Reply to 11s

OK, Pengerators, I'm back; sorry to be away so long, but I've read tons of posts today on my first day back and thank you for your effort.

On another matter, I am sensitive to your concerns that this platform has problems, but please make your comments in the space I've made for them.  Just as it would be inappropriate to write criticism on the boards of a teacher's room, understand that it is extremely inappropriate to vent your complaints on top of your peers' work.

That said, I've just read all the  posts for #3 and notice that far too many of you responded not to a peer's summary, as requested, but to the original articles, exactly what I asked you not to do.
Please look at
 those by  Daniel B, Daniela, Cameron, Alyssa, RArena, and Devon; as well as KatieB, Nico, Audrey, David, Addie, Iris, MaddieS, Dustin, CYang, SarahOatmeal, Maddy, Lucia, and Brianna to see the right idea.

If you instead responded to the original article, and NOT a peer essay
, please repost on this thread by Next Monday, so that you've completed the correct assignment before we begin school.  You are:
"A-L":   JT, Jeremy, Ari, Eleanor, "Nikkai", VickiHB, Vivian, Sara-q, mia, patneedsham
"M-Z":  Juniper, Audrey, Amy, HeyvaRadish (whoRU?) DanielM
Good luck.


m1a_rae_lew1s001 said...

In “Censoring ‘Huckleberry Finn’ is an Act of Literary Graffiti,” Leonard Pitts criticizes publishing company NewSouth Book’s decision to remove all occurrences of the “reprehensible N-words” from Mark Twain’s classic book “Huckleberry Finn.” Although Pitts understands that NewSouth editor Alan Gribben brings good intentions by attempting “impose political correctness upon the most politically incorrect of American authors,” this act of “literary graffiti” completely alters Twain’s portrayal of the time, ultimately skewing readers’ views of this timeless tale. First, Pitts argues that any artist, whether in music, art, or literature, has the right to “share what is in his or her soul” through a series of “conscious choices,” and that while the audience is free to accept of reject these choices, “it is emphatically not free to substitute its own.” Next, Pitts states that Twain’s use of the N-word was an accurate reflection of life in the late nineteenth century, and that editing his original words is in fact “sugar-coating” the past, that of which is “immutable and nonnegotiable.” Finally, removing this word from Huckleberry Finn prevents readers and students from asking important questions about the mindset of the past, in addition to decreasing their “intellectual capacity” and protecting them from interpreting and critiquing Twain’s “masterpiece.”

I agree with “daniTHEelaHERRer-uh” when she stressed the main point of this article in her summary: “sugar-coating and censoring” the work of a great author is ultimately detrimental to readers, and in addition, altering Twain’s original words proves how our country has become an “intellectual backwater.” I think it was also important that the she put emphasis on Pitts’ view of our country’s reading comprehension, and that removing this word from Huckleberry Finn shields students from the “nuances of a masterpiece.” However, I personally think “daniTHEelaHERRer-uh” could have included more of Pitts’ response to the intentions of the NewSouth editor, specifically how “many teachers feel they can't use the book in their classrooms because children simply cannot get past that incendiary word.”

I found that this article raised an important question about the boundaries of censorship and art. I personally agree with Pitts in that editing out reprehensible words from a classic book alters the tone and intentions of Mark Twain, while also giving readers a false impression of the past. When Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn in 1875, he was simply writing in the language used at the time, and although this makes the “N word” any less politically incorrect, readers should be able to look past it and instead analyze the book for it’s theme and important message. Prejudice against race, religion, and sexual orientation is found everywhere in history, but like Pitts argues, “the past is what it is, immutable and nonnegotiable,” and can’t be “sugar-coated.” It is important for people, especially students, to be able to critique and evaluate periods in history when such racism was the norm; simply shielding them from it just narrows their “intellectual capacity.” Ultimately, Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn for people to read: we can judge it, or we can praise it, but to edit his original words shows a complete disregard to the eloquence of his writing.

VIHUANG5559 said...

“Paying for Their Crimes, Again” by Tina Rosenberg and summarized by Daniel82Wants988Moore

Tina Rosenberg, author of “Paying for Their Crimes, Again” and as summarized by Daniel82Wants988Moore, deems courts aren’t giving former criminals a chance to get back on their feet again by imposing various fees the moment they get out. Since most ex-cons are released from jail with “very few job prospects,” Rosenberg argues that the states’ demands aren’t keeps the ex-cons from “[living] a law abiding life” and are pushing them right back into committing crime for the money instead. Adding on, the author feels that a program, namely the Clapham Set, “could help them get their lives back on track” and “get rid of their debt.”

I agree with Daniel82Wants988Moore when he points out that the courts aren’t exactly giving former criminals a chance to start off fresh. Additionally, I believe Daniel82Wants988Moore was right to stress that most of the former offenders reenter society with dim job prospects and burdening debts from the courts to pay off, it almost seems natural that they would get the money illegally or turn to drugs and alcohol to temporarily ease the stress. Despite the fact Daniel82Wants988Moore mentions Carlos L’s experiences as a former criminal, I feel that he neglected to point out another important aspect to the original article, the support for more life-management programs such as the Clapham Set.

The importance behind Rosenberg’s article is the burdening fees enforced on ex-cons. Rosenberg believes that such demands from the courts are only “[sabotaging] their chances of going straight.” On the other hand, the author believes that programs like the “Clapham Set” will “help states save money” and “help young people change their lives.” If the courts continue to overwhelm ex-criminals, especially the younger ones who had not committed any serious, violent crime, with such fees, most of them would likely never see a life outside of a prison cell.

Daniel82Wants988Moore said...

"The Myth of the Extraordinary Teacher" By Ellie Herman Summarized by Alexxa_R_hehehe,0,3910343.story

In “The Myth of the Extraordinary Teacher” By Ellie Herman, summarized by Alexxa_R_hehehe, Ellie explains that with budget cuts, “teacher slashing”, and the task of managing 150 students, teaching becomes nearly impossible. She argues that too many students lack the life skills and emotional maturity required to handle high school. The significance of this topic could not be more real today. In my own research I found that only 1 in two American students will graduate high school this year. If teachers like Ellie were spared the budget cuts and teacher slashing, perhaps the student’s would achieve a more rounded education.

I agree with Alexxa_R_hehehe, as she focused her essay on Ellie’s main point that LAUSDA needs to stop “[slashing] education budgets and [cutting] teachers.” Ellie and Alexxa both stress that teachers should come first and should be treated as the most important part of the education system. However, I think Alexxa underemphasized an equally important idea in the original essay: Many teachers are giving up on their classes. When referring to her extremely difficult classes, Ellie herself says “I just can’t do it.” I believe this topic is equally, perhaps even more important than the budget cuts and “teacher slashing.”

The American classroom is deteriorating. Teachers like Ellie are working as hard as they can to reverse the damage. However with education cuts laying waste to the majority of American classrooms, the battle just becomes more bloody. Students nationwide are affected by this growing issue. Ellie Herman makes it all too clear that something needs to be done to guide America’s students toward a successful and educated future.

DNGNikkai5521 said...

Reaction to DutinC-O5651's summary of "The Sleepover Question."

Amy Shalet, author of the article “The Sleepover Question,” weighs the different cultural views of American parents and Dutch parents on their teenager’s sexual life and how it plays into their family life. Shalet believed that the teens experience different reactions and actions from their parents because of the “divergent cultural ideas about sex” and “what responsible parents ought to do about it.”

For instance, Shalet points out that the reason Dutch families “exert more control over their children,” directly relates to the fact that parents “[normalized] ideas about teenage sex” as opposed to letting teenagers believe that “it is easier for [their] parents not to know.” In fact, the American teenagers who Shalet had interviewed felt that “they had to split their burgeoning sexual selves from their family roles.” The slight differences between the two cultures are what cause the split in the experiences that teenagers have when sharing their intimate, personal lives with their family.

After reading both the entire article and the summary presented by DutinC-O5651, I agree that the contrasting differences between American families and those in the Netherlands have a strong impact on how teenagers share ( or don't ) their personal lives with their parents. Dutin clearly drew the line on American parents who feel they have to shield their kids, whereas Dutch parents feel an obligation to arm their teenagers for the inevitable. On the other hand, I feel that Dutin could have placed more emphasis on the amount of influence parents hold over their kids and their actions, like how the “widespread use of…contraceptives” in the Netherlands contributed to teenage pregnancy rates that were “more than 4 times lower in the Netherlands then in the United States” because the parents of these teenagers had spoken to them about sex and contraceptives.

When Shalet interviewed different American parents trying to protect their children from the dangers of sex, she noticed that they “actively discouraged promiscuous behavior.” Face it: it’s bound to happen anyway, because teenagers who feel they need to hide it will go behind their parents’ backs if they have to-- whether or not these kids are aware of sex and the risks and dangers that come with it. A happier, safer household for everyone here in America—moms, dads, teenagers and their beloveds—first starts with the parents: when teenagers start getting the idea that their families have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, they are going to follow it.

Finn West said...

In response to Jeremy Corren's Summary of "California's Future Homeowners"
Finn West
Summarized by Jeremy Corren and written by Peter Schrag,"California's Future Homeowners," urges Californians to acknowledge and accept the constantly growing number of Latino home-owners that, Schrag argues, will be the future of the state. Due to this, he suggests California should offer opportunities for "higher education" for immigrants while pointing out that there may be problems accessing these programs for immigrants due to the ethnic difference in "white homeowner and young latinos."
Jeremy Corren summarizes the details of Latinos homeownership growth with the suprising fact that, in the last decade, they account for more than 78% of California's total homeownership. Adding on, he brings to light that white homeowners, mostly born in the baby boom after WWII, are now older and retiring causing their homeownership percentage to decrease due to "relocation, assisted living, or rental housing." Jeremy also points out that if we train the immigrants already settled in our society instead of spending money keeping others out, they will be possibilities for replacing older and retired citizens in more specific and useful jobs.
In conclusion, Schrag presents suggestions some citizens would not like to hear. Some citizens rather see money wasted on immigration control, than being put to use to benefit our country. Also, considering the data correct then as more of the baby boomers retire there will be more job opportunities to help bring us out of the recession and the unemployment rate down.

JuniperWouldBuryTheEvidence5671 said...

Reaction to Madysun Kirkpatty's summary of "How Harry Saved Reading" by Norman Lebrecht

Madysun’s summary of “How Harry Saved Reading” by Norman Lebrecht mainly discusses the link between the authors J.K. Rowling and Charled Dickens. It compares the two athors’ lives, their characters, their plot devices, and the effect their books have had on children. Introducing controversy, Madysun’s essay compares hardships in the two authors’ childhoods as equal. However, the struggles of these writers were not even close to equal. While they share the pain of losing a parent, Rowling’s suffering does not compare to that of Dickens while he was forced into child labor. In further controversy, the original essay states that J. K. Rowling's books are perhaps more effective in enticing children to read than even her victorian era “equivalent,” Charles Dickens.
While Madysun’s point--that Lebrecht addresses the resemblance of J. K. Rowling's writing style to that of Charles Dickens--holds, this is not the main point of the original essay. Although Lebrecht continually compares the two as a running motif, he does not intend the connection to overwhelm the rest of his essay. He also compares J. K. Rowling to Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and C. S. Lewis.
Similarly, although 'Madysun' summarizes mostly Lebrecht's opinion on J. K. Rowling's writing style, she does touch somewhat on the innovations of the modern female writer. The remarkable effect that these books have had on children for the past 14 years cannot be overlooked. As is in the title of the essay, the summary should focus more on how the Harry Potter books as an entity “saved reading” and less on the the content of the Harry Potter books themselves.
For a span of almost 30 years, not one popular children’s book was written and, in turn, children were not reading. It had been even longer since a novel had excited children. However, in 1997, J.K. Rowling published the first Harry Potter book which turned everything around. Children devoured these books and were thrilled to read them. Not since the nineteenth century Charles Dickens eruption had children actually enjoyed reading, says Lebrecht. Perhaps this is because most children's books contain only a fun story and an interesting character where as Harry Potter is a far more “adult” tale in comparison, expressing themes of “good vs. evil,” “life vs. death,” and “freedom.” Although these topics are a bit more mature than those seen in usual children's stories, Lebrecht thinks that they are valuable. These themes, more than anything else, are what really saved reading among children.

vick_hb_5504 said...

In “Why America has to get off coal,” the authors Michael Brune and Michael Bloomberg discuss the disadvantages of coal energy, despite its “popularity” in America. Coal's health risks has caused 13,000 premature deaths caused by coal soot, and has been held accountable for “$100 billion in health costs.” Not only is it cheaper to build clean energy plants, it is also cheaper to use clean energy. On top of that, the clean energy industry has already been proven to provide more jobs than the coal mining industry. Despite popular opinion, America does not need coal to “keep our economy running.” At the moment, yes, coal is a necessity that our economy currently needs, although that can definitely be changed. America can not immediately make the switch from coal to clean energy alternatives like wind power and solar power, but eventually she can. Companies like Beyond Coal have already been “pushing” for existing coal-fired power plants to be shut down, “starting with the nation's oldest and dirtiest plants.” It is estimated that by 2030, America will have successfully “end[ed] our reliance on coal,” which will result in positive effects such as “clean[ing] our air, improv[ing] our health, creat[ing] jobs, and expand[ing] our economy.”

In reading both the article and summary, I've learned much about the negative effects that coal energy has in America, and I agree that it must be stopped. 7nationAriBH did a good job of laying out everything he wanted to say, while making sure what he said was clear and obvious. Despite that, I feel that 7nationAriBH emphasised a lot on the details that helped back up the main point, instead of strongly express what he was trying to say. Also, in his conclusion, 7nationAriBH talks about the authors and their actions; in the article, the authors talk about what they've done to stop the use of coal only as emphasis to blatantly point out that America has to stop using coal.

Once America has stopped relying on coal energy, the economy will benefit a lot from it. The cost of spending [in regards to health] will go down significantly, since the $100 million spent on coal-related injuries will cease to exist. Medicaid and Medicare costs will stop “breaking our budget,” and death rates will not have the added 13,000 premature deaths that occur every year from coal soot. Statistically, wind farms provide “far more jobs” than coal-mining does, so more jobs will be available for the unemployed. Switching to clean energy sources is “a fight that we can win at the local level,” therefore, our community should do what we can to promote the idea of clean energy plants. Doing so can only benefit us and expand our economy.

AudlyYimmyKimchi5347 said...
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AudlyYimmyKimchi5347 said...
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AudlyYimmyKimchi5347 said...

Revised Summary Response to klee.nap5577
“Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” by Amy Chua

Even as people awe in wonder at the success of stereotypical Chinese children, they accuse the stereotypical Chinese mothers of being “scheming, callous, [and] overdriven.” But the ultimate question is, how, and why, do these stubborn Chinese mothers produce such kids? According to Chua’s statistics, Chinese mothers regard “academic achievement” as their responsibility by latching on to their child’s success. From the roots of pride and “Confucian filial piety,” Chinese mothers willingly sacrifice hours of time, as well as their own blood, sweat and tears. By justifying this stereotype, Amy Chua boldly places cultural differences alongside parenting differences.

In fact, the entire essay hones in on reasoning that the Chinese parenting is the good parenting, as opposed to the other, Western parenting. The how-to’s and why’s are certainly essentials of the Chinese stereotype, but Chua’s focus is on presenting her theory on cultural parenting. ‘Klee.nap5577’ goes through a great deal summarizing Chua’s personal methods, anecdotes and the Chinese “honesty policy,” managing to mention that “demanding Eastern parenting”…surpasses “passive Western parenting;” however, the summary should center more around comparing and contrasting these parenting differences seeing that Chua aims to explain, as the title plainly puts it, “why Chinese mothers are superior.” Furthermore, upon reading the essay and the summary, it seemed clear to me that Chua wrote her essay to argue her position in the ultimate battle of ‘Western culture versus Eastern culture’ regarding parenting; yet, it seems that in the conclusion, klee.nap5577 saw Chinese pride as the sole root of Chinese parenting. I strongly disagree, as I feel that Chua brings into play all aspects of her Chinese culture to reason Chinese parenting - from Chinese ancestry and religion, to Eastern family dynamics and “mind-sets.” Klee.nap5577 understands Chua’s parenting methods and experiences, but ultimately falls short in summarizing Chua’s purpose. Chua does not just list all the crazy things Chinese mothers do to produce stereotypical children. But rather, it is in Chua’s best interests to challenge the widely accepted Western way of parenting with the seemingly unacceptable “Chinese belie[f]” in parenting.

The reality is neither can be declared ‘the good’ nor ‘the bad’ as a fact. It can be said, however, that they are very different parenting approaches, each valuing one thing over another. Who really has the credibility to say which is superior? Let’s let the parents decide.

Heyva_Raddish7217 said...

(Ava Ravich)

Reaction to AmiMatSUSHIta5603's summary of "Science and Religion: God didn't make man; man made gods" by J.Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer

AmiMatSUSHIa5603’s summary of “Science and Religion: God didn’t make man; man made gods” by J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer focuses on the argument that enough scientific data exists to support the fact that God was in fact created by man. She begins with the basic premise of the article, that God is “a figment of human imagination caused by the need for an authority figure”. This opinion is supported by multiple scientific studies, all of them supporting the big picture that through natural selection, humans have created the idea of religion based on the need for attachment, a foundation of morality, and a need for reciprocity.

After reading both the summary as well as the original article I understood how AmiMatSUSHIa5603’s summary fit with the article and additionally I saw another opinion that the author’s were arguing. The previous summary concluded that “the more scientific knowledge there is on human psychology, the more people can understand the origins of religion” yet I believe that the previous conclusion was meant to support the author’s view on religion; that without it is “a world that makes sense”. Scattered throughout the article are remarks that appear hateful towards the concept of religion, in particular the entire second paragraph stating that without religion there wouldn’t be people like Osama bin Laden “sparking violence” furthermore people wouldn’t be blaming “the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina” on ‘God’s Will”. These quotes as well as many others reinforce the author’s blatant hatred of religion as a whole.

Religion has always been a very sensitive subject, mostly because it is a very personal issue with every ones belief differing from the next. Bluntly, this article denies the actual presence of god and additionally provides examples of how detrimental religion can be. Thomson and Aukofer are dejecting people’s core beliefs and instead replacing it with what seems to be a much more logical, scientifically backed theory for the existence of religion. Whenever something that people believe in strongly gets questioned, they tend to get defensive and take it personally. Seeing as this article does just that it most likely won’t sit well with those who see this as a threat to their beliefs. This questioning of the presence of god is extremely controversial while at the same time providing the allure of this article.