Thursday, April 30, 2009


A video about debt

Q&A on College

The following is a "wiki style" Question and Answer about college. Students researched the questions and found the answers and then we added a bunch of them together. This will change throughout the process as students add and modify it.

How much does it cost to go to college?
The price figures range from $7,000 a year to $14,000 a year depending on the university we looked up. However, if you get a scholarship it’s not that much.

Do we have to have roommates?
If you live on campus, most places require a roommate?

Can you choose your roommate?
This was hard for us to find. It sounds like you can request one at ASU, but there is no guarantee that you’ll get to choose them all.

Is it illegal to party in college?
It’s not illegal to get together with friends, but it is illegal to drink alcohol underage.

What’s the difference between college and community college?
Community college is open to anyone and doesn’t have bachelor’s degrees.

How long does it take to go to college?
It usually takes four years, but associates degrees are two years. Sometiimes people take longer.

How many classes do you take?
It depends on what you are studying. Most full-time students take at least four classes (12 credits)

How many students are in a class?
Some classes are as small as one (music tutoring) and some have more than one hundred.

Are classes everyday?
Some classes are available on certain days and others on other days. So it’s possible to go to school on just Monday/Wednesday or just Tuesday/Thursday.

Can friends that are not attending visit?
Yes, unless it’s a private college.

Why weren’t there more Hispanics?
This is beginning to change. More and more Latinos are getting degrees, which means things will be better for the next generation.

Will it be harder?
Yes, because you will have more work to do outside of class. But they treat you like adults and you have freedom.

Can you work a job?
They don’t recommend it for students who are a little behind. They are worried it might affect your grades.

How many majors are there?
There are fourteen choices at ASU and it varies in other colleges.

How do you get scholarships?
You earn one by having a high GPA, scoring well on the ACT or SAT, doing community service, being in clubs or sports and making sure you find out about what’s available. If your parents make less money, you have a better chance.

Are night classes available?
Most universities have night classes.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Is world peace possible?

by Jose

Is world peace possible? Can everyone get along in the world? Is there anything that can prevent world peace? If world peace was possible would it last forever or would it be a momentary bliss before more war? Peace activists, hippies and idealists around the world have asked these questions.  However, world peace is impossible. 

People all around the world have to have at least one enemy that they truly hate. One area includes racism. Some people think that they aren't racist to any kind. That's a lie, because everyone is racist in some sort of way. You might not think your racist but you really are. Racism is the main reason people hate each other. In subtle moments you do things like locking doors when a race comes along or blaming them for taking a job or resorting to a stereotype.  Out of the racism and bias you can eventually justify a war.

The word friendship is a very strong word. People might not think it's a strong word but it is more powerful than making "friends" on Myspace. If there was friendship all around the world, countries would not have to waste money for war weapons. There would be no reason for world wars to happen. People all around would be hand to hand a never ending chain. If only people thought of that. It's a great idea.  However, friendships end and no one has the capacity to make friends with billions of people.  Even if whole nations were friends, wouldn't that just be an alliance?  Isn't that what caused world wars?  

One hope people point to is children. Some kids around the world aren't hateful or violent or racist but their parents might be. The parents would be telling bad things about the people they hate until they to hate the same people their parents do. Hatred is the main reason that world peace is impossible. What's so hard is that so much of the hatred is disguised as justice or doing what's right.  Sometimes we fight wars because we think it's for another nation's own good.

World peace might be possible because of the for a few reasons. First of all I doubt that anyone likes being involved in a war. If we just let people be then we might be able to obtain peace. We can also try not be nosy and not get involved in other peoples problems. We can also try to get along with other but we don't have to like them. All of those ideas work in theory, but it seems there is some drive connected to power that compels us to start war.  So, though it might be "possible" it is highly improbable.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Day Four: College Barriers and Solutions

Lizbeth's Group

1. Transportation 
 a. Live on Campus with a scholarship
 b. Ride a bike or travel by bus , even by taxi
 c. Afford a car
2. Low Income
 a. apply for a scholarship
 b. financial Aid
 c. Start saving up money for a Collage fund
3. Parents
 a. Live your own Dream
 b. Convince them that Collage is the right thing for you
 c. Show that you can be independent, so you  can be trusted
4. Criminal Records
 a. Try to avoid temptation
 b. Learn from your mistakes, try to improve yourself
 c. Get any help needed
5. Not Qualified
 a. Get good grades
 b. Be nice to all your teachers, to earn a recommendation from them
 c. Get involved in as many clubs, sports, and even do some community service

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fahrenheit 451 Questions

We just finished reading a scene where a woman stayed with her books as they ignited her house. Was this woman crazy for dying for her books?

Is there any idea or belief that you would be willing to die for?


Day Three: College Barriers and Solutions

College can feel intimidating

Angela's Group

-They can apply for scholarships{Good grades, community service,and
-They can get a job
-They can get student loans

2.Not focusing
-They can find people that will keep them on track
-They can think of what means more in the long run, Parties or Education
-Concentrate more and try finding study buddies

3.Falling Behind
-Talk to your professors to ensure you are on track
-Complete all of your work on time so that you don't have to play the
catchup game
-Study for every test to make sure you are preprepared and you
pass{Tests are a major percentage of final grades}

-Make sure you have all of the credits required
-Make sure you don't fail any classes and if you do make up for them
as fast as possible
-Keep your record clean both with the law and with school

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


by Andrea

Do they ever think about how it all happened? Why they're there? Do they ever worry about feeling different or out of place?  Or is it normal since that's the way it's always been? Getting adopted and being put up for adoption is something that can be very hard for kids. Anybody can be or get adopted, but that doesn't mean that the issue is easy. They can be adopted from anywhere.Why though? Why do they put them up for adoption? Is adoption the best alternative? It's a sometimes controversial, always personal, decision people make.

There are many different types of adoption out there.There is international adoption, public adoption, private agencies adoption and independent adoption.Each adoption method is different.When you want to adopt from another country then you'd do the international adoption.If you want to do everything on your own you can do independent adoption.There are many different ways you can adopt though. 

About one million children have been adopted or put up for adoption in the year 2008. Now we have started a new year. Will there be more? Will the number be increase? Is it like a solution for a problem? Does a higher adoption rate mean more stable families?  Does it mean lives are being saved because people choose it over abortion?

Is adoption like a solution to a problem? At this time there are young girls who get pregnant. For the girls who decide not to keep their baby they have two alternatives, either abortion or adoption. The reason they choose adoption over abortion could be that they believe abortion isn't right. They feel life within them and they can't imagine getting rid of it. Either way adoption is something many people consider especially young teenagers. They might realize that they are not in a place 

Just like being put up for adoption its something very hard for anyone. Adopting is something you have to think about. Some children who were adopted describe feeling lonely or different.  Some parents who give a child up for adoption describe a sense of guilt.  However, there can be many reasons behind why adopting or putting up for adoption.You really have to think hard. Adopting or being put up for adoption is not an easy thing to decide.You've got to choose the right thing to do,and if adoption is one of them,then so be it.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Day Two: College Barriers and Solutions

1. Students drop out of high school
  • If it's already happened, you can get a G.E.D
  • If it's not working out, you can look for a school that will accept you
  • Find out about your credits and how to earn them through summer school
2.College is too expensive
  • Do community service and get a scholarship
  • Get good grades to get a scholarship
  • Apply for a student loan
3.Students earn bad grades
  • Go to summer school
  • Take extra classes
  • Extra credit work
  • Ask for tutoring help
  • Start at a lower class and move into a better one
4.A lack of transportation
  • Learn the light rail
  • Get a room at school (dorms)
  • Ask for a ride or carpool with someone else nearby
5.Don't want to go to college
  • Go to a college that fits what you want to do
  • Start with community college if a university seems to big
  • Find a degree that seems fun 
  • Stick with it even if it's hard or if it's not as exciting as you hoped

Monday, April 27, 2009

Podcast: College Barriers and Solutions

Two students discuss their thoughts on the barriers people face in going to college. It's a quick dialogue, where they both offer their ideas on potential solutions to match the barriers.

You can download it at:

Or listen below:

Photo Credit:
Flickr Creative Commons

College Solutions: Day One

This is the first in our series on College Barriers and Solutions.  Groups created these last week and we're posting them this week.

Donovan's Group

Barrier #1: Students don't money for college.
-They can get summer jobs
-They can have car washes or do fundraisers
-They can earn scholarships by having good grades, community service and school involvement

Barrier #2: Students have a low GPA
-Start to pay attention in class
-Finish all of our homework before moving onto fun activities
-Ask for help in maintaining study habits

Barrier #3: Students are concerned about getting accepted
-Be in your top 25% of your class (see above)
-Get a high GPA 
-Earn scholarships

Barrier #4: Students are in need of scholarships
- Get really involved sports, even if you are not the best.  Do summer camps and improve.
- Take academics seriously
- Learn the art of financial planning

Barrier #5: Students fail to meet with their counselors
- Be assertive and talk to your high school counselors
- Make them remember you by being visible and by asking intelligent questions
- Stick out to them in all four years and be honest about needing help

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Solution to Poverty

by Angel

Do you know that 65% of country's populations are in poverty. Some are so poor that they don't have food to feed there own family. In many of these cases, kids die of hunger. Sometimes they don't eat for days weeks and then they die a slow painful death. It's crazy to think that the poverty of an underdeveloped country can exist within the walls of America.

I think that we should all grow food so we can send it to them and have some for us because we have that same problem here in the United States. Some people don't have food because they have to pay all the bills so they live check to check and they never buy anything cool for them self's they just buy stuff they need. Some of them can't afford to live healthy lives because they are in a survival mode. What if we were that change? What if we grew the food and donated the supplies? What if we pitched in some money? What if it began with the students and the children and trickled up to parents?

We all have to work together so we can get past this because we all live in this big rock we call earth and we should all try to help each other. I know the economy is bad. I know people have lost valuable money. However, we should get over losing money but can we ever get past the fact that we would rather feed ourselves and are families then another person that you don't even know? We all need to find that spot in are heart that tells us to do the right thing.

But do the rich people want to waste their money over something that they have never seen or cared about? When I say rich, I include us, all of us, who have more food than we need. Why should they care? It's not like they will ever have to go through that right? But what if in a couple of years they lose all there money and then they don't have money for anything (not even to feed their kids). True, that might not happen but imagine it does. Wouldn't you want people to help them out?

All have to do something to help out the people because we are all human we all go through the same pain; some more than others; but we have all felt it. We all know how it feels to miss a meal or to go without for a short time. Can we extend our imagination to get beyond a meal and think of that as a childhood? So why don't we help out people that are feeling that pain and suffering right now? Why haven't we done anything?

We should all grow food so we can send to people that need it. Schools should mobilize supply drives and car washes and whatever it takes to get rid of the worst parts of poverty. I believe that we can do this if we wanted to.We can all do anything we want as long as we all put our minds to it.. But we all have to want to help because we need everyone to get past this ugly side of poverty.

More things that we can do to help out:
1) Don't waste food - In fact, buy extra non-perishables and for every meal you eat, donate a can to a shelter or a food bank.
2) Try to grow your own food. It will help the environment and our society. What if we had urban gardens that would feed the urban population while getting rid of our brown cloud?
3) Try to give money to the people that don't have that many money. We could get creative with low-interest microloans.
4) Try to help out them most that you can. You might not be able to change the world, but you can help a family get by.

We all have to help out if we all want to live happy in our planet. I realize that it might take a long time for that to happen but it won't hurt to start right now.We can all just help out a little and together make a huge impact. We can all have food for are families but we have to work together the rich, the middle class and the poor on solutions to end hunger and poverty. So what are we going to do? We're going to work together so we can end all the poverty in the world. Our generation is not going to do it all in 1-3 years. It may take 4,5 even up to 6 years but we can do it and it will be worth it to see that no person in the world is dieing of hunger.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is NAFTA making us all fit together or is it forcing Canada and Mexico to fit into America's agenda?

Community Connection: Secretary's Day

A few of the students who developed the Secretary's Day project reflect on the process in this Community Connection Podcast. 

You can download it by going to:

Or you can listen below:

From a Dream to a Nightmare

by Guadalupe

Immigration is the most controversial issue here in Arizona and other places all around the world. Well in fact everybody is an immigrant. Not everyone's parents or relatives were born here so that makes you an immigrant to. Perhaps it was your grandparents or great grandparents.  It makes no difference. Joe Arpio needs to recognize that not every immigrant is the same. We are all different and we are all immigrants, so it's ridiculous to label us all as "lawbreakers." 

Have you ever notice that most of the immigrants around here are Latino? We are everywhere we are moving around the whole world! It would be easy for people to see this and get scared.  They might see us as "taking over."  But most of the immigrants are leaving a nation that doesn't have enough opportunties. Many of us act the same way: friendly. There is always a question in my head, "Why do some Americana's treat us differently?"  We are all the same. We are humans. We are all on a journey, whether from one nation to another or from one part of our life to the next.  Everybody does the same things and and goes to the same place. We go to the same grave.  We will all end up tossed into a hole in the same rugged earth. So why treat others differently? Are we really that different if by simply beginning at a different location?

We are the same. I realize that many immigrants speak a different language and are from a different place. Some of the customs and culture might seem strange.  But hang around us and you'll see that we have the same types of families and we engage in the same activities.  What seems different at first becomes something that all humans do.  We eat. We drink. We play. We laugh. 

Certain Americans discriminate toward immigrants in the same way they did to the African Americans. The person that hates us most is the sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is essentially the Bull Connor of our generation. He is always coming out in the news with a lot of prisoners and they are all immigrants.  He has even set up a hotline for paranoid racists to secretly spy on neighbors. I don't know what we did to him so that he can start discriminating us like that! I can't think of a person more racist than him and there are lots of people that are racist but not as much as him.  I think of how the Holocaust started and it was with ideas like this.  It was with the racism, the stereotypes, the scapegoating and labelling.

I have Uncles that have talked to me in the phone and they say that there wasn't any people there in Mexico anymore and with this of Joe Arpio and other people like him and the United States are taking everybody back.  So now Mexico is staring to fill up again with people that left to the United States.  Also many people are leaving because the houses are to expensive now and Joe Arpio is telling the business owners that they are going to take there buildings and close them. So there aren't jobs for immigrants anymore and yet the deportations lead to a worse housing crisis and a lack of labor and our economy plummets. 

The Pledge of Allegiance here for the United States say that it is the land of the free and the home of the brave. There isn't freedom and there aren't brave people to say something when Joe Arpio is taking the family's apart! I don't see brave people here I just remember somebody that died for being brave and standing up for the African Americans and that was Martin Luther King Jr. They killed him because he was brave to stand up for his own racist.There has to be a person like that and like Cesar Chavez he was a leader in favor of the immigrant he helped them a lot he made people respect them more and I think that he was great leader but to bad that he died he would of helped us a lot.

This isn't the land of the free anymore! It is the land of the racism and the injustice! We once had the American Dream but now they're turning it into the American Nightmare. 

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Secretary's Day Gifts

On Secretary's Day the Andromeda team (Social Voice students) wanted to congratulate all secretaries on campus. In order to appreciate their hard work the team decorated pots and baskets that were then filled with snacks, candy and small gifts. The goal was to make their day sweeter. Students like Stephany, Dayana, Marbella, Patricia, Melissa and Diana led the group of students who all pitched in and helped turn this idea into a reality. (You can hear more about this in our Community Connection podcast)

The Immigrant Dream

The rallies suggest what many immigrants know: that we share a common American dream, because we are all immigrants

by Manny

Immigrants are those people who come here to look for the American Dream, who look upon their future looking to be a successful person, who think beyond their life right now and see themselves in a great paying business with a family that they love. They see themselves confronting all sorts of challenges that they are willing to take to reach their goals as a person.They challenge one of the most toughest things crossing the border to take one giant step into reaching their goals and their life.

Many immigrants take probably the most toughest challenge of their life. They risk it all the probability of losing their life to look for that bright future. They realize that in this great country their are most opportunities to succeed as a person and in their life. That in this country everybody can succeed. They can do whatever they want just by going to school and having the best education.

There some anti immigrants that make it so much harder for the immigrants to reach their goals. They provoke these immigrants to go back to their country because the "migra" is after every immigrants and sending them back to their country. One such man is Sheriff Joe who is filled with hate that fuels his even higher need for publicity. Arpaio is after all the immigrants and sending then back, destroying their dreams and future to become a successful person in their life. What he fails to see is that the very law he claims to uphold is meant to be below the even higher law of freedom and the values of America.

Another barrier is scapegoating. Immigrants get blamed when this country is in a crisis. Certain Americans think that the immigrants had everything to do with this problem, when, in reality, the immigrants are the ones who help this country.Who many of the workers help in construction building houses or anything else.They do those little paying jobs that help in there own certain way. Do you like the food you ate? It was probably an immigrant who picked it and planted it. Do you like your home? It was an immigrant who built it. How about that restaraunt you go to? Again, an immigrant prepared your food.

Should immigrants go back to their country? Or should they stay here and give these people a chance to succeed in life? Immigrants only come here to make the best of their opportunities
to succeed in life like I am. They come here to get the education, job and family and to actually be someone who likes their life and are proud of it. It's the immigrant dream and no matter what the law is, it will remain.

Photo Source
Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fahrenheit 451: Book Review Survey #2

How relevant has Fahrenheit 451 been to our society?

I believe that the book really does point out some truthful things . It's correct in saying how violent people can get when simply bored. Boredom is really just a way to get people to to more ridiculous and or hazardous stunts just to get rid of boredom. I believe that people should be careful what to do when being bored . The book is very revelent to reality , it shows some of the consequences and privileges that come with things people do .

I believe the book is more relevant to society based upon the behavior and the technology that is beginning to develop. This generation is beginning to take all the entertainment that they can get and try to copy by basically competing to see who seen this or who seen that then imitate for talent. Everyone wants to be famous, but they aren't being truly creative. You can see this a lot in preschools, middle schools and even most high schools. This can also be a huge problem for the future society because they become bored and would like to experience it a little too young of age such as killing and violence. The way the book described the after-school life was pretty accurate.

I also believe that allot of the things that the author of the book said are slowly becoming more and more realistic and less and less science fiction.For example I especially found it very much exact when he said that we would be staring into walls, and honestly many people including my self do that almost on a daily basis. (Now we go so far as to comment on Facebook Walls and leave imaginary notes on imaginary bulletins on Myspace.) Along side that he
says that people would be having competitions of who is more popular or who has more friends, however the only way they would ever talk to those so called friends would be through screens that is exactly what happens with thing like Myspace, Facebook, and twitter.In the book the author also mentions the fact that people live their lives way to fast and don't even take the time to look at all that they have around them.That I think is the most relevant to the way people live now and I find that to even fit me quite truly.For instance I find that this year and last year in particular have flown by extremely fast I don't know if it is because I have more responsibilities, or if its just because I have been so cot up in doing what I want and what I think is worth getting done that I'm not even realizing what I am doing that
makes my time go by so quickly.That in my opinion is a very bizarre thing because I am only 14 and yet this is already happening, sign that every body in this entertainment addicted society goes through this in at least one moment or aspect of their lives regardless of age or circumstances.

In my life that is so true. People will repeat their jokes or do something crazy. That would probably explain why everything that's happens in school. Everything happens for a reason, either it's a stupid one or a reasonable one. And when people are bored they do something to entertain themselves. It's like if there not entertained they don't want to do it.

Wow the book is sadly like almost predicting our future...It is becoming very accurate right now and is saying thinks like how we need to be entertained every minute of every day. For me that is sadly a reality. But its not entirely my fault I haven't been living life to the fullest by hey since there is no money or friends there is technically no life. I just hope the book that is being read isn't our future...

The way the book is relevant is that it's stating that we want everything to be entertaining, and it's true. Yesterday's field trip proved that many of the people that went wanted to be entertained. They wanted fun or some sort of show or type of entertainment nobody expected it to be mostly about presentations. News also has to be entertaining most of the time the anchor person has to crack up some type of joke. When students are bored the way students entertain themselves is by violence. Either it's physical or emotional violence but that's just how students entertain themselves and relieve themselves from the boredom.

Legacy of Sexism

by Marbella

How would you feel if you couldn't do something? You wouldn't care much, but you would keep on trying. How would you feel if you couldn't do that because of your gender? Mad? Frustrated? Disappointed? Or maybe all of the above. Everyone has felt that way, it doesn't matter if you are a male or a female. Males sometimes feel that way too, but not as much as women.

Women have suffered sexism for a long time, more than males. They are almost excluded from everything. For years, it was almost as if they didn't exist. Women were not hired as much as men where and they had no choice than to stay home and do the best there. Women could not vote either. There is no point in not letting women vote, that is where they live. Everyone needs to have their right to make decisions that will later affect them too.

Females where not excluded just in those parts. They where also neglected in sports. Females could not be part of certain hobbies like basketball and baseball. Those are just some examples. That can't stay like that for a long time because Nancy Lieberman became the youngest basketball player to win a medal in Olympic history. Sooner or later someone needed to make a big shine on everybody and let them know they were there.

Women were not the only ones left out. Men where also excluded. It was not as much as women and it was also less obvious. One way men where judged was just the fact that they were men. If a crime is produced people would automatically think it was a male. If something went wrong in your neighborhood you would instantly think of gangs. Which the majority are grouped with men. Even if it's not a bigger deal than sexism towards women, it still makes a big effect.

Everyone needs to be noticed in this big world. Everyone needs to have their big moment when they have something to share. Most of all, everyone needs to shine. Sexism looks like it will be around for a long time, but that is not going to let others stop exploring or living on. So while you are here you should not let anyone tell you what you need to do or what you can't. If you think you can't, think again, anything is possible just put your mind towards it.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

College Reflections

The following are some reflections that can also be read (in expanded version) on our Social Pulse website. 

What surprised you about ASU?


What surprise me when we were over there is that mostly all the the students there ride their bikes. I thought they will all have a car but I guess some of them live around there so they don't need a car. Another thing that surprised me was that the campus was huge.That lady didn't lie when she said it was huge. What a big campus! If I went there I will get lost I wont know were to go.Well mostly every thing there surprised me so yeah. A.S.U is a very big place I might go there one day.

How do you feel about college?
How do I feel about college in the future. There are many feelings that i'm feeling about college. One feeling is that I feel kind of excited. I think that college (or universities) offer great opportunities for everyone. It is a huge change. Part of that change can be good. On the other hand part of that big change can be scary at first. It will be a totally different concept than middle school and high school. Those are my feelings on college.

What will you do in the next year to prepare for college?
What I am planning to do in the year that is following is participate in as many community programs as possible. I will be more involved in school activities and will try my hardest to get a high GPA. I will be more responsible than I am now and I will always ask for help if I ever need any. I will not let anything discourage me at all. I will try to get nothing less than an "A-" on any assignment. I also plan to talk to the high school counselor about my wish to go to a University and how to get there

What did you think about after going to ASU?
by Stephany
The ASU Tempe campus was greater than I've imagined, and satisfied all of my positive thoughts about how people interact within the campus. I was surprised that everyone interacted so well with one another, and how they merely looked beyond all their differences. Another amazing thing that I noticed was that their was no bounderies or difficult regulations, the students seemed like they could easily demonstrate their free will to do what they pleased. The campus also had several elements of the real world, where the students were free to practice how the world outside of school area. Not only that, but I could clearly see that their was no cliques in which people revolved from but their was mostly indivisuals throughout the campus. Although their were many differences to what we are now exposed to in many ways it would be a greater experience in result of all those unique elements in a university.

by Angela
College, to me is the door to many opportunities that I would hateto miss out on. I know for a fact that there are many requirements that must be met in order for me to have the job and career I really want to have. I personally am interested in child psychology and the development of families. That for itself I know would take allot of work and dedication in order for me to fully understand all that there is to know about psychology but regardless of that just by the fact that I want to deal with children that will mean that there will be even more work and even more dedication.So there for that means that for me College is an absolute must, both because of the fact that that is one of the requirements in order for me to get the career I want, but also because I have and will make sure that all of my families sacrifices to get me here will not be in vain.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Unspoken Hope in Maryvale

Service: the side of Maryvale that often goes unnoticed

by Melissa

Looking down, realizing that you're being watched and you've made a first impression. Sometimes they don't go as well. First impressions, yeah they are tough. A judgment made with only one thought, without a story of what is shown. That's what people get from Maryvale. Our reputation isn't the best but others don't get the opportunity or desire to see the other side of it. So they miss all the goodness of our area, because they go on thinking about what's wrong. That's too bad, because they miss out on what we have here.

Within Maryvale, most neighbors are pretty friendly. Of course you're going to have annoying people once in a while, but still it's all good. They might and are meant to be different, but that only means we have a chance to learn from our own diversity. People here aren't exactly what I've heard others talk about. They are better than all of that. Over time you start talking and befriending people which only makes it that much better. People are quick to jump to the "thugs and gangsters" stereotypes, but visit any neighborhood and you'll see families and friends, hard-working, honest people and a common dream for a safe community.

With homes, parks, libraries and other places to our area, that is quite swell. Most neighborhoods have a park where kids, and adults can go play or exercise. Also, Maryvale offers a library to help with books filled of great interesting things and activities that student or anybody can do. It's a community like any other. What makes it unique and somewhat special to us is the memories that this place holds for us.

It may seem like an unlikely place to be because of everything you hear, yet here we are. Our surroundings might not be the best but they are a part of it all. True, we have graffiti. Yes, we have areas of crime. But no matter what people may say, this place is truly great. It feels safe. It feels like home.

Even with all the awesome things, we are willing to improve. We can change the bad and build on the good. We've done things to better the community to help change the perspective of those who put us down, and to better ourselves in the process. Our school was beautified by wonderful murals, all representing something that is true and deep. That's what the community gets for being the community. It's an artistic way to say, "thank you for supporting our youth." We have students who volunteer for food banks and who paint over the tagging. We hope to be the change that transforms this place.

That's what's been going on recently, and I hope will continue for the years to come. Good,bad, however you see it, this is the community of Maryvale. A place unknown for it's goodness. The place behind the curtains overlooked by something that is more out there. It's only going to get better. Those people talking don't know what it's like here so they have no clue. No matter what, where, when something about our community is being talked about pretty soon (I hope) It's all going to be good stuff.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Books for the Children's Hospital

Ten students created books that we will deliver to the Phoenix Children's Hospital. After creating a book, Yessica wrote the following service reflection:

by Yessica

What I have done is create a book for the children's hospital. I realize that they have books, but this seems like something that would tell them that we care about them and we're going to take our time to do something creative for them. Reading a homemade book is a great way to distract yourself when times are painful or boring. I created a book because, knowing how much they have suffered, this seemed like a way they could enjoy themselves. I won't be allowed to visit, but I can imagine their smiles. I was proud of myself. It felt good to help others.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Vanishing Voice

Stephany has been working really hard on creating an original script for our play.  The main topic is the Holocaust.  Our goal is to relate issues of the Holocaust to our contemporary society.  The play should run the last week of May.  Students are still constructing the backdrops.  You can see some of them below:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Pearl (Centennial Edition)

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
by anomyous student

I'm not such a great student. Reading never came easy to me, so I was suprised by how much I liked this book. The themes of money and imperialism made me think a lot about Mexico and what it means for an immigrant who thinks they have found a "pearl" when they come to America. Then, they lose their family. They find that this place is not what it was cracked up to be.

The characters were believable.  I found myself thinking of my own family a bunch. I thought about my mom making tortillas and our house that had no floor.  I thought about the dust on my feet and the smell of our home.  It made me wonder if they miss that at all.  

The plot was also believable.  It's easy to see how the powerful who run the companies and the countries and all of that have the power to control people. At first this thought was depressing, but by the end it reminded me that life is about more than just money.  It's about people and family and so it's okay if I never end up rich.

View all my reviews.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Discussion: Are We Becoming Cyborgs?

Go check out The Social Pulse to see some of the student comments on this idea!

In Farenheit 451, there is a scene with the Mechanical Hound, where the machine seems to become more "human" and the humans are being so programmed by technology that they seem to become more mechanical. What do you think of this?

Child Labor

by Itzel

There is a cycle that goes on in every human being at some point. The cycle is simple. People work in order to get money. They use the money to buy food. They need the food to live and they need to live to work. Without that cycle it would be difficult to survive . Today there are a variety of jobs all around the world. Each job is unique but the outcome is always the same , you get paid money for your work. Today the age by law that you can start working is eighteen years or older, but it wasn't always that way.

Not that long ago, kids ranging from four years old and older were used as workers. Parents were tricked into giving their kids to " school." The kids were taken to work in factories. Most kids didn't really have a real idea as to where they were going , they never expected they were off to work . their chances of ever returning were slim.

At the factory, the kids were put to do a variety of jobs. Some kids were put to collect grapes and other fruit from fields. This wasn't exactly easy or fun, on its worse the blazing sun would bring scorching heat to the kids below. The kids were at risk of heat stroke with the temperature that high , other risks include thorn scratches and bugs. Another job was milking animals . This was also a safety hazard for kids with no animal experience. The main job was working with machinery , the poor unfortunate souls that worked on the machinery risked their lives .

The sad and unfair consequences for these kids were terrible. The kids weren't fed or offered a drink that often. Those working in the fields suffered severe thirst. The fate of those caught stealing food or drinks was worse. Those working with the animals could end up with a serious injury if the animals decide to strike. For the kids who end up one arm or finger less are lucky to be alive .

Child labor had been around for many years. Child labor only brought life threatening situations for innocent kids. Thankfully child labor is gone today, because people fought for justice and changed the laws. Although adults' percentage of getting hurt on the job is no more or less than kids' again by law kids can't work until eighteen or older.

Despite this reality in America, child labor continues around the world. Kids are taken as virtual slaves in diamond mines, shoe factories and underground sex trafficking. They are victims of a system that turns a blind eye to justice. Kids are the future of this world, is there really a point in risking their futures and everyones' futures just for labor? Is it worth it for cheap shoes?

Photo Source

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Education and Immigration

by Jessica

In some countries going to school is a challenge every day. Some teens have to take the school bus for hours just to get to get there! We whine because we have to get up at 6:30 in the morning, imagine at what time they get up at. Some teens have to work and support their families and study at the same time. With out "papers" you have to get jobs that get paid minimum wage. Do you think minimum wage is going to support a family when there's only one person working a part time job with a minimum wage pay? This is just one of the many dynamics that occur in the issue of immigration and education.

Today many of us don't take advantage of one of the greatest opportunity's we ever have in life!! Many of the citizen students drop out because of drugs, others because of alcohol others just because they cant stand their parents at home and they decide to run away but its not everyone's case. Immigrant students who avoid these things can end up with a dead-end after working hard!

There are some youth out there that wanted to become someone in this world a teacher, a doctor perhaps a lawyer but because of being in this country "illegally" they can't. . . they just made it past high school and their future is over, they have to go get a job that gets paid minimum wage. You think that's fair that one person passed high school with out standing grades but he has to get a job at nine dollars an hour while someone else passes by with a free lunch.

A new law passed that immigrants can go to college but the cost is going to be more (their going to charge immigrants more than they would charge a citizen) okay their getting the chance to get educated but their going to be charged more than the average kid would get charged. So just because you don't have a piece of paper signed by your parents saying that you were born in the united states your going to get charged extra. What ever happened to the American Dream?

When some one says "I'm going to get it my way" I'm pretty sure they don't say it just for fun when some one really wants something they fight for it. So if your dream is to become a doctor, lawyer, firefighter a cop a private investigator what ever you want to be fight for it!!! If you don't have papers, help change the laws! Maybe it's going to be a long way to reach your goal, maybe people are going to try to stop you their going to TRY to take you down but don't let people stop you.

Today immigration and education are becoming a big issue in our everyday lives. If we don't do something about its going to keep on going. Good students will be failed by the system. So I challenge you to take the risk and fight for your goals no matter what happens keep trying. We need to set an example for the ones to come. WE need to make this day a better day so tomorrow.

Photo Credit

Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Racism: Belief System, Attitude or Behavior?

Simply getting rid of the action didn't get rid of the racism

by Martin

We all experience. A glance here. A slur there. A joke. A stereotype. It's racism. We can find examples of it all over our world. But what is it exactly? Many people know what racism is but they don't know if it is an attitude, behavior, or belief system. People have different opinions. My opinion is that people think that racism an attitude, but I think it's more than that.

To me racism is belief syste. After all, how would racist people know what kind of race not to like? It has to begin with a belief. They think that the race they don't like are bad or not good enough. Not all the people might not think that. Racism is kind of an attitude and behavior. Racist people act and behave differently around the race they don't like. Still, it all begins with an initial belief about another race. It might be a misguided idea, but it's still a belief.

Racist people behave differently around the race they don't like. They might walk away if they're close to them. They may start talking to their friends and make jokes about them. You see this happen everyday. Joe Arpio treats immigrants different than non immigrants. This is what I mean about people behaving different. It would be easy to say, "See, it's a behavior." But stopping the behavior won't stop racism. We're not dogs to be trained. We're people with deep beliefs that influence actions.

People that are racist to other cultures should stop. They might cause some huge problems. They might get killed or something. People have killed because people have insulted their race. This has happen before. They just take everything personal. Their behavior is good when their with their race, but when they are with another race their attitude is different. So, the behavior goes down, because the attitude went down. But the attitude went down when there was a bad belief system.

Racism is a belief system that has existed for years. No one can figure out how to stop it. Everyone is trying to persuade people to not be racist. But we focus on behaviors. We say, "Don't say this" or "Don't do this" or "Don't act this way." However, it needs to begin with, "What do you believe deep down inside and how can that change?" Can you figure out a way to stop it?

Photo Credit
Public Domain Photograph

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Review #1: Fahrenheit 451

Students discussed their initial reactions to the book Farenheit 451 and applied these ideas to our contemporary, tech-based society.

Listen online at:

Or listen below

A Palestinian-Israeli Solution

Solution: Jerusalem will belong to both countries, which means that they will have to compromise having the entire land of Jerusalem. This land will be divided according to the area where each one of their Gods precisely declared it as theirs, or the most sacred of locations within the country.
  • Peace - It will keep both countries in peace because they will both obtain this land to a certain extent, where both groups will be free enough to roam with one another or become as isolated as they wish.
  • Politically - We will allow the Palestinian citizens to decide if they wish to become a democratic nation rather than having no changes and still be ruled entirely by the Military.
  • Economically - Our country should also make an alliance with Palestine as well as Israel, which will provide us with less enemies in the Middle East and in return after the economic crisis both nations will receive financial support. This will hopefully make both countries feel less violent in better economy situations.
  • Socially - In this aspect I believe that it is best for both groups or nations to resolve social conflicts within themselves because instead of ending the feud we might cause a larger issue.
  • Sacrifices - Palestine will have to sacrifice their former government, so both countries will not be intrigued to fight one another and both countries will be ruined by the massive military in Palestine. Both nations will have to sacrifice having the complete power over Jerusalem, because both countries deserve it as much as the other. The citizens of each country will have to become more open-minded about different cultures, because they will be exposed to different religions, since they will both in a sense share Jerusalem.
Why It Will Work
This solution has a great possibility of working because it covers many aspects of this major conflict. First of all, it allows both of these countries to have a certain piece of Jerusalem where it will belong entirely to them. This will also improve their economy, which might decrease the chances of a war amongst themselves. By allowing them to diminish some leftover social conflict themselves, we will not be looked upon as intruders, but an assistance and help hand. When the Palestinian people are asked to decide whether they prefer to be democratic, or run by the military, will make them feel like they are significant to the solution of this problem, and that we are really taking in mind what they desire. Overall this solution would be ideal to help stop the fire of violence throughout the Middle East.
Why It Will Fail
On the other hand this particular solution might also fail in certain ways. There will also be one country who thinks the compromise is unfair and that the entire land belongs to only their people. They might not be able to adapt to an environment where they will meet people of different ideologies. The current Palestinian government might please others in the nation, which would mean that there would be a chance of having war amongst themselves. Sacrifices are difficult to sustain, and neither country might agree with these sacrifices they have to endure. This might signify that instead of resolving the non-stopping conflict we might cause a larger disagreement.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Victory Among All Barriers

by Stephany

What defines a leader, is it the strength that one has to stand up for what they believe? Or is it the a person who is born with the gene of courage willing to fight for others? Maybe, it's the ability that one has to persevere even in the toughest of situations. Many philosophers have asked themselves this difficult question and yet they find it impossible to define a true leader in an everyday circumstance. History has been existent since the beginning of time, and has describe what our people have through, whether its cruel punishments, or glorious victories. From those agonizing situations have grown, what in my definition, are true, dedicated leaders. Any person has to overcome obstacles in life, but during the fight of women's rights only women who desired the best for the upcoming generations fought until they had no strength and energy left in themselves.

Feminists like Susan B. Anthony particularly, is the major reason why every single woman now have many of the rights we were limited until the fight for justice. In the year of 1852 Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Amelia Bloomer joined forces to fight for suffrage and equal pay. After a few years Susan formed alliances with Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott, to help create a new association called American Equal Rights Association. A year later this association became involved in Kansas where both African Americans and women suffrage was determined. Although hopes were high both were neglected at the polls and on 1868 Elizabeth and Susan developed the political weekly named Revolution. By the year of 1869 Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed a new organization named NWSA, which stands for National Women Suffrage Association. Susan B. Anthony went to an extreme level of trying to vote in an election in Rochester and was caught red handed, arrested and on top of it all, was charged and declared guilty of "violating women's rights". People like Susan B. Anthony who take high risks for standing up for what they believe in always receive what they desire even if it takes time and effort to obtain it.

Our voice has been hidden, our lives have been judged, now all that remains is the hope inside us. The "battle" towards women's rights had only one goal, liberating the women of this country truly by obtaining their civil rights.
Of course many women weren't allowed to be apart of this revolution, and were kept in silence, their lives simply dedicated to the men of the household and acting in "proper manner". Yet we still had women willing to fight with every strength of their body and tried to resist violent influences. All women were aware that this particular battle was man against woman, which would be even more difficult to come out of this predicament as victorious. Every woman reunited to obtain their rights, one of the methods used was picketing. Females would surround the grounds of the white house pleading, silently, and symbolically, for rights. While at first times were tough and not a single change was made, they weren't discouraged and yet again protested until they no longer could stand. Parades were also an efficient method used by women, which showed a quantity of significant symbolical meaning. All gathered for one cause, dressed in only white clothing, representing the peace they will be demonstrating throughout this difficult challenge. Younger toddlers and infants were a major part of this parade, reaching the sentimental side of those on the opposing side, hoping primarily all men would reflect on their thoughts and action towards women's rights. Children resembled the thought of how the future would only bring barriers and unaccomplished goals to their lives if their own mothers weren't granted rights in this generation. Days and nights progressed, and yet again no significant changes, and after so much effort, the only method not used was the most feared, hunger strike. Many women held hunger strikes, yet the worse imaginable occurred, they were disrespected among men and were forced fed. All of these methods were very significant in their unique way and led to what we now have obtained and are still fighting for.
To hear her last words, brings tears to their eyes, for they know what she's been through and how she devoted her life to this cause. Since a young toddler she's been discriminated against and thought as inferior, with no clue of why this was happening. "This is a man's world, where no woman has a say in anything", were the one of many phrases said repeatedly to put her down. Her tears would soak the every ground she stood foot upon, tears of disappointment and fear for the future would devour her emotions. Until one day she decided to stand up for every young girl in America limited in their rights, and show every man in the country that a woman is not a mere object with a mind and speaking ability. All she accomplished and now she's lived and died for what she strongly believed in. Many women had been victims of their own dedication, they stood so firmly in justice for the sake of not only themselves, but those in the same situation and for the future generations. While they were underestimated at first they proved themselves in a dangerous matter by starving themselves declaring to our country, "Blessed our thou who hunger for justice". In many situations these women were to the point of weakness, where they simple couldn't lift a leg in order to walk. As some were ignored and let to die others were fed in a forced matter, with no humane respect for any woman. Some women were imprisoned, without the law on their side there was no hope for liberty. Sacrifices were made, children we left without a mother, and some died with no experience of how a our country would be if women were given rights. Although these horrible events occurred they happened for a reason, “It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can suffer the most who will conquer...those whose faith is strong will endure to the end in triumph.”— Terrence Mac Swiney
Throughout the years we have earned every right for women in the Constitution for our will and determination from many of our dear ancestors. As anything in life it was both bitter-sweet situation, we now have what we sincerely deserved, yet lives and freedoms were scarified throughout it's process. Those women who fought as any soldier would for their country have died with dignity, honor, and respect, and now rest peacefully for eternity. It's up to us, the present generation to continue their footsteps, stand up for those who are weak, demand what we deserve, and nonetheless never keep hidden in the darkness where no one can hear or voice or see your present. This battle continues and as well will continue our willpower for justice. "One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dominates. ", Jin Kwon. Together we are invincible and can accomplish the most difficult of tasks, but only if we have one thing on our minds, equality.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Nacho Libro

We created this as part of our "decorate the door" contest.  Apparently, Ms. Farley's psychedelic door was better . . . which might be true.  Hers was certainly colorful and involved all students.  

Still, who fights against literary inconsistencies with the power of onamonapea? Nacho Libro.  As in, "Hey man, that's my book.  No, it's Nacho Libro."  The idea is that knowledge isn't power, it's superpower! He's climbing the plot mountain in this particular scene.  

Actually, this became our inspiration for a short film we will be doing about three language arts superheroes. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

United by Borders

Students are currently working on an eBook called United by Borders. It will be an honest exploration of the political, social, geographical and personal borders students face in their world.  Students will post their writing anonymously within the book. It should be ready in May. 

Anyone who wants to submit a book cover for this book, please see me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's most common on our blog?

We created a Wordle for our blog (first one) and our blog tags (second one)

So, what can we make of it? What does this say about our blog?

Community Connection: My Neighborhood

To access it, please go to

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

what's the rap on rap?

by Andrea

How does rap music affect us in this time today? At one time, rap music was a way to express yourself. It was the social concious of the community. They were words about justice, poverty and civil rights. Has it changed? Does rap still reflect a social concious? Nowadays, rap is very popular in our time today, but many people, especially parents, think it should go away.

One reason for people to think that is because of the words they use in their lyrics. Nowadays its all about cussing, sex, drugs, drinking. No wonder most people don't want it around their children. There are many children though that do like this type of music, especially the older ones like teenagers.There are those big rap singers that everyone listens to. There is a misconception here. People think that the children listen to it because they agree with the lyrics. The reality is that we listen to it despite the lyrics. It's the beats. It's the hooks. It's the feel of dancing and it's the fact that it is forbidden.

Drinking,sex,and drugs are influenced in this type of music. Theres all this talk about just drinking and getting drunk. Now there are some children that will follow but there are most that won't be influenced by it. Perhaps it's because they realize that rappers aren't "promoting" a lifestyle as much as they are describing it. The rappers give the fans what they want to hear and they think drinking is one of them. They know that fans want songs about a wild life.

Is it that the fans want this music because they are into the partying lifestyle? Do they party as a result of the music? Or is it simply an escape? Is it that people are bored with "the good life" and are attraced to the danger described in rap music? Maybe the answer is all of the above.

Not only are there lyrics promoting sex, drugs and drinking but there's also racism. Rappers put thought into their lyrics. Racism is a major issue right now.There is racism against every race of person. You never know if the rappers really want you to go out and be racist or if they are just expressing their frustration about race. Are they promoting an open dialogue or are they promoting hate? Perhaps the answer is found in the use of stereotypes. Does rap music resort to racial stereotypes? It does seem that every time they mention minorities, they portray them as violent and overly sexual and angry.

In my opinion rap music doesnt affect everyone in any aspect. The people who have been influenced by it, it is their own fault. If you are so weak-minded that they fall into the racism, the drugs and the partying lifestyle, they need to grow a backbone. Then again the rappers should put a little less of sex, drugs, drinking, racism and cussimg words. It's not all everyone wants to hear. Give us a song or two about what really matters in the world. We'll listen and maybe make the world a better place.

Photo Credit
Flickr Creative Commons

Monday, April 6, 2009

bailing out the world

by ASV

GM is not an American company.  It's global and transnational.  AIG is not an American company. They invested money in banks throughout the world.  Citigroup cannot claim the red, white and blue as its home, because its home is the world.  However, when it comes to media coverage of the bailout, globalization never enters the picture.  

The reality is that all the companies we are bailing out are transnational corporations.  Sure, GM has plants in Michigan and workers have their pensions tied up.  But GM has plants all over the world.  The forces of globalization now mean a GM car has parts made in Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Still, they implore us on propaganda to buy American.  It's some kind of act of patriotism.

News flash: It's not my fault that GM made crappy cars.  It's not my fault that AIG screwed over the financial community.  Why are my parents paying taxes to bail them out?  Why will my generation be the ones who bail out the world?