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Throughout my elementary, middle and high school years, I noticed that the school lunches were not very healthy. I remember eating pizza, french fries, and mozarella sticks often—high in salt, fat, and calories. Of course, children can bring their own healthy lunch from home but not all parents have time to prepare lunch for their children, enrolling them in the lunch program offered. Not only does the food need to be healthy, it needs to be fresh. Children attend school to be educated but schools are enforcing the idea that eating unhealthy food at school and outside of school is okay. Serving students with fruits and vegetables may be costly but it’s something that must be done; schools are the place where money needs to be invested. While some schools are responding to this issue and improving their food, many schools continue to serve their students with unhealthy food. While schools have been removing vending machines with soda and chips, attention must be focused on the actual meal being served. Futhermore,  “a study from 2009 that looked at children who participated in the National School Lunch Program found they were more likely to gain weight than other children” (Christensen 2010).

Schools struggle to feed kids healthy food

Group members: Tina, Abe, Alverneq

-Monika K.

Jeans have become universal over the years and are definitely a staple in my wardrobe. I’ve been wearing jeans ever since I was a child but the styles of my jeans have changed overtime. For instance, I remember wearing jeans with printed flowers when I was in elementary school, wearing flare jeans in middle school and by the time I went to high school, I began wearing skinny and super skinny jeans. Jeans have evolved from “the unemotional, durable garb of miners and others” to a fashion trend. Furthermore, I have noticed that in several advertisements, men and woman are seen shirtless and in sexual positions, displaying a brand of jeans―especially Calvin Klein Jeans. Though, Calvin Klein Jeans advertising tactics have changed a bit, jeans of every brand still  emphasize the curves of women in their advertisements.

Skinny jeans, a popular style seen in recent years is not limited to women and hipsters anymore, skinny jeans are in style for men now. On the other hand, I have also seen several young men wearing baggy jeans, revealing their underpants. However, popular culture and celebrities do have a great role in making certain style of jeans popular among the youth. According to ABC News, “Americans spend $13 billion dollars a year on jeans and they are the most worn item in every woman’s closet” (Noll 2010). Jeans appear to be something that will remain for a long time, comforting people of every class.

-Monika Kumar

Frederick Douglass, Frankie Mae, and José Yglesias all expressed the desire to learn but were presented with obstacles which prevented them to do so. Frederick Douglass was a slave who was taught how to read by his mistress, Mrs. Sophia who was very affectionate and different from other slaveholding mistresses. However, soon, Mrs. Sophia stopped teaching Douglass because her husband’s disapproval who believed that “if you give a nigger an inch he will take ell” (69). This caused Mrs. Sophia to have changed attitudes toward Douglass but Douglass was still determined to learn how to read and write. Douglass became friends with the white boys on the street who taught Douglass how to spell, and soon he was able to read books. Similarly, Fannie Mae lived under oppression and struggled to attain education. Frankie Mae, an African American girl wished to attend school but was unable to go for so too long because Mr. White Junior, the owner of the plantation wanted as many hands to chop cotton. This caused Frankie to fall behind in school but she did have enough education to take account of the family’s expenses. Towards the end of year, when Frankie and her father went to settle their account with Mr. White Junior, Frankie presented her figures which differed from Mr. White Junior’s. Mr. White Junior was very angered by Frankie’s insistence and opposition which caused Mr. White Junior to almost pick up his pistol. From that moment, Frankie realized the oppressive and discriminatory society she was living in; thus, she lost hope and stopped going to school. Additionally, José Yglesias, a cigar maker understood the oppression he was living under when lecterns were torn down and the cigar rollers were prevented from hearing literature from the los lectores. The cigar rollers sat under the sun for the several hours earning low wages and finally decided to go on strike for three months in the midst of the Great Depression.

Douglass and Yglesias resisted the oppression they were faced with; whereas, Frankie gave up hope. For instance, cigar makers left their work because “their employees had forbidden men to read to them from the works of famous writers all bound in thick expensive volumes” (Ross 84); they stood up for what loved in a oppressive society during a difficult time to prove their point. Furthermore, Douglass motivated to learn how to read and after even after his mistress stopped teaching him—his persistence is commendable. On the other hand, Frankie was fed up with being discriminated against and oppressed that she quit going to school and got married at an early age. Though, Douglass, Yglesias, and Mae’s experiences differ, they all possessed the thirst to learn.

There are several parallels in contemporary and one of them is redlining and this act is done through the web. Credit card and insurance companies are hiring date aggregation companies to look at people’s Facebook posting and Google searches! It’s ridiculous how if “you’ve looked at guitar ads or sent an email to a divorce lawyer might cause a data aggregator to classify you as less credit-worthy” (Mazzuca 2012). For instance, an Atlanta man’s credit limit had been lowered to $3,800 from $10,800 after he had come back from his honeymoon. On the other hand, in 2010, AccuquoteLife.com had a system in which it presented suburban, college-educated baby boomers were presented with a policy between $2 million and $3 million and those who were recognized as working-class seniors were presented with polices wort $250,000. These market strategies are not considered illegal but do invade a person’s privacy and one cannot argue against the company once they are “weblined.”

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2012/02/09/redlining-is-back—-on-the-web?t=commercial-business

-Monika Kumar

Black and white to color, we’ve come a long way
We don’t live without technology even for a day.
Like a picture, write on a friend’s wall
I forgot the last time I made a call.
In the life with profuse information,
Everything’s different in our nation.

Imperfections, I have them all.
But I don’t allow the media to be the reason that I fall.
Cyberbullying leads to low self esteem,
I just want the world to hear my scream.

Monika Kumar (008)