HSI: The last day

I have learned a lot over the course of the last three weeks. I have learned all about online identity, how to take better pictures, blog, and become a better story-teller. In my science class I learned all about HIV/AIDS and how to better protect myself. I will miss everyone that I have come to know and I will miss my classes.

At the beginning of the three weeks I thought it was going to be a long time, but it went by too fast! It is sad knowing today is the last day, and I guarantee tears will be shed tomorrow as everyone says goodbye. I will definitely remember everyone I met here, and everything I learned. My little group of friends are the people I got to know the best and I can honestly say we will be lifelong friends. Spending time with them are my best memories I had while being here. We would hang out in the lobby or outside and laugh about stupid stuff, but it was amazing. They are some great people.

This experience gave me a glimpse at college life, and I’m so excited to take the next step. I have grown as a person meeting so many people with different opinions, and now I can take everything that I learned back home to my friends there.

Everyone here is amazing and I thank you all for everything you shared. It was truely amazing and I’ll never forget it. Thank you.




Gender stereotypes have changed. In the 50s, and earlier, people viewed the men as being the workers and the women as being house wives. Today we are treated pretty equal because women can get jobs just as men do, and men can easily be stay at home dads. Today we don’t judge people based off their gender as much.

Racial stereotypes have changed too. Racism still exists but it is not as big as it was back in the day.

People who are homosexual are treated differently today too. Most people don’t have a problem with them, but some people are highly against them.

Ellen has her own show, and a lot of people enjoy watching it. People are just more accepting today.


Many people today multitask. Whether they are good at it or not determines if they are actually absorbing information and getting something out of it. During school I don’t multitask because we are not allowed to use specific devices during class. This eliminates distractions, and helps me focus on my school work.

There is a study saying it is more effective to take notes with a pencil and paper. This is understandable because then you’re physically writing information down, but I personally find typing notes more effective because I can type fast. It is also legible and then when I go to study later there is more information for me about the subject.

When I am at home I tend to multitask more because I’ll be doing my homework with the TV on in the background while eating my dinner. It is a little crazy, but i have been trying to do my homework in the quiet of my bedroom to focus better. At the end of this last year that’s what I was ding and I got things done fast and more efficiently. I’m going to continue to do my homework away from the TV.

I consider myself  pretty bad a multitasking because when i do multitask it take me twice as long as it would have if I just concentrated on one thing. I think I will be trying to focus on one thing at a time rather than doing more than I can handle.

When people multitask they do not get as much out of everything they are doing, and this can be a problem. It depends upon the person, but most people will get more out of a class or something else when they focus on one thing at a time.

Online Generation

Online popularity is everything to my generation. Posts, videos, statuses, re-blogs, tweets, and others forms of online communication consume teenagers lives. Everyone wants to been seen as famous, and they do extreme things in order to feel that they are. Some things are genuine, while others are only posted to get attention. The amount of likes, re-posts, or subscribers defines whether someone is “popular” or not.

Since a huge amount of people use online networks, big businesses use this to their advantage. People will advertise something without even knowing they are doing so. My generation is consumed by online interaction, and how many people like you on the internet means everything to some people. Because some people are popular, business will use them to advertise their product, sometimes without even paying. However some people are happy to advertise something because of their love for it. Online popularity is important to lots of people because then they can get paid for these hing, while others just want to been seen as famous.

MTV, Mooks, and Midriffs

Mooks and Midriffs use stereotypes to get attention. A mook is a guy who seeks attention by being outgoing. Midriffs are girls that use their bodies in a way to get attention. People used these techniques to become popular on MTV.

I believe that people still use some of these things to become more popular, but they may not be on MTV. Take Miley Cyrus as an example. In order to seek attention she shows off her body sexually, like in her music video wrecking ball. Many other artists show their bodies to get attention as well such as, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rhianna, ect.

MTV has changed from actually being about music, to tv shows. I do not watch many of them. The only thing I do watch is Girl Code because it’s incredibly funny. Many of the tv shows on MTV don’t interest me at all. I think MTV changed because now you can go onto the internet and view the music videos you want to, you do not need the tv channels to do it for you. I do know many people who watch a lot of the tv shows on MTV, so they are going in the right direction for the right crowd of people, it all depends on the viewer.

Arrayia Birkle


Locked in the bedroom, putting her thoughts on paper she drew still pictures that were on her mind. The pencil flew across the paper creating a picture of wonder.

Arrayia first started drawing in early elementary school. Inspiration from her mother and father led her to the artist she is today.  Whether she is bored or needs time to think, drawing is there to relieve her of the stresses of life.

As a young child Arrayia saw the art of others dreaming that one day she would be able to draw like that one day. Her mother and father made her think “I could do that!”Anytime she would have a pencil and a piece of paper she would go into her room and draw. “It clears the mind because you need to focus to do it well.”

Drawing flowers and landscapes is her passion, but Arrayia would really love to learn how to draw humans as well. “My mom… how well she does her drawing, it’s a real inspiration.” Arrayia would love to become like her mom. Just like her mom she uses drawing to relieve herself of stress. The drawing of the little boy is what they both worked on together, the practicing paying off.

The way the pencil feels in her hand sends shivers down her spine and she knows she can create anything. While this feeling is real, painting also brings a feeling of inspiration. Creating art is just something Arrayia loves to do.

Arrayia took art classes when she was in middle school, and really hopes she’ll be able to take some more this upcoming year. The art classes improved her drawing skills, and she knows that if she takes more she will get that much better. Practice makes perfect. Throughout all the years, she has improved greatly.

One day she hopes to inspire others, as her parents have for her. Drawing can be more than just for fun. It can be there for stress relief and there for you when you when you need to put your thoughts on paper if you can’t find the right words. A picture is worth a thousand words, and someone can tell a story with a very simple picture. Story telling does not have to be with words. Just a simple thought can inspire someone.

“I don’t think anyone could stop drawing.” Arrayia believes that everyone draws. Some subconsciously do it by drawing a smiley face on the side of their paper, or doodling on their notes. Stopping is not an option for Arrayia. Her love for art is too great. Even though she will probably never make a profession out of her artwork, she will always continue to use it.


Listen to her story at

Media Imagery

In today’s society people are told that how they are is not good enough, and they should look like the models do in the magazines. Girls are show as very thin and curvy, and men lean and muscular. The thing is, even the people in the magazine don’t look like the people in the magazine. Everyone you see in the magazine is airbrushed. All of their flaws are taken off their bodies, and their bodies are altered slightly.

These magazines set unrealistic expectations of everyday people, and fool you into believing that with a certain weight lose plan you can look like them when even the model doesn’t look like what is shown on the cover of the magazine.

As a girl, I know that we have many insecurities, and these magazines use those to get us into buying their magazine. Everyone wants to look like the model they see, but the fact is no one is perfect. Everyone has flaws, and everyone has insecurities. I know my friends and I look at these photographs wishing we could look like them, but really there is nothing wrong with the way we are now. We are not fat, and we are in really good shape, but because we see these photos we think something is wrong with us.

I know this will probably never happen, but instead of air-brushing the models, people could just show the models as they are. It was set realistic expectations for the rest of society, and we could show how most people are. Most people are not nearly as skinny as the models we see. We could show how the majority of people are. Most women are shorter than the models we see, and heavier. Likewise most men are shorter and heavier. Seeing people like this would show that there is nothing wrong with how we look.


Today I got to interview my classmate about an activity she loved to do. In return she interviewed me about my experience overseas. I would say interviewing is not all that difficult and I enjoyed being both interviewer and interviewed. When I was interviewing I tried to make the conversation flow, and ask the questions in an order that made sense. It was important that I as the interviewer got enough information about the subject, which as art, for Arrayia. I found it fun learning about why she loved art and how she does it. I also liked talking about my experience because I could talk a lot about a topic I loved.

Although playing both parts was fun, being the interviewer was a little more difficult for me because trying to make it like a story was more difficult than just asking about it. When I was talking about my trip overseas it was easier because then I could just answer the questions. However because of this, I learned how to interview better and answer questions in more depth. If I had to change one thing, I would try to get Arrayia to say more about her art, and more about her moms art.

Interviewing I think will be helpful for me in the future because when I apply for a job I will be needing to ask about the company I’m going to work for and what environment I’ll be in. When going for a job interview I will be interviewed, but I will also an interviewer.

Banning Books

Books are banned for many reasons. The book And Tango Makes Three was recently banned by an elementary school. I think the reason why this book was banned was because of the homosexuality of the penguins. Many people today still have problems with homosexuals, and they do not want their children exposed to it. Many religions are against homosexuals, and reading a book like this would be considered wrong. This book was actually based on a true story, but it is still against what many people today still believe.

The pro-censorship viewpoint is to protect the children and protect their character. Some might believe that this book will influence their child and therefore do not want them exposed to it. If the book is against someone’s religion, they would not want their child to read this book. In today’s society homosexuals are still not fully accepted, and when a children’s book, such as this one, is published they do not want their children anywhere near it.

The anti-censorship viewpoint is to protect free speech. These people say that it is important that people are exposed to kind of book. They believe it shouldn’t matter that the two penguins were gay, but that it was a good story.

I believe that the ban on this book was unwarranted because no matter where people go today, there are gay people. Many families have gay family members. However, I think that it should only be allowed it fourth or fifth graders because younger children still do not fully understand what relationships are.

I think there should be sections in a library in which you need a parents signature to read certain books. It is a good compromise so the parents have a say in what their child reads.


News and Entertainment

The News media has a job to inform the public of what’s going on in the world and the country. Depending upon what news media you watch or read, you find out more or less. Some are bias and others aren’t. It’s the individual that decides what to watch or read. Some news shows tell it how it is, while others make comedy out of it. I personally would what to watch something more entertaining. While sometimes these shows may not seem like they are providing the public with information, they are, just in a different way. Depending upon how someone best learns depends on what kind of news media works best for them.

It’s important for everyone to know the news so people don’t become ignorant about whats going on around them. No matter what form one may view the news, it’s still informative. When electing someone it is very important to view the news because you want to know who you may be electing. When a criminal is on the loose it is important. There are many reasons to view some sort of news media.

Everyone today has some sort of entertainment source. Movies, books, video games, and social networking sites are all thing we have been exposed to. Entertainment is fun, but sometimes it interferes with other things going on in your life. I know during the school year it’s very hard for me to concentrate on my homework when I have my phone, iPad, computer, and other devices around me. I would rather look at instagram or play a video game rather than do homework. Who wouldn’t? Entertainment can be distracting so it’s important that you do other things as well. Going for hikes, walking around the mall, or playing a sport will give you a life away from  your online one.