The Importance of Speaking Another Language by Alina de Zoysa

How important is speaking another language if everyone else in the world is learning English? Really important! Some people may argue that the rest of the world is learning English, so learning another language is not as important as other priorities in life. Although people around the world are being taught to speak English on top of their native language, there is a significant importance in learning another language. Learning another language can open various doors in a person’s life. For instance a person who can speak another language will most likely get a better job because they are multilingual.  Most colleges already require their students to have at least a two year study of a foreign language, and learning a different language can expose people to more information on the web.

Wouldn’t you agree that learning another language should be required of all U.S. students because there is a higher possibility that an adult who can speak another language will get a job before an adult of the same age who has little to no experience with a foreign language. If you belong to a company, most likely there will be at least one instance when a customer will not be able to speak English. What will the company do when they could potentially lose one of their clients because they don’t have someone to speak their same language?  An easy solution is to hire an employee that can speak a popular foreign language.

Most colleges already require students to have at least a “two year study” in a foreign language. Most high schools already require their students to take a language during their high school years as well, and as a result the two year requirement has already been met. But if the students only take a two year study of their language, they may not have enough experience with their foreign language to absolutely learn the language fully. Requiring students to speak another language would mean that the students would have to start learning in kindergarten or an early age and continue to study the language throughout their school career. When the language is introduced early, there is a higher possibility that the students will retain the language better than just starting their classes in high school and only having two to four years of the language

Another advantage to learning a foreign language would be that students will be able to read other articles online that are in different languages around the world.  “With advancements in technology, the world is becoming better connected. More and more, information on the internet is available in multiple languages, and information isn’t confined to being shared only from English publications.” On the internet there is so much information being shared in various different languages. Say a student has a project in Spanish class about the geography of Spain. Articles could be provided in English, but there could also be certain articles that could be in Spanish as well. These articles in different languages could be written by the people who actually live in that area of the world.

Interestingly enough, some people might argue that the rest of “the world is striving to learn English, Americans wonder why they should bother to learn other languages” . If the rest of the world is learning English, why should English speakers have to worry about learning to communicate in another language? Although this claim does prove a valid point, there are many ways that this statement is completely wrong. When this claim is said, it makes America seem like we do not want to learn another language and embrace other countries and their cultures. Saying that it is not necessary to learn another language because everyone else can speak our language makes us seem egotistical and arrogant. Learning another language will broaden our horizons to new cultures and belief around the world.  

The importance of learning another language is very important and it should be a requirement that students should be able to speak another language. Requiring students to speak another language might seem like a hassle when you are younger, but will become an advantage once you get older.

STUDENT LOANS BY: Alina de Zoysa

Student loans are recognized as a financial resource that young adults rely on in order to get a higher education, even if they can’t entirely afford their payments during a particular time in their life. Although student loans are a resource, the accumulation of debt that is collected from students hampers their adult experiences throughout their entire life.  The money that students owe will only grow bigger as their motivation for an average life sinks. Student debt is affecting adult’s lives after graduation because of the limited independent careers that students can choose from, increasing tuition fees, and the limited number of people recovering from their debt.

To begin, adults are less likely to create their own businesses if they still have student loans to pay off. Student loans can affect the decision that adults have to make when it is time for them to choose a career path. If a student chooses to create a business, they have to take the responsibility of the company and be able to support it. The risk of creating a new company might be too high for a former student to handle. Being responsible for student loans and a business that would need financial support would be too much of a risk that adults might not be able to handle. “When students use up their debt capacity on student loans, they can’t commit  elsewhere,” . Student debt is keeping students from having the career they have worked so hard to attain through the knowledge they needed to gain.

To continue, the increasing tuition fees of college education seem unattainable for students. College is portrayed as a source of mandatory education in order to have a decent life. Although college helps to ensure a job, the increasing tuition and yearly fees are making the “needed” education limited to certain people and classes who can afford the increasing prices. Many people try to gain help through grants, local and university scholarships, campus employment, and many more sources. But even the resources that are given to students can’t fully give them full closure to all of their financial obligations. Tuition isn’t the only costs, there are also books, rooms, travel, miscellaneous expenses, etc. All these expenses add up and make a student overwhelmed by the money they owe. “Published tuition and fees rose about 3% from last year even though the government reports there has been basically no inflation”.  Is making the price higher producing more knowledgeable people into the work field?

Finally, the limited number of adults recovering from debt is not enough. The number of adults paying off all of their debt is sinking as former students struggle to keep up with their payments. It’s not surprising that a percentage of students are not paying or on track with their debt when in just the last decade that the “total student loan debt tripled… to a whopping $1.232 trillion”. Student loans have taken over common households far exceeding other debt such as “credit cards, auto loan, and all other forms of debt, except for mortgages”. Is it too hard for adults to pay off their debt in the short amount of time they are given.

In conclusion, student loans are changing the lives of graduating students. Student loans are keeping back students from creating the life they are trying so hard to attain through a proper education, then, hopefully, get a proper job. The limited number of students who have chosen to create their own business that have had student debt is not what it should be, student debt is holding back students from the opportunities that should be accessible to them. Should the lives of our future have to worry about paying back the government, or changing the world with their knowledge.

 

FOR THE LOVE OF…. Pitbutlls! By: Alina de Zoysa

When you think about a pit bull, some people may think of danger, but a pit bull owner thinks of their dog as loyal, loving, and playful. Imagine a pit bull owner pried away from their dog, just because of a single law. This law has affected many lives when families were forced to watch their precious dog leave their homes and heart. How could you argue with a pit bull owner when they say their pit bulls are apart of their family, attacks are too focused on pit bulls, and their pit bull’s appearance doesn’t say anything about their personality.

To begin, when you think of family pets, Golden Retrievers, or maybe beagles come to thought, but how about pit bulls? They are a dog breed and they are generous and giving. There are pit bull owners who could state various pieces of evidence say that their pit bulls are vividly apart of their family. For example in the newspaper article ”Miami-Dade County Votes To Keep Pit Bulls Out” Mark Buehrle, a famous advocate for pit bulls, relocates his family’s location to Broward County in order to keep his beloved family’s pit bull. This shows that Buehrle would rather keep his pit bull than lose his pet due to Miami-Dade County’s law against pit bulls. Clearly this shows that Buehrle cares for his pit bull and is one of many pit bull owners that could say that his pet is vividly apart of his family and life in a positive way.

To continue, when you hear about dog attacks they are usually focused on pit bulls. Have you ever heard of a golden retriever or a poodle attack? You might rarely or might have never heard of a dog attack that has a good reputation. But if a pit bull does attack, even once, they are framed for being a vicious or dangerous dog. For instance, James Cross states that the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) specifically tells animal control officers that they will not cover a dog attack unless the attack is being situated by a pit bull. This goes to show that even associations that try to prevent cruelty to animals even try to focus attacks on pit bulls by trying to “eliminate” the presence of other dog attacks, “… the media intentionally over-reports incidents involving pit bulls, while keeping silent on attacks committed by dogs with better reputations, such as labradors”. This goes on to show that attacks are too focused on pit bulls when other dogs with better reputations also are involved in attacks.

Would you judge a dog by their appearance, or will you see a dog for who they are, and what their soul really holds with their love for human beings and other creatures? Pit bulls consist the same heart and love as much as and other dog has. But even the name this dog breed is given, pitbull, seems scary when you hear it, but their title or appearance doesn’t mean anything until you really get to know the dogs, then you really know that pit bulls aren’t harsh.

Pit bulls lives should not be affected by people’s thoughts against them, you should always remember that pit bulls are apart of people’s family, attacks are too focused on pit bulls, and the pit bull’s appearance doesn’t say anything about their personality.

How the game is more than a passion by: Malicka Barro

Coming from a background where soccer is a tradition, I fell in love with this sport at a early age. I remember the first soccer game I experienced, my country, the Ivory Coast was facing Cameroon. That game started my passion and love for soccer because I saw all of the supporters from both teams becoming one. One big mass that showed the magic of soccer, which is bringing people together and making joy out of a sport. My ambition for soccer grew more and more every day, but I was from a country where we were not really exposed to sports.  In contrast, that didn’t reduce my love for the sport because I lived for soccer and even played with the boys from my neighborhood.

On June 16th 2011, I received news from my father that we were moving to the United States of America for his new job that he had found. I told myself  “Hey let’s try this…America is the land where anything is possible. Right?” And just like that I was coming to an unknown country, but with a strong faith and high hopes. When I came to the United States, I was amazed by the fact that girls were just into soccer just as much as the boys! The transition to the U.S at was hard for me because I wasn’t able to speak the English as well as the others around me, so overall, it was difficult to make friends, especially with the girls who played soccer that I wanted to be friends with.  During gym class, I’d would play footsies with the other kids and show my talents, and somehow felt free and felt understood by them even though I could not speak English that well.

Months past by, and  I decide to try out for the soccer travel team in my town. It was a great travel team and was known to have amazing female players. I have to say that I that time my ego was probably a big handicap for me. I was so ambitious, ready to fight to join the team.  I convinced myself that I was going to make the team. The day finally comes for tryouts, and the expectations and qualifications were high, I felt it in my heart. There were butterflies in my stomach, I felt scared for the first time about trying something new.   The coaches were looking for skills such as trapping the ball, controlling, dribbling, and taking good shots. The one that scared me the most was conditioning. In order to stand out I had to at least be able not to gasp for air in the first fifteen minutes of the tryouts. There were about 50 girls trying out for the team, so my characteristics for this team have to fulfill their expectations. We started to run lapses and I quickly felt my lungs not working, my heart  started to beat really fast, and my legs were getting heavy which made it hard for me to pick them and run.

I quickly realized that I was getting behind the other girls. Then, came the second part which was going on the field and showing our skills. I was doing well at dribbling, passing, and controlling the ball until I had to take a shot and then came the worst nightmare of my life. I hit the ball but it barely left the ground. My eye was twitching, my heart stopped for a minute, and I felt tears coming in my eyes. I tried again, but this time it went over the goal. I just experienced failure for the first time in my life. It was not just a regular failure to me, it was a failure at something that I had a passion for. I did not make the team, and I felt hatred for letting myself down. During that period of time, I realized that I had to slow down my ego, and that it did not align with my qualities. I then decided to ameliorate my skills and my physical shape in terms of conditioning. The conditioning was pushing me to improved and better, I was happy, and that’s all that mattered to me at that point. I started to run every day after I was done with homework. I would spend hours and hours practicing my shots and technical skills. Day after day I kept on pushing myself because I wanted to prove that I could get better if I put in the right amount of work into whatever I decide to do. Three months later my family moved and I decided to try out for my new town’s girls soccer travel team. The day of,  my feelings of butterflies came to my stomach, feeling nervous and anxious. My hands started to sweat, I felt my stomach tying little knots in itself, and my feet were numb. I started running harder and faster than I ever did during the conditioning step.

On the field, my first touches were on point and my shots were not perfect but were good enough. I miss the first one but luckily it left the ground, then I made the second shot. I might have only made one but those two shots were enough to make me feel like I accomplished and made a progress in my way of shooting after what happened with the previous tryouts. I finally made the team and felt the joy that I experienced during the Ivory Coast vs Cameroon. What I learned from this experience is sometimes failure can be a good thing because it makes you stronger. The solution to failure is not to blame yourself but to get up, work on your flaws and most importantly never give up on what you love because that love is forever yours. My love for soccer was worth the fight because it was making me happy and because of that I experienced failure and that same love helped me go through it and learn my lesson. I guess the saying, “What doesn’t not kill you makes you stronger” really relates to me and I take it personal.

SUPERFLY! BY: Sana-Doctor Bentley

Superfly is a remake of an old classic gangster/drug kingpin movie where a young man by the name of Priest realizes it is time to find another way of life. Though he struggles with this fact of his existing life needs to end, he is forced to make some tough decisions that will leaded him down a path he never truly wanted. At a young age, Priest was always intelligent and a smart young man. With a mentor, he becomes a successful cocaine drug kingpin. Using his charm, wit, and ability to stay undetected. He builds an empire that is more powerful than many expect. With getting out on his mind, he plans to pull off one last job before retirement. However, with big plans, there is always a situation or two that will not allow him to walk away from this current life. Priest’s glass house around him begins to crumble. Priest is left to develop the last resort plan that will for the last time to remove him from this life. As expected critics would not disappoint by providing their opinions of how the new actor Trevor Jackson (“Grown-ish,” “American Crime”) would not be able to fill the shoes of previous Actor Ron O’Neal. I have not seen the original, which I am sure, is a great movie; however, this new age Superfly was not disappointing. I’m always pleased when remakes bring in modern day attributes as they aid in keeping it more relevant to the audience. Priest cleverly uses in one screen cell phone and messaging to lure a trap for someone who was doing business with his soon to be mentor. There are some powerful scenes in the movie that touches on topics of police brutality, crooked detectives, friendships, and family relationships.

 

Jackson’s co-stars also did not disappoint. Each of them holding theirs as each screen wrapped to the climatic ending. From the dynamic between Priest and his closest friend Eddie (Jason Mitchell) which displays the struggles of caring for someone who doesn’t see the bigger picture. Priest and Eddie do not see eye to eye on getting out of the business. The fact that they are not on the same agenda leads them both down a path that will cause problems in their friendship. Let us also take Priest mentor Scatter (Michael K. Williams), and their relationship is also compromised when Priest wants to pull off this last big deal. Scatter’s trust in Priest is destroyed due to this lie, and soon they are at blows, which ultimately leaves them both ruined. These two relationships for Priest helped to define who he was and still is.

 

SuperFly’s music was so perfectly matched to each scene as they unfolded. Given the movie the flare, it needed. I was so impressed by the music that I wanted to get up in the theater to start dancing. Lol, oh well! Kudos, to the music director on the choice of music. I believe that music is like the topping to a pizza it brings out the flavor. As it should not be a surprise, Superfly did not disappoint when it came to humor and style of dress. To the beautifully designed suits, fur coats, fly shoes, and full of life dresses. This made you want to go out and get an entirely new wardrobe. Very gaga over the fast cars, I was so elated to see the Lamborghini in this movie. It is indeed a remarkable piece of hardware designed to make anyone shout out WOOHOO. I am not sure of why at this time they decided to make a remake movie such as this. However, I’m supportive of the fact of bringing into this movie some of the harder topics of seeing misfortune of others, the disappointment of relationships, and lastly concerns on areas of police relationships with people in urban areas. Though I do not think, glorifying this cocaine lifestyle is needed for the people it was great how they tied in current events. I look forward to seeing the remakes of more black films from the seventies.

A movement in fashion by: Sana-Doctor Bentley

A trend that we are seeing more and more often, Taking the world by storm is “Flaw Accepting Fashion Campaigns” we are seeing it more often that the fashion and beauty industry are accepting what society has named as flawed. A hashtag was started by a fashion brand in the UK called Missguided the hashtag is called “ In Your Own Skin” their goal of this campaign is too embrace attributes that would be considered flaws or imperfections in mainstream beauty. They wanted to celebrate differences by showing scars,burns,birthmarks,freckles, ableism as something that people should be proud of and not hide. This campaign gets across this message by show models like Mariana Mendes, Joanne Dion, Beth Brice, Isabella Fernandes, Polly Ellens, and Maya Spencer-Berkeley.  This isn’t Missguided’s first attempt in challenging societal norms last year they had another hashtag by the name of “ make your mark” where they would post unedited photos of their models.I could relate so much to this campaign, and seeing the empowerment hits home for me.

 

This is important to me as a African American female it isn’t everyday that i see a model who looks like me and is accepted and praised for her beautiful dark skin and her curly hair, it’s just not something you see but as a female this is something I’ve been waiting for something like this. So I don’t fear hatred over the fact that my body and looks don’t match society’s values. A campaign like this challenges those standards and make me as a female feel more accepted, it hits home for others because we all know people who have been shamed because we were taught how society will value us. We’ve been shamed or know someone who has been shamed because they were not perfect and didn’t fit in one way or another. This campaign shows us even with mainstream trying to tell us that something is perfect what truly is perfect is a human accepting themselves even if they have not conformed to society’s norm. Now of course a movement is going to receive backlash.  
There are people who do not support positive movements such as this,but something that was pointed out is they speak towards body positivity but they only go up to a UK size 16 having customers and critics pointing out there slight downfall in not making there sizes match there all inclusive messages. This is a very important campaign in general because from a young age we are teaching kids that they need to grow up and look a certain way from hair, body shape, skin color and more of these ways are forced on us by models that are deemed to be “perfect”,having models that are shown with there imperfections is what everyone needs young and old showing us that even these people that we say are perfect they have there imperfections and they are just as beautiful its is a wake up call to society that noone is perfect were all different and we all still need to be loved and accepted.      

ON MY BLOCK by: Alina de Zoysa

This year has been a time full of new award winning movies, tv shows, and short films, and one on Netflix’s Original TV shows have received a ton of attention within the few months that the show has been available to the public. On My Block is “a coming-of-age comedy about four bright, street-savvy friends navigating their way through high school in the gritty inner city of South Central Los Angeles”. This new TV show is mainly aimed towards young adults and instills the fundamental morals of friendship. This adventures show takes its viewers on an emotional rollercoaster as the plot thickens and the friendship between the characters grows stronger. On My Block has also been nominated for the Choice Breakout TV Show category at the Teen Choice Awards, and many fans are excited to see this show receive this award after only five months of being on Netflix. Even though it has only been a few months since the show has been released, On My Block has been renewed for its second season on April 16, 2018.

The main characters of the show are Monse, Ruby, Jamal, and Cesar, who are a group of friends that are going into the ninth grade next year. The pilot episode begins when the four friends are talking about what their high school lives are going to be like, when Ruby’s brother, Mario Martinez, gives them a vital piece of advice, they need to stick together when they enter high school. This was a piece of information that will be important throughout the entire show and will be the driving force of the reason Monse fights for their friendship. After the first episode the group of friends go through many struggles and conflicts that build up to the very last minute of the last episode. Fans were holding onto their seats when the last episode brought them to tears. We are all devastated to wait about a year until the next season airs, and many hope there will be more than ten episodes (unlike the first season).

The show was not only recognized as a hit for its content, phenomenal storyline, and having a seemingly all people of color (POC) cast, but was also hit with a lot of press about one of their actresses, Ronni Hawk, who plays the character Olivia. Olivia plays a character that moves in with Ruby because her parents were deported. Many people thought that she should have not gotten the role as a Mexican woman, when she is not actually hispanic in real life. Affinity says, “ This fairy tale came crashing down when it was revealed that actress Ronni Hawk, who plays Olivia, is not actually Mexican as portrayed in the show, but is non-Latinx white.” Another reason people were upset was because she is a Trump supporter playing a girl who lost her parents due being deported back to Mexico. This is not the first show that she has been in as a Hispanic women, but was also cast as Rachel Diaz in the Disney show, “Stuck in the Middle”. Many fans caught onto the fact that Ronni Hawk has played two Hispanic characters and are outraged. On My Block has received a considerable amount of backlash about this particular topic and it is not confirmed yet, but it is hoped that the character Olivia, will be recasted for the upcoming second season.

This show is an action pact series that brings its viewers to tears, but it is receiving many messages from fans about how excited everyone is for the second season. The viewers are all hoping for another season about friendship, love, and suspense, as great as the first.

Rape Culture by Monica Doliscat

Women were known to take a back seat in everything that was commonly done by men. Apparently men ran the world. They were the police officers, the criminal investigators, the judges, and more. Women were treated like slaves and were looked down upon for committing to jobs that were “out of their leagues”. Women in criminal justice have to face a handful. When women would would report rapes, there wouldn’t be enough evidence to support it. There was a time in the slavery era when African American women would report a rape, but would receive backlash because they were women of color and because they “deserve everything that was coming”. There is a movement that has been around for more than 10 years and it has been very helpful to the community of women that do not feel comfortable reporting their rape incidents.

The “Me Too” movement was created in 2006 to aid survivors of sexual violence, mostly for women of color. Women of color are looked down upon when reporting a rape or sexual assault incident especially by a “brother” because they are seen as trying to degrade their race or even get blamed for the incident happening to them. In an article, the purpose of The “Me Too” movement’s goal is to create an environment of “advocates, driven by survivors, who will be at the forefront for creating solutions to interrupt sexual violence in their communities” (“Me too”, para 5). Technology plays an important role in the “me too” movement because with the help of social media, the hashtag has gone viral and more individuals came out and created conversation based off of their personal stories. Tarana Burke found the “Me Too” movement and in an article, one of the statistics that were stated included, “17,700,000 women have reported a sexual assault since 1998” (Burke 1). These numbers continue to grow because the criminal justice system has yet to properly create a system where there can finally be a decrease in these outrageous numbers. Although “America wasn’t first… women in other countries have broken their silence about sexual misconduct, too, in recent years” (Sengupta, para 4), they have set it in stone for the justice system to be forced to change something around.

Movements such as the “Me Too” movement cannot stand alone. Individuals can scream, cry, chant, walk, run and more, but nothing will change until the government put their foot down to actually help those survivors. The movement will impact the Criminal Justice system in a way that’ll have our leaders open their eyes and realize that more individuals are reporting their rapes and sexual assaults. Some want to be heard and some actually want action to be done. The Criminal Justice System owes the survivors justice in their cases and for those whose’ cases were swept under the rug while serving for the U.S.

Being that I am a woman, there are certain things that I can say I should take precaution with. But in all honesty, the world comes with a lot of dirt, it is not always your job to clean it up. It is us to our superiors to put in place the correct laws and bindings that can help those who continue to destroy that lives of innocent people. Rape can start off from many different ways that include cyber stalking or even stalking in person. There are so many actions that can lead to rape and it is not the victim’s fault. The government often finds themselves asking the victim whether were taking part in drugs or alcoholic activities. I absolutely believe that that is unfair because no one willingly puts themselves out there to get raped. There should be safety procedures around our cities not just college campuses. There should be a buzzer every and anywhere so when someone feels that they are not safe, they can hit the buzzer and someone will help them right away. There are many ways that rape can be prevented if the government started to take action and listen instead of fighting back or sweeping everything under the rug.

My favorite Youtuber! By Asia Jones

Whether it’s make-up tutorials, virtual math tutors, or mini documentaries, YouTube is a resource that is used by individuals of all age groups. For the many students looking to study abroad in the near future, many YouTubers do a great job of depicting what living in other countries is like; however, how many of those bloggers are African American? While many people may discourage the thought, African Americans traveling experience in foreign countries is vastly different from those of travelers of Caucasian descent. As an aspiring traveler, I always dreamed of traveling to countries of Eastern Asia; more specifically, South Korea. While this dream is one I promise to fulfill, I can only imagine what the black experience is like in a homogenous country such as, South Korea.

Determined to learn more about living in South Korea, I frantically searched YouTube for vloggers who lived in this country. To my surprise, the first result in my search was a Vlogger named Hurricane Lala. As a black woman, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Hurricane Lala had been living in South Korea for a long period of time as an English teacher. Throughout her YouTube channel, one can find her discussing her experiences living in South Korea, which ranged from the good of South Korea to the bad of South Korea. Lala even spent a lot of time discussing what dating was like in South Korea, partying in South Korea, and working in South Korea. Her stories, which were typically told in a very comical point of view, were entertaining to watch and kept me interested from start to finish. While some people may not favor her energetic personality, Lala is doing a great job of communicating the black international traveling experience to the world. More women of color should find ways to share their experiences traveling and studying abroad to the community. This would help women decide what country they should visit, or study in. For someone like myself, one’s experience in a country will help me decide the decision I wish to make.

While Hurricane Lala lived in South Korea, her experience can be important for anyone looking to study abroad or live in a homogenous country. Unlike the United States, many countries around the world are considered homogenous. While only experiencing one culture and race all their lives, citizens of homogenous countries have had little to no experience interacting with people who do not look them. Because of this, many colored travelers tend to feel uncomfortable with their experiences in these countries. Not wanting to have a negative experience while visiting a foreign country, I found Hurricane Lala’s videos very informative in regards to life in South Korea for a person of color. I am sure that I want to go to South Korea in the near future, and I am happy to know, to some degree, what life is like there as a woman of color.

As of two months ago, Hurricane Lala moved back to the United States and no longer shares her experiences about South Korea. She continues to document her daily life, and wants to move on from being known as the black girl who lived in South Korea. While I am sad that she no longer lives in South Korea, I appreciate her sharing her experiences in South Korea and understand that she has to make the decisions that are best for her. I will continue to watch her channel because I enjoy listening to her daily activities and finding the best in some of the less pleasing situations.