Here’s a Question

I’ve tired to branch out on the ranges of topic I blog about these days. Is that something you guys like? Should I stick to only one type of topic?

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Confession

A Russian proverb states “Once a word shoots out of your mouth, it cannot come back.”

Agree or Disagree?

 

 

“I can always find someone else…” these were an ending statement to a joke that have echoed throughout my life. I had said them to my mother in false confidence when she kept making banter about our current relationships. Of course I never felt arrogant enough to believe I can just dump a boy if he didn’t agree with everything I said… but at the time I didn’t know we were being overheard in the mall when shopping for prom dresses.

 

Two months later, these words came back to haunt me as my then love interest asked me if I truly saw his as disposable. Years have passed and when people ask me what I regret about in high school, this echo bounces back through my ears. It didn’t matter that I didn’t mean it, nor that he was ever meant to overhear it. Taken out of context or not, ‘Once a word shoots out of your mouth, it cannot come back.”

 

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Flash Blub Memory

Flash Blub memory is the ability to see in vivid detail an event that one experienced. An example of a flash bulb memory that I have is the day my grandfather died. I was fourteen years old and the oldest of his grandchildren. He died after my first day of high school.

In my family’s culture, when a child reaches the age of fifteen, they go through this ceremony, which is considered they’re coming of age party, is known as a Quinceñera (or Quinceñero for boy).  Since I was the eldest, it was expected of me to hold this event first out of all the other grandchildren. It was being planned for months and so many things were being prepared from the table decorations to the colors and music style.

On August 15, 2006, I woke up feeling anxious and scared. It was my first day in high school, and I didn’t know if I was going to see all of my friends. With my mom’s permission, I called over my best friend Person F to pick me up so we could go in together. After a quick stop at the nearest gas station for some breakfast tacos and cokes, we were dropped off by her mother in front of the school. Feeling my heart race, we stood near the outside of the gym and kept a look out for those we knew. After picking up our schedules, I was feeling let down to see that I only had three friends in lunch while everyone else was on a different class period.

When everyone was together, we entered the building and searched for everyone’s first class room. To my dismay I was the first dropped off. My classroom was Photo Journalism, and on the board it welcomed both the Journalism and Yearbook students. I started joking with my friends, as we usually do that if they aren’t being nice I was going to keep them out of the yearbook. Then after a remark, I changed my mind and said I was going to put them all over the yearbook.

The class went by well and I met some older friends within it. In my next class I walked by myself to the building next door. After feeling lost, I found it and entered the room, immediately brightening up as I see some other class friends. Before the teacher entered, several older classmen entered looking for another teacher and writing graffiti on the board. It was made clear that my teacher was very strict about her work. After class, I asked if she had any extra credit work, since I knew science wasn’t my best subject and I passed last year because I was able to solve the chemistry equations. Of course she thought it was too soon for me to be asking that, “Besides, I don’t assign extra credit work.”

I can’t remember how the first day went in my AVID, French, and World Geography classes went, but I remember during lunch, it was very crowded. I was with my friends Person B, Person E and Person G, but we were having a hard time finding a table to eat at. Since my friend Person B was extremely timid, I put on a strong front for her and stood up to a lot of upper classmen that day. In my English class I was once again by myself. I knew only a few students in that class, but the teacher was very inviting. She became my favorite teacher that year. In my last class I had Person G again and several others. I was late for that class since it was on the opposite end of the main hallway. I rushed into the room and bowed as I apologized to the teacher, earning a few stunned looks and giggles from some classmates. It was very awkward for the remainder of the class, but I was glad I was able to make a good impression on my teacher and make him laugh. “You’re a big dork.” Person G had said as we walked to the bus area.

I had ridden this bus plenty of times before, so I wasn’t as nerves as I was in the beginning of that day. On the bus, I sat near the front by myself. I’m very quiet and shy when my friends aren’t around normally, so I was used to it. I had noticed that the boy across from me had a drawing on his binder that I liked. I wanted to talk to him, but was very nerves.

When I arrived home, I set to work on organizing the few notes I had on school supplies and the documents that needed to be signed for the teachers. After an hour or so of talking to my friend, Person F, my dad came home early from work. He was quiet and sat down next to me on my bed. I knew something wrong had happened so I hung up the phone and looked at him cautiously. It was then that he explained to me that my grandfather had passed away. He had been in and out of the hospital for months since his first heart attack, so I wasn’t sure if dad was saying the truth or if he was saying another joke. In the days of his funeral I missed the remainder of the week from school and spent that time in the funeral home. Everyone was hysterical except for the children, my mom and I. We knew that he wouldn’t want everyone to be upset at his funeral and would prefer laughter.

In the end the plans for my Quinceñera were scrapped and I had a smaller birthday party with my friends and some family members. Mom said that it was too soon for everyone, but it was still a huge disappointment considering Grandpa was looking forward to it.

A flashbulb memory is very useful to me to be able to remember the memories I have of my grandfather and of how peaceful he looked in his wake. This memory is very vivid to me and as accurate as I can make it.

 

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D.I.D.

For most of my life, I have been interested in psychological disorders. Out of the many, the ones that caught my attention the most is Dissociative Identity Disorder and Bipolar disorders. Since the topic said to write about one, I guess it would have to be the one I’ve been thinking about since the first time I heard about it as a child.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) is when a person has two or more distinct personalities. The main personality will suffer brief gaps in memory and will only learn of events or things they have done or said from someone else. “Note that identity disorders are not the same as schizophrenia.” (pg. 494. Psychology: A Journey. Dennis Coon John O. Mitterer)

D.I.D. has been shown to the public through books, television shows and movies. “One famous and dramatic example of multiple personalities is described in the book Sybil.” (Schreiber, 1973.)  In the book it describes the girl going through all kinds of torture as a child and escaping from it by creating another personality. She kept this up until she had 16 other personalities, each with their own voice and background.

Another example of multiple personalities is in the movie Identity. The movie begins with a group of men gathering to hear a plea to reconsider a man’s sentence the night before his execution. The scene changes to people driving down a deserted road and end up in an accident. Over the first couple of chapters, a group of over ten people end up trapped in a motel building with the roads blocked. It is later discovered that they each have last names of states and share the same birthday. One man then learns that they are all nothing but personalities created by the convicted man and that one of them is a bloodthirsty killer who had committed the murders and is killing the other personalities off. I believe it was this movie that sparked my interest in this disorder as a child.

My final example of D.I.D. is within the Japanese cartoon, Sukitsuyo, which is about a high school boy with a slight case of amnesia from falling out a window to one of the buildings. In the first episode his is introduced to a childhood friend, whom he has no memory of. It is reviled that this friend has another personality named Ran, which is in love with him. As the show progresses, the audience learns that the main character also has a dormant split personality called Yoru whom was the lover to Ran. Both kids were kidnapped and experimented on as children. The main character decided to be stronger for the younger one by becoming the determined and strong-willed protector, Yoru. Following his friends example of survival, Ran was born and together they made an attempt to escape with the help of two adults. Unfortunately, Ran had tripped and was left behind, which leads up to the plot of the series and the cause of the main characters accident.

What causes D.I.D.?  “A history of childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse, is found in a high percentage of persons whose personality splits into multiple identities.” (McLewin & Muller, 2006; Simeon et al., 2002) Another personality is typically created as a defense in order for the host personality to escape from the reality of their pain. Most of the time the new personality is someone more stronger and able to endure different sorts of abuse. In the book Identical, the main character had recreated her twin sister to both escape the reality of her death and so she would be able to live through the sexual abuse from her father. Her “sister” Reianne, enjoyed the thrills of sex and drugs; Keighla in reality tried to stay being a good girl with high grades and good friends. She learns about her sister not really being there when Reianne is caught by Keighla’s boyfriend doped up on drugs and with another boy. She’s trying to explain to him that she’s “Reianne” and that he’s mistaken the twins again. It is then that he yells that he followed Keighla after school to the house.  Other times the personality is someone who is more dependant and trusting than the original, like Ran from Sukitsuyo who was not afraid to admit he needed help, and willing to be free with their emotions then being antisocial and stubborn.

There is no real cure for D.I.D. with a shot or any kind of medication. The only way for a person let go of their other personalities is for them to come to terms with the past and go through the acceptation that they don’t need their “sister”, “defender” or “other me” anymore. “Therapy for dissociative identity disorders may make use of hypnosis, which allows contact with the various personality states. The goal of therapy is integration and fusion of the identities into a single, balanced personality.” (pg. 494. Psychology: A Journey. Dennis Coon John O. Mitterer)

It is good to know that genuine D.I.D. is very rare. “Flamboyant cases like Sybil’s have led some experts to question the existence of multiple personalities.” (Casey, 2001) However, D.I.D. is very real. It is not uncommon for some adolescents to believe that they might have this disorder with the way it is shown to the public, but a vast majority of these cases are of the teens over-thinking things with their imagination at work.

 

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Death Note

The movie begins with a sky view of rain over Tokyo City at night. There are many quick shots from different view tops of the buildings, before the camera settles on a final location. It pans in to an alley where a black notebook falls lightly to the street. There is this still shot of the notebook in a perfect circle of dry asphalt whilst the surrounding road is drenched in rain. This image shows the unnatural presence the notebook has in the human world. The next few minutes show compilations of a hand writing in the notebook before jumping to the death of a person. As a movie adaptation of a book series, I find this as an interesting angle to show first on the society’s views on the plot device, before introducing any characters. It seems this might have been the easiest way to shorten a book series, which has been adapted almost word for word earlier as a 37-episode animation, to fit into a 126-minute film.

At the 9-minute mark, the writer in the notebook is finally revealed. The music brings tense feelings and a sense of anxiety of who the person who is causing these deaths is. There are a couple of scenes introducing this character as Light and shows through his interactions with people at school and around his girlfriend on what kind of person he is on the surface. Through some clues from the female lead, Shiori, and the background characters, it is easy to determine the both of them are in law school. The next minutes have a few flashbacks show how Light had lost some faith in the justice system before discovering a notebook in an alley. This is where the plot device is explained. Light learns that the notebook belongs to a Shinigami, or God of Death in Japanese. With it he is able to kill anyone whose name he has written down while thinking of his or her face. With his strong sense of justice, Light commits to using this item to rid the world of crime.

After these explanations, the scene changes to a police station where detectives are trying to figure out why so many criminals around the world are suddenly turning up dead from heart attacks. It introduces the main antagonist, in part, known as L who is a mysterious private investigator. This slowly leads to one of my favorite scenes in which L broadcasts a worldwide live news broadcast where he challenges the mystery killer dubbed Kira. Light feels insulted and tries to kill L only to shortly realize he had fallen into a trap and killed an impersonator instead. This scene is adapted in sync with the book and show word for word and is most likely done so because of how well it show L’s genius at gaining clues as well as his cunning ways on how to obtain them. With the scenes the movie goes from a singular story of the morality involved in choosing whether or not it is right to kill the most vicious of criminals to a game of cat and mouse between two intelligent individuals trying to find one another. The rest of the movie includes thrilling scenes on how closer both are to finding the other and the many obstacles in the way.

When adapting from an already existing source, many directors try to focus on story arches differently.  In this case, a character from the series called Naomi is given a larger role in the movie from being a minor obstacle to a major threat against Light. In the movie, Shiori is also given a large role considering she was only in one chapter of the book as a girl who had a crush on Light in high school to his love interest. This gives a more soft side to Light when they are shown together. With the inclusion and expansion of these two characters, the ending of the movie was a shock to both crowds that have and haven’t seen the series. If there were anything I would change in this movie, I would give more emphasis on the lengths Light goes through in the beginning on rationalizing about the rights and wrongs of having such a power as well as the fear he first experienced with that knowledge and how he tries to hide the Death Note before L’s investigation.

 

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The Internship

Originally, I was assigned to do my internship at the Cimarron in Mission, TX. On my first day, I was told that the restaurant was closed for the day and to call back tomorrow. On the next day, I was unable to work, because the manager wanted to fix the schedule. The third day was when I got to meet Chef Danny. I was there for thirty minutes meeting some of the workers while the manager was looking over the paperwork. I was excited to be at such an exclusive place, but due to a change in their policy the management was not able to carry on any more interns. After the decision, I was assigned at the last minute to work in the school cafeteria with Elia and Robert. Patrick Woodin, who is in charge, was nice and is trying to keep me on a regular schedule. He gave me a time sheet to keep track of my hours. On the first day of my internship I meet the people who currently work there including: Chef Julio, Cook Anita, Fry Cook Will, Sandwich Prep Cook Olga, Salad Prep Cook Ashel, and the cashiers Angie, George and Maribel.

The first thing I learned while working with Julio was how to properly chop onions, before going straight into making baked rice. There was three parts water to every part rice. The water was flavored with chicken base before being baked. After that was done, frozen vegetables were added to the hot rice and allowed to cook in the steam given off. I also learned how to make loaded and mashed baked potatoes. After the spuds were rinsed and baked, they were drowned with a layer of ranch dressing and coby jack cheese. I made baked potato soup for the first time and had to keep in mind the salt content. Spices should always be added last. I also made small portions of Chicken Cordon Blue which was breaded chicken breast filled with cream cheese spread and black forest ham. It was fried lightly before being baked. When making lunch portions of chicken cordon blue it is very important to keep in mind the amount of filling put inside. I also got to bake chocolate chip, oatmeal and macadamia nut cookies. Using a recipe I made Chicken Guisada by myself and Fideo soup.

When working on Catering orders, it is important to think on presentation as well as giving a variety. Olga and Ashel don’t work on Fridays, so it was Elia who taught me about what she learned to make the sandwiches. I learned how to assemble sandwiches with the correct amount of portioned ingredients. Each one is made exactly alike through weight measurement and tools such a scoops and ladles. Very rare is eyeballing an ingredient allowed. We made tuna salad, chicken salad, turkey breast and black forest ham sandwiches. Each type was divided in half between wheat and white Italian bread. The same thing applies when it comes to making the salads for the lunch line. Ashel told me that every salad is weighted for 6 ounces of lettuce before portions of toppings are added into the carton. Before making the salads, prep work must be complete first. I made Caesar, Chop Salad, Garden Salad, Southwest, Greek, Apple Cranberry and some side salads as well as fruit salad cups.

One Friday, I learned how to deeply clean a fryer with Robert by the fry cook, Will. First the oil was drained out of the fryers one at a time and deposited into the designated outside container unit. It was very nerve wrecking pushing the bucket outside with fear of being burned. After that, Water was poured into the fryer and using a tool, gunk was wedged out and dumped. When Will was showing us this, he overestimated the about of water to pour for the rinse and accidently overflowed the oil. It had to be mopped up three times before we could work on it again. After that the fryer was filled with water again and a chemical solution was added. Will explained that this solution was very corrosive to human skin and that inhalation was very dangerous so we were supposed to be very carful. I have never seen Robert as tense as he was then. With the water boiling and the chemical mixed in we very carefully scrubbed the fryer walls, baskets, holders and grates with wire scrubs and tongs to not touch the solution. In total it took over three hours to clean the fryers and carefully rinse out the chemical. I hope to never have to hold my breath while cleaning again.

The week after that I was told to report to school very early in the morning to learn how to make breakfast for the masses. Having to wake up early to make breakfast was an unforgettable experience. I had to wake up at three AM in order to make it to school on time at four. Once there, Anita said that eggs were to be prepped first. In a total of twenty-two quarts of eggs were used for the breakfast line every day except for Friday. These eggs were blended with an industrial sized blender and mixed with four cups of lemon juice, garlic and salt divided in two containers. The lemon juice was added for its acidity and was used to prevent discoloring of the eggs when they were being served on the breakfast buffet line. Eight quarts were cooked separately as scrambled eggs while six were cooked with partially fried potatoes sticks. Of the eight, a third was mixed with chorizo in a separate hotel pan once they were finished being cooked on the stove. While the eggs were cooking, sausage and bacon were baked in the oven, beans were made in a boiling pot, oatmeal was simmered in warm milk on the stove, and tortillas were flipped on the grill. After everything was ready breakfast tacos were rolled and pancakes were mixed. Anita makes the pancakes by eyeballing milk, eggs and pancake mix and whisking it together. On Fridays, we made Chiliquilles with sliced corn tortillas that were sliced yesterday and baked it with cheese and salsa after lightly pan frying the strips.

For the past month, I have been left solely in charge of the breakfast and lunch buffet line. I had to learn how to correctly serve portions and roll custom tacos during the morning hours. During lunch, I had to time and figure out when to request for a certain item before it ran out. This was a long process, but I think I go the hand of it. Most of the time, it is just me unless someone else decides to come help. I have noticed there are regulars that order the same thing every time. It’s kind of weird. When I am not serving food, I am also left in charge of restocking the drinks when shipments come in. I also have to fill the fountain drinks with four buckets of ice as well as the salad bar and dressings bar with one and a half each. While on the line, I learned how to clean the Panini sandwich press and the steamers. The sandwich pressed had to be scrubbed hard to get the cooked on crude off. A wire brushed was used for this. After that it was rinsed with a moist towel, because the machine was still hot. I also learned how they brew the coffee before the morning breakfast can be served. One whole pack of coffee grounds is added into a filter and left to brew that way. Normally it is measured for the amount of people, but I guess in a store setting it is fine to use so much.

Since I am left in charge of the serving line, there are not many opportunities to cook. When I get a chance to be in the kitchen to fetch something a customer has asked for, it’s for a short time. On a few occasions I have been able to toast some tortillas for customers if Anita is not able to. On a certain day, Will showed me how to make cheese burgers if the line runs out. With this knowledge, I was able to figure out how they made Salisbury steak. First one needs to get the cooked burger patties Anita earlier made out of the warmer and place the amount needed on the grill. Than add some juice from the pan they were being held in to get a sizzle. Burgers are flipped twice while steaks are flipped three times. When making burgers, the buns should be heated on the grill too. After flipping the meat, American cheese is added on top of the patty to melt before being assembled and wrapped into a cheeseburger for the line. For Salisbury steak, the patties are arranged in a half hotel pan and premade brown mushroom gravy is poured on top.

I have spent most of my time this summer learning how to serve food in a cafeteria setting as well as getting items such as ice, salad dressings, chili, nacho cheese, chopped chicken, sliced lemon, tortilla strips and shredded coby jack cheese ready to be served. I have learned to restock drinks and chips as well as portioning syrup and tarter sauce into small cups. When I was allowed to cook, I learned as much as I could. I have been offered a job here by Patrick, but I think I am going to pass on that offer. I don’t mind serving food if I am getting paid for it, but I already do that at the Boys and Girls Club of Zapata County and am able to cook at least at What-A-Burger. All in all, this has been an interesting internship.

 

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Five Typologies

According to Merton, there are five typologies in which a person may have a cultural goal and a means to attain them. There are many ways to describe this, but using recent events may be my favorite. In terms of this past election and how people may have voted, a conformist may have gone to the voting booth with no doubts that his vote will determine the outcome. An innovator wants their vote to count, but may feel the process won’t work, so will try to commit some form of fraud. A ritualist has given up hope that their party will win, but still votes because they feel like it is what they are supposed to do. A retreatist believe that their vote won’t matter, as well, and refuses to take part in the election. They will skip voting. Finally a Rebel does not like the current two-party system and will choose to vote for a third party candidate that has different view to the societal beliefs of the current.

 

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