OVERPAID ATHLETES

A hot and controversial topic is whether athletes are paid too much. In the article, they mention that in the Major Baseball League, a team is about $67.6 million and that makes about $2.7 million per team member. The money for all of this comes from the fans. Fans are willing to pay the ridiculous ticket prices, food prices, and merchandise. The crazy thing is that these prices are slowly increasing throughout the years as well. In the MBL, the most paid member is Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) who gets paid about $22 million a year. Not only is the most paid in the country, he’s the most paid sports athlete in the world. The crazy thing is sometimes Rodriguez would not even play in a game and of course, he would still get paid. These athletes also have 2 weeks paid vacation and a lot of other benefits. What’s also crazy is that some athletes want more. Athlete Ty Law was going to skip training if he did not get more than $7 million. It seems like the longer athletes are active, the more they start to become greedy.

I completely agree with this article as athletes are in fact overpaid. There are people who work almost every day a week, and for ridiculous hours, and yet they barely have money to support their families. All these athletes have to do is swing a bat or dribble a ball. I understand that a lot of them worked very hard to get the position they are at, but the pay is completely crazy. I feel like the pay is not only unfair but it’s not good for the athlete’s mentality wise. As they get more money, they start to want more and more. They become greedy and at one point it will no longer be about the game, but all about the money.

MICHAEL JORDAN’S JORDANS

Michael Jordan’s Jordans have caused some controversy for years and it’s not just because of the shoes. Due to the small amount of shoes, customers are almost willing to what ever it takes to grab a pair. Unfortunately some people have indeed lost there lives and it was over shoes. Was it really worth it? The controversy that lies with this is that the creator of the shoes, Michael Jordan, has yet to talk about it, and it’s something that has been occuring since 1989. People believe that with how much of an idol Jordan is, he should speak up on the crazy actions. Members of other basketball teams have expressed their opinions on other controversial topics but Jordan is one to keep his mouth shut. Because of this, people assume that he is greedy and does not care for consumer’s safety.

The whole issue on whether Michael Jordan should speak up is almost absurd. From the beginning of his career, Jordan has not made any type of statements towards political or social views. Although this does tie in with him as they are his shoes that are causing people’s lives, I do not believe Jordan will want to make a statement on it. It is almost smart of him to not make any comments as there are two ways people would react; either they love it or they hate it. By not having a comment on it, I believe people have to almost ‘interpret’ or assume how he feels but I guess we will never actually know. Also, although the shoes have his name as the branding, I do not think that it is necessarily his fault. The fault lies more with the company for always simply coming out with ‘limited edition’ shoes that are not also hard to get, but hard to pay for. It is defineitly all profit from the manufacturer’s side but we will never really know from Jordan’s side.

HOMESCHOOLING

Homeschooling has always been an issue as there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages. There’s also a lot of ways to go about homeschooling so it really is different depending on the family/learning style. I personally believe that homeschool is a good alternative for certain students. I have some friends who have gotten very sick throughout the school year and resorted to homeschooling in order to not fall behind in the grade. He said that he did fine and that he already had friends from previous years of public school so it never felt like he was felt out. I have another friend who opted to homeschooling as she had a lot of anxiety while being in a traditional public school. She felt like she had too much pressure on her from assignments and presentations so she asked her parents if it was possible for her to do homeschooling. She also did not feel left out as she had friends from previous years of public school and she also took dancing classes, which counted as her extra curriculum in her later life.

In the article, they stated four main negative points and one personal (also negative) point. The first one was extra curriculum and the fact that these homeschooled students are ‘missing out’. As I stated previously, my friend took dance classes and was also in girls’ scouts. So she did have extra curriculums to participate in and it was enough for her. My other friend did not take up any extra curriculums but at the same time, he never really planned to. Instead, he worked in his free time and he really enjoyed it. The second point was that they had an “inability to grasp difficult subject materials”. This holds true if you do not have the proper teacher/tutor and if you do not put the effort to study. As long as you try like you usual would in a traditional class, these students will be fine. The third one talked of the lack of social skills which I also do not believe in. As long as the student regularly goes out and tries to engage with their friends, they will be fine. It’s all a matter of whether the student tries or not. The last point talks about how the students lose the opportunity to gain a mentor that helps them/inspires them. Honestly, this could be anyone, you can always find someone to be inspired by, it does not necessarily have to be a teacher. I personally do not have any teachers from my previous years that have inspired me, but I do have other public figures that I do look up to.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOL

Corporal punishment in schools has been occurring for some time now but some parents believe that it should be implemented in more states. As of April 2015, there are nineteen states that use corporal punishment in schools (Gundersen National Child Protection Training Agency). Although there are advantages and disadvantages, I feel like the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. 

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Minimum Drinking Age

In the article, the author believes that the minimum legal drinking age should NOT be lowered. They listed 6 very good and clear reasons as to why the legal drinking age should still be at twenty one years old. Most of the facts included statistics like how “76% of bars have sold alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons,” and “100 of the 102 analyses (98%) in a 2002 meta-study of the legal drinking age and traffic accident found higher legal drinking ages associated with lower rates of traffic accidents.” Overall the article kind of talked about how people who are older are more developed and more responsible with drinking and thus the drinking age should not be lowered. But isn’t the high (well not necessarily high, 21 is higher than 18) drinking age kind of causing a stigma for younger people wanting to drink?
I believe that the legal drinking age for the United States of America should be eighteen years old. If men are required to draft in the army at eighteen and people at eighteen are able to vote, I believe they should also have the right to drink. United States already changed the age limit for voting rights back in the Vietnam War (1970s) so it allowed drafted men to be able to choose which president were running their country. I believe that If the United States were able to change the voting age, why couldn’t they change the drinking age? It is also a fact that in many other countries, the drinking age is fact eighteen years old. Although the age is younger, there is not too many drinking incidents in these countries. I believe that since the United States has the age so high, it causes younger people to be more reckless with underage drinking. I also believe that when you are eighteen, you become an adult. You should be able to take charge of yourself and also take responsibility for yourself.

Pledge of Allegiance

The pledge of allegiance has always been a huge topic as it includes the phrase “under God.” Many people believe that by including that phrase, it goes against the principle of separation between church and state. Although the pledge of allegiance is very short and quick it is actually a law in at over forty states. The people who have the most issues with this is atheists as they believe that they should not be required to say the phrase. But when you do not say the phrase, many people will see you as unpatriotic or un-American. If not saying the pledge of allegiance is unpatriotic, is that the same as saying that those who do not believe in God are also unpatriotic? Although there may be other factors as to why people do not like the pledge of allegiance, this article mainly focuses on the use of “under God.” It even states that “all lawsuits to date have asked the courts to eliminate the phrase ‘under God.’”

I think that the pledge of allegiance should not be mandatory in schools. It’s not even the whole separation between church and states that bother me, but rather I believe that people should be able to say and do what they want as long as it does not harm others. I believe Virginia is one of the states that does not force their students to say the pledge (or at least my high school did not force me) and I like it that way. I know some people may see that not reciting the pledge as ‘unpatriotic’ but why does it really matter whether a person is patriotic or not. We live in the United States, a country that looks upon freedom and individuality. I would rather have freedom of speech and freedom of religion rather than seem very ‘patriotic’ about a country that wants you to recite a 30 second pledge.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a policy that allows minorities to not face discrimination. There has been quite a few cases against affirmative action as people believed that its an “outdated, ineffective, and unfair” policy. The case of Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas (Austin) is one of the newer cases. Abigail Fisher as a high school senior who applied to University of Texas and was declined and she believed the school discriminated against her because she is white. She came to this conclusion when she found out that minorities who had lower grades than her were getting accepted.

I personally believe that affirmative action is a tricky topic. In my case I think affirmative action does work for me because I am a minority, so it allows me to get into schools so they can have a diverse campus. The only time I believe it is unfair is if the school’s only use race to decide who gets into a school. In the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, I believe that the school was in the right. The school stated that there were minority people with lower grades that got accepted BUT there were also minorities with the same grade as her that did not get accepted. I’m not sure if Abigail was aware, but factors like essays, extracurriculars, and more are also a factor to what gets you into college, not just grades and race. I personally have minority friends who had the same GPA as me (which was not the absolute best) but they did not get into the schools which I did get into to. This was mainly due to them not having the best essays and/or having low amounts of extracurricular activities (I took A LOT of extracurriculars and my topics for my essays tended to be something interesting from my parents’ immigration story to my story of lupus).

Children and Gender

As the LGBTQ+ community is growing rapidly in the United States, people are becoming more and more opened to their gender identity. It’s not only adults who are opening up but children as well. States like California and New York are more friendly to the LGBTQ+ community but California is going to the extent of trying to pass a bill (AB 1266) which “requires all public schools to allows youths to choose which gender-segregated facilities and activities fit their ‘identity’”. This bill also allows students, under eighteen, to choose which sports teams they want to join, what bathrooms they want to use, and what locker rooms they want to use. This bill is currently waiting to be signed into a law by California Governor Jerry Brown.

Although this bill has good intentions (justice for underage LGBTQ members). A lot of people see it as a downfall. As the article stated, and 8th grade teacher thought that they bill “sounds like a nightmare, especially for girls.” She went on about how younger boys are immature and might try to use the bill to their advantage. She also believed that the “law would enforce disaster.” The article also talks of how in Europe, there are countries that already have co-ed locker/changing rooms. The reason why this seems to work for them is because there is a law includes protection in the case of sexual harassment or molestation. Unlike Europe, California is not making any law to prevent those cases.

My personal stance is that the bill would be fine if they included a law to prevent sexual harassment or molestation. It just that by opening the gates to let anyone choose what they want to do, it may cause chaos. I personally have a few transgendered friends who had to face difficulties of trying to decide which bathroom to use. I know that they would not misuse that type of law, but there are always people who can be unpredictable.

No more standardized tests

In Virginia, students in grades three to twelve have to take a form of standardized tests called the Virginia SOL’s. Other forms of standardized tests include Advanced Placement (AP) tests, Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), and American College Testing (ACT). These tests are hurtful to classes as they disrupt the flow of the school system. In the article, one of the disadvantages included “Puts Teachers in a Box.” I have a friend who told me that her friend, who is a teacher, claims that she hates standardized tests as although she wants to teach certain things, the standardized tests restrict her. The kids also think she is mean as she has to teach all the curriculum to the SOL’s in a rushed manner. This is due to the fact that the curriculum includes a lot of subjects that need to be taught in the matter of 8 months.

Another point stated was that the standardized test include “An Inaccurate Judgement” on students.” There are certain students, like myself, who do not do well on tests but they accelerate in normal class work. I feel like the stress of testing puts a negative mood on students and most students feel like if they fail their standardized tests, they did not do well in the class. The questions on the tests also cause stress as sometimes they do not line with the curriculum. For instance, some teachers might teach a certain class a certain and it might not necessarily line up with the tests. Also when students feel like they do not understand a certain question it might put a negative impact to their minds as they feel like they cannot answer it.

Standardized testing also “inspires cheating” as students feel like they have to achieve the best score possible. There is so much pressure and competition to get perfect scores on the test that some people will do whatever they want to get good grades.

Charlie Sheen, NOT an activist

Charlie Sheen is such an iconic person in the Hollywood world as he has done so much crazy things, his whole reputation is not the best. Sheen gained a lot of popularity back on the T.V show Two and a Half men and as his popularity grew, he got caught in a lot of sex and drug scandals. After the crazy ride, he topped all his scandals when he said that he was HIV positive. After that, Sheen claims that he’s trying to become and HIV activist but with all his bad reputation, I am not too sure he can do it. Although there have been cases where celebrities have gone to rehab and completely changed for the better, I do not think it is the same in Charlie Sheen’s case. Even after rehab, Charlie Sheen has continuously been caught and more and more scandals. The latest with this self-proclaimed HIV activist is that he gave unsafe, inaccurate medication to a man. Although Sheen claims that it worked for him, the protocol for this medication was completely wrong and should have not been done in the first place. By giving the bad medication to the man, he ended up causing the man’s death.

I understand that Charlie Sheen wants to become this better man but I just cannot take him serious after all that he’s done in his life. He has repeatedly messed up and although he keeps trying, he also keeps failing. I think the best thing for Sheen to do is to probably lay low for a while. He’s constantly been in the headlines and it’s never really been for anything good. I believe that if Sheen were to step down from his crazy Hollywood life, and actually try to better himself, then maybe he can try to become and activist.