Thursday, April 2, 2009

Student Choice Essay: Block B

Post them here.


kb1poe said...

Brandon Deal
Period B

The ability to create, to revive, and to preserve life has always been perhaps the most sought after ability that is conceivable to acquire. In recent years humanity has come close to possessing these abilities through cloning. Currently laws, scientific inability and morality questions have prevented us from making a clone of a human, but the cloning of animals has been achieved. The cloning of animals is one thing, but cloning humans is another matter entirely.
A few people have decided to clone their pets that have passed away. This process can replicate innate traits of their pets such as being fast agile or intelligent but it cannot replicate learned traits such as being gentle and prior knowledge of the other pets. Many times a clone will even look slightly different because the process that geneticists use to create clones cannot replace the mitochondrial DNA of the offspring or the clone because they cannot use a dead egg to fertilize and the egg requires that there be mitochondria for the egg to survive. This can change features such as size fur texture and ear orientation. Although these differences are minute, it creates a feeling of dissatisfaction because of the high cost of cloning, but it has a place in modern society, helping people who are forlorn over the loss of their pets. The cloning of pets is not morally wrong, but it will lead to the cloning of humans, which is one of the most dangerous ethical challenges people now, and in the future.
While nobody has ever cloned a human it is dangerous to the clone because it brings up the question of what rights the clone gets. many potentially morally questionable uses of cloning are as organ donors in order to create perfect nearly irrejectable matches for patients, as a subjugated people with no way of directing it's path, the clone's identity, and to replace lost loved ones as is done with pets. Using clones as organ donors is morally wrong because the cloners are not even giving them the right to live. (I say giving them because you are the creator therefore the cloner is declaring the intent of the creation.) And all living beings have the right to live. The Creation of a clone labor force or army is also ethically not viable because it would take away the clones' right to choose their path in life and would subjugate them to "real" humans. replacement of lost loves ones, or making a copy of one's self is ethically unsound due to the fact that the clone would be unable to assert its' identity over the role it is supposed to play. another problem with cloning humans is that humans are "the sum of their experience" so a cloned person may have an entirely different personality than the original person giving them different affinities for certain people activities and abilities making them essentially different people defeating the purpose of their creation in cases of creating a group of the same people and replacing people.
Human cloning has many negative impacts and before anyone proceeds to create a human (not person because that implies rights) they need to work out what rights the clone has who will raise the clone and what the limits of its' existence, and in the case of cloning animals it is a good "stepping stone" to potentially eventually living and working with human clones, though the current technology is unable to create perfect replicas.

B Deal bdx2

Amanda A. said...

High school students are often taught books from previous centuries. Students read more older books than recent books. More modern books should be introduced to the high school curriculum, but not too many of the classic books should be removed; there should be an equal balance of modern and classic novels in the curriculum.
Having modern novels introduced into the high school curriculum would make an improvement. Students may be enthusiastic about reading something that they can relate to in modern times, rather than a novel written hundreds of years ago, that can be so extremely different to how life is now. Reading recent books could spark new types of activities that students could do, and get a lot more teenage students involved in things going on in the current world. While Norton High School students read What is the What by Dave Eggers, the “Sudanese Posse” was organized in order to help people such as the characters in the book. A lot of students joined because they were enthusiastic and more interested in the cause, because they read all about it in the novel.
Although adding more modern books to help improve the curriculum, it would be a good idea to keep books from past centuries in it as well. Reading books from centuries ago, teaches about how the language has transformed over the years, as well as different styles of writing. It also gives a visual of what life was like during that time, compared to our lives now, centuries later. Without reading these classic novels in high school, they won’t be as remembered, or referenced to as often as they currently are. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is read by high school students all over the world. On television and in movies, you can still find references to the play written hundreds of years ago.
The amount of modern books and old books should be balanced in the high school curriculum. If there were too many of the older books, it might cause students to begin to lose interest. Having too many modern books would take away from the historical aspects of the older books. It clearly important to keep the amount of these books balanced.

Anonymous said...

Today’s world has more technology than ever, between all out way of communication, out language has almost changed due to this. As our communication changes, it is harder for today’s high school students to understand the writing of others such as Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe. Students should not have the writings of great authors sacrificed because they cannot completely understand, but should have a balance of modern books and books from previous centuries.
Books from previous centuries teach us about the culture being described in the book or during the authors time period. A great example is Shakespeare, who lived during the renaissance period and also wrote about medieval times. Romeo & Juliet is one of the most well-known love stories to ever be written, and is a book that everyone should read. Shakespeare has also written stories such as Macbeth, Hamlet, and Julius Ceaser, which we still hear being quoted today, such as “to be or not to be, that is the question” These quotes are all very famous and will be remembered hundreds of years from now, and if students do not have the ability to understand what this means they will be at a disadvantage and would be missing out on great, classic stories. Maybe high school students shouldn’t have to read as much from centuries past, and maybe they should read more modern books that interest them.
High school students should read what there interested in, and should be able to have at least a voice in what they want to read, and since they cannot decide on what book to read next, they should make it so they have a wide range of books that they read over the course of the high school years.


Anonymous said...

Should book from previous centuries still be taught to high school students? NO. Every two too three years they should get new books in the modern time. Some books in the school are way too old and they are falling apart and also, some are missing pages. People are smart to find out what happened in the past. History teachers already teaching us what happen.
Student will say mostly no, because we are in more modern time and would like to learn about something in our century. Shakespeare is a good book to read now, because Shakespeare is a popular person. Everyone loves to read his books because they are so interesting to read but kind of difficult at the same to. Personally to me long book are default for me to understand but they carry a lot of detail. Like, “What is the What” it is a good book because students are learning about there world and care about those people that are homeless and have no food or money. Also, Lord of the Flies is a short book but it is way too old and has nothing to do with what we are doing now in century we are in now. Another, book we are reading this year is Of mice and Men. That is a good book but nothing really to do to what we are learning about now. We should be reading books that are published in 2000’s to now. Those books won’t be missing pages or won’t be in bad shape, like the ones we are reading now.
We should not be reading books that are built in like that 70’s and 80’’. Way to old for us and we will not be really learning anything new. We need to read books that are new. We can keep Shakespeare that is the only book that is helpful to use and one of the most popular books we will ever read. That is why we should read books that are no old.

Nick S.

Hailey C said...

Eric Konigsberg’s article, “Living Together” is about cloning dogs; taking the DNA of a dog to create an exact replica. It’s wrong because the appearance of the dog is the only thing that’s going to be the same. The personality is most likely going to be completely different from the original dog.

Just because one clones a dog, doesn’t mean it will be exactly the same. Most likely its appearance will be the only thing similar. Their personalities will be somewhat different. It’s basically a waste of money when all one gets is a dog that looks the same as the other one.

Cloning dogs, in ones opinion is pointless to do because doing it is just wasting money to get a dog that only looks like the other one. It won’t even have the same personality, so it won’t be exactly what they want. It’s basically just the exact same outer shell of the one cloned, which is explained in Konigsberg’s article.

Anonymous said...

Modern high school students are taught literature from all time periods in history, mostly the past. High school students are forced to read written over 100 years ago. High school students should be taught only Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe because their not from the same time period and their great writers.
Freshman and sophomore students should be taught literature form previous time centuries. Juniors and seniors should be taught modern literature. Starting out reading great classics is a good start to high school. Reading modern novels is important too because if people only learn about the past, they wont know about modern topics as much. So being a junior or senior, it’s good to learn about what’s happening. Also, being interested in a book or not effects how you read it. If the book is not interesting, someone’s not going to want to read it or they won’t comprehend what there reading because they don’t like it. Choosing the book should also be an option, as well as the time period.
Being a high school student, I have experienced reading old book, such as Shakespeare, and modern books as well, three years old. I enjoyed Shakespeare but its hard to understand, rather than modern books which are easy. Beginning high school, students should learn about old literature and upper-class men should read more modern books. Learning both is important. But only certain authors from previous centuries should be taught and more recent books should be read too.

c. smith

Allyson.S said...

Personal stories have a great impact on humans. In particular, stories of personal tragedy affect us deeply. War creates a tremendous amount of tragic stories. One such as war, the Sudanese genocide, has affected the lives of many people.
This personal story about Valentino Achak Deng the main character in “What is the What” written by Dave Eggers is about Valentino’s personal experiences of being a Sudanese lost boy in Sudan. This book describes major personal and moving experiences that Valentino has had to go through to get where he is today.
Throughout reading this story Valentino and the readers have many different emotions. Such as indignation towards some people throughout this story. Reading some of the experiences like when an Ethiopian women says to the little boys “come to me children! I am your mother, come to me!” then as the boys approach her, thinking she is actually going to help them. She takes out a riffle and shoots through the chests and stomachs of the boys. This is where I felt a lot of mixed emotions like indignation, angry and its just plan sad to know that a women out there really did that to two little, instant boys.
Another big example that I think about while reading this story would be just in general a calamity. Knowing that still to this day there are lost boys out there and that people aren’t doing anything about it. By reading about what is happening in other parts of the world is very disturbing. To know what other people are going through.
I think throughout this story it wouldn’t be normal for someone to not feel many different types of emotions. To read this personal story and not have any affection towards Valentino would not be normal. I know that by reading this personal story made me have many different thoughts and emotions about the personal experiences that Valentino went through.

Anonymous said...

The American culture is very different when compared to the Dinka.
Our culture is made up of negative, paranoyed and selfish ways, unlike the Dinka. As Americans we focus on the negative more than the positive. We can be negative by thinking about failing at something and then be mad and have to do it again until we get it right. We are also very paranoyed because we always think that everyone is going to hurt us or something to that matter. And example of that is when we walk down the street and someone we don’t know, approaches us, we think they are going to hurt us. Our selfish ways are how we are always thinking about ourselves. We always think about how we could help ourselves and make things work out to our liking. The American culture is different from the Dinkan culture in many ways.
The Dinka focus on the positive, trust and not being selfish. The Dinka focus on the positive because their lives are not the easiest where they live. They have to fight the sun and other challenges everyday that we don’t need to worry about. The Dinka are also very trust worthy of each other, unlike Americans. The Dinka and their neighbors are usually so close, and they know each other so well that they can just walk up to the front door and say hello. They are also trustworthy of each other because they are sure nothing bad will happen if they just walk up and start a conversation.
The Dinka are not selfish of each other at all. All the families have grown up around and with each other and they share food and other resources they may need. The Americans and Dinka share some similar qualities but they also share many different qualities.

--Briana B:)

Anonymous said...

Emily C.
Teaching students about books from previous centuries is important. The curriculum should be balanced equally throughout the high school. Teachers should not sacrifice the student’s sense of cultural history, for more modern high-interest titles. There should be an equal abundance of all books in all the schools, not just high school. Students need to have knowledge of modern and classic book titles.
The classic titles should be taught, because they are classics. Just because a book is old doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain good information. When a book contains good information it should be read. The way of writing is very different then the writing of today. All they had back then was writing they had no technology of other means of communication. The writing then seems to be more literate. For example, Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the flies and Of mice and men are all books the ninth grade class of Norton High school read. Some are better then others, but that doesn’t mean that we should get rid of them. Those books teach us different types of writing. So yes, keeping classic books are necessary to our learning privileges.
The modern titles should be kept as well as the classic titles. The modern books illustrate what times are like now. So to read about things from this time, it shows us how things work in this world now. People like to be kept up with all the news of today. If not we wouldn’t have thousands of newspaper companies selling millions of newspapers daily. What is the What, was made to be written in modern times. It shows problems that are going on around the world today. So we must keep these books with us to learn. We may not enjoy some of them, but it will still help us learn.
If students and teachers don’t expand on what the students read then the students won’t learn. Teachers must keep their students up to date with the times of today. But then we must also be able to comprehend the learning’s of the classic titles. The writings are both so different but so similar that all we can do is learn from them.

Anonymous said...

This article from the New York Times beloved pets Everlasting is about cloning dogs. Reading this made myself look at cloning in a whole other way.
Cloning dogs or pets in that matter could become more and more successful. Family’s I’m sure would love to have the same pet after their original one had passed on. As far as I’m concerned you’ll get the same looking pet but as far as its personality goes it’ll never be the same. Like Ms. Hawthorn said, “the puppy is delicate and calm. Missy was robust and through my home and knock over every wine glass.” Just like that says the puppy does not act the same as the original dog.
In my opinion cloning pets should not be done. Messing with its DNA isn’t right. Its saying that its ok for it to die you’ll just replace it anyways. The subject of cloning humans has also come up and I think its wrong, and also shouldn’t be done. People might think of clones as the good and the evil one, and that’s just might how it could turn out. You might think your talking to someone but it could be someone completely different.
Cloning can have very different opinions. In mine I don’t think its right, but others might think its perfectly fine.

Anonymous said...

What is the What by Dave Eggers shows a good interpretation of how the Dinka people are like in general. It shows that they are for the most part kindhearted, trusting thoughtful and extremely optimistic. Americans however are the opposite. They are judging, paranoid and have an extreme superiority complex.
The American people are very judgmental overall compared to other cultures. If people are even the least bit different they will pick them apart quickly. If they don’t fit into are narrow ideal of normal they will be out casted immediately . The Dinka are not like this however. In a way they are polar opposites. People are not judged in their culture but in our culture they are judged every single day of their lives.
Generally, Americans are extremely paranoid. They don’t trust anybody with anything. In the Dinka culture they go to each others door and are able to start conversations with out it being a big deal. If this were to happen in our culture they would be arrested for trespassing and suffer serious consequences in the court of law. This shows a very big contradiction between American and Dinka culture.
Mainly every American superiority complex even if they don’t like to admit it. In Dinka Sudan, they treat each other like equals and never think for a second that they are superior to another culture. The American’s think that it is irrespirable that they are the best nation in the world. They live better than Dinkas so there for they believe they are superior to the Dinka’s and treat them as such. Those contradict each other greatly.
No matter what people say, Americans and Dinka’s are not very similar. American’s are egotistic and believe they are superior to other cultures. The Dinka’s are friendly and believe that every one is equal. The main thin that connects Americans to Dinkas is that we are both humans.

C White
Per B

Cassie H. said...

Personal stories have a great impact on humans. In particular, stories of personal tragedy affect us deeply. War creates a tremendous amount of tragic stories. One such war, the Sudanese genocide, has affected the lives of many people. Valentino Achak Deng’s story greatly impacts all who hear it. What is the What by Dave Eggers arises many emotions; grief and anger are some of them.

Grief is an emotion that a purely historical account cannot portray. Grief can, however, be elicited by a personal account. Many people Valentino knew and cared about were murdered; “In the morning, there was no doubt about what had been done to Bol Dut and who had done it. A group of women had found him on their way to gather kindling…In the mud, was a blanket, some kind of wool material…I knew it was Bol Dut” (Pg 82). Joseph, the brother of Valentino’s best friend, was shot directly in the throat; “They shot him and they tied him to the horse and they dragged him away” (Pg 85). Loss was evident everywhere, and deaths were constant. Loved ones, neighbors, people Valentino may have one day befriended all died.

Another emotion Valentino’s story invokes is anger. Betrayal and treachery was evident within the story. When Valentino and the other Lost Boys were fleeing Ethiopia, a woman appeared and posed as a helper, a savior even. “She was only a face in the grass, her hands outstretched…two of the boys I was running with…they both went to her. And when they drew close enough, she lifted an automatic rifle and shot through the chests and stomachs of the boys” (Pg 7). Acts of violence, with seemingly no means behind them other than to kill were often seen; they are angering! Why must someone die because of their culture, religion, or just for being born? At one point, Valentino’s father was attacked because he wished to be paid for the items men were taking from his store. The small man, someone Valentino’s father had invited into his own home, kicked him in the face: “the sound was dull, like a hand slapping the hide of a cow. He kicked him again and the sound was different this time. A crack, precisely like the breaking of a stick under one’s knee. At that moment something in me snapped” (Pg 68). The soldier’s utter disregard for the lives of the Dinka people is astounding. Who could possibly read this and stay calm?

Just reading Valentino’s story creates the sense of being a part of the situation, as if you knew the people, just as he may have. War, in general, brings out the genuine emotion in people. A great deal of tragedy occurs due to war. Personal accounts are easier to relate to because the people who have been affected are real; they have names, these people have families. Each death impacts many lives. No purely historical account can give one that perspective.

Anonymous said...

The article Living Together, Beloved Pets Everlasting? (New York Times) is an article about cloning written by Eric Konigsberg from Fairfax California. This article solidified my opinion about how I feel that cloning is not rite. I feel it; makes the clone less of the real thing but just a clone and that while there are similarities there are also differences even though they are clones.
I don’t agree with the idea of cloning for the big reason that people won’t treat them as real but in contrary as clones. He refers to the cloned dog sisters as “clisters” instead of just calling them by their names or addressing them as dogs in the first place and not as a name that labels them as nothing more than clones. I feel that it already puts them in a different category not dog but clone. I feel if we were to ever clone humans we would see similar reactions to them. Ms. Hawthorne said; “I already have a dog – a real dog.” She said that when talking about how she adopted a dog that was a real dog and how the clone was apparently not a real dog to her and that she wanted to care for a real dog. This statement is the perfect explanation of why I don’t think cloning is rite. She implies that the clone is not a real dog. If we eventually do clone humans, I am afraid that something similar to this will happen, open up new racists beliefs, and even though the cloned people will be real people, they will be just simply clones to people like Ms. Hawthorne.
I don’t agree with the idea of cloning on top of it not being morally correct, but even though one may be a clone they will have separate characteristics from the other. Mr. Hawthorne faced the problem where people were asking why the clones were different. “The most difficult thing about the cloned puppies is not telling them apart, but explaining why they don’t look exactly alike.” Dogs can look and behave differently in many ways. Like for instance a dogs ears can be pointed up or down and that depends of the levels of collagen and not the dogs DNA. Another factor that contributes to the characteristics of a clone is how they are raised. An animal’s or person’s upbringing can really make them who they are and how they act.
Clones are a bad idea that would arouse a caboodle of problems in the world. I don’t think it is write to create a race of clones that from birth are already categorized different from the original species they clone. I believe it; makes the clone less of the real thing but just a clone and that while there are similarities there are also differences even though they are clones. I don’t believe in cloning and don’t think it should happen since it is unnecessary and unfair. Why create a group whom are immediately imminent for abuse from racist’s views.
-Kevin R

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth E

The pennies clank in the metal box as people file into the theater. The actors backstage all apply their costumes and make up for the performance. The curtain goes up and the people in the audience wait for an excuse for to use their purchased tomato’s but no such thing comes. They are engaged from beginning to end. He is Shakespeare and this is his play. He is a master of his craft. Today he is regarded as the greatest play writer of not just his time, but all time. Some people question whether Shakespeare should still be taught in High Schools today, but Shakespeare is an important part of our English language and needs to be taught for more reasons than one.
In our modern society we are growing and expanding everyday. Technology is ever moving and accelerating at an alarming speed. Some might say that there are more important things to be learned about our always changing society, more new things to learn. But if we do not take but if we do not take the time to learn how English make a person, and how we can not live full and rich lives without it, nothing else matters. How we communicate with each other is the most important thing in expanding horizons and you’re self as an individual. Shakespeare is a part of that. He made speaking beautiful, a song and a story. We can not be fully educated without such knowledge.
In history class we start from the beginning and work our way forward. Before we can learn of war, we must learn why it happened. The same is true for language and English. Modern literature is exciting and new and important but with out learning how and where it came from, you can not fully appreciate it,