Essays

Our Plastic World

Replaceable or Irreplaceable?

Screen Shot 2022-01-16 at 8.26.51 AMAnd I must believe that man has the power to know the right,
to choose between good and evil and know that his choice has made a difference...”
Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon


If we ban plastic, we would remove a lot of the negative effects of plastic on our natural environment; however, plastic is often indispensable to our lives, so we need to consider if the plastic can be replaced by something else or if that plastic item is “irreplaceable.”

Many people believe plastic bags should be banned, in order to protect Earth’s environment. However, plastic does not have an effect as much as paper bags do on the environment. According to a study at Columbia University, as a result of the heavy use of toxic chemicals in the process, paper is responsible for 70 times more air pollution and 50 times more water pollution than plastic bag production according to a Washington Post analysis, resulting in more toxicity to humans and the environment than HDPE bags. According to a recent study,, in order for paper bags to reduce the same amount of environmental pollution as the plastic bags did. Everybody would need to keep their paper bag for a year and keep using them. If people actually did that, paper bags would definitely be more beneficial than plastic ones. [1]

Some plastic, however, is useful and good, and perhaps essential to modern living. Plastic is either replaceable or irreplaceable. Things that are replaceable include plastic bags, plastic water-bottles, plastic straws and plastic toothbrushes are all replaceable.[2] We can use paper bags, metal water-bottles, paper straws, and bamboo handles on toothbrushes. Those are all beneficial to our environment. However, safety-seats, airbags on automobiles and bicycle helmets cannot be replaced by other materials than plastic.  

Plastic should not be banned from our lives since it still plays a vital role in keeping our lives convenient and safe. However, we should always pay attention to whether or not that plastic is replaceable or irreplaceable.

Sources:

  1. https://awareimpact.com/20-plastic-items-you-need-to-stop-using-today/
  2. https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/plastics/

 





The Old Man and the Sea

Friendship & Respect

Screen Shot 2021-12-12 at 8.22.54 AMThe old man had taught the boy to fish and the boy loved him...

Respect plays an important part in the book The Old Man and The Sea. Ernest Hemingway introduces it through the relationship between Manolin and Santiago. The old man gives Manolin his friendship and respect.On Day One Manolin and Santiago are walking together up from the beach to Santiagio’s home, and Manolin is sad because his family does not want him to fish with the “unlucky” Santiago.. "I remember," the old man said.  "I know you did not leave me because you doubted. "It was papa made me leave.  I am a boy and I must obey him." Later  they sat at the table and Manolin offers the old man a beer, "Can I offer you a beer on the Terrace and then we'll take the stuff home." Manolin helps Santiago by bringing him food, and this scene also shows that he and the old man have a close relationship. Even though Manolin is a young teenager, they still respect each other. “Manolin provides physical support to Santiago in the village, bringing him food and clothing and helping him load his skiff. He also provides emotional support, encouraging Santiago throughout his unlucky streak.” [Lit Charts] Later on, while sitting on the terrace,  the successful fishermen are laughing at the man for not catching a fish for eighty four days, but Manolin still respects the old man for who he is. "”I would like to go.  If I cannot fish with you, I would like to serve in some way.”  Santiago treats the boy as an equal individual, and gives him respect, “You bought me a beer," the old man said. This scene shows Santiago Treats the boy as a close friend, because friends respect each other. Santiago tells the boy he is a man already, "You are already a man.” Manolin responds, “I’d like to serve you in some way.” It also shows the respect Santiago has for the old man.




The Busy Beaver

A Grandmother's Kindness

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Respect others. Help others. Love others. These are the keys that unlocks our soul.

~Anthony Douglas Williams

It’s a Sunday afternoon. My grandma is cooking a big chicken soup for dinner.  She fries some dumplings and put them in the pot on the stove. She mixes some onions and tomatoes inside the chicken soup.She put the steak in the oven, and set the alarm to make sure that my steak will be medium rare. That my dad’s steak is better done. While the the food is cooking, she sets up the table, so we will be ready to eat.

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Adapting

Be like a Chameleon

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You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

― Bruce Lee

Every living thing needs to adapt to the environment surrounding them. If they do not adapt, they will be working against their environment.  Chameleons protect themselves by adapting to their environment by changing into similar colors to their environment; however, if they do not adapt, they will be easily found by the predator , and the species will be extinct. The same rule applies to people: if we do not change, we do not adapt; if we do not adapt, we will “die.”To adapt, we must be like a chameleon, trying to adapt to the environment surrounding us.

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The Old Me

A Letter to Myself

Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 9.31.08 AMKnowing what's right doesn't mean much unless you do what's right. 
 ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

Dear Old Me, 

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. My goal is not to be better than anyone else but better than I used to be. Today is a sunny day. As I was jogging by the Charles River, the sunshine reflected on the riverbank making it bright and hard to see.

And, I remembered you, the old me...

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Mr. Fitz Shows Up

A not so welcome surprise...

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Sometimes the biggest disappointment leads you to the right place

~Cary Graeber

After school today, I was laying on my sofa playing Minecraft and just taking a break before my rowing practice later this afternoon, but then the bell rang.  ‘It can’t be my tutor Mr. Fitz,” I thought. ‘I am enjoying my one-hour break until I have to get in the car and go to my exhausting rowing practice on the Charles River, in Cambridge.

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The Not So Bad Week

How a bad week got better

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Friendship is one mind of two bodies...

~Mencius

Dang, I really had a horrible last week.

I got called up by the head of Middle School for being late to school; I got my English teacher  mad and kicked me out of zoom by saying “should we start the class?” During the science test, one of our classmates was going so off on the teacher, and he swore five times during the science quiz, which completely made all of us unable hear anything our science teacher said about the quiz. It seemed like my bad week kept getting worse; however, the fact that I got an exceptionally high grade on my math test made my day.

But not for the reason you might think...

 

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The Power of Diversity

End Racism!

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In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist; we must be anti-racist.

~Angela Davis

Asian racism has been underrated, yet normalized. In my own experience as a Chinese student in America, I am angry that eight Asian Americans were killed in the Atlanta Spa. I have experienced a couple cases of  Asian stereotypes on myself. This were not intentional, but it was still hurtful. Anything that is hurting others feelings should be changed. We, as Asian Americans, should stand up to all those who show discrimination, injustice, and hatred just because we are Asian.

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Which is Better?

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Don't let school interfere with your education

~Mark Twain

Almost every kid in the U.S goes to school, but not every kid gets treated equally. Since class size is usually smaller in private schools, students more likely than not will receive more attention from the teachers. What helps students the most in private schools is individual attention and a teacher’s help. In a private school, the teachers can help their students more often than public school teachers can help their students. The math is simple: private school teachers have less students. These are the facts...

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