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Una Oda para Francisco Madero

Francisco Madero tuvo un papel significativo en el Revolución Mexicana. El era un revolucionario y ayudaba mucho gente en Mexico. 

Una Oda de Francisco Madero
heroico, aventurado, y activista para el gente de Mexico.
Cuando yo te veo pienso en Madero era es bravo y sin miedo
Me haces mi vida tan significo como la vida de Madero
Tu, mi inspiracion.
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Food Benchmark

Food: Chicken & Shrimp Alfredo W/ Red Bell Peppers

Materials:

  • Pot
  • Sause Pan 
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Small bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Strainer 

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of Reggano angel hair
  • 3 bottles of Alfredo
  • 1 cup of red peppers
  • 1 1/2 pounds of medium shrimp
  • salt
  • pepper
  • season/soul food seasoning (optional)
  • old bay

Directions:

1. Cut small portions of the red bell pepper, take the tails of the shrimp off (if there is any), and the chicken into small portions on the cutting board

2. Place the red bell pepper, chicken, and shrimp into a small bowl and add the salt, pepper, old bay, and season/soul food seasoning (optional).

3. Carefully mix so the seasonings would evenly be spread.

4. Take pot and fill it halfway with warm water and wait for a medium boil, about 5-10 minutes.

5. Add the 2 boxes of angel hair into pot and wait for it to become stringy and soft, about 15-20 minutes. 

6. Once the angel hair is finished, place it in the strainer for the water to drain out. 

7. Place the angel hair into large bowl and add the shrimp, chicken, and red bell peppers into bowl.

8. Add the alfredo sauce to the angel hair and mix carefully but thoroughly.

9. Add more seasoning if needed to bring out spice.

10. Continue to mix until everything is evenly spread out. 

 

Analysis:

Processed Food:

- Angel Hair

- Salt

- Pepper

- Season/Soul food seasoning

Whole Foods:

- Bell peppers

- Shrimp

Health & Nutrition:

Large Shrimp - 100 calories, 1.5g of total fat, 460mg of sodium, 21g protein, 0g of sugar

 

Reggano Angel Hair - 200 calories, 1g of total fat, 0mg of sodium, 7g of protein, 1g of sugar

Bell Pepper - 46 calories, 0g of fat, 6mg of sodium, 1g of protein, 6g of sugar

With these ingredients, the body properly processes the food because the person that consumes the food is giving their bodies sugar, sodium, and lots of protein - specifically coming from the Reggano Angel Hair. If this meal is eaten everyday, it cause some problems within the person's body because it is not getting a good enough balance of the types of food that we are to consume everyday. Yes, there is sodium in each of the ingredients, however, too much of it can cause serious problems like high blood pressure which then leads to issues with the heart. In addition, the body wouldn't be getting enough glucose (sugar) because the ingredients have little to none. 

As far as the angel hair spaghetti, it is naturally grown from the ground, however it is processed through factories that make it possible for the distributors to sell it in stores. I know that the angel hair can be grown in Pennsylvania in farms. The red bell peppers do not have to be processed because they are vegetables that are grown. However, they must go through some sort of process to be clean and clear to be sold. The shrimp is from the Atlantic Ocean and then brought over by boats to be processed in ordered to be sold in stores. If the food is processed, then it requires more energy within the factories, which is then polluting the Earth because of all of the chemicals that is being exposed.

 The total cost of the meal was approximately $20.00 (rounded). It didn't cost so much because I went to Bottom Dollar where the food is sold at a cheaper price then regular food stores. For a serving of one person, this meal can cause a lot more than what restaurants sell it at. However, because I had to make it for a class, it amounted to be the same price. So basically I can make a meal that feeds 10-20 people for the same price as if one person was eating the meal. This meal is different then fast food because it doesn't contain a whole lot of processed chemicals that fast food meals does. It has been reported that places like McDonalds and Burger Kings causes more negative health factors. For example, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, etc. 

Most people that I know eat a meal like this, especially since it has seafood in it. The meal was purchased from a food market where the majority of people in America buy their food. The difference between the commercial process of the food and the self sufficient process is that there wouldn't be a problem with consuming the bad things that the food has in it because it went through the process in order to be sold. 


Self Reflection:

Personally, I have learned a lot in this unit. I learned that 1) it is extremely important for me to make sure that I am eating healthy and setting a healthy diet for myself. As a result, I force myself not to eat out as much as I used to and eat at home. Also, I try to make sure that I add more color to my food. I also learned that not all food are naturally grown and whenever I make a trip to the supermarket, I need to take into account to look at the ingredients and make sure that it would be health enough for me. I know that I am willing to make these changes and I know that it would make a major difference in my growth. If the government makes a change in the way food is distributed in this country, I believe that we would become a more healthier country and we won't be considered as obese.



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The Central Park Five Bias

On the night of April 19, 1989, 28 year Trisha Meili was jogging in central park, New york when she was beaten and raped. Five african american and latino teens were guilty of committing rape. fifteen year old Yusef Salaam, sixteen year old Korey wise, fourteen year old Kevin Richardson, fifteen year old Antron MCcray, and fourteen year old Raymond Santana were the victims of this crime. Yet they were not the ones who committed the crime but they were blamed of doing it. But why were these five young men convicted of this cruel crime?  The central park five were the victims of this crime because they were in the park when the rape was going on but also they were african american and latino teenagers who were the first thought to come to mind by the police.


This seemed to be a big problem in New York during those times and past years before this incident. New york was filled with crimes against African Americans with white people committing them. three white men attacking a black male, a man shooting an African American male in the subway saying if he had more bullets, he would have shot him more, and a woman being shot in her home by police who were trying to evict her. A reporter in the documentary says,“A city with violence out of control”.  This was all going on when violence was high in New York due to drugs and crimes. “Murders in New York City are occurring at a rate almost identical to that of last year, when a record 1,896 were reported, according to Police Department statistics.” says Bruce Lambert in a published article by the New York Times in 1989. He also says, “For June, the most recent comparison available, 164 homicides were reported, five more than in June 1988. Drug-related murders were down, from 37 percent of all homicides in the first half of last year, to about 30 percent in the first half of this year. As the case went on, more information was found out about the rape and why the five teenagers were involved.


The five teens and twentyfive other teenagers entered the park that night together. Some of the teens were acting crazy and acting as if they had lost their minds. Some messing with bikers while they were riding past, and beating up a homeless man then smashing a beer bottle on his head. Then the police came. Everyone left. Korey was one of the people who fled when the police showed up. But, the other four stayed. They stayed to look for some of the people they knew from the neighborhood who went to Central Park that night. As they were trying to find others and go home, they saw a man tackle another man then throw him inside of the bushes and start beating him then they heard someone yelling police. They witnessed this from a distance. Could this have been the the jogger? Or could this have been a fight between two men that they watched while hearing the jogger screaming police as she was being raped?


Antron left the group to go home around nine and ten O’clock because he had a curfew while the others were in the subway and walking home. Raymond remembered a car stopping right in front of him and two officers grabbing him. Kevin was walking home and spotted the police then running away from them not knowing what to do. He was then tackled to the ground and hit in the face by the police officer with his helmet. As the police officer was handcuffing kevin, he remembers the officer saying,” what’s going on? Didn’t I tell you not to run you animal”? Why would a police officer say something like that to a teenager? Why does he have to be an animal because he is dark skinned. A police officer should never say something like that to a person regardless of what skin color they are. The police officer’s job is to serve and protect. How are you serving and protecting people by call them names like animals because of their skin color. What did the the police officer mean when he said “animal” to kevin? The first thing that comes to my mind is that the police officer is calling kevin a slave running away from a plantation or running for freedom. If that is what the officer meant by “animal”, then that is another reason for racist comments towards someone else of a different race. African americans are not animals, they are humans just like any other person on this earth. Just because there are people who have a different skin color than yours does not give you any kind of right to call someone anything other than a human.  Yes kevin ran away from you but it was because he was scared. Kevin was only a teenager let alone fourteen at the time. If you were fourteen and the cops were after you and you didn’t know why, you would run. That is a dumb thing to do but, that was the first thing that came to his mind.


All five boys were treated unfairly and wrong because of their backgrounds through the whole case. The detective pulled Raymond’s grandmother outside to talk to and said that he was the scumbag who did the crime to his grandmother. The detectives threatening the boys tell them people in jail don’t like people who raped woman but the boys are still unsure about what woman they are talking about and telling them they were not the ones who raped any woman that night. Raymond being yelled at by two guys. One in his face with a cigarette blowing in his face and one yelling in his ear telling him that “he fucking did it and he was the one who stuck his dick in her”. After many hours of stress, yelling, and assumptions made, they all gave up. They all wrote on a piece of paper saying how it went down using all of their names and blaming one another of doing a certain thing to the woman.They all knew they didn’t do anything but they still lied about taking part in committing the crime. In 1990, four of the five were given a sentence of five to ten years in a juvenile correctional facility but one person was given five to fifteen years.


Later in 2002, a convicted rapist by the name Matias Reyes confessed to the crime. Reye’s DNA was found in the crime scene and the conviction of the central park five was overturned. 2003, Santana, McCray, and Richardson filed a lawsuit against the City of New York for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination and emotional distress. After all this time, why did it take so long for them to find Reye’s DNA and stop them from putting the five teenagers in jail? I wonder what would have happened if this case was against white teenagers or maybe asian teenagers. What if the detectives that they interrogated the five weren’t all white but had african american detectives. Would things still change? That question is hard to answer back then or even in modern day. We as humans are quick to judge people and assume who did what because you think this is something that they would do or by their skin color. We as people have stereotypes about different religions as well. If the world wasn’t a place where people get judged so much and treated badly because they are different from you or another person, we would be able to just be peaceful and not always have to look down on someone or people because of something you heard or you believe is true and something that you think only their kind would do something so bad
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Un Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda

Yo soy Hernando Cortez. Soy la persona que "descubrió" Mexico. Tengo mucha sangre en mis manos porque yo represento la matanzas de los aztecas al principio de la civilización  de México, algunos de los aztecas están muriendo y quemando encima de mi. Soy un explorador my malo......muy terrible, y mi matanza enseña a los demás quien manda . Soy una parte importante del Revolución Mexicana, porque sin mi los aztecas y mejicanos  no tuvieran coraje como el de hoy.
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Advertising Used During World War II Affecting Us Today

In the year 1939, one of the the largest genocide attacks known to history began to take place in Germany under the control of Adolf Hitler. This was only possible because of the German Nazi’s use of propaganda that encouraged people to believe that what they were doing was the right thing to do. Many people before and during World War II used propaganda just as the German’s did, but it usually was not to support efforts that would impact people in a bad way. Today, it is a type of advertising that is often assumed to be negative in some way because of the affiliation that it had with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. It is not anyones fault that many perceive it that way, however, people tend to associate the use of propaganda and Nazi’s and therefore the mass genocide, which is not an enjoyable memory. The use of propaganda with a negative outcome in World War II by the German Nazi’s, has greatly influenced the use of propaganda that is used in the world today and the implications that it supplies.

Some of the speeches given by Joseph Goebell, a Nazi during World War II, are specifically rich with the propaganda that had such negative effects on the world. His speech, “Knowledge and Propaganda,” given on January 9, 1928 is rich with examples of propaganda and its use .(Goebbel, Joseph. "Knowledge and Propaganda (1928)." Knowledge and Propaganda (1928). Calvin, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb54.htm>). This speech goes into detail about what he and the Nazi party thought of propaganda and how it supplied people with knowledge, hence the title. In this speech he says, “The greater and simpler the idea is, the more it relates to daily life, the more one has the desire to tell everyone about it.” The great and simple idea that the Nazi’s had was, Jews are bad and caused all of their problems and as a result, they should all be killed. Since the whole of Germany was struggling economically and was in major debt, the idea that it was someone else's fault that they were in a slump was easy for them to accept. They were all under the same circumstances and as a result, their mindsets were similar and this idea was simple enough, so everyone believed it was true and as a result, the best thing for their struggling country. The idea itself has a negative output and most Germans understood that and accepted the fact that they would be killing millions of people. Therefore, any propaganda that advertised this idea was negative and since it was used so often, propaganda having a bad outcome became normal to most people. This ‘normal’ even traveled from applying to only the people in Germany, to the people in America always viewing propaganda as a negative form of advertisement.

More currently though, there have been articles written about propaganda today and how it is used. One for example is by Mike Adams, The Health Ranger titled, “CVS pharmacy promotes flu shot propaganda using life-sized grim reapers.” (Adams, Mike. "CVS Pharmacy Promotes Flu Shot Propaganda Using Life-sized Grim Reapers." NaturalNews. NaturalNews, 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.naturalnews.com/033917_CVS_flu_shots.html>). It goes on to talk about how the Influenza vaccination is experimental on each person who takes it and that it does not always have a positive effect on people. I found it surprising that this advertisement was called propaganda, but compared to the use of propaganda by the Nazis, it is a form of advertising that would have a negative impact, just as their propaganda was. In this case, the negative impact was scaring people. To show this straight from the article, “A CVS pharmacy is promoting flu shots using images of the Grim Reaper, the most widely-recognized symbol of death.” Since the vaccine can cause illness to anyone who gets it, the CVS is making sure that the people getting the vaccine, know it can be dangerous. It is mildly contradictory however, because it is trying to influence you to get a shot that could help protect you or even save you, but getting the vaccine could get you very sick or in the worst case scenario, kill you. This goes to prove my thesis, that since the German’s wild use of negatively impacting propaganda, in order for a piece of advertising to be classified as a piece of propaganda, it has to have a negative connotation or express a negative outcome. Also, the title of the article implies negativity with the use of the word propaganda and Grim Reaper, again, supporting my thesis .

Only since World War II has propaganda been associated with negativity, and even more specifically, since the German’s use if it. Before it was manipulated into its pessimistic ways, it was often used positively. Even up to, and during World War II, the American’s used it positively, even with the war efforts. There is a pamphlet that was created in 1944 called, “What is Propaganda?” by The American Historical Society that explains the purpose of propaganda and what is was during 1944. (American Historical Society. What Is Propaganda? Washington D.C.: American Historical Society, 1944. Healthyinfluence. G.C. Marshall. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://healthyinfluence.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/AHA-War-Dept-Propaganda.pdf>.) In the chapter labeled, The Story of Propaganda, it speaks of how propaganda was used before the time of World War II, but it was not known to be a negative form of advertising. “Nobody would make the mistake of assuming that it is new if, from early times, efforts to mobilize attitudes and opinions had actually been called “propaganda,””What is Propaganda?” reads. Before World War II, propaganda had not been used in this negative light, which is what caused many people to believe that ‘propaganda’ was a new term. This only goes to prove that the Nazi’s use of propaganda was what made it so well-known and caused it to be affiliated with negative outcomes.

Advertising is how we get the greater majority of our ideas across to other people, but we don’t want to always use the same form of advertising because it can get old and boring. Advertising is part of our everyday lives. However, the use of propaganda with a negative outcome in World War II by the German Nazi’s, has greatly influenced the use of propaganda that is used in the world today and the implications that it supplies. Therefore, we do not use it as much as we would if it was not used in this way during World War II.


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Encebollado con Jhonas Dunakin

Recipe:

Ingredients

    • 2 lbs fresh tuna
    • 1 lb yuca, fresh or frozen
    • 2 tbs sunflower oil
    • 2 tomatoes, diced
    • ½ red onion, diced
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 8 cups of water
    • 5 cilantro sprigs
    • Salt to taste
Serve topped with:
  • Curtido de cebolla y tomate or pickled red onion and tomato salsa
  • Chifles or plantain chips
  • Tostado corn nuts or popcorn

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil on medium heat to make a refrito with diced onion, tomato, cumin, chili powder and salt.
  2. Add the water and cilantro springs, bring to a boil.
  3. Add the tuna and cook for until the tuna is fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
  4. Drain the tuna and keep the broth to cook the yuca.
  5. Separate or break the tuna into small to medium size pieces.
  6. Bring the tuna broth to a boil and add the yucas, cook until tender but firm, about 30-40 minutes for the frozen yuca.
  7. Take the yuca from the broth, remove the strings and cut into bite size chunks.
  8. Add the yuca chunks and tuna pieces to the broth, taste and add salt if needed.
  9. Re-warm the soup if necessary and serve topped with a good amount of pickled onion and tomato salsa, if desired can also be served with chifles or plantain chips, tostado corn nuts, avocado slices and extra lime slices.

Analysis of Dish:
The only processed foods in the encebollado are the sunflower oil, the chili powder, the ground cumin, and the salt. The majority, about 95% of the total food mass are whole, not processed. The majority of the dish is the tuna, and the yuca. The calories for a full meal serving is about 600-800 calories. Tuna is very good for you, as it can, among other things, lower blood pressure, and lower the risk for heart disease, stroke and cancer. The yuca root helps ease diabetic symptoms, and helps soothe arthritis. If you ate nothing but this meal everyday, you'd most likely be very healthy, as long as you made sure to get the other vitamins and things that you need. The tuna came from japan, so it probably traveled the farthest. The processed foods probably didn't have a significant affect on the environment, because the ingredients are mostly very natural. The Tuna for this meal is fairly expensive, but of the meal is very reasonably priced. For the tuna to get to our plate, it went on a long journey. It was fished from the japanese waters, then shipped to America, where it was then moved to the store we bought it from.

Personal Reflection:

This unit I learned that one of the things I pay the least attention to, what I eat, is one of the most important decisions I can make in my life, especially in regards to my health. While I personally can’t affect the larger food system that much, I can make good choices of who I buy food from, so as not to support the companies that abuse the animals they feed you, like the way chickens and cows are penned up like we saw in Food inc. I think that the biggest problem with the food system is that the cheapest, and most addicting foods are the most unhealthy, because it leads to people eating much more unhealthy food than they would have. I think that I personally could improve my food choices by eating less junk and fast food, which would give me a healthier diet, and free up space in my diet for more vegetables, fruit, and other foods. I probably wont cut out 100% of the junk and fast food that I eat, but I am willing to cut out the majority of those foods that I eat.


Food Rules Slide:

Food Rules Slide.001
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Un Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda

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Soy Frida. Soy el marido de Diego Rivera. Tengo un yinyang en mi mano porque represento el equilibrio de mi marido, Diego Rivera. El está en la foto en frente de mi. A mi izquierda, hay la Catrina. Soy una artista muy buena, y mi arte inspira a muchas personas. Soy una parte importante del Revolución Mexicana, porque hago arte que representa mis sentimientos. Añade al explosión de arte en este tiempo.
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The Subconscious Bias

Even though our conscious bias may be the one we try to control and show, the subconscious bias is the underlying cause of many stereotypes and generalizations. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People touches on many themes related to bias, including the automatic and reflective sides of the mind, and what roles they play in society. The definition of bias has been discussed for years, and makes understanding stereotypes easier once the bias is understood. Bias is when your brain associates certain things with each other, and tries to make quick decisions. Sometimes, these decisions are distorted from our own conscious ideas, causing bias. IAT tests, which determine your underlying bias in your subconscious, were created to find your hidden bias. Our bias is part of a system which controls society, and our brains are to blame for the associations that cause bias.

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, a book published in February 2013, and written by a social psychologist from Harvard (Mahzarin R. Banaji) and professor of psychology at University of Washington (Anthony G. Greenwald), touches on many themes of bias and how they relate to our brains. The title of the book “Blindspot” is a metaphorical way of refering to the section of the mind that contains our hidden bias. The book shares the experiences of the authors taking Implicit Association Tests (IAT’s), and explains the science of it. The book’s purpose is to help the general public understand their mental biases, and adapt ourselves to be more fair to the people of society.

According to Oxford Dictionary, bias means “prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair”. Many people believe that they don’t have a bias, whether it is subconscious or conscious. Racism is a controversial issue, and a lot of the public believe that they are not racist. However, there is a bias that most people have about skin color preference that they are unaware of. This underlying bias that we are unknowing of can be found through a simple Implicit Association Test (IAT). An IAT is a test that was created for determining the level of bias that we have. Harvard developed a racial profiling IAT test that gives a series of words and pictures of children of European-American and African-American descent/skin color. The point of the test is to see how fast you associate each skin color with pleasant and unpleasant words. My results astounded me. I am a person that is against racism wholeheartedly, and I don’t believe skin color matters in the grand scheme of things. However, my results of the IAT test showed that I have a strong preference for European-American children vs. African-American children. I wondered how I could be so bias on the inside, but not be bias on the outside. This is where the book Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, played a role. The book talks about how humans have an automatic and reflective side of the brain. The automatic side of the brain is the subconscious side, and the reflective side is the conscious side. My automatic brain has a strong bias towards children of European-American descent, but my reflective brain has no bias towards either. IAT tests are great for figuring out your subconscious bias and can help in trying to be more fair to society. However, is it possible that our subconscious has more of an influence than we previously thought?

The subconscious brain is responsible for making us breathe and move, and is controlled mainly by the hypothalamus, located above the brain stem. It is the location of the quick, decision-making part of the brain, and there is no way for it to be controlled. In fact, our subconscious is so secretive, that common things in public influence our way of being without our knowing it. A study done by Yale tested whether or not subtle things would bring about any different behavior in humans. The studies found that humans were more likely to be tidy if there’s a faint scent of cleaning product in the air, or they become more competitive if a briefcase is visible. These tests not only prove that conscious behavior is affected by the subconscious brain, but that bias can be undetectable!

The subconscious and conscious are brought up in chapter four of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. The book refers to the subconscious as the “automatic” side of the brain, and the conscious side as the “reflective” side. The chapter mentions a situation from the famous sitcom “Seinfeld”. In this situation, Jerry, the main character talks with his friend George in a restaurant and acts like they’re a gay couple because a woman is eavesdropping on them. Later, the woman asks to interview Jerry, because he’s a well-known comedian. Jerry doesn’t recognize the woman, but proceeds with the interview. She asks questions for a column she is going to write while George is in the room. After a while, Jerry begins to catch on that the woman is from the restaurant, and she is a news reporter. He proceeds to try and convince the reporter that they’re not really gay, and quickly adds in “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”. This situation proves that while Jerry’s conscious “reflective” side of his brain is gay-friendly, his “automatic” subconscious side of his brain does not want to be portrayed as gay because of all of the stereotypes that go along with it.

Bias is the cause of stereotypes and generalizations, and our subconscious brain is uncontrolled when it comes to issues like these. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People is a very useful book that helps people try to keep their bias in control, and not let it affect their conscious choices. Knowing the difference between the “opinion” of your automatic and reflective sides of your brain will cause a greater sense of fairness and equality in our community and society. The distortion of the subconscious and conscious brain activity cause problems, and reading the book alone will give you a greater sense of right and wrong. Determining your bias can be done with IAT tests, and can bring you one step close to conquering it. If we can control the systems of bias that are part of our subconscious brain, we can create a more fair society that we live in today.



BIBLIOGRAPHY:


Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Anthony G. Greenwald. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. New York: Delacorte, 2013. Print.


Carey, Benedict. "Who's Minding the Mind?" The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 July 2007. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/health/psychology/31subl.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0>.
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La Calavera Catrina

El Mural Grande



El foto de La Calavera Catrina


(mural)                    (Estatua)



Yo soy La Calavera Catrina creado por José Guadalupe Posada un grabador mexicano y ilustrador de dibujos animados. Creo que el mural no sería no sería famoso si yo no estaba en ella. Quiero decir mira qué guapa me miro en mi vestido, que le costó mucho, pero valió la pena cada centavo. Diego pinto porque yo y las esposas del Presidente Porfirio Díaz representó el 1% de las personas ricos en México durante mi época. Si no estabas vestido en vestidos y telas hechas por los europeos que no era la persona que eras un don nadie. Fuimos el lo mas poderoso hasta que nuestro tiempo se había terminado. La revolución mexicana se acercó los campesinos y los revolucionarios tomó el control y “poof” esto era el final de agradables telas y vestidos caros.
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Blindspots in Reading

Blind Spots in Reading

I love to read. I feel like I am obligated to say that as to not make people think I hate reading. Books are a passion of mine that I can’t prevent. It’s almost like an alcohol addiction. I can read a long book, and after finishing I get a book hangover. I read slowly because 1. I can’t read fast and 2. I tend to have better reading comprehension when I read slowly. I am always on Goodreads searching for books that in the same category as the books I read, so I usually don’t go too far out of my comfort zone.

The way I search for books leaves me with a large bias that I am too routine to get out of. I look back to see that it stems from forced school reading. Most books I have had to read in school have forced me towards historical fiction, political allegory, and sci fi. Genres I tend to stay away from include fantasy and biographies because of stereotypes, an unfamiliar writing style for me, and the bad experiences I have had with them.

Wondering to see if I am the only with this kind of bias I asked my friend, Jiwon Choi, questions relating to what kind of literature she had strong opinions about, whether positive or negative. The first question I asked her was, “What kind of books do you like?” which led me to a vague answer. She said, “I like fantasy, sci fi, and just fiction in general,” which  wasn’t getting me anywhere.So to polarize the question I asked her, “What kind of books do you hate with a passion?” in order to get a stronger response. In a very low yet strong voice she said, “I hate plays. I f****** hate plays. I hate Shakespeare with his old english and stuff. I hate poetry and graphic novels as well. I don’t like non-fiction. I can read them if I have to, but I won’t go out to Barnes and Noble to buy them.” That response was a lot more passionate than what I had anticipated for.

From these responses, I was able to discern how she would have developed these biases. When I asked what kind of books she liked she was relatively vague by not telling me much more than the fact that she liked fiction along with fantasy and sci-fi. This confirms a large bias that most teenagers have, which is liking genres that target the teenage audience. The reading level is relatively low which makes it easier to understand. Sci-fi and fantasy almost never come up in school reading, which draws teens towards it, due to the fact that school reading tends to be boring because you have to read a certain amount of pages every night. A lot of the books students have to read in school are for adults which can make some references difficult to understand and because most of the books are old, it hinders our thought of what the setting would have looked like since we have never encountered anything like it. This is one of the biases that is typical amongst teenagers that I don’t believe is as developed in myself as it is in Jiwon and other teenagers. I like books which are targeted towards adults such as 1984 by George Orwell and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. While I do read some young adult novels such as The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I don’t believe I have a preference towards these novels like most young adults do.

I got the response a teenager would say when asked, “What kind of books do you hate with a passion?” Jiwon’s response was a great example as she showed great passion by the fierceness in her voice and by cursing. Plays seem to be a common hatred among teens along. This is likely enforced by the large amounts of Shakespeare teens must read in school, whether it be Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, or Romeo and Juliet which is the case with Jiwon. She points out how much she hates his old english (which is commonly mistaken as Old English) and implies that the difficulty in understanding the author’s language is what caused her to hate Shakespeare, which in turn has caused her to hate plays in general. I share a similar bias on the plays of Shakespeare as the language makes it hard to understand and turns my attention away from remembering previous events by struggling to understand what is currently happening. Jiwon does show some individualistic taste which is definitely not true by the majority when she says she doesn’t like graphic novels. After she stating her opinion on graphic novels I asked, “Why do you hate graphic novels?” Jiwon said, “I don't like books with pictures. I want to be able to imagine the full book with no drawings. It makes my head hurt to read words while looking at pictures.” This shows her bias that having drawings can ruin imagining the scene when in fact it can enhance one’s imagination. This is the one bias most teenagers don’t have because they would prefer a book with drawings because it would be easier to read and cause less confusion, yet I can see that Jiwon doesn’t want the easy way out and she wants to imagine as much as she can without losing an understanding of the book. Drawings can simply just show you a possibility of what you could imagine. The only graphic novel I have read was Maus by Art Spiegelman. I felt as though it didn’t hinder my imagination, rather it made me imagine more of what the situation in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany would have actually looked like. In short, I believe graphic novels just broaden the imagination as opposed to ruining the experience for it.

After learning the genres she passionately disliked, I asked her,”What book do you hate and why do you hate them?” She said, “I hate The Catcher in the Rye , The Taming of the Shrew , both Invisible Man, all Shakespeare, and The Crucible.” I myself have not read any of these books but as I previously mentioned I have read a Shakespearean play. The fact that she said she hated The Catcher in the Rye piqued my interest because I want to read that book in the near future. I decided to question her about The Catcher in the Rye and not focus on the other books she mentioned. I asked her, “Why do you hate The Catcher in the Rye?” She responded, “The Catcher in the Rye had a lot of curse words. The main character had a negative attitude. I like protagonists as the main character rather than an antagonist.” From what her response was it’s easy to discern is kind of reader that prefers a happy attitude in the main character and for the main character to be protagonist. She dislikes book that have slander and negative atmosphere because Jiwon is a cheery person and her attitude is easily changed by the events in a book she is reading. Schools have enforced that slander in books is bad by forcing students not to use it and and not allowing students to read books with slander. I am the opposite though as I don’t care whether there is slander or not or whether the main character is the antagonist or the protagonist. The character’s attitude is not as important to me as the plot itself is. Although I don’t believe slander makes for a great book, I try to treat it as an unrecognized part of language. Slander is a useful indicator in a book to show when a character is angry, careless, or casual which may be hard to discern without slander.

Jiwon and I obviously have very different tastes in books from each other and with the large majority of young adults. While we do share similar views such as our tendency to lean towards fiction and young adult fiction for that matter, we also have different tastes in that genre such as the fact that she doesn’t like graphic novels. We also have different opinions on classics as I love them and she could care less. Jiwon and I also share a hatred in Shakespeare, which is common consensus among teenagers. From questioning Jiwon, I can see that while my biases are in certain cases different from hers, the majority of them  stem from experiences whether good or bad of reading books from a certain genre in school.
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Abortion: Anti or Pro?

Jiwon Choi  

Abortion: Anti or Pro?


    Abortion is one of the most debatable topics in the United States. When the topic is discussed, people tend to take one of the two standpoints: pro or against abortion. The controversy of moral and legal status continues to rage on between the two standpoints. People that identify themselves as Pro-Life is against abortion and people that refers themselves as Pro-Choice are pro abortion. However, you will always have an invisible scale that will even fail the best logic persuasion because there are a lot of factors when it comes to abortion. That is the pain that the mother went through while deciding to abort the baby or after aborting the child. Millions of women who have aborted their child go through the pain, loss, and emotional need to justify what was done. When you scale the issue down to this, it doesn’t become so debatable because no logic that is best will work. Therefore, considering the invisible scale of this issue, there is no “right or wrong” answer to the question of abortion’s legality because they believe their opinions on this topic are correct.


      In Palestine, there were a hundred participants in an abortion rally. They held signs, cheered on speakers, prayed, and sang. This event was the 2nd annual Northwest Families March for Life held for people who believe that abortion should be illegal. Each had a different reason for why they are against abortion, but the group had one main objective for this rally. They were seeking for a peaceful vigil to end abortion. In another article, Pope Francis denounced abortion as “horrific”. He believes that this “throwaway culture” has grown to encompass beings themselves. At his annual “State of the World” address, he has finally decided to speak up about how “evil” abortion is. When you compare the two articles, they have very similar reasons as to why abortion should be illegal, why they are against abortion, and what is so bad about abortion. A participant at Palestine, Cindy Guerrero stated, “Every pregnant woman feels her own way and has her own fears. I know it's a challenge to get her to see why abortion is not the answer." Also, Scott Kirkpatrick had a sign reading “remember the unborn”. On the other hand, Pope Francis has said, “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as unnecessary.” When comparing the reasons for being against abortion, both articles state that people are killing the unborn as a reason. They consider this as a crime and human trafficking because they consider the unborn fetuses as alive. They also talked about how people are murdering these unborn babies that might help the world become a better place later on.


    Meanwhile, there is also another stance in abortion: pro-choice. In the Huffington Post, a woman writes about how women who choose to abort a child is not an oxymoron. In the article, she stated that she became more pro-choice as she became pregnant. In The Guardian, actor Mark Ruffalo talked about why he supports abortion. The article also talks about the number of clinics left in some of the states. Lastly, it showed respect towards the well-known figures that stand up for abortion. When you compare the two articles, they both talk about unwanted pregnancy. They want women to be able to receive help easily from pregnancy they weren’t ready for. In the Huffington Post she said, “If a woman feels that it's the right time for her to become a parent, she should. If she feels that it's not, then she should have other options available: contraception, adoption, and, yes, abortion.” Meanwhile, Mark Ruffalo stated, “I don't want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room.” Both of them seem to have talked to or known people that suffered with unwanted pregnancy and didn’t know how to get help easily. The woman in the article from The Huffington Post said that she talked to numerous of people about how they waited until they were ready and how they felt when they had a child. Mark Ruffalo talked about how his mother had to suffer to get an abortion for a child she really didn’t want or wasn’t ready for. These two articles believe that if the mother has no intention of having the baby, the society should respect their decisions and offer help to them is what they are trying to tell everyone.


    Now, when you compare the two stances, you can see the prejudiced points of view that the two opposing sides have. The anti-abortionists believe that everyone deserves to have a chance to live. They consider women who decide to abort their child as “murderers”. They don’t consider what kind of situation that the mother is going through when they are deciding this matter. There are some that are against it because of religion reasons; the bible tells us that abortion is wrong. Life is something needs to be protected under all circumstances is their argument. Other reasons include: the mother should deal with the consequences if the pregnancy was a mistake and if abortions are easy to obtain, it will be a method of birth control. (SexInfo Online) On the other hand, the pro-abortionists believe that the mothers should have a choice to keep the baby or not. They believe that women should receive help easily because if they cannot access to help, they would need to get abortion illegally. Other reasons include: in cases of rape or incest, the fetus could remind the mother of the horrible experiences, all women should be prepared for their pregnancy, and the fetus is not a human being yet. (SexInfo Online)


     In conclusion, abortion is a topic that cannot have clear direct stances because there are so many reasons as to why it might be right to have an abortion in one situation, but shouldn’t be allowed in another. The prejudiced points that the Pro-Life side have are: they don’t consider the situation that the mother is in. If it really was a case of rape or incest, it would not be right for the having to have the baby, which may have her be reminded by the terrible experiences, and that giving up a child for adoption can be emotionally damaging to the child as having the abortion. There are many children who are emotionally damaged because the fact that their parents abandoned them. In these cases, it is right to have help accessed easily. This is not just a matter of protecting a precious life, it is the matter of the mother’s pain also. Pro-Choice doesn’t consider that not all situations should be allowed for the mother to abort the baby. When a woman aborts a child in a situation that isn’t right to have the child aborted, then that would essentially be a form of murder. Abortion can also lead to expose women with various of health risks.

    The only reason for this topic to be controversial is because of the prejudiced views. If everyone were to notice that this topic is more complicated than it is known already, this would not have been a big issue today. The end result is that there is no “right” answer because there are so many factors that we have look upon when deciding to have an abortion. The circumstances are what matters the most. You wouldn’t want to murder a fetus, but you wouldn’t want to emotionally and physically damage the mother, and perhaps the child’s feelings later on.


Works Cited:

Ferrarin, Elena. "Group Rallies against Abortion in Palatine." Daily Herald. N.p., 19 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140119/news/701109566/>.

Withnall, Adam. "Pope Francis Denounces Abortion as ‘horrific’." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/pope-francis-denounces-abortion-as-horrific-9058040.html>.

Erdreich, Sarah. "'Pro-Choice Mother' Is Not an Oxymoron." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 July 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-erdreich/pro-choice-mother_b_3640718.html>.

Cochrane, Kira. "Mark Ruffalo's Pro-choice Stance on Abortion Rights Sets a Powerful Example." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 20 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2013/aug/19/mark-ruffalo-pro-choice-abortion-rights>.

"Arguments For and Against Abortion | SexInfo Online." Arguments For and Against Abortion | SexInfo Online. N.p., Dec. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. <http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/arguments-and-against-abortion>.
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Frida Kahlo

Me llamo Frida Kahlo. Mi marido piensa que yo soy equilibrio. Estoy herido pero me encanta pintar las pinturas mucho. Estoy en el partido comunista mexicano. Diego me pinta con armas. Soy fuerte.



Frida


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Looking for Hugs with Swastikas By Soledad Alfaro



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“O’neil”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Daddy! Can we play catch outside?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What round is Tommy up?”

“After Buchanico and Jackson.”

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

“ Eddie’s kid.”

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

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

“ Beat him! Beat the nigger!”

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

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

“FUCK!” and

“Never Bet on NIGGERS”!

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

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

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

“HIT THE LITTLE PORCH MONKEY!!”

“Yeah do it KIDDO!!”

“PUNCH HIM IN THE GUT!”

“KNOCK HIM OUT!”

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

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

“What!?”

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

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

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

Breathe, I have to breathe.

“No.” I say calmly catching my breath.

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

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

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

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


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Manuel Mondragón

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


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


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

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A Closet of Mine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“My name is Robert Hardrick.”

He finally knew who he was. He wasn’t about to deny it any longer. Turning the head of the shower faucet, the water stops running down his skin and into the drain. He needed to stop this flow of actions and come out of the room. Come out of the closet.   
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#7

Aaron Tang

Q2 #7


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


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

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


Word Count: 211


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



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#6

Aaron Tang

Q2 #6


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

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


Word Counts: 208

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


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Bias as an Entity, by Josh Berg

Josh Berg

Bias as an Entity

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

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

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

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

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




Works Cited:


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


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


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


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


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Psychology Is Not a Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



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Una Oda de Pancho Villa

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


Una Oda a Pancho Villa

ráctico, populares y exitosos

Cuando yo te veo pienso en hizo la revolución moderna

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

Tú es mi el héroe


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Dreams Don't Always Come True

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

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

 

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

 

“Nineteen!” 

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

   

             

Sources: 

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

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Nebuchadnezzar's Slave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Media and Discrimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Sources:

1. Documentary “The Central Park Five”

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

<http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/cocaine-and-crack-facts>

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

<http://www.nydailynews.com/services/central-park-five>

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

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

<http://www.ibtimes.com/central-park-five-lawsuit-new-york-city

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

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

<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/john-liu-central-park-
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Home Network (Lucid Chart)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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