Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Social Justice

Examples of topics of social justice include femininity and masculinity, racism, poverty, sexual identity and orientation, education, and many more. These issues may never have a solution depending on the position you take. Some of these issues may be more of a problem in certain communities than others. However, everyone should be given an equal opportunity to be whatever they want, despite their differences. Charles L. Robbins gave a speech about social justice and its relevance in the 21st century. According to Robbins, social justice is a place where everyone is free to achieve everything that they are capable of doing, where there is an even playing field for everybody. Robbins is passionate about civil rights, gender, rape and violence culture, gun control, poverty, education, LGBT issues, and criminal justice. Robbins gave facts and statistics for each of these topics, reasoning why they are such problems. On February 10, 2015, Suzanne Barakat's brother Deah, her sister-in-law Yusor, and Yusor's sister Razan were murdered by their neighbor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The perpetrator's story, that he killed them over a traffic dispute, went unquestioned by the media and police until Barakat spoke out at a press conference, calling the murders what they really were: hate crimes. In the TED Talk, "Islamophobia killed my brother. Let's end the hate." by Suzanne Barakat, she asks for people to speak up when witnessing hateful bigotry and give a helping hand to those who face discrimination.
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Friday, February 10, 2017

"The Surprising Science of Happiness" by Dan Gilbert

In two billion years, the human brain has nearly tripled in mass. When brains get larger, they gain new structures. The human brain got a new part called the frontal lobe, particularly the prefrontal cortex. One of the most important functions of the prefrontal cortex is that it's an experience simulator. An experience simulator gives the ability to have experiences in your head before trying it in real life. Impact bias is the tendency to overestimate the hedonistic impact of future events. In other words, impact bias is the likelihood of the experience simulator to work badly and have an impact, positive or negative, later on in life. Happiness can be synthesized. People can change their views of the world so that they can feel better about their own situation. Some people believe that synthetic happiness isn't the same quality as natural happiness. However, you can learn to enjoy what you have over what you want. Synthetic happiness helps people accept what they can't change. Dan Gilbert gave many quotes, examples, and explained experiments that support his claim that synthetic happiness is the best type of happiness. This TED Talk can help you learn to be more grateful about the things that you have. Everyone can't have everything what they want all the time, but learning to accept what you do have can make you a happier person. Personally, I think that I have a lot to take away from this video. I can learn to be more appreciative of what I have because I truly do want to be a happier person. I would like to stop focusing on the things that I don't have. I'd rather live in the moment and become naturally happy instead of trying to pursue happiness by attaining materialistic things.
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Monday, January 9, 2017


Happiness is feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Happiness is what makes you smile and feel good. Food makes me extremely happy. Good food makes me happy because its gratifying. I love the feeling you have after eating something so delicious, especially if you've been craving it. My favorite is seafood. I love crab boil with snow crab, shrimp, corn, Andoullie sausage, and potatoes. I also love seafood linguine with mussels, clams, octopus, squid, and imitation crab. My favorite seafood restaurant is The Crab Hut where they serve any type of seafood in bags on a table with butcher paper and whatever flavoring and spice level you want. There are no plates or silverware, just a roll of paper towels, bibs, and condiments (you eat with your hands). I love to make desserts, especially for my family. My favorite dessert to make is Strawberry Cheesecake from scratch. I use fresh strawberries and soak them in water with sugar. I use two 8 oz. packages of room temperature cream cream cheese, a cup of sour cream, a splash of vanilla, and a little under a fourth of a cup of sugar. For the crust, I use half vanilla wafers and half graham crackers. I do not bake the cheesecake, I chill it overnight and put the strawberries on about an hour before serving. I do not know what it is about food that makes me happy. I mean I know we need food to survive, but there is something about good food, serving it to others, and seeing how it makes others feel that is just like one of the best feelings in the world. Happiness is important because you only live once which means it only makes sense to take advantage of the time you have by doing what makes you happy.
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

My Four Year Plan

My Freshman year, I took Physical Education, English 1/2C, Spanish 1/2C, AVID, World Geography 1/2C, and Geometry 1/2C for both semesters. In the first semester, I got five A’s and one B in World Geography 1C. In the second semester I got five A’s and one B in Physical Education. I didn’t have to go to summer school and I don’t plan to. I would like to get and keep good grades so I can get into a good college. I learned that I need to work on having better attendance. Missing a lot of school can be overwhelming because when you come back, you have a lot of work to catch up and your grades can drop very easily if you have missing assignments.
This year, my Sophomore year, I am taking English 3/4C, Two-D Design 1, AVID, AP European History, Algebra 2 1/2H, and Biology 1/2H for both semesters. Taking AP and Honors classes can make my transcript look better to colleges. Colleges will see that I’ve worked hard in rigorous courses to get good grades, which I plan on getting.
For my Junior year, I plan on taking English 5/6C, Spanish 3/4C, AVID, AP US History, Pre-Calculus 1/2H, and Chemistry 1/2H. I will take the SAT and write Personal Statements for college. As you can see, I will continue taking AP and Honors classes and I don’t plan on going to summer school.
Finally, for my Senior year, I plan on taking English 7/8C, Spanish 5/6C, AVID, AP US Government/Economics, AP Calculus, and AP Physics. I plan going to all the school events like games, Homecoming, and Prom. I’d also like to have a job so I can have money going towards my college funds.

I am on the JV Girls Basketball team and the JV Cheer Captain and plan to continue for the next two years of being at Mount Miguel. I’d like to get both an academic and athletic scholarship. I’d also like to get at least 100 hours of community service to show that I’ve helped in and around my school. I would like to go to Grossmont/Cuyamaca and transfer to a four year college or university in California, such as UCSD, UCLA, or Cal Berkeley so I can become a Toxicologist.
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Minorities and Higher Education

It's important for people of color to pursue higher education to help diminish racism, sexism, and stereotypes.
Racism is the belief that people of a race are superior in comparison to people of another race. People of color aren't always given the same opportunities as others. Therefore, it's important that they obtain an education to help level the playing field. For example, a person of color may be expected to have a formal education, whereas, the experience of their counterpart may be accepted in lieu of a formal education.
Sexism is the belief that men are superior to women. Women of color have the unfortunate burden of battling racism and sexism. It's important for women of color to have an education to compete with men in the workplace. An education can also help women combat and reduce the differences in pay between them and men.
Stereotypes are attributing specific traits or qualities to a group of people, in this case, people of color. The stereotypes of people of color include, but aren't limited to, poverty, shiftlessness, and being combative. It's important for people of color to diminish these stereotypes by getting a formal education to become more knowledgeable and prove to be more.
Despite the issues of racism, sexism, and stereotyping, many people of color have made tremendous accomplishments, such as high ranking military officers, presidential appointments, and the presidency itself. These accomplishments of persons of color can be attributed to hard word, determination, and higher education.
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Friday, December 2, 2016

Self Control

Self control is being able to delay gratification and manage impulsivity.
Being able to delay gratification can be difficult. For example, the Marshmallow Test. Kids were challenged to sit in a small room with a marshmallow for 15 minutes. If they could wait the 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow, at the end of the time, they would get a second marshmallow. This test revealed the children's willpower and ability to delay gratification so that they could get a second marshmallow. Kids who waited the 15 minutes struggled to stop themselves from eating the marshmallow; however, they kept the main goal in mind, getting a second marshmallow at the end of the time, which helped them succeed. This key skill that can be used in everyday life, keeping your main goal in mind to overcome challenges, can help delay gratification which is a part of self control.
Managing impulsivity is being able to control the immediate urges or behavior caused by a distraction without thinking about the consequences. It's like when you're doing homework and then you hear a notification go off on your phone. People with self control would ignore their phone and finish their homework. Others would check to see what it is, which would waste time they could've spent finishing their homework or doing something else. Not being able to manage impulsivity could have negative effects. Managing impulsivity is a part of self control because doing what needs to be done would be a priority to you and you'd be able to achieve your goals.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Stereotypes and Misperceptions

People are judged and stereotyped based on their appearance all the time. There are even instances where I've judged people based on how they look. It is not okay to make assumptions about a person, or their character, based on the way they look. This is similar to the mini rhetorical precis we wrote on David Paul Strohecker in the article, ¨Tattoos Tell My Real Story¨. Strohecker used himself as an example. He explained how being covered in tattoos can lead people to believe that he is a drug addict, skinhead, or in a rock band. Strohecker describes himself as a Christian, upper-class, PhD student. Strohecker's purpose was to inform people that it is not okay to judge a person based on their appearance. I also agree that it's not okay to judge a person based on their appearance, but sometimes I just can't help it. As human beings, we are curious about everything. We tend to make assumptions based on the knowledge and experiences we already have. We don't take that further step to find out more about someone or something. We don't necessarily mean to offend a person by assuming that they're bad because they ¨look¨ bad. Even if we think positively about a person, it's still wrong to assume because you don't know who they truly are. The point is, get to know the person if you're curious about them. Don't continue to assume, because then you can miss out on someone great.