Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Essay on History of Football

Essay on History of Football

Blood, sweat, and tears are what football is all about. A player is giving his all on the field for the team. Football is a sport, where teamwork is most important. Everyone must be in synch in order to make a play work. On the field, color of a man's skin does not matter. Everyone is family for sixty minutes of controlled chaos. The position that a player occupies is from his skill level to perform the duties that position requires. Even though, this sport is based on having the best player at a position that he perform at a competitive level regardless of race, it has not always been that way. From the past and up to the present, there have been stereotypes on what qualifies a certain individual to play a certain position. Because of race, some athletes have been made to play positions that they did not want to pursue. Many African-American athletes that came into the NFL, from the past to the present, where stereotyped to play many of the non-thinking positions: wide receiver, running back, and defensive back to name a few. Many people perceived, that an African-American athlete was not able to handle the thinking aspects of some of the glamour positions: quarterback and linebacker. People felt these positions were to complex for the African-American athlete grasp. Statements such as, "They are too stupid to handle that position." or " Blacks lack the intelligence of their white counterparts to perform at that position." Were the justifications on why the African-American athlete was not considered to lead a team in one of the so-called glamour positions. Because of this ideology, many African-American quarterbacks were converted into running backs, wide receivers, or defensive backs. On a few occasions, some Black athletes were able to play in a game or start some games, but none were given an opportunity to truly lead a team for a season. Now in the present, more African-Americans are being given the chance to prove themselves on the field; these athletes include: Steve Mcnair, Kordell Stewart, Dante Culpepper, Ray Lucas, Michaels Vick, Aaron Brooks, and Donovan McNabb just to name a few. Many of these athletes must give thanks to the people from past eras, which made it possible for their dreams to finally become a reality.

For, this situation was no only regulated in the sports field, it was all over society. The thinking of many in the White School of History felt from a societal point of view that African-Americans were never as smart as the so-called glorified white race. The struggle for the African-American athlete was not only limited to the playing field, it was all over society. Their fight for an opportunity was helped by the voices of the New Negro, W.E.B Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Martin L. King, and Malcolm X. Also, the struggle was given help by the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Roy Campenella, and Don Newcomb. The history of the African-American quarterback not only resides on the football field, it is within the struggles of African-American society as a whole.

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My paper will take a look at the history of the African-American quarterback from the Black History School Theory. These thoughts will convey the struggle that many of the pioneers had to endure in order to conquer the racist views of white society. Even though there have been steps taken in order to get an opportunity, the struggle still continues. Still, there are some that feel many African-American quarterbacks are not smart enough or gifted enough to play the position. This behavior can be seen presently at the University of Florida. A white quarterback, by the name of Rex Grossman, guides the Florida Gators football team, and his primary receiver is Jabbar Gaffney. Now, Jabbar Gaffney, who is African-American, was recruited out of high school as a quarterback and was told he would possibly lead the highflying Gator offense. Yes, he would lead the offense but not as the quarterback. Since, Coach Spurrier said they were more than stable at the quarterback position the only way he would get any playing time was to convert to a wide receiver. All the white quarterbacks of the Gators offense were never asked to play another position. This present day situation brings to light that the White School of History is still alive in today's age. This type of situation was the reason that many pioneers: Fritz Pollard, Willie Thrower, Marlin Briscoe, George Taliaferro, James Harris, Joe Gilliam, Warren Moon, and Doug Williams, endured hatred in order prove this type of thinking wrong. The history of the African-American quarterback is one of determination, hunger, and drive, to get what they justly deserve from the white society, which is equality and respect.

The history of professional football can be traced back to the late 1800s. In 1892, William Heffelinger, a former star guard for Yale University, accepted $500, plus expenses, to play for the Allegheny Athletic Association. In a game against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, Heffelinger scored the only points of the game by returning a fumble 25 yards for the score. On this snowy day in 1892 at Pittsburgh's Recreation Park, professional football was born (75 Seasons: The Complete Story of the National Football League (1920-1995), Multiple authors, pp. 23, 1994).

During the early years of professional football, all the teams were white. These teams were powered by names like: Red Grange, George Halas, Jim Thorpe (Native American), and some African-American athletes played on some of teams that were organized in the 1920s. The teams that some African-Americans played on were, the Milwaukee Badgers, Hammond Pros, Providence Steam Roller, and the Akron Pros. Still during this time African-Americans were not given the true opportunity to quarterback a team. African-Americans were under the confines of Plessy v. Ferguson, separate but not equal. White society viewed many African-Americans in the same stereotype as many plantation owners of the South. This general feeling was not only regulated to just the South, it was also a view in the North. And this stereotypical view was, that African-Americans were not equal to the white counterparts in any aspect of life. This type of social feeling was also, a held view in athletics. But, steps were being taken to burn this house down.

The first athlete to show that an African-American can lead a football team as a quarterback was Fritz Pollard. Here is a man that the NFL rarely talks about and in contributions to history are just as important as any other athlete of his time. This man was the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl in 1915, with Brown University, where he became the first-ever [African American] to be named a collegiate All-American (The History of the NFL Ignores the First Black Quarterback, Evans, pp. PG, 1995). Fritz Pollard was a member of the Akron Pros in 1920 along with Paul Robeson, to become the only Africans-Americans to play in the 13-team league (The History of the NFL Ignores the First Black Quarterback, Evans, pp. PG, 1995). During his time with Akron, Pollard led the team to an undefeated season with a 10-0 record, which was a first in professional football. In 1922 Pollard and Robeson left Akron and played for the Milwaukee Badgers. In Milwaukee they were joined by Fred "Duke" Slater to give Milwaukee the first three African-Americans to play on one team. Next, Fritz Pollard coached the Hammonds Pros in 1923; this was a pioneering move to becoming the first African American coach of a professional team. After coaching 3 seasons, Pollard went back to the Akron Pros for one year in 1926 and then left professional football. Being a pioneer and showing society that African-Americans could compete equally with their white counterparts one might think the resentment toward the African-American athlete would change. After Fritz Pollard's success in professional football, the NFL secretly kept out all African-Americans athletes from 1933 until 1946. This only showed that the struggle had just begun.

Another pioneer for African-Americans at the quarterback position was Willie Thrower of the 1953 Chicago Bears. In 1953, Willie Thrower played one game where he completed three passes for 27 yards and threw one interception. During the 53 season, there were 15 African-American players in a league that had 12 teams. Willie Thrower was the only [African-American] player on the Bears roster (Just Call Me Quarterback African Americans Struggled for the Opportunity to Play Quarterback in the NFL., Spencer, Sports Illustrated, pp. 48+, 1999). Along with Thrower, there were one other African-American that played the quarterback position in 53; his name was George Tailiaferro. In the 1953 NFL season, George Taliaferro played in 2 games. Looking at this segment of NFL history, one must ask, " Why African-Americans were not given the same opportunity as the white player?" As was stated before society and their view of separate, but not equal can explain why many African-American athletes were not given the same opportunity to compete for this glamour position. During these times excuses came up: You are too good an athlete. Let's switch you to a speed position; such as receiver or defensive back, You scramble too much. We want quarterbacks who drop back and throw, You may have been a good QB in college, but the pro offense is much more complicated (Just Call Me Quarterback African Americans Struggled for the Opportunity to Play Quarterback in the NFL, Spencer, Sports Illustrated, pp. 48+, 1999). Society was just saying plainly that they did not want African-American quarterbacks in the NFL.

During the 50s and 60s the civil rights movement is becoming louder. The attitude of the New Negro is being felt by more many in the African-American community. With the movement gaining ground the African-American athlete is starting to exploit the traditional thinking of the NFL. Still, the quarterback position was a barrier that was considered off limits, but the wall was being brought down. Many teams would not give African-Americans the opportunity to show off their skills at the quarterback position for an extended period of time; but when some individuals were given the chance they proved they could play the game. One individual that proved that he could play with any of the white quarterbacks and put up the same numbers was Marlin Briscoe. Here was a man that garnered All-American honors as a quarterback at University of Nebraska-Omaha and was selected by the Denver Broncos is the late 60s. In 1968, Briscoe started five games for the Broncos and during this time he threw 14 touchdown passes.

His 14 touchdown passes was a team record for a rookie quarterback at that time. Even though Marlin Briscoe had certainly established himself as a NFL quarterback, he would be switched to the wide receiver position when he signed with the Buffalo Bills in 1969. This common practice showed that the white NFL was not going to let an African-American lead a team for an extended period of time. Black professional athletes say they were underpaid, shunted into certain stereotyped positions and treated like sub-humans by Paleolithic coaches who regarded them as watermelon-eating idiots (The Black Athlete Revisited: The Most Famous Series of Stories Ever Published in Sports, Johnson, Sports Illustrated, pp. 39 1991). Then the old attitude of years pass shows up again: that blacks are too stupid, too lacking in the so-called necessities to be qualified to fill either management jobs in sports or the "thinking" positions on team's quarterback, middle linebacker, pitcher, catcher, point guard, etc. (The Black Athlete Revisited: The Most Famous Series of Stories Ever Published in Sports, Johnson, Sports Illustrated, pp. 39 1991).

As the 70s came about African-American athletes were starting to fight back. They were not going to change their position for the pleasure of "Charlie" (the white man) and they were going to change the perception that had been held by the NFL for so long. In 1969, James Harris was going to change this perception and no one was going to make him change to another position because of the color of his skin, his athletic ability, or his so-called lack of intellect. Here was an athlete that was the prototype quarterback everyone wanted: smart, big (6" 4', 210 pounds) and strong (Just Call Me Quarterback African Americans Struggled for the Opportunity to Play Quarterback in the NFL, Spencer, Sports Illustrated, pp. 48+, 1999). Scouts wanted James Harris to play the typical stereotyped position for the African-American athlete, but he declined. Because of his stand, James Harris was not picked until the eight round by the Buffalo Bills. As he states, "You have to know that you are a QB, no matter what." (Just Call Me Quarterback African Americans Struggled for the Opportunity to Play Quarterback in the NFL, Spencer, Sports Illustrated, pp. 48+, 1999). As he played in 1969, James Harris was the only black quarterback in the American and National football leagues (Black QBs Pass Through Barriers NFL's 6 Starters Stand Out Now Only In Their Play, Mihoces, USA Today, pp01C, 1997). James Harris played from 1969 to 1979 with the Buffalo Bills (1969-71), Los Angeles Rams (1973-76), and San Diego Chargers (1977-79). During his 10-year career he amassed 8,136 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, MVP of the 1975 Pro Bowl, and he played in the NFC championship game twice with the Los Angeles Rams. Another 70s quarterback was Joe Gilliam of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the first African-American to start for an NFL team on opening day in 1974. Leading the Steelers to a 4-1-1 record in the first six weeks of the 74 season, Gilliam was on of the hottest quarterbacks in the league. But, he started throwing interceptions and he lost his starting job to future Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw after his only loss. After the 74 season Joe Gilliam never started another game. Still, white America was not ready to see an African-American lead a team. Also, the quarterback position in the NFL is the last bastion, the final position on the field that has not been totally dominated by the Black athlete (Why Does the NFL Fear Black Quarterbacks? Evans, New York Amsterdam News, pp. PG, 1995). Although, many athletes had showed that they could play the position and win the prevailing attitude that white America held onto was that Blacks were intellectually incapable to command an offense. So, as one can plainly see it was not the intellect or the athletic ability that hindered many African-Americans a chance to play a position that they thrived in during their college careers it was the attitude of white society. This attitude was not only held to the football field, it was held in the cities and towns all across the country.

All through the years African-Americans have proven time and time again that they could play the position of quarterback. From Fritz Pollard to James Harris, fans and personnel saw that an African-American could play just as good as any of the white ball players. But, the eerie bigotry and ignorance of the white society kept trying to reinforce into the African-American culture that no African-American could ever truly lead an NFL team at all and definitely never to the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl victory. Enter the dawn of the eighties; African-Americans were not backing down to the oppression of white society. They were not going to sacrifice their dream because someone told them they had to change. Many African-Americans who were not given an opportunity to play their position in the U.S., moved north to Canada and excelled in the CFL.

But, some were determined to make it here in the states and they were going to break down all the barriers and succeed. The one quarterback that personified this cause in the eighties was Doug Williams. Williams was picked in the first round of the 1978 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Going Home; Super Bowl's QB Superhero Doug Williams Returns to Zachary A Local Hero Too, Friedman, People, pp. 91, 1988). When Doug Williams arrived the Buccaneers were a terrible team, but after his arrival he gave them hope. During his career with the Buccaneers, Williams led them to the playoff three times in five years. But, this was not good enough since they were always eliminated in the first round. He would receive racist letters, gifts, death threats but he kept on playing not to be discouraged. Then Doug Williams was involved in a wage dispute with management; he was a man who was being paid a measly $125,000 a season, which was 46th among NFL quarterbacks. Here was a man who started, led a team to the playoff and is 46th out of 83 quarterbacks on the pay scale. This was just another example of white societies dual labor market. After this, Doug Williams left the NFL and played in the USFL. Then, in 1986 the head coach of the Washington Redskins, Joe Gibbs, called Williams and asked him to come play for Washington. Williams accepted the job of being the back up to Jay Schroeder. In 1988 the world was going to witness history and this event was going to shock white America, since it was their views that tried to keep African-American athletes from flourishing in the role as quarterback. On a hunch, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs had benched Jay Schroeder for the playoffs and started Williams in his place, and now Super Sunday had arrived and Williams would go against John Elway and the Broncos (NFL Preview/the Quarterback, Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated, pp. 78+, 1998). Here was Doug Williams going against the great white quarterback and everyone thought this would prove that no African-American could lead a team to victory over the more intelligent white quarterback. In the end, Doug Williams led his team to a 42-10 victory over Denver and he also captured the Super Bowl MVP award. Doug Williams had brought the wall down on white society.

As we look at the present with the Steve McNairs, Michael Vicks, Donovan McNabbs, Aaron Brooks, and Daunte Culpeppers of the league, one must see that the pioneers through the ages paved the way for the present situation. Fritz Pollard, Willie Thrower, Marlin Briscoe, James Harris, Joe Gilliam, and Doug Williams all made key contributions to help the present day quarterback get his shot, his opportunity to play the position that he wants to play and not by the stereotype of white America. Now, these men are labeled quarterbacks and are looked upon as quarterbacks. Has society fully accepted them as an equal to their white counterparts? Only time will tell if white society has truly accepted the African-American quarterback or if their ignorance still prevails. But, these pioneers will continue the history so that the next generation will crush the wall of racism before them, and prove that stereotypes and the ignorant critics wrong once and for all.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Essay on Game Theory

Essay on Game Theory

This was an exciting and mind-opening research project, and I really learned a lot from it. While difficult to choose what to say, and more importantly how to say it, I found the web site gametheory.net, which had a ton of information and where I got most of my information. I will be using quite a lot of passages from this site however, as it is worded better then I ever could. These passages will be following by parenthetical references that site exactly where I got them. I don't know if this is necessary for a math research paper, but it is how the AP style book requires it, so that is how I will be doing it.

Game Theory:
Game theory is an awesome yet distinctively hard to explain method of mathematics that has been used for thousands of years but has only recently come to our attention as a great type of math to use when approaching decisions that are otherwise impossible to reach. The actual first well-know and publicized book was written by John Von Neumann, who was a great mathematician, and known for the founding of the theory, named The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. He wrote this in collaboration with another great mathematician who was also an economist by the now well-known name of Oskar Morgenstern in 1944.

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How to describe game theory? It is very hard to describe it, so the following is the best explanation I can give. Game theory is a distinct and interdisciplinary approach to the study of human behavior. The disciplines most involved in game theory are mathematics, economics and the other social and behavioral sciences. (Strategy and Conflict: An Introductory Sketch of Game Theory. Taken on March 13th, 2003.

Now the theory of games in no one theory at all, but many, now in game theory, like in regular games, there are players, always more then one, and these players must make decisions that will affect the outcome, whether it is a reward or punishment. With just two people involved in the game, it is rather simple to predict the outcome, the more players get included, the more complex the game grows, and it becomes almost impossible to give answers to the questions that the game is imposing. These questions generally are, how should the players behave? And what should the ultimate outcome of the game? To answer these questions of course, is the solution of the game. So there we have the basic outline of what game theorists have to play around with.

Game theory is not only related to war and games, it is also linked largely to economics. This shouldn't be so surprising since one of the original theorists mentioned above was one of the leading economists of his time. People ask how math is related to our economy. This is tricky, as there are several problems that make it difficult to put many economic problems in game farm. Firstly, it is hard to specify precisely the strategy that is supposed to be made available to the players, and the resolutions of the final problem is obviously debatable, as what one player might consider good and well, the other player or players might consider unfair. Better put "these are among the "circumstances" that the person takes into account in maximizing rewards. The implication of property rights, a money economy and ideally competitive markets is that the individual needs not consider her or his interactions with other individuals. She or he needs consider only his or her own situation and the "conditions of the market." But this leads to two problems. First, it limits the range of the theory. Where-ever competition is restricted (but there is no monopoly), or property rights are not fully defined, consensus neoclassical economic theory is inapplicable, and neoclassical economics has never produced a generally accepted extension of the theory to cover these cases. Decisions taken outside the money economy were also problematic for neoclassical economics." (Strategy and Conflict: An Introductory Sketch of Game Theory. Taken on March 13th, 2003.

Now an interesting fact: we all know that logic is the foundation of mathematics, and game theory has been proved useful in highly technical areas, of which logic is one of the chief ones. Another technical area to which game theory can be applied is in differential games, which have applications in control and optimization. This includes games of pursuit and evasion, warfare, and can even spread as far as profit maximization. A lot of military leaders and historical figures have applied this. In my presentation I will be including such examples as when Cortez landed in Mexico, he only had a small force with him, but he burned his ships after he landed. This was used for multiple reasons, one, his soldiers now knew that they had no way of going home, so they had better win the fight or they would all die, 2, the Aztecs saw the ships being burnt so they figured that the Spaniards had some kind of reason and must be invincible, so they fled to the hills and Cortez took over without a fight. Another example is in the Novel Henry V, the Count of Agincourt kills the French prisoners in full view of the enemy. This allows his men to see that the enemy sees that their men have been killed therefore if they do not win the battle and are taken prisoner they will most likely be killed as well, this makes them want to fight better and win the war. This also allows the enemy to know that their opponents know that if they are taken prisoner they will be killed, so they know that they are going to fight even harder, therefore their resolve might weaken. At the same time however, they are enraged that their fellow countrymen have been killed so they will fight harder as well to avenge the deaths of their friends. And this cycle goes round and round. It is a classic example of the mirror within the mirror; it goes on and on and on.

While doing a search on game theory I came across an interesting article in Fortune magazine, in it John McDonald described the results of a one and a half year study of the way top executives in large companies make decisions. In his report he described game theory as "uniquely qualified to make sense of the forces of work and how it related to the strategies of some actual corporations caught up in conglomerate warfare". He went on to talk about airline competition, plant location, and product diversification as fertile area for the use of game theory.

Now while there are many different applications of game theory, such as: one-person games, two person games, the utility theory, the n-person game etc. What most people deal with, and what we have been talking about so far and will continue to talk about is the Two-Person, Zero-Sum Games of Perfect Information, or in layman's terms, a game that involves two people, parties, or corporations etc.

When dealing with two or more parties, the main element that makes it a game is the amount of information available to the players, and these complicate matters considerably. The final outcome of a game depends on the actions of both players, while trying to think in advance of what your opponent will do in case of your move. "If I do this, will my opponent do this or that, or if I do that move will my opponent do that or this", these are the classic questions that come up when applying this theory. For example the stone-paper-scissors game, in this game the players much choose their strategies simultaneously, neither knowing what the other is going to do. Now if you know what your opponent is going to do, then the answer is simple, but that would be a case of a one person game. In this game one would try to create a theory of what his opponent will do based on what he has done previously, and what he is going to do based upon the moves of his opponent. This information is of course kept in his head, as well as the possible outcomes, and the circle once again goes round and round, and we are back to the mirror in the mirror.

On this topic, in Von Neumann and Morgenstern's book, they put the problem this way: "Let us imagine that there exists a complete theory of the zero-sum two-person game which tells a player what to do and which is absolutely convincing. If the players knew such a theory then each player would have to assume that his strategy has been "found out" by his opponent. The opponent knows the theory, and he knows that a player would be unwise not to follow it. Thus the hypothesis of the existence of a satisfactory theory legitimatize our investigation of the situation when a player's strategy is found out by his opponent". (The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior: John Von Neumann, and Oskar Morgenstern in 1944.)

Now we come to the paradox of this as well, if we are successful in constructing a theory of stone-paper-scissors that indicates which of the three strategies is best, an intelligent opponent with access to all the information can use the same logic and deduce our strategy. He then second guesses and wins, so if the original player uses the "best" strategy it would end up being fatal, however if the first player knows that the second player knows the theory and the first player knows that the second player knows that the first player knows that he knows, then he is back to the beginning of the paradox. Once again we are back with the mirrors.

This is where the mathematical equations come into effect and help us to figure out what needs to be done to ensure us of our victory. I am not going to get into all of that here, as it is too hard to explain and will take too long. However, when I give my presentation I will be showing some different mathematical equations that show how this theory works and I will be talking about it then.

Another theory we must look at that is closely related to game theory is the Nash Equilibrium, where each player's strategy is optimal given the strategies of the other players. Yes this is confusing, in better terms: If there is a set of strategies with the property that no player can benefit by changing her strategy while the other players keep their strategies unchanged, then that set of strategies and the corresponding payoffs constitute the Nash Equilibrium.

It actually is not that major of an issue while trying to explain game theory, and it can lead to more confusion, so that is all I will be talking about on the Nash Equilibrium theory.

In Summary:
In constructing a theory of a 2 or more person's game, the game theorist has a choice, he can focus on one aspect of the game and disregard others, or he can try to capture all the relevant features of the game in a single model. Yet in either of these choices he/she still will end up paying a price.

If player/players one chooses the first course, and assumed that they were dealing with other competitive players who could communicate and have simultaneous and instantaneous access to each other, then this theory is convincing and may be used to predict what the range of punishment or reward will be.

Game theory describes the situations involving conflict in which the payoff is effected by the actions and counter-actions of intelligent opponents.

It has been our intention to make this report as clear as precise as possible, to do this we have dappled in or discussed application that are excessively technical. Not only would it take too long, but also it is difficult for us to understand as well, to do this we would have to mention applications that have been made to international trade, the use of national resources, collective bargaining. These are way too in depth and detailed and would take several hundred pages and months of studying.

However, hopefully my readers have some idea of game theory after reading this, and some idea of what the problems are and what to do about them.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Essay on Parents

Essay on Parents

The society of our human beings is really a complex system. Then what is the basis, or say, the smallest unit of such an unwieldy system? People will say "family" with one voice. Usually family is considered to be the essential element of a society. If we look the word "family" into a dictionary, its definition is simply "a group consisting of parents and their children". Then we come to the conclusion that the relationship between parents and children is the most basic one among all the interpersonal relationships that exist in the world. And there is no doubt that it plays an important role in our society.

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The bond between parents and children is incredibly strong. A main reason is that parents and children are linked because of their ties of blood. This unique tie distinguishes it from any other interpersonal relationships. The love between parents and children is special. It grows for so many years without judgment, without limit. Our parents simply love us beyond all bounds. They love all the things belong to us, not only our strengths and gifts but also our weaknesses and faults. This strong love is from parent's hearts, there is no interests mixed in it at all. It is such a pure and exquisite emotion that parents will do things for their children that no one else would dream of. They give completely selfless devotion to their children. You could ask a parent if he or she would cut off an arm for a child and without hesitation, even thinking, he or she would answer yes. You could also ask a mother about her rage if someone does her children harm. I think it will be an unusual rage that we who don't have such experience can imagine. We often see and hear some moving things, for example, one mother saved her child desperately in an sudden accident, regardless of her own life. This is what we called great love of mother, I think.

I think parents are the most important factor in their children's lives. Whether they are with their children two hours a day or twelve, parents are special to children. They make the most difference during their childhood. Furthermore, they make the great impact on the rest of their lives. As I have mentioned above, parent's love towards their children is a strong feeling that it is even beyond life. But usually they keep this beyond-life feeling deep in their minds. What parents do most for their children are ordinary, small and mundane. It is true that parents are the first teachers in their children's lives. They, as living examples, influence their children little by little, step by step. Mostly, they help children conduct their daily lives, help them with their manners, with homework, with habits, with their sense of right and wrong, of justice and morals. They teach their children in the ways that they can understand, for instance, through discipline, play, explanation and talking. Take me as an example, when I was a little girl, my mother asked me to set the table every evening. This helped me to know "to gain something, you should also put in your work". And when I grew up a little, my parents let me feed a cat at home. At the same time, I learned about the responsibilities that come with ownership. You see, it was through these small and common things, I have learnt the codes of conduct and developped my attitude towards life.

Education of family is always a hot topic. Regarding that nuclear family have become to dominate the family forms in today's society, education of family turns out to be more and more important. Here, I just want to mention one point, that is, as the unique and special people in their children's lives, parents need to spend as much time as possible with their children. By this, I don't mean that parents should spend twenty-four hours a day with children. In today's society, everyone is busy making their lives, especially our parents. To improve the standard of the whole family, they have to devote themselves to their work. And of course, they all need time for themselves. So, some parents would leave their children to the babysitter or to the day care center. But you see, babysitters come and go; day care center staffs turn over regularly whereas parents are the constant presence in a child's life. Nobody can take its place in children's minds.

Being parents doesn't only mean providing children for material comforts, what parents should do is to have more and better time to be with their children. In my opinion, a good parent ought to try to talk with their children and exchange thoughts with them more often. Father and mother should learn to stand in children's shoes, to fully understand them. This is very important for both toddlers and young people like us. The key word, I think, is giving children the sense that they are the most important and precious treasures parents have. Of course, this doesn't equal spoiling children.

We say that family is special because of its constancy and staying power. Both parents and children are members of a family. We, as children, should not sit idle and enjoy the fruits of our parent's work, we should also give our love and respect to our parents. Only when both sides realize this, a harmonious family can be made.

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Short Essay on Race and Society

Essay on Racism in Society

The old man said to me, "there go some Negroes."

There could be something wrong with this man I thought to myself. How ignorant and self centered can that person be? I proposed to the old man that Negroes, neither better nor worse, than any other race. I figure that race pride is something I can't afford.

The old man shows his race pride by putting down another person of a different race. There are too many implications around the term race. I feel that the cause of race pride gives the effect of hell on earth.

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Now just think, if a Negro does something that would impress any person of the white man's race like taking on the sports world and becoming very well known. If the Negro does something like go to school and get a degree, both examples are considered a remotely strong impression that they should be proud of.

The selfish white man who still holds on to the dream that Negro's are out of the slavery decades have problems with their own well being. I have the drive to understand in my own mind to why some people are so ignorant and selfish towards the Negro man. In cause, the white man has no reason to put down the human achievement towards the greatness of accomplishment just if the person is of an opposite race from the ignorant white man.

Members of the white race which I inherited have given the foul cloud of smoke towards the Negro man ever since the days of Martin Luther King Jr. I can see it exist today.

As a member of my own race, I happen to be the one who supports the rights to be free no matter what your skin color is. I can't be responsible for millions of people's thoughts and aggressions towards the Negro. I know that I can view life by what I see and not what some other person seems to see.

How will the white man affect people by being ignorant towards other races? Well, the answer is in finding out that we are all the same color under the skin. Every time a person of another race becomes prejudice towards another race, he or she is spreading the plague of ignorance.

Pointing at achievements has nothing to do with the person and what color they are. Races in our lives have never done anything that could be worth classifying any color. Newton's law of gravity was not invented by a race it was Newton who showed the world what he knew mathematically. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb not a certain race. I figure, Negroes did not find the inner secrets of picking cotton, nor the secrets to playing sports so well. So a Negro can't be classified as someone who doesn't exist inside.

The answers to race pride is not a virtue, it is a terrible mind alter that develops ignorance in lives of millions. I believe that "race pride" has caused more suffering in people throughout the world than religion has.

I have met the best Negroes by being open minded to them and giving them a chance to show who they are. The reality is that were not any different on the inside. Some people have the dream that all of the modern world is evolved around race. I believe this will back fire in the near future to the ones who can't handle being individuals. This matter says a lot about our society. The race issue will become scarce, if we demonstrate "global pride" and not just "race pride." The true resolution to "race pride," will be determined by how well we work together.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Essay on Diamonds

Essay on Diamonds

For much of the world, diamonds symbolize love but in reality a darker side lies behind the diamond industry. Conflict diamonds have been used by rebel groups in Africa to finance their atrocities committed on civilian populations and their insurrections against internationally recognized governments.


Beginning of the Kimberley Process
During the past three years, the United Nations has joined the growing movement to regulate the diamond trade and eliminate conflict diamonds. United Nations involvement has legitimized this social movement, helping its leaders to progress from mere awareness to effective action. While NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch brought attention to the prevalence and problem of conflict diamonds, significant change in Sierra Leone required the force of international regulatory power.

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In May 2000, the first Kimberley conference was held in South Africa, drawing representatives from the U.S., Britain, South Africa, Belgium, African diamond producers, and De Beers. Sociologist Ndumbe (102) outlines the four points agreed upon in South Africa: (1) the need to establish a global certification system for diamonds; (2) the necessity of an international code of conduct to regulate the practices of the diamond industry, producing states, and marketing centers; (3) the formation of an independent monitoring agency to insure implementation of this certification system and code of conduct; and (4) establishment of a group to make recommendations on specific methods for implementing these agreements. In response to the second and third points, the World Diamond Council (WDC) was formed, mediating between NGOs, governments, and the UN. According to the WDC (WDC website), its ultimate mandate is "development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts." Composed largely of members of such organizations as the International Diamond Manufacture's Association, the WDC demanded representation from the diamond industry itself, forcing these individuals and corporations to recognize their own part in the problem. The WDC, government representatives, and NGOs held follow-up meetings during the next several months, and in July the UN Security Council formally adopted a resolution calling for an international diamond certification program. The UN now provided the force needed to bring substantial reform to the diamond industry, particularly in Sierra Leone.

Since that first meeting in South Africa in 2000, the World Diamond Council, along with related NGOs and governments, has focused primarily on establishing requirements for legitimate certificates of origin for all diamonds that enter the global market. The Kimberley Process, so-named because of its initial meeting held in Kimberley, South Africa, aims to block all trade of diamonds from areas of conflict such as Sierra Leone and Angola, nations where the diamond industry has financed civil wars and horrific human rights abuses. Advocates of the Kimberley Process believe that the first step toward eliminating conflict diamonds is a certification system that will unite the international community in regulation of the diamond trade.

Need for Global Solutions
Problems within a global economy require global solutions. The diamond industry functions through a complex network of workers, dealers, buyers, and governments; therefore corruption within the diamond industry cannot be solved by individual nations. Several powerful multinational corporations such as De Beers and the High Diamond Council in Belgium, not local entrepreneurs, basically control the entire diamond industry. Furthermore, individual nations cannot formulate solutions independently; everyone must work together. Smuggling, one thread of corruption within the diamond trade, perpetuates the problem by allowing conflict diamonds to still enter the global market. If one country has stricter laws than another, diamond sellers will simply smuggle their illegal merchandise into the more lenient nation. The Kimberley Process exemplifies the importance of international unity and corporation when solving problems in the modern era of globalization. The UN has served as an essential vehicle for change within the diamond trade because it brings together governments, businessmen, and human rights advocates. Each of their perspectives plays a vital role in the formation of practical solutions.

As a result of the most recent meetings in Switzerland in November 2002, the Kimberley Process will officially go into effect January 2003. The New York Times (Cowell 2002) explains that "only countries that subscribe to the new rules will be able to trade legally in rough diamonds. Countries that break the rules will be suspended, making their diamond exports illegal." Over forty nations, which together account for 90 percent of the legal total diamond trade, have agreed to commit to this UN-backed resolution. While most leaders acknowledge that the Kimberley Process will not completely solve the problem, they hope that new regulations will strengthen legitimate diamond trade and severely weaken the impact of illicit production and sales. Critics argue that the Kimberley Process, as adopted in 2002, is flawed because it relies on individual nations compliance. Without independent monitoring of the entire industry, the diamond trade is still very vulnerable to abuse. United Nations leaders hope that the new Kimberley Process will be at least an effective beginning to this very complex problem.

The diamond industry needs radical reform in order to halt current human rights abuses associated with illicit trade and to prevent further conflicts. Sierra Leone remains highly unstable, largely because of citizens inability to economically succeed. Diamonds account for much of Sierra Leone's economy, yet the corrupt industry exploits workers, finances political conflicts, and prevents individual enterprise within the diamond trade. In light of this corruption, the Sierra Leone government needs to regain control of the diamond trade. Until Sierra Leone establishes greater political stability or effective regulations, the diamond industry cannot be privatized. The risks have proven to be far too high.

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Human Sacrifice among the Aztecs Essay

Essay on Human Sacrifice in Aztec Culture

"Human sacrifice, practiced by most other Mesoamericans, had become the central rite of Aztec religion." (Honour and Fleming 522)

In this quote I found the concept of a religion that commits acts that show such outright disregard for humans, in some cases their own kind, to be intriguing. Yet, in the quote, the human sacrifice by the Aztecs is attributed to religion, and nothing more. This is one thing I disagree with to some extent. I believe that the Aztecs must have had multiple underlying reasons for sacrifice, ranging from religion, to nutrition, and economic state. There are many accounts and estimates by various authors regarding the number of sacrifices made annually by the Aztecs. Some say it was three to four thousand (Cortes 24) to random estimates ranging from 20,000 to 250,000 based on remains at Tenochtitlan and Xocotlan. What we do know however, is that no matter what the exact number of annual human sacrifices was, it was much more than most of us would like to ponder over.

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I personally believe that the Aztecs had various purposes for human sacrifice. These purposes ranged from the main factor of religious beliefs, to their economy, and nutritional protein received through cannibalism. Regarding the religious aspect, the Aztecs believed that the universe ran on an energy called tonalli, or "animating spirit". In humans, tonalli is said to be in the blood stream and when a man is frightened at his moment of death by sacrifice, the tonalli concentrates in the heart. This is why the hearts of the sacrificed were torn out and given to the gods. It was this that they believed nourished the gods and kept the sun in constant rotation. The gods need for tonalli is continual and essential in driving the universe. The Aztecs believed that without tonalli, everything would stop.(Graulick 393) Yet, human sacrifice by the Aztec peoples cannot be solely attributed to religious beliefs. This is due to the treatment of the sacrificed after the ceremonies. In what other religion does the body of a sacrificial victim get thrown down a set of stairs to be dismembered and consumed at the bottom? This is one factor that leads me to believe the Aztecs had more than one reason behind such numerous sacrifices.

With the number of people being sacrificed by the Aztecs, and the fact that they did practice cannibalism, the most logical reasoning behind this would have to lean towards nutritional benefit. It is a proven fact that the Aztecs, after having sacrificed a human, dismembered him and to some extent consumed him, both from depictions in art and statements in literature. Some say, due to the lack of animals aside from lizards and insects, that cannibalism was essential to the Aztec's diet. Beans and maize were the Aztecs sole sources of protein, and unless eaten together in massive amounts, they would not have gotten enough essential amino acids to lead reasonably healthy lives. (Harner 117) Cannibalism was an easy source of nourishment and provided the required proteins not necessarily acquired from their staple foods. And even if the proteins were carried by produce, not a sufficient amount would be gained because of lack of agriculture due to an economy not able to support it's population.

The Aztecs were not an economically sound culture, specifically food production in the city of Tenochtitlan. Tenochtitlan, as a city, was not able to "fend for itself" in the sense that it's population could not be supported solely by it's local agriculture. The agriculture in general, was advanced in comparison to other local cultures, yet not to the extent to support the needs of it's growing population. To compensate for this, a system of tribute's arose. Tributes were collected from nearby states, through the trade of goods and services to compensate for domestic deficits. (Cortes 10) Yet tributes or not, the Aztecs in many cases had to take things into their own hands. I believe that in regards to the economy, mass human sacrifice was beneficial in more ways than one. Through sacrifice of their own, which was not generally the case, but far from infrequent, there was both an increase in food and a resulting decrease in population to provide for.

The Aztecs, however interpreted, did what they felt they had to do to survive, whether it be physically surviving through the consumption of humans for their required protein and nutrients or through sacrifices to the gods, keeping them pleased and the sun in constant rotation. Although human sacrifice was the central rite in Aztec religion, it was not only their religion that it fell into. Human sacrifice benefitted the Aztecs in multiple ways, even if religion is what it is most commonly related back to. Honour, Hugh, and John Fleming.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Essay on Tattooing

Essay on Tattooing

What's on your body? The cause and effect of teenage tattooing.

The popularity of tattooing has increased dramatically, especially with teenagers. Tattooing has been a fad for centuries and teenagers are now starting to take on this so called form of art. Though teenagers feel that getting a tattoo is the in thing to do, it is in fact along term problem. The increasing of tattooing done by teenagers is because of rebellion, peer pressure, and social status.

Rebellion is one of the many reasons why teenagers get tattoos. The children of today want to use piercing and tattoos as a form of expression and independence. The problem with this is that parents do not feel the same way, and so teenagers go out and get a tattoo in a ways just to show their parents that they can do as they please, and that they are not the bosses of them.

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The problem with this is that later on in life the child that got the tattoo will grow up and have children of their own, who will also want to get a tattoo or other means of expression done on their body. The teenager who is now a parent will most likely tell them no, but just like they did when they were younger, their children will also still probably go out and get a tattoo. How is the parent going to explain that it is not the right time for it, if they themselves got one also at that age?

Another reason teenagers get tattoos is because of peer pressure. We have to remember teenagers are sheep and like sheep they follow the crowd. The in crowd such as the popular kids in school, musicians, and actors spread their fad very easily amongst teenagers, because they feel that they will have to get a tattoo just to fit in, so they will not feel left out and abandoned. The main problem with this is that getting a tattoo now will not always be the in thing with other people. Soon enough going to college and then graduating will mean getting new friends, and who is to say that they too will also like tattoos? Just because that one group you were in liked tattoos does not mean the rest of the world will also.

Finally, social status in gangs plays a role in the increase of teenage tattooing. Teenagers who are in gangs are getting tattoos to show their ranking in their growing society. One example of this would be gangs. Teenagers in gangs, such as the, GD gang or also known as the Gangsters Disciples, get tattoos to show their ranking in the gang. Tattoos such as the teardrop underneath the eye are to show that they have shot and/or killed someone. The more teardrops underneath the eyes, and the more things that they do for their gang, the more tattoos they get on their bodies. For them tattoos are like badges of honor. The main problem with this is that they get all of these tattoos just to prove their loyalty to their gang. What if later on in life they want to quit and get a real job in society? The tattoos on their arms and face will not go over very well with the employers. The chances of them getting professional business careers are slim to none, depending on the type of career or job.

So for the most part the main reasons teenagers are getting tattoos are because of rebellion, peer pressure, and social status, but teenagers are not thinking of the consequences. Tattoos are permanent and we have to remember that. For some reason or another, if later on in life the teenager does not want their tattoo or tattoos it is going to be real difficult and expensive to get rid of them.

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Discursive Essay on the War in Iraq

Essay on War in Iraq

In 2003, the U.S. army went to fight Iraq in order to destroy Saddam Hussein's reign and establish a new Iraq under a democratic reign. Ever since his declaration to attack Iraq, many organizations and millions of people all over the world gathered to protest against the decision and also to support it . The main reason that support the attack claims that Iraq is an important station in the international terrorism rachis. Other reason claims that although Iraq agreed to dispose their unconventional weaponry they did not do so, and above all they have continued the manufacturing of unconventional weaponry. That is a huge threat because Iraq showed several times that they do not hesitate to use unconventional weaponry. Also Iraq deceived the UN inspectors with lies about the weaponry that they have. It is essential to attack Iraq in order to increase the standard of living in Iraq and developed a new era in the Middle East. In addition, there are reasons that oppose to the decision to attack Iraq. One of them talks about hurting many innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as the ecological damage to will occur as a result of attacking Iraq.

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I support the decision of the U.S.A. government to attack Iraq. I think that the attack on Iraq is important and necessary. A major reason for attacking Iraq explains that Iraq has a big role in international terrorism. Peleg Menachem, a former Lieutenant-Colonel in the Israeli air-force army, explains that George W. Bush declares that the main goal of the war against Iraq is to destroy terrorism around the world. A smart move will be striking those who found those terror cells. Iraq is one of them. There is evidence of present major leaders of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. That evidence points to the direct relation between Iraq and Al-Qaeda organization and also connects them directly to the horrible terror attack on 9/11. As well, Iraq openly supports the terror attacks made by Palestinians and even sends money to Palestinians terrorists' families as a compensation for the loss of their children. In addition, many terrorists were trained in Iraq and several terror groups established their base inside of Iraq enjoying a full financial support from the Iraqi government. Therefore, attacking Iraq is a major and important step in the series of steps that are needed to be done in order to destroy international terrorism.

Iraq has a proven history of unconventional weapon use. They uses unconventional weapon during the war against Iran and against the Kurdish civilians that live in the north of Iraq. Also they used a chemical weapon against U.S. troops during the Desert Storm operation in 1991. Iraq showed the world they have the ability to use unconventional weapons without consideration if it was used on troops or on civilians. Since 1991, Iraq has succeeded in rebuilding a great part of the weaponry facilities which were destroyed during the Desert Storm, and also they have presented long-range ballistic missiles in army parades. Iraq was very close to successfully manufacturing a nuclear weapon. Those facts point to the risk that exist in Saddam's regime toward the Iraqi, Middle East and the entire world population (Peleg).

Peleg Menachem adds more:

After the Golf War, Saddam signed an agreement with the United Nations. The document stated that Iraq has to destroy and dispose all the chemical and biological weaponry reservoirs and the long-range missiles as well. Also Iraq Committed to stop the manufacturing of any kind of weapon. Iraq failed to fill the agreement. UN inspectors were sent to check the weaponry reservoirs in Iraq. They discovered that not only that unconventional weaponry reservoirs were not destroyed, as signed on the agreement, but also more weaponry are being manufactured and tested in underground bunkers.

Iraq has not fully cooperate with the UN inspectors. UN inspectors arrived with a list of suspicious sites that needed to be checked. The inspectors claimed that access was forbidden to approximately half of the sites on the list. This step showed clearly that Iraq tried to cover up evidence and hide information which related to unconventional weaponry in possession or in development. In addition, the inspectors claimed that the Iraqi government threatened on scientists and weaponry experts who worked for Saddam not to disclose any information on the weaponry that Iraq has. knowing that Saddam used, can use and most likely will use unconventional weaponry during war reveals the threat on the entire world in the long-run. It is very essential to disarm Iraq of any kind of unconventional weapon before it will be to late.

The humanitarian aspect is an important reason to attack Iraq and eliminate Saddam's dictatorial regime. Saddam ruled Iraq highhandedly. He used methods such as terror, murder and torture in order to depress the resistance groups under his regime. He used the army to depress the minority populations in Iraq. The standard on living in Iraq is very low. The Iraqi population suffers from lack of freedom of speak, freedom of the press and of course freedom of political gathering. Iraq is not developed as they should be. All the budget is controlled by Saddam and most of it goes to armament. Saddam's regime hurt the humanitarian aid given to the Iraqi citizens from external humanitarian aid groups. They supply drugs, food and other services to the third world countries. The U.S.A government and other countries believe that eliminating Saddam's regime would bring solid ground to developing Iraq as a democratic state and also opportunity to peace and stability not only in the Middle East countries but also in the world (Peleg).

However, there are several opinions against the attack on Iraq. One opinion on why the U.S. should not strike Iraq is stated by Shore Ofer, officer in the Israeli army:

And now there is a new war. A war against terrorism is on the line. Even in this war there is a very weak connection to the battle against terrorism, and a strong connection to other and darker motives. Even this war is managed by unstoppable politicians who want to redesign the area by their aspects with no consideration of the results. But even now, these politicians discover people who oppose to their decision; who say 'NO! to the war against Iraq'. People who say 'We refuse to participate in this war', and along with other millions of people around the world persist to say 'NO!' until this madness will stop.

Shore opposes the decision to attack Iraq, and he believes that the decision to attack Iraq includes a set of invisible different motives, as establishing a marionette government in Iraq or taking control on the oil sources in Iraq, along with the motives that the U.S. government presents. The war is managed by politicians who act without thinking or taking to an account the effect that the attack will bring. The politicians do not care about the loss of many innocent Iraqi civilians or about the ecological damage (oil, wild animals, vegetation) that could occur. Only their benefits from the war are in front of their eyes. Unless the war brings an immediate resignation from Saddam, the attack on Iraq would cause tremendous casualties among innocent Iraqi civilians as well as among Iraqi soldiers.

There are many reasons that support the decision to go to war against Iraq, but also opposing sides exist. Although the opposing reasons may be very convincing, one must keep in mind that Iraq is a pro-terrorism nation. History tells that each war that Iraq participated in was a result of Iraq's invasions, from Iraq-Iran famous eight years war until the invasion to Kuwait and attacking Israel in 1991. Saddam is a brutal leader who would use everything in order to accomplish his goals. There is no doubt that only a strong force from outside of Iraq, as the union of U.S military and Britain army, will change Iraq's current regime and will increase the chances to achieve world peace.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Essay on Youth in Movies

Youth in Movies - Essay

Films are a influential medium. Many people in the American society teach themselves using films as their lead. The films, "Rebel without a cause", "Grease", and "Valley Girl", all are films which create perspectives of the nature of youth. Each of these films has stereotypes to show a view of youth according to the film that may hurt the view of youth today. A common stereotype these films share are that the students that seem that they party all the time are bad students.

A stereotype is an image made from a person just by looking at some other person. When a person sees someone and makes his opinion at the moment for what the person is like, he's stereotyping; (molding a stereotype of the person in his head). The stereotypes can be divided among the sub groups in the movie and other youth. The partying side of the film's youth is observed by most people as youth with no life that are bad students because they don't use their time on anything else but parties.

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Most likely, if a person sees James Dean part in "Rebel without a Cause" (Jim), he'd see him at the beginning of the movie as a drunk and troublesome person. From here that person would think that Jim is on drugs and alcohol and it makes him a perspective of a bad student at school. The gang in the movie shows to be the same. The scene when Jim and the boy are fighting with knives shows that they are violent and immature people whom care nothing about their education, and instead they get more involved with violence.

In the film "Grease", the youth is more involved with partying instead of violence. They're shown as youth who skip school to hang out with their group. From here, most people would get the idea that those characters in the movie are bad students. John Travolta's scene of the car racing shows he has nothing better to do but to race cars and forget school.

"Valley Girl" is a movie that is combined with stereotypes from both "Rebel Without a Cause", and "Grease". The sub groups in this movie were the students from Hollywood, and the students from the Valley. The students from the Valley look as if they're sharp looking people taking care of their school and going to parties as a normal person would, but then the students from Hollywood are shown oppositely. When they come into the movie with colored, spiked hair, it displays to the viewer that they are the punks of the movie whom are flunking school.

"Grease", "Rebel Without a Cause", and "Valley Girl" show a similar stereotype of youth, but they are expressed differently in different degrees. Each movie shows a group of kids that are stereotyped as people flunking school, and hanging out with their buddies rather than taking care of their schoolwork. In "Grease", it shows a typical youth that skips school to be with their buddies. "Rebel" is not as typical as "Grease", because students skipped school for reasons having to do with violence rather than friends. "Valley Girl" is a combination of "Grease", and "Rebel" because the stereotypes seen in both other movies combined are like the degree of stereotypes seen in "Valley Girl". The stereotype basically shows that all youth who are involved in a group which party and go out with their friends, or dress or look differently are bad students at school.

The way people view youth in these films is the same way people observe youth in reality. The youth in the films, which showed to dress differently or go to parties left and right, didn't demonstrate at any moment in the film to be good students, but were just shown as youth that didn't care at all about their school. Even if a person in reality dresses a little different or if he makes time to go to parties, he may be a good student at school dividing his time for having fun and doing school work.

These films give youth a bad image. From the violence and gangs portrayed in the movies, youth is given this bad image. A person should keep in mind that these were just movies. Youth shouldn't be treated at that level of how people stereotype them or youth in films. A person may look like a punky styled guy, but he may be very good person in character and at school. Youth needs to be understood for the way they are, not the way they're stereotyped.

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Essay on Happy Birthday

Essay on Happy Birthday

The first year of life is just one of the many milestones we are blessed with. One of the most important events I remember in my life was the day I helped celebrate my daughter's first birthday. It was the twelfth of July 2001. I had eagerly awaited this day since she was born, and to help with the celebration, I invited a small crowd of family and friends to our home for a birthday party and cookout.

Getting prepared for this eventful day was exciting. Sending out invitations, buying the food, decorations, party favors for the children, and most importantly, choosing what kind of cake to get. The cake was a half of a sheet, which was able to feed up to 25 people. It was made with fresh strawberries that tasted like they were picked right from the patch as a filling, surrounded with butter cream icing, and decorated with "Baby Looney Tunes" caricatures on top. My mother and her fiance graciously volunteered to do the preparation of the food for the party.

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I can remember the temperature on that day, being hot and steamy. The air was so thick with humidity you lived to be in the air-conditioning. Friends and family started to arrive around four o'clock. At the same time the guest were arriving, the birthday girl was upstairs, taking a very much needed nap. Request were starting to be made for her to make an entrance. I went upstairs to awaken her, as she was coming down the stairs she had a look of surprise and confusion on her face, not really sure of what to make of what's going on. As she started getting a little more comfortable, it was time to start playing some games.

The one game that sticks out the most to me is the miniature pinata (which is not really a game), which we hung from a tree in the front yard. We hung it low enough so that the children would be able to get some hits in to bust the pinata open wide enough for the candy to expel out. After about 20 chances with the children, the adults began to take turns, and eventually the candy expelled out, sprawling all over the ground. The children quickly began to crawl around, grabbing candy from everywhere, trying to make sure they received an equal share.

Once we finished with the Pinata, it was time to eat. My mother and her fiance were receiving compliments all afternoon. The menu consisted of: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Ribs, Chicken, Potato Salad, Tuna Macaroni Salad, Fruit Salad, Baked Beans, String Beans, Deviled Eggs, Potato Chips, Iced Tea, Sodas, and Juice for the children. When everyone finished eating their food, it was time sing "Happy Birthday", which was kind of hilarious because she had a "Happy Birthday" tiara that she would not keep on the top of her head, and while we were trying to sing her "Happy Birthday", she was eagerly trying to take the "Baby Looney Tunes" caricatures off of the cake. Not to mention, sticking her fingers in the cake. We had a little bit of a hard time getting her to grasp the idea of blowing out the candles. After maybe, 3 blows, her father blew them out for her.

The whole cake was quickly devoured by everyone except the piece that said, "Happy Birthday Taijah". After awhile, her interest quickly moved from the cake to the assortment of colorfully decorated gift bags, with matching tissue paper and cards attached. We proceeded to the opening of the gifts, with her getting excited with each and every wonderful gift as they were unwrapped or taken out of their bags. As time winded down, and the guest started gravitating to the door, we thanked everyone for coming by to help us celebrate such a joyous event. As the last person was leaving, I remember thinking to myself, this is just the first of many more birthdays to come, and that I'm glad that my daughter had such good time, and that we were able to celebrate her first birthday with family and friends.

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