The sound of the SUVs tear across the horizon. It breaks the stillness that covers the dawn. Dust trails follow their tracks as they burst from the sunlit savannah. Their guns are loaded— some with tranquilizers, some with bullets. A mother and her calf scream and run from the speeding SUVs but they are separated. A group of the poachers keeps newborn from her mother while it watches as the mother collapses onto the ground with a heavy and deep thud that reverberates out toward her wailing calf. Soon, her tusks, in their strength and vivid white colors that stand out against the burnt soil, are stolen from her aged face and tossed into the SUV without care. As they came, they leave. The mechanical roaring drowns the screams of the pacing calf and as they leave its small legs run toward her fallen mother. The calf’s eyes show its misery and its confusion and its panicked spirit as the mother lies still without movement and without her ivory tusks. The calf will grow in the years to come. But the mother will not. Those tusks, which will soon be made into a small charm or a piece of jewelry, had saved her many times before but will save her never again. Once again silence returns to the savannah. But it is a silence that echoes with the screams and cries of horror.
I grew up overweight. From the time I was in second grade I knew something was wrong with me. A group of boys in the fourth grade would chase me around the playground pretending to shoot me like I was an escaped zoo animal. “Why me?” I would ask over and over again while staring up at the sky. Why did I have to be different? Why did something about me have to stick out so obviously? But more importantly, why did everyone seem to hate me because of it? Suddenly I was a freshman in high school and it seemed like life revolved around boys, parties, and anything we could do to rebel, that is except for mine. My life revolved around food, dieting, exercising, and cutting out pictures from Seventeen magazine to glue onto the inside of my notebooks
Growing up in a household when soccer was on all the time, I felt the need to follow suit. My three older brothers played, so I joined my local team as well to carry on this family practice. But it wasn’t until 7th grade I began to play while covered, when I began wearing the hijab permanently. At that moment, I wore leggings under my shorts, long sleeves under my jersey, and a hijab on my head.
In all honesty, I was terrified. I felt that people would judge me as soon as I stepped on the field. I was already used to the stares at school, but soccer was where I got away from the gawking I received. This next step in my life was a big change for me. From this point on, it meant fully covering. I would be an actual Hijabi. Some might not get the importance of that for me, but it was greatly important. I was not only changing my appearance, but also my mentality. Some see it as a simple piece of cloth, but the meaning is much more spiritual and profound than one might think. By doing this, I was speaking for something bigger than me. This meant I represented Islam in everything I did and said. My religion is so important to me, so I took this responsibility head on (pun intended).
Much of Port Orange knows me as the friendly neighborhood Chipotle worker who scoops guac, rolls burritos, and tries to smile through some of the annoying and rude customers that I deal with every night. Okay, so maybe not so friendly…sorry guys, but if you walk in at 9:00 p.m. and I’m ready to go home, I probably will roll my eyes when you ask for four side tortillas.
I’m completely unsure as to why I wanted a job so badly when my sixteenth birthday came into view. About a month off of the big day I decided that the day before I turned sixteen, I was going to be the proud new owner of a part-time job. This goal was not an easy one to achieve, especially when you had to explain to the places where you interviewed that you “almost have a license and can’t work for the next month.” My current boss laughed at me when I told her that; she took me over the 26-year-old interviewing next to me, though, and I have been grateful (for the most part) every day since.
I vividly remember sitting in a Target parking lot, anxiously counting down the seconds to 6:00. The moment I looked at the words displayed on my phone’s small screen, I felt the tears start to form.
The Committee on Admissions has carefully reviewed your Early Decision application to Columbia University, and we are sorry to inform you we cannot offer you a place in Columbia’s Class of 2020.
“It’s not the end of the world”, I tried to tell myself, and in a catatonic state of shock, I drove myself home thinking one thing and one thing only: Why?
Firstly, I'm not bashing It's Kind of a Funny Story whatsoever. It's a quality portrayal of a teenager who has lost his way but finds it through the beauty of the healthcare system. Read the book. Watch the movie. Enjoy it. Laugh. Zack Galifianakas is in it; if that does not tempt you I'm not sure what will.
I was sitting crisscross applesauce, locked inside a bare room wherein everything was bolted down, besides the pillow without a case. A video camera was pointed at me sitting on the bed in their polyester, oversized shirt and pants, and one size fits all socks with grips on both sides (so one was unable to slip purposely or accidently thereby harming his or herself) attempting to calm my hyperventilation in the psychiatric wing of Halifax hospital. Unlike Craig Gilner, my adult treatment was not due to an operation on the "teen wing" (there is no teen wing at Halifax; it is simply adult or child), but my eighteenth birthday only six days before. The big black orderly with a friendly smile opens the door and says, "You don't look like you belong in here honey".
The college admission process can be extremely daunting. From ACTs and SATs to supplemental essays to college interviews the entire process is long and arduous. With over 65% of students graduating from high school attending college the competition is more intense than ever. This is why it’s important to be smart and start early.
Some things are so embedded in our society that they are difficult to question, even to the point where questioning them becomes offensive. But why should these topics be off limits to questioning, especially if they are such a vital part of our lives? To blindly accept the premises upon which we live is chillingly Orwellian and undemocratic.
One of these topics is education. I’m not solely talking about reforming the education system or changing our testing policies or even fixing the university process. These things are important—trust me, I am the first in line to bemoan the anxiety soaked atmosphere of the school system—but they are hiding the real question that nobody seems to ask. Why are we educated this way? **In other words, it is imperative to question why we as a society strongly favor our established, standardized system over any other types of learning. It is almost unthinkable to remove your child from school, and even many homeschooling programs are modeled from textbooks, strict subject separations, and fact-based knowledge. However, this process of learning is only one in an excess of options we could also use.
I was born and raised in a devoutly Christian household. My mother was raised a Jehovah's Witness, my father a Presbyterian. Both my brother and I were baptized into the Christian faith before we’d even spoken our first words. Both of us were prescribed to a family of believers before we’d even managed to take our first steps.
I attended Sunday School from the tender age of three, all the way up until I was twelve. I was instructed to stay away from books like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings because they contained tellings of "witchcraft" and it was instilled that I would become possessed by the devil upon pulling back on one of the fragile covers. I was taught of the wonders and miracles of god; some supernatural, all powerful being that hadn't shown himself in thousands of years, but loved each of us unconditionally.
His opinions spoke to the millions in their unifying and grand prose; his dissents scathed many of “the somersaults of statutory interpretation” he vowed to protect the Constitution from. Justice Antonin Scalia’s life was an act of devotion to not just the Untied States and its laws, but to the governing principles written in the Constitution over two hundred and twenty years ago. For Justice Scalia, to abandon the founding document of the United States would be a “threat to American democracy.”