Alcoholism by M.M.

   In a blink of an eye everything turned dark, the sound of all the steel bending and crushing under the impact the glass shattering, flying into the bodies that got tossed around like mannequins. I remember I was watching tv on my coach when my dad walked in, I knew something was wrong just by his vibe, then I saw his eyes they were watery as if he wanted to cry. This was the first time I’d ever seen this, this is the guy that’s always telling me that men don’t cry, now he’s here with watery eyes, no doubt in my mind something bad happened. He said my youngest uncle Manny was in the hospital after he crashed into a semi truck, lucky he was going to be fine but he did have to get pieces of glass pulled out of his head but their cousin Angel didn’t make it. He died at the scene, they were both in their early twenties, they had been out drinking and partying all night, my uncle decided to drive under the influence, which almost cost him his live.

     I’ve met quite a few people with alcohol problems one of them beginning my other uncle, a few year ago he was in the hospital because he got a liver infection because of drinking. I remember my aunt she couldn’t sleep.  My uncle has been drinking since he was young, he was born and raised in a little farm town in mexico where everyone drank I’m talking from 9 year olds to 80 year olds, it was the normal thing to to do there. These little town doesn’t have much money, it’s very old fashioned . My great grandpa, grandpa, uncles, even my dad were heavy drinkers too sometimes they’d drink all night,  so it kinda ran in the family it was something normal something that happened every day.

     I’m not afraid of becoming an alcoholic because even though it runs in the family we all make our choices. My cousin saw what his dad went through and says he’s never going to drink because he doesn’t want to end up like my uncle. I don’t want to become an alcoholic either and I pretty sure I won’t because I can turn it down not like others. I am rarely ever around it anyways so I don’t have any temptations. I interviewed my cousin about my uncle and how they dealt with his alcoholism. He said my uncle wasn’t there for him much because he’d be working or drinking all the time. That it was like having two dads because his personalities were so different from sober to drunk. That he was very unattentive, not very understanding and mean when he was drunk but when he was sober he was the complete opposite. I love my uncle he’s a great guy that all due to alcohol he drove his family away and it’s very sad.

   On the rocks is one of the only books I’ve ever read, it was short and easy but it was also very interesting. Most of it was just statistics but the helped show how big of a problem this was, it was on teens and their addiction to alcohol, I found it interesting because I am a teen and I have meet peers that drink I wouldn’t say they are addicted but some do use it. There is quite a few factors that can lead to addiction, for example it can be passed down from parents. If your parents are alcoholics it’s very likely you will too. A teenager may not know he is addicted until it’s too late maybe after a night at the hospital or after an accident. In the book it talked about how one teenager drank so much he blacked out went to the hospital and never woke up. I think that as a teen we don’t realize the actual damage alcohol does, not just to the body up also to the people around you. I’ve seen people lose the respect and love of their own family because of alcohol or even worst the lose someone due to an accident. 30 percent of the U.S has had an alcohol-use disorder.

        My dad’s uncle lost everything because of alcohol, he lost his kids, wife and respect from and towards others. He now lives in a little room made un of adobe, by himself, he’s always drunk asking for money so he can go buy more beer. I personally don’t have any respect for this guy I don’t care if he’s my dad’s uncle, he’s done and said things that you wouldn’t believe, all under the influence of alcohol. No one respects him, not even the little kids in the town, it tears me apart that I have to share the same last name as him. Alcoholic doesn’t just ruin the person taking it it everyone around them too, it ruins everything.

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Immigration by J.E

I am drawn to big problems and trying to find solutions to those problems. When seeking solutions, I try to focus on the cause rather than on the symptoms of the problem.  During my service trip to Nicaragua this past summer, I had an opportunity to live with locals where I helped build a preschool.  Being there, I came to understand more about the circumstances that actually lead to the decision to migrate to the U.S. and why people choose to leave their homes and families. This is also a problem for all of us. According to the US Homeland Security there are over 11 million immigrants in the US from central and South America. I realized that the proposed solutions we often hear from our politicians, on either side, do not address the cause behind the need for migration.  This makes me want to speak up and get involved.

This country was founded out of the need of many people seeking a better life, usually in face of severe circumstances.  The phenomenon of migration can be seen across nearly all forms of life where species have to relocate simply in order to survive. The majority of us come from an immigration background in one way or another with family fleeing lives that, may not seem sustainable. So then, why  now, as new immigrants are trying to come to the US from Latin America seeking the same opportunities that our families once sought,  are we not focused on the threats that are fueling their need to relocate?    Many gangs rule the streets and terrorize the locals into giving them money or forcing their kids into the gangs. According to the interview I had with Maria Lepure “The Mexican government is controlled by the Cartels.” According to an article by Jason Breslow between 2007 and 2014 more than 164,000 people were victims of homicide.  According to that same article this period of time was a period that accounts for some of the bloodiest years of the nation’s war against the drug cartels. Even when not in direct danger, those in poverty face a threat of a different kind.  I lived in a rural village in Nicaragua in a home with a dirt floor, no running water and just barely enough to meet daily needs.  My host family was able to get by, but others were not.  And when they don’t have enough, they often make the very difficult decision to leave. This was also shown in the book Enrique’s Journey By Sonia Nazario. In the book she says that Enrique would get beat up by the gangs because he didn’t want to join and because he would wear stuff from the US. This means sacrificing their close ties with family and friends, risking their lives and gambling with the little bit of money they do have to try to make a successful trip to the US where hopefully they will be able to start helping their family meet their needs.   The reality of life for many people in Latin America is one of just barely surviving.  Those who migrate north can see that if they were to stay, their survival is in question. People who are leaving these situations are truly desperate And when you are desperate you are willing to take risks and make sacrifices, some of which our own families made long ago but which, it seems, have been forgotten.

The question is, if the number of immigrants entering the US from Latin America is a problem, as many argue that it is, then what can be done to fix this?  Some propose closing the borders, creating greater barriers to illegal immigration or even building a wall to prevent them from entering.  How will  such barriers lessen the need for them to relocate? A wall will not make them less hungry or safer?  Others, often those on the other side of the political spectrum, propose to give those who have already entered illegally a “path to citizenship.”  How would that, however, affect the need for people to continue to leave?  Central America Is like a building on fire and people are jumping for their lives, taking great risk and making huge sacrifices to save themselves and their families. . The US government unfortunately isn’t trying to put the fire out.  In fact, putting out the “fire” doesn’t even seem to be a part of the conversation about illegal immigration,  no matter which side is discussing it. Why is that?  Is it because   the US benefits from cheap labor from Central Americans and we actually need some of these illegal immigrants?  Or, is it perhaps that it simply is not possible for the US to boost the economies of the countries from where the immigrants are coming? I don’t know the answer to those questions.  What I do know is that if there is going to be an answer that truly slows illegal immigration, we must find a way to eliminate what is driving people to leave, whether it be crime, violence or poverty.  It is a big problem that must be addressed in a variety of ways.

 

Bibliography

Breslow, Jason M. “FRONTLINE.” PBS. PBS, 27 July 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

Krogstad, Jens Manuel, and Jeffrey S. Passel. “5 Facts about Illegal Immigration in the U.S.” Pew qwerasdfzResearch Center RSS. PewResearch Center, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 28 Dec. 2015.

Lepure, Maria. “Immigration Story.” Personal interview. 23 Nov. 2-15.

Nazario, Sonia. Enrique’s Journey. New York: Random House, 2006. Print.

United States. Department of Homeland Security. Yearbook of Immigration Statistics: 2013. qwerasdfzWashington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, qwerasdfz2014.

Spoken Word Poem by J.F.

I was not born rich

I never went to Disneyland

I never went on a road trip

I never had a tree house

I never had the latest gaming console or the newest phone

 

I was raised poor

When I finally went on vacation, I ate beans and tortillas every day, and slept on a small mattress because I didn’t want my abuelita sleeping on the floor

I was never given an allowance

My friends and family is all I needed to be happy

I have been happy my whole life

Writer’s Memo: Intended gerne: Poem, Informative. What went well was that I was able to write a poem because I suck at writing poems. What went wrong was that, since I suck at writing poems it is a little short I’ll add in the future.a I want to know what people think about it, good or bad.