The Silence Dialogue pt. 1
"The Silence Dialogue," was based upon the perspective of a professor, who strongly believed in teaching children from various cultural backgrounds using the "culture of power" theme. This theme included:

"1) Issues of power are enacted in classroom
2)There are codes or rules for participating in power
3)The rules of the "culture of power" theme are a reflection of the rules of those who have power
4)If you are not already a participant, being told explicitly the rules of that culture makes acquiring power easier.
5)Those with power are frequently least aware of- or least willing to acknowledge-  its existence."

To break down the steps of  "culture of power," the first step demonstrates that a teacher or curriculum is the power of the classroom, they are the ones enforcing the school work. The second step uses the words "codes" or "rules" to explain linguistic forms such as communication skills, ways of talking, writing, and interacting. The third step shows that children are going to reflect the higher power which would be the teachers educating them. The fourth step means that different cultures interact differently among each other and when one member of one culture explains something to another member of another culture they are gaining power by successfully communicating when them. Then finally, the fifth step shows that an individual who holds power or education is unaware of it more so then someone who thinks they know everything when really they don't, therefore they do not have power.

The  theme "culture of power," revolves around the concept that education is ones number one code of power, and power is what will lead a child to success in his/her future. The cycle goes something like this, School leads to a job, a job leads to a career, and a career leads to economic well-being. Economic well-being appears to portray success in a generalized way. As the article continues it questions how parenting methods, or home life experiences affect a child's mindset toward education and becoming successful. Here is an example, if there was a family and not a single member of that particular family ever went to college, would that ensure their child's education and successful well-being or not?

This article had me quite confused when I first read it, I had to read over the same paragraph about five times before I finally absorbed it. I did not enjoy this authors style of writing as it was very informative, border line dry. When we held a discussion regarding this article in class with Miss Harris is came together a lot easier for me then. I would have preferred for the author to gear the article a little bit more toward a younger audience since she seemed to want to appeal to education and students after all. Education is a large factor of American life and I would have to agree that education is a large portion of success. The concept of success can be drastically different depending on the type of person and I was afraid this author generalized it to be all about economic well-being, this I did not agree with as well.

Teenage Abortion
Thirty five percent of teenagers in the United States would rather have an abortion then give birth to their baby. The article I read ( regarding teenage abortion provided very good statistics including the comparison of America and the Netherlands. Teenagers in these developed countries, such as the Netherlands receive more sexual education, family planning services, as well as having more access to contraception. By having these resources teenagers in the Netherlands are less likely to have an abortion even though they are just as sexually active as teenagers in America. Many states have created laws that restrict teenagers from being able to have an abortion without their parents consent. These laws include, the Parental Notification Law and the Parental Consent Law. The majority of these laws have bypass options that give teenagers the option to get a judge's permission to abort, or physician can waive the involvement of parents. Although some states do not require parental consent, the majority of teenagers tell their parents regardless. Sixty one percent of parents are aware of their teenagers having an abortion. Those teenagers who do not feel comfortable telling their parents however risk serious criminal charges, injury, or worse death by attempting to perform abortion there self.

I do not agree with the Parental Notification Law, or the Parental Consent Law. These law's are causing more health risk's then anything else. It should be the teenagers choice whether she feels comfortable enough to tell her parents. Since the statistics show that the majority of teenage girls are willing to tell their parents anyways it should not matter whether there is a law or not. For those teenagers that do not feel comfortable run a risk of losing their life. A law is not worth a life. Most teenagers who are not willing to tell their parents they are going to have an abortion have good reasons why they shouldn't, such as family history of alcoholism, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or incest. In America we should eliminate all parental involvement laws as well as provide more sexual education courses at school, and create more awareness groups. If more teenagers were educated about these matters they would be less likely to get themselves pregnant and have to face the fear of having an abortion.

Beautiful Boy pt. 2
Shifting from Nic Sheff narrating the article (pt. 1), Nic's father takes the lead. Part 2 of the article gives you a whole new perspective of the families side of Nic's issue, while developing a deeper understanding of how drug addiction impacts everyone around the drug user, such as family and friends. A constant fear of where is Nic at? I wonder if he is alright? These questions continue to swarm the members of Nic's family. At one point in the article, Nic's mother was so fed up she was on the verge of eliminating Nic from her mind completely. Nic's father could not contain himself when reminiscing on childhood memories of Nic's life such as the incident when Nic was stuck in a tree and could not get down. Although Nic's siblings were not quite old enough to understand the whole affect of a drug user, they envisioned it as Nic having an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. The devil continued to speak to Nic louder then the angel therefore influencing Nic's thoughts and actions. After Nic's relapse, he called his parents to apologize and let them know he was going back to rehab, but he had said this on various occasions and he was not to be trusted by his family.

I thought that this article was even better then part 1, once again the author did a great job of making the entry personal, emotional, and familiar to the masses. As I stated before, drug addiction is a serious matter that tears families apart. It needs to be emphasized more in educational settings,and teenagers should be more aware of the results that can come from even the typical experimenting. American teenagers should also do more research regarding their family history so that they can have a better idea of the likely hood of a drug addiction. This strategy may help teenagers by cutting down on drug use in party settings and finding alternative ways to have fun without as horrific of a result.

Beautiful Boy pt. 1
A tragic story based upon a boy, Nic Sheff, who growing up had a normal childhood. He had loving parents, a great relationship with his siblings, a promise to a prestigious university, a talented swimming ability, he had it all. As a teenager in high school, Nic experimented with the average sort of teenage things including alcohol and pot. What he would fail to see is how deep he would become involved and where the next few years would take him. Nic had a family history of drug abuse, almost everyone in his family smoked pot and it was considered a casual matter. His biological addictive personality in congruent with the peers he surrounded himself with was destined for a drug addiction. High school kids typically experiment with drugs, enjoy it for awhile, grow sick of it, then grow out of it when they are ready to move on with their life. With Nic this was a very different situation. After three rehabilitation centers and eighteen months of being clean, Nic finally relapsed after fantasizing about the high he would receive from crystal meth for months.

This article absolutely broke my heart as I have been subjected to my mother and fathers drug addiction as well, it was like re-living it all over again. Not only is the drug user the only suffering member, but the whole family endures a world of pain and fear. The author did an excellent job of creating an emotion and personal entry. This article appeals to everyone who has been apart of a dysfunctional family, which is the majority of families. This situation happens to be so familiar to me that I was completely consumed by the article and could not put it down. Drug addiction has become an epidemic in America, almost every family situation has been exposed to the tragedy of drug addiction whether a victim or a witness.

Drug Prevention
Drug Prevention
An active community, public awareness, prevention strategies, and the use of the media are all effective ways to spread drug prevention in children, teenagers, or adults. Some communities may consist of a higher population of drug users then others, and in order to measure the level of risk you must first figure out the patterns of drug abuse, and collect data. Next, in order to plan for a community prevention system you must first assess the drug problem, determine the risk,  followed by guiding and launching the prevention program, organizing leaders, and finally sustaining the  program. The article also explained the main causes of why some individuals are more likely to become abusers then others. There is the biological explanation, which is that an individual has a family history of drug abuse. Another explanation is the people you surround yourself with, if you are constantly hanging out with drug-abusing friends, you are more likely to do the same. Finally, there is the type of person you are, gender, race, and location can hinder an individuals susceptibility to drug abuse. 

Although the article was very brief the author nailed all of the main points that surround the drug prevention system, as well as the basics of drug abusing individuals and where they stem from. I agree with the order of steps that need to be taken to create an effective prevention system. There was quite a bit of thought and organization that went into the steps and I liked that the author listed not only the community as a whole, but what specifically parents, educators, and community leaders can do for their part. I was also very interested in the section of the article that discussed transitions, and how drug related risks usually occur in a child's life when a major transition is made. Some transitions include, elementary school to middle school, middle school to high school, and living under a parents roof to being independent/going to college. When making these transitions children and teenagers face emotion and social challenges as well as having a greater availability to drugs through other peers.  Overall, this affects American Life due to the majority of drug abusers we have all over our country. We must take action as a community, stay educated, and aware others. Drug abuse is spreading contagiously, and the majority of everyone now-a-days has at least one member of his/her family suffering from a drug related issue. Not only do these problems affect that of the user but every single person in the family is torn.

De-Demonizing Rum & Teach Drinking
De-Demonizing Rum
 Underage drinking is a controversial topic, and who is to say the negatives really out weigh the positives? Every teenager at one point or another is going to give in to the power of alcohol temptation. Then, you stop and wonder why their is such a strong temptation for underage teenagers in the first place? In the article, "De-Demonizing Rum," the author Andrew Stuttaford appeared to be very pro underage drinking. He brought up a series of valid arguments indicating parents putting excess pressure on their children not to drink, resulting in a "forbidden fruit" scenario.

Neither do I agree nor disagree with the following article. There seem to always be two sides to every story, and under-aged drinking is a very broad topic that could be debated for hours. From my experience, every teenager is different and although one might be mature and responsible enough to handle a manageable alcohol intake, another might abuse the privileged and decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired. I do however, agree with the parenting method of the author's family. The relaxed environment set a good example showing their is absolutely nothing wrong with having a glass of wine with dinner. In fact, this can somewhat create a family bonding experience if anything. The topic of underage drinking affects American life by displaying how contradicting our country really is. In other countries such as Europe, drinking alcohol is more modernized and just a part of your every day diet. It seems as though our country is either one extreme or the other, we have the alcohol abusive addicts along with the extremist anti-alcoholics. When it comes to matters such as a little alcohol, American proves itself to be insensible and blow things completely out of per portion.

Teach Drinking
In the article "Teach Drinking," it discusses the ineffectiveness of our countries laws and regulations, they have already adjusted the drinking age up and down with out any success. Horrific statistics were also provided such as the 84 percent increase in students visiting the emergency room regarding alcohol related problems, and the 56 percent jump of heavy-drinking episodes between the ages of 18-20 years old. The article also provides a new tactic that might finally put the underage drinking issue in check. This tactic includes lowering the drinking age to 18 under the conditions of a high school completion, attendance of an alcohol-education course, as well as a clean record.

Viewing these statistics, I am in agreement that something must be done regarding the dangers of underage drinking. Although increasing the consequence by forbidding a certain age group is only fueling the rebellion. Lowering the drinking rate may be effective due to less teenagers drinking illegally, but the number of car accidents resulting from intoxicated teenagers may not change. The car accidents along with other health-related risk need to prioritize over just the fact that someone 18 years old is drinking. If the drinking age was lowered, more teenagers under the age of 21 would be more likely to seek out education and advice when it comes to drinking because they would not feel the need to hide. In our American culture we put so much emphasis on one extreme or the other, we need to learn to be less contradicting and more sensible when it comes to alcohol intake. If we set a better example of the positive aspects of alcohol rather then only ever displaying the negatives, less teenagers may feel the need to rebel against the system.

My name is Emily Berry, I am seventeen years old and a senior in high school. I have attended a total of five high schools within a four and a half year time span. The schools that I have attended include Franklin Pierce High School, Issaquah High School, Liberty High School, Mercer Island High School, and Bellevue High School. As you can see I have moved around quite a bit but generally stayed in the same area. I moved so frequently due to various family hardships including both my mother and father abusing drugs. This has given me a very different outlook on life, and rather then dwelling in the past I have learned to take the good from the bad, and learn from the mistakes others have made. A few years ago I left the previous unhealthy situation I was placed in and decided to seek out something more. I have been almost independent for about 3 years. About a month ago I moved to Tacoma, WA. where I had finally found the stability that I needed in order to be successful in my educational career along with my personal well-being. I am really looking forward to attending Tacoma Community College on account of the mature atmosphere and individual attention, as well as other resources available for their students. This is just the start of my new-found life, and road to a successful, happy journey. A little about myself, I am a very positive, happy-go-lucky girl that likes to make everything a good time. I can be little shy in group settings but for the most part I open up very quickly. Fitting in has never been an issue for me as I have acquired the skill to relate to just about anyone. My main interests involve horseback riding, music, and socializing. I have big plans for the future ahead and I plan on leaving my mark.


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