Should the Holocaust be Taught in Schools?

Almost 85 years ago, in 1933, one of the most atrocious and brutal events of history was in full speed. Around 9,000,000 innocent souls were taken because of the hatred of someone else. What was this event you might ask? The Holocaust.

When young, charismatic, Nazi (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) leader Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany, there was no limit on the horrors and anguish he could create. Adolf Hitler believed that Germany, and in the near future the whole world should look and pray a certain way. He thought that the fair skinned, blond haired, and blue eyed Germans, or Aryans, were the supreme and only race of the world. Hitler targeted his views on Jews, homosexuals, the disabled, gypsies, and any other race that was “inferior” to the Aryans (Nazi Racial Ideology). The solution, concentration camps and imminent death. In 1933, the first concentration camp, Dachau, was opened. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis transported Jews to ghettos (gated living space in city) and concentration camps in order to inflict pain and abuse on them. The conditions were inhumane and torturous. When concentration camps weren’t cruel enough, the Nazis installed killing centers in the largest camps. The burned them and gassed them until finally, the allies (America, England, Soviet Union, and France) raided the camps in 1945 (The Allies). Once all the casualties were counted, 6,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered by Nazi Germany.
The torture they faced is so cruel and so unimaginable that today’s generation has no concept of truly how atrocious it was. For many, this subject is touchy because it has to do with religion, extreme death, complicated idealism’s, and unfathomable brutality. Many parents, teachers, survivors, and students are wondering if this subject is appropriate for school. I wholeheartedly believe, even though I am Jewish, that the Holocaust should be taught in schools. There are ways lessons can be conducted that aren’t insensitive and offensive to victims and survivors. Teaching the Holocaust at a young age allows children to learn the roots of prejudice and anti-semitism (United States Holocaust Memorial Musuem). It is so important to introduce children to these issues so that they grow up knowing the difference between right and wrong and good and evil. I know this topic is pretty dark, but it’s important to share this message so the future generation can prevent history from repeating itself.


How to get what you want: The Guide to Personal Confidence

Everybody has wants in life. From financial success to those new jeans you saw at the mall, there are so many things that we just desire. While some people are just “go-getters” and will do what it takes to achieve their goals, others are a bit slow to grab what they want. It starts with your personal self esteem and confidence, and how you feel about yourself. You need to be able to believe in yourself to be able to get what you want. There are a bunch of different ways to achieve your goals and wants, and everybody has different strategies. Here are a few things that I put together to help you be the best you can be.

Setting Goals:  Your goal is essentially what you want, and sometimes that can’t be achieved. You need to be able to set appropriate goals for yourself, and make them something you can do. If you are trying to save up some money for a new phone, you don’t want your goal to be able to raise enough money in a week. That’s not something that’s really achievable unless you work at a really high paying job that makes $2,000 a week. Try for more like 3 months, depending on your lifestyle. Your goal should reflect on what you are physically, and mentally, able to do. However, don’t make it something that is easily achievable, or set lower expectations. This way, you won’t really get what you want, just the bare minimum. To set the ideal goal, it should be something that will take a lot of effort to achieve, but is not impossible. For more detailed steps on setting goals, see this article.

Be Prepared:  It’s easy to want things. It’s not easy, however, to be ready for these things. You could spend days, weeks, and even years dreaming about something only to realize that you are not ready for it. It’s best to know the risks and responsibilities of something before getting it, because then you enjoy it better. For example, if you are thinking of getting a pet. You know you want a dog and you have been thinking of getting one for a long time. But if you take a look at your bank account, you realize that you really can’t afford to care for an animal. By saving up for a dog (see above) you are more prepared and ready to financially handle what you want. Not only should you be financially ready, you should also be mentally prepared. Handling a dog is a time consuming job. You have to sacrifice somethings to be able to take care of it. By preparing yourself for something, it allows you to enjoy it even more.

Ask for Help:  By asking for help, you are not showing weakness. It takes a lot of strength and courage to let people know that you need a little assistance. Sometimes your goal requires you to ask other people for help, whether it’s from family and friends, or people you just met. Different situations require different conversations with others, but the goal is what you want. One thing is for sure: you won’t get what you want from other people if you don’t tell them, so talk to them! You shouldn’t have a completely independent mindset, where you feel as if you have to do everything by yourself. You also shouldn’t feel like you can’t do anything without other people, because then other people are completing your goal for you. Instead, try to do everything you can by yourself, and if you need help, ask!


Animal Suffrage and Why it Should be Stopped

FBI to Begin Tracking Animal Abuse Data in 2016


Is it fair that animals around the world are suffering? Every day an animal is being beaten or neglected. This may involve beating, stabbing, shooting animals and even setting them on fire. I think this is wrong and should be stopped immediately. Also these animals are neglected like, not giving them necessary food, water, shelter and vet care. Most of these animals are dying everyday. Some examples of animal abuse would be dog fighting, puppy mills, animal hoarding, farm animal welfare, horse slaughter, and any other animal issues.

Dog fighting is when dogs are forced to defend themselves against other dogs for profit or entertainment of other people. This is wrong and a terrible thing to do to any animal. These animals are held in isolation and spend their time on heavy chains. They are pushed in many ways under bad conditions. For example, “They are regularly conditioned for fighting through the use of drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness,”(The Criminal, Underground World of Dog Fighting). Even though dogfighting is illegal in every state, people are still doing it for money.

Animal hoarding is when a person has too many animals in one house at a time and can’t take care of all of them, which leads to neglect between the animals. They should not have this many pets which is unfair to the animals. They each need personal attention throughout the day. This person may deny that they have so many animals which can be a sign of animal hoarding. Another sign would be, “They have numerous animals and may not know the total number of animals in their care. Their home is deteriorated (i.e., dirty windows, broken furniture, holes in the wall and floor, extreme clutter), and also there is a strong smell of ammonia, and floors may be covered with dried feces, urine, vomit, etc,”(A Complex Issue). All of the animal abuse should be stopped immediately before another animal dies of suffrage.
In conclusion I believe animal abuse is the worst thing you can do to an animal. It is not fair that they are being beaten and stabbed. These animal are dying everyday which should not be happening. They are pets and living things not something to make money off of. They should be taken care of by an owner who actually cares about them. The things these animals are going through should be stopped immediately. I hope you too understand why we should take action by helping animal shelters that rescue these animals.


Don’t exclude Homeschooled Children

Did you know that Connecticut is one of the 21 states that doesn’t allow homeschooled children to participate in sports and other activities in public schools? There are approximately 1.7 million homeschoolers in the United States ( A House Divided; Homeschool Students on School Sports Teams ), and only 25 states in the U.S. allow homechooled children to play public school sports. At this current time, more than 19 states allow home-schooled children to participate in public school activities ( some with requirements ), while 21 other states only allow children with full enrollment to participate in their activities. The state of Connecticut doesn’t allow any homeschooled children to join and participate in their activities, and this is because Connecticut follows the rules of  the CIAC. The CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference ) says that, “Home schooled students are not eligible to participate on CIAC schools’ interscholastic teams”. Only students that are fully enrolled into the school that is under the rules of the CIAC are allowed to play and do the activities at that school.

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By excluding homeschooled children from participating in public school sports, its discriminating against parent’s  right to educate their children how they see fit. Everyone should have a right to tryout for and if they make, participate in any organization or  athletic team that their  tax paying dollars support. ( Pro/Con; Should Homeschoolers be Allowed To Participate in Public School Sports? ) There are many positive  benefits for children who play on a school-based sports team, this includes weight control, self esteem, social skills, leadership skills and better academic achievements among children who play on sports teams.  Even though children have the opportunity to attend  public schools in the area they live in, some children choose not to  attend them, and this can be because their parents are in  the military and they move around alot, religion reasons, and bullying issues.  I was very disappointed when I found out that in Connecticut the CIAC wouldn’t allow my friend and travel basketball teammate to tryout for the Dodd team.  So, I wrote to my local representatives asking them to create a new  law that would ban the CIAC from discriminating against home schooled children. All in all, if you pay taxes for the school system and you chose to educated you child at home  your children should still be able to participate in your schools team sports and activities.  It would  benefit the homeschooled children and it would make the school team stronger because you never know the next Michael Jordan or Rebecca Lobo might be homeschooled in your town.  


The Ships of Space

One of the things that I love to think about is technology advanced space ships. When I do end up thinking about this I like to think about how they are built. What they would do. How the would be used and, where they would go. Whenever I get lost in my thoughts, I can see my inside one of these spacecraft exploring the universe as if i’m riding my bike around the neighborhood.

Whenever I picture one of these magnificent boats of space being made I think of the final scene from Star Trek “Beyond” when the U.S.S. Enterprise is being rebuilt. I would picture some sort of advance engine type firing up and preparing to warp with a low humming sound and the humming gets louder until they fire and the ship begins to move at immense speed to some far away solar system, even a galaxy where mankind has never seen before. Speaking of exploration, I imagine ships all over the universe thriving at the fact that there could be a new home (not saying earth isn’t good for humanity) and searching for minerals and more elements on the periodic table trying to advance our technology even more. Wouldn’t you want to see the vastness us outer space without full astronaut training?


Dress Code, Harmful or Helpful?

You may have run into the moment where you had to change what you were wearing to meet the requirements of the school dress code. What is dress code you may ask? Dress codes are requirements given by the school, on what you can and cannot wear. Dress codes have been around for centuries restricting your clothing choices, but the first school dress code law was established in 1969 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Some people find dress codes bothersome and unnecessary, while others say it helps keep students from being distracted while promoting discipline. This brings up the question: does dress code really help shape students to their advantage?

Some people think that dress codes are unfair and assist to the shaming towards females. Dress code rules state that they help “prevent distractions towards young boys.” But the reasoning here is that girls should not have to change what they wear for the boys, boys should learn and respect what the girls wear. And to think that boys cannot learn if they can see a girls shoulder is said to be absurd. Dress code as well as telling girls to change, can be hard to follow. In an article by Mckenzie Foust, she dressed according to school dress codes around the country. She said, “I was appalled to see what schools were calling dress code violations for and some of their punishments. This article showed me just how easy I had it.” Although, the other side of the argument is that it encourages students to learn more and worry less about their fashion choices. Dress codes have been proven to decrease the pressure on wardrobe choices for students. In addition, dress codes decrease the amount spent on clothing because they do not have to buy clothes based on expensive trends. This decreases the amount of bullying and the pressure to look popular. In my opinion I think that we should start teaching everyone, from a young age, not to be distracted or judgmental of other’s clothing. Dress codes are important to teach students what is appropriate to wear, however extreme dress codes with punishments are not needed. Nevertheless, what do you think about dress codes? Are these rules necessary or beneficial to students education and growth?


How Easy Is It To Steal Your Fingerprints?

Let’s admit it, we’ve all taken pictures while making a peace sign or a thumbs up and sent it to a friend or decided to post it on Instagram, harmless, right? Well, you may have given all of your followers or your friend the password to your device without even knowing! Now many of our devices allow you to use your fingerprint as a way to unlock your phone, but your camera could allow others access your devices. Pictures taken from smartphones are so detailed that they can pick up your fingerprints! Although you may think that they can only notice the fingerprints when you take a selfie, you may want to think again. Your fingerprints can be retrieved from pictures that have been taken up to ten feet away.  

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If you think that none of your followers could have the technology to steal your fingerprints, you may be frightened to hear it’s easier than you would think, I know I was. Professor Isao Echizen from Japan’s National Institute of Informatics explains that, “your fingerprint data can be recreated if fingerprints are in focus with strong lighting,”. By compiling photos, or even just using one, thieves can recreate your fingerprints and hack into your devices, all they need is good lighting and a focus on your fingers. However, for me, the scariest part of stealing your fingerprints is that they, unlike passwords cannot be changed, we’re stuck with them forever! The thought that a harmless picture could give someone the password to all of my devices, forever, makes me think twice every time I go to make a peace sign or thumbs up in a picture. However, I think I’m just not going to do a peace sign or thumbs up in any picture I take, it’s not worth the risk. And just think about how easy it’ll be to steal your fingerprints in the future!


Will the Pittsburgh Penguins say “hello” to Stanley again this Year?

Yes, they did win the cup last year.  But can they repeat those stellar playoff wins?  Putting up a total of 241 goals during the regular season, they had a great start.  Also when new coach Mike Sullivan over Christmas break stepped in, he had a large, positive, impact on the team.  His prior experience coaching Pittsburgh’s minor league team, the Wilkes-Barre Penguins, gave him the knowledge needed to bring up young players without taking too much money out of their salary cap.  Also the Penguins captain Sidney Crosby started to contribute after Christmas break, racking up an explosive 85 points on the season.

Personally, in my opinion, I believe that the Burgh can do it again this year.  With the new phenom Conor Sheary, winning star of the week, scoring 6 goals and 9 points in the past seven days, it is very much in their realm.  Furthermore, being in the top three of the metropolitan division for most of the season, it looks like we should make the playoffs with ease. Also, Sidney Crosby is having yet another great year, leading the NHL in goals right now with a very solid and consistent 28.  Plus, in a recent stadium series game against the Flyers, the Penguins had a demanding 4-2 win giving them nice confidence boost to play well in the last leg of the season.  The penguins as whole have only three losses at home this season right now, being a threat to the whole national hockey league.  As you can see, the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise have shown many promising results that could lead to yet another Stanley Cup win this year.


The Hardest Puzzle In The World

So I know what ya’ll were probably thinking when you first heard the title, “What’s so important if there’s a hard game that tests knowledge?” Except this post is about something totally different and more serious. I’m talking about Autism, a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts. Also about special needs, a  particular educational requirements resulting from learning difficulties, physical disability, or emotional and behavioral difficulties. Yes, you’ve probably heard before, “Every kid is special in their own way,” but what does it actually mean when people refer to special needs children. “This means any kid who might need extra help because of a medical, emotional, or learning problem. These kids have special needs because they might need medicine, therapy, or extra help in school — stuff other kids don’t typically need or only need once in awhile.” You may be thinking, “So what? I know what that is, but what more should I know?” Yes, you may know what is is, but no one I’ve ever met has ever had a full understanding of it unless they have a connection with someone who has it. However, whenever I touch this sensitive subject it’s as if people want to avoid it or just leave it out of the picture, but the truth is you can’t.

Again I know some of you reading this know not to tease or think less of the special needs, which means you were taught right. On the other hand, some are less fortunate to not have. So, when they see someone talking differently or having a helping teacher they point and laugh, but once they find out what they have they immediately stop. That’s the problem no matter if they have specials needs or not they’re human. They’re just like us and all they’ve ever wanted is to be treated the same way as everyone else. I know it may seem like I’m ranting on and on about a subject you may not care about, but I do. Why do I seem to care a lot about this matter? Is it because I want a good grade, or is it because my parents forced me to? The reason I care so much about this matter because all my life I’ve lived around special needs.

So what’s the point of this ongoing blog post? Well it’s me telling all of you to become friends with a special need. Please don’t let them wander the halls, eat alone at a lunch table, or to find that all the people they thought were their friends made nasty jokes about them behind their back. All I want is for you to open your heart to someone who needs it truly. Now is that too much to ask? I’m not asking you to dis all your friends, but to simply to make them feel accepted or hang with them with your original friends. If you think it’s too much of a risk because you might be judged by your friends,  then I guess you gotta ask yourself this question, are you hanging around the right kind of people? Another question you might want to ask yourself if you would get embarrassed being seen with a special needs kid is, what kind of person does that make you?


Is it worth the headache?

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Over the years, the number of concussions in the NFL has increased massively.  Between 2014 and 2015, the concussion percent rose over 30%.  The most common reason for concussions in the NFL is head on head contact, which is why they banned “head slaps” for good.  The NFL continues to think of new rules and policies that could possibly decrease the amount of concussions.  For example, they’ve advanced the “roughing the passer” penalty to make it more strict and inclusive, as well as the “unnecessary roughness” penalty.  So the question is, what are more effective ways the NFL could further prevent concussions?

In my opinion, the only reason NFL players still occasionally “bump heads” intentionally is because the consequence is bearable and not intimidating. The highest penalty for “unsportsmanlike conduct” is 15 yards in the current game.  I think the consequence should be more lasting and punishing.  I believe if a player is clearly headbutting on purpose and continuously, there should be talk of a possible suspension.  The only thing 15 yards accomplishes is maybe a yell from the coach, but a short 1, maybe 2 game suspension will surely prevent players from making the same mistake.  Also, most players keep quiet if they notice double vision, blurriness, or other symptoms of a concussion.  They would rather play in the game and not miss any opportunity to compete.  If players told someone right away if they were experiencing any symptoms, it would prevent their concussion from getting even worse.  Even if this strategy won’t technically prevent concussions, it would stop the players from making the injury even worse.  If a player notices any concerning symptoms, they should tell their coach immediately.  Lastly, there are some ways players could prevent concussions by just being more aware on the field and knowing some strategies during play.  All in all, even though the NFL has managed to decrease concussion numbers over the years, I think with these strategies, they could really put NFL concussions in the past.