Thursday, September 30, 2010

Argumentative Essay on Arranged Marriage

Argumentative Essay on Arranged Marriage

Believe it or not there are two types of marriage, the so-called love marriage and the arranged marriage. Most people today don’t agree with arranged marriages but there are some people who have no say in the matter. Although the arranged marriage is not as desirable as the love marriage it does have its advantages.

Arranged marriages occur all over the world and in some parts is it popular or compulsory and in others not so admired. Most arranged marriages take place in countries such as, Pakistan, Japan, China and India. They are carried out in different ways by many different cultures and religions and are even carried out here in this country.

In Japan the modern system of arranged marriage is somewhat similar to blind dating in the United States. When a women’s parents think she has reached the age at which she can become a wife they set up a packet including a photo, her hobbies and interests. The man would have also done this as well. Then the woman’s family would show it around to any suitable candidates and if both parties agree they will meet up and discuss the final arrangements. Rather different to the way we fall in love.

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Here in England we fall in love by our own accord, we meat a man, or woman, fall in love then cost our parents a fortune by getting married. But this process would take possibly a number of years as where in arranged marriages it only takes just a few months.

In India arranged marriages have been around as long as probably the establishment of marriage itself. The people who play the vital role , the matchmaker are the ‘Aunts’ to them it comes as naturally as breathing. The find a suitable husband and then the bride and groom don’t often see each other until their wedding day.

In all arranged marriages you have to be the same nationality. So East Indians marry East Indians. In the Sikh culture the son or daughter have to marry the same cast, rich marry rich, farmers marry farmers.

Most people living in England today may not think much about arranged marriages and that they can’t possibly have any advantages. Well people who think that are partly wrong they aren’t all good and they do have their disadvantages but in some cases arranged marriages do work out and it is happening a lot in our country too.

Arranged marriages are a convenient way of getting married, the pressure for finding a partner is shared by the family and the chances of being left on the shelf is less likely. Also arranged marriages are often better planned marriages and tend to be planned many years in advance. Parents start saving for their children’s wedding day from almost the time when the child is born. The tradition of having an arranged marriage keeps the family happy. It is often the dream of most parents to see their child married off to a respectable family, ideally in a respectable fashion. They also provide stability for both parties and they have a lower divorce rate, but I think this is due to the fact that the family would not approve of divorce.

There are also a lot of arguments against arranged marriage there is the lack of love and respect between husband and wife, and if the woman or man is in love with another person before the wedding and has no choice but to marry the wrong woman it can often be very difficult. There is also the danger of marring into violence in some cases the husband has been violent towards his wife and the wife was too afraid to speak out ‘ my farther used to beat my mother, for no reason at all, she was to afraid of him to tell anyone and just put up with it for all the years they were married. I never wanted to be involved in an arranged marriage, and my mother respected my wishes despite the disappointment form my farther’ a passage written by an Asian girl living in England who witnessed the disadvantages of arranged marriage. It is also much harder to get a divorce under arranged marriage, it is possible but they would be disowned by their parents and treated badly by their community so the freedom is lost as well as the freedom of choice for the woman or man who is forced into such situations. There is also the lack of opportunity to marry for love.

‘The first time my mother set eyes on my father was on their wedding day, as she entered St George's Cathedral and walked up the aisle. She says she was so scared that it was as if she was sort of detached, floating above, looking down below on another woman who was moments away from being in life-long covenant with a man she'd never seen before.’ taken from an article written by an English girl whose parents had been subject to an arranged marriage, very uncommon, and tells us all about her views on arranged marriages.

So what is your view on arranged marriages? Has this article widened your knowledge? My opinion is that they are good for some cultures if they are successful but they would never become popular in England and I feel for those of a different culture that do live here and have no choice in the matter, although they may not even think about what they are doing really its just their way of life.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Persuasive Essay on Dress Code in Schools

Persuasive Essay on Dress Code in Schools

The dress code policy for the Shelby County Schools is too strict for my liking. The new rules have gone way overboard in my opinion. The Board should re-evaluate their ruling if nothing but for the fact that it is discriminatory against women.

For instance, the disallowance of wearing tanks tops for middle and high school girls is very unfair. Tank tops are by far more modest than spaghetti strap shirts. Tanks cover the entire chest region and stomach area compared with strappy shirts that leave the shoulders exposed. Heaven forbid. The School Board has exaggerated their power and importance in this particular rule, once again targeting women.

Another dress code policy no-no is pajama pants. While these pants cover everything, this item is forbidden by the School Board dress policy. I do not understand the Board's reasoning on this rule at all, but at least it covers both guys and girls.

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While I understand the policy on mini-skirts and short-shorts, knee-length shorts and skirts are really stretching this matter. No one wears long shorts or skirts unless they attend private schools. Is this what the School Board has in mind - to become more like private school? Fingertips. What's that all about?

I agree that spandex, net shirts, halters, midrifts, etc. are very unacceptable and parents shouldn't let their children leave home with these items on. These items are distasteful and would make a girl look less than pure, if you know what I mean. Besides all of the above items are out of style and I wouldn't be caught dead in them especially at school.

In conclusion, the School Board needs to call a meeting to re-configure the entire dress code policy. Why do they mainly pick on women and their clothing? Maybe the School Board should let the parents be responsible for the way their kids dress for school. Possibly, the student could be sent home or suspended if he/she were dressed unappropriately. I don't know all the answers, but I say this Shelby County dress code is un-American and should be changed.

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5-Paragraph Essay on Jim Crow Laws

Essay on Jim Crow Laws

The year 1896 was the time that the Untied States of America came down as a whole. Many people were hurt and confused by the Jim Crow laws. These laws were established in order or keep the blacks and whites separated in public places. Jim Crow laws made a huge impact on society in the 1930’s.

On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the idea of “separate but equal,” which was the base of the Jim Crow laws. This was the case of the Plessy versus Ferguson.

The United States Constitution did not allow many types of discrimination such as black people being mistreated. Therefore, the states worked around the rules to include Jim Crow laws without disobeying the United States Constitution. This made African Americans considered as the “lower class” citizens. Many people were judging the blacks because of their skin; they were not respected as human beings. They were also not entitled to vote in some states, take literary tests, or poll taxes. All over the South, “white” and “colored” signs went up. Trains, buses barber shops, schools, and other public places were segregated by law.

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All black people were separated from the whites when using public transportation. To sit on a public bus was an immense ordeal because the black people had to sit in the back seats while the whites in the front. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are few of the many people who wanted to stop the racist segregation.

Jim Crow laws existed between the end of the formal Reconstruction period in 1877 and the beginning of a strong civil rights movement in the 1950’s. Jim Crow Laws have not just effected the African Americans; it effected the white people too. Some people liked the racism, however, some did not. “Jump Jim Crow” was the name of a minstrel routine performed by Thomas Dartmouth Rice beginning in 1828 and widely imitated by other minstrel performers. Qualifications were often given up for whites through a Grandfather Clause. This allowed only men to be exempted from qualifications if their grandfathers were legally allowed to vote. Many whites were exempted, however no blacks were.

Many schools in the United States were also separating the whites and the blacks. The schools consisted of all black and all white schools. If a child went to school in the other races’ area, that was illegal. A major setback occurred for Jim Crow laws in 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled in Brown versus Board of Education and declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional.

It truly is a blessing that Jim Crow laws are not in the United States today. People should be accepted no matter what color, race, or religion they come from. Many people are still hurt and confused as to why it even started in the first place, I know I am.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Great Leap Forward Essay

The Great Leap Forward Essay

The Great Leap Forward was a movement in China that started in 1958 and lasted two years till 1960. As a result of the successful economic reconstruction that had taken place in the early 1950’s. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lead by Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-Tung considered it was a time for the Great Leap Forward. The CCP launched the Great Leap Forward campaign under the new “General line for Socialist Construction”. This was a militant approach to economic development in China. The Great Leap Forward was aimed at accomplishing the economic as well as technical development in the country at a great and faster pace and to produce greater results. There were some members of the leadership that tried to outdo each other with more unrealistic calls for a ‘greater, faster and cheaper’ production.

Mao’s decision to pursue the Great Leap Forward was based in part of his uncertainty about the Soviet policy of economic, financial and technical assistance in China. In Mao’s view, not only did that policy fall behind of his expectations and needs but also made him aware of the political and economic dependence in which China might find itself in. One of the main aims of the Great Leap Forward was to catch up to the industrialization and mechanization, which China lagged at that point in time. As quoted by Mao, he stated that ‘We will get ahead of Great Britain in fifteen (15) years.’ By relying on will power and by giving supremacy to the human subjective dimensions of history, the people would be able to bring about a quick transformation of the obstacles they had came to in the physical world.

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The Great Leap Forward was centered on a new socioeconomic (which involves both social and economic factors) and political system created in the countryside and in a few urban areas and took on two forms = a mass steel campaign and the formation of the people’s communes. On one part, all the people on the country were organized to help produce the amount of steel that was needed. Life was changed for this battle to produce more steel. Backyard small furnaces were built where everyone had a daily shift. For the collection of used iron, cooking pots were smashed and door handles, melted. Only later did the people realize that the quality of the products were so poor that it couldn’t possibly be used for anything.

By the fall of 1958, 750 000 agricultural producers people, now assigned to the production of bridges had been combined into about 23 5000 communes, each averaging 5 000 households or 22 000 people. An individual commune was placed in control of all the means of production and was to operate an accounting unit within the area. Each commune was planned as a community for agriculture, a small industry, schooling, marketing, administration and local security. Each commune also had kitchens, halls (where free food was supplied) and nurseries. The system was based on the assumption that it would release additional manpower for such major projects such as irrigation works, hydroelectric dams and the plan for the development of industry and agriculture.

In the early 1959, the CCP admitted that all the positive production reports for 1958 were exaggerated. Together with the Great Leap Forward’s economic consequences, there was also another problem, which was the shortage of food. Due to the fact that everybody was involved in the battle to mass-produce steel, labor power was lacking to bring in harvests and crops. If more amounts of foods could really be harvested as the enthusiastic reports had promised ‘communism was just around the corner’, was the general belief in autumn in 1958. There was also a shortage of raw materials for the industry, an overproduction of poor quality goods, the deterioration of industrial plants through lack of care and mismanagement and the exhaustion and demoralization of the peasants and all the other people including the party and government.

The minister of Defense, Peng Dehuai, wrote a personal letter to Mao criticizing the extreme movements and changes made. Mao had interpreted this letter as an attack and had it distributed for study and criticism by the other leaders present at that time. As a result of this, Peng was then dismissed and soon replaced by Lin Biao.

The Great Leap Forward was in a way, successful. Though the whole plan failed miserably and was a huge economic failure as there was a shortage of food, poor quality in the goods and products that the people produced, and basically it was a hard time for the people as they suffered. In a way, this was also successful as it showed the people, what went wrong with the plan, and how to possibly change it. Mao had great economic views for China, except he did neglect some points such as the agriculture, which the Chinese people depended on for food.

Despite the indications that the Great Leap Forward failed to read it’s goals and aims, the movement continued. During the celebrations of the Tenth Anniversary of the People’s Republic in October 1959, the general lines and the communes and the steel campaign were reaffirmed. This movement proved to be a disaster due to the period when China was struck with many natural disasters. More than 23 million people died during the famine. As a result of the separation of the relations with the Soviet Union, China was whirled into a total economic crisis.

In conclusion, the main aims of the Great Leap Forward were to help push China and make it more advanced than ever before. One of the main aims of the Great Leap Forward was to catch up to the industrialization and mechanization, which China lagged at that point in time. The Great Leap Forward was highly unsuccessful as many people died due to the famine and starvations caused by the neglect ion of the agriculture, which resulted in people having so, little food to eat. There were also many other aspects, which go into consideration about why it was so unsuccessful, such as, how the quality of the steel that was produced in factories and backyard furnaces were made of such poor quality that it could hardly be used for anything. Therefore, the Great Leap Forward was a movement that was somewhat ambitious in a way that there were aims that China just simply couldn’t fill out due to the lack of goods and resulted in a highly unsuccessful movement.

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Success in the Feudal Age Essay

Success in the Feudal Age Essay

Since the very beginning of time, man has made use of different political economies in order to survive. What began with the basic hunting and gathering has evolved into today’s complicated modern world system, with many different forms of economy developing in between. Out of these forms, the political economy that has thus far lasted the longest has been Feudalism. Lasting over 1000 years, remnants of Feudalism survived in Eastern Europe until as late as the 19th and 20th centuries. During Feudalism, rural life depended heavily upon agriculture, and despite the high death rate both the aristocrat and peasant class survived by relying upon each other.

During the Feudal times, the most important aspect was agriculture. The survival of nobility and peasants alike depended upon the growing and harvesting of crops such as wheat, barley, and oats. Domesticated animals were used almost exclusively for work and transportation, and not for food purposes. “The chief restraint on animal rearing was the shortage of winter fodder” (N. J. G. Pounds 203). This meant that the staple of the peasants diet was the crop that they produced throughout the year.

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Peasants took what yield they needed from the crop to survive, and gave the surplus to the aristocracy as a form of rent. If any factor affected the productivity of the crop in a negative way, famine and death would be sure to follow. In the 17th century, a slight ice age occurred, and the average temperature dropped one degree Celsius. The result was reduced agriculture and a massive die-off caused by famine. Survival in the Feudal Age depended upon the agricultural success of the peasants.

Although the Aristocracy only made up about ten percent of the Feudal society and held all of the social advantages, they still relied upon the peasants as a source of food supply and income. Besides acquiring the peasants’ crop surplus, the aristocracy built structures that were too expensive and extensive for peasants to build themselves and charged for their use. A good example of one such structure is the watermill. “The erection a watermill was a profitable investment for the lord, provided that he could compel his tenants to use it” (Pounds 199). Peasants came to the town mills to get their bread grains ground, and left a portion for the aristocracy as part of the fee. The more efficient mills, “ became increasingly common in the early Middle Ages, and the hand quern gradually disappeared” (Pounds 188). The aristocracy were the rulers of the land, but depended upon the peasants for survival and success.

Although it is common belief that Feudalism’s lowest class, peasants, lived very miserable lives, this is not altogether true. As peasants gave up their crop surpluses to the aristocrats, they in exchange received some degree of security by the local lord who used a portion of the rent to finance military protection. Peasants had to work hard to ensure the success of their crops, but they had many tools and methods to help them. The most useful of these was the plow, which “not only buried the weed, but also brought up to the surface a lower soil level [which contained more nutrients]” (Pounds 194). Peasants even had a considerable amount of power within their own villages. As long as they paid rent, the aristocracy chose to leave them more or less alone.

Peasants also had some power to change. Peasant revolts were fairly common and enjoyed some modest success. Within there own villages, peasants had no institutions, so there were few laws that had to be followed and enforced. This sort of anarchistic government forced peasants to be very communal and work together with a unified world view in order to be successful. Peasants relied upon the aristocracy for protection but were left by the rulers to organize themselves.

Some argue that during Feudalism death was far too prevalent for it to be considered a successful form of political economy. The Feudal times were dominated by war, famine, and plague. One out of every two children failed to reach the age of ten. The famine and plague were the negative aspects that resulted from such a rapid population increase. With a massive amount people living in relatively close quarters for the first time, society did not know how to deal with the sanitation and the food supply. The Feudal society always responded to large die-offs with an increased marriage rate and a drop in the marriage age.

One of the reasons why Feudalism was able to survive as long as it did was because of how the two social classes were able to rely upon each other. Much of their interaction was based around agriculture and the food supply. As evidence from the length of the period, I believe that Feudalism was a successful form of political economy that had much to offer to peasants and aristocrats alike.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Essay on Famine Faces Abundance

Essay on Famine Faces Abundance

In our world of plenty we still have famine in the face of an abundance of food. While there are numerous techniques to cultivating food for the masses none are sustainable unless the extreme poverty and hunger is diminished. In order to remove the certain elements that contribute to unsustainable practices and unequal distribution it is critical to have a “closed system” or a system with low inputs and outputs. This is where the idea of subsistence agriculture as a truer form of sustainable agriculture comes in. The practices and theories of subsistence agriculture are as closed as it gets and the closer to a “closed system” one is then the closer to “sustainability” one is. The goal of sustainable agriculture is dynamic, but with the concrete CAFTA definition it can be determined whether the theories and practices of subsistent agriculture contain a truer form of sustainable agriculture.

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There are three main books, among numerous other titles, that have been chosen for this paper. First is Roy Ellen’s book “Environment, Subsistence and System: The Ecology of Small-Scale Social Formations”, then there is Manning Nash’s “Primitive and Peasant Economic Systems”, finally as my main source there is James C. Scott’s book “The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia”

The first book by Roy Ellen contains numerous system models that will explain and back up my points on closed systems of agricultural as truer forms of sustainable agriculture. Also there is a great but simple chart in this book that will be included to explain ideas such as generalization vs. specialization and ideas of dominance and subordination of land as they relate to ecofeminism and our loss of religion for the land. Next is Manning Nash’s book which contains systems ideas and most importantly a selection on quasi-tribal life. The quasi-tribal explanation is a great example of returning to more ecological and economical ways. Both of these first two books will offer great ecosystem theories and practices. The stem word “eco” or “oikos” will be a reoccurring theme in this paper, especially in the conclusion. Finally James C. Scott’s book will be heavily referenced. Originally the main countries of choice were going to be from Latin America, and some of my sources still refer to these, but this book is too perfect. My main preference for this book is its ideas of subsistence farming as revolutionary not just radical. After reading about radical agriculture there arose a certain challenge to see the next step beyond reform and radical. A challenge for me will be to not write a paper on just this one book. Chapters like “The Economics and Sociology of the Subsistence Ethic” and “Revolt, Survival and Repression” will make up the core of this paper.

These ideas are important cause like it was previously mentioned in order to close a system of excessive inputs and outputs certain elements that contribute to unsustainable practices and unequal distribution need to be handled appropriately. Usually the forces that prohibit equality and sustainability are not removed until revolutionary steps are taken. Radical and reforming steps are necessary for change, but in the end it takes a turning over of a new page to create a fresh beginning and this book offers many examples.

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College Essay on ADHD and ADD

College Essay on ADHD and ADD

The proposed intervention I would like to talk about in this paper is about children with Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also known as “ADD/ADHD is a neurological disorder. According to the National Institute of Health, between 3% and 5% of the population in this country are affected by ADD/ADHD. The major symptoms of the disorder are distractibility, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, poor attention span and impulsiveness (ADD.com)”. A self- help group is an “organization which provides an environment encouraging social interactions through group activities or individual relationships especially for the purpose of rehabilitating or supporting patients, individuals with common health problems (Kurtz, 4)”. The target population for my group would be boys between the ages of seven and twelve who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The proposed practice would take place in specifically set up classroom in the selected school.

The justification for starting this group is because this disorder is sometimes a lot to deal with on your own. It is also difficult for a child to ask for help and realize that this is common disorder that can be helped. This group will hopefully aid in the solution to this.

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“ADD is Attention Deficit Disorder-Inattentive Type and ADHD is Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity. ADD and ADHD can both be difficult and cause distractibility, forgetfulness, disorganization, difficulty following rapid conversations, and low self esteem (ADD.com)”. Every child is different and has different and unique needs from the child sitting right next to him. The problem with this is that, in the classroom, there are so many kids and only one teacher. (With the exception of a co-taught class) By taking the selected children and having a group with them, it may be easier for them to talk with others about the feelings they are experiencing. This will also help them to feel not so alone.

The group process will follow a simple outline. Setting up instructions for the group to follow and the student explain how long they have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Confidentiality and trust are two major issues that the group must talk about. It is so pertinent that the group understand that what is said here in the sessions is between the group only. Confidentiality is the success to trust.

Depending on the personalities of the kids in the group and if I were to have a co-leader, I would like to have three sub groups within the one large. This would help get the group more intimate, and closer. These sub groups would change every week, this way everyone would get to know everyone. I would give the boys time to talk about anything that was on their minds for the first few minutes. This would hopefully enable them to feel more comfortable with each other and see that they can relate to each other on a certain level.

Often it is difficult for a child with ADD/ADHD to overcome their hesitance and resistance to adults in any setting. Children in general feel that all adults are their superiors, making them feel that they can not be themselves and must always be proper. They have a problem relating to a figure that is so different to them. Making them realize that in fact, I am there to help them and that I am on their side is one of my main goals. This will probably be one of the more difficult goals to achieve. Children with ADD/ADHD are frequently the kids in the classroom to be called out on and reprimanded in front of anyone. This makes the child feel inferior and embarrassed causing resentment and difference from the teacher; all adult figures. This is why in most cases there will be problems at home with parents as well. To help the boys feel safe and to get them to talk in the group session, I will ask basic questions. To obtain answers the option of passing is always available; assuming that there will be at least a few students that will always want to talk. In groups that I have worked with, I have noticed that boys will usually interrupt and talk over anyone if something pops into their heads. In order to prevent this, I would have a ball or some sort of object that only the person speaking can hold.

Even with the ball or object, I would predict arguments or disagreements to come about. Children, especially boys can be stimulated by any idea that is contrary to theirs. With this given I would fix this situation by asking each of the individuals to explain what made them start feeling like they needed to refute the other one at a time. I would then want them to tell me what they could have done instead of arguing. There will of course be at least one submissive person that won’t argue and will listen to everyone. I would then ask them if they had any suggestions as to how this situation could have been differently. I would also open this opportunity to the entire group. Doing this the feelings and thoughts of both individuals arguing will be covered and hopefully expressed.

The sense of recognition, approval, and belonging are the major factors that will help the boys deal with their disorder. Realizing that there are others that have the same disorder as them may help them realize they are not alone. The opportunity for them to ask each other and myself why they have this, how to deal with it, and how to talk about it, isn’t always given to them. Families aren’t always able to give the same support that kids their own age can give. There is something about dealing with an issue, with someone the age of you and is experiencing the same thing as you that makes it easier.

The goals of my group are to give boys with ADD/ADHD an environment where they can be themselves for an hour, with individuals dealing with the same issues. This would be a “safe” place, where they can talk about how to deal with their thoughts and feelings. My younger brother often found it hard to talk to anyone at school about what he was experiencing and feeling. Talking to my parents was probably the last place he wanted to go, because he feared he would get in trouble and they just wouldn’t understand.

I would like to give teachers, school nurses, and physicians the opportunity to refer students to my group. In order to be part of the group however, I think it would be a good idea to get the permission of the parents. It is on the progress of each individual, which would decide on when they would leave the group. (Of course, anyone would be able to leave they wished to). It would also be important to me to be in constant contact with the nurse, and teacher of the student. It is also vital to be in contact with the parents. With the help of these important people in the child’s life, more can be accomplished.

I would like to have a group of fifteen boys. With this the group would meet once a week either before or after school. I think it is important to not take then away from their lunch time and recess. This is the one time during the day that they can use their energy and be with their friends without having such tight restrictions. It would be my ideal to have the sessions go one for as long as possible; with members leaving when they feel they are ready and new members coming as old leave. I would also like to meet with each individual once a week on a one on one basis. This would give them the personal attention they need and help make them comfortable with me. With this I also think that I would be able to ask each individual if they have any suggestions for the big group, or if they have any problems with how things are going. This way I wouldn’t be picking on one person in front of the group.

As for rules of the group, I would like for the group as a whole to come up with them. I find doing this allows for each of them to contribute and understand them clearly. It also allows for the kids to feel as though I am not limiting them and have control over them. It gives them a sense of being in charge and controlling how the group is going to go; which is what I would like to happen to a certain degree. I would of course, make sure that the basics, like listening to each other, respect everyone, and always be positive are covered.

Specific topics that I would like to cover with the group are how to deal with feelings, organization with school, sports, and family. I would like to have a broad topic at each session and then have the kids talk about whatever it is they feel about the specific topic. I think it is very important to start each session with a review from the previous session. With this they can make comments if they like. In each session I would make sure that somewhere in their notebook (consistent each week), was a reminder of when our next session is. This is so important with ADD/ADHD kids.

Below is a detailed outline of how a session would run:
I. Boys would sit down and start talking amongst themselves about whatever they wish (relates or not)
II. After five minutes I would summarize what we had done the previous week and ask if anyone had any comments or input. I would handle this situation depending.
III. Next I would explain to the group that the topic of today’s session was school.
IV. I had stated that I would want my group to separate into three sub groups. To do this fairly I would have them pick out of a bag filled with three colours. Each colour would be a group.
V. In these groups they would share something having to do with the broad topic of school. I would carefully be listening to what they were saying and ask questions or give input where needed.
VI. After a few minutes pass by, I would like for the three groups to join as one again. We would then have one large discussion. Everyone would say what they had to say and give suggestions or maybe even help each other out. This would help them to realize that other people their age can relate.
VII. After this large discussion, I would ask them to take out their notebooks and write down the reminder when the next session will be. I wish them a good day and tell them I when I am available through out the day if they need me.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Critical Analysis Essay on Heart of Darkness

Critical Essay on Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness contains two layers of narration. The outer narrator is a passenger on the pleasure ship The Nellie, who hears Marlow recount one of his "inconclusive experiences" (21) as a riverboat captain in Africa. This unnamed narrator speaks for not only himself, but also the four other men who listen to Marlow's story. He breaks into Marlow's narrative infrequently; mainly to remark on the audience's reaction to what Marlow is saying. He is omniscient only with respect to himself, since he cannot tell what the others on the boat are thinking. The inner, and main narrator of Heart of Darkness is Marlow. He tells the other passengers of his story "into the heart of darkness" (62) in the first person singular, and the only thoughts the reader has access to are Marlow's.

This novel has two separate settings. The frame narrative is set in London, England, aboard "The Nellie, a cruising yawl, [that had] swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest" (15). She is anchored in the Thames River, where her passengers wait for the tide to go out. The second setting is that of Marlow's actual tale. In it, he travels first to Company Headquarters in Brussels, then to the Belgian Congo in Africa. Much of the story takes place as Marlow fights his way down the Congo River, deep in the jungle. After accomplishing his mission, Marlow returns to Belgium to visit Kurtz's intended. All of this happens sometime towards the latter part of the 19th century, when imperialism in Africa was at it's highest, and the ivory trade was thriving.

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Marlow is a complicated, round, dynamic character in Heart of Darkness. He travels into the Congo to find a man, Kurtz, that he doesn't know, but begins to admire him nonetheless. Marlow comments to his listeners on The Nellie that "The point was in [Kurtz] being a gifted creature, and that of all his gifts the one that stood out pre-eminently, that carried with it a sense of real presence, was his ability to talk, his words - the gift of expression, the bewildering, the illuminating, the most exalted and the most contemptible, the pulsating stream of light, or the deceitful flow from the heart of an impenetrable darkness" (79). In this one comment, Marlow reveals much about his character. Although he entered Africa with at least an inkling that imperialism was a positive thing, he quickly learned the truth: that it was driven by greed and lust alone. Marlow is torn by that "deceitful flow", because he recognizes what it is, but cannot distance himself from it. At the end, he becomes part of the "deceitful flow" by lying to Kurtz's intended, despite the fact that he had a good motive.

Kurtz is portrayed in Heart of Darkness as a veritable renaissance man. He is not only an excellent writer, painter, poet, and musician, but a world-class orator as well. These skills, along with several guns, are what make the natives worship him. When Marlow asks about Kurtz as he travels to meet him, he is merely told, "Mr Kurtz is a very remarkable person" (37). This may be an understatement, since at that very moment Kurtz was a god to the villagers he sacrificed. Kurtz is a round character, and dynamic as well. He espoused the idealism of imperialism and the pure side of the European presence in Africa, and traveled to the Congo in order to bring civilization and culture to the savages, or whatever it was they thought they were doing. In time, however, the evil that surrounded him made it's way into his heart, and he became worse that anything about imperialism he imposed. Kurtz continually talks about progress, enlightenment, and kindliness in the European presence in Africa. In his actions, however, he murders the natives, steals whatever they have, and allows himself to become their deity. These sides clashing within him are probably what drive him to madness.

The General Manager runs the Central Station on the Congo for the ivory company. He embodies the ideas of imperialism with his greed and lack of compassion. It was a mixture of greed and evil that "inspired uneasiness" (42) in those around him. Marlow noticed when first meeting him that "His eyes, of the usual blue, were perhaps remarkably cold, and he certainly could make his glance fall on one as trenchant and heave as an axe" (41). Conrad makes it clear to the reader that even though the Manager is a detestable little prick, he is required, by capitalism, to be that way to survive. The only reason that he has the office is that he managed to outlive his competition, and he gives us a clue as to how. When the General Manager begins to fear that Kurtz may take his position from him, he simply cuts off his lifeline. He stops all food and supplies going to Kurtz, effectively forcing him into insanity. The manager is flat and static, and exemplifies the evil of imperialism.

The Russian trader is a static, somewhat flat character. He is one of Kurtz's disciple's and admires him to a fault. He is exuberant and youthful, but not terribly deep. Towards the end, when Marlow provides him with some cartridges and tobacco, he "seemed to think himself excellently equipped for a renewed adventure in the jungle" (103). He is an outstanding example of what happens when strong will's and flowery speeches (Kurtz) meet weak and yielding minds (the Russian).

Kurtz's intended is a flat, static character. She doesn't change at all in the time Kurtz is gone, although part of that is not her fault. She might have changed, if Marlow had given her the opportunity. Instead, she was told, "[Kurtz's] last words were of [her]" (107). She is loyal to Kurtz however, although that is really her only quality, good or bad. She is presented as the other females in this novel are; one-dimensional and naive.

The tone of Heart of Darkness is dark and oppressive. Phrases like "Not a living thing was seen on the shore" (96) allow for a feeling of not only isolation, but a bit of fear as well. A sense of darkness is brought about in this story, though exactly what the darkness is and what is causing it remain a mystery. The tone is also somewhat bleak, because as Marlow gets closer to Kurtz, he develops a higher and higher opinion of the man, which is crushed when he realizes that he has gone mad. There is an overall sense of empty that encompasses this story, but oppressive and dark sum it up very well.

Conrad uses his writing style to effectively create an oppressive and ominous tone in Heart of Darkness. Just as Marlow is being suffocated by the head and density of the jungle he is fighting against, so the reader is being suffocated by the long, wordy, excessively detailed book. Any reader must struggle with passages like "We had a glimpse of the towering multitude of trees, of the immense matted jungle, with the blazing sun hanging over it - all perfectly still" (68). This style works amazingly well however, because it allows the reader to relate to Marlow in a more personal way than would be possible if the book were a light, easy to read story.

"Kurtz - that means "short" in German - don't it? Well, the name was as true as everything else in his life - and death. He looked at least seven feet long" (97). Marlow's statement to his audience sums up many of the ironies in Heart of Darkness. Everything Marlow thought about Kurtz turned out to be untrue, as did Kurtz's own ideas. Another irony in the novel is the fact that "Mr Kurtz lacked restraint in the gratification of his various lusts" (95), in reference to his human sacrifices, and the subsequent head impaling. The irony, however, is that Marlow is making this comment about Kurtz, when earlier he remarked how the cannibals exhibited a great deal of restraint, in terms of not eating any of the pilgrims. Through the story, Marlow never looked upon the Africans as people, and several times compared them to animals. He calls one of them "a dog in a parody of breeches and a feather hat, walking on his hind legs" (64). And yet the man who he had admired most turned out to be less of a human than what he thought the natives were.

The overriding theme in Heart of Darkness is that all of man's good intentions, thoughts, and ideas mean nil when compared to all of man's evil intentions, thoughts, and ideas. Mixed into that is the madness that results when those two sides of human nature collide. Evidence of such insanity is prevalent throughout the novel, such as when Marlow happens upon a French ship, "incomprehensibly firing into a continent" (30). Again, when a fire breaks out and Marlow "noticed there was a hold in the bottom of [a man's] pail" (44), which he was using to try to put out the fire. The larger theme is revealed towards the end of the story, when Marlow discovers what Kurtz truly is. A man who came to the Congo with grand ideas of reform and progress, who was unable to stave off the evil that surrounded him, and finally let it into his heart.

Heart of Darkness is a novel rich in symbols. Fog and smoke are a symbol that recurs throughout the story, obscuring Marlow's view of the river. More symbolically, they do not allow him to see the truth (about several things) until it is too late to turn back, or to change it. The fog prevents him from anticipating the attack on the steamer from the riverbank, just as it, in a larger sense, prevents him from getting to Kurtz until it is too late to save him. The smoke obstructs his view of Kurtz's mistress at the end of the story. "Only the barbarous and superb woman did not so much as flinch, and stretched tragically her bare arms after is over the sombre and flittering river" (109). "And then that imbecile crowd down on the deck started their little fun, and I could see nothing more for smoke" (109). The smoke prevents Marlow from knowing exactly what happened to Kurtz's mistress, although he can surely guess. The smoke also shields him, and the pilgrims, from many of the truths about Africa, imperialism, and themselves. The Congo River is also a prominent symbol in this novel. The river almost has a life force of its own. It impeded Marlow's progress upriver, but "The brown current ran swiftly out of the heart of darkness, bearing us down towards the sea with twice the speed of our upward progress" (109). It would seem then, that the river wants them out of Africa. On another level, the river is symbolic of the struggle of Africa as a whole against European imperialism. A less obvious symbol presents itself towards the close of Marlow's story. When Marlow visits the Company Headquarters in Brussels, he notices a color coded map of Africa, on which Britain is represented in red, and France in blue. Much later in the story, just before Marlow leaves with Kurtz, he gives the Russian trader some cartridges, and some tobacco. "One of his pockets (bright red) was bulging with cartridges, from the other (dark blue) peeped "Towson's Inquiry" (103). This is probably symbolic of the policies Britain and France had towards their African, and other, colonies during the height of imperialism. Britain was known for using somewhat violent tactics to accomplish their goals, and refused to view any of the natives as equal to them in any way, hence the bullets. France, on the other hand, believed that anyone who learned and practiced both French customs and the French language was an equal, which would explain the tobacco. In addition "The French were pansies" (Huffine).

The title, Heart of Darkness, effectively summarizes the theme of the story. In every man's heart, evil (or darkness, as in the title) will inevitably overwhelm the good. As was demonstrated by Kurtz, simply being surrounded by evil is enough for it to invade one's being. Heart of Darkness also has a more literal sense, in that Marlow travels deeper and deeper into the middle of Africa. At this time, Africa was known as the "Dark Continent", because it was shrouded in mystery and horror, so someone totally oblivious to the theme wouldn't necessarily have to read anything into the title, since it is a literal truth.

I only enjoyed this book after I was finished reading it. The incredibly long detail segments were just not doing it for me on a summer day. However, because I did not have to read it again to write this paper, I am now thoroughly enjoying this novel. I love how rich in symbolism and theme and history and everything that it is. I especially enjoyed researching French and British imperialism to understand more where Marlow was coming from. I also like how men were described as "flabby, pretending, weak-eyed devil[s] of rapacious and pitiless folly" (34). I'm going to use that next time I want to insult someone. In all, this was not a fun book to read, but it is proving to be highly enjoyable to analyze and write about.


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College Essay on Diversity

College Essay on Diversity

Some of the typical reasons diversity training does not work well in organizations are outlined below. If your organization's initiative did not do as well as you expected, assess whether your training was affected by any of the following:

Poor Timing. The training may have come at a time when employees were preoccupied with more urgent priorities. Stress, because of downsizing and the accompanying fear of job loss, increased workload, or a specific conflict or negotiation with a union might have been much more critical. During such periods, staff is usually functioning at the survival level on Maslow's hierarchy and diversity may not even be a blip on their radar screen, hence their irritation that time and resources are taken up with training.

Outside Intervention. If employees perceive that external forces such as a court order or a politician's decree have prompted the training, they are apt to resist. They generally resent the ensuing training that they view as payment for others' sins and see it as an instrument of their torture. They sometimes feel they are being sacrificed to meet objectives they do not necessarily agree with while their own needs continue to be ignored.

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Training Approach. Some of the backlash may be due to the training approach itself. If the initiative poses some as perpetrators and others as victims, there is apt to be defensiveness among those who feel blamed. All white males, for example, are not at the top of corporations. Many, working on shop floors and in offices across the country, feel just as misused and blocked by their organizations as do women and people of color. Many will react with defensiveness if they feel unjustly accused in a confrontational, "you're the enemy" approach.

Affirmative Action Paradigm or a Narrow Definition of Diversity. If diversity is seen as the domain of a few groups, people of color and women, for example, everyone else may feel left out and view the initiative as being for others, not them. A broader definition that includes individual aspects such as educational level and parental status as well as organizational dimensions such as management status or division/department creates an umbrella that is big enough to cover everyone. In this framework, everyone's issues would have a valued place. For example, both a white male hourly employee's view that his input is not valued, and an immigrant's perception that her accent has blocked her promotion, would be included among the issues to be addressed.

Once the reasons behind the backlash have been determined, you will be in a better position to move ahead. The following are strategies you might consider to rebuild credibility and generate support:

Work on systems obstacles first. Address some of the organizational barriers that you have discovered in your needs analysis. Creating a more flexible benefit or leave package, or changing the dress code, can be ways to acknowledge the different needs and preferences of staff. Opening the promotional pathway through job postings or mentoring for those who desire upward mobility are other examples of systems changes. Responding to staff's real concerns before asking them to change through training can show real organizational commitment.

Get input from backlashers. Hold a focus group to listen to the views and issues of those who found fault with the training or who reject "diversity". Find out their concerns and needs. See if there are any ways the organization can respond to their issues or deal with their frustrations. Once they feel their own concerns have been addressed, they might open up to other diversity issues.

Get broader support. Create a diversity council that is representative of a diagonal cross section of employees to get a range of views and attitudes. Include staff who represent the resistors, those who are skeptical of anything called diversity. They can become the most powerful allies if they have buy-in. As informal opinion leaders, when they see diversity in a new light, they can influence others who have been resistant. They can also give critical input in planning future diversity interventions.

Explore offering "just in time" training and provide it in other formats. If additional knowledge and skills are needed, find ways to deliver it that do not rely on traditional training in a group setting. Perhaps one-on-one coaching to help managers deal with diversity challenges or interventions at a team meeting to help work groups overcome obstacles to effectiveness can be more relevant and specific ways to train with staff. This focuses and customizes training in an immediately applicable way.

You can turn backlash into a benefit when you use it as an opportunity for learning and then take what has been gained to create new credibility and commitment for your diversity intervention.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Critical Essay on Araby by James Joyce

Critical Essay on Araby

The short story, "Araby", by James Joyce is based on a character rather than on a plot to reveal the ironies into fooling yourself. "Araby" is a story of a boy's journey into manhood. The journey ends in failure and the trip is not completed but he is well on his way to adulthood. The story also consists of a grown man's experiences. The story is told by looking back at his life with great importance. The boy's experience is not limited to his first encounter with first love. It deals with a continuing problem for everyone throughout life, to have a dream be it romantically or in other avenues of life, and the reality is that you can never achieve it! This takes the story in two directions with the boy’s first experiences and the man who has not forgotten them. This leads to dramatic story telling by the narrator. The narrator tells the story as an adult using irony and symbols to provide the reader with the direction taken by Author.

The boy's character is defined during the opening scene of the story. He has grown up in the old part of a dying city. Symbolic images show him to be an individual who is perceptive to the fact that his city’s far from its heyday, that there is no life left in the old girl, the only thing the boy sees is row and rows of house in his same predicament. In the little boy is a belief in the church and that God is alive shown by the importance of previous owner, a priest. The author portrays the little boy as not being able to understand the reasons but knows that the town and Ireland is dead or dying, also that the town is boring. The boy’s point of view is closed from anything farther than Araby.

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The boy's way of thinking is also made clear in the opening scenes. Religion controls the lives of the residents of North Richmond Street, but it is a dying religion and receives only lip service. The boy, however, entering the new experience of first love, finds his expressions within the experiences of his religious training and the trashy romantic novels he has read. The result is a mixed up understanding of love based on religious traditions and the images of romance. This misunderstanding, which creates a different world for the boy as he accompanies his aunt through the market place, which lets us experience what the boy was thinking. We see and feel the sure futility and tenacity of his quest. However, despite feelings that the town is dead the boy determines to bear his “chalice safely through a throng of foes.” (863) His view of the city is romantic even through the reality is something different. The boy is lovesick, and from his innocent ideas, we realize that his bubble has just been burst. The boy must see the city for what it is a dark and dreary place. The first half of the story is about the boy’s awakening and the rest is about man realization of the disappointment.

The account of the boy's futile quest emphasizes both how lonely and young he was, also how his beliefs have changed with age. His journey ends when he arrives at the bazaar and realizes that Araby is not at all what he envisioned. Araby is dirty and nasty and is ruled by money. It is not the place to purchase a cherished present for his first love. The boy realizes that he has placed all his love and hope for love in a place that does not exist except in his mind. He feels angry and betrayed by his own imagination. He feels he "is a creature driven and derided by vanity" (865) and the vanity is his own.

The man, remembering this story is a man hurt by his own imagination, which has happened to him way to many times since his visit to Araby. His realization that what happened to him many years ago is still true to today. As a child, you dream and in your imagination, you depicted a perfect situation however when the event or situation occurs it is very different for your premonition. The man realized that the same is true when you are an adult. In addition, he is sad.

Joyce’s ending to the “Araby” is excellent. He lets us feel how the boy is exposed to the knowledge that dreams are not always true to life and how the man realized that a world full of innocence and beauty he imagined just could not exist within the real world.

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College Essay on Divorce

College Essay on Divorce

Times have changed and divorce seems to be the easy way out. It seems that any time couples have problems they chose divorce as a way to escape. However, parents do not realize that the people most affected in these ending marriages are their children. Two websites were visited, Oregon Counseling:Divorce and Interview with Judy Wallerstein, and they both discussed the effects of divorce on children.

From the site, Oregon Counseling:Divorce, it can be determined that divorce has different impacts on different children. There are factors that can make the situation better, but there are some that can make divorce worst on children. It is good for children of divorce to at least have the involvement of one, if not both, parents in their lives. It was generalized that parents do not have to be perfect for their children, but they need to be there emotionally for the child. Be the emotional supporter for the divorced parent negatively impacts the child because they feel responsible for their parent. Instead the parent should provide all the love and emotional support for their child to help them get through the situation. Children’s feelings should also be considered when contemplating divorce, because that will allow them to feel that they were not completely ignored through the decision of divorce. Divorce should also be the solution when there is abuse going on in a relationship. Sometimes children don’t understand why parents divorce and they may also stop trusting and that is why it is important to talk to their children.

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From the site, Interview with Judy Wallerstein, it can be concluded that divorce affects children of all ages. It seems to have more strain on a relationship when the child is older and involved in their own family life. They feel responsible for their parents and neglect their own family.

Children of divorced families seem to have more fear of being abandoned. This site discussed how the absence of fathers cause children to want to find them later in life and has negative impacts far into the future. Like the Oregon Counseling: Divorce site, this site discusses how it is important for there to be the involvement of at least one parent actively. Also this site adds that the involvement of grandparents is good and may end up saving the child from some future problems.

Both sites reveal that there will be some behavior problems along with emotional problems after divorce. One site focused more on the fear of abandonment and problems with relationships. While the other talks about the acting out and conduct problems. Both sites say that divorce causes children to feel mistrust towards people. The sites differ because one focuses more directly on children and makes generalizations, while the other is more personal accounts and solutions. Both sites provide solutions, but one has less solutions and less personal accounts.

There were two other websites I found very useful, Father of Life and Impacts of a Court Mandatory Parenting Program. Father of Life provides information to fathers on how their absence affects children of divorce. It also gives these fathers a chance to ask questions online, it gives advice to mothers, and it also gives information to help fathers assist mothers in childrearing experiences. I think this site is useful because fathers are not always there for the after affect of divorce and they need to know how they can help their children cope. I think that the Impacts of a Court Mandatory Parenting Program is a good site because it tells parents that there are programs out there to help get through divorce. It gives the impacts of the program as well and provides a way to help children and parents get through what could otherwise be a hard time.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

College Essay on Music

College Essay on Music

Introduction and background information
For every kind of music there is a culture behind it. Rarely does music develop out of nothing. Culture means the general way of life of a particular people. This includes how they led their lives, how they related to each other, how they related with their neighbors and the like. It also includes what they infer about religion, the supernatural and also about their origin. All this reflects in the kind of music they create. Music just like culture is not static it is vibrant and dynamic and is in essence a cultural heritage.

In light of the above, a closer inspection of a particular people’s music reveals that the music talks about nature- this is generally the people’s environment- whatever is around them- the explainable and the un-explainable. It also talks about war and conflict be it intra- tribal or inter-tribal war and conflict and the like. Through a people’s music one can infer their feelings towards any subject that concerns them and how they feel that things and situations should be. Also shown is the way the people think and in general their world-view –this is how a given people perceive life and whatever it encompasses. Music also story-tells who the people concerned are. Their origin their migrations and settlements e.t.c

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Music is rarely unaccompanied. Most cultures have their own unique instruments, some universally used instrument or a version of a universal instrument. These instruments accompany the music practiced and performed by these people and from them you can learn something about the people and their way of life. For example, the people might create instruments that produce certain animal sounds common in their region. These can be like horns and trumpets to produce elephant noises. The performers might themselves produce the animal sounds in their music, for example, chirping sounds in imitation of birds and the like.

In this paper we are going to look at the kamba music and what it reveals about the kamba people as compared to other cultures and their music.

Kamba dances
Though now almost if not completely extinct is the kamba dancing. The dancing is the most spectacular manifestation of this people’s culture. The dancing is characterized by awesome acrobatics that include somersaults leaps and high jumps performed to throbbing polyrhythmic drumbeats. These vigorous dances have themes and not surprisingly military ones. These arose from their huge participation in the in the country’s armed forces where they fought in the first world war in India under the British government. The kamba were opposed to colonial occupation and rule and therefore included this in their music.

Kilumi dance
One of the enduring dances is the “kilumi” dance. Formally the kilumi was performed by old women showing that kambas had different dances for different age groups and genders. Nowadays the dance is performed and danced to by even men. Just like most kamba dances drums, mostly two that accompany the ululations and singing, are used in kilumi dances

Mbeni dance
This is a dance performed in celebrations by young unmarried people. It is very short mostly because of its tiring pace. This dance is performed in pairs and gets vigorous as it nears the climax, which is when the male dancer (Anake) makes a high jump and somersaults.

The instruments used in this dance are a set of four drums and three whistles.

Nduli dance
This is a dance for strictly circumcised teenagers. It is very popular because it is in this dance that most youths choose their life partners. The performance of this dance shows that circumcision is highly regarded by the kamba people. Being circumcised gives the young man the right to marry and own property. The uncircumcised boys are often looked down upon by those who’ve already undergone the right. This comes out clearly in their exclusion from this dance. It is also a drum dance.

Kisanga dance
This is a dance for all community members. It is mostly performed after the community has had a good harvest. During this celebration, a goat is slaughtered, it’s blood poured under the holy “kitutu” tree and it’s meat left under the tree for their God- “Mulungu”. This celebration and dance shows that the kamba are religious people and recognize that there exists a supernatural being who created them and the universe. They recognize that he is the one who gives them rain to grow their crops. The kamba value their relationship with their God and that’s why they perform this rite to him. This dance also involves the drum.

Mwasa dance
This is a relatively young. It came into existence during the Second World War when the kamba and the Giriama served together in the colonial army. The dance is performed as an accompaniment while elders enjoy beer made from honey. The dance is not primarily for dancing. The instruments involved are two drums, one small and one large. From the performance of this dance shows that the kamba had different leisure activities for different age groups. In this case the elders take beer that is made from honey. It also shows that most probably only elders are allowed to take beer.

KAMBA SONGS
There are many different types of songs in the kamba community. The songs are composed on a wide range of topics affecting the community. All types of songs have names

Mbathi sya kivalo
These are songs commenting on the general society. They rebuke the social misfits and outlaws. These are accompanied by dance and mostly instrumental music. Whistles, jingles and shakers feature prominently when it comes to instrumental music. The distinguishing factor in these songs is the steps performed and the drum used. Some songs are also unaccompanied. These songs show that the kambas value good social and moral conduct.

Maio songs
These are mourning songs performed by unmarried girls at a newly married girl’s home to “mourn” the loss of one of their colleague. They are mostly sad, mournful and unaccompanied songs. These songs show that the kambas esteem marriage.

Myali songs
These songs are neither danced to nor accompanied. They are sung during the interlude between dances, at weddings or after work. These songs covered events, experiences and attitudes of the kamba, conserving traditions and defending customary norms. They also conveyed the people’s hopes, aspirations and fears. The language used is highly figurative with metaphors, similes and innuendos using imagery common to the people and their surrounding. They challenged people to decipher their meaning. They denounced deviant behavior and helped discipline wrongdoers and rogues. The wrongdoers were exposed in public through the use of these songs.

Afro-American music and culture
In comparison we will look at afro- American music and what it reflects about the afro-American culture. This is because most African music and cultures are more or less similar to the kamba; therefore, for the sake of diversity we look at afro-American music. Afro-Americans are originally Africans who were sold as slaves to the Americas to work in the up-coming industries and plantations. With time and as they multiplied in numbers they needed to assert themselves and preserve their own history in the face of foreign land, language and culture. They performed songs that did this for them in more than one way. We will look at some of their compilations.

Spirituals
Spirituals are sacred songs sang in churches. They are mostly sang in unison and are usually unaccompanied. If ever accompanied, the instruments used are minimal and might include just the keyboard. Only recently are these songs being accompanied by drums electronic guitars and dances. These songs despite being sacred called attention to their plight and demanded equal treatment since God made them all equal.

Union songs
This was sung by labour organizers to call for and encourage collective action. It was a powerful symbolic response to their oppression under the new system installed by the Anglos thoughout the southwest. Afro-American music draws on the lived experiences of ordinary men and women who were and often are defined and limited by the cultural construction of race, class and gender.

Afro-americans use music as a means of transcending racial segregations since there is no way of segregating airwaves.

Through music blacks and white could come together and transcend social limits imposed by segregation. It is pointed out that travelling black and white often come into contact and influenced each others’ musical repertoires and playing styles. Responses to racism and social segregation were reflected in the American roots music. For the afro-americans there has been a long reciprocal connection between religion, song and the reproduction of “community”

Unequal power relationships, shaped by differences in race and class and often gender have characterized the development of “folk” music from its roots in local communities to wide and diverse audiences in their quest for rights.

From the above we can see that freedom has been a key theme in American music, both in terms of the ideas expressed by the music the uses to which the music is often put within the social change movements. The history of American roots is intricately woven with individual and collective struggle for social change and freedom from oppression. Afro-americans musicians mostly transform their harsh experiences into powerful musical expressions and embody the spirit of freedom and refusal of constraint. This is prominent in present day rap music that is dominated by Afro-Americans. What they sing and rap about is their demand for rights, fair treatment and equal opportunities.

The instruments used by these musicians have always been more advanced than those used locally. These include the piano, keyboard guitar and other electronic instruments. This is the only glaring difference between their music and the kamba music. Otherwise the themes incorporated are similar in more than one way. They both demand freedom and liberation, from the colonialists in the case of the kamba and their former masters in the case of the afro-Americans. They sing about the ills of society and how people should treat each other and their neighbors. Both sing about their origin and identity and also what they want to attain in future.

Conclusion
From the above we can see that music really does reflect a people’s culture. This is simply because whatever music a people create is influenced by whatever is around them. Their environment, their general way of life and mostly, how they perceive the universe. The kamba had different songs and dances for different genders and age groups whereas in the case of the Afro-Americans anyone could join in the songs and performances. From this we can infer that Afro-Americans really wanted to be accepted as part and parcel of their new habitat. They showed the unity and accommodation they needed so badly, in their songs by making them inclusive for all.Idenity has always been the major crisis on their part and that is why it dominates most of their music. However, they also have music for entertainment and relaxation like the blues and jazz music. The kamba had none of this quest and instead wanted the colonialists out of their motherland. They sang about their neighbors, the hunting and cultivation: this is what dominated their everyday lives.

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Persuasive Essay on Drinking Age

Persuasive Essay on Drinking Age

We live in a country that prides itself on being free, but some people feel they do not have as much freedom as they deserve, like the freedom to drink legally at a younger age. The legal drinking age should be lowered to 18 years old because at the age of 18 you are seen as an adult in the eyes of the law. The target audience of this paper is anyone in the state of Iowa who is 18 or older and has an opinion on this issue one way or the other. This paper will show why the drinking age should be lowered to 18 years old and what is wrong with some of the arguments made for why it should stay where it currently is, which is 21 years old.

The audience for the speech will be a very broad one so I will have to use a variety of styles and arguments to appeal to everyone. The type of argument I will be making is a proposal argument. I am calling for an action, lowering the legal drinking age, and I am focusing on the future. The warrant for my claim is that if you are seen by the law as an adult then you should be able to drink. For the speech I will be using reason and common sense just as much if not more than I will be using individual statistics. This is mainly because the audience is so broad that one style of arguing wont appeal to everyone.

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The legal drinking age in Iowa is currently 21 years old. It was changed from 19 years old to 21 in 1986 when the federal government threatened to take away federal highway money from states that did not have a 21 year old drinking age. Many people thought raising the legal age to 21 was a good idea. However, in every single state where the drinking age was changed to 21, alcohol consumption by people within the 18 to 20 year old age bracket actually increased (Feeny B6). This is a very strong appeal to logos because it is a fact that surprises most people. Many argue that part of the appeal of underage drinking is the fact that you are not supposed to be doing it. This is a point that has been proven time and again with other things such as prohibition. Just because you make something illegal it does not mean that people are just going to stop doing it.

The United States has the highest and most strictly enforced drinking age in the world. Our youth alcohol policy is ineffective and may actually have the reverse effects of what it is designed to do. It is applied so rigidly in most of the country that it precludes any attempt to teach young people how to drink responsibly. Under the current laws many young people learn to drink in unsafe environments. They use alcohol with the intention of getting drunk rather than as an accompaniment to food. Americans in the 18 to 20 year old age range do dangerous binge drinking far more often than the rest of the world who learn to drink in the open (Shefchik).

A speech on a subject like this would not be fair unless you showed both sides of the argument. The number one argument by supporters of the 21 year old limit is that it reduces alcohol related traffic deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated 16,000 lives have been saved as a result of raising the legal drinking age to 21 (Straszheim).

An argument against that statistic by those who don’t believe it is that there may be other reasons for the reductions in traffic fatalities, such as safer roads. Another argument is that young people start drinking long before they turn 21 even with the age limit (Goodale).

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Argumentative Essay on Gay Marriage Rights

Argumentative Essay on Gay Marriage

Marriage: the ceremonial binding of two people into one couple. Historically marriage has been the institution were a man and woman join together in the promise of love. Now days the traditional view of marriage is being changed by gay and lesbian couples demanding the same right to love, honor, and cherish their partners as heterosexual couples have. This argumentative essay on Gay Marriage will explore both sides on the debate of gay and lesbian marriages.

Historically, marriage was seen as a religious and civil union that brought together a man and woman for the purpose of joining family and community interest. Love may have been a part of choosing a mate but not the only factor. Also, a purpose of marriage was to provide a socially sanctioned place for sexual relations. Over time society has came to believe that love is the only reason to marry. Following the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s few people see sex as only being confined to the marriage bed. With these shifts in why to marry, what we expect from marriage has also changed. No longer is marriage a union that is based on the future and welfare of the community. Modern American society has privatized its view of marriage. Society sees marriage as an institution whose contours are plastic, whose purpose is to provide emotional satisfaction to the person concerned, and whose terms are negotiable and revocable. Marriage, traditionally limited to unions between men and woman, in its modern state is slowly beginning to include the idea of same sex couples. When love becomes the primary driving force to marry not the need to set up your own family then marriage can be open to any forms of partnerships.

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Currently a same sex couple cannot marry in the United States. A few states such as Vermont have same sex marriage laws that allow gay and lesbian couples to form civil unions, a formal ceremony is performed by a civil servant and the couple receives a piece of paper, similar to a marriage license, saying that they are committed to each other. A civil union is not recognized as legally binding by any state other then the state wear it was performed in. Also, civil unions afford none of the rights to same sex couples as marriage does to heterosexual couples.

While same sex marriages are not legal in the United States, Canada allows them. Over the summer the Canadian federal government decided not to contest the ruling of three provincial courts that had all came to the conclusion that denying homosexuals the right to marry violated Canada’s constitution. Canada, following the Netherlands and Belgium, is the first country in the western hemisphere to give full-fledged martial rights for gays and lesbians.

But how likely are same sex marriages to occur in the United States? Currently there is a case before the Massachusetts' State Supreme Court to determine if banning same sex marriages in that state violates civil liberty laws. Despite general tolerance of outed gays and lesbians and same sex civil unions, the country as a whole does not seem ready for full fledged same sex marriages. Less than 40% of the American population is in favor of same sex marriages. In 1996, then President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same sex marriages and allows states to refuse to recognition of them. Current President Bush has gone on the record as saying that marriage is a union between man and woman.

Current popular opinion does not hold with same sex marriage. Even if Massachusetts allows same sex marriages to take place, federal law allows for other states not to recognize the unions made in Massachusetts as being legal. For same sex marriage to happen in America each state would have to recognize that marriage is no longer a contract between a man and woman to share a life together put a contract between any two people to commit to a life long partnership.

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Persuasive Essay on Voting

Persuasive Essay on Voting

Voting is a method by which groups of people make decisions. In most countries, citizens have the right to vote to elect officials, select candidates for office, and decide on ballot questions. They can also just approve or reject laws by elections called referendums. Suffrage, the right to vote, is a political institution dating from ancient times. In most countries, it was required for the citizens to somehow participate in the government of their city. Today, most of the people that want to participate in voting have the right to vote, but before the Amendments, very few people were given the right to have a voice in selecting its leaders.

The U.S. Constitution, written in 1787, gave voting right to “the people.” However, as defined by the Constitution, the people meant only citizens eligible to vote in a state’s election. With this rule, only 6 percent of adult men and women were eligible to vote in the first presidential election in 1789.The reason for that small number was that most states limited voting to men that were 21 years of age or older who owned a certain amount of property. Restrictions on who could vote, however, gradually were reduced during the 1800s.

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Since the 1800’s, democratic nations have decided to extend suffrage to many people. Two major groups in America that didn’t have the right to vote until late 1800’s and early 1900’s were women and Black Americans. The public always underrepresented them and the white men were always considered better. Even though the 13th and 14th Amendments gave Black Americans freedom, they still did not have the right to vote until the 15th Amendment that was passed in 1870. Even after this Amendment, Black Americans were still discriminated and denied voting rights through literacy tests to keep African Americans from registering, which was a system called “Jim Crow.” Another way, the white southerners denied voting rights to Black Americans was by inventing whites-only primaries and polls. Because of this discrimination against Blacks, that was the main reason why they didn’t have much votes. While blacks as a group are less likely than whites to register and vote, since 1984 black women have registered and voted in proportions equal to white men. In fact, black women are more likely than men or whites generally to have political attitudes that contribute to voting participation.

Women, meanwhile, had to fight until 1920 for the right to vote in federal elections. Although women had gained the right to vote in some state or local elections earlier, in 1920 the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution finally outlawed any laws that denied women from voting. This amendment encouraged women to propose an amendment that would guarantee equal right for them, but unfortunately in was rejected by the Congress. In 1973, Congress approved the Equal Right Amendment but it failed by three states to get the three-fourths majority it required for ratification. Unto this day, women are still a long way from political equality with men. Until recently, many women didn’t vote because they did not see voting as part of their proper role in the society. Even though, they are underrepresented in political office, their vote is very powerful. Statistics show that women are more supportive than men for the poor, minorities, children, and the elderly. The last major increase in voting rights occurred in 1971 when the 26th Amendment gave voting rights to adults aged eighteen and older. The expanded right to vote is intended to make elections fairer.

The civil rights movement during the 1950’s and 1960’s insisted the re-establishment of black voting rights. The Voting Right Act of 1965, which prohibited discrimination in voting and registration, accomplished this goal. This act was passed to protect the voting rights of blacks and members of other minority groups. Under this act, people who attempted to deny these rights were punished. Some states required voters to pass literacy tests, but the Voting Rights Act of 1965, disqualified literacy tests and other voter qualification devices. In fact, it required that ballots be printed in two languages in areas where many people speak English as their second language. This act has been renewed in 1970, 1975, and 1982, and extended to the year of 2007. As soon as the Voting Rights Act was passed, federal examiners conducted a voter registration and to their surprise, the black voter turnout rose dramatically. For example, in 1965, the state of Mississippi went from a voting rate of 6.7 to 74.2 in 1988. As you can see, the Voting Rights Act has been one of the most effective pieces of civil rights passed by the Congress.

Until recently, suffrage was denied to everybody but white men. Blacks, in particular, and women, black and white, were excluded. Native Americans, for the most part, could not vote until the twentieth century. Asian Americans were excluded by keeping them in a suspended state to deny them citizenship and the right to vote.

As a result of the struggles to gain the right to vote by those who were denied this privilege, today almost everybody has the right to vote. All native born or U.S. citizen over the age of 18 with the exception of convicted felons has the right to vote. Although women and blacks remain underrepresented, voting patterns and recent gains suggest that the future will bring greater numbers of women and blacks into political office and that women will continue to vote at higher rates than men.

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