My Brain on P.E.

This is a Rogerian argument piece I did for my AP English class, based on Noah S. Sweat‘s “Whiskey Speech.”  Enjoy (I had a lot of fun with this one)!

 

Fellow students, few of us would elect to examine the topic of physical education, but since my enrollment in the course I have been forced to grapple with the idea of it.  Some would argue that a physical education credit is pointless.  Here is my take on gym class in schools.

If, by physical education, you mean the unsanitary locker room experience, the athlete’s foot-infested showers, the horror of seeing classmates at their heavy-breathing, sweaty, worst; if you mean the traditional bullies’ recess full of rogue dodgeballs and lost underwear; if you mean the feeling of being picked last and getting out first; if you mean the tortuous ordeal of playing mindless games while the thought of that night’s homework eats away at you, the paranoid sense that you are wasting your time––then I am certain that physical education is not only superfluous but cruel.

But if, when you say physical education, you mean the exciting rush of adrenaline, the electric feel of synergy, or passion for a sport; if you mean becoming a humble winner and an accepting loser; if you mean fighting childhood obesity and building the foundation for a healthy, active, lifestyle; if you mean the opportunity to make new friends, get away from the stressors of academic classes, and a no-homework guarantee––then every student should have the opportunity to experience P.E.

This is my view, and I will remain adamant in it.

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…Because Giant Monsters Make Everything Better

After an absence of a few weeks, I have returned!  Be sure to check out all the apologies and other exciting things I posted earlier today.  To come back with a bang, here’s a short piece I wrote on the history, influence, and significance of Godzilla!  Enjoy!

Godzilla, the giant lizard-monster famous for terrorizing Japan, has survived in media for over 50 years and continues to be an icon of Japanese culture.  Since Godzilla’s not-so-humble beginning in the 1954 film “Gojira” (the Japanese name for Godzilla), the monster has been in movies set in several countries––each time used to allegorically showcase their fears.  Today Godzilla (and other giant monsters that spawned from the original’s success such as Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah) is known worldwide, but the spirit of Godzilla and the monster genre it created remain purely Japanese.
The behemoth originally represented the threat of nuclear war in the wake of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The United States swiftly created a Godzilla film of its own, disregarding the original plot, but nonetheless Godzilla became popular in America.  Godzilla’s American popularity continued as other monsters swept through Japanese cinema: Movies like “King Kong vs Godzilla,” “Mothra vs Godzilla,” and “Godzilla vs the Thing” introduced new monsters that turned Godzilla into somewhat of a hero.  Instead of being a metaphor for Japanese fears, the monster itself began defending the nation from terrorists, pollution, invading aliens, and their giant monster representations.  To the observer, the change of Godzilla’s role in the movies shows that it had been completely absorbed and became a true icon.
As much as Americans ate up the Godzilla franchise, the concept is completely Japanese.  Japan produced something successful because everyone could relate to it.  In 1954 the threat of nuclear war was very real for Japan, and other countries had fears of their own.  Whether it’s demolishing the Tokyo Tower or crushing waves of U.S. troops, Godzilla is the embodiment of fear on a national level.  Japan’s interpretation of that fear gave the nation massive amounts of soft power as Godzilla infiltrated the movie theaters around the world.  The influence the monster had––its movies, action figures, collectables––was so immense that the original film spawned more than 20 sequels, companions, and spin-offs.  Though Godzilla may have lost its original metaphor for nuclear war, it exists today as a slate to which any fear could be applied, and an international icon that preserves an important piece of Japanese history.

“Beware the Demon of Party Spirit”

Beware the Demon of Party Spirit

I know this sounds totally “school paper”, but I really like this essay about the evils of political parties.  This may spark a little controversy, so comment!  Oh!  And just so you know, I am NOT an anarchist, I just think the idea of political parties is wrong.

As one of our most successful presidents, and certainly our most monumental, George Washington ended his term with a warning: “Beware the demon of party spirit.”   Even as early as the 1780s Washington predicted how polarized politics would become, and knew that our government must stay off the dangerous divided path in order to succeed.  Today, our government sees more and more party conflict everyday, and it can only get worse.  There’s nothing wrong with varying political views, but parties are bad because the dominant ones have too much power, they force people to conform, and they distract people from what they need to be doing to help our country.

When answering the question, “What party are you?” most people respond by saying they’re either a Democrat or Republican.  These parties have the greatest influence on politics today, and since their views are drastically different, our government becomes more polarized every day.  Politics has reached a point where only a presidential candidate of one of these parties could possibly win.  Since not everyone agrees with either of these parties, this doesn’t seem fair.  There are hundreds of political parties in the United States, and though many are similar, the balance of power isn’t equal.

By deciding you belong to a party, you are allowing yourself to be politically stereotyped.  For example, all Republicans are expected to be pro-life and anti-gun control, and Democrats visa-versa.  Everyone has an opinion on controversial issues such as these, but depending on a person’s situation they may not fit into one of these molds.  People shouldn’t need to worry about being loyal to a party, and should vote with their own best interest in mind.

The biggest issue with our current party situation is politicians’ decisions being based solely on what a normal member of their party would do, and not thinking about the country as a whole.  Of course there are exceptions to this, but for the most part a politician will never vote in favor of another party.  Because of this many great ideas thought up by members of all parties are shot down all the time.  Imagine where our country could be today if political parties had never existed.  Perhaps we’d be in better economic condition?  Have a more effective government?  Or at least a more unified one?  The mere existence of parties encourages a division of government that will ultimately cause it to fail in the future.  If we hope to succeed as a nation, we must first agree to disagree, but still move forward.

As we progress, our leaders make bigger decisions.  We cannot afford to separate ourselves and fight red versus blue, especially when the problems get bigger and the solutions get more critical.  There is no such thing as true neutral, and conflict will always exist. That being said, we need a balance of power that reflects the views of everyone, and a government made up of individuals (not stereotypes!).  Politics has become a war, so it’s time we return to status quo antebellum.

Creativity in Today’s World

Man, I guess I’m in the mood for long pieces!  Here’s a fun persuasive essay-I really enjoyed this one!


The Importance of Creativity in Today’s World

Six and a half billion people.  Just decades ago a third of that populated the Earth.  With rapid expansion overwhelmingly greater challenges threaten us: rising poverty, rising seas, shrinking income, shrinking resources.  And Science says it will only get worse.  That scientific way of thinking has gotten us this far, but we need creativity in the world more than ever because we’re facing these new challenges, and their innovative solutions can move us forward and push us together as a society.

Earth faces problems like hunger and climate change on a more massive scale every day, issues we as humans have never dealt with before.  It’s the creative minds that think outside the box that will give us innovative solutions designed for our new problems.  Some of the planet’s developing nations realize the need for creativity already, and now pose threats to other first world nations who refuse to give up their old, methodical ways.  If the world as a whole were more innovative and creative, we could be united by our common goals.

We’ve established an “everything is new again” cycle in our culture, and we need to break it if we ever want to move forward.  On the global scale of warfare, our technology has greatly increased, yet we continue to use it in old, self-destructive ways.  Even in smaller areas such as fashion we’ve been boring and uncreative.  Vintage has somehow become the new avant-garde.  Whether in big ways or smaller ways, the world needs new ways to use its new technologies.  This must be accomplished with a creative jump-start, or the old will forever hold us back.

Adopting a new way of thinking as a planet guarantees global change.  Creative solutions can bring on the end of war, giving us more time and money to move forward in our endeavor to preserve and better our environment.  Instead of fighting with each other, working together would change the lifestyle of millions for the better.  The Age of Aquarius can start whenever we want it to; all we need is a different mindset.  Creatively coming together as a planet would allow us to last longer as a planet.

If science has taught us anything, it has taught us that anything can be solved in a methodical, scientific manner and that human creativity and imagination is a mere gift, not realistically useful.  Science also predicts worldwide changes in climate, dangerous pandemics, and even mankind’s self-destruction.  If we choose to look deeper into ourselves, though, a small spark of hope tells us not to believe it.  Welcome to the world of creativity.