March 2015

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MLK Day

MLK day is upon us again, but what is the actual meaning behind the day itself? Many people seem to overlook it as a day off of work and school and nothing is actually appreciated for everything that Martin lived for. He sacrificed so much for the world we live in today, and his whole dream is often overlooked. Let’s take a minute to relive everything that he’s accomplished over the years of his life and late.

Martin was a huge Civil Rights icon throughout history and still to this day. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Martin began taking a stand for the diverse community. We were living in a black and white world that was segregated into just that, blacks and whites. The diversity was looked down upon and treated unfairly. They did not have a fair approach to half of the things that the white people did. Many court dates were settled with nothing new coming out of them. Many blacks were arrested with no new changes being made to the community. Martin believed wholeheartedly in non-violence. So he began to protest by walk-outs, sit-ins, and boycotts.

When you first think about it, you think, “Are walk-outs and sit-ins really effective?” Yes. Eventually. It took a lot of work and fighting for anyone to be noticed. When Rosa Parks in 1955 got arrested in Montgomery, they had begun a protest by boycotting the city bus which lasted well over 100 days until something was finally done about it and the city stood up to what was going on. But, they were indeed effective. It’s important to note this because people believe unless you’re causing a scene or violence, everything goes unnoticed. But MLK had a lot of heart behind his dream for the diverse communities.

In 1963, somewhere around August 28th, Martin began a march to Washington where he would then speak about the importance to solving the racial problems we were having within the United States. In front of 250,000 people, he spoke about his dream to one day see his children lined up and not judged on their skin color, but the content of their character.

So this is to Martin.  Today, your dream is alive. We are living together, attending school together, and working together. Your children are grown and now holding hands with each other, getting married and loving each other. We have progressed so much since your speech and I thank you. I thank you for giving me the chance to interact with opposites and understand them like they were myself. I will not lie: there is still racism. But as I know, and I am sure you do too, there will always be racism from whites AND blacks; some will never live in peace with another. They will fight and hurt and hold grudges, but I am better than that and I will enjoy my presence with who I have in my life now.

I am attending a very diverse school right now and to see a big melting pot within my classroom is wonderful. To have such a deep understanding of life outside of one community and have a bigger understanding of different cultures other than your own. I would like to thank you for allowing me to experience that. It’s truly wonderful.

As a community and a nation, we are still working towards equality. Whether it be between a black and a white male/female, or a male and a female, or gay and straight couples, we are fighting still. There is always going to be people who never want to see that succeed. But, we continue to fight. Personally, I think we still have a long ways to go. We’ve come so far but we still have a long way to go. It’d be great to see everyone get along and love one another, but the sad reality is that won’t ever happen. I know from personal experience, some people are always going to hate you for your skin color or the way your hair is, your eyes, your weight, there will never be a soul to soul interaction between people unless caught by the eye.

However, thank you Martin. Thank you for allowing me to experience the harsh reality of racism and the wonderful bliss I have shared with my diverse friends. I’ve learned so much from everyone I am surrounded by and I hope to keep living your dream with the rest of the people who’d like to see it come alive more. My life wouldn’t be the way it is now without your strong will to see a change within the communities.   –Ashley K.

Martin Luther King day was just an average regular day for me, but I did not forget to recall on his speech to see what impact it has done for this nation today. I don’t feel that MLK day changes anything, but it just reminds people what happened in his time, which was just a few years ago. 

I feel that the more we learn from his speech and set aside differences we can learn to become more and more efficient in handling and ignoring inequality in certain places with people. MLK helped me overcome the image of people being just a race; we are all brothers and sisters in God’s family. Regardless if you believe in anything or not, do what’s right and learn to leave the world better than how you found it.

Most people still don’t know of the meaning why MLK took a stand against violence with peace. He was an African American man who fought against injustice, inequality, and racism towards all people. There is a crisis we are going through as a nation and as of humans on this earth.

When we learn to be one and equally the same all over the world than we shall learn to overcome hate with love and darkness with light. As Gandhi would say, “be the change you want to see in this world.”  Learn to forgive your neighbor as much as you can and everything will be fine. No one can tell you can’t be what you want if you believe your dreams can come true, just like MLK did. I honestly believe that this world will only be at peace when we learn to be at peace with one another, but I fear it may be to late before mankind realizes it.  –James F.

Valentine’s Day

It’s That Time Of Year Again!!!! Love is in the air. It’s almost Valentines Day, the day of love and passion. The time for roses and daisies, chocolates and gifts, chosen personally from the heart. I do enjoy this day. I have not yet had the luxury of ever having a Valentine of the opposite sex, but I do love the idea of what the day is truly about, and I do celebrate it with my mother and sister every year. I will take them out to eat and we each buy one another gifts. We usually spend this day together and celebrate our love for each other. This year, I plan to buy my mother, sister, and my grandmother gift bags and cards as usual, and then treat us to the movies. Earlier in the day though, I will treat myself to a massage and a pedicure, and take myself to breakfast. I may even treat myself to a new tattoo. I think Valentine’s Day is a very beautiful celebration. People often hate the holiday or have mixed feelings about it because of the stereotype that you have to have a significant other, or if there is a significant other involved, there is the stereotype that the day is about surprising each other with gifts. That’s not the case, and I don’t look at the day in that same light necessarily. I love Valentine’s Day.  -Diamond M

Many people are worried about V-day because they don’t have a partner to share the love with. It’s important to know that you do not only have to share love with a partner; it can be to your mother, sister, brother, friend or even a pet. Sharing appreciation is enough; you don’t need a box of chocolates or a dozen of roses to know that someone cares for you. Personally, I didn’t really mind spending V-day alone, but of course I’m only 17. I go around and see many teens my age or younger sad or depressed because they don’t have a date and they wont be receiving any stuffed animals and chocolates. Calm down and celebrate girl’s night out instead! You don’t need Valentine’s Day to feel loved by anyone: it only lasts one day, but appreciation and love last forever!

For lovely couples, every moment counts; don’t base it on just one day, although celebrating once or twice a year isn’t bad. Valentine’s Day is a world-wide special day for single people and couples, it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re interested in celebrating: its not mandatory. I feel Valentine’s Day is for people with good feelings and not just because you need someone to love, the right person will come along if that’s what you’re worried about. Spend every minute with happiness and love towards your friends and family and appreciate what life has given you. –Alondra O

Student Choice

This week’s topic is….. my choice!  I’m not sure if my instructor hit his head really hard or what, but this week will be interesting.  I’m here to talk about my life.  It has not been easy if you ask me.  I’ve witnessed friends change over girls, drugs, or even other friends.  One of my very close friends since 8th grade had recently started using drugs.  I have never used nor do I plan on using this drug, but it definitely changed him as a person and now we are no longer as close as we were at one time.  I believe that outside influences had a lot to do with that but once a man has made up his mind, it is almost impossible to sway that choice.  This was not easy for me to do but I had to accept a lost friend.  I used to go over to his house everyday and even considered his family as my “second family”.  I had never done this before and I was very comfortable when I was around him.  

I am a drug sensitive kid since so much of my life has been shaped around them. My mother is a patient of MS (multiple-sclerosis) and she is prescribed very strong pain killers.  This took her life over at one point and she changed as a person as well.  The thing these “doctors” don’t tell us is that these drugs that we “need” are essentially traps in a bottle.  These pills made my mom a zombie.  She felt no emotion, no needs; she only needed more of her medication. She got a hold of her life after nights of endless fights.  This was a hard time in my life, so of course i learned from it.  I try to take lessons away from every situation in my life.  This taught me to never become dependent: not on women, not on drugs, and not on alcohol.  This drove me to do better in my life so I can show my mom she didn’t struggle for nothing.  I’d love to be able to give my mom everything in the world, but life is not set up like that.  If I want to show her what she taught me, I’ll have to wait until I get my opportunity.  –Taylor E

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“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce” -Karl Lagerfeld

Since I was thirteen years old, photography has been the best part of my life. When I felt like everything was falling apart and I had nobody there, I could go off into my own world and see the world as I wanted to see it. I love being able to capture moments that could never be recreated, like Karl Lagerfeld says in the quote above, photographs capture a moment that is gone forever, and I absolutely love that. I love being able to show how I am feeling through my photographs. Photography to me is not just taking pictures, it is my escape, it is who I am, it is how I express myself. Photography is what I am passionate about. Without photography, I probably would not see the world as I see it today. When you are passionate about something you start to see things in a totally different way and for me, photography has opened my eyes. It has allowed me to realize that you have to make the most out of every moment, because you can never get that moment back; whether it’s with your friends, family, or when you are out on a hike, you will never be able to get back those moments. So open your eyes, do what makes you happy, and cherish everyone and everything in your life. -Katelynn C

The ocean is one thing I’m passionate about. The ocean actually changed my outlook on life. I was once depressed and I felt that nothing was really that cool to me.

I went out to California, and boy I didn’t really wanna go. My mom is doing her best to cheer me up so she got a room right on the beach. I didn’t really care I was to wrapped up in my own world. We checked in and I see all the people out on the beach laughing and having a good time. I had never been in the ocean or even around it so, I had no idea why everyone was so happy. I stayed in my room, watching everyone have fun. I then decided I should try and go out and have fun. I was sulking and still on my phone when was approached on the beach. He asked me, “Why so sad, when your looking an amazing thing?” I said, “what thing?” He said, “the ocean” and walked away. I saw them with surfboards, so I jumped in the water and it changed my life. Watching these people surf and having these small but powerful waves sweep me off my feet, I never realized someone could love something so powerful, and so blue. It’s a scary but beautiful place. You never know what’s beneath your feet. –Cassie M

Living with dogs, is one subject I can actually speak with some confidence about. I have never in my life NOT lived with a dog. I have been lucky to live with the mammal known as man’s best friend for my whole life, and I plan on keeping it that way till the day I die. Dogs truly are the best friend you could ever ask for; they will stand by your side through life’s most difficult times. Their affection and care is so pure, and so genuine that it cannot help but brighten your day when you come home to it. They do not judge you based on your looks, wealth, popularity or what have you. They instead are your ultimate number 2, with you as the leader of the pack your furry companion (or companions if it applies) will always be willing to accompany you wherever, for however long. Dogs throughout history have shown a remarkable loyalty towards humans, and have proven time and time again the lengths they will go to in order to please, protect, or just be with their humans. If you have a void in your life, and you want to fill it, a puppy is for you! Why not embark on the next chapter of your life, with an unwavering companion for the next 9-15 years? A dog can help you get in shape, since they NEED to be walked everyday. A dog can help you develop social skills, since people are more likely to stop and pet your furry companion, this can lead to the love of your life, or a friendship forever, perhaps even a business opportunity. A dog will be the best friend you ever have, and can be an exciting new adventure for anyone, after the first week you won’t be able to remember what life was like without your new companion.  -Trevor S

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