Writing Goal: A focus on sentence flow and organization.

“Snow” and “skiing” are two words not usually associated with spring break; however, this spring my family was visiting from the US and we wanted to give them a taste of Swiss skiing. My immediate expectations for the snow in April were quite low, but per contra there were several days that we could not ski because there was too much of it. On one morning. despite the immensely poor visibility, we decided to go up in the cable car as early as possible to the tallest mountain in Arosa; Weisshorn. The first part of the slope going down to the next lift was atrocious; it hadn’t been paved the night before  because it had been snowing so heavily, so we may as well have been skiing off-piste.

Louisiana Immigration Proposal

When asked about this year’s crawfish season, processor Dexter Guillory of Eunice had nothing positive to say: “It could be that we lose half the industry. It’s that serious. It’s positively an emergency”(Ballard, 2015) . Louisiana’s crawfish industry and various other similar industries all over the country are suffering from an exiguity of workers. This negative trend has been brought on in part by the implementation of harsher immigration policies, and in part by the lack of infrastructure available to Mexican immigrants. The Southern Border States need to work together to form a unified immigration policy that satisfies the needs of each state and our country itself.


The United States spends $18 billion every year on border protection and put $30 billion more into it last summer,  and it is working (Khan, 2014). The number of illegal immigrants has sharply declined since 2005 when government spending on border control increased to eclipse all other spending on law enforcement agencies in the country. (Khan, 2014) But is this really something positive in a country that needs Mexican and Latin American immigrants? Many workers immigrating to the United States are temporary workers that operate with the use of H-2B visas, which allow for immigrants to come into the country and work a seasonal job, such as a crawfish peeler, and are sent back to their country of origin within a year. Due to a recent court ruling in Florida regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s authority to issue these visas, the already slowed system has grinded to a halt. It is estimated that this year the Louisiana crawfish industry will lose at least 30 million of the 100 million it produces (Ballard, 2015). Louisiana processors have nowhere near enough people willing to peel crawfish, since many American workers are seeking something more long-term. Unfortunately, reform to the H-2B visa situation will probably not come in time to save this crawfish season, but our proposition will help other industries and the crawfish industry in the following year.


A 2011 legislation in Alabama (HB 56) has caused a desperate need for labor in Alabama, similar in situation to Louisiana.  Regarded as the strictest immigration law in the country, HB 56 calls for employers to question the legality of all of their employees, and for police to punish any employers that don’t. This has caused an exodus of immigrants from Alabama into neighboring states, and a shortage of labor in the state itself; however, we must also address the question of why America’s workers aren’t taking these jobs. Differing policies between the states that cause massive imbalances in immigrant populations; therefore we need a unified policy for all southern border states. Legislations such as HB 56 have been motivated by claims that Mexicans/immigrants are “stealing American jobs”, which is a fair sentiment considering that there were 211,000 unemployed people in Alabama in 2011 (Dwoskin, 2011). The thing is, Americans just don’t want these jobs, and for good reason; the jobs that are in high abundance are generally very low-skilled with undesirable working conditions, low wages, and few benefits. Local Alabama farmer Joey Bearden had this to say about his American workers: “I’ve been farming 25 years, and I can count on my hand the number of Americans that stuck.” Mexicans, on the other hand, are very willing to come live in America and work diligently making hotel beds, farming, peeling crawfish, etc. The statistics for Mexican immigration populations are startling; 55% of Mexicans living in the United States have no insurance (compared to only 12% in the native population),  they have the highest poverty rate of all immigrant groups as well as the lowest income, and the highest rates of limited english proficiency (Zong, 2014). Part of the reason why these immigrants are without health care and education is the fact that many aren’t legal; there are currently 11 million Mexican immigrants residing illegally in the United States (Khan, 2014).


The state of Louisiana proposes that each state distributes papers to the immigrants living within their respective borders in an effort to make them legal, that the federal government provides 20,000 H-2B visas for each southern border state per year (to be issued by each state independently), and for the federal government to fund programs to provide healthcare and education to legal Mexican immigrants. The first step for these programs is for the southern border states to ask the federal government, as a unified body, for funding. The process of providing education to Mexican children and healthcare to entire families will be facilitated by the legalization of these immigrants, so the second step is trying to legalize as many Mexican immigrants living in the United States as possible. The third step is for each state to use the

funding at their own discretions to improve the general quality of living, education, and healthcare for the now legal immigrants.


Looking at how badly the United States needs an immigrant workforce, we as a country need to work to legalize Mexican immigrants and not expel them. We have to issue more H-2B visas to save multiple industries from collapsing. We can’t only allow a flow of immigrants from Mexico that we indeed do need; we also need to provide proper infrastructure for them once they are in the country. The United States of America is a nation founded on immigration, and a nation that can only be strengthened by an addition to our immigrant workforce


Word Count: 915

Works Cited:


Ballard, Mark. ” Crawfish ‘emergency': How an Immigration Kerfuffle Could Affect Your étouffée, Bisque. theadvocate.com.The Advocate, 06 Apr. 2015. Web. 03 May 2015.


Dwoskin, Elizabeth. “Why Americans Won’t Do Dirty Jobs.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 09 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 May 2015.


Khan, Naureen. “U.S. Immigration Policies: A Little Something for Everyone to Hate.”

america.aljazeera.com. Al Jazeera America, 03 Mar. 2014. Web. 03 May 2015.


Research Log #3


As I understand the problem right now, after reading this week’s articles, a lot of European concern is based on racism/xenophobia and islamophobia. With the Swiss minaret bans and the French DNA testing (as well as that SVP add with the black sheep), many European countries seem to be more concerned with preserving their country’s culture (and in some ways racial identity) than  they are concerned with finding lasting solutions to the problem. Some even say they fear the possibility of a coming “Eurabia.” The three articles that I read for this step were from 2009 and 2010. Two of them have basically predicted what is happening now, based on events in those years, saying that in the near future there will be demagogues appealing to islamophobes and their people’s fear of losing cultural identity. The article from the Wall Street Journal said that it is impossible for the immigration situation to improve with 28 different immigration policies; the EU needs one common policy to try to spread the flow of immigrants, and in some ways, discourage an influx of illegal immigrants in one particular country. One of the articles from step 2 talked about how rumours of it being easier to get into a particular country or differences in the welfare systems caused mass amounts of people to try to immigrate to specific countries. With an EU-wide policy, immigration would be more regulatable and easier to control. The articles I read this week have developed my understanding of the events leading up to what is happening now in the EU with immigration, but they are still a little less relevant than articles from 2014 or 2015. It will be easier to understand more recent articles in the future because of the three that I read from 2009-2010 this week. In discussing the articles this week, I think I have gained a little bit of an understanding as to why Europeans are concerned with their culture being eroded. There are systems in Switzerland for immigrants to learn the culture and language so that they can get permits, which is a form of cultural assimilation. I’m sure other countries have a similar system, so at the moment I don’t see much of a problem with “cultural erosion.” If people are upset about immigrants even after they have learned the culture and language of their destination country, then the reaction is a racist one.


The majority of the Step 2 sources were articles; however, one was a set of 4 maps portraying population shift, and one, which I found to be the most interesting, was a video. The video, a recording capturing the perilous voyage of Syrian immigrants boating across the Mediterranean,  was a great source of background information that I think anyone approaching the issue of European immigration needs to see. As I search for background information in the future, I’ll be looking for articles that give a general overview of the situation I’m researching, but will also be trying to find personal experiences pertaining to the topic that I am researching.

My favorite part in doing this piece was how I got a chance to make the piece unstructured on purpose, even though making my pieces more structured has been one of my writing goals. It was very different to intentionally do something that I’ve been trying to fix. I wanted the reader of my piece to come away with a deeper understanding of Ruth as a character, or just to be thinking about the way Ruth is. In comparison to other pieces I’ve written, this one has a more dreamlike flow and surrealist elements, which I have never really worked with before.

NLMG Nine Ways of Showing Character: RUTH


  1. Surroundings that reflect the character

“But let me get back to Tommy. What Ruth said that time in our dorm after lights-out, about how Tommy had brought all his problems on himself, probably summed up what most people at Hailsham thought at the time. But it was when said what she did that it occurred to me, as I lay there, that this whole notion of his deliberately not trying was one that had been doing the rounds from as far back as the Juniors.”


This quote lets the reader know for the first time how close Ruth and Kathy are, and that they’re roommates. Also, it shows the relationship between Ruth Tommy and Kathy for the first time.


  1. The character’s actions

“That when Tommy was left standing alone, and the boys all began sniggering, I heard Ruth say: “It’s coming. Hold it. Seven seconds. Seven, six, five…” She never got there.”


At the beginning, Ruth is sort of a ringleader in making fun of Tommy, and this quote really shows it.

  1. Other characters’ reactions to this character

“We argued about this on and off for the next few days. Most of us didn’t agree with Ruth, but then that just made her all the more determined to prove that she was right. So in the end we settled on a plan to put her theory to the test the next time Madame came to Hailsham.”


I chose this quote because it shows that Ruth is sort of a leader in all of the things that their friend group does.

  1. Other characters speaking ABOUT this character

“I was never sure if Ruth herself had invented the secret guard, but it was clear that she was the leader”


Another quote that illustrates that Ruth is the leader in everything she takes part of.

  1. Character his or herself speaks

“Oh, Kathy, how are you? I you don’t mind, we’ve got something to discuss just now. Well be finished in just a minute. Sorry” (54)

In this scene Kathy is approaching her group pf friends that are discussing secret guards stuff, but she realizes to late that she was banned an is no longer wanted there. Here we can see one of Ruth’s characteristics. She finds it easy to exclude friends, and to make sure they are aware they have just been cast out. She also uses a tone that helps the effect of casting out “If you don’t mind, we’ve got something to discuss just now. She also says “sorry” as if she is truly sorry for casting out one of her best friends.

  1. Character is quoted – reveals the character & advances the plot

“Let’s just agree. Lets agree I got it in the sale. “ Then she gave us all a knowing smile. (57)

From this quote we can see that Ruth deems herself higher then her fellow piers. In this scene, she is questioned about her new pencil case, an although she does not directly claim it, she entails she received it from ms. Geraldine. We can see from this quote that she does this a lot, since she smiles at the end making sure the friends around understand that she is privileged by their favourite teachers.


  1. Character is described through memories

           “I’m not sure how long the secret guard stuff buisness carried on. When Ruth and I discussed it while I was caring for her down in Dover, she claimed it had been just a matter of two or three weeks- but that was almost certanly wrong. She was probably embarrassed about it so shrunk teh whole thing in her mind.” (49)


From this quote we can see that Ruth tries to forget the things that she thinks embarrassing. Kathy asks Ruth how long the secret guard thing happened,  an Kathy is sure it was almost a year, whereas Ruth is scaling it down her her head since she is embarrassed about the things she has done.


  1. Contrasting the then and the now


At the beginning she disliked the way Tommy acted and believed he deserved what he got. And late she started going out with Tommy and believed they were truly meant for each other.  


Ruth explains at the beginning that Tommy deserved the bullying he is getting, however later she starts dating Tommy, and claims they are meant for each other while she is begging Kathy too get them back together.   

  1. Inference (to come to a logical conclusion about something based on evidence)


When she wants something she has her mind upon she becomes deperate.

“I want me and Tommy to get back together again. Kathy, will you help?”

“Kathy, its not your one. The one you lost. I tried to find it for you, but it’s really gone” (75)

Here we can see behind all of Ruth’s negative characteristics, that she cares about  her dearest friend Kathy, an that when she has her mind on something she wants, she tries her best to get it.


Winter Break Quick Write


Right after winter break began, my family and I went up to Arosa to spend a week and a half there skiing. At first, it was disappointing to say the least. Expecting to see at least some snow on the way up, we were shocked when we got up to the town and were faced with bare green hills. Another day passed before some snow finally fell, and after it snowed once it just didn’t stop. It snowed so heavily and so much that it was only another day before the lifts started to open up. Only two were open, but it was wonderful nonetheless, knowing that we would actually be able to ski while being there. It’s not ideal to ski or snowboard in heavy snow, but we did it anyway. It wasn’t until that time that I realized how great it is to snowboard under heavy snow. Although I could barely see the ground in front of me and it was far below zero, it was the best moment I have ever experience while snowboarding. Barrelling down the mountain with

Macbeth: If we should fail.
Lady Macbeth: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail. (Act 1: Scene 7: L58)

I think that this quote, from Act 1 Scene 7, really tells the reader (or the viewer) a lot about the character of Macbeth, and about his relationship with his wife. With this quote, Macbeth is characterized as a man who thinks rationally and questions his decisions; yet, because we know that later in act 1 Macbeth follows through and kills King Duncan, this quote also shows the influence that Lady Macbeth has over him, and the fact that Macbeth seeks to validate his manhood.



Through his entire career and his performance at the 1936 olympics, Jesse Owens singlehandedly proved to not only HItler, but the world, that ethnic Africans were in no way inferior to other races.


TS 1:

Although Jesse was a promising athlete in his high school and college days, he  was still faced with the racism and segregation of 1930s America.


TS 2:

Jesse was a remarkable athlete by the time he transferred to East Technical High School.


TS 3:

Although he was dominant in the United States, winning all 42 events he competed in in 1935, the 1936 Olympics in Berlin were Jesse’s real claim to fame.



In conclusion, Jesse Owens was not only a remarkable athlete but an athlete who broke boundaries and paved the way for thousands of other African American athletes in the last 70 years, but also proved the myth of Aryan superiority false and showed that he was the best athlete in the world


Best Summer Moment

At the beginning of the summer I traveled to the town of Supetar in Croatia for a couple weeks. Probably the best moment from the whole trip was going for a swim at 1:00 in the morning at our favorite beach the night before we traveled back. The water was completely still because all of the ships had already gone into the harbor for the night, and there was literally no one else there. The water was absolutely stunning; the entire sea was lit up by the eerie glow of the moon above. Even though the night sky was by this time littered with distant glints, we could almost see forever into the abyss. We also got to see the town like never before; it’s usually quite busy with a lot of noise, but in the moment it had a sort of lazy vibe. We had neglected to bring towels along with us, so we had to brave the cold night that lay before us soaking wet. The highlight of this night was not the swim, but the trek back to our apartment at the top of the hill. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how it felt to be bathed in nothing but dim lamppost light and hearing the sound of absolute silence ringing in my ears. I had to have been dreaming. Before we slipped back into the warmth of the house once more, I took one last look at the moonlit sea. I couldn’t help but linger for a minute or two, but I was drawn back inside by the thought of the ferry we needed to get up for in 4 hours.

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