research topic

The topic i picked was GMOs, which i’m arguing for. I don’t have any clear and specific legislative opinions on this topic, just that GMOs are themselves good and that we shouldn’t
try to get rid of them. Now you may say that GMOs are evil and that companies like Monsanto unjustly sue and persecute small farmers, but that really has nothing to do with the
GMOs, it’s saying that a giant company is bad, which can be for any company with any field or product.
Genetically modified foods help increase the worlds carrying capacity because they they can be grown much easier with far fewer resources. Genetically modified foods could be
very important for combatting hunger with our rapidly growing population and paucity of water. You can grow far more crops with a greater yield with less water and care if they’re
modified to need less resources and care. And obviously if your crops need less resources and labor they will be cheaper to grow, in turn making making them cheaper to buy;
which could help fix the complaint of healthy foods being expensive. Cheaper vegetables could help fight obesity, since if vegetables were closer to the price of junk food it would
easier for poor people to eat healthily.

The majority of the arguments against GMO foods are bogus and just appealing to the populaces fear of the new and unfamiliar; for example, how people protest that say, a tomato
with a couple fish proteins for cold resistance is “frankenfood”. I can’t further expound on what seems to be most people’s ridiculous views because they are just too illogical and
nonsensical for to ever really understand, also I’m not really sure why everyone is so vehemently against GMOs. I do concede to the concern that not being fully aware of the
effects of new GMOs that could end up harming the environment; but that is not an issue with genetically modified organisms themselves, but with improper regulatory processes.
If you say that creating pesticide resistant crops just gives farmers and excuse to put excessive amounts of pesticide on their land which harms the environment, then that’s
still not something wrong with the actual GMOs. I do think protecting the environment is very important, just that in this scenario the culprit isn’t the crops but the farmers and
pesticides. To fix the problem you should have stricter laws on pesticide use by farmers, tighter restrictions on harmful ingredients in pesticides, along with plans to help reduce
the need,and use of, for pesticides.

mental illness

I don’t consider all mental illnesses ad different type of normal. Some mental illnesses such as severe depression or schizophrenia are definitely horrible and problematic for anyone with these diseases and those around them, so it seems unfair even if probably technically true to call them a different seem. Other things like Aspersers doesn’t really seem like a problem, more just like a different type of thinking and personality. I guess it seems to me that while you could probably technically consider any mental illness with a sufficiently large population of “sufferers” to be another kind of normal it doesn’t seem fair to anyone to consider it as normal because then people with life destroying conditions like depression wouldn’t get the help they deserve. Obviously if the mental illness wasn’t destroying the person’s life and they were perfectly happy with it we shouldn’t consider it a strange and terrible thing. It would be horrible to try to make anyone with any slight cognitive differences homogenous with the “rest” of society by medicating and changing them against their will.

Redefining Mental Illness – A Different State of Normal?



In the fight against the debilitating and harmful stigma associated with mental illness, many people would like the term, mental illness, reevaluated. Some say that mental illness is just a different kind of normal. In a world where diversity reigns, who can say what behavior is normal?

Complicating the idea of who can qualify as mentally ill is the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), which now makes behavior, once considered “normal” (including a toddler’s tantrums), now diagnosable as mental illness. According to the changes in this manual, about 50% of the population will be considered mentally ill at one point in their lives.

Your task:

Explore your thoughts here on the stigma of mental illness:

  • Why is there a stigma?  What do you perceive as the effects of this stigma in our society?  What can be done to change the stigma?
  • Do you consider mental illness a different kind of…

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social justice

Unfortunately for this blog post, but likely fortunately for my life overall, I cannot think of anything from my life that would inspire me to write about social justice.  No horrible childhood abuse have I suffered, or mass puppy slaughters have I witnessed.  Alas, I have naught to write about but that which I have read or heard about. So I’ll just pick a topic I’ve thought about and actually have an opinion on, onward to the point. I am against gun control, at least in the sense that normal law-abiding people should not be stopped from having guns.  Though I certainly do not think that guns should be handed out willy-nilly in the supermarket to passersby either.  It certainly makes sense to have background checks, to not allow felons, violent criminals, or those with very serious mental illnesses  to purchase deadly weapons, you don’t. I’ll explain  here why I hold this opinion here in a slightly list-ish format.  First of all it’s in the constitution “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”, so you obviously can’t, or shouldn’t, stop the public from owning firearms.    I’ve never really seen any very logical arguments for gun control.  Most people seem  think that because a friend of a friends’ cousin’s kid shot her friend in the head and later hanged herself, that no one should have guns because all the kids are going to die.  Views like that are completely ridiculous, I mean basing an important opinion on complete hearsay and gossip, not statistics and scientific evidence, are completely idiotic.  Even if children do manage to shoot themselves it’s not the guardian’s possession of a gun that was at fault, it was improper gun safety and precautions around young children that were the problem.   If you say that without the guns there wouldn’t be violent crimes and horrible murders that still wouldn’t make sense, the bad people are still going to have guns, but the good guys just wouldn’t have anything to defend themselves with anymore.  It’s not as if the sort of person who is willing to commit armed robbery wouldn’t be willing to buy guns illegally.  I could probably list many more reasons for my opinions but I’m going to stop here so I have more to write in the essay I will be posting later.

What is Your Voice on Social Justice?


Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.   Helen Keller

Your Task:

Considering your last blog, how does your life, your experiences, your interests, inspire you to speak for social justice? What issue are you most concerned about?  Blog your response to this question and consider what social justice means to you and how this personal definition might translate into your area of concern. Freely respond as your heart and thoughts prompt you here. Your next essay will be a call to action paper on the topic of social justice that you are most passionate about and in which you would like to see change.

As part of your blog, and because there are many kinds of texts in our world that communicate ideas, I would like you to include a picture, video, cartoon –…

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Exploring my past

This is the story of my cat’s serial murders.  Throughout my childhood my family has always had cats, usually two. So of course we’ve seen our fair share of death of the local small wildlife.  Mostly voles and mice, but on sad occasion a baby bunny will die as well. Now here begins my tale of woe and horror.  It was a bright and sunny day, not even a wisp of clouds to be seen in the cerulean blue sky. But then, a horrendous scream was heard. Like nothing the ears of man had ever listened to before. To someone who had owned dogs it also sounded like the ear grating hiss and squeal of a dog’s squeaky toy. The kind of toy one only buys after she has long forgotten the abhorrent sound of such a toy. But then forgets, and buys again, only to relieve the psychosis inducing sound. Before the squeaky ball is thrown away and the cycle begins again.

The voles and mice my feline friends bring as gifts are always deceased at time of arrival. No time to save their tiny little lives from the torturous death of a cats claws. But the baby rabbits have a chance at life because of their piercing and annoying screams. We can save them, albeit with likely psychological scaring, from an early grave.

After the screams are heard and the alarms have been sounded we (my family and I) would rush to the backyard to find the offending animal and stop the execution of its’ deadly plans. Our murderous cat was usually found in the very back of our yard. Near the humongous pile of fallen and hacked off branches from storms and landscaping plans from long ago. If naught is to be seen near the aforementioned pile we run and scan the yard for the murderous cat. Once found, I give chase to the cat, who has likely started fleeing at this point, while my other family members attempt to rescue the poor little rabbit. Once the cat has been corralled indoors and the bunny safely netted in a box or container of some sort. We set to planning the release of the animal. Who will hopefully live out its days safely and much more cautiously. The release of the animal is usually carried out from a shoe box with some food and perhaps bedding. It’s usually released near our house somewhere where the cats will have a difficult time reaching.

In the aftermath of the rescue the offending cat is usually scolded. But there isn’t really anything we can do to the creature because it doesn’t realize the crime it has committed. In the days following the incident we are usually on high alert for a repeat of the attempted murder, but nothing ever happens so we go back to living harmoniously with our adorable cats. Since our cats have only tried to eat around three of the young rabbits residing in our back yard and failed two of those times. It’s safe to say that my home is safe from the scourge of a decimated rabbit population.

Writing is an Exploration



“And the idea of just wandering off to a café with a notebook and  writing and seeing where that takes me  for a while is just bliss.”


In another interview, referring to her 2012 book titled Casual Vacancy, Rowling said, “Poverty interested me having been very poor and clearly that informed this book.”

Your Task:

Write a narrative – no less than 400 words – telling a story about your own life. Focus on some significant aspect; take a telescope to a part of your life and share it here. Stories originate from our own lives, our own experiences. We’ll use this blog to see where your story might take you.

Keep in mind that sometimes it is the most seemingly insignificant moments that are most influential. One student wrote about inner conflict in visiting her grandmother in a nursing home. After exploring this experience through journaling and discussion, she decided to write a paper…

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