My Best Friend

December 8, 2008 at 6:50 pm (Uncategorized)

There are few people in this world that know me very well and can appreciate who I am. One person is my best friend Darshana. I was grateful to have met her my sophomore year of high school because my senior year would not have been as enjoyable without her. She has helped me get through some really hard times. My best friend and favorite person is very caring, a little comical unintentionally, and a very engaging girl.

Darshana cares for everyone. There is not one person in this world that she would not talk to. Although she is bashful and has a hard time at times talking to someone at first. She will go over if she sees that someone is distressed. If I was feeling slightly depressed and was hiding it well she would be the one person to call out my bluff. I’ve seen her several times go up to a person we know and ask them what is wrong and talk with them. Our friend Waji would get really depressed at times, but Darshana was there for him when he needed her most. She would make an effort to make you laugh by doing the “monkey face” if you had a rough day. She was really comforting with her soft, slightly high pitched in pleasant way voice. Her deep brown eyes always showing warmth and concern as you talked to her. You can tell that she is concerned and wants to help you. Personally, I had seen her as my own personal cup of tea, something that would calm me down and soothe me when I needed it to. Sometimes when you’re down, you need a laugh and she has an interesting way of making it happen.

Darshana can make any person laugh and being a huge klutz tends to help her out. All those funny situations in sitcoms just seem to happen to her. Like how the girl trips when she sees the guy she likes, it’s happened to her more than once. She also likes to wear heels quite a bit. She’s tripped over her own feet like someone has stuck their foot out. It causes her major embarrassment. Wearing heels doesn’t help her with her grace. She was once too shy to talk to someone and could only squeak a response. The squeak sounded similar to a mouse. Next thing I knew I saw a wave of red going down Darshana’s tan skin. Quickly I covered for her and grabbed her hand to take her away. There was also the time she challenged me to a leg wrestling match in AP Bio. We were doing a small activity at the lab tables and she was sitting across from me. She tried to pull me under the table. Her efforts were pointless; I wasn’t budging. So, I pulled on her. She almost immediately slipped under the table. It made the whole table laugh as she uttered the words “Dang it!” Although she tries not to be funny, Darshana seems to always do something that will cause some to laugh. Sometimes here humorous ways tend to cause people to over look her beauty.

She’s also a pretty girl that doesn’t get noticed. Darshana is Indian, so her look is already a little different from the norm. She has very long, silky black hair that has an odd, natural bluish tint to it. It’s funny how people think she does her hair every day, but the truth is it’s naturally wavy. The only real effort she puts into her appearance is eyeliner to enhance her almond shaped eyes. Although her eyes are deep brown she sometimes wears contacts that make her eyes become a very alluring green color. Naturally, Darshana has the brown undertone to her skin that most girls have to sit in a tanning booth for. She sometimes takes it for granted, but the truth is it fits her well. Her smile could light up your day like a chocolate bar. She has a very soft, cute giggle that you can’t help but smile when you hear it. She’s only 5’5”; you wouldn’t be able to tell by how skinny she is. It seems to make her look taller. Although Darshana is very pretty, that’s not the reason she my best friend.

Darshana is a very caring, funny, and good looking individual that I am lucky to be friends with. I would not trade her for anything in the world. She understands me, can tell when I’m feeling down, and wants to help me out. But she doesn’t just help me out, she helps out others as well. She makes people laugh, although sometimes unintentionally. She’s an attractive girl that doesn’t add all the extras like most girls do. I’m lucky to have my best friend and miss her quite a bit since we’re eight hours from each other. I hope that everyone can find a caring and funny friend. It’s easier going day to day knowing there is someone there for you that you can count on.

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Cheerleading Vs. Gymnastics

December 8, 2008 at 6:48 pm (Uncategorized)

When you see gymnasts doing their daring stunts, then see an exuberant cheerleader you think that there could be no commonalities between them, right? There are several similarities between cheer leading and gymnastics in reality. They both take a lot of physical strength, flexibility is a requirement, training is essential for both of these sports if you want to be good at it. For cheer leading, it can become a career for some women if they choose to take that route. Although, if you were to be a professional gymnast, you can only physically compete until you are about 20. Although cheer leading and gymnastics have many similarities, there are large differences that set to two sports.

If you ever paid attention to cheerleaders’ or gymnasts’ they have a lot of similar moves to perform and they all take strength. Both sports require tumbling, also known as flips to the common person. Tumbling, is being able to propel your body upside down, then righting yourself and landing. Imagine going upside down several feet off the ground sometimes adding a twist. If they were not strong there would be a lot of concussions from falling on their heads. Seeing girls that are not strong enough to do what they are attempting can result in some pretty painful injuries such as broken bones and sprains. The strength isn’t just about being able to move your own weight at least not for a cheerleader. Cheerleaders are sometimes required to lift up someone else. This is a little different than having to know how to lift your own weight, because if you lift someone the wrong way, it can result in a serious injury for yourself. For gymnasts they need to be able to hold themselves up on the uneven bars. This requires a lot of upper body strength that most people to do not acquire. It takes a lot of work to get momentum to go upside down and fling yourself to the other bar. All this flipping, turning, and lifting would not be possible on strength alone, there’s a lot of flexibility that is involved as well.

Flexibility is a main component for both sports; intensive amounts of stretching are required. There is not one set of muscles that can be ignored. Legs, arms, the neck, and back are extensively stretched before any type of practice can begin. Bending backwards and landing on your hands or completely flipping upside down without hands can be tricky. Having your back being able to bend the right amount is essential. For some skills you may have to jump up and completely split your legs for a jump skill. Even have to do the splits themselves on the ground or the beam. There are five different ways to do the splits, and are not possible without being flexible. If someone is not flexible enough to do something and force themselves to try it can result in injury of tearing of the muscles. These skills that require flexibility tend to look graceful or elegant. Like when you see a gymnast finish a floor routine, she’s doing the splits and gracefully lay her head down on her leg. The skill requires a substantial amount of flexibility to perform . You’re watching a whole squad of cheerleaders, and you see them all do the splits in the air, it’s at the same time in complete unison. Once again flexibility is a factor. Flexibility and strength are required, but if you want to make a great gymnast or cheerleader there is another ingredient that is required, training.

Training is one of the essential things that can make or break a gymnast or cheerleader. If you ever noticed some squad or girls have about the same amount of skills, but one always seems to be doing better than the other. The key is training. If you don’t have an experienced trainer you can have the most natural talent in the world and still not come in first. Why is training so important? Training teaches discipline, technique, and helps realize you strengths or weaknesses. This allows changes to be made in the routine. Gymnasts and cheerleaders practice several hours each day working on skills that are needed. Going over the same material over and over again until it is perfected. Another key is finding a good instructor that knows what they are talking about. The best trainers tend to be those who have participated in the sport before. They also have a better understanding of what you are going through and what it’s like. Pushing you when it is needed and knowing when to give you a small word of encouragement to boost you up for an extra kick. The right instructor can make a team or gymnast that would have been average, and bring them to the top. It’s lucky to find someone that has the right approach to help someone. Some coaches don’t work with certain personalities. This sometimes causes more arguing than progress. Although there are several similarities between cheer leading and gymnast the career options of end up very different in the end.

Gymnasts put their bodies through constant stress, and for only a short time. If you are ever watching the Olympics, you will notice that no one is over the age of twenty. You see, that in fact, the oldest girl or boy competing tends to be the age of twenty and then retires after. Why is this? The answer is simpler than to be expected. The entire physical requirements: flexibility, strength, and speed tend to cause great amounts of stress on the body. Most people physically can’t carry on with the sport after they leave their teen years. Their body can’t keep going, unless they want an injury. Some gymnasts that carry on too long end up tearing or harming key muscles of the legs, arms, or even the neck or back. All gymnasts are disappointed to end their career but, most find another thing to do with their life. Sometimes it results in training others on how to do skills that they have learned. For cheer leading there is more time and a career option of the sport.

Cheerleaders do have challenges, but not as intense as gymnastics. Although most people think of college or high school football games, when they think of cheer leading, it goes beyond that to professional sports as well. For example, the famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, all who are in their twenties to possible thirties. Cheer leading, if you are good enough and your body allows you to stay flexible, can allow you to do all the kicks and jumps can go on. Although, there are more dance skills that are involved, there is still a lot of strength that is needed. You get paid about $75 per game, but you can also get the chance to do other things like modeling. Also, according to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader website most have other jobs (http://www.dallascowboyscheerleaders.com/auditions/auditions_faq.cfmCheer leading may not be the highest paying job but, you can get money from doing it. Cheer leading and gymnastics are similar and different at the same time.

There are large differences to how far cheer leading and gymnastics can take you; there are quite a few similarities. Most gymnasts only compete until they are twenty, while cheerleaders can go all the way to their thirties. Training is an essential component for both sports; it can make or break and team or individual. Flexibility is a key to getting things done properly. Strength is essential to being successful and not getting injured. The next time, you think cheer leading is a joke, or that gymnastics is for the completely incredible, realize that they are very similar, they just have their components applied differently.

Works Cited

Frequently Asked Questions.

http://www.dallascowboyscheerleaders.com/auditions/auditions_faq.cfm. December 6, 2008.

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Stem Cell Research

December 8, 2008 at 6:37 pm (Uncategorized)

When you see someone in the hospital needing an organ transplant, or missing a limb it brings someone a feeling of sadness. What if there was an option to change this and these people could live normal lives? Stem cell research can make such things possible; they can replace damaged or lost tissues. They could make new limbs for people who have lost them in accidents. You do not have to harm anyone to get stem cells, despite popular belief. Stem cell research should be legalized.

First off, stem cells allow for organs and tissues to be replaced. Stem cells can become any cell in the body. Newly made skin will allow burn victims to have new skin where it has been scared and damaged. All the skin can be replaced and as good as new like it never happened. All it would take is a small transplant of skin and it would grow like normal. Eyes could be replaced and the blind could see once again. Heart and other organ transplants could go by smoothly without the worry of the patient’s body rejecting them. Rejection of the tissues or organs is a major concern for most transplants even if the blood type matches. If an organ was remade from a healthy some of the patients body there is not risk of rejection; all that needs to be done is to add stem cells. The cells will be made for the persons own tissues; there would be no issues, unless there is a mess-up during the surgery. This could save a lot of people and allow them to live long, full, and healthy lives.

Another benefit is that amputees and those who have been severely injured would have another chance to have their limbs back and repair vital nerve connections. In the lab they can reconstruct limbs although it might take a while to grow them. Nevertheless, the wait would be worth it be able walk or use their arms like they would have normally. Many people could get their lives back. Instead of living the rest of their life with prostatic and bionic limbs, there’s also the power of repair in vital areas nerve cells and the spinal cord. It is possible for stem cell research to fix any damage happening to either cell. This has already been accomplished in with a rat; a paralyzed rat was given stem cells and was able to repair the rat’s spinal cord. He can currently function like any other normal rat. According to an article I found they are still working on the spinal cord but making progress on it (National Research Council). Diseases could be cured by taking out diseased-ridden organs and replacing them with clean and new organs. You wouldn’t have to use an organ donor just copy their organs. Stems cells could help many people get their lives back on track and normal again.

There is one other major controversy about stem cells, and that is how scientists get the stem cells. Many people are under the impression that they are taken from babies. But, according to the IISSC there are also a new set of guidelines telling doctors and patients the guidelines and ethics for the research (The International Society for Stem Cell Research Releases New Guidelines to Shape Future of Stem Cell Therapy). This is not true; they are taken from donated umbilical cords or taken from in vitro fertilization eggs. One such method is when woman gives birth she is asked if it is alright to donate the umbilical cord to a laboratory for stem cell research. If she says yes then the take if not then it is thrown away. The umbilical cords’ stem cells can help many people with their various problems. For in vitro fertilization there are about a hundred eggs that are fertilized and only about ten are used. The other eggs could be used for stem cell growing since it is all stem cells for the first few weeks. If the doctors were allowed to use this technique it would increase the number of tissue and organ transplants. This could ultimately save hundreds, if not thousands of lives; without harming anyone in the process.

Overall, the benefits outweigh the problems for stem cell research. It can allow people waiting for transplants to get organs and tissues much faster. They would not have to wait on a long waiting list hoping they can get the help they need. Allow amputees to live normal lives again, or let blind people see again to live normal lives. Stem cells are taken from sources that don’t interfere with unborn children. Imagine a world where everyone could be healthy, and die only of old age this can be possible, with stem cell research.

Works Cited

National Research Council (U.S.) committee on Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research Institute of Medicine (U.S.) Board on Health Sciences Policy. Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research/Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Board on Life Sciences Division on Earth Lite Sciences, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Institue of Medicine. Washington D.C., The National Academics Press. 2005. Pg 58

The International Society for Stem Cell Research Releases New Guidelines to Shape Future of Stem Cell Therapy”. 2008 PR Ne http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/The-International-Society-Stem-Cell/story.aspx?guid={32D0C746-ADBE-47E5-8BA4-13CBF7738C85}wswire. December 6, 2008.

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Scariest Moment of My life

December 8, 2008 at 5:54 pm (Uncategorized)

People don’t consider cheer leading to be a dangerous sport. I was a competitive cheerleader, and I disagree. I first joined the team when I was a freshman. Then, came sophomore year and that was a whole different story all together. We had additions in both the coaching staff and the number of girls on the team. There was even a problem with cliques in the beginning, but that was soon resolved. We managed to pull it together and work hard as a whole team instead of individuals that tried to be shining stars. This really can’t happen in cheer leading, plus there are three rounds to worry about.

The first round is the cheering round each team has to make up a whole cheer with in a time frame. It also includes having two or three jumps in the routine. You are judge on your voice level, if the judges can hear you clear and loud without screeching. The group’s facial expression, which means everyone, has happy faces that aren’t just smiling but showing enthusiasm. How in sync everyone is with the movements and jumps in the routine. Finally if the skills are clean precise and on time with one another.

Round two is the skills round. There are a set of motions that each group has to include within the cheer. It doesn’t not matter when the motions are put in, but they all have to be in the exact order they were given. There is a tumbling requirement that is included that usually keeps the number down. The coaches only allowed the girls who could constantly do the skills go in round two. There was also another rule that stated you could only have a difference of four girls for each round.

Last there’s round three this one put a combination cheering, skills, tumbling, and stunting. Stunting is when a group of four girls make a pyramid. There are two girls that are the bases that hold a girl up. A back spot that’s in the back to make sure the girl doesn’t fall. The flyer is tossed up in the air. Each of these places is equally important one wrong move and a stunt can go bad fast. Sometimes this results in injury or worse. There is a lot of practice that put into stunting to make sure things not only look right, but are safe to do. Stunting is probably the most difficult part of cheerleading.

Around Thanksgiving we had enough girls get their back handspring and walkover to add them into round two. This meant one thing a new stunt group in round three. Since I was the smallest girl on the time it made sense that I would be chosen to be the flyer for the new group. I was happy to no longer have to be a base for a girl bigger than I was. I learned the basics quickly and eventually caught up to the rest of the flyers. Then, they decided that they wanted me to try new stunts because they knew I would be the only one willing to try them I agreed.

The new stunts didn’t start getting put together until the week of my birthday. It was a Monday I remember coming to practice all excited. While, we were doing a new stunt I was falling and in the process of being caught I got punched in the eye. “Great, now I’m going to have a black eye!” was all I could think about. Luckily, I didn’t have a black eye. We couldn’t work out that stunt so we gave up on it and had a new one to try on Friday. This was when things started to take a turn.

I remember our coach Jen telling us about it. It was a three person stunt with one base and one back spot. Jen was the back spot while a close friend, Tarah was the base. At first I couldn’t get up and stay up. But, after a while that had all changed and I would stay up for longer and longer periods of time. Eventually, I could stay up for quite some time then, I would wobble and they’d sweep my legs out from under me and catch me. Then Jen said something that changed everything.

“Angel, I want you to stick this one no matter what. And if you’re absolutely going to fall just shout ‘Down!’ Okay?”

“Okay.”

We started off everything was going well. I was up there for longer than normal. Then my foot started to lean back. I tried to fix it quickly not to screw it up, nothing seemed to work I could feel myself teetering above their heads. Instead of falling forward as I normally would I have I was going to fall backwards. I began to feel really uncomfortable.

“Down.” I said quickly. No response…louder this time I guess

“Down!” nothing in response, I slowly panic as a start leaning a little backwards.

“DOWN!” the other girls look yet no response from the two I was talking to. My heart sinks and starts to pound, I realize I’m leaning too far back. Before the fall I squeeze my eyes shut, I clench my jaw tight. Do stick out my arms? No, I will most likely break them the way I’m falling. I feel a breeze then, I know what’s happening and there’s nothing I can do about it. I hear one of the girls scream in the distance. Then, there’s a flash of white light and the pain in the back of my head and neck that followed it as I hit the hard wrestling mat. I bounce once and then don’t move I fell and it hurts. I don’t move for a second or two, and then I check to see if I can feel everything. I can thankfully.

I open my eyes which are now watering from pain I see everyone in a circle around me all at once asking if I’m okay or alright, a couple saying they thought I snapped my neck. “Okay?” I think to myself, “Are we really asking if I’m okay after I fell—what? 12 or so feet?” I don’t want to be mean so I said “I’ll be alright.” But, then my anger gets into me.

“I’m done for today. I’m not doing anything else for today so don’t ask. I can’t believe I was just dropped like that after I said ‘down’ and I know people heard me. You’re lucky that I didn’t break my neck or something from that!”

I looked at Jen I held her responsible the most. Tarah gave me a tear eyed hug and said that the way she was holding me up she couldn’t hear anything. I understood I had based before. I didn’t see an excuse for Jen plus, it was her job to make sure that didn’t happen. I sat where I was for a long while practice ended early that day. I can’t believe what had happened that night even to this day. I forgave Jen but decided that a flyer wasn’t for me, I also decided that I was going to quit cheerleading after that season. I did and I don’t regret it, because living my life as a normal functioning person is more important. It’s funny how experiences like that change your life. I will never call cheerleading an easy or safe sport because of it, and I take it personally when someone says it isn’t.

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End of the World? (xc)

November 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm (Uncategorized)

There are many skeptics who say that the end of the world is coming in the year 2012.  Some believe this others don’t.  This is because the Myan calender ends at the year 2012.  Also, some other major religions predict that the world will end soon as well.  there is also a theory that the world will end, because the poles swap sides and the world will flip.  Some believe that this will cause all life to end.  If we’re just switching poles and having the same place geographically on the planet, logically there should be no change.  What about the years of lost time when peole stopped caring about keeping date and decided not to keep track of time.  Also, we orginally did not keep track of time with the myan calender, so why all of fuss about it know?  Is this the new Y2K?   I think that our society gets scared all too easily and any new reason freak out we will find it.  I personally don’t think that the world is going to end in four years.

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The Movie

November 23, 2008 at 8:27 pm (In Class Posts)

Watching the video in class was quite disturbing when they were talking about kids killing other kids in school.  The thing that bothered me the was that they blamed the music for the violence.  Out of all the factors like violence on the news and television or video games they blame music.  Specifically, Marilyn Manson saying that he is the problem for the teenagers behavior.  I have listened to his music and don’t think tha t it promotes violence.  It always seems like they are tyring to use someone as a scapegoat.  They usually blame the music for different actions that teenagers chose to do.  I think the people should look deeper for what happens and stop looking for the quickest and easiest excuse the blame.

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Favorite websites

November 17, 2008 at 4:31 am (lists)

Let’s see there are a few sites I like to go to and it goes as follows:

1.facebook

2.myspace

3.youtube

4. pandora

5.stepheniemeyer.com

6.hotmail

7.target

8.payless

9.american eagle

8.hollister

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Inappropriate Display?

November 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm (Opinion of the Week)

I was watching the news last night and there was a piece about a contraversal art display.  This display was at UW Milwakee and it showed picutures of not only pornography, and student posted racy pictures.  These pictures were taking from student myspace pages.  One girl demanded that her picture be taken off the display.  She said it was inappropriate.  My issue is this if you can post a picture of yourself half naked on a website where total strangers can see you, then why not at your college as well?  If your are that comfortable with that pic on your myspace, where people can copy you picture and save it.  Than whats the big deal with it being publically displayed.  Just because myspace you can adjust your privacy level on the site, doesn’t mean that your friends will respect that.  People need to learn that there can be consequences for actions like these.  The professor that posted this display wanted that message to be heard.  If you are not comfortable with a photo posted in public, than don’t post it on the internet.  people have a false sense of security with websites.  I think that this was an important warning that people should heed. I don’t feel sorry for her I think that it was good for her to learn.  It’s better now than later when the wrong person comes across it.  Let me know your thoughts.

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Pet Peeves

November 5, 2008 at 11:49 pm (lists)

I am mostly laid back, but here are a few things that do bother me: People who are obnoxious, ignorance when someone is talking about a subject, racism, sexism, when people try really hard to get attention, when people wear clothes too small for them, arguementative personalities, pessimists, and people who assume they know others without getting to know them.

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The Time for Change is Now

November 5, 2008 at 11:14 pm (Opinion of the Week)

Watching the polls of the election was exciting as Obama started to pull away from McCain.  Then, it became apparent who the winner of the popular vote was going to be.  Barack Obama, this means that times are changing.  All around the world people were cheering.  Many of the world leaders congradulated the new president-elect, some even said that they would cooperate.  It’s nice to see that we have a president that can unite on a world wide level.  It looks like there is going to be some great changes that will help us strive forward.  Bring the world closer peace and our nation to a better status than where we are at now.  This will take time of course, but he has one term, and possibly a second to do it in.

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