climbing the knowledge ladder

Most immigrants come to America to create a better life for themselves and their children. However, there are many new challenges that these immigrants must face, such a learning a new language. In order to fit in with American culture and succeed, many individuals feel pressured to learn English. This pressure may also be reinforced by the government, as the Tennessee Department of Education says that students must be proficient in English by 7th grade or they will be classified as long-term English learners. Despite this order, the Tennessee government is not providing the resources needed for the children of immigrants to learn English. This is a very frustrating conundrum for immigrant parents.

This is not an issue of questioning whether children should be forced to learn English by a certain time frame because many groups have argued the appropriate cutoff point for an English learner. To me, it doesn’t matter that students have to learn English by a certain age. What is more alarming to me is that the children of immigrants are forced to learn English at all. Through this investigation, I want to think through why feeling forced to learn a new language is even an issue that needs to be talked about.

At the basis of the issue, I want to ask: How many students are not proficient in English? Asking this question will show how big of issue this even is. Though, regardless of the answer, forcing children to learn English is still an issue. Even if only a small percentage of students are not proficient in English, it is still a very real problem for those students. They are still facing inequality without any help from the government. Not being able to learn English and being marked as not proficient will affect even the smallest percentage of students’ entire lives. They may be denied jobs or seen as unintelligent. In order to get to the heart of understanding why this is an issue, it is important to understand this basic statistic. However, this basic question will not allow to understand why this is an issue and why it is continuing. Further questioning will be necessary to determine the core issues and beliefs that are behind putting important on English proficiency.

To get closer to the fundamentals of this issue the next question I want to ask is: Who can decide what proficiency in a language is? Language is very fluid, as it can change over time and from place to place. People in New York speak English differently than people in the South, who speak it differently than those in Elizabethan era Britain. Because of this, there is not one primary way that proficiency in English could be measured. Also, most native English speakers don’t know every word in the language, so where is the cutoff for proficiency? Perhaps it is the students being able to understand their schoolbooks or being able to hold conversations with their friends. This arbitrary line is defined by the Tennessee Department of Education, which is given this authority simply because they were the first to establish a rule. When asking who can decide proficiency, we are asking why do we give the authority to the Department of Education? Just like there is no concrete, uniform way to determine proficiency in a language, there is no concrete reason that the authority should be given to the Department of Education or anyone.

After asking who has the authority to determine how well someone speaks a particular language, the next question would be: What makes one language or culture more important than another? There is no reason to even require an authority if there is no justification for enforcing a particular language. Even people who don’t live in America that don’t speak English are looked down upon by many Americans and seen as unintelligent. These native English speakers believe this because they see their language as superior. While it is useful to have common languages for trade and business, there is no reason to place English over other languages. Forcing people to learn English to speak more commonly than their native languages leads to language erasure. Since language is an important part of culture, language erasure could lead to culture erasure, which leads to a lack of diversity. From this conclusion, the most broad question that could be asked about this issue is: Why is diversity important? Those that argue for the superiority of English would likely also believe that diversity is not important. Diversity makes global commerce and trade agreements more difficult because of language and cultural barriers. However, without diversity, there would not be as many resources to trade. The world would all be ordinary and uniform. Without diverse cultures, there would be less history and current events to learn about and a lack of various resources.



Top 10 Songs to Drive to

Guest post by

  1. Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark) – Unknown Mortal Orchestra: There’s nothing better to me than driving down the backroads on a sunny way with this song playing because of it’s blending of a distinct voice and sounds
  2. Birch Tree- Foals: An easy song to drive off in the sunset to that gives a sense of purpose behind a driving pedal loop
  3. Letter of Intent- Ducktails: This synth dream pop song with misty vocals works perfectly for driving in the city and the words remind you of someone you hold dear
  4. Let it Happen- Tame Impala: The driving bass and great mixing on this track makes you wanna floor it and makes the ride more exciting in this ever changing song
  5. The Water- Wild Cub: The song runs similar to Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen but more synth based and allows you to perfectly cap off the long drive home
  6. No Matter Where We Go- Whitney: The chorus of the song sums up the feel perfectly with a very homely feel from this Chicago band
  7. Fall Hard- The Shout Out Louds: The upbeat song automatically takes you right in the driver’s seat and wraps you up in a beautiful narrative with the lyrics
  8. No One Really Cares if You Go to the Party- Courtney Barnett: The hard rock sound is perfect for when you wanna drive far away and forget about what’s giving you problems
  9. Canela- Devendra Banhart: This soft piano song is best suited for rainy days alone or nice drives in the backcountry and gives you a sense of nostalgia
  10. Dear to Me- Electric Guest: The L.A. duo bring nice vibes and funky hooks in a sentimental song that has you flying down the interstate

these are the best years of our lives

What a terrifying thought to think. Once we get past the highest point of our lives, what are we supposed with ourselves? If we know its never going to as good as it was, then what’s the point? Sorry for giving you an existential crisis, but it’s something I think about a lot. I think about it a lot because I’m a teenager in high school, which most movies tell me is supposed to be the time of my life. To be honest, I really hope high school isn’t the best time of my life because its nothing like it is in the movies. I wonder how you know a certain time period in your life is the best one. For many people, this thought might be motivation to make every day as meaningful and happy as possible. If you can never tell when the peak of your life is, then you should make each day better than the last.

For some people, though, they know they’re in the best time of their life. I’m mostly talking about famous people here. I figure its pretty hard to top being loved by millions of people and doing what you love every day. Celebrities have to work and dream their whole lives to become a famous singer or actor, so when it actually happens, there’s nothing that could make them happier. But what happens when it all stops? Especially with the pop culture of today, where everyone is fascinated with the next new upcoming artist, people can’t be famous forever. What could you do to even compete with something that you dreamed of your whole life?

As I mentioned in my post, how interesting, I love learning about and appreciating musical artists. I care a lot for many of my favorite singers. I worry about them like a mother who’s sent her children off to college. Have they eaten today? Did they get enough sleep? Are they happy? Because of this, I worry about their future too. Many of my favorite artists have sacrificed so much to make their dreams come true. 5 Seconds of Summer dropped out of high school, and most kpop artists have to train for years to become singers. They probably worry a lot about what they’re going to do after it all stops. Are they going to stay in the field or try something new? What will make them as happy as being on stage? It’s terrible that the fear interferes with the happiest period of there life, also.

Most artists will say they want to be with their group forever, but, honestly, it’s not realistic. Like I said, people get tired of artists after a while, and there’s always the desire to start a family. Then, I guess the future for music artists should be about being content rather than trying to top their fame. I only know of one artist who wants to switch careers when he’s done being famous. He’s wanted to be a psychologist, so he’s going to work towards that. Obviously, being a psychologist probably won’t top his singing career, but it will make him content. I hope all of my favorite artists can be content in their future.


colors I associate with the zodiac signs

aries: red
→fiery, positive, respectable

taurus: dark forest green
→comfortable, agreeable, warm

gemini: white
→refreshing, youthful, exciting

cancer: sky blue
→familiar, sentimental, emotional

leo: orange
→bright, exciting, inspiring

virgo: leafy green
→safe, knowing, homely

libra: rose gold
→beautiful, regal, sweet

scorpio: black
→concealed, passionate, strong

sagittarius: purple
→powerful, elegant, meaningful

capricorn: tan
→down to earth, cozy, appreciative

aquarius: teal
→playful, unconventional, trendy

pisces: pink
→lovely, charming, classic

reliance on selectivism

Opposable thumbs, forming new languages, the capacity to consciously destroy our own environment, these are all things that make humans different from other organisms. Another thing that makes humans different, even from each other, is that we have biases. We usually don’t even realize that we have these biases, but they shape so many of our daily decisions. It’s okay to be biased. It’s okay to have opinions. We all have them. Sometimes, our biases our biases are involved in our important decisions, and sometimes, those important decisions are made using intuition. Intuition is instinctive and subconscious, and bias is instinctive and subconscious. It seems like these two would cancel each other out so that they become a powerful decision making team. However, their problems can end up compounding each other to cause us to make bad decisions, choices, or beliefs.

I admit that I have some beliefs that are affected by my bias. They are mostly affected by my confirmation bias. This is a form of bias where you ignore information that goes against something you already believe in, which causes your belief in that topic to become even stronger. I’ve realized that I selectively ignore information in two completely unrelated topics: astrology and the Harry Potter universe.

In terms of astrology, I always find an excuse when someone doesn’t act like how I would expect their sign to act. This even comes into play when I’m guessing someone’s sign. One time, I guessed that someone was a Gemini using my intuition and they turned out to be a Sagittarius, which are opposite signs and completely different from each other. Instead of accepting that astrology may not be as accurate as I believe it is, I justified this by saying there must be Gemini somewhere else in her birthchart. I still don’t know if that is accurate, but it satisfies my bias. I’m completely making up information to keep my belief in something that I believe so strongly in. Astrology’s importance to me as a person is more important to me than being correct. It is strongly based on speculation and intuition, so it is a good way for me to see my intuition in action. Not only has it shown me how intuition can be unreliable because of biases. It has also shown me that I should trust it sometimes, which is what makes it a complicated way to know information. Once, I couldn’t decide if someone was a Virgo or a Libra, and he turned out to be a Virgo/Libra cusp, which means that he displayed both characteristics. Intuition is tricky like that. It is difficult to know when it will be reliable and when it won’t.

Similarly to zodiac signs, Hogwarts houses are an important indicator of someone’s personality. I don’t actually know what my Hogwarts house is because I’ve never been able to navigate the Pottermore website. So, I assigned myself to a house. I chose Ravenclaw because I relate to its values the most and it just seems like the right house for me. This was an intuitive choice for me. I didn’t realize that this was a biased choice until other people told me that I act more like a Hufflepuff. Online quizzes, Harry Potter enthusiasts, and astrology posts have told me that I belong in the house of the badger. I chose to ignore all of them and continue to say that I’m a Ravenclaw. My intuition feels like the right decision for me, but it may not be the most factually correct. I probably won’t have to make arguments regarding my Hogwarts house, but relying incorrectly on intuition as the basis for other arguments will not be effective at all. The real world needs facts.

Both of my examples have shown that intuition is a complicated way to know information because it is difficult to know whether you can trust it or not. One way that you can try to understand it is through determining your biases for the given situation. If you know that you are biased, you know that you should most likely put less trust into your intuition for that particular topic.

my favorite songs

☆ better day by 100%
☆ catch me when i fall by luhan
☆ don’t let me go by shinee
☆ emptiness by madtown
☆ eyes, nose, lips by taeyang
☆ fast pace by seventeen
☆ help me by brave girls
☆ i’m bad by nu’est
☆ madeleine by i.m and brother su
☆ mistake by drug restaurant
☆ my style by astro
☆ nillili mambo by block b
☆ once again by mad clown and kim nayoung
☆ please notice by christian akridge
☆ so what by sleepy
☆ starlight by mas 0094
☆ take what you want by one ok rock
☆ truly, madly, deeply by one direction
☆ wrapped around your finger by 5 seconds of summer

come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure rationality

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there will ever be to know and understand.” -Albert Einstein

I don’t really agree with this quote. I rely very much on reason and logic in my daily life, so I think that knowledge is more important than imagination. You need knowledge to base your imagination off of. For example, you might use imagination to think about how good of a time your friends are having on a Friday night while you’re watching Netflix eating a pint of cookie dough ice cream. You still need the knowledge of what your friends look like, what they enjoy doing, and what the place they are going to looks like. You’re not actually there with them, but you can imagine what the situation looks like using your knowledge. While imagination does allow you to be in a place that you aren’t, it is still limited by the knowledge that you have. Architects can imagine new buildings and mechanical engineers can imagine new cars, but they use their existing knowledge of what a building needs to stand upright or what a car needs to run. Imagination is limited by knowledge, so knowledge is more powerful than imagination.

I acknowledge that my viewpoint on this quote is biased, but who’s viewpoint on anything isn’t biased? People know things in different ways. Some people’s main way of knowing is imagination, so they would be biased to agree with this quote. I think my main way of knowing information is through reason. I don’t rely on things that aren’t irrational (ie. emotion or imagination). I rely on the stability that logic provides me, so I’m biased to say I disagree with the quote.