My Backpack

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My backpack of intangibles that I will take on my journey.

My backpack is filled with the most important things/people in my life. I could not take on this journey without them. The first intangible I would take on my journey is my family. I included pictures of my mom, dad and sisters. My family is very important to me. They support me and push me to do my best. The next picture is of my nieces and nephew. They have taught me patience. I want to be a kindergarten teacher, and they inspired me to follow my passion. I love kids, and they are my absolute favorite children. They have also taught me how to love unconditionally. I may be a little biased, but they are perfect. The next intangible is my faith. I have included a picture of my granny because she is the perfect model of faith, in my opinion. I am a Catholic and my faith is very important to me. I went to Catholic school so I was taught the value of my faith. I could not take on my journey without it. My next intangible is “words of wisdom”. Growing up my dad has always given me these little life lessons. He would lecture me all the time, but now I realize he actually knew what he was talking about. Some of my favorites include, “say what you mean and mean what you say”, “you can’t pick you’re family, you’re stuck with them; you can pick your friends, so choose wisely”, and “the truth will set you free”. Some of them have inside jokes behind them, but I have learned a lot from these many life lessons. The next picture is of my little cousin Emily. She represents confidence. If I had the confidence this ten year old had, I would be on top of the world. I try to be confident in everything I do, so I would take confidence with me on my journey. If it were not for this class, I would not have watched the movie Wild. I really enjoyed the movie and writing papers about it. I learned more about mental health issues.

A Depiction of Depression

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Cheryl Strayed, played by Reese Witherspoon, carries her enormous backpack, which symbolizes the heavy weight of her depression, along the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Depression is a major reality and issue in today’s society. Anyone can be depressed, but how they choose to handle it can make them or break them. There is not an exact solution to cure depression, but there are ways to cope with it and eventually overcome it. Many people turn to prescription pills as an answer, but unfortunately this may only be a short-term solution. The 2014 motion picture Wild offers an alternative to medication. Based on a true story, the movie follows one woman’s entire journey with depression. From her traumatic childhood experiences to her actual journey of walking the Pacific Crest Trail, Wild is a great depiction of an actual journey through depression.

In the movie, the audience is shown multiple flashbacks throughout Cheryl’s life. Her abusive childhood, the death of her mother to cancer and her unhealthy relationships are all vital aspects of the movie. Her abusive past with her father plays a key role in her journey with depression. In the movie, her father is shown abusing her mother multiple times, to the point where the family eventually leaves him. This leads to Cheryl getting into an abusive relationship herself. Her first marriage was toxic as shown in the movie.

Many studies have been done concerning childhood experiences in connection with depression in their adult life. According to a recent study, “Stressful/traumatic experiences are influential particularly at a certain time, i.e., during sensitive developmental periods” (Schalinski). In the movie, Cheryl is a young girl in her preteens. This stage of development is very crucial. Cheryl sees her mother’s abusive relationship and eventually falls into that same path. This ultimately leads to her adulthood depression. The movie does a great job portraying the childhood trauma that does impact Cheryl’s life in the end.

Who Appeals to You?

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Martin Luther King, pictured above, is speaking to a large crowd.

Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. are both writing about injustices in America against African Americans during each of their lifetimes. Thoreau’s essay, “Civil Disobedience”, focuses on the abolition of slavery, while King advocates for the end to segregation in “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Although both are arguing against injustices, each writer has a very distinct and different technique when it comes to the strength of their arguments. King builds a stronger argument on injustices against blacks and desegregation specifically by his heavy emphasis on his ethical appeal, while also incorporating logical and emotional appeals as well.

Satire as Effective Argument

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One of Golden’s plans suggests that black people should borrow white people’s babies or baby dolls to get into movies, schools, etc.

While both writers have a satirical style, Harry Golden has a more effective ethical appeal. In his article, “The Vertical Negro Plan”, readers are able to tell how passionate and concerned he is about the Supreme Court decisions on segregation. He talks often about Supreme Court decisions saying, “There are fourteen Supreme Court decisions involving the use of public funds; there are only two ‘decisions’ involving the elimination of racial discrimination in public schools.” He is well informed and knowledgeable about the issue of racial segregation in society at the time. He develops the trust of his readers while still poking at the issue of segregation. He makes fun of the Supreme Court decisions by coming up with is own outlandish ‘plans’. He does this in a fair-minded way that still creates an effective ethical appeal. Guffey’s article, “Left-Handers”, also employs the use of satire, but is not effective in the use of ethical appeals. He does not establish his good character as well as Golden does. At some points his humor goes overboard. He says, “God will strike these little perverts dead.” While he this is meant to be satire, he is not showing he is knowledgeable or fair-minded on the issue of homosexuality. He does a good job using an analogy, but overall Golden’s ethical appeal was much better.

‘Wild’ly Depressed

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Cheryl Strayed, played by Reese Whiterspoon, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in order to cope with her deep depression.

Based on a true story, Wild focuses on a woman’s deep depression while coping with her mother’s death. She handles with her psychological issues by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. This movie raises the question, ‘how many people out there are depressed and how are they dealing with it?’ It can also raise the question, “Are depressed people coping with the depression in the right way, or are they turning to drugs?”

The societal issue of mental health, specifically depression, is interesting to me. I know people who unfortunately have suffered from depression. I also have suffered from severe anxiety in the past. While I do not believe I fell into a depression, I have experienced how people react to mental health issues. My mother was as understanding as she could be. However, I found that older people, like my grandmother, were not as accepting. People seem to think these issues are just in your head. My favorite theory I have been told was, “You’re just making it worse by thinking about it all the time. Just don’t think about it.” They think you can just ‘not think about it’ and it will go away. Unfortunately this is not the case. I wish it were that easy. When I was telling my doctor about the anxiety, her first thought was to prescribe pills. I did not want that. I believe that is a lot of doctors and professionals’ first resort. I particularly like Wild because Cheryl Strayed does not turn to prescription pills for an ‘answer’. She finds her own ‘answer’ by hiking the Pacific Crest Trails. I believe this movie has the ability to show people there is another way to cope. You do not have to turn to other resorts, like drugs.

I already know that depression can be anywhere. Anyone can have it, and many people are hiding it every day of their lives. I know that it is not socially accepted to openly struggle with this. While some cases are as severe as Cheryl Strayed’s, many people struggle with it silently. I know that the most common aid in depression is prescription pills. These advertise all over television, while therapy is not as commonly advertised.

I need to learn more about the symptoms of depression. I also need to learn about the statistics concerning mental health in our country and internationally. While I know that hiking across the country is not the only method of coping, I want to find out more services that are offered for depression and other mental health issues.

‘Honey Boo Boo’ Comes, Society’s Values Go

 

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Honey Boo Boo herself, Alana, earned her family’s famous reality show through her pageant career.

I am arguing against Kathleen Parker’s opinion that society’s values are depleting by tuning in to a crappy reality show. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo does showcase a Southern family’s way of life, but I do not believe they are causing society’s values to decline. While the young girl and her mother are overweight and say obscene phrases, there is much worse on television that questions society’s values, in my opinion.

My opponent believes that the TLC television show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, is essentially a disgrace to society. Parker believes that, “obviously people watch it because it is so awful.” She compares the show to an old carnival, with attractions like the bearded lady. She thinks that parents should keep their children away from the show, because it is not right to make fun of “people’s misfortunes”. Kathleen Parker argues that society should be spending their free time watching more educational programs, rather than being a spectacle of Honey Boo Boo’s family lifestyle. Parker believes that society’s values are declining because of their choice to tune into this specific reality series.

I do not particularly agree with this excerpt from Parker’s article: “No such lessons seem to prevail today. If we don’t revel in the hilarity of poor, uneducated people, neither do we protest their exploitation. Our silence conveys approval while ratings disprove objection. Culturally, we are all complicit in the decline of community values.”
Here Parker points out that since society does not protest against the show, our values are declining. I do not agree with this. I did watch the series while it was still on television. While it was obvious that they were not Harvard scholars, I do not believe they were ‘poor, uneducated people’. They were just a family that was normal in their own way. Few people protest the exploitation of the Kardashians from Keeping Up with the Kardashians. How is this family any different? Sure they have a thick country accent and have their own style of fashion, this is normal to them. Just like any reality series about a family, they are sharing their lifestyle and culture with the rest of the world. I do not think Parker is right to say they are the cause of society’s depletion in values and morals.

My Argument Style

 

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My dad, Clem, with my two sisters and I on Christmas Eve.

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My mom, Janet, and I at my high school graduation.

 

The last time I argued was with my mom. She and I can both be very stubborn. I wanted a dog for Christmas, while my mom was completely against the thought of it. I explained to her that a dog would teach me responsibility and be there to keep me company. She argued that I never had experience with animals, and that she had allergies. I did not win the argument, but I tried my best to. I explained why I wanted it, probably a little too often. I also listened to her opinion as well, since I was asking her to allow a dog in the house. I believe this argument was very childish, but I learned that I did not need a dog.

This is my typical argument style. I listen to what the other person has to say while still arguing my point. I think it is important to have your own beliefs and views, but you do not have to be right all the time. That is typically how I like to argue. You can say your beliefs, I’ll say mine, and then we can come to a compromise in the end. You can also just agree to disagree. I definitely do not like confrontation or hostility, so I believe this style of argument is perfect for me.

My style of argument is heavily influenced by my parents. They have shaped me into the person I am today. I have similar beliefs and values as they do. I also think it is influenced by the fact that I spent 13 years in Catholic school. The culture in which I grew up in heavily influences my argument style.

I like my style of argument. I like that I can listen to what the other person has to say or thinks. I try to take that in consideration when coming to a decision. I think that I can also become more defensive in my style. I am a people pleaser, so I will usually give in. I hope that I can learn to stand my ground more.