Trigger Warnings

I saw this article and decided to share my thoughts on the matter. I will insert a bit of the article below for reference:

“In a welcome letter to freshmen, the College made clear that it does not condone safe spaces or trigger warnings: Trigger warnings — used to alert students of sensitive material that might be uncomfortable, offensive or traumatic to them, such as discussions about race and sexual assault — and safe spaces, designed to shelter students from certain speakers and topics, have become more common and controversial on campuses across the country.”
– Vivanco, Leonor and Dawn Rhodes. “U. of C. tells incoming freshmen it does not support ‘trigger warnings’ or
‘safe spaces.’” The Chicago Tribune. 25 August 2016.

I think, as the University of Chicago, is not a public school, it should be able to make whatever rules it wants to make. Outsiders have no right to even care about specific regulations at random colleges. The students who chose to attend that university are given fair warning, and they could easily choose not to attend. I think the word “trigger” is being used far too often. Everything is going to upset someone, and “warning” students about anything that could be potentially upsetting would be disruptive to their learning as a whole. As the college stated, “It is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive,” and I personally, completely agree with that statement.

I definitely believe that we, as a society, have become far too politically correct. It is hard to say anything nowadays especially regarding religion. Anything controversial is now off limits. This stops many intellectual conversations from ever taking place. Everyone seems to be easily offended. There are hardly any “neutral” topics. Without being able to say “triggering” things, we would hardly be able to say anything of interest. It is really a step back with our freedom of speech. Anything can be offensive, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be allowed to say it.

“The university is preparing students for the real world and would not be serving them by shielding them from unpleasantness, said Geoffrey Stone, chair of the committee, law professor and past provost at the U. of C.” I definitely agree with this statement. We already censor far too much in the name of “protection” and I don’t think we are positively benefiting anyone by giving them special treatment that will ultimately leave them underprepared for the real world. The real world is full of awful, violent, offensive, vulgar things. College is supposed to prepare you for life after. Guarding students from things some might find “triggering” is actually stunting their growth.


Inappropriate Mascots

(Side note): If an author is standing up for Native Americans they shouldn’t go through an entire article intermittently calling them Indians. Just because Columbus was stubborn and ignorant doesn’t mean we have to continue the sentiment. As far as I know, Indians live in India. I thought by now we might have corrected that error especially when we are trying to point out how ignorant it is for people to use their image on mascots. Before we get into that, how about the author learns the name of the group he is trying to advocate for. (End of side note).

Many people have been called out for “appropriating” Native American culture. While some aspects of their culture are being “borrowed” out of respect and admiration, the use of cartoon-like stereotypes is not flattering or acceptable. Using of Native Americans as a mascot for a team sport is not okay because it dehumanizes them, propagates racist stereotypes, and it would be considered unacceptable when done with any other culture.

First, using Native Americans as mascots is not okay because it dehumanized them. According to Emily Hauser from the The Week Native Americans are now imagined as “Noble Savages forever crossing the plains in a timeless, context-less journey — not real people, at least half of whom live today in urban settings.” This means that people don’t even realize that Native Americans are still living, poorly, in America. Not acknowledging their existence makes Native Americans seem almost less than human which is simply racist and not okay.

Second, having “Native American” mascots is not okay because it portrays an offensive stereotype. Team mascots like the Cleveland Indians’ are especially racist by literally coloring the mascot red to propagate that antiquated stereotype.  “The Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo is a garishly red (get it? ‘Cause Indians are red?), be-feathered cartoon, all big nose and step-n-fetch-it grin.” Says Emily Hauser from The Week. This kind of stereotypical depiction of the complex Native American culture is insensitive and disrespectful.

The National Anthem(s)

I think that Neil Diamond’s “America” best represents what the U.S.A is all about. He captures our melting pot nature by singing about immigration.He also sings about another one of our core values: freedom. In addition, the lyrics, Got a dream to take them there. They’re coming to America. Got a dream they’ve come to share. They’re coming to America” really show how America got started. In the beginning, America was a place for new beginnings for people with bright dreams of the future, looking for freedom in this new land.

Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The U.S.A”, for me at least, really embodies the patriotic spirit. It makes me feel proud and happy and sad all at the same time. The build-up of the verse to the chorus and the sequence of notes really evokes feelings of pride. Also, he Lee Greenwood references soldier, an integral part of the U.S.A. He also strongly emphasizes freedom, a trait for which we are known.

I do believe that the national anthem should be updated. The “Star Spangled Banner” no longer reflects the life or attitude of the American people. The melody has been butchered and played out, and I don’t think the lyrics should stay the same. To me it seems like more of a war/battle song than one that represents the people. I think a whole new song should be written. It no longer holds true and no other song is serious enough to replace it at this point in time.

I do stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance and often say the words; however, were I given the choice ( socially ) I am not sure that I would. I think that I should be able to respect my country any way that I choose. I don’t think it’s disrespectful per se to not participate in the pledge or the national anthem. I believe this especially because the soldiers we are “disrespecting” fought for our freedom to do whatever we wanted.There shouldn’t be one definite way to respect your country.

Lord of the Flies

An island,

Aren’t there any grown ups at all?

The shore was fledged with palm trees.

A conch, a meeting, a party of boys.

Ralph, Piggy, Jack

Vote for chief.

We might be rescued.

An uninhabited island: no houses, no smoke.

Nobody knows where we are!

A beastie in the woods.

Make a fire, we’ll be rescued some time.

The silence of the forest,

Jack thought he might kill.

Ralph, Jack: passion and rage.

Hunting, shelters, smoke

Simon picked his way up the scar.

Glittering sea and sand castles.

The smeared on the clay:

For hunting, for war.

Smoke, Smoke!

A ship?

The fire’s out, and there was a ship.

Killed a pig.

They need an assembly for cleverness.

The fire is the most important thing.

Frightened cry-babies fear the beast.

There is no fear unless people are frightening.

The beast comes out of the sea.

A figure, dropping beneath a parachute,

With feet that dragged behind it.

Four unwinking eyes and two open mouths.

Sam ‘n Eric saw the beast.

Eyes, teeth, claws.

Don’t you want to be rescued?

Hunting the pig.

Hunting the beast.

Jack struck the beast, the boar.

Kill him! Kill him!

Cut his threat, bash him in!

Going to the mountain to look for the beast.

Teeth and big, black eyes.

Panic flight down the mountain.

Ralph isn’t a proper chief: Jack will be chief.

Buzzing flies over spilled guts: A gift for the beast.

Pigs head on a stick: Lord of the Flies.

Jack, putting on war paint.

Who’s going to join his tribe?

Thunder struck.

There’s going to be trouble.

A circling movement developed and a chant.

Kill the beast!

The beast was on its knees.

Simon’s dead body mover toward the sea.


What are we going to do?

It was an accident.

Tomorrow we shall hunt again.

The chief lead them.

From his hand dangled Piggy’s glasses.

We got no fire!

They blinded me!

Give me my glasses!

We’ve got to have smoke.

Ralph heard the great rock.

Piggy fell forty feet and was gone.

It was an accident

They were savage, but they were human.

Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!

They hate Ralph, they’re going to hunt him.

A stick: sharp at both ends.

Ralph ran from the terrors.

An officer, “We saw your smoke.”

Ralph wept for the loss of innocence.


Become a Vegetarian?

*Disclaimer: I actually think that being vegetarian is awesome and brave and I totally respect those who are. This was a paper I wrote for school so no offense intended towards anyone. It does not fully explore all topics that could be used to show how wonderful vegetarianism is. It is a specifically slanted piece.*

Nowadays there are many people considering vegetarianism as a way to lose weight and express their empathy for animals. Becoming a vegetarian is unnecessary, however, because eating meat can help weight loss, raising beef is the most efficient way to produce food, and eating meat is not cruel or unethical.

It is not necessary to become a vegetarian because a meat centered diet can actually help with weight loss. According to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, “It takes fewer calories to get protein from lean meat than it does from vegetarian options.” This means that, by eating meat, you don’t have to intake, and therefore burn off, as many calories as you might following a vegetarian diet. This proves that those looking for weight loss do not need to look to vegetarianism as an option. It is worse, in fact, than an omnivorous diet.

While it is true that becoming a vegetarian does not necessarily help one lose weight, a vegetarian diet is healthier because it helps build healthy bones. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Vegetarians absorb more calcium because the renal acids in meat leach calcium from the bones.” This means that people maintaining a vegetarian diet can more easily absorb calcium, which is an integral factor in bone strength. Although meat may require less calorie intake to acquire the necessary amount of protein, a vegetarian diet is a healthy option that even promotes stronger bones.

Admittedly, vegetable consumption is better for bone strength than meat consumption. This does not, however, mean that it is necessary to become a vegetarian. Not only is an omnivorous diet help in weight loss, but also, eating meat is neither cruel, nor unethical. An article posted in The Sun said, “Vegetarians mistakenly evaluate the value of animal life over plant life. Research shows that plants respond electrochemically to threats and may feel fear” This means that is is no more cruel to eat meat than it is to eat plants as they are both living, feeling organisms. Overall, vegetarianism is not necessary as it one benefit, higher calcium absorption, could be easily achieved by a balanced omnivorous diet.