Winter is many things
Winter tiptoes into my soul, and settles down to form a protective layer made up of beauty, bravery and brilliance.
What is winter?
It is summer’s ugly stepsister waiting for a miracle.
It is the reason for one’s fall to be sprung back up.
It is a reflection of our sorrows, long and cold.
People have not changed. Racial discrimination has always been around and will always continue to be around unless people decide to put away their racial bias. How is this still possible? Sadly, people are too blind and don’t realize that, in hiring, a person’s race doesn’t matter but their quality of work matters; Employers should hire based on a person’s personal qualifications and not their external skin color. People continue to discriminate because of their ignorance and inability to see another’s true inner and outer beauty. A non-fiction article, “Because you’re black […]” (Place, 2013) shows what racial prejudice can do to a person; it can make them cry in their car after a “disastrous interview.” (Place, 2013)
A young 25 year old women, Jamilah DaCosta, did not get a chance to be a “counter girl” at a pastry shop simply because of her nationality. The article’s hook is worded very nicely and does what a hook is supposed to do, make the reader want to read more. Nathan Place starts off by telling the readers how the patisserie’s pastries are “elegant” and their cakes are “custom-made” just to end the hook with the “city officials say the hiring is discriminatory.” The words elegant, custom-made and discriminatory do not go together very well hence the continuation in reading. Nathan, the author, kept the article very professional and did not try to convince the reader to turn against the bake shop’s owners even though a majority would have. Keeping things together and look at both sides of the story equally is what a good journalist must do; a good journalist must be proficient.
In hiring, racial bias is continues to be a problem till this day. A connection I had in mind is when my brother came home from an interview yelling through his door: “they did not want to hire me! The owners thought because I was white I would not “fit in” with the rest. Why would I need to be from a different nationality in order to be a dish washer?!” Yes, owners and employers can ask for specific qualifications and/or experience before hiring but skin color should never be an issue. I felt bad for my brother and told myself, “if I ever own a restaurant, I will hire based on skills, not looks.” Jamilah was disgusted and so would I in her situation.
Link to article: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens-bakery-hit-25-000-fines-penalties-discrimination-case-article-1.1470612
Losing someone is never easy to deal with. Having a friend who lost someone is never easy to handle but knowing how to be supportive during a grieving time is important. What made me left click on this article is the simplicity of the title; this article’s title tells you exactly what is going to be talked about in just few paragraphs: “HOW TO SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO IS GRIEVING.” (Magazine, 2018 ) 5 simple steps is all it takes to make someone feel a lot better during a sad time:
- “NEVER AVOID A LOVED ONE AFTER DEATH”
- “IDENTIFY HOW YOU CAN HELP”
- “ALLOW THEM TO OPENLY CRY”
- “TALK ABOUT THE DECEASED”
- “ATTEND DIFFICULT TASKS”
(Magazine, 2018 )
I am caught in a difficult situation right now in time where a few of my friends’ friend passed away due to an accidental consumption of fentanyl. The next few weeks of how I am going to help my friends cope with this unfortunate situation is crucial. A number of people would want to go out of their way to help someone deal with grief but this article shows that the most uncomplicated actions are the ones that will be considered the most. An action that takes minimal amount of effort, such as “saying “I’m sorry” is enough to remind a loved one that you are there for them.” (Magazine, 2018 ) I love reading article that are easy to read and include steps (even more when they are numbered 1-…etc.); something about steps just seems easier than to read than a bunched up paragraph.
This is not just a “read only once” article. When I will be caught in this situation again, I will come back to it. It is an article that takes 2 minutes to read but does not make one’s eyes want to close. It is an article based on one concept but more could be added and it would be just as good.
Link to article: http://toromagazine.com/lifestyle/health/20180112/how-to-support-someone-who-is-grieving
“Own Self-Care: It’s Simple — And Essential” by Joanne Heyman
What hooked me to this article in the first place was its initial message and title: “Own Self-Care: It’s simple — and essential”. The original article was written by Joanne Heyman, and she goes onto talking about how most of us forget to care for ourselves; we forget to care for our self-mind. We might remember to take our daily showers and brush our teeth twice a day, but when do we remember to think about what makes us happy? What makes us to be “honest and authentic”?
Joanne focuses a bit on work environment and the “real world”; she tries to point out that even the wealthiest former first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt (1600) knew the importance of self-care: “Practicing self-care is especially important for those in leadership positions” (talking about her husband at the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt). With her years of being recognisable, Eleanor recognised that with an important role such as being the president of the United States, comes with this constant being under extreme stress and pressure. People with vital positions care for others before themselves; they forget about their self “needs, desires, fears, and dreams”.
To reflect, I am not the president of the United States nor am I close to such an occupation, but I am a person who thinks about what makes my amount of stress decrease and self-care increase; I think things over and always tell myself “it is only the beginning Silvia, you still have a whole life ahead of you”. Though being in grade 12, I am still in the midst of learning this “tuning in, tuning out” and being honest with myself and those around me, but people forget it takes time and much effort to achieve this part in life we call a “state of calmness”.
Finally, this article showed a great and realistic message to the people who took the time to read it: “you can establish healthy boundaries and create a sense of balance, even in the face of a challenging work environment”. Remember folks, stress is the only killer you can essentially restrain, in time.
“The Power of Love” by Ellen McGrath
What hooked me to this article was the format of it; it goes from an introduction to point-form advices on how to improve oneself. The article constantly compares two things, whether it is between “limerance and love” or the concepts coming from popular culture and the ideas we should essentially be putting into our heads, there are always two sides to analyse. Everything written in this article is meant to remind you of what you are fundamentally being persuaded from; these “unrealistic images created for entertainment” are only becoming stronger day by day. The writer of this article, Ellen McGrath, compares eating junk to our national vulnerability, because it is “constantly stimulated by images of instant gratification”. In addition, she tries to display this crucial awareness by saying “we think it is love when it’s simply distraction and infatuation”; like previously mentioned, she likes to make comparisons between things such as interruptions and desire. Furthermore, she added a bit of imagery when she said: “limerance is that first stage of mad attraction whereby all the hormones are flowing and things feel so right”. I understand where she is trying to come from when talking about this state of being infatuated because, things do feel “so right” when you meet the right person and comprehend and feel the definition of love. This article is very easy to relate to.
In Allison’s essay, The South African Storm, Allison states that she is “not going to change anything” which, might be true but, she does have more to say then those simple five words. She believes that making the decision to do “small everyday deeds” (Gandalf), which goes against society’s teachings of what is proper, can truly change one’s definition of the word conscience. We, for one, forget that the need to wait for gestures of change of the people in power is not necessarily practical; politicians will not make change if not asked to do so. In his quote, Gandalf advises that change is made even with the help of “small everyday deeds of ordinary folk”. Furthermore, the changes that politicians make are considerably bigger than those of average people’s because they do affect everybody as a whole, at once. With that being said though, it does not signify small changes are not important as well; those acts of compassion and love are significant and must not be forgotten. What is important about Allison’s quote: “it’s a small, wasted gesture, but it’s an uncorrupted instinct that makes me feel human” is that she is doing what she thinks is suitable and not what society thinks is. She is certain that “convention misinforms our instincts” and convention is that “darkness” that must be kept at bay. To further implicate another real life situation with Allison’s thesis, Malala Yousafzai, a girl who advocates for girls’ education strongly quoted: “I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard […]” proving she went against the people who want to shut her up (the Taliban) and went forward with her own ethics.
The human condition is basically what makes us human; human nature, society or just how we live our everyday lives interacting with each other, together. In other words, it’s the “fundamental issues of human existence” – C. Welch. The human condition is most definitely this “good and evil” thought we put into our heads which affects our everyday behaviour to fit those of others. In the short story “Miss Brill” (Katherine Mansfield), Katherine really makes us question some things like what are some universal truths that emerge from the story? One discussion that we had in class is about how Miss. Brill, throughout the story, was in actual fact giving off an obnoxious attitude rather than an innocent one. She kept on using words like “peasant”, “cold, pale” “shabby” and “funny with long whiskers hobbling” to describe the people and their actions she perceived at the garden. An evil aspect of the human condition is shown here; just because one gets bullied and talked down mentally does not mean one is completely guiltless. Humans are in fact guilty without even knowing it since we only focus on how we want people to portray us and we forget how to portray others. That right there is a universal truth. Miss Brill makes me think about how much someone might end up relating to a character in a short story. Miss Brill is a great example of a person who can be happy at times but gets let down too easily. She has dreams and wishes some things but they will not exactly come true in the end for her. All because of a simple misfortune, she goes back home and hides herself in her little apartment after finally finding the courage to go outside.
My personal connection did not necessary affect me per say but it did alter my views stereotypical job occupations. Once when I was 12, I experienced someone asking a male nurse in a hospital “why are you a nurse? Why not a doctor? I mean, it is kind of weird being a nurse and male” The next day, I told this to one of my mom’s friends and she replied with: “we put labels on jobs because that is how it’s always been. Doctors were usually male, nurses were female and if one “goes” into the other, it’s strange” (Magda Richards). After, I went to my room and questioned why I want to be an astronomer; I ended up changing my mind to becoming a teacher. As if individuals wanting to go into medicine have to be either, if male, a doctor and if female, a nurse; “Male nurses have been viewed as “less masculine,” notes a study in the American Journal of Men’s Health in November 2011” (Kate Lunau). Not fitting the stereotypical gender that fits a job position will play with one’s dignity which will eventually make one question why they went into a profession where there is obvious occupational segregation present.
“The rich are different – and not in a good way, studies suggest”
An article written on August 10th, 2011 by Brian Alexander says that the rich are different and not in a good way; “The experiences that one encounters makes us either “less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish” (Brian Alexander). The people who are already rich or have a high-paying/successful job are less likely to have to deal with debt and defaults but does that mean that they are less likely to suffer from stress? Not necessarily. Psychologist and social scientist Dacher Keltner and his team have done 12 separate studies calculating one’s empathy and social behavior in every way and found that people to be less successful are the ones to show more compassion and “prosocial behavior” which is any action intended to help others. Research shows that the “rich” focus only on earning which steers them down the less prosocial path. If you are rich, you are looked upon differently. Lower income people have to depend on others for survival. That must play a role in what they consider themselves as (less important, unsuccessful?)
Alexander, Brian. “The Rich Are Different — and Not in a Good Way, Studies Suggest.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 10 Aug. 2011. Web. 11 Jan. 2017. <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44084236/ns/health-behavior/t/rich-are-different-not-good-way-studies-suggest/#.WHXA0moiwqM>.
Based on a true story, The Pursuit Of Happyness (yes, with a “Y”) is a movie screen played by Steven Conrad. It consists of a man named Christopher Gardner who ends up becoming homeless due to his decision of investing all of his life savings on devices known as the “Bone Density scanner”. He then tries to sell them to doctors but he is unsuccessful which causes him to lose everything including his wife leaving him and him losing his home. Life for Chris is a disaster as he tries to find a steady job. As soon as he does, the job comes with a catch being: before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training AND sell his devices at the same time. Going into a job interview looking like a typical bum but he wins over the people with his incredible charm and talent for presentations. Chris Gardner ends up selling a minority stake in his brokerage firm in a multi-million dollar deal. The movie breaks the stereotype that all homeless people are in the position they are in because of drugs, alcohol or maybe because they are just plain lazy. People treat famous/wealthy/successful people with more respect than regular folk. They hope some of that success, wealth, or fame will “rub off” on them. Basically, they believe the other person is better than them because of how must value their belongings have.
The Pursuit of Happyness. Dir. Gabriele Muccino. Prod. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, James Lassiter, and Will Smith. By Steve Conrad. Perf. Will Smith, Jaden Smith. Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2006. DVD.