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As children reach adolescence they start to become aware of their own bodies and how others relate to them. The issue of obesity in America has been a growing one especially because unhealthy food is much more affordable.  Junior high school to high school should be a time where students are seasoned to succeed in the “real” world. Gym and health classes are not taken seriously and the health of today’s generation continues to decline rapidly. The standard of school food is at an all time low and while students are expected to perform as best they can their bodies are not being taken care of. Students can’t be forced to NOT buy junk from local stores, but by educating them on the importance of healthy foods students may be less inclined to purchase junk foods. Childhood obesity not only ruins the bodies of these children but most importantly their mind. Social skills and class performance can suffer due to a lack in confidence and can lead to depression. Both health classes and more aggressive exercise alternatives need to be established and being that bullying is an ongoing problem students struggling with their weight should be taken seriously. Though students may not find interest in rigorous workout sessions, dance classes, yoga, or sports can spark an interest; proving staying healthy can be fun.

Alverneq Lindsay

Group: Monika, Abe,Tina

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     The Ends Justify the Jeans creates a clear depiction of what exactly jeans use to mean for the masses. Today, the thought of jeans as a way of feminist rebellion and labor have faded, but many things have remained the same. Jeans will always be a connecting thread between people. Jeans have grown to define us as who we are and what our interests are. For example, skaters became most popularly known for wearing skinny jeans, a cut of jeans that went out of style during my childhood years and came back strong. It is said “history repeats itself” and jeans are a clear indication of this. Capitalism has brought us a host of options due to competition; skinny, boot-cut, wide leg, high rise, low rise, ripped, and the list goes on. Jeans can speak loudly about what type of person the wearer is perceived to be. The wearing of jeans has a taken a much more superficial turn.Jeans define not only our style but our economic standing as well. Though jeans can bring us together the difference in personal taste can tear us apart.

Attractiveness is valued highly in America, it is said that attractive people are more likely to be treated kindly and I’ve been witness to that. Walking down West 4th street in Manhattan I see a young girl walking towards me with a short leather coat and a thin shawl protecting her face and hair from the moist, frizz educing air. Though her face cannot be seen each man’s head whips around like a conveyor belt to feast eyes on the voluptuous curves of a woman whose face is unseen. She walks towards a bar door and much effort is given by another man to open the door before she reaches her destination. For women especially, the implication is given that we must possess sex appeal. Jeans have become a way of doing just that to please the Sir Mix a lot’s who “like big-butts and cannot lie.” Baggy jeans were at one time a statement for young men and women alike due to celebrity influence. Female rappers were spreading the message of female empowerment, but as the tides change so have our denim uniforms. Masculinity and femininity are clearly defined by the way our jeans are made and fit our bodies.The hundreds of cuts and styles of jeans we find in every store under various names allow us to reach our personal ideal of attractiveness. It seems as though more effort is put into trying to define ourselves based on style of denim rather than our actions.

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Alverneq Lindsay

Found this right after watching that powerful documentary, “Invisible Children”.

i\'m a fan of postcards

EDIT ON MARCH 7, 2012: This post was originally written in 2006.  As you read and comment, please consider that it has been over 5 years since I wrote my thoughts here.  I personally still have the same concerns about IC that I did when I posted this and have chosen not to contribute to their cause.  However, Uganda continues to hold a very special place in my heart.  When I wrote this article, I supported and I continue to support relief efforts in Uganda through the work of Steve Hoyt at Engineering Ministries International (eMi), an organization with a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.  If you’d like, you can support Steve’s work in Uganda here: https://emisecure.org/donate.html .  To  learn more about the work that eMi does in Uganda visit http://emiea.org/index.html.

Thanks for continuing to be a part of this important conversation.

James

Original Post:

Invisible Children (IC)…

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Technological Determinism:

In this photo the Chinese Panda is running on a treadmill, not to stay in physical shape but to keep up with industrialization. Buildings and factories are seen through the window and in order to compete with the U.S., China must also improve and expand on their current technology. As competition increases we must take steps to validate ourselves as worthy competitors. A society’s technology helps drive social change, particularly with employment.

-Alverneq Lindsay

There is not much in this life that truly belongs to us. If you get someone to see the world the way you do without them questioning your judgement that alone is a talent. In the stories of Frederick Douglas, Josey Yglesius, and Frankie Mae they were all subjected to oppression they were born into. Society set standards for minorities which made them workers who had to abide by the rules of their owners or ‘bosses’. They all blindly accepted these social norms until knowledge set in. Oppressors kept a tight hold on workers by keeping them uninformed to the world around them. In Fredrick Douglas’ story an unusual picture is painted when his masters wife nurtures him and teaches him how to read. Douglas’ master quickly reprimands his wife about her behavior and over time she too becomes disgusted by the idea of her slave being able to think for himself. Total control over someone can only be obtained when one person remains ignorant to what is going on around them. In all three readings despite the harsh work conditions, minimal to absent pay, and crude treatment these workers would have lived better lives if they were unaware of the inequalities that haunted them. Frankie Mae knew too much for her to continue living peacefully because society would not allow her to defy her boss even if she was right. Her spirit was crushed once she used her knowledge in her own defense.

Society and media seem to encourage self dependency. We look up to those who can think for themselves and convince ourselves we too are thinking on our own. With the increase of social networking and media to the public most of what we learn has been formulated by someone who may only tell us what they want us to know. People who live in apartments that don’t satisfy legal living requirements subject themselves to sickness and hardship, unaware that they are being treated unfairly. We rely on someone of higher power to educate us, feeling satisfied when information is channeled to us through pieces of paper or a computer screen. How much of it would we actually agree with if we knew the entire story? We live comfortably alongside injustice and many of us would prefer to live happily and in ignorance than enlightened and in misery.

 

-Alverneq Lindsay (008)

The Rape us by taking the things we value

Altering our mind and all we thought was real

What exactly must I do to be as beautiful as you?

My face in my palm and fingertips on hips that I wish could become mine

As I flip through thin pages that crumple in my hand it becomes clear that we are not so different

In the hands of our maker we were created all the same

Beauty can come in so many different ways

Its probably their fault that we even picture ourselves this way

I’ve been on this earth for quite some time

And I’ve learned to love your differences, as well as mine