Three topics that interest me are common core, NCAA athletes receiving payment, and euthanasia. Questions that can arise from these topics are as follows: Does common core enhance children’s education? Should NCAA athletes receive payment for playing? Should euthanasia be illegal?
Common core is the newly implemented education standards and testing procedures from kindergarten to 12th grade in United States schools. There is a considerable amount of backlash about this new system from teachers, students, and parents across the nation. Some question whether it helps or hurts today’s youth. I am interested in this topic because my younger sister is currently in the middle of the storm as a sophomore in high school. I am curious to see if her education experience is better or worse than mine since common core was not being used while I was a high school student. Additionally, both of my parents are former high school teachers, so I am interested to see how the education system has changed over the past few decades. I hope to find more arguments from people who support common core because almost everyone that I talk to who mentions common core always has nothing, but bad things to say about it. Based on my knowledge, I side with these people.
There has been discussion through colleges nationwide about athletes unionizing to demand payment and royalties for their roles in video games. Some people argue that college athletes are paid through scholarships and stipends. However, others say that the stipends are not enough to live off of, and athletes put in a significantly higher amount of work than the average college student on an academic scholarship. In addition, college athletes produce a large amount of income for colleges. This topic interests me because a numerous amount of my friends are college athletes, and I know that some of them struggle financially. Additionally, as a former high school athlete, I may have worked harder to get an athletic scholarship if there was the incentive to get paid. I hope to find arguments from athletes who are for and against; I support college athletes getting paid.
Euthanasia is defined as the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries.Some people believe this is “mercy killing”. If a patient is going to die anyway, he or she should be able to ask for the pain to end sooner. However, others argue that patients in these conditions do not truly know what he or she is asking for because of the illness or condition he or she is enduring. It is unfair for medical professionals or any family member to essentially play the role of a divine being. I hope to find the reasons why people think euthanasia is a good idea, but I still do not support it.
Most people would agree that it is the responsibility of a group member to look out for the best interests and safety of other group members. A pack of wolves is a prime example of this. According to defenders.org, some wolves may sacrifice their own lives to save the rest of the pack. Consider a team of any kind, specifically ones where a situation could escalate to violence such as baseball or football. If one team member gets involved in an altercation with an opponent, the entire team comes to his or her defense. It is logical to assume that the human race should be no different. It is our responsibility to care for other humans. According to the World Health Organization, approximately one million people commit suicide each year across the nation. For each individual who takes his or her own life, there are at least twenty people who attempt to. Mentalhealthamerica.net says Research indicates that self-injury occurs in approximately as many as 4% of adults in the United States. Rates are higher among adolescents, who seem to be at an increased risk for self-injury, with approximately 15% of teens reporting some form of self-injury. Studies show an even higher risk for self-injury among college students, with rates ranging from 17%-35%. Anyone would agree that these statistics are too high, especially because we, as humans, have the power to stop this. The common denominator between all victims of self-harm is usually deep emotional pain. People harm themselves mainly because of low self-confidence and bullying. There is usually a common fear of being an outcast, or feeling different because of a certain situation or circumstance. The statistics stated above would be a fraction of what they are now if everyone would stop discriminating and bullying. Why is being different always looked at as such a bad thing? Rather than making someone feel like a reject, would it be that difficult to use that energy to brighten someone’s day instead? Think about the feeling you get when a random stranger goes out of his or her way to perform a random act of kindness. It feels pretty good right? It probably has the power to change your mood instantly. In my opinion, it is vital that any group explores methods on how to lower the number of people affected by self-harm and suicide. The goal should be to deplete those numbers to zero eventually, and humans have the power to accomplish that.
As of right now, there are only two websites that I know of that are dedicated toward suicide and bullying prevention. Ironically, the first is a WordPress site created by the founder of P.S. I Love You Day. The second is a networking site created by the same person in more recent years. They are both set up rather similarly. The home page is a powerful video recorded and featuring the founder herself. It simply conveys the message, the purpose, and how to minimally be involved. Additionally, there are tabs where a viewer can find out more about how the event began, information about the upcoming event, information about how to get involved or contact the directors, and pictures of past events. I plan to structure my website a little bit differently. My website’s purpose will be to explore self-harm and suicide as broader terms. I plan to have the home page give statistics about self-harm and suicide globally. The purpose of this is to draw readers in who may be on the fence about this movement. This heart-wrenching opening will hopefully grip a person’s emotions enough to continue exploring the website. I then plan to have the bottom of the home page show the video of the founder of the event that is a part of the movement, and the video of my coworker. Both are social proof that this movement is effective, but it also shows any viewer who may be struggling with issues of self-harm that there are people out there willing to help, and he/ she is not alone in this struggle. There will be a tab that explains the purpose of the movement and the story of the founder of the event. I plan for the second part of my webpage to include a section on the reasons why people self-harm and how to identify warning signs. I believe this will inform viewers and help them understand the illness itself. It may spark thoughts of people in their own lives who may be struggling with these issues, now that the individual is aware of the warning signs. In terms of media, I think the most effective type would be the videos. I believe the more social proof this website shows, the better it will be. It will hopefully convince people who may be victims of this illness that there is still hope, and there are people out there who are ready to help. I also believe the videos show the positive impact this movement has had, and can continue to have on the world. I believe this will help convince people who are skeptical at first to become more involved.
Advocacy personally means actively and adamantly standing up for a value or belief regardless of the opinions or consequences that may result. The most notable recent movements that come to mind are LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, and the women’s rights. Additionally, some more historic movements consist of boycotts, marches and civil disobedience. All of these movements spark thoughts of a group of people joining together to bring the end of an injustice. Personally, I am most interested in exploring the Blue Lives Matter movement. I have a personal connection to this because my father is a retired New York City police officer. Although college campuses are not the most common place to find advocates for this cause, I am aware of the protest that occurred at The University of California-Irvine. However, the common theme there was Blue Lives Don’t Matter. While I do recognize that some police officers mistreat people, I feel it is unfair to group all of them under this umbrella. Particularly on a college campus, I feel law enforcement is crucial to providing a sense of security and safety throughout each student’s mind. I see a restored sense of trust as a resulting benefactor from exploring this movement. A major barrier to break through would be the damaged relationship between some people and police officers due to negative prior experiences. I hope that the majority of people can one day return to a state of thinking that police officers are here to help the general public, rather than everyone living in fear of them.