Sunday, November 6, 2016

Presidential Candidates: Through the Lens of a Debate Student

For many high school students, voting and other issues associated with being an adult seem to be a decade away from them; however, that doesn't stop them from voicing their opinions. High school is a time where many adolescents learn about forming their own ideas and opinions based on previous experiences. 2016 is a year where things that were once thought to be impossible are happening. 

This year we are faced with one of the most controversial presidential elections in American history. Throughout the past three months, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald Trump faced off during the presidential debates. Political and personal opinions aside, the candidates both face criticism for their manner of speaking; therefore, I thought that I would give my take on the debate. 
I will break it down into three parts: respect, answers, and attitude. 

As the second presidential debate started, we witnessed the two candidates take the floor. It might have slipped viewers minds initially, but they did not shake hands. Both candidates lacked the basic decency of shaking their opponents hands. Trump and Clinton represent a part of the American people, so not acknowledging each other translates to not acknowledging a part of our nation. The debates themselves were one of the most interesting debates in recent history. SNL and many other satirical shows emphasized the unconventional actions of both parties. As Clinton answered some of her questions, Trump stood behind her, which was viewed by many people as an invasion of personal space. In terms of debate decorum, both Clinton and Trump did not benefit themselves at all. They interrupted each other with haphazard phrases and kept exceeding the time given by the mediators. Constant outbursts of “wrong” and other interruptions made it hard to take the candidates seriously. No matter the opinion and the position another person takes, I believe respect is needed during a debate to acknowledge the opposing side’s reason. Every person has a right to their own opinion and America prides itself on diversity and the land of the free, therefore, every reason should be acknowledged with respect. Connecting it back to the presidential election, we need a president who respects the human society no matter the differences because in the end we all fall under under the American.

Both candidates have some improving to do when it comes to their responses. Clinton is well articulated; however, her answers to controversial and personal problems may seem more rehearsed than from the heart. Even if she truly means what she says about people's distress, Clinton needs to work on her own voice. The Secretary of State took her time to answer the questions thoroughly and sometimes taking a bit more than her allotted time. The candidates answers should be to the point while also addressing the problems and questions of the people. Going over time for every answer is exhausting to watch and seeing the candidates avoid a question is even worse. At times it feels like watching a high school chick flick.

Trump started off well, but as the night progressed his answers became more unpolished. His voice was clear, unlike Clinton’s; nonetheless, his answers were incomplete. Many times Trump addressed Clinton rather than the question itself. This election cycle has been the most beneficial for media sources. Drawing the attention away from the real problems, such as the race issues, wealth gap, and education to minor details that concern the candidates personal lives, the media as well as the candidates have managed to exaggerate this election with details that in the end will not affect the country. It is important for the president to have answers to the people's questions and these debates give the candidates a space to showcase their abilities to the nation. 

This election has been one interesting journey. All along we have felt the vibes of these different presidential candidates. Although Trump and Clinton have many flaws in their debate and people skills, both have one common quality: determination.
Throughout the race both Trump and Clinton have faced backlash from the media and the people, yet they still stand proud in front of their nation. The country needs a president who will stand up for their values, respect the human race, and let nothing stop their efforts to make this world a better place. 

It is hard to believe that this journey will be over in two days and to be completely honest I'm going to miss tuning into the radio and tv to watch this crazy election. As usual America has got the entire world holding their breaths as the Election Day comes closer and as usual America will choose a leader they believe will lead the country success.
No matter the outcome, I know America can always pull through any situation no matter how tough because when we come together as a nation and put our differences aside, as we have time after time, we will always rise to the challenge and be the best.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


"Without distinction of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property birth or other status."
- UN Human Rights Deceleration, article 2
"Bullying is bad" teachers told me.
Bullying is when a person uses their power and intimidation to force another person to do what the person wants.

Here is the thing
I don't see the difference between discrimination and bullying. Sure, the first word is more fancier and not many children know what that means but they both imply that one group of people use their power to exclude another group of people. Everyone is against bullying, so that means everyone is against discrimination.How come when someone tweets #BlackLIvesMatter
they will face back lash with a bunch of people commenting

Take the stereotypical bullying situation
The nerd is being pushed down by the jocks who are popular. People are not going to say that the jocks should be protected from being pushed, because there is no one pushing the jocks and they are already protected. People are going to say that nerds need protection from being pushed.

That is the same thing with the hashtags. Black lives matter is not saying that other races don't matter. It is saying that black lives matter equally because many places don't value black lives. I am not black, I'm brown and I don't see a hashtag going around talking about that brown lives matter. Sure brown people face a lot of discrimination, a lot of which I have personally experienced. However, I know that the black community has faced a much longer lasting oppression.

Take crayons as an example
The black crayon is used the most to outline figures. It is the most used but on the other hand the white crayon has never ever felt paper. The white crayons are excluded the most and that is not fair. The yellow crayons are also used less but not as little as the white. This is because the paper is white and so the white doesn't show up when used. Our world is made of black paper. The darker your complexion the less likely you are to show up. Our world has been run by people with power and wealth and is made to benefit only them. It is time to change that.
Are colored people's rights not human rights?

Humans include women, and women tend to have feminine qualities then aren't feminine qualities human?
What is so wrong about a women working hard to make equal or more money then men.
A women owning her own body.
A women having a child.
A women feeling confident in her own body and clothes.

Honestly, women can accomplish what a man can accomplish, and on top of that bring life into the world. As a girl I think other women/girls should start by respecting each other.
How can you expect respect from men if you don't even respect each other.
Are women's rights not just human rights?

Poets, musicians and writers throughout history romanticize the idea of finding love.
Life gives and takes a lot of things but the one thing you can leave this world with is love. Imagine marrying someone you don't love. Every culture celebrates marriage then why can't a man marry another man or a woman marry another woman. Isn't it just binding two souls. Souls don't have genders. It is not gay marriage, it is just plain simple marriage. People are still fighting against arranged marriages around the world because in our eyes marrying someone you don't love is crazy...
Are marriage rights not human rights?

We talk about going into other countries, where people need basic human rights, and fix it and we often do go into other countries to do exactly that, but I'm a firm believer in fixing your own flaws before others. When traveling you are always told that during an emergency you should put on the mask yourself before others. This is true for countries too. You aren't exactly going to be that helpful to another country if you yourself are struggling to get oxygen.
Are your rights not human rights?

Humans are humans
Everyone believes in human rights.
Heterosexuals are humans.
Homosexuals are humans.
Men are humans.
Women are humans.
The poor are humans.
The rich are humans.
Mixed races are humans.
Latin Americans are humans.
North Americans are humans.
Europeans are humans.
Asians are humans.
Africans are humans.
Australians are humans.

Whether you are a mix of multiple races or not, or you are just different from what you are expected to be, know that nobody chooses to be who they are.
 We are dealt cards in a game called life.
Nobody ever wishes that they will face extra hardships just because of who they are.

"No one person is at fault for how our world is nor is it one persons choice to change it"

We have all felt discriminated against for just being who we are and no one's problem is less important than another's problem. If you haven't felt it you are lying to others and yourself.
We are all humans and our ancestors fought so many wars to have human rights.

Therefore the first step to a better place is respect.
If you don't want to know, don't.
If you don't want to understand, don't.
If you don't want to learn, don't.
I grew up learning that if someone is not harming themselves or others then don't interfere in their lives.

At the end of the day we are all just skeletons covered in decomposing organic material.
Millions of years from now some species is going to discover our skeletons. If you think they will see the difference between races or if one person was gay or one had more money than the other, you are dead wrong. They will the ruins of a once great species that could have gone extinct for the hatred they had for each other. We are all better than that.

"Every quality a person posses is human"

Once you open your eyes and see every difference as a unique color you will come to realize that the world is really like a rainbow. Every color is unique and each compliments the other to create
true beauty.

I'm not asking you to welcome in a complete stranger of a group of people you once disliked. I'm not even asking you try to understand.
I'm just asking for plain, simple respect.

We cannot change anything until the playing field is leveled by respect.
We are all humans at the end of the day... The least we can do is respect each other.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Missing Equation for Growth in the 21st century

One of the major topics of today's politics is our environment and how we have to save it. A big topic is global warming which has increased the earth’s regular temperature by 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880. Two thirds of the global warming, however; occurred between 1975 and now. Not only does it increase desertification but it also harms the wildlife and the environment. 

A contributor to the harming of nature is greenhouse gasses. These harmful gasses are produced through manufacturing of products. After these items lose their value they are thrown into landfill or even our oceans without taking out the toxins, thus allowing it to contaminate our resources and environment. People talk a lot about how the environment is being destroyed yet the solutions are never brought into the spotlight.  "The best way to protect our environment is by manufacturing products with a forethought to how to reuse it as many times as possible while keeping the toxins separate from the biodegradable parts".

Reusing technology and other products can help save our environment as well as help create less waste and more jobs. Reusing technology creates a circular economy which is more efficient than the linear economy we use today. Most technology today is built on a simple principle that takes resources, makes products and dumps toxins back into earth. This is the linear economy. Recycling in linear economy is very costly and hard since the products technical and biological nutrients are mixed up. The solution to this is circular economy. It all starts with designing a product that can easily be torn apart and recycled by separating the products technical and biological parts. This creates less waste and increases the time one component is used. Linear Economy only add more waste to our world. For example the garbage is dumped into oceans creating piles of toxic debris killing any marine life. If it is not put into the ocean, it is put into landfills. This pollutes and contaminates our valuable resources. It's a cycle that has no winners. As well as saving the environment, circular principle has economic benefits too. Some brands, such as Nike, already use recyclable products to create their products. Nike takes plastic bottles and uses it to create polyester products. If we implement circular economy for consumer goods sector alone it would save $700 million. Not only does it save $700 million, it will save $1 trillion in annual savings for global economy by 2025. The circular economy both saves a lot of money and creates 100,000 new jobs in just 5 years. Implementing circular economy principles is the most basic and efficient way to protect our environment.

Besides the obvious effects of linear economy why should we switch over to circular when linear economy has been working for us? When we create products we take resources from nature; however, nature can't keep up with our needs, this is causing resources to become scarce and costly yet we keep destroying it by adding more waste to the environment.  The world’s natural resources are shrinking as we keep exploiting it without doing anything to preserve it. The world currently works on the principle of taking and giving nothing back. We cut down trees without replanting. We take natural resources and combine them with toxins so it's nearly impossible to separate and reuse it. Expenses on water and other valuable resources rise because it is getting rarer. If we stopped polluting our sources, we would have more clean water. By creating technology that can easily be reused/renewed we could use one phone to create five different products instead of creating six different products which will together create more waste than that one phone re-cycled. 

Reusing technology can help cut down deforestation in the rainforests which is a key contributor to the pollution and destruction of nature. This is just one example of what we can do with a phone after it has been used to its limit. Since deforestation accounts for 17% of greenhouse gases which is 4% more than the greenhouse gases emitted by all the transportation in the world (cars, planes, buses etc.) Making sure that the trees aren't cut down should be one of our main focuses as a society. The millennials have been taught about how many trees are being cut down every day and comparing it to football fields but we are never told a solution. If we are told of a solution then it's near imposible to achieve because changing people's habits is hard. Yet the solution to logging is much simpler than it may seem. Due to the quick growth in technology there is surprisingly good mobile coverage in the rainforest. By using simple phones that have been recycled, Topher White, a conservation technologist, created a device that can pick up on the frequencies of a chainsaw that a human cannot hear. The phone is in a box so it does not get destroyed and is powered by solar panels. The detection of chainsaws will send a location to the dedicated park rangers and they can stop loggers before another tree is cut down. Why use old phones when you can use new and more advanced technology? Well the old phones are anyways going to be thrown into nature because of our current linear economy creating more waste and pollution which harms the environment. Recycling increases the lifespan of the phone allowing it to help us save the environment. 

The main concern with switching too circular economy is the switch itself. The fear of switching is that the different parts of the product may be reused in different industries. This means the effort to make this happen is cross industries so everyone will have to participate equally and accept this change. If one industry were to control all the parts that can be resumed of a product they could increase the prices by a lot. This is a big risk that could possibly go wrong if one industry is not satisfied; however it is a risk worth taking to save our environment. If we don't try our best to save the environment it will not just harm nature but us humans as well. For example the rising sea level will destroy millions of houses near the sea, then the government has to take care of these people. Take Bangladesh, this is already happening there and though it may be far away from America we rely on the factories in these countries for our clothes and products. Prices across the globe will increase due to the shrinking resources and that affects everyone no matter who and where you are.

People are willing to help save the environment, all we have to do is tell them what they can do and take this big risk because no big change happens without a big risk. The biggest problems sometimes have the simplest solutions. Reusing technology helps create a more environment friendly economy allowing us to both use natural resources while still allowing nature to grow. Using technology already in place we can create ways to stop logging. This ultimately helps cutting down on emissions of greenhouse gases and save the rainforests. There are many people who are willing to help keep nature alive. Making technology that can be torn apart and reused will increase the lifespan of the components of the product creating more products from less resources.  The circular economy, which promotes recycling, limits the waste we put into nature saving wildlife as well. We must start now because resources are shrinking and we keep adding more waste/toxins to nature, not allowing the natural resources to replenish which creates a cycle that ultimately will harm us. 

The truth is that we only got this one world and if your mindset is that you won't live to be affected by nature than you are wrong. The natural world is a cyclical place, and we, humans, cannot change that no matter what. We can only learn from it and adapt to its needs. We have destroyed a lot of nature which cannot be replenished; however, we can do our best to save what is left before it's too late. Sometimes the biggest problems have the simplest solutions we just have to be willing to take the risk to solve it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The City Where Dreams Never Sleep

New York City. 
Home to 8.406 million (2013).
Only 304.6 mi².
Google defines it as "Home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty and other iconic sites, New York City is a fast-paced, globally influential center of art, culture, fashion and finance."

Every person I have ever known wants to visit NYC in some point in there life. 
I had the privilege of visiting this iconic city twice as a child.
The first time I went to the east coast I was eight years old, my mom went to Princeton for business and I had the honor to see one of the most beautiful campuses ever. Back then I did not know what exactly university and all that was so I declared to my family that I will go to Princeton. I thought to myself who wouldn't want to go there! Einstein had a house there!
I saw New York city from the view point of one of the millions of tourists who go there every year; however, I did not find it enchanting or as great as I had thought. To me it was just another big city with a little extra honking.
That was back then.

This year I had the most amazing opportunity to go to New York City with my school.
I didn't think twice before choosing the art trip. The early morning flight was great, but something within me was still anxious.
That all went away on the very same night. Our hotel was just a five minute walk from Time square where my group ended up eating.

This trip was very different from any other trip I had been on. 
We were free to do what we wanted and go where we wanted as long as we were back by a certain time. Obviously most adults would think that the children will go crazy with so much freedom, yet I did not. It somehow felt natural to me. Walking down busy streets, paying my own bills, asking for help, taking the subway. It all came bubbling up as if the city unlocked something deep within me that was just ready to burst out. We took subways to Brooklyn, Chelsea and around the city as well. 
The feeling was phenomenal since I loved walking and public transportation from growing up in Europe. 


The art varied from each gallery we saw, until we went to a rather unusual bookstore. Here they sold books from anyone as long as they had a hundred copies and I thought I could do that. They had books ranging from something no one understands to the most emotional and philosophical books. But they all had something I wanted to capture but I could not quite put my finger on it yet. 
I finally came up with the idea. 
What really got to me on the trip was the people. Every face you pass by, every window, every car has its own specific story. Every single person is going through something quite different from the person they are sitting next to on the subway. I felt as though I was walking through a living library, but each book had a lock that could only be opened by kindness. 
I wanted to write about how wonderful New York City is but I could never truly capture its essence until I have lived there myself which I hope to do in the future. 
So I thought what better way to tell the story of New Yorkers than have them tell it themselves. 
Imagine taking a candid picture of a 100 people on the street just going about their life (Of course letting them know about the pictures). Then putting the pictures into a book and having a few blank lines under each. Now have other New Yorkers write who they think this person is. Whenever people write about something or someone unknown we consciously or unconsciously relate it back to our own experience in life. 
It is the unheard story about the people of New York by the people of New York. 


My favorite part of the trip was street art.
From murals to graffiti everything just seemed to be that one subtle ingredient in the food that just makes the dish what it is and without it, it is not the same. I love it because everyone sees something different just like the pictures of people. Everyone sees a different story and as an artist it is amazing when you look through the glass of others. When people see my art and ask what it symbolizes, I tell them that they should tell me what it is. That's how art grows. without people looking and trying to understand art it will just be a canvas with paint on or a clay figure. Art is created by the people themselves. Art is the hidden story in their minds that come forth when they first lay eyes on a piece.
I hope to go to a university in New York City. 
The city is no more just Empire State and Statue of Liberty to me. Yes the Statue of Liberty just gives an example of how high you can dream and achieve and the Statue of Liberty shows the independence that I love of the city and people.
The day's seemed so long and tiring yet they went by so quickly. The city brought out something in everyone that soon disappeared when we returned home. For me the city was like chocolate, once I got a taste of it I cannot get enough. 
I realized the beauty of the city is not all these touristic sites, but the culture, the people, and the life-style. That is what I fell in love with. From childhood on I always knew exactly what I wanted to do in life; however, that slowly started to fade away when I started freshmen year. After that trip all I could think of was living in New York in a apartment and never getting bored because there is always something going on around the corner. The city revived me and is my inspiration. 

New York City. 
Home to more people than the country I grew up in.
Covers continents of culture.
I define it as "home to many different cultures, people, and a complete different life-style and a place that makes my dreams look like apples hanging from the tree. All I have to do is be daring enough to climb up and get it."

A Special Moment in Time

Everyone has that one memory of a place where your mind wanders to when you feel down.
From the most breathtaking scenes to the simplest dreams we all think of that place when we close our eyes.

Here is my memory:

As I biked up the last path, I stood up to see the tips of the swaying willow trees.
I heard my breath as all the sounds dimmed out just like the sea after the high tides so the sounds swiftly drew back. I pulled into the drive smiling at the three dancing willows who wore flowing green gowns that gently swept the earth as the wind kept singing its song. The trees soared towards the sky, and the bark was a white masterpiece painted by Mother Nature herself. My foot steps slowed down as I approached the garage door. I stood up on the tip of my toes reaching up to the lock. The lock unhitched and the door opened with the sweet sound of creaking wood. I parked my mountain bike next to the table that once stood proud in the sun.

 A slant lead down into the moss filled grass. I took my shoes off, gently stepping on the recently exposed green fur. The soft grass tickled my feet as I stretched them across it. I took a deep breath in, filling my lungs with the fresh smell of trees, earth and grass. I walked down the garden hills brushing my feet along the ground. The cherry tree blushed behind its white shawl. This was my favorite tree of all. The branches were so wide and firm, it could hold an entire person. My eyes scanned the bottom of the tree. It was as though a rainbow fell from the sky covering the entire ground in bright colors. The soft purple flowers, next to the cloudy white daisies broken by the tall smooth tulips. The bright red ones as well as the dark ones stood proud next to each other. The dark tulips, so mysteries and beautiful as though they had stollen their shade from the night sky itself. 

A bit farther up the hill was one out of the three enchanting apple trees. This one with its long spiky branches reaching for the sky. Only in fall will it let its heavy arms down because of the emerald green apples. Next to it is a path up to the brick house. The beautiful bushes untrimmed  overflow onto the stone pathway that slithers its way up to the house. In the middle are two trees in line protecting the small bush in between them. The plum tree with one branch low enough to brush the top of my head were filled with beautiful little purple fruits. A sister to the tree stood at the bottom with amber like plums hanging from its arms.

 I closed my eyes and put my head down on the green blanket letting it all sink in. The sweet sound of every farm bird filled my ears. The colorful chirping was as though they all sang my favorite song. A song where the wind gently brushes through the grass and trees. The soft breeze blowing back my hair revealing a wonderful world. A world so big yet only a small backyard, in a small town, in a small country that's just part of one little planet in the universe. I opened my eyes again afraid a had missed my favorite note in this never ending song. 

My eyes darted past the greenery to the one tree dressed in its green leaves. Soon after the heat passes the tree will put on its best accessory, apples. Apples so red that it may seem it was dipped in blood that soaks all the way into the core leaving nothing white. The sound of sinking your front teeth deep into a fresh apple and the juice covering your tung made me wish it was autumn again. But then I realized that spring had only just begun. 

I climbed the cherry tree. Holding onto one branch as I put my foot up to the next. The bark under my feet crunched gently embracing every step I took. At the top I looked out. The small cycle route curved its way in front of the farm covered in long beautiful grass. The grass was an ocean creating tides that pulled your eyes into to them as though it was hypnotizing you. The sky above me was a bright but soft blue from the Hollywood movies. It was covered in white cotton balls that floated along like fish in a pond. In the far distance a moo was let out by the cow on the farm. I grabbed onto the branch feeling the crumbly and earthy texture.

I sat out there for hours. The silence was so loud and magnificent that it entranced me. Until I heard a distant voice calling from inside the yellow bricked little house. The house with an overgrown garden. The house where I have my own little universe. The house I call home.   

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Forgotten Beat of the Late 20th century

Lately a "new" music has been on the rise in the mainstream music.
A music that was never really taken as music before.
A new way of making music.
Electronic music.

I'm from the generation, where this music is very popular.
It has been incorporated in genres such as pop and R&B. 
Every generation is defined by a specific music, all of which are pushing the boundaries put by the older generation.
The newer music is never really appreciated too much and the sad part is that many people do not know why, but they know for a fact that classical music is better than this electronic music. I decided to write this after talking to few adults, who did not really like nor appreciate this music.
If you never really had a passion for music (it does not mean you have to play an instrument), then the idea that classical music is the best might be set in your head. Just like art, music is a self expressing device. It's a way of connecting people on a level that can not be expressed in words nor silence. It's a language as old as time. Something that binds us all together.
So here is my way of looking at electronic music and classical music and why both are equally important.

So let's clear up some things.
Classical music is foundation for a lot of music and electronic music is a genre on the rise that entered the scene thanks to technology.

Science asks questions about the world and finds answers. Without science, we would have never had cars, phones or plastic. What is science good for if you don't have someone to make use of the scientific discovery. For instance, take the theory of relativity. Good for you, Einstein, but what good is it if you can't use it? That's where engineers come in, they take all the scientific findings combine it with what people want and turn it into something usable.
If we just had engineers, they would have nothing new to make, because they would be limited in knowledge about nature and the world.
You can't have science without engineering and vice versa.

This goes for music too.
If you think about it. Classical music took music to a whole new level. They were the pioneers of music setting out a foundation for future music and musicians.
The development of technology has made music accessible to the world.
These modern musicians take what music has already been made, add other music on top of that, and add there own twist too it.
This new music is just as valuable as the old.

New music = engineers
Classical = scientists

Music is an art and people are humans. What do humans do? We keep creating from what we have and electronic music is just another creation.