Understanding Our Differences

When I was in elementary school, I participated in a mandatory program called “Understanding Disabilities” which focused on a particular condition each year. During the three years my class did the program, we learned about blindness, deafness, and cerebral palsy. What stood out to me the most was not what this program offered in terms of content, but its name. Between two of the years, “Understanding Disabilities” became “Understanding our Differences.” The new title seems more fitting because it does not label the ‘disabled’ person who came to talk to us. The label gives the impression that this person came to talk to us about a problem they have and the struggles they face because of it. The idea of “difference” changed the nature of program toward understanding that we are all very similar, despite some of these differences, and the disconnect comes from our inability to overlook differences that we deem ‘significant.’ Who should decide what is ‘significant?’ Why has this idea of ‘difference’ replacing ‘disability’, which I heard about as early as 2005, not yet become universally known? What steps have been taken in the last 10 years to progress and preach it?

Ebenezer Baptist Church

This past weekend I went to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. was baptized and where his father served as a pastor. From a religious view, the space does not welcome me because I identify with Judaism. However, it does not exclude me because I am not Christian. The church’s mission is to allow anyone interested in Martin Luther King Jr.’s life the opportunity to learn more about his childhood. As I approached, I saw a family with a child in a wheelchair could not get into the church because of a two-stair stoop guarding the front door. Even if they had been able to get inside, they would have been challenged with more stairs in order to see either the chapel or the basement where Dr. King was baptized. The whole space captures a past time and thus allows visitors to experience some fraction of the actual experience it once provided for its congregation. This effect moved me because it demonstrated how much suffering a group of righteous and incredibly intelligent individuals faced for attempting to preach peace because of their race. The sociality in the space reflects those who visit. When I went, I felt everyone there wanted to learn about this history of Martin Luther King Jr. I did not feel any segregation, which I was somewhat expecting. On the other hand, not many people talked to me because I do not have extensive knowledge of the subject about which they were seeking information.

Powdered gloves

An article published by the New York Times on March 21, 2016 stated the Federal Drug Administration’s proposed ban on powdered medical gloves due to their tendency to inflame wounds and cause unwanted scars to form inside the body after surgery. The first proposed bad on powdered gloves came in the late 90’s, but was denied because it would cause a shortage of an integral medical tool. This article points to research that commenced in order to remove latex from medicine because many people are allergic to it. Along with the research to show the adverse effects of latex, the study also looked at effects of the powder on the gloves. The actual research shows the powder can cause inflammation in the body that leads to granulomas as a reaction to the foreign substance in the body. I think this article represents the research well. Organizations have been presenting similar research for over 20 years suggesting a ban on these products, however they had to wait for the supply of medical gloves to increase past the point of creating a shortage along with the ban. I am sure many thought a lack of research caused the proposal’s denial for such a long period of time.

Three Unique Human Traits

(1)Unlike any other known species, humans have developed the ability to record thought. Millennia ago, cave people carved symbols into cave walls to communicate with each other. These messages allowed any person who came into the space to understand information that someone else discovered. As transportation developed, distribution of information became possible. Though we spend a lot of time studying the works of others, this tool allows us to access and learn material in weeks or days that took its discoverers years to grasp.

(2)Humans rely on time to conduct many experiments in their research. We discovered time by noticing solar and lunar patterns which, when examined closely enough, ultimately yielded time about as specific to hours. With advancing technology, humans developed sundials and clocks. Continuing on this trend, we began specifying smaller and smaller quantities of time and now put second hands on our watches and cell phone clocks. This understanding of time drives our existence because we always consider time when we do anything.

(3) Humans are conscious of mortality.

the book of the dead

Case Study: Jack

To analyze this case, we must look at Jack’s risk factors and his protective factors. His socioeconomic status imposes a stressful home environment for a single mother with five children. Jack’s mother’s substance abuse problem must exacerbate this stress because it may leave his grandmother responsible for all five children at one time. Since his father is unknown, he may be genetically predisposed to some factors that may cause his impulsive behavior. His clean toxicology screen at birth reduces his risk of factors stemming from prenatal exposure. Jack maintains an adequate academic transcript for a nine year old and passes the tests he is required to pass, showing his ability to listen and learn from an adult as well as some level of discipline. From these factors, I think Jack’s crave for attention displays itself through his impulsive behavior. With only one or two adults around at home and five kids, he probably gets almost as much, if not more, attention from his teachers at school. For the short-term, Jack’s mother, his grandmother, and his teacher need to be more attentive of the situation so that he will not feel like he is competing with his siblings and classmates for their focus, causing his behavioral concerns diminish and allowing him to make friends at school. Hopefully, Jack uses his strong academics and improving social status to excel at school.Jack

R.I.P. Robin Williams


The biopsychosocial framework that we discussed in class can inform predictions of future aggression when the effects of each field on one another are easy enough to understand. For example, genetics can result in a predisposition to some disease, which can affect behavior. Without this information in its entirety, the data gathered by the analyses the respective categories may not be accurate because each is modified by the other categories. Of course, this is probably the most difficult part of the Venn diagram to discuss because it relies on complicated and conflicted relationships, many of which require complex analyses in order to be quantified. In comparing three sets A, B and C, the intersection of any two sets is the set of elements that the two sets share. In order to obtain the intersection, one must know all the elements in both sets. Similarly, in order to obtain the intersection of the three sets, one must know all the elements of all three sets. Therefore, extensive knowledge on any two of these areas (biology, psychology, or sociology) is necessary to conduct a comparative analysis between those respective areas, and all three is necessary to understand the intersection of the three.Intersection

Dice and Woman Playing Dice or Knucklebones

When examining these two pieces of art in the Michael C. Carlos museum, one might think they were meant to be together on display because the woman looks as if she is reaching down to pick up the dice. Dice, in particular, remain the same today as they did thousands of years ago and are still used for recreational games involving probability.Without any description, they could come from the same time period as well as the same place. However, when looking at the text below them, we learn that one comes from up to 400 years after the other as well as a different country. The ceramic woman looks like she is about to grab the dice because the statue depicts, as the description states, an ancient Greek woman playing dice or knucklebones. The ivory dice come from Rome centuries later. The pair signifies that certain aspects of life did not change between the 4th century BCE and the 1st century CE despite some of the significant events that happened during that time—the rise and fall of the Roman and Greek empires, Christ etc.



My understanding of the term “psychopath” comes mostly from the television show Dexter. The show defines a psychopath as someone who lacks empathy. Dexter’s foster father, in order to fulfill his parental duties, instills in him a moral code backed by the primal survival instinct so that he can teach him how to survive. Dexter thinks out loud in order to share his comedic thoughts about the social interactions he has to make each day while grasping with the constant urge to murder active serial killers. Though he can excel as a forensic analyst for the Miami Metro Police Dept. and appear normal to everyone around him, he can dump his victims into the ocean and feel just as levelheaded. To me, lacking empathy results mostly in an inability to react to emotional moments in a way that most people would characterize as “normal”. In this way, psychopaths might also be unable to understand how to interact with emotional people because they cannot themselves experience anything similar in their own mind.27-dexter-greenshirt-2.w750.h560.2x

Authenticity in Exit Through the Gift Shop

The authenticity of Exit Through the Gift Shop comes from Thierry Guetta’s enthusiasm to film everything he does developing into a passion project about street art as well as Banksy’s sudden urge to make a film about the man who had been making a film about him. The doubt for the film’s authenticity arises when looking at Thierry’s sudden shift in the focus of his obsession from filming everything to making a movie about street art. Thierry’s willingness to uproot his life and even neglect his family in order continue his work in the street art world comes across as odd considering how little time he had invested in street art prior to the film.

More doubt comes from Thierry’s metamorphosis from a filmmaker to a street artist. The film shows his first attempt at street art, initiating himself into the community he is documenting. However, it does not reveal much about the rising action between then and the art show at the end. The story has plenty of holes that could point to its actual falsehood, but it might be completely true and just coincidental that the subject has an obsession with filming everything at the time he makes this radical life change.


I Hope This for You

Work with what you have. If your strategy is not working, change it. Do what is right even when it is not necessarily best for you at that moment. Make good relationships. Learn a lot. Learn a lot about something. Unless you are smart enough, you probably need a college education to get the job you want. Keep good relationships. Graduate. Attain independence. Maintain independence. Show you can be a productive member of our society. Be enthusiastic about something. Be passionate about something. Continue to set new goals. Achieve as many as you can. Use your passion and enthusiasm to build a career. Have your own life. Meet a lot of people. Find someone; you cannot go through this alone. Support each other. Find a home. Start a family. Raise your children so that one-day they have their own lives. Press on.