Kitten: The Fading Curriculum: Cursive Handwriting

In my early days of elementary school back in the late 1990’s to early 2000, I remember when my teacher would bring out paper to the class and would have us practice writing cursive. Sure, it was a pain in the butt, but over time I highly enjoyed writing in cursive so I could write letters to my family and friends and sign off important documents. Also, I could be able to express myself when I sign my signature. Now…in the year 2015, cursive handwriting isn’t being used as much as a curriculum.

A while back, I would say about five to six years ago, I heard about it when I was in high school. Time and time again, it would be brought up and it bothered me to hear and visualize our future generation not learning cursive. But, of course, I put it in the back of my mind and brushed it off. Just about a couple of weeks ago, there was a Facebook post that caught my attention. It read, “Kids who can’t read cursive handwriting, can’t read historic documents. Support cursive in the curriculum.”

Last week, I took the time and read about the issue. The article and the statistics shocked me. No, shocked is not even the word. I was HORRIFIED. Horrified that the talk about cursive not being taught in school was true and it’s now being considered “a gift” to those who have leaned it. According to the article from NBCNews.com, updated by the Associated Press on September 19, 2009, stated:

“Data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that 26 percent of 12th graders lack basic proficiency in writing, while two percent were sufficiently skilled writers to be classified as “advanced.” ”

We live in the Digital Era where we are able to type our messages through email, text, and even our handy dandy Microsoft Word. If the education system could see the negative aspects of not teaching the future generation how to write in cursive, our historical documents like the Declaration of Independence just might have to get typed up too. Just let all that sink in.

Feel free to read the article about the fading curriculum:
-> http://www.nbcnews.com/id/32925695/ns/us_news-education/t/cursive-writing-fading-skill-so-what/#.VeO2-aYnhFU

Savanna Martensen (FSW) Millennial Ignorance

ignorance

One night at around 12 pm, when my Facebook feed beganto die down, I got bored. No more cat videos, and no more entertaining subliminal statuses about someone’s personal relationship, there was just an accumulation of the stuff I had already seen throughout the day. With red eyes I was about to put down my phone and reluctantly go to bed, when I saw the pretty red number 1 next to my newsfeed button.
“Oh yeah” I thought. “Just one more before I go to bed.”
The status was from a local news channel that I had decided to follow in the past, it read “Why don’t Millennials Vote?” and it held a link to the article on their page. Now if you’re asking why they posted this so late, I have no clue.
The important thing was that this article got my brain fired up, it showed statistics from 1999 to 2014 that voters have dropped to its lowest in 72 years to 36%. More importantly millennial voters have dropped even more to 21%. Since these statistics involved me I felt compelled to figure out why, which was probably a bad thing considering I had class at 8 am.
I began to ask myself: “why didn’t I vote last term?”
My answer made me feel pathetic, “I don’t keep up with politics, so I wouldn’t know who the ideal candidate was regardless.” This realization hit me hard, I actually enjoy, and understand the importance of Civics, so why the hell would I think that answer was OK? My brain was not going to let me sleep unless I had answers, class at 8 am be damned.
After some extensive google searches, and a sore face (from my phone falling on it because I held it in the air above me. Don’t judge, you do it too.) During this I found some interesting, but pretty common sense reasons for this issue.
The first, is the blatant lack of an in depth curriculum within our school systems. Being a millennial myself, not once, throughout my public school education, did any teacher go over how local government functions, and the importance of it. Civics isn’t even touchedupon in most curriculums, or if at all becomes a vocab word the students forget about after some quiz.
This generation needs to be reached out through our teachers, and educational leaders.
The fix for this is simple and probably the best way to address this issue for the future, it needs to be implemented into schools from k-12 grade. The youth needs to form a solid understanding of our government locally, to grow a much needed drive to understanding it on a much broader scale.
Which leads me to my second reason, how to target governmental issues specifically toward the millennials. If it weren’t for my Facebook newsfeed I honestly wouldn’t have found so much interest on this topic. I probably would have gone about my life happily ignorant; this is the case for many of my peers as well.
We gain a lot of our news and notifications about the world around us through our social media outlets. Granted it’s becoming somewhat more prevalent that news corporations, and local governments are implementing these outlets into their updates, but local governmental issues are typically forgotten. Why? Because these topics are still, typically geared toward the newspapers, or an outdated website that was created at the dawn of the internet.
Only when specific topics blow up, or become viral, do we see Millennials take the time to understanding them in much more depth. The best way to constructively address these issues would be to force topics to become viral, advertise to specific age groups through google AdSense, and use the outlets we use on a daily basis.
Now I don’t want the points I have made to be misunderstood. Although, I notice these points to be major players in the lack of voting, I am not justifying it. If there is anything I have learned while researching this topic, is that government is something we participate in. Millennials, for the most part, do not take responsibility in their government. I do, however, attribute this particular trait to our lack of education. Yes we can educate ourselves, but any individual, millennial or not, needs to be driven by something; that something needs to be each other, through understanding, and evolving the way we distribute important information.
/rant

impact of divorce on children in our society

In today’s society, divorce has become a normal thing in our lives. Married couples today are getting a divorce due to many different reasons, either because a spouse having an affair, a loss of romantic feelings, conflicts in the marriage, and other types of problems. Most divorces have children that are really young and due to their age they don’t have any idea on how to deal with the type of situation. Most of us have a friend or know of someone who has dealt with divorce. We have all experienced this or know how it works in some way whether going through it ourselves or not. Children are the ones who are normally affected the most; they will have to learn to deal with their parent’s divorce at such a young age, affecting them in a positive or negative. Divorce can be negative causing alienation whether it is children losing their self-esteem, not being able to trust anyone, parent favoritism, or financial aid for college. Children seem to lose their self-esteem due to the lack of relationship that they have with a parent. With this being said they are more likely to suffer and have more problems than other kids with both parents. The kids also start blaming themselves for the cause of the divorce. For not knowing and/or understanding the real reason, the result ending with additional stress put on the child. As children get older they tend to build a stronger bond with one or both parents.ive way. Although, divorce really is not a good thing, sometimes it can be positive such as; children being happy, parents being happy, and allowing them to mature. Parents being separated can be better for the kids because then they do not have to deal with the parents fighting. If they are put in better and stable environments it can affect them in positive ways. Sometimes it is also better for the child if they have been in the environment of abuse, such as; parent, brother, sister, or themselves being abused. If parents are happy then more than likely the kids are happy, because the children look up to the parents. Better communication skills in the long run will help parents and children are more understanding with one another. Not many divorces end well or even start off good but it can be a better thing for everyone in the family depending on the situation. Emotions are a big part of life especially when dealing with something so difficult such as divorce. Children seem to be insecure and afraid for what the future will bring them. Children of divorce question their future due to the instability they’ve experienced. Sadness has a big affect on how the children act and think. They may think that they will never have a real family again and that their way of life is at an end. Emotions are things that every person has, no matter what it is but sometimes kids need to talk to someone so they can express how they really feel about things rather than hiding them.
Before making the choice to divorce, the parents need to consider their children first as well as the long term effects it may have on everyone involved. Family counseling to understand and explain these effects should be something all families in a tough situation should consider. Divorce might be the easy way out for the parents but is an open door to tragedy inside the children’s psychological and social health.

Women in the NFL

We live in a world where everyone is supposed to be equal. Men and women are supposed to have equal opportunities in the work place correct? Then how come there has only been 3 female athletic trainers in the NFL, and only one female referee…EVER! Is it just because no woman likes football, or because no women try to make it to that level? How about its just because we are women and the NFL is a male dominated world. As a woman trying to be an Athletic trainer for the NFL I know how many obstacles I need to get around. Doing some research an article titled Women In the NFL, it states that one official said about Sarah Thomas (the one female referee) that “she’s just going to be one of those terrible officials that’s out there, that’s calling the game, that screws up the game for us.” Another official said that “As long a s she does her we will be content.” From this article you can tell that people see women in the NFL in different ways, but in reality the women are just trying to do what they love just like the males are. In another article Women Make Mark at Camp, one of the Caroline Panthers interns is a female and she stated “there has been resistance, but after you gained their respect things got better.”
It’s just hard knowing that if it was a male, there wouldn’t be any resistance. There wouldn’t be any question in the players eyes if they could do something. Even though we are supposed to all have equality, females are still trying to work their way into professional sports. As soon as people see women can do just as good as a male, the views on women in the NFL will hopefully change.

Jonathan Fang (FSW) Kids at Music Festivals and MDMA

Lately music festivals have been growing in popularity in the United States and it’s understandable why that’s happening. Festivals give you the opportunity to escape your responsibilities for a few days and lets you enjoy good music with your friends. Three weeks ago I flew back out to California to go to Coachella which is a three day music festival with some friends of mine. I’ve been to a lot of shows and festivals, but this was the first one I went to where I was camping and the age limit for the festival wasn’t 18+. The four days I spent there though I unfortunately witnessed kids doing things that I couldn’t imagine doing at their age.
To begin with I would never let someone I know go to a festival at a young age without parental supervision regardless of how responsible they might be, but I’m not here to bash on peoples parenting. The first thing I noticed that disturbed me was how easy it was for girls as young as 13 to get into the campgrounds that were supposed to be 18+. Countless times these young girls would end up at our campsite asking to drink with us and luckily no one in my group was going to let that happen, but even if we said no to them a new campsite would allow it. Guys that looked liked they were 26 were attempting to get with girls almost half their age and it wasn’t a site I enjoyed. This underage drinking bothered me, but what got me mad was seeing some of this kids pop ecstasy then not knowing how to take care of themselves in the slightest. MDMA is a substance that has been taken at festivals for decades and although some people have a problem with it, I believe that if people are smart about their doses it can enhance their experience and I’m not going to judge them for what they’re doing. Young teenagers on the other hand don’t realize what the drug can do to you and a lot of times can end up being severely dehydrated and in other cases dead. At their age I knew what MDMA was, but I was not the most familiar with what it did because it’s not a drug that schools really teach you about. I don’t know if the issue here is bad parenting, lack of drug education, or a festivals age limit but kids shouldn’t being doing this things to their body. I had a ton of fun that weekend and it’s somewhere I’m going to go again, however I also had to carry kids away from the stage on two different occasions because they couldn’t handle the drugs they took. I hope that by next year something changes because this isn’t an issue that should go unsolved.

Michael B. Private Prisons in America

Private Prison Corporations they reduce the cost of manufacturing and maintaining the prison, they also sell the labor of the prisoners and keep a percentage of the wages. Private Prisons Corporations only make up a small fraction of the prisons we currently have in America. So this is a fresh idea in the prison industry and sense the introduction of this idea several scenarios have come up.
Some people believe that, reduced materials will make weaker prisons making it easier for prisoners to escape. This can prove to be problematic for societies for if people are able to escape from the prisons and if the prisons are understaffed then it makes it easier for a riot to take place.
There may be some moral problems of exploiting people for labor, prisoners don’t have any rights after they are arrested so minimum wage laws don’t apply for them. These people can be working for pennies on the dollar and it’s completely legal. Though it’s legal is it morally right to exploit prisoners for labor? In a sense this allows for American corporations to make the same products in our home country that we would normally outsource otherwise.
Being a corporation people are allowed to buy stocks and bonds for this corporation essentially investing interest in crime rates. This can be problematic based on who is buying the stocks and bonds. Take this for example should it be okay for say a judge, cop, senator, or any public official to invest interest in crime? It sure would be easy for any one of them to abuse their power to increase crime and thus make them more money.
For these reasons these Private Prison Corporations can become a slippery slope for crime and corruption. Though the prisons are cheaper I don’t think it’s worth the potential down side effects. I presented three potential problems and each one is as devastating for society as the last. Each possibility is as likely as the last and in time they are all unavoidable for this reason I believe prisons should be kept a public service provided by society rather than private corporations.

(Michelle ams) The problem with sexting

Sexting may seem like harmless fun, but teens should think twice before hitting the “send” button. There is no turning back once a message is sent. According to a study done in 2011, 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own Smartphone’s. 23% of teens have a tablet computer, 95% of teens use the internet, 93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. With more and more teens having internet capability, parents, schools, community members, etc…Need to be more vigilant in uncovering and educating our youth about the hidden dangers of the internet. Needless to say, sexting is definitely one of those dangers. One of the primary problems associated with sexting is that material can be very easily and widely circulated, over which the creator has no control. There was some research by internet watch that estimated that 88% of self-made explicit images are “stolen” from their original upload location, like social networking sites, and are available on other websites, such as porn sites. It is known as sextortion when your facebook or Social Networking sites or email accounts and pictures are stolen. That’s scary, especially for those who only thought that photo was being shared with a romantic partner. Sexting pictures can also be used as blackmail, or even shared while still in a relationship. Some men admit to sharing their girlfriend’s sexts with other friends that girlfriend may think that picture was for her “guy’s” eyes only, but he may be showing off his “girl” to other guys. Sexting is a problem that isn’t going away, in fact, as technology increases and teens become more tech savvy, they are going to experiment and make some foolish mistakes. Unfortunately, what may seem like fun for now may be one of their most regrettable moments in the future. Reputations have been destroyed and lives have been altered due to a single sext. It is amazing that one picture, which takes less than a few seconds to take, holds the power to change a person’s life. One picture, one moment in time, too many consequences…It’s just not worth it.

Jasmine Chavez: Could Doctors be the Modern Day Drug Dealers?

As we all know prescription medications can sometimes be misused by many people, but what if I told you that prescription medications are being misused by Psychiatrist and other doctors? According to the American Psychological Association one in ten Americans are now taking anti-depressants. We are facing a major problem. People including small children might be in danger of receiving prescription drugs that they do not need. The over prescribing of drugs is a major problem because instead of the patient getting better or instead of the patient getting the right treatment they could be developing more mental issues; such as thoughts of suicide.

This is an issue that has even been noticed by our government. As Feldmann says in his article, “A United Nations panel criticized doctors in the United States for over prescribing psychiatric drugs. The panel reports that 80 percent of the world’s Ritalin is consumed in the US.” Moreover this is not just a problem among psychiatrist but according to Brendan L. Smith from the American Psychological Association most of the over prescribing is being done by primary care physicians, who may not have much training in treating mental illness

This is a social problem that needs to be addressed by everyone. Doctors are people we go to for help, and if they are not helping us properly then whom can we go to? Not only do we need to be concerned as adults but also because children are getting affected by this problem. I think that next time we take a visit to the doctors office and are prescribed a medication that we need to be more aware of what we are letting into our bodies and do a little more research on the medications being prescribed to us and there side effects.