Throughout this election there has been a lot of talk about socialism, most notably because of Bernie Sanders. And, like it or not, socialism has become very popular among younger people, with 35% of people under the age of 30 finding it somewhat favorable, according to a YouGov survey. Recently, I have seen many people on social media who are completely misinformed about socialism, and have gone so far as to get it confused with communism.
Let’s start off by talking about the difference between socialism and communism. Socialism is the belief that all individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods (i.e. healthcare and education), while communism is the belief that all people are the same, (classes make no sense), and the government should own everything. Communism is a more extreme version of socialism, since socialism allows some private ownership. And yet, there are no pure socialist countries, or capitalist countries, for that matter. Even the United States of America is not a pure capitalist society, but rather a mixed one with socialist elements in it.
Happy International Women’s Day to everyone!
In the 21st century, we take this day very seriously. It’s a day to appreciate what all the women in our lives do for us, as well as consider feminism and the progress it has made for equal opportunities for both men and women.
Before we continue, we just want to quickly remind everyone what the definition feminism is.
the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
The best books make you laugh, cry, think, and hope. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, one of my favorite novels ever, does all this and more.
The central plot, at first, seems evident: a 9-year-old boy, Oskar Schell, discovers a key and a note in the room of his father, whom he has lost recently in 9/11. He decides to go to apartments all over New York in search of ‘clues’ to find the message he thinks his father has left him. However, as the storyline progresses, the problems and complexities of the narrative unfold beautifully. We learn how a silent grandfather, a bombing in Dresden, a grandmother’s secrets, and a limo driver are connected to Oskar and his father. The tragedies and losses in the book are heart-wrenching, but the effects on the survivors and their relationships show the delicate, even if fallible, nature of human beings.
I think we’ve all experienced it: the whisper of a rumor, a hint of uncouth behavior, the speculation about so-and-so’s secrets...
On my part, I’ve noticed our magnetic pull towards gossip in get-togethers and lunchtime chats. Someone mentions anything about anyone—a cheating incident, a date, a broken friendship—and the whole group turns around simultaneously and cries “Who! What? When!”, abandoning the birthday celebration or their homework. I, for one, have been guilty of participating and propagating gossip; sometimes it seems that it is too fun to resist. At the same time, I realize I am creating the competitive, snarky, mean society that I claim to hate.
Between fickle hands,
I cradle a slightly crinkled piece of sketch paper and
Gently finger the worn edges.
The picture is kind to the touch,
Glowing with an unrelenting optimism.
There is patience, care between the artist’s pencil lines.
In tentative, odd words, she says
Drawing that took me a very long time,
Forever and forever…
She only draws the things that she loves.
And here I am, gazing down on the face
Of a young man in a strip-mall brand shirt.
A stranger worth a thousand words.
The drawing is honest; there is no hiding his crooked smile
Or admittedly girlish lips.
So, what do you think?
She looks at me as if I were cradling her child,
Expectant and a little bit apprehensive.
There is only one thing I can say
It’s your best so far!
I love it, really.
For her smile to blossom, even wider, even brighter.
The drawing is profoundly articulate,
Just unlike her,
But even with its ethereal palette
And aesthetic charm,
I know that it isn’t the art that I care for.
It is her, beaming,
A friend lovelier than any handiwork of man.
The education system, in recent years, has undergone some serious changes.
In my own school, we’ve seen a jump rise in various programs of influence among the students, ranging from the implementation of the AP Capstone two-year research program, to the introduction of new classes like AP Computer Science or AP Biology. Not only are these considerably more difficult classes, but additionally, new tech dual enrollment programs are being offered with a special focus on trades concerning computer technology and engineering.
Yet, with all of this diversity in curriculum and vocational education, schooling in the United States has become more streamlined and one size fits all then ever before.
I don’t remember the exact day I realized that I was introverted. It wasn’t like my first kiss or the time I came out to my parents, both moments I recall with complete clarity, it was more like a period of several years where I slowly figured out that I was destined to experience life in a much different way than most of my peers. I’ll never know if it was my experience with bullying or simply my genes that morphed me into this girl with a general dislike for parties and social interaction, but what I do know is that being an introvert is one of the best things that ever happened to me.