Christmas is known as a time of joy and happiness, and it is one of the most iconic holidays ever. There are tons of different traditions and ideas that we associate with Christmas. Like decorating our houses, stores, and even our entire town. There is also an endless amount of movies about all the different imaginary beings like Santa, The Grinch, and flying reindeer. All of these things make this time of year is memorable and special.
However, there is more to Christmas than all these common trends and traditions. Christmas is about being together with your family and friends, and giving to others. It also gives us a reason to give presents to the people we care for and love. As children, and even as an adult, there's nothing better than waking up with your entire family and opening the gifts each person got for the other, and being in each others presence. The essence of each Christmas is stored away in your mind from when you are young, to when you are an adult.
In all actuality, Christmas is just another day and there is nothing very special it. But family and friends all over the world gather on this one day to celebrate together. Without people to celebrate and empower this day to make it special, it is just a regular day. The real power that holidays hold is spreading the eagerness and readiness to give to others. There's nothing better than the gift of giving. As for the religious aspect, many people see this as a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Even the word "Christmas" comes from the "Mass of Christ", or "Christ-Mass".
In my opinion, Christmas is the best holiday because I get to connect with my family that live states away. For as long as I can remember we have always gone to my grandparents house in California, or Louisiana. It is always my favorite time of year because everyone is usually in a good mood, and I like to try and spread positivity and fun around as much as possible. I rarely remember what my presents are, and I usually don't ask for anything. For me Christmas is a special time to be with my loved ones, and spend as much time with them as possible.
That being said, Christmas is right around the corner. I would like to know what Christmas means to you. What reminds you of Christmas? What are your favorite parts of Christmas? What do you want for Christmas this year? What are your favorite holiday traditions? What are your favorite Christmas memories?
Sources: Cooper, James. "Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December." whychristmas.com, 2019, https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/25th.shtml. Accessed 17 December 2019.
Recently in my speech class, we were asked to create a speech based on several debate topics. The one I found most interesting discussed the usage of the SAT and ACT in consideration of undergraduate applications. As we all know the SAT and ACT determine how much one gets in scholarship money and what options they get for college. However is this testing system still relevant, or is it time for a change.
There are a few flaws in this system such as a money gap between low and high-income students and the amount of stress the tests put on them.
Education starts very early in life. From a young age, higher-income students have had more experiences that give them a strong base in education, such as going to a children’s museum or the zoo. Low-income students due to financial circumstances may not be given this opportunity, thus affecting them later in life. It has been proven that students from low-income families do worse than their wealthier peers. In order to score well on a test, students must have a stable household. Being poor leads to problems that can affect a student’s score, such as not eating well before taking a test. Also, low-income students are at a disadvantage due to the fact that the wealthy can take the test multiple times. The SAT and ACT cost money, and some people only get one shot. As opposed to others more fortunate that can improve on their test scores by taking the test over as many times as they please.
The amount of stress put on students is immense. Especially students living in unstable households. The added stress of the test just makes it so much harder on the student’s mind and body. Teachers have reported students getting sick and upset over the tests. Students have a lot to worry about already, with school, relationships, work, and home life adding more stress on that may not be the best choice. The SAT and ACT may not be an accurate measurement in student’s academic knowledge for those struggling with test anxiety. When someone’s anxiety flares up it causes them to enter fight or flight mode. This state of mind causes it to cloud out critical test information. Thus one does not get a true reading of the student’s knowledge
Some smaller schools have realized this and are now considered test free. Instead of using the SAT and ACT schools have opted to use one on one interviews or portfolios that the students put together as the “entrance exam” Also schools have created their own entrance exams as an alternative to the SAT and ACT
That being said the SAT and ACT are a good way to measure everyone at once. As well as homeschool and religious school students who may not be measured as often. Also going off of GPA alone may not be enough to prove college readiness and A in Idaho may not hold the same weight as an A in Nebraska.
Now my questions for you guys are, what is your opinion on the SAT and ACT? Do you think that we should keep this system or replace it? If so what could we put in place besides standardized tests? Lastly, what do you think about test free schools?
The internet and social media has given increased power to private individuals, online influencers, and organized online groups that will make an impact on public impression and reputation. In fact, this power made it possible for them to “cancel” the visibility, influence, and career of individuals perceived to have acted improperly from their public position. People who are found guilty of saying or doing certain offenses, such as hateful language, indecent public behavior, sexual assault or simply doing something that is looked down on, will get online attacks through social media, death threats, or public release of their private lives. The goal of “canceling” is to shame, intimidate and professionally destroy an individual.
For advocates, it is seen as a way of being empowered to resist long-standing forms of abuse and prejudice. This is seen best in the #MeToo movement where it empowered women who were victimized by sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape to tell their stories. By doing so it brought out the guilty and they became the first to be “canceled”. In some eyes, cancel culture is “redressing historical inequalities and bringing greater accountability” to the behavior of individuals in positions of power. “Cancellation isn't personal. It’s a way for marginalized communities to publicly assert their value systems through pop culture” according to the article on Vice.
On the other hand, cancel culture may view its tactics as an assault on the right to privacy and a way of trying individuals publicly for offenses without any meaningful "due process." It is seen as targeting to destroy a person’s reputation and judge them without the substantiation of evidence. It can be viewed as bullying a person into silence and due to that, it can be taken out of hand.
My questions to you guys are, what is your opinion on cancel culture? Has it gone too far? What are some benefits as well as negatives aspects? Why might someone want to do this? How would you feel if you were being the one who is being canceled by simply from saying something wrong? Is there an alternative way to bring people who could have committed a crime out?