Finding your Yawp

“Viewed freely, the English language is the accretion and growth of every dialect, race, and range of time, and is both the free and compacted composition of all.”

-Walt Whitman

My junior year of high school, my language teacher Mr. Randy Robbins introduced us to the poetry of Walt Whitman. Until then, I had never read any poems by this “sweaty toothed madman.” Yet, I remember sitting there with my weathered textbook and bushing my hands in awe over the words on the page.

“I celebrate myself, and I sing myself.”

I couldn’t understand how someone could weave a sentence with so much power, so much resonance. I reread those seven words several more times, each time more in awe than the last. When Robbins opened the floor for discussion, I was too timid to speak up. Did the rest of the class truly understand these words? What if I was reading into it too much? I swallowed my voice and just listened to my classmates, who (for the most part) saw it as another mandatory high school poem they had to read.

After reading a collection of his work, we watched Dead Poets Society  with Robin Williams and Ethan Hawk.  Dead Poets follows a group of boys as they discover the power of poetry, and explore the meaning of friendship and individuality. This movie was so beautifully crafted and portrayed the ideals of Whitman perfectly.

What stuck with me was from both the movie and Whitman was the word ‘yawp’ from Song of Myself:

“I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world.”

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Yawp. A loud cry or yell, but sounded with vigor and confidence. A yawp is something that makes you known. People acknowledge and recognize your presence because you demand it. During Robbins’ class, he took us outside to sound our yawp over East Coweta. My yawp sounded like a feeble whisper that only I heard. Compared to the  rest of the class, my yawp was pitiful.

But since that day my yawp has been strengthening. Yawp has given me a constant reminder to speak up, and to not let myself sink into the background. I’ve found that my confidence has grown, and that I have a story to tell.  I become so consumed with trying to tell other people’s stories, that I forgot to tell my own. My story may have more or less bumps in the road than someone else, but it’s mine to tell. That is so powerful to me. I am my own being with my own strengths and hopes, and no one can take that away from me.

I think when we become so focused on what we’re not doing, we forget what we are doing. We forget that we are where we are meant to be. Once we learn to be okay with where we are, only then can we blossom.  Only then can we begin to find our yawp.

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Mobile Apps and Concentration

Hello everyone!

Some of you may be viewing this post through your WordPress app, or maybe you followed a link through your Facebook app. With our mobile devices, we have the world at our finger tips. Social media and dating apps allow us to connect with on other continents! It is truly astounding how far technology and communication has come.

This week in my technology course, one of the topics we covered were different types of applications on your PC and/or mobile devices. I have noticed how many apps try to appear as user friendly as possible, allowing the users to have instant access to features. Apps such as Twitter alott you a maximum amount to post. Even shopping apps give you instant access to an entire store. Even news apps such as Google News give you the article’s headline, lead, and nut graph without selecting the article.

I believe this instantaneous access to whatever we desire has not only shortened our attention span, but increased impatience as well. What are your thoughts? This is theory is something I’ve conducted prior research and articles on. I’ll attach the link to some articles, but feel free to discuss!

Have a lovely day, bohemes!

 

http://ksusentinel.com/2016/02/09/goodbye-critical-thinking/

http://www.theresident.co.uk/schools-education/technology-concentration-levels-classroom/

 

 

Binary Code

In my technology class, we have been discussing binary code. I never knew there was an entire other code used for inputting information into a computer. Computers are not my strong suite at all, but I did find the code interesting. While I don’t completely understand how the code works, it baffles me just how intelligent computers have become. Solely using 1’s and 0’s computers are able to discover such an inexpressible amount of data and intelligence. It makes me wonder what is to come of technology. I can’t imagine microchip implants or holograms computers are that far off.

I just hope we use the technology for the better.

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Don’t Forget Carpe Diem

As we students have progressed through the education system, we are bombarded with the importance of exam scores and grades. Schools stress over and over again the importance of making and maintaining sufficient grades in order to build towards the perfect career. In trying to make the perfect scores and land the ideal job, many students forget to live and to take time to smell the roses.

With such a large amount of pressure on students to succeed, stress levels are rising at high rates. According to Sharon Jayson of USA Today, more than 27% percent of teens say they experience extreme stress during the school year. Suicide rates are beginning to rise as well. While I do believe it is vital to receive an education to function in any society, I also believe that education should not be putting this much stress and pressure on students. I once saw a spoken word titled “I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate”. In the poem, artist Suli Breaks discusses the pressure of grades and provokes his audience to question the exam system. Should a number reflect how we are as a person? Should a number determine our success?

As students are beginning to merely aim for numbers and careers, they are taking less time to truly be themselves and to learn. Senior Bianca Nache’t states: “Unfortunately, people then miss out on the things they enjoy and what they are passionate about. It’s almost as if those ‘living life’ and not engulfing themselves in school are frowned upon.” The education system seems to take away students’ identities. In Pink Floyd’s music video for “Another Brick in the Wall”, faceless students sit motionless in chairs riding a conveyor belt towards what appears to be a meat processor. The meat processor, or education, pulverizes them to be identical. The metaphor for education is still relevant today. Student Breonne Williams says that “In order to live life, you have to have money to be able to do so…so people often think you have to have a career to make money and then live life.” Of course, this is true. Money is necessary in order to live and support families. However, we are so concentrated on earning money in the perfect career that we are becoming the walking dead.

I am not saying that grades are unimportant, but I am saying that we need to remember to enjoy and cherish life. Enjoy the little things we may take for granted. In between worrying about exams and your path after graduation, try to take some time to breath. As the beloved Robin Williams once said, “Carpe diem, lads. Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!”

Copyright The Sentinel KSU 2015

Come On, Congress

Written by me for the Kennesaw State Sentinel:

Dr. Willie Parker of Chicago is often viewed as a savior to many Mississippi women. According to Esquire, he flies from Chicago to Mississippi twice a month to perform abortions, a job that many doctors in the state refuse to complete. Many terrified women come to him seeking help. His humble office known as the Pink House is one of 1,793 independent women’s health clinics in the US, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Dr. Park’s practice and others are often overlooked by women because of the overwhelming popularity of Planned Parenthood. Because Planned Parenthood is a federal business, it receives support from the government. However, in the recent months, videos and information about what Planned Parenthood does beyond closed doors has surfaced.

The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a secretly filmed video this July, revealing that Planned Parenthood has been selling parts of aborted fetuses. More and more information is being uncovered and the move to defund this organization has been stronger than ever. Regardless of your stance on abortion, it is extremely difficult to defend Planned Parenthood’s recent actions. If Congress defunded Planned Parenthood, they could put an end to the illegal doings of the company.

As stated in the New York Times, the eight minute video released to the media by the CMP includes Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, conversing with potential buyers of fetal tissues and parts.

According to the 42 US Code 289g-2, it is considered a felony for any person “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce. Breaking this law as Planned Parenthood did results in up to ten years in prison.

The video also suggests that Planned Parenthood is altering abortion procedures so that the fetus’ body parts are more intact. Because such alterations could be harmful to the mother, abortion physicians are not allowed to alter procedures to produce “better” tissues. Since the first video was released, eight more have surfaced, each more horrifying than the other. In the seventh video, released Aug. 19, the Executive Director Dr. Ben Van Handel of a company that buys the fetal parts admitted that sometimes a baby’s heart is still beating. Handel said “there are times when after the procedure is done that the heart actually is still beating.” As each video was released, more questions arose concerning Planned Parenthood’s priorities.

By Congress defunding Planned Parenthood, they would stop the company for a year. During this time a more thorough investigation of the company will take place. This law will not stop abortions, but it will put a pause and hopefully an end to the horrid actions taking place. Regardless or a person’s stance on abortion, myself and countless others believe the gruesome actions of Planned Parenthood go against all morals and must be stopped. No fetus deserves to be mutilated and sold for profit.

Every life has value, but by thoughtlessly trashing an aborted fetus or its parts, society sends the public the message that life is worthless and disposable.

Copyright The Sentinel 2015