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THANKSGIVING – MORE THAN A DAY

Sample by My Essay Writer

Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. It means family union, appreciation, helping each other and sharing with each other.

           I can’t think of a holiday that has a message as strong as Thanksgiving. You give, you share, you feel, you laugh, you cry, you eat, and you thank loved ones, and that is the beauty of Thanksgiving. We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Iran, or any holiday similar to it, where the center of attention is on ordinary people. Thanksgiving is race-free, color-free, and religion-free, which brings a message that makes it so interesting even for immigrants like me. Thanksgiving brings another celebration to our family, and that is my husband and my youngest son’s birthdays on November 23 and 24.
Thanksgiving was the first holiday that I celebrated with my family in the United States. My brother moved to the U.S. in 1978, and then in November 1998 I was finally able to come To the U.S. to visit my brother and his family. It was a family reunion, which was completed with the birth of my youngest son. My son was born on November 23 and Thanksgiving was on November 25, the day I was discharged from hospital. We celebrated Thanksgiving at my brother’s house, and my sister in law prepared a warm, welcoming, and delicious Thanksgiving dinner. I remember a huge turkey in the center of the table, and mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, and cranberry sauce around it. We sat around the table for 3 hours, eating, talking, and recalling our old memories. That night was one of the best nights of my life.

Thanksgiving is the time that most American families come together to celebrate. When I came to the U.S., I noticed that many families have at least one or two members who live either in a different state, or in the same state but hundreds of miles away. That was very interesting for me because in Iran most children live close to their parents, even after they marry, and they have their own families. They are expected to help their parents whenever needed. That is why going home has a deep meaning in Iran, similar to the way it does in the U.S. If there is one day each year when food and family take center stage, it is on Thanksgiving.

“It is a holiday about “going home” with all the emotional content those
two words imply. The Sunday following Thanksgiving is always the busiest
travel day of the year in the U.S. Each day of the long Thanksgiving weekend,
more than 10 million people take to the skies. Another 40 million Americans
drive 100 miles or more to have Thanksgiving dinner. And the nation’s railways
teem with travelers going home for holiday,” (Pilmoth, 2012).

Thanksgiving is also about thanking and appreciating everything we have. Sometimes we get too busy with our daily lives to remind ourselves how blessed we are. For example, we have to be thankful for being healthy, for having food on the table, for having a house in which to live and for many other things around us. Thanksgiving is a good time to do that. We do that by thinking about those who are not as blessed as us. I remember when I worked at Shady Grove Hospital – every November, especially on Thanksgiving eve and Thanksgiving Day, people from various organizations, and even individuals who did not belong to any organization, visited the patients who were hospitalized for a long time, or patients who were homeless, or who had no family. Perhaps we can do that all year long but, if we have not, Thanksgiving is the reminder; it is the wakeup call of the year for remembering what we should be thankful for.

Another great thing about Thanksgiving is the tradition of giving and sharing. It starts with sharing food with each other. People donate money and food to local organizations like the Salvation Army; money that will be distributed to those who are in need. Some other people donate their time by volunteering at the food centers like Manna Food. While there, the volunteers organize and pack the donations, and make them ready for distribution on Thanksgiving eve or Thanksgiving Day.

At the time that many families either go to or host Thanksgiving parties – and enjoy sharing the food and happiness with their families and friends – many volunteers are on their way to deliver the prepared food for families in need. Poverty, illness, homelessness, and many other reasons may prevent individuals and families from preparing or buying Thanksgiving dinner. I remember every year, exactly one week before Thanksgiving, the volunteers at the volunteer office at Shady Grove Hospital were busy packing the donations, which were made by hospital’s employees. Helping with that process filled my heart with warmth and endless happiness.

“Make sure to thank God for religious freedom this Thanksgiving Day because God created us for freedom. And remember, religious freedom is good for all, so that all may be free,”(Colson, 2010).

Thanksgiving has a simple, secular, and universal message, and every one with different backgrounds, different religions, and different cultures can follow it. The message of joy, kindness, and thankfulness is not about race, color, religion, or gender; it is about every human being with heart and soul. In Iran, Ramadan is the month of giving and thinking about others, which is one month of fasting and prayers. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset for one month, with several time periods dedicated to prayers each day. They remember hunger and poverty in society by fasting, not by providing food for those who need it. Plus, Ramadan is deeply Islamic and minorities cannot, and do not, practice that. Fasting for one month is too hard for even some Muslims to practice. Ramadan is more about self-control, rather than helping others, and it is more about religion, rather than society.

Thanksgiving has a very special place in my heart because my husband and my younger son’s birthdays are very close to Thanksgiving, and sometimes on Thanksgiving Day. November 24 is my husband’s birthday and November 23 is my son’s birthday. We always have an extra celebration during our Thanksgiving party. Mostly, I host the Thanksgiving party instead of going to friend’s house, and in addition to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I make my husband’s and my son’s favorite food. Another different thing about Thanksgiving in my household is the birthday cake. We serve pumpkin pie and a birthday cake. Ordering a birthday cake for Thanksgiving Day is almost impossible, and finding a normal, but fresh, birthday cake is very difficult. Having two birthdays at a same time as Thanksgiving is very special, and reminds me more about how blessed I am.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving celebration is not completed until they go shopping on Friday after Thanksgiving, which is called Black Friday. Many stores advertise cheaper prices on lots of items, and many people spend all Friday shopping at different stores. One of my friends completes her Christmas shopping every Black Friday. She has a list of items she needs, and a list of the stores that she wants visit. She thinks that she saves a lot of money, but I am not sure if I would rather do that. I think it is more about advertisement and how much retailors want to sell, and people think that they get a great deal, but it is just a good deal.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday that brings warmth and happiness to almost every American’s dinner table. Thanksgiving has taught me that I can share my happiness with other people without belonging to a specific race, religion, or group. In other words, I can be myself and still celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the best time of the year for families to get together, party, eat and even shop. As an immigrant, I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and my community, and I am so proud of that.
I hope to continue to celebrate Thanksgiving, but I think it’s also important to remember to be thankful throughout the year, and not just on Thanksgiving Day. Each year I remind myself to not just be thankful on the day, and to carry the feeling with me. Being thankful can make a person happier, as they will appreciate the things that they normally overlook. Many families on Thanksgiving Day go around the dinner table and say one thing that they are thankful for. When I ask myself this question, it really makes me think, but, really, there is so much to be thankful for. In most people’s lives, they go through their days complaining, but that is no way to live.

Thanksgiving is not only a day for me to remember all of the things that I have that are so good; it is also a time for me to forget about all of the problems. If people learned to focus like this on the positives in life, then I think they would enjoy each day more. There would be less hate in the world, and people would learn to appreciate the little things that brighten their day. Try stopping when you are performing your everyday tasks, breathe the air and really feel it entering your lungs – isn’t it good and refreshing to have life? Doesn’t the air taste slightly sweet when you take the time to appreciate it? Taking things for granted is no way to live life. It is much better to make Thanksgiving Day a Thanksgiving year, or a Thanksgiving lifetime, because when you do, you will know what to be thankful for. So what am I thankful for? I’m thankful that we have a holiday where I can sit at a dinner table with my family and remind myself about how good life is.

Works Cited

Colson, Charles. Thanksgiving and Religious Freedom. YouTube.com, 2010. Web. 29 July 2012

Fuchs, Karl. More Than a Day Poemsource.comThanksgiving Poems, 2006. Web. 29 July
2012

Pilmoth Plantation. Thanksgiving History, 2003-2012. Web. 29 July 2012

MASK OF NOJANG

Sample by My Essay Writer

The Mask of Nojang (the old monk) is from a line of Korean masks that are often used in a variety of contexts, and they were common during the war by horses and the soldiers who wore them.

The masks are now primarily ceremonial and they are used for burial rites, (Hyung-a, 12). They are often made in bronze or jade, and are believed to drive away evil spirits in shamanistic ceremonies. Often, the masks are symbolic of the Korean culture, and they sometimes depict great historical faces of Korea, (Suk-Kee, 6). This is meant to remember these people in death. Frequently, the masks are also used in ritual dances and theatrical plays, (Lee, 13). This essay will focus on the Mask of Nojang, which is a particular Korea mask that is shown as part of a series at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology. It is important that this mask is on display with a variety of works from multiple cultures, because many Koreans live in Vancouver and it is important to represent the culture in a prominent way.

This mask was made in Canada between 2002 and 2003 by Changhyun Han, who is from North Vancouver. He donated it to UBC in 2006. While the mask is made in Canada, Han, who moved to Canada from Korea, brought over items that were used to craft the mask. Mask of Nojang is made of gourd, cotton fibre, fruit, paper, paint and adhesive. It is 59 cm tall, 23 cm wide and 8 cm deep. At the Museum of Anthropology, it is presented in Case 77 with additional Korean masks that Han also made.

Because this mask is more recent than many of the original Korean masks, it is classed with the masks that are used for dancing. The masks are intentionally made to look grotesque and to generate fear. However, they are also designed to evoke ceremonial rights and humour. Traditionally, the masks were made of alder wood, and had several coats of a lacquer that gave them a gloss – this also helped waterproof them. The masks are also traditionally painted and have hinges for the mouth of the wearer to move around. Much of this is true with the Mask of Nojang, but there is not much space for the mouth to move around, as the mask is primarily used for display purposes. Also, this mask uses many non-traditional materials, as were previously mentioned. This leaves out the traditional alder wood, though the paint and adhesive used are similar. The primary similarity between Hon’s mask and the traditional Korean masks are that they have a similar grotesque expression that could also be interpreted as being humourous.

While this mask is for display purposes, many of the masks in this style are designed for celebrations in Korea. This is one of the most prominent traditions in the nation. “Mask-dance plays comprise the most widespread dramatic mode among traditional theatrical entertainments in Korea” (Duhyun and Meewon, 1). Similar styles of dancing are common throughout Asia, and it is often derived from music, song, and acrobatics, and is often closely associated with the religious rites from ancient times. While the dances are similar throughout Korea, some differences exist, depending on the region in which the dances are being performed. Often, a play accompanies the mask dances, and this was usually performed after religious or seasonal rites. However, it is sometimes performed on special occasions, such as during a district administrator’s birthday, (Duhyn and Meewon, 2).

The mask plays are just one of the many forms of traditional theatre in Korea, and they were developed by the Yi dynasty between the 17th and 19th centuries from a purely folk origin (Yoh, 143). “Since the Confuscial ruling class of the Yi dynasty ignored or tried to suppress all forms of theatrical entertainment, these plays have followed the tastes of popular audiences and thus reflect commoners’ resentment towards the privileged classes of those days” (Yoh, 143). Usually, the plays and dances are performed outside, and they typically went throughout the night. A couple of the most prominent forms are the Pongsan mask dance and the Yangju Pyol Sandae mask play, (Yoh, 143).

The plays that masks similar to the Mask of Nojang would have been involved in typically consist of several scenes. The plots in each of these scenes almost never keeps a consistent theme. Instead, they emphasized the common people’s rituals, lives, and shamanic activities. These are often the only factor that is linking each element of the play. “This does not, however, curtail the Korean mask plays’ theatricality, which is assured by an effective use of dance, mime, dialogue, songs, and music-including the yombul (“Buddhist invocation”), t’aryong, and gutkori (“tune performed during exorcism”), generally played by a six-piece band consisting of harps, flutes and drums” (Yoh, 147).

Another key element of the plays is the farcicality, (Yoh, 147). This is consistent with the Western concept of farce, and perhaps moreso in Korea it is a definition that places class characteristics on a character. Therefore, in the mask dances and plays, the characters are larger-than-life characterizations of the class or culture in which they belong. Each character does not have individual traits, but are often stereotypical representations of their class. “Both the apostate monk and yangban who keep concubines and the characters who oppose them represent types” (Yoh, 147). These characters are typically exaggerations, and contain many awkward repetitions and comic gestures, particularly during the dances. This theme begins to explain why the Mask of Nojang, and other Korean masks, have such exaggerated expressions.

The online catalogue describes some main elements of this work, but the correspondence is quite limited. For example, there is very limited information contained about Hon, and there does not appear to be a credible source that contains information about the artist. The UBC Museum of Anthropology describes the appearance of the piece. It is black with an oval face that has gold dotted designs throughout it. The masks has gold and green eyebrows, large black cheek bones and nose, a red curly mouth, and white eyes that are outlined with black dots. In addition, there is a black cloth that covers the back of the mask with ties that hang down. The backing of the piece is yellow with a white label that also has red characters printed into one side. The museum description goes on to describe where the masks were made, and by whom. Also, Hon’s family brought the materials to him from Korea. The description discusses the iconographic meaning, which indicates Nojang is an old monk who is depraved, but he “plays around” with young women in Somu. The way that he dances is offensive to the Buddhist commandments, due to its gestures. The text also explains how the mask was made, by carving wood and then applying layers of paper mache, before painting the object. Finally, the museum states the condition of the mask, which is considered “good.” The information contained in the catalogue is consistent with other information obtained about the mask, and there are no conflicts in the information provided. Furthermore, as indicated in the catalogue, the item was donated to the university by the artist.

The catalogue did not have a lot of information in it. For example, it would have been beneficial to obtain information about the artist. In fact, there is no biographical information about the artist, other than the fact that he is from Korea and moved to North Vancouver, where he now lives. I would have also like more information from the catalogue about some of the uses of the mask. There was no detail about the meaning behind this creation. Typically, these masks are designed to be worn, and there is usually a large area around the mouth that is open for people to make expressions with their mouths, but this is not crafted on the Mask of Nojang. Therefore, this mask would have likely been used for another purpose, other than being used in theatre or in dance, like many of the other Korean masks of this kind.

The object is displayed along with other Korean masks, but it is put on its own display, slightly away from the others. The back and the front are visible, so it shows how the mask might be worn. The mask is displayed openly at about chest level, and this makes it easy for others to see. There is not much difference between this mask and many of the other masks that are displayed around it. Several of the masks around it differ slightly, because many of them have larger openings in the mouth area. This indicates that the Mask of Nojang may have been intended to be used ornamentally, and considering the fact that the artist donated it to the university not long after its creation, it is likely that he did not make it for application purposes in theatre and dance, but instead wanted it to be displayed. There are no ethical problems with the piece’s display, as it was donated by the artist himself, and there is not proprietary conflicts.

The object is displayed in a case that also contains other Korean masks. They all look relatively similar, and are all made in the same style of Korean masks. This style is very important, as the masks are considered in Korea to be national treasures. The way that the masks are displayed does not tell a story to me. The juxtaposition is merely designed to provide the maximum amount of exposure for the mask, but it is not situated in a way that carries any real meaning behind the artwork.

Different audiences may interpret the story behind these masks differently, and it is possible that someone might become offended. Korean masks that are used for ornamental purposes are generally smaller than the regular masks, and those that are the regular size are typically used for theatre, dances, or for ceremonial purposes, for example, (Jeon, 23). However, others who are from Korea might look at the masks and be happy that a national treasure is being displayed so prominently. The masks provide a way for the Korean people to communicate their culture and to put it on display for others to gain an understanding of the culture. Putting the piece on display in Vancouver provides a way to recognize a group of immigrants who have made Vancouver their home. While there is much representation of various cultures throughout Vancouver, such as Chinatown, there is not much to represent the Korean culture, and these masks help to provide a way to showcase a cultural demographic that is important to the multiculturalism in Vancouver.

Due to the cultural significance of Koreans in Vancouver, it is important to display this artwork that is a major piece of the Korean culture. Proper representation is important, (Dean, 9). While many pieces of art are displayed in museums and are the spoils of war, the Mask of Nojang represents the joining of cultures in a peaceful and loving way. It is appropriate that the masks are on display to represent the Korean people because the masks are a pleasant, humourous symbol, even though the faces appear somewhat scary to some people and invoke fear. The museum’s display of the object could be more prominent, and this could help continue relations, though they are not colonist relations to which the prompt alludes. The object is displayed correctly, and it does not pose any problems. The museum’s curator executed their job in the best way possible with the display of the mask, as it could not trump art from other cultures in the prominence of its display. While the piece represents the Korean culture very well, it could be featured occasionally, to bring it up to the forefront, and leave many of the more prominent pieces to the back. This would help facilitate a more even display of the various cultures’ art in Vancouver.

Works Cited

Ames, Michael M. 1992. Cannibal Tours, Glass Boxes, and the Politics of
Interpretation.

Dean, Carolyn. 2006. The Trouble with (The Term) Art. Art Journal 65 (2): 24-32.

Errington, Shelly. 1994. What Became Authentic Primitive Art? Cultural
Anthropology 9 (2): 201-26.

Flynn, Tom. 2004. The Universal Museum: A Valid Model for the 21st Century?
http://www.tomflynn.co.uk/UniversalMuseum.pdf

Hyung-a Kim Van Leest. 1991. Political Satire in Yangju Pyolsandae Mask
Drama. Korea Journal 31 (1): 87-109.
http://www.ekoreajournal.net/search/result.htm?SchOpt=Title&SchTxt=Poli            tical+satire+in+yangju+pyolsandae+mask+drama#

In Cannibal Tours and Glass Boxes: The Anthropology of Museum (UBC Press)             Chapter 13: 139-50

Jeon Kyung-wook. 2005. Korean Mask Dance Dramas: their history and
structural principles. PL963.3 C5513 2005

Lee Duhyun and Lee Meewon. 1985. The Mask-Dance Play of Kasan Village.
Asian Theatre Journal 2 (2): 139-71. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1124070

Suk-Kee Yoh. 1971. Korean Mask Plays. The Drama Review: TDR 15 (2):
143-52. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1144633

THE PORTRAIT OF THE KANGXI EMPEROR IN COURT DRESS

Sample by My Essay Writer

Identify the artist, title, period style and medium.

The piece was created during the Qing dynasty, which was between 1644 and 1911. This was the last imperial reign in China and it was followed by Nationalism and then Communism. The piece was created in 1667. The artist of the piece is not revealed. In this essay, I will analyze the various components of the Portrait of the Kangxi Emperor in Court Dress that points to various cultural components. The image tells the story about how the emperor was meant to be perceived during the period.

Discuss the subject matter of the artwork. Does it contain any iconography, symbolism, narrative story or message?

The image has a lot of ethos in it, due to the fact that there is much underlying sentiment in the image that shows the idea behind the emperor wanting to have the artwork completed. His belief was that he would be perceived as being more powerful if he only allowed a select few people see his image. This created a divide between him and the common people who lived under his rule. This showed that there is a power that he possesses that regular people are far separated from, and this game him a higher status in their eyes.

There is also a lot of symbolism in the piece. His posture shows how powerful and confident he is – at least that is the image that the emperor wanted to achieve. He was an extremely authoritative figure, and it was vitally important that he enhanced his image by having not necessarily the accurate depiction of himself in the piece, but instead a depiction of how he wanted to be perceived to the people around him.

Discuss the cultural (religious, historical, political) context of the artwork.

The position that the piece is sitting is quite broad. This is representative of the rule of China at the time. During the period, the nation reached its largest geographical area, as it encompassed all of East Asia and Inner Asia. This piece is historically significant because the emperor didn’t allow himself to be pictured in any way. The piece gives the audience an idea of what the emperor may have looked like. However, it is unknown whether the emperor actually appeared that way. For example, the artist may have been told to make his shoulders more broad so that he is seen as being a stronger person, and therefore he could look to be more powerful.

An interesting component is that there are dragons depicted on the dress that he is wearing, and there are supposed to be nine. But only 8 are visible. This could be interpreted to mean that the emperor himself is supposed to be considered as being the 9th dragon in the image. The use of dragons gives this image a metaphysical texture.

Why is this artwork culturally significant? What does it tell us about the culture/religion/region that produced it?

The art is culturally significant in that it shows how confident the posture is, and it is a rare thing to have the emperor being depicted. He was not the type of person to have his image on display, and this is perhaps an indication of the times. The emperor wanted to keep his privacy because he felt his image was more powerful when it is concealed. But even though the image was drawn, only a select few could look at it. The commoners could not look at the image, and this helped to give the emperor a godlike status, and it was a technique used to guard himself against people trying to assassinate him, even during the afterlife.
The clothes that are used in the piece show the emperor’s divine authority, his magnificence and his grandeur. The court dress that the emperor wore was meant to declare the ruler’s royal status. The artwork shows that it is very detailed, and made of woven silk textiles, gold thread embroidery, and had peacock feathers and pearls. One of these robes may have taken a couple years to design and make. And that shows how dedicated the people were to their emperor and how serious his position was to the nation.

LIFE ON THE MOON

Sample by My Essay Writer

Ever since mankind has had the capacity for abstract thought, people have been looking to the stars, wondering what could be out there.

The time may come when leaving this planet becomes necessary for the survival of our species, and that is exactly what was on the mind of American ex-president George W. Bush when he proposed in 2004 that people should return to the moon, but this time to stay. Lunar outposts have generated a considerable amount of debate, with some arguing that robots can perform the necessary tasks on the moon, and it is not necessary for people to inhabit its surface, (Lowman, 2008). This essay will explore the benefits and drawbacks of setting up communities for human habitation on the moon. While the logistics of inhabiting the moon are not yet worked out, settlement will become necessary for the survival of the human race.

To decrease the risk to human lives, robots can be used to explore the feasibility of lunar settlement. The technology has already been used to great success on Mars. “Given the stunning performance of American robots on Mars, this point of view is worth serious discussion” (Lowman, 2008). The robots can be used to set up the necessities for life on the moon, such as a way for people to breathe. This could be in the form of domes, or scientists may one day discover how to develop an atmosphere. Whatever the method, lunar settlement could solve the problem of the world’s food crises. As the human race continues to populate – and as the death toll decreases due to a growing global middle class that can gradually afford to eat – the world’s food supply will dwindle, and this makes lunar agriculture necessary.

However, as efficient as sending a robot building team to the moon may be, it does have one big downside. That downside is one that is common to any lunar mission: the price. According to an article in the New York Times, one NASA team with an interest in a robotic mission places the cost at 450 million dollars (Chang, 2010). Furthermore, although it is much cheaper to send robots into space than people due to the lack of a need for food or air, there are other complications. Robots are not nearly as proficient as human beings when it comes to making sudden repairs. For example, “When the Apollo 17 rover lost a fender – which might have terminated a robotic rover’s mission – astronauts Cernan and Schmitt managed a field repair and kept driving” (Lowman, 2008, p. 4), which just goes to show one of the dangers of a complex, entirely robotic mission. All it would take is one badly timed breakdown and the entire mission could be a waste, or require even more money wasted on sending up a repair robot (Howse, 1996). The money that would be spent on sending robots to the moon could easily be spent on more pressing issues on Earth. Even any food shortage problems could be solved via terrestrial means, by using the money to help put more of the Earth’s land to use for farming. A study by Auburn University reveals that 450 million dollars could be used to purchase enough irrigation systems to cover more than 350 thousand acres of land (Curtis and Tyson, 2008). Instead of spending all that money on a risky trip to the moon, it might be smarter to focus on solving the problems on Earth.

The question of whether the benefits would be worth the costs is a question that is central to any discussions of outer space. With all the problems the people on Earth currently face, it can seem irresponsible or even hedonistic to focus a huge amount of time, money, and resources on trips into space. Any arguments about the scientific merit of space exploration will eventually end up back at this issue, with the value of scientific work questioned. However, there is a much more important reason for colonizing the moon than any scientifically oriented one. In 1908 an object from space crashed into Siberia, and exploded with the power of a large hydrogen bomb (Hartmann, 2002). Many similar objects have crashed into both the Earth and the moon over the history of the planet, including a massive one that is thought to have killed the dinosaurs. Space can be a very dangerous place. As Lowman (2008) points out, “humanity is vulnerable as long as we are confined to one planet…uncontrollable external events may destroy our civilization, perhaps our species,” which should provide even the biggest critic of the sciences a reason to look into lunar colonization. In fact, with the survival of the human race at stake, a robotic construction mission to the moon becomes an incredibly cheap solution, due to how much closer the moon is than any other planet. The fact is, humanity has a very clear cut reason to expand to at least one other moon or planet, and any scientific benefits are merely a convenient bonus. Thus, cost should not be an issue when thinking about a lunar colonization project.

A second major reason for lunar colonization and one that may help offset any costs associated with the program is the wealth of resources that may be available on the moon. Although most of the moon remains unexplored, some possibly very valuable resources have already been discovered. Lowman (2008) describes one very important example:
Helium 3, an isotope extremely rare on Earth, exists in quantity in the lunar soil…helium 3 would be extremely valuable for fusion reactors because it does not make the reactor radioactive. A more practicable use of helium 3, being tested at the University of Wisconsin, is the production of short-lived medical isotopes. Such isotopes must now be manufactured in cyclotrons and quickly delivered before they decay. But Dr. Schmitt suggests that small helium 3 reactors could produce such isotopes at the hospital.
With the possibility of lunar resources being used in both clean energy production and the medical sciences, the importance of such resources becomes clear. Procuring large amounts of helium 3 could be very useful back on Earth, and could also help reduce the costs of a lunar colonisation effort. The most obvious way to reduce costs would simply be to sell resources to help fund the building of spacecraft and shelter on the moon. However, having access to a useful fuel source and medical material on the moon could mean less of those resources would need to be transported from Earth, which would further decrease costs. And of course, helium 3 is only one resource; there could be other useful minerals easily accessible after small scale mining.

Interestingly, the biggest argument against colonising the moon for resources is the same one used in defence of cheaply building shelter on the moon: the existence of robots. Although complex tasks such as building a shelter that can sustain human life might be beyond the capabilities of robotics at this time, mining is a much simpler task. In fact, the Japanese space agency already plans to send a dextrous, humanoid robot to the moon by 2020 (Chang, 2010). If a humanoid robot can be sent, then it follows that simple, single purpose mining robots can also be sent. The relative cheapness of sending robots to the moon again comes in to play, this time in favour of leaving humans on Earth. Whereas humans need food, air, and rest, robots can work tirelessly and transported cheaply, thus ensuring an even larger amount of resources can be gathered and transported back to Earth. Using only unmanned missions would mean getting more resources for less cost, making manned missions seem wasteful in comparison. Furthermore, the aforementioned team from NASA says that they could send a robot to the moon in just one thousand days (Chang, 2010). That kind of speed is much faster than what a manned mission would take, especially considering the amount of training astronauts require. These unmanned mining missions could also be used to drop off research equipment when possible, further removing the need for any human element on the moon.

Again, the crux of the issue comes down to an argument about the costs of the mission versus the benefits such a mission would have. Certainly, an unmanned mission would allow for the cheap procurement of large amounts on lunar material. The question is, can a robot make accurate judgements as to what materials are valuable, and not just send back many tons of useless rock? It has been shown on pervious lunar missions that human beings provide an incredible amount of information, with human eyes being much stronger than the most advanced robotic identification systems (Lowman, 2008). When searching for new resources, having a pair of human eyes backed up by a human mind is an invaluable resource. Furthermore, humans can make decisions on the spot, instead of waiting for transmissions back from a robot and then spending time interpreting them. It has also been made very apparent in the past that manned missions are much better at procuring resources than unmanned ones. The Apollo 15 mission, for example, brought back a huge amount of material and data compared to even the best unmanned missions (Lowman, 2008). It is apparent that with resource collection, manned versus unmanned is largely a question of quality versus quantity.

In summary, a mission to colonise the moon is definitely something that people should start thinking about sooner than later. While many of the benefits of such a mission can be replicated by cheaper or more efficient means, a human presence on the moon has the benefit of flexibility. Between research, resource collection, and even living in space, a human population can do whatever is required. Furthermore, divorcing the human race from its reliance on the Earth is an important security measure against a possible cosmic catastrophe, which is something that a robotic mission cannot do. The surface area of the moon is roughly the size of North and South America combined (Lowman, 2008), and the human race is putting almost none of that space to use. Although any one benefit of a lunar colonization may not seem vital, the combined benefits could make it the most important project the human race has ever considered.

References

Chang, K. (2010, November 1). NASA’s Quest to Send a Robot to the Moon. New York   Times.Retrieved from   http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/science/space/02robot.html?pagewanted=all&_r               =0

Curtis, L. and Tyson, T. (2008). 60 Acre Pivot Irrigation Cost Analysis. Auburn, AL:         University of Auburn. Retrieved from  http://www.aces.edu/timelyinfo/BioSysEng/2008/October/BSEN-IRR-08-01.pdf

Hartmann, W. (2002). 1908 SIBERIA EXPLOSION: Reconstructing an Asteroid Impact     from Eyewitness Accounts. Retrieved from http://www.psi.edu/epo/siberia/siberia.html

Howse, C. (1996, Dec 10). Colonizing the moon would rob it of its magic. The Record.    Retrieved from             http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/275463933?accountid=14 656

Lowman, P. (2008, January 14). Why Go Back to the Moon?. Retrieved from            http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/series/moon/why_go_back.html

SIBLING RIVALRY: INFLUENCING FACTORS AND PARENTAL MANAGEMENT

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Background of the Study

Family is the basic foundation of every society. Parents have the most significant roles played in every family life. Both of them have the responsibilities for the upbringing of their children. It is the parents’ primary responsibility to nurture their kids, provide their needs, and support their emotional and psychosocial development. It is in the parent’s hand that lies the upbringing of their children into responsible members of the society. In handling family affairs, a lot of things are needed to consider. As children grew up, they have acquire different personalities and interest. Competition is almost common, hence the issue on siblings rivalry.

Siblings’ rivalry originates from various factors.  Their patterns of behavior differ to each other as they acquired some from the people they deal with, or the manner of which how they relate to other people, both inside or outside their home. The community and family have greater influence over our attitude because we learn our values, religious beliefs, behavioral responses among other things. Good Siblings relationships are known to be contributor for individual’s good interaction with outside people or their peer groups. The quality of home relationships manifested outside home, hence when there are relationship problems in family home, an individual cannot find good friendships and social interactions.

Siblings’ relationships change sometimes as the children grow up. Individual differences arise as they learn to integrate with the society. There are turning points at which children may have change in behavior. These happen when one child is in adolescent stage and his sibling is still in the childhood stage. They have different interests and as a result, the adolescent kid may find dealing with younger siblings to be boring. They may reduce time for bonding with younger ones and given more interest in going out with friends of their age. Psychologists explained that this is because the situation has changed from siblings’ equality into individuality where the older one may decide to pursue more, find more and explore rather than staying at home with younger siblings. Younger siblings who reach the adolescent age tend not t duplicate the lifestyle of their older sibling. They trying to find out how to establish their own individuality or identity. Growing up children find their own world where they can feel the sense of belongingness with others.

As the children discovered new things from outside experiences, they also share the same behavior or attitude inside their house. When there are similarities with their interests and experiences, it is more likely that cooperation happened between them. However, when there are conflicting views or understanding, as attributed to their acquired values outside home, there arise a competition between the children. This is resulting to siblings’ rivalry.

There are many factors which are associated with sibling’s rivalry, such as competition with regards to their individuality, competition to win attention of their parents, factionalism with other siblings where each has their favorite younger sibling. Conflicting views and ideas may also contribute for the increase in rivalry. There are some other family affairs experts who have said that family practice or parental upbringing may trigger rivalry between kids.  For example, when one or both of the parents showed obvious favoritism to their children, the ones who did not get parent’s attention tend to rebel, or create her own identity and try to discredit the favorite child. In anything that the child achieve, the other child may also do something to counter such achievement. Parents’ treatment to children in many cases causes siblings rivalry.
There are studies which revealed that the management approaches on siblings’ rivalry. There are certain instances of which the parents are advised on the things they must do in handling rivalry between their children. There are measures of which the parents should learn how to teach the children solve their own problem. Whether parenting would be considered as contributory for sibling relationship as well as the intention to determine management tips for parents in siblings’ management, among other things, are the major concerns this research elaborate and discuss.

Problem Statement and Objective

This research has the intention of identifying the different aspects related to siblings’ rivalry, with the end in view that the outcome could contribute for the enrichment of parents’ and children’s knowledge on the proper handling of family management. Certain factors available through research findings can best suit for the needs of every family in order to address the problems related to siblings’ relationships.

Basically, this research work has the intention to answer the following problems:
1.     What are the factors leading to siblings rivalry
2.     What are the impacts of siblings’ rivalry toward the family home life?
3.     What are the management techniques essential to improve relationships between children?
4.     Is there significant relationships between the manner of parenting and development of siblings’ rivalry?
5.     What is the extent of the study’s implications toward social development?

Annotated Bibliography

Finzi-Dottan, R. & Cohen, O. (2010). Young Adult Sibling Relations: The Effects of Perceived Parental Favoritism and Narcissism. The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied 145 (1).

The authors of this paper are well-known scholars in the field of Psychology. Further, this article was published in a peer-reviewed journal which has 145 volumes. Therefore, this means that the credibility of this article cannot be questioned.  This research studies a sample of 202 young adults aged 21-32 years old using the Adult sibling relationship questionnaire and the narcissistic personality inventory. It was indicated in the results that the sibling rivalry phenomenon is a result of favoritism among the parents. Furthermore, it was enumerated what are the factors which affect the prevalence of the siblings’ rivalry including gender, age, parental favoritism, high levels of narcissism, similarity and dissimilarity, and interactions between them. This paper is ideal in formulating the instrument to be used in this research as it has already established the framework for the same.

Kramer, L., Perozynski, L.A. & Chung, T. (2003). Parental Responses to Sibling Conflict: The Effects of Development and Parent Gender. Child Development 70 (6), 1401-1414.
This paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal with very high impact factor. Hence, there is no question as to the reliability as other scholars reviewed it before being published. The paper revealed the responses of the parents and the relationship of their age, gender, and other factors which could have affected the same, every time they are dealing with conflicts between their children. Finally, this paper showed how the responses of the parents have significant effects as to the intensity of the rivalry between their children.

Stocker, C.M., Lanthier, R.P., & Wyndol, F. (1997). Sibling Relationships in Early Adulthood.
            Journal of Family Psychology, 11(2), 210-221.
The journal where this research was published is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA), the leading institution and authority for psychology in the world. It was often cited by most of the published articles and therefore obtaining an ideal impact factor for a journal. The nature of the sibling relationship during the young adulthood stage, which is considered by many as among the most crucial in the development of an individual was described and correlated with the individual differences of the siblings. This paper likewise tested the variables and the factors using the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire and has a sample of 383 individuals.

Numerous dimensions were enumerated and considered to be independent with one another including warmth, conflict, and rivalry. This paper is an ideal source of information for this research as it provided the methodologies and the instruments which are applicable. The same goes true with the statistical methods to be employed. However, the applicability of the methods and the results of this research are questionable because it was written almost two decades ago.
Walfish, F. (2014) Podcast: Solving Sibling Rivalry with Dr. Fran Walfish! Retrieved from http://bobbleheaddad.com/bobblehead-dad-radio/podcast-solving-sibling-rivalry-with-dr-fran-walfish#sthash.E3hPmsWT.dpuf

A Podcast is not considered to be among the most reliable sources of information in an academic research paper. However, there are also reliable information to be extracted from the podcasts like this one for example. Dr. Fran Walfish is a well-known psychologist in the United States who authored multiple books and academic research papers.

Both the host of the podcast and Dr. Walfish exchanged experiences about childhood sibling rivalry where the latter mostly explains what happens. Further, Dr. Walfish is successful in explaining the concepts in a very detailed and comprehensive manner. Also, what was advised during the podcast are all expert opinions which was learned not through mere subjectivity but on the objective facts of the case.
Center for Effective Parenting (2006). Sibling Rivalry among Older Children. Retrieved from http://www.parenting-ed.org/handouts/sibling%20rivalry.pdf

This is a web-based source which was distributed as a PDF by a legitimate and well-established organization for parenting based in Arkansas through their website. This was published for free distribution among the parents of children who have rivalries with their siblings. However, there is a question as to the reliability as the name of the author was not written.

The paper presentation enumerated the reasons why children fight as well as the solutions to avoid such occurrence. Meanwhile, this was done through the examination of the case of the older siblings who are deemed more competent.  Although this lacks the academic sophistication which was often required in academic researches, this remains to be an applicable source but is not enough to be the basis of the framework of the research.

Stephens, K. (2007). Sibling Rivalry: Ways to Help Children Manage It. Retrieved from http://www.easternflorida.edu/community-resources/child-development-centers/parent-resource-library/documents/sibling-rivalry.pdf
This is another web-based source which is a reliable source of information. However, the specific author of this paper is a well-known psychologist and family counselor. The contents of the paper will be helpful in the formulation of the research framework and a significant amount of review of literature. While most of the researchers is centered on in solving the problem among the parents, the role of the parents as advised by the author is limited only to assisting the children themselves cope with the rivalry.

PARTITA-PASTORALE – STEVEN STUCKY

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Steven Stucky, in his piece Partita-Pastorale, creates a musical composition that is rhapsodic, with its varying pace that seems like it is trying to find itself. The expression of the music is a bit sporadic, yet passionate. Some parts of the composition leave the listener feeling like there is no direction to the sound, yet the instruments find themselves with catchy melodies that sound similar to many of Bach’s compositions.


Partita-Pastorale begins with string instruments and a piano that sound much like the beginning of life or the start of something new. The piece could easily be set to a time-lapse video of a flower opening its peddles to feel the heat of the sun, or to an infant deer standing on its feet for the first time. And then the instruments seem to find themselves and they create a distinct melody that catches the listeners’ attention.

Just when that attention is caught, the flute section arrives with a tone that resembles the sound of a bird welcoming its newly hatched young after the end of a long winter. All the time, the string section continues at the same pace and creates a backdrop of intensity to a calm situation, as if there is a predator ready to pounce on the newly hatched. As the music continues, it spreads, until it’s like a complete forest that is coming alive in spring.

But then the pace picks up as a solo in the brass section takes over for several seconds until the strings pick up the intensity even more with a buzzing quality, as if a swarm of bees have invaded the forest. Then the piano chimes in and it is a sort of tangle between the peaceful flute and piano, and the intense, fast-paced strings section. But then it comes to an abrupt stop with a low note on the piano and all that is left is the high pitch of a violin.

The tone then changes, as the piano arrives with high notes and it is then evident that this mystery may never unravel, but the curiosity is still paramount in this struggle among instruments. This struggle helps create the illusion that this is an improvisation, which keeps honest with the definition of the piece being a rhapsody.

The accelerando that is defined with the string instruments blends beautifully with the adagio of the brass and piano sections, as the music goes through hills and valleys throughout the composition. The deceptive cadence is very much a part of this rhapsody and most songs under this style demand an unpredictable melody. Whether it is the brass or string section, there is a certain drone throughout the piece, often with high-pitched notes. The adventure continues through this piece as the chord progressions seem to find themselves until they are deterred once more by the deceptive cadence.

The dynamics between loud and silent, of pleasant and scary continue to dance with each other, as if a lion is dancing with a dove. And as the melodies begin to find themselves in a relaxing tone, the listener is unable to relax themself because of the anticipation about what is to come next. By halfway through the composition, Stucky has convinced the listener that he can’t be trusted, that the sweet renaissance melodies are surely to take a turn into the dark and quick tempered.

Throughout the piece, the modulation that Stucky utilizes allows him to stay in the rhapsody theme. It is through tools like this that he utilizes, which allows him to stick to the style. While the style would at first seem to limit the composer quite a bit, it allows him the freedom to try quick melodies without having to commit to them throughout the composition. On the other side, it puts pressure on the composer to write more than several melodies that catch the listeners’ ear.

As the music continues, it appears as though it is about to die out, but there is a glimmer of life left as it picks up again around the sixth minute, as if the music is depicting the French renaissance in one last hurrah. To close, Stucky elongates notes, as if to say life is not over at the end, and that there is continued existence after the lights go out.

The journey that this seven minute and 20 second piece sets out is full of adventure and could make the ideal backdrop to many Steven Spielberg’s classic movies, whether it is Jurassic Park or E.T. The music has so much personality that it can tell the audience about a character, even with just a few melodies of each accessible beat.

Music can generate a different reaction, depending on which person is listening. Those who are angry would likely enjoy music that propagates hate, while people who are curious would enjoy a composition such as Partita-Pastorale. The affect music has on a person often can’t be anticipated. The reaction of the person is generally unintentional. Music brings out a physical response, whether the reaction is in disgust or whether it is in approval. The true test of whether a song appeals to a person is whether it makes the hairs on the back of their neck stand up or if it sends a jolt through the person’s body. Partita-Pastorale is a composition worthy of inciting such a jolt.

SPENDING MONEY ON OTHERS

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Abstract

A large body of research is dedicated to discovering the links between personal happiness and financial wealth. Many have concluded that while personal happiness does not grow according to the amount of money a person has in their possession, many also argue that a certain amount of material wealth is required in order to obtain basic needs such as shelter, nutrition, and sanitation. This paper is concerned with the relationship between an individual’s wealth and happiness once these basic needs have been met. Using the term “prosocial spending,” this paper argues that spending money on other people is perhaps the universal way to ensure that our wealth can increase our happiness.

 Introduction

A large body of research has been dedicated to discovering the psychological links between the amount of money we earn, how we earn it, and how we spend it. Many agree that personal wealth can help us attain material items that grant us quick satisfaction, but academic researchers and many in the general public ask whether material wealth can “buy” lasting happiness (Hsee, Yang, Li, and Shen 2009). This might be possible for some individuals, especially in richer societies where standards of living are quite high and personal wealth is a necessary part of social living (Hsee et al., 2009). The connection between happiness and wealth also depends on cultural context. Some cultures value material possessions highly, while others spend very little on material goods once their basic needs have been met. For example, securing the future of their loved ones in a struggling economy is significantly important, so any increase in material wealth will give them satisfaction. In short, personal happiness and well-being is a highly subjective matter varying from one person and culture to the next. Yet, there is some very strong evidence suggesting that there is at least one aspect of accumulating wealth common among most people and cultures all over the world: spending money on other people leads to long-term satisfaction and emotional well-being. This action is referred to in scholarly literature as “prosocial spending” (Aknin et al., 2013).

In broad terms, prosocial spending simply means spending money on others. More specifically, this involves giving money to another person directly, spending your own money to purchase gifts for others, giving personal belongings to others, donating to charities, or a wide variety of other spending activities (Aknin et al., 2013).  Spending money on others can enhance personal happiness, and this is an important point in analyzing whether happiness depends on giving money once a person has reached their desired standard of living.

Personal Psychological Well-being

Life satisfaction depends on a wide variety of factors. In addition to having our basic needs met (e.g., food, shelter, clothing, sanitation, and so forth), we also need to enjoy pleasant affective experiences, which include both long-lasting and transient emotional events (Howell & Howell, 2008). Most people need to be part of a wider group of friends, family, and colleagues with whom they share regular activities and personal events. Constant interaction with people is one way to satisfy personal psychological well-being (Howell & Howell, 2008). To illustrate how this works, money in terms of donation, gift, exchange of goods, or giving in general is introduced, as they play an important part in these activities and events. This is not to say that greater wealth equals to greater happiness. Rather, they play an important part in facilitating our interpersonal relationship needed to secure our psychological well-being.

Evidence suggests that the act of giving money or purchasing a gift for someone else can enhance our psychological well-being because doing so can deepen our emotional connection with another person (Aknin et al., 2012). More specifically, it is claimed that this connection creates strong recalling memories that we can look back to, thus making us feel happy repeatedly even long after the act of giving has taken place (Aknin et al., 2012). In other words, when we gain happiness through spending money on other people, the memories of happiness make us feel happy frequently and want to spend money on them again (Sknin et al., 2012). This claim is supported by experimental evidence from Aknin et al.’s study. 51 participants in this study were asked to choose between spending an amount of money ($5 or $20) either on themselves (personal spending) or on another person (prosocial spending). The authors found that the prosocial spenders were happier than the personal spenders when they looked back on their respective activities (Sknin et al., 2012). In addition to this result, the prosocial spenders were more likely to spend more money on others repeatedly throughout their lives, which giving them a long-term source of happiness. This finding tells us that the act of personal spending might gain us some level of happiness, but this type of happiness is not long-lasting because it does not produce a memory of a positive past experience.

Memory of positive past experiences with other individuals is important, because it helps us to create stronger social ties. Strong social ties with friends and family are considered a great source of personal happiness and psychological well-being, because in a strong relationship, we share our emotions more, express ourselves frequently, and create memories more often (Aknin et al., 2011). Without having the support of people around us, life can become much more difficult. Furthermore, spending money on people helps to enhance our image by frequently reminding them our good deed and the pleasantness of the exchange. This acts to strengthen relationships, even though many people might not admit that money is a factor in their affection for another person. It is what money represents that is of most value. For example, giving someone a gift is a symbol that they care. Similarly, paying for the bill at dinner, is a symbol that the person feels enough affection for the other that they are willing to make their life easier by saving them some money on the cost of their dinner, for example. The gesture that money can create can speak volumes about how a person feels about another. Without using words, money can indicate to another how they feel. This gesture can go a long way towards building meaningful relationships. On the other hand, the act of not paying can cause problems in a relationship in several ways. For example, a man might feel that a woman is only interested in him for his money if he continually has to pay for the bills and she does not offer to do so. On the other hand, a woman might think a man is not interested in her if he is not paying for the bill.

The link between spending money on others and establishing strong relationships with those people is an important topic because of the general importance of social belonging. If spending money on others is, in fact, an important part of creating social bonds, this would suggest that prosocial spending is not only a source of happiness for individuals, but also a source of happiness and well-being for society as a whole. The argument that humans are driven to create lasting and positive interpersonal relationships is referred to as the “belongingness hypothesis” (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). There are two main criteria behind this principle: First, frequent pleasant interactions are needed with several other people are needed. Also, the interactions need to be based on a enduring and stable framework in order for there to be authentic concern for the other person (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). In other words, in order to maintain a minimum lasting interpersonal relationship, there must be a need to form constant interaction with people, and the interaction creates social stability and affective concern that are long-lasting.  Like Aknin et al. (2011), and Baumeister and Leary (1995) all believed, these benefits depend on frequent social interaction. More specifically, the need to belong is only satisfied when people spend regular time together after developing strong feelings for one another. Otherwise, the social bonds will last only a short amount of time and thus fail to create long-term satisfaction. Returning to a point made by Aknin et al., prosocial spending plays an important role in developing strong relationships because it provides the giver and the recipient with a reason to interact. It could also be argued that spending money on another person is a sign that you are willing to make a personal sacrifice on behalf of that individual. Thus, in addition to the benefits of the financial or material reward the recipient gains, they also receive a symbol of friendship and caring. For the “giver,” this means gaining personal satisfaction after having taken a step to maintain a long-term friendship.
As Aknin et al. (2011) discuss, there are many variations in what it means to have a strong social tie with other individuals. For example, family relationships (even the very meaning of “family”), friendships, as well as financial resources vary a great deal across the world. People also celebrate the act of giving in different ways, as different cultures celebrate birthdays and holidays in their own unique ways. This means that the aforementioned findings and conclusions may not necessarily apply to all contexts. However, as the next section argues, there is strong evidence suggesting that the link between happiness and prosocial spending or behavior is a universal trait amongst humans.

Prosocial Spending Across Different Cultural Contexts

While there are many different views across the globe regarding measurements of well-being, evidence shows that the act of sacrificing time and material goods for the benefit of another individual is a universal human trait. This is a role that is traditionally assumed by men, being the provider in the relationship, and that has been the case throughout history and in the vast majority of cultures. During the time when males were hunters and gatherers, and even prior to the human stage in evolution, males were the physically stronger gender, and due to this fact, they were responsible for hunting food for the family, and protecting it. However, the days of wielding a spear or sling shot are no longer necessary, and this has caused men to assume a different role. Instead of venturing into the woods looking for a large deer to kill, for example, men can now buy their meat at the supermarket. However, this act is also frequently performed by women, and does not satisfy the traditional male desire to provide for his family. Men often fill this void by paying for meals and other needs. Even though the gender roles in many countries has significantly changed, men still predominantly pay for dates and other expenses. This is very likely to trigger a sense of happiness with the men.

Meanwhile, the role of women has changed significantly. They are now working, and better able to provide for themselves, and for their spouses, if necessary. Despite women no longer performing many of the traditional tasks such as cooking and cleaning, many men still demand that they pay for many of the bills. On the other hand, many women feel it is important for them to claim their independence by paying for their own portion of the expenses. This is a development in the evolution of what this paper calls the “payment impetus.” But evolution has likely caused people to have an innate desire to stick with customs practiced by their ancestors. This would include the male role of being the provider, and the female role of supporting her man. Of course, this cannot be claimed to be true for all people, but the research shows the satisfaction that is generated by paying for the bills. The research lacks, however, in differentiating between the happiness generated by a man who pays, and the happiness generated by a woman who pays. If gender is to be taken into consideration, the happiness that is generated may only be apparent in men, while women do not show such an appeal for paying.

For example, according to Aknin et al. (2013) regardless of the wealth of a given country, financial generosity provide subjective well being to people from all over the world. Yet this research does not differentiate between a man and a woman’s happiness from paying. What the research does say generally, however, is that paying is not only something that can benefit those who are less fortunate, but the benefactor also retains a positive takeaway from the interaction. Many people dedicate their lives for the purpose of improving the lives of others, and this can be an extremely rewarding proposition. The authors base this argument on the evolutionary theory that social cooperation helped early humans survive, which is possibly why generosity continues to create positive feelings across different cultural contexts. These researchers categorize generosity, giving, and the need for social interaction under the term “psychological universals,” which basically refer to “’core mental attributes shared by humans everywhere’”. While there are some clear differences between how people express their needs and desires, there are certain human characteristics that show little to no variation across different cultures. For example, many if not most individuals are motivated by altruism, or concern for the welfare of others (Aknin et al., 2013). This in turn enhances social and emotional well-being for all those involved. In countries all over the world, prosocial spending is one of the most common expressions of altruistic behavior.

One challenge to the proposed social and emotional benefits of prosocial spending is the idea that this activity greatly depends on personal income level – something that is a major issue in poor countries where many individuals lack the financial resources to take care of their basic personal needs. Past research has suggested that in general, people in wealthy nations can afford to have their basic personal needs met, have greater financial freedom, and are therefore happier than people in poor nations (Diener et al., 2010).  The basic principle here is that for people that have few possessions and resources, giving to others involves a great deal of sacrifice and in some cases personal harm. While researchers generally argue that happiness does not automatically increase according to wealth, there is a body of research claiming that in general, people in under-developed countries are less happy than people in developed countries (Diener et al., 2010; Hsee et al., 2009). Of course there are many exceptions; for example, there are impoverished areas in developed nations and rich areas in under-developed countries. But in terms of average income earners per capita, it is reasonable to argue that the greater level of wealth of a society, the greater the level of overall happiness. However, this tends to be true only up until a certain point. According to Oishi and Schimmack (2010), once a nation reaches a certain level of income, people’s happiness increases very little, none at all, or even decreases as more wealth is accumulated. As evidence of this continues to emerge, researchers are beginning to look at non-economic indicators of well-being.

Oishi and Schimmack (2010) point out that there is an increasing trend among scholars to measure a country’s well-being based on subjective indicators. Subjective indicators include broad terms like “happiness” and “life satisfaction” which are measured by psychological scientific ratings, either in the form of an index (e.g., Happy Life Expectancy Index) or through interview (Oishi & Schimmack, 2010).  The authors claim that the strength of this type of indicator is stronger in capturing people’s experiences and evaluations than economic or social indicators. Economic information such as GDP per capita, as well as education and poverty, on the other hand, report specific areas of social progress but they do not necessarily indicate personal satisfaction or well-being. For example, even though many East Asian nations like South Korea and Japan are high on many economic indicators, they do not report higher levels of life satisfaction or daily happiness (Oishi & Schimmack, 2010). In contrast, many Latin American countries are not high on economic indicators, but they do report fairly high on life satisfaction and daily happiness (Oisi & Schimmack, 2010). This shows that purchasing items for other people is not necessarily necessary for personal satisfaction.

The connection between wealth and happiness can be explained by the fact that individuals who report high levels of happiness tend to enjoy greater personal freedom, which is often a result of having money to spend. For example, Oishi and Schimmack (2010) state that once individuals have reached a basic or average standard of living, they enjoy their time the most when they are able to share their money, health, and daily activities with friends and loved ones. At the same time, these authors suggest that these activities do depend on attaining a certain level of income (average annual income, for example), since regular work and shared leisure depends on living space, participation in community events, basic amenities, and other regular costs. In short, these authors are suggesting that social happiness and development depends on a combination of income and personal satisfaction. Since people in social networks spend their own money to engage in activities with others, they are essentially spending money on one another, helping out where they can and establishing a friendly system of exchange driven by trust and mutual agreement. This shows that the sharing of wealth can be a major factor in one’s personal happiness.

Conclusion

This paper has argued that prosocial spending (spending money on other people) is one of the most reliable and universal ways to ensure that the accumulation of wealth leads to greater personal happiness. Prosocial spending creates happiness by putting us in regular contact with other people (e.g., recipients), by deepening our personal relationships through a token of friendship and trust, and by providing us with lasting memories of a positive exchange of money or gifts. Prosocial spending also contributes to social happiness, since giving to others creates bonds in the community and provides assistance to those in need. While scholarly literature argues that general happiness depends on reaching a certain standard of living, the same literature posits that once our basic needs are met, our happiness increases not according to wealth necessarily, but on the degree to which we use our financial resources socially and with generosity.

References

Aknin, L.B., Dunn, E.W., Helliwell, J.F., Biswas-Diener, R., Nyende, P., Barrington-Leigh, C.P….& Ashton-James, C.E. (2013). Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(4), 635-652.

Aknin, L.B., Dunn, E.W., & Norton, M.I. (2012). Happiness Runs in a Circular Motion: Evidence for a Positive Feedback Loop between Prosocial Spending and Happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13, 347-355.
Aknin, L.B., Sandstrom, G.M., Dunn, E.W., & Norton, M.I. (2011). It’s the Recipient That Counts: Spending Money on Strong Social Ties Leads to Greater Happiness than Spending on Weak Social Ties. PLoS One, 6(2), 1-4.

Baumeister, R.F., & Leary, M.R. (1995). The Need to Belong: Desire for Interpersonal Attachments as a Fundamental Human Motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529.

Diener, E., Ng, W., Harter, J., & Arora, R. (2010). Wealth and Happiness Across the World: Material Prosperity Predicts Life Evaluation, Whereas Psychological Prosperity Predicts Positive Feeling. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(1), 52-61.

Howell, R.T., & Howell, C.J. (2008). The Relation of Economic Status to Subjective Well-Being in Developing Countries: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 134(4), 536-560.

Hsee, C.K., Yang, Y., Li, N., & Shen, L. (2009). Wealth, Warmth, and Well-Being: Whether Happiness Is Relative or Absolute Depends on Whether It Is About Money, Acquisition, or Consumption. Journal of Marketing Research, 46, 396-409.

Oishi, S., & Schimmack, U. (2010). Culture and Well-Being: A New Inquiry Into the Psychological Wealth of Nations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 463-471.

LANGSTON HUGHES – THE WORKS OF A MASTER

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The correlation in themes is representative in Langston Hughes’ play “Mulatto,” and his poem “Cross,” as well as August Wilson’s play “Fences,” and Junot Diaz’s book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”

The four stories combine to cover fiction, poetry and drama. In this essay, the three authors’ common concerns will be outlined. The authors share the same cultural and literary concerns when they portray their themes in the literature. These themes are supported and developed by the writers in several different ways, but they all have a similar message. These authors have distinct ways of supporting and developing the themes through the character development, plot, style and genres. It is generally the characters who provide the base of the stories and their development and actions. Themes from each of the stories are conveyed through the characters, as they go through their life experiences and outlooks. The themes used are significant for each of the author’s cultural background and timeframes. These four works are vivid examples of how generational relationships, the anger and bitterness from being condemned and considered unworthy, and the negative results of racism.

In “Mulatto,” Diaz is discussing race. Mulatto talks about a person who is of half white and half black descent. It takes place in rural Georgia. The play is quite negative and it is about the struggle to find identity. This is something that Diaz communicates in many of his other works, including his book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” The daily desire to find one’s roots and true identity is ever more complicated through the character that he portrays in his writing.

The expression of rejection and racism is perhaps mostly pronounced out of the four stories in “Mularro.” The play is set in the “Big House” on a Georgia plantation, which creates a dreary environment that the author needs to portray the depression and gloominess that he wants to communicate the audience. This setting isn’t changed at all throughout the play, and it gives it a feeling of entrapment. There is a real sense of solitary in the play and it makes the audience feel claustrophobic. This is perhaps done to communicate how the character, Robert, feels. He is trapped in an environment where he doesn’t want to be and this struggle consumes him until he can’t take any more. This struggle of identity due to racial issues is apparent in the other works as well, and it adds to texture of rejection that many of the characters in all of the stories feel.

Lewis’s character is struggling in his day-to-day affairs as the Colonel Thomas Norwood, who is the white plantation owner and he is frustrated with him. Robert perhaps has the hardest time out of all the children. He is the son of the Colonel’s housekeeper Cora, who is an African American. His sister Sallie is having a difficult time with her identity, but her personal problems are made worse by the Colonel because he is upset and frustrated that Sallie is late in catching the train to go to school. The Colonel wants Sallie to go to school and so he discusses the issues with Sam, who is his African American servant.

Robert isn’t the only character who feels troubled by the position he is in. As the reader has seen, there are siblings of his who are having just as hard of a time, and they have little motivation to do things like go to school. Robert is responsible for driving Sallie to the train station so that he can go to school, but he has gone to buy radio tubes and he wasn’t given consent by the Colonel, who is angry and says that Robert should be picking cotton in the field. He then threatens to whip him for his transgression. That is one of the examples in the works that talks about the low status that many of the characters had, simply because of their race. This was truly a time where many Mulatto’s and African Americans were disrespected and told they weren’t worth anything. This fueled the hate that these children and other characters in the works felt towards those who had control over them. That control that Robert and his siblings were under is the feeling that is pronounced throughout the play, as the characters are unable to continue their lives in the way that they want to live them because they are under the pressures of those who dominated their lives. This is a very suffocating feeling, and the reason why I think Hughes decided to keep the play in a designated area in Georgia.

This deep south setting was chosen by Hughes because it is in the deep south where people who aren’t white are most exposed to racism. The conflict between the white plantation owner and Robert is the center of this play because the Colonel refuses to see Robert as being his son, which is what happened after the Colonel and his servant slept together. The conflict that Robert feels with his identity and the rejection of his father is the most challenging aspect that Robert feels. He has taken a stand, much like other characters in the other works did, about becoming a servant to a master. He tells his father that he will not participate in the cotton picking. All this took place during the Great Depression, which further made the rebellion challenging because Robert couldn’t simply leave and get a job. This created a further claustrophobic setting in the play.

Hughes’ poem “Cross” has a similar theme. It discusses the issues around being a black and white person. And the work can take on many meanings. For example, the title could be taken to mean the inner turmoil of the speaker, and the way they feel about being a mulatto. This mixed racial heritage is apparent and the struggle that the speaker feels is obvious in the tone of the poem. The speaker may be angry with his mother or father because of the genes that has been passed onto him. This is similar to the way that Robert feels in “Mulatto.” Hughes is certainly partial to the turmoil that is experienced in characters who have multiple races. Both the speaker in “Cross” and Robert in “Mulatto” are trying to find their ways in the world and this is a deeper problem for them more than anyone else because of the multiple races they possess. Furthermore, the speaker in “Cross” appears to be quite young, which can also be said for Robert in “Mulatto.” This is an age where the average person is already struggling to find their way and it is only accented by the fact that these characters don’t have a true racial identity.

The speaker in the poem could also be said to be carrying a cross because of the burden that has been put on him due to his race. The cross is heavy on his back and this could be why Hughes decided to name the poem, “Cross.” But the title takes on other meanings too, that help explain what the story of the speaker’s life is really all about. For example, the title could be taken to mean crucifix. So this infers that the speaker in the poem is nailed to the cross, simply for being who he is. He hasn’t done anything wrong, but because he is who he is, the speaker is punished immensely, just like Jesus was for not doing anything wrong. But the title could also be used to discuss the traversal of crossing over from being extremely angry, to forgiving. This is something that doesn’t happen in “Mulatto,” which indicates the changes in emotion that Hughes might be feeling about his own life. The speaker could be wanting to leave behind the bitterness that he has about his situation. But judging by Hughes’ attitude in “Mulatto,” the reader would lean towards the conclusion that the speaker has not found forgiveness for the poor life that he has been put into. The title could also be interpreted to mean crossroad. This might be represented in forgiving his mother and father, and in doing so, he is at a crossroads on what he believes is the right thing to do. One of the roads that he can go down is that of the black people, which the other one is into a future that is uncertain. He isn’t able to go down the road of the white people, he believes, because they wouldn’t be accepting of his mixed race.
In its entirety, the poem goes through the frustration that a person who is half black and half white feels in the aftermath of slavery in the United States. The speaker is struggling to accept their identity in the world because there is a lot of racism at this time in history. This is the same dilemma that Robert felt in “Mulatto.” Not really being accepted by either the whites, nor the blacks was extremely problematic for personal struggles of identity. The speaker in the poem is a former slave whose father is white and mother is black, just like Robert in “Mulatto.” The speaker is challenged because they are stuck in the middle of the poor black America that was not respected at all by the white Americans. On the other hand, the white people were looked at as being the ideal specimen. The black people looked at the whites with hate and amazement. It was particularly challenging because the speaker, and Robert in “Mulatto,” was looked at as being the enemy by the black people, due to the white tone of their skin. On the other hand, the characters were looked at as being among the black people, and deserving of oppression. The whites thought that they would be outcast if they welcomed someone with and African American blood.

By the end of the poem, the speaker apologizes for having the thoughts that he has. This could either be because he doesn’t actually blame his mother and father for the life that he has, or it could be because he has been brought up to not speak his mind on any issues. He may have been told all of his life that he isn’t allowed to have anything negative to say about the situation he is in, or of the people who put him in that situation. At the time, black people were also not very respected for their intelligence. He may be so conflicted that he feels that the black part of him makes him dumb, and unaware of the actual ways of the world. This could cause him to doubt himself when he discusses some of the issues that he is having. At the beginning of the poem, he makes threats towards his parents, and this shows that he has a lot of anger at them for creating him. This is also what Robert feels in “Mulatto,” as these characters deal not only with their identity crisis but also with the rage they feel towards their parents and the world that they are being brought up in. After the speaker apologizes for his threats at the middle of the poem, he comes across as being confused. I think these three periods of dialect: anger, apologetic and confusion, represents the inner turmoil that the character is going through. He isn’t allowed to express his anger, and when he does he feels that he needs to apologize, because he was likely punished in the past for speaking out. He doesn’t have the confidence to say what he means, because he is afraid that he might be reprimanded for saying what is truly on his mind. This has likely been a continual battle for him, much like it was for Robert in “Mulatto,” and has caused both these characters to not have much confidence in truly saying what they mean. They are also young and at the mercy of those around them, so speaking out will not do them any good, as they need the food and shelter that is provided to them for survival.

Wilson’s “Fences,” is yet another story that discusses the challenges faced by African Americans in the 1900s.This is about the race relations between black people and white people during the 1950s. In this play, Wilson’s lead character, who is actually older than the Characters portrayed by Hughes, is Troy, 53. He is the head of a household and he is struggling to provide food and shelter for his family. He is also obsessed with cheating death. This play takes on a different setting than the works of Hughes, it is in a city, but it is never really specified about where it is. The lead character, Hughes, was a fantastic baseball player when he was younger. He spent the time of most of his days practicing while he was in prison for accidently killing someone when he was committing a robbery. Even though Troy was such a great baseball player, the color barrier had not yet been broken in the Major Leagues. He wasn’t able to make much money at anything and saving money was certainly out of the question. This is another struggle that is being faced by another black person in these stories. It was because of the race of Troy that he wasn’t able to play professional baseball and make a good living. If he were to live today, he wouldn’t likely have much of a problem playing professional baseball and making good money. This is similar to the other characters, who wouldn’t have a hard time in life because of their mixed races. Unlike the characters in Hughes’ stories, Troy wasn’t of mixed race, as he was only black.

Instead of making millions of dollars playing ball, Troy had to trash collect and this was his way of making enough money to survive on. He did manage to make a significant leap in the race barrier by taking a job as a driver, rather than being a barrel lifter. This was a relatively respectable job for someone who was black at the time, though the pay was terrible. He needed as much money as he could get, as he lived with his wife and son. Troy was fortunate in the play, at the expense of his brother, Gabriel, who was injured during battle when he was a soldier and he now has mental problems. The money that Gabriel received was used by Troy to buy a house. Gabriel doesn’t live in the house with him, but instead lives in a rented room elsewhere in the same city.

One of the most prominent aspects to the play is the right of black people to work the same jobs that white people do. Troy is frustrated that he can’t play professional baseball, and this is something that he carries with him. This is the reason why Troy decided to ask if he could become a garbage truck driver. He goes to his boss and he asks him that questions. This is at the beginning of the play and it sets the stage for the rest of the piece, about how Troy’s life is what it is because he isn’t treated the same as how white people are treated.

Diaz’s book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” is quite different than the other three works in many ways, though they do have some commonalities. There is the concept of a curse of doom, or fuku. This is specifically a curse of doom in the new world. The book goes through distinct phases and various settings, which is unlike the other three works, which are pretty static in their locations. Oscar de Leon is the lead character in the book and he is from a Dominican family. While he is also of color, like the characters in the other stories, he isn’t as oppressed as the rest because he is living during a time when there was more acceptance of black people. He is also not from African descent, like the other characters are. Oscar is not like many of the other Dominicans, who are savvy with females. He is more like a nerd, and this is challenging for him, particularly because he lives in the ghetto, and being a nerd is not considered something that can be ignored. He was an outcast in high school and he was often teased. After he falls in love with someone and starts dating her, she dumps him and he then goes into an introverted frenzy and begins to focus all of his energy on writing science fiction or fantasy stories, which are basically focused on the end of the world. This could represent the inner turmoil he is feeling toward life, much like the struggles that are faced by the characters in the other stories that have been discussed. Unlike the other characters, Oscar has an outlet for his frustration about life, and that is through writing. He wasn’t challenged with racial discrimination like the other characters were, but to a certain degree, he was. It is as if people were harder on him because of what they expected him to be like, due to his Dominican upbringing and the stereotypes that are attached to that. He was a much more heavy person that many of his peers, and this could be one of the reasons why he had such problems with finding a girlfriend. But people gave him such a hard time for the way that he was, simply because he was different, just like all of the characters that are discussed in these stories.

The references to the science fiction and fantasy that are made in the story, provides the perfect example of the desire to get away from ones problems. All of the characters didn’t like the life they were living and they wanted to find peace and freedom away from their daily struggles. The science fiction and fantasy also bring out the world that Oscar is living in and it creates a cohesive line between the supernatural events that are happening in the fantasy and the history of the Dominican people. The fantasy world of living in the middle earth is linked to the life that is lived in the Dominican Republic. Diaz uses a lot of sci-fi references in the piece, and they help to explain the psychology that the lead character is going through. There are also other interesting references, and Diaz sometimes uses them as the titles to her work. For example, “The Mongoose” is the title of a chapter in which she uses the Mongoose to describe the guardians of the family. This small and fast mammal is sociable and cunning. This animal was taken from its African and Asian home to the Dominican Republic. At this same time, Oscar’s family was being forced out of their country. So as something that is alien was being taken to the Dominican Republic, something that is indigenous was being taken out. The mongoose is considered to be the counter spell to the zafa. This is exemplified when Beli is beaten in a canefield and this animal motivates her by singing to her and guiding her away from the canefield. This is her protector and this is how she is able to get away. Again, the Mongoose is there for her, as it stops a bus that is right in front of her, and she could have been killed or seriously injured if there was an impact. The mongoose further protects her by taking her to safety. In a similar situation, Oscar finds a golden mongoose that saves him from killing himself by throwing his body off of a bridge. Then, the mongoose saves him again when he is being beaten in the canefield. This is similar to the time when Beli was saved by the mongoose. Unlike the characters in the other four stories, these characters had a protector. This was much needed for them to overcome the obstacles that were facing them. The other characters could have benefited from that same kind of protection, but they had no such luck. It should be noted that the four stories represent an evolution of the struggles that are faced by people who are of a different color. The stories paint a relatively clear picture of the types of dilemmas people of different races experienced through the 20th Century.

The challenges that these characters face are often an example of the cultural identity of the authors. For example, Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, this is a similar situation as to what was experienced by his lead character, Oscar. Also, just like Oscar Diaz is a writer. He could be using the novel to express his own life, and the desire he had to perhaps have something, such as the mongoose be there for him to help guide him through the challenging times that he was experiencing. Similarly, Langston Hughes is a mulatto and he was perhaps experiencing in his life the same things that his character Robert was going through. Robert would have been about the same age as Hughes when he wrote “Mulatto.” The type of identity crisis that he was experiencing could be the same that he was portraying in Mulatto. However, instead of having one black and one white parent, both Hughes’ parents were African-American and both his paternal great grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky. This provides an interesting look at perhaps the motivation behind “Mulatto,” as his character Robert could portray one of his ancestors who was the son of a slave owner and who likely had an affair with one of his servants. In the case of Wilson, I believe he was influenced largely by the life of his mother, who was forced to raise children on her own and found it extremely hard to have enough money to pay for her family’s many needs. This is similar to the experience that his lead character Troy had in providing for his family. Like Troy, Wilson’s mom has a dirty job. But unlike being a garbage collector, she was a cleaning lady. She was also living in a neighbourhood that was economically depressed and it was likely in Pittsburgh, which is where Wilson was born and it was indicated in “Fences” that it is where that play took place, due to the landmarks that were included in it. The racial themes of these stories all appear to be a reflection of the type of life each of the writers was living.

Works Cited

Diaz, J. (2008). The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. New York: Riverhead Trade. Academic
Search Premier

Elam, H. (2009, March). Blood Debt: Reparations in Langston Hughes’s Mulatto. Theatre
Journal: Johns Hopkins University Press. ProQuest

Hughes, L. (2002). The Play to 1942: Mulatto to the Sun Do Move. New York: University of
Missouri. Academic Search Premier.

Shih, E. (2007, October). Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WAO. Bergen County: The
Record. ProQuest.

WILLIAM FAULKNER’S “THE TALL MEN”

Sample by My Essay Writer

William Faulkner’s “The Tall Men,” is a historically relevant story that provides a glimpse into American life in the 1930s, during the Great Depression.

Faulkner’s tales are famous for relating to the time in which they take place, and for this reason, he succeeds at creating masterpieces that fit nicely into the category of American classics. In “The Tall Men,” the story details the various components of law and order during the Great Depression, and provides a clearer look at the various opinions of registering for the World War II draft. “The Tall Men,” helps the reader understand the principles of life during the transition period from the Dirty 30s to WWII, and for this reason it would provide a solid addition to this course’s list of literary classics.

The qualities of each of Faulkner’s characters makes them realistic, because they seem to lead lives that common people would live. The characters and plot provide a realistic representation of history and for this reason it qualifies as being “classical” American literature. This is expressed in the way the marshal has an affinity for the family and lets the two brothers leave, for example. Also, near the beginning of the story it is revealed that he warns the family that he is coming. “’Lee McCallum asked me to send him out when I telephoned we were coming.’ You mean you warned them?’ the investigator said. ‘You telephoned ahead that I was coming out with a warrant for these two evaders? Is this how you carry out the orders of the United States Government,’” (1). The marshal gave the boys a chance to run by warning them, and this shows a different side to the law enforcement at the time than what the public might assume. This realistic take on the potential differences of people during the time period brings a valuable addition to the common beliefs that people typically had of this time period. This helps to enlighten the reader about American history, and for that reason would make the story a valuable addition to the classics.

The story is representative of an important time in American history: the Depression – this gives it more relevancy to being included as a valuable piece of American literature because it helps to tell the story of America. One of the most valuable pieces of information about the struggles that people were facing comes near the beginning of the story when the investigator describes the concealment of land ownership, “… These people who lie about and conceal the ownership of land and property in order to hold relief jobs which they have no intention of performing, standing on their constitutional rights against having to work, who jeopardize the very job itself through petty and transparent subterfuge to acquire a free mattress which they intend to attempt to sell…” (1). The section goes on to say the farmers make false statements so they can receive seed loans. The investigator’s opinion reveals why the two officials are at the home: because the land owners were caught defrauding the government. However, the investigator says he has a warrant for them because they did not register for the draft. Within the first page, the points of views from the two men are revealed, with the marshal supporting the farmers, and the investigator believing the land owners are in the wrong for attempting to receive social welfare when they do not actually need it, as well as not registering for the draft. Serving in WWII was requested of them by the government. Faulkner is effective in his use of characters at revealing the philosophies of the time, and this provides a valuable look into the actions of some members of the farming demographic during the Great Depression, as well as the differing opinions about those actions.

Many of the characters in the story represent components of American history that are important to the nation. For example, the father is a World War I veteran. And his sons represent people who refused to register for the draft prior to World War II. The investigator represents the government, which is forcing people to register for the war. The marshal represents the middle ground, between the government and the common people. He is depicted as being both sympathetic to the requirements of the government, and to the needs of the people. While he tells the boys that they needed to register for the draft, he also sympathizes for the boys, which was proven when he called them to warn them that the officials were coming.

“The Tall Men” fits in with many other similar works of its time period. For example, in the poem “Apostrophe To Man,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, she discusses what is expected of people during the 1930s, which is the same decade that Faulkner sets “The Tall Men.” In her piece she mentions many of the aspects of life at the time that adhered to conformity. “Convert again into explosives the bewildered ammonia and the distracted cellulose;/ Convert again into putrescent matter drawing flied/ The hopeful bodies of the young; exhort” (5, 7, 8, 9). This poem discusses the “conversion” of people to serve in the war. Similarly, “The Tall Men,” discusses the boys needed to register for the draft. Both the short story and the poem reveal the results of war, and how that was factored into society in the Dirty 30s.

While “Apostrophe To Man” is similar to “The Tall Men” in its general setting and philosophical concept, the use of characters in Faulkner’s earlier work, the novel “As I Lay Dying,” provides similar use of characters. Faulker, like legendary Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, uses his characters to communicate ideals. As the reader has seen in “The Tall Men,” each character has their own function in explaining a perception or situation of life at the time. Similarly, “As I Lay Dying,” utilizes multiple characters to provide views about life. For example, the Bundren family helps depict the struggles that each character experienced. Each of these portrayals of the hardships in life during the early 20th century helps tell the story of each type of character – whether religious, secular, male, female, old or young, Faulkner has a character to describe the perspective of each.

Due to the true historical components contained within the story, “The Tall Men,” is a vital addition to classical American literature, and is a worthy addition to this course. While many texts provide a look at the hardships of the Great Depression, “The Tall Men,” provides a unique perspective, one that collaborates the perspectives of the government and the commoners who were hit by the global recession. But the story takes this interesting dynamic a step further by including the WWII draft. This unique combination makes the text almost vital to add to the course, and to the more broad collection of classical American literature, as it can help provide students with a solid grasp of the hardships that were experienced by so many – and how those struggles became worse when people were told they needed to register for the draft.

Works Cited

Faulkner, W. (1930). As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage.

Faulkner, W. (1941). The Tall Men. Literature Save. Retrieved from
http://literaturesave2.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/william-faulkner-the-tall-   men.pdf

Millay, E.S.V. (1934). Apostrophe to Man. PoemHunter.com. Retrieved from
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/apostrophe-to-man/

WHY SCHOOL SUCKS

Sample by My Essay Writer

Questions:
Pestalozzi’s concern for creating an emotionally secure school environment added a new dimension to teaching. Please reflect on your own education: Did you have teachers who created either an emotionally secure or insecure environment? How did this affect you at the time? How is it influencing your own attitude to teaching?

Throughout my schooling, I have had all types of teachers. I perceived most of them as not caring much about the material that they were presenting, and it seemed like the majority of them did not care for their students. One example of this is a teacher who became angry at me in high school for asking a question. I did not participate a lot in high school, but I would sometimes try to make an effort. This one time when I was in class, I put my hand up to ask a question, and the teacher begrudgingly let me speak. I asked a question about the theme in the novel we were reading, and the teacher became upset at me and said that she had already covered that and I should have been listening if I wanted to know the answer. This teacher refused to repeat what she had apparently already said, and she continued with the lesson. I felt embarrassed and after that point I did not want to participate in the class, and I did not have a positive perception of the faculty at the school.

However, not all of my experiences have been negative. My Grade 7 teacher is perhaps the person who I was positively influenced the most by. She is one of the only teachers who would talk to me one on one. She would let me know what she thought I was doing well, and what I needed to work on. On one of the first days of classes, I did not do my homework, and she sat down with me after school and explained to me why it was important that I make sure I complete my homework all the time. After that point, I was one of the highest achieving students in her class.

Reflect on current proposals for making early childhood education more academic, such as emphasizing early reading and writing. How do you think Froebel would react to these proposals? I am especially interested in hearing from those of you who have taught or observed early childhood classrooms– What have you found the focus has been on in your classes–academics or play?

It is important to assess the child’ spoken language skills at the beginning of the year because the best way a child can learn is by speaking, and the teacher needs to know what level the student is at, so they can guide their teaching approach for the student. Teachers who know this usually set their classrooms up so that they are promoting a considerable amount of speaking. “Oral language is a cognitive tool used to construct meaning, internalize the language in print, and regulate thought and activity. Language production at age 3 predicts reading comprehension scores as measured at age 9 to 10,” according to Kalmar, (Beaty and Pratt, 2011). Oral language goes further than just providing a foundation for a student to be successful with literacy. It is very important in their development during preschool. The language is an important tool for the child to be able to deal with conflict, deal with a peer, provide them with power, and help them to express happy and sad feelings. They are better able to express themselves and to deal with life situations. All these factors combine to make it important to assess the child’s spoken language skills at the beginning of the year.

This type of environment does not jive with what Froebel believed. He stressed the importance of allowing the child to have their own activity, and guide their own development. He believed that it was important to the child develop their own learning at such a young age (Barr, 2002). He might approve of having books out for the children to read if they wish, but he did not believe in specifically designing a lesson for such a young student around reading or writing, for example.

Which of Erikson’s stages of social development seems most important? Why?

I think the most important of Erikson’s stages is the preschool (3 to 5 years). At this stage, it is important that the child begin to have some control of their surroundings, and this is the point where the parents have to step in and make sure that the child does not overstep their boundaries. The parents need to ensure the child is aware of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. When the parents are successful at this, I believe the child will grow up to be a person who is considerate of those around them, and less self-centered.

What aspects of his theory would you suggest are most important for parents to understand?

I believe ego identity is the most important component of his theory. With ego identity, it is important that a child has a sense of competence, so that they have motivation for their actions and behaviors (Cherry, 2013). This is a very important stage for parents to know because a child needs to be allowed to develop some components of themselves by themselves. While parents should guide their children in the right direction, it is important not to create a mold and try to force them into that mold.

Review the curriculum approaches: Montessori, High Scope, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf.
Which one appeals to you most/feels right to you and why?

In taking a look at Montessori’s approach, I find it makes the most sense. I particularly like the freedom components that are included in his approach. He believes in the freedom to choose the activities according to the child’s inner needs, the freedom to explore with the learning materials, the freedom to communicate, and the freedom to achieve individual potential (The Montessori, 2009). This nurturing environment that Montessori explains can help the children to realize their true potential. Instead of having information crammed into their brains, the children are able to be more of an active playing in the process.

Which appeals to you least/doesn’t feel right to you and why?

I find that the high scope approach is the least beneficial. I do think that working with people is very important to most children, but I think kids who are more independent could benefit from having their own space. I do not think a strictly social approach is the best way to go for all children.

Which aspects of your “favorite” do you think you will you feel confident implementing in your future class?

I would feel most comfortable implementing the Montessori approach in my classroom, and this would be the “freedom” style that he uses. While I do not think the children should be given free reign to do what they want – nor does Montessori – having some freedom that allows the children to choose the activities they wish to participate in will help them to achieve their goals (The Montessori, 2009).

How does being a teacher differ from age group to age group?

Being a teacher varies from age group to age group in a few ways. First of all, there is a considerable difference in the material that is being taught. When the students are older, only the lesson needs to be spoken, and then the students are able to pursue the class in the way that they want. However, when the children are young, they need to be much more nurtured than an older student would be. So, the two main differences are the complexity of the information that is being taught, and the way that the information is being communicated to the students.

What are some factors to consider in deciding which age group you want to teach?

I have to consider the fact that older people are likely already stuck in a particular learning style. This would limit my ability to be creative in my teaching styles. That is an important component, because I believe I am the type of teacher who would nurture students. I would like to work with them, rather than simply teach them the material, and let them do with it what they want, which is what is done frequently in adult learning.

Share some examples of how you have seen: developmentally appropriate practice implemented in a classroom 

The same example of the teacher who would meet with me after class in Grade 7 comes to mind. I had a challenge taking school seriously at this young age, and I was going through an adjustment period where homework was becoming a necessary part of my education. My teacher was very clear and caring in explaining what I needed to do, and she treated me with respect, which is something that I did not feel a lot of when I was a young student.

Developmentally inappropriate practice implemented in a classroom

The example of the teacher in high school who was disrespectful to me when I asked a question that she had apparently already answered comes to mind. She made be feel unintelligent, and made me lose faith in the school system and in my own abilities to learn.

What are some ways that a teacher can organize his/her learning environment and daily schedule to prevent behavior problems and enable children to do their best?

I think setting up a nurturing environment is the best way to ensure that the students are doing their best. When the students feel safe in their school environment, they will be better equipped to handle the various struggles of the day, and they will be able to proceed in the class with confidence. It is important for teachers to respect their students, so that the students feel more like they are at home when they are in school, rather than feeling they are in a prison camp.

Tell us your theme and age group. Then, list five changes you would make to your classroom environment to incorporate the theme (i.e. changes to the dramatic play area, configuration of the room, adding a center, etc.)

My theme is reading. The changes that I would make are adding a reading center, adding more books that have large pictures, creating a set reading time for students, reading interactively with the students in class, and having one-on-one reading time with the students. This would be for the preschool age group.

Imagine you are a teacher in a private preschool. A parent approaches you at the end of the day, complaining. “All the children do all day in this class is play! When are they going to start to learn? My son needs more academics if he is going to be ready for kindergarten. I’d like to see him come home with some homework, letter worksheets and the like. Why aren’t you giving him the advantages he needs to succeed next year?”
After you take a deep breath, you need to respond! Please share what you would say to defend how you run your class, and play in general.

Thanks very much for your input. I assure you we offer the best education for the preschool students and everything is very carefully designed so that they are well-prepared for kindergarten. A considerable amount of research has gone into the education style that we have here, and I am a well-qualified professional in this field. I understand that you have concerns and you want everything that is best for your child. At this age, it is important that we allow the children to play, so that they can learn to develop on their own. Giving them that type of independence will help them to develop effectively, and will result in positive outcomes during kindergarten. Our track record speaks for itself.

Remind us again of your age and theme. Then list four ways you will integrate each of the following into your theme:

The age is preschool and the theme is reading.

·       Music, Movement, & Fingerplays
·       Drama Connection
·       Social Connection

I would incorporate music, movement and finger plays into the curriculum by having the children act out stories that they are familiar with in finger puppet shows. They can also act these plays out in drama, which would add the drama connection to the reading lessons. Furthermore, I would have the children do these activities in groups so that they are learning how to be more social.
We are going to share about ourselves while relating to culture and family.
1. Please tell us
Languages spoken at home: English
How birthdays are celebrated: Balloons, cake and presents
Foods eaten at home: Chicken, broccoli, bananas, avocado, eggs, rice, beans, and grapes.
How respect is expressed: The words please and thank you are said often.
How affection is expressed: Hugs and kisses

What are expectations of girls vs. boys?

Each gender is considered equal and there is not preference given to one or the
other in any activity.

2.Have you ever been discriminated against because of your race, gender, or religious beliefs? If so, what were those experiences like and how did you feel about them?

No, I don’t think have not been discriminated against because of my religious beliefs, race or gender. There may have been times when someone felt that I possess certain qualities because I am a man. Men are supposed to act strong and be the rock. They are not supposed to have strong emotions. However, I did not take note of anyone every holding me to these obligations.

3. When you were growing up, what did your family and significant others say about people who were culturally, ethnically, racially or religiously different than your family?

I have heard a fair amount of racism in my time spent in a small town for a couple years. However, I have also heard positive things about people of other races from my family. I have heard that multiculturalism adds to the vibrancy of the community because it creates a society full of various perspectives and ways of life. However, I have also heard racial slurs from one member of my family about the smell of some people in other cultural groups. I have also heard racism about the work ethic of people in another cultural group. I heard about the amount of alcoholism in another cultural group. These comments were either ignored by me, or I took a stand against those who were saying these things.

A new preschool teacher asks you the following questions. Answer to the best of your ability, based on your readings and personal experience.

1.Why should I write what the children say and display this dictation in my class? The children can’t read!

The only way that a child can learn how to read is by making them familiar with the words and letters.

2. I’ve opened a writing center with paper and pencils and my children are still not writing! What should I do?

It is best if you show them what type of activities they can do with those writing utensils.

3. Why should I put up a “turn-taking” list when all the children can do is scribble their name?

Even scribbling their name is teaching the children very important building blocks

in their path to becoming effective writers.

1.Watch this video clip:

http://abavtooldev.pearsoncmg.com/myeducationlab/singleplay.php?projectID=earlychildhoodeducation&clipID=EACH_035_409.flv

Then share your thoughts on the video lesson. Be sure to include the following: the math/science concepts the children learned, the teacher’s use of open-ended vs closed questions, how she managed the children, etc. What did you like/not like about the lesson and why?

I thought the lesson was great. The math lessons that the kids learned was how to measure the tadpole. They also learned the science behind metamorphosis. The teacher was very good by allowing the children to come up with many of their own responses, and giving them hints about what happened to the tadpole’s tale, for example. She was very calm and collected with the students, and this made for a very effective learning environment. She also used hand contact with the students, and this is a great way to build their trust.

2.Reflect on your experiences learning math in school. What do you feel were positive experiences in your math education? What were negative experiences in your math learning?

I really thrived in math during my early years, but them I came across some teachers in high school that I do not think did a good job at cultivating my abilities. I did not feel comfortable approaching the teachers with what I needed to become more efficient as a learner. However, in elementary school I think I had some of the best teachers. Some of my fondest memories are of my teacher reading the top three achievers on the math tests, and I was always on the list. I tried so hard to be at the top of the class in elementary school, and that was thanks to great teachers.

3.Choose a children’s picture book that relates to math. Briefly summarize the book and the mathematical concepts presented within the story.
1. Complete the following Multiple Intelligence questionnaire:

The book that I chose is “Quack and Count.” Essentially the book teaching children how to count based on how many times the duck quacks.

http://www.andrews.edu/~freed/oldpages/pdfs/u-3mi.pdf

What kind of learner did it say you are? Do you agree with this “diagnosis”? Did your teachers’ teaching styles suit your individual learning style? Please describe.

It said that I am a linguistic learner. I agree with this, because I feel like sometimes I do not want to learn, and other times, I want to learn a lot. So, reading is my learning method of choice, which makes the linguistic learner style appropriate for me, rather than the more intimate learning styles.

2. Sharp observation skills are probably the most important assessment tool a teacher can use. Watch this video clip of three boys building with blocks:

http://www2.cde.state.co.us/media/resultsmatter/RMSeries/TheConstructionSite.asp
Then share your observations of their interactions with each other, conversations, skills demonstrated, etc.

I noticed that the students were telling each other about their experiences when they were building with blocks. They were also working well together because some of the kids were using their own blocks, and they told the others that those specific blocks are theirs. That prompted the one kid to go get blocks somewhere else.

1.Read the “articles for discussion board” in Course Material section for this week. Then reflect on the following:
* What do these two articles state regarding what teachers need to focus on in order to become good, effective teachers?

The articles state that it is important to focus on cultivating the student’s learning, particularly when they are in preschool. This can be done through play, or simply allowing the child to go at their own pace with learning.

* What do you think about the different attitude and tone of the two articles and where the sympathies of each of the authors may lie?

            I think the sympathies are different in the amount of play time the children need.
One article certainly was more concerned with the amount of guidance that a teacher should give.

* Based on your own experiences as students and/or teachers, what do you think makes a good teacher?

            A good teacher is a person who listens to their students and takes into consideration their needs and preferred learning styles. It is important to cultivate the student, rather than impose a set lesson plan.

2. Read the article on Finland’s successful educational system and share your impressions. What do you believe can we learn from the Finnish?

I like what Friedrich Froebel has to say about respecting the individual that is being taught. That is essentially the same as the idea that I have about the needs of teaching. Erik Erikson is also a great mind. We are able to learn from his research that it is important to recognize the stages of human development and design curriculum based on those stages. I think we can also learn from Montessori, and his concept of freedom. I believe this is particularly important during the preschool years when the children need to play and use their imaginations to promote the development of their brains.