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One day I was in Chinatown with my parents. We were waiting for a table at a restaurant called Penang which serves really good Asian food. As we were waiting, an Asian man and white woman came in after us, their name was taken by the hostess for their table. They would be waiting with us.

There was an awkward silence in the waiting area. My mother, Jennifer, opened her mouth. I cringed. She always does this. We call it “public talking.” It’s when someone feels that they need to start a conversation with some random person they see in public. My mom’s mouth was flapping away at lightning speed talking about “The great egg noodles” and how “Downtown Philly is really busy on Friday nights. . .” and making sure to not leave out that her son sings in a choir that travels the world. That’s when she said something that really stood out to me.

“Yeah, we love coming here, the food is amazing and mainly locals eat here, so it’s not full of tourists like us.”

At which point the man said

“Oh, where are you all from?”

I was just standing there internally face palming, laughing and screaming all at the same time. I knew what would come next. She then said,

“Oh, heh, no. We’re from Philly, just ya know.”

At which point I leaned over to my other mom, Angela, and whispered,

“We’re from Philly… ya know, the eh, white part.”

Angela chuckled then made her usual annoyed face. The man looked confused. The woman still had the mannequin-esque smiling face she had when I first saw her. The man responded slowly with,

“Well, we are from Washington state.” said the man.

“I’m from Quebec.” This was the only thing the woman said before my mom went back to workin’ her jaw. When the couple was seated the waiting area became quiet again until I said,

“Yeah, we love going here, the food is amazing and mainly ASIAN PEOPLE go here so it’s not full of WHITE PEOPLE like us.” Angela started to laugh louder now and Jen, realizing what she said chuckled and looked a bit embarrassed.  

I don’t like to take myself too seriously. I usually try to come up with ways to get my point across or carry on conversations with humor whenever I can. Sometimes this “humor” is snarky, sarcastic, or ironic. In the case of “The Great Penang Incident”, I used sarcasm to point out to my mom that she was being an annoying public talker, and saying something that could be mistaken for racist. If I had been too blunt or too serious in pointing out the problem with what Jen said, she might have gotten too focused on me being  “too critical.”  By using humor, I was able to get my point across in a less threatening way which ended up opening up more dialogue in the end. If I had bluntly said exactly what I was thinking it might have been something more like, “Hey mom, you're embarrassing me and yourself and I think that your comment could be taken as racist.”  This sentence might have hurt my mom’s feelings and lead to an argument. I am pretty sure that softening it with the use of humor was a better way to go.

A couple of years ago I saw my friend Elogio at a friend’s 16th birthday party. We  see each other only occasionally since we both graduated from our old school in 8th grade but we still do things together from time to time. Elogio is still a good friend of mine for over 5 years now. We’re both pretty chill with each other but one thing we both enjoy doing is saying stupid stuff to each other. When he saw me, he walked over to me and said,

“Hey Jake, wow, you’ve gotten taller.” It would make sense that the guy who hardly ever grows would notice my height. Elogio, when I first met him in 5th grade, might have been 4’ 5” and I was maybe 5’ 1”. Going into 9th grade he was probably 4’ 11” or 5’ with me at 5’ and 8”. He was the shortest person my age that I knew. I responded to him in a cheerful tone,

“Yea, I guess so. I wish I could say the same about you.” Then I let out a cheesy laugh that would make Mike Brady cringe. One might think that after knowing the guy for so many years I would have laid off the short jokes. The Mayor of Munchkinland looked at me disapprovingly, I just stared back with a smug grin on my face. A grin twice as smug but not as yellow then formed on Elogio’s face, and he said.

“I guess the lack of oxygen up there is already starting to do damage to the brain cells.” There was a second of silence and then we laughed, we were probably over laughing. I then grabbed his shoulder and gave him a sideways bro-hug. I held my nose in the air, and in the most pompous voice I could muster said,

“I don’t take too kindly to that sir.” We chuckled a bit and then caught each other up on how life was going after graduating from our old school.

It was by jokingly insulting each other with sarcasm and campy dialogue that we were able to connect as friends.  Most of our conversations are through jokes, but we are still able to remain friends and talk about a lot of different things.

Of course, not all people take too kindly to snarky comments. Some people can’t tell the difference between something being said sarcastically and something that’s said out of genuine resentment. When people misunderstand my attempts at being a jokester, it isn't exactly good for me - even when their reaction is priceless. My use of humor can be risky and sometimes backfires.  I see the world as a funny place. I include humorous comments in my daily language as a way to share with others that the world is a strange, ironic and entertaining place.

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Consequences of Smoking Cigarettes

A lot of people do not realize that they could have done something harmful to their body until something happens or they have health problems. There is a lot of things and actions that can cause cancer and one of them is smoking cigarettes. Most of the people smoke cigarettes without thinking what is the effect after smoking for a while, but also it makes them look older, and feel less stressed.

Most of the people just start as if nothing to worry about, but then they get addicted to Nicotine and it is hard for them to quit. In the PDF called A Comprehensive Adult Basic Education Curriculum, “There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes. 51 of them are known to be carcinogenic. A carcinogen is something that causes cancer. Cancer is a disease that often kills those who have it.” What people breathe in while smoking is pretty scary. When humans smoke, all the harmful chemicals end up in the lungs, which is a major organ, and damages them after a long period of time. Smoking for not a long time does not mean there will not be any effects. Smoking for a short time will always leave some changes in the lungs, but it does not have to cause cancer right away. Cigarettes are not good for people because they harm their lungs, and such a damage is not worth it.

Adults and even teens smoke, but they do not exactly know why. Some just smoke to be cool like their friends, and others because of their stress and their addiction to Nicotine. A lot of people have to deal with a lot of situations where they can not help it and just go for a cigarette because it makes them feel good and more relaxed, but while smoking they do not think about what is happening to their lungs. In the PDF called A Comprehensive Adult Basic Education Curriculum, “Three of the main reasons that young people smoke are to look mature, to be like their friends, and to experiment… If their friends or peers smoke, they may feel pressured into doing the same to be accepted. The last reason is the excitement of experimenting with something that is forbidden.” Teens do not realize how cigarettes can affect them because they just want to be cool like their peers. They should be the ones to change it and not let people go with it, and show that it is not okay to smoke, even if they are teenagers because it is harmful for their health and lungs. Most of them do not realize it. Most of the reasons why people smoke cigarettes it’s because of their mind set. Psychology has to do with this because people think about cigarettes as something that it will keep them relaxed and be cool.

Chemicals added to cigarettes could be imagined just like in the lab. All chemicals react with one another. Chemicals in cigarettes do not work well in order to keep a person healthy. K. H. Ginzel, M.D. tells us what’s in cigarettes,  “In contrast to other drugs, nicotine delivery from tobacco carries an ominous burden of chemical poisons and cancer-producing substances that boggle the mind. Many toxic agents are in a cigarette. However, additional toxicants are manufactured during the smoking process by the chemical reactions occurring in the glowing tip of the cigarette.” Smoking is not good for people. People just do not see how bad they can be to their health system. Smoking for a short or a long time is bad because no matter what people breathe in it is all the chemicals that cigarettes have. Cancer also spreads to other organs, but humans do not think about consequences of smoking.

In order to be healthy people need to look at the consequences some products might have if they choose to use them. Cigarettes are the ones that do have side effects. Usually they do not know that something is happening inside their body because it is not immediately visible while it is developing, but the symptoms do not appear until it is too late. Cigarettes can cause lung cancer. Cancer takes time to grow and it usually shows up out of nowhere. There are a lot of people that do not take care of their lungs because they think it will not affect them, or they will get lucky, but that is not promised. This behavior will continue as long as teens and adults let the psychological attraction of cigarettes outweigh the dangers. If smokers stopped to think about it, they would realize that cigarettes are not just about them or other smokers, but about kids and teens that do not smoke. Kids and teens that are not smoking, they see that their parents smoke and their parents show that it is okay to smoke, even though it is not. Just being around people who smoke is not good for their health systems.


Work Cited


  1. "What's in a Cigarette." What's in a Cigarette. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

<http://healthliteracy.worlded.org/docs/tobacco/Unit4/1whats_in.html>


  1. "What's in a Cigarette? - American Lung Association." American Lung Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

<http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/whats-in-a-cigarette.html>


  1. "Cigarette Ingredients - Chemicals in Cigarettes." Cigarette Ingredients - Chemicals in Cigarettes. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://www.tricountycessation.org/tobaccofacts/Cigarette-Ingredients.html>


  1. "What's In a Cigarette, 599 Ingredients in a Cigarette." What's In a Cigarette, 599 Ingredients in a Cigarette. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

<http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/whatsinit.htm>


  1. "Smoking: Do You Really Know the Risks?" Smoking: Do You Really Know the Risks? N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

<http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/QuitSmoking/QuittingSmoking/Sm

oking-Do-you-really-know-the-risks_UCM_322718_Article.jsp>


  1. "Why Do People Try Smoking Even When They Know That It Is Bad for Them?" OxyGen. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.

<http://www.oxygen.org.au/smokefree/faqs/why-do-people-try-smoking.html>


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The Art of Being Sassafrass

 

The Art of Being Sassafras

Everyone is raised different ways. Depending on our cultures and how we see fit to raise our children. Everyone is different. Since everyone is different, we all have different ways of viewing the world, and different ways of speaking depending on your culture and your society. Your culture, society, and your personality all shape the way you function in your everyday life.  


“She’s so rachet”

“She’s so what?”

“Rachet”

“Like a wrench?”

“Ghetto, uncouth”

“Umm... ok”

I never typically speak slang. I’ve never seen a need to have my language adapt or evolve  due to what seen as fashionable during time period. There is so many disadvantages to speaking slang such as people misunderstanding your, not taking you seriously. Since these terms are used by only a select group of people when another hears you speaking one way they can form misconceptions about you and you culture. The main reason I shy away from the usage of slang is because its not appropriate in every setting. Having to change your language depending on the setting gets tiring. So I rather just keep it out of my vocabulary.   

If you are from the Philadelphia area you may use the word “Ratchet”.To describe a personality trait, or an object that you find displeasing. In definition terms “Ratchet” is a type of wrench. A culture can switch the definition of a word so drastically, changing a noun to a adjective. Society determines the way you speak. Such as vocabulary, accent, and slang.  

Its when meeting a person different from your culture, society, and your personality that’s language begins to clash. You have this mindset of what right, or what's grammatically correct. Others not from your culture or society may see your grammar as wrong, and vice verse for your culture. Having these two different opinions of  language determines how your language is perceived. These opinions of language that have been dubbed as wrong can become a pariah. They do not fit into the “idea“ of the group.

Its not always the fault of the first group, they can’t accept the preferences or opinions of another. Some people can’t deal with difference. So the only way for them to acknowledge or deal with it is to censure it.  

Coming from New Jersey and being raised in Philadelphia it was difficult to adjust to the differences of this society. Even though there isn’t much distance between the city to state the culture change is huge. An example would be, where most would call it a sub sandwich or even a hoagie. In New Jersey's culture it is called a “hero”, possibly because its longer than most sandwiches and saves you from hunger.

Language is both the opportunity to confuse and enlighten. We are constantly influenced by our society. Language, words, and even definitions are changing at this very moment. Meaning the dictionary you're right now using, the one you got in 5th grade is no loger relevant to this time period or this society. Not all the words will be outdated but some and maybe even most will have changed. It is perceived at young age that language is something set in stone. That if you can’t find it in a dictionary, then it's not a word. Say there is one specific way to say or pronounce something. But if language is constantly evolving then maybe one day “Me and Logan” can go to the mall, instead of

“Logan and I”.

“I spread them out (so black and full of possibilities) and pretended the curtains were swinging open, flying up, one after another, sunlight underneath, mighty operas.”

This quote I feel it captures language in it purest form. From Marine Hang Kingstan “Tongue-tied” the text introduces language with the portail of innocence and unknowing. This quote talks of how language is branched out and how there is so many possibilities for it to reach ground shaking heights. Although we may breakaway from the roots we are left with the mighty trunk (dialect, accent), and leaves (jargon) which all strive to touch the sun (striving to be more and create more).


“Hi, welcome to Rita’s want would ya like?”

“A vanilla cone with rainbow Jimmies”

“Sprinkles?”

“Yeah”

“So just for clarification, a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles?”

 “Thats what I just said”


This is what my third grade teacher told us after she got back from visiting family in North Carolina. I remember thinking “Jimmies? What are Jimmies”. Everyone else in the class was tentatively nodding their heads, confirming they knew something I didn’t. I just didn’t get it. “Why would you put Jim on top of a vanilla cone.” “What did Jim do, that could be so bad that made you want to eat him?” This all happened at between a very confused Rita’s employee and a Philadelphia native. When she said the word “sprinkles” in relation to “Jimmies” that’s when the meaning of the word finally clicked into place.   

It is crazy how many words we could make up and then have it become actual vocabulary for another. Adapting the word into your mind without even realizing it.

When did it stop being sprinkles. The sign at Rita’s never changed, its clearly states sprinkles as one of it toppings. Yet some how jimmies wiggled its way into your vocabulary changing the word in your mind from sprinkles to jimmies.  

Seeing as words and meanings of words are changed all the time anyone can literally be the start, the change, the evolutionist to a new generation of astounding vernacular speech. Meaning I could take the word Sassafras, which is the name of a plant known for their leaves and bark. Change its meaning to showing great amounts of energy; related emotions such as happiness, exuberance and excitement. As long as a word can be identified as something by more than one person, it is infact a word. Even if it is not in the Merriam-Webster's dictionary.

Although making and changing these words can be fun. Changing a word takes away it history. The word being reintroduced into society as one word, but never to use the old definition of the word. Thereby killing and robbing the word of it true purpose and meaning. When changing words  we scan over and forget the words that got us to the place we are at. Words of the past get lost in translation.

Dialect, accent, slang, and jargon is just culture expressing itself through words. Every culture is different and change is inevitable, so embrace it. Im not saying that you should pick up every slang term you hear, but if words are a part of your culture, then EXPRESS YOURSELF. Have fun. Its your language. You shouldn't have to bend to its laws, make the laws of language bend to you.
~ Chelsea Middlebrooks
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Heaven Mendez 2fer Revision

People have a variety of ways to handle a difficult situation. In most cases, people rely on a traditional support network, like religion, family, or friends. However, the circumstances may call for help from another, not generally thought of source. In these cases, people generally feel alone, and afraid to come to peace with themselves. Teenagers especially, have found a new way to cope with difficult and stressful periods in their lives. Through song lyrics, concerts, and social media, modern day musicians can ultimately save people’s lives.

The biggest connection that someone going through a difficult situation can make is through another person, who has faced similar circumstances, and has had a successful outcome. In this case, song lyrics can be the large piece in finding a connection, even though the singer or band is not physically present to comfort them.  Some bands even create their music with a struggling audience in mind. Post-metal core band, Pierce the Veil, shows this, during an interview about their song,Bulls in the Bronx.’ When asked why the song was written, frontman Vic Fuentes, responded, “Many of our fans reach out to us and let us know the effect our music has had on their lives. We never take this lightly, and it’s important to us to make music that hopefully in some way helps people get through darker times.”  They aren’t looking at them as just another fan. They generally care about the music they write, and want something good to be taken away from it. Whether it be giving someone hope after a suicide attempt, or providing a method of distraction to prevent an act of self harm. These musicians can sometimes be someone’s only support. Another song, from the very same band, ‘A Match into Water,’ displays this within the first few lines of the first verse. ‘ I kissed the scars on her skin, I still think you’re beautiful, and I don’t ever wanna lose my best friend. I screamed out God you vulture, Bring her back or take me with her.” While it isn’t extremely apparent until the chorus, the song implies a suicide, as well as self harm attempts, and the feelings that come afterward. Having someone pour their emotions out into a song is one thing, but having it actually relatable is a completely different

 

As humans, feeling a sort of comfort within ones own skin is something most wish to acquire, but isn’t a task easily done. Sometimes, it’s more about how someone feels about themselves, rather than what they think about others around them. The popular social media outlet, Tumblr, is especially known for this, considering both musicians and their fans use this to spread the message that they’re never alone . That being said, some of the most influenced, through music, share their stories. A fan posted on a blog dedicated to follower’s favorite music genres “I became a Black Veil Brides Army soldier on January 20th 2012 and ever since then, slowly but surely I’m getting over my self consciousness. They taught me its ok to be weird and abnormal as long as you just be you.,. Certain people within the music industry can really help people figure out who they are, in a personal sense. Specifically with the band, Black Veil Brides, one of the biggest things that set them apart from others in the same genre, is their appearance. Whether it comes to the typical heavy eyeliner, to full on face-makeup and black lipstick, the band believes that no matter what, no one should ever feel ashamed of who they are. “I had a goal, I had a dream…and at the end of the day no matter what people say to you as long as YOU know who you are as a person NOTHING in else in the world matters,” lead singer, Andy Black said in an interview. The band’s message is simple. No matter what, no one knows who you are, but yourself, and no one can take that away from you.

The support isn’t limited to just songs,  or the lyrics. Sometimes, it can simply be something said to an audience, that makes them want to move forward. Like most bands in the metalcore, punk, and pop punk genre, the support that band members give to their fans is immense. Specifically, in this case, Austin Carlile, from metalcore band, Of Mice & Men. “Be your own person because no one can ever take that away from you, no one,’ is the message he spreads to his fans. This follows suit with the last context. People working in this industry don’t care about how many people buy their albums. They want to make a difference in peoples lives. Helping others through their music, and their words, and even their own lives. Giving themselves a greater sense of fulfillment more than anything else.

Band members can also show support through bigger causes. To Write Love on Her Arms, a non profit organization based upon helping individuals who struggle with self harm , has a wide variety of bands that promote the cause through music. Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore, uses this influence in her song, Oh Star. “And I won't let you fall away, From me, You will never fade And I won't let you fall away, From me.” This quote signifies that regardless of the situation, the circumstances, or how bad things may be going for someone, she, as a person will always be there for them. Having gone through issues herself, Hayley’s songs bring a sense of security for fans who struggle with coming to a stable emotional state.


Whether it’s meeting fans in person, interacting on social media, or putting out songs to help a certain situation, music, and the artists behind it have a strong impact on those who listen. Through seemingly small actions, bands members can ultimately save fans lives.


Works Cited:

"Pierce The Veil: Explanation of What Inspired "Bulls In The Bronx"."Piercetheveil.net. Tumblr.com, 12 July 2012. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://piercetheveil.net/post/27353338110/explanation-of-what-inspired-bulls-in-the-bronx>.

Re: Bands Save Lives." Web log comment. Bands Save Lives. Tumblr.com, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://bandssave-lives.tumblr.com/tagged/black_veil_brides>.

Lopez, Miguel. "Austin Carlile Quotes." Success Fortress. Sucessfortress.com, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://successfortress.com/austin-carlile-quotes/>.

Kemba. "To Write Love on Her Arms: The Music." UpVenue. UpVenue, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.upvenue.com/article/1568-to-write-love-on-her-arms-the-music.html>.

Rakasha. "Black Veil Brides Quotes." Fanpop. Fanpop.com, Jan. 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

<http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/black-veil-brides/articles/156555/title/black-veil-brides-quotes>


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Teenagers identity stripped away

Whether listening or playing an instrument, music is an outlet for teenagers to get feelings off of their chest. Teenagers today go through so many obstacles such as self harm and rape and sometimes they need a getaway escape. Self expression is very important when it comes to teenagers because now a days everyone wants to “fit in” and be apart of the crowd. Since teenagers want to fit it, they struggle with being themselves which mutes their voices. Music is a source of inspiration and a voice for teenagers who feels as though their identity has been stripped away by traumatic experiences.

As a teenager, the now singer Demi Lovato used to self harm and as a result she uses her experiences with self harm as a base for her songs. She has  numerous songs about her being depressed and self harming. One of her most famous songs “Skyscraper” tells a powerful story. In the song lyrics, she says “Would it make you feel better to watch me bleed? All my windows are still broken but i’m standing on my feet”. Demi is using her past experiences as a teenager to portray the hurt and pain she has been through. Another part of the song that is used in the chorus of the song “you can take everything I have, You can break everything I am, like i’m made of glass, like I’m made of paper, Go on and try to tear me down, I will be rising from the ground, Like a skyscraper”. This is one of the most powerful parts in the whole song. She is trying to encourage teenagers that the situations they may be going through are just temporary and that they will eventually get through. When the music artists puts out talks about their personal experiences, it gives teenagers a place to go if they are going through something.


Another singer that tells powerful stories in her music is Pink. While singing Pink’s “perfect” on America’s got talent, 14 years old Mara Justine shedded tears during it. When she sung the chorus “Pretty pretty please don’t you ever ever feel like you're less than, less than perfect”, she had a lot of passion. The passion that Mara shows is that there was a deeper meaning to why she chose that particular song. When the audience looked in her eyes, they saw the tears run down her face. Teenagers tend to choose songs based on their feelings at the moment and since they are discovering themselves, the moments don’t last long.


The group, My Chemical Romance tells different stories in a variety of ways. One of their songs “I’m not okay” talks about people giving them dirty looks for who they are. Some of the lyrics to the song are “I’m not okay, I’m not okay I promise, To be a joke and look, forget about the dirty looks, you said you read me like a book but the pages all are torn and frayed”. These lyrics are indicating that no one is perfect and the dirty looks you give people can come off as something else. It’s saying that people will make fun of you and stare at you but you know who you are and that you can tell if I am okay but in reality, I’m not that important to you because I am ripped and hurting inside and no one can see that. This is important because the way you act around people can tell them everything they need to know. You never know what someone is going through so don’t treat them any different than how you would want to be treated. If you have music to push you through those tough times, it is easier to handle those things.



In today’s society homosexuality is a huge topic, especially with teenagers. Homosexuals in society now a days do not have much of a voice. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has a song entitled “Same love” that is to show that is okay to like the same sex and to be proud of that. In the song he says “you can be cured with some treatment and religion….god loves all his children is somehow forgotten but we paraphrase a book that was written 35 hundred years ago”. In the bible it is to be thought that homosexuality is a sin. Because of what the bible says about Adam being made for Eve and not Adam and Steve homosexuals especially in the christian religion feel as though they have to be quiet about their liking of the same sex. Societies views of homosexuality in a way that homosexuals are not equal and they feel as though they are an outcast. Being an outcast, homosexuals learn to separate themselves from certain people who do not accept them and they express themselves freely. Homosexuals uses this song as a way to speak out for all in the community so they can have their voice heard even if it is from the singer.

Teenagers often feel like they don’t have a say in the world. Music portrays all of the emotions and different views about things that teenagers feel like they don’t have a say about such as homosexuality. Teenagers music taste is very diverse in the way they think and the way they interact with the world. Music such as pop, rap and reggae has an affect on how teenagers express themselves. Depending on the music they are listening to, they act a certain way or are more enjoyable. Music can make teenagers be more expressive in other ways as well.


Sources:

"Skyscraper Lyrics." Archive -. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

""Same Love" Lyrics." MACKLEMORE LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Mara Justine: Emotional Cover of Pink's "Perfect"- America's Got Talent 2014." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDYz9_M9DEk>.


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Angelica's 2fer Revision

Whether listening or playing an instrument, music is an outlet for teenagers to get feelings off of their chest. Teenagers today go through so many obstacles such as self harm and rape and sometimes they need a getaway escape. Self expression is very important when it comes to teenagers because now a days everyone wants to “fit in” and be apart of the crowd. Since teenagers want to fit it, they struggle with being themselves which mutes their voices. Music is a source of inspiration and a voice for teenagers who feels as though their identity has been stripped away by traumatic experiences.


As a teenager, the now singer Demi Lovato used to self harm and as a result she uses her experiences with self harm as a base for her songs. She has  numerous songs about her being depressed and self harming. One of her most famous songs “Skyscraper” tells a powerful story. In the song lyrics, she says “Would it make you feel better to watch me bleed? All my windows are still broken but i’m standing on my feet”. Demi is using her past experiences as a teenager to portray the hurt and pain she has been through. Another part of the song that is used in the chorus of the song “you can take everything I have, You can break everything I am, like i’m made of glass, like I’m made of paper, Go on and try to tear me down, I will be rising from the ground, Like a skyscraper”. This is one of the most powerful parts in the whole song. She is trying to encourage teenagers that the situations they may be going through are just temporary and that they will eventually get through. When the music artists puts out talks about their personal experiences, it gives teenagers a place to go if they are going through something.


Another singer that tells powerful stories in her music is Pink. While singing Pink’s “perfect” on America’s got talent, 14 years old Mara Justine shedded tears during it. When she sung the chorus “Pretty pretty please don’t you ever ever feel like you're less than, less than perfect”, she had a lot of passion. The passion that Mara shows is that there was a deeper meaning to why she chose that particular song. When the audience looked in her eyes, they saw the tears run down her face. Teenagers tend to choose songs based on their feelings at the moment and since they are discovering themselves, the moments don’t last long.


The group, My Chemical Romance tells different stories in a variety of ways. One of their songs “I’m not okay” talks about people giving them dirty looks for who they are. Some of the lyrics to the song are “I’m not okay, I’m not okay I promise, To be a joke and look, forget about the dirty looks, you said you read me like a book but the pages all are torn and frayed”. These lyrics are indicating that no one is perfect and the dirty looks you give people can come off as something else. It’s saying that people will make fun of you and stare at you but you know who you are and that you can tell if I am okay but in reality, I’m not that important to you because I am ripped and hurting inside and no one can see that. This is important because the way you act around people can tell them everything they need to know. You never know what someone is going through so don’t treat them any different than how you would want to be treated. If you have music to push you through those tough times, it is easier to handle those things.



In today’s society homosexuality is a huge topic, especially with teenagers. Homosexuals in society now a days do not have much of a voice. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis has a song entitled “Same love” that is to show that is okay to like the same sex and to be proud of that. In the song he says “you can be cured with some treatment and religion….god loves all his children is somehow forgotten but we paraphrase a book that was written 35 hundred years ago”. In the bible it is to be thought that homosexuality is a sin. Because of what the bible says about Adam being made for Eve and not Adam and Steve homosexuals especially in the christian religion feel as though they have to be quiet about their liking of the same sex. Societies views of homosexuality in a way that homosexuals are not equal and they feel as though they are an outcast. Being an outcast, homosexuals learn to separate themselves from certain people who do not accept them and they express themselves freely. Homosexuals uses this song as a way to speak out for all in the community so they can have their voice heard even if it is from the singer.

Teenagers often feel like they don’t have a say in the world. Music portrays all of the emotions and different views about things that teenagers feel like they don’t have a say about such as homosexuality. Teenagers music taste is very diverse in the way they think and the way they interact with the world. Music such as pop, rap and reggae has an affect on how teenagers express themselves. Depending on the music they are listening to, they act a certain way or are more enjoyable. Music can make teenagers be more expressive in other ways as well.


Sources:

"Skyscraper Lyrics." Archive -. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

""Same Love" Lyrics." MACKLEMORE LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.

"Mara Justine: Emotional Cover of Pink's "Perfect"- America's Got Talent 2014." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDYz9_M9DEk>.


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这么说呢?

这么说呢? (How do you say it?)

I never felt like texting her that day because I knew she was a person with very proper English and she is not interested in any guys that are “ghetto”, so I didn’t think we would put up a good match, but either way, I did.

Me: “Heyyy.”

Her: “Why do you always say ‘Yo’? You always text me with a ‘Hey’, but I never hear you say it in person.”

I sighed and thought to myself, “And here we go…”

Me: “It’s just the way I talk lol, is there a problem?”

Her: “No, it’s just so...ghetto. lol”

I never thought the way I talk could affect the way I talk to other people. It is rare to find China born kids being influenced by the ghetto language because of where they came from. However, you are reading my story, so I can tell you that that does not apply to me.

Surprisingly that was the end of the conversation; I changed the topic because I was getting uncomfortable talking about it. It kept me thinking and judging the way I talk; if I should consider changing it or not. In the past, I purposely change my tone to satisfy others, so I can fit in. It’s a very hard job, but I thought it was worth it.

I came to America when I was four years old. I spent most of my childhood in a not so good neighborhood in which people refer to as the “hood”. From there I started to develop my new language and my tone. English is my third language with Fujianese and Mandarin being my first and second. I find a lot of new people that came into my life surprised of how I talk because it is not what they expected to be or it simply doesn’t fit their vision of a Chinese kid. And yet, I question myself about the way I talk all the time.


It was cold outside that day when I arrived at my uncle’s house. With pretty snow flakes falling down, I walked in his restaurant with my hood on.

“Jay! You’ve grown a lot since the last time I seen you.”

I smiled and walk towards the front of the restaurant until he stopped me.

In a very jolly voice, “Jay, you look very ghetto with that hood on!” (he laughed)

I smiled again and said nothing while continuing towards the front of the diner.

I never liked being made fun of because I’m not what they want me to be, but it was really cold so I just left my hood on.

A lot of my family members think that the “ghetto” language negatively determines the type of person you are. As you can see, sometimes I get made fun of because I said, did, or wore something that is what they consider “ghetto”. In most situations, I simply ignore what they say because I feel like the generation has come to the point where a lot of people are fighting against stereotypes. So they will slowly learn by themselves that it is wrong to say certain things.

In the passage, If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What is?, James Baldwin wrote, “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: it reveals the private identity, and connects times, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity.” We human beings use language and tone to communicate every single day to create new things, present, change lives, simply talk to family members or friends, etc. If every human being talks the same way, then everything will stay the same. Think about it, how will we challenge each other to accept different people when we are all the same? Everyone is their own unique self and their voice is a very important part of sharing it with others.

To add on, in the story, Tongue Tied by Maxine Hong Kingston, “I hoped that she would not cry, fear breaking up her voice like twigs underfoot. She sounded as if she were trying to sing though weeping and strangling. She did not pause or stop to end the embarrassment. She kept going until she said the last word, and then she sat down.” I specifically chose out this quote because I found it very inspiring. The main character and her sister never liked talking, but when they had to present, she didn’t care about the embarrassments and read her piece with great confidences. This quote explains no matter how quiet you are, you can use your voice to be the loudest person in this world. This isn’t about race, gender, disorders, etc. this is about using your voice to stand up for yourself.

Now with that said, the way I speak is one of the ways I express myself to the world and the people that come in and out of my life everyday, so I think I am the only one in this world that is capable of changing it.

With all the put downs and discouragements in my life, I became a very quiet child. Day by day, I start to gain more confidences from my friends that inspire me to embrace the hate and the negative comments, to fall forward and learn from my failures, and last but not least, to continue improving as a human being. Finally to conclude, now I reflect back to those negative times and decide to do something about it.  Sure, I feel like my family is putting me down, but unlike friends that gets lost, they are people who will be in my life for a really long time. Society might be moving really fast for them, but that why I’m here to speed them up. Some people choose to leave everything the way it is, but even if they hope for the better, nothing will magically change.
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Huzaifah Malik 2fer Revision

Regular drone attacks by the United States have now become a norm in many countries. The use of drones has become one of the most controversial human rights issues in the world, sparking many human rights campaigns. Throughout the history, human rights have been jeopardized by the masses of society. They are effective tools that impose terror on the people that they fired against, creating more enemies for the United States with every innocent person that is killed.

The US has been using armed forces drones in the “War on Terror” for eight years. The vast majority of drone strikes have occurred in Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen. US officials have credited them with severely demolishing Al-Qaeda’s capacity in that region, though the drone strikes are intended for targeted killing, civilians casualties cannot be prevented and it has caused a lot of disruptions. A report was released by the Human Rights Watch, claimed that the U.S had made six “unacknowledgement” drone strikes in Yemen, which killed a total of 82 people, including 57 civilians. The report cites an attack that occurred somewhere in September 2012, in which 12 people, including three women and a pregnant women, were killed when believed to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Such kinds of drone attacks are continuously violating the human rights.  Some people might argue against other techniques for example bombers, land mines, and etc, where there fighters can’t really see in details who they are killing, and military are incapable of effectively identifying their intended target; and yet despite this glaring problem, they still use them to target individuals. Using drone strikes and saying they are killing extremists is pretty illogical because they have no idea who they are killing, and yet they are still trying to make it happen and claim that they do know.

Imagine drones hovering 24/7 in the skies, children and adults running around because of the fear of dying.This is happening right now in Waziristan, Pakistan.  An 8 year old girl gave an interview to Amnesty International about the strike in Pakistan’s tribal regions. Her grandmother was killed in the drone strike and she said, “I wasn’t scared of drones before, but now when they fly overhead I wonder, will I be next?” Her uncertainty is clear. It’s pretty obvious that the death of her grandmother is surely tragic for her. One might ask did the grandmother do something that made the drone operator suspicious? How can other innocent civilians avoid her fate? Ironically the U.S doesn’t accept to compensate the families of innocent civilians. In fact the U.S government capes the killings in secrecy, refusing even acknowledge to its role. Another interview was taken from the communities in the tribal areas where one said, “When children hear the drones, they get really scared, and they can hear them all the time so they’re always fearful that the drone is going to attack them. Because of the noise we are psychologically disturbed women, men, and children. 24 hours, a person is in stress and there is pain in his head”  This raises another point that by striking down the towns, U.S. government is not only eliminating the extremists but also increasing them. They cannot even gather in groups as that attracts drone missiles. That’s the reason why funerals are targeted; thus denying the right to live and die in peace.  If someone’s family member is being exploded into thousands of pieces that splatter all over a person.  That person will probably want to fight against the person who did it or at least stand against them.

One problem is that humans are often seem like “bugs” when they are viewed by drone , and like bugs, they are crushed by drone strikes. Recently, charity organization named Reprieve, along with the Foundation of Fundamental Rights (FFR), helped a group artists to install a giant portrait of a child victim of a US drone strike in Pakistan on a lush green field. The idea behind this step was to evoke empathy and humanity in drone operators when they spot the face a child and to spread awareness among people. Despite resolutions condemning blatantly in British Parliament and United Nations’ resolution against drone campaign, they still continue to hover in the skies, making those children even more terrified. The attacks are increasing day by day.

The irony is that nearly two thirds of Americans think that the U.S government should use drones in other countries against suspected extremists. However they are much less likely to say that the government should launch an airstrike in other countries against U.S citizens living abroad who are suspected to be affiliated with extremists group. They survey’s result is pretty shocking that the fact American are much likely to say that government should launch airstrikes against them. This raises another interesting point that they are unaware of casualties of civilians and shows that they are biased.

Drone strikes continue to wreck havoc on the civilians rather than targeting the extremists.. The use of drones raises some questions and it is extremely difficult for the civilians to live where drones 24/7 hovering over the sky. If the government of United States stopped to think about it, they would realize that drone strikes are not just about the killing of people who are affiliated with terrorist groups, but also about the international law and innocent people as well. Violating the international law and disrespecting the humans rights play fundamental role in this conflict. It definitely makes the global system more chaotic and unpredictable.



Works Cited:


"Out of Sight, Out of Mind." : A Visualization of Drone Strikes in Pakistan since 2004. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://drones.pitchinteractive.com/>.


"Are U.S. Drone Strikes Really War Crimes?" The Week. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://theweek.com/article/index/251492/are-us-drone-strikes-really-war-crimes>.


"Between A Done and Al-Qaeda." (n.d.): n. pag. Human Rights Watch. Web. <http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/yemen1013_ForUpload.pdf>.


"Will I Be Next?" US Drone Strikes in Pakistan." Amnesty International USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/will-i-be-next-us-drone-strikes-in-pakistan>.


"#NotABugSplat." NotABugSplat. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <http://notabugsplat.com/>.


"In U.S., 65% Support Drone Attacks on Terrorists Abroad." In U.S., 65% Support Drone Attacks on Terrorists Abroad. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.gallup.com/poll/161474/support-drone-attacks-terrorists-abroad.aspx>.


"Living Under Drones." Living Under Drones. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014. <http://www.livingunderdrones.org/living-under-drones/>.





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Avery Monroe 2fer Revision

Death is inevitable, but it can happen in many different ways. Those who cause death, are often sentenced to death as a punishment. When convicted of murder, there is always a consequence. When someone is given the death penalty it is because they have been found guilty of a certain crime, there is a small list of crimes that would make the death penalty a possibility. There are currently 32 states that still practice the death penalty. Not only is the death penalty a cruel and unusual punishment but also, it can be extremely expensive and devastating to the prison and state system. Experts say, sentencing a prisoner to death on average costs about three times as much compared to sentencing them to life in prison. The Death Penalty should be banned in every state, because it is a financial burden that will eventually cause major problems to the prison & state system.

If the person is not given the death penalty, usually the alternative, is life in prison. Although the price that the prison system has to pay varies from state to state, it is pretty similar. According to Amnesty USA, “Death penalty case costs were counted through to execution (median cost $1.26 million). Non-death penalty case costs were counted through to the end of incarceration (median cost $740,000).” Criminals have committed a crime that is not only constitutional in our governments eyes, but also have committed such an inhumane act of foul behavior. It is difficult to believe that states spend millions of dollars to allow the death penalty to continue. Instead of creating a cycle of death, the state should abolish the death penalty and replace it with a more suitable consequence. It costs so much more to kill somebody than to just give them time in prison. Since there are sometimes large numbers of people on Death Row, this will cause a default in the money that the government has.

To be on death row, there must be a deplorable crime that has been committed. It is up to the judge of the court to decide if the crime was horrendous enough to give the criminal the death penalty. Mario M. Cuomo, the previous Governor of New York, stated that “That law is a stain on our conscience... The 46 executions in the United States in 2008 were, I believe, an abomination. People have a right to demand a civilized level of law and peace.” Not only was Mario Cuomo, a respected governor, he raises a fair point on the matter. As stated before, the cost of having criminals on death row creates a staggering cost due after the senseless “consequence” they completed. According to information gathered previously and the information from Mario M. Cuomo, those 46 executions in 2008 would have been a grand total of over 58 million dollars. While on the other hand they could have spent a more manageable portion of money. Yet still expensive, the cost for the 46 inmates sentenced to life without parole would have been closer to $35 million. Spending this much more money, over time, will mean the states have to take money from other resources and will eventually will end up causing bankruptcy to the state. It is much more of a financial burden to the states to continue the death penalty.

When a state spends so much money executing inmates, they do not have to money to do other things that are very necessary, such as reducing available resources. Again, Amnestyusa states, ” Reducing the resources available for crime prevention, mental health treatment, education and rehabilitation, meaningful victims' services, and drug treatment programs.” When spending money to put people on Death Row, the state prison system is not only at risk of going into bankruptcy, but also at risk of reducing, or eliminating other state needs. One of the resources that will be diminished is “crime prevention”. Using this money for crime prevention will reduce Capital and violent crimes that they are being put on death row for What sense does it make for the states to take the money to kill people when they could be taking the money to stop crime in the first place? So many of these resources are vastly important and useful to everybody.


The Death Penalty should be banned in every state, because it is a financial burden that will eventually cause major problems to the prison & state system. If the state stopped to think about it, they would realize that The Death Penalty is does not just affect the money in the state, but the children as well. There is a lot of money that gets spent on the prison system every year. A lof of this money could, instead, go to children in the school districts. It is effecting the children, and could start a cycle of people who do not go to school ending up in prison. It costs a lot more for the prisons and states to continue with the death penalty law, rather than to imprison the criminals. Keeping the death penalty drains the financial needs for other major resources. It would be much more efficient to discontinue the law of sentencing people to death.



Works Cited:


  1. Slobodzian, Joseph A. "Rarely Used, Pennsylvania's Death Penalty Remains a Headache on Both Sides of the Debate." Philly.com. N.p., 15 May 2011. Web. 03 Oct. 2014.

  2. "Death Penalty Cost." Amnesty International USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014.

  3. "Death Penalty Fast Facts." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.

  4. Cuomo, Mario M. "Death Penalty Is Dead Wrong: It's Time to Outlaw Capital Punishment in America - Completely." NY Daily News. N.p., 2 Oct. 2011. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.


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Soy Johnny Depp

depp
Hola, mi nombre es Johnny Depp. Tengo 51 años. Soy de Kentucky pero vivo en Los Angeles.

Soy talentoso y trabajador. Yo soy conocido por mis papeles extraños en películas.

Me encanta trabajar y actuar mis papeles en las películas. Siempre estoy muy ocupados, pero paso la mayor parte de tiempo con mi familia cuando tengo un tiempo libre. No me gusta ser rechazado o ingnorado.

Así que, ¿qué hay de usted?




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Soften

“WE HAVE TO GO TO THE NEXT STREET OVER!”

“WHY are you yelling?”

“I don’t get to yell often” I say softly“ My friends are always telling me that I’m yelling wherever we go. If it’s walking to down street or if it’s sitting in school. Yelling is only to cover up the fact that I’m scared you can’t hear me, that you won’t notice. That you’ll forget me if I’m to quiet. Yelling is the little power I have with my friends. My animated stories are how I express myself. It’s my way of reminding you that I’m here. So can I yell?

Many say that you have to be confident, and your confidence is shown on how you carry yourself, on your power. Power comes from many different places but most importantly your voice. You have to speak up but what if your loudest voice isn’t heard?

It’s like your lose your voice. That’s my everyday life. The words are in my head they just won’t come out my mouth. They get stuck in my throat, like I’m choking on them. It gets to the point where I feel I can’t breath until the words come pressuring out. When they do come out they are soft and quiet.

“She’s has a soft voice.” My mother tells others.

“Wow you voice is so soft.” Kids at school would say.

I get told my voice is soft so often that I just find it easier to not say anything at all. Sometimes when someone screams speak up, I think I have a soft voice that explains everything that makes it all better. On the other hand when someone walks over to me and says you have a soft voice it gets annoying. I want to prove them wrong. That I have more power. I want to scream “NO I DON’T” to show them I can be loud. But I can’t do that because I know I don’t have that power, at least not enough not to be overpowered by others. That’s okay because I don’t really want to talk anyway. I don’t always want words thrown at me.

“Hey, Lo do you want to go over your friends house?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“Cause I don’t want to talk.” I say.

Then my silence is taken as being anti-social. So I get defined as a loner. Isn’t it ok to not want to talk, but to just want to be in your presence? Not to want to worry what to say or if I’m heard!

“STOP screaming.”

“NO. NEVER!”

I have to admit sometimes silence gets boring. So I have to go into the little power I have, my voice. But I have to amplify it by ten to make sure others notice. But I also have to change my speech. This moment shows how much the kids in school have affected my speech. By using words like “rachet” to mean ghetto, or “turn up” to mean you have to be hype. At that moment I don’t know how people are going to react to the words coming out. Some laugh, others are confused.

It’s hard to be serious or to be mean, in a sense, because it’s not taken seriously. I’m viewed as a joke. Sometimes my friends joke with me and say I can say almost anything with my soft voice and a smile. And the person will think it’s funny. Most of the time I test their theory just to see the reaction I will get. I will get smiles and others will laugh when I’m dead serious.

It bothersome that I can’t be taken seriously and I have to scream to heard even in my own home.

“Hey mom what are we having for dinner?” I mumble.

“Speak up” she said

“WHAT ARE WE HAVING FOR DINNER?” I scream

Others don’t always like that I don’t like to talk. So over time they expect me not to say anything. In the few moments when I do want to talk they have already tune out on what I was going to say. And it seems like as more time pass the less they expect from me. And the more we drift apart, and I lose a good friend. Not only have others kids been upset with me, adults will get upset and think I’m playing games.

“Hi Miss. I was calling-” I say gently

“STOP PLAYING ON MY PHONE.”

“I’m not playin-” I reply softly.

“WHERE is your mom!”

I take it in strides. As time passes I realize it isn’t always a bad thing. It could be my superpower. Being quiet and shy around others is my Clark Kent, my secret identity. When it comes to the time for me to speak up I become Superman. I can shock other with what I have to say. That way I can be Superman, louder, more often. Just like every superhero I have a weakness. It just like what Maxine Hong Kingston said in Tongue Tied “When I went to kindergarten...I became silent. A dumbness- a shame - still cracks my voice in two,even when I want to say “hello” casually or ask an easy question in front of the check-out counter, or ask directions of a bus driver. I stand frozen.” So I know that I’m not the only one who has the problem of being too quiet. But just like they could adjust to the situation I can too.

The others had to struggle first, some make it through it by expressing their feelings. Others hold on to grudge. I’m appreciative that I’m not one to hold on to grudges.


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Shhh...

“Thoe hi nenes*.”

“Alo nane, shi ye ti*” I said.

My mom was asking me to talk to my grandmother. Relatively easy to do for any person, say hi, and have a conversation. Not exactly in my case. My first language was Albanian and going to school in Philadelphia, where everyone spoke English, it was already hard for people to understand me. It wasn’t just a different language, but also a speech impediment. I had a lisp that caused my “s” to sound like “sh.” So even though I tried to cover up my accent, it was still difficult to understand what I was saying because of my lisp.

Even from a young age, I tried to erase the sound “s” from my vocabulary. After trying so hard to not use my lisp, I gave up. I realized that my lisp was attached to me and I wouldn’t be able to get rid of it. So when people would make fun of me, I would speak albanian. It doesn’t seem like much, but it did the damage. Once I spoke, they would get mad because they didn't know what I was saying. It hurt in the beginning to know I was different from everyone else I knew, but since then, it helped make me who I am today. I learned that I would rather stick out of the crowd, then be inside of it.


“Please introduce yourself.”

“Hi, I am Miranda,” I said.

“Tell us something about yourself”

“Okay, well, I like food and shl-.”

“HAHAHA”


I transferred schools in 8th grade, and everyone at my old school forgot about my lisp. I forgot too, so, unfortunately, I would have to get used to new people asking me about my lisp. They would ask me to pronounce usual words that had the sound “s” in it. My first instinct was to tell them off, but I realized I should be nice. I did as they asked and it soon died down. They forgot about it sooner or later. I made some friends along the way, and it was a good experience.

My next challenge was when I joined Poetry Club in High School. I like poetry, but the only problem started when I learned about slamming. Slam poetry is a competition where poets read or recite there original work. I enjoyed watching people share their poetry. It is a great way to express yourself. From my first poetry slam, I said to myself, I really want to do that, get on a stage and share my poems. I had already written so many that I wanted to practice. I asked some people to hear me recite them. I was excited for what they were going to say.

“Miranda, can you speak clearer?”

“Umm, I can try” I said.

I recited my poem again, but this time,  opening my mouth more and pronouncing each sound carefully.

“So, I think I would like your poem, except I can’t really understand what you are saying.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You aren’t clear, your lisp is distracting and I can’t listen to you.”

I was devastated, listening to my friend tell me that she couldn’t hear my poem because of my lisp. How else am I supposed to feel? Knowing that I can’t perform because I knew nobody would understand me. I thought about quitting poetry for a little while, but I couldn’t. After meeting up every tuesday and thursday to find a place where I can feel good about what I was doing. I couldn’t stop doing that. My friends would share their feelings about how it felt going up on that stage, sharing their poems. I wanted to feel that feeling. They would ask me why won’t I share my poems. I was scared. I didn’t mind showing them the poem, it was the whole going up on stage and having all the attention on me thing that scared me. I couldn’t show my love for poetry because of a stupid little speech impediment. As James Baldwin states “ It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power.”  I felt like I couldn’t do much without actually showing people what I had written.

I’m still in the phase of trying to get ready for the big moment. Where I can go on stage, share my poems, and not have to worry about if they can hear and understand what I am saying. I definitely hope to do so sometime this year. Not only to show everyone my love for poetry, but to show that I can get over this obstacle of letting my lisp control my life.

Still, at times, I ask myself if my lisp has gotten better or worse. I can never find out because if I knew people for a long time, they wouldn’t notice. But, If I just met a person, they couldn’t tell me either. It still frustrates me but there is nothing I can do about it at this time.


“What do you mean you can’t tell if you have a lisp, can’t you hear it?”

“No, its not that simple,” I said.

Having a lisp, most people think you can hear the lisp you have. As far as I know, I sound normal. From what I hear when I speak, I sound like everyone else. I don’t hear this “sh” sound that everyone talks about. When I talk to people, they hear this and point it out to me. I didn’t know what they were talking about, so I experimented. I got a voice recorder and said a sentence to hear how I sound. I sounded completely different. Then, I thought, “wait, maybe it’s the recorder.” So, I told my mom to say the same sentence. When I heard the difference, I could finally hear the “sh” sound everyone talked about. This helped me finally understand my lisp.

I have realized that I have come a long way from where I started. From Kindergarten, I had a really bad lisp and a heavy accent. Over the years, I have definitely embraced my accent a lot more even though it is not as apparent as before. The more I talk to new people, they definitely don’t hear it as much. I feel like my language is definitely different than others. Everyone has their own story about their language, seeing how much mine has changed, has really impacted me.

*”Thoe hi nanes” Say hi to your grandma. “Alo nane, shi ye ti”- hew grandma, how are you?
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The Family Accent

The house was a suburban treasure. A middle class paradise. The walls were as bright as if the sun itself had been sewn into the plaster, and mahogany cabinets over marble counters were sprinkled in the kitchen like Jimmies on ice cream. Framed paintings of animals and old family photographs peppered the hallways, and you could almost see the air freshener twinkling in the air like stars.

“This is beautiful,” my grandmother breathed. She stood in the front room with her arms around her children and her makeup immaculate. “And the kitchen installation is included?”


“Yes, of course,” said the real estate agent, but there was no happiness in her voice. She was white, and she eyed my grandmother’s Mexican family distastefully, all the way from their tea stained skin to their big brown eyes to their Spanish speaking tongues. My grandmother has always had a strong accent.


“How much?” she asked. There was a short pause.


“I don’t believe it’s in your price range,” said the agent.


“Excuse me?”


“I have some less expensive housing options I can offer you … ”


~


Ten years later, my grandmother leaned forward on her couch in California. Her big family of aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews were all gathered around, me included. It was last summer, and she was telling us one of her favorite stories from when she tried to buy a house down the hill.


“And what happened next?” I asked.


“Well, I told her exactly where she could put her less expensive housing options -- ”


“Grandma!”


“What? She was racist! She thought we were poor because we were Mexican! When she found out the house we were considering moving out of, she got all green. Because this is a nice house! We paid a lot for this house!”


I looked up at the ceiling, at the huge windows. It certainly was a nice house, a real gem of prime real estate. My mother had told me before that it could be worth millions.


My grandmother continued. “I let her know that we wouldn’t be needing her anymore, we were gonna stay where we were.”


The whole family laughed and twittered among each other, their voices canceling out hard r’s, tough j’s and double l’s, creating a magical cacophony of sounds I’ve always loved to be in the middle of. But my family has been stereotyped because of the way they sound throughout their lives.


Humans as a species prefer to simplify. We are programmed to organize our knowledge by creating their own representations of the reality that we are perceiving, displaying its most fundamental elements instead of minute details or objective characteristics. In this way, these basic principles of the world around us become our basis for opinions, emotion control, and social cognition. Our thoughts and actions are governed by these preconceived notions, and it can take a lot to overcome them. One type of fundament is that of stereotypes.


Elliot Aronson, an American psychologist, said, “stereotypes are used to attribute the identical features to each member of a certain group without taking the existing differences among the members into consideration.” They show the viewpoint from a specific group of people, and sometimes, when exposed relentlessly for long periods of time to these opinions, humans may adopt them as their own. They are internalized during socialization. Some influential sources are parents, friends, siblings, teachers, and media. Stereotypes do not present the full picture; instead, they put forth a warped, incomplete, subjective and often false image. They are usually negative, and usually based on a traditional mindset. It is most common that arguments defying stereotypes are treated as exceptions rather than counterexamples.


Language has always been one of the most popular stereotype creators, a deciding factor about one’s place on the power hierarchy. As soon as someone opens their mouth, a million assumptions are made about their background, their history, their lifestyle, their names, their friends, their family, their culture, their choices. All from a couple of words.


Here is an example from The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingstan. In this particular story, a mother is going to a very far extent in order for her daughter to be able to speak. Here, she is explaining to her daughter why she did it. “I cut [your tongue] so that you would not be tongue-tied. Your tongue would be able to move in any language. You’ll be able to speak languages that are completely different from one another. You’ll be able to pronounce anything.” Families take ridiculous measures to make sure that their children are prepared for a world ruled by the so-called, “standard English”. It teeters on the edge of insanity, but is not seen as unrealistic. As you can see, my grandmother faced the discrimination based on speech and race. In that moment, her power had been taken away from her and she had been assumed to be everything that she was not.


It is worth noting that race is a big factor in the stereotyping of language. Many people have preconceptions about how one may speak depending on their race, and if that person’s speech turns out to fit that stereotype, they may assume that all of their preconceived notions are correct and discriminate against them all the more.


Here is another example from Kingstan’s text. In this scene, Kingstan remembers drawing pictures of all black when she could not speak English in school, and her concerned teacher gave them to her parents. “My parents took the pictures home. I spread them out (so black and full of possibilities) and pretended the curtains were swinging open.”


The concept of language being a performance fascinates me. I don’t have an accent of language barrier myself, but it’s interesting to consider the dynamics of learning a new language and always having it feel strange in your mouth, as if you’re putting on a show for someone else that you can’t quite understand the point of. Especially if learning that language was not one of your original intentions, and it was for the sole purpose of communication.


Though race and the accents that accompany it don’t pertain to my lifestyle, they do to my family’s. My grandmother never bowed to these stereotypes, and always insisted on proving them wrong. Though these accents have not rubbed off on me, I have been able to treat others with respect no matter what their speech patterns, because assumption based on something that someone can’t help is counterintuitive, ridiculous and reductive.
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Soy Puss in Boots

pussinbewtes

¡Hola, señoritas! Soy Puss in Boots. Tengo veintiséis años. Soy de San Ricardo, pero vivo en Far Far Away.


Soy tremendamente encantador, también muy guapo. Soy bajo y delgado, sin embargo soy súper deportista.



Me encanta bailar con mi morena belleza, también conocido como (a.k.a), novia, también conocido como Kitty Softpaws. Odio la lluvia y agua, es por eso que detesto natación.  Me gusta mucho tocar la guitarra y escuchar música. Me gusta beber leche caliente depende del día. Cuando tengo tiempo libre me encanta practicar deportes.


¿Te gusta mis botas?
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The Power of Language The Conflict It Can Cause

E-nun-ci-ate your words and stop muttering!” My father says slowly to me as if I’m too slow and that is the only way to insure I understand english.

“I am enunciating. I’m trying my best.”

“Well obviously you're not, in the event that I’m still repeating myself. You need to speak more clearly and pronounce your words right.”

He does this every time I speak. He mocks how I mutter words or pronounce them the way he wants to hear them. On any occasion when I talk around him, it turns into an english lesson and he begins to turn into a strict teacher gradually getting angry with me when I don’t do exactly what he says. It’s not my fault that my tongue doesn’t make the same shape that his does. I only mutter for the reason that I no longer feel my words are important in light of the fact that what I say is never heard, only how I say it. He limits my power making me no longer want to communicate through speech, leaving me with the other ways to communicate that might not seem fit.

***

“Say ‘chips’.” My mother says as she watches the road, giggling to herself.

“Ships.” I say, knowing what comes next.

“No it’s ‘chips’, I swear you do it on purpose.” She is now laughing so much I see a tear running down her cheek.

I used to get my “sh” sound and my “ch” sound confused. I could never tell the difference;  I thought it was the same sound, spelled two different ways. I never understood why she laughed at the way I said certain words. Eventually I broke out of saying the sounds the way I did. I cannot tell the difference to this day. I only know I changed because my mom stopped laughing at me. Either way, I still feel that her laughter took power away from me just because the fact that I misunderstood the english language.

When I am at home, language used to be an area of conflict for me. My father tends to use the way I speak against me and took it as a way to make his way of speaking the superior intelligence. My mother used to do the same but unconsciously, she would use it to get a quick laugh and make her own way of speech seem superior.

***

“I don't know.’ That's my response to what feels like millions of questions he throws in my head. I can feel all the stress, the anxiety, the blood boiling. His stern voice begins to rumble in my ears-”

“What? In your fears? Speak louder. We need you to be clear, so we know you will  be clear when you go on stage.” Imani mocks the words out my mouth as I practice my poem for PYPM Slam League.

I know Imani is right and just trying to help. Also she is only making fun of the how I say things just in order to show me how people hear it and to lighten up the situation, because preparing for PYPM Slam is stressful without having to worry about your speech.

My friends at school tends to make fun of the way I say things but they use it to help me with my communications. They ask what it is I’m saying and tell me what they hear, then give suggestions along the lines of slowing down my sentences.

These are the only few occasions where I felt as though I lose power (for the reason of the way I speak) and my language is an area of conflict for me. English is my first and only language. I used to mutter and not enunciate my words. Now I listen to myself as I talk and try to make sure people can understand me, due to that fact that speaking is important in my everyday life. Public speaking will be an important part of my life in the future. I’m not saying the way I speak in this point of time is perfect. As a matter of fact, sometimes I let it slip and do not pay attention, but then I repeat myself so it doesn't become a problem. In the event that I don/'t notice I don’t mind if people draw it to my attention. The only problem is the fact that when I slow down my words, my mind moves faster than my mouth, so I stubble or stutter because I’m trying to stay on track of what I’m saying. Language is not connected to power in my mind, only because when people talk a certain way, I see it as their way of speaking and I know they probably went through the same experience as me to sound the way they sound now. So I don't see a superior or more intelligence language, neither do I see a inferior or more dumb way of speaking. Also I do not believe there is a right language.
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Myrna 2fer Revision

Girls in some countries do not have the right to decide whether they want to marry.They are forced into arranged marriages with men much older than them. It has become so normalized that no one says anything about it. Today, this is a practice in some African, Arab and Asian countries, but in fact, this kind of “marrying off” of girls has happened all around the world, depending on how much the culture values their girls. For many young girls their culture makes it impossible to exist on their own,  then girls are not as much as boys, which is why they are married off by their families at a young age to relieve the burden.

A majority of these girls that are being married off are in poor countries. In South Sudan people live in agricultural places, where this is a lot of poverty. The worth of these girls are measured through their dowries. Dowries are a way to improve the financial status of a man,they provide enough money and objects that would boost the economic status of a person.“In Jonglei, cattle are the only path to marriage. A typical dowry is 30 cattle.”(Burnett)  A typical dowry in South Sudan  are cows, they are very valued because they can provide a source of food and income. This tradition is also one that tries to protect girls from premarital sex and pregnancies which reduce the value of the girl. One statistics shows, 48% of girls under the age of eighteen are forced to marry often much older men. (Maze) This goes to show that a majority of girls are only valuable for their dowries, and marriage is what it takes to keep their “worth”. Not only does a “pure” girl have a lot of value, it also keeps the honor of the family and status. Boys are not forced into marrying at young ages, this is because they are the ones who play a huge role in keeping this tradition alive. Boys have the power of freedom, which tends to result in abusiveness towards their young wives.

Domestic violence is a huge factor in these child marriages. The girls are so young that they often die from giving birth or from being abused by their husbands. Many girls go through this form of abuse because there is no one to help them or no one cares. It is the norm for the husband to be able to such things. A Yemeni woman, named Noora explained the abuse she went through as a child bride. "I was rushed to hospital – I was a child being treated as a sex object, but the abuse did not stop. Nobody was interested in my complaints, as I was legally a wife." (Noora) In Yemen, it is common for girls to be married under the age of 15. Girls like Noora are forced into having sexual relations with their husbands, which causes them to have physical injuries. Young girls pre-pubescent bodies are not strong enough to give birth or to be sexually abused. However, no one tries to do anything about this, because it has become so common. The families of these girls do nothing, because now the husband is the one who has power over the girl.They can’t get out of this situation because it the norm and common practice for a husband to be dominating in the marriage and it is not questioned.

After these girls are turned over to their husbands families, they have no freedom to do what they want. In Nepal, girls who are married off at young ages do not get to continue their education. Classroom attendance gets lower for girls, as the school level grade is higher.These girls are not worth anything to their parents after they leave their parents, "As soon as she becomes someone else’s "property", the parents show little willingness to invest in their education as they grow.” (Sherpa) This goes to show that after they are married, educating girls is not as important as it is to educate a boy. The parents of these girls are basically giving away their daughters to another family to do as they please with her. She is not significant to their lives anymore. Money also becomes the issue because parents are not willing to pay school fees for their daughters education. They are not worth enough to be spending money for. The enrollment of boys in school are much higher than the girls. Parents are more willing to do things for their sons than daughters. This is because educating a girl is pointless if the girl is going to be married off to someone. They do not see any benefit in educating their girls because they won’t be able to do anything with the education. Therefore, since boys are the breadwinners of the family they must have an education to obtain a job or pursue a career.

Girls are not valued as much as boys, because their culture does not allow for them to be independent and they are used to be benefitted from. Although the government might not think that child marriages matters much its influence goes beyond the household and to the rest of the country. If this continues to go unnoticed then it will create a statistical barrier in education and jobs in the country for girls. If these girls are held back then the country will never face any economic growth.




Works Cited:

"As Young as Twelve: South Sudan's Child Marriage Epidemic | Enough Project." As Young as Twelve: South Sudan's Child Marriage Epidemic. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://www.enoughproject.org/blogs/young-twelve-south-sudans-child-marriage-epidemic>.

"NEPAL: The Hidden Costs of Early Marriage." IRINnews. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://www.irinnews.org/report/95654/nepal-the-hidden-costs-of-early-marriage>.

N.p., n.d. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Flifeandstyle%2F2013%2Foct%2F01%2Fstory-yemen-child-bride>.

"In South Sudan, Cows Are Cash And Source Of Friction." NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/2012/08/16/158776225/in-south-sudan-cows-are-cash-and-source-of-friction>.


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The Importance of Slang to America and Me

  “Aye yo Terrell, wassup man?” I walked up to Terrell and shook his hand. He sat in the corner of the gym, his headphones squashed in his ears. He bobbed his head to the beat of his music, and avoided my eye contact, leading me into immediate laughter. We both knew what I was going to say.

  “I heard you guys got fried by SLA. Wassup with that Terrell?”

     “Y’all were booty and you cheated.” He kept his eyes down and took one headphone out.

“Whatever, you just mad you lost. Did you play in the game?”

“Nah yo, my coach outta pocket. Said I couldn’t play cuz I was playing music out loud on the bench.” He squinted his eyes, to show his confusion with the situation and paused for a moment. He then shrugged it off and slouched back in the chair he currently sat in. “It’s whatever, he can’t stop me from playin’ next week though.”

  Philadelphia is most known as a place of many cultures, races, and different people. Black. White. Homeless. Rich. Vietnamese. Dominican. When I used to think of Philadelphia, I instantly noted the diversity. And as I think on it now, Philadelphia, as a whole, does have many different types of cultures in the city. But while there are all different types of ethnicities, there aren’t many diverse neighborhoods with in Philadelphia. A lot of the communities are isolated and homogeneous, usually containing only one culture and ethnicity.  

  My father was, and still is, a professor at the University of Temple and teaches History. In my household growing up, my brother and I were taught how to write coherent sentences and study the world from the view of Historian. Dinners were spent bonding over the political or global issues around the world. Free time was happily spent reading books and writing stories of our choosing. At a young age, we learned how to write and speak knowledgeably.

  I grew up on the edge of University City. The area was the home to many Penn and Drexel students and staff members. These schools brought people of different cultures to the neighborhood. With varied cultures came varied languages. I went to Penn Alexander, a prime destination for the children of many parents in the area. The prestigious kindergarten through eighth grade school, stood out from many of the struggling public schools in Philadelphia. You also had to live in a certain area around the school in order to attend it. Therefore, I only knew kids from my neighborhood. I knew nothing outside of Penn Alexander or the surrounding catchment, where all my friends and classmates lived. Everything was perfect and sheltered.

  In my time at Penn Alexander, a plethora of cultures were represented throughout my classes. Having all these different ethnicities, also brought around different languages. In my classes, there must have been at least more than six languages other than English spoken. I grew up hearing them and learning about them. And because this was all I knew, I thought this was how every section of Philadelphia was like. Every school in Philadelphia must have multiple languages, races, and cultures in them. However, as I grew older, I learned this wasn’t the case. Up until the sixth grade, I cared about and lived only in University City. I knew nothing, but the formal and “conventional” language of home and school

  I first learned about the lack of diversity in parts of Philadelphia through sports. I would walk in to a gym in North Philly and suddenly be surrounded by a distant and homogenous culture, something I rarely saw in University City. With the lack of diversity, came a lack of culture and language. But there was one language, that was spoken and understood by all: slang.

  I soon caught on, picking up words and phrases. I also learned how to craft my sentences, leave out syllables, and change my tone to fit the environment I was now in. I learned for the people of these communities to understand me, and for me to understand them, I was going to need to establish myself with slang.

  For many kids, slang was the only type of dialect they knew. It was spoken at home, at school, and in the neighborhood. For them, that was conventional English. It was the language they heard and spoke everyday. So, in order for me to communicate with them, I had to speak and understand it too. Words like “drawlin”, “outta pocket”, and “frontin’” were now new to my vocabulary. I condensed phrases like “got to” to “gotta” and I also spoke increasingly faster, trying to keep up with the pace and words of the others.

  As I began to play more and more basketball in the city, my use of slang increased. It soon became a habit I would slip in to when I wasn’t on the court or with friends. Often at home or at school, I would use some of these “unconventional English words” or my accent change.

“You can’t talk that way.”

  “Why Mom?”

“You sound uneducated.”

“How?”

“People judge Ben, people judge.”

I soon learned she was right.

“Why do you try and act black all of the time?” People would ask.

“You sound dumb.” Others would say.

  It was about eighth grade when I learned how to code switch. I would turn to a friend and flow my words together in my Philly slang, but then two seconds later I would craft my language to fit the new person I was talking to. This way, I wouldn’t be judged or looked down upon. Being able to communicate effectively with others is one of the keys to success in life, and sometimes you need to alter the way you speak to fit the speaking habits of your surroundings.

Throughout my life, I have learned that people are judgemental. As the old saying goes, they judge “a book by its a cover”. The “cover” of a person is often shown through their clothing, skin color, personal accessories, and/or the way they talk. I feel as though James Baldwin says it best in his essay, “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What is?” One quote that stuck out to me was “Black English is the creation of black diaspora.” Unfortunately this quote shows how black English (also known as slang) puts a label on the people who use it. People will often hear you speaking slang and automatically write you off as not educated. They don’t understand that slang is actually quite complex and significant to many of the communities in America. It’s a source of understanding and communication. 

In slang, terms have been created to fill the gap for exact words that don’t exist in English. For example, “outta pocket” has a meaning similar to not cool, not respectful, and/or not fair, but there isn’t one word in English that can perfectly pin down what “outta pocket” means. 

Slang is also a deceptively complex way of speaking. Some slang words derive from English sayings. For example, people often use “oop” in slang to denote a positive meaning. It often means “to hook someone up with something”. It comes from the word “alley oop” in basketball, where someone passes the ball to someone else for a slam dunk. In slang, receiving the “oop” is often as happy and exciting as “getting a slam dunk”. 

These kinds of creativity and complexity make up the language spoken by many neighborhoods around the country. Yet, as I have seen first hand, America has dismissed slang again and again as the language of the stupid. The language of the ghetto. The language of the uneducated. The language of the “thugs”. These generalizations take away from all of the importance and impact that slang has in many of the communities around me and America.

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Osman's 2Fer Draft

Online social networks reduces the amount of face-to-face conversations that people use to have back in the twentieth century. A social network is an outlet where people can chat, make new friends, share experiences, bond, and meet together- all at the same time. Common websites like Facebook and Twitter, more intensely Facebook, fit the description perfectly, when describing a niche for social interactions. Although they are an easy gateway to gratification, they diminish the quintessence of real human interaction.


              Back in the old days, typically the mid to late 1900s, people did not have all these fancy virtual websites so often there would be personal conversations. But now, it is becoming a problem for us to be able to approach and speak to people or make a phone call, without seeing it as awkward or a hassle. According to the article Why can't we all just stop texting and have an actual face-to-face conversation for once?, by news editor David Thomas, people are starting to consider things like ‘’What? TALK to someone? Who does anything as old-fashioned as that any more?” Now a days people text, tweet, and make Facebook post. Although these modes of communication are certainly convenient and easy-to-use, they are definitely not as effective as a legitimate phone call. In the article, Social media is Transforming the Way We Communicate, by Sukhraj Beasla, a blogger on viralheat.com, this was her reaction of phone contacting: “I stare longingly at the phone missing out on hearing a dial tone, the butterflies I get when it connects through and the person on the other end picks up and I hear their sweet voice.” Obviously by her reaction, it is reasonable to say that the feeling of a phone call, in comparison to a text message, is much more intimate. It also says that old ways of communicating via phone call, face-to-face conversations are more real and feel a lot more human because they trigger emotions like jitter and nervousness.        

      

              The biggest problem of social networking sites is anonymous intimacy. This is when people spend countless hours on Facebook and Twitter and start to develop a false sense of actually knowing and befriending people who they communicate with. According to Rachna Jain, a clinical psychologist specializing in couple and marital therapy, this poses problems because considering what really makes an intimate relationship: “shared experiences, shared time together — like doing things together — and it relies on a shared history.” Being on Facebook or Twitter does provide some form of shared experience, since there is involvement in the same spectrum of imparted information; however, there is still a digital divide. There

is a big difference in feelings when you are in the presence of a person as opposed to being accompanied by people online. In person, there are facial expressions, body language, and voices are heard. They are a lot more resilient indicators of someone’s feelings toward a person than online because none of those characteristics are present; feelings are always mislead online and can never always be able to be estimated well, so it can’t really be telled when someone really considers a person to be friend or not. That is why communicating online is more effective in making friends.              

               Considering what anonymous intimacy does on social networks, It gives off a fake feeling of engagement and makes it seem a user has thousands of friends, when really the numbers are quite shorter. The infographic: Is social media making us socially awkward?, given by Sam Laird, a Mashable reporter, states that “despite the ease of connecting online, only 50% of Facebook users have 100 or more “friends.” This means that only half of all Facebook users have actual and real relationships with other people, not 1000 or 3,000, which is blown way out of proportion. The friend list is what keeps people tuned in and gives the false idea that someone has all of those friends, but they really don’t. This is because instead of going out and making actual friends, people would rather add or follow random people on Facebook and consider them a friend when they really aren’t. The statistics don’t lie, in the article Is Social Media Destroying Real-World Relationships?, it says that “20% actually prefer communicating online or via text message to face to face conversation, while a third said they're more likely to approach someone new online than off.” This shows that people are endeavoring more to make these “fake” friends/followers on facebook and twitter rather than developing real relationships and friends through personal communication, in the 21st century.


                The sheer fact that the preference of online chatting is more prevalent than face to face conversations shows that people don’t talk as much personally. As a result of this, there will be less intimate relationships if these trends continue to rise, because people will prefer the more artificial feeling of communicating online (less personal bonding), rather than in person.


Works Cited:


  1. Laird, Sam. "Is Social Media Destroying Real-World Relationships? [INFOGRAPHIC]." Mashable. Schools.com, 14 June 2012. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://mashable.com/2012/06/14/social-media-real-world-infographic/>.

  2. Morgan, Mandy. "Social Media Impacts Real Relationships."DeseretNews.com. DeseretNews, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865576858/Social-media-impacts-real-relationships.html?pg=all>.

  3. Beasla, Sukhraj. "Social Media Is Transforming the Way We Communicate." Viralheat Social Media Is Transforming the Way We Communicate Comments. Viralheat, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <https://www.viralheat.com/blog/2013/01/15/how-social-media-is-changing-the-way-we-communicate/>.

  4. Bates, Chelsea. "The Dangers of Social Networking Sites | Commonplace."The Dangers of Social Networking Sites | Commonplace. McGraw Hill, 2009. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <http://www.mhlearningsolutions.com/commonplace/index.php?q=node/5582>.

  5. Goessl, Leigh. "How Does Social Networking Affect Socialization." Sciences 360. Sciences 360, 21 Sept. 2010. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.sciences360.com/index.php/how-does-social-networking-affect-socialization-2-8428/>.

  6. Thomas, David. "Why Can't We All Just Stop Texting and Have an Actual Face-to-face Conversation for Once?" Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 18 July 2012. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2175274/Why-stop-texting-actual-conversation-once.html>.
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The Change To Active Wear

What comes to mind when someone says  “high fashion”? Maybe a ball gown, a cashmere shirt with a pair of slacks, or maybe a 800 dollar pair of shoes, but probably not yoga leggings and a cropped sweatshirt. There is a  new take on the way people dress and it has not only changed ideas of fashion but also the clothing market. Instead of people buying jeans, which have had a very high steady market since the first pair of blue jeans were made in 1873, they are now buying more leggings and yoga pants. In recent years, people have become enthusiastic about being active and having active lifestyle. This has changed the fashion industry, going from an everyday basic glam look to, “I just worked out but still look this good” look. The idea of having a simple, active life, has changed more than just lifestyles but the way designers in fashion industry display their high fashion clothing.

At the 2014 Chanel fashion show, leggings, sneaker and cropped sweaters took the runway. Showing off every abb and other muscle was very important. These articles weren’t always worn together but apart with a pair of slack or a loose skirt, maybe for a nice lunch out with friends. Chanel is known for their high fashion clothing, purses, shoes and make up, but they are now also taking part in the sport clothing market. "We found that there was a bit of a gap in our offering for someone who loves fashion and exercise and wants to look great doing it," said Net-A-Porter President Alison Loehnis. This quote shows how the fashion industry is switching from “fancy clothes” to “fancy work out clothes”. This is a change that not only Chanel designers are making but many other designers as well. With this change that Chanel has made, being one of the bigger names in high fashion, there will, and have been more to follow in their footsteps in making this change.

At New York’s fashion week, a couple of weeks ago, leggings were seen walking down the runway side by side with ball gowns and zip ups thrown over a pantsuit. Throwing a zip up jacket on before leaving on way to work is something some may never bat an eye at, but this wasn’t always the norm. Only about 70 years ago was the trend of women dressing in more of a masculine way controversial trend. In the 50’s the trend was a tight pencil skirt. All of these changes in fashion trends changed the fashion industry. The active clothing trend seems to be different, it goes farther than clothing. This is a trend that seems to go along with a change in lifestyle as well. “A 2012 study conducted by the highly respected, San Francisco-based publication Yoga Journal estimates that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga, a 29 percent increase from 2008, when 15.8 million were attending classes.” (BOF) This trend isn’t simply about the clothes but also the lifestyle that comes with it. The change in clothing has changed people’s lifestyles because this type of clothing is made tight and fitted. It makes people want to be healthier, to look better in the clothes.  

This new active way of dressing has not only changed high fashion but has helped companies like Nike grow in crazy numbers. Lulu-lemon, is another company that has benefited from this change. They were one of the first yoga clothing stores. “From 2008 to 2013, sales increased by more than $1 billion, hitting $1.4 billion in the 2012 fiscal year.” (BOF) This is just in the past 5 years. From 1998, when the company was founded, until 2007 the company raised $327.6 million. Obviously this trend is getting more popular.  In the past few years fashion has taken a turn for the fittest. Activewear has become everyday wear, not just gym attire. This trend is related to the new obsession with an active lifestyle. More and more people are taking exercise classes, buying healthier food and looking like it while they do so. With the change in the industry the “popular” stores are changing what they carry, as well as the stores that are known for their active wear sales growing.

Although people in high fashion might not think that gym clothes matters much, his/her/its influence goes beyond that of gym rats to all clothing consumers. The lifestyle that comes with active wear is a more non-chalet way of living, a more laid back, less stressful way of living. It is also healthier, more active and eating healthier. In the past few years the popular lifestyle has changed. This has brought a change in fashion, which has helped grow many companies that before were well known but now are larger than imaginable.


Work Cited:

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actividades y adjetivos

pic pic

Hola me Nombre eres Savannah manns, Tengo Trece años. Soy de England pervivo en Filadelfia.


Soy perezosa, muy sociable , boba, más o menos alta,and muy inteligente.


Me fascina musica,Me gusta nada cantar , Me gusta  Escribir y narative y creative escribir.


¿ te gusta escribir?


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Kadija`s 2fer

The transgression that the offender has done is viewed, but the other aspects have been associated with what the punishment will be. In court, unfortunately a lot of cases have been judged by different variables rather than just what the offender has done. Race, occupation, income and religion play a huge role into a lot cases, especially when determining the death penalty. The death penalty is sentenced unfairly, causing people to be put on death row due to who they are rather than what they've done. The death penalty is unfair due to the fact that one may be on death row due to income level, race and the retribution in the hearts of victim`s family.

The death penalty is given out to certain people, not necessarily being solely based on their crime. Income level is a major factor when it comes to the death penalty. The income level of one offender is looked at based upon if they are able to afford a good attorney. If they are unable to present a good attorney the state will adjourn one making it even harder to beat the case.  Anti- death penalty activist Helen Prejean said, “After all the rhetoric that goes on in legislative assemblies, in the end, when the net is cast out, it is the poor who are selected to die in this country. And why do poor people get the death penalty? It has everything to do with the kind of defense they get. Money gets the offender good defense. Getting a defense team that will win a death penalty case will have to be anywhere from $8,000 to $50,000. People who are sentenced to death tend to be lower than the poverty line or close to it. Many of what goes into consideration is if the offender has a good attorney. A good attorney needs to be appointed due to the fact that one can not afford to have a less worthy defense team on a death penalty case. If it was a drunk driving scenario, then it would be much different.

Race can determine whether a criminal is sentenced to the death penalty or not.This next verification shows how the death sentence is unfair is because of the race of the criminal.Studies have shown jurors in Washington state are three times more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case where the sentence should be the same. (Prof. K. Beckett, Univ. of Washington, 2014). This shows just how the color of a person`s skin can persuade the jurors. One may say the evidence and crime should be the only thing weighed in for a  fair trial, but there are people saying otherwise".Another quote, from NAACP said, “The U.S. Department of Justice’s own figures reveal that between 2001 and 2006, 48 percent of defendants in federal cases in which the death penalty was sought were African Americans… the biggest argument against the death penalty is that it is handed out in a biased, racially disparate manner.13 percent of our population is African American, but 50 percent of African -American make prison`s population. The death penalty is biased and is evident through the statistics. African-Americans are at a way higher risk at receiving the death penalty than a white person. The statistics are very overwhelming going off the fact that an African-American is 3 times more likely to go to death row. The jurors are chosen because they are not biased to the case, but when given all the information, like the color of the victim and or suspect, things shift a lot. Thus proving the  thesis that  race is a key component to giving one the death penalty.

The last  piece of information that may shift the decision of the death penalty is the retribution in the heart of the victim`s family. The anger in the family`s heart makes the decision of the death penalty be pushed even further.  When the loved one of a family gets killed, it is one`s instinct to want to kill the offender. People may say that sending the offender to death row is giving closure or desistance to the family, but indeed that is a lie and is only being done to get revenge back.  A professor for Humanities at St. Peter's College, Raymond A. Schroth, SJ  once said  To kill the person who has killed the loved one of a family is simply to continue the cycle of violence which ultimately destroys the avenger as well as the offender. That this execution somehow give 'closure' to a tragedy is a myth. Expressing one’s violence simply reinforces the desire to express it. Just as expressing anger simply makes us more angry. It does not drain away. It contaminates the otherwise good will which any human being needs to progress in love and understanding." ( Raymond A. Schroth, SJ) This is a cycle that must be stopped. Killing the offender is not the answer and definitely does not put heal the scar because the loved one will never come back. The anger of one, will then set off the next and will be a repeating cycle that will continue unless someone can see that is is palpable that the death sentence is just another way of violence that is justified by the court systems and by society. Also including that the testimony of the family can sway the jurors, due to the fact they may want them to feel as if they lost the loved one and to make the case sound very personal.

In conclusion, the death penalty plays a lot into the biased sides of things. Crime should be judged purely off of the evidence and how it played out, instead of the logistics of race,income and so forth. The statics are very overwhelming going off the fact that an African-American is 3 times more likely to go to death row. The atonement of losing a loved one is not by killing the offender, because it is just contradicting the entire situation and also continuing the cycle. Although the death penalty may only seem important to people on death row, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about families of the victims. People may think that the people on death row are chosen due to die due to their crime, but it also involves, race, income and the retribution in the family of the victim`s hearts.   



Works Cited:

"Death Penalty - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

"BalancedPolitics.org - Death Penalty (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages)." BalancedPolitics.org - Death Penalty (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages). N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.

"The Pros And Cons Of The Death Penalty: Two Parallel Discussions." St. Louis Public Radio. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

Penalty, Death, and States (32). U.S. Military NUMBER OF EXECUTIONS SINCE 1976: 1,389 (n.d.): n. pag. Death Penalty Information Center. Web.

"How Much Will It Cost? Criminal Charges 905-273-3322 ." How Much Will It Cost to Defend My Criminal Charge? Web. 7 Nov. 2014.
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Nadya Negron

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Hola mi nombre es Nadya,Vivo en Filadelfia.

Tengo quince anos.

Soy muy baja,simpatica,guapa y boba.

Me gusta mucho bailar. Odio ayudar en casa.

Me encanta comer.

Me gusta mucho Teen wolf.


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Alex From Target


Hola, Me llamo Alex Lee (AlexFromTarget). Tengo 16 años. Soy de Texas.

Me gusta nadar, dormir, videojuegos, y andar en patienta.


Soy trabajador, artístico, cómico, alto, y guapo. Soy famoso por trabajar en Target.


¿Te gusta ir al cine?

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Book Review For The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now Book Review By Kevin Horton


Ever felt as if you're the only one that has failed miserably at school but is the King Of Partying? Well, there is a tale out there, that you can relate to. The Tale Of Sutter Keely starts off with normal teenage issues. He is in a world of drama until he meets Aimee, another troubled teen trying to figure it out.

Tim Tharp was one of the most underrated Authors of this time. In The Spectacular Now, He talks about the struggles a 17 year old high school senior faces. Girls, employment, family matters and figuring it all out is just some of the issues. Tharp uses sharp and dense descriptions to create a humorous image.

This book is recommended for any young adult or teenager. This book has a captivating perspective. The Spectacular Now has a very good sense of humor, realism and imagery.

Monologue For Creative Piece


Have you ever felt you might just be the biggest joke ever? Like you want to be rich, famous and remembered for something great but all you can do is hang up shirts and get paid and be known for being an alcoholic? Well I’ve been there many times before. Like, more than I can count. Well, on my hands at least. Never have I cared about anything but downing my daily alcohol, seeing my girlfriend,  and partying with Ricky, who was my wingman. I also find myself staring at my feet when walking. Its wierd. Whatever. Anyway, I thought i was on the right track when I thought that me and my now ex girlfriend was gonna move to St Louis while she chases her dreams through college. I was about to, but once I met my father, then it hit me. I'm suppose to be a drunken failure with social smarts. So here I go, cutting my co-supportive relationship with someone who mattered the most, pushing my family away because my mom refuses to get a new job and my sister is just another bratty sibiling. Of Course, school didnt work out so i got one less burden on my back. But here I am ready to disappear. My name, is Sutter Keely. Im from Oklahoma City, and Im living the spectacular now.


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Negative Externalities: Marijuana v. Alcohol

The marijuana versus alcohol debate is one that almost everyone has participated in. The statistics on which is more detrimental to the body have been broadcast in every news report and Buzzfeed blog. However, it is not how these drugs negatively affect one person that is the most important issue. The cost to the public is far more telling of which is worse than the cost to one’s personal health. People will do whatever they desire behind closed doors, it is when the effects spill onto society that there are serious consequences. The negative externalities of alcohol far exceed those of marijuana, making alcohol the worse drug for society. 
Money obviously affects society greatly. The cost of the police force and prison upkeep comes directly from people because it comes from state and federal taxes. Therefore it is considered a burden on the public to have excessive expenses in policing and imprisoning people for alcohol and marijuana. One would think that because marijuana is illegal the cost of policing it would be much higher. However, that is not the case. In England for example, “the cost of policing cannabis use was only £500 million a year, mainly for issuing possession warning notices, compared with the £6 billion a year bill for policing the use of alcohol, including dealing with people who were drunk and disorderly.” It took about 12x the money to police marijuana to police alcohol. The crimes associated with marijuana are normally ones that only affect the criminals. For example distribution and possession are the main crimes people are arrested for in conjunction with marijuana. Those crimes only affect the person who is committing the crime. By contrast, crimes associated with alcohol impact multiple people. Examples are: DUIs, drunk and disorderlies, sexual or physical assault, and even manslaughter or murder. All of these affect people who have nothing to do with alcohol. 27% of aggravated assaults had alcohol involved and 37% of rapes and sexual assaults had alcohol involved. Roughly half of all homicides in the U.S were related to alcohol consumption. Overall 5.3 million or 36% of people in prison were drinking or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the convicted crime. There is no statistically credible evidence of marijuana being linked to violence. Of course, this may be due to the fact that there is a smaller pool of users to pull data from. (A poll showed that 41% of the American population have tried marijuana. Whereas, 51% of Americans (18 or older) are regular alcohol drinkers.) Alcohol is a much greater cost to society not only financially but with violence against people. Marijuana is rarely linked to violent crimes, and if it were to be legalized the cost of arresting people for possession and distribution would no longer be a factor.

Death and injury also have a large social cost, because of the fees that come with them.  Especially injury because then the injured person has to go to the hospital. Healthcare fees are also taken from public taxes. In 2010, 2,669,987 people were hospitalized in the US for either Alcohol Dependence Syndrome (1,013,634), Non-dependent abuse of alcohol (774,177), Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis (852,354), or Alcohol Poisoning (29,822). Any one or combination of these health emergencies could kill a person. So there is the cost to the individual, but there is also cost to the hospital, which means a higher price for the public. These people must be treated and sometimes have life saving surgeries (a liver transplant for example). There is little credible data on marijuana induced hospitalizations. The most reliable of data is a study of hospitalizations from 1961 to 1969 in Los Angeles. The study showed that of the 701,057 patients admitted, nine were admitted regarding marijuana use. Three patients had the mild effects that marijuana induces on everyone, dizziness or euphoria, one patient was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but his was a pre-existing condition. The others presented symptoms of simply ingesting too much, such as vomiting, fever, and chills. Though the data is older, it still stands that there are hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations due to alcohol, while there are hundreds (at most) due to marijuana. And of those marijuana induced hospitalizations, the “injuries” were only to the individual. Whereas with alcohol injuries other people can be hurt, like someone killed because they were hit by a drunk driver. Alcohol creates a greater risk for injury to the individual and others.

When asked, most people might say that because marijuana is more of a "drug" in the traditional sense of the word, it is worse for society. But upon closer inspection, alcohol has a greater cost to society and therefore is the more harmful drug. Marijuana has a negative connotation because the general public considers it to be a drug and not alcohol. They are both drugs, yet one has more positive uses than just recreational use. Marijuana, or more specifically the cannabis plant can be used for medicine, food, clothes, paper, and many other things. Alcohol is only a recreational drug, sterilizing agent, and sometimes used as fuel. There are more uses for alcohol other than recreation, but there are far more positive uses for the cannabis plant. Alcohol has more negative externalities and fewer positive uses. Therefore, in terms of societal cost, alcohol is the more detrimental drug.

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