Monday, February 29, 2016

Junior Theme

For my junior theme, I am exploring why prescriptions for anti-depressants have sky-rocketed in the last 20 years. I had previous knowledge about anti-depressants and SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). After researching this topic for a while, I am realizing how many factors will need to be discussed into my paper. Are the prescriptions increasing because there are more cases of depression and anxiety disorders? Or are they increasing because people are becoming more aware of these mental health crises? Could it be because doctors are using medication to treat these things rather than therapy? Is it possible that doctors are overmedicating teenagers?

A nice thing about this topic is that there really is not a shortage of sources because there are so many people that have varying opinions on this topic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Invisible Effects of Poverty

Being poor comes with all kinds of effects - visible and invisible. "Visible" effects would be lacking extravagant material items that if you are just trying to get by, you would not have. What's less obvious to people on the outside looking in are the invisible effects of being poor. What I believe to be one of the invisible effects of being poor is the loss of identity.

In Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich goes undercover, in a way, to experience trying to get by on jobs that are deemed "unskilled." Ehrenreich, taking an inventory of all her "stuff", states that she has, "a tote bag stuffed with books which will, along with the hiking boots ... turn out to be the most useless items in [Ehrenreich's] inventory," (53). Essentially Ehrenreich doesn't have time to do things outside of work. She goes to work, comes home exhausted, and then repeats the next day.

Another invisible effect is strain on relationships. A woman in Ehrenreich's book, Holly, experienced this. Holly comes to work one day clearly not feelings well and visibly upset6. When Ehrenreich tries to help and send her home, Holly explains that she, "had a big fight with [her] husband. [She] didn't want to come to work this morning but he said I had to" (97). Clearly Holly's relationship is being tested by the lack of money in the household.

Overall having money troubles has many invisible effects on a person and his/her family.

Monday, December 14, 2015

I'm Sorry if I Seem Uninterested


Throughout reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, our class has been talking a lot about conformity and non-conformity. While having discussions about conformity during class, it opened my eyes to how much the majority of people in our school conform to each other. From the things people wear to the actions that are carried out, people are conforming to one another left and right. And honestly, it’s annoying to me.

            Alessia Cara gets where my irritation with all this conformity comes from in her song “Here.” The whole song takes place at a party where Cara is being antisocial, to the max (check out the music video!). In fact, the singer points out how pointless it is for her to be there by saying, “I ain’t got no business here… But since my friends are here...” Cara then goes on to say that she would rather be at home by herself than with all these people who could care less about her. This is a typical example of conformity; going to a party or a school football game just because it’s expected of you. I know that I feel the pressure to go to at least one football game… it shows school spirit, right? That may be true, but once I get to an event I honestly did not want to go in the first place, I just want to go home.

            However, as much as Alessia Cara is breaking the norm of what singers her age usually sing about (the stereotypical songs about love, parties, etc.), she actually does have some stereotypes in her song. In her song she states that she’ll be “here” because she does not want to be with “the girl who’s always gossiping about her friends” or with “the boy who’s throwing up cause… He can’t take what’s in his cup no more...” Now, here’s there real question: Alessia Cara – conformist or non-conformist??


            Based off of this song, I believe that she is a non-conformist because of her alternate take on a song about a party. Now, I’ll turn the question to you – is Cara a conformist or a non-conformist?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

In regards to the mass shooting in San Bernardino, speaker of the house Paul Ryan expressed his belief that, "mental health laws are outdated and that people with mental illness should not be able to buy guns." The concept of not letting a mentally unstable person have access to a gun sounds extremely simple and intuitive, right?

Well, there have been several mentally unstable people who have gained access to guns, and used them. Days after the Sandy Hook shooting, the media suspected Adam Lanza, the gunman, to have had schizophrenia. While this diagnosis was never actually proven, according to Framing Health Matters, "Lanza 'struggled with basic emotions' as a child and wrote a story 'in which an old woman with a gun in her cane kills wantonly.'" Another example of a shooter having a mental illness is Elliot Rodger from Isla Vista, California. He suffered from Asperger's disorder and he took psychotropic medications.
One cannot blame a person for having a mental illness. However, going on a killing spree is an absolutely inexcusable act. Also, there are a ton of people out in the world who have mental illnesses, but are by no means a threat to anyone around them. Not all people with mental illnesses end up killing others, is my point.

This situation raises the question of if our schooling system is doing an adequate job of offering help to the students who are struggling mentally. In my opinion, our school does a really fantastic job, but I cannot speak for other schools. What are your thoughts?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Welcome to My Holiday Rant!


Just a few days before Halloween, I was out with one of my friends - we went into a store and you will never guess what I saw! Front and center, the Christmas display was out for the season. A small table in the back consisted of 30% off Halloween decorations. An even smaller display off to the side of the Christmas goodies there was the few Thanksgiving decorations that the store had. My point is, Christmas is a big deal for retail stores, but the stores are really jumping the gun this season.

The fact that Starbucks's "red cups" come out November 1st and that I'm getting emails from stores telling me all about their Christmas products, is absolutely insane. Believe me, I love Christmas, but I love the holiday when it's snowing and, you know, December. No amount of Christmas cheer retail stores are trying to spread to me today will make me overlook the fact that there are still fake spiderwebs and jack-o-laterns on my neighbor's front porch and that children have not even gotten half way thru their newly acquired candy.

However, maybe I'm overreacting. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year! What do you guys think?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Happy Columbus Day?!

This year, October 12th is Columbus Day. This is a holiday I always thought was cool, mostly because it often landed on my birthday. When I was in 5th grade my understanding of this day was that, magically, Christopher Columbus sailed right up to America and discovered it right then and there. I was impressed with Columbus because I figured he was the one started the colonies and such. My understanding was, clearly, very off. The Native Americans had their established way of life that worked perfectly for them by the time Columbus got here - it wasn't like he was the first one to figure out that there was land here.

Something we were never taught when we were younger was that Columbus was a jerk and he didn't even mean to discover America - he thought he was in India. Columbus took Natives prisoner as soon as he realized that they had gold and that they could guide him to different places in the Americas. Also, Columbus was power crazy; he stated that he "could conquer the whole of them [the indegenous peoples] with 50 men, and govern them as [he] pleased." (Learn more about Columbus here!)

However, I can't deny that Columbus did have a major effect on the course of history - he brought a lot of Europeans over here, which lead to settlers moving to North America. What are your thoughts about Christopher Columbus?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Reliability

During class, we have been talking a lot about reliability. We've talked about why a person would be or not be reliable. According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, one of the definitions of reliability is "the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same result on repeated trial." I found this interesting because this definition sounds very clear-cut and technical. However, after talking about reliability for the past couple days I have found that, for me, reliability has a lot of grey area. I tend to lean on people - I either trust you or I don't, and the people I trust are the people I rely on. My brothers, to me, are completely reliable. I can trust them with anything. However, there are some people who I rely on for specific things but I would not say that these people are overall reliable people. My belief is that a person should be thought of as reliable, unless you have a reason to think that a person is not reliable. I've noticed that it's hard to make friendships and grow your relationships with people when you assume the worst from a person.

What are your thoughts?