Passing the time, Somehow

 

 

Boredom is when we have nothing to do, we’ve done everything that needs to be done for the day.When we feel bored, we try to find something to do to not be bored, like busywork, which can often be considered boring,  but in the heat of the moment, it’s at least something to do.  Boredom is an attitude that can often lead to great things, like productivity or creativeness with one’s surroundings.

Boredom doesn’t have to be just boredom. When we are bored, we sit around, and most of the time, we look for something to do to pass the time. I often find myself doing chores that I would normally not want to do, especially if I had other things to do. But often in boredom, we fall into a deeper state. A study reported on NPR observed that the more bored people found themselves, the more creative their ideas were for doing something with the surrounding objects. Many were very imaginative and creative with a plastic party cup,Aside from doing ordinary things, we can often see things around us from a more creative angle. When I have nothing to do, I usually find myself drawing or fiddling with the things around me, or on Saturday mornings, hunger and boredom combined usually makes a very good plate of scrambled eggs.

If you aren’t convinced by food yet, consider that whatever you do is a reward or a gift to yourself. A cleaner house, a nice-looking meal, or maybe a little arts-and-craft trinket or drawing can liven up your home or brighten your day. Of course boredom isn’t something that we should be in all the time, just those few occasions where you feel accomplished with your day and you “don’t” want to do anything else. It should be something more after a successful day, to reward yourself with an item or a memory, an experience that you will remember.

But of course, with modern day technology and phones, “we never have to be bored ever again.” NCR’s and WNYC’s podcast host, Manoush Zomorodi, had stated, it “fills every bored moment in our day with entertainment.” It is very much true, I see people, including myself, using my unspent time on my phone, apps, and social media so that I don’t sit around and sharply stare at the slightest movements in the area around me. I usually find myself in situations where there is too little time to do anything real with that small gap in the schedule, like in a waiting office, in the passenger seat of a car, or somewhere else. Especially the bathroom.

I, and possibly others, should try to spend less time on our phones, and a little bit more time in boredom to try and cater to our creativity. I need to see what is beyond the visible and imagine the possible. After all, what can we do?

Question Exploration: Money

What exactly is money? Money is an item, preferably items such as coins, papers, and banknotes, that is recognized as a medium of economic exchange for items that ranged from food, clothes, furniture and services that range from classes, house cleanings, or repairs. To this day, we as people rely universally on money to buy the things I had recently mentioned, money makes the world go round after all. With our extensive use of coins and paper, people soon began to question if money is the answer to our problems in the world. If so, could money solve any sort of problem? Admittedly, it is obvious that money had proved to be quite useful in things like food, clothes, shelter, and general survival. However, things becomes less obvious and more vague when asked if money is able to solve problems like depression or even a death of a loved one. Even with that in mind, I believe that money is a great answer to many if not all problems.

In John Steinbeck’s popular novel, The Grapes of Wrath, the protagonist, Tom Joad, and his family had experienced a money problem. Due to the Joad’s lack of money, the bank had taken ownership of the Joad family’s land and forced them out of said land to make room for the new tractors that would now be working the fields. Met with this unfortunate event, the Joads had decided to venture off to California for work as they have heard about how prosperous and how great America’s Golden State was. This became a common trend in the entire novel as almost every farmer had experienced a money problem and had been forced off their land as they had little to no choice what so ever. However, even with the severity of the problem, this problem could have easily been solved with one simple solution, money. Money could have allowed the farmers to support their family. allowed the farmers to keep their land, allowed the farmers to no venture to California for work. Later in the novel, the grandpa Joad had suffered a “stroke…a good quick stroke” (138) and died. Although the family mourned for their loss, they almost immediately got over it as they knew they still had to get to California and look for a job. Did money just solve the problem of losing a loved one? Perhaps.

I continue my research by looking through my class’s english textbook The Language of Composition, namely chapter seven The Economy. The book refers economy to as “the production, trade, and consumption of goods and services” (393). As I continue to read further into the chapter, I was met with a short excerpt about Barbara Ehrenreich, a best selling author who wrote a book called Nickel and Dimed. Nickel and Dimed is about the author’s experience at working minimum wage in the 1960s; she learned how stressful and low-paying the life of an everyday person was. In The Language of Composition, she talks about “a fat person’s hell” (394), which was having every sort of food around you but the catch it you had to pay for all the bites you take. With that in mind, one would lose all their money at a record pace. However, with sufficient money, this problem could have easily been remedied as one would could eat as much as one want to without the worry of any sort of money problem.

I have decided to look to the internet to help me find the answer to the age old question if money solves all problems. I soon came upon a post from a woman named Kathleen Elkins. The post reads about millionaire Steve Siebold’s research on over twelve hundred wealthy people for thirty years. The self-made millionaire Siebold had found that the majority of the wealthy people he researched on admitted that money had “solve most problems”. As you can see, money is a great problem solver, admitted by the wealthiest people in the world. The post continues to talk about how it may be uncomfortable to believe that money could be one’s salvation as many have believed that money leads to corruption. But as shown from this post, money isn’t always seen as a necessary evil but as more reassuring.

Through hours of research, I can confirm that money is a great problem solver. Money is what keeps us motivated as shown in The Grapes of Wrath. Money is what keeps us alive as shown in The Language of Composition. Money is what keeps us happy as shown in Kathleen Elkins’s post.

How Effective is Our Current Economy?

The theory of economics is based upon multiple waves, the largest being the Kondratiev wave. It is the proposed idea that the economy fluctuates based upon technological advances. Kondratiev waves typically last between forty to sixty years, during which there are four stages our economy goes through. First, there is prosperity, followed by recession, depression, and eventual improvement. According to the cycle, we are currently on the tail end of a recession and about to move into a depression. Why do these constant patterns keep appearing? As a country we should be able to maintain a stable economy, one that will not suffer extreme depressions as in the past. The United States current, capitalistic economy creates unnecessary hardships and needless anger.

Our economy is about to hit another depression, one that could pass the Great Depression as the hardest hitting event in modern times. We as a country can change this fate. The government needs to step in and radically alter our current state. A complete overhaul is needed. I propose for a plan similar to the successful economy post World War Two Britain obtained. Their economy completely changed for the better. Even though taxes were increased, Britain saw rapid economic growth over the next fifteen years. Their industries were nationalized and their welfare state was created, along with national healthcare, pensions, and social security. This socially economic reform could be what saves America from another large and destructive depression. The larger taxes are needed, especially on the rich. Many economists have stated just that, in which the rich need to be taxed more than the poor. Adam Smith, famously stated in The Wealth of Nations that, “It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” Even those in the time of America’s founding realized this important method of gaining revenue. Warren Buffett has around fifty billion dollars, so much that he cannot possibly spend it all well in his lifetime. That money is better used to spread the welfare of the nation. A redistribution of wealth will conducively fix our nation’s economy.

Luckily for us and the survival of our country, a candidate in the upcoming election is advocating for an economic revival. One candidate will implement the economic policies needed to overhaul our country and make America great again. I am talking of course of Bernie Sanders. He plans to follow the path Britain took after the disaster of World War Two and steadily increase our GDP. A more nationalized economic system is vital to improving America’s standing in the world. Reducing the budget, especially the overly large defense fund, will get us the required resources to jumpstart the program. Sanders is the perfect man for the job, having experienced all the cycles of the Kondratiev wave. He has first-hand knowledge of all four stages. Sanders knows of the uncertainty the nation faces during the trying recession and depression stages of the cycle. With him as our nation’s leader, our gross income will remain a steady increase over multiple decades, rather than the constant spikes of depression and economic wellness.

Our current capitalistic economy may seem excellent on paper, and compared to authoritative administrations, is actually good, but compared to the other “top” economies, ours is statistically weaker. America’s free market capitalism promotes competition but weakens the foundation of the nation. Without a nationalized central economy, America will constantly be behind other first-world nation. Canada and Britain both have universal health care and advanced benefits for citizens while the “Greatest Country in the World” does not. All that would occur to achieve this welfare state is an initial tax increase. While tax brackets across the board will increase, most of the taxes will focus on the rich, those people who can afford to give up more of their income for the greater good. Britain achieved post World War Two success using this economic approach. They experienced a steady GDP increase with no major fluctuations, like the ones we currently face. As Britain’s economy reached a stable high, taxes were cut to their original state. The economy stayed afloat during this tax cut, as it was successfully self-supported. America’s current economy is in bad shape. We can fix this through following Britain’s postwar strategy by making a welfare state. The man who can get this done is Bernie Sanders. He will be able to fix our economy to the point of constant success. -Zach

 

Money is the answer to all your problems

  It is often thought that money can solve problems, and that is true, whether it be during the times of the great depression or in 2016. Money is usually thought of as a medium of exchange used to pay for things. It seems that today many problems can be solved solely through money, like paying off America’s 19 trillion dollar debt or just having enough money to pay off college tuition. Either way, money is great and can solve many of the problems that arise in everyday life.

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©2016 Geralt CCO Public Domain

    In the novel, The Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck, we see that the Joad family’s problems start to arise when the land starts to become unprosperous and yields very little profit, and in return they don’t have enough money to sustain the farm and thus, must sell their house and all the belonging in an effort to make enough money for the big move to California, where prospects seem much more promising. This problem that seemed to affect not only the Joad family, but all of America could have been eased if the government stepped in and gave welfare to the farmers, which would have helped stabilize some families that were still able to live off the land, but the government was in no position to do so. Because, the government did not take action, there is a downward spiraling trend that the America’s economy starts to take. For example once the Joads lost the ability to live off the land and the big banks saw farming as unprofitable, then their neighbors lost their farms to the banks and soon the entire state was unprofitable for farming and this was the start of the chain reaction of horrible events that all could have been solved by money. The Joads were continuously threatened by the problem of money as they made their way to California. They had to be cautious as how they spend their money as “they want a lot for a ol’ tire”(Steinbeck 120), and the Joads were not looking for any unnecessary spending. The Joads had to make the drive in fear guessing when the tire would give out. All the stress could have been alleviated if they could they could of bought that tire and know comfortably that they still had money left to make it to California.  Money plays a crucial part in the economy and everyday life. Without it the world would not function.

    Even 30 years after the great depression everyday Americans are pressed with problems of money. In The language of Composition, it goes over the economy and gives several readings about it. One which particularly stood out was a short excerpt from the book Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich goes undercover from her well paying job as an author and takes on the life of an everyday working american in the 60’s. She starts out working as a waitress for a restaurant but soon finds it pays “only about $7.50 an hour” (Ehrenreich 399). With this nominal amount of money she couldn’t even afford to pay her housing fees, so she was forced to compromise and obtain a second job. This means that most working Americans have to work two jobs just to get by life every single day. Ehrenreich later deemed it too hard to live as an everyday lowly paid working american and decided to quit and continued to pursue her career as an author. Millions of Americans have to work two jobs just to get around! They have to endure an enormous amount of stress each day thinking about it they will have enough money to eat or pay the taxes. If they just had a little bit more money than they would not have to look over their shoulder every time they buy food or any other item. Life would be so much easier if everyone had enough money to live comfortably.

    It seems that money is the root of the problems. Money or the lack of it can even split families apart. Shyima Hall a little Indian girl was sold into slavery by her family in order to pay off a nominal amount of money. For four years she had to work 20 hours a day for 7 days a week, constantly being abused by her owners. It was not a happy life and this type of atrocities happened in 1998. To think that child slavery still occurs in the start of the 21’st century, in a time or relative prosperity is just astonishing. A family could have been spared huge grievance if they just had a little bit more money. This is only one of the many cases that have been reported of child slavery and there still remain millions of stories like this that go unreported. Millions of families are living under the poverty line that they must sell their child, just to pay off a debt. Imagine if everyone had money to live comfortably today. How great would the world be?

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    Money is constantly on people’s mind and is a sole source of many problems. With more money people could pay off the debt they had or even just live comfortably knowing that they are financially secured. Money is the cause of many problems, but also the answer to all of them.

An Inescapable Truth

This is an event that happens to everyone. This event happens to at least one person every second. It occurs no matter what race or gender you might be, morals you hold, beliefs you might have, or life you live. It will eventually happen to everyone. It is inevitable that this would happen.

For death is an inescapable truth.

Death may come in a variety of forms: choked, drowned, crushed, shot, beaten, burned, frozen, stabbed, electrocuted, overdosed, and many more. Death is prevalent  all throughout society. Death can be seen in news articles, television, games, or even your own front yard. The concept of death is learned by many through media or possibly a personal experience. I don’t particularly like that children learn about the concept of death so early in their lives.

Nothing is an exception to death. Everything that lives must die sooner or later. It’s like the saying, “What goes up must come down.” Nothing that lives can avoid death.

Well, I wouldn’t say that there are no exceptions to death. The Turritopsis dohrnii, otherwise known as the Immortal Jellyfish, is quite possibly the only living thing that is an exception to death. When it experiences physical harm, gets sick, or is old, it reverts itself into a stage before it was a jellyfish. This ability gives it an indefinite lifespan. Though they can die from predators and from diseases, this animal is the closest thing we have seen to real immortality.

On the topic of immortality, there have been many stories of people that have tried to obtain immortality over the last hundreds of years. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, made around 18th century BCE, King Gilgamesh goes off on a quest to find immortality but ultimately does not find it. Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, searched for a way to live forever and died because of it by ingesting mercury pill, thinking that it would extend his life. Ponce de León tried to find immortality in the form of the Fountain of Youth in Florida in 1513 and like the other tales, he failed to do so.

Immortality does sound tempting. The ability to not die in any circumstance. I think a lot of people would love to be immortal. I myself would like to be immortal, but I can’t ignore the one problem that comes along with immortality.

Immortals would live pretty lonely lives. As the years pass by, the people around you get older while you stay the same. You must watch as your loved ones pass away and you are left alone. Sure, you could always make new friends, but you know that they will die and you would have to continue along without them.

I for one do not like being lonely. I hate the feeling of losing someone. I just can’t handle it. A solution for me would be to have everyone that I think is important to me be immortal as well. That would solve that problem.

Immortality does sound tempting and I would honestly take it if I had the chance as long as the people I care about get it too. I just don’t want everyone in the world to take up this chance as well.

If everyone in the world were immortal, then weapons would no longer be needed. World peace would actually be achievable to a degree. But even though weapons would no longer be needed, they would still be produced. People would still lust for money and power. Resources would be consumed much quicker than ever before. The world would become overpopulated and most likely war would break out for land and resources. The world would most likely fall into chaos.

Death is something that nobody can avoid. I do wish that I can avoid it. Many people do. Some of those people are attempting to extend human life through various means. But for now, we must deal with the fact that we will all die some day. So the best thing to do is to live life without any regrets so death doesn’t matter to us anymore.

Zootopia is pretty good

So in the last two weeks, my family decided that we should have some quality bonding time through the magic of film. When my family arrived at the theaters, we decided to watch the recent Disney film, Zootopia. Now I didn’t know what I was getting myself into as I’ve never seen any trailers or even known about this movie until I actually got to the movie theaters, so I was a bit skeptical about the film. However, once I started to watch the movie, I was met with a welcomed surprise. In the first few minutes of the film, I knew I was going to enjoy the entire two-ish hours.

Anyway let me give you a brief summary of the film. The movie starts with the main protagonist Judy Hopps, a bunny who wants to deviate from the status quo by becoming the very first bunny cop. She soon accomplish her goal and is off to a police station in Zootopia, a utopia where both prey and predators could live in harmony. At said police station, she learns about a missing animals case, a case that had yet to have been solved for two weeks. Judy volunteers to solve the case in order to prove herself as a police officer. She soon enlists help of Nick Wilde, a cynical fox who believes that it is impossible to escape the social constructs of each and every race of animals. With Nick Wilde’s help, Judy Hopps finally sets off to solve the case.

If one had watched the first five minutes of the movie, one would notice that the movie is extremely visually appealing. The movie is also quite colorful making it difficult to not admire the vast array of colors or to turn one’s attention away from the big screen. The film also splits the city of Zootopia into separate division which houses a different environment like desert and tropical. I found this to be a smart decision as the varying background and color would easily catch the audiences’ attention.

I also found the characters in the film very likable with Judy Hopps being the optimistic ray of sunshine and Nick Wilde being the smooth, sarcastic con-artist. They made an interesting relationship as they’re pretty much polar opposites, but it worked and it worked well.

The story was also pretty good. I won’t get into it very much, but I’ll just say that almost all the characters are intertwined in one way or another with the missing predators/mammals case.

In the end, it’s a great movie!

Trafficking Awarness

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Trafficking

     Just recently my school (Fountain Valley High) had a Day of Dialogue to spread the awareness of Human Trafficking. Human Trafficking is the commerce of people, kids or adults who are sold into various locations and occupation who are often paid very little.The most profitable occupation often being prostitution.  A group called Live2free brought light to this subject and did a superb job of inciting fear while at the same time captivating my attention and really brought a sense that human trafficking happens everywhere and to anyone.

They told a story about this little Indian girl named Shyima Hall who was sold into slavery by her family for a very nominal amount of money. She had to work 20 hours a day, often slept in harsh conditions, and continuously verbally abused, and this all took place in Irvine, California. All these years I thought that trafficking just happened in run down countries and slums but no, it happened in Irvine. A place known for its gated communities and upscale lifestyle. To think that human trafficking took place from just 15 minutes of where I live is just frightening.

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©2011 Ira Gelb [CC BY 2.0]

     To prevent more human trafficking from happening people must be self aware about their surroundings and the products they buy. I say this because, even if you don’t know it you may be contributing to human trafficking by buying products that were made with slave labor and the more you buy of that product the more the smugglers benefit which allows them to continue this process.

The only way to put an end to human trafficking and help people like Shyima Hall, is if people band together and spread the awareness of trafficking. There are various groups in your community such as Live2free that you can join to actively participate in to help halt the abominations that are occurring and remember- Everyone has the right to be FREE.

Essay Antics

As AP tests and the end of the year close in, preparations for those tests begin to escalate. As part of that, feedback and constructive criticism can be devastating, but the most useful asset a student has to overcome the AP exam.

Today in English class, we wrote essays in response to a reading we did to analyze the style of writing the author took to make the writing more effective. After I had written my essay, I had realized that I made a poor mistake in my choice of analysis in my thesis and my ideas were poorly organized. I had only realized this after I had written, and wondered on how I could fix this problem. The next day, we did peer reviews, and I got immediate feedback on what I needed to do, including better organization and that I was slightly off from the prompt, and some analytical choices. This was what I needed to succeed, and I was extremely grateful of the criticism because I wanted to improve and score higher on the AP Composition exam. While the criticism is useful, I feel that I need more practice to iron out all the mistakes I would have made on the actual test.

Some people take criticism very sharply and translate it as an attack on their character, but what they need to realize that it is not to hurt them, but rather, to help them. Those who give criticism are not out to hurt you (unless they actually are), but rather to help you improve and succeed, as is the job of teachers.

Another time in my APUSH history class, we had presentations to do, and from what I heard, the previous periods had gotten chewed out. My group was giving the presentation, and after I said some of my lines, I could visibly see my teacher cringe a little. At the end of the presentation, he gave us plenty of criticism and asked us questions, hinting us towards the correct answer that we were so slightly off from. In situations like that, most would have been upset with the teacher’s tone, but I had to stand there and take the feedback. After thinking about this for a little bit afterwards and the following day, I realized that my teacher was not out to get us, but to guide us on the right idea. While others gave their presentations and stood in the front for criticism, I perked up at his words like, “You presented that idea very well.” “You didn’t quite hit the mark, but got very close.” “You are on the right track, but keep going.” These key phrases made me realize that he was not being critical to be critical, but to help all of us prepare for the key things we will need to write on for the AP exam for US history.

I have come to realize that some teachers are sometimes rude and grumpy, but while these may be their qualities, they often aren’t doing it on purpose. They want to help us, to guide us on the right path, to see us succeed in class and in life. I’ll now have to be more keen towards my teachers and the things they say, because while it may seem rude, there is always a deeper meaning and feeling to words.

Fallout 4: A Man’s Best Friend

Ah Fallout 4, you’re the reason why I don’t have a social life! Fallout 4 is currently the latest in the Fallout series developed by the one and only Bethesda Studios, infamous for their bug-filled games. Fallout 4 is an rpg shooter, leaning more towards the shooter side, set in a post-apocalyptic game where the world is stuck in the 60’s. The game starts with the player’s son being taken away and the player proceeds to relentlessly hunt down the man who took him. Well…when I mean relentlessly hunt down, I mean leisurely take you’re time finding your son while you get sidetracked by the numerous side quests that are littered throughout the game.

Now whilst exploring the wasteland, you’ll come across several unique npcs that has nothing better to do but to following you around while judging you and your actions. The companions are but not limited to:

Piper: The bubbly reporter.

Nick Valentine: The robotic detective.

Hancock: The chem addict who’s also a zombie.

Preston Garvey: The one that nobody likes (I like him).

However, none of the companions I have listed even holds a candle to the greatest of companions!

Dogmeat: The dog.

Now there are many reasons why Dogmeat is the best companion in Fallout 4, but the most obvious is that he unbelievably adorable! Even when he’s executing a raider with his steel-like jaws! He’s also arguably the more useful companion in terms of combat. Most of the companions in the game are simply glorified meat-shields who gets a kill every two hours. Now Dogmeat is like that too, a meat-shield who does next to no damage, but he has the added bonus of “holding” your enemies down by biting their arm or leg. This “holding” gives you more than enough time to line-up a head shot to dispatch your enemies at a quick rate.

Now the two reasons I mentioned are great and all, but the real reason why I love Dogmeat is that because he doesn’t judge your actions. As I have previously mentioned, companions will judge your actions though the entirety of the game, either positively or negatively. Dogmeat is the only exception. He does not judge you or your actions but instead remains loyal to you no matter what path you follow.

Truly a man’s best friend!Dogmeat

What is the meaning of life?

 

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©2016Foundry  (CC0 1.0)

No one really has the answer to life. It is left up to yourself to answer that question which is what makes it so great.

Scientifically, the purpose or meaning of life is just to reproduce and populate the earth, but the majority of the world are not scientist. So, I will explain to you guys what life means to me.

Life is the many purposes you are put on this earth for, whether it was meant to be or just an accident. I believe that your purpose in life is not predetermined and you can decide where and what you want to do in life.

I would say a key moment in a person’s life is the time they are in college. They get to learn so much more about themselves and most of all they will pick a career that may stick with them for a life time. College is a time about about exploring and if you never explore then how can you discover yourself. Imagine all the possibilities in life. You could be siting in class one day and discover your love for aerospace and boom, the next moment you are an astronaut. Anything is possible as long as you want it bad enough.

It is very hard to find an exact purpose in life so I like to think of life of having many purposes. Maybe you want to become a parent and raise your child but at the same time you want to be a an Olympic athlete. Both can be accomplished in life. Maybe not at the same time but purposes in life do not always have to take a life time to complete. You might think that is your purpose in life but it is really not. No one can really answer this question except you. Only  you can control you. Fate cannot control your life unless you let it.

Life is beautiful and you should cherish every moment you have on this earth because you never now when your last breath may be. No matter how hard life gets just remember that it is always temporary and that better things lie ahead. Life will always have its up and downs but hey that’s life. When you look back on your life you will realize that there is so much more in life then that one bad moment. You only have one chance and should cherish it forever.