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Journals/Summaries Essay

Journal # 1

The essay entitled “Adult Crime, Adult Time” takes off from the case of the Jonesboro shooting to show that children who committed serious and violent crimes should be treated as adults, according to the perspective of Linda J. Collier, Delaware County Community College’s dean of public services and social sciences. According to Collier, the number of youth offenders who committed violent crimes have increased over the past years and calls for changes on the responses from the state, especially with the law-enforcing and judicial systems.

At the level of the States, different rules are followed in determining whether an offender qualifies for juvenile or adult courts. The present efforts towards addressing the problem are contributory to a certain effect but remains insufficient. In the end, Collier recommends for amendments in the juvenile justice system, which is primarily directed towards sending juveniles who committed violent and serious crimes to adult courts.

Journal # 2

According to the article entitled “The Difference Between Sick and Evil” written by Andrew Vachss, a lawyer for children, there is a distinct difference between the concepts of “sick” and “evil.” The difference between the two primarily lies on the fact that the term sick is considered as a condition while the term evil is considered as a behavior . The author argued that knowing the difference between the two is a key to taking action, which in the context of the article is related to criminal predatory pedophiles with special emphasis on religious institutions. More often than not, the society uses the term sick because it generally means that there is still a cure and that it is unintentional. In relation to this, predatory pedophiles use the condition of being sick when they get caught and the degree of the offense usually determines the severity of the offender’s sickness. In the end, the author recommends that the laws should be changed to include religious persons in the list of law-mandated reporters.

Journal # 3

The article of an English Professor at St. Thomas University, Robert Keith Miller, teaches the readers that discrimination is better known as a virtue, which is also captured in its title: “Discrimination is a Virtue.” Over the past years, discrimination is loosely associated with the concept of racism. Nonetheless, the author argues that the concept means the skill of discerning the difference between things. The negative connotation of the word affects how it is perceived today in a society where it is used together with prejudice and where equality remains as a primary rule. According to the author, discrimination should be used more frequently as a virtue in making decisions related to the public good and noted the ability of people to employ discrimination for personal decisions. In the end, the author considered intelligent decisions as beneficial to the society.

Journal # 4

The poet John Ciardi attempts to define happiness in the article entitled “Is Everybody Happy?” Based on the arguments of the authors, people have the tendency to treat buying as a path towards happiness. In relation to this, American commercialism works towards enforcing the unhappiness of people by creating an endless stream of desires for people. Unfortunately, the desires created require money that is difficult for most of the people to earn. Aside from the materialistic strategy, another means of achieving happiness comes from the spiritual senses of a person. Lastly, happiness may also stem from engaging in difficult activities. For example, the author mentioned that people achieve a greater sense of happiness when a game is won through experiencing difficulties. In this case, the source of difficulty is the rule imposed on the game. Despite the existence of different strategies for attaining happiness, the author mentioned that people are given the inherent right to pursue happiness.

Journal # 5

Based on the article of Washington Post columnist, Richard Cohen, entitled “Kids who Kill are still Kids,” minor children who committed crimes should not be tried as adults. The author, based on his arguments, does not mean to save the children from the punishment they deserve but to argue for punishments that are at par with the age of the offender. He admits that he has no feasible proposal that would contribute towards addressing the problem completely. The author further noted that the act of punishing children according to the severity of their offense serves as a warning for the other children who may be tempted to do the same. However, the said warning is applicable towards the adult community but is beyond the children’s level of comprehension.  In the end, Cohen reiterated that the children, despite their offenses, are still kids and their mistakes are still correlated with their age.

Journal # 6

Caroly Foster Segal, an English teacher at Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania, narrated some of the many excuses that she often hear from her students and compiled in an article entitled “The Dog ate my Disk and other Tales of Woe.” Despite her several and creative attempts to discourage students from submitting their work later than the deadline, she still failed and was left with excuses that are categorized under five broad categories. The first category is the family that mostly contains incidences that prevent the student from completing the assignments because of family-related problems. The second category bears similarities with the first type where the student has to attend to the problems of his/her best friend, which eventually prevented him/her from doing the work assigned. The third category includes events related to the dormitory that affect the student’s ability to study. The fourth category deals with problems related to technology that is sometimes out of the student’s control. The last category accounts for all the other bizarre reasons made by the students.

Journal # 7

In the article “On Reading and Writing,” guidelines are provided for students with the purpose of improving their reading and writing skills. The article is divided into sections meant for a) reading and b) writing. To enhance the writing abilities, it is important to realize that writing is a skills and that some are more talented than the others when it comes to this skills. Thus, it is necessary to practice writing. The reasons for investing in writing skills include career advancement where language skills are usually seen as an advantage. As for reading, the purpose is generally to find a model, gain information and insight, and learn for purposes of writing.  The ability to read can be further improved by preparing, engaging in the text as an active reader, and responding to the contents. A strong relationship between reading and writing is noted where both complements the skills needed for the other.

Journal # 8

Patricia Dalton, a clinical psychologist, recommends that parents should encourage their children to take responsibilities for their behavior. The present generation is composed of children who are not able to take responsibilities for the decisions and behaviors they exhibit. To complement this kind of generation, parents have become less involved in the lives of their children because of larger responsibilities they have in comparison to the idea of teaching their kids. More often than not, parents are not even able to carry out their roles as teachers. In relation to their role as teachers, two serious responsibilities placed on the shoulders of parents include the task of loving their children without necessarily adoring them and the responsibility of disciplining their children. When carrying out the two tasks mentioned, parents should avoid worrying about the negative impact it has on the child’s self-esteem. In fact, parents should be active when it comes to giving their children the responsibility to know both their good and bad sides.

Journal # 9

In the article written by the award-winning journalist Jonetta Rose Barras entitled “We are our Own Worst Imuses,” a discussion is presented in relation to the duplicity of standards used by African Americans in treating their culture and that of the Whites. The author related the discussion to the recent removal of Don Imus from his talk show in line with the offensive comments he made against the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. However, it is noticed that the violent reactions coming from the people, most especially the Blacks, would have been different if the comments came from a member of the Black community. Through the recent years, African American rappers have exploited women to instruments of sexual pleasures or jokes, used derogatory remarks, and supported a thug culture. Nonetheless, the level of acceptance for such acts is surprisingly high when the source is a member of the African American community. On the other hand, when the same behavior is observed from the Whites, it is considered as an insult towards the African American community.

Journal # 10

In the article entitled “When Parents are Toxic to Children,” Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist who graduated from the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, suggested that parenting should be turned into a privilege that can be revoked in cases of child abuse. Ablow noted the several cases he held involving children who have been abused by their parents or people who form a part of their family or household. A common factor that would alleviate the sufferings of the children is the ability to live elsewhere than to stay with their biological parents. The author recommended that the government should provide abused children with options in order to prevent them from going through the same experiences with their biological parents. One of the alternatives mentioned is the establishment of foster homes or alternative living arrangements for the children.

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