By Anne Hoevel
The world is always improving, always evolving. But this is also a problem; the world is also getting overpopulated. Why is getting overpopulated a problem? Well let’s just take a look at some statistics of India: “That distinction will pass to India, where more than 1.8 billion people could be competing for their country’s resources.” The majority of India’s populations are already struggling to survive. With 700 million more people, that will surely deplete India’s resources if there’s no population control. People will use so much resources that they will run out!
I think it is true when the article stated, “By the year 2050, China will no longer be the most populous country in the world.” I believed this is true because I know that Chinese government had made a rule that one family can only have 1 child each. Also like the article stated, I think that India will soon be the most populated country because there are no rules to how many children a family can have. Yet, some father may have many wives at a same time, meaning even more children!
Back to India, “If population continues to grow at the estimated rate, such rapid growth in India between now and mid-century could lead to overpopulation and an uncertain future for the environment and the people living there.” This is a big concern for India’s environment. First of all, India is not a huge country like China – therefore how are there enough land and resources to satisfy billions of lives? Secondly, because India is an LEDC, more people will dump trashes and pollute the country even more!
When I heard the oil spill in 2010, I had expected that there will be some heavy damages to the marine life. This week’s article, BP Oil Spill Aftermath, is not much of a surprise to me because this probably wasn’t the first time oil spills had happened. But I must admit that I was surprise with some of the mutations such as “Shrimps with babies attached to them.” This is probably the most disgusting mutation. I can’t imagine shrimps with many other shrimps attached to it. I can’t imagine shrimps with even more legs dangling and moving around. Eww! Well, this might be the common responses for many people too. Therefore this might be a big concern for the seafood industries. Obviously, nobody wants to eat mutated seafood. Additionally, the article stated, “many locations showed 20 percent of fish having lesions with as much as 50 percent in other areas.” Well that’s a major problem. It’s hard to imagine a fisherman realizing that his net ,with full of fishes, has only half of the fishes edible.
Something new I learnt is that the main cause of the seafood mutation wasn’t from the oil spill, but it was from the solution used to dissolve the oil. The article stated, “It’s great for cleaning up an oil disaster, but terrible for the environment and worse for humans, not to mention the toll taken on anything that lives in the Gulf.” Then why do we still use this solution for cleaning up the disaster? Why can’t people find a different solution to clean up the mess instead?
I think the main purpose of this article is to raise awareness about these problems and how it affects American’s diet. Well, it might not affect seafood businesses in Asia, but it surely might happen to us someday. This is why we must understand these dilemma and find a way to prevent the seafood mutations from happening again. Either we can find a different solution to dissolve an oil spill, or we can just stop extracting oil from the ocean! Yet, oil fuel is not a very eco-friendly energy resource!
What is the job of a government?
To control, maintain, protect the citizens and inhabitants of the government’s community. But is Dhaka’s government really doing what they are suppose to? Are they protecting their people?
After reading the article, “Dhaka slum dwellers live under threat of eviction,” by Syed Zain Al-Mahmood, Dhaka’s government showed me that they are not the officials who are devoted to help their people. Instead, they are devoted to some other petty concerns as building larger roads. Well, building larger roads is fine, but harming civilians and destroying their homes to build larger roads is not acceptable. The article’s statement, “The bulldozers razed the shops and, to the residents’ horror, kept on coming. Panic set in as around 100 households were demolished in a matter of minutes,” astonished my mind. Well, if they are destroying people’s businesses, homes and havens, where are these poor people going to live and survive? Their homes and businesses are the only wealth they have, how will they survive if they lose everything they have? Are the government willing to see their people homeless, penniless just to build a larger road?
It is absolutely acceptable for these victims of destruction to be angered and dismayed. The article stated, “The slum dwellers have reacted with anger and dismay. They say many people were injured and one young girl was crushed under a bulldozer during the forced evictions.” How can these governments harm children? How can the government let bulldozers crush a girl and killing away her childhood? What chances will she survive when her homes were destroyed, and her parents doesn’t have money to afford her surgery or medical care? I believe the government are committing a crime – they are harming people, which could eventually lead to deaths. Does this young, innocent girl deserves to be crushed and have her life at stake?
“We are left under the open sky without food, water or toilets,” stated the article. In further details, this statement shows that the victims in Dhaka had lost all of their basic survival needs – food, shelter and water. Now, how can they survive if they are living without the basic needs. What are the governments going to do about this? Will they look away and let these people suffer to death? Let me remind you that it is the governments responsibility to protect these people, but they are not. So who will? This is where we, as audiences, can act and share the world about these horrors in Dhaka. We can raise awareness about the wrong doings of the governments. I believe we can help these people by raising awareness. Eventually, people from different countries will start to act and aid these people. But how are we going to raise awareness? Dear readers, social medias, such as Facebook, will spread the words quickly and simple. Just share your messages with your friends and then encourage them to share with other people too.
“Who do you wish to be?” Ms. McKinnon asked her 8th grade class. I knew who I wanted to be; I knew what kind of powers I wanted to have. My heart suddenly intensified and it begun beating, faster, faster and faster. I wanted to tell my classmates about my super powers that I have thought about during my incessant day dreams. However, before I could raise my hands up, Louis was already chosen to present his wish. So I told myself to be patient, I comforted myself with the thought that Ms. McKinnon would eventually pick me.
“I, do not wish to be anyone else but me. I do not wish to have any extra specialties, or any super powers like superman. I only want to be myself. But I do have something I wish to have. It’s something far more deeply then wishing for inexistent powers. It’s something which faces reality. It’s something parents worry about. Dear class, do you know what I wish to have? I wish to have my dad’s trust again. No, trust is not a simple word that has no meanings or emotions to it. It’s not a word that we should take for granted when people tell us – I trust you. Many of us students haven’t seen the other side of the word trust; we haven’t realized what the person who trusts us is going through. When people trusts you, it shows that they believe in you, that they have courage to take a risk and have faith in what you do and what you possess. They rely on you. They care about you, and in some cases, they love you.
Trust, is something I have lost. I have lost my dad’s trust. Almost all of my dad’s friends told him not to trust me because I was a careless boy, not to buy me an I-phone. But eventually, he trusted me and granted me an I-phone. But I failed him; I disappointed him. I lost my phone; I lost his trust. I made him look stupid that he loved me so much therefore he was blinded to see that I would lose my phone. To him, it wasn’t the money that he was worried about, but it was the responsibility and how careful I could handle my belongings that have dismayed him.
Ohh… I can still recall the day he walked into my room with a sorrowful face. I can see through his eyes that he was depressed with a question. A question which finally made me realized how disappointing I was. How can dad trusts me in the future to be responsible with greater tasks or possessions when I cannot even protect my phone from being stolen?”
Louis ended his speech with people unable to utter a word – astonished by the strange response to Ms. McKinnon’s question. Suddenly, my teacher turned to me and asked, “Well then Tim Nguyen, I saw you were quite desperate to say something, who do you wish to be?”
I was speechless.
Article of the Week:
In South Sudan, Girls are Given Away to Settle Family Feuds
That’s right, South Sudan is a new nation with a very unpromising future. After reading this week’s article by Tom Rhodes, I am absolutely blown off by the horror in this country. I can’t believe fathers are willing to give away their daughters. I can’t believe people still treat women as if they are were a thing, not a person. I can’t believe some people are still so heartless!
I really don’t understand how a father in South Sudan can really let go of his daughter and give her away just to settle crimes and family feuds. After knowing Atia and her unfortunate life, my perception on humanity changed. I no longer think that women’s right are 100% secured everywhere around the world. When the article stated, “Atia’s brother had killed a man over a cattle dispute, so Atia was handed over to the man’s family as compensation,” I felt my heart pounding and throbbing against my chest. I have two sisters therefore I find it quite discomforting to imagine my father giving away both of them to settle some problems. It’s just insane for me. Well, at least I am fortunate to know that my father will never do such things. But what about Atia, did her father loved her? Did he ever cared what his daughter might go through if she was given away to another family? Did he know she will get raped and abused multiple times?
The article also stated some facts that proved to be main reasons why these horrors have happened in South Sudan, “According to South Sudan’s statistics bureau, only 19 percent of the population over the age of 15 is literate in Eastern Equatoria.” Well, we can’t expect much from a country that has a very low education for children. If people weren’t educated in their childhood, then it is hard for the people to recognize what they are doing (giving away their children) is wrong. I think South Sudan really needs to focus on improving their education, otherwise future generations will be just as primitive and heartless as they are now.
Another fact I found quite interesting from the article is, “In 2009, the state’s deputy governor gave one of his own family members to another family.” I really have a simple question left to ask. If the leaders are committing horrid actions, then how I’m I suppose to believe that the leaders of South Sudan will lead the people to become righteous citizens?
Alone, I laid on the empty shoreline and watched the sun emerge from the horizon. Even before the sunlight touched my skin, I was already comforted by the gentle ocean that hugged my feet, the soothing waves that echoed and softened my sentiments. Oh yes, this beach did have magic – serenity. I was able to clear my mind from the depression that had entangled my life. Also, I was finally ready to confront and recall my deepest fear, my darkest memory – my brother’s death. Since the earliest days I could remember, he was my only family member. He was the only happiness in my life. But no matter how hard I tried to protect him, I couldn’t. I didn’t have the magic to cure his diseases and save him. I didn’t have money to afford him medical care. So all I could do was hope and pray to God that my brother would survive. I sometimes pray and ask God why my brother had to bear the diseases, why didn’t I receive it instead. However, my prayers were unheard. Therefore my only wish is to meet him in the next life, hold him in my arms again and tell him that everything’s going to be all right. But I knew that it will never happen because I no longer believed in God. There are no such thing as the next life. I realized now I am forever burdened with a wounded soul, a broken heart with pieces missing and scattered like a puzzle. My life is not whole if without my brother.
Besides my brother’s tragic, I do have one last fear to confront – a question. A question I never asked myself again since the day my brother died. Have I ever possessed happiness?
For my fifteen years of life, I had been searching for happiness, seeking it, believing it was real. But, there was no happiness besides seeing my brother grow before he left me. I never had any parents, friends or home. I never had anything an average person would have. This flawed world is filled with imbalance, injustice and evil. The poor becomes poorer and the rich becomes richer. Nobody cares helping unfortunate people. Nobody cares to hear my story and rescue me from my misery. Nobody accepts a homeless child, like me, to their society.
So please tell me, after all the nightmares I’ve been through, what reason do I have left to struggle and survive this appalling life? Is it better to die, or is it better to continue living a life with no future, no happiness?
Article: Leave Afghanistan Now
by Arsalan Iftikah
No nation wants to be the “graveyard of empires”. But apparently, Afghanistan is one. Afghanistan is carrying a heavy burden – their history of people dying as a result of war. As humans of 21st century, we don’t want people to die. We want fair, just nations all around the world so people can live peacefully, unharmed by wars. To help Afghanistan achieve so, Americans must leave Afghanistan, so the graveyard of empires stops expanding!
But why does the war continue, why won’t it end? The article stated, “Nearly two years ago in June 2010, the war in Afghanistan surpassed the Vietnam War to become the longest war in American history,” should Americans be proud about this? As an audience, I think ten years of war is nothing to boast of, but rather should be a shameful deed because it shows that America had been wasting abundant of money for just this war, but then their main objective, dismantling the Al-Qaeda and ending the Taliban regime, wasn’t accomplished quickly enough. This means that not only money was wasted in this war, but also many lives of soldiers and civilians were wasted as well!
However, the money being wasted on the war is not the sole purpose why I think America should leave Afghanistan, but it’s because there are far too many civilians suffering as the result of the war. Let me restate what was mentioned the article, the mistakes the U.S. military have committed:
“- In January, four American soldiers were caught on videotape standing over some Afghan corpses and urinating on the bodies.
-American soldier who apparently “went rogue” in a nighttime shooting massacre and allegedly murdered at least 16 innocent civilians, including nine children and three women.
-Several copies of the Quran were accidentally burned last month along with garbage and other materials seized from a detainee facility at Bagram Airfield.”
You might be wondering why several copies of the Quran being burnt are such a big deal. Well, Islam is a very strict religion, and they influence people’s lives a lot. So to burn Islam’s holy books, it’s like insulting their religion – insulting what they believe in, insulting Allah. Of course, this enraged them, this made the civilians think the American have crossed the borders.
These mistakes the American committed have made the Afghanistan government and the people feel discomforted, therefore they greatly distrust the U.S. troops. They even started protesting and attacking the U.S. soldiers like what was mentioned in the article. They feared the American would continue harming them or abusing them like before.
Now, it is obvious that Afghanistan doesn’t want the U.S. army to bother them anymore. Most of the Al-Qaeda are gone, and the Taliban regime have lost their power – mission accomplished. But citizens of Afghanistan are still living in a havocked country, so they do not need any more troubles with the American. Therefore it is only fair if Americans retreat from Afghanistan and let the country stop being a graveyard of empires.
My strengths on my Declaration of Independence writing piece is the word choice and phrases I used to impress my audience. Also, my work is very organized and easy to follow up – short paragraphs but without any unnecessary details.
The problems I encounter in my work are mechanical errors. I am not punctuating my sentences 100% correctly, therefore I need to focus on this and improve. Another thing I could improve on is to use more complex sentences and to keep all sentences full and completed.
I came up with ideas for this writing assignment by first brainstorming all the minor problems in school, and then try to exaggerate it – making the problem seems much worse than what it really is. I also the student’s example as my guide so that I keep up with the correct structure and prevent myself from writing an abundant of text.
If I could start this writing assignment all over again, I would change my audience I am addressing to. Instead of the teachers, I could address my declaration of independence to my parents or friends.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for students to sever ties with their teachers and to seek liberty, and to be unchained from the misery of being tamed. As students, to show our maturity and knowledge, which is required when our liberty has been secured, we have crafted our own Declaration of Independence for the rest of the world to witness, sympathize and remember that we are equal to all , nor are we greater or lesser than our teachers.
It is obvious that we are created equal by the Creator of Life, and have granted by him the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit for happiness. However, when teachers try to tame us – forbid us to pursuit our happiness – it is just for us to abolishs or demand to get rid of their control over us. It is just for us to declare that we are equal and demand our independence from them.
We have been very accommodating with our teachers. We have endured all the misery and abuses they afflicted upon us. We had stayed quiet; we hoped they would alter. But they haven’t realized their wrong-doings; they haven’t realized our misery. Therefore, it is our duty to present to this world the unfairness that the teachers have brought to our lives:
- They have given us too much homework without acknowledging that it has interfered with our personal lives.
- They have shortened our break time – preventing us from relaxing after long hours of study.
- They have wasted our time and bored us with 30 minutes of advisory each day.
- They haven’t given us enough P.E lessons to keep ourselves healthy and stress-free.
- They have repetitively forced us to do unnecessary writing tasks, such as the ESLR.
No matter how much effort we put in trying to explain to our teachers about the unfairness they have brought to us, nothing has changed. We have reported to our councilors, administrators, and even our principle about these matters, but it seems like they considered our complaints petty and irrelevant.
Therefore, it is right for us to declare independence from our teachers, and announce that we are no less than them to be tamed and commanded. We write this declaration of independence to give us the same power with any other teachers in school, so there will be no misery haunting our minds and injustice chaining us. We are now free from stresses. We are now free students!
Oh Patrick Henry!
Such a snare you’ve been.
You subjugated people’s sentiment,
darken them with your light,
and engaged them to arduous wars.
It is not Britain who transformed us to beasts.
But it is your insidious light,
and your song of siren
which had deceived our people,
and forced us to fight hopelessly.
Don’t you know you’re disloyal to God?
Never would he bound us to the chains of war, unlike you.
Therefore It is unholy for you,
to beseech us,
subjugated us to betray and fight Britain!
Henry, trust me.
It is not Britain who abandoned us
but it is you and your insidious light
that betrayed the throne,
and brought darkness to it.
So please Henry,
let us not exhausts ourselves to the struggles in war.
We shall not acquire a glorious peace,
when many of us shall DIE fighting for it.
We shall not acquire a glorious peace,
when we shall leave our loved ones abandoned,
crying in fear of losing us!