I grew up in the “Empire State”, though nothing about the quiet suburbs that I spent afternoons climbing trees and devouring books in suggested the formidable atmosphere its title entailed. Rather, the neighbourhood peace provided comfort as I built my own empire in my head, stocked with aspirations, furnished with ‘sofistikated’ vocabulary, grounded by curiosity and ambition.
Concerns for American individualism and character in the 21st century have early origins that date even prior to today’s era, among them the concept of work ethic and the American Dream. According to an academic journal published by the International Social Science Review, this could be explained by dramatic transitions in the workplace, which while seemingly improving in higher quality jobs and more educated workers, also was regressing with a lack of employer support for work ethic. The issue at hand was that intrinsic motivation and interest to work hard therefore no longer existed, as Americans increasingly pursued money and other extrinsic factors. Despite the journal being published in 1989 and in a vastly different context, these same concerns are still controversial as people debate over the current state of the American work ethic today.
Capital punishment in the United States has been an enduring topic of controversy for decades, as its opponents present practical and ethical concerns while supporters justify the punishment’s necessity in deterrence, retribution, etc. According to the book Capital Punishment: The Revised Edition written by H. Henderson, the death penalty’s 1972 case of Furman vs. Georgia led to a Supreme Court moratorium on executions, until restoration in 1976. Since then it has been in decline, both in public opinion as recent polls show that support for the death penalty is the lowest since its 1976 reinstatement, and in practice as geographical disparities, racial bias, and other issues have become apparent. Despite this, Gallup (2016) showed a 60% majority of public support for the death penalty, and so the debate over its abolishment continues. With a change in context under the new Trump administration, and a vacancy on the Supreme Court about to be filled, this gradual decline in capital punishment may be officiated by abolishment or countered by reinforcement. The situation at hand thus demands the need to address the direction of where the death penalty is heading – whether it should be abolished, reformed, or kept – and other factors such as who may instigate legal action, on what grounds, and possible consequences. Given these findings upon which this report will elaborate, the death penalty cannot be continued within the United States and its abolition is necessary and inevitable.
This month was a wild roller-coaster of meeting new kids from all over the world, of all different ages, and getting to know them over a brief period of time. My heart hurts knowing that things will never be the same the next I see them, if I even do. But thankfully, I have music to listen to and remember these wonderful people by. As you’ll probably notice, R&B, rap and acoustic songs took a special place in my he. art this month.
The essence of throwback permeated my music of these two months. On a trip to Linan, Hangzhou for “The Eleven”, my Student Council team organised a ‘Middle School Throwback” social with lots of songs from our younger years. Fell in love with Maggie Rogers after our college expert shared a video with us. Went to KTV with my friends and we sung classics that will never be old. Regained enjoyment for rock music after playing “20 Questions” (but for songs) with my close friend one boring day. Indie songs will also make a comeback in this playlist, as I attended a Benjamin Francis Leftwich concert last week and fell in love once more. Music is amazing and timeless. I hope I never get too caught up in the business of life that I forget. 🙂
As T.S Eliot once wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” Spring has arrived and things have gotten better I guess, but also busier. I’ve finished my AP exams, thankfully, but also sadly. The year is coming to an end, and the excruciating struggles of the past months of school have been painful but routine. I feel like sometimes you’re so overwhelmed or stuck in your bubble of life, that time is hardly tangible…Day by day is long and dreadful, but one look back and you’re so old. I didn’t really have time for discovering new music, but hopefully with exams done I will be able to explore the city and find new music, and meet new people, and do all the things I felt I wasn’t able to over the year.
Regrettably didn’t update at all on either WordPress or Affinity in February and March…things have just been so busy and overwhelming. I know I say that in every post, but I just needed to sort things out and deal with my stress and anxiety that really spiked in junior year. In the past two months I dove more into R&B and jazzy tunes, songs you listen to on late nights in the neon-coloured city. Anyway, here’s my list – I tried to embed Soundcloud tracks so hopefully that works.
Hola, the first of my music favourites series for the first month of the year 2017! These 31 days sure passed by in a blur. Second semester has begun and I am rather overwhelmed by the intensity and stress of it all. Especially AP Capstone which, frankly put, makes me want to die. Thankfully music kept me company while I endured this month of new beginnings and old habits, so let me share them with you. Unfortunately I was too busy to discover new artists, but I was able to rediscover some discarded songs when on shuffle in my music library. So here goes.
Hello all! It is nearing the end of 2016, a chaotic year full of ups and downs…both for me and the world. I haven’t posted much on this blog since I became a writer for Affinity Magazine, but I still want to create my own content here. Since I haven’t shared music at all this year, I decided to make a playlist encompassing the entire 2016. However, in the future there will be a monthly music favourites series where I will share 20 of my most listened to/most liked songs during the particular month. For more of my music, you can check out my 8tracks or Soundcloud. Closing the last month of 2016 with some songs to reflect back on, and look forward to the upcoming year.
From September 23rd to the 25th, I traveled to Hong Kong for the first time for a China Cup rugby tournament with various international schools from Asia. Although the trip was short and due to sports commitments we were not able to sightsee, it was still an amazing experience so I thought why not share it with you? 🙂
Not only was this the first time I visited Hong Kong, but also as a representing sports player for my school’s team. One thing I love about my high school is the abundance and diverse range of extracurricular opportunities they offer – including travelling for sports. It means I get the opportunity to get to know my team and peers in a different context, an unfamiliar place against unfamiliar people, and it truly bonds us. But I also get to meet students from other schools and tour the city.