Monday, May 9, 2011

"Poverty in the Philippines" by Chearelle Dinkelman

The Philippines is a third world country, which is full of beauty yet still has its flaws. The wealth of the Philippines has not been distributed evenly and because of that many lives are in poverty. Millions of people live in urban slums or in rural areas where the lack of sanitation is out of control. I was a victim of starvation in the Philippines, and this was a very difficult experience. If I were to go back, I would not want to see the same system that we had before. However, I believe that the situation I came from is still going on as it was before, or it may have even gotten worse. The government is primarily at fault for this problem. Poverty is one of the largest reasons that communities in the Philippines are suffering. The government needs to do something about this problem, such as adding more jobs or changing the requirements for getting a job, providing lower education costs, or offering more services in financial aid or job training. The Philippines needs to reduce poverty in light of a fast growing population.

Due to lack of opportunities of getting a job in urban cities, many families move to other cities to find better resources to provide for their family. Most families in the Philippines are impoverished and children at very young aged are forced to find jobs. These jobs could vary from selling cigarettes, flowers, plastic bags, newspapers, hauling, car washing, and other tasks. According to CNC World, “about a third of the country’s 90 million populace are still subsisting on below two US dollars per day. Economic growth hardly dents the country’s high unemployment and underemployment rate. The national statistics office reported early this week that unemployment rate in the Philippines in 2010 was at 7.3 percent, slightly lower than the 7.5 percent rate in 2009. About 2.9 million Filipinos were unemployed in 2010.” The government should try to invest more money to rise up wages.

Many say that education is the way to pursue your dream or to find success in life. Lack of education in the Philippines is very high; many families can’t afford to pay for their children’s tuition. So the question is “How can children go to school if they have no financial income?” It is easy for people who have money to say that education is the way to survive in this bad economy. However, for those people who have a lower level of education and a lack of skills, education is not easily accessible. Many of these people therefore have no way out of poverty because most employees won’t accept unskilled workers. Families often end up living in a damaged area or even on the streets. They build their houses out of cardboard, plastic, cloth, or boxes. The living conditions are very poor throughout the Philippines.
The government or the senate of the Philippines should also offer more services such as financial aid, healthcare or job training for those who have graduated college. The Philippines have money to fix roads and make the islands look beautiful, but when it comes to helping the poor, the government is not so eager to spend. Many graduates from college have degrees but they can’t even find a job. Everyone tells them to go to school and get your degree and get a good job, but now that they have gone to school, most of them can’t even get a retail job in the Philippines. Many strive to migrate to other countries to better their lives. Some of them have degrees, but once they come to America, that degree becomes worthless.

There are some people who criticize the numerous teenagers in the Philippines wandering around doing drugs, and joining street gangs. Many of these youth have not even finished high school. People wonder, if they have the time to do all those things, how come they can’t find a way to better themselves? That’s what most people would say who have finished their education. My counterargument is, however, that these teenagers do those things because they can’t go to school, and they have no money to get into school to better their lives. They have to find a way to survive and cope with the life that they have. Children didn’t choose this kind of life for themselves, and because it is all they have ever known, many of them have no hope on furthering their lives.

In conclusion, the government should help the people in the Philippines make their lives a little easier so that they can provide for their families. Also, this would prevent many people from migrating to other cities or even to other countries such as the United States. It is embarrassing for the government that people have to move to another country to find a better employment to provide for their families back home. Many are far from their loved ones because they sacrifice themselves for their families. The government could also lower tax breaks or even provide better opportunities to people with less education. If possible, the government of the Philippines could also ask the governments of other countries to help Filipinos, perhaps by fundraising to help the poor. There are so many options that the Philippines can take steps to better not only their country, but their fellow countrymen. The Philippines needs to reduce poverty in light of a fast growing population.

List of sources (Work Cited):
-CNCWorld, “Philippines jobless and poverty”, News Report, February 13, 2011,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"My Turn" by Natasha Rugley

I have always wanted to be a mother. I can remember watching the film “Look Who’s Talking.” The roles of the talking babies were so adorable. The movie aroused a maternal desire in me and put a comical spin on unexpected pregnancy. My friends and family were all having babies and yet I was still childless. My mother and my best friend had even been pregnant at the same time. Feelings of incompleteness as an adult women dwelled in me deeply. I was getting older and still had produced no seed. I was in a long-time relationship with my high school sweetheart and he too wanted a child with me as we were both at our happiest in our relationship. My boyfriend and I were crazy in love. I felt ready to start a family with him.
One day he asked me, “What would you do if I got you pregnant?”

I told him that, “I would be in dream state of mind.” I thought to myself, he really loves me and I wanted so much to become a mother. I made an appointment with my gynecologist, and on my visit to the doctor, I told her I wanted to get pregnant.
Her council was a series of questions and concerns, “Are you sure you want this?”
At that time I thought I was ready to become a mother, I thought I wanted it more than anything in this world. It was not long after that visit my body went through changes. I was no longer using birth control; I and my boyfriend were definitely raising the odds of me becoming pregnant. Even though we were high school sweethearts, he was a two timing, unfaithful player and so we broke up. Now that my ex-boyfriend and I had separated, my desire of becoming a mother faded. We keep in touch by phone calls.

He would ask, “Did you take a pregnancy test yet?”

“Why do you keep asking me this, I am not pregnant.” I replied with an attitude.
I was sure I was not pregnant even though I did not feel like myself. My sense of smell had changed; the smell of fast food would make me want to puke. When I was around my ex-boyfriend the scent of his cologne that any woman would find seducing, repulsed me.

My ex-boyfriend began to repeat daily, “You’re pregnant!”

I did not believe his words and thought to myself, he does not know my body, I am not pregnant, and I cannot get pregnant. One night I went into a Subway, one of my favorite spot to dine and the instant I walked inside, the smell of the fresh bread crawled inside my nostrils and turned my stomach upside down. Suddenly I knew something was different, something was wrong with me. I quickly put my hand to my mouth as if I were going to vomit in my hand. I placed my order to go and when I walked outside the clear, fresh, night air was like breathing for the first time and relieved me from the smells that sicken me. That is when it hit me,

“Oh my God I’m pregnant,” and I grab my belly and looked down at it.

On my way home from Subway I stopped by the store to buy a pregnancy test. When I got home I went straight to the bathroom and proceeded to follow the instruction on the box. I was not even finished urinating on the test strip when the result came back positive. There was the proof finally, I was really pregnant. I was actually going to become a mother. I called my ex- boyfriend and like a vision he already knew. He took me to the doctors not to support me, but just to confirm his suspensions.

I thought that I would have a happy life together with my ex-boyfriend. I had hoped to have support and a family, but he showed no love. I was two months pregnant and the beginning of motherhood was not the way I expected. I realized I was alone and my ex-boyfriend abandoned me and his unborn child. When I wanted to become pregnant I thought it to be a happily ever after fairly tale, but it turned out to be a hurtful experience.

Yet even though my relationship was broken and torn, there still was a light of hope and joy of becoming a mother. The life growing inside my body distracted me from all that was going wrong. When I was pregnant I was a different person no matter if my life took unexpected loops, it did not concern me because I had my baby that I prayed to God for. A little life was growing in my belly and I could not wait to bring her into the world and in my arms.

"Musical Explosion" by Jessica Barnes

The early morning wake up call, sun hasn’t even risen. Packing a bag, knowing that you are about to have a very long and trying day. The day of a marching band competition is always an exhausting, stressful and rough. There are so many things to do before you even get the chance to perform, getting dressed, warming up process, and tuned, to whatever your sections rituals before your performance. It’s a never ending until you get out of uniform, even after your out of uniform it still continues.

The top of your day begins when arriving at the school at an unusual hour, when no one is ever there. From parking your car, grabbing your hat box, day bag and to-go breakfast you’re running towards the buildings door; afraid that you are going to be late for the attendance call. Walking into the band room, it’s like walking into a smelly room filled with dirty socks and sweat mixed with sunscreen; it’s just beyond gross and sickening. Walking into the room all you see is half asleep people that look like they are going to fall over and pass out soon. The sound is dead quiet, the only sound is the sound of soft hum of music from headphones, and the low mummer of talk, the ticking of a clock on the wall; otherwise you could drop and pin and hear its little ding. Six o’clock comes around; the band teacher walks in calls you to attention and tells you the schedule. From then on it’s a rustle of noise and commotion. Getting uniforms instruments out and ready, the packing of hatboxes; leaving your instrument, hatbox by the truck, so that the pit crew can load it; then loading you and your uniform onto the bus so that you don’t get into trouble. Sitting with your section, getting all the talk out that you can before you leave, setting up your headphones. Once the bus driver tells you the rules of the bus, you’re off to the place that you have been waiting for all week. Once the school’s parking lot is almost out of view everyone on the bus screams, then the silent hype begins. A time to reflect on your show and what you need to do to get ready. All you can hear is the low mummer of music, the nervous breathing of your fellow band mates and your instructors, and the strange whistle of the bus driver.

Once you arrive, everything gets thrown back into a huge frenzy, blended into something crazy. Sounds range from garment bags opening, to zippers going up, angry cries when you can’t get it on right, to instruments being put together. Once off the cramped bus, you’re off to stretching and body warm up. The sound of stretching, pull of muscle, clothes that don’t allow you to move past a certain amount, to the sound of band moms coming around with water and tape. Body warm up is the coolest thing to ever watch. The feel of muscle when you forward march, but while you are forward marching doing 90 degree terms with upper and lower body until you’re backwards marching. Going on until you are back to forward march, and doing this all in across the floors, line by line you see the band goes; each member doing the same exercise. Just to see a band moving together is like nothing else, not being able to tell who is a freshman or who is a senior is just mind blowing to see. The sound of shoe brushing against the grass, the swish of the pant legs against each other. The smell of grass and morning air is all around you, with the tint of fear for what is about to happen. After body warm up is the musical warm up, splitting up into woodwinds, percussion and brass; instruments being warmed up is like a horror movie starting. Playing your music by memory and marking time is a challenge all on its own. However by now it’s nothing you can’t handle.

Five minutes before your performance you’re heading over to the field, the sound of shoes walking at the same time, tap of the drum to tell you “left, left, left.” Once to the field, the band says a prayer passed down from senior class to senior class, “Dear Green Mountain, Today we see those who have come before us. Today we see those who have not yet come to be. Today we see those who stand with us in battle that goes on through life. We ask for a field that is fair and the courage to do and to dare. If we should win, let it be by the code with our faith and our honor held high. If we should lose, let us stand by the side of the road and cheer in the winners go by. So that we may stand in a place where tradition and honor live forever.” Then breaking off into sections to do your own rituals. Lining back up, echoes of movement are around you, butterflies in your stomach and the rush of breathing. Marching onto the field you hear the crowd screaming and cheering, weather for you or for the other school you are unsure of. Your drums majors yelling “I AM NOT AFRIAD” and you repeating, “I AM NOT AFRIAD!” Then you’re off into your starting set with the grass brushing under your feet. Dead silence breaks out, nothing but your own heartbeat in your ears, waiting and waiting for your cue to begin. The announcers announce your drum majors, your instructors and your school; knowing that in a few short heartbeats your cue will be given. “Presenting from Lakewood, Colorado Welcome Green Mountain’s Marching Rams….”

Finally it comes and the sound breaks out like something just dropped. The sound of body’s moving, grass crunching under your feet, brass instruments playing, woodwinds, the drums keeping your beat. Watching your drum majors to keep tempo and place. You go and go without stopping for seven and half minutes and at last your hold your last note and snap your instrument down and breathing comes easier now. Finally, looking at the crowd, and hearing the cheers, claps and screams for you, a smile comes to your face; you see your cue to turn and exit. You march off the field feeling lighter and happier knowing that you have accomplished what you needed to for the morning. Walking back to the bus there is talk everywhere, sounds of high fives, joy is everywhere. After getting out of uniform, finding out that you just have to go through all the tension again in a few short hours you make the best of the time you have with friends.

After the final show, you head back on the bus, sing a song for the bus driver “Three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver, three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver man/lady. S/he smokes and s/he cusses and wrecks all the buses, three cheers for the bus driver, bus driver man/lady, “HIP HIP HERRAY! HIP HIP HERRAY!” and unload yourself from the bus. Return your uniform, grab your hatbox and instruments and put it all away. Discovering that marching band is not just an activity, it’s more like a family not just a group of friends or a group of people. You’re not regretting the blood, sweat, and tears you have shed. Say goodbye to friends and getting ready to go home when someone says party at Denny’s and you head over there instead of home. So after a long day, all your ready to do is relax, but instead you go out and eat food and talk about the day and taking 2nd place overall and celebrating the days accomplishments. Marching band is not something you just “do” it’s something you become a part of, weaved into. Once weaved into, it’s hard to get out or leave it.

"Peek-a-boo is Dangerous to Elder" by ThuHien Nguyen

At the my auntie’s party, my grandaunt got a heart attack from her grandchild’s peek-a-boo, then fell on the floor on last Friday.

At the weekend family party, everyone enjoyed their family time, parents chatted together, teenager was busy to play with the Wii, and those little kids chased others, plays, and laughed happily.

My grandma and grandaunt was watching news and chatted with each other at the same time.

It was about 9pm, it was too late for elder’s sleep, so my mom and aunt asked their moms went to their bed.

My grandma head to the guest room and sleep, she was tired. Grandaunt was tired too but she always wanted to go to the restroom first before she went to her bedroom. As she was on the way come out from the restroom.

Her little grandchild, Titi, stood in front of the restroom door. He wanted to play with his grandma, so he jump to his grandma and peek-a-boo her. But she got a slight heart attack and fell on the floor. Titi laughed a lot. Everyone heard the noise and come over.

Parents knew the situation and scolded at Titi. Everyone went to help grandaunt to get up. Luckily, grandaunt just got a minor injury and she said she was okay. And Titi cried and felt sorry for her. What a poor innocent kid, don’t play that game again. That was a small accident.

"Red Riding Hood" by Kamil Adylov

There is an amazing movie called Red Riding Hood I watched last week, and it became my one of my favorite movie. The film presents very old time when there weren't any technologies than we have at present. It shows for audience how it was awesome time when the people lived naturally like hunting, hunting, and milking. Also, the soundtrack of the movie make people more sensitive in some moments, relaxing, excited, and loving.

The movie was about a small village which was located at forest was attacked by werewolf every full moon. People tried to kill the werewolf, but it was to strong and elusive. Every full moon werewolf came to the village and killed people, but only a girl named Valeria who it didn't touch and offered to live with him from the village. Valeria loved a logger Peter, who became a werewolf at the end, but her parents made her get married to a blacksmith. For her marriage her grandmother gave her a red riding hood.

I liked how the village was designed and constructed and also the wood of the forest which I've never seen before looked unusual; they were really tall and their branches were prickly. The movie is pretty interesting, and I would recommend it to my friends. I enjoyed of watching a life about 700 years ago. I think the movie was used from tales, but it was interesting to watch.All time while I was watching the movie, I guested who was a werewolf.

"The Art of Hip Hop" by Jonathan Gonzalez

There are many music genres, but none are like Gangsta Hip Hop. Hip hop originated in African-American communities during the late 1970’s in New York, and has spread across the world. Everyone in the world can have something to do with Hip Hop. With 30 years of growing popularity, its growing criticism also grows about the music’s culture negative effect on society. But I think otherwise, and suggest for people who don’t listen to Hip Hop to do so, give it a shot, stop the criticism and listen to it! I’m 100% sure you will find something you like from it. Hip Hop is a music genre, but there are also different genres in Hip Hop, for example; Rap Rock, G-Funk, Crunk, Reggaeton, Christian Hip Hop, and of course Gangsta Hip Hop the most popular. Many different styles of Hip Hop, I am sure one of them will fit you.

The backlash is has taken for influence on the youth, for violence, drugs, and sex and degrading to women might be true. But there are some songs that that can have a movement against violence, drugs and sex and some sweet to women. As far as gangsta Hip Hop, listening to an interview of gangster rapper 50 Cent made me see his music in a different way. He defended his image by saying “I write harsh realities in my music because it’s what I seen my whole life growing up, I write it down on paper and record it so my life story can be heard” He puts his heart into a song. It is amazing music, knowing it’s inspired with real stories living in poverty.
A book has to be read, and the reader has to paint the picture, visualize the scene. A Hip Hop song has to be heard, the picture has to be painted from what you hear, words in a rhythm over a drumroll. Storytelling is art. Expressing with aggression is what some poets do, art. Gangsta Hip Hop is art.

“Hip Hop’s greatest gift and its heaviest burden-is its legacy of urban mythology. It will be remembered as that bittersweet moment when young black men captured the ears of America and defined themselves on their own terms. In doing so, they raised a defiant middle finger to a history that shamed them with slavery, misrepresented them as coons and criminals, and co-opted the best of their culture” said Joan Morgan, a writer from Vibe magazine. It can be a resistance. It can be an issue that can be heard through a song. Events, politics, maybe even a conspiracy question. It is all in a Hip Hop song.

Some talented artists want more than a hit song on Billboard charts, they want to be listened to just like you want to be listened to. The explicit content is from the heart. Hip Hop is entertainment. Listen to Hip Hop closely some of your answers might be over an instrumental. The whole world can fit into the Hip Hop culture.

"Suspect in Assault Appears in Court" by Jason Gonzalez

A suspect, who was detained and cited by the Denver police department back in February of 2011, appeared in the new Lindsey Flannigan courthouse on Thursday March 10, 2011 to answer charges of simple assault.

The wheels of justice were churning quite dramatically this past Thursday, due to the suspect of an alleged assault not being prepared for court for his second consecutive court appearance. The suspected assailant, who was stopped and issued a summons and complaint for an alleged assault, requested a continuance by the court because he had yet to hire an attorney.

The suspect who will remain anonymous, was obviously trying to prolong the inevitable, hadn’t even hired an attorney yet. The city attorney’s office, of course objected to the continuance once again, due to the presence of the witnesses of the alleged crime being present.

When asked once again, why the defendant was not ready for his court trial he responded, how it was an extreme travesty of justice that the city attorney’s office was even pursuing these outlandish charges against him, and how he was in fact the true victim on that dreadful day.

The honorable judge interrupted the ranting defendant, and stated that if he represented himself and lost at trial, that it would reflect badly on her decision to allow the defendant to represent himself since he had very little knowledge of trial law and how he would be granted a new trial. The defendant was granted a continuance to hire an attorney and the next disposition hearing will be held on 20th day of April 2011, at 8:30 am in courtroom 3F.