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Brainstorming from the heart

The K.I.N.D. Foundation

It stands for  Kids In Need of Desks. Basically it’s to help fund desks for children in Malawi. Most of these children have to sit on a dirt floor for hours while they are at school. The dull pain and lack of attention it causes, hinders those students from learning something that could spark their interest. I never realized how much a desk can make such a difference in a student’s life. A certain youtuber describes the cause in a more eloquent way than I could ever hope to below:

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Since 1948, the Israeli occupation of Palestine, has led to the indigenous Palestinians being the most oppressed people on the whole globe. They’re constantly under attack by the Israel Defense Force, homes have been demolished by the bulldozers, their Olive trees (only marketable resource) have been up rooted, and they’re continually treated as inferiors for being Palestinian, just as the indigenous South Africans were from 1950-1990. Palestinians have been forced out their own homes, and forced into refugee camps. Israel has cut off all resources from entering Palestinian settlements like the Gaza Strip, Hebron, and the West Bank. The apartheid, systematic, and heinous crimes that Israel daily commits against the indigenous Palestinians has not only been ignored by the world, but are being supported with American tax dollars. Obama pledged 30 billion dollars to AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) when he ran for office in 2008. More recently in 2008, during Israel’s attempt to siege the Gaza strip from the Palestinians, white phosphorus cluster bombs were dropped from the sky by Israeli jets onto innocent Palestinian schools, and hospitals. During this siege, airstrikes killed “over 1,300 people and injuring over 5,300 more (with 70% estimated to be civilians), during the ensuing military phase of the 22-day siege through January 18th, 2009 — the highest death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades.” 

These Palestinians have been given absolutely no support by any of the superpower countries. Instead, they are laughed at, made a mockery of, and then FOX news and other major media outlets portray these Palestinians as terrorists. The world has waited and watched much too long to not take action. We need to spread awareness, raise funds, and build up resources to help the Palestinians. The media has not shed any light on the oppression that these Palestinians go through. I believe that by supplying people with more information, and educating them about this critical issue, that we can unite, and put an end to Israel’s ever lasting reign of terror on the Palestinians.

SOURCE

-Ali Suliman 008

Legalizing Marijuana in the United States has been an issue of debate for quite a while, dating back to the mid 1990s. 16 states and Washington DC already have enacted to legalize the use of medical marijuana. Medicinal Marijuana being legal at the state level and illegal at the Federal level is where the problem arises. Federal and state laws conflict when dealing with the use of medical marijuana. There are quite a few reasons why i believe marijuana should be legal nationwide.

The most important reason is how marijuana isn’t a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol. Marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. Marijuana has many positive attributes such as its medicinal use and as a recreational drug with nearly no side effects. The use of marijuana provides relief from pain, nausea and other symptoms for many individuals who have not been treated successfully with “real pharmacy” medications. Many American adults also prefer marijuana to the use of alcohol as a mild and moderate way to relax.

Marijuana’s legalization would turn the hemp plant as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the United States, which includes developing it as a new bio-fuel to reduce carbon emissions. Canada and other European countries support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but United State’s opposition to legalize marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity.

If marijuana is legal, it would reduce its sales and use among teenagers, as well as reduce their exposure to other drugs in the illegal market. Finally prohibition has not stopped the use and production of marijuana in the United States. The government has its own system of laws to prevent the use of marijuana for over 75 years yet it is used by over 25 million people annually. Cannabis is also currently the largest cash crop in the United States.

 

NORML is a nonprofit lobbying organization working to legalize marijuana, stop arrests of smokers, provide educational research and legal information on Marijuana.

Legalized in which STATES?

Top 10 reasons why

 

— Faizan Mahmood (008)

I have two kids who are G5, and G7. I concerned about their heath everyday. I always wonder if they have enough nutrition or not, and I also wonder if I give them high-colories foods or not. In the town, there are lot of fast food shops where kids like. When we go out for shopping, it’s so easy for me to eat out, and kids are also happy to eat at fast food shop. However, I know it’s not good for health of kids, so I always realize I should stop to go there, and I have to teach my kids to eat right way.

In my country, Japan, every public schools have some dietitian. Their job is to calculate the lunch calories and make the school lunch menus with the heathy foods  everyday. We,  parents, get the menu once a week, and can check what kids eat, and how much calories they have everyday at school. Even parents have some chance to eat and check what they are eating at school in the school curriculum once a term. In this country, I don’t see the system I can check. So it’s all depend on the kids and parents. I strongly believe the kids are taught what is good foods for health or bad by adults. They have to learn and protect their health by themselves for their future.

Haruyo Morikuni

An issue that is prevalent in today’s society yet not sufficiently dealt with is education. Education in the United States is not in a good place, especially for public schools. There is too much standardization that many kids end up getting average scores when they have the potential to do so much better. Schooling is just not right! A lot of teachers just get by because they are forced to teach under certain curriculums, and no longer have that “spark” for teaching. That, in turn, leads to bored teachers which leads to bored students. So many students these days complain about school and feel hopeless and unmotivated by the time they reach even middle school!

John Taylor Gatto is a teacher who is famous for fighting against the curriculum-standardized school system. Schools should encourage creativity and make kids love learning, not “dumb them down” so that they won’t ever succeed. A documentary that also criticized schooling called “Waiting for Superman” focused on a few kids who wanted to get into a school by lottery. Imagine that, a good education is earned by luck! What happens to underprivileged kids who are unlucky? They have to go to poor schools and therefore don’t have a high chance of succeeding. Underprivileged kids have it the worst, their fate is already decided because of their environment, their neighborhood, their class. Not everyone gets to have a “Homeless to Harvard” story, and in reality, the majority don’t.

Many aspects of public schooling are in severe need of reform. I know that my own experience with education has been very “boring,” as Gatto puts it. I see in Hunter so many students, including me, who just had no clue what their major was when they came in here. I believe that comes from the 12 years of mundane schooling that we endured before getting to college. Their is no passion in education and no care. It needs a lot of help.

Here is a very interesting essay by John Taylor Gatto on education: Against School

And the trailer for Waiting For Superman, which I recommend highly: Waiting For Superman

-Nour Saudi

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

Worldwide, tobacco is one of the most prominent causes of preventable death. If we continue on our current path this poison will contribute to deaths of all ages exponentially. Sadly this is the effect, whether a person is a smoker or not, due to the harmful effects of second hand smoke that we are all aware of.
I believe just as companies target the younger generation in ads for sales, targeting them in no- smoking ads can also be effective.
I also believe this method would work best because I know it is hard to quit something that you have already experienced.
For instance, I am and was a vegetarian all my life, so I do not have any urge to try meat nor do I miss it. When I see people around me ,even just trying to fast for a period of time, let alone become a vegetarian for personal reasons, it is a struggle. So if we can persuade children to not even try a cigarette we can make progress.
Recently there has been a ban on smoking in  NYC public outdoor spaces and I have seen notices up around Hunter saying that smoking on campus even if its outdoors is prohibited.
Watching that video brought me rage. Even in the year 2011 someone has the ignorance to say “smoking outside, your not hurting anyone”. Has this person ever heard of second hand smoke?
Just as a smoker has the right to smoke a person walking in a public area has the right to breath in clean air.
Even with all of the steps taken to prevent smoking, as I am walking to school, even in to the doors of Hunter  I always get a whiff of tobacco smoke. And I can’t get away from it, it is the city, congested and packed, we both have to get somewhere by the same path so there really is no escape.
This presents a greater problem for me in the Spring, allergy season. I am so sensitive to smell during this time that even  if a person who was smoking before they got a train entered my cart I would start tearing and my chest would tighten up. It is a horrible feeling and it even surprises me that it happens so easily.
Non-smokers are concerned for their own health and the health of others, including smokers. Campaigning to save ones health will never be a bad, selfish, or in-useful  thing.
Also, so many people die for reasons that we cannot prevent and by dieases we have no cure for, and we all morn them and support institutions to help situations like these such a breast cancer. But here we have a completely preventable issue and we can not even have the decency to obey the law for the sake of it, and other peoples health.
The only way I see to successfully change the way the world views tobacco is by is by bypassing the arrogant old folks who are set in their bad habits and influence children to take the high road.
NYC Outdoor smoking ban begins
NY Times: Smoking Ban
~G. Belpat