Monday, June 6, 2011

Turning point in your life

FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) is a standardized test in Florida that students must take from 3rd-10th grade, with a scoring standard of 0-6. One of the tests is the timed writing, where we are given an essay prompt and must write an essay.

Just like every other student, I hated FCAT, and I especially hated the time writings. Before FCAT, teachers would always give us practice tests, and that included practice time-writings. The essay below is a practice time-writing. The prompt was something along the lines of “What was a major turning point in your life?” Since I hated FCAT timed-writings, I decided to be a smart-alack, and write a farce of a timed-writing. (As I look back on it now, I do wonder what my teacher was thinking while reading this paper, since she most certainly was not aware of the fact that my response to the prompt was a joke. Lol).

I got a 4. Looking back on the essay now, though, I can see why Florida is so low in the National rankings for primary and secondary schools. I can’t believe I got such a high score on this piece of bologna.

All that being said, all errors in this paper are from the original.


Hollie -------
Period 2

Imagine being awoken at three o-clock in the morning from the wailing of your two-year-old baby who just had an “accident” while sleeping. Isn’t it just horrid to have to get out of your comfortable bed just to go change your child’s diaper? I’d say it is. Now, imagine not being awoken at three o’clock in the morning, and not going to change your two-year-olds diaper. Isn’t it just divine to get to sleep the whole night through? I know for my parents it was, but not only was it divine for my parents. When I stopped having to get my diaper changed every night and day, my life changed completely. Becoming one-hundred percent potty-trained was a major turning point in my life because adults treated me so differently and my days were much less hectic without the constant diaper changing.

Getting a diaper changed every other hour was definitely not my favorite past-time. I would be running around with my sister and brother, and then low-and-behold my mama would sweep me off my feet and carry me to the diaper-changing table. What a great way to ruin a gal’s fun time! But, once I became potty-trained my mama no longer had to interrupt me in the middle of my games. I could run around all day acting crazy, like little tikes do, without having to worry about diaper-changing time. Next to running around all day, I also got to sleep all night. I would no longer wake up in my dirty sheets, and taking baths every morning were a thing of the past. Yes, my life was pretty darn good.

Of course, every Yin has a Yang. My Yang was becoming a “big girl”. When I became potty-trained grown-ups became complete idiots! They decided that since I no longer did that babyish thing, called “messin’ my pants”, then I was no longer a baby, and since I was no longer a baby I could no longer be treated like a baby. Crying for something I wanted was a definite No-No. Saying “no” all the time was not cute any longer. It was disobedient and rude. Getting snacks whenever I wanted them was called glutiny (as if a two-year-old even knows what that word means). Becoming a “big girl” was definitely a turn for the worst in my short, little life. Every cloud does have a silver lining, though. When I became a “big girl” I got a few privelages. I was the center of attention in the adult world, and that was fun, because when you’re the center of attention in the adult world you get handfuls upon handfuls of sweets. Yummy! Another privelage was getting bedtime switched from eight-thirty at night to nine. Although, I can’t really say I could ever keep myself up till nine, but it’s the thought that counts.

So with my new bed time and longer playing time my life changed in ways unimaginable to babies not yet potty-trained. Becoming potty-trained may not be a turning point people talk about often, but it is one of the most important. It is a drastic change in one’s life that comes and goes, and then is never addressed again. It is just forgotten by all and locked away in the deep recesses of ones mind. But, I’m here to say it is an important turning point in every persons life. I mean, really, could you imagine a world in which no one became potty-trained?

Upon typing that all out, I must say that is a wonderful piece of fiction. I don’t know if anything I wrote in that paper is true to my life, since I simply made it all up on the spot. Yay for malarkey!

One thing is for certain… I have always been horrible at grammar. Three cheers for the Florida Education System!

[Yes, I know I just made a blog post about 5 minutes ago. I couldn't help myself with this one though. I post one of my writings, and had to go look through the other ones I have kept over the years. I found this little jewel from my sophomore year in High School and decided I absolutely had to post it now.]

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Biocentric Equality

2 things:
1) I have decided that I shall endeavor to make at least 1 blog post per month, because my blog posting schedule is exceedingly erratic.
2) It seems that June is going to be a very busy month for me, so I imagine I probably won't think of something to complain about in form of an "intelligent" opinion. As such, I had the thought "Hmm, I'm a poli-sci major. I have to do plenty of writings. Why don't I just post one of my essay assignments or something?" As is, I imagine an essay would be too long of a post, so I decided to post a "short writing" homework assignment from my Ethics class I took this past Spring semester. As such, the pages I am quoting come from the book I had to buy for my Ethics class (Ethics in Contemporary Society, or something of the sort), as does the question.

bit of an edit: thought it might be worthwhile to throw in a definition of what biocentric equality is. Simply put, it's the belief that all things on earth are of equal inherent value. So that means that the earth, the animals, and the humans are all equal in value, and we should treat animals and the earth with respect and honor because they are of equal value to us.

No that is not a textbook definition. That is simply me summarizing what I remember it to be.

Hollie -------
Homework #3

“Do you accept the principle of biocentric equality? Why or why not?” (p. 122)

I find that I agree with certain tenets of biocentric equality and disagree with others. To start with the negatives, my main contention with the theory is the claim that everything in nature is inherently equal, or “equal in intrinsic worth” (p. 119). The belief seems to be that humans are not superior to nature or animals. We are all of equal worth in that we all deserve proper care and consideration and should not be maltreated or mishandled. In other words, “…all things in the biosphere have an equal right to live and blossom and to reach their own individual forms of unfolding and self-realization within the larger Self-realization” (p. 119). As a Christian, I believe humans are of more worth than anything else in the universe. Genesis tells us God gave Adam dominion over the earth and the animals (Genesis 1:26). Humans are superior to animals and the earth. God created us as such. The earth and animals are certainly of worth to God, but like any artist, He places more worth on some of His creations than others. Humans are His masterpiece, and animals and the earth are simply the backdrop. This means that humans are to be given more consideration than the earth. Our comfort and security is more important than that of animals, and the earth exists not simply to exist, but as a home for humans. This contrasts with the biocentric idea that no thing on earth is more important than the other.

On the positive side, I do agree with the statement that “…if we harm the rest of Nature then we are harming ourselves” (p. 119). My agreement comes from a mixture of Thomist and Utilitarian tendencies. As far as utilitarianism goes, we only have one earth to live on, and it would be in my best interests to keep this one earth running. Harming nature to the point of uselessness is harming myself. As far as natural law goes, Aquinas says natural law is the actualization of the reasoning of God buried within our conscious. God is not an unwise god, and He knows destroying the earth would be of no benefit to humans. As such, He instilled a natural inclination within us to want to preserve the earth. It is not natural for humans to destroy that which sustains them.

I also feel no obligation to care for earth except out of a feeling of respect for God’s creation. It has nothing to do with feeling like I am in some sort of harmony with a non-sentient earth. In sum, I will not destroy earth because 1) I need somewhere to live and 2) God created it, so I respect it.

The statement that “…we should live with minimum rather than maximum impact on other species and on the Earth in general” (p. 119) creates mixed feelings within me. I tend toward agreeing with the statement, but not because I agree with the biocentric equality ideals. I agree because I think it benefits humans to live frugally. Once more, it will help to preserve the earth, and it is in all humans’ best interests to preserve that which they live on. To destroy the earth is akin to purposefully burning down one’s home without first finding a new home to live in.

One of my teacher's notes: "I, too, share your anthropocentrism! 10/10"

So apparently I'm an anthropocentrist.