn new things and improve their learning, there is absolutely no point for them in school. It defeats the purpose of school, as it is a place to expand knowledge and grow in learning. The benefit is not worth the cost.

Standardized tests cause extreme anxiety and put huge amounts of stress on students. Students already have piles of responsibilities with school being first and foremost. Standardized tests cause unnecessary anxiety. Students are already getting graded on their learning. Procon.org, a website that assesses the pros and cons of controversial topics reads, " According to education researcher Gregory J. Cizek, anecdotes abound "illustrating how testing... produces gripping anxiety in even the brightest students, and makes young children vomit or cry, or both." [7] On Mar. 14, 2002, the Sacramento Bee reported that "test-related jitters, especially among young students, are so common that the Stanford-9 exam comes with instructions on what to do with a test booklet in case a student vomits on it.” The people who make the tests are already planning on students to vomit which means they know that these tests cause so much anxiety. Getting good grades is more than enough for kids to be worrying about.

       For all of this, standardized tests cost billions of dollars. An article on the Huffington Post explains, “Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion A Year, Study Finds. A new report by the Washington-based Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution calculates states spend a combined $1.7 billion annually on standardized testing.” This money should be going to schools in need and not to unnecessary tests. School districts around the world could greatly benefit from even a small portion of this money.

When asked, school district administrators might say standardized tests are a fair and accurate representation of students. But on closer inspection, skills are being left off the test that are important to many. Standardized tests are unnecessary. They cause more problems than they are solving. Although some may disagree because it supposedly weeds out people for colleges, this argument is invalid. It only weeds out the ones who don’t have extreme skills in the few topics that children are tested on. In order to make the students (the future leaders) succeed they must be eliminated from schools.


WORKS CITED


Fletcher, Dan. "Standardized Testing." Time. Time Inc., 11 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.


Armstrong, Thomas. "15 Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Worthless."|American Institute for Learning and Human Development. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.


"Standardized Tests - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.


Kuczynski-Brown, Alex. "Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion A Year, Study Finds." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.





The Rise of Online Dating

Technology today has shaped the way humans date. What once used to be written and sent through mail, can now be typed and delivered in less than a minute. Social media gives people the ability to not only reconnect with people who they may have once known, but to meet new people as well. This allows for people to make connections faster and easier than ever before. With the rise of online dating came the rise of online relationships. When online dating sites first gained notoriety, people were hesitant. Throughout the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, opinions and stereotypes formed in belief that online dating was only for desperate people. As stigma formed, people who dated online were looked down upon by the public, and the media. Today, opinions on internet dating have changed. One can rarely watch a show on television without seeing the ads for different sites. An estimated 66% of people in the United States have gone on at least one date with someone they met online. This dramatic change in opinion happened over a very short period of time. The dramatic change in opinions about dating online has occurred because of the popularity of sites like Match.com, and the change in efficiency of our generation’s usage of the internet.

Using the internet to date has become not only easy, but efficient. Since the rise in personal computers in the early 1990’s, the internet has an outlet for all types of information. Today, children born in this time period would be in their twenties. It is no surprise then that the most common age group on both Match.com and Tinder, are twenty year olds. This demographic has been the most accustomed to computer usage since birth, and a part of the most technologically savvy generation yet. According to a study on internet usage today, over 84 percent of Americans are online, as opposed to the 54 percent that were online in 2000. The number of people online has increased dramatically, and more people are beginning to experience all the internet has to offer. This, paired with the popularity in the use of the internet among twenty year olds, is part of why so many young people have turned to online dating.

Match.com is able to attract people of all ages. Though the 25-34 year old age range is the most commonly found on Match.com, the second most common age group is people aged 35-44. This age group surpasses the average age of marriage in the United State (27), and therefore more people in this age range will be looking for a long term partner. Dating offline can be more difficult for someone in this age group. Singles this age may feel the need to skip the chase and settle down quickly, and it is not always easy to find like-minded people through normal methods of dating. Because of the personalization of a profile on sites like Match or Tinder, people are able to cut to the chase and tell people exactly what they want out of a relationship. To this age group, it is also reassuring that Match.com is responsible for more dates, relationships, and marriages than any other dating site.

Marriage is not the only goal for people dating online. Along with websites, apps are another easy and popular method of dating online. Apps like Tinder are known for their ease and simplicity, as well as a perfect mobile alternative to any site. With an app, anyone can carry a night out in their pocket. It has become an easy way for people to connect without strings attached. Though Tinder isn’t only a “hookup” app, it’s casual nature and chat feature makes it less daunting for those who aren't as good at socializing , and less time consuming for someone who wants to cut straight to the chase. In a Vanity Fair article, writer Nancy Jo Sales interviewed men and women in various New York bar scenes, all of which where the majority of adults there were on tinder or another dating app. “I’m on Tinder, Happn, Hinge, OkCupid,” Nick says. “It’s just a numbers game. Before, I could go out to a bar and talk to one girl, but now I can sit home on Tinder and talk to 15 girls—” Men (and women) like Nick are able to chat with many people at the same time, all in the comfort of their homes. Both apps and websites have changed the setting of today’s dates, by conducting conversations online.

It is clear that people have become more accepting of online dating. Though it is now something that many people are unashamed to admit, the results of its popularity have changed the dating field. In almost all urban areas in the United States, young people have access to the internet, a luxury their parents didn’t have. In most interconnected cities, the internet is now a pillar of dating. Whether or not more options lead to greater happiness will be harder to determine, but in the meantime, the popularity of dating online is only expected to rise.



Works CIted:


Smith, Aaron, and Monica Anderson. "5 Facts about Online Dating." Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/20/5-facts-about-online-dating/>.


Match.com Fact Sheet 2013. Match.com, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. <file:///home/chronos/u-65bf3a743848201f5796144590122dc56d5b425d/Downloads/Match.com+Fact+Sheet+2013.pdf>.


Median Age at First Marriage: 1890 to Present. Digital image. United States Census Bureau, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. <http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/files/graphics/MS-2.pdf>.


Sales, Nancy Jo. "Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse." Vanity Fair. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2015. <http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating>.


Not In Stock

‘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/>.