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“Christos Anesti Angeliki. Kala esai? ” said the Sunday school teacher Kostadina.

“ Alithos Anesti kai kala.” I responded and took a seat in the swivel chair located in front of the cherry wood conference table. The room filled with  more and more Greek kids with smiley and happy faces. My phone which was in my lap buzzed profusely with text messages. Glancing at my teacher and back to my phone

.“ Yo fam, wassup.” The message was from my cousin Kaylee.

I responded with “Wassup fam lol , yo that party last night was to poppin’ dawg. You got super turnt and was drunk all over the place gurl.”

My teacher then asked me to stop texting and to place my phone in a basket located in front of her. She then asked the class “ What did everyone do this weekend?”

We took turns saying out what they did that weekend in a clockwise way. When it finally reached me I simply said “ I went to my cousin’s party and it was pretty fun.”  I wondered why I couldn’t say aloud what I had said to my cousin over the phone.

To be honest, I don’t necessarily know how I ended up in a Greek Orthodox Church. When I was younger my grandmother would always bring me to their festival in May. It never really included church in it but it did include kiddie rides like mini rollercoasters and the traditional park favorite the teacups. It also had food, lots and lots of Greek food. I think that’s where I fell in love. A couple of months after that I started to come on Sunday and participate in the worship service with my grandmother. She worked during church in the Narthex passing out beeswax candles to the church’s parishioners. Eventually, when I was 10 I became one of those parishioners and I got baptised in the father, son and Holy Spirit. From there I enrolled myself in many Greek school classes which taught be the native language of the church and I also joined Greek dancing. Although I was in these activities with many Greek children, some my age and some not. I never felt like I was actually being myself. I always felt as if I was being what everyone wanted me to be, sort of like a black Greek  girl. If that’s even possible. I think all I ever wished for while being in church was another person that could understand what I was going through. I had a friend who was Guatemalan whose name was Maria, but I feel as if she could still blend in, her skin color wasn’t so easy to spot out.

A quote that really relates to my situation is a quote by Bell Hooks, as used in his essay “ This is the oppressor's language yet I need to talk to you”: Language, a place of struggle. He states “ I was in danger of losing my relationship to black vernacular speech because I rarely use it in predominately white settings.” I tend to code switch often when I am around predominantly white groups of people. I throw it all out the window and act totally different without any consciousness of it, it’s sort of something that just happens to me. I  don’t think I’ve ever noticed my miraculous change of voice when I was around everyone. At home I could use “black”  language when communicating with friends and various “ghetto” slurs but then when I when I traveled from the quote on quote “ hood” and crossed into the suburban part of town it was as if all of my black language I felt comfortable with at home and school got thrown out of the window and my inner valley girl voice popped out.  Maybe I spoke like that around them because maybe I was scared I would sound ignorant but then again why should I be scared, it’s me. I was being myself when I talked to my friends and the people around me who shared the same race but when I was in class surrounded by a different race who  probably spoke less slang and more words with an actual Webster Dictionary meaning behind them my voice started to scrunch up into a ball, and I became less vocally expressive then I was everywhere else.

There’s another quote by Richard Rodriguez, and he stated this quote in his essay “ Hunger of Memory” and the quote states “ Like others who know the pain of public alienation, we transformed the knowledge of our public separateness and made it consoling - the remainder of intimacy.” I can relate to this quote very much, I always feel publicly alienated at my church mainly because of my skin color and because of that I don’t have a voice. My “black” language cannot be expressed because I am too scared, scared of being labeled as ignorant and even possibly ignored. I only feel a consolment around my other black friends because I know they wouldn’t judge me or make fun of me. They would understand exactly what was coming out my mouth and the ways I acted, because they probably acted and spoke the same way.

In conclusion, language is something that affects my spiritual and social life because of the fact I cannot express how I really feel in my “black” language when I am with people who don’t speak the same. I just want to be myself everywhere I am, no matter what race I am surrounded by and when I do speak I want to feel comfortable  with what I am saying out of my mouth, and I want to be accepted, and not judged or labeled by people because everyone is different and everyone speaks differently than they next person. No one is alike and that is one of the things that makes this world unique.

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Speaking the Body's Language

Speaking the Body’s Language

“You’re not allowed to touch the art little girl.” The guard looked at me condescendingly and touched his belt filled with many weapons. He didn’t appreciate a ten year old girl breaking the rules at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“I’m sorry I didn’t realize-”

“Oh I’m sure you didn’t.” He said with an annoyed look on his face.

I could tell he was striving to have some type of dominance over me. His body language said it all. The aggressive way he touched his belt and was looking down at me. His tone was loud and steady, it was just another way he proved that he had power over me. He was trying to establish that there were rules and I broke one. Also, the way he expressed this, not in a calm, polite way. He wanted to be perceived as in control and a governing figure. We use our bodies all the time to express the the emotions that words can not.

A first time teacher might be standing to the corner of a classroom since they’re not comfortable with so many eyes on the them, backing into a corner as if to hide from their judgemental eyes. A nervous student getting ready for an SAT test would be chewing their nails and bouncing their feet up and down as it hits the bottom of their desk and they wonder if the effects of mental pain from staring at a text book for eight hours straight will be on the test because they’d score a perfect 2400.

We use our bodies to communicate every day. This is a language on its own. Whether we use it to affirm our power or status, or to hide the amount of anxiety we have, it is apart of who we are. There are a millions of different languages spoken all over the world, but the language of the body reveals more than words could ever.

Once a man was standing in line in behind me at the grocery store. He was clicking his keys against his fingernails and lightly tapping his foot on the ground, this was communicating that he was in a rush. He then started to widen his eyes when he realized that I had a tremendous amount of groceries yet to be scanned. His shoulders slumped, defeatedly, he was about to step out of line when I smiled slightly at him, apologetically. He then smiled back and slightly waved, embarrassed, nodded in return and stepped back in line. This conversation, even though it lacked words, still had the ability to express his annoyance for the wait, my apologies for the amount of groceries and his regret for being impolite. We were able to express the emotions running through our heads with just our bodies. We are able to recognize what certain gestures and bodily positions mean, no matter which verbal language we speak.

“Would that be all hun?” As she drums her lilac nails on the cash register whilst chewing her mango flavored gum. I could sense she was disinterested and wanted her inevitable shift to end.  

“Umm, can I get a…” My voice trailed off as I frantically scanned the menu and blindly ordered.

“.. a number two.”

“One cheeseburger with extra pickles coming right up.”

Why did I order pickels? They were my least favorite food. Well, this was because of the impatient way she hit her nails on the cash register, begging me to hurry up. I picked the first thing I saw, her body suggested that she was irritated by me. The way she was leaning against the counter, made me realize she went through this everyday so the least I could do was hurry up the process.

I realize that I spend so much time observing others that I became accustomed in reading bodies before listening to their words. Noticing eye contact or lack of thereof can tell me a lot about how a person is feeling without them even realizing it. Or if someone interlaces fingers with their loved one, or just grasps their hands, could speak to their relationship.

Just like my mother as she tightens her hands around mine before we cross the street, a motherly instinct adapted over millenniums, protecting their young ones. Or as she widens her eyes across the dinner table at a guests house for dinner, warning me of the inappropriate position of my elbows on the table and the repercussion I will face if I continue with this unwanted disobedience. My mother did not have to utter a word for me to understand her clearly. So I remove my elbows from the table and purse my lips tighter and lower my head to communicate to her that I will not repeat this mistake again, lowering my head represents a slight apology to soften the blow. This interaction occurred silently, using only eye movements and bodily gestures for us two humans to have a full on conversation. Our bodies speak louder than “remove your elbows from the table” ever could. I understood her clearly, speaking the body’s language is something we are accustomed too, we speak this language long before we can ever verbally communicate.

Scanning a trolley filled with people, it is for the most part quiet. A baby crying, music  blasting from the kid with his hoodie pulled over his eyes. The girl starting her first day of highschool with her humongous book bag filled her new school supplies and humiliation. As she frantically looks at the trolley window, wondering if this is her stop. She was wide-eyed like a child whom had just discovered where their mother hides the stash of treats.  I realize this was me last year, frantic on the first day of high school. I use body language as a way to communicate and understand people everyday. I rely on the body’s language more often than words.

As the great James Baldwin once said “Language, incontestably, reveals the speaker. Language, also, far more dubiously, is meant to define the other…” The power of speaking the body’s language is something underestimated and often overlooked. We rely on a person’s words to reveal their emotions. Whether we realize it or not, body language is one of the biggest factors on how we are perceived. If you stand with your shoulders straight and head held high, you would viewed as someone who has pride or confidence. Rather than, someone who has their shoulders slumped and hoodie covering their eyes, could not be perceived as not wanting attention. Body language can give you an insight on the person and how their feeling, this is often revealed subconsciously. With every wave, smile or adjoining of hands we are speaking the body’s language, a language that does not need words to express our desires, fears and emotions.

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Two Different Languages Two Different Me

“Wu co ehou, ye wu hon yie sedia umo be pe wa sem”

“Ahni me ye”

It was the first day of school, and I was sitting in my living room. This was before we had changed the floor so the floor was a very dark reflective hardwood. I remember looking at my reflection in the floor when my dad said that sentence. Ever since I was 5 years old he said the sentence in or native language “twi” because I knew almost nothing in English. He told me that, “When you get to school you should be good so that people will like you.” You see my family was very new to America at this point. My father and mother had both left Ghana after my birth and came to America, in a attempt to give me a better life. I myself spent only spent 3 years in Ghana before I was brought to America. In Ghana I learned the language of “twi”. The same way a baby grows up hearing English, and picks it up was how “twi” was for me.  I attended school in Ghana which only furthered my knowledge of the language. I became “Ghanaian” in the sense that all I knew was Ghana.

I nodded my head to show that I had both heard what he said and understood. My dad then drove me to the school so that I could start my first day of kindergarten. The car ride to school was silent but emotions raced around my mind as if they were baby bunnies that had consumed sugar filled carrots. I was afraid to be in a new environment, but happy to make new friends. I was sad to not be able to do nothing all day, but excited to finally be going to American school.

“be biara en cosu ye!”, Good luck! This is what my dad said as I left the car, but I ignored him and looked for room 27 the place that my dad had told me to go. As I walked to class I started to realize how scared I was. I had never been in this environment before and it truly terrified me. As I searched for room 27, this fear started to bring tears to my eyes. Eventually I ended up on the floor silently crying till a lady came to me. She sat on the floor with me and patted my back in an attempt to comfort me. After 5 minutes of her consoling me she rose up and helped me up as well, then she asked if I needed help.

“I room 27” my broken English was a product of what I had seen on T.V. and the little I had been taught in Ghana. Luckily the lady walked me to the classroom which for some odd reason was located on the second floor. Once we entered the class the lady gave me to the teacher and explained why I was late. After the lady left the teacher asked me what was my name to which I responded;

“Opoku”, then she said

“Where are you from?”

“Ghana.” I replied. The teacher then nodded her head and told me to wait for the ESOl teacher to come take me. Eventually the teacher, a man that I would later call Mr. Owens, arrived. He then took me to a small little room on the third floor where a variety of little kids where. The room contained kids, of a variety of ethnicity. Mr. Owens guided us into all sitting in a circle, then we all introduced each ourselves and started playing games such as Hokey Pokey.

It wouldn’t be till first grade that I would realize E.S.O.L stood for English for Speakers of Other Languages. Mr. Owens taught us the language of English by using games and music. But while he was teaching me English I realized that he was also indirectly teaching us how to be American. The games and music where American games and music, this caused me to start listening to american music, reading american books, and of course speaking the american language. I was truly becoming American, but only in school. At home, or even with my family, everything was in Twi. This was mostly because my parents were fluent in twi so in order to talk to them I could only speak twi. At school I found myself acting more and more American while at home I was acting Ghanaian. It was as though the moment I entered my house an internal switch was flipped from American to Ghanaian.

I started to realize that Language is the basis of your identity. Language is more than just words, it is a collection of letters that when put together in a specific matter, and said in a specific matter reveals who you are. In every country you can identify where someone is from based on how they speak. For example it is possible for a Philadelphian to identify a Texan based on their repeated use of the words y'all and their accent. The way the Texan uses specific words has allowed him to be given the idea of what we call a Texan. This statement is supported by a quote Rita Mae Brown once said; “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people came from and where they are going.” Thus proving that language is the basis of our identity because both the words we use and the way we use them can reveal ourselves. Our accents show that we are foreign, our abbreviations show that we are southern, and our slang show that we are young.


Who is Paul-Ann

It was  late October, and the air was still unnaturally warm. Myself, being only 9,  didn’t pay much attention to the weather. I was more interested about the extra recess. While I was jumping rope, someone ended up walking over to me. The question they asked me was one I could never forget.

“Can you speak Jamaican?”

Such a simple question, yet it shook me to my core. Apparently this person was one of those who’ve heard that I was from Jamaica. And just like the rest, they wanted to confirm it for themselves that I was Jamaican. Yet my response is always the same.

“Jamaican? It’s just English.”

Seemingly disappointed, he ran off. I continued to jump rope pretending not to remember that familiar disappointed face every time I told each person that fact.

I was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica where I lived for a total of nine years.  In 2010, I migrated from Greater Portmore, Jamaica along with mother. When I moved, my accent followed. It wasn’t hard for people to identify me as a Jamaican. If the question wasn’t “What did you say?” then it was always “Can you speak Jamaican?” Yet I responded with the same line each time. Eventually people gave up on the questions and I was happy.

Until people started to mock the Jamaican accent, that is.

“Hey, mon. How ya doin’ mon.”

“You hungry, mon? Thirsty, mon?”

“Wanna play with us, mon?”

I couldn’t take it anymore. I snapped.

“Not all Jamaicans say mon!!” I screamed at them. What I didn't realize was that my accent showed itself once again in that one sentence. “It speaks itself against our will, in words and thoughts, that intrude, violate even, the inner most private spaces of mind and body.” Bell Hooks once said. You can’t hide who you truly are. Instead of quieting down with the mocking like I had hoped, they laughed. They laughed. They started to mock me even more.

“What was that you said, mon? I didn’t hear you, mon.” I felt my eyes starting to sting with tears. I repeated what I said but it was barely a whisper. I ran away. I ran away from them to the other side of the field. I vowed to myself on that spot that I would hide my accent forever. That I won’t make it show it’s ugly face ever again. I vowed silently as I cried in the corner.

James Baldwin once said, “Language, incontestably, reveals the speaker.” I believe that if I had heard of this quote before I would have understood why I was so upset. Why they were making fun of my language. The reason why I was so upset. If only I had heard of this before I would have understood that because they were making fun of my language, I felt that in some way they were also making fun of me.

From that day forward, I tried to completely get rid of my accent. I tried to learn the American way to say things. I tricked my family into thinking that if I don’t say them this way no one will understand me. I believed I also tricked myself into believing this too. I spoke slower. I knew it worked. How? Well because of a certain exclamation of an old classmate of mine.

“You’re Jamaican!?” She had screamed. I couldn’t blame her. She was Jamaican herself, and didn’t see me as one of her own. I didn’t understand why I felt like a part of myself was missing. Like I had just sold my most prized possession. I didn’t understand.

It was the summer of that year. I was going to Jamaica to visit my family. It was going to be two years since I had seen my siblings. I couldn’t wait. It was only natural to be excited to see your family, I thought to myself. Yet I knew that part of me was excited to go back to the place I called home.

When we moved my mother never told me that we were moving. The entire time I thought we were just visiting my grandmother like we do every year. I didn’t know the reason she decided to move without telling me. I still don’t know. I remember my friend Alexia tried to telling me I was moving yet I didn’t believe her. I regret the day I promised her I’ll come back.

When I arrived at the airport my dad was there waiting for me. My older brother and two older sisters were also there waiting. After a round of hugs I would never forget the conversation that happened next.

“You sound so American like.” My brother had said. Only thing was I couldn’t understand him.

“What did you say?” I had asked him. Everyone looked at me a little strange but my brother shrugged it off and spoke slower as if talking to a toddler. It helped though and I was finally able to understand him.

I didn’t realize right then and there why I had the sudden urge to cry and fought back the tears. My dad however noticed them and asked me what’s wrong. I told him that I got something in my eyes and didn’t want to rub them.

I think my final straw was when we went to visit my cousin and she said the words that made me come to my senses about what I had done to myself.

“You sound so American. Are you really Jamaican?”

“People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by a reality they cannot articulate” James Baldwin once said. What I think this quote is trying to say is that people try and change their language to fit their own needs. But as Bell Hooks says it doesn’t always work. Your real language will always come back into play.

So that night as I slept in my grand-aunt’s house, I wept silently knowing that I have lost a part of me I can never get back.

That trip to Jamaica taught me a lot about my language and I tried to enforce what I learned. I tried to gain back the part that I lost. I wanted it back so much that at home I use my Jamaican slang and a forced accent. I truly wish I never had tried to hide who I was and now I sincerely regret it.

My Language Is My Identity

“Whenever you and your sister talk, I love listening to your voices. It’s so different compared to Bengali,” My aunt said, looking over at me and my sister. English wasn’t her first language, so everything she said was in Bengali.

“Really?” I answered back in Bengali, “I never really thought about how different English could sound to someone who doesn’t know it.”

“Yeah, it’s very interesting.”

“For some reason, it wasn’t that weird when I first arrived here, and everyone was speaking just Bengali.”

“You spoke both Bengali and English back in America, right? You must be used to both languages.” She responded truthfully.

Me and my family were visiting Bangladesh for the summer, and we were excited to see all of our family members since most of them didn’t live in America.

It was Ramadan, and that night, we were going to go over to a close family friend’s house to end  our fast. We were all ready to go and were waiting in the living room, for my uncle to get his keys.

“I got them, let’s go.” He said, entering the living room swinging his keys in between his fingers. Once the car arrived at the house, we got out of the car, and stepped into the pouring rain. When there’s a group of pre-teens and little kids in the rain, there will always be screaming, and laughter. That group was us.

One of our aunts greeted us at the door, “Come on guys, hurry, hurry!” She said gesturing us to get inside before we got soaked. In our culture, even if an older woman isn’t related to you by blood, you still call her “aunty”. It’s just how our culture is in Bangladesh, and that’s how it is for Bengalis in America as well.

I walked inside and my stomach instantly grumbled at the aroma of the food.

Assalamualaikum aunty!” Assalamualaikum means ‘may peace be upon you’ in Arabic, and it’s how Muslims greet each other not only in Bangladesh, but also in America. I hugged her and took off my shoes, leaving them on the shoe rack next to the door.

We all sat around a table, and when it was time to break our fast, we ate.

Can you guys believe Ramadan is almost over?” One of my uncles asked, looking around the table.

It has become a routine. The month of Ramadan always goes by quickly.” My older cousin said, and I nodded.

Even though I was born in Bangladesh, and I had lived there for 5 years, I didn’t know how to explain things in Bengali very well. I was not able to reply to my uncle’s question because I didn’t know how to put into words what I was thinking in my head. However, when my cousin replied, it made sense and I understood what she was trying to say.

Other times, when I did try to explain things in Bengali, I would speak Banglish, which is Bengali and English combined. For an example, if I had tried to respond to my uncle, I would have said something like, “Yeah, Ramadan onek fast gece.” (Yeah, Ramadan went by fast) Because I don’t know all of the words in Bengali, I have to also use English words.

Whenever I pronounced a word wrong in Bengali, my family would correct me and teach me the proper way of saying it. I remember once, when I was texting my cousin, he asked me how I was, and I said, “Balo acci” (I’m good). He corrected me and told me it’s “Valo acci”, which is the same meaning, except I didn’t spell it right because in my head, I pronounced it differently.

Most of the time, the English words I used in Bangladesh were simple, so my family there was able to understand it. If my mom was next to me, who is 100% fluent in Bengali, and I didn’t understand what to answer, or what the person was saying to me, I’d look to her for help and she would explain it to me in simpler terms.

When we went shopping in Bangladesh, you would have to negotiate with the store owners about the prices because there wasn’t always a fixed price for an item. We used to go to the mall in a big group consisting of my mom, my aunt (from my mom’s side), my cousins, and my siblings and I. I can only understand Bengali numbers 1-10, but after that it gets confusing, so when my mom used to call out numbers, I would ask her the what that number was in English. Even now, I still do this because I can’t get the hang of numbers.  

Because I stayed in Bangladesh for three months, I ended up learning a lot more Bangla. From my cousins, I learned slang words, and I noticed that I started to use them more.

There is a variation called Chitenga that people from Chittagong (my family) speak. There is also another variation of Bangla called Sadhu Bhasa (which is the general variation that almost everyone speaks). I can speak Sadhu Bhasa, and understand it, however I can understand Chitenga, but can’t speak it.

Now looking back, I’m surprised that I still didn’t learn how to speak Chitenga even though my mom, dad, uncles, aunts, and grandparents all spoke it, along with some of my older cousins. I remember once when I went to the village side of Chittagong, which is where my Grandma lived, everyone spoke Chitenga to me, and I responded in Sadhu Basha. A similar situation happened in America as well, when one of my neighbors was of Bangladeshi descent.

Whenever I speak Bengali to people that aren’t my family, I always feel insecure about it because I there’s a possibility I might mess up at any point. However, I think that taking that trip to Bangladesh in summer ‘11 really allowed me to better my Bengali, and learn more about my language.

Federico Fellini once said, “A different language is a different vision of life.” He is stating that each language gives you another perspective on life. I agree with this because behind every language there are cultures, traditions, and a way of life. The Bangla language really made me who I am today because I learned so much about the type of people we are, and how dedicated we are to our language.


My Language

My  language  defines  me  as  who  I  am.  It  depends  who  I  am  around,  if  I  am  with  my  cousins  

or  friends  I  might  say  different  things. I  might  talk  in  different  style  then  I  would  to  adults.  If  I  

am  around  my  family  I  will  use  slang.  If  I  am  at  a  job  interview  I  will  us  my  best  

vocabulary.  I  know  when  and  where  I  should  use  appropriate  vocabulary.  Some  people  think  

that  it's  always  okay  to  use  slang  even  at  job  interviews.  It  is  always  good  to  use  good  vocabulary  every  once  in  awhile. Some  people  can’t  tell  when  they  need  to  use  proper  vocab.  People  think  that  at  job  interviews  they  can  say  or  even  do  there,  like  kicking  their  feet  up  at desks/tables.  If  you  would  like  to  work  somewhere at  a  good  job  you  need  to  look  the  part,  give  them  a  reason  to  hire  you. Some  people  complain  they  don’t  have  a  stable  job  or  they  want  something  better  than  what  they  have,  but  they  act  like  they  have  no  sense  when  they  have  a  great  job  interview.  People  really  need  to  know  when  and  when  not  to  use  slang.   If  you  use  slang  during  a  job  interview  they  might  throw  you  out  or  even  give  you  a  small  amount  of  work  time. If  I  am  with  my  brothers  and  sisters  then  I  will  use  a lot  of  slang  since  they  would  know  what  i’m  saying.  I  talk  different  around  my siblings. I would say different things to different age groups.  I might say yo can you get that jawn over there. In my family we say yo a lot. In will always try not to use so much slang around adults in some situations people should not use slang. If I am around my father then I would use more slang , but if I am around  my mother I will maybe just use “yo”. If I am around my entire family then I will barely talk but once i’m am around my cousins (or cuzzos as I like to call them) I will talk like a baby when it is excited about something. I always know when to use slang and when not to use slang because when I am around my friends but will you saying that they know what I am saying but if I am around my parents that I don't use slang.
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My accent

“Is it this?” I pointed to the orange bags of apples in the fridge.

“No,” my mother said, “Tā shì zài niú nǎi de páng biān.” (It’s next to the milk)

“How about this,” this time I brung out the orange juice.

“Nǐ zhēn shǎ wǒ gào su nǐ yāo zuò yī gè jiǎn dān de shì qíng nǐ shèn zhì bù néng wéi wǒ zuò de,” my mother said. (You're so stupid, I am telling you to do a simple thing and you can’t even do that for me!)

“Well it’s not my fault that you didn’t teach us chinese when we was little,” I said in a frustrated tone.

“Hǎo bā sāng dí zhī dào zhōng guó hé tā de mā ma méi yǒu jiào tā,” my mother yelled. (Well, Sandy knows chinese and her mom didn’t teach her)

And there it goes again. She compares us to anyone she knows from the top of her head. Sooner or later she will bring up our cousins. My cousins in my mother's side who owned a restaurant.

She will say, “Kevin hé steven jiù xiàng sān zhì sì nián bǐ nǐ nián qīng  tā men dū yǐ jīng zài cān guǎn gōng zuò  kàn kan nǐ nǐ jiù xiàng yī wèi gōng zhǔ nǐ zuò de jiù shì děng dài wǒ tài zuò fàn chī le tā,” (Kevin and Steven is like three to four years younger than you and they are already working in the restaurant, look at you, you are like a princess. All you do is wait for me too cook and eat it)

She expect us to find a job and know everything. But when this occurs at this point, I’ll tune her out. I knew that the more I answer back, the more she will go talking about things other than what started it. I didn’t understand how I was suppose to know what to get when I can barely understand her. My mother is able to speak chinese, fuzhounese, mandarin and cantanase but how come she didn’t teach us when we were little. I have two older sisters and one younger brother, who barely knows that language so I wasn’t the only one.

I was born in New York and was raised around Philadelphia with my siblings. I attend school in Center City where all the students learn english and spanish and not chinese. Once, I had to ask my parents something for school.

“Mommy, can I interview you for my history benchmark?”

“Jì xù.” (Go ahead)

“Wǒ kě yǐ jì lù tā mǎ.” (Can I record it?), I said suddenly, wondering if she’ll say no,

I was able to speak chinese to her for a bit until my mind go blank to what I had to say.

“Nín de xuǎn zé.” (Your choice)

“I ask what culture shì bù (was different) compared to Philly.”

I usually struggle speaking in my language that I end up speaking in chinese and when I don’t know the rest, I speak in english. My mom would get lost of what I am saying causing her to be frustrated.

She responded with, “Shì bù tóng tā zuò.” (I don’t know what you're saying)

The fact that this was due the next morning, I was very frustrated. I tried google translate and other translators and she still could not understand me. I changed the question up and finally got something out of her.

No matter if a language is your first language, I believe our language can still be a conflict when speaking to a relative and parents. No matter if you're born to a chinese family, it doesn’t mean you will learn that language like that. In fact, some may talk amazing in their language but would not know how to read them and write them. It really depends on who you are raised around. If I was born in China, I guarantee that I would know chinese fluently because that what most people in china speaks.

My language barrier would also affect me in school. Since english is not my first language, I will still have to learn harder than people who language is english. I remember the first day I attended school. People, I guess my friends, would usually talk to me.


“Hi,” I was say back.

Our conversation would end like that. When I speak english, I don’t speak that language fluently like some would if English were their first language. In fact, everyone has an accent. In my case, my accent is english and then when ending in words I would struggle and add a chinese kind of accent. This affects me when I am trying to learn a different language such as spanish. Spanish is a topic that I have a hard time pronouncing certain words.

“Hola, mi nombre es Don Marcos,” the spanish teacher would say on the first day of school.

One time, he wanted us to do the warm up so that's what we did but it was different, he wanted to go around the room to read the sentence that we had wrote. The person next to me would speak and say their sentence and then it was my turn.

“Ayer yo fuí a la casa de amigos. Yo hablé con mi amigos,” I said.

It was an humiliating moment for me. My sentence made sense and was good but just because I had a hard time pronouncing “fuí” due to my accent it had really got to me. I learned that I had to practice twice as hard to say those word. It was my accent.

My accent sucks, I had to admit it. But I just get rid of these though by thinking about how others who can’t even talk and feel graceful that I can. Sometimes, it may not only be spanish words that I can’t pronounce, but english.

This moment kinda reminded me of the book “The Language Instinct”. In this book, the author talks about language and how it is an instinct and not a skill. There was this one quote, “The mind is a neutral computer”. (Pg 81) This quote got me thinking about how our mind is so much like a computer. The word that come out of our mouth, the way the mind think to pronounce the unfamiliar words and sometime familiar words.

This had started when I was in biochem. My group and I had to film a video on variables. We had made a script and everything. All we had to do was read them and record it, so that what we did.

My classmate would say the script, “Nowww will you tell me the independent variable”

“An inddipendent variable is…..I forget the lyrice

“You're pronouncing the word wrong”,

I’ll pronounce it again and get it right but I will have to pronounce it really slow.”


This was the way I had to speak to get it right. At the end, I realized that my language and accents is an issue for me at home and in daily life. It doesn’t matter where I was, school or not, I would still have issue pronouncing words, and having conversation with my parents and ancestor. Though, I did not let this get the best of me. I still spoke with my accent, I just gotta learn to embrace it.


Having an 'Uh Huh' Moment

“...and that’s why I love Justin Bieber like he’s so cute.”

“Yea me too you know he’s dating…”

Common chatter among my school friends and I. We always gossiped about how much we loved Justin Bieber and who he was with.

“I know right I can’t believe it, they’re cute together, I guess-”

He was coming out with songs like ‘Boyfriend’ that made us really want him to be our boyfriend. We frequently had these chats but usually they were not interrupted by someone saying,

“Destiny you talk so much.”

These were words I had heard billions of times but, when she said it, it hurt. She was my best friend, why would she say that?. Maybe she was right, maybe I was talking to much. At that time, her approval meant a lot to me. Everyone else, including me, thought she was so cool!  Honestly, I don’t know why we all thought that. No one stood up for me they just looked away or shrugged kind of agreeing. Having friends that did not stand up for me sucked. It’s like she sucked all the power out of their voices and they all just agreed with it. She was normal and nothing out of the ordinary she was just pretty, really pretty and bossy and once you have a few followers, it can be easy to feel “entitled” to be in charge.

I stopped talking as much. Talking seemed like the worst option for my eleven year old self. It all started well, it never really started in a specific place. I had always been talkative and someone who always made sure their opinions heard but, my peersothers started to care about what I said starting in the sixth grade. In my class, there was this girl who was a good friend of mine. We had never been in the same class before and she was so excited that we were this year. Usually, I’d answer a lot in class, participate a lot in group work and, make guesses even if I didn’t think it was right. From my teachers I would always hear,

“Destiny is such a great participant in class and always tries her best.”

“Destiny is pretty chatty in class but, always has input that is really helpful for us all.”

My classroom personality had been something that everyone had gotten used too and did not think it was annoying, for the most part. At home I was loud, bubbly and, full of “what happened at school” chatter. At school, after that incident I was quieter. I only answered questions sometimes even if I knew the answer. I stopped guessing if I didn’t feel one hundred percent about my answer. No one had really talked about me talking too much. But, me and my friend would hang out and she would say things like,

“Your voice is too high.”

At this point I was confused. I honestly did not  know what to do. How was I supposed to change my voice? Then on top of that everyone would always ask me,

“Destiny, why do you always talk so white?”

I never understood what this meant. Was it because I talked in a complete sentences? I usually shrugged it off and said,

“I don’t but, whatever.”

The argument did not seem worth it to me but, now I had to figure out a way to talk deeper, less and, not “white” to get my friends, family and, peers off my back about my voice.

After all those times being criticized about my voice, I just dealt with it. The mocking, the little jabs about how annoying it was or how I talked like someone who was not black. This made me incredibly insecure about my voice. When I met new people, I would think that my voice would be a factor in whether they liked me or not. Over time, I thought it was this huge deal breaker that made people not want to be my friend. But, something changed when I came to SLA.

“Oh yea your Mom is so nice.”

I said remembering when one of my friends mom gave me a ride.

“Yeah she’s like obsessed with you at the tournament she was like, ‘Oh, her voice is so nice’”

She responded laughing.

“Really, everyone has always told me that my voice is super annoying.”

I responded warily. No one had ever complimented my voice.

“Yea she think it’s cute!”

Now, I know it’s weird to get worked up about what people think about you but, it can be hard not to. When someone tells you something enough, you start to believe it. So, when she told me her Mom said that, my heart warmed and I started to believe, not only in myself, but in my voice. It had power and someone thought it was cute. Now, I could use all my new found confidence in my voice and not seem so wary about it. Everyone’s voice no matter how strange you think it is because they have knowledge and knowledge is power.

Knowledge is power but who really knows your knowledge unless you speak it. Keeping it all bottled up can be a detriment to others. They are not experiencing the joy that is you. Kind of like in the Little Rascals. The character ‘Uh Huh’ only ever said the words ‘uh huh’ in agreement. But, at the end it is powerful when he uses long extravagant descriptive words. “Actually, I've always had a rather extensive vocabulary, not to mention a phenomenal grasp of grammar and a superlative command of syntax. I simply chose not to employ them.” (The Little Rascals; 1994) Language is power. Sometimes your voice can be cut down or dismissed by others. I am no stranger to this feeling. If someone has told you your voice is too loud, too high-pitched, too annoying there is nothing you can do. Your voice will always too much of something for someone. When your voice is silenced you are weak, out of power, and no longer being yourself. Have yourself an ‘Uh huh’ moment and show people what you are made of and bring out your home self to the world. Choose to employ your words because someone will find them cute, funny or, interesting.


2fer #2

Myi, Harte

In War there are many examples of strength and weaknesses. Some are in the guns that the soldiers hold or what they are armed with a battle or fight and then with the soldier's family. Their way of life after a battle have been won or lost. Even after loss friends or brothers in arms that have fallen in battle, weakness is not a bad thing if shows that you are human and are able to feel your fears and your strengths. It will hurt the pride of the person and make them feel like a God when they win. All of mankind  are supposed to be strong, tough and brave. Not like a child weak and cowardly and afraid to do or say anything. They must be like a rock for their people.

In Skyrim Raven stone cloak make his walk for being a prisoner to being a legend  to the masses. Just south of whiterun there is a tavern by the name of Nord’n hurting. Raven stone cloak beings to  eating, drinking and talking to people. As a bard plays and tells the story of the dragonborn. One to have held the power itself to kill the basest of all dragons. The people at the tavern, don’t  know that Raven is the one man that they speak of in that song, because he looks like a soldier of the companions. In the game it says "As the bard starts to play and tell the story dragonborn, the song goes “Our hero, our hero, claims a warrior's heart. I tell you, I tell you, the Dragonborn comes. With a voice wielding the power of the ancient Nord art, Believe, believe, the Dragonborn comes. It's an end to the evil, of all Skyrim's foes. Beware, beware, the Dragonborn comes. For the darkness has passed, and the legend yet grows, You'll know, you'll know the Dragonborn comes.” Raven beings to sing along". This shows how the man of legendary skill is like a man that like to drink his fill and eat too. It is  because the bard just starts to play, also he is yelling in front of people that don't know him and he doesn't know. He is happy he's known as the  dragonborn. Raven shows that he is not just a killing machine, but a man that has a heart and that protects the people of Skyrim.

In Whiterun there is a bard named Mikael that plays the song ‘Age of Aggression’ the Tavern name is Bannered Mare. The song goes ’We drink to our youth, two days come and gone for the Age of Aggression is just about done. We'll drive out the Stormcloaks and restore what we own. With our blood and our steel we'll take back our home. Down with Ulfric, the killer of kings. On the day of your death, we'll drink and we'll sing. We're the children of Skyrim, and we fight all our lives. And when Sovngarde beckons everyone of us dies. But this land is ours and we'll see it wiped clean. Of the scourge that has sullied our hopes and our dreams.’ In this song you see that they think of Raven as  the one that that brought peace to the land.


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My 2fer

During the course of world war 2, Germany saw many victories but was short lived for a variety of reasons. Some of those were when Hitler spent money on obscure projects, made himself the leader of all of his armies. However, the top reason he failed was that he made offensives in North Africa and Russia, spreading his troops out and making him vulnerable.

During the war, the germans were a formidable foe to the axis but the strong army was spread out on 3 fronts, the Russian, African and European making them vulnerable to attack.

In north africa, the germans stationed almost 150,000 people during the nearly 3 year occupation losing 22,000 and the other 130,0001 captured. During the occupation, the battle where the most germans were lost was the battle Kasserine Pass where 2000 soldiers died, this may seem small but battles like these were fought regularly and whittled away at the germans active forces.Also in north africa hitler sustained huge material loss including 8000 aircraft (almost 3 times the allies) and 2500 tanks. The german tanks were very sophisticated and had heavy armor and took a lot of resources to create.


In Russia, Hitler was making a huge amount of progress, at one point making the red army retreat. The biggest fluke of the eastern offensive was in stalingrad where hitler  not anticipate the russian resistance for one of the most important cities in the soviet union bearing the name of their leader, stalin. In this offensive germany sent out over 270,000 troops to take the city and by the time the battle was over they lost almost 180,000 men and 90,000 surrendered2. In total however, The germans lost 500 tanks and 900 planes.

During his whole eastern campaign hitler lost over 4,000,0003 men this along with the losses to come in the west crippled the german army. All of these losses from both north africa and russia became evident on the western front when in 1944 hitler’s capital was taken. Before that, however hitler's army was holding it’s own against the allies on these fronts until the battle of the bulge in 1944 this was one of the biggest victory for the allies and sent the germans back into germany and on may 7th they finally surrendered.

The fall of the third reich was inevitable on the course that it was going, however this is just one look into the myriad of problems that it had. However, if the nazis would have taken troops out of africa and defended his southernmost front and sent the remainder of the troops to both the east and west front. Also if an offensive against Russia had been avoided he would have been able to save 5,000,000 of his soldiers making his whole army stronger.

Works cited

1Carell, Paul Le volpi del deserto p.256

2Barclay, Mediterranean Operations

3Richard Overy, Russia's War (1997)

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Although many people believe that it's only important to focus on drugs in the modern day and how they are messing with the community,  it is also important to look into the history of drugs. It is not always the same drug that comes in a causes problems in communities around the world, but drugs come and go in popularity. Every drug has its heyday, whether it be PCP in the 60’s or Marijuana in the current day.  The main focus of this paper is the topic of popular of cocaine in the 1980’s.

Cocaine, just like most if the other drugs in the world, is extremely addictive, which is obviously one of the reasons that it was so popular in the 80’s. According to  “Cocaine creates the greatest psychological dependence of any drug.  It stimulates key pleasure centers within the brain and causes extremely heightened euphoria.”  This is basically what causes the addiction. People enjoy the feel of the heightened euphoria which makes them want more when the so called high is up. The with this is that Cocaine is a drug in which you can build a tolerance to quite quickly. This tolerance causes drug users to use more and more of the cocaine each time, to stimulate the high that they reached the last time they used the drug. Addiction is clearly an obvious draw into any drug, including cocaine, which still makes it a factor into popularity.

Another reason cocaine was such a popular recreational drug is because it was very idolized. It was shown off in the media a lot in the 80s. Many big celebrities, like Tim Allen and Steven Tyler, were using cocaine and making it know that they were doing so, which lead to the use by others. For the longest time in the world, average everyday people in the world believe that they can better themselves by copying things in which they see celebrities do, for some reason it is thought that doing things that they do, will make you become more like them, so people tend to copy things, whether they harm the body or not, which is the main problem and is another reason cocaine was so popular. According to project know ( some of the celebrities in which did cocaine in the early and or late 80’s include ike turner, whitney houston, tim allen, steven tyler (as said above) and many others, who were at the time, looked up too by the general public.  

Cocaine was in abundance high abundance in the 80’s, or in other words, it was not very difficult to get a hold of  it at the time. According to Andrew Fenrich, who is a representative for the  New York for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said in  his article “marijuana of the 80’s” He says that cocaine was basically “falling from the sky” and that it was the “marijuana of the 80’s”. When he says that it was basically falling from the sky, he is basically just saying that it was everywhere and it was so easy to get, like rain because a lot of it falls, and he said it was like the marijuana of the 80’s because in the current world marijuana is extremely easy to get. The reason it was high in abundance is because the form of cocaine in which was being heavily used was crack cocaine crystals, which  was relatively new drug to the world, and since it was relatively new, it was easier to move around the U.S to get more where it needed to be. It was easier to move the drug “under the radar” so to say. They brought a lot more into the U.S. then could really be handled, which caused a huge price drop of almost 80%.

In conclusion, Drugs are very harmful to life itself, and cocaine being one of the most harmful drugs. Especially in the  80’s cocaine was extremely possible, for the logical reasons of that it was, and still is, extremely addictive. It was extremely idolized by plenty of celebrities, celebrities in which people looked up too. And lastly that it was relatively easy to obtain at the time. Which are all reasons that cocaine could and would be popular in the time of the 80’s.

Work cited

04, December. "'Marijuana of the '80s' : Cocaine--a Fact of Life in America." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 1985. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"Is Cocaine Addictive? Cocaine Addiction Symptoms & Stories - Drug-Free World." Is Cocaine Addictive? Cocaine Addiction Symptoms & Stories - Drug-Free World. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"Price of Cocaine Much Lower than in '80s | The San Diego Union-Tribune." Price of Cocaine Much Lower than in '80s | The San Diego Union-Tribune. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"History of Drug Abuse: The 80's - Palm Partners Blog." Palm Partners Blog History of Drug Abuse The 80s Comments. 29 July 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.


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2Fer Revision of the Revision

Math worksheets, take-home reading, and essays are all popular forms of homework in many schools. These kinds of homework can either be helpful or not, depending of the student. The effects of homework can stick with us for a while if we learn anything from it, however it could just be taking up time if it is not the “right kind,” which all depends on the student’s preference.

Homework is very important, because of how many skills it teaches students such as time management, work ethic, and many kinds of interactions between peers, parents and the teachers. Based on Dr. Joyce Epstein, an expert in sociology, “[Homework] Builds student responsibility, perseverance, time management, self-confidence and feelings of accomplishment; develops and recognizes students’ diverse talents and skills that may not be taught in school.” Overall homework appears to have the effect of making a person better at many academic and work related traits.This is one of the things that Dr. Epstein says homework helps improve. Along with the previously listed benefits, doing homework can have more. Homework has shown to have many non-academic purposes or uses: “Indeed, some primary-level teachers may assign homework for such benefits, which include learning the importance of responsibility, managing time, developing study habits, and staying with a task until it is completed.” Many other teachers and/or experts appear to have similar input on the importance of homework. Homework can helps people academically and mentally, as well as socially when collaborating with others, but that’s not always the case.

Homework may not be as helpful as originally thought, or as intended to be, based on the conclusions found by some experts and student. Some believe that there is no importance to homework, although homework is believed to help people with nonacademic skills, there is no actual proof of this. “Finally, there isn't a shred of evidence to support the folk wisdom that homework provides nonacademic benefits at any age -- for example, that it builds character, promotes self-discipline, or teaches good work habits.” This is what Alfie Kohn, an American author and lecturer in areas of education and learning, said in his article addressing the “outdated habit” of homework. This counter-argument is important in showing how not everybody thinks of homework the same. The purpose of homework may not be as crucial as we thought or as our teachers told us.

The importance of homework is highly debatable as long as their is someone that doesn’t want to do it. There are people saying that it is good for academic purposes, nonacademic purposes, or just that it’s just not helpful at all. One thing that is proven is that the amount and the type of homework can affect how a student can benefit from it, although one factor that hasn’t been considered, is the actual student. Different students benefit from different kinds of homework. The variables that would be included in making homework for an individual student are too complicated for a teacher to have to do. Depending on the background of a student's life, homework may have different effects on them. “Some researchers believe that students from higher-income homes have more resources (such as computers) and receive more assistance with homework, while low-income students may have fewer resources and less assistance and are therefore less likely to complete the homework and reap any related benefits.” (McDermott, Goldmen and Varenne 1984; Scott-Jones 1984.) As stated in the quote, even income affects the will to learn, as well as its importance. On the same site, it also states that the stereotype of Asian people being smart.  “A national study of the influence of homework on student grades across five ethnic groups found that homework had a stronger impact on Asian American students than on students of other ethnicities.” Because of all these variables, there may always be students that don’t “match” the homework assigned. The way that it seems, the way a student sees homework can be affected by: income, race, gender and age.


Works Cited!

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Isabella D’Angelo

Air Stream

English 3

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” As a preventative measure, vaccinations are essential to quality of life, not only in this country, but across the globe because curing an illness that could otherwise be remedied by a vaccine ends up  costing more in time, effort, and money. There has been a growing trend against vaccination which stems from both misinformation and misunderstanding about the relationship between vaccinations and side effects. According to the propaganda campaigns being spread by the anti-vaccine movement, fear is being instilled in parents based on the alleged link between vaccinations and autism. To turn the tide of opinion from anti-vaccine to pro-vaccine, it is vital to continue to educate parents regarding the benefits of getting their children vaccinated which far outweigh any potential risks, not just to the children themselves, but to any person who comes in contact with an unvaccinated child.
It is first and foremost important, considering the anti-vaccine “hysteria” in the U.S. today, that everyone understand the different meanings and definitions of  “vaccines,” “vaccinations,” and “immunizations.” According to, “A vaccine is a product that produces immunity from a disease and can be administered through needle injections, by mouth, or by aerosol. A vaccination is the injection of a killed or weakened organism that produces immunity in the body against that organism. An immunization is the process by which a person or animal becomes protected from a disease. Vaccines cause immunization, and there are also some diseases that cause immunization after an individual recovers from the disease.”

Unfortunately, fear is easier to ignite than to extinguish, but the reality is, vaccines are no more dangerous than the diseases they protect against. The controversy around them stemmed from the clinically unsupported fear that the shots could cause autism and other disorders. According to author and British medical doctor, Andrew Wakefield, based on a study he did on 12 children, there was a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and an autism-like disorder. His paper was published in 1998, and once Anti Vaccination groups and the media heard about the alleged vaccine-autism connection, the news spread like wildfire. It even caught the attention of celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, who claimed that her son got autism from the MMR vaccine. However, there is no clinical basis between autism and similar type disorders and vaccinations. The article that had started the anti-vaccine buzz around the country was retracted in 2010 because there was no scientific proof of the link. While some side-effects of vaccines may include low grade fevers and other mild symptoms as well as the possibility of allergic reactions in very rare cases, the risk of unprotected exposure to diseases that vaccines prevent is more significant than the most serious of side effects.  

The benefit to the community are not just medical, they are financial. Vaccines are one of the most cost effective ways of protecting public health, helping to avert millions of illness cases as well as illness related costs such as loss of productivity (due to death/disability), caretaker productivity loss, and transport costs. Vaccinating kids has a high return on investment. It prevents 42,000 deaths per year and 20 million disease cases. It saves $13.6 billion in direct costs and a combined amount of $68.9 billion in indirect and direct costs. For example, the weighted average price of the Pentavalent vaccine is $2.58. This one vaccine can prevent 5 diseases: Hib, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping Cough). So not only is “an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure,” it also saves a lot of “Pounds,” (CDC).

According to the CDC, before Pertussis vaccines became available in the 40’s, about 200,000 children got it every year in the U.S. and 9,000 died due to the infection. Now those numbers have dropped significantly, with 10,000 - 40,000 cases reported each year and about 10 - 20 deaths, and that is all due to the Pertussis vaccine. So what can every parent learn from these facts? Could it be that vaccines are safe? That vaccines are effective? That vaccines work with the immune system, not against it? When all is said and done, vaccines help prevent disease because they are safe and effective, and because they work. There is not a parent in this world who would ever be able to forgive themselves, in this modern day and age, with all of the technology, research and medical care available, if even one child died of a disease as simply preventable as pertussis. In order to protect a child from disease, vaccinate that child.

Works Cited

"Making the Grade in Preventing Disease." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 May 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

"World Health Organization." WHO. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

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Transgender Rights

Transgender people have a very hard time being a part of normal life. A lot of people have been trying to fight for the transgender community but it’s very taboo to do so.  Transgender teens have a hard time at schools because of bullying and being in able to be “normal.” Normal to most teens are just fitting into the environment around them. There was a case where a student named Nicole Maines could not use the bathroom because she was born a boy. The case was brought to court with the help of Maine Human Rights Commission. The court changed two laws that would require a separate bathrooms based on gender choice.  In the court’s decision, justice warren silver wrote “it has been clearly established  that a student’s psychological well being and Although, in the United States all people are supposed to have equal rights, transgender teens and adults have been discriminated against in their schools, workplaces, communities because people don’t understand why these people want to be the opposite gender.

educational success depend upon being permitted to use the communal bathroom consistent with her gender identi.” (Sharp). This is not easy to understand for many because it’s new and people are not sure why people are transgender. Its very complex but educating helps information flow easier and more consistent when understanding why and who the transgender community are as a whole.  

Adults who are transgender have a hard time being accepted into communities around the United States.  For this reason most transgender adults have become homeless or have been evicted from their homes. People have chosen to discriminate against transgender people and as a result is that they are left with being unequal in the United States and loosing basic humans need. Statistic from National Center for Transgender Equality says that one in five people who are transgender are homeless. Shelter tried to help but failed in doing so because they can’t serve transgender people the same way. Transgender adults are not the only people have problems in communities teenages are have some of the same difficulties and some that are just focused on that group. Lots of youth that are transgender end up in jail as a juvenile. There is evidence that shows that over 300,000 LGBTQ youth that are arrested each year and the LGBT youth make up 5 percent of 7 person the youth in the United States. (Center of american Progress). The reason why this might be happening is that these youth might be in family situations that are not good, there might be abuse, and they could even be homeless. This all effect why LGBTQ youth is in a very unsafe and unhappy environments that can cause these problems.

Unfairly judge Transgender adults have a hard time in the work force. A lot of times people say nothing about what's going on or try to avoid coming out at all. Harassments and unfair treatment to the adults at work.  The Huffpost had an article that talked about big companies having started putting in policies about not discriminating against transgender people. “3 out of 500 fortune 500 companies in 2000 had policies in place but now more than half of those companies do have policies in place.” The reason this is important to know is that it's no protects these companies from lawsuits against them and now people can work freely through the company. The internet has helped transgender people communicate and be more organized and together then feeling like they have no one around them. Connection are made when people are talking and getting together more. But discrimination and harassment still happen in workplaces. According to Center of Progress 41 persent of gay and transgender people have been verbally or physically abused and 26 percent of transgender people have been fired.  There is hidden discrimination and harassment in the workplace that hurts good workers but because they chose to be the opposite gender they are targets.

In a country that says that there is a lot of freedom it's hard to see it when people are put in a corner. It’s not fair  to the people that are doing really good work and trying to be normal. There is a unfairness when it comes to people rights and people that are transgender they are treated like aliens or second hand citizens. Transgender youth should not be bullied or discriminated against to be their true self and adults should be able just have the jobs they won’t will out being abused or harassed. Things have changed over time and got a little better but they can always improve so people feel like they are apart of whatever they are doing. No one should have fear or be hated for something that can’t be changed.

Works Cited

"Coming Out in the Workplace as Transgender." Human Rights Campaign. N.p., 2011. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

"Housing and Homellessness." National Center for Transgender Equality. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

Klein, Rebecca. "Maine Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Pupil." The Huffington Post., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

National Center for Transgender Equality. "LGBT Workers Continue to Face Unfair Discrimination." National Center for Transgender Equality. N.p., 28 May 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

Sharp, David. "Bathroom Ban Violated Transgender Student's Rights: Court." NBC News. N.p., 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

Sheridan, Vanessa. "Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: The Time Is Now." The Huffington Post., 22 July 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.

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The Loss of Childhood Innocence

The Loss of Childhood Innocence 9/28/15

Brandon Jones

Air Stream

Knowledge is a powerful tool in the hands of man. Knowledge can both help and hurt people, build and destroy relationships and help determine right from wrong. Because of its power, children are taught to seek knowledge at a rapid pace, which could lead to both a revolutionary and destructive future if it continues. At the wrong time, this knowledge could potentially teach children inappropriate behaviors. Parents believe that exposing their children to vasts amount of knowledge at a young age will aid them in adulthood, however, what they don’t know is that this knowledge could at the same time ruin their innocence.

First, it is important to define what knowledge truly means and everything it entails. According to, the definition of knowledge is, “the fact or state of knowing; the perception of fact or truth; clear and certain mental apprehension.” When a child first learns the concept of right from wrong, they learn the truth of what is morally acceptable to do and what not to do. Usually, parents and teachers don’t go into detail of what truly constitutes as right and wrong, but instead, a basic black and white explanation, not going into the greys in between. This was to protect the innocence of a child, but times have changed from then. Parents now are so focused on building their children up for “success” that they forget to realize they are opening up a dangerous Pandora’s Box.

A poll was taken in February 2015 on parents and childhood stimulation, where over 87 per cent of parents said they believed that the more stimulation a child received, the more successful they would be.  From seeing that so many parents agree that more stimulation equals more success, it’s safe to say that they are right to an extent. Yes things like stimulation, knowledge and wisdom are key to a successful life as an adult but everything should be done in moderation. This concept that 87% of parents agree on, looks over very important stages of development. Stages that are necessary for further social development

In an article published by the New York Times about the loss of childhood innocence, information came from a Fourth grade teacher in Denver, Colorado talking about a student in her class. the article states, “ As the teacher reported, ''Kids are a lot freer now. Even in the 10 years I've been at this school, there's been a change. The other day, a very innocent-looking little boy came up to me and casually asked me whether a certain sexual act was 'for real.' He used a crude word for it. I asked him to whisper in my ear what he thought the word meant. Well, he knew more details than I myself knew until about five years ago.” This information supports my thesis because it talks about a child who learned about a certain sexual act that clearly shocked and upset the teacher. It’s likely that prior to learning about the sexual act, the boy knew very little to nothing about sex. By gaining the knowledge of this, the boy’s innocence was lost and born from that loss was the curiosity to find out  if what he had learned was true. His thirst for knowledge drove him to want to seek answers to this concept that he knew nothing about but craved to learn.

Even if parents attempt to bring up a child in the best way possible, they must be aware of the influence the outside world has. Parents must be careful of what their children get exposed, to such as the sexualization of young children. Things like this, specifically the sexualization of young girls, can be a huge factor in the loss of innocence. In 2012, researchers did a study to identify self sexualization in young girls and identify factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves. Also psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois assessed self sexualization in girls, ages 6-9 through the use of paper dolls. The assessment goes on to say that, “Across-the-board, girls chose the "sexy" doll most often. The results were significant in two categories: 68 percent of the girls said the doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.” Other studies have shown that “sexiness” boosts popularity in girls but not boys. Needless to say, young girls and boys should not have to feel the pressures popularity through sexualization. These pressures cause children to explore their sexuality at too young of an age and it needs to be stopped.

If parents ever want to combat the loss of childhood innocence, they need to be mindful of what their children are exposed to. They need to focus on nurturing their children instead of being too concerned with success that loose sight of what is important. Parents are responsible for teaching their children what they will need later in life but everything must be done in moderation. If this is not done their might be irreparable damage done to children because of the actions of their parents.

Work Cited:

  1. Winn, Marie. "THE LOSS OF CHILDHOOD." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 May 1983. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


     2. "Knowledge.", n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.


     3. Abbasi, Jennifer. "Why 6-Year-Old Girls Want To Be Sexy (STUDY)."Huffington Post. LiveScience, 16 July 2012. Web.


How does sitting too long in school affect the students?

Why must students sit still for long periods of the day? This practice is normal in schools around the world. But how does this affect the health of the student mentally and physically? This trivial thing could be the root of most of the problems that affect students today. Sitting for too long in schools causes mental and physical health problems and kids are being over-diagnosed with ADHD or other attention disorders because  

6.4 million kids, ranging from the ages 6-17  are diagnosed with ADHD each year. Most of the referrals come from teachers who have students that no longer sit still and pay attention. The referrals causes kids to be put on medication to combat ADHD and other Attention deficit disorders when they may not actually need them.  Todd Elder, a man who conducted research on the number of students misdiagnosed with attention disorders stated “ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder for kids in the United States, with at least 4.5 million diagnoses among children under age 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”  Elder also states that 20% of the children diagnosed were misdiagnosed.

The more kids diagnosed with ADHD means more kids with medication to combat it, which  means the more money the companies that sell the meds make. The only problem is that some of those kids are misdiagnosed and therefore wrongfully medicated, which could have negative effects on that child’s life. Not to mention the meds that the children are given and the side affects that come with are  detrimental to the child health, especially when that said child  does not need the medication in the first place. Also, the symptoms for ADHD are things that people deal with all the time. Inattention? Most students procrastinate or are disorganized. Hyperactivity? Most schools are in for 7 hours a day with an average of  a 30 minute lunch. This means that most students are sitting in class most of that time. Now depending on whether or not the school has a PE class or recess there is no time to get up a move around, so expect the kids in class to want to get up and move around.

Angela Hanscom, a therapist in maryland decide to get to the root of the reason why students couldn't sit still during school and what she found out shocked her. Angela recounts her experience by stating  “I’ve been sitting for the past 90 excruciating minutes. I look down at my leg and notice it is bouncing. Great, I think to myself, now I’m fidgeting!” Angela realized that she couldn’t even sit through the same classes that students go through. She’s the example that people can’t expect  kids to sit through 90 minutes of nothing but listening when adults can not even do it. This proves that the school system must change to prevent students from damaging their maturing bodies and having been put on medication that they don't even need.

If schools stopped to think about it, they would realize that kids not paying attention or sitting still is not just linked to ADHD but also problems with the school system as well. The school system and the way they set of classes are reason enough for the many misdiagnosed with ADHD. If one wants that to stop then the school system must change.

Work Cited

"Nearly 1 Million Children Potentially Misdiagnosed with ADHD." MSUToday. Todd Elder, 17 Aug. 2010.Web.12Oct.2015.

"ADHD and ADD Symptoms: Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity."WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

Levine, James A. "Adult Health." Sitting Risks: How Harmful Is Too Much Sitting? Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

Cox, John Woodrow. "A Therapist Goes to Middle School and Tries to Sit Still and Focus. She Can’t. Neither Can the Kids." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

"Why Sitting Too Much Is Bad for Your Health." - Live Well. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.


Test Anxiety

Testing Anxiety

Physical, Emotional, and Behavioral are apart of the symptoms for test anxiety.This is commonly as referred to test anxiety.  Test anxiety is when someone forgets everything they studied for, gets nervous, zones out, and can’t form a response. In schools all over the country there are tests that stress the students out. Schools are forcing them to take these tests because they don’t care if they have a testing problem.

Each symptoms of test anxiety have different causes.The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) gives a detailed list of these Symptoms, and here are a few “Physical; Headaches, Nausea, shortness of breath.Emotional; Anger, fear.Behavioral; can’t focus, and comparing self to others.” These are the most common of the symptoms of test anxiety. Although these symptoms can be all caused by their self confidence being lowered. The physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms are all caused by the stress they are being put under to do amazing on this test.

There are ways to control the anxiety before a test. At Mercy college a student wrote a paper giving tips and facts, to help control anxiety.  The student that wrote this paper wrote a tip to help change someone’s mindset on this subject.  “Change your attitude about exams. Look at it as something that is a fact of being a student, a barrier to hurdle; necessary for the teacher to make sure you know what you are supposed to know.” What the person is trying to explain is that there the exam is simply there for the teacher to see if students are understanding what is being teached/taught.   

On Cal Poly in their student academic service they have a list of what may help someone stay calm before testing. In their subsection what to do at least a week before the exam says, “ Don’t talk to other students before the exam because you might get confused. Other students may be suffering from test anxiety and they can make you feel anxious if they start asking you questions. Remember :it’s a solo experience.” When asked students who have test anxiety might say that they are stressing out about failing this test. But on closer inspection, their self confidence is really low.

Work cited:

  • "Test Anxiety." - Academic Skills Center: Study Skills Library. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.

I chose to revise this paper because I understand what the students go through. I revised my paper and I mainly worked on try to make it not biased or giving advice. I had to take out few sentences and I also had to add to some paragraphs. I made more improvements on my conclusion. 
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Influences of Bangla on me

“Ahhh! Kemon aso thumra? Ki kobor?”

I squeal and throw my arms around my two cousins and squeeze the life out of them. It’s been way too long. I feel their arms wrap around me and hug me back tightly. They laugh at me and pull away.

“Oh Allah. Thur Bangla tho aro karap hoigese. Thuke abar thin mash er jonno shikabo.”

(Oh god, your Bangla has gotten worse. We have to teach you again for the next three months.) One of my cousins, Lubna, giggled and kissed my cheek. I was so happy to be back. It had been way too long. Three years to be exact.

Bengali has always been my first language since I was young. Both my parents and cousins taught me at a young age. I still speak Bangla at home, to my relatives, and to the people in Philadelphia, who are apart of the Bengali community. My family and I visited Bangladesh after eleven years in the summer of 2012, and it was my siblings and my first time there after such a long period. We went in the summer of 2015 too.

I think the environment affects the accent that you have while speaking another language. When I am in America I have an American accent, and know how to speak English fluently and Bangla too. But when speaking Bangla it is obvious to other bengalis that I have an accent. When you have an accent speaking another language it seems like you don’t know how to speak it well. But in reality it is your native language.

When I traveled to Bangladesh for the first time, my cousins thought we didn’t know how to speak it well because our American accent was weaved throughout our words. Our Bangla sounded informal and weird compared to people who spoke Bangla in Bangladesh.

When we stayed there for the entire summer the first time we visited, our language and American accent slowly faded away. We blended along with the people around us, and it felt like we have been living there all of our lives. The longer you stay around the people who speak the same language as you, the better you get at it. My siblings and I still spoke English to each other but it sounded normal to our ears.

During the time we spent in Bangladesh in 2012, my cousins and I first met after a decade so we were still starting to get along. They corrected me most of the time while I spoke. There was one time where all of us cousins sat in the front room in my dad’s childhood village house, around watching television and joking around.

My girl cousins and I were sitting around in a circle on the bed, and having a normal conversation. I was leaning on the window when I huge gust of wind blew through the window.

I shouted, “Uff, ki baotash!” (Wow, this wind!)

It suddenly got dead silent, and then everyone was laughing at me.

“Baotash! Ithi baotash hoyi. Odi, baotash na. Bathash. Foli ekan,” my older cousin, Tanim mimicked and corrected me. (She pronounced it wrong, girl, this is how you pronounce it. Crazy girl.)

“Ohh, acha,” (Okay) I said laughing.

In 2012, throughout the summer we spent plenty time throughout our families. During this time,  I learned that there were different kinds of accents in Bengali too. Different regions have different accents. The other regions were in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. People usually speak very formal there. There is also Sylhet, which is in the north east region of Bangladesh. Sylheti people also speak in a different accent. The region where we stayed at is Chittagong, and there people speak normal Bengali, which is the formal version and the slang language which is Chitenge. My parents grew up speaking both ways in both school and home. I understand it fully when my family and relatives speak it, and I know bits and phrases but I do not know how to speak it properly.

During that time, it was the first time the people around me actually corrected me when I spoke and it took a toll on me. Back in America, my parents would not correct me so it was shocking to know that I was speaking some specific things wrong most of the time. Over those three months we learned how to fluently speak Bangla with just the people around me correcting me. With people around you speaking a language you know automatically you become more better at it. For instance, when a foreign exchange student comes to an American school when they continuously go to that school they will catch on to the language eventually. That is how I felt. I learned even more and became even more fluent than before.

In summer of 2015, it was a totally different story. I learned from my mistakes the last time we visited and my cousins said I had improved. It was refreshing. I felt as if I was more educated in Bangla. My cousins mentioned I switched back to the American accent but I knew how to pronounce the words now. When you keep moving to a different environment, the language those people speak around you becomes natural to you. When I’m in America I know how to speak English fully, and Bangla too but not with a Bengali accent. When I’m in Bangladesh I know how to speak Bangla well with a Bengali accent, and I know how to speak English fully with an American accent.

In 2015, another time when all of us cousins (from my father’s side) were staying over at his childhood village home. My cousins and I were in the front room and it was late at night and we were playing cards and at that time we were playing a round of Spoons. My dad suddenly barged into the room shouting at us.

“Thura ki are shanti mothon ghum zaithe dithini? Ekta bazi geye!” (Are you guys not going to let me sleep? It’s one o’clock already!)

My cousins and I jumped up and started cleaning up around us and set up the cushions on the floor so all of us can go to bed. We didn’t have enough rooms for everyone so all of us cousins would sleep line by line on the floor and bed in the living room. The rooms upstairs were currently being renovated so we couldn’t sleep up there. My dad left the room to go find us some pillows.

“Oi! Tanim apu, cards ar chamich ghulu lukai rako. Abujaan chole ghele amra bar kelbo, okay? Amar emney the ghum asthecena,” I said smirking. (Tanim, hide the cards and spoons. When Dad goes away we’re going to continue playing, okay? I’m not even sleepy.)

“Hmm. Amaro. Thur tho budhi ace!” She said. (Me too. You’re so clever!)

“Thura ki mair kabi? Khulu amader ke mari felbe,” my other cousin, Tajik joked. (Do you guys want to get a beating? Khulu is going to kill us.)

“Thumader ki ghum asthece?” I asked my cousins. (Are you guys asleep?)

They all responded with a no. I then looked at him with a smart face and said, “Dekso! Ami bolsi na. Amra kelbo.” (Look! I told you. We’re going to play.)

When my dad returned with pillows we set up and started to get to sleep. Then I got up as my dad was turning off the lights.

“Abar ki?” My dad said. (What now?)

“Dining room e ki panir bothol ace?” I asked. (Is there water bottles in the dining room?)

“Keno?” (Why?)

“Pani kaitham,” I said. (Because I want drink water)

Then suddenly my cousins started snickering and laughing. I looked at them wondering what I said wrong.

“Acha. Ami antheci.” (Okay, I am bringing it.)

“Pani kaitham,” Tajik screeched in a high pitched voice trying to mimic me.

My cousins started laughing and I did too with a confused face.

“Thumi bhul bolso. Pani kobo. Uita tik,” my other cousins, Babu said understanding my frustration. (You said it wrong. This is right.)

I think that was another struggle I faced when I was speaking Bangla. I laced both formal and informal bangla when I was speaking. Then on top of that, I have an American accent so it sounded like I didn’t know how to speak the language at all. But overall, speaking Bangla was my strength. It is a benefit for me even though I did not know every aspect of it. I feel stronger speaking it makes me feel like I am gaining something in life.

Learning a new language is like having a different life to me. You have a normal life speaking the language the whole country you are living in knows. Then when you are in your home environment you have a totally different atmosphere with a totally different language. I feel like knowing more than one language is a huge advantage. It takes up a whole part of you. It’s something to keep with you and pass down from generation to generation. It’s something native that you must keep close to you.

Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” What he is saying is that when someone speaks to another in the language that everyone else speaks and including him understand then everything goes to his mind. But when you speak to the person in their native language it goes to their heart. I agree with that. When I speak Bangla and when friends and family speak Bangla too me I feel like it is a part of my soul. I don’t feel discouraged when someone corrects me, it’s actually the total opposite. I feel like I gained more knowledge. I learn from my mistakes. When I speak English or people speak English with me I feel like I’m the same as others. I only speak it because I am in an environment where people mostly speak English. Sure, I know another language and it’s my second language but I feel more special speaking Bangla. I stand out.


Limited Internet

Limited Internet

Many people believe the internet is something that can be used as often as they desire. These people post multiple times a day on social media without worrying about running out of data access. However, there are internet providers who restrict data to the point where their customers cannot do as much online as those with unlimited access. While a company or person without data limits can create websites with dozens of photos, videos, graphics, and more, some data limits only allow for a couple photos or videos to be uploaded per month. As a result, the data limits enforced by internet service providers prevents their customers from using the internet to its full potential, especially for creative projects.

A prime example of this problem is on a site like YouTube, where people can share videos with the world for free, and start conversations in each video’s comment section. It is possible to calculate the maximum length of a video that someone can upload with a data limit by finding the file size per second of video, which is also known as the bitrate, and dividing that into the maximum amount of data a specific company allows. T-Mobile’s mobile internet plans limit the amount of data in gigabytes a customer can use per month. The different monthly data plans are listed on T-Mobile’s website.  The plan from T-Mobile that allows for the most gigabytes of data usage is 11 gigabytes at 4G LTE speeds for $70 a month. This means a T-Mobile customer cannot upload more than 11 gigabytes worth of video per month under this plan. Now, the bitrate allowed by YouTube must be known.  In an online help page for YouTube, the bitrates recommended for videos to upload to and play on YouTube are listed by resolution. The recommended bitrate for a HD video with a resolution of 1080p with a frame rate of 48-60 frames per second is 12 Mbps. Using this information and some calculations, a person is able to upload no more than 15 minutes of video per month. If someone wishes to grow and maintain an audience for their channel, which will help get their videos viewed,  there needs to be new content uploaded regularly. New videos give subscribers and viewers a way to engage with a channel. Plus, adding more content increases the chances of a channel being found in search results. YouTube itself encourages people to upload often in order to build and maintain their audience. A post published on the Google+ page called YouTube Creators, which is managed by YouTube, states, “Feed your feed! Upload frequently and aim to publish a minimum of one video per week.” This sets an expectation for people running channels on YouTube to upload at least once a week, or four times a month to maintain their audience. 15 minutes divided by four videos a month is 3 minutes and 45 seconds of video a week. The length of a person’s videos will continue to decrease the more often a person uploads, or if someone uploads a video at a higher resolution than 1080p. In reality, data would also be used from going to, displaying graphics on the page, saving changes to the title or description of the video, and whatever else someone does while uploading. Therefore, the maximum number of minutes a month is going to be much less than 15 minutes. Plus, if someone uses all of their data to upload videos, this person will have no data left to do anything else online. This maximum of 15 minutes of video, which is further cut down by every time a webpage loads, prevents a person from reaching the full potential of a large channel that uploads often in which unlimited data would otherwise allow.

Videos are not the only type of large file someone may want to add to an online project. Another example is audio files, which are posted as songs and podcasts. The amount of data contained in an audio file is determined by its bit depth multiplied by the sample rate. Adobe Audition is a computer program that allows users to record and edit audio. According to a post in Adobe Audition’s online help page, audio files record in Adobe Audition automatically save at 32-bit, and be compressed to lower bit depths. An audio file with a high enough sample rate for a CD is at least 44,100 samples per second, or Hz. Therefore, each second of audio for a file with a bit depth of 32-bit and sample rate of 44,100 Hz requires 1,411,200 bits a second, which equals 176.4 kilobytes a second. NetZero is another internet service provider who limits data. According to NetZero’s website, their plan with the highest data limit is 6 gigabytes for $79.95 a month. With a 6 gigabyte limit, someone could only upload 9.45 hours of audio. If someone, for example, wanted to run a weekly podcast with this data limit, each podcast must be under about two and half hours. If someone wants to upload more than two and half hours a week, the data limits from NetZero prevent them from doing so. This prevents someone from reaching the full potential of a daily podcast or online radio station, which unlimited internet would otherwise allow.

Although people with unlimited data might not care that some people do not have as much, this situation causes the work of some people to never be seen. If someone who has limited data creates an amazing podcast, video, or other media, they are not able to upload their work and share it with the world. In addition to the data used by uploading large files, data is required to open web pages, display graphics, listen to audio or video online, and save changes to online posts. Everything someone does online within a month takes away from the size of any creative project a customer may want to post online. On the other hand, if people with unlimited data creates the content, not everyone who wants to see it can. If data limits continue to exist, only large companies and people rich enough to afford unlimited access will be able to publish creative content, and this media will just reach wealthy customers. For companies, this also means that customers with limited data cannot download their content, such as songs on Itunes or applications from Google Play. As long as internet providers continue to add data limits to their plans, the internet will be exclusive.

Works Cited:

"Recommended Upload Encoding Settings (Advanced)." YouTube Help. Google. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <>.

Google. YouTube, 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <>.

"The Simple Choice Plan." T Mobile. T Mobile USA, Inc. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <>.

"Mobile Data Plans." NetZero. NetZero, Inc. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <>.

"Digitizing Audio." Adobe Audition Help. Adobe Systems Incorporated. Web. 9 Oct. 2015. <>.

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Police discrimination

African Americans get harassed  and killed by white police and it is not by accident . USA today analysis of seven years of FBI data “ white officers kill black officers kill black “suspects”  twice a week a week in the United States on a average 96 times a year” which claims around a quarter of the 400 annual deaths reported to federal authorities by local police departments were white-on-black shootings. What's more, the analysis indicates that 18% of the black suspects were under the age of 21 when killed by the police, as opposed to just 8.7% of white suspects. These statistics are self explanatory black people have a way greater percentage of police.

The statistic on white-cop-on-black-suspect shootings is alarming in and of itself. Then the next question should be why are blacks bigger targets to police brutality than white people.   But while race plays a critical role, the number of white cops shooting black people is just part of a larger problem. Black people across the United States are more likely to face discrimination in the criminal justice system and be harassed, arrested and shot by police just because of the pigment of their skin or stereotypes, Black cops should police the black neighborhoods instead of the white police officers only because the black police officers would get more understanding of what would be happening in the neighborhood instead of just locking somebody up and or shooting on sight. vise verse with white people I know they would feel safer being around their people.”

On a hot summer afternoon in August 1998, 37-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Rossano V. Gerald and his young son Gregory drove across the Oklahoma border into a nightmare. A career soldier and a highly decorated veteran of Desert Storm and Operation United Shield in Somalia, SFC Gerald, a black man of Panamanian descent, found that he could not travel more than 30 minutes through the state without being stopped twice: first by the Roland City Police Department, and then by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. This is just prime example of a African American man  being discriminated and harassed  against, its just in this case it  happened to be  a U.S Army sergeant A African American man serving our country the situation he was in i think would have made any body want to hate the cops his twelve year old son was in the car with him the police purposely traumatized this young man they locked him in the car with no air condition and was blowing hot air and threatened to sick the dog on him if he tried to escape just to make it clear they were out there for two and a half hours. the police officers knew they were in the wrong because they turned off the patrol evidence camera   . The sergeant said he just does not understand why we as a people can't move on as a people in this country move past racism and discrimination .

Its not by accident that African Americans get discriminated against, we are targeted were not blind to the fact that other races are also getting discriminated against but we are the “ prime suspects” we make it come to light in American with movements like Black Lives Matter and Hands up.  we try to let the world know what we're going  through in America that why I think that when someone says something about police brutality they think of black people in particular not white, or Hispanic.  

"Driving While Black." The Washington Monthly. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.

"Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation's Highways." American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2015.

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The Thin Ideal and The Way It Affects Teen Girls

There are some girls out there who are completely comfortable with flaunting their natural beauty. However, the majority of young women today are afraid to accept themselves and show the world who they really are, because society has portrayed the picture perfect image of a girl and it’s not what they look like  Currently, the ideal image for a girl includes those with skinny waists, flat tummies, and just being thin altogether. Which has changed from previous eras where bigger and curvier girls were considered beautiful along with skinny, but not extremely thin girls.

Teen girls already like to compare themselves and wish they were like Ariana Grande and Kate Hudson along with many other celebrities.  “The Thin Ideal” does not help the self esteem of teen girls because it causes them to go to extremes to achieve that body image. Girls have been manipulated into thinking what is right and wrong with a girls image. On Huffington Post, Katie Atkinson says that “Women have been taught to compare themselves to others for most of their lives. There are signs everywhere, at every corner, flashing the words "you aren't good enough" to every teenaged girl in America.” Ads for products such as Skinny Fiber say stuff such as “Eat Less, Feel Fuller: which is why they call it Skinny Fiber is an example of what shames girls with fuller bodies. This ad is then followed by a drawing of a girl with a skinny waist, which is also on the packaging of the product. Although there are a lot more signs to be found everywhere that don’t specifically say those things it does not mean that those things are not being conveyed through an image. An image says more than a thousands words, especially an image that appears more than once and in many forms. It makes an attempt to send a message if they did not get it the other countless times and in ways they may understand.

Even though there are images out there of females portrayed as extremely thin down to the bone, with no thigh gap, and barely any muscle on their body, both women and girls alike have learned to empower themselves and know that they are better than what is being advertised in everywhere they go. Girls are now being thought a stronger side on self acceptance which brings more attention to different body images. On Huffington Post, Ellie Krupnick tested 37 different subject and got the following results “When the idealized female images are presented blatantly -- we detect the ideal being thrown in our faces. We therefore fortify our own self-image as a defense mechanism, as if to say, "We see what you're trying to do here... and we're not falling for it." As a result, our self-esteem actually rises...But when the idealized female images are exposed subtly -- it gets under our skin without us realizing. We end up feeling bad about ourselves.” When being shown the obvious in their faces it is shown that there is nothing to hide and be ashamed of.

The content of an article or magazine is always the same, but it is different to every person who reads it. Everyone interprets things differently and it just so happens that teen girls have managed to see those images and interpret that they have to change their bodies to fit what society thinks is beautiful, but this constant reminder has also caused this negative mindset. Health Psych says that “Magazines, television shows, movies, commercials, etc. portray attractive women as being extremely thin. It is nearly impossible to escape the influence of the media and children are being exposed to these portrayals earlier and earlier in life. Since we live in a world of constant stimulation and immediate access to all sorts of media, could the constant reminder of the “thin ideal” cause body dissatisfaction, a negative body image, and low self-esteem?” It is as though the same things are being repeated just so that it can get stuck in the heads of many teen girls. With this constant reminder of “not being good or pretty enough” the self esteem of those girls has being affected too much that they have been pushed to starve themselves to achieve this picture perfect image. It has been seen that plenty of teenage girls will do anything to fit in and that includes going as far as to starve themselves to achieve this Thin Ideal

Although The Thin Ideal may only seem important to ten girls in our society it should in fact concern anyone who cares about the well being of teen girls in this century. Teen girls have managed to become easily manipulated by what media and society says, especially with the big role models they have that are people known all over social media. They compare themselves to these role models making them vulnerable to the comparison of the “Thin Ideal”. Their confidence and low self-esteem goes down and they soon stop loving themselves. Once they see that they no longer love themselves they will do whatever it takes to reach this ideal by taking weight loss pills, starving themselves and get diagnosed with an eating disorder. In worse case scenario they might realize that they can’t reach this ideal and take away their own life, which is something that is not wanted by many people. There are different and small ways everywhere to get this ideal stuck in their heads, but it takes a huge community to stomp out that ideal.

Works Cited

Atkinson, Katie. "Breaking Down the Media's Distorted Views on Beauty."The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

Krupnick, Ellie. "Women's Self-Esteem Affected By Idealized Female Images... But Not In The Way You Think." The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

"Health Psychology Home Page." Effects of Media on Body Image. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

I chose this 2fer because I wanted to focus more on supporting ideas and fix that up a bit. I also wanted to edit the grammar and add a few sentences to give it a better overall view. I also know that there were mistakes with the POV, so I fixed that and whatever other simple mistakes that need to be checked on. 
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Donald Trump 2fer#2

Donald Trump is a man of many talents and successful at it all his life. He has been is the business game for a long time and successful at it all his life. On June 16, 2015 he decided to use his business skills to try to run for president. Many people thought of him as a joke or took him very seriously. Many famous comedians would make jokes about him. However, other people praised him because of his supposed sturdiness and strong will. As a result, Donald Trump is ahead in the polls because people view him as a joke or a blessing

When Trump announced that he would run for president; many people laughed, and many people rejoiced. Some citizens believe that this country was so outplaced, destroyed & lost that Trump is the only & best answer for America. Some of his supporters were asked why do they support Trump and many of them had mixed reviews but some stood out from the crowd. One support stated, “Politicians spend no time helping them. Black lives matter more and illegal immigrants who break the law get a free pass. Evangelicals in this country no longer feel they have the right to religious freedom and have watched what they perceive as a sacred institution in marriage gutted. All the while, politicians they voted for to represent them just plain don’t.”( This supporters believed that Trump was the answer to america's problem. Another supporters stated, “Trump Has Successfully Run Large Organizations” he explained that “He(Trump) leads an enormous, diversified organization that is worth billions. This requires leadership. Leadership, by the way, is different from knowledge. When you lead a large organization you set vision, goals and expect results. You do not know every detail of every level of your organization. You can’t. The world is just too complicated. You delegate and empower. You can get information when you need it and the president has no shortage of people ready to educate him on issues.” The supporter related the country to one of Trump organizations which is completely false. While running an organization can affect not a lot of people, running the country means that he has every single person in that country’s life in his hands and every decision you make can affect someone for the rest of there life good or bad. It would not be right nor correct to compare his business skills to how he will run as president.

While many supporters were serious for him becoming president, many saw it as a joke. They mostly wanted Trump to become president because they thought it would be funny. Most of these opinions are coming from white americans because they know Trumps action will not directly affect them. In the same article, some of his supporters were asked why do they support Trump. One stated,  “I wanted to explain why I'd vote for Trump...1)His desire to be a successful president to feed his ego could paradoxically motivate him to be an extremely willing, conscientious delegate, surrounding himself with effective political operatives so he could stick to his strength of being a showman. 2) Partly I just want to watch the chaos unfold if a purely ego-driven man were to experience success with a presidential run…...”( Another supporter states, I would like to offer my reasoning for supporting Trump. I know he would do a pretty terrible job at this point, but I really am at the point of letting the whole thing burn down and explode. Trump would help us get there faster and more efficiently. Like the joker from The Dark Knight, I just want to see the world burn. I guess I am an anarchist in that respect. Once it's all burnt down maybe we can have that constitutional convention we really need to fix things and get this country back on track if it still exists. Happy Friday. If you do decide to publish please include the email signature below.” This supporter obviously didn't not care who won and just wanted a good laugh out of the situation.  

Some people ask why support a candidate they think is a joke. It is a combination of believing  that their actions will not affect them and they do not know a lot of information. A supporter of the Trump campaign was interviewed and asked why they support trump and stated, “Why trust Trump? The political system has been set up against the public for years……..The presidency is a joke! Trump is the wild card. Do I trust him? Not necessarily…”( The supporter does not even like the idea of presidency and doesn’t support it but is attending a rally for someone who wants to become the president. This shows how some people will make a decision without thinking and will not care what happens on the future.

These show that there is a wide spectrum of supporters for Donald Trump. Some are for selfish reasons and some are for outrageous reason but at the end of the day people still support him.

Work cited

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

"Donald Trump Biography." - Family, Childhood, Children, Parents, Story, Wife, School, Information, Born, College, Contract. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.

Friedersdorf, Conor. "What Do Donald Trump Voters Actually Want?" The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
As you stated in my work, you wanted me to change the middle part of my work. It was difficult to edit because I had to rethink my whole 2fer to make sure it all made sense. I fixed up the quote because it took up too much of the paragraph. I had to think carefully about what I deleted because all of it was relevant but I had to pic the most relevant.
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2fer#2 Revision--U.S. Military Involvement

Tomas Arango

Air Stream


 2Fer #2


There have been many cases where the US has gone into a  country to try and help resolve  the issues taking place at that time. However, sometimes that intervention can end up doing more harm than good. Throughout the period of involvement abroad, our military continues to send in troops who later cannot come home due to the intensity of fighting. Due to damage committed by bombings and drone strikes, there are high civilian casualties. All of this makes the U.S. look bad to those living in the occupied countries. As a superpower, the U.S. has a desire and the means to assist other countries in need. However, they overestimate their power to aid these countries, resulting in nonessential casualties and fatalities.   

After 9/11 this country was in a state of fear from presences in the Middle East such as Al-Queada. The U.S. government decided to go in and become active in the Middle East.  However, set intentions of finding “weapons of mass destruction” and Al Qaeda presence, slowly became a war for oil (Iraqi  war). Even though the U.S.  may go in with a set goal, it doesn’t always go as planned. When the war finally ended, bringing back troops was an issue due to the ongoing wars and conflicts in Middle Eastern countries and those surrounding it. In Places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, and others,. The U.S. is involved in many ongoing conflicts and many consequences come along with it such as not being able to bring troops back home..


Drone strikes and bombings cause a lot of damage to the physical architecture and to the amount of civilian casualties. Just recently this week the U.S. bombed a hospital in Afghanistan, killing 12 medical staff members, at least 10 patients, and 37 were wounded. There is an extensive body of law that regulates military action during conflict, and there needs to be a line to draw balance in between what the military can do and what is justified to do out of necessity. According to an interview from CNN, "Hospitals enjoy a special protected status under international humanitarian law. So, to attack a hospital or medical facility, whether it is a civilian or military installation, is a crime," This justifies that bombing the hospital would be considered a war crime, and it  that the U.S. overestimated the amount of power needed to eliminate threat which resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.

The U.S. defense budget is where the majority of this country's money goes to. An amount of about $666-$672 billion dollars every year. That’s more than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, UK, India, and Germany combined according to the P.G.P Foundation.  (Links to an external site.)It takes more resources than the military anticipates to go abroad to assist other countries, and going to war. Being a military power house to the world, the U.S.can be overpowered and overestimate that power. This doesn’t always lead to deaths abroad, but it plays a role in ocupation abroad.


The U.S. plays a big role in today's world especially with its military. This country has made allies and helped many other countries with threats they once faced. When asked, the U.S. military might say that conflicts abroad and wars they are fighting are for the greater good. But on closer inspection, the U.S. military causes a lot of damage and casualties along the way that they don’t pay attention too due to being a military superpower.


Mullen, Jethro, and Ashley Fantz. "Afghan Hospital Bombing: Civilians 'accidentally Struck' -" CNN. Cable News Network, 6 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 Oct. 2015. < (Links to an external site.)>.


Mackay, Mari. "Afghan Hospital Bombing: Is It a War Crime? -"CNN. Cable News Network, 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 09 Oct. 2015. < (Links to an external site.)>.

-"U.S. Defense Spending Compared to Other Countries." N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. < (Links to an external site.)>.



When revising my 2fer I fixed and deleted many unnecessary sections that didn't contribute to my main idea. I also revised my conclusion paragraph. I fixed it so it didn't sound like an intro paragraph and utilized one of the conclusions we wrote in class during one of the activities. Overall I feel like my 2fer is stronger than it was compared to the first time I submitted it. 


The Bad side

American Football? Isn’t american football fun, thrilling, gets the heart pumped up? This is true for players of all ages Many sport leagues or in other words, adults sports, are a very big influence on teenagers. Before they can become professionals, though teens sports are how many league player are made, the passion of the sport. Most people believe that playing team teen sports are a good thing. They keep teens healthy and keeps them focused on a positive target or goal, however, there is a dangerous side to team sports.

American Football is known for having a lot of physical contact. Most of the time, this can lead to big injuries and causing teens to lose their good physical shape and also get a bad mindset. Having a bad mindset can make things more competitive, reasons cause in the game the football player are going to be more aggressive on the field. Having a mood like this, is changing the behavior of the player, which includes the mindset, and physical contact. According to the an article aboutHuman Kinetics published by (name website), it will describe the behavior not just in the field but outside of it. Some of the main common sense of American football player for teenagers is that they're so accustomed to using physical intimidation and violence, reasons of the sports which reverses the behavior when facing conflicts outside of the sport. For example, athletes that allow their emotions be guided by their sport are most likely to lose control if their manhood is being challenged is some way.

Football is a very strong game/sport. The training is strong because the teenager has to do a lot of upper body workouts, meaning deadlifts a lot of squats and also includes a lot of running which track is involve. After training hard and trying to improve the teenages skills, the game is very different. Training and the game are two different thing, the side effects of playing very rough can change the outcome of the health. According to an article published on, “if the sport of football ever dies it will die from outside in”.Although the years, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players suffer a mild traumatic brain injury during the season. Including for teens the center of Disease Control and Prevention eliminates the nearly 2 million brain injured or suffered by teenage players every year In fact,  the probabilities of a team player getting a concussion while playing a high school football game is 3 times higher than the second most dangerous sport, which  is girls soccer games. Even though knowing that this is healthy sport and for the teenager, in the same way that it is also dangerous.

Now behavior is a very important thing in the sport. There are many reasons why behavior is an important thing. The very first reason why it's important it's because of sportsmanship and so that the team to look good in front of other people. Mean by other people is for example the coach, the school's  resume for college and other people that look for teenagers in high school to get a scholarship, mean, and so on and so fore. According to the article,, “Besides the highly publicized stories, there are thousands more across the nation involving amateur athletes taking risks both on and off the field. From performance-enhancing supplements to referee/official abuse to fights, guns and recorded crimes, the image of sports as a positive influence on athletes may need a second look.” From within this quote, many people, meaning teens relate to their NFL players. Many people intend to change their behavior to follow the NFL players and be inspired by them and they do many things to look like them too. By using the data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

More than 60,000 male students from across 120 schools were included within activities, risk behavior, and at home influence, which lead into most likely violence of field and specifically fighting.

In conclusion, every sport has their good side every sport is healthy every sport has a good benefit. The NFL can become one of the greatest and be a great influence for the next generation. The life of other teenagers depend on NFL, they are what makes teenagers who they are. Sometimes when the teenager receive their training and gain skills, sometimes the football player tend to push themselves harder and try to be more aggressive on winning because losing isn’t an option.

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A grade is not objective -- it’s up to the  teacher’s standard of what is considered just okay versus what is considered excellent. By that logic, a student can do the same work but be deemed intelligent by one teacher and average to another. This will leave a student confused and take away their ability to accurately gauge their own intelligence. Grades are not a good incentive for doing good work in school because it is less about learning, but more so based upon a person's opinion.  

BBC, published  an article addressing a study done by Stanford University. The study was trying to figure out the effects of praising a child’s abilities or versus telling them that they worked really hard. According to the article, “Praising a child’s intelligence can teach them that this is a fixed trait that they can’t control. It can make them wary of trying anything new in case they don’t maintain their high standards.” If a students gets an A, it means that the student is “advanced”. All the work that a student does is going to maintain their advanced status. If for whatever reason a student was struggling with a certain subject and a received a C or B, they would just push it off because they think that they just aren’t good at the subject. They will not work as hard to get to the A they want because they have a fixed mindset. posted an article about a high school student who decided to worry about learning instead of her grades. ” I would focus on actually learning about the topic rather than just doing what was required for the project. My grades on assignments actually improved from this decision and I did make straight A's in all my classes.” The author of the article was trying illustrate that learning is more than trying to pass. When students focus on trying to pass they absorb all the material in class and once the assignment is done they will no longer retain that information. Therefore, striving to get A’s and B’s hinders a person’s ability to gain new, long term knowledge. A person can cheat and find slick ways to get an A or a B and a person could hard really hard and that is not fair nor is it encouraging learning.

On, a website for teachers, posted an article about the effects of a bad teachers on good students. ”A painful few educators regularly appear bored with their subject material, lecture constantly instead of engaging students in intellectual conversation, or even seem to specialize in classroom put-downs.[...], since even hardworking students who face ineffective instruction can end up unhappy in school and incapable of getting much out of their relatively short time in the classroom.” A teacher’s ability to teach is another key factor in the whether or not a student, who wants to learn, will be able to grasp the content. A teacher can be unfit for teaching and the students will suffer, so giving the bad teacher the power to judge whether or not a student deserves a good grade is unfair to the kid. It is unfair to the students because they have to do a lot of work to gain some sort of content from a lesson that wasn’t the best to begin with. In the end, the grade will not reflect the student’s actual intelligence, instead it will only reflect how hard they worked.

When asked, teachers might say that grades are a good incentive for doing good work. But on close inspection, grades do more harm than good. In the end, going to school to get an education is about learning and what a student takes away from it in the long run. However, traditional grades do not support that. Grades do not reflect a person’s knowledge but their work ethic instead, and they tend to do more damage in the long run because they cause less motivated students to fall behind even though they may still be very smart. Over time a student will not


“Is Praising a Child Good or Bad for Them?” BBC. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

“Punished By Rewards?: A Conversation with Alfie Kohn - Alfie Kohn.” Alfie Kohn. N.p., Feb. 1995. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

Rubino, Jen. “Grades Vs. Learning.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

“The Secret To Raising Smart Kids.” Scientific American Global RSS. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

“When Bad Teachers Happen To Good Students: Communication Is the Key to Change.” Edutopia. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <>

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