The noise of a crowded hallway alone is enough to make anyone want to rip their hair out, but when you have anxiety, a crowded hallway with hall monitors yelling at you to go to class, other kids pushing past you, and people throwing things and screaming at the top of their lungs can make your head feel like it’s literally spinning and exploding at the same time. Next thing you know, you’re sitting on a dirty, cockroach infested floor, hyperventilating and crying while people give your dirty looks as they walk by and the same hall monitor insists on fussing at you to go to class.

Having struggled with depression and anxiety since age six and severe suicidal thoughts and tendencies since age 11, I know very well how hard it can be to even leave your house, especially to go to a place like school, where there’s nothing but pressure put on you. Pressure to get along with people you don’t like, pressure to dress a certain way, pressure to get the best grades humanly possible, and just when you think it’s all over, there’s pressure to put yourself in debt so you can go to school for a couple extra years. But most of the stress is from academics, not social issues. ( A poll conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that almost 40% of parents say that their high schooler is under a lot of stress from school, homework being the leading cause of that stress, with 24% of parents saying it’s an issue.

In their article, A Case Against Grades, Alfie Kohn explains how the grading system can make student less enthusiastic about what they’re learning, and more focused on the grade they get. “Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking. They may skim books for what they’ll ‘need to know.’ They’re less likely to wonder, say, ‘How can we be sure that’s true?’ than to ask ‘Is this going to be on the test?’” Kohn explains. This shows how school can take a toll on not just mental health, but our way of thinking. If we’re taught from the beginning of kindergarten that we’ll be judged based on a number instead of if we actually know the material, our minds become boring. By the time we get to high school, we couldn’t care less about Shakespeare or quadratic equations. It isn’t interesting. It could be, but the grading system robs us of any enthusiasm we have about what we learn in school. This lack of enthusiasm is important because coincidently, lack of motivation and enthusiasm is the same feeling you get when you can’t get out of bed because you’re so depressed. School causes literal depression symptoms by taking something that could be enjoyable, and shitting all over it.

Kids should be able to feel safe in school, which i’m sure is why there are police officers in almost every hallway at my school. This, however, makes many students feel unsafe rather than safe. An article in The Washington Post by Emma Brown ( states that “in September, a federal judge ruled that school police in Birmingham, Ala., had used unconstitutional and excessive force when they routinely pepper-sprayed children for minor disciplinary infractions — including a pregnant student whose offense was crying in a hallway.” So, not only does having police officers in schools contribute to the criminalization of teenagers, it also is causing physical harm to kids, which leads to us being oppressed in schools and feeling like prisoners.

Personally, my mental health has suffered a lot because of school. My family has always told me how important school was, and if I didn’t get good grades, my life would consist of nothing but chaos and I’d never make enough money to support myself, which put a lot of pressure on me at an age where I should’ve been able to just enjoy being a kid. But now, as a 17 year old senior in arguably one of the worst high schools in Baltimore City, I can say that nothing has gotten easier.

Right before Christmas of this year, my mental health plummeted, and my school has made it ridiculously hard to pick myself back up, which I am still in the process of doing and probably won’t be able to do until after I graduate and school isn’t something that I still think about. The reason for this being that every time I walk through those gates of hell and past those metal detectors that get used twice a year, that dreadful and gloomy feeling gets ten times worse. I always leave the building feeling like I’m at my breaking point, like if I would have been in there one extra minute, I would have puked from being so anxious. The fact that I’m graduating soon feels like a thirteen year old weight finally being lifted from my shoulders, only to be put onto the shoulders of an innocent kindergartener next year who also didn’t ask for this bullshit.

In conclusion, school makes having mental illnesses a million times more stressful than it has to be.


When Shanitta moved to Baltimore from North Carolina in the middle of her Senior year, she couldn’t help notice how much influence Johns Hopkins had on Baltimore. Initially, she assumed their hospital mush be the best, but upon closer inspection, she found that their impacts on the city, while massive, have not always been positive. Here are the fruits of her research:


Despite the positive things that John Hopkins Hospital  has done for the world and even Baltimore, I will argue that overall Hopkins has had a negative effect on our community and even communities in other countries.  There are three main arguments that I make. First, Hopkins has been responsible for the lead paint poisoning of hundreds of Baltimore children. Secondly, Hopkins has made millions of dollars from research using the cells of a Baltimore women named Henrietta Lacks without her or the Lack  family’s permission. Lastly, Hopkins professors were part of a study that infected Guatemalans with several venereal diseases from 1946 to 1948.

Many people think Johns Hopkins hospital is the best hospital in Baltimore. It is certainly more popular than other hospitals in the city.  It is highly rated in many areas by U.S. News and World Report. However, many people do not know that  Hopkins’ experiment have caused the lead paint poisoning of Baltimore children.  In 1993 through 1995, Hopkins did “a study of different ways of getting rid of lead paint in homes, during which children were knowingly exposed to high levels of lead.”  This effected at least 100 families.Kennedy Krieger Institute part of Johns Hopkins Hospital created a study to find cheaper, less dangerous ways to remove lead from homes. They paid landlords to do the removal. Kennedy Krieger did not tell the families that this was happening or that the lead paint was dangerous. So the families stayed in the houses. My question is why didn’t they get hotel rooms for the families or at least recommend that they stay with family during the work? They did not even tell families what the lead paint could do to humans.  This caused lead poisoning and brain damage to 100’s of children. Some say that the research made homes safer for families across America but this does not change anything for the 100’s of children affected in Baltimore.

The second reason I think Johns Hopkins Hospital has had a negative effect on the my community is because they took advantage of a black Baltimore woman named Henrietta Lacks. A Johns Hopkins doctor, George Guy treated a Baltimore woman named Henrietta Lacks, for cervical cancer in 1951.  He saved her cells for research. He never told her so he never got her permission for the research. He called the cells He-La cells and used them in research to cure cancer. He also gave them away to other scientists, again without permission from the family. This was a good thing because Henrietta’s cells helped cure millions of people who had cancer. But then years later researchers and medical companies who had some of her cells began making millions of dollars from her cells.  Henrietta’s cells were being sold and resold much the way black people were sold as slaves. Also the cells were being used in ways that were not just benefitting medicine. Henrietta’s family were not told the whole truth about what was happening . Henrietta’s daughter was so upset about how her mother’s cells were being used that she had two strokes.

Hopkins counter argument is “  We are deeply committed to ensuring the appropriate protection and care of medical information related to Henrietta Lacks and her family. In 2013, Johns Hopkins worked with members of the family and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help broker an agreement that requires scientists to receive permission to use Henrietta Lacks’ genetic blueprint, or to use HeLa cells in NIH funded research”.   However the fact remains that the Lacks family is still very unhappy with the current result.  “Lawrence Lacks, a retired Amtrak engineer, said he remembers when Hopkins doctors came and asked his family for blood samples in the 1970s. They gave the samples not knowing they were being used to research the HeLa cells”. He and his family know that many drug companies, writers, Hospital and other institutions are making money from their grandmother’s cells. Even artist are drawing her cells and selling the artwork

Lastly “ Hopkins faces a  one billion lawsuit over its  role in government study that gave subject sexually transmitted diseases”. ( scott dance Baltimore sun 04-01-2015) Johns Hopkins professors approved a study in  Guatemala in 1946 where researchers“deliberately  infected” Guatemalans with syphilis,gonorrhea,and chancroid. Some of these people were prisoners and mental patients. The victims and their families are suing because they  claim that Hopkins doctors were on the panel committee that made the decision to go ahead with the study knowing what was going to happen to the Guatemalans. This decision was ethically and morally wrong because Hopkins doctors allowed the researchers to infect the victims with horrible diseases without getting their permission. This is very similar to what researchers did to black men in the Tuskegee experiment in the 1932 to 1972.

Johns Hopkins agrees that this Guatemalan study was “ deplorable “ and “unconscionable” but they are not responsible just because independent doctors that happened to work at Johns Hopkins approved the research project. However several Johns Hopkins doctors were also researchers in the project.

Its sad that many lawyers were  saying that the lawsuit probably would not succeed because Hopkins does not have individual control of what its doctors do on their own time. In the end the lawsuit was dismissed for reasons that had nothing to do with Hopkins. In the end I think that Johns Hopkins was responsible because it was their doctors who not only approved but was apart of this incredibly harmful and immoral study.

I have given three examples of how Johns Hopkins Hospital has had negative effects on communities in Baltimore and  elsewhere in the world. In Baltimore they have been responsible for the lead paint poisoning of thousands of children through their lead paint removal program in the inner city. Johns Hopkins used the cells of a poor black woman without her permission  and gave her family no control over or payment for the use of her cells in research. Even while companies that received her cells made millions of dollars. Finally, Hopkins doctors approved and participated in studies that infected people with horrible diseases without their permission. In the end, Johns Hopkins has many excuses for these destructive actions but they have never  admitted guilt or publicly apologized for them, except for Henrietta Lacks and then only because the family complained publicly. They have to be sued in court in order to respond. By then it’s too late for the victims. Their lives have been destroyed.

Eleazar the Omniglot

Posted: May 15, 2018 by teachkirsch in Uncategorized

One of my students, Eleazar, came to Baltimore from Guatemala in 2014. When he arrived, he spoke only academic Spanish, because his mother tongue is a tribal language called Mam. Here in Baltimore, he improved his Spanish through conversations with other Central American immigrants while he learned English in school. Here are some of his musings about language:

Hello my name is Eleazar I am going to explain about my first language is MAM that is the first language I learned when I had 4 years old. My grandparents only can talk in Mam because they could not speak Spanish well. Then when I was in school they always spoke to me in Mam and I was learning day by day and by the time I was 6 years old I could speak well in Mam. then when I went to school  people and everyone spoke mam the town is called Concepcion and already understood what they said and I stared to talk with the people who were with me in the town and also with my cousin.s I used to get together and they talk only in Mam although they could also speak in Spanish.

I will give some examples in Mam.

Numbers: 1 jun 2 kan 3 ox 4 kyaj 5 jwe 6 waqaq

How are you? chitoc tal tat

What is your name? tetville tat…  

How did I stared to learned Spanish? I had 6 years old when I stared to go in school and it was little hard to learn Spanish because I just can speak Mam and all the teachers can speak Mam and they had the patience to teach us in Spanish. Already with time I could speak a little Spanish but always when I arrived at home my Grandparents always spoke in Mam because that is the first language at home. Then when I went to school I met with my friends who could speak in Spanish and I asked them the great favor so they could teach me what they already knew. With their help I was learning fast and also when it was lunch time I always spoke Spanish a bit. Also I had the great help of a guy that took me to a town called Cuilco. It’s a place where they only speak pure Spanish and my uncle took me to work with him already when I was 12 years old and every time I did not understand what I wanted I always asked him. 

This is how I learned English well: it was 2014 when I came here to United States.  I was stared to came to school in August well my first day was so sad because I don’t what they talk about. But I make friends and I ask like how they did learned but they tell me just pay attention. So my first year I just learned little bit because I stared like in the middle school but my second year was better because I make a lot of friends who speak English and also my teachers they teach me how to said the words in English. That helped me a lot. Also I found a job so that too help me because my boss give me to be a server so when I worked I make little conversation with the costumers.  I was like so scared when we present our projects here in class but now I am so proud because I learned more this year and also I feel my English I am make better and thank you teacher because you are a great teacher.

It is important to know language because you can talk with many people if you go somewhere. For example if you go to the restaurant when you travel. Also is very important because you can introduce the people who don’t speak another language. You can help the people who don’t speak a language like some people from Guatemala who cant speak Spanish. They can only speak Mam. I can speak MAM, Spanish and English, so in the future I can help the people if I to Guatemala.

It is very important to learn languages because you can find any kind of job. It  is important to learn new language because like Jennifer Smith says in her article THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE, learning a language “opens up a world of new opportunities if you choose to learn a commonly speak language such as Spanish, French or German you can travel practically anywhere in the world and not have trouble with translations.” This means is very good for everyone if you go somewhere like Brazil or Barcelona and you can speak any kind of language so you can travel. Also you can have a lot of opportunities in every where like like if you go to Guatemala and get a great job in a Hotel or in a restaurant.  Also help peoples like introduce peoples who is traveling from another country and also like teach them who don’t speak English. Like here, the teachers teach us how we can learn English so that is the first rule, so the same we can do for  people who can’t speak any language. In the future if I go to Guatemala I can give the classes to the peoples who would like to learn English that I can help.

In conclusion it’s important to become an Omniglot so you can help other people and yourself.


Sports Gender inequality

Posted: May 14, 2018 by carter195 in Uncategorized

Females dominate just at the same rate as males but yet there’s gender inequality. Female athletes are just as skilled maybe better than males. Why is it that males get more props and perks when they are just equal to females? What makes males so great in the sports world?

“Women’s soccer is more popular in the U.S  than men’s yet the female squad gets paid less” (Harry Getty). To me this mean females owns the sport but don’t  get the respect and pay they deserve. Females own the sport but males get a silver spoon until it’s time for a stand of females vs. males.  Harry Getty proves female soccer players are underpaid and don’t get what they deserves. To me if they are as good or better then males they should be getting paid more and more respect.

As a male athlete, I learned that the process of being recruited for males is easy but harder for females; two times harder. Why is that when they shoot the same ball in the same hoop? And on top of that they have the same skills? But females are forced to work harder than males and get offered less money. “Males get 179 million more in athletic scholarships each year then females do” (Lahnee Pavlovich). Colleges value male athletes more than females. However they don’t see females as worth the time or money.

Gender inequality on Sports Illustrated magazine: why is it males are caught in action in the picture while females it’s the opposite? On any Sports Illustrated cover featuring a male athlete, there’s a picture of them ether in the moment or a photoshoot in their gear, however females are presented in a sexual manner as if that’s the only way they could be on sports covers. According to ‘’2015 sports illustrated covers” the male covers mainly focus on their athletic abilities while females it’s more like their body. And not only that, there’s coaches that are on cover with a face shot meanwhile females who are not athletes are presented in a bikini. I disagree with the fact how females are being presented. Ronda Rousey, female professional fighter, has no business being represented in that manner. She is just as equal to a coach and football player but dangerous. 2015 Sports Illustrated shows they don’t care about showing abilities of females or them being caught in action.     

Females are getting less TV time. “0.4 percent of commercial investments goes into women sports” according to  Irvine Heather. This shows that females don’t get recognition for their sport. To me the reason for this is because female sports are not watched on the regular. “Researchers found that women athletes are actually covered less in media now then they were in 1989,sports center only gave women 2% of coverage”.     

Because of gender inequality, sports is forced to portray that it’s only for males which is not true. Gender inequality forces females to lose confidence because they don’t get equal rights as males in the sports world. men also begins to think that they are superior to women.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        



I’m Allergic To Life By Jenna Barnett

Posted: May 11, 2018 by purpledreams31317 in Uncategorized

Allergic reactions can range from mild to deadly. Whatever the case, it is important to take care of any type of allergic reaction before it gets worse.

According to, an allergic reaction is “a common condition in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance.” According to an allergic reaction is “…In some people substances such as pollen, certain, latex, mold, pet dander, dust mites or insect stings are allergens that trigger the production of antibodies called immunogloblin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells and release chemicals, causing symptoms most often in the nose, throat, lungs, sunuses, ears, lining of the stomach and skin.” These symptoms can range from mildy uncomfortable or death. also claims there are more than just food allergies. There are drug/medicine allergies, seasonal allergies and contact dermetitis. Contact dermetitis is a skin rash caused by contact with a certain substance, also known as “Contact Eczema”. Almost everyone knows what seasonal allergies are. When it becomes spring, the leaves grow back on the trees, the flowers grow and there is pollen everywhere. Everyone is sneezing, eyes red and swollen, nose clogged with snot. Its a wreck. And drug allergies are pretty self explanatory. For example, my father is allergic to amoxicillin and his doctor gave it to him by mistake. His arm became blue and he passed out within fifteen minutes. There are many different types of allergies and none are to play with.

Seasonal allergies are only mild. They cause some uncomfortably, but
when you have a serious allergic reaction your body goes into anaphylactic shock. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock are dizziness, loss of consciousness, labored breathing, swelling of the tongue, throat and breathing tubes, blueness of the skin, low blood pressure, heart failure, or even death. This is a very serious physical state that requires medical attention immediately. It is important to know your allergies and their severity because your life could be at risk. In my experience, I am highly allergic to peanuts and one day while I was out grocery shopping, I found a bag of caramel popcorn. I was starving and I did not see the little print on the bag that said “With Peanuts.” When I returned to my car with my groceries, I opened the popcorn and shoved a whole handful in my mouth. Something about the popcorn tasted foreign. I’ve never experienced this taste before. Immediately I felt an uncomfortable sensation come across my body. I began sweating, my throat became irritated, itchy and it began to swell. I couldnt breathe. I struggled for my breath. My tongue instantly felt like a balloon. I panicked. I was so afraid. I checked the bag and finally realised the tiny print. My mom sped off as fast as she could to our house. We got in, she stuck me with my EpiPen needle, gave me allergy pills and immediately called 911. This experience was overall uncomfortable, annoying, frightening and upsetting.

Now we know what allergies are, what types and the severity of having an allergic reaction. Lets talk about what to do when having and allergic reaction. “What Its Like To Survive A Severe Allergic Reaction”, Kristen Duncan says “In most cases, after an EpiPen or other treatment has been administered it is important to call 911 or local emergency services and request an ambulance and alert the medical services of the allergy attack.” But this is only the case if you’re going through anaphylactic shock. If you are just sneezing, itching, or mildly uncomfortable, you do not need to call 911. You can simply apply hydrocortisone cream or take an allergy pill, or do whatever you have to to get rid of the reaction.

And lastly, how to prevent an allergic reaction. The most important thing to learn when preventing an allergic reaction is knowing your allergies and their severity. You can go to your primary care doctor and ask to make an appointment with an allergist and have tests done to find out what your allergies are and their severity. They will give you the results the same day. Next would be being extremely careful with your allergies. Whenever I eat out, I ask if any of the food I ordered has any nuts. When I buy food products, I always check the ingredients and if I’m not too sure, I wont take a chance or may ask someone else to taste first, who isnt allergic to nuts. There are several ways to prevent an attack. It would be best to follow them all and listen to your body.

Allergies can be very serious and dangerous. It is important to know your allergies and their severity for your safety and wellbeing.

Addicted to war

Posted: May 10, 2018 by tomasgarcia14 in Uncategorized

The book Addicted to War made some very interesting points that was very convincing about how the United States could be addicted to war like how the government is always funding the military and we have to support ourselves. In the first page this lady gets her paycheck to find out that the government took out a lot of money from her( taxes ). I know the feeling because I use to work during the summer and they would always take away a lot of money so where does it go? Mostly all of the money goes to fund the military. Military spending adds up to more than half of the federal governments annual discretionary spending. Unlike other sources this book brings up mainly facts and mostly all of the source I read was just opinions or things they assume that are true.
In one of the source I read was this article called America addicted to war and afraid of peace. That title right there sounds like a opinion true, we could be addicted to war but afraid of peace could be just an opinion because why would be afraid of something we have been chasing for a life time? Some other articles that I have read is they really don’t answer the question they just put the question as the articles name and put their opinions to that don’t even relate to the main article they just say what they are feeling and what they hate about the president or they say what they believe to be is right or think is right. But, in the book it will really convince you that we could be actually addicted to war with all of the people we killed and all the land we took over like for example when japan bombed us it was nothing compared to what we did to them we probably killed millions of civilians which I thought we don’t do.

In the book they say the government funds the military more than everything else they say “waging wars are at an all time high because of all of the funding the government has done” but we pat the price for it when some soldiers don’t come back home. Wars overall bring a lot of tragedy soldiers not coming back pedestrians caught in the crossfire cities being destroyed by wars like 9/11 we kept on fighting in wars not look for peace the the terrorist said we had to pay the price for what we have done.

If I would recommend one source it would addicted to war because in this they talk about why the u.s is addicted to war it could be because of land or power.

Link to addicted to war 





The benefits of reading interesting books

Posted: May 10, 2018 by botros2018 in Uncategorized

One time I had to read a book that was of no interest to me and it was harder for me to
understand it. The books we read in school were not interesting to me and my fellow classmate so it was
harder to learn from it. This is a problem that a lot of students have in school. In school when we read
some students were confused and didn’t understand. Students struggled to read the books because
they were not interested in it. I believe that I am the only child who grew up with this treasure in the
house. I used to ask others did you have our wonder world. I’d have to tell them the book of knowledge
could not be candle to it. This quote means that he sees a book as a treasure and reading is precious to
him. This evidence proves my thesis because he is talking about how reading is a treasure to him.
Reading helped a lot people build their literacy. When I was younger reading help me learn a lot.

Reading help build my literacy and made me smarter. Building my literacy will help me in their future.
When I work and meet new people. the ability to read well and write clearly and effectively give people
power. I think this quote means that reading is powerful thing. This proves my thesis because reading is
power and it will help build your literacy.

Reading books that are interesting to you will help build your literacy. In middle school, we had
a 100-book challenge and the teacher allowed us to choose a highly interesting book. It was to help us
learn to read better and give us a challenge. Reading interesting book will help build your literacy.
Adolescents entering the world in the 21 st century will read and write any other time in human history. They
will need advanced level of literacy perform their jobs, run their household and act as a citizen and
conduct their personal lives. This quote is saying that literacy is a part of your daily life and your going to
need it.

As we see teachers should allow students to choose a highly interesting book to build their

On Fri, Mar 16, 2018 at 1:31 PM, Botros Pasingda <> wrote: