Archive for November, 2007

Decline and Fall by Jacob Cohn

I’ve never really played baseball, but I’ve always been a fan. I inherited my baseball allegiances from my Mets-fan father and from my surroundings. I grew up in the two-team city of New York, which I’ve always thought has some of the most passionate fans in baseball. Except for an easily-ignored minority, if you were a baseball fan, you supported the Mets or the Yankees. In this eternal war there was no middle ground. I chose my side and defended it, and I still remain faithful even after I moved here to the bay area eight years ago. Like a lot of other Mets fans, my hopes for 2007 were high. The previous season they had come within one game of reaching the World Series, and in my mind there didn’t seem to be any reason for them not to repeat their performance. and in early September I seemed to be right—the Mets had a seven-game lead in their division. no way they can mess that up, I thought, as did many other people. boy was i wrong. in only seventeen games the Mets blew that lead and ruined their playoff hopes in one of the worst collapses in history, beating out 500-1 odds. Watching it—or listening—was painful. They have to win this one, I thought, day after day, and day after day they failed to do so. I still don’t understand how they managed to do this. The manager and owners hadn’t made any stupid decisions recently. Maybe they just lost their momentum, lost one game and then just kept on losing. It can happen. But I don’t think I’ll ever understand how one team could have magically transformed itself into such a laughingstock in the blink of an eye. Despite this catastrophe, I will continue to keep the faith. After all, there’s always next year.

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Teen Pregnancy by Lorena Cuevas

Have you noticed an increase in teen pregnancy?

I have, I see more teenage girls getting pregnant now than when I was younger. When I was a little girl I would never hear about young girls getting pregnant around my neighborhood.  I used to see my sister go out with her friends but never realized that she was going to be a teenage mother at the age of 16. It was hard for her to tell my parents she was pregnant we all found out the day the baby’s father and his parents were going to talk to my parents.  My parents were not happy about it but were supportive towards her.  I was both sad and mad because I knew my parents were going to get mad at her. I didn’t want her to get in trouble but I couldn’t do anything about the situation. She was already 3 in half months pregnant.  But it wasn’t just my sister; some of my friends were getting pregnant too.  Four of my close friends have kids now. Even though it’s becoming more common being to be a teen mother it’s something I wouldn’t want to experience any time soon. I have my whole life ahead of me to learn and explore. I wouldn’t want to go through what my sister went through because I have learned from her experiences.

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New Form of Racism by Justin Fossett

I look in the mirror double take on my faceRunning cold water over my scalp, questioning the true meaning of raceAfricans were really captured from Africa with no traceSlavery trapped human beings no way to escapeAnd it still goes on today but my question isWhy? and What for? I stress the message with emphasisWhat is institution, oppression, what about white supremacy?No answers mister governor, what is you givin meTell me why is it a sin to me to be a young black male? So much negative energy directin me straight to the jail cellJena 6 students locked up lost hope when they found out bailYou wanna talk about progress but we move no faster than snailsAnd I can’t talk about this in a song because I’m afraid it won’t sellMake it seem like I can’t walk in an all black community and not worry about gun shots empty clipse hot shells45 pistols on top of family book shelvesIn the kitchen cookin up hero or crack to sellWaitin for the first check of the month, that’s my only hope for mailPeople have a story to tell but the people in power are like oh wellNow a days it isn’t just black folks that fall victimYou can be a target just because your skin color is differentSo again I ask about race hopin to get some answers no lienAsk the teachers and cops about trackin an racial profilingAsk about how we claim to be DEsegregated knowin that aint the caseYou never get answers because they always got some excuses to makeAND WHEN I SAY “THEY” I MEAN THE RACIST COWARDSFIND THE CONNECTION Racism equals prejudice plus power

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Tethered Cord by Tiara Williams

tethered cord sydrome is when the nerves at the end of a person’s spinal cord is bundled up. doctors diagnosed me at age 13 which meant that damage had already been done. my legs were uneven and i would sometimes have back pain. with different people, different things happen. but for me these were the only problems. because of these problems i wasn’t able to do a lot of things such as physical education and playing sports. the pain would come if i walked too far or ran too fast. as i was growing up i thought i was the only one with a birth defect, but my mother used to always tell me “nobody is perfect”. i never really believed her until i got to high school and saw that everone had problems that couldn’t be cured. that’s when i truly realized nobody is perfect. at the age of 13 i had my first surgery; it was to release the bunlded up nerves. at the age of 14 i had my second surgery; this was done because i had finished growing and it would stop some of the pain i was having. it was also to make my legs even, so they cut the bone in my right leg and put a rod in it so the bone would not twist. at the age of 15 i had to have the rod removed because when the weather would change i would have pain.personally i didn’t want the surgeries because of the ugly scars and because i thought it was dumb. but as i grew older i relized that the scars show the pain i went therw and if i wouldn’t have had the surgery,  later on in life i would need a knee replacement and  hip replacement. overall, everything has gotten better and i have become a stronger person.

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Natural by Asha Richardson

If you have ever met me or even seen me, one of the first things you will notice is my hair. My hair is naturally big, a combination of nappy and curly. Even as a young girl I was known for having big hair. In the end of my freshmen year I was pressured to straighten my hair for the first time. Although it felt foreign to me, I started receiving a lot more attention. Even this boy who I had a crush on told me “Dang, you look better with your hair straight”.  But this wasn’t me, so after a long shower I returned to my natural look, but it became so unmanageable. Out of frustration I wasn’t taking enough care of it. Often I couldn’t style it in the way I wanted or it would dry and shrink by the end of the day. I was constantly frustrated trying to find someway to genuinely express myself with my hair. At the point when I was about to completely stop caring; my mother suggested I textures it.  A texturizer is basically a weaker version of a perm that makes your kinky curls stretch out. At first I was shocked my hair looked exactly the way I wanted, and then I noticed some parts of my hair were straight. I tried to rinse it out but my hair errantly remained straightened. At this point I realized I was completely contradicting myself. I just sat and thought about it. I put chemicals in my hair to achieve a natural look, when that’s exactly the opposite of what a natural look means. I felt so ashamed. My mom said I shouldn’t worry about it, and that it looked cute. Even with all this guilt a month later I did it again out of pressure to be accepted. I feel extremely hypocritical. Today I’ve decided that if I want to have a natural look it will truly be natural, no chemicals involved. I’ve realized that there is no standard for real beauty, and no matter what my hair looks like I will always be beautiful.

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My Sister and Me by Tiara Williams

                      

MY OLDER SISTER PLAYS A BIG ROLE IN MY LIFE; SHE MADE ME WHO I AM TODAY. I KNOW THAT SOME PEOPLE AREN’T LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE A SISTER BUT IM GLAD I DO. SHE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE WHEN I NEEDED HER.

            MY SISTER AND I ARE BESTFRIENDS FOREVER. EVEN THOUGH WE ARE ALIKE WE ARE DIFFERENT IN SO MANY WAYS. MY SISTER IS FIVE YEARS OLDER THAN ME AND IN COLLEGE. SHE LIKES TO PARTY ALL DAY EVERYDAY. UNLIKE ME, I LIKE TO GET THE JOB DONE, AND THEN PARTY.

WE HAD AN ARGUMENT LAST WEEK. WE ARGUED ABOUT THE SMALLEST THING. IT WAS BECAUSE I HAD WORN HER JACKET WITHOUT PERMISSION. WE SCREAMED AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS. THEN THE ARGUMENT LEAD TO ME TELLING HER SHE IS TOO OLD TO ARGUE WITH A MINOR OVER SOMETHING STUPID. THEN SHE TOLD ME I NEEDED TO LISTEN TO HER AND START DOING WHAT SHE SAID.

 IN THE END OUR MOTHER TOLD US THAT LIFE IS TOO SHOT AND WE SHOULD NOT HOLD GRUDGES TOWARDS EACHOTHER. WE KNEW WHAT OUR MOM SAID WAS RIGHT.

EVEN THOUGH WE ARGURE I LOVE MY SISTER, AND IF I WOULD HAVE TO CHOOSE ANYBODY IN THE WORLD TO BE MY SISTER I WOULD STILL CHOOSE HER.

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Life Around My Struggles By Brandy Guevara

IT’S  HARD  GROWING  KNOWING YOU’RE  ADOPTED.  LIVING A LIFE & NOT KNOWING MY BIRTH  MOTHER  AT  FIRST IT  WAS  HARD  KNOWING  THAT  I  HAVE  A  MOTHER AND  ANOTHER  FAMILY  SOME  WHERE  OUT IN  THE WORLD. ITS  STRESSFUL.  I  ALWAYS THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT TYPE  OF  PERSON  SHE  WOULD  BE  OR WHAT  SHE  LOOKED  LIKE.   I  LOVE  MY  PARENTS  WHO  ADOPTED ME AT  2  MONTHS  OLD, BUT  I  KNEW  DEEP  DOWN  INSIDE  SOMETHING  WAS MISSING. WHEN I WAS YOUNGER  I WANTED  MY BIOLOGICAL MOTHER TO  BE  IN  MY  LIFE,  BUT  SHE  WAS  ON  DRUGS  AND   NO  WHERE  TO  BE  FOUND.

FINALLY  AT  THE  AGE  OF  14  I  REALLY  MET  HER  FACE  TO FACE. WE LOOKED  JUST A LIKE, IT WAS CRAZY.  I TRIED  TO  GET  TO  KNOW HER  BUT  IT  WAS  TOO  HARD.  I  THOUGHT  SHE  WOULD  TURN  OUT  TO BE  A  BETTER  PERSON  BUT  SHE  WASNT.  SHE  WAS  NOTHING  THAT  I  IMAGINED.  IT   WAS  LIKE  SHE  BRIBED  ME  WITH  MONEY.  EVERY  SINGLE  STEP  WAS  DO  YOU  WANT  THIS  DO  YOU  WANT  THAT.  IT  WAS  LIKE  WHERE  IS  THE  LOVE  AT?  FINALLY  I  STARTED  TO  GET  TIRED  OF  HER  AND  ALL  THE  DRAMA.  IT  WAS  LIKE  SHE  WAS  TRYING  TO  MAKE  UP  FOR  ALL  THE  YEARS  THAT  SHE  MISSED  WITH  ME.  AFTER   SOME  MONTHS  SHE  WENT  HER  OWN  WAY  AND  STOP  CALLING  ME. THANK  GOD  I  MET  MY FATHER’S  SIDE  OF  THE  FAMILY . THEY’RE   COOL.  I  THINK  LATER  ON  IN  LIFE  OUR  DIFFERENCES  WILL COME  TOGETHER  AND  WE  WOULD  FINALLY  BECOME  MOTHER  AND  DAUGHTER.

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