Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thug Life

The "gangsta life" is a lifestyle whose main ideals are based on freedom and power. 
The reason that this lifestyle and culture appeals to young black men in urban environments
is the fact that these individuals have never experienced real power or freedom. They are
commonly born into a life of poverty and struggle. Some never get the chance to see life
outside of their neighborhood. They don't realize there are finer things in life than 22"
rims or diamond chains. Listening to gangsta rap music and immitating their favorite
artists is their escape.
    "He(Tupac Shakur) declared that the dictionary definition of a "thug" as being a
rogue or criminal was not how he used the term, but rather he meant someone who came
from oppressive or squalid background and little opportunity but still made a life for
themselves and were proud." A gangsta and a thug are one in the same. These artists are
looked up to because they have rose from rags to riches. However, current artists such as
50 cent have yet to realize the power they have over the kids that listen to their music.
"Thug Life became a calling card for how Shakur viewed his influence on society.
He had people from all walks of life -- criminals in jail, white kids in the suburbs,
black kids in the ghetto -- wanting to know how they could be a part of his movement.
Shakur admitted this sudden power he had over people frightened him." The influence these
artists have over millions of kids is incredible and should be used in positive way.
They should not promote homophobia, violence, promiscuity, drug use, racism,
and materialism.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Handed this in senior year so I wouldn't fail the class

Throughout the year in I’ve learned many lessons from community service class as well as community service related activities. Community service is donating one’s time in order to help better their community or those in their community. It is not only a very rewarding experience but also very educational. Selflessly donating your time and energy teaches responsibility, sacrifice, and maturity. Community service should be a mandatory class in schools across the nation, as it teaches life skills that cannot be learned in any textbook.
    For example at Elijah's Promise, I helped to chop and dice the vegetables as well as clean up the working area and clean the dishes when everything was done. This is almost identical to my routine at work so I did not mind theses tasks at all. Afterwards when we were leaving, the sight of dozens of people enjoying what I helped to prepare was payment enough for my job. A paycheck can buy you clothes and other nice things; however nothing you can purchase would give the same amount of satisfaction as doing your part to see that someone does not go to sleep hungry tonight.
    Helping to prepare food at the soup kitchen as well as at St. Francis helped me to realize that donating my time to help others can be very self rewarding. Instead of wasting my time on the computer or working I was doing something worthwhile with my time. Not only did I help others but along the way, but also made new relationships with people I would have never had the chance to meet if not for community service.
    During the holiday season, I accompanied the class to the Hartwyck adult day care center. We went to the center in order to spread some holiday cheer to the senior citizens. However we did not go there empty handed. Beforehand, I spent my cooking class and community service class  helping to cut and build gingerbread houses as gifts to the seniors. Sadly, this was my biggest role in our visit to Hartwyck. On the morning of the trip I found myself feeling under the weather and unsure whether or not I should call myself out of school or risk spreading whatever I had to one of the citizens. I ended up going to Hartwyck and having a wonderful time, however I did not get to socialize with the seniors as much as I’d liked due to my condition.
    Another trip that I participated in was to Lakeview School. We were invited there to see the students sing Christmas songs and watch a video afterwards. The songs the students sang were beautiful. I was amazed at the students who overcame their disabilities to participate in a chorus. Before my aunt moved to Arizona, I would accompany her and her class of mentally and physically disabled students on field trips. We would go to places like science museums, the movies or even bowling. I learned during these trips that no matter what someone’s handicap may be, they are still human beings and deserve as much respect, if not more than any other person.
    Although my grades in community service haven’t been half decent, this does not reflect the experience I had in the class nor does it reflect the lessons I learned. I also enjoyed the movies we were shown in class such as The Pursuit of Happiness, Patch Adams, The Great Debaters, A Walk to Remember, and Radio. I also enjoyed the countless hours of computer time and doing menial tasks such as tying ribbons or stapling packets. This class was very educational and was not a waste of time. Thank you for letting me experience 3 cycles of community service and may god bless all those who participate in community service.

New Blog

Hi guys. Just started a new blog! This is my first post so expect more updates in the near future.