Going back to school - English 101

May 11, 2016

I have recently returned to school. Right now my major is Applied Computer Science, and while that may change, there are some classes that I need to catch up on in order to complete my degree. Most of the classes that i'm taking don't provide a lot of content that I can share, English 101 on the other hand, there were 6 essays that I have decided to share with the world. Below are those essays:

Cabin in the Mountain

    Sometimes one just needs to get away for a few days. Not a full blown vacation so to say, just a few days with family and friends away from all the pressures of life. With all that said, what is your favorite place to relax? Mine is our cabin far up in the north Georgia mountains, in a forest with animals and arctic winter air surrounding it. 
    The crisp thin air of the mountains is the first thing that one smells when walking through the front door. The cabin has not been used in several months, so it also has a fusty smell lingering over the whole place. That aroma, combined with the darkness, presents an eerie quietness to the atmosphere. All that can be heard, in the now occupied cabin, is the faint chirping of birds outside on the back patio. I take a moment to remember the things that can be done to improve the warmth in the room.
   One of the many things that can drastically improve the feeling of the room, is to start up the fireplace that seems to be the center point of the whole living area. My favorite thing about kindling the fire, is the smell of the first puff of smoke that rises into the air. With the fireplace now in full blaze, it not only warms up the room, but also casts a deep orange glow through the whole room. That glow is amplified by the mix of wood that is the foundation of the cabin. The whole room is constructed from different types of wood; the ceiling is made of what seems to be entire pine trees, stretching across the length of the cabin, mixing with the pine walls, even the furniture is fashioned of sturdy oak and pine. The warmth of the room now is a harsh contrast compared to outside.
    From inside the cabin looking out, it seems isolated, almost as if the world has frozen over. It is dark outside, and it reminds one of just how alone it really is out here. The only light that may be seen is the vastly distant neighbor, that might be enjoying the same scene. The view is exceedingly different from the city lights that one is used to seeing, almost concealing all of the stars. Out here, it seems as though the stars have doubled, and one almost feels closer to them, even though that is not possible. In the early morning hours, bears venture out to make sure that there was not any food left out from the night before. There are even more birds today, as it seems they have become aware of someone being there, and have brought their friends. It is almost as if they have come to say goodbye. 
    There is never enough time to do everything. There is always just one more book to sit out on the back patio and read. There is always one more chance to get that picture of a bear and her cub before they dart off into the dense forest. No matter, there will always be another weekend.

The Little Jeep that Could…Not

    When I stepped off the gangway in the fall of 2008 I never imagined myself ever going underway again. I knew that I would miss the taste of salt on my lips. I would miss the smell of jet fuel that filled every space on that ship. Even the confinements of being stuck in a “tin can” as the sailors would frequently call our home away from home, would be missed. This story is not about the things that I miss about the Navy, this is about my first time back on the open waters. This story is about a sailor??™s reluctance embark on another ship, a group of friends traveling to get to said ship, and their adventure to a small island off the coast of Mexico.
    Many sailors that I know have vowed never to get on another ship after departing; I also shared that feeling when first invited on a pleasure cruise. Shortly after though, I came to my senses and realized that the beautiful Carnival Elation was not the USS John C. Stennis. With much reluctance from me, we planned out the trip for the end of August, paid our deposit, and started preparations for our departure.
    Because cruise ships do not leave from Dothan, Alabama, Kenny, Vivian, Ashley, Josh, and I had to get ourselves to Mobile, the departure port from which our ship would take us to our first destination. We left early on our day of departure, allowing enough time to get to the ship, with any necessary breaks or stops.As we started coming into the Mobile area, we could already see the ship in the distance, ready for our arrival. We would soon be aboard and on our way to our first port visit.
    Our first port of call was Cozumel, Mexico, a small island, situated not far off the east coast of Mexico. The island is so small that when we were still aboard the ship, we could almost see the other side of the island; Nonetheless, we decided to see what Cozumel had to offer. because we figured the best way to travel around and sight-see was to acquire transportation, our first stop on the isle was the jeep rental stop. At first, we were unsure about sprinting around in the little Jeep that they provided us because both of the doors were gone, all of the tires were a different brand, and no top. Because the island was so small, we elected an attempt in driving all the way around the perimeter of the island, as long as we had enough time. Our adventure to navigate the circumference of the tiny island was going pretty well. Naturally, there were challenges; stop signs read “alto”, speed limit signs were in kilometers-per-hour instead of miles- per-hour, and we could not understand a single word the passing natives. Soon, however, the city roads and street signs subsided, and we were left with a simple, un-maintained dirt road. As we are from Alabama, we thought we could handle that. Shortly after turning onto the dirt road, with no warning, the road became the ocean.
   After our experience with roads leading to nowhere, we departed the tiny island and continued our journey to several other ports. Our transportation on the other islands of Mexico were limited to our two feet. Overall the trip on the Carnival Elation was a success; friends and family now have lifelong memories on which to reflect. The worries of a former sailor have now faded. Being back on the ocean is a comforting experience, and I look forward to our trips every year. On future trips, though, no Jeeps will be rented.

The United States – The World's Police Force

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States has assumed the role of the only super power in the world. With that comes some obligation to the rest of the world that can only be accomplished by a nation with a mighty military force. Sometimes this leads to neglect of the people of the United States, hatred from other countries, and triumph with other nations.
    The more that the United States gets involved in faraway lands political differences, the more that it neglects the people that are living on its streets. The United States has an increasing economic problem that is only amplified by engagements in the Middle East and other places where they are attempting to disentangle issues. The people of the U.S. assisted countries are in need of food, water and shelter. Sometimes, these citizens even become refugees to other countries because of the military efforts affecting their country. As a result of the war, once the dust settles, the schools and other important buildings have to be rebuilt in order to sustain the new government that the United States is assisting. Relocating refugees, providing food and water, and rebuilding buildings takes money; these funds could be spent on its own itinerants. The United States is then left with a choice to make: focus on American citizens or on the potentially unwilling citizens of other countries.
    The countries effected by this policing provided by the United States are not always as welcoming as the U.S. had hoped. In one situation, the military efforts of the world??™s super power have been rejected, leaving the Syrians in a worse position than it was in before America assisted. Even the best intentions of a large army are met with strong resistance from the rebels of the country being saved. This tension can cause issues, not only in the country that is being helped, but also in the surrounding countries. In some extreme cases, an occupation by the United States has sparked unrest in adjacent countries. There have been times when the influx of soldiers in one country has pushed natives of that country out and into the neighboring countries, creating turmoil. For instance, the U.S. and other major powers are currently involved in the Syrian civil war and have been for several years. This has caused such serious issues that the people of Syria have begun to migrate to other countries to avoid the conflict. Luckily, the result of this type of invasion are not always negative; sometimes the process benefits the citizens, and the area prospers.
   The area around Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia has had a positive influence from America??™s involvement. This region is now more stable that it has ever been before. Another example is South Korea; after the Korean war, South Korea has prospered and shown economic growth. Even closer to the U.S., the Mexican government has needed U.S. assistance on several occasions. These situations were mutually beneficial for both parties. For instance, with the assistance of the U.S., the Mexican government has been able to at least make a dent in their major drug problem. Without aid, Mexico would not be able to even slow down the drug cartels. 
    Since the Cold War, the United States has assumed the position of super power and world??™s police force. Sometimes this self-appointment works well, and the country needing assistance, is receptive to aid and unfortunately, not every country is open to assistance; some countries affected do not respond well to the help that is provided. In some situations, the result is a worse environment than before U.S. involvement. Ultimately, the people who really suffer from conflicts are the people of the super power.

The causes of World War II

    World War I was an extremely costly war that affected the majority of the world's nations. At the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles was signed by both the Central Powers and the Allied Powers. However, there were several issues that still persisted after this treaty, and those eventually lead to the start of World War II. Some of the major causes of World War II were the lack of enforcement of The Treaty of Versailles, economic problems across the world, and alliances creating a division in the world.
    The treaty that ended the first World War was one of the main reasons for the beginning of the second. At the Paris Peace Conference held in at the end of World War I 1918 one of the main objectives was to end the war. The conference concluded with the creation of the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles. There was one major issue though; Germany, the main powerhouse of the Central Powers, was not invited to The Paris Peace Conference. The treaty was later signed by Germany without any input from them or the other Central Powers. Signing the treaty crippled Germany overnight. The treaty was so harsh that it was unenforceable and created severe economic problems for the country. 
    Economic problems were not limited only to Germany. Almost ten years after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, The United States entered into its Great Depression. This sparked many other nations, including Britain and France, to have economic despairs as well. These economic issues prevented the nations of the League of Nations to enforce the restrictions that it had placed on Germany in the previous decade. Britain was one of the primary nations that submitted the treaty to Germany, but the country was unable to enforce the treaty. When the German army started to grow post-war and re-militarized the Rhineland, a region that it was expressly prohibited from, the French and English had no ability to force them back. Economic gloom was widespread in the 1930s, not just in Europe and America. In the East, Japan was also experiencing its own version of the Great Depression.
   With Germany??™s preoccupation in Europe during the first World War, its territories in the pacific were attacked by Japanese forces in World War I. In fact, Japan allied itself with Britain during the first war, making it part of the Allied Powers. German and Japan however, had a long-standing relationship well before the war. After the defeat of Germany and the other Central Powers in World War I, Japan and Germany settled their differences and teamed together at the beginning of World War II. Italy, stuck between France and Germany and sharing their beliefs, also joined forces with Japan and Germany. Russia, betrayed by the Germans several times, joined the Allied front. Along with Russia, The United States, who had left the League of Nations, secretly joined the alliance with Britain, France and Australia.
    The main event that started World War II, was Germany??™s invasion of Poland. That event marked the official start of the war; however, the major events that led up to that point were a little more complex. The Treaty of Versailles put pressure on Germany and the League of Nations inability to enforce it lead to the Germans rebuilding. Strong economic decline in Asia led to Japan??™s expansion into what is now China. Germany lashed back against the treaty in place in order re-acquire some of their best land. A pact of two countries half a world away from each other gave the Germans and Japanese the confidence and support to start their expansion. In response to this expansion and invasions from German and Japan, Britain and France were the first to officially declare war on Hitler's Germany. Later, following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan, The United States joined the war.


    Merriam-Webster defines religion as “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith” (Merriam-Webster 1051). While Merriam does give a good idea of the definition, there are many different types of religion. The five main types are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. The religions above can be categorized into three basic categories: Monotheism, Polytheism, and Pantheism.
   Monotheism is the belief of only one god. The prefix “mon” means “one” (Merriam- Webster 800) and the theism is the “belief in a deity, or deities” (The Oxford Dictionary of English 888). All forms of Christianity are monotheistic, meaning that the people of those religions only believe in one god. Some examples of monotheistic Christian religions are Catholic, Baptist, and Methodist. There are two other main types of monotheistic religions out of the five most popular types: Islam and Judaism. The main difference among Christianity, Islam and Judaism is in whom they believe. The Islamic followers believe that “He is Allah, (the) One” (Comparison Table between Christianity, Islam and Judaism 121:1). Allah is the name of their god. In Judaism, there is a similar verse in their holy book. The Jewish followers use the first part of The Bible which is the same book that Christians use. One thing is constant across the whole of Monotheism, the believe there is only one god.
   The people of Polytheism do not share the same beliefs of the other types of religions. Polytheists believe that there are multiple gods. One of the most recognized examples of Polytheism is Greek mythology. The civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome all worshiped many different gods. From Apollo, the Greek God of Sun, to Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea, the gods from ancient kingdoms are still remembered across the world. There are other religions that have Polytheistic beliefs. “Most of the world's religions are overwhelmingly polytheistic. Polytheism characterizes the beliefs of Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shintoism in the East, and also contemporary tribal religions in Africa and the Americas. These religions are widely practiced throughout the world and remain very popular in their ancestral areas” (Polytheism). Some modern Religions that practice Polytheism are Hinduism and Wicca. Most polytheistic religions worship different versions of the same thing; for instance, the Pagan religion worships gods from the ancient Roman empire, Egypt, and Greece. Though very different, Polytheism and Monotheism do share one common trait: they do believe in a God or Gods. 
    Pantheism, on the other hand, “equates God with the forces and laws of the universe… [and] tolerates worship of all Gods” (Merriam-Webster 896). Pantheism covers a wide range of religions, from Atheism the Buddhism, and many more between. Most Pantheists believe that god is everywhere and everything. This is a big difference from the other main types of religions. Others believe there is a difference between the ideas that God is everywhere and God is everything, including the trees and animals. Some Pantheists do no believe in any god. Buddhists, for instance do not believe in God as others see it, they tolerate the idea of God, that others worship God, however, they do not believe in God. Atheists are very similar in that some are aware of God, but chose not to follow Him.
    There are many different types of Religions. Monotheism is the most popular by far, but this has not always been the case. In the era of ancient Rome, most people were of the Polytheistic religion, believing in many gods. Before they were Polytheistic, before they built colosseums and massive statues, they were Pantheistic, believing that everything is God. Some people still are anti-theistic, meaning they do not believe in Religion. They do not believe in a God, of any type, whether it be a God of Sun, Jesus Christ, or the Tree outside.


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