Mom, Why Should I Go To College?

What are you going to do after high school? What college are you going to? Make sure all your applications are done! Get good grades and thank me later! These are common things that parents seemingly say to their children as soon as they enter high school. Parents these days are pushing their children to go to college because they want to ensure success in their child’s future. High school students probably do not understand or care about what their parents have to say but surely enough parents do know what they are talking about. Four year colleges provide so many opportunities for impressionable 18-year-olds to learn and grow by offering plenty of courses to take, having activities and clubs that apply to all interests, and the chance to completely be independent. All of these opportunities provide a great foundation for a successful future. People should go to college because it gives them a chance to challenge their minds, to get a liberal education, have more job opportunities, and become better versions of themselves.

People generally love to learn and challenge their minds. Once high school ends, graduates have the option to do whatever they want with their lives. There are plenty of options out there but most high school graduates decide to continue their education by going to college. College gives students the opportunity to expand their knowledge, learn about what they are interested in, and apply their new-found knowledge towards a future career. Most universities provide all different types of minors and majors so anybody could learn anything they want to. Plus getting an in-depth high-level college education on whatever major of their choosing gives students a chance to develop ideas, moral, values, skills, and learning tools to use inside and outside the classroom. Adapting these things increases the amount of productivity in all areas and helps with different nessacery life skills such as time management, positive social skills, and the ability to set and reach goals. There a various learning techniques experienced in college like learning by teaching, conflict and debate, trial and error, and research and analyzing that will not only help us develop more learning tools but also allow our minds to expand further than our wildest imagination. College-level learning gives students positive psychological effects such as confidence and motivation helping them become more likely to succeed in the real world. College gives students a chance to expand their minds in the best way possible.

Attending a four-year college gives individuals an opportunity to get a unique education. There are plenty of majors, minors, and concentrations offered at every four-year college so students are usually bound to find something that they are interested in. Colleges these days use a liberal arts foundation for their curriculum. This form of education is a sensible and effective approach to learning in the 21st century and gives students a chance to explore all different types of perspectives on all different topics. In the essay Blue-Collar Brilliance, the author Mike Rose states “When we devalue the full range of everyday cognition, we offer limited educational opportunities and fail to make fresh and meaningful instructional connections among disparate kinds of skill and knowledge” (pg 254). Liberal arts classes do not devalue the full range of everyday cognition but instead better the range of everyday cognition by challenging the mind with new theories, propositions, and rhetoric questions that would make students want to learn the material that is given to them. This mental challenge gives the students a chance to learn attributes about themselves and the world that they never would have figured out, if it was not for the education college provides. A liberal education gives people the knowledge that will help them become successful.

College give students more opportunities to get better quality jobs. In this day and age, it is hard to get a decent, high-paying job without a college degree. Jobs are getting harder to find especially in this shaky economy making the job market extremely competitive. A college education equips students for the job market by providing the knowledge and sources to ensure that each individual succeeds. The knowledge that students gain from going to college gives them a better chance of finding a quicker path to a more stable career that they will enjoy. In the essay Are Too Many People Going to College? Writer Charles Murray says that “Employers do not value what the student learned, just that the student has a degree” (pg 233) which is simply not true because how would have the student gotten the degree if they did not retain the knowledge they learned at school. Employers are looking for future employees that know what they are doing in their field so what the student learned in college actually does matter when they are on the job. A recent study showed that men and women with a college degree are seven percent more likely to be employed than men and women who do not have a college degree. This proves the value of a college degree because it decreases the level of unemployment. Most colleges usually have connections to internships and jobs so people will have access to better opportunities for low-risk, high-paying jobs. Plus having a college degree gives people more flexibility when it comes down to career choices. The more educated one is, the better off they will be in the long run. College gives everyone a fair chance to acquire a great job.

College makes people into better versions of themselves. When people attend college, they are immediately on their own. They have to wake up on their own, get their own meals, and do all their chores without mom and dad doing it for them teaching them how to live on their own. This new-found independence does not show just within the walls of the dorm but in the classroom also. As a college student myself, I have noticed that students do not have easy access to the college professors as they did with their high school teachers. This forces students to pay attention in class and get accustomed to what each professor is looking for. The lack of assistance from the professors gives students a wake-up call and a realization that they have expectations that have to be met, forcing them to learn how to be responsible. College also teaches a person how to be responsible outside of the classroom. Socializing is a big part of college life because it is the only way that connects student with the college or university. Students usually have to make the first attempt to socialize in order not to be lonely on campus. Sometimes they make friends that are worth keeping while other times they could find themselves in a toxic friendship or taken advantage of without their knowledge. If they do find themselves in the latter, they would have to negative the situation to the best of their ability. These situations make people stronger because they are put into situations that they cannot avoid so they have to find the best way to get out of it. College is a fantastic way of getting an education while learning how to be on your own at the same time.

College is mainly one big learning experience if it is done the right way. The education a person gets from inside and outside the classroom can change their lives forever. Teenagers whom have just got out of high school need something to push them to discover themselves and I firmly believe that attending a four-year college is the right way to do that. College, not only gives people an education, but it can change one’s life for the better. It could make a person a better student, a better daughter or son, or an overall better version of themselves. At the end of the day, the high-school-now-college student will be thanking their parents for nagging them to finish their applications or to get on top of their studies because they are probably having the time of their life at whatever college they decided to go to. So kids listen to your parents, do the work, and go to college because I promise you college is worth it.

The Voodoo Coloring Book

Disclaimer: This is my draft for a picture book. I really liked this idea for a picture book because it is very creative with a element of horror in it. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures because I suck at drawing but I am willing to share my draft with you guys. Hope you guys like it.

It was a sunny day at Montgomery elementary school and Timmy could not wait to start kindergarten.

When he arrived at his classroom, he darted towards his desk, ripped open his red backpack and started coloring in his brand new coloring book.

He scribbled all different colors on every picture in the book. He colored the sky pink with green clouds, the dogs purple, the ocean black, and the beachfront red.

Timmy made sure his pictures were colored with the colors the object was not supposed to be.

The pictures ended up looking great but what happened next was not so great.

The next morning, Timmy woke up to the neighbors shrieking.

He opened his window and the sky was bright pink with green clouds. He ran outside. The houses were rainbow colored and every dog was purple.

This looked familiar to Timmy. Maybe he was dreaming and this would all go away. All of the sudden, he saw his neighbors running the other direction.

He turned around as a black wave crashed onto the red sand then a light bulb went off in his head. He colored those items in those exact colors in his coloring book yesterday.

“The coloring book is magic,” he whispered to himself.

He had to find that coloring book and reverse the spell.

Problem was he did not know where the coloring book was. He searched the whole house but it was nowhere to be found.

He looked in the kitchen, both bathrooms, and his bedroom still no coloring book. He tore up the house only to find his coloring book in-between the kitchen floor boards.

How did it get there? He thought. But Timmy had no time to wonder.

He grabbed the book and the eraser that came with it, and erased every bit of color in the book.

As he was erasing, the sky turned blue with white clouds, the ocean was blue again, the sand turned tan and the houses and dogs went back to their original color. Timmy saved the day!

The next morning, Timmy and his mother went back to the store to return the coloring book.

Another little boy was begging his mom for a new coloring book but his mom kept denying him.

Timmy took out his coloring book and gave it to the boy.

“You can have my coloring book!” said Timmy.

“Thank you” said the little boy.

“You’re welcome! Be creative! There is so much waiting in store!” said Timmy.

“Don’t worry! I will!” said the little boy.

Timmy and his mom left the store satisfied that another person will get to experience the same creative adventure that Timmy embarked on.

The end!

Happy Autism Acceptance Month

On October 22nd, 1998, I was diagnosed with Autism. Over the past 20 years, I have faced many challenges including how my disability is represented in mainstream media. As you all may know, April is Autism Awareness Month. This is how the mainstream media chooses to “celebrate” our community when in reality they are inadvertently harming our community with the choice of the word “Awareness”. Our voices are starting to being heard but we need to take it up a notch. As a member of the Autistic community, I think that it is crucial that the month of April should be changed to Autism Acceptance Month. Making this change will give Autistic people a voice, their own identity, and the respect they deserve.

The word “awareness” is defined as concerned about and well-informed interest in a particular situation or development. Using the phrase “Autism Awareness” has basically been translated to “Warning: Autistic people exist, please proceed with caution” which perpetuates fear, uncertainty, and anxiety towards the Autistic community. Unfortunately, this is the way the mainstream media chooses to represent our community. This portrayal is extremely harmful to our community because it highlights all negative aspects of the disability and pushes for a “cure” for Autism. Autism does not need to be “cured” because it is a social disability. Neurotypicals tend to interpret this information in two ways. One way is that we are a burden to society. This allows bullying, harassment, and social isolation to occur without any repercussions. The second way is that we are charity cases. This allows neurotypicals to try and fix us so we fit in with the neurotypical majority. Both of these ways are harmful to our mental health because they dehumanize us. The mainstream treats us like we are the problem that needs to be solved when in reality how we are portrayed is the problem that should be solved.

The word “acceptance” is defined as an agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation. Using the phrase “Autism Acceptance” portrays a mutual understanding between the Autistic community and neurotypical majority. It is basically saying “you are you, and that’s pretty awesome. I am me, and that’s pretty awesome” which perpetuates equality, fairness, inclusion, and love towards the Autistic community. It looks at the commonalities we share with neurotypical people. The mainstream media needs to know that we have the same wants and needs as any other neurotypical person has, we just go about them in our own unique way. Using the word “acceptance” embraces us as we truly are, gets to know us on a deeper level, and sees us as multi-dimensional humans. Acceptance allows to enact our stims, quirks, and habits freely without judgment or punishment knowing that they are part of who we are. Most importantly, acceptance is about equality. Acceptance is viewing the wants and needs of the Autistic person to be equally as important as the wants and needs of a neurotypical person.

The mainstream media is our society’s main source of information. It can control the majority of the public’s perception on any topic including Autism. That is why it is critical that the mainstream media should change Autism Awareness month to Autism Acceptance month. This simple change would push for a more positive rhetoric and do wonders for their mental health. If the media highlighted all the positive aspects of Autism, the Autistic community would get treated with respect that they deserved. Using this rhetoric, the neurotypical majority would have a better understanding of the Autistic community. This will give us more opportunities to grow in multiple aspects of our lives. The more opportunities people with Autism have, the more likely they will be able to reach their full potential. Having our needs, wants, and desires be taken seriously would be a blessing for the Autistic community. More importantly, it would humanize us. Neurotypicals would be more likely to treat us as their equally and accept us for who we are. This type of treatment will create more confident, emotionally secure, and happier community of people with Autsim. This change is nessacery in order to create a better, healthier world for the Autistic community.

I know that it is halfway through April which means it is halfway through Autism Acceptance month. It is nice that we have a month to celebrate our existence and educate others about Autsim. However, celebrating and supporting the Autistic community should not just be happening in the month of April, it should be happening all year round. Autistic people have to face many adversities because of the stigma surrounding their disability. It is critical that the neurotypical majority utilizes the aspects of Autism Acceptance month and applies them when interacting with the Autistic community. This will help the Autistic community become more productive members of this society. We are much more then what the mainstream media says we are and it is about time that we have the opportunity to show it.

Untouchable

Some things will always be untouchable
Some things will always be out of reach
Some things are simply not doable
Like a unicorn on the beach

Some things are out of reach
We can try to grasp them in the air
Like a unicorn on the beach
They are simply not there

We can try to grasp them in the air
We can give them the old college try
They are simply not there
And all we can do is cry

We can give it the old college try
Like a talking fish
And all we can do is cry
All it will ever be is a wish

Like a talking fish
Some things will always be untouchable
All it will ever be is a wish
Some things are simply not doable

This Just In! : A Tabloid Genre Analysis

Tabloids have been a staple in pop culture for the past century. Their flashy headlines, juicy stories, and garnered controversy surrounding those stories have made a big impact on the writing industry. Writing the latest tabloid is an art that is not explored very often. It takes a certain formula to write the perfect tabloid. This formula ends up defining the conventions of this genre. The tabloid industry is not all peaches and cream though. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the genre from false reporting to accusations of racism and sexism. Tabloids might look like just another trashy magazine but they have made an impact on how writers use this genre’s basic conventions to promote their work.

In order to write a good tabloid, a writer has to follow the specific conventions to the genre. According to the website Writer’s Digest, writing a tabloid is an art with specific key aspects that are unique to the genre. One of the key aspects is that the headline has to be eye-catching. Writer’s Digest columnist Peter Reilley states “Boring is the cardinal sin of tabloids” (Reilly). Instead a tabloid writer wants to have a headline that will be eye-catching such as “Headless Body in Topless Bar” or “Tiger Puts Balls in Wrong Place Again”. The next key aspect was to make a long story short. According to Writer’s Digest, you have “to take 10 pages of notes and distill them into one page of copy packed with fascinating details, illuminating background, and hard-hitting action.” (Reilly). The readers wants short and sweet so the more you narrow it down the better. The next two key aspects were to use active verbs and have fun with puns. Active verbs give the headline that bounce it needs. Readers would rather pick up a magazine that says “Cops busted Robert Downey Jr. for drugs,” than “Robert Downey Jr. was taken into custody by police for the possession of an illegal substance.” Similar to active verbs, puns have a way of making the headline seem more interesting to the public. When actor Harrison Ford was dating a much younger women, the tabloid magazine Star referred to him as the “Raider of the Lost Cradle.” The readers had a kick out of this funny play on words.  These key aspects are what defines the genre conventions of a tabloid.

Tabloids may be just be a trashy magazine to some readers but it influences genres that have similar conventions such as newspapers. Newspapers are similar to tabloids because they also rely on flashy headlines to get sales at the local convenience stores. They write their stories in a way that’s less flashy but still captures the point. Tabloid topics such as actors assaulting celebrity photographers, rumors of actresses having eating disorders, or celebrities having surgically done body parts always make their way into newspaper headlines. Even though this influence is small, it goes to show that tabloids have a great impact on what we pick up at our local convenience store. The tabloid genre also has an influence on the internet. Now more than ever, more readers are getting their news from online sources and social media platforms. The tabloid industry has adjust to these new norms by making their stories marketable to online communities. This requires them to mesh their original conventions of the genre to create their own social media accounts on predominate social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. That way the tabloid industry can grow and evolve within the writing community.

A tabloid’s target audience are women ages 18-50 who want something to read to keep them busy while waiting for their hair to be done or the doctor to be ready to see them. The people who write this genre usually work in the tabloid industry or are paparazzi trying to get an in on the latest celebrity scandal. As a member of the discourse community, my role is to consume the information in the tabloid and analyze how it impacts our society. Tabloids bind us together. For example, two women are waiting to get their hair done and are reading the tabloids that are near the coffee table. One woman starts a discussion about how a celebrity got a nose job. The other woman starts a conversation on how another celebrity punched a paparazzi in the face. They start to talk about more content in these tabloids and it eventually turns out to be a full-blown conversation. Tabloids are made to use their flashy materials to create a conversations revolving around their shocking content.

Tabloids have to run the flashy headlines with the most shocking stories. In order to get those stories, they may have to exaggerate the truth or full on lie in their stories when it comes to big scandals such as break-ups, marriages, and pregnancies. This has become such a problem that the website Gawker has decided to do a test to see whether these tabloid publications (US Weekly, Life & Style, In Touch, OK!, and Star) would lie on their covers as well as in the issues. All of the covers and all of the content scored less than 50% in the telling the truth category. This goes to show that the tabloid industry thrives off false information to get their revenue. Consumers have to know that most of these stories are based off lies but they do not care because they want the story to sell so badly that they do not care if about the validity of the information. In fact, there is so much lying in this industry that it is hard for tabloid writers to have other writers take them seriously. According to a disgruntled ex-tabloid writer Krista Bradford, buying stories is “a tradition” and they will do whatever it takes. Truth is rarely a concern when revenue is on the line. She also mentions that once you are in the genre it is hard to get out of and it damages your reputation. She said “I met with network news people and they were telling me frankly the tabloid thing was quite a problem”. Genres that tend to focus on more serious work have a hard time taking the tabloid industry seriously.

Although tabloids are a staple in the writing industry, they have also caused a lot of controversy. One of the first controversies is the blatant sexism that appears in the headlines. When talking about women celebrities, headlines are often focused on their body parts, clothing choices, and overall appearance rather their professional or social achievements. To challenge this notion, the literary magazine Vagenda, decided to have their followers take sexist tabloid headlines and re-create them without the sexism. For example, one tabloid’s original sexist headline said “It’s a bit nippy out! Rihanna shows off her nipples…AGAIN” was changed to “Women goes to sports event wearing a top”. This example showed how the tabloids always focuses women’s body parts even in the most unessacery situations. Another example was the tabloid’s original sexist headline was “She’ll do anything for Girls! Luna Dunham shows off her body in unflattering shorts as she films hit show” to “Hugely talented writer continues to work on hit TV show”. This example not only degraded Lena Dunham’s appearance but used her hit TV show Girls as a pun to downplay her accomplishments. This is the type of sexism in the tabloids is degrading to women because it focuses on what’s on the outside rather then what is on the inside. A newfound respect for women must be acquired in order to gain more respect in the writing community.

From a passerby’s view, a tabloid is nothing but a trashy magazine consumed by young adult women to kill time but that could not be further from the truth. Writing a tabloid is an art. The tabloid writer has to figure out a strong headline and with an eye-catching picture and write juicy, outrageous stories that will keep the reader hooked and give the reader material to talk about with others. The tabloid industry has quite the reputation. The first issue that comes to mind is the lying that is rampant in industry. Nearly, every tabloid lies. The other problem that seems to be rampant is sexism. When talking about other women, the tabloids tend to focus on clothes, body parts, and overall appearance instead of their achievements. This is particularly degrading to women because women are more than just their body parts. These issues do not deter tabloids from making an impact on how gossipy writing is shaped from generation to generation. The reason why tabloids sell is because the hype surrounding their content which other genres have accustomed too. Despite its negative reputation, the tabloid genre has shaped the way writers capture the hearts of their readers.