The Fault in Our Stars Response Video

Hi, Everyone!*

Yesterday was the release of the movie trailer of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The trailer was absolutely amazing. It more than lived up to my extensive fangirl dissecting. After I finished watching it a million times and shedding the required tears, (By the way, for those of you in the fandom: Okay? Not okay.) I went on every possible social networking site to freak out about it with my fellow Nerdfighters. (The Nerdfightaria is the fandom/lifestyle for the John and Hank Green fandom. We don’t fight nerds. We embody them.) On one of the websites, someone had posted a link to a contest. The winner of the contest would win a free trip to the movie premiere in NYC. Given that I was home sick, I figured that I might as well enter the contest.

The contest criteria were simple: make a video response to the movie trailer. As I started thinking about what was so important to me about TFIOS, my thoughts kept going back to the day before, which should have been my uncle’s 43rd birthday. He died of cancer when I was seven, so I didn’t get to know him that well.

If you need a crash course in the plot of TFIOS, here’s a link.

I started writing down exactly what I was thinking and feeling about the trailer, and as I wrote, it progressed into what would be a voiceover to my submission video. I decided that instead of a normal vlog, I would make a slideshow with pictures of my mom and uncle combined with stills from the movie and beautiful fanart by super talented people. This morning, I finished the video and uploaded it onto Youtube.

Here is the link to the absolutely breathtaking trailer: (Note: after viewing, one may experience symptoms such as crying, feels-feeling, desire to see the movie NOW, and other symptoms fangirls/guys live with every day.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

And here is the link to my response video: (I recommend watching the trailer first so that you can get an idea of what I’m referencing from the video)  http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9_Yj6HVzWMjmCApiU5asFg (It isn’t linking automatically for some reason so I had to link it the old fashioned way)

Thanks for watching and reading!

<3, Naomi

*I really do need to come up with new ways to start posts…

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Inter-Continental Communications

Hi Everyone,

This post may end  up being somewhat of a minirant, but I’ll try to keep it as un-ranty as possible. As you probably know, my family has been in Israel for about 5 weeks now and we’ll be here for a little while longer. Before I left, I made a point of setting up many ways for my friends and teachers to communicate with me. I gave people my email address, Israeli phone number, and Skype. I set up accounts on messaging apps that I don’t normally use but my friends use so that they could talk to me. I printed out multiple page long memos for my teachers that contained everything they could possibly need to know about when I was gone.

The first few weeks that I was away, I heard from people at least every few days. It wasn’t that big of a deal not to hear from someone for a little bit because they’d get back to me. However, lately I’ve had to email/facebook message/faux-text people first, and when I do, I don’t always hear back. I’m not saying this to try and get people to feel bad, because I understand that people have lives and it’s the holiday season and not everyone checks their phones every day etc. It’s just kind of hard to not talk to people who you normally see every day.

I really love my friends here, but it’s harder to communicate with them because my Hebrew is limited and their English is limited. Especially for non-face to face conversations, Google translate is usually involved for both parties. It’s really fun to get to know them,  but it’s a different kind of thing than talking to people who have the same native language as me.

It’s complicated trying to tell the difference between Someone Who Isn’t Good At Keeping In Touch and Someone Who Wants  Me To Stop Talking To Them Already. The grey area in between is shaky and varies by person. I’m doing my best not to take anything personally, though. I’d rather assume the best in people even if I’m not great at it.

If you’re reading this as someone who hasn’t been talking to me as much as you might, please don’t feel bad. I’m not making this post to be like “oh maybe if people read this then they’ll talk to me la-dee-dah I’m just wallowing in self pity don’t mind me!” To be honest, I’m making it because my mom saw me refreshing my phone every five seconds and wanted to give me something more productive to do 🙂

At the same time, if you do want to get in touch with me, feel free to email me at my blog email naomipopcornblog@gmail.com or whatever other means you have of talking to me.

Thanks for reading, and I promise my next post will be less complainy.

<3, Naomi

Facts, Opinions, Indentured Servants, and My History Textbook

Hi, Awesome Readers! (You are awesome! I’ve now had more than 4,500 hits!)

When learning about anything, but especially something like history, it’s important to remember who’s point of view a source is describing. For example, take the Civil War. Something written by a Southern plantation owner would differ drastically from something written by a Northern soldier because it is human nature to talk about your opinions as if they’re facts. There is really no such thing as a neutral source. (Sources include written or oral primary and secondary… well, sources. It’s a pretty broad spectrum.) Obviously, some sources are more biased than others. Going with my Civil War situation again, things written by a Southern sympathizer would be different than a Northern sympathizer, even if both writers tried to state the facts only, which isn’t always the case.

I think that this brings up an interesting point in education. When we sit in History class, we don’t usually think about who wrote the textbook. As my teacher last year said, the winners usually write history. In my US History textbook, there are less stories about the British side of the Revolutionary war than there are the American side. This is partly due to the fact that it’s an American book and partly just because the Americans won the War. When the people who actually lived in that time sat down and wrote out what they saw happen, it was the Patriots who’s words got published and therefore more well known, even after more than 200 years.

Over the years, there have been many places in my Social Studies and History textbooks where it becomes transparent what the authors believe or want us to believe. I remember in 6th grade that we were learning about different religions. In the sections about Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, and Hinduism, the authors wrote about the different stories and beliefs that are central to the religions, but made sure to put “Muslims believe…” or “In Buddhism, people…” after every couple sentences. However, in the sections about Christianity, the book would go paragraphs without specifying that these were, in fact, Christian beliefs, and not necessarily cold hard facts.

There’s nothing wrong with someone believing that their religion is correct. It’s kind of what religions tend to do. It doesn’t even really bother me that the author has opinions or that he or she is religious. I just think that we as a society need to be careful about the way things are phrased in the books that we treat as having the answers to everything school-related.

Here’s another example. This one is less subtle and probably would be less controversial in the mainstream media, but since this is a blog, I decided to include the first example anyway because that’s one of the Awesome Things About American Rights. (To see more of my opinions on rights, click here.) As I may have mentioned, the 8th grade Social Studies curriculum is American History. Right now, we’re learning about the exploration and the colonies. Because I am someone who likes to go more in-depth than we can in class, I looked up some other things about this topic and immediately noticed a trend of the differences between my textbook and other sources I could find. (I will tell more about those sources in a moment) The trend was that our book tended to be more idealistic and mention, but downplay things like inequality, death, and the (lack of) rights for women.

One of the main things that was inconsistent between my textbook and the other sources was what it meant to be an indentured servant. Our book describes the concept of indentured servitude. You work for someone for a few years, and then you get to start a great new life in the great New World. However, in the other sources I saw, it seemed as though indentured servants faced much more hardships. First of all, the period of work was generally 7-10 years, not 4-7 years as our textbook says. Secondly, many indentured servants died before their time was up. And (Minor apology to my English teacher for starting a sentence with and… creative writing follows different rules :D) …And, the workload wasn’t just some minor housekeeping. Indentured servants were basically treated as slaves until they had worked off their debt. In the colonies, you could pretty much get away with doing anything to your slaves. The life expectancy for a slave was twenty-three. Twenty-three. That’s only 10 years older than I am now. If indentured servants survived this brutal, extended work, they didn’t just get to skip off into a beautiful rainbow sunset and leave that all behind. The early colonies inadvertently developed a kind of Feudal System where plantation owners were the bosses and everyone else had to scramble for a living. There was very little movement between these levels.

You might be wondering where I got all this information that basically contradicts my textbook. The first source I looked at was a series of YouTube Videos created by John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars, which by the way I really want to read. Of course, I couldn’t let one source, no matter how entertaining and witty (I really do recommend that you check out those videos) change my opinions on everything. So I headed over to the lovely Encyclopedia Britannica to look up indentured servants. When I first searched this, the first two results where “indentured labour” and “slavery (sociology)”. The encyclopedia groups indentured labor and slavery together. I checked out their results for indentured labour. It pretty much confirmed what the videos said. The only difference between slavery and being an indentured servant is that indentured labor is voluntary.

So these got me thinking even more than the other stuff. Why is it that our history textbook creates a partially glossed over, idealistic representation of the past? Do they think that 13 and 14 year olds can’t handle it? Do they share the viewpoint of an eighteenth century British king? Or (Oops… not supposed to start a sentence with “Or” either. I’ll give my teacher that one.) Is there some other reason I’m not thinking of?

I personally believe that educators and textbook writers need to be careful of what they do and don’t include in classroom discussion. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to include every single gory detail of everything, but at the same time, you have to state facts as facts. Don’t teach us that becoming an indentured servant was a way to improve life when in reality it did more harm than not to the people who went through it. There has to be a balance between treating the past as a fairytale and giving kinds nightmares, and I think we should be able to find that. Shouldn’t we?

I’d like to clarify one thing. I’m not saying that my textbook is horrible or that it’s got everything wrong or that History teachers need to rework the entire curriculum. I am saying that differentiating between fact and opinion is important.

 

Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to leave your opinions in the comments!

Naomi

I was going to call this post Soccer, but I realized I had a post with that name…

Hi Minions!

I’m doing soccer this year, but as some of my more devoted longer-reading readers might remember, I did a post about soccer camp a couple summers ago and was uncreative enough to call it “Soccer!!” As I was thinking of writing this post, the same name popped into my head. But because I didn’t want to recycle a name and I’m in the car driving my little brother to school, I asked his opinion on the matter. Here were his best ideas:

Naomi Soc-corn
Goal! A book about Naomi’s soccer.
Soccerty-Sock
Go Naomi! Go Naomi! Soccer!

As adorable as those are, they didn’t exactly convey what I was going for.

So anyway, as you probably have gathered, I’m doing soccer. (Go Jaguars!!!) I think our team is going to be really good. Our coach is trying to get us ready for our games, so practice is very tiring, but our start September 3rd and we have to be ready. That way we can totally pulverize the other teams. That’s the plan, anyway…

We haven’t gotten uniforms or positions or anything yet, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not working our butts off. We have practice every day after school from 4:00-6:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and from 4:00-6:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays. (On Fridays, we have to do really well the rest of the week to get the 1/2 hour off.) We use absolutely every minute of practice.

Practices consists of running a timed mile, stretching, running up and down and up and down a hill, drills, jumping jacks, more running, more drills, and lots of sweating. We’re all completely sore, but it’s so fun!!

There have been some interesting things that have happened during practice. For example, the cheerleaders got in trouble the other day because we were louder than them when we were counting out our warm ups. I think we were louder because we had the prospect of wall-sits looming in our itinerary if we were unimpressive. Whatever the reason, it was kind of a triumphant moment for us soccer girls.

I’m almost at school now and I don’t want to have to come back to this post later so I’ll just end now even though it’s kind of short. I have an idea for a long post sometime but it’s still in the “should I write that?” Phase. I’ll keep you posted. (Haha yeah that’s a really bad pun.)

I will think of you all when I’m pouring out sweat later.

❤ Naomi

A Day in the Life

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but I got some cool writing prompts from my mom’s awesome friend and colleague, Book Lady. I mean Melanie, oops!

I thought you might be interested in hearing a little bit about what an average Thursday is like for me. So here you go! (Times are approximate!)

7:04 am: Wake up. Lie in bed for about 15 minutes until I get bored or Mom makes me get out of bed.

7:20 am: Get up, shower, get dressed. Spend too much time looking at uniform variations before finally deciding on the first thing I looked at.

7:40 am: Eat, brush teeth, do makeup, get last minute stuff together. For breakfast I usually have something small because I’m not that hungry in the morning. School makeup is usually something simple: tan, sort of sparkly eyeshadow, brown eyeliner, mascara, concealer, and this amazing Aveda lip gloss that I swear I’ve gotten addicted to in the last few weeks.

8:00 am: Walk my dog, if I’m on the morning shift that day. My sister and I usually switch out every day or two.

8:15 am: Leave for school. Drive. Listen to the radio. Talk to Mom or Dad. Pretty boring, to be honest.

8:40 am: Arrive at school. Go upstairs to the 8th grade hall, avoiding the masses of pushing, shoving idiots who are so plentiful. The best strategy is to kind of walk quickly in a zigzag around them. Go to my locker, which is a bottom locker this year (sob) and put away my backpack and get my books for Algebra. Find awesome new friend, who will go by L for her privacy and all that, and talk about random stuff until class starts.

Okay so since school only just started, I don’t know the exact times that we switch classes, so instead I just put the periods from now until the end of the day.

1st Period: Homeroom and Intervention: I have no idea what intervention is for. I think we’re supposed to use it as extra work time, but so far it’s basically extended Algebra.

2nd Period: Algebra 1: This is a high school credit class (yay) so hopefully once we get a teacher it should be really good. Yes, I did say that we don’t have a teacher. The old Algebra teacher left, and they haven’t gotten a new teacher yet, so instead we have the math coach in our room. We’re mainly doing busy work, but hopefully that will change soon.

3rd Period: English: This class is anything but a normal 8th grade English class. How many English teachers show movie clips and read fairy tale remixes to learn about story elements, have a fluffy floral couch in their room, and think it’s perfectly acceptable for students to take notes on aforementioned clips while lying on the floor? Not many, except for our totally awesome teacher. This class is more challenging, but fun.

Lunch: Go to cafeteria, fill up ingenious Brita water bottle that makes normal water fountain water taste amazing, hope that I finally remembered napkins in my lunchbox, realize I didn’t, steal napkins from L. This is the perfectly timed social brain break in the day. During this… Not really class, I basically talk to L and other people in my 3rd period class (we sit by classes,) eat, and kind of wish that 8th graders got nap time minus the awkwardness that would come with sleeping near a bunch of random classmates.

4th Period: Science: My science teacher does a lot of Powerpoints with the lights off, so sometimes people (never me) sort of doze off until other people (often me) poke them with an eraser or something, which is sad because its really interesting. This is another high school credit class, so it’s very important and yada yada. Besides that, I think we learn a lot in it. This is usually the class where my bladder seriously almost explodes, even if I go to the bathroom before class. Must be all the ingenious Brita water or something.

5th Period: Social Studies: Start getting restless *here*. This is about the time when everyone does the obsessive clock-glancing, even though we still have about 2.5 hours left of school. Probably because we all have decided that we’d be okay with the whole sleeping-in-front-of-people thing if it meant we could sleep. 8th graders have this weird habit of having times where they want to fall asleep and run around like idiots simultaneously. This class is American History, but we are still reviewing Geography from last year.

6th Period: Related Arts: Yay! Last class! And it’s non-academic, which means we have to think less, which is good because we’re all pretty burnt out by now. Good thinking, whoever decided to put 8th grade related arts here. This quarter, I have Computer, which is fun even though we have to work. Around 3:30, begin checking the clock every 7 minutes or so.

3:50 pm: Dismissal for car riders! Use same techniques for exiting the building that I did for entering. Go outside, stand around, talk to people, especially L and my other friend, M, who’s not in any of my classes. (Sob again) My other other friend, who shall go by O, doesn’t go to my school, and he gets out an hour earlier than me, so usually I’ll have a text from him that I can reply to around now.

4:00 pm: Get picked up! Get in car, retell highlights of the day and frustrations about the no-teacher scenario, text M because we were in the middle of a conversation when I was whisked away. Continue conversation with O as well.

4:15 pm: Arrive home, get mail, look for anything interesting, usually be disappointed. Go inside, put stuff away, get out homework.

4:25 pm: Start homework. There hasn’t been a whole lot yet since the year has just started. Usually I finish in about 20 minutes.

4:45 pm: Become social! Check Facebook and Harry Potter Facebook pages, text people, do random things on my phone.

5:20 pm: Keep texting people, but start another activity because I’m working on not being a “phone hermit,” my mom’s phrase for when I stay upstairs and do stuff on my phone all night. Activities include: reading, working on my current novel that is going very sloooooooooowwwwly, going on Harry Potter websites, and other random forms of entertainment.

6:15 pm: Dinner! Eat. Socialize with my family. Laugh about random stuff.

6:45 pm: Put stuff away, clean my room, all that fun stuff.

7:10 pm: Text people more, read, similar stuff to 5:20 but more texting people.

8:30 pm: Get bored with all of that, change activity, work on getting my Hebrew vocabulary somewhat above that of an Israeli 4 year old.

9:00 pm: Honestly it depends on the day. Sometimes I’ll text people, sometimes I’ll do aforementioned activities, sometimes I’ll do other random things. Today I worked on this blog post.

10:00 pm: Phone’s bedtime. Aka I plug in my phone and am supposed to start mobilizing towards bed, but I suddenly think of all this fun/important stuff to do. Stall as much as possible.

10:10 pm: Get banished upstairs. Get pajamas on, brush teeth, read, come up with something until I actually get tired.

10:25 pm: Think that I’m actually tired. Get in bed, mind decides to become the most active thing on the planet. Sudden random energy burst that would have been nice about 5 hours ago. Fight off random energy burst. Actually get tired.

10:something pm: fall asleep. Wait about 9 or so hours, repeat from the top with slight variations.

The end!!

Cool Blog!

Hi everyone!

My friend Kate just started a blog! Her blog has a lot of personality. Kate really likes musicals, so she’s doing a lot of movie/song based posts. She only has 2, but they’re pretty cool! Her blog is:

nerdgirl88.wordpress.com

I love that name because pretty much all of my friends are nerdgirls and my favorite numbers are 8, 88, 8.8, 888, et cetera.

Thanks!

❤ Naomi

Bad Self Esteem Lighting and The Evils of Photoshop

To my dear not photoshopped comrades,

Today, I went with my mom to a store that shall remain anonymous to buy some shorts, t shirts, and swimsuits because I grew again. Unfortunately, I have learned that I need to buy swimsuits at a place with 2 criteria: 1, you can mix and match the tops and bottoms for comfort, flattery, and fit, and 2, the lighting doesn’t make you feel not as good as you know you could look.

I’m sure lots of you have had this experience: You’re in a dressing room, trying something on, and all of a sudden, you look in the mirror. For some reason, the lighting is enhancing your least flattering feature, giving you wobbly thighs or lumpy feet or 8,000,000,000,000,000 freckles or green skin or hairy ears or whatever your least flattering feature is.  (Do not be ashamed of these. Every non-photoshopped person has them.) The light is almost acting like a spotlight on everything not magazine cover worthy. In 30 Rock, they called this the Grocery Store Milk Aisle Light. I call it the Bad Self Esteem Light. Either way, it captures a feeling of annoyance.

Why would a store chose to have that lighting? It does not convince people to buy stuff. I know from experience that it actually made me not want to buy stuff. I’m sure that not all of the swimsuits looked as bad as they felt, but they felt bad because the lighting made me self-conscious.

While I’m on the subject of imperfection, let me bring up the subject of photoshop. I hate photoshop. If you take a look at these websites, they show celebrities before and after photoshop. (Note: a few of the pictures show women not exactly fully clothed.)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/17-mesmerizing-before-after-photoshop-gifs
http://10steps.sg/inspirations/artworks/40-cool-before-and-after-photo-retouching-photos/

If you don’t want to look at them all, here’s the one I find creepiest:

creepy_photoshop

It’s actually quite shocking. This woman is way to old to have the “perfect” skin on the right, and honestly, even my 13 year old skin has more wrinkles than that.

I find it so awful to be living in a society where it’s not “pretty” to have wrinkles, slightly uneven skin, not super glowy skin, freckles, or basically any sign of aging or non-tonedness. I’m not saying that everyone is absolutely beautiful and stunning and should be a model. I am saying that its not right to have a society where people end up starving themselves because they saw a photoshopped model who was size 00 and wanted to look like her.

Here is an article where a size 4, 5’10, 120lbs model, Filippa Hamilton, was fired for being “too fat.” She was also photoshopped down to a creepy nib. If you don’t want to read it, here are the pictures.

http://www.today.com/id/33307721/ns/today-today_style/t/size-model-i-was-fired-being-too-fat/#.Ubkrzfb70U8

not photoshopped

On the left, there is a picture of her unphotoshopped. On the right, she is creepishly photoshopped. I think almost everyone can agree that the picture of not photoshopped Filippa Hamilton is way prettier. She was fired for being too fat. 

The average American woman is not 5’10 and 120 pounds. I am about 5’5 and almost 12o pounds. I am not fat. I know lots of women and girls who are not 5’10 and 120 pounds who are not fat, including my friends, teachers, mom, aunts, grandmothers, neighbors, and friends’ moms.

If a 5’10, 120 pound, size 4 model is fired for being “too fat,” what does that do to everyone else’s self esteem? 

Here’s what I think: I think it basically sucks for their self esteem. And this isn’t the only way where it’s hard to not be insanely skinny. Fashion magazines, posters in the mall, mannequins, and the internet are telling us that it’s good to be absolutely skinny and it’s ugly to not be.

Now, it’s perfectly fine to be a 5’10, 120 pound, size 4 woman. But it should also be okay to be a 5’3, 140 pound, size 8 woman, as long as it’s a healthy weight. Different people have different body types and heights, and I wish that magazines made it less taboo to have a supposedly unideal body.

It would be nice if magazines could feature all of these body types and more and not just single out the most unachievable kind.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and hopefully this gave you some food for thought.

❤ Naomi

The Rights of Minors in the USA

Hello, Readers!

I have finally gotten around to doing a post about something I’ve been wondering about for awhile. How do the rights that American citizens get simply by being American citizens apply to minors?

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First, some background information:

The First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In simpler terms, the 1st Amendment protects the people’s right to practice religion, to speak freely, to assemble (meet), to address the government and of the press to publish.

The 26th Amendment:

The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.

In simpler terms, any US citizen who is over 18 can vote as long as they haven’t committed a crime that was bad enough to get that taken away. 

The Preamble to the United States Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

Teeny Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

For a full list of the amendments, click here. For a list of the amendments simplified, click here. For the full Declaration of Independence, click here.

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One of the great things about being American is freedom. Every citizen, which, by the definition in the 14th amendment, is someone born or naturalized in the US, is granted these rights. That means that even a four minute old newborn born in the US is technically granted the same rights as a 47 year old man born in Peru who became a citizen when he was fifteen, who is granted the same rights as your 35 year old English teacher who was born and raised in Wyoming, who is granted the same rights as President Obama, who is granted the same rights as a 13 year old from NYC. Technically.

But is that really the case? By law, it is. As you can see in the 26th amendment, currently easily accesible by scrolling up on your computer a tiny bit, the one main restriction of a right for minors is voting. Unless you count other things like drinking, driving, (never at the same time– always illegal) working, and going into the military as rights, which aren’t really rights, that’s the only real rights restriction by law that I could find. (Please post a comment if you can think of another one.)

There have been lots of court cases arguing about the rights of children.

In the case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503, 506 (1969), a high school banned students from wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam war. This case was taken to the Supreme court, which ruled that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” One ruling in favor of minors’ rights.

However, in another case,  Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988), the Supreme Court ruled that schools are allowed to censor a school newspaper that’s a part of the school curriculum. In case you’re curious, the articles that caused the dispute were about divorce and teenage pregnancy. At the same time, many school newspapers have a lot more freedom of press than a lot of other newspapers. It can depend on the staff at the school.

Not all children’s rights questions have been taken to the Supreme Court. Here are a few of my questions:

  1. If we as American Citizens have freedom of speech, why can kids get into trouble for saying something deemed “disrespectful” or “backtalk?”
  2. What if a minor is an atheist and the parents are religious? Can the minor legally be made to go to church or celebrate a religious holiday?
  3. The Declaration of Independence made “the pursuit of  happiness” a right. If a minor is doing something legal that makes them happy or happier, but their parents/guardians disapprove, who is in the right?
  4. If a minor wants to attend a legal rally (see 1st amendment) but their parents/guardians don’t like the cause, but the minor disobeys them, who is in the right?
  5. It has been accepted that women are included in the statement “all men are created equal.” How many people believe that children are included in this? Minors are usually not considered “equals” to their authority figures, but is that an infringement of our rights as American Citizens?

After doing some research, I have done my best to answer them in both personal and legal views. If there are any lawyers/government people/opinionated people willing to comment their ideas, I would love to read them!

For my first question, I believe that the answer isn’t a one word thing. I think that the authority figures want to help teach people the correct way to talk to someone. I think that our society and legal system views children secondary to adults, which can be good and bad. The good is that a minor isn’t usually put in an adult prison and expected to have the same responsibilities as an adult. The 1/2 way good, 1/2 way bad is that parents have the right to punish their kids however they think is necessary (as long as it isn’t abusive, of course.) The full on bad is that it’s often sort of hurtful to kids to be viewed as unequal.

For my second question, I think that the answer would be no. Freedom of religion is openly allowed, as long as the religion does not believe in harmful things. If a minor does not want to attend a religious service, they should have the freedom to opt out as long as they are responsible and old enough to be left alone or not supervised by their parents. Not all parents would agree with this, but I think that both in my opinion that not letting a minor have any choice in religion is a violation of freedom of religion. Legally, however, the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the right for parents and guardians to chose how they raise their child and where and how the child is educated. I would be curious to know whether religion would be considered in how parents raise their children.

I’m not totally sure on the answer of the third one. I think that if this was a court case, the parents/guardians would probably be granted the right to control what their child does. However, I think on a moral standpoint, there should be a balance. If someone’s mom loves gymnastics and really really want’s her daughter to take gymnastics, but the daughter really really loves basketball, the mom should let the daughter do what she loves.

For my fourth question, I think that the parent is in the right. As I pointed out in my explanation of the answer to my second question, the Supreme Court supports the right of parents to raise their children how they see fit. There is no law that I could find that says that a child has to obey their parents, but I think we all know that that is a very important thing, regardless of the law.

For my last question, I have actually made two polls to see what people’s opinions are. If you have a different opinion, please share! (Note: Equal Rights means equal rights except for voting.)

Here’s what I think: I think that minors are included in the statement “all men are created equal.” To me, that statement does not mean that everyone is the same, it just means that everyone has the same rights and no one is above another person or above the law. Some people have more power than others, but nobody is a better or worse person because of their role in society, their money, their age, their  race, their religion, their gender, their sexual orientation, their national origin, and their physical appearance. (I think I covered everything.) A 50 year old successful, groundbreaking brain surgeon has equal rights and should get equal treatment to a 50 year old struggling lunch lady in a high school cafeteria.

Of course, people will admire the brain surgeon more. She has done amazing things and saved hundreds of lives through her research and work. But she is not above the lunch lady. Both women have the same rights and should be treated with respect and dignity, no matter how “important” one or the other seems.

This is similar to the rights of an adult and a minor. A minor has the same rights as an adult, with the exception of voting. The adult is not treated the same as the minor, but they both have the same rights and deserve respect and dignity. Respecting an adult is different than respecting a minor, but both the adult and the minor deserve the respect that is appropriate to their age and responsibility. 

Here’s something else to think about. There is a proposed amendment that hasn’t been passed yet called the parental rights amendment. It looks like this:

SECTION 1

The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right. 

SECTION 2

The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.

SECTION 3

Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

SECTION 4

This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.

SECTION 5

No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

This is not an amendment yet, so it has no legal power. If it was put into action, it would clarify some of the court rulings. I’m not sure whether I support it or not. It would mean that parents have the legal right to control exactly how they raise their kids. Honestly, I don’t think it wouldn’t really change any of the answers to my 5 questions. I just wanted to put it out there because it’s related to this topic.

After looking at a lot of government, US history, legal, and petition websites, I finally came to a conclusion that makes sense to me. (I would be curious to know whether you agree or disagree with this statement.)

As someone grows and matures, the ways that they exercise and need their rights change, but the rights themselves do not change. 

A five year old does not have the same understanding, comprehension, and need to use rights as a 45 year old. This does not mean that the 5 year old is not entitled to the same  rights as the 45 year old if the need should come up.

As I finish this post and read back over it, I finally understand why people say I would be a good lawyer. I have had the argumentative, persistent, stubborn part down since I could talk, and now I just wrote a 2,035 word thing on laws. If school wasn’t out already, I would totally see if I could get extra credit from writing something with that much research involved.

I probably could have kept going for a long time on this subject, but since this is a blog and not a book, (which I could totally turn it into one day) I’ll keep it to this size.

Thanks for reading this and please feel free to comment your opinions!

Makeover!

Hi!

I’m giving naomipopcorn a makeover. It’s been awhile! Besides, I am getting older, and awesomer, and naomipopcorn needs to, too. It would be a tragedy to make it stuck with the same ol’ thing.

I am preparing for a super-long post, so I’ll keep this one short.

But as always, I must end with:

❤ Naomi

Fill in the Blanks Bar/Bat Mitzvah Speech

Shabbat Shalom.

Thank you all for coming to my bar/bat mitzvah. It really means a lot to me that you all are here.

My parsha is Parsha __________. In Parsha __________, ____________ (Insert biblical hero here. If in doubt, use Moses.) talks to ___________ (insert wise authority figure here, usually God) and learns about ________. I think this relates to ___________ (some trivial thing, eg. a homework assignment) because when I had to ___________, I felt like __________. (Hero.) (insert a few sentences summarizing parsha and situation) It also relates to my mitzvah project. For my mitzvah project, I relentlessly begged my relatives collected funds for __________(insert a charity here.) I really felt like a good Jew when I saw a photo of __________ (who/whatever the charity helps).

There are a lot of people I want to thank today. I want to thank Rabbi _________ and Cantor ________ for helping me with my studies. I want to thank my parents for always being there for me. I want to thank my sister(s)/brother(s) ________, (insert names here.) Even though you mostly annoy me, deep, deep, deep. deep inside, I actually love you! (Insert laugh track here) I also want to thank my Uncle Joe for flying in from Canada and my Great-Aunt Bessie and her family for driving from Florida! I also want to thank everyone who flew here for taking time to be here with ME! (Laugh track) But seriously, I love you guys. Without you, I am nothing.

Thanks again everyone for being here on my special day. Shabbat Shalom.

Please join us for musaf on page _____.