Post-Finals Goals

 

Many students often struggle with their subjects and classes in school, often because of procrastination and lack of organization, myself included within this group. Some of my projects were lazily and hastily done, often at the last moments before a deadline, like my spanish culture projects. My biology notebook is in such disorder that I wouldn’t even dare study from my own notebook for quizzes and tests. I, like many others, need to change my habits so I don’t struggle and become stressed in the future.

 

With the second semester peeking its ugly head from around the corner, I need to be ready to deal with all of the problems to come my way. For starters I need to be motivated to do something, because I can start a good habit, but without motivation or confidence, those actions won’t carry over in the long run. An article by Teresa Mears that I read had highlighted some details that I could use to improve my efficiency, like using a calendar with everything on it, checking it daily, and organizing my items and tools for ease of use and access when doing homework. I hope to use my planner more often as a daily to-do list that I check a few times every day to ensure that I do everything I need to do for the day (I’ve missed a few assignment submissions due to forgetting to check if I finished everything. Yikes!).

With the closing of the first semester and the opening of the second, school will be especially tough as the second half of junior year becomes one of the hardest in my school career, so far. It is probably a tad bit late (very late) to have realized my bad habits, and like the SAT, I need to experiment different styles for the maximum efficiency of my time and resources to get the most out of school life.

The second semester is the perfect time to iron out habits that I need to get rid of or acquire. This will hopefully be successful, and will serve as a late New Year’s Resolution. Day two of the semester, and I am checking my planner more often and ensuring that I finish, publish, and submit everything that needs to be done. I could possibly do my culture project for spanish earlier, long before the due date so I don’t have a project crunch time. I need to stay focused when doing my work, stop getting off task, and distracting myself from work, practice, and studying especially with AP tests only 4 months away. Pinpointing my weaknesses and ironing out the creases on my pants to make myself clean and presentable.

Help out around the house, organize your life, do spring cleaning every season! These are the things I am hoping to pull off and get success from in the future, the short run, and the long run, acquire good habits for life, and take control of my life once again! I’m going to get things done and set things straight, once check mark at a time.

 

Gender Equality

Equality is the state of being the same in status, rights, and opportunities. Equality is something sought and fought for much more than a few years, both racial and gender equality. However, many have argued that we as people are still fighting an ongoing war for equal rights between men and women, this is known as gender equality. Gender equality, also known by other names such as gender egalitarianism, is the view or belief that the genders male and female should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against in any way or form that is based on anything relating to gender.

As my life continues to snail by, I’ve come upon more than a few articles and videos relating to gender equality. This soon got me thinking, what drives inequitable treatment between men and women? What has happened in the world that would prompt mistreatment towards the opposite genders? I have little to no experience in this sort of matter nor do I want to if I’m completely honest, but I like to say that these sort of gender-based mistreatment stems from the need to show dominance. The act of showing dominance tends to happen in the animal kingdom so why not in the suburbs? May not be the best answers to this controversial question but a little book may or may not support my answer. That little book is called The Great Gatsby. 

©2008 Mutxamel [CC by 2.0]

The Great Gatsby sets in early 1900s New York City, more specifically, the twin cities known as West Egg and East Egg. Here we are introduced to our first protagonist and narrator Nick Carraway. He settles in West Egg and meets a variety of unique characters, but no one as unique as the book title himself, Gatsby, the second protagonist of the novel. From the start of their meeting, Nick and Gatsby became close whilst learning about secrets about one  another and about the people around them. In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway has dinner with a couple by the names of Daisy and Tom Buchanan. He soon finds out that Tom is in fact having an affair, Daisy knows this and is strangely impassive about the affair. What makes the matter worse is that Gatsby is in love with Daisy, who is an old flame, and uses their history and his riches to make her fall in-love with him once again. Tom sees this and is absolutely infuriated. Tom almost abruptly becomes extremely protective of Daisy and says that Daisy is his and nobody else. This little event shows that Tom is territorial of his “possessions” and treats Daisy as a trophy instead of a human being. Once he sees someone else wants his “trophy” he becomes infuriated and wants shows his dominance through anger to the opposite sex, even though a second ago he didn’t care about Daisy as he had someone else.

I have continued my research on this gender conundrum with The Language of Composition, a high school textbook. In chapter 8, Gender, I read about Paul Broca, a professor of clinical surgery at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris. Paul Broca and other professors measure the inferiority of women through Anthropometry, the measurement of the human body. Broca measured the skulls of women and found out that the skulls of women were smaller, scientifically proving that women cannot be as smart as men. The professor is supported by two sets of data: the larger brains of men in modern societies and a supposed increase in male superiority through time. Broca’s research has confirmed that males has a sort of natural superiority complex, showing that males will tend to show dominance over the opposite sex. However, Broca was sadden at his discovery saying that “These numbers fell upon poor women like a sledge hammer”. He has also stated that women were also met with “commentaries and sarcasm more ferocious than the most misogynist imprecations of certain church fathers”, another show of dominance by men.

I once again decided to surf the web to see if I can find more examples that would support my answer. I stumbled upon a website called pyschologytoday and read an article that talks about Why Men Oppress Women. The article started with a bit of history on the male dominance on women, with such examples like “in ancient Assyria, the punishment for rape was the handing over of the rapist’s wife to the husband of his victim, to use as he desired”. The author then states that men’s mistreatment of women originated from an underlying psychological disorder, which the author refers it as “humania”. “Humania” is a disorder where it causes men to become brutal and dominant towards the opposite gender.

In the end, one reason for the inequitable treatment between the two genders stems from the need to be dominant.

Derek

Article:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201208/why-men-oppress-women

 

Are Women Really Equal To Men?

An age-old question that has plagued the world for centuries is equality. Fights of equality between races and religion have been fought for hundreds of years. One fight of equality, the most prevalent in today’s society, still rages on. Are the sexes really equal? Are women, who have been in complacent, servile positions throughout history, somehow now equal to men? Certain fields still are primarily dominated by men. Politics and sports have numerous notable men, but very few women exist in powerful positions.

Politics

Women have recently gained a few notable political positions. Taiwan recently elected a female president and Elizabeth has been a figurehead queen for many years. However, they still represent a vast minority in politics. Only about twenty females hold a world leader position. This shows the citizens of male-dominated countries to be apprehensive about allowing a female to lead them. Of course, some countries completely ban women from having jobs. Why would they then have a female leader? Men have qualities that are desirable for a leader. They are sturdy and firm in their beliefs and actions. Women are stereotyped to be rash and indecisive. Even though this may be false, citizens may still view it as truth and block a woman’s attempt to lead. Those successful female leaders have adopted the sturdy, male traits, allowing them to compete amongst the rest of the world. Margaret Thatcher is a prime example of this. The “Iron Lady” adopted a fierce mindset that was completely set in its ways. Women can be successful in politics, but due to the lack of equality given by false ideas of female traits, are not given the chance to rule.

 

Social

The Middle East is a prime candidate for control over women. With deep religious beliefs surrounding women, multiple regulations are effectively law. Notably, Saudi Arabia has numerous actions, not illegal, but severely frowned upon for women. Females are not allowed to go out in public alone. They are required to take a male guardian everywhere. Women in Saudi Arabia are also strongly discouraged from driving as numerous Saudi clerics say it undermines social values. This shows how even countries today view women as the weaker sex, needing to be protected from various tasks. Other nations have more lax rules for women but some still have social stigma attached to various tasks. In many places, a man is seen as the primary breadwinner for the family. Women face accusations of stealing a man’s duty if they decide to work. The man is seen as the hard worker and the wife stays at home to watch the kids. This social concept was more more popular in the 1950’s but still largely remains. This concept was also largely noticeable in The Great Gatsby. Tom Buchanan would frequently command Daisy around, and even ordering her out when the “men had work to do.” Tom made the family’s money, Daisy was there to simply take care of the house while he worked. Social conventions leave in place activities that cause a woman to be looked down upon for trying said pursuits. A complete upheaval in social norms are required for men and women to be socially equal.

 

Sports

For many athletic activities, a man usually performs better than a female. This comes down to nature, men are larger and more musclebound than women. This follows the ancient arrangement of men being animal hunters while the women gathered berries. Hunting animals was far more strenuous than gathering berries so a male grew to be larger. This affects modern sports, as more vigorous sports are dominated by males. Football and baseball are male-dominated sports. In football, testosterone-filled players bash each other repeatedly. A woman entering into this sport would be broken and bloodied by the larger and more powerful men. Women on football fields are cheerleaders, they stand to the side where it is safe. This shows a direct inequality between the sexes, men can play but women can only watch. Another sport where there is notable skill gaps between the genders is tennis. Most men ranked 200 or under can beat any of the top female players. This was seen when the Williams sisters stated they could beat any man outside of the top 200. Karsten Braasch accepted the challenge and easily beat both of them. This shows the direct contrast between males and females in sports, even in a more equally competed sport like tennis.

 

Women have gained respect and generally state they are equal to men. How equal are they really? In political situations, they represent less than a tenth of world leaders. Socially, many nations still impose strict regulations of a female’s daily life. Sports show a stark contrast between skill of a man and a woman. Full-contact sports are solely participated by men. Other sports with fierce women competitors, like tennis, show men as much better than their women counterparts.

Women have gained equality for many different situations over the years, but they are not truly equal to men.

Improving as a writer

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©2007 Colleen Lane [CC BY 2.0]

Over the past semester I have been focused and guided to improve my writing in my Ap English Class. I feel that with the constructive criticism that I received from both my peers and my teacher that I writing skills have greatly increased.

In my class we focused on three main essays, a descriptive, narrative, and definition essay. But the one I focused on most was my narrative.

At the start of my essay I focused too much on the description of places that it turned into a descriptive essay rather than a narrative. I also was not doing a good job of showing the whole story in my eyes. I was telling rather than showing as my teacher likes to say.

As I got more practice, my essay seemed to flow smoother until it was almost perfectly polished. I say almost because I wrote my final draft, but it has yet to be read by my teacher.

Writing a final version of my narrative helped me see most of my  strengths and weakness. One highlighted strength that I saw throughout all my essays was my attention to detail.

     As I wrote my descriptive essay it seemed as if the words just came to me effortlessly and according to my peers, it seemed as if it was my strongest essay out of all three of them. Incorporating metaphors somewhat fluidly into my essay seems to be one of my strengths. I’m not a very good writer at all. Most of my strength came from what I intended to focus on. Descriptive essays calls for lots of metaphors so I think that since I was focusing on how to write better descriptive essays, my skills of  incorporating metaphors became better as well.

On the downside of my strengths there is my weakness which is probably my structure and fluidity of my essays.

I believe that I still need to work on being more fluid with my sentence and paragraph flow. Most of the time I am not able to put everything I want to say on the paper and it comes off as choppy. My writing in general is improving slightly, but I still have a long way to go into become a good writer.

Overall this semester has greatly helped me and lead me on the path of becoming a more accomplished writer.

 

To Be Alone

I wanted the comfort of others. I wanted to be in the company of others. I didn’t want to be left out. I didn’t want to be all alone. Unfortunately, life thought otherwise.

I was not that great at making friends. I had a hard time talking with people I haven’t met yet. This social ineptness has been with me since I was born.

When a baby is born, they are born with an innate temperament that is not influenced by surroundings nor genetics. It is separated into two categories; high reactive and low reactive. The high reactive category can be separated into sub categories: sensitive and aggressive. I was born with the sensitive temperament. People with the sensitive temperament usually are fussy, timid, nervous, shy, and more likely to show their emotions.

But even with these ideas of temperaments, humans are a social species. We want to be with others. We want to interact and connect to each other. I truly want to have friends who will laugh, talk, help, and other things friends would do. But as I said, life finds a way.

I never made friends in preschool. I just tolerated it. I preferred to draw and read by myself. I specifically remembered staying awake during nap-time to read and wait for my parents to pick me up. When I got to kindergarten, I actually made a friend. He approached me first To me, he was the coolest person around. He introduced me to more and more people and as he did that, I slowly gained more self-confidence. But in the third grade, I passed the GATE Test for the GATE Program. The GATE Program stood for the “Gifted and Talented Education Program.” It was a test to find kids who were smarter than others. I was one of only five kids to pass in my school. I had to transfer to another school because there was not a GATE Program class in my school.

I lost everyone. I had no more friends. Strangers surround me once again. I had to start all over again. Or did I? As I said before, four other kids passed the test with me. So I thought, “All I need to do is attach myself to one of them that knows me and then I will gain friends again.” I did so and then I gained friends yet again. It was a perfect plan. I had a group that I continuously played with. We even had a group name. But life struck once again.

Nearing the end of the fourth grade my mother got a better job at another bank. The problem was that it would become hard to drive my brother and me to our different schools. My parents then decided to transfer both of us to schools closer to my mom’s work. I lost my friends once again. I was surrounded by strangers for a third time.

I had no one to help me this time. Everyone had already made their groups and cliques by the fifth grade. I had nobody. I couldn’t really talk to anyone because I always depended on someone else. I never got to develop my social skills because of that. At this school, the closest thing to a friend that I had was a kid that asked for a piece of my lunch everyday. I walked around the perimeter of the blacktop for fun for a month. I developed a long time habit because of that, but that is irrelevant. I finally made friends when a kid asked if I wanted to join their game of handball. I agreed and I didn’t regret it. I became integrated with this group of friends. I would consider them to be the closest I have ever been to a group from school. I got invited to parties and would hang out with them every chance I got.

We all went to the same middle school, which was great. The great thing about the GATE Program, which I didn’t experience in the other school, was that everyone in it had at least four classes together. This allowed me to actually try to develop my social skills since I was stuck with them for three years. I got to have more friends than I ever did before. But life had other plans.

In high school, I thought that my group of friends would stick together just like how we did in middle school. That wasn’t the case. One friend went to a private school. The rest joined clubs and sports and began to hang out with the people in those groups. I was left alone. My social skills were still underdeveloped. I became desperate. I looked for a person or a group to latch onto. I did find one within the first week, but it was not a good decision. They were not a good influence. They were rude and not that intelligent. Some of them did things that I would consider to be morally wrong. It, unfortunately, took me over a year to realize this. Maybe it wasn’t that it took me a year to realize this, but it took me a year to break my fear of being alone again if I left them. I found a group that I believed was full of good people and joined them. I’ve been with them ever since.

I’m still afraid. I know that our group with break off when we go our separate ways to different colleges. I don’t want to be alone again, but I know it will happen. I just want people to remember me. I joke around, make fun at myself, and laugh a lot to make sure at least one person remembers me. If one person remembers me, I won’t feel as lonely anymore. I will try to make the most of the time I have left before we all go about our separate paths. I just hope that I won’t be forgotten.

Why do people play video games?

Video game, an electronic game that involves human interaction to manipulate the images that is produced by a computer program which is then displayed on a TV screen and/or a computer monitor.

However, what makes video games so entertaining for others? Is it because of the visuals, the need to escape the real world, or something to pass the time? I for one, love video games as I find them quite entertaining and a great way to pass the time and unwind after a long day. Of course, my thoughts cannot account for the millions of others who enjoy video games. As a result, I decided to do a bit of researching(google searching).

Video Games, Controller, Play, Fun, Computer

©2015 fancycrave1 [cc by 2.0]

First, let’s account for all the different genres of video games that are available in the world. The genres consists of plat-former, shooters, fighting, hack-n-slash/beat ’em ups, stealth, role-playing, rogue-like, fantasy, sandbox, massively multiplayer online, and the list goes on. Depending on what genre of games one likes, represents the person themselves.

Let’s focus with the role-playing games or rpg’s for short since they’re my favorite. Role-playing games usually includes things like open-world, non-linear, story-telling, and character creation. There are several reasons why I and many enjoy role-playing games, one being the freedom that the genre offers. It gives players choices and decisions to alter one’s game, making each play through never the same. Another major reason that people love the role-playing genre is character creation. It allows one to create a character to one’s liking, fat or slim, tall or short, the decision is up to the player’s and the player’s alone. However, the most important reason why people are drawn to this genre is that it gives the players a sense of control. Similar to character creation, the player can alter their character’s personality, choices, etc. Role-playing games empowers the players as it allows them to do whatever they want.

People play video games for many reasons, entertainment, relaxation, control, social interaction, etc. Video games provides the player’s these specific needs which is why people are drawn to this sort of entertainment and continue to this day.

Derek

 

The Final Empire

Everyone is always telling me how reading is a great thing and how it improves my vocabulary and makes me wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I love books but, everyone just has the wrong ideas about them. The true reason why we read is not to get smarter or improve our vocabulary. The true reason why we read is because we truly enjoy it. We read because we love to go on adventures we couldn’t think possible without the use of books. One of my favorite authors, George R.R. Martin, says, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”

Today I want to bring you one of the most unique fantasy novels to ever have been written. This novel is Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. This is the first novel in a series of books. What makes this book so special is the world the story is taking place in. the world is so unique and different compared to the places we are used to. This world is plagued by “mists”. No one knows what they are and have started to regard them with a sort of awe or fear. The most interesting part about this world is the people. The people have a small chance of being an allomancer. An allomancer is able to “burn” certain types of metals and gain physical or mental properties based on the metals they burned. An allomancer is only ever able to burn one metal and they do not get to choose which one, they are just born with it. Sometimes a really unique allomancer comes along who is able to burn more than one metal. They are able to burn all the metals and are called misborn. Mistborn are very rare and are regarded with a sense of utmost fear because all the people of the land know what they can do. The way these people burn their metals are unique. They have to ingest the metal by swallowing it and from their they are able to “burn” their metal for their powers. I cannot even begin to explain how great this book is. I can barely touch the surface of it all. I highly suggest reading this amazing book. I would give it a solid 9/10.

It’s cold Outside.

Outsiders are what the name implies: you are outside, not a part of anything. It sure is tough living life as a complete outsider. You don’t know anyone, you can’t trust anyone, so you feel alone. Honestly that is a feeling that I absolutely dislike, because then, you have no friends to talk to, nobody to share anything with or find anyone similar to you, so you have to make friends with everyone, otherwise you are still alone.

Its because the thought of being alone is acceptable at first, but as time progresses, you slowly learn that you need someone to talk to in your life and how life is pretty pointless without people, like how crazy people stranded on islands are somehow fictionalized to have coconut friends with faces on them. Loneliness literally drives people insane.

Likewise, when I first transferred to middle school from my elementary which had oddly extended to 6th grade, unlike the rest of the schools in the district, My few friends and I found ourselves in a whole new Jungle. Everyone here had already known each other from the year before and already formed their own friend circles. Being new and a year out of place, we had no idea how to go through middle school life, while everyone else around us went on with their lives. However, like lost tourists, we could always ask the locals for directions. Being more social than me, my friends were quick to make other friends, but being socially shy, stubborn, and awkward, I initially shied away from people I didn’t know and made little interaction with them as possible. I feared that if I somehow messed up introducing myself or acted awkwardly or just embarrassed myself, I’d be permanently known as the guy who messed up, the outsider. If I had tried to jump right in and make friends with everyone, that previous sentence would apply and I’d prematurely back out of the encounter. Of course I wanted more friends, I just didn’t know how to get them.

So I tagged along with my friends who had already introduced themselves to everyone else, and just followed in their shadows. I often sat on the outskirts of group circles during lunch, just tensely but acting as calmly as I could, observed everyone else, did my best to introduce myself, join in, but because I hadn’t known everyone else, it would be hard to change from a foreigner to a local myself. About a month into the school year, way too far in now that I look at it, I had learned everyone’s name and sort of wedged myself into the line. I had gained their respect, I guess.

By the second month, I was integrated into the group of friends, and I had gotten to know about half of them. I didn’t know everyone at the school, but I had gotten enough friends at that point to call it quits. I was able to get friends and be satisfied with my progress. High school was easier because I entered with more friends than two years prior, so I was mostly satisfied with the friends I had already, but still made friends as the months went by.

Recently in high school, we read the Scarlet Letter, and as a part of the reading, we developed that the main character, Hester Prynne lived without a large community, but thrived with herself and her daughter in their own tiny community. Like then, I could fare well, despite the odds.

So, being a complete outsider is bad, but if you can become an insider in at least one thing, you’re already fine. You don’t need everything, because often the bare minimum will get you by. Make friends with people who really want friends, they might appreciate it, like me.