Monday, December 14, 2015

Be Yourself

In our society, there is a lot of pressure to fit in with everyone. At New Trier, for example, almost everyone dresses and talks the same everyone else. Although we are told a lot of the times to “Be creative” and “express yourself”, the images put forth by society are the exact opposite. If you want to fit in, you must be the same as everyone else. Many people spend their lives trying to live the same way as everyone else, but this is not really the best way to live.
While I was in my basement the other day, looking for an old soccer ball to use, I came across a pile of old posters. The top one was a thirty-six by thirty-two drawing of nine people, and a quote underneath. Eight out of the nine figures are all wearing the same black clothes, standing in the same position. On the left side, there is one figure doing something completely different. He is wearing a different style of clothes, in a different color, and standing in a different position. The quote underneath them reads, “To believe your own thought--that is genius...” It was written by a thinker by the name of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who had a lot of ideas about self-reliance and not conforming to society. I put the picture on the wall, and thought about Emerson’s quote. Everyone is doing the same thing in the picture, except the guy on the left. He is the only one not conforming to the rules of society. In today’s world, people may find that a weird, or just not normal. When someone does something different from typical behavior, most people hear about it and discuss how the person was crazy, or just a little strange. A good example of this is Chris McCandless, a man who left society to adventure in the wild. In a book about his exploits, we are shown multiple letters saying how McCandless is not a good example for other people, and was unprepared and dumb.  Yet Emerson, the man who wrote the quote, might say that McCandless was “genius” to break away from society, and do his own thing.
This is similar to the conversation about conforming we had in English class. At our own school, everyone conforms to things that we just find normal, such as pink shorts or Ugg boots. Because everyone is doing those things, an individual is just transformed into part of a bigger group. This might be considered good for some people; they get to blend in, be a part of a group of people, and not have to think about how they are. But this is not good for people like Emerson, and nonconformists everywhere, who want to do their own thing, and live a life free from the confines of society.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Doing the Right Thing

While many people throughout the world live comfortably, many more people do not. Things we take for granted could really help those in need. So, in Canada, a group of people did their part to help out people who need it. They went around their city, and put out coats on light posts. Now, this seems like a small gesture to us, and also wouldn't be that hard for us to do. But really, its an incredibly thoughtful idea that really means a lot to those who need these coats. I think that we need to do more things like this in our lives, and its really cool how these kids gave back to their town.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

What is going on today??

Right now, the world is having a problem. Shootings have increased drastically. In our English class, over half of the blogs contain at least one post about shootings, whether about school shootings or in general. Our blogs talk about shootings everywhere, but lets just focus on the United States right now. A post on forbes.com pointed out the U.S. has had more school shootings than China, France, Germany, China, and Russia. Combined. The Forbes article also mentioned a study done by Harvard: Between 1982 and 2011, mass shootings happened a little more than once a year, about 1 every 200 days. Now, in the U.S., it averages one shooting every 64 days. It seems difficult to figure out why this is happening, but researchers are trying to figure out why and how they can stop it. There are several ideas for prevention right now, and it's time to start considering some of them. One solution is stricter gun laws. Now, this does not mean getting rid on every gun, and banning them outright. What it does mean, is better screening processes, and better enforcement of that process. Another is screening for risk factors. Usually, people who commit these acts have different views on things than typical people, and sometimes have violent tendencies which go unnoticed. The third solution is less glorification of the shooter. With the media and attention today, shooters are getting a lot of recognition. This inspires many other people to do the same thing, per the article, which leads to more problems.
Overall, the problem of mass shootings is still rising, but hopefully we can do something about it to prevent them in the future.