Racism- How Far Have We Come As a Country?

     In my English class, we just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.   As anyone who has read the novel knows, this story is very much focused around racism and how people dealt with African-Americans back in the story’s time period, the 1930’s.  It was still a problem back then, but after the Civil Rights Movement, the reality of equality was supposed to happen.  This is what my opinion of it was before today.  Before just a few minutes ago when I was researching, I thought overall that people were treated equally and racism wasn’t a problem anymore.  I was gravely wrong.  After finding just a few articles, I have a lot of evidence to prove otherwise.  

     For instance, in 2004 the American Journal forPublic Health reported that in the 1990’s, 900,000 people of color died of causes that could have been prevented.  They died because of people’s cruel racist beliefs.  Also, we are involved in 2 wars at the moment where deaths of people in Iraq ans Afghanistan don’t mean anything.  In modern times now, the majority of homeless, unemployed, and hungry people are people of color in the US.  Personally, I love living in the US, and I love how far we’ve come, but this isn’t the progress I expected to find when I started researching the topic.  I think that by the 21st century, our people should leave behind our 19th and 20th century beliefs, and move forward.  The US needs now more than ever to strive for equality because frankly, we will not get there at the pace we are moving right now.

My Earliest Memory of School

Right now in Language Arts, we are reading the book To Kill a Mockingbird, and the part of the story we are at now is describing the main character’s first days of the first grade.  My teacher asked us to relate this to our own lives, and so I wrote about my first school memory.

Every person, no matter how old or how young, remembers what is was like when they first started school.  They will remember the nerves, the excitement, or a bunch of different things.  My earliest school memory was from kindergarten.  My birthday is was close to the cut off so I was in a  church school for  that year.  The most fun thing I remember was how in our class on every person’s half birthday, we would have a party.  I remember thinking that it was so cool and fun to have twice as many parties during the year for everyone’s half birthday.  This was  especially meaningful to me because my birthday is in the summer, so I can’t ever celebrate it during the year.  I didn’t know at the time, but that was the last time I have ever celebrated my birthday at all during school.  It seems kind of minor, but this was my first real exciting school memory.

Another Upfront Article(:

I am in middle school, and one of the major ways we spend our time at home after school is doing homework.  It has been that way forever.  Now, I know that when I am doing an assignment and my friend is doing the same assignment, we will help each other out with the work.  Now is that cheating?  Or not?  In Upfront, they had arguements to go both ways.  But in my personal opinion, I think that it is not cheating.

If you are simple helping out a friend, there is no way that is cheating.  If you help them get the right answer they will be learning the material right will benefit from it.  Some people say that if they just take your answers, it is cheating, and that is true.  But I know this is the case  for me, if a friend helps me with something, I will remember it better.  I do not just take their answers, they help me to figure out the answer so I will know what to do the next time a problem like that comes around.  And in the long run, that material will come in handy on the test.  So, really there is not cheating involved in helping other in homework.

But that is just my opinion, What do you think?

Armed and Underage

In countries such as Somalia, the government is turining to desperate measures to win the conflict they are in.  One of these drastic measures, i read in Upfront Magazine, is using children as fighters.  It said in the article that the Somalian government with many others are literally pulling kids off of the soccer fields and making them into fighters.  It says they use the children because they are ideal fighters.  They are easily manipulated, intensely loyal, fearless, and “an endless supply.”  This way of recruting fighters, in my opinion is completely and totaly wrong.

No child should have their childhood spent fighting, or worse, no child should die at a young age becaus they are fighting in combat!  This is very dangerous not only physically to the kids but mentally also.  Even today, the elder generation that has fought in wars or was a part of a huge war-like thing, their minds are scarred.  They are never the same when they come back.  In fact, it is sometimes too painful for these people to even digg those memories up when they are talking about it.  Some don’t even talk about it at all.  And that is what the Somalian government is creating here, a cruel terrible method to fighting wars.  If adults want to fight in the war, that is their descision, but is is pure cruelty to make a child do it against his or her own will.

“Sure, I’ll do it……”

In Language Arts, my class is reading the book, Three Cups of Tea.   In the book, the main character, Greg Mortensen, makes a sincere promise to the people of the village of Korphe.  He promises, after seeing the malnurished and uneducated children there, that he will coem back a build a school for them.  Then, after he leaves the village, he snaps back into reality.  He has almost no money, and it will be a miracle if he can come through wiht his promise. 

Upon returning to the US, he gives an arm and a leg to raise the money.  He is sleeping in his car, every penny he has is goint towards the school.  So, my teacher assinged us to blog about a sincere promise we have made in our lives.  Did it turn out well? Not so well?

In my lifetime, so far that is, I have made many promises.  Some that I could follow through on, and some I could not  follow through.  But, more specifically, I have made 2 promises, 1 succeding and 1 failing.  My first promise was to play on my school softball team last spring.  It ended up being a wonderful expierance!  I got to be better friends with a lot of girls, and I had fun doing a sport that was out of my usual (my usual being swimming).  That was one of my commitments that ended positively.  However, also last year, I promised to do an after-school club wiht some of my friends.  I could not, however, follow through on that promise.  It was too much time for me to take out of swimming, and I ended up quitting the club.  So, in a person’s life, they can make life-chanigng decisions, or just little promises to be in a club.  But, every person has done it, and their final choices can effect them, even if so in ways they aren’t aware of.

Another Time, Another Place,

Since the beginning or time,  people have moved or migrated to different places for many reasons.  A long itme ago, people would move because they needed to for things such as food and shelter.  They would move for necessity.  However, now people will move because of a job offer, for the better school system, or  many other things.

Now I will focus in on more me specifically.  On my mother’s side of the family, I am German.  The German people migrated over to America a ling time ago.  On my father’s side, I am English.  So, my ancestors were one fo the first British settlers to come over to America. 

Moving to more modern times, my family has mostly lived in or around Indiana, both my parents sides.  My mom’s side has lived in the great lakes around Michigan, and in Northern Indiana.  My dad’s side has lived up by Kokomo.   When my parents got married, they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They did this because of my their jobs.  Once they had me, and were expecting my little brother, we moved to Zionsville.  We moved here, firstly because of the school system; we had heard it was fenomenal.  Also, my mom’s new job was pretty close to Zionsville, and my dad could easily find work around.  We have lived here ever since.

So, I think people move for various reasons depending on their situation.  Some move because they have a new opportunity in a new place.  Some simply move to get a change of scenery.  Others move because their family lives someplace and they want to live closer to them.  But for whatever reason, whether it be food or a new job, people have been moving to new places since man has been on earth.

The Big Questions in Life- What does it mean to belong?

What does it mean to belong?  This question had been asked for centuries, and many people will argue on what it means.  Ever since the dawn of time, people have made groups, communties, and friends.  Some will say being well-liked is belonging, and other will say simply having friends means you belong.  But, this question has many different answers, none of them wrong or right. So, what does it mean to belong?

For me, to belong, means that a person has loyal, stable group of people around them that have a friendship that is mutual.  They all know each other very well, and know all their personality.  They know how to cheer each other up, how to make them laugh, and they know them better than most people.  To belong is to have a person or group like that in your school, sports team, etc.  It feels great to belong, and we, as humans, need to feel that, feel that we are well-liked.   It is essential to living a happy life, to live well, laugh often, and to belong.  That is what belonging means to me.

Happy Holidays!

Its December, so that means, SCHOOL IS OUT!  Finals are over and now I am enjoying the winter vacation that we have.  Right now, I’m just hanging out with my family getting ready for the Christmas Holiday! 

Now, my family always has traditions and things we do around the holiday season.  For example, there is a resteraunt near my house that my family and I go to every Christmas Eve after our church service.  Also, we go to relatives houses and open a lot  of presents on Christmas Day!  I know not all people celebrate Christmas, but I still want to hear from you.

What types of things do you do around the holidays?  Any special customs? Traditions?

Please respond to this fellow bloggers!  And have a great holiday season!Blog1

Beatle Mania!

Beatles_1In General Music, we are studying the Beatles, and after studying them for two weeks, I actually like them!   You wouldn’t realize all their great music until you have learned about them like we have!

Beatles_3So, for all you Beatle experts click here to take a surrvey to test your knowledge!

For the rest of you, who barely know anything about the Beatles, check them out!  They are awesome!  Here’s the Beatle Website

Beatles_2

 

The Giver

In Language Arts, we have just finished The Giver, a novel by Lois Lowry.  In the Novel, Jonas,  the main character lives in a world where everything is black and white, the same, and will never change.  When Jonas becomes twelve, he is asked to be the next Receiver, and to train for this job, he meets with The Giver everyday.  Before his training, Jonas’ has gotten used to sameness, but the Giver shows him the real world, and things outside his community.  Once the Giver and Jonas spend more time together, Jonas and the Giver actually get closer that Jonas and his family are.

In Jonas’ community, all the people are the same, they don’t know the real things in the real world.  Jonas didn’t know them either, but then the Giver showed him everything.  He showed him things like Christmas, Sleding, the sunshine, everything his community had lived without for hundreds of years, (weird, I know!).  So, over time Jonas get a lot closer with the Giver because Jonas can express his real feelings with the Giver.  He can’t tell his family, or anyone in the community what he knows, so only the Giver and him know what the real world is like.  For this reason, Jonas and his family can’t act as a “real” family.  Jonas can’t share things with them or be happy, he has to be the same as everyone else, and appear to no nothing of the real world.

The Giver is a great book and I highly recommend it!