Monday, December 19, 2011

Transcendentalist Socety- Con/Pro Essay

            A transcendentalist society seems like it would be perfect in this world. With all the hatred and judgment in the world, it seems like a transcendentalist society would help people throughout the world. Though the goal of a transcendentalist society might be impossible in today’s world. People for the most part have free will, so one cannot force another to be accepting and do not judge people. Also, the outside world and media are both very judgmental, and would have a great effect on how people feel about others. In a society where every person is encouraged to have their own idea’s and belief system, important decisions of the community might never be made, because people might not be able to agree. The idea of a transcendentalist society seems perfect and just what the world needs, it would never survive because one cannot force another to think a certain way, the influence of outside media, and problematic decision making.
            A transcendentalist society would be a very free society, unlike many societies and countries of today. A society where one can be themselves without fear of being judged would be amazing in society today. Today’s world is cold, judgmental, and harsh, where as a transcendentalist society would be warm, welcoming, and gentle. People though, could reject this society, because it is so different from everything else in this world. As easily as people could reject it though, people may accept it, because it seems like a perfect place to live. Although the inability of a community like this to make decisions would surly make it impossible to survive.
            Making decisions is a very important part of every society. With every person in a transcendentalist society being encouraged to have unlike ideas, and follow one’s gut there could be problematic decision making processes. If every person got a say in making laws, there would be a possibility of people never coming to an agreement. Also, if every person was thinking for themselves then that would mean, everyone would get a vote in all government issues. Every person in the community voting would take much time, and much money, and be completely ineffective, and hard to make a decision. With this slow process of government there could be chaos in a community, especially when people are encouraged to think for themselves and not conform to societal norms. Without a strong government to help and guide the people, a society cannot survive, and in a true transcendentalist society, there would be no central government. This lack of government would cause a transcendentalist society to fail. Not only would the lack of government cause it to fail, the influence from the outside world and media would have an impact of the society.
            In the modern world today, one is always connected to something, whether that is the internet or television. Unless the society wanted to become like North Korea, it could not be completely cut off from the entire outside world. The media would have an influence, especially with opinion news shows, and op-ed pieces in newspaper. It is almost impossible today to come up with a unique idea with the media telling people what to think, what to look like, and what to wear. This influence would harm a transcendentalist society because these influences go against everything transcendentalists believe. The other societies of the world would also have an influence on the transcendentalist society. Every society has a different view on the world, and every opinion influences the others so it would be hard to a transcendentalist society to be truly transcendentalist. These influences would lead to the failure of the society because the media and outside world would change it from being transcendentalist to just a normal society with judgment and hatred. As well as the unending media influence, people cannot be forced to be accepting of all things.
            Being a transcendentalist means that a person is accepting of all people, all things, and all ideas, and that is very hard for a person to do. One cannot force another to be accepting, the act of forcing someone to do that would be untranscendentalist in itself. People by nature are not accepting, which can be seen in today’s prejudices.  To survive, a transcendentalist society would have to be completely transcendentalist, and that is nearly impossible for the common person. The nature of judgment and first impressions is ingrained in the minds of people of the world. One can learn to become accepting, but it is nearly impossible to be accepting of all ideas and beliefs no matter how hard one tries. Every person is different, and has different beliefs, and that is what transcendentalism is all about, but some people’s beliefs are not accepting, and being accepting is another major part of transcendentalism. The inability to make every person in a society accepting would cause a transcendentalist society to fail.
            A transcendentalist society may seem just like what the world needs, but it would be an impossible goal to obtain. Decision making is a major part in every society, and with every person having different beliefs and ideas, it would be almost impossible to make any decisions. The media also has much influence on what people think and what they belief. The media can be judgmental, which is the opposite of the accepting way of life of transcendentalist, but it has an influence on what people believe. The free will of people also determines whether a person is accepting or not, and most people are not accepting of every belief system. Acceptance is a big part of transcendentalism, and without the people of a society being accepting it would not be truly transcendentalist. While some may think that a transcendentalist society would survive today, inability to make decisions, outside media and world influence, and the free will of people to not be accepting are why a transcendentalist society would never succeed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dangers of Nonconformity

In the movie Dead Poets Society conformity is everywhere. The school thrives on all the students being the same and all the teachers teaching in the same old-fashioned way. The students who graduate from Welton go on to do great things and go to Ivy League schools. When Mr. Keating came, it was clear he was not like the other teachers. He did not look like the other teachers, he was not balding, and did not have gray hair. Though, his looks were just the beginning of how he was different. His teaching style was vastly different from the old and boring style of the other teachers. On the first day of his teaching, he the students rip out pages from their text books, something no other teacher would have asked them to do. The reason, because the introduction was all about how to read and score poetry, but Mr. Keating believed that poetry was from within, not something one could just read and score. Mr. Keating was trying to teacher the students to be different, and not conform to what the school and their parents wanted them to be, but it back fired on some of them.
When trying to follow Mr. Keating's advice, Neil went out and did something he really wanted to do, which trying out for a play. As it turned out, he was very good, and got the lead, but his father did not approve. Neil's father thought he should spend more time on academics, not on "silly things".  Neil did not quit the play though, and took Mr. Keating's advice to carry on with something he loved. During the performance, Neil's father came, and even though Neil was very good, his father did not see it as something that was a worth while way to spend time. When Neil's father took Neil home, his father sat him down, with Neil's mother, and said that they were taking him out of Welton. They were taking him out of Welton because his was not following orders. That night, Neil committed suicide. The school blamed Mr. Keating for Neil's death, and got the other boys who were in the Dead Poets Society to sign a paper saying that Mr. Keating encouraged them to do different things. If any of them said that they would not sign, they would have been kicked out of the school. Nonconformity has it dangerous, as shown in this movie. Mr. Keating lost his job, and Neil lost his life. If Mr. Keating had taught in the "normal" way, none of it would have happened. Though, Mr. Keating teaching in his unorthodox style, enriched the lives of the boys.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Modern Day Transcendentalists.

My sister, Allie, is a modern day transcedndentalist. She most of the time does not care what people think of her, and she does not try to fit in. She is 20 years old, and studying early childhood education at college. Even though she is going into a profession that should probably have pretty conservative dress, Allie has 9 piercings, and dies her hair black. Now, she does not look scary, even though that description might make it seem that way, but it is not the image one gets when thinking of a grade 2 teacher. My sister not only does not care what people think of her when it comes to her choice of hair colour and piercings, she pretty much does not care what people think of her at all. She will make funny faces in public, across the room to me sometimes, so others will think she is making the faces at them. Allie will embarrass herself sometimes, and embarrass those around her, but for her she does not see it as embarrassment, she sees it as being herself. She will fall down, then make fun of herself for it.

She just does not care what others think of her.While Allie might fall down sometimes, she is always trying to pick peoples spirits up. Of course she can be mean sometimes, what sister isn't, but she really does have an ability to make others happy. Now usually the things that are funniest usually make her look like a fool, but that does not matter, because she is just being her. One time she found a cape in her closet, a Harry Potter cape to be exact, and she ran around with it for a good half hour. She was more excited about that cape then a 7 year old boy would have been, but that's just Allie being Allie.

Allie is a transcendentalist because she does not care what others think, she will be herself no matter who she is around, and what situation she is in.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Simplifying Life

It is not necessary to put oneself in isolation, like Henry David Thoreau did, just to simplify  life. In this modern age it ma seem difficult to simplify, but it is not impossible. By not relying so much on technology and not living in excess, one's life will become much simpler. As time goes on, these steps towards a simpler life will made one a better person. To make a simple life in this modern age, one must take time to oneself and be award of one's surroundings.

Taking time for oneself is one of the most difficult parts of simplifying life. It should be a time to just think, without the distraction of a cell phone, T.V., or computer.One should do something they enjoy during this time. like spending time with family or friends.The simplicity of spending time with family and friends without the distractions will make relationships better. Technology can make relationships much more complicated, because over text, or Facebook chat, one cannot tell if a person is angry, upset, or being sarcastic. By taking technology out of the picture, and taking time for oneself, a person can have a life that is much much simpler.
Being aware of one's surroundings is very important when i comes to living a more simple life. The simple act of riding a bike or taking the bus, will not only help the person, but it will also help the environment. Just driving a car a little ways has a big impact. Also, if one rides a bike, or takes the bus, gas would not be a worry. This way a person can be more green and have a simpler life.
Making life more simple is possible in this modern age. By putting down the technology, and spending time with family and friends, will help take away the complicated relationships and lead to a simpler life. When someone is aware of their surroundings, they will be more green, which will help simplify their lives, because one will not be worrying about mundane things, such as gas. These acts are something anyone can do, and they will make life more simple.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Student Declaration of Independence

I.                   Declaration of Student Rights
We, as students of Grosse Pointe South High School, deserve basic rights as young adults. Being in a public school, a student deserves freedom while maintaining discipline. The student should have the right to dress, express, and act the way they want to, as long as it is appropriate for a school environment. The student should be able to make decisions for their own self that benefit them and the school.
Academically, with the vast majority of classes offered, the student should be able to take whichever classes they want, as long as it goes along with their ability level. The student has to complete certain academic requirements, but the electives are their choice, it all depends on their interests and expression. If the student chooses to take seven academic classes, it is their right. If the student chooses to take the bare minimum of academic classes and the rest classes of their choice, it is their right.
With extracurriculars, the student has the right to participate in whichever pertains to them. From orchestra to choir to sports to clubs, there is about everything offered to interest a student. No administration should have the right to stop these activities; the students have the right to keep them ongoing for as long as they choose.
Being in high school, open campus should be an automatic right for the student. For lunch especially, it allows the students to choose wherever they want to go that interests them. When it comes to attendance, the student should be allowed to take full advantage of the open campus while respecting the attendance policy. As long as approved by the parent, the student should always have the right to leave if sick, injured, or for other reasons. Going along with attendance, the student should always have the right to have the weekends off, holiday breaks off, and occasional regular school days off. Constantly having homework and work to do is not always to the student’s interest, so these breaks are necessary.
When it comes to teachers and counselors, the student should always have the right to communicate with them, whether it be for help or other reasons. Teachers should always be willing to accept the student for their personality and behavior, and to create a good relationship with each one of them. Students have the right to talk to them and counselors, to figure out what is best for them, for help, whatever it best for them.
A student of Grosse Pointe South should have many rights, being a public school. The student should have the right to express themselves academically, through sports and activities, and whatever other ways they choose. School should be a place to benefit the student, give them rights is the best way of showing it.

II.                10 Complaints
I.        Start time- The start time is just too early. It is easier to get up when it is lighter out. The extra half hour that we could add to the start time would increase the attendance in school. It would increase the attendance because the students would most likely get up on time and not skip their first hour. This would boost the grades of the students in the school.
II.      No free period like other schools- Other schools, like Ligget, have a free period when you can do what ever you want. We should also have designated rooms where students can take naps, like in China at some work places. This free period would recharge students’ brains, and work harder. This period could not only be for taking naps, but you can catch up on work, or go get food. Students will not sleep as much in class because they know they have a nap coming up.
III.    Homework on weekends- Homework on weekends is rarely done. Rather than wasting the assignment, we should be given the homework during the week. The undone or half-way done assignments bring down students grades. There is no point to assigning work that will not get done, because without doing the homework, students will not understand the topic. Without understanding the topic, students will not do will on the test that teachers will subsequently give.
IV.    No snow days- Snow days are rarely had here in Grosse Pointe. Even if the entire state and surrounding states are not in school, we still have school. It should not matter that we do not have buses; some of us still need to get rides to school. If there is enough snow to close down most schools in the surrounding areas that would mean that it is too cold to walk. Also, it is very hard to drive in those conditions, so students could be late to school because of difficult driving conditions.
V.      Electronic use in classrooms- The electronic policy is pretty strict. Students should be allowed to use their iPods or other devices after they finish a test, or while homework is being done in class. If they are not disrupting the other students, it should not be a big deal. IPods help some people be more focused and get more done faster. If students got their homework done faster in school, then they would have less at home, and it would be more likely to get done, and not be a zero.
VI.    Lunch too short- The time we get for lunch just does not cut if. If a student wants to go across the street to Subway, then they barely have time to eat. By increasing the lunch period by just ten minutes, it would give the students a chance to go somewhere to get food and to enjoy it. It would also give students minds a break, and have a chance to recharge. Being rushed during lunch is not fun, so adding the extra ten minutes would make it more of a relaxing period.
VII.  Attendance policy- Students are not allowed enough absences. Ten absences are not very many for an entire semester. There are sometimes issues with illness, doctors’ appointments, and even custody. It makes it very hard for students to feel like they can stay home and recover from an illness, when they feel they might miss too many days of school. Even just making the days absent to twelve would greatly improve the attendance policy.
VIII.                        Food/Drink policy- Teachers do not want their students leaving class for any reason, so if drinks were allowed in class, it would take away one reason for students to leave. Also, sometimes students do not get a chance to eat breakfast in the morning. So, being allowed to eat in a classroom would be very helpful. As long as the foods or drinks are not mess or distracting there should not be a problem. Eating and drinking can also help some students concentrate, which would lead to higher grades and test scores.
IX.    Tests and Quizzes on Mondays- Having a quiz or test on a Monday makes life more difficult. Some students will forget over the weekend, and some just will not study, because it is the weekend and they do not feel like it. It is very difficult to have a quiz or test on a Monday because the student did not have the review day the day before, they had it three days before. The extra night to prepare if the test was on a Tuesday, would give the students who did study over the weekend a chance at a better grade. Tests and quizzes on Mondays are harder to concentrate on, because it was just the weekend, where students stayed up late, and are now tired.
X.      Unnecessary required credits (computers, art, health, etc.)- Some required credits are just unnecessary. Some students are not very good at computers, or art, and just do not want to know about health. Not doing well in these classes that they have no interest in taking will just bring down their overall grade point average. These classes are sometimes mundane to students, and serve no real purpose. Some students want to take an arts class, or computer class, and they should be able to, but it should not be required that every student do so.

III.             Concluding Statement

The students are the majority of the population at Grosse Pointe South. Therefore it is only fair that the student body make most of the decisions, or at least get a say in the matter. Instead we are forced to go to a school where we don’t agree with half of the rules and policies. We, the student body, are taking a stand. The student body is revolting against the school, the board and Mr. Provenzano. We are told as teenagers that we need at least 8 hours of sleep that is hard to do when school starts at 8:00 A.M. we should be able to come to school at a reasonable hour. We deserve a free period every day, just a single hour a day where we can do homework or anything within reason. The weekend is a time for students to be relieved of stress and take a break, we are swamped with sports, drama, and homework all week, the student body deserves to have no homework over the weekend. The fact that we have one snow day a year is preposterous! It can be below zero degrees and we still must come to school, when schools like L’Anse Cruse have two in a row, we must get more then one snow day. There should be and acceptance of electronics in class rooms, high school students are old enough to be able to use a cell phone in class. Students go to school for approximately eight hours a day, it should not be too much to ask to have a longer lunch. When you are legitimately sick you should not be penalized, you should still be getting credit for taking the class as long as you get the work done. We get to eat once a day, that is it! We are not allowed to eat or drink anything in class, and that is just not fair because teachers can eat what they want when they want it and the students just have suck it up and be hungry. When there are tests and quizzes on Mondays it makes it difficult to get a good grade because you cannot ask questions and no teenage wants to have to worry about studying all weekend. When we are forced to go to school we should be able to pick what classes we take, not be forced to take unimportant classes such as computers. It is the student’s school; therefore the students should make the decisions. We will not cease until our new requirements are met. It is time for the students to take a stand. We will no longer be walked over and bossed around. Our demands must be met or there will be consequences.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Epilogue (Abigail)

You see Abigail pacing in a small, dark room, with Mercy Lewis sleeping soundly on the floor. Abigail seems to be packing and looks to be distraught.
Abigail: Get up Mercy! We have to leave.
Mercy: Leave? Why? Are we going back to Salem?
Abigail: No, what did I tell you about going back so Salem? We can never go back. We stole all that money from my uncle.
Mercy: But why do we have to leave Boston?
Abigail: I have a feeling that they know that we are here. That they’re going to come, and take us back to Salem, and put us on trial.
Mercy: That would not happen, Abby.
Abigail: We don’t know that, do we? Now just get your but up, and help me pack.
Mercy: John Proctor was hung.
Abigail: What?
Mercy: With Goody Nurse, and Goody Corey.
Abigail: Why would I care about those heathens back in Salem?
Mercy: Well, it just seemed as if you and John Proctor had…
Abigail (Slightly raising her voice): Had what, Mercy? Tell me, Mercy, tell me. What did it seem like we had?
Mercy: I don’t know, Abby. It seemed like you had a sort of, connection.
Abigail (speaking more to herself and less to Mercy): A connection. How silly. John meant nothing to me. He chose his wife, left me to fight for myself. He would have been better off with me. Wouldn’t have been dead now, I can tell you that. He would be happy.
Mercy: Elizabeth also had a baby.
Abigail (clearly distraught, but trying to hide it): A baby? Well then, good luck to her. Having to raise four kids all on her own, and run a farm. I bet she runs the farm to the ground, and ruins the Proctor’s good name. Or, I guess, ruin it more, seeing as John hanged for witchcraft.
Mercy: I don’t know, Abby. From what I hear, she seems to be doing very well.
Abigail: And how do you hear all this, Mercy? You seem to have a lot of information that you couldn’t have just gotten through the grape vine.
Mercy (in a meek, submissive tone): Mary Warren told me.
Abigail: And how did Mary Warren tell you? This all happened after we were clear out of Salem.
Mercy: She’s been writing me letters. She tells me all about what is happening in Salem and the other towns. Like how Reverend Hale left, and hasn’t helped another town since Salem. How you uncle is still reverend of the town, but that towns people are not pleased. She tells me all about Elizabeth, because she is still helping out there. And the other girls they…
Abigail (tired of hearing Mercy speak): How did you get these letters, Mercy? Did you tell Mary Warren where we were? Did you give us away?
Mercy: No, Abby. Of course not. I know how important it is for you to stay hidden, with stealing your uncle’s money and such.
Abigail: Then where did she send these letters. They couldn’t of just magically gotten here. They had to have been sent somewhere.
Mercy: They were sent to that church, in the middle of the city. They’re real nice people there, Abby. They take Mary’s letters, and give them to me, and they send out mine, back to her.
Abigail (her voice raised): You sent letters back?!
Mercy (turning meek and submissive again): Yes. I had to. I had to let Mary Warren know that I had gotten her letters. And to tell her that we were okay.
Abigail: And what do you think would happen to us, Mercy, if someone were to find those letters. Come here, because I am sure you told Mary Warren that we were here in Boston, and take us back to Salem.
Mercy: I don’t know, Abby.
Abigail: They would take us back to Salem, and put us on trial. God only knows what they would do to us. We are thieves, Mercy.
Mercy: Well, technically, only you are. It was your idea to run, and take the money.
Abigail: But you went along with the plan. So you are just as guilty as I am.
Mercy: Oh
Abigail: Now will you please, stop with all this talk about Salem, and help me finish packing so we can leave.
Mercy: Fine, but do we really have to go?
Abigail: Yes, of course we do.
Mercy (talking to herself, not Abigail): I was finally starting to like it here.
Abigail: What did you say?
Mercy: I was just wondering where we would go from here.
Abigail: Philadelphia.
Mercy: Philadelphia?
Abigail: Yes, Mercy, Philadelphia, are you hard of hearing?
Mercy: No, no, of course not. Why are we going there?
Abigail: It’s a big city. They would have trouble finding use there if they came looking.
Mercy: Oh.
Abigail: And when we get there, no more letters to Mary Warren. There is nothing back in Salem that is good. Everything good went out of it a long time ago. You hear me, Mercy? (Mercy does not respond, angering Abigail). I said, you hear me, Mercy? No more letters?
Mercy: Yes, I hear you Abby. No more letters.
Abigail: Good. Now just help me pack. We have got to get going to Philadelphia.
Mercy: Okay, Abby.
The light fades out as we see Mercy begrudgingly start to help Abigail pack.