Sunday, October 26, 2003

Writing journal is my favorite activity in this class so far. Journal writing is free-writing and I do not need to spend hours revising the grammars, punctuations, or sentence structures like I do for the essays. Also it gives me chance to write my opinions on various topics without being afraid of criticism or counter attack. Journal writing is always helpful for mental health according to psychologists and I believe it. I think journal writing in blogger is awesome.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Socrates, the great philosopher, said that we all have the knowledge in our soul, and it needs to turn our soul the right way to recollect the knowledge. So we can assume that morality is also in our soul, and turning ones soul the right way would be enough to act morally. This turning sometimes needs religious help for some people, and for others it may need just proper guidance from parents or society. Therefore, an atheist can be moral too. As I said that religion could help someone to be moral, but it is not a must for everyone. I do not know about Christian morality, but I think that every religion basically teaches about morality.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

When my daughter was two years old, I put a barricade in front of the kitchen door to protect her from kitchen related accidents. Later, when she was able to follow the instructions, I told her not to enter in the kitchen, but I did not just tell her that plainly. Rather, I explained to her the dangers of the hot burners, knives and so on. In addition, I told her that if she did ignore my instructions, I would forbid her from watching television for a week. Now she is nine years old, and I do not need to stop her from entering in the kitchen because she knows what she should or should not do in the kitchen, which could hurt or save her from kitchen related accidents. This is an example of what we do to protect our love ones. Religion is also a way to protect us from hurting ourselves and to follow the right path. As most of us are not yet morally strong enough to do the right thing and lead a virtuous life, so religion is important for society. Religion tells people to do the right thing and if they believe in religion, it helps them to stay in right path until they know the right from wrong without any help.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I looked at the websites and read some of the topics. I do not understand that why belivers have to talk against non-belivers and try to prove the existance of God or try to prove that their religion is the real one or the best one that was sent from God. On the other hand, atheist peoples belief seems so strange to me. Why someone has to deny the existence of God to have a fulfil life? The much I read I became confused about God and religion. The sites are helpful and have many informations I knew nothing about.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

“But the first mammals did not appear on earth until more than 300 million years of fish evolution had transpired!” Well, I can argue both ways though it will not prove that the religion is fact or fiction because many scholars tried and failed (I am a person with minimum IQ only) for the simple reason that the faith on God or religion does not depend on any proof. I would disagree with the quoted sentence of the student's essay although I liked most of his examples and arguments. I read in religious books that God’s days and our days are different in time measurement. As God said that (in Holy books) He created fish and mammals in the same day, it could be true because who knows how a fraction of second is measured in God’s time zone compare to ours? Therefore, finding fossils and 300 million years difference from the 2 species appearing on earth is not surprising or contradictory, to the same day creating theory of religion.

Monday, October 20, 2003

If humans "evolved" from and are animals why do animals not have a moral law, but humans do? ---I do not agree with this part of the student’s essay. If evolution changed us physically from animal to human, could not it change our thoughts, consciousness, and create moral laws in us while we evolved? Did our ape-men ancestors have morality, ethics, or consciousness like the one we have today? Do not moral laws change day by day by educating our senses? Animals had and have some laws in their DNA and day by day it changed and when they evolved as human, the law changed a lot and moral laws were born. Whatever morality we have today was not put in our heart from the day one while we were the one-cell living things on earth. In addition, evolution theory or Big Bang theory does not seem contradictory to me with existence of God. What if we evolved or everything happened from the Big Bang, could not a super power exist who created the Big Bang and the first living cell on earth? Whatever name we call that power, it is God to me.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

I was born in a Muslim family where the religion Islam is practiced. I did not practice it from childhood because my parents did not ask me or inspired me. Not that I did not believe in God or had any question of existence of God or religion actually, I never thought about religion. Once I had a health condition when doctors asked for biopsy and the biopsy result showed a fatal disease. When the doctors said that I had certain number of days to live, for the first time I thought of God consciously and had start practicing religion. Whatever I do, I try to do it with my best effort and sincerity and religious practice was not exceptional. After few months when I came to America, I found out that I had no fatal disease at all. There could be many reasons behind this new result. God healed me because he is almighty? My positive thoughts healed me? The Bangladeshi best doctors and best pathological reports were wrong? Whatever the reason was behind my healing, I continued practicing and following all Islamic rules I knew (I mean every single rules). Even according to Islamic rule I started covering my head, stopped using perfume (as it has alcohol which is forbidden) and so on. Meanwhile, the much I read the religious books and laws, the more I got confused. The confusion reached in such a point when I backed up and stopped practicing religion. Not that I do not trust or lost faith, but I thought that with so many unanswered questions and confused mind, it Might not be proper to practice because that would be hypocrisy.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I must admit that I have not much knowledge about the USA laws or the rights for the elderly or the young. Getting driving license age is 16 is the one I know. I think increasing the age of getting drivers license from 16 to at least 18 might help to reduce the road accidents for reckless driving. On the other hand, it would create problems too because who would drive those teenagers to work or class everyday? Well, I need to learn the laws and rights before I give any more opinion and I apologize for my ignorance.

Friday, October 17, 2003

I think everyone deserves respect regardless of his or her age. Teenage is the most critical time of a person’s life because at this age one not only goes through a physical change but also his physical change changes his mental status. For hormonal change, teenagers become emotional which they have no control over because they do not have the experience or capability yet to control their emotions. They need more attention in everyway, which includes respect too. I do not think that teenagers get the respect they deserve. At least in Bangladeshi culture, I have never seen that teenagers get any respect at all. Actually, in society, by relatives and even by the parents teenagers are treated as weird creatures from an unknown planet. It is because we all forget our difficulties, thoughts, and problems we go through at every age whenever we pass that age.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

All my life my parents and relatives treated me as a child and spoiled me somewhat. It was not discrimination rather it was an advantage for me. I got all the attention, love, and whatever I wanted because to them I was "Swati the sweet child". No, I have not experienced discrimination because of my age yet. Though I am nearly the age of the mothers of my classmates in college, yet my classmates did not show any sign of surprise about it. Sometimes I wonder why I am attending college at this age, and my husband or my daughter needs to remind me that I need to have a psychology degree to help people psychologically (oh that's my purpose and motivator!).

Friday, October 10, 2003

So far, everything is going wonderful except my quiz tests. I do not understand some questions yet. My memory is not sharp, and it is tough for me to memorize answers. I believe, my writing has improved somewhat because my “Who am I” assignment seems so raw in compare to the latest assignment I did. I have not mastered in punctuation (I should have), but that blame goes to my dull memory. When I talk or write, I carefully try to avoid using any cliché, which is a sure improvement. Even when I write e-mails to friends and relatives, my writing seems somewhat formal (instead of kind of, I use somewhat, never use don’t or can’t). We should not do any class presentations because that makes me very nervous, which triggers my migraine. My classmates are good, and Ms. Cooper is a wonderful teacher.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I just read about peer editing, but I am not sure how it would be when we practically apply it. At least, I think, I am not good in editing others materials because I do not know good English. My classmates have good knowledge and they know a lot, so peer editing would not be tough for them, but I might misjudge their papers, for my ignorance. On the other hand, it might help me to learn more, which I am not sure at this moment.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

“Different people will talk very differently, not because of the absolute level of their confidence or lack of it, but because of their habitual ways of speaking”. I liked the quoted lines from Deborah Tannen‘s essay named “Women and Men talking on the Job”. Is not that line enough to eliminate all doubts we feel about people’s quality when they talk?
In Bangladesh, once my mother in law, grandmother in law, my husband and his uncle, my daughter, and I were waiting in our car for the ferry to cross a river. The ferry people first told us to go to gate # 1. When we went there, they sent us to gate # 2 and again sent us back to gate # 1. After a few times of such changes, my husband’s uncle became angry and started cursing the ferry people with bad words (like the B word and the F word). We all were angry, and I said, “How gadha (stupid) they are”. My grandma in law yelled at me for using the word “gadha”. I was surprised of her reaction because she did not say a word against her son (my husbands uncle) when he used those B and F words. I expressed my surprise to my mother in law. She explained to me that people do not mind rather accept when men utter nasty words, but they do not expect, accept, or allow women to use any improper word (like “stupid”).

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I think that the fairy tales that young kids watch and read today have negative role models. In every fairy tales there is a villain, and to get rid of the villain, a girl needs her prince’s (male character) help. It does not teach her anything about her own ability to overcome the situation. I noticed that every fairy tales end with the main female character marrying her dream man, and that is the main goal or happiness of her life. It teaches a child (especially girls) that ultimate goal of life is to marry the dream man (whereas there are many things in life that makes people happy and fulfil). Male character is always the protector, the mighty one when the female character is the weak, and victim one in fairy tales. These negative roles of fairy tales deeply root the gender inequity in a child’s mind.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Richard M. Restak's thesis of his essay "The Other Difference between Boys and Girls" is that, boys think differently from girls. A basic difference between boys and girls has a reason according to Restak, and that is differences in brain behavior of boys and girls. I agree with him because he showed scientific proves though at the same time, I think difference between boys and girls depend on social upbringing too. Do we not let our daughters play with barbie when our boys get to play with cars? From childhood a boy learns crying is girly thing, and he is not suppose to show emotions. A girl learns to take care of her beauty, and a boy learns to become physically strong and financially successful in life because that count as his prior quality. Therefore, differences in thinking for brain's behavior is not the only reason for difference between boys and girls, but also what we teach our children makes difference between boys and girls.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

“Mothers of Invention” is a good example that inequities between gender are going on in our society for long time. I was surprised and somewhat angry. Why the women inventors were not duly recognized could have many reasons, which I do not know about. I have my own theory about it. I believe that people know what is right, and what is wrong ethically. Only people do unethical thing when they feel weak or threatened by others power. I am not talking about cent percent people but most of them. Therefore, when these women inventors invented things, people of the society or the authority knew that inventors should be recognized, but they did not recognize them. Why? Because those authority felt weak, and they were threatened by the women’s intelligent power. Obviously, it was not fair.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Among gender inequities, to me the serious issue is a woman known by her father's or husband's name. Why a woman can not have her own identity, own name without having any male name added after her name? Men do not need to add their mothers or wives name, is not it a serious issue? I read in a magazine about Hilary Rodham’s problem when she did not add her husband’s name after her own name. Later she had to, and now she is known as Hilary Rodham Clinton. Same problem happened with Roseanne the comedian and actress. I learned from a show (Jay Leno show or something else) that Roseanne went to another country, and in hotel reservation form, she put only Roseanne, but they did not accept it, and told her that she needed to put a last name (always fathers or husbands last name) too. Now Roseanne has again started mentioning her name as Roseanne Bar. There are very few like Madonna, or Cher who survive with their own name. I do not know why such inequity still in this twenty-first century?

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