Dongyuan Chen

Dongyuan Chen (Carson)

English 1110.01 MWF 9:10-10:05

Instructor: Cathy Ryan

Assignment: Dalkey

February 19, 2017

Hubert Selby Jr.

Hubert Selby Jr. is a highly respected non-mainstream novelist of the United States after the second world war, known as the contemporary “Henry Miller”. His started gaining fame in 1964 with the publication of his novel ” Last Exit to Brooklyn”. Because it was regarded as an an obscene publication, the novel has been prosecuted and banned in the United States and Britain. However, the novel, as an classic work of the “Beat generation”, has been gradually catching on in private, and the poet Alan Ginsberg called it like “a bomb” that will spread for at least a hundred years. But Selby’s own style of life is far from the characters in his novels. He later created many novels and films, and he taught at the University of Southern California before his death. Purcell died on April 26 at the age of 75 years. His “dream of the Requiem” has also been adapted into a classic movie.

 

Hubert Selby Jr.’s most popular works include:

  • Last Exit to Brooklyn (novel, 1964)
  • The Room (novel, 1971)
  • The Demon (novel, 1976)
  • Requiem for a Dream (novel, 1978)
  • Song of the Silent Snow (short stories, 1986)[7]
  • The Willow Tree (novel, 1998)
  • Waiting Period (novel, 2002)

 

I know him before just because the movie “Requiem for a Dream”, which was released in 2000.

The movie tells a story about a pair of mother and son in a poor neighborhood in the United States. Son Harry is a loser, indulging in television and chocolate with loneliness. To “pursue a better life”, he was infected with drug addiction. He loves a lovely but addictive woman Marion, but he still can’t get a happy life in the normal way. Then he decided to take the risk, and his girlfriend and friends together, with the sale of heroin for making considerable amount of money. Unfortunately, this dream inevitably broke later, then he and his wife lived with much spiritual and physical suffering. His mother has been elder, more obese and sloppier. One day, she received a call from a television station, said she wanted to participate in the production of a program. She thought she can start her “TV star” dream, but she found she can no wear that red clothe which had brought her proud. She began to swallow the diet pants crazily. In this way, all the main characters in the film are drowning in the dependence of drugs. Their dream has been farther and farther away from them. This movie has greatly shocked me and inspired me to read the original novel written by Hubert Selby Jr. I can feel completely depressed and desperate when reading the novel. The psychological description in the book should really be one of its highlight, pointing out the so called “dreams” are just “virtual things” that do not really exist.  He is not famous just because he focuses too much on the dark side of things, while people prefer to read “hope” in books. For me, I really love his style of writing.

 

 

 

Maris Corzine

Marisa Corzine (Maris)

English 1110.01 MWF 9:10-10:05

Instructor: Cathy Ryan

Assignment: Dalkey

February 19, 2017

Samuel R. Delany

Samuel R. Delany is an American science-fiction novelist and critic who’s work reflects social, racial, and sexual issues, heroic quests, and the nature of language. In this interview with K. Leslie Steiner, they discuss his recent book, Silent Interviews (Dalkey Press). This book discourages personal interviews, and is restricted to written interviews. Delany claims the purpose of a written interview is to find out what the interviewee thinks about what matters, and therefore makes the interview more “concise and efficient” (Delany).  He also talks about the questions he likes to receive and the ones he does not like.

Delany was born on April 1, 1942 in New York, New York. Delany has identified himself as bisexual since adolescence. His first marriage was to another woman named Marylyn Hacker who knew his sexual preferences and later identified herself as a lesbian after their divorce. Delany became a science fiction author by the age of 20 and finished his first novel, The Jewels of Aptor, after he dropped out of the City College of New York at age 19. Later, he published nine science fiction novels between 1962 and 1968, and two prize-winning short stories. Delany has continued to write many different pieces up to 2012 such as short stories, comic book strips, and more novels. Listed below are many of his works.

Novels

  • The Jewels of Aptor (1962)
  • Captives of the Flame (1963)
  • The Towers of Toron (1964)
  • City of a Thousand Suns (1965)
  • The Ballad of Beta-2 (1965)
  • Empire Star (1966)
  • Babel-17 (1966)
  • The Einstein Intersection (1967)
  • Nova (1968)
  • The Tides of Lust (1973)
  • Dhalgren (1975)
  • Triton (1976)
  • Empire (1978)
  • Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (1984)
  • They Fly at Ciron (1993)
  • The Mad Man (1994)
  • Hogg (1995)
  • Phallos (novella) (2004)
  • Dark Reflections (2007)
  • Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders (2012)
  • Return to Neveryon Series (1979-1987)

Short Stories

  • “The Star Pit” (1967)
  • “Dog in a Fisherman’s Net” (1971)
  • “Corona” (1967)
  • “Driftglass” (1967)
  • “We, in Some Strange Power’s Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line” (1968)
  • “Cage of Brass” (1968)
  • “High Bier” (1968)
  • “time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones” (1968)
  • “Night and the Loves of Joe Dicostanzo” (1970)
  • “Prismatica” (1977)
  • “Empire Star” (1966)
  • “Omegahelm” (1981)
  • “Ruins” (1981)
  • “Among the Blobs” (1988)
  • “Citre et Trans” (1993)
  • “Erik, Gwen, and D.H. Lawrence’s Esthetic of Unrectified Feeling” (1993)
  • “Atlantis: Model 1924” (1995)
  • “Tapestry” (2003)
  • “The Desert of Time” (1992)
  • “In The Valley of the Nest of Spiders” (2007)

If I had the opportunity to interview the author Samuel R Delany, I would ask him “Do you plan to conduct the rest of your interviews through written interviews?” In the interview with K. Leslie Steiner, he tells her he values written interviews because he is a writer. Being able to write “slows the thought processes down to where one can follow them and elaborate them”. Therefore, I believe he would say yes to this question because it creates a more meaningful, deeper interview, and he will know the interviewer has strong interest in his work. If someone wants to truly find out the person he is, they should interview him through writing. Another question I would ask him is “Should media turn towards written interviews?”. Based off the interview, I believe Delany would say yes to this question, because he believes you can discover the best information through writing because it is consisted of elaborated thoughts. Interviews would become valuable through written interviews.

I chose this author because the interview conducted by K. Leslie Steiner really caught my eye. I thought it was interesting to see why he valued written interviews. Delany values written interviews because it allows the interviewer and the interviewee think seriously about the topic. Writing allows them to break down and elaborate on their thoughts, making it easier to understand the person being interviewed. Personal interviews have the purpose of proposing unsuspected and embarrassing questions. Interviews are meant to discover valuable information, people want to know, and the best way to do that is writing it. Delany’s purpose for written interviews makes perfect sense to me.

Researching Samuel R Delany, I have found many websites giving useful information on this author. Listed below are the sites I have found.

The sites listed below give further information on Delany’s life and the works he has created. On the first given link, there are a list of all of Delany’s work, with summaries for each writing. It also provides a list of awards Delany has received over his career. The second link provides more information on Delany’s biography.

Hallie Atwell

Hallie Atwell

English 1110.01, MWF 9:10—10:05

Professor: Cathy Ryan

Assignment: Dalkey Archive

February 20, 2017

John Hawkes

            John Hawkes was a postmodern American novelist who received his education from Harvard University. In his interview with Patrick O’Donnell, he talked about meeting the teacher from this college who soon became his “mentor-teacher” and “mentor-publisher,” Albert Guerard. With this teacher, Hawkes completed his first work of fiction The Cannibal.  Although this was his first published novel, it was The Lime Twig, published twelve years later, that turned peoples’ attention to the author. However, Hawkes first began his writing career as an inexperienced poet, with a couple his poems published in The Harvard Advocate; he mainly wrote his poems about romantic notions of World War II in response to his fear of dying in the war. Soon thereafter, he shifted from writing poetry to fiction upon finding his passion for prose literature and the ability to write fiction better than the authors whom his wife influenced him to read. After hearing much debate at the time, Hawkes believed that fiction had taken over much of the function of poetry.

John Hawkes most popular works include:

This website, John Hawkes, provides a brief overview of these popular works of the author listed above, along with a portrait of the author and a link to online websites where these works can be bought or rented. I chose to write about John Hawkes because his interview with Patrick O’Donnell depicted him as different from some of the other authors. It first stuck out to me that he was a writer of fiction, the most appealing and interesting genre that I enjoy to read. He also mentioned an exercise in his freshman year of English at Harvard that he continued to use for years; this exercise was the “character sketch” that our class was able to experience in the beginning of the semester. This connection to John Hawkes was the deciding factor of the subject of my Dalkey essay.

If I had the opportunity to interview John Hawkes, I would first ask him what made him become a writer if he was not a model student to begin with. In his interview, Hawkes states that “life is a constantly terrifying mystery as well as a beautiful, unpredictable, marvelous thing.” Therefore, I believe his response would have been that fiction allowed him to create life in his own point of view with his powerful imagination in ways that have never been seen before. Also in his interview Hawkes states that upon reading a book his wife suggested, he “didn’t like it, and suddenly thought [he] could write something better.” With this, I would have been curious as to why he thought so and asked him. I predict his response would have been similar to this: His strong creativity and constant fear of life, mentioned in the interview, led him to become quizzical and skeptic and therefore a strong factor in his composition. Combined with his fear of dying and the inability to accept the idea of being humans and alive, Hawkes completed his works with these vexatious thoughts in mind; this allowed his works to be compelling and intense, breaking away from the traditional limitations of fiction and portraying his answers to the questions that frequently crossed his mind.

 

 

Haley Evans

Angela Carter

I chose to write about Angela Carter. I recognized the name of this author but didn’t clearly know who it was. After reading the first couple of sentences of her conversation with Anna Katsavos I quickly learned she was a down-to-earth, friendly, humorous, writer and mother. This sparked my interest with her, and made me overall chose her.

Angela Carter was born on May 7, 1940 in Sussex, England. She attended the University of Bristol where she obtained a degree in English with a specially in medieval literature. Angela published her first novel at the age of 26, Shadow Dance. She would publish three more novels before she began to work as a reporter in Japan for three years. Angela started to publish short stories in 1974 when she published, Fireworks. She started writing for New Society, about a year after this. Angela wrote critical work and taught at Brown University starting in the late 1970s. Angela’s last novel was, Wise Children, published in 1991. Unfortunately, this was the same year she was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away in 1992, at 52 years old.

Angela Carter published many pieces of writing throughout her life. These pieces include,

  • Shadow Dance (1966)
  • The Magic Toyshop (1967)
  • Several Perceptions (1968)
  • Heroes and Villains (1969)
  • Love (1971)
  • The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972)
  • The Sadeian Woman (1978)
  • The Bloody Chamber (1979)
  • Nothing Sacred (1982)
  • Nights at the Circus (1984)
  • Black Venus (1985)
  • Come unto These Yellow Sands: Four Radio Plays. (1985)
  • The Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1990)
  • Wise Children (1991)

For more information on Angela Carter:

Kaitlyn Evans

Felipe Alfau

Felipe Alfau was not your normal writer. In fact, he believed he was not a professional writer at all. Ironically, Felipe comes from a family with lots of journalist, translators, and people that devoted their life to the art of writing. He never wanted money for his work and was never interested in writing professionally. Felipe considered himself just like your average man with a wife and a daughter. He became known as a writer when he first submitting Locos to a New York Times Publisher for financial reasons. Felipe’s first language was Spanish. He was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1902. In 1916, he moved to the United States when he was only fourteen-years-old. He quickly picked up English as his second language. He spent over seventy years of his life in the United States. He received a Catholic education, but remained skeptical about afterlife. In his last years of life, Felipe resided in a retirement home. As an elder, Felipe still sees his life as having nothing out of the ordinary and knew he was ready to leave his life. Overall, Felipe was a stubborn and traditional man.

Felipe Alfau has written numerous stories and criticism pieces. A lot of his work is lost; however, because he did not consider himself a professional writer and did not want his work showcased. Some of his most famous works include but are not limited to,

  • Locos (1936)
  • Chromos (1990)
  • Le Café des fous (1990)
  • Sentimental Songs (1992)
  • Cuentos Espanoles de Antano (1995)

Cites to visit about Felipe and more on his works,

It is interesting to note that all the works listened above besides for Chromos were originally written in English. However, some of his works in Spanish were from when Felipe was only eighteen-years-old. He wrote music criticism for a newspaper called La Presna. He believed writing in English was easier to convey his message and bring two cultures together. His works were about the things in life he had passion for.

If I had a conversation with Felipe Alfau, I would ask him why he didn’t consider himself a professional writer when he wrote all his life. He would respond that he doesn’t consider himself a professional writer because he’s not one. In an interview Alfau said about himself that “it was better when nobody cared. Some people think I am a celebrity, but I don’t even understand what that means.” He would say he writes because it’s his passion. It’s how he connects his life in Spain to his life in the United States. Following that question, I would ask him, why did you write pieces so much in your later life that became published? Felipe would respond that he got bored because he’s been in a nursing home for a long time. He even said, “I see myself as an old man ready for death, ready for rest.” That the people in the nursing home were crazy and writing keeps him sain. And “perhaps because [his work] didn’t belong to the culture climate of the past, but they fit into the present.” Lastly, I would ask why he doesn’t consider his life ordinary? Felipe would say there is nothing ordinary about his life and say that his life is “a waste of time.”

Felipe Alfau was a very intriguing man. He was not your average human being even though he saw himself that way. He did not consider himself a professional writer and never wanted to be a professional writer. Felipe brought the culture of Spain and the United States together through his writing, which made him so unique. He wrote because it was his passion. He was just a stubborn and traditional family man that found himself in the spotlight when he needed a little extra cash.

Dongyuan Chen

Filial piety

In China, “filial piety” has long been a Chinese traditional virtue recognized by the public, and I also show respect for this word all the time. My understanding of this word is more of children showing heartfelt gratitude to everything that their parents have done for them. Of course, what I respect is the heartfelt gratitude and what I agree with is children’s repaying their parents’ love. However, nowadays, “filial piety” is misinterpreted by many people and turned to burdens enforced on children. Moreover, some parents may even force their children to do something in the name of filial piety; some parents may compel their children to totally comply with their will to achieve their expectations in the name of the debt of raising children up. To this regard, I do not agree with the so-called traditional virtue of “filial piety”.

All the parents should be responsible for taking a new life to this world. They should not use sayings like “I gave birth to you” to force their children to do what their children are unwilling to do. In that case, it is a brutal act and a kind of moral kidnapping. It is not necessarily a good thing for children that they were brought to this world. They are exposed to this colorful and wonderful world, but in the meantime, they also have to suffer all kinds of pains in this world. Besides, we can not view things from a unilateral perspective. When parents bring children to this world, children also bring about happiness, pleasure, sense of pride and even sense of achievement to their parents.

In my opinion, every child is his or her parents’ “work” and he or she may have something similar to parents or becomes someone that the parents expect him or her to be. But it does not mean that I am in favor of some parents’ behaviors, such as going against children’s will and asking them to do something they don’t want to do. Certainly, at first, children know little about this world, so parents should impart knowledge, correct values, view of thought and world view to children as well as tell them some living skills. Then it is inevitable that during the process, some problems and conflicts may occur, which proves the existence of children’s natural instincts. You may have a doubt—why do so many fierce conflicts take place between parents and children from time to time?  It is not contradictory. When children were little, some parents did not help children form correct values, or we can lower our standard, some parents did not impart their own values to their children. What’s worse, when children were in their childhood, the communication between children and parent was very little, so it is nothing strange that children’s thoughts are different from parents’. Now children have grown up and their thoughts run counter to parents’ will, parents cried out that their children no longer follow their directions. Why? Why should children obey their parents who fail to well educate them? Do those parents ever reflect on themselves? At this time, parents will usually give sayings such as “I am your parent”, which seemingly makes sense, but I think those sayings are feeble and futile, and I feel lamentable for them.

Let’s get back to the word of “filial piety”, which is a pseudo-proposition at first. Every life is independent. Children did nothing, so why should they support their parents for dozens of years? Some parents may say: “Why? I raise my child up for twenty years!” Children owe parents nothing. Parents bring children to this world and raise the children of their own accord. No one pushes them to do this. “Then how about us? Can our children really leave us alone?” It depends on parents. If parents provide superior and comfortable growing environment and the warmth of a family to their children, as well as support children to grow up happily and healthily, I am sure that the children will be kind to their parents, which is true dependency and affections. Children love their parents, so they genuinely want to repay their parents. If their parents do not live a good life, they will feel uncomfortable, which is human’s instinct, but not the so-called kinship or patriarchal clan ties. Using kinship or clan ties to bind people is really unreasonable. Therefore, I show no compassion for the poor elderly who use legal provisions to force their children to fulfill the obligation of support. An effect presupposes a cause. All the results come from seeds planted by those parents at the very beginning.

In addition, nowadays, many parents regard children as everything in their own life. In my opinion, that is why the saying of bringing up sons to support parents in their old age exists. In parents’ eyes, they devote themselves to raising their children up, so it is for sure that their children should treat them in the same way when they are old. If their children leave them alone, what I want to tell them is, “You deserve it. You yourselves ask for it. No one ever pushes you. You certainly live your own life. You make every decision on your own.” Therefore, I beg to differ with those sayings like “My whole life is occupied by my child.”

I won’t interfere in others’ life. But if I am a parent, my child will only be a part of my life, but not my whole life. If conditions permit (I refer to economic condition), on the premise of fulfilling my obligation of raising my child, I will still continue what I like to do, such as traveling, reading and to be together with people I love. There are too many novel and wonderful things to be done in this world. Therefore, in my mind, those empty-nest elderly are really very poor. They reply on others, but once others leave them, they have nothing. The same is true when it comes to the relation between lovers.

Moreover, if children do not contact their parents, there are nothing but following reasons: the children do not miss their parents at all, which show that the parent-child emotion is not deep. So is it true that the parents have nothing to do with such a situation? Or maybe the children live happily. Shouldn’t parents feel happy in this case? If it is not above two reasons, maybe the children encounter some difficulties, but they don’t want to discuss with their parents. Isn’t this their parents’ problem? Or there are someone who can provide suggestions to the children, so shouldn’t their parents feel happy? If their parents are not happy, that means their parents are selfish.

Life should be mastered by everyone. Children have their own life. Parents bind their children by using ethical traditions and give them the sense of guilt. Then such parents are still very selfish. Everyone may live a life for about several decades. In the first over twenty years, children cannot totally make their own decisions on their own. If the rest of their life should still be controlled by parents, that is too pathetic. It would be best that if children can persuade their parents, but if they cannot, forget about it and follow their hearts. People should be grateful, but should not make concessions without bottom line.

From my perspective, modern society should no longer advocate so-called “filial piety”, especially blind filial piety. Parenting should not be a debt of gratitude, while filial piety is not an obligation. Instead, “filial piety” in traditional sense can be replaced by love. We have no obligation to be filial, but we can show love for our families.

 

 

Andrew Vonderhaar

The United States of Polarization

For starters, I don’t care if you’re a Republican. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat. I don’t care about your political affiliation at all.

Of course, I will always support your right to choose what political standards you believe, with my final breath. But at the end of the day, you’re an American. When the United States Constitution was signed in 1787, there were no political parties. It was settled with the ideals of a country united. A country run for the people, by the people, strongly opposing any form of totalitarianism and monarchy.

This nation, in all its honor, was the first ever in time to create the voter-based political parties. Beginning with the Federalists and Anti-Federalists (Democratic-Republican Party), which were divided based upon beliefs in political issues. As the nation grew stronger, more developed and powerful, the party system did as well. Over time, the parties morphed into what we know them as today: The Republican Party, Democratic Party, as well as several third parties.

The tranquility and efficiency which was envisioned for the nation through the appointing of political parties, working hand in hand, has shown its presence several notable times in our nations renowned history. Yet, it seems to be quite easier to recall the times our party system, as well as the politicians who represent their parties, have found themselves hatefully combating one another.

How does focusing your efforts on overpowering your nation’s parties, solely because their ideals differ from your own, benefit the United States?

It doesn’t.

The concept of parties despising one another is not one that is new to our culture, in fact we have seen it consume our nation. We have seen it brutally slaughter unimaginable numbers of our citizens, killed at the hand of their neighbors. We have seen it burn and ruin our land and civilizations, which gruelingly took years to stand where it once was. In case it isn’t clear enough, the culprit of this devastation was our nation’s Civil War. A war between fellow citizens on their very own shared soil. The bloodiest battle the nation has ever seen was a direct causation of political party division on political issues. In no way will I deny that the Union army fought for a noble cause and against a necessary evil, yet I can’t help to be amazed by just how destructive political disagreement without compromise can be.

As years advance, the nation developed back to what it once was. Politics again flourished right along with it. Just as these two factors see great growth over the history of the nation, the ideals they defend and dispute grow as well. Issues ranging from war overseas, taxes, racial discrimination, abortion, gay marriage, and many more constantly impact the development of the nation’s political parties, unfortunately not for the better. Republicans and Democrats despise of one another increases with every disagreement they encounter. Members of both associations begin to negatively regard individuals of contrasting parties by their affiliation to one’s political party, not as fellow human beings, and not as fellow Americans.

Unfortunately, the divide is still intact and ever s with each passing year. Every national issue and debate seems to become more and more hostile and one sided, while compromise seemingly has left the vocabulary of American politics.

Recent months have increased my fear of what is to become of politics in the U.S., especially the presidential debate that has since ended. The entire election and campaigning period resembled more of a reality T.V. show than a process to decide who will run the most powerful country in the free world. Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton participated in campaigns focused on bashing their opponent, as well as their party and all they stand for. Never ending attacks headed by the candidates were directed at the personal lives of one another. The debates did not resemble a presentation of plans and concepts to aid the growth and development of the nation for the better, rather a downfall of suspicion on contending parties.

If the leaders of parties act in such a manner, tearing apart the contending party in such a hateful spite, rather than propose methods to improve the lives of those they represent, isn’t it clear that the people who follow them will adopt the same mindset and agenda?

The despise that was created through this past presidential election was so intense and segregated that the citizens of our nation have become far more radical and polarized than ever before. This mindset did not die out once the process was over and Trump was put into office. It very much lives on, resulting in a large percentage of the population extremely opposed to the opposite party that they refuse to support the new leader of the nation. Therefore, making working together with one another, united, a thing of the past.

You cannot blame them for this, for it is what has been building up and engrained in the minds of Americans for centuries. The enemy is no longer terrorism, war, crime, nor injustice. Rather, the enemy has become one another. We have become entrenched in animosity, pushing the nation further and further away from the goal of togetherness and unitedness by which the country was founded.

There needs to be a change. A shift in mindset. Change takes years of hard and preservation, but it is beyond necessary. We must no longer choose based upon party title, nor argue endlessly about matters of personal life. We must decide our leaders on account of what they propose we do to change our nation, not because of hate of their opponent’s party.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Lincoln). These simple words were spoken by Abraham Lincoln, a man who saw the ruin that division can have on a nation, through his very eyes.

In these times, more than ever, we must follow the words of Lincoln. Americans must heed the call to come together as one nation, a unit far stronger together than apart.

America has seen what crippling polarization has done to us in the past, so let’s not allow history to repeat itself.

Grow up, and link together.

Citations

Abraham Lincoln, the “House Divided Speech” (Springfield, Illinois: June 16th, 1858)

Hallie Atwell

What Makes a Good Person?

        According to Wikipedia, common sense “is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things that are shared by (“common to”) nearly all people and can reasonably be expected of nearly all people without need for debate.” Most concepts or ideas that appear to be rational are accepted by all people; however, when it comes to question of “What makes you a good person,” many people have different opinions. Yes, this question can be answered with various responses that are justifiable, but some of these answers do not pertain to common sense. These answers that don’t concern common sense come from the Catholic Church and its beliefs.

        The Catholic Church, one that I have been associated with since birth, has firm beliefs on what makes a good person, or furthermore, what will help a person on the path to heaven. In order to be a respectable person in the eyes of the Catholic Church, one is expected to attend mass every Sunday. They state that this is necessary in order to receive communion and hear the Word of God. Another integral part of the Catholic religion are the scriptures and parables that are found in the Bible. Being a good Christian, in terms of this, means putting one’s faith in a book that was written nearly 3,500 years ago. Although I have been a part of the Catholic Church since my baptism, it still confuses me as to how attending mass every Sunday and reading the Bible will lead me on the right path to heaven. I strongly believe that if I live my life being the best person I can be, then God will allow me to go to heaven. This does not mean that a person must go through life not making any mistakes or committing any sins, because God knows that we are all human and subject to temptation. It means He does not expect us to be perfect, but instead, God wants us to learn from our mistakes, love each other as He loves us, and be the best persons we can be.

         These ideas of the Catholic Church are important in many ways, but being a good Christian does not always mean that one is a good person. For example, one person may be a devout Catholic and attend his or her community church every Sunday to listen to the Gospel. However, this same person could live every day treating others poorly, ignoring the needy, or even committing major sins. Is this person still on the right path in order to be accepted into heaven? Many people are married through the Catholic Church and have been unfaithful to their spouse, but they still make it to mass on Sunday. Does this make them a good person? How about the Catholic couple who realized their marriage no longer works for them and decide to get a divorce? In this common situation, the Church does not believe in divorce and therefore does not see this couple as fit for entering heaven. On the contrary, I am not saying that there are no decent Catholics, because that is not the case in the slightest. Some of the best people I know are Catholics. It is the fact that people who devote a great deal of their time to God do not have the common sense to understand that those who are good people in their daily life are worthy of going to heaven; regardless of their beliefs or how many times they’ve been to mass.

         The beliefs of the Catholic Church go on and on. These are not the only opinions of the religion that do not have substantial reasoning behind what makes a person suitable for heaven. Along with attending mass and reading the Bible, it is in their opinion that those who are homosexual are immoral in the eyes of God. It should not matter which gender a person loves, as long as they are loving one another as God wants us to. He did not create humans to conceal their true selves and act in a way that society tells them to. Instead, he created us to be happy and to treat one another with respect. A man may love another man, but he is also caring, kind, and respectful of others; therefore, with common sense, this man is the type of person who should go to heaven.

         My intention is not to discredit the Catholic Church and their firm beliefs that have been around for many years. As an American, a person has the undeniable right to take part in the religion of his or her choice, or perhaps to not take part in any religion at all. With this, each religion has different views and it is important to respect the beliefs of one another. However, this does not mean that we must agree. Every day I aim to be a good person, whether it is doing small actions, such as holding the door for the person behind me, or doing something monumental. I make mistakes, I learn from them and I grow every day as a respectable human being; but, I don’t go to mass every Sunday and I stopped reading the Bible the moment my religion class concluded in the 10th grade. I don’t believe that this makes me a bad person, and therefore should not hinder me from living eternity in heaven.

Maris Corzine

The Anthropogenic Depletion of Coral Reefs

        When one thinks of coral reefs, it is typical to think of a beautiful place in the ocean, filled with colorful coral and various species of fish. However, few people understand how human influences have impacted coral reefs, causing the depletion of coral reefs due to coral bleaching. Coral reefs are not only extremely beneficial to the ocean’s ecosystem, but they are also beneficial to the human population. Today, human activity has threatened 58% of the world’s coral reefs (Burke).

        There are people who argue that coral bleaching is only natural, and the species are possibly meant to die off. Coral bleaching can be natural, but human actions are forcing these ecosystems to generate their cycles at a faster paste, making it difficult for them to rebound.  It can be hard to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic components, because human disturbances may not be detected until it has occurred, or if it happens along with a natural disturbance. Natural disturbances such as tropical storms, hurricanes, low tides, outbreaks of disease or predators, and unusual temperatures can damage coral reefs. Even though these natural disturbances can cause large amounts of coral to die off, these disturbances are part of the natural cycle reefs must encounter to adapt to the ecosystem. Hurricanes can flush out unwanted sediment, creating a more substrate environment for organisms to grow on.  This must mean that human activity is the main reason of coral bleaching, and even though natural activity can disturb the coral ecosystem, it does not come close to the damaging effects of human activity.

         Climate change is the biggest contributor to coral bleaching. Climate change is caused by the high emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, from human activities. The human population has been exponentially increasing as the world has become more developed. Due to the increase of population, humans have created a bigger impact on their environment such as the ocean. Since the Industrial Revolution around 1800, the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from about 280 parts per millions, to about 380 parts per million (Pickrell). Humans have contributed to the levels of carbon dioxide by the combustion of fossil fuels. The ocean absorbs about half of all new anthropogenic carbon dioxide (Pickrell). The consumption of massive amounts of carbon dioxide causes an increase of temperature in the ocean. The increase in ocean temperatures results in coral bleaching, another reason supporting the claim it is directly a result of human activity.

         Warm ocean temperatures cause the symbiotic relationship between algae (zooxanthellae) and coral to be disrupted. Algae is a primary food source for the coral, and lives within the coral’s tissues, which gives the coral color. The coral releases regular amounts of zooxanthellae in order to keep the concentration balanced in their tissues. When coral undergoes a significant amount of stress, it releases massive amounts of zooxanthellae, causing the coral to lose their color. The release of too much zooxanthellae weakens and whitens the coral’s exoskeleton, making it more susceptible to disease.

         Coral ecosystems are beneficial to humans in many ways. Coral reefs provide a natural barrier for currents, waves, and storms which helps prevents damage on land, erosion, and loss of life. Coral reefs are home to up to 4000 species of fish and 800 species of coral. Fish in coral reefs are a major food source for fisheries. Half of federally funded fisheries are highly dependable on coral reefs, and if damage is done to the reef, it could result in a depletion of fish (The Value of Corals). The depletion of fish will damage the market of fisheries, and there will be less of a food source for the human population. Coral reefs have also become an important source for medication. Certain species in coral ecosystems have been discovered to be important sources of medication to treat major medical conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. Medications from coral ecosystems are also known to treat arthritis and asthma. Lastly, coral reefs are a great source for the economy by attracting tourism. Tourists scuba dive and snorkel in the reef to observe the diverse ecosystem living under the water. If humans continue to contribute to climate change, these benefits the coral reefs provide, will be lost.

        To improve coral reef ecosystems, we must begin to realize how anthropogenic influences impact the reefs. Coral reefs help create a very diverse and unique ecosystem. If coral reefs continue to deplete, it will affect organisms in the ocean and the human population. Coral reefs provide a source of food and protection for humans. Due to this dependence on them, it is necessary to take action in slowing human impact on the coral reefs in order to protect them from anthropogenic influences.

Works Cited

Burke, Lauretta. “Reefs at Risk: Map-Based Analyses of Threats to Coral Reefs.” Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series (2011): 918-20. World Resources Institute. Feb. 2011. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

Hauter, Stan and Debbie. “What Makes Coral Bleaching Happen and How Can It Be Prevented?” About.com Home. About Home, 06 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/aboutcoraldiseases/a/aacoralbleach.htm>.

Pickrell, John. “Oceans Found to Absorb Half of All Man-Made Carbon Dioxide.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 15 July 2004. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/07/0715_040715_oceancarbon.html>.

“The Value of Corals.” The Value of Corals | Coral Reef Systems. Coral Reef Systems, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2017. <http://coralreefsystems.org/content/value-corals>.

Kaitlyn Evans

GMOs

        When one thinks of a GMO, they often think of serious health effects or maybe they do not even know what GMOs are in modern day terminology. In recent years, the media has drawn a large attention to GMOs and most of the public eye does not know anything about the subject. Well, a GMO or generically modified organism is an organism whose genes have been modified so that the organism can perform better under a certain environment. The process is simply speeding up natural selection. Something that humans have been doing long before Darwin discovered natural selection (University of Georgia).

        In today’s world, GMOs are used in many crops and are referred to as GM crops. In the U.S., there are eight GM crops commercially grown including cotton, sugar beet, soybean, corn, canola, papaya, alfalfa, and summer squash (Byrne). This poses a question from many consumers that purchase products made from these crops, are GM foods safe to eat? GM crops are tightly regulated by several government bodies and undergo safety testing before being commercialized (Key).  Three U.S. government entities have authority to regulate GM crops, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration (Byrne). Foods from GM crops have been consumed by millions of people all over the world for over 15 years, with no reported effects (Key).

        Overall, GMO crops have many advantages. In the developing world, 840 million people are undernourished, surviving on fewer than 2000 calories a day and many do not have a reliable food source (Key).  For example, the Golden Rice Project was started where GMO rice was developed to produce more Vitamin A to prevent deficiency in developing countries. Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness and death to 2 million children each year (Key). The Golden Rice provides 50% of  vitamin A for children (Key).

        In addition, the world’s population is predicted to double over the next 40 years, with over 95% of humans being born in developing countries (Key).  It is estimated that to meet these increased demands, food production must increase by at least 40% with decreasing fertile lands and water resources. GMO technologies are one of several different approaches to combat these problems. GM crops produce a higher yield than non-GM crops and promote efficient land use. Along with higher yields, the price of food decreases.

        In conclusion, next time you see a GMO label on food products at the grocery store think about what it means. It is a proven fact that the United States has the safest food supply in the world. Next time you hear someone say GMOs are bad for your health let them know that studies show no harmful health effect and let them know the advantages of GMOs. With the world population expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050 higher crop yields in result of using GMOs are not a bad thing. They add more nutritional value to food at a lower price and in an efficient way. It is common sense to support the production of GM crops.

Resources

Bryne, P. “Genetically Modified (GM) Crops: Techniques and Applications – 0.710.” Colorado   State University Extension,

        http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/agriculture/genetically-modified-gm-crops-  techniques-and-applications-0-710/ Accessed 6 Feb. 2017

“Genetically Modified Crops.” Mission 2014,

        http://12.000.scripts.mit.edu/mission2014/genetically-modified-crops Accessed 6 Feb. 2017

Key, Suzie. Ma, Julian. Drake, Pascal. “Genetically modified plants and human health.” US       National Library of Medicine. 1 Jun. 2008,

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2408621/

“Selective Breeding or Artificial Selection.” University of Georgia, 24 Nov. 2013,

        http://wallace.genetics.uga.edu/groups/evol3000/wiki/ce8b9/Selective_Breeding_or_A rtificial_Selection.html

“World population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.” United States Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 29 July 2015,

        http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-report.html