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the mass shooting in San Bernardino, speaker of the house Paul Ryan expressed his belief that, "mental health laws are outdated and that people with mental illness should not be able to buy guns."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?