Responses

I completely agree with what Veronica has said above. I too wrote about Du Bois’ point on education and agreed with his idea. I also think it is important for everyone to have an equal opportunity at a higher education because it is our country as a whole we live in. It is important for our country to be progressive, especially in the world we live in today. In order for that to happen we need to diversify the amount of educated people in this nation. Each person has a different experience and therefore has different answers to various problems. If more people receive a high education, it can benefit this country as a whole. It is not fair that a white person can have more opportunities than those of other races. With hard work, regardless of race people should have access to a higher education. As Dubois suggested, if white people can do it, so too should African Americans. The color of an individuals skin should not be a defining factor of their intelligence. One of my favorite examples is Ben Carson. Ben Carson is an extremely successful neurosurgeon and head of the neuro department at John Hopkins University. He grew up in a tough environment and still became a successful doctor despite his hardship. I completely agree that it is important that high education be made more available in the United States to people regardless of race.

 

In response to Nakhil’s Brain Thoughts, I find it very interesting that you have made a connection to the way in which women act to the neurology of their brains and how the environment affects that. As an aspiring neuroscience major, I find it interesting and highly plausible as what you have proposed. Often time, mental illness is associated with women. According to theguardian.com, women are 40% more likely to acquire a mental illness. But why is that? Many scientists will argue it is because of the different hormones women have in their bodies. However, based on the information you have presented, it seems as though the stressful, tedious and constantly demanding environment women battle daily could play a role in it as well. It is similar to exercising. The more exercise you do, the more your muscles will respond and get stronger. However, if you overwork your muscles eventually they will become fatigued and cease to work properly. Often times people view it as weakness when one is afflicted by a mental illness (a reason as to why it is linked to women), therefore it is interesting to hear a point arguing against it being weakness and instead allowing for the cause to instead be due to an overwhelming aspect.

 

I think you, Jackson, bring up some very valuable points in terms of the direction our society is headed in today. We often take for granted the simple things and pay no mind to the serious struggles people face in their lives. While students are having the time of their lives on spring break in a different place, others are struggling to make enough for food. In our infectious American ways, culture is constantly being lost. Western civilization is metastasizing and with this comes the loss of the eclectic group of cultures. This reminds me of my own family. When I was in high school, we used to travel to Florida for our spring break. When I was a junior in high school, my parents decided to provide my sisters and me with an opportunity to diversify our view on this world (without traumatizing us), so they took us to Puerto Rico. Instead of spending the day at the resort, they took us to Old San Juan and emphasized the very different living conditions of the Puerto Ricans. Rather than eating at the five-star restaurant at the hotel, they took us to a local restaurant in the city. This experience was extremely impactful on my life and I truly appreciate my parents for highlighting the differences in the two cultures, despite being a part of the same country. Had they not done so, I think I would be one of those “spring breakers” not taking the time to truly appreciate the different cultures of the world.

 

Mental illness has always been an issue in society. People who do not suffer from mental illness generally have a difficult time accepting the idea. Many believe that it is “all in their head”. Regardless, I do agree that in recent generations people have become more accepting of mental illnesses; however there are still those that remain somewhat disrespected. For example, anorexia nervosa is the mental illness in which the patient deprives themselves from food or over exercises to compensate for the calories eaten during the day. This illness is common among women, especially those in their teenage years. These girls typically face judgment because of their disease and can be put down because of what others say, especially younger people. This could easily be due to the lack of understanding of the illness. It is extremely difficult to sympathize with another person if you do not understand their condition. While I agree that in recent years there have been improvements in how mental illness is seen, I still believe that there is serious mistreatment when it comes to those who suffer from the mental illness. Unfortunately, mental illness is still not completely understood and many do not have full explanations as to why they occur, but it is important to be accepting of those with the illness, which can only help them in the long run.

 

I think it is very interesting to bring up this point about black parenting. While I agree that it is unfortunately more challenging for a family of color to live in society today, I also must say that there are other horrors in the world all parents’ worry about. For example, I saw in my own mother her fear of my use of cigarettes. However, her strategy was not to ban me from every trying one, but rather leave it open for me to choose to do so. She advised me that it was extremely unpleasant and would probably end up hating it, but she never said I couldn’t try one. Well, for whatever reason her strategy did in fact work and I have never tried a cigarette in my life. I think that adverse aspects in life are inevitable; therefore I understand the lack of protection towards parent’s children. The earlier they become exposed, the stronger they will be when facing various situations. This calls forth many different questions not only pertaining to the proper way of raising children, but also to whether or not there should be a certain degree of censorship when dealing with these issues. But in the end it seems as though all parents have the same goal in mind: what is best for their children. How they choose to raise them is entirely individual preference.

 

I found it very interesting to read Nali’s reaction to hip-hop and rap music. I too used to find the movie overly aggressive and angry and I truly did not understand why it was necessary to sing such provoking lyrics. As a child my mother did her best to keep me from listening to such intense music. However, as I became older I began to listen to the music for myself and lyrics captivated me. As I listened closer to the lyrics I found that behind all the harsh language and somewhat violent rhythm, I heard a story being told. Many of the rap song are rooted on the struggle those artists faced growing up. It is interesting to have the ability to listen to their story and how they dealt with their struggles. Granted there are some songs about certain topics such as drugs and alcohol that I still do not understand the meaning behind, there are definitely songs that have a deeper meaning about life. For example, Money and Power by Kid Ink especially resonated with me as he talks about the struggle of becoming successful and maintaining that success. Now that I am older and have the ability to think for myself and form my own opinions, I have a greater appreciation for this music.

 

I agree with Carson in that the story of Mrs. Dalloway was very interesting and, at times, difficult to follow. But I think that is what makes this story unique. Mrs. Dalloway takes place in a time where things most likely were confusing. The largest war the world new had just finished and people were trying to deal with the consequences and continue in life. I think Virginia Woolfe intentionally made it so that this story was somewhat confusing to help portray how the characters felt. At this time nothing was certain, therefore it was hard to make sense of certain situations. For example, one of the character, Septimus, was suffering from a mental illness called shell shock. Shell shock was not well understood at the time and it was considered weak of men to show symptoms of this illness. Now we know the illness as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is better understood by doctors and society. At the time though, it was confusing and controversial. I think it was good for Woolfe to make it so the story was slightly unclear because at the time in which this story takes place, there were a lot of different issues that were unclear to people.

 

I think that Alec has raised a very interesting point regarding the affect sports can have on tragedies. In times of disaster people need a distraction from reality and many times that is sports. But it could also be other things such as music as in the case of the Titanic when the ship was sinking and the band played in order to keep the people calm. Also, often in war in order to take a break from the stress the soldiers will take to playing sports to decompress. Sports have become such a large part of society today the affect they can have is tremendous. In fact, even issues that are not necessarily immediate huge catastrophes are acknowledged through sports. For example, at Colgate the women’s basketball team plays for awareness of breast cancer. Though it is not a terrorist attack, people still use sports as a coping strategy and a way to hope and raise awareness. Also, the Colgate women’s hockey team plays for awareness of autism. Sports are very important in society today in dealing with tragedies. People use them as a gift of hope and a way to distract themselves from the hardships they are currently facing.

Response to a Response:

Veronica, I completely agree with you in that if you do work you enjoy, it is hard to call it work. There is saying that literally says, if you enjoy it can you really call it work? But this also brings up the situation of possibly doing something you don’t like so you can do the things you like. For example, my father loves to sail, however it would be extremely difficult for him to make a career out of it and support a family of five. In order to provide for his family he works for an insurance company that is not necessarily the most fun job out there. Outside of work during the summer though, he is able to enjoy time in Mystic Connecticut on his own sailboat. If he did not have the job he did, he would not have the opportunity to sail as he does. This then brings up the question of whether or not totally happiness is actually attainable, or if sacrifices need to be made in order to have a balance of happiness in your life. Sometimes people may over think happiness and sometimes life needs to be put into perspective. Happiness is very complicated and ironically can cause serious stress in certain people’s lives.

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