Saturday, January 26, 2013

Growing Pains

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Growing Pains

I still remember that sad summer day when my storybook life came crashing down. I was washing the mound of dishes that stacked up daily in our kitchen. I didn't mind the dishes because half the time was spent splashing in the water making giant soapy bubbles that were fun to pop. My clothes usually got drenched, but that was okay.

My mom drove in the driveway unusually early that day. I noticed she looked sad and didn't ask me any questions like how my day was and so on. What she did say was that we needed to have a family meeting. We always dreaded the long boring meetings talking about chores and manners and such, but I was dreading this one much more. I was scared. It sounded very serious. Plus, I noticed how mom and dad had been verbally fighting so much lately. Our life wasn't perfect, but my parents usually got along.

We met in our cluttered living room to talk. The extremely painful, scary, and final words of divorce came from my mother's trembling mouth and I could see by the look of shock in each of our eyes that it wasn't going to be easy for any of us. We were numb.


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Our house was always a disaster. It had four bedrooms and two huge bathrooms. It was a never-ending chore. No matter how much we cleaned, it didn’t seem to matter. We had blue carpet with little white speckled spots called paper that we were too lazy to pick up. We would put our school bags in the corner of the room near the doorway where they would often end up dumped all over the place. There were also old crinkled up homework papers with winter coats and shoes, at least three pairs of shoes for each kid.

My parents were divorced when I was twelve. I never thought it would happen to us. We actually were perfect. In my youthful mind anyway I was mature enough to ponder many ideas. Such as how hard was it going to be without dad? How hard was it going to be for mom trying to raise 4 kids alone in such a fast paced world? How would Christmas work? Whose house we would go to? Or even more important, who would we live with? How would my mom be able to work, cook, help with homework, get us to our activities and deal with her loss? It was extremely hard going to school every single day knowing when I got home life would be the same cruel reality. No matter how much I prayed my life was never going back the way it was.

Although the divorce was hard for each and every one of us, my younger sister, Micaiah, took it the worst. I can remember her crying many times during the night and day, but she eventually she understood and tried to show the family she was brave.

I was the eldest with three younger siblings. Sam was 10, Micaiah was 4, and Matthew who was hardly 1 months old. Sam and I were closest to age. We both could understand what was going on but didn’t know it would be so tough. Sam and I always got a long fairly well. We were always playing card games such as Old Maid and Match. We would also keep car collections and show off who had the better ones. We naturally we turned towards each other for company.

My brother Matthew at the time wasn’t even years old yet, so he did not know what was going on and probably can’t even recall for himself what happened to this day. In the years, he eventually caught on with the story and he now understands what divorce is and why it happens.

Mom tried her best, but sometimes, actually a lot of the time, she was unable to take care of the four of us. She had so many things on her mind at once. Because I was oldest of her kids, I stepped up to the plate and helped with the little ones. We all missed dad and the way it had been but we were making the best of a bad situation. I remember comforting my infant brother back to sleep in the middle of the night even though that was Mom's job. She was often far too fatigued to even hear him crying in the night. I couldn’t blame her though. Its not that she didn't care about us, its just that the divorce was probably much more devastating to her. Sharing your life and raising children with someone you loved then have it turn for the worst can’t be easy to handle. She could function normally at work, but not so much at home. My mom was always a strong woman who, in my mind, could do anything. I was proven wrong in this instance. She would cry a lot and she seemed so weak and ready to give up. That was hard on me because I needed her to be strong for me and be there for me. My life was scrambled too. I was growing into a young woman and needed a parent, especially a mother, to teach me what I needed to know about growing up.

Today, I can say, “We survived!”

When I look back on that part of my life I am saddened but also appreciative. I am a much stronger person because of the hardships that we had to overcome as a family, as well as my own hardships of turning into a young woman. I have a compassionate side of me for people that I may not have had if I hadn't gone through such difficulties of my own. If I hear about someone else’s difficulties with family life, I feel for them because I know a great deal of what they are going through.

I feel I have learned many lessons along this bumpy road. Some lessons maybe others haven’t learned yet, and some that many never will learn. I am more considerate to others and I don’t have a lot of trust towards people I first meet, which I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad but I know it has helped me in some situations as I grew up.

My mother is happily married a good man I am proud to call my step dad. He loves her unconditionally and shows it every day. My siblings are very happy. We all made it and are actually in a better situation than ever before. I still love my dad and always will, but he is the one who caused our heartbreak by his wrong actions. He is the one who lost not us.



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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Steroids and Sports

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Steroids and Sports

Ever since their introduction into sports in the later 150s the use of anabolic steroids has been a controversial issue. Many debates have arisen dealing with whether steroids should be allowed for performance enhancement. If youre not familiar with them, The 14 Merrian-Webster Dictionary defines an anabolic steroid as any of a group of synthetic hormones sometimes taken by athletes in training to increase temporarily the size of their muscles.

However, it's not just the athletes preparing for rigorous competition that have been using these drugs. Business Weekly told of a study performed by the University of Illinois School of Public Health in which the results were shocking. According to Paul Goldstein, the chief investigator, individuals from all walks of life have admitted to the use of steroids. He states, Were finding firemen, students, lawyers, teachers - people from all economic classes - most of them taking the drugs for cosmetic reasons (177). All of these individuals had admitted to use because of the positive effects the steroids provide for their appearance. Along with these positive effects also come the negative ones. Symptoms such as acne, psychotic states, paranoia, headaches, high blood pressure, heart failure, strokes, and liver and kidney damage with quite a lengthy list of other harmful side effects related to extensive use. According to Dr. Robert Vow in his book Drugs, Sports, and Politics, along with trying to keep competitions fair and equal for all that entered, these were the main reason that anabolics have been banned from sports since the 176 Olympic games.

Since these early years, not much has been heard about the use of steroids. True, occasional incidents remind us they are still around. For instance, when Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medial in the 188 Seoul Olympics and Lyle Alzados death in 1. For the most part though things seemed to have quieted down. This is speculated to be from the growing efforts to educate athletes and individuals on the extreme dangers associated with these steroids. Along with this education, one can not escape hearing the horror stories about what these drugs have already done to others and what it will do to them after prolonged use. With such an impressively long list of harmful side effects associated with steroid use, one could be certain that individuals would shy away from them. After all, the original purpose is to enhance their physical stature, not risk damaging it.


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Wed like to think that due to the strict regulation on today's athletes in competition, it would cause them to think twice before using steroids. Another possible reason for the declining use is that they're nearly impossible to get since they were barred from non-medical distribution back in 11.

These are definitely good points and one could easily be persuaded that such is the case. However, not everyone shares the same point of view. The other school of thought is that steroid use and abuse is just as wide spread today as ever, if not even more rampant. Athletes feelings are that the gains far outweigh the risks even if they are just temporary enhancements. There are only a dozen or so reported fatalities dealing with steroid use, therefore individuals consider their odds to be pretty good. As far as regulation is concerned, as long as there have been steroids, there have been ways around the detection testing in an athletes system.

Another theory plays on the fact that it's not only the elite athletes using them. Teenagers and kids using them for appearance are becoming an increased percentage of users. This can be traced to images of large Herculean type men portrayed in all forms of media today. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a prime example sine he has admitted to the use of anabolic steroids. He and several other athletes and movie stars that they admire and want to emulate inspire kids.

Getting these anabolics may not be hard as one thinks. Just like any illegal substance, there are ways to obtain steroids for private use. Many think that there are enough smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico, Canada, and several eastern European to keep the current black-market a thriving business.

Are anabolic steroids still prevalent in the world of athletics or are people learning their lesson? Is it just the advanced athletics we have to worry about? Will further education help? Just whom do we need to educate? A lot of questions have arisen on the current status of steroids. These are all questions that need to be answered to learn about what is presently happening with anabloic steroid use.

Please note that this sample paper on Steroids and Sports is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Steroids and Sports, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on Steroids and Sports will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.
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Marijuana

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A drug is described by Webster’s New World Dictionary as “any chemical agent that effects body processes.” Is marijuana good or bad? Does it have more positive short-term effects than bad? What about the long-term effects? Is there really something that smokers have to be in fear of? By examining both sides of this controversy, we can decide if marijuana has more positive or negative effects.

Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried shredded flowers and leaves of “cannabis sativa,” or more simply, the hemp plant. Marijuana is a mood altering or “psychoactive” drug, it is also known as weed, trees, pot and many more nicknames (Comptons).


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Marijuana itself comes from the Indian hemp plant. It is the third most widely used drug in the United States. And according to a survey taken in 188, and it is the number one illegally used drug in the United States. Marijuana is so popular that an estimated one out of every three people in the US has tried it and around 44% of US high school students have smoked it. Marijuana users are not easily detected. It is a drug used in all areas of society. The Indian hemp plant is found all over the world, including the US. There are three different types of Indian hemp, “Cannabis Sativa,” which is the most widely used and grown type of marijuana (Wu, TC).

Marijuana can be taken in three ways eating it, drinking it by making it into a tea, or the most popular way of smoking it. Sometimes, when potential smokers cannot bear the inhale of the smoke into their lungs, they will eat it, chewing it up, so it get diffused into their bloodstream, or make it into a tea, for the same reason. Smoking can be done two ways using a pipe, or by one of two cigarettes called a “joint” or a “blunt”. A joint is a rolled piece of paper that is twisted at the ends. A blunt is normally an emptied cigar wrapper filled with marijuana. In a blunt you can fit much more marijuana. Though a blunt isn't always purely marijuana, it can be mixed with other drugs such as angel dust.

Marijuana has different effects on people, and certain types of cannabis can cause different effects in the same person. The amount of “THC” (delta-tetrahydrocannabinol) may also change the reaction. THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, lingers in the body for a long time. Four days after a joint is smoked, 0% of the THC is still in the body’s fatty tissues. In some cases THC is prescribed for treatment of vomiting and as an appetite stimulant under the alias of “marinol.” Combining alcohol or other drugs with marijuana can intensify the reaction. A first time marijuana smoker will usually feel no effects while a chronic or heavy user will get a “high.” This is because the user’s body does not already have marijuana in their system, so their body is not used to the reaction, so it might resist. When marijuana has been in your system a couple of times, the brain does not resist it, allowing the mind-altering effects to take place.

The effects of being high peak within seventy minutes of the first inhale. Within two to three hours, the effects will die down and the person will feel sleepy. When a person is high, normal sight sounds, tastes, or events can seem very funny or interesting. Some users believe they see and hear things more clearly while they are high. When intoxicated, time seems to pass a lot slower. To the user, minutes will seem like hours. The intoxicated person may get very thirsty or hungry, a common effect called the munchies. A few minutes after the person inhales they will probably get a dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, decreased reaction time, and also a loss of coordination. The blood vessels in the users eyes will probably enlarge, giving the person a “blood shot” appearance. Some users believe it enhances sexual relations (Mathew, RJ).

There are many ways that marijuana can harm the body, both the immediate and long-term negative effects. Some short-term effects are that it often disables the users short-term memory and may cause trouble with challenging tasks. Even very simple tasks can become a struggle for someone who is high. A student that is under the influence of marijuana may find it hard to learn or concentrate. 

Judgement helps make marijuana the leading cause of automobile fatalities. Timing and coordination are normally delayed by marijuana. As a result, users are often very confused and useless. The effect marijuana can have on the brain and central nervous system is very serious. Smoking marijuana reduces the strength and speed of communications between the mind and body. This occurs in the brain and muscles, causing the user to not be as focused (Wynder, Ernst L).

Short-term marijuana use leads to a drowsiness and relaxing effect. This is why marijuana users have trouble remembering things. A heavy dose of marijuana can decrease the amount of blood pumped into the brain. Marijuana affects the brains control over muscles also. Heavy usage of marijuana can have a lasting effect on the users short-term memory. The blood flow to the back of the brain is greater than the front, after smoking. This is believed to cause the high sensation the user is after. The short-term effect of marijuana will increase blood pressure and pulse rate up to 16 points above normal. It will also slow down the digestive processing of food. People who smoke marijuana often will have a below normal pulse rate and blood pressure. A chronic user may experience dizziness or even faint. A user may not even need to be high to experience that, if the person stands up quickly they may faint (Mathew, RJ). Marijuana reduces mobility of sperm in males. It increases the production of abnormal sperm. Female marijuana users have three times as many defective monthly cycles.

A well-known and common effect is blood shot eyes, though this effect wears off quickly. During the time when the user is high they will have an increased heart rate 50% above normal. The amount the heart rate increases depends on the amount of marijuana that was smoked (Mathew, RJ). This will make exercise and other activities seem a lot harder. The effect could be extremely dangerous for a person with a congestive heart or with an irregular heartbeat. A chronic smoker will have a decreased heart rate, often below normal. The immediate effect of smoking marijuana on the lungs is a brief opening of the bronchial tubes. That is why marijuana has been tested for possible medical uses (Wyander, Ernst). It was not approved because there is a rebound reaction, which closes up the users airways. Marijuana also irritates lung tissue.

The long-term effect of smoking marijuana regularly is close to the effects of a tobacco cigarette smoker, but marijuana is more damaging to the lungs than cigarettes. Though the amount of tobacco consumed by the cigarette smoker is a lot higher than the amount of marijuana a chronic smoker will inhale, the harmful ingredients in marijuana are a lot higher than the amount in tobacco, causing a similar effect on the lungs (The Book of Health). Marijuana smoke in the lungs will kill cilia. Cilia moves mucous, dirt and other particles out of the lungs. Also the, “heavy usage will decrease your lungs defense against bacterial and fungal infections”. It does significant damage to the immune system, and it cans causes early onset of cancer of the head, neck, esophogus, and lungs. The damage to the immune system can cause the user to get pneumonia or a chest cold, etc. (Jaffe, Jerome H).

In an ironic situation, people who use marijuana for medicinal purposes are causing more harm to themselves than the good that they are supposed to be doing. Although some HIV-positive and AIDS patients use marijuana to manage their illnesses, studies show that marijuana can act as a catalyst in accelerating HIV to full-blown AIDS. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, marijuana use has been found to be a significant risk factor for rapid progression from HIV infection to AIDS and acquisition of opportunistic infections and/or Kaposis sarcoma (Tashkin). The negative effects of marijuana are greater for an individual infected with HIV/AIDS than the average, infection-free person because HIV and AIDS weaken the body's immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight diseases, including those that may originate with marijuana use like lung cancer.

Marijuana is considered to be a gateway drug. This means marijuana users tend to move on to more harmful drugs such as cocaine, heroin or LSD. However, there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana causes the use of more potent substances. When marijuana is combined with other drugs such as alcohol, the effects of each are compounded and become several times more harmful. While marijuana may not be physically addictive, regular users can develop a psychological dependence. Those who are psychologically dependent have difficulty limiting their use of the drug and can experience side effects such as insomnia and irritability when denied access to marijuana (Narconon Southern California, Inc).

Marijuana is very harmful yet very widespread. It causes structural damages in brain cells, and has been found to cause brain damage, mental illness, memory impairment and behavioral abnormalities. It is an illegal drug that can harm almost every vital part of your body. It can make your memory vanish and causes your heart rate to slow. You could develop lung cancer or a dangerously low blood pressure (Klein, TW). This drug is not deadly, but close to it. It causes Americans everyday suffering just for those few minutes or hours of a good feeling. With all of these negatives outweighing the few minutes of a high feeling, you may be asking yourself why anyone would do it. Even with all of the negative effects known, people continue to use marijuana for those few minutes of an escape from reality.



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