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Why Teachers Take So Long to Grade.

Nashay Day

Air Stream

2fer


      Educators are universally vital in order for humans to continue flourishing as a race and these educators give assignments. When they assignments are given there are usually four kinds of students: the student who complete the assignment early, the student who completes the assignment on time, the student who hands in the assignment late, and the student who just doesn't hand in the assignment. However the common thread that connect these students with distinct differences is grading. Ironically, teachers at SLA are more compelled to mark an assignment as a zero if it missing than to grade an assignment that was turned in on time. One would think that teachers would be more compelled to do vice versa (grade the students who turn in work early or on time) but instead they grade assignments as zeroes first because it teaches diligence to students and keeps them on there toes. The bonus for them appears that they can take there time in doing this.



According 4th Grade teacher Debbie Gosdell there are specific kinds of teachers, she stated that "writing is a subject that many teachers do not enjoy grading." Additionally according to HP, "the hardest job" she's ever had also the most satisfying.” This argument goes to show that teachers may in fact enjoy their jobs in general, but there are certain things that they dread. One of them being grading papers. However, this has to have stemmed from  somewhere, teachers go to school, get a degree and traditionally teachers grade assignments, it would be absurd to that educators were unaware that grading papers were fundamental responsibility of the job.


Moreover, there are others inconsistencies in the relationship between teachers and grading, another one being the fact that in some cases, grades may not be proportional. Another author from the Huffington Post states “An essay that earns a B+ at one moment might earn a B- the next day. It shouldn't be that way, but any honest teacher will admit it's true.” Teachers are constantly attempting to enforce mindsets of consistency and m into their students, however it appears now that the act of doing so is hypocritical. Additionally, just as there are students who are different, similarly, there are just as many different kinds of teachers. That being stated, all teachers may not be the seem, but there is a common thread that connects them all together as well. That thread being grading methods.


All teachers grade differently, however all of them grade (unless they display complete and utter inadequacy when grading). There are a select few who are completely well-round and are efficient from any and every angle however, those are anomalies, and all teachers aren't able to be compared on the same scale. Additionally, according to an article by Alfie Kohn, he goes into depth about the fundamentals of grading. Kohn states " Never grade students while they are still learning something and, even more important, do not reward them for their performance at that point. Studies suggest that rewards are most destructive when given for skills" this is an additional reason why teachers are more compelled to spend surplus time grading.


In conclusion, teachers all grade differently, however, it seems that little to none of them grade expeditiously. It may not be due to that fact that all teachers are lazy and socially inept. It proves to be due to various reasons, but as stated previously, the common thread that connects it all is that fact that it actually does occur, and these occurrences are frequent between students and educators internationally. Teachers are compelled to put in zeroes to encourage students to become print and on task, not to be devious, it is just an act of tough love. Thus enabling students to do better so that the grading process can be thorough and enjoyable (for a select few).
2 Comments

2fer Final Draft

Brittany Cooper  

Air Stream

The double standard rule according to dictionary.com is any code or set of principles containing different provisions forone group of people than for another, especially an unwrittencode of sexual behavior permitting men more freedom than women.”  

There are certain expectations that society already has set out for individuals. Whether a man or a woman, gender roles will always have a judgement on certains actions. The common double standard rule affects women just as much as men. An example of the double standard rule is the controversy of the physical interaction of men and women abusively. Its in unacceptable for a man to put his hands on a woman. But okay for a woman to put her hands on a man if it means “defending” herself.  It's about the double standard that actually punishes men for domestic violence MORE than women.


Due to the fact that society portrays men in a certain way he is bound to act tough and obtain control at all times. Researchers believe that there is a universal gender role towards men. It is said  all men are to server as a protector and a provider. Researchers also believe that there is a universal gender role towards men. It is said  all men are to server as a protector and a provider. As a protector they should defend what is theirs. As a provider they should insure the safety and take care of those whom belong.


When being an athlete they are sponsored by many high endurance companies. As an famous athlete in a public eye, conducting oneself accordingly is a must.  are responsible for the actions as individual and when associating with others from another group. Why is it acceptable for a woman who was charged with a assault keep her NSL career but Ray Rice charged with assault as well is at the process of losing his job.  This brings you back to domestic violence. According to the MintPress News, women are three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by their male counterpart than vice versa. However more than  830,000 men are a victim to domestic violence every year. Every 37.8 seconds a man is a victim of domestic violence. In 2001, The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health surveyed about 14,320 people between the age of 18 & 28, a statistic was discovered. When committing acts of domestic violence more women than men were responsible( 25% vs. 11%).  


Hope Solo, 33, is a Women’s National soccer player. Her position on the team is goalkeeper. She has been goalkeeping since 2000. In June 23,2014 Hope Solo, was arrested on the charger of domestic violence according to the NY Post. She allegedly got into a physical altercation with two family members. It is told that Solo was supposedly intoxicated at the time of the altercation according to police. One victim, identifying as a 17- year old nephew, who bleeding from a cut from his ear.  When she attacked her nephew punching him in the face, while saying that his was “too fat & crazy” to be a pro athlete. Another victim as her half sister who’s was left with a cheekbone that was swollen and purple. Who tried to break up the fight. Hope Solo has pleaded not guilty to two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence. She is scheduled to go to trial in November. If she found guilty she can face up to 6 months in jail. With all this being said the U.S Soccer in still allowing her to play in U.S -WNT.


Ray Rice, 27, is a football player for The National Football League. He is a running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He was drafted in 2008, and has played as a Ravens player since 2008. On March 27, 2014 Ray rice was charged with 3rd degree aggravated assault. He was caught on camera punching his the Fiance now wife unconscious in a elevator. This is prior to his arrest of domestic violence on February 15, after having a physical altercations with his then fiancée, Janay Palmer at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ according to ESPN  as well is at the process of losing his job.

However a recent video posted by TMZ shows that Janay Palmer hit Rice while walking in the elevator. When they enter the elevator there was a exchangement of words. At that point Rice leans his face towards Palmer, which lead to Janay to shove Rice away. any his finacée by her arms out of an elevator, laying her on the floor.  ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbwTMJroTbI → Link to the Video ) .

As a result according to NBC Sports, Ray Rice is currently suspended indefinitely by the NFL. However Ray Rice is filing for an appeal on the indefinite suspension. The decision towards suspending Ray Rice was appropriate . However he should not be suspended indefinitely. I say this because Hope Solo is being charged on similar accounts and still is able to keep her career. Just because you are a woman does not give up the right to be able to be physical with a person in a negative way, as to a man. Domestic Violence should not be viewed based upon gender but upon acts .



Work Sited

  1. NBC Sports. "Ray Rice to Appeal Indefinite Suspension On Monday." ProFootballTalk. Independent Programming Report, 2012-2014. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/09/14/ray-rice-to-appeal-indefinite-suspension-on-monday/>.

  2. "Hope Solo and the Domestic Violence Case No One Is Talking about." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2014/09/19/hope-solo-and-the-domestic-violence-case-no-one-is-talking-about/>.

  3. Peyser, Andrea. "Double Standard Allows Soccer Star Hope Solo to Stay in the Game." New York Post. NYP Holdings, Inc., 06 Oct. 2014. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://nypost.com/2014/10/06/double-standard-allows-soccer-star-hope-solo-to-stay-in-the-game/>.

  4. Services, ESPN.com News. "Ravens' Ray Rice indicted." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 28 Mar. 2014. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10684250/ray-rice-baltimore-ravens-indicted-aggravated-assault>.

  5. "Woman As Aggressor: The Unspoken Truth Of Domestic Violence." MintPress News. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2014. <http://www.mintpressnews.com/woman-aggressor-unspoken-truth-domestic-violence/196746/>.


5 Comments

Two-fer Revison

Felix d’Hermillon

English Twofer Rough Draft


If Seaworld and other aquatic prisons stopped to think about it, they would realize that orca whales being contained in captivities is not just about showboating the animals , but is deeply hurting the animals well being as well. This is something that is not acknowledged in todays world and should be addressed. Something needs to be done about this and it needs to be made more public with what is going on. They are put in these captivities against their will, and are Killer whales (aka orca whales) are the largest of the dolphin family. They are extremely strong predators. They are on average the size of a school bus. They hunt in pods with their family of about 40 whales, so if one of the whales is bad, imagine being hunted by 40 whales. Killer whales hunt other mammals in the ocean such as seals and sea lions. Killer whales tend to live in colder places. Killer whales are animals that are extremely friendly but it is needed to know that any situation with humans involved with killer whales can go south in a split second.

Seaworld damaged the whales immediately from the start. The way they caught them was unacceptable, and sea world keeps  in spaces that are way too small for mammals of their size. These spaces are unacceptable. They are not only shoving them into these tiny spaces, but they are also putting more than one animal into these captivities, and they are harming each other as well. When Tilikum was just admitted into sea land, he was kept in a very small container for ⅔’s  of his life, and the other ⅓ of his life he was in a show or he was training for the show. This container was 20 feet in length and 30 foot depth water. The whales themselves are on average 20-26 feet long.  While he was in the container, he was with several other whales. They would do what is call raking ,when other whales rub their teeth against the skin of one whale, throughout the night and he would come out with scratches and cuts all over his body. He was in Sea Land until he killed Keltie Byrne. Keltie Byrne was an orca whale trainer for sea world. Shortly after the death they closed sea land, and auctioned off the whales. These whales are being driven crazy. They are rebelling. The whales did not do anything to be captured and kept as prisoners in the captivities. They didn’t do anything until kept in captivities. If they were released there would be no controversy.

Conflicting with the name that they were given, killer whales are extremely friendly in the wild. This is true because the  There has never been a reported killer whale on a human in the wild. On the contrary, there has been many attacks of trainers in se world and or any other wild life aquatic captivities. Sea world has had so countless numbers of killer whale attacks. Keltie Byrne was attacked in SeaWorld, was killed by Tilikum, a whale who has killed three trainers. A whale who is known for killing. Keltie was walking along side of the pool with Tilikum and two other whales in the pool. Keltie tripped and fell in the pool. Tilikum grabbed her foot and dragged her to the bottom of the tank. He drowned her. Dawn Brancheau died at the hand of Tilikum as well. He scalped her, broke her bones and drowned her. Daniel P. Dukes, a man that broke into SeaWorld at night and went for a late night swim with Tilikum was found dead the next day. Tilikum killed the man over night. He was found with countless injuries leading to his death. This is all from being kept in captivity. They need to be released. It is not healthy for them to be contained in small captivities and they also should be with their own kind. They should be able to stare off into the water and not see any walls. They should see their family and be in their presence.

These killer whales were and still are being driven to psychosis. Killer whales swim an average of 95 miles a day, but if they are in captivities they are unable to. These whales are being kept in these tiny prisons for their entire life of course they are gonna snap. Imagine if a somebody was being kept in a basement for their entire life. Of course they are going try and rebel. It’s the instinct to survive, and just because the killer whales are trying to survive, doesn’t mean that they are terrible animals that are killers. It means that they will try to survive and all of  this behavior was all caused by frustration the whale was feeling. The press made these animals out to be stone cold killers when in fact they are quite the opposite. They should be respected and left alone in the wild.

Everything points to Killer whales suffering when they are in captivities. They are caught very cruelly, suffer from injuries when kept in tanks, suffer from other whale attacks, and try to rebel and kill humans out of frustration. They will never live up to their full potential when they are kept in tanks like that. Killer whales are animals with rights and they do not deserve to be kept in facilities.


Works Cited

"Killer Whales (Orcas), Killer Whale Pictures, Killer Whale Facts - National Geographic."National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

"30 Years and Three Deaths: Tilikum's Tragic Story - SeaWorld of Hurt." SeaWorld of Hurt. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.

BlackFish”. Dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite. 2013. Online Movie.

"11 Things You Didn't Know About SeaWorld - SeaWorld of Hurt." SeaWorld of Hurt. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.


1 Comment

Amelia Stuart's 2fer Revision

As more and more children come into the world screens and keyboards are thrust into their hands. It is familiar to them because they see their friends or their parents using them. Something else to consider is social media and the effect it has on teenagers lives, as they open their laptops and close their doors.  Today's young people are growing up disconnected from nature by spending so much time in front of a screen, therefore in the future they will value the natural world less than any prior generation.

There are multiple opinions on this topic, some supporting the idea of active technology in childrens lives, others saying it is time to limit the time we spend glued to the glowing screens. It is not hard to find a child on the couch watching a movie instead of running outside and enjoying the fresh air. The neglection of nature will follow them into their adults lives, and impact how they will see the world compared to their parents or grandparents. They will value nature less in their adult lives, and these are our future politicians, business owners, teachers.

A study done by a New York University found that 55% of 12 year olds were registered on Facebook , while a survey of children in Britain concluded at 34%. Another study was done by The Kaiser Foundation, a US welfare institute, the study found that children as young as eight spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes on the screen every day.  The distraction implicated by social media and television are majorly involved in the disconnection from nature, for everyone, not just children.

Adults are using their screens for everyday activities mainly their jobs, however it is not just children who are becoming disconnected. In fact it is not right to blame children for the large presence of technology in their lives, children see their parents texting during dinner or spending nights in front of the television they’re going to do the same.

Some schools are to give out laptops, others give out iPads, and smartboards replace chalkboards. This is not a bad thing, in fact it could make the lives of teachers easier, but if students are spending so much of their free time and their school or work time what happens when the screen is taken away? The Pali institute, an outdoor education camp for public school children and Children's Digital Media Center @LA at UCLA found a group of approximately 100 6th graders over a period of five days. They all had absolutely no access to screens of any kind. The study found that children's skills in reading the emotion in other childrens faces got dramatically better. The time they spent interacting in groups, with their peers and counselors, made an important difference. The kids at the camp improved their understanding of emotion, they were able to spend five days without technology.

Although children might not think that conserving nature matters much, their influence goes beyond watching the nature channel on TV to leading a litter pick up in their neighborhood.  Since they are young they need to be pushed by their parents to get off the couch and spend more time outside, ultimately going on to helping their neighborhood become more appreciative of nature. It is much easier to sit on the couch and spend two hours catching up on shows than it is to spend two hours picking up apple cores, however everyone, of all ages should try to spend at least two hours outside. Not necessarily picking up trash, but reading a book, drawing, or just sitting and appreciating the view.


4 Comments

Language & Stereotypes

   Language is perceived the way it is due to a combination of many factors. While the words may be spelled one way on paper, they are often spoken differently, and to another speaker, they may sound completely different. The way a language is spoken contributes to English speakers’ stereotypes  about speakers of that language.

   One example of this is Arabic. The Arabic language has many "velar" and "uvular" sounds that English doesn't have. An example of a velar sound is the final sound in the word "loch". To make that sound, one has to make a "k" sound, but in the back of the throat. An Arabic example of this is the word "خضراء” (“xaḍrāʾ”), which means “green”.

Velar and uvular sounds can sound harsh to people who don’t speak Arabic. The non-Arabic speaking wife of an Arabic speaker notes that, “When I listen to my husband and his friends speak most of the time I assume there is something wrong or they are disagreeing with something [...] the words to me seem harsh and very pronounced.” As noted in the quote, these sounds contribute to stereotypes about Arabic - namely, the stereotype that Arabic people are “aggressive”, as velar sounds often sound harsh and abrasive to English speakers.

   Another example  is Chinese. The Chinese languages, especially Mandarin Chinese, are some of the most stereotyped languages in the world. Chinese has six variants of a single sound, “t͡ɕ”, which is similar to “t͡ʃ”, a sound that English speakers spell "ch". This, combined with their common use of the "ng" sound, help create the most common stereotype of Chinese: "ching chong". A rhyme that was common in the early twentieth century plays off of this:

Ching Chong, Chinaman,
Sitting on a wall.
Along came a white man,
And chopped his tail off.

While incredibly racist, this rhyme shows how the sound of the language can contribute to stereotypes- not just the “ching chong” stereotype, but the idea that Chinese people are “outsiders” who don’t belong. This mindset is much less of a problem in languages that share many sounds with English, such as Dutch and German.

A third example of this is French. The French stereotype is very popular in America, especially the stereotype that “ze Fhhrench speak like zees” and laugh nasally like “hon hon hon”. These stereotypes stem from French phonology, where r’s are trilled (/ʁ/), some vowels are nasal (/ɑ̃/), there’s no “th” sound, and there’s no /ɪ/ (like in English “bin”). This is often made fun of, as the nasal vowels in French can seem almost “uppity” to some English listeners. According to the site TV Tropes, these stereotypes are common in television, with a few famous examples being “Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, Lumière in Beauty and the Beast, all the French characters in 'Allo 'Allo!, and Pepe Le Pew.” In addition, these stereotypes can also make French people seem goofy, as shown by the fact that many characters in entertainment have stereotypical French accents for no apparent reason. One example is in the movie Shrek, where Robin Hood speaks English with a French accent for no reason other than to generate laughs.

In conclusion, one can deduce that the way a language sounds can affect stereotypes of speakers of that language. Some sounds can seem agressive, like Arabic /x/. Some sounds can seem otherly, like Chinese /t͡ɕ/. Other sounds can even sound goofy, like French /ɑ̃/. The cooperation of these sounds with other sounds from their languages can give the languages a personality that is projected onto speakers of that language.


Works Cited

"How Does Arabic Sound to Foreigners?" How Does Arabic Sound to Foreigners? EgyptSearch, 23 July 2004. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

Newman, D. The Phonetics of Arabic (n.d.): n. pag. Durham University Community. Durham University. Web. 18 Sept. 2014.

Duanmu, San. "Chinese (Mandarin), Phonology of." Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics,. 2nd ed. N.p.: Elsevier House, n.d. Print.

Lee, Mary Paik, and Sucheng Chan. Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America. Seattle: U of Washington, 1990. Print.

"National Stereo Types: Western Europe." TV Tropes. TV Tropes Foundation, LLC, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

Elkhoury, John. "French Phonetics." French Crazy. N.p., 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.


4 Comments

Christian Moore 2Fer

No one likes being bored, this is the reason the entertainment industry makes so much money every year. Every week professional athletes put their bodies on the line to entertain the public. But the question is do sports fans value entertainment more than safety? Sports such as football, boxing, and bull riding are very physically demanding jobs, everyday people are seriously injured from doing these activities. People keep supporting the sports industry even though it is dangerous to the players just because it is entertaining.


In recent years, the NFL has been doing research to see the long term effect of football on its players. These studies are the result of former players now starting lawsuits against the NFL for hiding the long term consequences of the sport, even though they knew the risk. Neurologists have determined that football can lead to many brain diseases, a major one being CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Some people who suffer from this have been known to have very short memories and others have even taken their own lives to try to cope with the pain the disease comes with. CTE includes symptoms such as memory loss, impaired judgement, anxiety, depression, and suicidality just to name a few. CTE also leads to Alzheimer's disease or worse ALS. Fans are very well aware of the consequences of playing professionally. This still does not stop them from encouraging huge hits and dangerous contact. Some players receive blows to the helmet and fans cheer for the collision. These same fans then turn to say that they would not allow their children to play the sport. Hall of fame quarterback Brett Farve said in an interview that even though he loves the sport is and glad he played, he would not allow his son to play a sport that violent. This shows that the safety of others is not important to them as long as they are entertained in the process. When injuries happen people even mock the player who has been injured, This is horrible and inhumane in every way possible.

The NFL is now involved in many lawsuits from former players for negligence and fraud because of head traumas found after their playing careers. An example of this is former NFL cornerback Paul Oliver. His repetitive head traumas led him to become moody, have memory loss, and anger issues. As a result of this, he shot himself in the head in front of his wife and children.His family and neurologist claim the suicide was a "direct result of the injuries, depression and emotional suffering caused by repetitive head trauma and concussions suffered as a result of playing football, not properly appreciating football's risks with respect to head trauma"   They say the NFL knew the long term risk of the sport but hid them.


Unlike football, the intent in boxing is to physically beat an opponent. The whole concept of the sport is violent. Fighters come into the match expecting to knock their opponent unconscious. Some doctors will call the process a severe concussion because of the similar trauma experienced. Muhammad Ali now suffers from Parkinson's disease because of the many blows taken to the head in his career. This has essentially left him paralyzed for the rest of his life.  The list of boxing injuries goes on and on.  The sport is so violent that some have even been brutally beaten to death in the ring. Spectators care in absolutely no way. They instead come up with sayings like if you cant take the beating stay out of the ring. Boxing has generated a lot of its money through bets placed by fans. This is something they can do to entertain themselves while the fighters spend months training for a fight. People then throw parties to watch the fight. The whole time they cheer for a certain fighter to knock the other out.


Unlike football and boxing bull riding does not have as many fans, but still has a reputable amount of fans. These fans come to rodeos to see if their favorite cowboy can stay on a bull for 8 seconds. The fans in this sport don’t necessarily cheer for violence but do support it in one way or another. Some fans cheer hoping their cowboys make it the 8 seconds to qualify and others stand hoping they fall off. When a rider falls off the bull, he is in more danger than most people will ever be in. Unlike a head to head collision in football or a strong uppercut in boxing, when hit by a 2,000 pound angry animal most people may not get up. Fans never want to see this happen but do support the idea of the sport. They love the thrill and anticipation of every ride knowing inside what could happen if those 8 seconds are not reached. Fans are entertained by the idea of not knowing what could happen in the run.

Many of the activities that are adorned by sports fans are very dangerous. Some like the sports for the competitive nature, and others just like the violence. Entertaining nowadays is not cheap. It has cost some people their lives, something that can never be repaid.
6 Comments

Veronica Nocella's 2fer Revision

During human life, there are many different oppertunities people have to conflict with themselves, all of them having to do with fitting into a specific category of person. Questions about identity are incredibly common, due to the discomfort one receives when feeling abnormal or different. It’s natural to feel such a way, which is why categories are established- to feel normal, and to be able to simplify others to feel comfortable with them. These different categories/binaries include race, class, interest, occupation, and one of the largest, gender. We see gender in every social system; whether it be in schools, at work, or simply when having to use the bathroom. The gender binary pressures individuals to classify themselves as one gender or another, specifically the gender that pertains to their sex,  leading to misconceptions about the existence of genderfluidity or any exploration of gender.

Monique Slusher, the author of an article explaining what it means to be “genderfluid,”  uses a metaphor of three cups: one labeled “woman,” another “man,” and a third with no label at all. One some days, they say that the woman cup will be completely full; because they feel like a woman completely in every aspect. One other days, the man cup will be full, because they feel like a mix of both a man and a woman. And on some days the unlabeled up will be full, because being “man” or “woman” doesn’t describe how they feel at all on that day. (The Pacific Index.)  The idea of genderfluidity is having a completely flexible and ever changing gender identity. The fact that this concept is extremely uncommon and at times causes lots of distress and discomfort proves the oppressiveness of the gender binary. The pressure to simply be “man” or “woman” and to completely live as man or woman puts pressure on individuals to identify themselves specifically as one gender or another.

A Sand Creek high school in Colorado Springs  caused quite an uproar when they crowned a transgender student, Scarlett Lenh, to be homecoming princess. One parent had even said "I'm very sympathetic that he's transgender, but he should be on the boy's side, not the girl's." A high school junior also stated that  “I think it’s wrong because he’s actually a guy, he’s not a girl, and he hasn’t been doing this his entire life – he’s only been doing it recently.” (KOAA.com) Because Lenh identifies as a girl, she is still part of the binary. However,  both of these statements prove in multiple ways the negative effect of the gender binary, because of the automatic use of personal, masculine pronouns to describe Lenh, only because she was a boy at birth. The idea one must stay on the “boy’s side” because they were a boy is language that clearly states the discomfort in anything that doesn't completely cooperate with the binary that has been established, which is therefore why so much pressure is put on individuals to classify as one specific gender for their entire existence, and that any exploration of gender cannot exist.

When asked, people who aren't directly affected by the gender binary might say that only the trans community, genderqueer, genderfluid, and other individuals that identify outside the binary are affected, but on closer inspection, every social institution built around the binary that accommodates cisgender individuals directly causes the oppressiveness of the binary, such as same gender schools, camps, sports, and even bathrooms. These are the things that more deeply ingrain the binary into people's subconscious, and leads to further distress and judgement towards others who simply cannot follow or participate in these social institutions, and can therefore not live a comfortable life. It is important to understand that sex and gender are two completely different things; just because someone was born with specific body parts doesn’t mean that they must do everything according to the gender society assigns those body parts for the rest of their life. It is much more important to acknowledge and appreciate one’s being, instead of always trying to classify it.


2 Comments

Ameer Forte's 2Fer Essay


Football Allows Domestic Violence by Ameer Forte


American football players are average people, who live average lives and have average negative tendencies. Crime is crime no matter who commits it, right? Why then, does it seem like the average football player can manage to get away with illegal acts that the average person can’t get away with? In fact, there are players in the NFL currently who have committed domestic violence crimes. Creating a national debate whether or not they have been under punished for their actions and raising much controversy around decisions made by league commissioner Roger Goodell. The truth is, American football allows its athletes to get away with domestic violence for the benefit of the league's profit.

Ray McDonald, a defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers, was arrested on Sunday, August 31st on felony domestic violence charges involving his fiancee. This happened just a week after a new rule had been passed by the league, this rule enforced that a player has to carry himself in a certain way when representing his organization, and if he did not the league has the ability to fine him, suspend him without pay or indefinitely suspend him from the NFL. The Sacramento Bee reports Police arrived at McDonald’s house at approximately 2:00 am where McDonald seemed to have some sort of altercation with his fiancee, they found his fiancee bruised and beat and he was taken into custody. McDonald posted $25,000 bail and was released from Santa Clara county jail later that day. Roger Goodell released a statement later that week saying that there would be stronger punishment for players like McDonald, and that there would now be an automatic six game suspension for players with a domestic violence charge. Except, McDonald has not been suspended. In fact, the NFL reports, McDonald is being very involved in the San Francisco 49ers games despite his alleged crimes. Roger Goodell explained his case though, saying, as long as McDonald isn't charged with actual evidence he will be continued to be allowed to play. Roger Goodell is letting McDonald play because when he is on the field the San Francisco 49ers have a better chance of winning, and more winning means more fans, and more fans means more income for the league’s profit.

Would an average working man who beat his wife be allowed to keep his job? Or would he just be temporarily suspended for his actions? According to Colorado criminal law for example,  “A conviction for a criminal offense related to domestic violence may result in loss of the defendant’s job.” Which means no leisure, no suspensions, no protection as NFL players would get. There is no special treatment for the average worker. For example, in 2006 a man named Rafael Dangond was found reportedly beating his wife from the time they attended a wedding after party to the time they made it home that evening. She was found by her father, bloodied and bruised, the next day. Dangond was ultimately sentenced to 5 years in prison. Dangond was unable to escape the punishment he earned, Whereas an NFL player appears to be able to get away will full scale domestic violence without the correct punishment because of the fact that they bring in revenue for profit.

Ray Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was arrested on February 15 along with his fiancee on simple assault charges. A video released to the public of Rice dragging his fiance across an elevator floor. Rice’s attorney assured it was just a minor altercation between the two, and when Roger Goodell was asked if the league was aware of the incident and whether there will be discipline, he stated, "The answer to that is yes. And I don't know on the second part. We will let the facts dictate that." On July 24th the NFL decided to suspend Ray Rice for just two games, even after his charges were upped to aggravated assault weeks before. The league made the conscious decision to only suspend Ray Rice for two games while knowing he had been arrested and convicted of domestic violence, the rule that they enforced was that as long as Rice was not charged by his fiance he would still be able to represent the league, allowing Rice to continue to play as soon as his short suspension is over and once again showing the NFL give soft punishment to one of it’s athletes who have committed domestic violence.

On September 8th a new video surfaced showing Rice punching his fiance in the face and knocking her unconscious. Here is where the fishy activity gets noticed. When that video came out Roger Goodell claimed "We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator, We assumed that there was a video, we asked for video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity." If Goodell had not seen the video, what was he basing his punishment for Rice’s actions off? And why would he had just seen the footage when the police had had it since Rice’s first arrest way back in February? Now according to the FBI, who decided to investigate this case, Goodell had seen the full footage of the tape and just under punished Rice. Rice is another example of a player who is very notable in fan popularity and likely many fans would come to see rice play. For this reason the league has done everything in their power, within legal terms, to keep him on the field. The NFL is a selfish society, in which is always looking for a way to profit themselves, and the best way for them to make profit is through the fans themselves. So if a particular player is who the fans want to see the commissioner wants that player out there.

Ray Rice and Ray McDonald both seem to be escaping true punishment from the league along with jail time, something that their average counterpart Rafael Dangond was unable to escape. If the parents of the children who watch football stopped to think about it, they would realize that domestic violence crimes committed by football players does not just involve the league and athletes themselves, but, their children as well could be affected by seeing what these football players are doing and getting away with and thinking it's okay.American football players are no different from regular people, and yet, the NFL allows them to get away with domestic violence because the NFL wants to use those players to make a profit.


Sources:

Hanzus, Dan. "Ray McDonald Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges."NFL.com. Dan Hanzus, 31 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

Barrows, Matt. "49ers’ Ray McDonald Arrested on Suspicion of Felony Domestic Abuse - The Sacramento Bee." The Sacramento Bee. Matt Barrows, 1 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.

Black, Clifton. "Employment Penalties of Domestic Violence." Colorado Criminal Law Guide. Clifton Black. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.colorado-criminal-law.com/consequences-domestic-violence/employment-penalties-domestic-violence.htm>.

Bien, Louis. "A Complete Timeline of the Ray Rice Assault Case."SBNation.com. Louis Bien, 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.


Florio, Mike. "NFL Hires Independent Investigator in Ray Rice case."ProFootballTalk. Mike Florio, 10 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.


Crouch, Ian. "The N.F.L.'s New Domestic-Violence Rules." The New Yorker. IAN CROUCH, 28 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.


"Lissette Ochoa Domestic Violence Case." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.


9 Comments

Ameer Holmes' 2fer Revision

More Shoe, More Human


Humans first used shoes as a simple tool, most likely to protect the wearer’s feet while still accommodating various terrains. Almost in an evolutionary sense, shoes grew along with people such like industry and clothing. In the first world culture, the shoe is the most important part of the outfit. This importance came from the psychological role shoes have played for people, being around for so long.

It is difficult to say man's absolute first reason for creating footwear, but not so difficult to infer. There are many people who chose not to wear shoes, one of which is a woman named Bea Marshal. Bea said she’d “stepped in glass and dog dirt”, bare footed. Though, not have doing significant damage to her it could have been worse. Due to humans being quadruped, feet have the overall most contact to the ground. Being that the ground has a plethora of things on it, feet would be susceptible to encountering most anything. Shoes are a useful yet simplistic way of keeping various bacteria, sharp objects and such away from any feet, as well as weathering effects like rain, snow and hot sand.

Shoe wearing has been a dedicated part of life and human nature for some time now. Even though some people choose not to wear shoes, those who deny them are making a big statement simply by doing so. The oldest shoes to date are typically sandals and such. These shoes then evolved into moccasins, and now into what people wear today. Each style of shoe came about in a different era of humanity. The shoe represents the culture and expression of people, as well as the environmental hardships they’ve been through. People have worn shoes for thousands of years; in fact the oldest shoe can be dated to 3500 b.c (National Geographic). Humans tend to be attached to things they’ve been with for a long time, personally and generationally. Take dogs for example. Dogs are known as man’s best friend for their long term coexistence with human beings as a pet or as family. The same can go for clothing, especially shoes. People tend to hold shoes the longest out of any article of clothing. People also tend to wear the same shoes with multiple outfits. Picking a pair of shoes is key and it represents who a person is.

In the first world, clothing industry style is key, and depending on the look someone’s going to get a specific shoe to match. The shoe is key because it is the most classic or erratic part of the outfit. It can also be a bland to neutral to tone the outfit down. Shoes aren’t just all about style however, they are also about comfort, appropriateness, and personal aid. A footwear company named Mtb has shoes to specifically prevent health problems, and to aid comfort. Avoiding harmful contact with the wearer’s feet is one thing, but shoes that can reduce the amount of bodily pain already held is a totally different ballpark. The Company claims to reduce pressure in specific areas while walking or standing. This decreases the amount of pressure exerted through a body, thus decreasing the amount of pains from such pressure. Being as though shoes do so much for people, there's no wonder why some might be so attached to them subconsciously.

Concludingly, there are phrases that suggest the importance of shoes are expressed all the time. Phrases along the lines of those shoes with that top, or being told not to step on Jordans are said eveveryday. That is the physiological importance shoes have in the outfit in a first world country. This is how the shoe came to represent human expression.


Works Cited:


Ravilious, Kate. "World's Oldest Leather Shoe Found-Stunningly Preserved." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 09 June 2010. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/06/100609-worlds-oldest-leather-shoe-armenia-science


Guy, Peter. "Painfreefeet | Foot Notes Blog." Foot Notes Is a Blog Commenting on Foot Health Issues Written by Peter Guy Chiropodist. Painfree.CA, 25 Apr. 2011. Web. 05 Oct. 2014.

http://www.painfreefeet.ca/index.cfm?id=24340&modex=day&modexval=04/25/2011#1


Marshall, Bea. "Experience: I Don't Wear Shoes." Theguardian. Theguardian, 14 Feb. 2014. Web. 5 Oct. 2014.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/feb/14/i-dont-wear-shoes-experience



1 Comment

2Fer

No one likes being bored, this is the reason the entertainment industry makes so much money every year. Every week professional athletes put their bodies on the line to entertain the public. But the question is do sports fans value entertainment more than safety? Sports such as football, boxing, and bull riding are very physically demanding jobs, everyday people are seriously injured from doing these activities. People keep supporting the sports industry even though it is dangerous to the players just because it is entertaining.


In recent years, the NFL has been doing research to see the long term effect of football on its players. These studies are the result of former players now starting lawsuits against the NFL for hiding the long term consequences of the sport, even though they knew the risk. Neurologists have determined that football can lead to many brain diseases, a major one being CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Some people who suffer from this have been known to have very short memories and others have even taken their own lives to try to cope with the pain the disease comes with. CTE includes symptoms such as memory loss, impaired judgement, anxiety, depression, and suicidality just to name a few. CTE also leads to Alzheimer's disease or worse ALS. Fans are very well aware of the consequences of playing professionally. This still does not stop them from encouraging huge hits and dangerous contact. Some players receive blows to the helmet and fans cheer for the collision. These same fans then turn to say that they would not allow their children to play the sport. Hall of fame quarterback Brett Farve said in an interview that even though he loves the sport is and glad he played, he would not allow his son to play a sport that violent. This shows that the safety of others is not important to them as long as they are entertained in the process. When injuries happen people even mock the player who has been injured, This is horrible and inhumane in every way possible.

The NFL is now involved in many lawsuits from former players for negligence and fraud because of head traumas found after their playing careers. An example of this is former NFL cornerback Paul Oliver. His repetitive head traumas led him to become moody, have memory loss, and anger issues. As a result of this, he shot himself in the head in front of his wife and children.His family and neurologist claim the suicide was a "direct result of the injuries, depression and emotional suffering caused by repetitive head trauma and concussions suffered as a result of playing football, not properly appreciating football's risks with respect to head trauma"   They say the NFL knew the long term risk of the sport but hid them.


Unlike football, the intent in boxing is to physically beat an opponent. The whole concept of the sport is violent. Fighters come into the match expecting to knock their opponent unconscious. Some doctors will call the process a severe concussion because of the similar trauma experienced. Muhammad Ali now suffers from Parkinson's disease because of the many blows taken to the head in his career. This has essentially left him paralyzed for the rest of his life.  The list of boxing injuries goes on and on.  The sport is so violent that some have even been brutally beaten to death in the ring. Spectators care in absolutely no way. They instead come up with sayings like if you cant take the beating stay out of the ring. Boxing has generated a lot of its money through bets placed by fans. This is something they can do to entertain themselves while the fighters spend months training for a fight. People then throw parties to watch the fight. The whole time they cheer for a certain fighter to knock the other out.


Unlike football and boxing bull riding does not have as many fans, but still has a reputable amount of fans. These fans come to rodeos to see if their favorite cowboy can stay on a bull for 8 seconds. The fans in this sport don’t necessarily cheer for violence but do support it in one way or another. Some fans cheer hoping their cowboys make it the 8 seconds to qualify and others stand hoping they fall off. When a rider falls off the bull, he is in more danger than most people will ever be in. Unlike a head to head collision in football or a strong uppercut in boxing, when hit by a 2,000 pound angry animal most people may not get up. Fans never want to see this happen but do support the idea of the sport. They love the thrill and anticipation of every ride knowing inside what could happen if those 8 seconds are not reached. Fans are entertained by the idea of not knowing what could happen in the run.

Many of the activities that are adorned by sports fans are very dangerous. Some like the sports for the competitive nature, and others just like the violence. Entertaining nowadays is not cheap. It has cost some people their lives, something that can never be repaid.
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Soy...

Hola, Me llamo Aissatou Bah. Tengo 15 años. Soy de New York pero vivo en Filadelphia.



Soy bajo pero soy mucho guapa. Soy sociable et divertida. Soy timid un poco.



Me gusta comer sin embargo, me gusta ayudar en casa, cocinar et pasar un rato con amigas. No me gusta nada hablar por  teléfono et ir a la escuela.



¿Como te llamo?  ¿Que te gusta hacer?


DSC_0244
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Remember to Move Your Mouth

“I’m gonna go to choir after school,” I said to my mom as she cooked dinner.

“Going. -e-ing,” my mom extended the sound.

“An I need you to sign my permission slip.”

“An-duh.”

“An I…”

“Let me hear you say the d first.”

“I don’t have time, I need to do my homework.”

“Say an-duh and then do your homework.”

“Why?”

My parents were born in a neighborhood in New Jersey where the lawns are perfectly cut, and the dialect is almost clear standard english. Ever since I said my first full sentence, my mom has corrected every mumbled or dropped consonant. While in younger grades, I thought the corrections were no different than ones from my teachers.

When I recently took a survey from the New York Times, the results showed that it is most likely that I live in New Jersey near Philadelphia based on the words I use and how I pronounce them. This accent comes from learning to speak from Jersey relatives and visiting my grandparents across the river, while living in Philadelphia..


“I want to axe you something,” I announced as I walked into the kitchen on a different day.

“You’re doing it again,” my mom said.

“What? All I said was I want to axe you a question.”

“You are talking like a Philadelphian.”

The first few times I heard this, my heart sank.

“What do you mean?”

“The word is as-kah, not axe.”

“I said [pause] ask.”

“No, you said axe.”

This discussion repeated throughout the first years of my life. The words echoed in my head, even when my mom was not around. I began to repeat myself, pausing mid sentence. This time coincided with my acceptance into a mentally gifted elective.

“Can someone tell me what [science term] is,” my fifth grade teacher would ask.

“[short answer]. I once saw on Nova [extra details].”

“That is fascinating, Miriam, although I was only looking for [expected answer].”

My fifth grade teacher encouraged my input, working the outside knowledge I connected to the lesson into the discussion.

“Haven’t you seen that episode before,” my Dad asked.

“Of course. I even know the words by heart.” I was currently sitting on the couch, watching a tv show.

“Why watch it then?”

“To refresh my memory. Besides, there is nothing else on.”

I would watch cartoons daily when I was younger. I learned to multiply from Cyberchase and vocabulary words from Martha Speaks and Word Girl. The contests on Fetch caught my imagination, and I loved the storytelling on Arthur. While watching repeats, I would draw the characters and say their lines with them.

“Who can work through the first part of this problem,” a math teacher would ask.

I was the only one to raise my hand, even though I knew my whole table had completed the class work. The teacher scanned the room as if no one had their hand raised.

“Nick, can you tell me what I should do first,” the teacher looked straight at him.

“I don’t know.” Nick glanced at the work on his paper, and then stared at the teacher again.

“Come on, it’s easy.”

“Subtract x from both sides?”

“Correct.”

I understood that my teachers wanted to encourage all the students to speak, but there were entire weeks where I was not called on in middle school. Teachers only gave me help upon request, knowing I got all As and Bs.

“Miriam, sing louder,” my music teacher said at choir practice.

“I don’t know if I can.”

“Don’t you yell in the recess yard?”

“Not really.”

I became quiet, yet not unsociable. My friends often spoke softer than me, afraid a teacher would not seat us together if we talked loudly, even though my friends and I only talked about work in class. Collaboration was not valued in my middle school. In some classes, I was quiet, and in others, people thought I was shy.

“Can anyone describe what global warming is,” my engineering teacher asked. He scanned the room for a raised hand. “Miriam.”

“Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat from the sun when the heat bounces off Earth’s surface,” I answered.

During the first few days of my freshman engineering class, most of the students were quiet. Every time our teacher asked a question, only two or three people raised their hand, and I was one of them. For some reason, the teacher told me after class that I should not be shy because I know so much.

At that point in my life, I did not consider myself shy. My classmates and I were all quietly adjusting to a new school. If anything, I was talking more than I had in years. However, every once in a while, the high pitched soprano would appear in my voice, and I would pause to clear my throat. Some interpreted this as shyness. Every time someone said I should talk more, I promised myself I would. The more often this occured, the less confident I felt. This continued to occur in poetry club.

“It was bedar to wear a masq than let mounans of acne show.”

“Say it again slowly.”

“It was be-agh. It was better to wear a masq-agh.”

“We can’t have you saying agh on stage.”

“I know Mr. Kay. I am having trouble with mumbling.”

“Try tasting each syllable of your poem. Say the line again as slow as you can.”

“Maybe we should write it on the board. What was the line,” Chella, who was one of the coaches, asked.

“It...was...better...to wear...a mask...than let...mountains...of acne….show,” I said slowly.

“I heard mountains! Chella, did you hear mountains,” Mr. Kay asked.

“I thought it was mounds,” Chella answered.

“It is mountains,” I said.

“Try saying it again.”

“It was bedar to wear…”

“Bet-ter. Say the t.”

“It was better to wear a mask…”

“Remember to move your mouth. It was better to wear a mask than let mountains of acne show.”

“It was better to wear a mask than let mountains of acne show.”

“Great. Now, say the whole poem at that pace.”

James Baldwin once wrote “It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power.”  When I stumbled over my words, people hesitated to absorb my points. The correct pronunciation would echo in my mind while my tongue was weak. My mom always corrected me, thinking it was a Philadelphian accent. I would pause to correct myself, which led people to believe I was shy or lacked confidence. Confidence is a form of power. I did not stop mumbling until the time Mr. Kay helped me say my poem clearly. If I had mumbled through my poem, it would not have grabbed people’s attention.

I taught my tongue to say every consonant and vowel in that poem. I performed without a single stutter, allowing my team to receive a high enough score, and win the slam. Doubting my ability to speak properly made me believe I was shy. This was my weakness. When I was little, I would lose my breathe mid sentence. Singing in choir taught me to breathe. Reciting poetry trained my mouth to speak clearly.


2 Comments

Bella Mezzaroba's 2fer Revision

Even though an 18 year old is considered an adult,the national legal drinking age in the United States is 21,  Even with this age restriction in place, so many get caught under the influence at younger ages. Keeping in mind that the United States is the only developed country with a legal drinking age of 21, the rest being around 18, the U.S. is behind in the times. The United States should lower their drinking age to 18 and the U.S. needs to catch up with the rest of the world’s developed countries.

The United States is inarguably conservative with their Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA). Only 4% of the world’s countries set their legal age at 21 and, out of this 4%, the U.S. is the only fully developed country. 71% of countries have a legal drinking age of between 16-19, averaged at about 18. They’re MLDA, which was established in 1984, is outdated even though it was established long after countries like the U.K. established their drinking age. The United Kingdom passed the Intoxicating Liquor act in 1923, which restricted liquor sales to individuals over 18. This MLDA has worked well for them for 91 years so what’s to say it wouldn’t work for the United States.

The CDC states that 126,438 accidental deaths occurred in the U.S. during 2010 and of that about 88,000 were attributed to alcohol, coming out to about 69%. In the United Kingdom, 17,201 accidental deaths were recorded in 2010 with 8,367 of these deaths being from alcohol, a total of 48%. A country with a lower MLDA also has a lower alcohol related death rate. A lower drinking age does have an impact on the statistical, alcohol related deaths but it’s a positive one. People tend to want to do what they can’t so when an American 18 year old is offered beer at a party, they’ll drink as much as they can since this isn’t an opportunity that arises daily. If a British 18 year old was offered a beer, they’d most likely accept, but it wouldn’t be such a huge deal since they can go to the store and pick up a six pack whenever they please. If teens were educated properly and given the responsibility of drinking, then the U.S.’s alcohol related deaths would decrease.

Drinking is a matter of responsibility. One needs to be considered mature enough to handle the intoxication with class and not harm anyone in the process. However, it’s questionable about what age that maturity begins. The age to join the military has been set at 18 since 1942. There are soldiers who are considered mature enough for an AK-47 but not a beer. The logic in that is incredibly skewed. The United States trust these men and women with the lives of their comrades and civilians but can’t trust them with their own lives. If a citizen is old enough to enlist than they should be old enough to consume alcohol. Not only can a 21 year old enlist, they can apply for a credit card, serve on a jury, sign a binding contract, marry without parental consent, vote, and be charged as an adult in a court of law. A 18 year old is no longer a minor and is considered a full fledged adult in all aspects except one. Clearly, 18 year olds are considered mature enough for mostly everything so drawing the line at alcohol consumption is arbitrary.

Alcohol can be dangerous if not used responsibly, that much is clear. About 88,000 deaths are caused annually by alcohol. Only 5,000 of these were caused by underage drinking. According to Choose Responsibility, an organization in favor of lowering the MLDA,  the number of underage deaths has been going down since 1970, 14 years before the MLDA act was passed. Therefore, no correlation can be drawn between the two and the act is not responsible for decline in alcohol fatalities amongst underage people. Choose Responsibility says,"... twice as many 21-year-olds died in alcohol-related auto accidents as 18 year-olds. Such a staggering statistic speaks volumes: a policy that claims to be saving thousands each year may simply be re-distributing deaths over the life cycle to the point at which it becomes legal to drink alcohol..." If the MLDA in it’s current state is simply postponing drunk driving accidents until drinking becomes legal, then it seems the problem isn’t young people drinking, it’s how the youth is being educated on the dangers of alcohol. If educated properly, an 18 year old would be much more responsible than an uninformed 21 year old.

Although the legal drinking age may only seem important  to those between the ages of 18 and 21, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about cultivating a community of young people who act responsibly. When those who previously were not trusted with the privilege of drinking are entrusted with alcohol consumption, accidental deaths will decrease. Drunk driving accidents and things of that sort affect us all, as should the legal drinking age.Not only is a lower MLDA in direct correlation with lessening alcohol related deaths, it’s logical to trust those we deem adults with something like alcohol. The United States should lower their legal drinking age to 18 as it is medically,politically, and most importantly, rationally sound.
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Am I choosing my ¨language¨ or is my environment doing that for me?

¨LJ we are leaving soon for the airport now.  Your plane leaves in two and a half hours.¨ My Mom yells.

I finish packing my bag and head downstairs.

¨I am going to miss you while you're gone.¨

¨Mom, you don’t have to worry ‘bout nothing.  I’m call you when I get on the plane and when I get off.

She smiles.

I am heading to Arizona.  I signed up for an advance hitting and fielding camp at Arizona State University.  Arizona State is one of the top baseball schools in the country.  If I could impress them in a two day camp, it could help me get recruited to play for them in college.  While I am there I am going to stay with my Aunt Jenn and her husband and 4 children.  They are on my Mom’s side of the family.  After the camp was over I would get on a plane to Boston, to spend time with my dad and his side of the family.  We leave for the airport 10 minutes later.  As we get to the airport me and my Mom say our final goodbyes.

¨Call me as soon as you can.  You hear me?¨

¨Yes Mom, as soon as I board the plane and land, call you.¨

¨See you in August.¨

My Mom hugs me.  I get to the gate.  It is my first time traveling by myself.  I get scared.  I realized that this will help me in the long run.  I quickly get over my fear.  Next thing I know I am on the plane taking off, heading west.

It is important for me to say that my Mom is adopted.  She was adopted into a white family in the early 1970’s.  This means all of her family is white.  When I am with them there is a different language I use.  This happens by accident.  I grew up in a liberal, urban scene, while my family is more conservative and lives either in a suburban area or out in the country.  When I am with my Mom and sister, the urban part of me talks. The ¨Black English¨ like James Baldwin once said.  When I am with my Grandma or Aunt, I start to talk more proper.  This happens by accident.  Since I am not of the same race, I try to make language as a way to be the same as them, since in my eyes we are not.  We speak the same language, but it is so different at the same time.

¨Welcome to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.  We know you have a lot of options when flying, but US Airways would like to thank you for choosing us.  We hope we will see you soon.¨  The flight attendant said on the loudspeaker of the plane.  I call my Mom.

¨Yeah Mom, I’m ‘bout get off this plane.¨

¨How was the flight?¨

¨It was ard.¨

¨Ok, well call me when you find your Uncle Drew.  He got a new car, so make sure it is him before you get into the car.¨

¨Ok, I will call you when I see him.¨

I get my bags and walk out of the plane.  I put on my headphones.  Jay-Z is playing in my ears.  

¨I probably owe it to you all, proud to be locked by the force, Trying to hustle some things, that go with the Porsche.¨

I see my Uncle Drew in his new car.  He helps puts my bags in the trunk.  I get into the car and I hear a Christian gospel song.  

¨I’m so grateful for all you have done in my life.  I give my life to you.¨

I turn my music off really quick.  My uncle gets in the car and we have small talk.

¨It’s great to see you buddy, how was your flight over here?¨ He said with a smile on his face.

¨It was great, Uncle Drew.  There were no problems at all on the plane ride here.¨

¨You ready for the baseball camp on Saturday?¨

¨Yeah I really can’t wait, I have been waiting the whole summer for this moment and now it is here.

¨Well your cousins are up and waiting for you at the house.¨

We get to the house and all four of my cousins are happy to see me.  My youngest cousin, Quincy takes me to see all of her new Legos.

¨See this one.  It’s really pretty.  This is my favorite Lego because it’s pink.¨ Quincy said with a smile on her face.

¨Yeah you're right it is very pretty, my favorite part is that it is pink.¨ I said back to her.

We look and play with Legos for a couple of minutes, then it is time for her to go to bed.  I decide that I should go to bed too.  The camp doesn’t start tomorrow but I should get some rest anyway.   I text my mom and tell her that I got in safely and that I would talk to her in the morning.

On Sunday, the camp ended.  When I talked to the coaches after it ended, they said I did good and they hope to see me again.  I get in the car.  My friend texted me.

¨How did the camp go?¨

¨I fried at the man bro.  Coaches said I did good.  They hope to see me again.¨

¨Ayye I see you bro. You going to go to another camp?¨

¨Idk, maybe they have a camp in September, but that is even more money and school has started.

¨Ard I will ttyl.¨

¨Peace¨

My Uncle asked me the same question.

¨It was really good.  The coaches helped me a lot, especially when it came to hitting.  I’m glad that I came out here for the camp.¨

We head back home and I pack up.  I am heading to Boston for the rest of the summer.  I get my bags and I get back into the car.  My cousin Aiden and Holden tag along for the ride to the airport.  We talk about school and sports.  As we get to the airport we say our goodbyes.  I head to the gate.  I like spending time with my family, even if I think I have to change a little for them.


James Baldwin once said ¨A Frenchman living in Paris speaks a subtly and crucially different language from that of the man living in Marseilles; neither sounds very much like a man living in Quebec; and they would all have great difficulty in apprehending what the man from Guadeloupe, or Martinique, is saying, to say nothing of the man from Senegal.¨  What he is saying is that all of these people speak the same language but all of them speaks it a different way because of their background.  I agree with that.  My family and I speak the same language, but since we are from different parts of the country and from different backgrounds, it is a little different.  Even if the language we speak is a little different, we are family and at the end of the day that is all that matters.
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2fer revision

The Hunger Games trilogy focuses on a teenage girl named Katniss who, after losing her father in a mining accident, was left to support herself, mother and little sister. At a very young age she became the caretaker and provider for her family when her mother shut down after her fathers death. Similarly, many children and teenagers in America have a pre-selected fate because of the economic classes they are born into. The fictional Hunger Game series portrays how different economic classes in America cause specific classes to achieve less because of the low access they’re given for the same opportunities.

In the Hunger Games, everyone lives in a dystopian America now known as Panem. The country is separated into 12 districts and the Capital, but used to have a 13th before they were “killed” off. The Capital holds the richest of the rich, and as the districts increase in their number, the poorer those citizens are. Every year the country hosts the hunger games, where a boy and a girl from each district, ranging anywhere from 12-18, are chosen from a random draw to fight to the death in an arena, giving the winners district extra food. The poorer districts have a disadvantage, as one can offer to have their name enter more and more in exchange for more food for your family. Their names are then entered more and more, while the children from the richer districts have the minimum number of entries and have been trained to win the Games since childhood. Katniss is a resident of district 12, one of the poorest districts. Unable to move, she is stuck in a cycle fighting for daily survival, until she volunteers for the Hunger games to save her sister and the real games begin.

In America, people of higher economic classes are preselected to “win” at life by being born with advantages lower economic classes do not have. American families are continuing to struggle with their wages and stability, while the rich are getting richer. In a paper published on the Center for American Progress’s website, analysing what the new census data shows about the struggling middle class, research associates state; “Household incomes remained essentially flat in 2013—far below their pre-recession levels—and the share of the national economic pie that goes to the middle class continued to stagnate close to record lows. At the same time, those at the very top claimed the majority of the income growth seen since the recession’s end.” (Miller, Madland) Middle class families in America are experiencing some of the same struggles Katniss had to face in The Hunger Games. These children in middle class families are continuing to fall below the poverty line, affecting their opportunities in life. They are less likely to have access to materials that increase their chances in life, such as education, as those above the poverty line. Real children in America are already segregated by their economic class whether they realize it or not. People generally living in the Kensington area of North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania don’t have the same income as those who live in Gerald Estates of South Philadelphia. Lower income families are separated into neighborhoods with other people of their class, just like the districts in the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games and America have many similarities, despite the “sci-fi” labeling. Katniss may not have been homeless, but if she did not step up and assume the responsibility as the head of the house, she would have ended up hungry and cold like the other children and elders she encountered on her streets. The effects of poverty are shown throughout the Hunger Games, but it can be seen all around America. According to the American Psychological Association, APA, the effects of poverty in America match many things seen in the poverty stricken districts.  “Deepening poverty is inextricably linked with rising levels of homelessness and food insecurity/hunger for many Americans and children are particularly affected by these conditions...Children and teens living in poorer communities are at increased risk for a wide range of physical health problems...Exposure to violence in their communities which can lead to trauma, injury, disability, and mortality”(APA) The mental illness and death that poverty leads to is seen in different regions of America, just as Katniss seen walking around District 12. The people of District 12 were mostly of the same economic class, just as many cities and neighborhoods in America are. The people of higher economic classes, mainly from district 1-4, were very judgemental towards the poor. They were disgusted with the unfortunate, and were very enthusiastic about the games. They knew the chances of anyone from district 5 or higher winning were slim, and the impoverished would dwindle.  

Many people view the Hunger Games trilogy as pure fiction. They don’t bother to see that side of America, but it is here. Real Americans are being judged by their economic struggles and its never ending cycle. Parents generally want better for their children, but how can they give them that when they have pre-selected disabilities based on their income? The hunger games helped bring real poverty into light, and how people of different economic classes truly react based on their preselected fates.


Works Cited:

"Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth."Http://www.apa.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2014.

Miller, Keith, and David Madland. "What the New Census Data Show About the Continuing Struggles of the Middle Class." Name. Center for American Progress, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2014.


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The Most Important Thing in the World

“Kara, say water.”

“Wooder,” I said.

“No, say it right. Like this. Wah-ter.”

“Wawter.”

“You say it weird.”

I hear that a lot. I am a Philadelphian. I don’t say water, I say wooder. I don’t say towel, I say tal. I don’t say aunt, I say ant. This has been something that stood out about my language. Ofcourse, not at home, not in this city, but everywhere else, I stand out because of the words I say and how I say them.

My family and I do a great deal of traveling, mostly in this country. We’ve been to Maine, Virginia, Nevada, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, and most of the local states, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Nothing really stood out about us but the way we spoke.

Most people in all of those states didn’t notice. The state that really noticed our way of speaking the most was probably Tennessee. In a particular place in Tennessee, Dollywood, a waitress there liked to separate the Northern people from the Southern.

“I like the way ya’ll speak,” she said, “and ya tip good.”

I was young at the time, about six.  I didn’t know I was different. To me, she was the one that spoke different. I thought I spoke “normal.” But what really is the “normal” way of speaking?

Everyone in Philadelphia is different, we speak mostly the same way, but some have different words or ways of saying things. Instead of you guys, some say yous. I don’t use this, nor do I ever say jawn, a made up word only known here. But I admit I do say “yo” a lot.

I know that some words I pronounce different, even from people in Philly. For example, the name of my eighth grade teacher, Mr. Rossi.

“Mr. Raw-si. That’s how Kara says it,” I overheard my friend Diana say.

“So? Isn’t that the way everyone says it?” I asked, confused.

“No. You sound British! It’s supposed to be Mr. Rahsi!” she said, laughing.

That annoyed me. If it’s “Rahsi” then why is it spelled with an O?!

After that, I classified my way of speaking as different. People constantly pointed out how weird I said things. I didn’t really care much, it wasn’t a big deal, it was a little annoying, but in reality everyone has a different vocabulary and language and you can’t classify anyone’s as weird, because there is no standard language or way of speaking in my opinion. Now, I would like to go back and tell every person that judged the way I spoke just that.

“It is the most vivid and crucial key to identify: it reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity.” - James Baldwin

Language is what makes you. James Baldwin says it reveals your identity and is the most important part of it. You can tell who a person is by their language. It is what individualizes us in a society. It can connect you to a group or exclude you.

Here’s a scenario. You have a group of friends. You and the rest of a group of people speak Spanish, you fit right in. But there are many different Spanish dialects, and you happen to be the only different one. You feel weird or left out, but really you should feel unique and amazed at how amazing language is and how you stand out.

I, with my Philadelphian accent, don’t feel like I stand out. I feel slightly different, yes, but not excluded from society. I’ve never really gotten bullied, people just said things. My language does reveal who I am. When I can’t think of a word for a certain thing, I say thingy. This reveals my bad memory. I’ve gotten into the habit of saying “kk” instead of ok, this reveals my vulnerability to internet slang.  I added the word “ain’t” into my vocabulary in the second grade, which really ticked my family off, “it’s not in the dictionary!” I inherited the word from friends, which shows how easily my vocabulary can be expanded from others’ vocabulary.

“I’m done.” My friend Darius says a lot after seeing something funny.

“That’s crazy!” My friend Kat says in a high pitched voice after seeing something slightly shocking to her.

And now, when I see something funny I say “I’m done.” When I see something shocking, I say “that’s crazy!” It’s funny how my language and vocabulary can be easily influenced by friends, that I’m around them so much that I talk like them. This happens to mostly everyone. This is how people develop their language. By using others’, but making that into their own.

I don’t remember learning how to speak, gaining all the words I know now, and learning what most of them mean. It’s weird thinking about how big my vocabulary is, and how I got all these words and lessons along the way in my life. In third grade, I won a lot of spelling bees and my highest grade was always English. Grammar and spelling were always my strong areas. I felt happy and proud of myself for being good at it. I’m glad I still have this skill now, for writing.  

As you can see, language is something that I've used throughout my whole entire life, but never really thought upon till now, with this project. I realize the importance of it, how it connects us all as a society, how we get to know each other, and how we identify ourselves. Language is really the most important thing in the world.


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Accent

Accent

The question written on the board in Spanish class was, ¿Que hiciste en la semana pasada? (What did you do last week?)  

Confident in my ability to answer the question, I raised my hand.  I had the perfect answer to the question in my head: “Yo hice mi tarea y practiqué tenis (I did my homework and practiced tennis.)”  

Don Marcos called on a few others while I continuously recite my answer inside my head.  Fearing if I make a mistake, I will be vulnerable to Don Marcos’s harsh criticism.  Finally he calls on Jose, which is my Spanish name.  I start to say my answer, “Yo hice mi...”

Don Marcos promptly cuts me off.  “At least try to fake an accent Jose.”  The whole class erupts into laughter.  I try again, now shaken by his remark and the laughter, “Yo hice mi tarea (the class begins to guffaw again) y practiqué tenis.”  

Don Marcos proceeded to call me a “Gringo,” defined by Merriam Webster as, “A foreigner in Spain or Latin America especially when of English or American origin.”  Originally I did not know what this term meant but the person sitting next to me explained as she chuckled.  Then Don Marcos told me that my accent was something I will work on this year in his class. He then complimented me on my knowledge of written Spanish; this was possibly an attempt to lessen the blow to my confidence.  But the damage was already done.    

My Spanish accent was not always the subject of ridicule.  In fact Srta. Manuel told me that I had a natural accent early last year.  Maybe I rested on my laurels a little bit too much the rest of the year.  As the year progressed, Srta. Manuel made no effort to correct my pronunciation.  I assumed that I still had a good accent throughout the year.  I think pronunciation was most likely not as important to her as Don Marcos.

I just cannot seem to get the sound of the language down.  I believe there are many reasons I struggle.  The greatest reason I struggle to do this is my English dialect has a very clipped rhythmic structure; which is the complete opposite of Spanish’s smooth and consistent flow.  I have also have never successfully rolled an “R” in my life.  Many people have tried to explain to me how to do it; however, most of the the time, the sound just comes out like a fake growling sound as if I were trying to impersonate a bear.      

Since this experience I have lost some power to speak in Spanish class.  Even though I am a confident person when it comes to academics, I now am fearful and afraid of getting laughed at every time I speak Spanish.  My peers are ready for my poor accent, waiting to pounce on my first mistake, whether it would be holding a vowel sound for far too long or using the wrong emphasis in my accent. It has gotten ridiculous lately as even before I speak some people begin to chuckle in anticipation.  This hurts my feelings but I can understand why others laugh.  It is just a natural reaction when somebody is bad at something or dumbfounded. I must confess to laughing in similar situations and thus cannot fault them for it.  

Just last week I was sitting in geometry, my math teacher asked a girl in our class to identify the Y intercept on a graph.  After spending all of last year’s math working on it, I would assume that she would be able to do such a simple task.  However, all that came out of her mouth was “Uhs” and “Ums.”  I must admit to suppressing a few snickers at her confusion.

While people’s self esteem in a school is important, this pales in comparison with what struggles happen in the real world on a daily basis. For instance, in the personal memoir, Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez, Richard’s parents are immigrants from Mexico.  Richard Rodriguez explains his parents struggle when he wrote, “In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, not always grammatical English.  And they would have to strain their bodies tense - to catch the sense of what was rapidly said by los gringos.”  

While my struggles in Spanish class are a problem, I can’t imagine what it would be like if my daily survival depended on being understood by people around me.  This experience in Spanish class has made me more sensitive to people who speak English with bad accents. Before, though I would not laugh out loud at poor English accents, I admit to holding back laughter or snickering on occasion.  Writing this memoir has made me reflect more deeply on what having a poor English accent would entail in one’s daily life.  I thought about the struggles that it would take to even order food with a poor accent because of people’s lack of understanding.  It would also be problematic to get a job because of people’s judgment of you.  These are issues that did not cross my mind before writing this memoir.  

           I also have reflected on what laughing in class at somebody’s academic struggle can do to one’s confidence.  As I said earlier, it is something that most people are guilty of at least once in their lives.  However, I had not been on the receiving end of this type of abuse on a consistent basis since second grade. Now after this experience, with my poor accent in Spanish, I’m going to make a more conscious effort not to laugh at someone’s struggle in class.


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There is Power in Language


“God she such a oreo!”


“Why do she think she all that? Just ‘cuz she went to a white school? Girl please.”


“She need to act black and stop tryna be white.”


“‘Lil white girl wanna-be.”


As I was just ending a presentation on the dangers of childhood obesity and how rapidly it’s spreading, I overheard these words being said about me. I was in the fifth grade at the time. Who these people were saying these horrible things about me, I have no clue. But, since I was so used to it, I just ignored it and continued to my seat. Because I just moved to Philadelphia from the suburbs, I wasn’t used to the slang and terminologies they used and they weren’t used to how I spoke either. Language is very powerful and affects people emotionally.


“Why don’t y’all just leave her alone she ain’t bothering y’all!” said my best friend defending me. We are still best friends to this day.


“Is you rocking with us or that fake cracker?”


Although I appeared strong and unbothered with these side remarks and name calling, inside my heart and dignity crumbled into a million pieces. I’ve always struggled being an African- American young lady who speaks properly living in an urban area. Other African- Americans in my neighborhoods and schools have always viewed me as “thinking I’m better than everyone else” because of this and how I spoke, but in all reality I’m no better than anyone else in the world. They may have not known it, but their words were more powerful than any gun or knife.

I knew why people did not view me as their “homegirl” or “sistah”, but I never understood, and have to understand, why the way I spoke affected them so much they felt the need to belittle it.


Have you ever said something that hurt someone’s feelings but not intentionally? I have. I know what you’re saying, “After all that you went through in fifth grade with those people using their language to hurt you, you do the same?” To be completely honest, yes. But, unlike them, it was not on purpose. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just go around calling people names and hurting their feelings. But, occasionally I say certain things that come out the wrong way, which puts me in a sticky situation.


“Honestly I feel like you’re being too desperate over him. It sounds to me like he doesn’t even like you”


I have said this before to my best friend. She ended up not talking to me for a few weeks, but hey she eventually got over it. As I’m writing this essay, I fully realize how much a jerk I came off as and how much my language affected her. I didn’t mean to be horrible at comforting her about her boy problems, but from my perspective my language was perfectly normal and harmless. I was being selfish and oblivious to her feelings and how my language could have affected her. Many people do not recognize how much of an impact their language has on others who may have a different language from them, which is the mistake I made and had to learn from.


Sebastyne Young, a well known author, once said “A picture is worth a thousand words, but a few words can change the story.” If someone is called beautiful or pretty, they will feel flattered and confident about themselves. But, if someone is called ugly or unattractive, their self- esteem would most likely drop like a roller coaster. There’s a difference between “She’s pretty” and “She’s kind of pretty”. Those two words, kind and of, have changed the entire meaning of that comment. I believe Young is saying in the quote that the things people say and how they say them, even the smallest word or tone of voice, can either build someone up, or tear them down.

Another power that my language holds is the image I that set for myself is the image others view me as. I’ve been involved in so many rumors, gossips stories, etc. and majority of it was not true whatsoever. A story I can remember most is when I was in the 7th grade. I liked this boy and he liked me too, but it seemed someone always had something to say about everything. So, many people would commonly say…


“He’s too cute for her”

“She’s not cute at all’

“Why can’t he date me, I look better”


For a second, I began to believe what they were saying because their words were so  powerful and hurtful. Finally, I recognized that  in order for others to see the  beauty and confidence in me, I had to have confidence in myself. So, I began telling myself that I was beautiful and a princess, and I started to believe in myself. The issue I went through as a tween was struggling to fit it and I cared what others thought about me. But now, since I use my language to encourage myself, others view me what I view myself as.


The power of language has had a major influence in my life, positively and negatively. I learned that my language and the things I say can give a person, or myself, the confidence needed, or take it away if used in the wrong sense. Although I have gotten stronger in letting the words people say affect me, it still happens. I still get hurt, but I just don’t show it. Also, I have worked on my aggressive language towards others. In conclusion, the journey I have encountered with my language has been a long one, and it will continue to evolve for the better.






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Language that Formed ME!

As I made a few steps in this unfamiliar space, they were all so small and slow. I made a big yawn to make my step dad think I was just tired, not nervous. I came yesterday.

“Hurry up, we will be late!”

I started to walk faster. The park we walked by was big and pretty. I never saw anything like it. There was so many things that caught my eye and-

“Come on, you know that they told us to come 30 minutes early.”

His words sounded weirder than usual, since he was speaking English the whole morning, and now it took him a few seconds to process Serbian words he gave me.

“This is it. Ready?”

Nodding my head, I stept in the building; it felt uncomfortable. I walked into a crowd of people speaking another language. English. Soon I will have to learn it too, and just like them I will understand.

The halls were decorated with all kinds of papers, posters and pictures. As I passed by everything got stranger. We walked in the office, and we saw a tall brunette waiting there.

“Oh, you must be Katarina. Hi, I am Miss S.”

When she spoke I was surprised. I never heard a person speak Serbian with such a big English accent, but then again she was born in the US and English was her first language, while Serbian was the only language I spoke.

“Hello  Miss S. Um, I have a question. What grade will I be attending?”  

She smiled and put the papers she was holding down into a small section of the cabinet. The she looked at me again.

“Right. When were you born? ”

“July 1st, 1999.”

“Okay, that means you will be joining the sixth graders today. We only have one class per grade in this school, so that is where you will go.”

“Thank you. What room is it in?”

“311 but today they first have gym, it is in the basement. If you really need help understanding, just come to me.”

“Thank you, and {I pointed at my stepdad} you can go. As you can see I will be just fine.”

“Okay, okay, I will leave as soon as I fill out some papers. Have a good first day.”

I left the office and looked around for the steps. The school was like a maze. Steps to go up but none to go down. I went back and forth, until I saw a railing in hallway behind the steps. I walked up to it and slowly went downstairs. The room was bigger than a classroom, but smaller than a regular size of a gym.

That was my beginning journey to learning English in the US. I started to go to ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and started to slowly understand. The people in my class were so nice that they were trying to be my friends even if I was not understanding what they said. They even half mimed while talking, to help me.

Few months passed and I learned enough English to communicate. Still it was rough.

“Yes, and then I… ummm… how do you say that again? ”

“Say what, Katarina?”

“Umm, for example when you put water into a cup.”

“Oh, you mean pour?!?”

“Yea! Poor!”

“No, you are saying people with no money! Not poor, pour! I pour water into a cup.”

“Ohh!!! Sorry!”

“You don’t have to apologize! You are still learning! It’s okay.”

And then we both started to laugh. I guess that I needed my best friend to remind me of those things. Now when I think about it, I have no clue how I really did it. The classes? My talks with friends? Now in school I am learning Spanish, and it feels like the hardest thing ever.  

  A year passed and we had a new student and she did not speak English. We became very good friends and we helped each other learn.

By the end of middle school I was a person who officially learned English. I no longer processed it in the “translation” in my head.

I started to think in English, and I tried to fix the accent I had over the years.

This summer I went back to Serbia, to visit family and friends, and there was something that disturbed me. I would go into a store and buy something.

“Dobar dan”

“Vas rachun je 1,832 dinara.”

“Izvolite.”

“Prijatan dan.”

“Thank you.”

I would walk out the store and realize that I thanked them in English only a few moments later, when I already walked away.

Learning a new language made me see the world in a totally different light, and I want to explore the world more. Learning it made me think I can learn things easier. It boosted my self confidence.

Just as James Baldwin said in “If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”  “What joins all languages, and all men, is the necessity to confront life, in order, not inconceivably, to outwit death: The price for this is the acceptance, and achievement, of one's temporal identity.” He is saying that we do not need language only for the sake of understanding, but also to show us the identity we have now, but it will change over time. Language has many meanings to different people, and each person gives language a different value. For example, someone that knows 3 or more languages, probably thinks that languages are easy to learn and understand. But someone who knows only one, can not comprehend being able to think on another language.  

Most people had at least one point in their life, where they hate the way they speak or the accent they have. It makes me feel better, that I know someone went through the similar thing as me. And that is what makes us, human beings, same, but different.  

My language learning experiences change my life every day. I hope to learn new languages in the future. I feel that if I could learn one different language, why not try more. I know that’s my goals are a bit challenging. But I want to feel that amazing feeling of happiness that I caught along the way. My challenge begins right NOW!   


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Serge Mass 2fer Revision

Sergei Mass

09/17/14

ISIS vs. US


The United States has just embarked on one of the biggest anti-terrorist campaigns in the country's history against a group by the name of ISIS. Obama has a plan to send in troop’s accompanied by drones after his . The loss of troops in war would be devastating to the United States. Sending in unmanned aircrafts and drone strikes to fight ISIS would be a cheaper and more ethical substitute instead of sending in many troops.


After the US launched their first strike against ISIS in late August of 2014, the leaders of ISIS kidnapped a reporter from the US, who was reporting in Syria at the time. James Foley was an important asset to the US so he can give his first hand opinions and experiences from the group. “Foley was killed on camera by a self-professed member of the terror group. “ (ABC News)  After the live execution, the US was in shock and terror. At that point Obama was outraged. With the use of earlier drone strikes, we could have eliminated ISIS before it spread like a cancerous cell to the Saudi Arabian peninsula. There were two more executions broadcasted after the beheading of James Foley. These inhumane acts could have been avoided with initiative from the US government and stopped this terroristic threat before they got the fame they wanted.Time is something the US cannot get back, it is just a matter of time that one more of these beheadings occurs or if Syria's schools are bomber again. It will lead to a much greater uproar than what is already presented.


ISIS is a very advanced terroristic group and knows a lot more about modern warfare and techniques. They understand the the US has had their hands tied dealing with AL-Qaeda for a long time. They are planning to become our next threat, currently having over 30,000 members nationwide. "Armed drones may provide the administration with a cosmetic military solution for the ongoing crisis, affording the U.S. the opportunity to look tough and engage ISIS without endangering US. troops or creating the impression that we we’re re-fighting a war that we declared over in 2011. " (Defense One) Since the drone strikes would be stealth, ISIS would not expect it. With no time to prepare or move away there will be no safe haven for anyone that threatens the US. The U.S. will have the element of surprise and avoid US casualties with this method.  They will be sitting underground and controlling the drone 5000 miles away in a safe and secure base. The drone strikes will give the U.S. the upper hand, slowly proving to ISIS the U.S. is not a pushover country.


Some may want to argue the statement that “drones would be more efficient and much more safe” with the statement that they would kill our own troops and civilians in the area of the attack, but an online political paper did some deeper research into the subject. Some anti-drone party members brought up a killing of 16 civilian in Afghanistan in 2012, but that was due by a bomb and not an unmanned drone. “Drones kill fewer civilians, as a percentage of total fatalities, than any other military weapon.” (Slate Magazine) With this being said, the drone strikes will lessen the total amount of U.S. casualties in war and also civilian casualties. It may be hard to say the term “safe war”, but the last thing the U.S. needs is more controversy around killings of innocent people. The ones that say that “we are not ready for this type of war” are the same ones that are not ready to move on to a much more advanced time in counterterrorism battles. The more advanced the battle is, the more likely the US will come out victorious in the fight against ISIS.


When asked, The United States Administration of Defense might say that the drone strikes would make the US lose the fight on terror, but on closer inspection, they would cut back on US casualties and cost of war. With the newest anti terrorism campaign against ISIS becoming increasingly serious, the U.S. needs to start getting with the program and into action. Obama declared war and his plan to send troops into the Saudi Arabian Peninsula would be devastating to the U.S. People need to realize that the U.S. is evolving as a county and so are the strategies on how they fight wars. The alternate plan to send in Drones to fight the battle and try to eliminate casualties is a much smarter attempt on this potential deadly war.



Work Cited:

Ferran, Lee. "ISIS Trail of Terror." ABC News. ABC News Network, 10 Sept. 2014. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.

Tucker, Patrick. "The Pros and Cons of U.S. Drone Strikes in Iraq." Defense One. Defense One, 13 June 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.


Saletan, William. "Drones Are the Worst Form of War, Except for All the Others." Slate Magazine. Slate Magazine, 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.


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Jamie Turner's Revisions

Ever since hockey was first played fighting was always a part of it.  It’s a whole element of the game that some think it would change the game if it wasn’t allowed.  Lots of people would agree it should be banned for many reasons but the Professional leagues for the most part say keep it in.  Fighting is only allowed in professional Hockey because of the entertainment aspect and the money it brings in.

When teams whose hometown’s are relatively close to each other’s play each other that usually means it’s a rivalry game.  It’s not common to see a lot of hitting and fighting during rivalry games.  Recently NBC Sports has started broadcasting these games nationwide no matter what city the game takes place in.  This is so new comers see all the physical contact and are immediately hooked.

If the fights didn’t bring in new fans they wouldn’t be allowed.  A lot of fans go to the games or watch the games just to see a fight or two.  If there was no fighting these fans would lose interest therefore making the pro leagues losing lots of money.

Along with fighting comes many injures.  At least 2 NHL “enforcers” have committed suicide in the past 10 years due to depression that is linked to their role on the ice.  The sole purpose on an enforcer or goon is to fight for their team.  Most of the time these players get little to no points a season and are only brought in for big games where they’re expecting a lot of fights.  Without fighting these players may not have lost their lives.  A counter argument to that is that they would’ve never gotten where they were if Hockey wasn’t allowed but a life outweighs a job in any situation.

Fighting is considered part of Hockey.  It’s been allowed in Professional leagues since it all started.  It’s never been allowed in non-pro leagues.  How can something be part of the game if only a select few are actually allowed to fight?.  Rec leagues and school leagues do not allow fighting.  Basically once money gets involved fighting is allowed.  Is that a coincidence? No.  It’s allow about the money and keeping fans entertained.

Many leagues in the East have banned fighting.  There’s a much bigger penalty than just 5 minutes in the penalty box in those leagues.  There hasn’t been any suicides linked to players in those leagues because there is no enforcers in a game of non-fighting.  Ironically these are the leagues that aren’t as popular.  The NHL is without a doubt the biggest league in the world.  They do allow fighting and They do make the most money of any professional hockey players.  

In the long run the only reason there’s still fighting in Hockey. The revenue it brings in is too large to get rid of it.  If it didn’t bring in a lot of money it would’ve been gone years ago.  Progress has been made but as long as players are getting hurt enough progress hasn’t been made. Soon enough it’ll come to an end.  Yes, it’ll change the nature of the game but it’ll be changed for the better.


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Lillipop, Lillipop, Oh Lilli-Lilli Pop

A long road stretch out ahead like a never ending run on a treadmill. Nothing is better than a road trip from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, all the way to North Platte, Nebraska, to see my aunt and her family again after 10 years. On top of that was getting to meet my cousin Jenny for the very first time. My sister Mey and I had talked to my aunt’s family countless of times over the phone and had never noticed the differences between our speech, until we had finally met.

The difference is subtle, subtle yet sharp like the sound of a pin drop. It all started from the conversation between Mey and Jenny.

“Mey, do you want a lillipop?”

“Huh, what’s a lillipop Jenny?¨

“You never had a lillipop?”

Out of all the confusion, we finally realized a lillipop is actually what we call a lollipop. Jenny grew up in North Platte, but had moved back and forth from Lincoln, she had said that most people call that type of candy a lillipop and does not hear much of the term lollipop. I come to realize that it’s not much of the full sentence that has an accent you’ll notice, but it’s the way specific words are said that makes it different.

One day my aunt called out to the little ones and I,

“Kiddos, come down it’s dessert time!” We came down to make ourselves an ice-cream sundae, and I had asked my aunt,

“Auntie can you pass me the caramel?”

Aunt and Jenny laughed, because they don’t hear it often the way I say caramel as “car-ra-mel, while they said it like “carmal.” My aunt told me this part of North Platte she’s in everyone knows everybody or knows how everyone talk, and they would know that I am not from around there right when I open my mouth. I felt as if I was a foreigner who was pronouncing things wrong. I started to feel uncomfortable with meeting my aunt’s friends or to talk to people in the neighborhood. I was a afraid to sound like a walking alien. The hardest part was being approached by nebraskan in that area, since everyone seems to love starting conversations with anyone.

Words are pronounced in many different ways throughout the U.S and some places do share similarities, yet certain places can automatically tell you’re not from that are. People of certain areas are so used to hearing what they normally hear or considers the normal. Just like in Philly with food, if you don’t use hoagie and use sub, they can identify you right there and then that you are not a Philadelphian.

Sometimes it’s the accent that can let people point out what region or place you’re from, it can just be simple by the use of a word that’s uncommon in a certain area. One day I walked into my aunt’s donut shop for breakfast. We told our aunt and uncle that Jenny and us are on a trip to Snake River Fall.

My aunt asked, “Ling, you sure you wanna go like that, where’s your tennis kiddo?

“Huh? I never brought any tennis equipment to Nebraska. auntie.”

“You don’t know what a tennis is kiddo?”

I was very confused until I finally realized she was talking about sneakers. Then on the way to Snake River Fall, we got lost, getting stuck in the middle of no where, which was surrounded by tall fields of grass. Finally saw a ranch when to ask  for which route as in “root” to take, end up realizing they call it a “rut” instead.

It’s the few words that my family and I would say to sound so foreign in that area. I started to notice how different my family and I were. As soon as we ask for directions or when I had spoke, they can tell and guess what part of the U.S we were most likely from. I knew just by the look of their faces, some even started a conversation which ended up asking or guessing what state we were from. I did not mind it at first, but the longer I stayed, the less I wanted to talk, because I got tired of hearing the differences that made me felt like the way I speak was the wrong way my whole life.  When to me, it sounds like they were the funny one. Also how they move their mouth in order to pronounce certain words, I tried myself and it felt very strange, trying to get the word out like how they did.

My mom probably had a harder time than my sister and I did  when it come to speaking without people going,

“Huh, repeat that again?”

She has an accent from her motherland combine with how english is in Philly sounded. We never thought how few words said can make you stand out so much.

A quote from the article “The Woman Warrior” by Maxine Hong Kingstan was, “It was when I found out I had to talk that school became a misery, that the silence became a misery.” It somewhat relate to how I was feeling. Even though it’s a different situation, I found myself double checking what I was going to say to make sure it was one of those words that’s pronounced differently. It’s not bad that they know we’re from somewhere else, it’s the fact that we constantly have to repeat ourselves because of a few words, or how we tend to drop the ending of the words.  

I personally like the experience in the beginning, finding it interesting how only a few states away, a word can be pronounce so different and dominant in an area. As days went on, it got less funny and interesting, but more of an annoyance like a non stop bee buzz.

I really enjoyed my time in Nebraska, saw more cows than I had ever did back in Philly, and they sure do pronounce things in such weird ways. I do like the people we met though, just not the language pronunciation part, I enjoyed seeing their facial expression more than actually talking to them. The way we talk probably sounded really hilarious to them too, even steven I have to say. I can’t wait to visit North Platte, Nebraska again!
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Allison Kelly's Revisions

Lots of adults believe that rock and roll is the leading cause for teenage rebellion. To say this implies that teenagers did not act a certain way until a song promoted it. Considering that a bunch of 16 and 17 year olds made up majority of the first rock and roll bands that changed music and that they only had their own life experiences to write about proves that teenagers already acted this way. This behavior now just began to be the topic of songs. The rebellious stage of teenagers' lives has been the underlying enabler to rock music being one of the most successful genres in music.

During the early ‘60s, The British Invasion was the term used for these very successful British rock bands expanding their music to America. These bands, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks, came in with a bang and changed American music forever. George Harrison of the Beatles proves young teens themselves started rock and roll, being that “Two weeks before his 15th birthday, George officially became a member of the band.” It is true to say that not everyone was acting the, “rock and roll” image before the music got popular, but rock didn’t influence teens to act this way, teenagers influenced other teenagers to act this way. Teens and some of their rebellious habits, such as drinking, drugs, sex, and reckless behavior, have been the root of the rock and roll genre and style, and by this music relating to so many and becoming so popular caused for it only to be influential to those who may not have acted this way before they heard the music.

The Who was another band who made their break and carried over their music to America. One of their most famous songs, “My generation,” contains the lyrics “I hope I die before I get old.” This made a huge statement for the teenagers of that generation because of new topics for their music. Rock and roll was hated by parents and the adult generation because it was said that the vulgar and passionate lyrics promoted sex, drugs, and reckless behavior. Some songs, even some classic ones by The Beatles and The Stones, were banned because of certain lyrics. The Beatles’ very famous song ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was banned because the initials were thought to have stood for LSD. The younger generation now was not only acting out even more as the songs caught on, but they now held a strong grudge against the parents of that generation considering they were being kept from their beloved music. By stating ‘I hope I die before I get old,” was just more teenagers writing about life experiences. “Getting old” to them meant going against all they loved, rock and roll and the lifestyle it brings.

A teenage rebellion article on TeachRock speaks to the idea that “Rock wasn’t just changing the lives of teenagers, but of everyone in some sort of way. Rock and Roll was an expression of that teen rebellion and of the growing gap between generations.” Parents felt their children drifting away, kids acted out towards adults, and adults and teens began to live in two totally separate worlds that despised the other. The media began to speak on behalf of all adults of that generation being as they were banning these songs. Little did they know is that the more they showed the hatred of the music by the older generation by publicly displaying it the more children got on the bandwagon of it. This only gave the teens something to rebel against. Those who couldn’t relate to this music before were now given a reason to listen to it.

The rebellious stage of teenagers' lives has been the underlying enabler to rock music being one of the most influential genres. If the older generation stopped to think about it, they would realize that the promotion of rebellious behavior does not just involve the rock music that was being blamed, but the media that was actually trying to demote the music as well. Teens started it, parents hated it, and the media ended up helping the side they were directly trying to go against. All in all, the promotion of rebellious behavior gave rock music its success.


Work Cited:

"The Beatles Biography." - the Beginning, the Rise, and the Aftermath of the Greatest Band on Earth. N.p., n.d. W

"My Generation by The Who Songfacts." My Generation by The Who Songfacts. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.eb. 21 Sept. 2014.

"OVERVIEW." Teenage Rebellion. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.
3 Comments

The Native American Genocide

Improvements:

In this paper, I changed my thesis. My original thesis was about how the American government has done nothing to help the poverty of the Native Americans. Now I have written about how Native Americans have gone through the longest genocide with the most deaths. One thing that I improved on was my organization. I did so by connecting the end of each paragraph back to my thesis. This was something that I struggled with in my original essay. I also improvement on making the 2fer more of an argument instead of a history lesson. I didn't just state a ton of facts, but I explained each fact that was include in my paper. 

 

2fer Revision:

The indigenous people of America, commonly known as the Native Americans, first came to America at least 30,000 years ago, thousands of years before the European settlers. They made America their home, with a population of 10 million and hundreds of tribes. The Native Americans thrived off of the land, using it for survival. But when the Europeans settled in America, they were enslaved, dispossessed, and annihilated. The Native Americans experienced a genocide that took tons of lives. History has seen some very gruesome genocide or methods of mass destruction, but none of them can be compared to the ongoing holocaust that the Native Americans have endured.

The word genocide is derives from Greek and Latin. The prefix “geno-” is Greek for a group of people, a race, or tribe. The suffix “-cide” is latin for killing or killer. Thus genocide means the killing of a group of people, a race, or tribe. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines genocide as the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group. Native Americans have under went a genocide because they were eliminated first by Christopher Columbus and other Europeans and then by the American government. When Christopher Columbus thought he was the first person to discover America, he used violence and slavery to retrieve gold from the Native Americans. He also forced them to convert to Christianity and introduced many diseases that the Native Americans were not immune to. The American government had its part in this genocide because it passed many laws that allowed it and the American people to remove or kill Natives if they stood in the way of American colonization. All of these things contributed to the Native American genocide because it wiped out a mass population of tribes. The Native American genocide was so great compared to other genocides because so many have died. For instance in the Jewish Holocaust, 11 million people died in the span of 12 years. However, in only three years of Columbus being in America, five million Taino people were dead. Fifty years later, it was recorded that only 200 Tainos were living. It only took 3 years for Columbus to kill 40% of what the Jewish Holocaust did in 11 years.

The Indian Removal Act was another form of genocide. It was a law passed on May 28, 1830 that authorized President Andrew Jackson to give the Native American tribes in the southern states, the unsettled lands of west Mississippi in exchange for their land. Only a few tribes went in peace, but a myriad number violently resisted. During the winter and fall of 1838 to 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly relocated west. Approximately 4,000 died on the march, which was more than a fifth of the Cherokee population. This became known as the “Trail of Tears.” The American government moved the Native Americans out of their land, placing them on reservations with promises of peace, cash payments, and supplies. However they never received any of it. This was a form of genocide because many of the Native Americans died because of the cold weather, starvation, lack of water, and diseases like measles and smallpox. The government’s purpose of the Indian Removal Act was not only to move the Native Americans west so that the settlers could have their land, but to kill them on their way there. They succeed in that, considering the they wiped out ⅕ of a tribe.

There was also a cultural genocide that took place among the Native Americans. A culture involves language, music, art, religion, agriculture, food, and the social life. To destroy a culture is to destroy people’s dreams and spirit. In perspective, destroying a culture is more complex than killing people alone. The American government tried to destroy the Native American culture by capturing and brainwashing the children. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Bureau of Indian Affairs founded American Indian boarding schools. The schools would literally kidnap the children from their families. They were physically, sexually, and mentally abused in order to “kill the Indian and save the man.” The children could not to talk in their native languages, they could not wear their tribal clothing but they had to wear uniforms, and they were harshly disciplined. When these children returned home from boarding schools they were confused and they lost their cultural identity. That lead to suicide, drinking and violence. Robbing Native American children of their culture was a form of genocide because once they were done with school, they either no longer wanted to be a Native because they were taught that Natives are savages or they wanted to be a Native American again, but couldn’t because they didn’t fit in. This form of cultural genocide engendered many deaths and poverty.

Today Native Americans struggle with alcoholism, health problems, and poverty because of the genocide that they experienced. From the day the first European that sailed upon the rich coasts of America, to the present time as many Native Americans struggle with alcoholism, violence, diseases, and impoverishment they have been massacred. Thus the genocides throughout history are not as immense compared to the holocaust that has been enacted upon Native America. The Native American holocaust has lasted for more than 500 years and at least 95,000,000 have been exterminated, more than any genocide combined.

 

Works Cited:

  1. History.com Staff. "Native American Cultures." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/native-american-cultures (Links to an external site.)>.

 

  1. "Primary Documents in American History." Indian Removal Act: (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress). The Library of Congress, n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Indian.html (Links to an external site.)>.

 

  1. Alexie, Sherman, and Ellen Forney. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. New York: Little, Brown, 2007. Print.

 

  1. "Native American Living Conditions on Reservations - Native American Aid." Native American Living Conditions on Reservations - Native American Aid. N.p., n.d. Web. 29Sept. 2014. <http://www.nrcprograms.org/site/PageServer?pagename=naa_livingconditions (Links to an external site.)>.

 

  1. "Racism Against Native Americans." Do Something. Do Something, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <https://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/racism-against-native-americans (Links to an external site.)>.

 

  1. Giago, Tim. "Racism Against Native Americans Must Be Addressed." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 Oct. 2009. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-giago/racism-against-native-ame_b_309017.html (Links to an external site.)>

 

  1. "Racism against American Indian - Native Americans." Racism against American Indian - Native Americans. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. <http://clevelandsearch.com/Native-Americans.html (Links to an external site.)>.

 

  1. "Native American Cultures." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/native-american-cultures (Links to an external site.)>.

  2. Blais-Billie, Braudie. "Ten Things You Don't Know About American Indians." Native American Heritage Programs. Native American Heritage Programs, 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://lenapeprograms.info/teacher-parent-resources/stereotypes-debunked/ (Links to an external site.)>.

  3. "Native American Genocide." The Espresso Stalinist. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014. <http://espressostalinist.com/genocide/native-american-genocide/ (Links to an external site.)>.

  4. "Nick Dispatch." Nick Dispatch. The Odyssey - United States Trek, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2014. <http://www.ustrek.org/odyssey/semester1/110400/110400nicktears.html (Links to an external site.)>.


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Bella Beato's Revision

Today America is constantly improving, but not always improving for the better. With the increase in technology and need for resources Americans are moving in a negative direction. The resources needed for all the technology really moves in a backwards direction. Damage to the environment is inevitable because of the constant change of the world and the standard of the way Americans live. 
With the constant growth of the human race they tear down forest and other natural habitats to make room for high rise buildings with condos and other things are created. Deforestation is extremely harmful to the planet. “The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.” This supports the thesis because it shows how when the world changes and more and more humans are born more and more species die  to make room for us. Humans need trees to breathe and by destroying all of our trees how will humans breathe. Humans need to stop destroying our natural resources and keep our earth healthy.
With the forever growing world of technology more and more people will need to use electricity to charge or power these devices. Humans don’t use the best methods of getting electricity however. “Most of the electricity in the United States is generated from fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil.” This supports the thesis because to get these resources its extremely harmful for the earth and humans will eventually run out of these resources. Humans don't use our other natural resources enough. We as humans, don't use solar power as nearly enough as we need to. When we run out no one will know what to do.
In addition to all of this development, factory framing is growing in the world. Animals are treated poorly and food is becoming genetically mutated. With these growing factories it is killing the environment. “The waste lagoons on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) not only pollute our groundwater, but deplete it as well. Many of the farms use the groundwater for cleaning, cooling, and drinking.” This helps the thesis because its shows by making these factories and not doing everything the natural way it ruins the environment. Americans consume these harmful mutated products and destroy our bodies. But humans don't only destroy their bodies they harm the animals that they mutate.
Although Americans might not think that damage to the earth matters much, their influence goes beyond damaging it the earth to actually killing it. Americans don't consider their impact on the environment when they do pretty much anything. When in fact the earth is affected by everything that we do. 
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