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margoa

  • Photography

    Gun Control, Where Are We One Year After Parkland?

    Roughly a year ago on February 14, 2018, Stoneman Majority Douglas High School was under attack by Nicolas Cruz for about 7 minutes. The outcome resulted in 17 casualties, many more injuries, and the spark of a movement that has lit wildfires of fear and passion for gun control across the United States. So, one year later, what has changed? Over the year, attention towards the desperate need for gun control has made the public more involved than ever. In multiple states, gun control policies were updated and strengthened.

    In California, specifically in the wake of the Thousand Oaks bar shooting, the minimum age of which guns could be sold to was upped from 18 to 21. Another bill was passed that made it so any person with a history or record of domestic violence is barred from owning any kind of firearm.

    In Illinois, the waiting period for when a person will receive a gun has jumped from 24 hours to 72 hours. This is especially important because it usually takes 3 days for petty anger to wear off, or for an argument to be worked out. This increase in waiting time can prevent future casualties.

    In Oregon, a trend had been for reported abusers to not get married, and thus still be allowed to own firearms in the ‘boyfriend loophole’. The original law made it so married abusers could not own firearms, but by not being married, these abusers could still own their weapons. The new law took care of this ‘boyfriend loophole’, granting safety to many people in the state who might feel unable to leave an abusive situation.

    In Washington State, the age limit for buying semi-automatic rifles increased from 18 to 21. Starting in July, the state will also pass new safety gun storage laws and background checks from law enforcement.

    On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the House of Representatives passed significant gun control regulations, that requires background checks on all firearm sales in the United States. Another term for this that you might be familiar with is Universal Background Checks. That’s right, it finally happened. The vote still has to move to the Senate where it is unlikely to pass, but it is a huge step in the right direction.  

    One year ago, there was a lot of uncertainty about whether the March For Our Lives movement would amount to anything. And one year later, I think I can say that it has made a very good impact. There is still a long way to go on the road of gun control in the United States, but this movement has made its case, and won’t be leaving until their demands are met.

  • Poem

    Roots

    Roots

     

    My roots are

    Grounded in

    Generations of women

    Readying the battlefield.

    Women who were

    Hurt

    Abused

    And those same women who

    Rose and

    Grew.

     

    My stem supported by

    Mothers and

    Grandmothers.

    The same women who would

    Drop anything

    To save everything.

    By women sitting on the

    Sills of closed windows,

    And women of the past who

    Ran away.

     

    My leaves are sheltered by

    Strong women who

    Fight for their family’s

    Name.

    By women who put up with

    Injustice and prejudice

    So their children may

    Live a better life than

    Them.

    By women who throw themselves into

    A new world with no

    Knowledge of even the

    Language or

    Culture.

     

    My petals are painted by

    My grandmother’s delicate paintbrush.

    Adjusting pigment and

    Adding water.

    Diluting the tones

    And always making sure the image

    Is strong

    And understood.

     

    Doctors, lawyers,

    Activists

    And an almost architect.

    Painters and nurses and

    Engineers and

    Stay at home mothers.

    All powerful.

    All strong.

    All helping me

    Grow into

    What I am meant

    To become.

  • School

    How to study for the ACT / SAT

    Junior year is considered the hardest year and most juniors’ biggest stress is studying for the ACT or the SAT. Now, for most standardized tests, the best way to prepare is simply to practice. This article is here to help you guide yourself for studying for the ACT / SAT and to give some guidance on preparation.

    First, assess your current situation. Have you taken the test yet? If yes, then you know your starting point and what you’re trying to build off of. If you have not taken the test of your choice yet, then take a deep breath and remind yourself that you have many times in the future to take the test over again. You probably have plenty of time to study and prepare.

    Second, sign up for your test. Most of the time, the sign-up deadline is roughly a month away from the test date. This would be a good time to either: purchase a practice test book or find a good practice program online. I know that Khan Academy provides a good SAT practice program, and many people have given good reviews with inspiring scores. Any old practice book will work also. You can easily buy one at a bookstore.

    Third, set up a practice schedule. If you don’t think you will need to study that much, then limit yourself to only 20-30 practice problems every few days. If you don’t think you’re going to do very well, then I would recommend 25 practice problems a day. With this schedule, you can easily finish a practice test in a couple of days.  If you record your answers on a separate sheet of paper, you can retake the same test and avoid buying another book after finishing it.

    Fourth, make sure to check your work. Most practice booklets have an answer key at the end of each test and explain each answer. Read the descriptions of why things are right! It helps to build connections and will strengthen your smarts on why a certain answer is right.

    Note: Standardized tests L O V E short and concise answers. If you’re in the English / reading portion of your test and it asks for a replacement statement, go with the most concise answer.

    Fifth, its the day before the test. On this day, don’t do any practice! You have been working so hard for the past month or so, and before the big day, you need a break. Make sure to print out your ticket, and have the directions for your testing center. Pack your bag with what you plan to bring to the test, eat a nutritious dinner, and go to bed early. I don’t mean wildly early, just enough so that you can get 7-8 hours of sleep.

    The next morning, wake up early enough to eat a good breakfast. Not just a pop tart. Get some protein and carbs so you have the brain energy to make it through all of the test. Leave your home early enough to reach your testing center with a few minutes of extra time to find your testing room and settle in. Before the test, take a deep breath and remember all the practice you have done. You are ready to conquer the ACT / SAT!

  • Articles

    Back To School – Women’s Education

    Back To School – Women’s Education

    In honor of back to school, I thought it would be nice to put things in the overall big picture of women’s education.

    See, education for women is actually pretty new, if you take a look at history. And even today it isn’t universal. We still have women campaigning for the right to an education in their country, such as Malala Yousafszi. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the names of the wonderful women from years past who fought for our right to learn. So, get ready for some fantastic women who helped fight for women’s education in the U.S. who mostly go below the radar.

    First up, we have Patsy Mink. When Mink was unable to go to law school and unable to get a job (both on the basis for being a woman), she dove into politics and worked hard and long for Title IX. After Title IX passed, opportunities in education opened up to millions of women in the United States.

    Fun Fact Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected to Congress.

    Secondly, there’s Fanny Jackson Coppin. After Coppin was freed from slavery, she became one of the first women of color to earn a college degree. She then worked for 40 years as a principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia. As the Civil War came to an end, Coppin made it her life’s goal and mission to education many former slaves that were migrating to the north. Her work was some of the very beginning in the fight for equal education.

    Last, but definitely not least, is the Catholic Nuns. Catholic Nuns, through their education programs, moved millions of poor immigrants into the middle class. They were (and are still considered to be) the educators of the marginalized. They pushed women towards higher education, ran a nationwide system of schools, and had an overall enormous impact on education in the United States.

     

    Thanks to these people, women’s education has really taken off, and we have the opportunities today that wouldn’t have even been a dream 100 years ago. Clearly, this is not the end of the list. So many women have helped campaign for women’s education worldwide; too many people to name. So, keep these women in mind as you collect your books and pack your bag. Equal education has come a long way, we sure have a lot to be grateful for!

     

    Want to read more about people that helped women’s education ? –

    Women’s History Month: These Female Trailblazers Changed American Education For You and Your Kids. Do You Know Their Names?

  • Book Review, Books

    Fluent Forever – Book Review

    This is a fascinating, enriching book that teaches the reader how to teach themselves a foreign language. It explains how the brain works and retains information in an interesting, attention-grabbing way. The author uses several funny anecdotes about his journey in language learning, and how it shaped his own life. At first glance, it seems boring or uninteresting, but I was unable to put the book down. 9.5/10

  • Poem, Poems

    Earth’s Personalities

    Earth’s Personalities

    slowly, the dreary wintry songs fade away.
    The rose bush blooms,
    and my porch is dusted in yellow.
    mother nature dances in the air,
    waiting.

    green leaves grow, and the heat sets in.
    the day is longer, and the stars watch
    our impulsive late night walks.
    adventures dacne in our heads,
    making us infinate.

    softly, the leaves turn,
    and the wind blows a new scent
    that brings us back to our books.
    the leaves are dancing and singing
    with every color they know.

    the last leaf unknowing falls,
    and the sun sleeps in.
    the air has a new chill that
    nips my nose and pinches my cheeks.
    and slowly, the dreary wintry songs resume.

  • School

    Female Education Across The Globe

    Girls Around the World Need a Complete Education

    In the United States and other first world countries, it can be tempting for people to say things like, “Why do women need empowerment? They already have their rights.” Well, maybe. That in itself is another discussion. But, that statement does not acknowledge the many places where women and girls do not have the same rights. One of the easiest ways to see this is through girls’ education across the globe.

    Nearly 130 million girls are out of school, for varying reasons. A few of the many reasons are:

    • Wars and Conflict: In areas of conflict, it is very hard for anyone to go to school, honestly. However, women and girls are more vulnerable. They are nearly 90% more likely to not be in secondary school, in contrast to areas of peace.
    • Child Marriage: When girls are married off at the young ages of 13 and 14, their education comes to a halt.
      Twelve years of education for a girl results in a 64% decrease in child marriages, and completing secondary school can prevent early pregnancy.
    • Health: While health does affect everyone, girls without an education are at a higher risk for STDs, early pregnancy, and other health complications. If all girls could receive 12 full years of education, the world would see a huge decrease in early childbirths (nearly 59%,) and a steep decline in child death (about 49%).

    “Secondary education for girls can transform communities, countries and our world. It is an investment in economic growth, a healthier workforce, lasting peace and the future of our planet.” – Malala Yousafzai

     

    Statistics and information found on: malala.org
    Fund, Malala. “Learning for 12 Years. Leading without Fear.” The Malala Fund, www.malala.org/.