Friday, December 3, 2010

Setting As The World

Setting as the World: The Tent in My Living Room

            My first house was the smallest of the three houses I have lived in. I lived in the first house from the time I was born till about the age of six. I remember spending a lot of time in the living room. Like the rest of my house, my living room was small but comfortable. The living room was often a place for relaxation, family time, or watching television, but there is one specific activity I remember doing in my living room that always brings a smile to my face. I use to, believe it or not, camp out in the living room with my brother.
            I owned a small, red Lion King tent that was stationed in a corner of my living room. I use to imagine the soft, red carpet was actually soft, green grass. The table in the center of the living room would transform into a campfire before my eyes. The plain, rough textured ceiling would suddenly brighten up with stars when the lights turned off.  I clearly remember the “swoosh” sound the tent use to make as I tossed and turned trying to find the perfect spot. The cream colored walls would mold into mysterious trees with one blink of my eye. My brother was much older than I was and sometimes felt forced to camp out with me, but I loved every minute of it. During the day my living room was a place of safety but come night time a magical world would open up and my imagination could do as it pleased.


Semester Essay # 8 Prompt 36

Elementary and secondary schools around the country are beginning to actively address the problem of bullies. In your opinion, is bullying an issue that should be addressed by schools or left to parents? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

            Bullying is an immensely serious subject because it often involves the emotional or physical abuse of one person by another. Alone, bullying in general sounds horrible. Now, imagine this being done to a child no bigger than seven years old by a much older child, say about fifteen years old. If you look at this situation from the younger child’s point of view, it could be one very traumatic experience. Who do you, as the bullied child turn to, your parents of course. Who do your parents turn to, the school of course. For this reason I believe bullying is an issue that should be addressed by both elementary and secondary schools, as well as by parents.
            It is not a secret that children do not like to tell every detail about their lives to their parents. Some children might find it embarrassing to tell their parents that they are being bullied for any number of reasons. Others may simply think they will be ridiculed, even more, by their older siblings if it were to be known that they were being bullied. In cases such as these, there is no one else a child can turn to except the school. And why shouldn’t they? It is the school’s duty to ensure the protection of all students on school grounds during school hours. That being said, administrators or teachers can keep a look out for the suspected bully and establish order once again.
            In other cases, a bullied child may exhibit the complete opposite behavior. They might not want the school involved at all. Some children may not wish to take it up with the school for fear of being called names and being made fun of by so called friends. Or a bullied child may fear that if he or she complained to the school, the bullying would only get worse. In such a situation, a child may find it more comfortable telling their parents they are having problems at school than telling the school itself. If a child were to come to their parents for help, it would then be up to the parents to address the problem and perhaps have a meeting with the bully’s parents. A bullied child’s parents could also ask one of the older siblings to keep a lookout for their younger brother or sister and intervene when necessary.
            No two children are completely alike. Thus, when it comes to bullying, schools and parents should both be prepared. Worse case scenario, a bullied child may not want to tell they are being bullied to the school or their parents. However, if they know they have two options to go to for help it is more likely that they will reconsider and ask someone, be it the parents or the school. Both should be prepared to address the problem and find a solution at any given time. Whatever the case, bullying only gets worse with time and the faster someone address it the safer a bullied child can feel. It is in the best interest of bullied children everywhere to have both the school and their parents be able to address bullying.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Young Person In an Old Person

Most of the time when a person becomes old they lose their young spirit, but every one in a while you come across an old person who is still young at heart. My grandpa was definitely an old person who was young at heart. Although at times he was limited in motion and endurance he never failed to smile. My grandpa would constantly try to trip me when I least expected it. Whether he failed or succeeded in his attempt to trip me he always burst out laughing. It was in moments like these that he reminded me of a child who finds joy in the simplest of things. 
            My grandpa's curiosity did not diminish as his age increased. He was always learning new things whether it be from the bible or from nature. He loved to spend time outside working on little projects. He would volunteer to fix up the house every time he came over. My grandpa thought it was a waste of time to sit around the house all day long. Despite his age, the last thing he wanted to do was watch television all day or sleep all day. He wanted to be active and be kept busy.  My grandfather was special to me and his being young at heart was one of his best qualities.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Semester Essay # 7 Prompt 22

Carpooling, recycling, and planting trees are all activities that are good for the environment. Write an essay convincing readers to actively participate in one of these activities.

            Everyone with the ability to observe, I presume, should know what recycling is or should have at least heard of it. Recycling should be known because it is in everyone’s household or place of residency. It is the big blue trash can that sits in your driveway, backyard, etc. However, although recycling is right under people’s noses not everyone does it. Recycling has a lot of positive effects which is why I believe more people should participate in it. These positive effects benefit people in general so there is no reason why it shouldn’t be done.
            Recycling helps to minimize the use of earth’s limited natural resources. This is of great importance because it insures that what few natural resources remain will last longer. There will be more natural resources for everyone, everywhere. As one can see, recycling benefits earth’s population as a whole. It does not target one race, one culture, one country, etc. It is to the benefit of all to recycle.
            Apart from reducing the waste of earth’s natural resources, recycling also prevents the build up of waste, or in other words trash. All the trash people throw out gets sent to a landfill and sits there for a long time. When we take the time to recycle, recyclable materials such as plastic bottles and containers do not take up space in the landfill. Instead, they are reused to create another product. Would you rather have more trash sit in landfills or would you rather separate what can be reused and create more goods? To me, the choice is simple. I would much rather recycle, thus lowering the need to constantly build more landfills because of all of the waste. The worst case scenario would be for a landfill to actually end up next to one’s house. Now that would be disgusting. It’s better to never let that happen by just recycling.
            How great would it be to make a difference in the world? I don’t know if it is just me, but I am constantly hearing people say they aspire to make a change and do something special. Why not start with recycling? Believe it or not, recycling is one of the ways you can positively help the environment. We all know our environment is not currently in its best shape. Global warming, the lack of fresh water, the ozone layer, and the polar ice caps melting are all negative issues in the environment. Why add another problem? Let’s keep our environment running as it should and maintain its beauty. Recycling can assist in such a quest.
            It is interesting to consider all the great purposes recycling can serve. There will be more natural resources for future generations, less trash in landfills, and the environment will benefit. All this can be achieved if you just take the time to throw paper, plastic bottles, and all other reusable/recyclable materials away separately. In reality recycling does not ask much of you. Start making a difference today. Recycle!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cats vs. Dogs

Cats and dogs are both domestic animals. Cats and dogs have characteristics that make them both interesting yet very different. Ever heard of the phrase "fight or flight"? Well, dogs are more of the fight part, while cats are the flight part. Cats are extremely skilled in jumping and climbing. It is quite often that I spot a cat climbing a tree or jumping down from the top of a statue. For this reason, whenever they are faced with danger or feel threaten they will resort to their skill and flee. In contrast, dogs are not the best at jumping from high places and can not climb. How many times have you found a dog climbing up a tree or telephone pole? For this reason, dogs are known to stay and face their danger. When challenged, dogs will more likely become aggressive and attack. Dogs are also way more social than cats are. Dogs enjoy the company of other dogs and people. Trained dogs will let random passersby pet them and play with them. The same can not be said for cats. Cats, most of the time, prefer to be the only pet of a household. As for letting random passersby pet them, not even trained cats like this. Most cats, or at least in my case and from those I have witnessed, runaway the moment you look at them or move one step towards them. Another difference is in their hunting skills. Cats are better at picking up quick movements and reacting while dogs are better at using their sense of smell to track. Cats and dogs have to be two of the most popular pets. Both have different personalities but both benefit from great owners and love.

Dressing for a Formal Ocassion vs. Dressing for an Informal Occasion

Dressing for a formal occasion is much different from dressing for an informal occasion. For one, dressing for an informal occasion requires less thought. Informal occasions can be hanging out with your friends or going to the grocery store. In these cases it is always an excellent idea to go with jeans. The top portion of the outfit depends on the weather. If it is hot, a t-shirt is a good way to go. If it is cold, grabbing a hoodie is a better choice. In contrast, you can not just throw something on for a formal occasion. You must first consider the type of formal occasion, for example it could be a job interview or a ball. For a job interview you must be professional. Slacks always work best. Pair slacks with a dressy shirt, vest or coat and you are well on your way to impressing by sight. However, this type of outfit would not be suitable for a ball. When you go to functions such as a ball or a dance, choosing a elegant dress for girls and a tuxedo for guys is appropriate. If you were to show up at a job interview with a long sleek red dress, a big beautiful pearl necklace, and long black gloves, you would look silly because in a sense you would be overdressed. When you dress for an informal occasion you are dressing to suit your comfort zone. In contrast when you are dressing for a formal occasion, you are dressing to impress. One requires less thought but when dressing for both occasions, the weather should affect the final outcome.

Raw Foods vs Cooked Foods

There is a clear difference between raw foods and cooked foods. Raw food have absolutely not been cooked in any way, shape or form. In contrast, as its name suggests, cooked foods have absolutely been cooked. One clear example can be seen in apples. When you eat an apple just the way it is you can in a sense say you are eating the apple raw. However when you eat apples in an apple pie, the same can not be said. Apples in apple pie have to have passed time in an oven. Thus, the apples have been cooked. The difference between raw and cooked foods can also be seen in the texture of the food. Continuing with the example of an apple, when an apple is eaten raw it is crunchy, juicy, and hard. When an apple is eaten cooked it is the complete opposite. Once cooked, an apple is no longer as crunchy or hard. In fact, cooked apples soften up and are of course, warm. It is possible for the apple to maintain its juiciness, but that quality won't be as obvious as it once was. Raw foods also contrast to cooked foods when it comes to added ingredients. When you eat raw foods, such as an apple, most people eat it just the way it is. However, part of the fun of cooking foods is making different combinations. When you cook the apple in an apple pie, it is likely that now the apple has been mixed with cinnamon and other ingredients. The difference between raw apples and cooked apples is just one example. Most of the time it takes raw foods to make cooked foods. Both are equally as satisfying, depending on the nature of your hunger.