Blog 17

In history class, we are currently learning about the Great Depression, and the incompetence of Hoover.  So at this time, Hoover enforced a hands off type government, as in he didn’t develop a strong government, which aided the suffering of the people.Don’t worry, I’m getting to the point. Without the governments help, the people struggled and until FDR came in and introduced the New Deal, which provided government help for the people. I think a strong government is helpful, of course, maybe a government smothering all aspects of life could be detrimental to each individual. A government should provide help and structure as a whole, which extends to the individual. In the world, there have been so many different types of governments ranging between dictatorships to anarchy. So what works best? There is no answer. Each individual has different needs and different opinions. Some feel one person being in charge such as a monarchy, someone who they associate with god, is the right way to go. They feel safe with one mind controlling what happens. Others want a more open government, a type of government where everyone has equal political power, such as an isocracy. Some want no government at all, they want anarchy, everyone meets their own needs and demands and there are no laws in which to live by. There are some that fall onto medium grounds, like a democracy, where everyone votes for one person to be in charge. Personally, I think everyone should be equal, we should all share and work together with the belief that everyone and everything matters. Not really communism, or socialism, but maybe democratic socialism. A protest that breaks laws, but is structured and organized as to not harm any individual or system is very effective. Peacefully demonstrating your beliefs and or voicing your beliefs, though doing it in such a fashion that it draws attention yet doesn’t harm anyone. This is the type of protest that has created movements throughout history. Today you can find protests and rallies all over the place. Although when rules are being broken, such as civil disobedience, it can effectively bring a debate or belief forward. If one is willing to break rules yet be civil enough to not harm anything in the name of their belief, a sort of moral standing is developed, one that gains respect of others and possibly convinces them to have a similar mindset as yourself. Sometimes you must break a few rules to get your point across, but you do not have to fall into anarchy.

 

Forget society, be one with Nature- Blog 16

Thoreau’s writing style is a stark contrast to Emerson’s writing. The topic’s they write about are in the realm of Transcendentalism, although they bring these ideas into their writing through different methods. Emerson and Thoreau both think of Nature as ultimate and a place where everything is equal and simple. They also both think the writer of your story is you. They one who determines our lives is ourselves, and we must count on ourselves and no one else to achieve absolute. The first half of the excerpt is simplicity. Live life using only the bare essentials and cut out all other unnecessary things that clutter true happiness. The second half of the excerpt, or the conclusion, is about Thoreau drawing conclusions from what he did in the woods and how he lived, to what he learned. I think a major benefit of living in the woods is truly appreciating what the world has to offer and not taking little things for granted. You could find use in the smallest things that you once overlooked. You could get back to nature and connect with the earth in ways you never did before. You would learn to cherish the earth and nature and the animals and the land. I would miss my family and my friends and especially my dog. I would also miss indoor bathrooms, running water, funny cat videos and the ease of modern life.  Honestly, you never know what kind of person you are, or what you would do in a specific situation until you’re faced with it. I could say I’d be able to leave behind society to live in the woods for two years, maybe  for the reason of evading taxes… but until I am faced with the decision to throw society to the wind, I can’t really say. I would like to think I could. Nature is beautiful and I’ve always loved the woods, although, it could prove too difficult for me to sustain living in the woods, but it does sound very appealing. Hopefully someone today would read a transcendentalist work and realize that we, human kind, are not above anything else in this world. We are one, we are Nature, and we should see the beauty in it, and see it as our equal. And also, be able to recognize that we should rely on ourselves, not other people to find our way.

 

 

No wonder you’re not a math teacher… Blog 14, again.

A long, long time ago, in a land, far, far away, a man whose name I shall not say, created accelerated reader. And thus started the decline of adolescent happiness. On one hand, the introduction of graded reading could open children’s small minds to a world outside of this little box of reality that society allows. On the other hand, children may decide they hate reading because it’s been forced down their throats. And after school, may actively avoid cracking open a book longer than a few chapters, in fear of reliving the horrible pain inflicted on then during their childhood. Although, in my own opinion, I truly love reading. Except I found my love of reading outside the crushing walls of classrooms, and away from the droning voices of teachers. The overall concept of reading being instilled in schools is not crazy, in fact, I think it’s wonderful and helpful to children. Not only does it help you, the reader, become a stronger writer yourself, but it also gives insight into other opinions, and topics you may never have thought about. The book I chose for independent reading is called Even The Darkest Stars. I chose this book, wait for it… by the cover. No, actually, the title drew me in, mostly because I love astronomy. When I read the title, I thought it would be a very interesting book to read, and it was different from other books I have read, which is always nice. Okay, so I have already read well over half the book, so give me a moment while I reread the first chapter. So after reading the first chapter, I was really intrigued by the setting developed. The entire book is set in a fantasy world where there are dragons, and magic, and mythical creatures. I thought that the main character would try to meet the royal explorer and make a fool of herself. Which, inevitably happened. I really love how this book is different to anything I have read prior. I am not really sure how I will add in all the events and elements that are in this book. The amount of special effects that would have to go into a trailer is outrageous. Though I will try my best.

 

Good, or just resisting the urge to be bad; Blog 14

 

I think transcendentalism is a very interesting belief. With this belief, everyone is connected, and everything is connected. We are just a small part to a whole. I personally believe that everyone and everything is connected and a piece of something larger. Are we each a small part of god? I’m not sure, but each of us has a role in life, whether each person’s destiny is mapped out or not. Both “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” resonated with me. Each in their own respected ways, but both none the less. Now on the subject of humanity as a whole being naturally good or evil. It’s a concept many people have struggled to find an answer for. There’s not one answer that can be applied to humanity, as each person is different in many ways. On one hand, many believe we are born good. Although, there are children who are “evil”. Some are psychopaths, and destructive, and violent, and malicious. But before we explore this topic, we should break down what “good” and “evil” really mean. Someone who is “good” may be kind, and helpful, and have humility, and integrity. There actions have good intentions, and help people just to help them, because they want to. Now someone who is “evil” may hurt people because they want to, their intentions are bad. Also, we can’t separate people with

   

these labels just by looking at their actions, because someone who does a good thing might have done it for the wrong reasons, and vice versa. The concepts of “good”, and “evil”, come down to intentions. So what are humans intentions? Well, it differs from person to person. One person may have pure intention, another may have malicious intentions. Humanity as a whole can not be labeled as either “good” or “evil, because each person is different. An obvious example of this is war. When we think of war, we think bad, which is true. War itself is bad. So is everyone participating in a war bad? No. Most people in a war are fighting for their country, their freedom, their beliefs. That’s not bad. They are fighting for their families and those who can’t fight for themselves. So war is bad, but the people aren’t necessarily “evil”. Humanity as a whole is just a collective of billions of individuals, therefore, one cannot say it’s good, or evil, it just is. Each individual may be good, or evil, but Humanity cannot be. And on that note, each person has the potential to be both good, and evil. Each individual is a mix of both, they can be “good” sometimes, an “evil” other times. Good and evil are both very vague concepts, and trying to label something as either one or the other is foolish. Does anything purely “good”, or “evil” actually exist? Or is everything just a collective of positive and negative events and intentions?

 

 

Hindsight is 20/20; Blog 13

 

Everyone has argued about something at least once in their lives. We all have our own opinions about issues and things, and when we face someone who has a different view on that issue, an argument may emerge. Sometimes arguments can have positive effects, such as both party’s learning and understanding more about that issue, and possibly even rethinking their beliefs for the better. Other times though, which is almost everytime, neither party’s learn everything, and their argument was just verbal attacks against the person and their opinions, nothing of which is supported by facts. Arguments can range from something like the existence of Narwhals to a more controversial topic like if Donald Trump is actually a Cheeto in disguise. Yeah, that toupee is really fooling us. People sometimes have facts, but very little, and they are usually from unreliable sources such as Facebook and or Instagram. This is true not only for teens, but for adults as well. I think as a society we’ve come to just agree with whatever is said instead of doing research to see if it’s actually true. Everyone debates in pretty much the same way. We slip under the other persons bed, wait until they fall asleep, then once they have drifted off, at about three in the morning, we scream at the top of our lungs, “Your argument is invalid”. They panic and wake up terrified, although by this time we have already climbed out the window. We repeat this process every single night until, finally, their spirit has been broken, and they succumb to reality that you are correct. Or is that just me? Anyway, I think the best debate in class was probably Liz and McGarry, because it was interesting and the both people had strong arguments that were stated clearly. I would like to think the way I argue will be improved and informed, but in all honesty, it’s probably not going to change at all. I will still keep the same way I argue. At first, writing the debate was hard, and i stood in my own way, trying to figure out what to write, but after I took some time to really think about my argument, It was much easier to build a persuasive argument.

The Great Debate… Blog 12

At first, I wasn’t really sure whether marijuana should be legalized or not. After doing extensive research for weeks, I have finally come to a conclusion. Marijuana should be legalized. Tobacco and alcohol are both legal, and statistics show that they do more damage to the human body than marijuana ever could. After learning more about the effects of marijuana, both positive and negative, I’ve have research suggesting that there are more positive effects of the legalization of marijuana than negative ones. Something I found very interesting was that when smoking marijuana, users are exposed to higher amount of carcinogens than found in tobacco.And while the association between smoking marijuana and lung cancer remains unclear, marijuana smoke does contains about 50% more benzopyrene and nearly 75% more benzanthracene, both known carcinogens, than unfiltered tobacco smoke. It’s interesting because i originally thought that marijuana helped with eliminating cancer, and while studies have shown that’s true, there are also cancer causing elements within the smoke.I found this from the Alcohol and drug abuse institute. My emotional and ethical appeals tie in together in one aspect of my argument. But for just emotional, it’s also possible that legalization of marijuana could lead to increased incidents of accidental or over-ingestion, especially among children. Studies have suggested there’s been an uptick in marijuana-related hospital visits. When it comes to children, some say that as with other substances, parents should ultimately be held responsible for keeping these substances out of the hands of kids. Of course, underage kids accidentally or illegally eating pot brownies aren’t the only ones getting too high on edibles. With marijuana now legal in some states, it would make sense to see larger numbers of people who have gotten too high turning to hospitals for help, where in the past they would have been scared to admit illegal drug use. It’s worth mentioning that there isn’t much a hospital can do for these patients, besides supervise them and talk them through it. Ethically, people see drugs as bad. So of course I had to involve this, which also has emotional appeal. It’s possible that overuse of marijuana can lead to abuse and addiction, which can hurt a person’s relationships, their work and their health. It could also keep them from realizing their goals or develop themselves fully.Still, if someone’s not prone to addiction or can use without causing any great impact on their life, it seems like an allowable indulgence. Used in moderation, there doesn’t seem to be anything inherently wrong with it, but what counts as moderation? It depends so much on the person and whether they’re prone to be addicted to it.One of the problems is that you can’t really know in advance. There’s no way to know for sure if anyone will become addicted to marijuana. You don’t know what type of person you are sometimes until you start, and then it might be too late. Addiction harms the body, and we’re obliged to take care of ourselves, and it hurts those close to us. That risk is a place where the waters get muddy. You’re taking this risk that may have an impact on yourself, it may have an impact on your family — for merely an indulgence. It may turn out well, it may not, but if you can’t know, it seems to be a reason to proceed cautiously, at least. I wanted to go more logical for my constructive, but this ethical appeal was too large to ignore. I think the logical appeal to my argument, for me, is most effective. Although many just use ethical appeal, and have been using ethical appeal for years, which is why marijuana has remained illegal. On the opposite side, people use that fact that tobacco and alcohol are legal as a reason for marijuana to be legalized. One fallacy is that marijuana will lead to other, harder, drugs. One fallacy for the positive side is that, if it’s not legal, people will continue to abuse it and it will fund illegal activities. Never make up things, have everything based around facts. 

 

  

The steaks have never been higher; Blog 11

The topic I have to debate is the legalization of recreational Marijuana. I am debating against the legalization of recreational marijuana. I don’t really favor either side too strongly. On the one hand, if it were to become legal for recreational use, the government could make money off of it. This could potentially boost the economy. Although, marijuana poses possible threats of car accidents, and health problems to those who smoke it. Marijuana can effect brain development. The use of marijuana can cause lung problems such as lung infections, and lung cancer. It lowers your awareness and reaction time which could lead to an increase in car accidents. When looking up the legalization of recreational marijuana, many sites come up about which states are legalizing recreational marijuana.  Also, many sites predict which states will legalize it in the future. There really are no sites about the pros and cons of marijuana though. My logical approach to the legalization of marijuana is that even if marijuana  becomes legalized, drug tests will continue to be given, and you can be fired from your job. Also, a business can not allow both alcohol and marijuana consumption, making it illegal to smoke it in a bar. Multiple public places will still prohibit the use of marijuana, so smoking it outside could get you arrested. Marijuana can cause lung problems, mental health problems, and heart problems. Drugs are bad, ask any doctor. Almost everyone will agree that taking drugs are bad, and that they should not be legalized. Marijuana is also a drug and has an addictive nature. An emotion related to this topic could be fear. The fear that car accidents will increase, and that marijuana could make some people addicted, and could ruin lives. I think the logical appeal will be the most effective, but the ethical and emotional appeal will help to persuade anyone who is still not sure of legalizing marijuana.

Blog 10: To Believe or Not to Believe?

The first amendment to the US Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Introducing religion in schools could potentially hinder religious freedom for students. Also, let’s not forget that there are laws in place to prevent the merge of Church and State. Religion is an important aspect in many American’s lives, although, we don’t all worship the same god. There are roughly 4,200 different religions in the world, each with it’s own belief system, higher power, and ways of worship. If religion is introduced into schools, how can we assure no student’s religion is left out? What religion would be taught? What if there is no school that shares your same beliefs? Student’s who have different beliefs than the majority of the school could be excluded from class discussions or activities, which could invite prejudice. This could potentially cause intolerance in children. Children would be separated by religion, so they might see other religions as alien and shy away from people who have a different creed. Religion can spark conflict due to strong opposing beliefs, which could cause violence, and bullying within schools. Separation of Church and State allows for religious freedom among impressionable children. There is a fine line between teaching and preaching, and if religion is taught in schools, beliefs could be imposed on students. America was built on the foundations of religious freedom, it’s why America seemed so appealing to many people. Of course, some people don’t believe in a god. According to multiple studies, the percent of American’s who do not believe in God, a god, or gods, is over a quarter of the population. Students are taught information, facts. With the amount of different religions, or lack there of, there is no set way to teach religion without discrediting any beliefs. Religious beliefs also go against some topics taught in schools, such as science. Also, with the inclusion of religion, some parents may be angered by the teachings in schools. They could want their child not to participate in religious activities due to different beliefs, which could take a toll on public schools, seeing as how they run on taxpayers. Of the American public, only 34% of people oppose separation of Church and State. Religion is very important, though to each person, that religion is different, which could cause unwanted conflict. No religion is wrong, although it may be better to keep religious teachings away from schools.

To Be A Better Person; Blog 9

 

So the first virtue on the list was cleanliness. With copious amounts of access to showers, and hygiene products, there was no problem staying clean. The next virtue was empathy. I have never had a problem with empathy, and can easily understand what others are going through, and why they do what they do, usually. I had no struggle with this virtue. Frugality, what can I say? I have no money to spend randomly, so I had no problem with this virtue. The next was sincerity. I didn’t face any problem with being truthful. Just in case you were thinking i’m a horrible person. With this virtue, I had trouble because of my strong sense of sarcasm. I can’t remember any specifics, but I am 100% sure there were a few sarcastic remarks throughout the past five days. Temperance wasn’t hard, since I can’t drink alcohol, and also I was pretty busy the past five weeks so I had no time to binge watch Netflix, eating whatever I wanted. Moderation showed me no problems the past five days, I don’t really act out or go to extremes. Justice was not hard either. I wouldn’t harm anyone or anything unless in danger, or trying to protect another person. Silence was hard because I have meaningless conversations with everyone, about everything. I can’t help it, if I think of something, I strike up a conversation. Unless i’m in Spanish class, I maybe utter 10 words the entire class. Humility, of what I can remember didn’t pose any problems these few days, of course I am not perfect, but I don’t gloat or speak really highly of myself usually. Socialization wasn’t too hard, only because I actively tried to be more social. Though on Saturday I wasn’t too social later in the day. I’m not very organized, so Order was a bit of  an issue, but for the most part it was alright. I only faced hardship with Resolution on Wednesday, but I kept my word, and did everything I was supposed to the rest of the five days. My biggest struggle was with Industry, surprise, surprise. I procrastinate, a lot. I procrastinate on waking up. I procrastinate on doing everyday things. I procrastinate on homework, and I procrastinate on anything else that I have to do. I don’t know why, even If I know it will have detrimental effects, I still procrastinate. I stress about everything, so Tranquility was killing me. I worry about worrying too much, that’s how much I worry. And because I worry about everything, I over analyze every situation, picking apart every possible thing that could go wrong. Nuclear war starting when I wake up? Check. People I love dying? Check. Sun exploding killing everyone on earth, and the entire solar system? Check. This habit of over analyzing led me to have a couple dots for Adaptation.Though there wasn’t much that was changing these past five days. Over the past five days, I wasn’t a perfect person, of course. I have flaws, like everyone. At least i’m not a serial killer. Or Adolf Hitler, or Donald Trump, they’re the same person right? You see? There’s that sarcasm again.

Happiness is for the weak; blog 8

At first I found it very confusing, the amount of allusion and metaphors packed into each stanza proved difficult to grasp. After reading it 23 times, I still do not fully understand the true theme of the poem, but I do know it is quite deep. When you first read it, you will not understand it. There is no doubt in my mind- you can not read it once and understand it. In the first stanza, is the road the speaker is describing literal or metaphorical? If it’s literal, then I believe the speaker is walking through the desert at night during a thunder storm, If I were to take the imagery literally. Although, if the imagery is metaphorical, then the “road” could be a metaphor for the road of life, the path everyone takes. And the speaker is contemplating life, and how desolate and lonely it is. Or it could be that the speaker is going through an existential crisis, or reflecting on his perspective of life. Honestly, I am not one hundred percent sure what exactly the poem is about, but I think I have a general idea. As I have said before, the poem has a deep meaning. The speaker is saying how people live their lives without truly being happy, but do not do anything about it. He talks about society and tells how we are but a cog, we are just a small part of society. And goes on, implying that the only way we can change this is if we ourselves break out of it.  Smile, a simple solution is to smile. But that is not it, a smile can only run skin deep, and there can be no real emotions behind it. So the speaker has no hope because of this revelation, and says how we are just playing a part in a story, and that we don’t notice, that we are not aware. Then the speaker says there is no audience, which I interpreted as we are alone. There is no one to lead us, there is nothing we can do, we must carry on. I used the multiple allusions in the poem to form my thoughts on the poem. One poem that is very important is “Thoreau’s quiet desperation”, which says that most people go through life unhappy, which resonates with how I interpreted the poem. Also the allusion “dynamo of night”, which is alludes to how we are conformed into society which also helped me to come to a decision on what I thought the poem was about. To be honest, I feel like this poem is like a sophisticated version of a teen angst poem.