Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Covering Walk for Sudan 2009

View from the 1 mile marker.

The Walk for Sudan is an annual walk held by The Nuba Water Project, an organization working to bring clean water to Sudan. The walk is a hike through Cherry Creek State Park and symbolizes the daily walk that is made by women to find a day's worth of clean water for their family.

To learn more about the Nuba Water Project and next year's Walk for Sudan,

Cut (make optional) Dissections, Not Frogs

Over the years, millions of various animals have been killed and preserved, purely for the use of biology class disections. When students are introduced to the dissection project in class, most students jump at the chance to cut up something, not to learn about the anatomy of a frog, a mouse or what have you. Yet, there is that select group of kids who very nearly wretch at the faintest idea of cutting up an animal.
But that select group still has to go through with the dissection process whether they like it or not.
Biology class dissections are an excellent way for students to study the anatomy of different animals in a hands on way, to learn about the organisms that coexist with us. They are an excellent way to compare animals with unique functions to others.
Eventhough this process benefits students greatly, a lot of students would rather write an essay than cut up an animal that was once living and breathing.
There are some phycological aspects that go along with the decision to not dissect. The classical frog dissection takes place around seventh grade, and for many this is too younge of an age to be okay with coming face to organ with a real animal's body. Some people just can not deal with making incisions and such, (especially when there are still flies in the frogs' stomachs).
Another aspect is physical. A lot of teenagers, when they think about organs and blood, they get sick, and some even throw up.
So why subject students to that kind of agony? The least school districts can do is make these optional.
In some schools, students have the option to either do the dissection or to do an assignment on the anatomy of a frog; where the hands-on learning teaches, so does the written assignment.
This would be such a good solution for those students who simply can not deal with handling a once alive thing and completely massacre it.
Jamie Robinson, a biology teacher at Eaglecrest High School stated her opinion: "I feel like if I make [the dissection] optional, that no one will do it." However, many students look forward to dissections, and it is a fact that there are only the select few who would chose a written assignment over a real, live dissection.
Making dissections optional would save students from having to go through a possible phycological, or physical, trauma, while still providing them with the same information.
By making this change, school districts would save water, for washing the eutensils, students' sanity, (and stomachs), and maybe some frogs too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fox TV Show "Glee" Winning over Viewers

(R, PSN)
The newest television sensation, "Glee", has taken Fox TV, and its audience by storm introducing us to a series of characters that we grow to love and an underdog story that keeps us coming back for more.
"Glee" is the story of Will Scheuster (Matthew Morrison), who has decided to take over William McKinely High School's Glee Club, where the students dance and sing their hearts out, while also trying to support a wife and "baby" on the way.
In the beginning, he is met with five misfits who are surprisingly some of the best singers in the school. There's Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), whose dreams lie in becoming a star by any means necessary; there's Finn (Cory Montieth), the football star trying to juggle two passions, two girls, and a really tough obligation when he finds out that his popular, cheerleader girlfriend, Quinn Fabray (Dianna Argon), is pregnant. However, the baby is not his, but is really "Puck" Puckerman's (Mark Salling), one of Finn's best friends, who is also in football and Glee Club.
"Glee" is not just the story about a bullied, outcast, high school show choir; it is a story about taking tremendous leaps of fait, falling in long-lasting, high school love, and finding yourself in a sea of people with purpose.
Despite the main setting being high school, people of all ages adore the story line and its morals.
The character profiles give everyone something to relate to, whether its the "outcast" pining after an unavailable crush, the one hiding a secret, or the shy person embarassed by something, ready to overcome it. All of the members of Glee have something to prove to someone, and the audience is always left with the hope that they will prove them all wrong. However, twists and turns in life can happen at any moment, and this story line is the perfect combination of both.
The music is some of the most timeless music, and adds to the show's appeal; featuring recent songs such as Rhianna's "Take a Bow" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies," to songs that have been around for years, including "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey, and Queen's "Somebody to Love."
The combination of the character's passion (such as Mr. "Sheu's" passion for a dying art and Rachel's extreme desire for stardom), and the unbelievable presentation of the music (appealing to both sight and sound), mix to make a TV show that will surely be around for more than one season.
I recommend this show for anyone who loves a TV show with the perfect mix of love, scandal, and the tough choices that everyone faces, at any age; the perfect teen drama with a twist of humor channeled into one thing that every high school has in common.
"Glee" is on the Fox channel and airs every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m., first recapping the last episode and launching into the new one with immediate interest.
To catch up on what has happ[ened so far on "Glee," visit, where all of the episodes are available to watch whenever you want.

Opinions on the Idea of Religion

(O, PI, JI)
*I apologize in advance for anything said in this post that offends anyone, of any religion.*
I recently watched a movie named The Last Templar- an original movie from NBC that we've had in our DVR since January. It was about the Templars who were the protecters of the church (vatican) in Rome in 1200. And how they had supposedly hid a Gospel of Jesus that dispelled everything that Christianity embodies. And so this FBI agent and this archeologist go to find it, (to keep it out of the wrong hands) while a crazed, bitter old man, and a "man of the church" chase them. One fighting to expose the secret, the other fighting to keep peoples' faith in God. A very, very great movie.Anyway, it got me thinking about religion.I mean, people have been fighting and dying over it for millions of years; since ancient Greece. There were the crusades, the templars, the pagan prosecutions, even the Holocaust had a part in this war for religion. And people are still fighting today. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan. It amazes me how people can be so willing to die for something they aren't even sure is real. Of course I believe in a higher power, an afterlife, a sort of heaven. But hell? and Judgement Day? With all of the forgiveness and love that die-hard believers preach, it is hard to believe that god would be so cruel as to send any number of his people to a place of eternal suffering for a small sin that He found some way to not forgive. The idea of my sould being banished to some unimaginable place where not even the smallest light of hope burns bright in the furthest distance, frightens me. But some how, heaven, hell, and God don't all fit together. It's like two perfectly matched puzzle pieces, and a jagged edge. Anyway, I admire the people like some of my friends who are so adamant in their belief in God- nothing can budge their faith and I envy their loyalty. I know that that could never be me. Yet, it makes me so sad that all around the world, the number of battles that are fought in the name of any higher power are piled high and grow everyday adding immesurable numbers to this everlasting war of religion. It makes me want to cry when I think of how many people have died for what they believed in, when, in any miniscule way, religions are connected. Every religion holds a form of prayer, an understanding, forgiving superior being, and undaunted faith. It makes my life, the way I make mountains out ant hills, so minute and unimportant. People are dying for what they belive in while I am here, complaining about picking up about 50 rotten apples from our back yard. It empowers me, realizing how much more important the message of peace is. No longer is it just a sign for Woodstock, or two fingers posed for a picture. No longer is it a message for only the president to pursuade him to stop unnecessary fighting. When people come to realize that war won't end with the troops coming home from the Middle East, they will realize that war will never end while people forever harbor hostility about their god, a muslim god, a jewish god... whatever. What if, there are seperate heavens, ruled by Gods of seperate faiths? What if there is a Muslim heaven ruled by Al;lah, under the words of the Koran, inspired by Muhammad? What if, there is a Christian heaven ruled over by God under the Bible, inspired in the people by Jesus? And so on? Let people believe what they want to believe- for with a continued war, faith will work overtime, loyalty will be tested, and more and more people will die for what they believe in. Despite their honorable death, their death is unnecessary. It hurts me to think about the millions and millions of people that would have done great things for the world, had they not perished for God, Allah, or what have you. In this world, compromise and understanding are simply words in the dictionary. How many more people will have to die, before the world realizes that human differences, in looks, ideas, and beliefs, are only a part, an unavoidable part at that, of life? How many will have to die before people realize that blood is being spilt in the name of a religion that despises killing as a sin, and preaches love, understanding and forgiveness? How many more will die in the name of religion?The answer, I'm sure, will never be know. However, I hope to the heavens that the killing will stop. It will take time, but it can, gradually, be stopped. I truly believe that.
- I find it odd that our whole lives, however partially, depend on the understanding of someone; whether that someone is a friend, parents, an employer, a higher power. Understanding is truly a virtue and a powerful thing. Understanding can mean the difference between friend and foe, love and hate, life and death.
The human existence is a confusing, truly wonderous thing.
- I admire anyone who ventures into the unknowns of it.

Covering Eaglecrest's Homecoming 2009

At the Pep Rally-Royalty is Announced

At the Game

Woodstock: A Rememberance

On August 15, 2009, what had once been open, rolling green fields, was transformed into a mass of muddy, wet people all pulsing with the music of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Janis Joplin and many more. Today, 40 years later, those who attended the fair look back fondly, the feeling is still the same.
They had all come together to advocate peace in a nation drafted into war; and thus, the Woodstock nation was born.
“Woodstock was a gathering of a like-minded community, by which the unifying vehicle was music.” Said Chuck Doudna, the Special Achievement Services teacher here at Eaglecrest. The festival was held in Bethel, New York from August 15-18 and featured some of the most famous rock musicians of all time.
Bands including the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Sha-Na-Na, the Who, and more performed their most famous songs over the four, rainy days at Woodstock.
Although Woodstock is looked back on as a hippie movement, its goal was protest. They were all there to protest the war that raged on in Vietnam, trying to get their voices heard. That mentality has lived on throughout the years and is alive, even today. Although we know that the chances of an event like Woodstock happening again are slim, the feeling and ideals of the late 1960’s, are inspiring people of all ages today.
People gather to march on Washington in protest of what they truly believe is right; even teens in high school are becoming more and more politically active, and learning that it is okay to stand up for something that you believe in.
“Woodstock provided a platform for fringe sub cultures (most of whom were teenagers or slightly older) to come together and unite as one. Woodstock shows teenagers that the coming together of people is far more powerful then the divisiveness of people.” Said Doudna. Most of the more than half a million attendees were teenagers just out of high school, or just starting college.
In his testimony on, Don Simmons said, “Just turned 18, just out of high school, just accepted to college, just waiting to get drafted and go to Vietnam, (never went), just went and had a great time.”
But the music is the most memorable.
The concert began with songs such as “Freedom,” “Hey Jude,” and others by Richie Havens, a musician noted for his guitar skills.
Even though none of the members performed, many Beatles’ songs were performed that we still listen to today, proving their lyrics to be timeless. As most of the performers were, and still are considered the greatest musicians of all time, we still listen to their rhythms and lyrics today.
“I really like Grateful Dead because they are one of the few bands who combine many different styles of music like blues, rock, and bluegrass to make a unique sound.” Said Junior Ashley Borchers, about one of her favorite bands who performed at Woodstock.
The music of Woodstock has also influenced countless musicians today, to write more politically active, and sometimes critical, songs; songs such as Pink’s “Dear Mr. President,” and Nick Cannon’s “Can I Live,” a pro-life song about abortion.
Forty years after Woodstock, celebrations around the country amassed and concerts are still taking place; San Francisco’s West Fest will be commemorating Woodstock this October 25. The release of the movie Taking Woodstock was also aired in honor of the anniversary.
As the festival drew to a close, the half a million people dispersed to head to their homes across the country to the sound of Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”; the muddy fields began to dry and the feeling of impact lingered in the air.
In 1990, a letter was found at the sight of Woodstock that was later published on remembering what had been, more than 20 years before. “We were only looking for a party; we had no idea what we were in for. We got a taste of what the gathering was all about and it changed something inside us.”
Woodstock did not just apply to the 60’s and the Vietnam War, its ideals and music will carry on for years to come.

Love is Gender-Blind: Opinions on Gay Marriage

Imagine finding the love of your life after having searched your whole life. And then you find out that you cannot be together, because of a law that sees your marriage as disgusting and wrong.
This is the reality for millions of gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples around the nation.
The general definition of marriage is 'the state of being united with a person in a consensual and contractual relationship as recognized by law'. Although this definition states that marriage must be recognized by the law, it does not distinguish if those individuals need to be of the opposite sex.
Only two states allow gay marriage: Massachusettes and Connecticut. This way, those same- sex couples are restricted to these states and is a complete violation of these people's rights as American citizens.A constitutional ammendment has been proposed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, which would forever, in all states, repress people just because of their chosen sexual orientation.
America is seen as a nation of free expression, with the first ammendment as freedom of speech. Isn't part of this free expression enabling people to make thier own decisions and not have the government stand in the way of them?
This ammendment would completely refute the previous statement and show the nation as a different nation than what is stated in the constitution.
The U.S. as a nation has seen oppression in the past. From African-Americans and slavery, to the immigrants who came over to escape even more horrible oppression. These and everything in between happened because officials in government saw them as different and passed laws against them.
Discriminating against GLBT members, is the same as what happened in the days of slavery. America, as a stronger nation than that time, needs to realize that if the government keeps making these laws against a certain group of people-just because they are different- we will be going down the same path; repeating mistakes that we should have learned by now.
The first step is acceptance, the last step is a passed law.

Today's Racism: What Exactly has Changed

A small circle of friends, some African-American, some Asian, joke about the stereotypes placed upon each other's race.
A small contingent of white kids join the group. They are friends with the previous group and they try to join in the joke.
But it doesn't work; the white group is still seen as racist.
African Americans, latinos, and asians are seen as completely not racist. But the truth is that some of these people are racist against caucasian people, and they don't even know it. I know this probably sounds like the wrong place to put myself in, but the whole point of this blog is to make my opinions heard. So here it is.
One of my friends is asian, and she only hangs out with people of color. When I'm with her and her friends, i am the only white person there and i feel out of place. I'm sure they talk about me behind my back. It's not that they openly despise people like me, they just don't give us a chance.
They try to act like the suffering of their ancestors is the only thing that matters, like they're special because their pain is known world wide, like they have to stick together, and be mean, and not let us in or it'll happen again.They act like we don't understand pain. White people may not understand the pain inflicted on them because of their race, but we know what pain feels like.The kids in my school act like white people can't feel pain. Like, since we did that in the past, all white people are emotionless. But we're not. I bet 80% of the caucasian race is not racist and we want to be friends with people of every race, because it doesn't matter what your race is, it matters what's inside you.
The kids in my school, and elsewhere, don't seem to see that.
Another thing that people see, is that if you don't like someone's personality, and they're a person of color, you are immediately labled as racist. It is something that doesn't make sense: people of color can make fun of their race without problems. If a white person rcially profiles, they're hated.
But if a person of color does the same thing, everyone laughs, and it's not a problem.
Shouldn't everyone, not just white people, not racially profile?
Some use their race as a way to make white people feel guilty. Some let their race set them apart from everyone else. The world, not just America, needs to realize that racism goes both ways; and then we need try our best to fix it.

Look Mom, Birth Control!

17-year-old girls across America are exploring the world of sex and most of them want to be responsible and get birth control, just in case. They go to their parents to get their permission as is required; unfortunately it doesn't work. They risk it and are now the statistics of teen pregnancy. However, if, at 17, they could get birth control on their own, they would not be expecting babies right now.
The FDA is currently considering making the 'morning after' birth control pill available to 17-year-olds, without a perscription from a doctor, or parental permission.
The Los Angeles Times stated the 'morning after' birth control pill as: "it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus....If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, Plan B can reduce a woman's chances of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent."
Many can not believe this decision because many think that, even at seventeen, these teens are still children and can not make their own decisions.
However, with this new found "freedom", may infact be a step in the right direction in ending he epidemic that is teen pregnancy.
Teenage girls know when they are getting close to having sex. They know when is the right time to start the pill and protect themselves, because no one wants to have a child as a teenager.
Teenagers aren't given credit for how smart they really are.
This new rule will make it easier for teenagers to get this birth control, and will definitely decrease the chances of teens getting pregnant.
When teens are restricted from birth control because of a doctor who doubts that the girl is really having sex, or a parent who just can't accept the fact that their daughter is growing up, they are just increasing the chance of a life change that none of them are ready for.
This new age limit is a great idea, why take that chance, when the daughter will grow up anyway?
This will help them grow up and will show that they are responsible and will prepare them even more for the future.
Abortions that resulted from unattainable birth control will no longer be with girls seventeen and up, and America will be just a little bit more respected around the world because of that decrease; no matter how small that decrease might be.