Friday, April 16, 2010

1. favorite posts:

The Health Care Reformation

On Tuesday, March 23, history was made when President Obama's health care overhaul was signed into law.

A victory like this for Democrats certainly couldn't have been gained easily. It cost a year of antagonism and may cost the seats of Democratic lawmakers.

This new law, priced at almost $1 trillion, will make it so that by 2014, every American will have health insurance, or be fined if he doesn't, and will include the 32 million who now lack it. Medicaid will cover more people and insurers won't be able to deny service, but Medicare will be sacrificed.

According to the health care law, starting this year, insurers cannot cancel someone's insurance, if he gets sick or injured. Children will be insured up to age 26.

Many oppose this new law because of its great expense and are accusing it as a "government takeover."

Below is a video from the White House's website showing the President signing the health care bill.

Book Review: Persepolis, Volume 1: The Story of a Childhood

A refugee of the Islamic revolution, Marjane Satrapi, has her own series of graphic novels that compellingly describe her upcoming. Her first book, the one I read, is Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, and the second one isPersepolis 2 : The Story of a Return. There is also an animated movie based on her comic books,Persepolis.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
is a moving, but humorous, account of her life from ages six to fourteen. Through a child's eyes, we can witness, in comic strips, the overthrow of the Shah's regime and the Islamic revolution that followed. Not only do we learn about some of Iran's colorful recent history, we see how it all affects an outspoken individual in the most unique and original way.

This book, definitely a page-turner, shows us a heartwarming, yet heartbreaking story of wit, told by an intelligent girl with a different view. This child is dis-unlovable. It's impossible to not love her.

It's rare to find such a book so inspiring, brilliant, and fresh, and I'm giving it five stars.

Persepolis : The Story of a Childhood, Wikipedia, Google Books
by Brigette W.

Miep Gies — A life fulfilled (1909-2010)

Miep Gies, a true heroine, recently died at 100 years old on January 11. She and her husband, Jan Gies, helped hide Edith and Otto Frank and their daughters Margot and Anne. After the Franks were arrested, Miep Gies kept Anne Frank's diary, so it could be published in 1947.

During World War II, the Nazis, a fascist society, invaded and occupied large portions of Europe. During these times in Nazi occupied Europe, your life would be threatened if you were Jewish, physically or mentally disabled, a Gypsy, or homosexual. According to many historians, Nazi propaganda spouted that these peoples brought down the human race, referred to as "parasitic races" by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

In 1933, Miep Gies met Otto Frank and his Jewish family when applying for his spice company's open position as a temporary secretary. She and her husband, whom she married in 1943, were both very close to the Franks, which is most likely why they would hide them when their race was being persecuted. Miep was also very much against Nazism, having refused joining the Nazi Women's Association in 1941. Even before sheltering the Franks, she helped the family blend in with Dutch society.

The Gies couple, along with Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleinman, and Bep Voskuijl helped to hide the Franks, the Van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer in the secret room upstairs of the spice company's office, where they remained undiscovered from 1942 to 1944. After the families were arrested and sent to concentration camps, the Gies were sure to take Anne Frank's diary and manuscript papers before the secret Dutch police ransacked the families' possessions.

Anne Frank's diary is still widely popular. The story of a young girl, an aspiring writer, living in the face of danger,
The Secret Annex, by Anne Frank.

By: Brigette W.

2010: State of the Union Speech — One Student's Angle

In our president's State of the Union speech, Mr. Obama tried to reinstate hope in America's working class, as was so prevalent when he was inaugurated last January.

The main points of Pres. Obama's speech covered economic recovery, Afghanistan, education, clean energy, and how we need bipartisanship to solve our problems.

For the economy, our president proposed billing banks for bailouts, prolong unemployment benefits, lower the cost of health care, tax cuts, composing Obama's Recovery Act, or Stimulus Bill. To encourage small businesses, community banks across America will be given $30 billion from Wall Street banks to lend to these businesses. They will also receive tax credits and dismissal from capital gains taxes.

To take steps to a cleaner America, we will invest in clean nuclear power plants, advanced biofuels, and clean coal technologies.

Another topic I will focus on is education. As an eighth-grader aspiring for college or university, I was very taken aback to hear that after 20 years, college debts will be relieved. Many also have realized that in order for America to become a "more perfect nation," we need an educated and innovative work force.

sources:, NPR
by Brigette W.
2. in twenty years:
In twenty years, I hope to be able to improve others' lives through art. I want to be able to inspire others to take up and continue art, like how many people have inspired me.
3. career:
Art is a field that I am not only interested in, it's a field that affects me in every way: the way I look at things, how I solve problems. If possible, I'd like very much to become an artist. I know it would be difficult, but even so, art is something that I aspire to.
9. five favorite songs:
Mag Mell (Megu Meru) by Eufonius
Dango Daikazoku by Chata
COOL EDITION from Ryoko Asakura character song from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya... by Natsuko Kuwatani
Sakasama no Chou by SNow
Kimi ni Todoke by Tanizawa Tomofumi
11. three best things:
a) student to teacher ratio
b) relaxed environment
c) Zach the dog
13. predictions:
Future cars, homes, and travel will definitely be more efficient in terms of energy and space. I also believe that technology will become more integrated with clothing and people. Humanoids and robots will become a part of everyday life in the future.
14. incorporating lower-graders:
We could incorporate lower-graders in the yearbook through poetry contests, book reviews, ways to be green, designs for the next Hillwood T-shirt, photos, featured artwork...

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