Applying or Buying?

I spent $410 last week. No, I didn’t go shopping. No, I didn’t buy all my Christmas presents at once. No, I didn’t have to pay for medical bills.

Photo Credit:  theroarpost.com

I spent $410 on college apps within only a week.

I understand that having to pay some amount of money, to make sure that the people applying to schools actually mean it, and that it takes work to read through my applications and make their decisions. But, why should I have to pay $180 to send my AP scores to the colleges that I might not even get in to?

Personally, I have been able to spend that money on my applications. I didn’t like it, obviously, but I was fine. But, there are enough people in this country that don’t have those $410 to gamble with.

We all know that many families aren’t able to send their children to college because of the insane tuitions. But now, imagine not even being able to apply to the school of your dreams because it is too expensive. I know some people can get fee waivers, but even the fact that this is necessary freaks me out a bit.

I see the reasoning behind all the costs. I see why it would be necessary. I just want to point out how flawed all this is, if you think about it.

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Enough is Enough

“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts, I want gun control. And I hope to God nobody sends me anymore prayers. I want gun control. No more guns” Susan Orfanos pleaded.
A year before the shooting in Thousand Oaks, her son, Telemachus Orfanos, was at the shooting in Las Vegas. Telemachus survived the deadly attack and saved others as well.
Brendan Hoolihan, another Las Vegas Survivor stated “he easily saved hundreds of lives.”
The twenty-seven-year-old military veteran was shot and killed November 7th, 2018 at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.
Just twelve days later, four were killed in a hospital shooting in Chicago.
There have been 62 mass shootings so far in President Trump’s term.
Trump has tweeted about getting free tickets, how the White House is decorating for Christmas, how people from Pakistan are fools, how he has “never seen thin people drinking Diet Coke,” how Robert Pattison can do much better than going back to Kristen Stewart, and countless other pointless things.
Trump has tweeted seven tweets about how Pattison should move on from his Twilight costar, yet of these 62 shootings, he has only tweeted about three.  Dear Trump, just because you think Robert Pattison going back to Kristen Stewart is far more important than the gun control crisis taking place in America, the remaining sane people in our country disagree.
Trump’s tweets on the shootings include:
“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families”
“School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!”
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting.”
Dear Trump, dear America, thank you for thoughts and prayers, but thoughts and prayers are no where close to what we need. We need change. We need gun control.
Photo Credit: MSNBC.com

 

Enough Is Enough

February 14th, 2018, a day supposed to symbolize love, will now forever be a reminder to students, friends, and families of how seventeen students were murdered in the last place kids should have to worry about being killed – a school.

October 27th, 2018, was the day when eleven Jews were killed in a synagogue, a place of worship.

November 7th, 2018, was the day college students were enjoying a night out at a bar and 12 people were murdered.

All of these people died at shootings. All of theses deaths were at the hands of horribly evil people with easy access to guns.

When will enough be enough?

How many people have to die until change happens?

Photo Credit: JordanCooper.com

How many parents have to send their kids to school one day not knowing if they’ll ever get to see their child again?

How many kids have to walk into school every day and go through classes scared of the possibility of being put on lockdown, getting injured, or getting killed?

How many people have to say goodbye to their best friends, partners, and loved ones?

The answer is too many, because people would rather have their rights to guns than have children live.

The right for someone to live should override the right for someone to have a gun.

Yes, guns don’t kill people, people do, but people use guns to kill. People have such easy access to guns that the line blurs and guns themselves are just as much of a threat as the people who have the right to hold them.

We’re not asking to outlaw guns, but we’re asking for restrictions. We’re asking to make schools safe again. To enjoy time at concerts, restaurants, churches, mosques, and synagogues without having to be afraid of being shot at.

Because enough is enough and change needs to happen.

Is This Democracy?

In North Dakota, a voter ID law was passed that states: in order to vote one must have a street address. If the mail man does not deliver to your home, it is not considered an address. No street address=no vote.

In North Dakota, thirty-five percent of the population does not have an “acceptable” address. A large part of this thirty-five percent are the Native Americans who can trace their lineage to North Dakota dating back to the 1830’s.

Over sixty percent of the Native Americans live on reservations and use P.O. boxes to receive their mail.

Over sixty percent of the Native Americans in North Dakota are refused a right that they were born with: the right to be a part this so-called “democracy.”

In Florida, many polling places in the towns of minorities were locked and closed, despite the fact that they were supposed to be opened on voting days.

Piles of ballots were also left uncounted. In the 2000 presidential election, 179,855 ballots were “invalidated” and uncounted. 53% percent of these ballots came from black or Democratic voters.

In Alabama, a law was passed that, in order to vote, one must have a photo ID taken at the D.M.V. Alabama has closed 31 of 67 D.M.V. locations. Almost all of these of these 31 closings are in counties that are home to poor and black people.

There are 250,000 registered voters who are now unable to vote due to the ID law. The majority of these 250,000 are impoverished, African-Americans, or both.

Selma took place over fifty years ago, but it seems like some things in Alabama will never change.

These are few of the many injustices taking place in our country today. The list of minorities being targeted and denied the right to vote goes on and on…

Ask yourself: Is this democracy?

Photo from worldatlas.com

 

Don’t believe me or want to read more? Check the cold, hard facts:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/voting-rights/voting-rights-act/alabamas-dmv-shutdown-has-everything-do-race

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/black-voter-suppression-rights-america-trump

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/north-dakotas-native-americans-law-blocks-populations-vote/story?id=58912062

Shortcuts

Let’s face it, they’re nice. Who am I kidding, they can be great.

Would you rather win the lottery or work your ass off everyday, struggling to get by?

Would you rather get straight A’s and not even have to try or be in a class where getting a B- minus is a HUGE accomplishment?

Would you rather do your Spanish homework or go on Quizlet and find the answers?

Would you rather tell your mom you swept the floor or would you rather actually sweep the floor?

Would you rather take an hour to fold and put away your clothes or just shove them in your closet in less than thirty seconds?

What I’m getting at here is, shot cuts can be nice. Who am I kidding, they can be great. Yet, as great as they are, most make life harder in the long run.

Cool, Quizlet got my Spanish work done in two minutes, but do I even know what the heck any of the questions are asking?

Cool, my mom thinks I swept the floor, but am I really the type of person who will throw away their integrity just to get out of a thirty second chore?

Cool, my clothes are out of the way, but, shoot, when I went to get dressed, a mountain of clothing fell on me.

Cool, I did twenty push-ups instead of twenty-five, but is getting done first even an accomplishment if you cheated?

Photo Credit: lovethispic.com

Many days, I see people taking short cuts too, so its nice to know that I’m not the only one. But, more than just self-reassurance, I find it comforting that I’m not the only one who occasionally struggles with putting short term effects over long term results.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to walk twenty miles to work instead of driving because you have legs. I’m nothing saying to use them, to not even think about taking the car. I’m not saying no short cuts for you. But, if work is a three minute walk from your house, don’t take a short cut and drive. Being efficient and taking a short cut are two VERY different things.

Efficiency is great. A needed skill set in the always-going world we live in. Why would you walk twenty miles to get to work when you can take a quarter of the time and drive? Why take three hours hand-writing a story when you can type it in a half hour?

A lot of the time, people mistake efficiency for cheating. The definition of efficiency is to get the most done in the shortest amount of time with the least work. So, maybe you’re thinking, that you’d rather read the Spark Notes of a book than read the full book.

Here’s the thing, when your teacher asks you what the main character’s last name is, will you have a clue?

When the Spanish test gets handed back, will you get a good grade?

When your mom asks if you did your chores, will you lie directly to her face?

When the race comes and your teammates are strong from doing all the pushups, was the satisfaction of doing less in practice worth the shame you feel now?

Recently, Ive been working on doing the right thing instead of taking the easy way out. I read my English books instead of reading the summary, so I get a good grade on the test. I worked hard in practice and I got a personal record in my race. I took the time to get what I needed to get done instead of putting it off for later or completely ignoring it at all.

I’ve realized that no matter how much you don’t want to, pushing through the little things is what makes you better, stronger, and smarter. Suffering through a hard workout will eventually result in success; thinking about what you say before you speak will result in less regretted words; and putting your all into everything you do will result in a life that you’re proud of.

Take the route that’s right, instead of the short cut. Because, as cliché as it sounds, it’s not the destination that matters, its’ the journey.

biracial

Until this past summer, I have always self-identified as fully white. If someone asked me what my ethnicity was, I would automatically say white. Sometimes, when people would try to pry, further questioning my response, I would almost yell,”I’M WHITE. I’M JUST TAN.”

This past summer I have come to terms with myself in a lot of more ways than one. A huge step for me was that, I have begun self-identifying as half-black and half-white.

I think there were two main reasons I did not associate myself with being African-American.

No, it is not because I’m embarrassed or ANYTHING along those lines.

The first being: the classic dead-beat dad story.  Up until very recently, I have given myself the power to not have to identify as the daughter of a black man who does not identify as a father.

The second reason being, well, racism, discrimination, and oppression, are all still alive and well.

On Father’s Day of last year, I posted something similar to this on a small instagram account I have only for close friends. Someone told me that “no one really cares” and “I don’t see why that’s a big deal.”

It’s a huge deal. Once you’re fifteen years into your life and you finally feel comfortable enough to accept and express the half of your identity that’s made you feel empty for years, it’s a huge deal.

Yes, I am half-black; yes, I am identify with the 17.9 other African-Americans in the U.S; yes, my dad is black; yes, that’s my real mom; and, yes, I’m proud.

 

Photo credit: Theodysseyonline.com

 

Say Yes to The Dress

Last night, my best friend came over to my house to help me pick out what dress to wear for homecoming. I tried them on and got her feedback. Here’s what she had to say:

Dress One:

“You look like a disco ball.”

Dress Two:

“You look like a grandma.”

Photo Credit: tipsyelves.com

 

Dress Three:

“Take that off now, please.”

Dress Four:

“You still look like a grandma.”

Dress Five:

“Why did you even order that?”

Dress Six:

“You look like a hooker who’s going to a funeral for your hooker friend who died hooking up.”

Homecoming is in four days. The dress hunt continues.