Monday, September 29, 2014


In the past couple weeks of being in school, I have noticed that our peers have very strict dress code.  An unfair, unwritten rule of dress in New Trier.  If a girl is wearing too short of shorts they are "slut shamed" and commented on.  This judgement prevents women to express themselves and promotes the mindset of rape culture.  It encourages men to believe that women can "ask for it" as a justification of rape just because of the clothes they where.  The sick men justify their vile actions by saying a women who is dressed scandalously is "asking for it".  These peer set dress code rules are putting limitations on how women can live their lives and their safety.
      "Slut shaming" is a large part of social judgement and it is wrong and unfair to make assumptions based upon women's appearance.  This way of thinking has always been around through out history and is based on societal standards of fashion. But, the ones who take their clothing a little beyond societies' rules are placed into the promiscuous judgement bin and assumed characteristics about their personality and lifestyle.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Celebrities Above The Law?

     Recently, a video has been circulating the World Wide Web, that has caught America's attention.  The Baltimore Raven's star player, Ray Rice, was caught in a domestic violence scandal, seen brutally beating his wife in an elevator. The consequences of his actions were not an accurate reflection of the United States judicial system, because he is famous?  This video was swept under the rug and Ray Rice was given a slap on the wrist of a two game suspension.   The real evidence was hidden from the public until revealed by the tabloid news website, TMZ.  This shows in our society some people are better than others because of their stature.
   This theory is evident in many cases of celebrity wrongdoers.  Time and time again famous people are not given the just punishment for their actions.  Lindsay Lohan is a prime example of this. Frequently failed sobriety tests and caught with the possession of cocaine, she served a total of 84 minutes in jail.    The average sentence for possession of cocaine is up to one year in prison.   Lohan was let off the hook, to say the least, too easy.  There is an extensive list of celebrities in the same position.  This is against the morals of our own country.  
   Not bringing rightly convicted culprits goes against our Constitution and judicial system, all the principals our country was founded on.  When celebrities break the law they are treated better because the public eye enjoys them on their favorite movies or on television.  Our founding fathers would be disappointed in our societal values nowadays.
    America's judicial system thinks that celebrities are above the law.  The convicted celebrities are not given a fair punishment.  In the eyes of our judges, they are thought of as above the law.  All men are created equal? I don't think so America.

Ray Rice seen dragging his girlfriend out of an elevator like yesterdays garbage.  This was a scene at the end of the video of Ray Rice beating his girlfriend.  Janay Palmer is seen on the floor knocked out.  Ray Rice then proceeds to hoist her up and drag her away.  The way he drags her, not supporting her head, with uncaring cold thrashes, shows that he thinks that this is a burden to him, not that he cares about her well being or even that he hurt her.  That was the nail in the coffin for me.  It is one thing to have domestic abuse and feel bad for hurting your significant other.  But, Ray Rice had the sympathy of a murderer when handling this woman.  

A Test Determines Your Success

     A week ago, I took the tedious ACT exam.  The exam that supposedly determines your success in life and intelligence as a student.  So, the most important thing you will do in high school is what our mentors make it out to be.  After 3 hours of filling in bubbles on a Scanton, I completed my first practice ACT exam.  Our teachers and college counselors  tell us that if you score well on the exam, you can impress a college, and have a chance of being accepted.  If you get into a prestigious university then you will get a well paying job, so this ACT exam determines your success in life, your happiness, and your ranking in the capitalist system.
     This is a unfair system for getting into university and this is not a direct representation of your success in life.  Our parents, teachers, and counselors, all they talk about to me is the ACT exam.  The hidden meaning to this is this is the most important thing you will do in high school and the only thing you should focus on. There are countless examples of entrepreneurs who did not attend college, and are very successful.  College is not a direct correlation to income and happiness, the opposite of what we are force fed daily.
   The ACT exam is not a fair system to all students in America.  Higher class students have access to expensive tutors to improve their scores, and gives them a better chance on being accepted into college.  Most people do not have the money to spend on ridiculously expensive ACT tutors.  Often tutors guarantee a more than 5 point improvement in scores.  The score difference brings them into a whole new tier of more challenging schools.
   College determination tests should not be a focus on getting into college.  Your grades, marks that you have spent all semester working hard for, and an interview process.  Not one test that labels the student.

Academic Aproach, a ACT tutoring companies, where the scores are high, but the prices are higher.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Africa vs. The Epidemic Ebola


       Recently, I have been having many interesting thoughts about what has been all over the news.  The disease that is consuming Africa,  chewing and spitting up countless victims.  Ebola.  The                        epidemic has hit Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.  Attempts quarantine and contain the spread of the virus have not been successful.  The disease is continuing to spread to other countries which  would continue the domino effect of outbreaks.  The health care workers and the W.H.O. do not have sufficient funding to support the ill.  The emergency response team was nonexistent and the educated who knew how to fight Ebola were gone due to severe budget cuts.  These countries were not prepared for something that was bound to happen.  It is intriguing to observe the actions of the people of Western Africa.
       To make matters worse the citizens in these countries are ignorant to the severity and                                        infectiousness of the disease.   In a Liberian quarantine center, citizens looted and freed the sick.  They took blood stained sheets and various medical items.  How can these bands of young men be so oblivious to the fact that they are spreading Ebola by releasing the sick into general population.  That the items they stole are hazardous and medical professionals handle them with special equipment.  It could be they are just taking advantage of this dire situation to make some extra money, but why would they use force to release all 17 of the patients.  This theory is not likely because the thieves were protesting outside of the zone before shouting "No Ebola".  They are putting themselves at a huge health risk, and everyone in the area.  It is truly preposterous how ignorant the youth of Liberia is acting.  They have no idea the danger they are putting themselves into.  The question provoked is why are these countries so far behind and uneducated?  Why after a disease outbreaks, multiple countries are on the verge of collapse?  Why are some nations much more powerful than other?                                                        
       The obvious answer to this is they are set back in their economy and do not have the money to fund the various opportunities that other places in the world have.   But, my thinking was why do they have these opportunities?   If all humans started in Africa shouldn't they be the most advanced? This brings me to the topic of geographic luck, all the way back in Babylonian times.  The Babylonians, one of the first civilizations,  would not have flooding in their village, resulting in better farming conditions.  Other societies in surrounding areas were not so fortunate.  It was evident that the Babylonians were far more advanced due to better farming conditions.  They had access to crops that would thrive in farming environments, and access to domesticated animals.  This is geographic luck, what is available to you in the environment.  This allowed societies  like the Babylonians to greatly surpass others with out the same luck, they were far more advanced in every aspect.
       Shockingly, the effects of geographic luck are still present today.  African countries are behind economically  because of their surroundings.  Where they settled thousands of years ago effects them today.  The africans did not have the access to the same resources.  Africa could not push forward      in technology because of their luck.  Competing with other countries with the advantage of   geographic was not obtainable.  This is why Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone did not have a chance.  Not having the proper precautions and personnel to combat something as devastating as Ebola.  The Liberian government did not have enough funding because of what their ancestors did.   I believe                            that this statement is true but, there had to be some other reason that a lot of Western Africa was consumed by this disease.  Knowing how corrupt the government officials are in poor economic      countries, I am sure that a sum of the money that was intended towards disease prevention and      precaution was used in an unnecessary fashion.                    
     Ebola is a dreadful disease but, hopefully, with the aid of the world we can contain this disease and cure Ebola.  The outbreak has already killed 1,145 people in five months in Western Africa.  Liberia has the worst toll, with 413 people dead.  We need to educate the people about the danger of it, and teach them how it is spread.  Many countries have stepped into help. and provide support. Also, some Americans were infected with Ebola and a prototype serum was produced.  The cure could be produced in the matter of months but, Africa is on the brink of a full scale epidemic.