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Reflective paper English 2010

Reflective paper
What I went thru in writing my final paper? Alot of stress!! I always want things to be perfect and I am perfectionist. Which is both a positive and a curse. I wanted this paper to be perfect and I also wanted my solution to be correct. I achieved neither. There was so, so much information regarding the subject that I wrote about. It is very controversial right at this moment. 31 governors are against allowing Syrians into our country. Why? Because of the Paris attacks and their concern for security in their state. What causes this overwhelming concern? The Media and the random attacks that have been happening recently, both in Paris and right here in my neck of the woods. California. The first attack that I have heard of that has happened on the West coast. I went thru alot of internal struggle with the subject itself.
Allot of soul searching for what it is that I personally believe. I took a Religious Diversity class that was more like a writing class then a Religious class. He was a tough grader and he helped to shape my papers to what he thought a good paper should be. One of the things that I learned in that class was how very small the actual percentage of terrorists were amongst all of the Muslims in the world. It is like .01% or less. It is very, very small. Unfortunately with our Media and how it will blast stuff at us for hours at time on the news, it blows it up so big that we seem to think the percentage is much higher. So there was very much an internal struggle with what my beliefs were. As far as applying what I learned in class to my paper. Honestly still disappointed that I didn’t learn more about how to write in this class. I still feel that more time could have been spent talking about how to write papers.
There was some book assignments that were assigned early on about how to write the papers, but not enough class discussion. I felt like I was kind of expected to remember what I had learned in English 1010 and that for me was 3 years ago. We did alot more writing in that class. More actual writing in this class would have been helpful as well. We all learn by doing. I love to write and I write often.
I did learn alot about how others think about things in our class and I was impressed by the diversity of thinking amongst. people that were quite a bit younger then I am. This did make me think and helped my writing.


Should we let Syrian Refugees in too our Country?? Can we afford the risk and can we afford the Cost?

Laurel Livezey
James Celestino
English 2010 Tuesday/Thurs
December 6, 2015

Should we let Syrian Refugees into the Country? Can we afford to take the Risk and can we afford the cost?
Should we let 10,000 Syrian Refugees into our Country?? Obama thinks that we should. What does the rest of the country think? Did you know that 31 governors have decided that they are not even going to let Refugees come in to their state? 31 Governors. That is over half of our States that feel that we should not risk accidentally letting in a terrorist. Only 7 governors are willing to let Refugees in, these are the more liberal states.
Americans and Donald Trump want to shut the door on Syrian refugees. According to one poll, 53 percent of American disapprove of allowing them into the country, while another 11 percent would allow only Syrians that are Christians. Although they have been told that they have no legal authority to block them, most governors don’t want the Refugees in their state. Also, now congress has gotten involved and would impose hurtles on further Refugee settlement. Is there really such a high risk? Or is it because of the media and that everything that happens anywhere that has to do with terrorism is so sensationalized over and over so that we are instilled with a kind of fear that won’t go away and haunts us. For example the recent attack in San Bernardino. One was a citizen and one was not. They were a quiet Muslim couple, who would have expected anything like this to happen from them. Could this have been avoided? Could it have been stopped???? San Bernardino is not far from where I was raised in California. Some of my friends had contact with these people. One is a reporter and went to the memorial service for them today. It hits so close to home. How do we draw the lines? If we let in Refugees are we opening the door to more of this? Or are we being the welcoming Americans that we are suppose to be. One of my friends told me what does the statue of Liberty stand for what does the statue of liberty say? give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free……!!!!!!!! It puts our country in a huge dilemma. Our country is built on immigrants fleeing their country of origin, to the United States for multitudes of reasons. One of the biggest ones being religious persecution in their country, another reason would be for new opportunities and a new start in a newer country. Well for the Syrians it is more of a basic need. They just want a safe place to live. They can’t live in a war torn country anymore. They are being driven out with only the clothes on their backs and a smart phone. Some don’t even have the smart phone.
How are we as a country that has been built on Immigrants going to handle this?? Do we turn a blind eye and let them just come on over? Or do we say yes, to the 10,000 and just make sure that they are properly vetted before they can come over? The vetting process is very lengthy and it is very difficult. Many people are turned away and people don’t realize this. It is not as if they can just get on a boat and come over here. It is not like that at all. One of my facebook friends, has a friend that practices Immigration Law. This is what he had to say about Vetting and evaluating the Refugees to decide if they are going to be allowed to immigrate over to the United States. His name is Scott Hicks.
“Most of my friends know I practice Immigration law. As such, I have worked with the refugee community for over two decades. This post is long, but if you want actual information about the process, keep reading.”
“I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to see the misinformation and outright lies that are being perpetuated about the refugee process and the Syrian refugees. So, here is a bit of information from the real world of someone who actually works and deals with this issue.”
“The refugee screening process is multi-layered and is very difficult to get through. Most people languish in temporary camps for months to years while their story is evaluated and checked.”
“First, you do not get to choose what country you might be resettled into. If you already have family (legal) in a country, that makes it more likely that you will go there to be with family, but other than that it is random. So, you cannot simply walk into a refugee camp, show a document, and say, I want to go to America. Instead, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees) works with the local authorities to try to take care of basic needs. Once the person/family is registered to receive basic necessities, they can be processed for resettlement. Many people are not interested in resettlement as they hope to return to their country and are hoping that the turmoil they fled will be resolved soon. In fact, most refugees in refugee events never resettle to a third country. Those that do want to resettle have to go through an extensive process.”
“Resettlement in the U.S. is a long process and takes many steps. The Refugee Admissions Program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within DHS conducts refugee interviews and determines individual eligibility for refugee status in the United States.”
“We evaluate refugees on a tiered system with three levels of priority. First Priority are people who have suffered compelling persecution or for whom no other durable solution exists. These individuals are referred to the United States by UNHCR, or they are identified by the U.S. embassy or a non-governmental organization (NGO).”
“Second priority are groups of “special concern” to the United States. The Department of State determines these groups, with input from USCIS, UNHCR, and designated NGOs. At present, we prioritize certain persons from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Iran, Burma, and Bhutan.”
“Third priority are relatives of refugees (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21) who are already settled in the United States may be admitted as refugees. The U.S.-based relative must file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) and must be processed by DHS.”
“Before being allowed to come to the United States, each refugee must undergo an extensive interviewing, screening, and security clearance process conducted by Regional Refugee Coordinators and overseas Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs). Individuals generally must not already be firmly resettled article. Just because one falls into the three priorities above does not guarantee admission to the United States.”
“The Immigration laws require that the individuals prove that they have a “well-founded fear.” This fear must be proved regardless of the person’s country, circumstance, or classification in a priority category. There are multiple interviews and people are challenged on discrepancies. Refugees are not simply admitted because they have a well founded fear. They still must show that they are not subject to exclusion under Section 212(a) of the INA. These grounds include serious health matters, moral or criminal matters, as well as security issues. In addition, they can be excluded for such things as polygamy, misrepresentation of facts on visa applications, smuggling, or deportations. Under some circumstances, the person may be eligible to have the ground waived.
“At this point, a refugee can be conditionally accepted for resettlement. Then, the RSC sends a request for assurance of placement to the United States, and the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) works with private voluntary agencies (VOLAG) to determine where the refugee will live. If the refugee does have family in the U.S., efforts will be made to resettle close to that family. ”
“Every person accepted as a refugee for planned admission to the United States is conditional upon passing a medical examination and passing all security checks. Frankly, there is more screening of refugees than ever happens to get on an airplane. Of course, yes, no system can be 100% foolproof. But if that is your standard, then you better shut down the entire airline industry, close the borders, and stop all international commerce and shipping. Every one of those has been the source of entry of people and are much easier ways to gain access to the U.S. Only upon passing all of these checks (which involve basically every agency of the government involved in terrorist identification) can the person actually be approved to travel.
“Before departing, refugees sign a promissory note to repay the United States for their travel costs. This travel loan is an interest-free loan that refugees begin to pay back six months after arriving in the country.”
“Once the VOLAG is notified of the travel plans, it must arrange for the reception of refugees at the airport and transportation to their housing at their final destination.
This process from start to finish averages 18 to 24 months, but I have seen it take years.”
“The reality is that about half of the refugees are children, another quarter are elderly. Almost all of the adults are either moms or couples coming with children. Each year the President, in consultation with Congress, determines the numerical ceiling for refugee admissions. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the proposed ceiling is 85,000. We have been averaging about 70,000 a year for the last number of years. (Source: Refugee Processing Center)
“Over one-third of all refugee arrivals (35.1 percent, or 24,579) in FY 2015 came from the Near East/South Asia—a region that includes Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
Another third of all refugee arrivals (32.1 percent, or 22,472) in FY 2015 came from Africa.
Over a quarter of all refugee arrivals (26.4 percent, or 18,469) in FY 2015 came from East Asia — a region that includes China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. (Source: Refugee Processing Center)
Finally, the process in Europe is different. I would be much more concerned that terrorists are infiltrating the European system because they are not nearly so extensive and thorough in their process. Scott Hicks posted this on facebook, he is an immigration Lawyer.
So after Reading the above about the whole Vetting process and how long it actually takes, why are the governors being such prudes about letting in Syrian Refugees??? Well it seems to have happened specifically after the Paris attacks. This attack made everyone aware of how easily someone can get into a country and start blowing people up. One of the Attackers included a man who entered the Europe with a Syrian passport and posed as a migrant. This is the reason that the Governors of 31 states are afraid to let Refugees into their States.
Specifically, Texas. Out of all 31 States, Republican leaders in Texas want to expand the legal authority of the states to be able to bar Syrian Refugees. The expected arrival of 21 of the Refugees in Texas this week has intensified concerns and fears about accepting Syrian in the wake of the Paris Attacks last month.
No other state has taken an more aggressive approach to blocking Syrian refugees then Teas which last week became the first state to try to bar the refugees by suing the federal government l Federal official and lawyer for local relief organization that work with refugee said state did not have the to turn away Syrian refugees and that denying services or benefits to refugees based on their country of origin or religion was unlawful.
Those warnings have not stopped leader in Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma and other states from publically refusing to accept the Refugees. On Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz said he introduced a bill to allow governors who have concerns about the government’s vetting process to opt out of accepting Syrian Refugees. He spoke at a News conference in Washington alongside Gov Greg Abbot, said who said he supported Mr. Cruz’s bill, known as the State Refugee security Act.
“We should not be bringing in refugees when our own F.B.I tells us we cannot ascertain whether or not they are ISIS terrorists. ” Mr. Cruz told Reporters.
O.K so where do we draw the line on this issue??? We have an immigration Lawyer that is specially telling us about the very long 18-24 month time period that this Refugees have to wait to be allowed to even come over here and then we have these governors of 31 states that are terrified of allowing them to come over because of a very tragic and violent event that happened in Paris. I wish that I had the answers to this and a good solution. However, I do believe that there needs to be perhaps a blending of the two minds. In my mind, the Statue of Liberty does stand for something. give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free……, we are Built on this a foundation of immigrants. How can we turn our back completely on these Refugees that have families and are just trying to flee a country that is torn apart by the seams by a war. They have been bombed and destroyed. They have lost their homes and some have lost members of their families. They are seeking a place to call home. Can we not accept even a handful of them??? In my religious Diversity class I learned that the actual percentage of terrorist in the Muslim community is actually very, very small. It is tiny percent. Yet, due to all the publicity of the terrorists, so many people are afraid. If the Vetting process is all that it is said to be and the length of time it takes to get over here is real, then don’t we need to take that Chance?? I have even polled my friends, because I wanted their heart felt opinions and they are seriously torn as well. Also the one argument that I had about us not being able to afford to bring them here. One of my friends pointed out to me, what about our aging populations and our Vets, we can’t even afford to take care of them properly, how can we afford to take care of the Refugees also?? Our U.S debt stands at over $58,00 per citizen. and a whopping $157, 000 per tax payer.
Well to this I say, When they come over here they have to sign a Promissory note, a note that says that they will repay the costs for their travel costs. This is a loan that they have to begin paying back six months after arriving in the country. They are being given a loan, not a free hand out. If this is the Truth and the Vetting process if through and lengthy, then we have to give at least some of them a chance to make a life for themselves in the United States. The other European countries are doing their part to take them in overseas. We need to do our part also.
I have read and pondered both sides of the argument. Each side has many valid points. We are a nation of Immigrants, we are built on the backs of hard working souls that brought their families over here to start afresh. I believe that we need to give them that chance, they are people with families just like you and I. We need to welcome them and embrace them, love them and try to help them get situated in a very different kind of world.
Livezey 10
Works Cited
Hicks, Scott. Facebook post
Posner, Eric “Why Are People So Scared of Syrian Refugees?”
FERNANDEZ, MANNY and PRESTON, JULIA “Anxiety Grows in Texas With Syrians Due to Arrive Soon” The New York Times
Fantz,Ashley and Brumfield, Ben, “More than half the nation’s governors say Syrian refugees not welcome” Cnn World

Our Nation’s View on Muslims


Our Nations View on Muslims

            Muslims beliefs are very different then our own, ( Christians) however only a small percentage .01% of Muslims make up the terrorist group. The majority of Muslims that live in America are actually peace loving and were outraged and sympathetic about the Boston Marathon Bombings. This is actually a very controversial subject though and there are definitely more than 2 sides to this Topic. I am going to present both sides. It is my sincere belief though that only a small percentage of Muslims are actually  terrorists or related to terrorists.   

            This paper is going to be sort of tricky for me to write as I have very mixed feeling about Muslims, I wrote three of my media reviews on Muslims. I did not really do this on purpose, it is just that while researching articles, I found some of the articles about Muslims to be the most interesting and controversial.   However, it would hard for me to tie these 3 articles together to make one paper so this is going to be mostly on other articles that I researched about terrorists and the Boston Bombings. I found this recent event to be a good indication of how our nation or Boston anyway reacted to the event of two Muslim brothers building bombs and planting them at the finish line of the Boston marathon. People did not react well at all. People were angry, and people were sad and grieving. It was one of the worst weeks of my life. It happened on a Monday and it was all over the news. I had to tell my son to turn it off. He is a big news junkie. He loves the news. Fox news is his favorite channel. My neck and back were killing me and I had made an appointment with my chiropractor for an adjustment . While I was there,  it was on the news. I asked the receptionist to turn it off. She didn’t. I didn’t really want to watch it as I was upset about some other things. I remember feeling rattled about the whole event.  I found out while driving to my appointment that my boyfriends’ father was in the Hospital and he thought he might be dying, so I was doubly rattled over that. He did not end up dying by the way, they were able to stitch him back together in surgery and he was O.k. We did not know that though until almost the end of the week. So I was pretty much a mess the entire week. My son stayed up late that night watching fox news about the bombing and asking me alot of questions that I really did not have the answers to. It was one of those things that rivet the whole nation. Everyone was talking about it when you went out and it was on facebook. We know two people that live near Boston.. My son’s Dad lives in Boston and so does my friend Debbie who I have known since 4th grade.  Debbie and her family were on lockdown, she posted a picture of her remaining 4 children out on the deck guarding the family with a sword or machete. It was kind of a comical picture. She posted when they caught the younger brother. I was still unwilling to watch the news anymore about it. So that is how I found out.

            The  reaction in Boston was mixed. There were many news articles written. This is an excerpt of one of them. ” Muslims caution against Stereotyping after Boston Marathon bombings.” The article says that the brothers suspected of committing the Boston Marathon bombing s appear to be self-radicalized men, on a jihad against enemies of Islam. Muslims are saying that Dshokar and Temerian and alleged views and action don’t accurately represent their faith, and people should be weary of stereotypes about Islam. Emily Babay the writer of this article says” I think the stereotypes are that Muslims are violent or terrorist or criminals. When something like the Boston bombing happen it just confirms those stereotypes.

            I was curious about the percentage of Muslims that are terrorists. So I googled  it. I love googling things. I learn so much. The first thing that popped up was something about Glenn Beck going on the air and claiming that 1% of Muslims are terrorists. Then there was a also a news clip that says that he is wrong. I felt that the second claim was much more credible. The newscaster’s said that there have been studies done and the more accurate figure is that only .01% of Muslims are terrorists. He felt that Glenn Beck’s figure was very inaccurate and I would tend to agree. That is a very small percentage in my book. 

            I read some other articles about the Muslims of Boston coming out and saying that they did not agree or support the actions of these two brothers. They were very, very upset about this kind of action in their city. They wanted the world to know that they felt that the brothers actions were wrong and they were embarrassed to be associated with it. They even put together  money for the victims’ families to help them out and I also believe to prove to the world that they were grieving for the victims as well and were not in support of the act.

            There were backlashes against the Muslims in the days after the explosions. A Muslim woman was punched in the shoulder by a man who started shouting ” F-you, Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions! F-you! ” There was also an article about a taxi cab driver that was punched in the face and yelled at by some guy that actually ended up breaking his jaw in the process of punching him. He was hospitalized and he was very upset because he had worked hard and had served in the US military.  He was a Muslim from Somalia, but he was not involved in any way to the recent Boston bombings.

            The bombing are contrary to Islam’s teachings. York imam Majahid Rick Ramos said at a service last week, according to the York Daily record. ” It is prohibited for Muslims to kill anybody,” he said ” Justice should be administered by people in authority. It is not for you to take that matter into your own hands.”

            You asked us how these assignments helped us get a broader perspective and deeper understanding of our community and the world.  My answer to that question is that yes, all of these assignments contributed to my understanding about the different types of Religions that our out there in our world.  Although most of my papers were written about the Muslim faith, I found the LDS religion to be the most interesting to me. Their Religion has intrigued me since I  moved out here and became surrounded by them.  I am much happier to be surrounded by them then by the Asians that surrounded us in my home town of Temple City. I was happy to learn that although there are differences between LDS and Christians, our differences are not as vast as I previously thought. That was comforting to me.

             In conclusion I do believe that it is a false concept to stereotype all or most Muslims are violent or mean to cause Americans harm. It is true that some of the extremists yes, in fact do mean to cause us harm, but not all.  Glenn Beck was wrong about the 1% figure. The true figure is closer to only .01% of Muslims are terrorists or are in some way involved with terrorists actions. In the above article it was stated that ” Just because there is some sort of association to being Muslim, that doesn’t mean you can really generally say that Muslims are violent.” she said, ” People just need to be aware that there’s good and bad people in all faiths. ” I would have to agree. Although there are many  Americans out there that are now afraid of Muslims and they just plain don’t like them. And yes, there have been some absolutely horrific acts of terrorism that would justify people feeling angry and enraged by these acts. It would not be right to categorize all Muslims as terrorists at all. The majority are peaceful citizens and they deserve respect and understanding  just like any other American citizen.



Personal Life Philosophy

Personal Life Philosophy
I have read a few books on Happiness and what makes a person Happy. The one that stuck with me is that people are happiest when they both have a job that they get a lot of satisfaction out of and a mate that they really enjoy being married too. If you have these 2 things then you will be happy and content with your life. So my life Philosophy would be a quest to find those things. Also as I am a single woman, presently without a job it is important that I learn what it is that pleases me and makes me happy as a Single person. I am reading a book called Solemate. Not Soul mate, but Solemate. In this book it teaches us that we must learn to be happy with ourselves first before we can be Happy with anyone else in our lives. This is a very intriguing philosophy to me. I think this book was written just for me!!
Our lives are a personal Journey. I believe that we all have different life Philosophies. As different as well, there are different kinds of things that are important to all of us. For some people their Religion is what is most important to them. For others it might be their family. For others it could be their Careers and/or Self Development. Some people want to get married and have great big families and pour themselves into their children. Some people want to do both things. Some people will strive to have both a family and a career. For me I have been raising my son for 20 years and have been dedicated to only that. Now it is time for me to have a Career and go to School to prepare for a Career. I was not one that felt that I could do both at the same time like my mother did.
My goals in life have been to have a house and a family and a Career. I have the house and I have my son. I don’t have a husband or a Career as of yet, but I would still eventually like to have those things and that is what I am going for now. I also believe in God and my church and spiritual life is important to me. Belonging to a Church community is important to me. I have belonged to a community church out here for about 2 1/2 years, but I am thinking of finding one better suited for us. Other things that are important to me is communicating with friend. I am a avid face book addict and I love to correspond via e-mail to a few friends. My old Pastor from Southern California and I e-mail frequently as both of us enjoy writing and he is trying to establish a new life as a divorcee and I am trying to establish a new life out here in Utah and we have a lot to share with each other. Also my cats are important to me. I am an animal lover and my animals are very important to me.
I am in College right now trying to better myself because it is important to me that I end up with some kind of career that I can do that will make enough money for me to be able to support myself in a better manner then I can right now with the skills that I already have. I have not invested in myself until recently. I am taking courses to get an AS degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis on Radiology. I have about 50 credits already towards this. And then I plan to try to get into a Two Year program where I can become a Diagnostic Sonogram Technician. The Medical Field is a good field to get into because it will always be there and will always be needed. One of the reasons we moved out here is that the Economy is doing better out here then it is in California. Also there is a good Technology and good Medical businesses out here. Also I could afford to buy a house out here much easier than in California.
I would really enjoy having a job that I loved and looked forward to every day. I would like to have a boyfriend or a husband to come home to and also lots of friends that share my interests. I would like my son to be happy in whatever it is that he is doing also. I have invested a lot of time in him. I would like to be involved in activities that give me joy as well. I read a lot and learn. I am also realizing that I would love to be able to sing. Even if it were just sometimes in like a nightclub or even church. I sometimes sing at the Men’s Rescue Mission in Salt Lake City. Singing is great release of positive energy.
I think that a good life would be having a job that you find satisfying and then having leisure activities that you enjoy when you are done with work. Find some kind of a hobby that you enjoy. Some kind of exercise incorporated into your routine would be very healthy as well. I have a friend that walks at least 30 min a day and he is 68 and is still healthy. My nana lived to be 97 years old and she walked and exercised, she also played the piano up into her 90’s. She ate her vegetables and had a great attitude about life. It helps to make you live longer to have a good attitude and exercise. This is something that I need to work on the exercise part. I almost need to be signed up for a Class that I have to go to, so that I can get some exercise. I feel so much more energetic when I do exercise.
We have lived in Utah for 3 years now. We are from Southern California. That is where I have spent most of my life and I have a lot of friends there. I miss the warmth. My son really misses it as well. It is a different lifestyle and the people are different. There is not as much of a mix of races out here that is for sure. It is much more conservative and white out here. That part my son does like. His values are more the norm out here. Mine are not, however. Although living out here and hearing what people think has made me think differently. I am slowly but surely making some friends out here. I have three friends now out here and I still do keep in touch with my friends in California.
Since we needed to refer to four books at least for this paper, I have been doing a lot of reading. I have found such great books for this project!!! I want to tell you about the four that I have been reading. I have to say that they have been hard to put down. I got so wrapped up in Suzanne Somers 365 Ways to Change Your Life That I spend most of all day yesterday reading it. I have gotten up to page 68. I did not think that much of Suzanne Somers before because I always thought of her as the Blond Bimbo of “Three’s company”. I have to say though that reading this book has changed my opinion of her. She is a person that is willing to examine her life and to try to change for the better. Her father was an alcoholic that really challenged her self worth, he constantly told her that she was “stupid, worthless, and hopeless.” This was her wounding. It destroyed her ability to feel good about or love herself. This single relationship seems to be what has spurned her on to become the remarkable writer and person that she is. She has really turned her life around and made much progress that she wants to share with others.
Every day she has a thought for the day. This is for Day 60.
Today I will slow down and think only of the most pressing problem in my life that need correcting. I know that eventually I will deal with everything that needs attention, but I am aware that to be effective I can handle only the most pressing problem on my plate. With each change I will find myself closer to serenity, and that is my ultimate job for this lifetime.
This one really spoke to me today. So far so many of them have. I just can’t seem to get enough of them. She is really an amazing inspirational writer. She give me hope to better my life and to be a better example to my son.
Day 61
Envy is a good thing. Envy causes you to aspire to be like someone that you admire or to want something for your life that others have. We learn by watching others, and when we see someone doing good things with his or her life, it is perfectly okay to aspire to do it the same way. Jealousy, on the other hand, is negative. Jealousy is unnatural–it is wishing others did not have what they have, because you do not. Jealousy is wishing harm to come to others in some form, that they lose that great job, or the wonderful marriage, or that beautiful face, or their wealth. What good does it do for you to take away from another his or her good fortune? And it goes on from there. Oh and this one is good also. Most likely those whom you envy are messengers in hidden form. You never know when your next message will be hiding—perhaps in a book you just read or that program you just watched. Be open, be aware, watch others, pay attention to those that are doing it right. Envy what they have because it will spur you to achieve for yourself. Push all jealous feelings out of your thinking. Don’t let them in, for those thoughts will surely bring you down and in time you will become your negative thoughts.
Thought for today
I will use my energies positively, admiring the good qualities of others in order to learn from them. I will push all jealous thoughts from my thinking, knowing that negative thoughts permeate my being and bring me down as a person.
One of the other books that I have been reading is called “Solemate” It is on how to Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your life. This book speaks to me also. This book talks about how many people spend years waiting for an ideal partner or ” soulmate” to make them feel happy and complete. Others settle for unfulfilling relationships out of a deep seated fear of being alone. In ” Solemate”, Lauren Mackler provides a groundbreaking road map for achieving mastery of your own life so you can experience a sense of wholeness and well being whether you’re on your own or in a relationship. It is about becoming the person that you were meant to be, treating yourself well and shedding the old beliefs and behaviors that limit your ability to realize your greatest potential. It’s about becoming your own cherished solemate.
She draws from her own experience, those of her clients: and the fields of psychology, physiology, sociology, holistic healing, and strategic business practices. Mackler has also developed a unique program for reclaiming your innate wholeness. This gradual step-by-step process involves understanding where your self-defeating patterns come from and how to move beyond them. She helps you recover and retrieve your authentic self–who you really are beneath the layer of life conditioning. This program will help live a more conscious and deliberate way and align your actions with the results you want in your life. In this book I have gotten up to page 88 and I can relate so well to her as she ended raising her 2 children as a single parent.
The 3rd book that I started to read is called ” Stop Saying, You’re Fine……” Discover a more powerful you. By Mel Robbins. I am only on page 31 of this book. This one I do not relate as well to. So far from what I have read it is about people that are stuck and unhappy in their lives and are so afraid to change that they cannot change. In looking ahead there is hope and it looks like in further chapters that it give you ways to break through the inertia and also to even to announce to the world what it is that you want and how to go after it. It talks about the steps that you can take to break out of old routines and learn some new ways to live.
The 4th book that I started to read is called “WOW” A handbook for living. It is written by two Japanese men. It seems to be the simplest of all. It has 157 pages in it and it has a lot of pictures which I really like. About every other page has a big picture on it with some words and then every other page has words. Large words. You might be able to read this book in a day. The cover of the book is Red. The picture in the book are in black and white. There are 31 chapters and they are very short chapters. Again this book is about changing your life to something that is more pleasing to you. I like how it says that this book will not change your life but that you will Change your life. That is a truth. We still have to be willing to put in the effort to change. No one else can do that for us.
So there you have it. You have read about my personal Life Philosophy and read a little bit about the various books that I have been reading to get me ready to write this paper. I have grown so much and some of these books are very exciting to me. I chose well. I almost brought home at least 10 books, but I wideled it down to about 6 that I brought home to read. I think that the predominate theme is that in order for your life to get better you need to be willing to do the work to make it better. It is up to each individual to decide what kind of changes one needs to make to have a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Somers, S. (1999) 365 ways to change your Life NY, Crown publishers.
Robbins, M. (2011) Stop saying that you are fine NY, Crown Archetype.
Ohashi and Kurazono, Z and Z. (no date given) WOW a handbook for living. NY, One Peace Books.
Mackler, L. (2009) Solemate U.S., Hay House, Inc.
Williams, M. (2005) Constructing a Life Philosophy, MI, Greenhaven Press.

Are Autumn Foliage Colors Red Signals to Aphids?

Are Autumn Foliage Colors Red Signals to Aphids?

List of authors: there are too many to list so I am just going to list some of the ones that seem more relevant.

1. Archetti M. Brown SP ( 2004)

2. Newbigin MI(1898)

3.Delco Arco JM, Escudero A, Vega Garrido A (1991)

4.Gould KS (2004)

Most living things do not turn beautiful when they senesce. Flowers for example typically become wrinkled and tattered and their colors become dull. The leaves of temperate tree species, on the other hand display veritable fireworks of colors- just before they fall to the ground and rot. We also know that some of the pigments causing the colors start to show when the chlorophyll disintegrates, while others protect leaves from the combined bad influences of cold and intense sunlight. There are now two studies that were done at the beginning of this decade, however that suggest a very different explanation. They suggest that “bright” autumn colors might in fact be a signal to aphids, warning them of the defensive strength of the trees and shrubs that produce them. This suggestion has led to huge debate between plant physiologists and some evolutionary theoreticians. Colors however must be able to be perceived by an insect’s brain in order for it to be of use. Insect color receptors  and post -receptors neuronal processing are so fundamentally different from those of humans that appears bright for them may be not very bright for them. Just because what we could view as a determent might in fact be attractive to insect herbivores. We are going to take a look at how aphids perceive color. While we know that aphids do respond to color, we don’t really know if the fall colors of the trees could actually deter aphids.

Leaves are the biomaterials factors of trees. Deciduous trees do need to close down in when getting ready for winter to come. The temperatures are going to get too low for photosynthesis and leaves would lose too much water through their leaves. Plus the leaves could risk tissue damage if they were to freeze. The leaves interestingly enough will try to recover large amount of nutrients from the leaves before shedding them, and up to 70% of the Nitrogen. Why would leaves unleash such potentially wasteful riots of color during the recovery operation?

Are Autumn Tree Colors are a warning sign to Aphids? It is now being challenged that our view of the beauty of autumn  leaves is only a by -product of physiological processed inside the doomed leaves. According to the new hypothesis, trees with strong coloration send an honest signal to aphids, informing them of the strength of anti-herbivore defenses of these trees. But to appropriately predict the responses of aphids to colors requires us not only to examine the physiology if their eyes, but also their behavioral responses to colors under controlled laboratory conditions.

The question here is do the color of these leaves also signal something to the aphids or other animals? A theoretician, M. Archetti, suggested a function that departs radically from what the textbooks tell us about fall colors. He proposes that plants signal their defensive strength to aphids and other herbivores to deter them from settling on the leaves in the autumn. This suggestion is not as far- fetched as it would seem. Despite their insignificant appearance, aphids can severely affect the health of trees. They eat the plant and also can transmit viruses. They also have a powerful reproductive potential, since for much of the year, they don’t waste time on egg laying: mothers clone themselves and give birth to live daughters that are already pregnant when born. Thus it would be good it a tree could successfully ward off aphids.

The authors of this paper seemed to mostly work with the Green peach aphid and many other species of aphids. They say that the aphids prefer green over any other color. The authors of this paper also say that there is a need for more laboratory Studies. It says that they need more data from more species of aphids- the desirable combination of solid behavioral and physiological data are currently only available for one species. So my conclusion for this paper is that while there is evidence that the aphids prefer the green leaves over the yellow and red leaves, there needs to be more evidence and data in order for them to know for sure that the color in the leaves during the fall are either attracting the aphids or not attracting them.

Final project for Elementary Physics 1010 – My Egg Drop July 31, 2012


                I spent some time on Youtube, looking at other people’s egg drop experiences. There were so many different ways of dropping an egg!  At first I was going to put it inside a nerf football and that was sure to work as someone on Youtube dropped it 5 times and it never  broke. It did not even break when the dog got a hold of it in its mouth.  I decided though that that would be too easy and I wanted to make mine more challenging.

                Mine is a rather simple contraption. It is a an egg inside a sock that is hung across the inside of a box. The sock keeps the egg suspended so that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the box. I also use string to pull it up even a bit higher so that there was even less chance of it coming in contact with the bottom of the box.  I also attached a parachute on top of the box to make it’s decent go down slower. This would make a softer and slower landing and make sure that the egg did not come in contact with the earth.  

                The reading that I did on this said that there is one of two ways to prevent the egg from breaking. One of them is using something like a parachute or balloons to slow down the decent. The other is cushioning the egg in some way so that it doesn’t break on impact. I am doing both. Most likely this would still work even if I did not use a parachute, but I am anyway just to make sure that my egg doesn’t break. The sock that my egg is suspended in it hopefully hung high enough in the box that it will not hit the bottom of the box on impact.

                This experiment is sort of trying to defy gravity. We are doing things to our eggs to slow down the speed of the falling egg in some way. Also because even if we slow down the decent of the egg we need to cushion our egg or suspend our egg like I am doing to make sure that when it does hit the ground in whatever sort of contraption that we use that it doesn’t cause our delicate egg shell to break. Egg shells are very delicate and break easily. Our challenge is to find what kind of materials can be used to do both.

                I watched a few YouTube videos about other people’s egg experiments. One person put 5 eggs between  2 paper bowls with different kinds of materials to insulate the fall. I missed one, cause my son came in the room and distracted me. These were the ones that did not work. The bread, and the popcorn did not work. The cereal did work, and did the chocolate icing.  She dropped all of them out the window of a playhouse. I did not see what happened to the one with the egg noodles.

                Other things that were used were sponges, bubble wrap, a stuffed animal and a nerf football. One girl dropped 14 eggs in various ways and only 5 survived. She did some pretty dumb things though like she uses a parachute but did not cushion the egg in anyway. She found that egg cartons seemed to be good at cushioning the eggs. She was dropping them off a park bench, so not very high.

                These are some of the laws of motion that we are using.  Newton’s First Law of Motion. Every object continues in a state of rest or of uniform speed in a straight line unless acted on by a nonzero net  force.  Our eggs would drop down in a straight line had we not attached a parachute or something else like balloons to slow down the speed. Since we are applying a nonzero net force we are slowing down  and most likely even changing the direction of the box or whatever kind of container our egg is in.  We are finding ways to interrupt  the uniform speed so that we can slow down the speed of the dropped egg as it falls to the ground.

                I have not test run my egg contraption, therefore I do not know if it will work or not. I am so hopping that my egg will not break, but I have it in a sandwich bag just in case. My best guess is that my egg will not break.  I am confident that I have built something that will keep my egg intact.  

Final project for Our Sexuality – Does Sex sell

Final Project  -Our Sexuality, July 18, 20012


I went and bought an ELLE magazine at Smith’s a couple of days ago and one magazine was all I needed because the bulk of the magazine was all advertising. I tore out 10 ads and I took them with me to meet my friends Angie and her daughter Caroline at Village inn for free pie day. We all looked at each one and each of us answered the same questions.

1. Would you buy this product?

2. What in the picture is selling this item?

We had alot of different responses.  I am going to attach our handwritten responses to each advertisement. One of the things that I found interesting was that for the same ad we all had different ideas of what in it was selling the product. And in the 2nd ad we could not even figure out what was being sold so none of us were willing to buy it. Angie was totally intimidated by the thin model in the ad and told me she wouldn’t buy the product due to the model being too thin and beautiful. In fact at least 2 of her responses were that the model was too beautiful and that intimidated her. She felt it was wrong to put a beautiful sexy  woman on a perfume ad That would be ad #4.  The girl is beautiful and thin and is selling perfume. Angie said she doesn’t buy perfume (neither do I) and that a sexy woman like that is mostly only going to cause disinterest in the product for her.

Caroline was more willing to buy an item if she liked the celebrity selling it. She also needed to be interested in the actual product itself in order to buy it. She is 19 years old and loves lipstick and fingernail polish. Caroline was willing to buy only 4 out of the 10 products.

I also looked at each ad and tried to decide if I might buy the product. I only found 3 products that seemed appealing enough to buy. The one that spoke to me the most was the one of Cate Blanchett because she was selling a skin cream that would be appropriate for my age. Also I find Cate Blanchett very beautiful and if this is something that she endorses then it is something that I might be interested in.  I don’t wear make-up very often so I was not interested in buying too many of the items.

My conclusion on all this is that in my little investigation, sex did not sell very well for this project. All of these advertisements had sexy women in them. It did not persuade us to buy the item unless there was something else about the product that kept our interest. I will only buy things that I know that I will actually use. Angie is the same way. In Angie’s case the beautiful thin models were a big turn off.  Caroline  and I ( in only 3 cases) were the only ones of the three of us that let the celebrities have any kind of pull in our desire to buy the item.