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Emily L.
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As a Junior in high school, I've been stressing quite about college this year - trying to keep my grades up, sifting through piles of college letters that all look the same, going on too-long road trips to cram in all the visits I can - my life has been an endless "To-Do" list. I've been doing this without thinking, really. I just figured it was something I had to do. But that's just the thing. I don't. Being a teenager these days means we are brainwashed into thinking that college is the only option. We see all sorts of... Continue reading
As a lot of my classmates mentioned, I was not excited about reading a book about war. It seems so hard to relate to - I would never want to go to war. I would never want to kill a person. I would never want to risk my life or others' lives for a cause that I didn't believe in. So I somewhat reluctantly began reading The Things They Carried... and, much to my surprise, enjoyed it. The field trip we had was what made me realize exactly why I am enjoying a book about war. The veterans that visited... Continue reading
In class, we were all assigned lenses through which to view Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. We were then told to defend our lens, to prove that our lens was truly the dominant aspect of the book that Steinbeck intended his readers to see. Although we did as we were told, I'm sure we all realized that The Grapes of Wrath is a mixture of all of these views, not just one. But there is a theme that relates almost all of these lenses: loss. From the beginning of the book, the Joads have been losing everything they have. First... Continue reading
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A few days ago, my younger sister was reading through Teen Vogue, and she asked me, "Why do all of the ads for perfume have naked women?" I had never really questioned this before; I was used to seeing ads like this. However, I found the ad in Teen Vogue a bit disturbing. The magazine targets young teenagers and is always filled with articles encouraging girls to feel comfortable with their bodies and love their appearance. But, ironically, just a few pages after an article like this, the magazine shows an advertisement with a picture-perfect, thin, airbrushed, and, no less,... Continue reading
If you've been paying attention to the news, you know that there's a "War on Women" going on: the GOP is attempting to change many laws that affect women, primarily abortion laws and funding of abortion clinics. Now, it's okay to have your own political views, don't me wrong. But Maya from Feministing shows us that the GOP has taken it a little too far this time, and they don't have the facts straight. The GOP is using an ad titled "Bunnies in a Blender" to convince the general audience that Planned Parenthood funding is wrong because abortion is immoral.... Continue reading
In class, we were assigned a paper about the state of American women in 2011, and to write this paper we had to bring in evidence of our argument from our lives. I can safely assume, I think, that a pretty large portion of the class used today's music as proof that today's women still have reason for "discontent, rebellion, and revolution," as Susan B. Anthony said. I found it funny, then, that after I mentioned rap music in my paper I came across a satirical article about how to write a rap song. This witty article makes fun of... Continue reading
In The Great Gatsby, our class noticed that Gatsby seems to think that he can relive the past. The past five years of his life are evidence of this: he moves to the West Egg in hopes that Daisy Buchanan will show up at his party, disregarding the fact that Daisy is married, which means she is not available to Gatsby and no longer attends parties like she used to. Gatsby seems too ambitious for his own good - while his ambitions made him rich, he now seeks the impossible: going back in time. A passage that brilliantly shows how... Continue reading
All of the books weve read this semester have been criticisms of America at some point in history: The Scarlet Letter brought light upon fallacies in Puritan society, The Crucible showed us the flaws in Puritan society and during the Red Scare, Frederick Douglass exposed us to the reality of slavery and racism before the Civil War, Huckleberry Finn poked fun at the ignorance of uneducated racists, The Catcher in the Rye emphasized the "cheesy-ness" of the 1900s, and MacNolia slapped us in the face with a real look at racism in America through the eyes of a black girl... Continue reading
One of the best Christmas gifts my family got this year was Christian Lander's book, The Definitive Guide to Stuff White People Like. The book is set up as a guide to someone who is trying to make friends with or fit in with white people. And it's hilarious. The book contains a list if 150 things that, obviously, white people like. I took the time to read a little bit of it, and some of my favorites were "Gifted Children," "Hating Their Parents," "Having Two Last Names," "Threatening to Move to Canada," and "Cleanses." These were my favorite because... Continue reading
Humans have ued their knowledge and skill over the years to create new things and improve our lives, so that now we live in an extremely modernized and polished society. We consider human-populated cities more advanced than animals' habitats, which we deem wild and primitive. We keep animals as pets and lock them up in cages to look at for our own entertainment. Clearly, we humans think ourselves superior to animals. And we are superior... right? Yes, the way that humans have judged, exploited, murdered, and condemned our own kind is far superior to animals' acceptance of difference and variation... Continue reading
To Hawthorne, pale skin is more than just a genetic trait. Pale skin appears numerous times throughout The Scarlet Letter, and it's no coincidence. In the book, this image represents secrecy. Biologically, pale skin can mean several things, from illness to Scandinavian descent. But pale skin can also signify that somene has not been in the sun, but in the dark or indoors. In The Scarlet Letter, the sun or daytime represents public life, while the nighttime and darkness represent privacy and secrecy. So if a person is pale, this means that they have spent most of their time in... Continue reading
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne feels like the Scarlet letter she is forced to wear gives her the power to feel or sense the sins of others. I think that Pearl possesses a similar sensation - she can sense good nature in people. I think that Pearl knows that Dimmesdale is her father, yet she likes him much more than the others in town and even shows him affection. On the other hand, Pearl is extremely shy and somewhat rude around the other officials and children of the town. She goes so far as to call Chillingworth the "Black... Continue reading
I was talking to a friend about movies the other day. She told me that she cried during every single Pixar movie she's seen. Most people would think, "Really? Pixar movies? Aren't those for little kids?" And the answer is yes, they are made for kids. But most Disney or Pixar movies today get to the heart of real issues and present much deeper meanings than the movies teens and adults enjoy. Most of the movies that come out today are romantic comedies like "When in Rome," or action movies like "Transformers." I watched "When in Rome" a few months... Continue reading
That is the question. At least it is for "Judge" Danforth in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Why the quotations around Danforth's title? I think Danforth best explains it himself when he says, "I judge nothing" (91). And the truth is, he doesn't. While Danforth is supposed to hear evidence during the trials and make an unbiased decision on the innocence of the defendant, there's nothing unbiased about what he does. He accepts only the victim's evidence, since witchcraft is an "invisible crime." He uses illogical counter-arguments to disprove the defendant's innocent pleas. Danforth is not judging or deciding anything. He's... Continue reading
A Post-Hoc Fallacy is also known as a post hoc, ergo propter hoc, which is Latin for "after it, therefore because of it." It is an assumption that, since two events occured, one event was caused by the other event. It ends up as a conclusion that makes sense but doesn't have the evidence necessary to prove it. Sometimes these assumptions make sense: for example, I could say that since my sister was the last person to use the computer, and then the computer broke, my sister broke the computer. It seems logical that the last person to use the... Continue reading
Holden Caulfield, J.D. Salinger's main character from Catcher in the Rye is often described as an "anti-hero." He's the protagonist of the story because we're allowed into his thoughts and experiences, but at the same time we're not really supposed to like Holden - because he's whiny, because he's immature, and because he's honestly just frustrating. Now take one of the most popular, best-selling books worldwide: Harry Potter. Harry is the perfect example of what a real protagonist should look like. He's witty, selfless, generous, kind-hearted, and athletic. He's faced and defeated the bad guy, what, like eight times now?... Continue reading
In class we've been assessing Holden's sanity. We diagnosed Holden with various mental disorders, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. But I think Holden's got something different going on - I think that he made most of the story up. I'm not saying Holden is a liar, because I don't think that he is. But have you ever seen the movie Shutter Island? The main character, scarred by a traumatic past, creates a fictional identity and life story that correspond with the events that occur. His disturbed mind creates these illusions as a defense mechanism. I personally think that Holden... Continue reading
Recently the number of the percentage of black Japanese residents who are unable to grow beards is on the rise. At the same time, the number of Japanese babies gone missing has spiked incredibly. Studies show that in 2008, only 12 Japanese babies went missing, while the running total of abducted children in 2010 is a whopping 3,270*.There is only one explanation for this: the babies have been abducted to create artificial beards. One man has been taken into custody to date. The defendant, who wishes to remain unnamed, admits that, "I like the softness of the babies' hair. It's... Continue reading
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Sep 9, 2010