Thursday, December 8, 2011

Milgram Study

Last week in my psycology class we were reviewing examples of why normal people do bad things to other people We went over the Jewish concentration camps and attempted to understand why normal human being were intentionally inflicting pain on others. We watched a video about the Stanley Milgram Study in Stanford. After watching the movie I came home and researched other finding by him. In Why Good People Do Bad Things by Stanley Milgran he attempts to study the reason behind people’s actions. Milgram’s experiment gives us an understanding of what factors are associated with people’s actions when doing wrong. His series of experiments tested how people respond to authority figures when faced with difficult decisions such as hurting other person.  The experiments revealed that even good people who have set values tend to do bad things when asked to do so.

In Milgrams study the participants were given a task, they were asked to administer a shock wave to the other person every time that person got an answer incorrect. The participant administering the shock was cognizant of how intense the shock waves were and how severe they can get. This study was administered to different groups of people and the outcome remained the same. The study demonstrated that the majority of people are willing to compromise their personal values in order to complete the task the authority figure implemented. Many of these people were sentient of how wrong and immoral their action was, yet they still continued to obey because they felt a sense of responsibility to the authority figure.

Vocabulary Words

Sentient- Able to perceive or feel things

Cognizant- Having knowledge or being aware of

HIV Guest Speaker

Yesterday in my Health class we had a guest speaker who came to talk to us about HIV,  he is only 24 years old and has been living with HIV since the age of 17. He shared many interesting facts with the class. He explained that for adolescents living with HIV, the issue regarding taking medication is difficult. This is due to the fear of social isolation and rejection by family and friends when their medication discloses their HIV status. Suboptimal medication adherence is associated with higher viral loads and can lead to further complications such as drug resistance or infections. Young people in the United States use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs at high rates. Both casual and chronic substance users are more likely to engross in high-risk behaviors, such as unprotected sex, when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Poor young people are at high risk for HIV infection if they are exchanging sex for drugs or money.

HIV/AIDS education needs to take place at correspondingly young ages, before young people engage in sexual behaviors that put them at risk for HIV infection. Schools are important partners for reaching youth before high-risk behaviors are established. Sex Education classes can give information to adolescents before they become sexually active. Other HIV/AIDS prevention resources include individual, peer, family, church, and community programs. These resources can also help reduce the incline of HIV/AIDS in young people.

It is also important to give adequate health care access to all youth who are already sexually active. Programs such as Planned Parenthood are great resources to have for all communities and especially those communities whose youth is at higher risk of HIV/AIDS infection. Giving youth the knowledge that there is help will prevent further increases in HIV diagnoses.
Vocabulary Words

Engross- (1) Absorb all the attention or interest of. (2)Gain or keep exclusive possession of (something)
Adherence- attachment: faithful support for a cause or political party or religion

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Violence in Mexico

This morning when I was getting ready for school I was listening to the Spanish news about all the violence in Mexico and the continuous amount of bodies that are being found on a daily basis. According to the news, yesterday in Juarez, Mexico there were twelve dead bodies found in a minivan. Within in those bodies there was the body of a ten year old kid that was severely tortured and then burned alive. I don’t understand how there are people in this world that are capable of doing such horrific acts. I continued heeding to the new about the ongoing violence occurring in Mexico. I felt horrible when they presented another gruesome story. They stated that there was a seventeen year old female found dead on her bed with severe torture wounds. This was awful, but what really shocked me was when the news stated that this teenager was found with the body of her new born baby next to her, also dead.  Based on the evidence they found that the girl was pregnant at the time of her torture and her murderers had opened her stomach and pulled the baby out. Gross! It was then discovered that all of the violence that was happening throughout the country

How can individuals have the heart to do this to another person? It makes me sick to see what Mexico is turning into. My parents were both born in Mexico and they would always tell me stories about how amazing and fun growing up in Mexico was. Today my parents don’t even want to go to Mexico, not even on vacation. They say that the country is nothing like it used to be years ago. Most people live in fear that they could get killed or kidnapped and rarely leave their house after dark. I believe that some type of cure has to be found for the outrageous violence in that country. The major problem that has to be addressed is the drug cartels and the venality in the government. The government is now hand-by-hand with the drug lords trafficking illegal substances to the U.S.

Vocabulary Words

Venality-prostitution of talents or offices or services for reward

Heeding-Pay attention to; take notice of.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


In class we were talking about aphorisms, and I came up with this one “He who has lived a day has lived an age” by Jean de La Bruyere. After researching it I discovered that it is a philosophical aphorism. This aphorism is in general associated to everyone who has taken a single breath of air. The statement ‘he who has lived a day has lived an age’ can be proven true with a simple test of knowledge for any single individual. For example you may ask a person a series of questions and then repeat those same questions one year from now. It can almost be guaranteed that, that person’s answer would not be completely the same as the answer from the previous year. This is because he/she has experienced and learned new things that might have changed their view or acuity on those questions you had asked a year back. However the answer may in fact remains the same but that person’s exact response is not.  The word “day” can be construed as a moment in live where an individual acquires new knowledge therefore the word “age” can be interpreted as a lifetime. By lifetime I mean that a person’s lifetime can be quantified by knowledge, if you live one year as oppose to one day you have gained a whole year of new experiences that, in turn, for you can be reflected as a whole century or “age”.
Vocabulary words
Acuity- Sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing.
Construed- 1.Interpret (a word or action) in a particular way.2.Analyze the syntax of (a text, sentence, or word).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bad Friday

         Friday was one of the hardest days of my life. It was about 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I was at work when my phone rang. My father was on the other end of the line.  His tone was serious as he explained to me in Spanish that a car had just hit my Chihuahua, Coky; my baby of 14 years.  Quickly, I gathered up my things and left work. On the way home all I could do was picture the acutest scenario. I prayed that my dog was alright. As soon as I got home I held my dog and instantly noticed that his eye was pulled out of the eye-socket. It was horrible seeing my dog in this state. I quickly rushed him to the emergency veterinarian, where they immediately took him in. Coky was trembling and was in a deep state of shock.
       The vet made me wait in the lobby while he performed a couple of tests and x-rays to determine his condition. About 3 hours later the vet informed me that according to the x-rays, my dogs jaw was broken and his eye had been pulled out of the eye-socket. They explained to me that based on the impact of the accident the outcome could have been worse. They told me he would first need to be stabilized in order for them to perform the surgery and to put the eye back in place. They issued me a quote of the cost of the surgery and the medications. The grand total ranged from 3000 to 4000 dollars. This is a considerable amount, yet I didn’t hesitate to go forward with the necessary procedures.
        I am just thankful that he is okay and is recuperating quickly. I can’t imagine what I would have done if something worse would have happened to him. It’s amazing how such small creatures can be such a big part of your life. Every day when I come home, he is the first one to greet me with joy and happiness. I don’t understand how many people have pets, yet they don’t get attached to them in any way. Many of my friends who own dogs say they never take them to the vet or even on an afternoon walk. I always tell them that that is not a good way of life for those animals. But I guess some people just don’t seem to understand.
Vocabulary Words
acutest- (of a bad, difficult, or unwelcome situation or phenomenon) Present or experienced to a severe or intense degree.
recuperating- Recover from illness or exertion.

Psychology Flash Back

           Last week in one of my psychology classes we learned about cognitive dissonance. I learned that cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. According to the theory of cognitive dissonance, people have the desire to reduce stress by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. People deal with dissonance also by justifying, blaming, and denying their actions.  As I was learning this in class I began to think of a time in my life when this had happed to me. I experienced cognitive dissonance when I intentionally lied to my parents about taking an over-the-weekend school trip to Death Valley.  I told my parents that it was a class trip and we would be leaving on Saturday morning and returning Sunday night. However, the truth was that I was going to Reno, Nevada with my boyfriend and some friends. This was the first time in my life that I lied to my parents in such a drastic way. Certainly, I am not saying I had never lied to them, just that usually it was “little white lies” here and there, but never to this extreme. I am a type of girl who deeply believes that lying is not a good thing, especially when it comes down to lying to once own parents. I would always criticize my girlfriends for always lying and never conceding the truth to their parents and here I was doing the same thing they did. 
            The discomfort I felt after lying to them was very unique. I knew that what I was doing was not right and if my parents were to find out they would be very disappointed. To them I was the example of the perfect daughter. At family parties I would hear my family’s conversations about their children, while my aunts and uncles complained about their sons and daughters, my parents praised about me. This made me feel proud about my beliefs and actions. Yet, in this case my actions were clearly inconsistent with my beliefs. I was lying to my parents. After discovering how guilty I felt I concluded that it was my own fault. I recognized that if I had not lied to my parents I would not feel as bad as I did. I had a choice to tell them the truth and ask for permission, and instead I decided to take the easy route and just lie and tell them something I knew they would not oppose of. To make myself feel better I tried justifying my actions by making myself believe that “if I hadn’t lied then I wouldn’t be on this trip right now.” However, this did not work for me. I experienced extreme anxiety and distress after lying to my parents. I felt so disappointed with myself that I remember not even having fun that weekend. I wanted to tell my parents the truth, but felt too scared and ashamed to confess my lie. This made me aware of the inconsistency between my attitude and my behavior, but instead of changing my belief I decided to change my behavior. As a result of this I never again lied to my parents again. The feeling that I had from my behavior was something I did not want to feel again.
Vocabulary Words
dissonance- A tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.
conceding- Admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Discrimination Today

           Today I as I was watching the news there were a number of stories addressing the rise of discrimination in the U.S. It instantly occurred to me that discrimination is becoming a major concern today. I don’t understand how in such a diverse country, as the U.S., discrimination is inexorable. Although this country advocates for freedom and equally it does not guarantee relief from discrimination by our peers. In the past several years discrimination towards Hispanics has increased dramatically, this is due to the economic downfall the country had endured. The public has responded to the economic crisis by finding someone to blame. The easy targets are clearly minority groups such as Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks. The view that Hispanics are all immigrants who come to this county only to steal the little jobs and resources of the tax payers is one that many individuals have decided to take and thus resulting in discrimination towards the Hispanic community. I come to this conclusion because as a Hispanic woman I have witnessed many instances of discrimination towards friends, family, and even myself.
The one experience of discrimination that I will never forget is when I had my first job interview. I was 18 years old living in Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz is a mostly white populated city, only a small percent of minority groups) I was called in for a group interview for a position at Macy’s in the mall. I arrived at the interview and found that all eight (8) applicants were White Caucasian girls except for one. I actually didn’t think much of it because I was used to being in a milieu where I was the only Hispanic in my class room. Then the person conduction the interview walked into the room and greeted everyone. We began to have a group discussion and one by one we all said why we would best be suited for the job. In my opinion I believe I was more qualified than most girls there, since I had more experience in retail as oppose to most girls whom this was going to be their first job. Also the other Hispanic girl said she had, had some experience as well. When the group interview was done the person conducting  it stepped out of the room for a couple of minutes then came back and said thank you for your time but only the people whose name I call will be interviewed by a supervisor. She began reading the names and the girls whose names were being called began exiting the room into another room. When this person was done reading the names only me and the other Hispanic girl were left sitting in that room. The interviewer said I’m sorry but right now we don’t have a position available for you guy, thank you.
I remember leaving that room with a naught in my throat having an indescribable feeling. At the time I didn’t know what to do I just went home and cried because I knew this was a racial discrimination that someone had just done to me. I felt shame and I didn’t even know why. This feeling lasted a couple of weeks until I finally spoke to my mother about it. She was furious and wanted to proceed with legal actions but I convinced her otherwise.
Vocabulary Words
Milieu-environment; surroundings ; ambience ; setting ; medium
Inexorable- Impossible to stop or prevent: