Thursday, September 30, 2010

School Bullying: A Bigger Issue Than We Thought?

The discussion of school bullying came up in class and the fact that it is becoming more of an issue in today's society.  Many students in class agreed and said that bullying is in fact becoming a bigger issue today than it was years ago. However, others argued that bullying has always been a main issue within schools and is becoming more transparent to society through the media due to the vast technological advances.  

If you think about it, 8 years ago we did not have Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, etc. and now our world revolves around these social networking sites.  Almost all of my friends have smart phones or PDAs, which makes internet access much faster and easier.  Therefore, if someone sees something that intrigues them such as a fight, someone wearing a bathing suit to class, a naked person on the street, etc. it only takes a second to snap a picture or recording and then post it on the internet. 

Nowadays if you go on YouTube or Google and type in "girls fighting" over 10,000 results will show up.  So what does that tell you?  Is bullying becoming more prevalent in schools? Or is it that we have access to all this technology that it's becoming more transparent?  

According to the National Institutes of Health, 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally and physically. And the American Justice Department says that 1 out of 4 kids will be abused by another youth each month.  It is sad to see that kids are scared to go to school because of bullies.  Not to mention that many students have committed suicide due to bullying.  In my opinion I do believe that bullying has become more of an issue in our society.  This is due to the media and technological advances.  I think that them more students see videos on YouTube of kids fighting or jumping other kids, it makes them think that it is okay to do the same thing.  Many of these kids just want their 15 minutes of fame and so they choose to beat someone up and receive praise for it.  This also brings up another issue, should YouTube allow its members to upload videos of kids fighting?  Should they put restrictions on those types of videos?  


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Ground Zero Mosque"

"Of Mosques and Men: Reflections on the Ground Zero Mosque" I chose this video clip because out of all of the other videos I watched on the "Ground Zero Mosque", this one 
intrigued me the most. The young man (who goes by Acts 17 on YouTube) speaking about the issue in the video clip came from a different angle than the rest of other ones that I watched. Most of the segments that were shown spoke about whether or not the "Mosque" should be built at the designated location, which is a few blocks away from Ground Zero. Another argument of the "Mosque" that mainly comes up is the battle between the significance of the Mosque and its symbol. The people in opposition of the "Mosque’s" location feel that it will be a symbol of Islamic victory and the Muslim’s argument is that the "Mosque" will be honoring the victims of 9/11. However, this particular broadcast went more in depth with what the Muslim peoples’ intentions are with building this "Mosque" on Ground Zero.

Most of you reading the first paragraph are probably wondering why I put Mosque in quotations.  I did that because it is not an actual Mosque that they are building; it is a community center and the two upper levels will be used for worship.  The "Mosque" would be the equivalent to a YMCA, except for people of the Muslim and Islamic faith.  So what's the big deal?  We live in the United States and we are free to worship and follow any religion we choose to.  Also, the "Mosque" is not being built on the exact site of what used to be the World Trade Centers; it is actually six blocks away from the site.   

 It is clear that Acts 17 is biased about the issue and is in opposition to the Mosque’s being built on Ground Zero, however, he does not solely focus on that issue. Acts 17 brings up his Muslim roommate in college and the fact that he dealt with the September 11th attacks through humor. Acts 17 describes three pictures that he had seen, the first one was George Busch as a Muslim, the second picture was of the Statue of Liberty covered in a full veil, and the third was a photo shopped picture of New York covered in Mosques. These pictures stirred up a lot of controversy because they were all indicating that the Muslims eventually were going to take over New York and the entire United States. To support the theory, Act 17 brought up a passage from the Qur’an, which states, “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, (taking as it were) security.” Acts 17 interprets the passage and states that if Muslims feel threatened or outnumbered by other adversaries who are nonbelievers of the Muslim faith they will pretend to be friends with them to protect themselves. 

Two highly respected Muslim individuals were also quoted in the clip, one of which was the greatest Islamic commentaries, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, says, “...believers are allowed to show friendship outwardly but never inwardly.” And Mohammad’s companion, Abu Darda, who said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” This basically means that Muslims only act like good citizens in public, but in their homes they are really waiting for the day that Allah will take over and dominate the world. It is quite obvious that the target audience for this video clip is towards people who strongly dislike the Muslim religion and who are against the Mosque being built on Ground Zero. However, I do believe that Acts 17 was also targeting the individuals who did not have a stance on the issue-- individuals who were confused about whether or not they agreed or disagreed with the location of the Mosque. 
After reading Act 17's blog, I found out that it is his goal to reveal the Muslim and Islamic faith without being “PC”. On Act 17’s blog website, “Answering Muslims,” it is stated in the FAQ section that the bloggers feel that “honesty is better than disguised language.” And also that the blog is out of “love not hatred”. Yes, the blog writers say that the purpose of the blog is not to show hatred towards Islamic or Muslim people, however, the diction and tone of the blog posts are full of hate. It is almost as if the writers have set out to condemn Muslims. So what do you think?  Are the Muslims trying to take over the U.S. or are we just being paranoid? 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's All About the "GTL"

Everyone knows what "GTL" stands for if you watch MTV's Jersey Shore, but if you don't know, it means gym, tan, laundry.  The young gentlemen on the show use "GTL" when they are referring to getting ready to hit up the night clubs.  The men's daily routine consists of going to the gym, tanning afterwards, then going home to do laundry so that they have fresh t-shirts to wear.   Throughout the entire show it seems as if clubbing and drinking are the only things these guiddos and guidettes do, however, the cast does in fact work at a Gelato store.  But, if you've only watched the show once you wouldn't know that due to what is shown in each episode.  The show mainly focuses on the cast hooking up with random different people, going out to the club, and of course, you can't forget partying hard. 

  While the show is quite amusing and I must admit I do watch every Thursday with my friends, I can't help but think, "is this what reality television has come to? Better yet, is this what society has come to?"  It is shows like this that creates this perception that young people in this day and age, get drunk, and don't do anything with their lives.  Not to mention, it makes men look like even bigger assholes and pigs.  Men  are already labeled as womanizers so why would anyone want to perpetuate the stereotype even more?  

The Jersey Shore would not be a show that I would want my children watching because it gives the impression that all young people should go out, party and get drunk on a weekly basis.  Whatever happened to television shows with substance and actual content that one can learn and apply to their daily lives?  Many people will argue that we need shows like this to make television more interesting , which is true.  We need new and interesting shows to keep different audiences entertained, but I feel that often times the media takes things to the extreme.  I can't help but to ask myself, "why would anyone want to agree to be on a show like this?"  Yes, fame is a big reason, but is it really worth being stereotyped and living with that reputation?  

Whenever I watched the show I would laugh 
and shake my head at the dumb drama and "situations" the cast would encounter and I always said to my friends, "I'm so glad the show's not about Asians," but my worst nightmare has come true.  Meet the cast of K-town, the so called "Asian version of Jersey Shore".  The new show has only shot its pilot and is currently still looking for a network to pick them up.  Just seeing the trailer screams train wreck.  According to the producers 
they’re, " going to show Asian Americans like they've never been seen before to the rest of the world.” The show is going to remove Asians from being stereotyped as scrawny, smart, nerdy, etc.  However, the K-town cast will now be seen in the same light as the cast of Jersey Shore.  Maybe I am just making assumptions but I all I know is that the show will be very interesting to watch. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Woman of Motivation and Inspiration

I met her my sophomore year of high school and since then she has played a significant role in my life, her name is Jennie Carey. Jennie was my 10th grade English teacher and has now become one of the most important people in my life.

The one thing Jennie taught me was to always believe in myself; in high school I doubted myself a lot but she was always by my side pushing me to my full potential. There are only three women who have had a momentous influence on my life and she is among one of them. Jennie has been my support system since day one, she has evolved from a teacher to a mentor/motherly figure and never has she once let me down. From helping me with my college essays to giving me advice about boys, friends and life, I know I can always count on her. Although she has a very hectic schedule she seems to make time to help her students in some way, shape or form. From sending me cards to keep my spirits up to baking me cookies/brownies and sending them to me at school, Jennie always keeps her students in mind. Words can't even describe how thankful and blessed I am to have her in my life. I have her to thank for helping me become who I am today.


To My Wonderful Surrogate Mother,

A year and a half has passed by so fast and now you are graduating. I just want you to know how proud I am of you! I am sitting here writing this blog post reminiscing about all the times I spent in your class room--before, during and after school. From crying about problems to laughing at random things with Nicole, your classroom was my home at school filled with priceless memories.

But the one moment I will never forget is graduation day. The music was playing as I walked into Constitution Hall and I remember you having the biggest smile on your face. After the ceremony ended I remember running up and showing you that I was wearing the "believe" necklace you gave me. You were so proud of me that day but in retrospect you should be proud of yourself because without you I would not be who I am today. I wish I could be there for your graduation but I can't, so instead I am dedicating this blog post to you.

Time flies by so fast, it seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in class reading the Lord of the Flies, working on my Holocaust project and reciting my poem for our poetry slam. I'm trying not to cry as I write this because... Not many kids have the foundation for a successful future, however I am blessed to have you as my back bone along with my mom and Mrs. Bayati. You were always there for me when I needed help and you believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. You've touched so many students and I know I'm not the only one that is thankful to have someone like you in their life.

I found this quote and I thought it was perfect for you, except the original quote said "he" so I changed it to "she."

"A teacher affects eternity; she can never tell where her influence stops"

-Henry Brooks Adams

CONGRATULATIONS! And just know that I will always believe in you as you have in me.


Surrogate Daughter