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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reflection: Freshman Year of High School

    
    This year at Parkway West has changed me in so many ways. 
   
   At the beginning of the year I was... Mute, I guess you could say. I had taken shyness to a completely different level. Even though I hate to admit it, being shy interfered a lot with my academic ability. It caused me to slack off when it came to writing articles in Journalism class and asking questions in other classes that I needed help with such as Algebra 1, World History and so on.


   I was actually comfortable being quiet and staying to myself. Until I realized that I wouldn't be able to accomplish many of my goals without improving my communication skills. So I vowed to asked more questions and talk to my peers more often. So, I started off slow. For example, when someone said "Hi" to me, instead of waving and smiling I would say "Hi" back which would more than likely encourage a conversation.
   
   As the weeks progressed, I began to familiarize myself with my schoolmates and I started talking more. Believe it or not, I actually improved a lot in most of my classes because I spoke up. I made many friends; outside of the ninth grade as well. I've joined the Phenomenal Young Women's (PYW) club this year and it contributed a lot in helping me get over being shy.

   Once I started coming out of my shell I got a sense of how important the need to communicate was. I learned that things don't come to you, you must go and get it yourself and in order for that to happen you must have good communication skills. For instance, when I first got into the Upward Bound program at University of Penn I was reluctant to completely express myself in the interview and later on in the classes which led me to eventually leave the program.


   Now that I'm familiar with the students at Parkway West I believe next year will be a success. Parkway has had an excellent effect on me. I feel confident in this new change and I can't wait until next year!


  

 
  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun

       There is a new fashion out that allows people ,with a permit, to carry a gun called "Chino Pants" by the Woolrich Elite Concealed Carry line. The Chino pants are said to be "elegant and sturdy...with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility". This new fashion attracts the attention of fashion conscious people while still allowing gun carriers to be comfortable and incognito. Recently, this alternative style of dress has become more popular with now seven million customers as opposed to the once five million in 2008. The loosening of some state laws has in part been a contributor to this massive change in consumerism. Some customers specifically appreciate the styles that the shirt offers, one man said once his girlfriend called him "sloppy" before he got the shirt.
       The same company has also already thought of some new ideas. They will be introducing a water-proof vest this fall that will also be gun-friendly. Other companies are beginning to compete with this new style, like Under Armour. Nonetheless, there are still gun carriers who are in opposition to the new style, and who feel that the traditional pant pockets are the better, more dependable method for gun carrying. 
       I think this new clothing line will become increasingly popular and attract many customers. However, I also think people should not be allowed to carry guns; some laws are too strict. Ultimately, people can and will begin to take advantage of the right to carry a gun, licensed or not. I believe that if more people carry guns that crime rates will increase as people will feel more compelled to use a gun when they are being sold clothing that makes it seem commonplace. 

Link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/us/fashion-statement-is-clear-the-gun-isnt.html

Monday, May 7, 2012

Afghan Girl Scarred by acid

       In this article by, New York Times writer, Dexter Filkins a group of teenage girls and teachers, including 17 yr. old Shamsia Husseini, attending Mirwais School  for Girls was attacked by 8 men on motorcycles with acid. The girls were scarred all over their faces preventing them from reading or seeing clearly. "They hit 11 girls and 4 teachers; 6 went to the hospital." The acid attack attempted to scare the children as well as the teachers into staying out of school, which failed completely. According to the article, "The attacks appeared to be the work of the Taliban, the fundamentalist movement that is battling the government and the American-led coalition. Banning girls from school was one of the most notorious symbols of the Taliban’s rule before they were ousted from power in November 2001". When the Taliban moved into the Mirwais area posters appeared in local Mosques saying things like, “Don’t Let Your Daughters Go to School”. Exactly who was behind the acid attack is a mystery. "The Taliban denied any part in it".
  
     I truly think it's a shame what happened to these students and teachers. No one should be harassed like that and especially not for wanting to get an education. I feel as though the men jailed shouldn't be released for their crime. They terrorized innocent children with a deadly 'weapon' (acid)
and it's not acceptable. Also, I think the Taliban had everything to do with the acid attack because these acts came about when they moved into the Mirwais area. All evidence points to the Taliban. 






http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/world/asia/14kandahar.html?pagewanted=all

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chris Brown and Rihanna: A Teachable Moment Wasted

       Many people think Chris Brown and Rihanna should get back together; others don't. After Chris Brown's ''attack'' on Rihanna in 2009 at the Grammys, Chris lost many fans due to his actions. According to the Chicago Tribune, ''Brown punched her until her mouth filled with blood and then choked her until she began to lose consciousness. It was the most graphic case to hit the Facebook generation and, occurring as it did during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, it revived interest in a problem that affects one in five Chicago youth as no public education campaign could have.'' The ex-couple haven't been communicating since 2009 (when the incident took place) to somewhere in the beginning of March 2012. According to Rihanna, their first encounter was to record two new tracks "one for my fans and one for his fans, and that way our fans can come together. There shouldn't be a divide, you know, it's music and it's innocent". A few months after Chris Brown’s brutal assault, Rihanna revealed on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that her father used to beat her mother when she was younger. Which could possibly explain why Rihanna feels comfort in communicating with Brown again. Rihanna's father (Ronald Fenty) didn't appear to have any qualms of the situation. ''Chris is a nice guy, and everybody’s entitled to make mistakes in their life,” He told Heat magazine. '' GOD knows how many I've made.'' According to the NY Daily News, ''The duo, who are rumored to be seeing each other on the down low, have publicly denied that they are anything more than friends, though they recently collaborated on two sexually explicit tracks''.


    In my opinion I think the two are more than friends and less than a couple. Chris Brown has a girlfriend named Karrueche Tran so I don't think he would cheat on her. Especially because he already lost a lot of fans due to mistreatment of women. At the same time I feel as if Chris and Rihanna still have feelings for each-other and maybe something could or did happen to the ex-couple. They may even reunite to make "the fans come together".




SOURCE TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-25/news/ct-perspec-0226-violence-20120225_1_chris-brown-relationship-abuse-graphic-case
 SOURCE TO QUOTES FROM RIHANNA'S FATHER:
http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-03-08/news/31137626_1_ronald-fenty-rihanna-chris-brown
 SOURCE TO QUOTES FROM RIHANNA:
http://www.luuux.com/entertainment/rihanna-chris-brown-chatting-business

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Facebook Is Using You

Lori Andrews is a law professor at Chicago-Kent College Of Law. She has written an article titled
'' Facebook Is Using You". In the article she discusses the truth of how Facebook makes profit. The article states '' Facebook makes money by selling ad space to companies that want to reach us. Advertisers choose key words or details — like relationship status, location, activities, favorite books and employment — and then Facebook runs the ads for the targeted subset of its 845 million users.'' This statement explains how our 'free' Facebook account makes Facebook so wealthy. The article then states ''Facebook made $3.2 billion in advertising revenue last year.....Yet Facebook’s inventory of data and its revenue from advertising are small potatoes compared to some others.'' Facebook isn't the only one selling data there are other companies that support this seeling trend such as Google, Yahoo, Twitter and many other social networks. Although sometimes the advertisements are useful they can also be harmful. According to the article, ''The bits and bytes about your life can easily be used against you. Whether you can obtain a job, credit or insurance can be based on your digital doppelgänger — and you may never know why you’ve been turned down''.

When I first read this article I was seldomly surprised although I had a clue that they were doing these things. I already knew that once something was put on the internet that it would always be there. The fact that they're selling people's private business is very wrong and it shouldn't be allowed. So you should always be aware that the internet is not a safe place and that nothings is ever sacred on the web. Anyone can access information that you post.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/opinion/sunday/facebook-is-using-you.html?pagewanted=all

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teens planned to bomb school and steal an airplane

         Two male teenagers, 16 and 18 years old, planned to bomb a high school in Utah called Roy High and they also planned on stealing a plane and flying away to a country away from the US so they couldn't go to jail for their crime. "We ain't gonna crash it, were just gonna kill and fly our way to a country that won't send u back to the U.S.",claimed one of the teenagers. They claim they were "inspired" by the Columbine massacre. In 
1999 there was shootings in Littleton, Colorado that killed 12 students, 1 teacher and injured 21 directly and 3 while escaping. According to the article "they were inspired by Columbine, but were offended when compared to them because [apparently] 'those killers only completed one percent of their plan'." The 18 year old, Dallin Morgan, was arrested on conspiracy charges discovered his plans to use explosives. The 16 year old (who's name is being protected by the Associated Press because he is a minor) has also been arrested. Prosecutors are considering  additional charges.
      
     In my opinion this article is absurb; teens nowadays act really irresponsible. It was unnecessary to want to blow up a school. It was an immature idea as well to want to recreate a massacre. They deserve whatever punishment they get for their crime. I'm just glad that no one was hurt in the process.


Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm a criminal and so are you

            Michelle Alexander wrote this article to persuade people to understand criminals on a more non-critical level. She states that everyone is a criminal whether they approve or not. She says you just haven't been caught yet, so it's not fair that we brand each-other. ''Once labeled a felon, you are ushered into a parallel social universe.'', she claims. She then implies that President Obama is a criminal as well. The article states, "I doubt Barack Obama thinks of himself as a criminal, though he should. He has admitted to using illegal drugs during his college years -- lots, in fact."