Well here we are, finally in the last few weeks of the school year. I can’t believe it. I’ve finally made it. I’m honestly kind of sad that I wont ever have another Pinellas Virtual School class. But it’ll be cool to move on to full-time college at the same time! I’m now working on my fourth college class as of yesterday. I’ve survived and passed Composition I and II with high A’s! And well…Psychology wasn’t so successful…but I still passed! I’m currently working on a Speech class now at the lovely SPC Clearwater campus. Looks like it’ll be a fun class! Plus it’ll get me closer to graduating with my AA. I guess that’ll be the only thing I’ll really do this summer, other than maybe going to a summer camp. Oh! I’m making these really neat coffee mugs and selling them to raise money to go to the summer camp! I really hope I can make it! I’ve really enjoyed making the mugs, too! I think I’ll continue to make them just because it’s a neat way to earn money and they are just so cute. Also I have three big things coming up this summer!! Those being: my birthday, my graduation, and my adoption day. So I’ll have a lot of celebrating to do! Anyways, I guess that’s my last ramble for the year. 🙂
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cut Off.”
The summer of 2014 was probably the beginning to what felt like one of the loneliest times in my life. This month, almost a full year ago, our Dad decided to tell us he was leaving. We lived an entire week more with him in the house after his startling statement. Then he was gone. He packed his stuff up and just left. A month later, I lose every single one of my friends. I went to a youth group and had another old friend from elementary, and we all went to camp that year and there was a bit of well drama because of teenagers and hormones. I don’t really want to get into the details of that – basically I lost my best friend and what I thought was a really cool guy friend. There were still a few weeks I was in communication with everyone, we all still texted as if everything was normal. I was a little upset with this best friend of mine, but we were okay. Somehow withing only a matter of a few weeks, that all vanished. No more best friend. No more “cool guy.” Even two of my very closest friends at the youth group, I lost them. I don’t really know how it happened, but it did. So no Dad. No friends. That same summer my mom and older sister were both in college too, so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. All of us kids were still trying to cope with what had just happened with Dad. Strangely enough though, everything got better once he left. Sure, I was lonely. But things were better for awhile. I can’t really explain it, but the entire house felt lighter. It was easier to live for awhile. I don’t say this out of spite or any harshness in my heart towards him, but out of truth. Every single person in this house would agree with my statement. Of course, its probably wrong I think I’m better off without a father figure, but there’s plenty of heartache and trauma to make that match up. I had a tough life earlier on. But I was adopted by a very loving family; a loving family including that same Dad that left us a year ago. He was once a good man. He always did love us. He just got caught up in the world and chose to leave us for it. But he used to be a good man and maybe one day he’ll be that same man, or better. Hopefully better. Mainly for the sake of my 10 year-old brother who no longer has a man to look up to. Just a house full of girls. But I think we’re still teaching him pretty well. Would’ve been nice if he had a Dad around to do “guy stuff” though. The boy I still see as little for some reason will be 11 tomorrow. Time sure does fly.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World.”
Texting. Well, it has its positives: you can send a quick message to get information like an address or number that your mind may not be able to remember within the five second it was spoken. You can be discreet about something maybe you didn’t want someone else to hear, (you have to be super duper careful about that, of course – but I’m definitely not afraid to admit I’ve done it with a sister. Gets us out of a lot of awkward situations. Plus when you’re just unable to talk, texting makes communication still possible. On the downside…it has a good amount of negatives: I’ve noticed people don’t find my sarcasm quite as funny over a text, as they may have in person. Another HUGE thing; you can’t read emotions and that is probably the worst most awful thing ever. As an empathetic person, emotions and faces are what I need to read to know what to say and what not to say. There’s just something about texting that completely hinders that sense of realness, closeness to a person.
I’m gonna share a little insight from my life on texting. Texting is probably one of the most important things to me right now. Why you ask? I’m in a long-distance relationship and the miles suck; but texting makes it possible to talk to that person every day. I love texting for that reason. We get to send cute little good morning texts that I just adore – and the emojis, gah, I love the emojis! Of course I’ve noticed that over texting – because of the whole no face/no emotion thing – we tend to get upset over something that was meant to be meaningless, maybe a little tease or whatever, but we – no mainly I – I take it to heart. Such a fool for that, but it happens. Those are the moments I’m thankful for phone calls and Skype, especially Skype. Not to bring in a whole new form of electronic communication… only mentioning it for a second, I promise! But yeah, Skype is so helpful when it comes to seeing the persons face and getting a little more insight into their emotions, I feel like I’m closer to being there. Until it lags and we both look a little distorted over the webcam… but you get my drift. Anyway, back to texting, it can be a wonderful thing in many situations, and I’m thankful for it.
P.S. How do I communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium? The emojis. The wonderful, amazing emojis. And of course, I put plenty of thought into the text so it sounds a little more like what I would’ve wanted to say in person.
Taking yet another idea from The Daily Post’s Daily Prompts, Five a Day. Topic: You’ve been exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick? (Please bear with me, this is totally not gonna be professional, or formal, or anything fancy – just basically me talking to you, sorry, lol.)
Anyway. Okay. Hard question. One, we’re on an island – I don’t think there’s gonna be a refrigerator. Two, I like a lot of food. I just hope the island has a lot of vegetation. Let’s say it does. I’d want foods to spice up and blend the veggies and fruits so I think my first choice of food would be dough. (That needs a refrigerator, doesn’t it?…) Well anyway, dough you could add some sea salt and make it great with veggies and animal meat from the island – which means I’m gonna have to learn to hunt. My gosh. Scary. I’ll have some island guy do it for me. Plus you could take the dough and fruit and make pastry-ish things – let’s face it, it won’t be bakery style, but hey, it’s food. So food one: dough. Food two: butter. Butter makes every thing better. So that’s that. Food three: rice. You can add veggies from the island, you can add butter, you can add meat, you can really add anything to rice and it’s perfectly edible – also perfectly bland, but hey, it’s food. Food four: lasagna?? Can I have lasagna as a food?? That’s like a mix of all kinds of ingredients but I could never ever ever get tired of lasagna – and the dough and butter! I could make garlic bread to go with! (God, please let there be garlic on the island!) Okay, okay, okay, we’re down to my last food choice – uh oh. Not really. Food five: cheesecake. I don’t care. I love cheesecake. I’m having it breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No one can stop me now. — I love how I switched from totally logical, thought-out ideas to fancy foods. Hey I get to pick, so I picked well. There will be plenty of vegetation and animals on the island so I’ll be able to mix and match my other foods up and make them all yummy, but I need my lasagna and cheesecake.
Taking the idea from The Daily Post’s Daily Prompts, I’m going to write every third word from the 82nd page of Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen. Let the fun commence.
Several people walked by the cafe early this morning. Some passerby’s were more happier than the others as you could tell in their profiles. Scotty looked dreadful, he was a teetotaler after-all, and so his alcohol abstinence has seemed to bring him down these past few months. He disliked going to the bars with his friends because he knew he couldn’t drink. Some of his friends though it was silly, the way he didn’t drink. He sometimes thought it was silly too; that was until he met the woman of his dreams. She would tell him from a women’s perspective that women liked a man that could keep his head straight and the lack of alcohol in his breath made him more appealing. They decided together they would make up an anti-alcohol union where people from all over could come and find that people do accept that you don’t drink alcohol and maybe alcohol isn’t the only answer to happiness. This was a great idea they thought. He was so happy she felt the same way and her soothing words took him to an entirely different place. He knew for a fact he was in love with her. Just the way he felt about her when she would speak or even just sit there, in all of her beauty and essence; he knew that she was the one. A one of the kind girl. The great thing was that she loved him also. They were a perfect match and so they would always be.They would dream of marrying and having the most wonderful life together and so he would always think of all the different ways he could one day propose to her. Of course he had plenty of help from his dear friend, Jim. He was an already married man and so he had already gone through the head-wrenching time of figuring out that perfect way to propose. They researched a million ideas and read a million articles along the lines of just that subject. That was certainly an incredible friend-bonding few months. “I think that you should do something big – something fancy.” Jim suggested. “Yeah.” Scotty responded. If only it were that easy, he thought to himself, then he would have the entire world at the back of his hand. He just couldn’t think of something that was big and fancy and doable without running himself into debt before even getting into his new married life. “We’re going out for the day” Scotty texted Jim, reminding him in a round-about way that today was the big day. Scotty sure hoped for the best and that it would blow the socks off of his fiance to be. He carried a big weight on his shoulders thinking about how the family’s would be joined by their marriage, and how their new life would carry on, and when they’d have their first kid – just everything. Before his head exploded, he knew he needed to ask. Arriving at her very favorite sight-seeing place, they walked out onto the long cobblestone road underneath the beautiful Japanese cherry trees. Putting a wonderfully-scented blossom in her hair and bending down on one knee, he said, “Cordelia, will you marry me? Pulling the gorgeous diamond ring from his jacket. Her cheeks were rosy red and tears were in her eyes. She’d surely say yes, and she did. She told him this was such a shock – in a wonderful way of course, but she was so excited and full of joy that she wrapped her arms and squeezed him tight as she kissed his sweet face. She put the beautiful ring on and he pulled her tawny blonde hair behind her and held her tight. She tucked her hands into the cloth of his jacket and just stood there awhile. Then they decided they should take their first out-of-town trip as an engaged couple. When they got home, they packed their luggage and set off from home. It arrayed a dark, cloudy forecast up above, but they weren’t going to let it ruin their day. They even somewhat liked it better because they planned to go by train and how peaceful would their little journey be by the comforting sound of the rain. They got on the train passing the first few front seats, planning on going somewhere towards the back where fewer people would sit. This was perfect. They were off to see new things and plan for their future. “I love you.” Scotty said as he watched his beautiful fiance sit there in all of her beauty and essence. They really had come so far from where the started. She answered, “I love you too.” in reply as she glanced over at his handsome self all dressed up in suit and tie.
We’re already into our third week of the new semester and I think that’s just crazy. I can’t believe how fast time goes by but I have to say this new semester has really been working so much better for me. New school website. New classes. Taking yet another college course. New schedule. New plans. I really do like that it all came with the new year, it certainly feels like a new start. With the start of college again last week, I’m getting settled into my new schedule and I’m really liking it – start virtual school on the weekends, finish most of it by Tuesday evening, pack lunch and fin outfit for Wednesday, get up, get ready, leave the house, arrive at the college and spend the next 3 hours finishing virtual school after finding a cozy little work spot with my computer and find a good music playlist on Spotify then throw myself into school and by 11:45 I’m pretty much finished and it’s lunch time with Nessa, then off to class and I’m out by 3:45 and my Wednesday is basically iver and I’m almost through with school – it’s great. Not to mention I’ve started journaling and sketching and really getting back into my creative groove. I’m really loving this new semester.
Happy Tuesday. 🙂
Genetically Modified Foods
Today we face a big debate on whether or not genetically modified foods are safe to eat. I’d like to believe genetically altered foods were for the greater good and provided an easier, cheaper way to produce healthier food, and while it does produce easier, cheaper food, that food is a concern to our health. What exactly is it that they are putting in our food to harm us? Why isn’t the FDA protecting us from these harmful chemicals and changes in our food? Is it really such a big deal? Really, it depends on who you are and if you care to take notice to the chemically altered and processed foods entering your diet. Plenty on this controversial topic is still to be further studied into, but enough has been found to make me lean towards the fact genetically modified foods aren’t safe to eat and they could lead to many health issues we see present today.
The most basic definition of GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other even other plants and animals—already doesn’t sound too appealing. What’s even scarier is essentially all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand the many herbicides farmers use and even produce its own insecticide. While that sounds great, we’re also putting those same chemicals into our bodies. Doesn’t that seem just a bit startling? Ingesting the same chemical that kills off insects and other such pests.
Another frightening study was made on rats exposed to genetically modified corn and Roundup herbicide. A French study—the most comprehensive GMO safety assessment ever conducted—was done involving 200 rats and spanned over 2 years, which was the life expectancy of the rats used in testing. They separated all of the rats into 10 groups: Three groups having their regular diet replaced with varying levels of Roundup-Ready corn that was treated with Roundup in the field; three different groups received the same diet but with untreated Roundup-Ready corn; the last three groups didn’t eat any genetically modified corn, but their drinking water had small amounts of Roundup herbicide; and the last group, the control group, ate two-thirds of standard rat-chow and one-third non-GM corn. The results were horrifying. Researchers say the results showed “severe adverse health effects, including mammary tumors and kidney and liver damage, leading to premature death” from the Roundup-Ready corn and Roundup herbicide. Almost all of the ill effects had manifested by 90 days. In each group, there were 10 males and 10 females; by the end of the study, results showed the males to have liver congestion and necrosis from 2.5 up to 5.5 times higher than the control group, and many of the females had developed large tumors. Overall 50 to 80 percent of the rats receiving GM corn and/or roundup had died prematurely compared to the 30 and 20 percent in the control group. Fact is, GMOs are scary.
Now we come to the question: Why isn’t the FDA protecting us against these harmful chemicals and substances? Ignorance. Again and again the FDA has declared that genetically engineered foods are in fact safe to the public—even in the face of disagreement from its own experts. Agency scientists have cautioned these genetically modified and chemically filled foods are risky to our health. The FDA did admit to operating under a directive “to foster” the US biotech industry and that directive advocates the premise that bioengineered foods are essentially the same as others (Druker). The scientists at work resisted this conform repeatedly warning that genetic engineering does differ from conventional practices. Another hot topic has come up, again involving the FDA and this time GMO Labels. The FDA has made the decision not to require Labeling of genetically engineered foods. This doesn’t put the many pleading families, farmers, consumer groups and green organizations at any more ease. If a company does wish to label its product as “GE-Free”, they have to go through the extensive and expensive process of having their product tested, certifying it, and then finally labeling it. If GMOs are supposedly “safe” and “harmless”, why should it matter whether a company wants to label their product or not? Just another thought to ponder over.
Finally we come to the part where we have to make our own decision. Is GMO safe? There’s not much running from it now either way, just about every food we consume has been genetically altered or processed in some sense. It’s just up to us as the consumer to decide whether or not we’re going to try to stray from the chemically-infused foods and find other resources, or are we going to just take what we are given and try not to worry so much rather or not our food will eventually kill us.
Druker, Steven. “FDA Documents Show It Ignored GMO Safety Warnings from Its Own
Scientists.” Synthesis/Regeneration Winter 2000: 31. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
Genetically Modified Crops: Hope vs. Hype. Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 1999.
Web. 16 Nov. 2014.<http://digital.films.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?aid=740&xtid=11206>.
Philpott, Tom. “Longest-running GMO study finds tumors in rats.” Mother Earth News Apr.
May 2013: 13. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
“So What Exactly is a GMO?” UWIRE Text 5 Dec. 2013: 1. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Nov.
Technology has come a long way by aiding us with improved research, better communication and in several other ways but every good thing has its downfall and unfortunately technology has also helped us to isolate ourselves from the real world. Focusing in on technology’s effects on students, we have come to see a lot of this nowadays.
Students are assigned all kinds of work and projects in class which are to be researched for. While handheld encyclopedias and books may be useful but they are often outdated and so online encyclopedias, books, and other means of research—which are constantly being updated—have really become a necessity to our students today. The many online resources make researching a much simpler task than it used to be.
Students also benefit from the technology drastically improving and making simpler ways of communication—from calling, texting, emailing, video chatting, and just about everything else. These advances in technology have been very beneficial to students. With it right at their fingertips, students can easily get a hold of teachers almost immediately and receive help on their assignment or something they didn’t understand in class. This also goes for family, friends and even tutors, or any other person they need to get in contact with.
Even with all of the great and wonderful benefits of technology, it still holds us back in some ways. A great disadvantage to technology is the simplicity and isolation it gives us. Going home to the great distractions of the TV, phone, iPad, and other such devices, people often find themselves developed in all of it for hours at a time. Especially students who sit back and hide behind a computer screen to escape the real world—it’s really debilitated many people from the way they interact with others.
Overall technology has been a really great thing—especially to students. For one, technology is constantly updating its resources to make research so much simpler. Technology with its vast amount of ways to get in contact with someone for help, or whatever need-be, it has made communication a lot less difficult. Now of course every great thing has its pros and cons, depending on the way someone chooses to use it. Quite often technology is used as a means of distraction, especially amongst teens and students.
Sitting in my grandparent’s cozy little living room, I listen to them chatter on about the good ‘ole times and how everything is so different now. They could go on for hours at a time just talking about their everyday life. From jokes about the old telly, fresher foods, the simplicity of not worrying about playing out late at night or even locking your doors; life seemed so much simpler. I think about the things they’ve mentioned and how it differs from the life I live today.
Then−Waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh toast and eggs, father typically rushing off to work, and mother tending to her studies, it was the start of a brand new day. Looking for something to wear was simple enough. Girls wore dresses to school every day; they were not allowed to wear jeans or pants. Boys also kept it simple with long pants and their shirt tucked in. After eating and getting ready you’d still have just a bit of free-time to spare. Of course, with there being only 3 television channels to flip through in the morning, there wasn’t too much to watch. But it also wasn’t such a time-consuming task. The schools were fairly close and times were much safer and so you could walk to school and back without any fear or worry. After school, you could drop by the Dime Store and with 25 cents and buy an entire bag of candy. Movie tickets were 50 cents, so if you had saved up allowance, you could maybe catch a movie too.
Now−Waking up in the morning to grab your phone off the charger and check the latest news, the weather, or update your newsfeed, you struggle to leave the bed. Breakfast tends to be whatever you can find in the pantry or can grab on your way to work or school. A prepared and cooked breakfast tends to be on a special occasion, or weekend. Today, we have endless channels on the television to choose from, and if that isn’t already enough, we have Netflix, Redbox, online sources, and endless other ways to satisfy our entertainment needs. As for school and or work, there are plenty of means of transportation to get there and back. Unfortunately walking isn’t so much a safe thing to do anymore, and with all of the ways of transportation, it may be an inconvenience.
We have come a long way from where we were a few decades ago, with all kinds of advancement in technology and transportation and in plenty more areas. Just about everything has changed. Food. Clothing. Entertainment. The safety of the world we live in nowadays and the world we used to live in. While I do love and appreciate most of it all and how far we’ve come, sometimes I think I would like to go back to those simpler times.
When I was a child I loved watching Scooby Doo with my bowl of cereal every Saturday morning. I would always go throughout the show anticipating who the scary monster would be. Today I joke that Scooby Doo was the reason I enjoy criminal investigation shows so much. I find it fascinating when the investigators or agents can create a profile for their bad and it usually ends up being right. Just like in Scooby Doo, they would slim down the probable candidates for scary monster and sometimes they were right–and sometimes they were totally wrong, but that was sort of the fun of the show because you too could participate in figuring out their town monster. Nowadays I watch things such as Criminal Minds for the same effect, to figure out who the bad guy is. Of course it’s much darker and gruesome than Scooby Doo, seeing as Scooby Doo is a children’s show; but that’s all a part of growing up I suppose and being allowed to watch the “scarier” stuff. Though I must admit, I did recently have a Scooby Doo marathon.. so maybe I haven’t entirely finshed growing up 😉