The Stanford Prison Experiment

Zimbardo’s and his colleagues infamous experiment in Stanford simulated prison is interesting how they chose the mock prison to get an insight about the behavior of prisoners and guards in real prison life. It is obvious that the situation has given power to the guards to be a sadistic but only because they were acting out roles that they thought were expected of them. They played a role whatever they want to in order to control the prisoners. Each prisoner’s right for toilet was a privilege, they were searched and stripped naked, and even deloused. This made prisoners to be emotional distressed and humiliated due. to the fact that they were so powerless. To me the experiment done was so unethical and inhuman. My question is, should Zimbardo and his colleagues had to go that far of an experiment of cruelty, dehumanizing, and ill-treatment to show the fact that  how the power of the situation influences human behavior? But I am happy for the participants that it didn’t last the whole 14 days.

As I was watching the video, it shows how  the prisoner torture and abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq that came to public attention in late 2003 resembles with Stanford prison experiment . Zimbardo himself was struck by the similarity with his own experiment according to a source from Wikipedia. After his involvement and accessed all investigations and background reports, he was compelled  to write the  book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.

The experiment on obedience to authority figures conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram orders the teacher to give what believed are painful electric shocks to a learner and confederate. The teacher believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks. Even though the experiment also has an emotional  stress towards the learners, It did show how an ordinary person can become agent in a terrible destructive process.

From these two experiments, I learn that how situational power affects people. Too often we respond to the specific requests of the situation rather than referring to our own internal morals or beliefs. But one shouldn’t be swayed just because there is a  bad influence, people or systems.

http://www.prisonexp.org/

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Life as Improv

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

The hover before the in breath,

milk ducts in an empty breast,

the stomach: a hallowed out bruise,

an arm contorted every way to ease a throbbing itch,

slack tide’s final pause,

the coyote hamming to the camera in the air just off the cliff,

my attention’s constant hole never empty yet—

Is it the ohm?

Is it those last shivering atoms releasing the reverberation of the gong,

the hum of what was catching up to the trumpet of what will be,

the sway of the air’s almost embrace of the planet’s constant spin?

Let’s linger here…

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I have Learnt By Ana Lorena

By far this is one of my favorite read written by one of the most talented actress and I can say she is also future best writer. The original is written in Spanish and I tried to translate it in English.

“My experience in this life can be as short or as long as you want to see. At the end of the day, I think it’s trying to decide what you’re filling your life day by day. I’ve decided to fill it full of learning, among other things. It hurts to grow but it’s worth it because I’ve learned.

Here I go!

I have learned that there are shenanigans that would repeat a thousand times for me to laugh like that day.
I have learned that there are smiles irreplaceable.
I have learned that silence does not lead to anything. That silence may be the language of the wise but it is also the best hiding place of the cowards.
I have learned that there are things that I will never understand and that there are answers that just gives you the time.

I’ve learned to take my time even though I criticize or make fun by “slow”. However I have also learned that there soon those things that are worthwhile.
I have learned that by wanting to tear down walls in others, you neglect your own… And even though I know that they were invented to protect I have also learned that in the long run only imprison you.
I have learned that you don’t always have to know where you’re going, but yes with who.
I have learned that the material does not define who you are and the fame, the less.
I have learned that in the road you travel, it is important to provide value; build and if you’re not gonna do that, at least don’t destroy.
I have learned that the heart does not always lead to way more clear but in the end it is always the best.
I have learned that there are eyes that tell stories and hugs that heal. By the way, I would like to live in a hug.

I’ve learned that I’m not here to negotiate with the insecurities of no one more than mine. Seriously, I have enough with mine.
I have learned that there’s nothing better than to get home. The family is the family.
I have learned that there’s irony as big as men who claim to be gentlemen just because they have that on the doors of the toilets and that there are “ladies” willing to give himself away.
I’ve learned that it is essential to get ahead in life. We must keep our spirits up. Don ‘ t give up, you’re almost there!
I’ve learned that knowing two languages can take you very far.
I’ve learned to laugh even for me. Do it, is that good for you and makes you stronger.

Relax.

I’ve learned to record me the voices of my grandparents like to bring them to “replay” when they are not, and I need some advice.
I’ve learned that people give of what you have. For better and for worse.
I’ve learned that happiness is in a walk of sand and moon, of orchids in the sea, sea walls with music… It’s in discovering songs and fill them with memories… It’s in enjoy the moment… It’s on me. However, it’s so nice to share.
I’ve learned that listening is to be done with the heart willing, an open mind and that can be done even with the skin.
I’ve learned to look at a flower is also therapy.
I have learned that the imperfections are perfect.
I’ve learned that I’m not perfect and that I don’t want to be.
I’ve learned that I’m still learning, that takes time and that this list is only going to grow up…”

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Weight Loss is Possible – My Story

Unlearning Schizophrenia

Many United Staters are aware of the obesity epidemic that is sweeping our nation.  According to the NCHS Data Brief, between the years of 2011-2014, 36% of adults and 17% of children were obese.  Percentages that include those overweight are almost double of the above percentages.  And while common sense might dictate that we make healthier choices in eating, rates of obesity continue to climb.

In my waking life, I observe various reasons why this occurs.  First off, fast food and processed fare, whether Twinkies or hot dogs, are cheaper.  Our economy ails, and many people cannot afford to feed themselves healthy food.  And if someone is used to eating cheaper, unhealthy foods… certainly a sense of taste is developed, wherein that person enjoys that food.

Of course, obesity does not only affect the poor.  Plenty of people who can afford healthier food, choose not to eat it.  I suppose this…

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On Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me

Thinking Through History

This is a short book with a powerfully long crescendo. For those of you wondering about the time commitment, I basically read it in 48 hours (with Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a major “interruption”). What follows are all of my reflections and favorite passages (five each) after a first reading.

Reflections

1. Cosmopolitanism – I’m mildly surprised that Coates chose *cosmopolitanism* as the deep structuring ideal for himself and his son. It’s a keyword in the text.

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Mericans

Analysis of Mericans

“Mericans’ is a short story by Sandra Cisneros. The authors choice of title “Mericans” tells that the characters are from both countries, Mexico and America. The story is most likely written from the view of a young girl and it is narrated by a young girl named  Micaela or Michelle who talks about a time in her life, when she is caught between two worlds Mexico and America. The author uses many details to visualize the culture of the characters and gives a mental picture where it took place. The use of Spanish words in the story such as, La Virgen de Guadalupe and la ofrenda give readers an idea that the characters have different cultures. The word “barbarian” that the grandmother uses to describe the birthplace of the children, also points out cultural differences. There were also two main settings in this story that the author used to contrast; the dark, dingy and smelly expresses the church, and  the bright, busy plaza where the boys were playing.

The grandchildren, “born in that barbaric country with its barbarian ways” (Roberts & Zweig, p.94), as the grandmother refers to the United States, have double names that reflect their double identities. On the American side, they are Michelle, Junior, and Keeks; on the other side, with their abuela (grandmother), they are called by their Mexican names, Micaela, Enrique, and Alfredito. The “awful grandmother” ,while she clings to her cultural heritage,  doesn’t want to accept the American culture of the children. She seems to holding fast to her old countries beliefs, and praying for those in her family who weren’t, just like her grandchildren who were “born in a ‘barbaric’ country”. The children, in the story, may look like Native Americans or Mexicans, but their main language is English. They use terms of American culture with the imagining characters, “Flash Gordon” and “Ming the Merciless” (Roberts & Zweig, p.94).

The children in the story embrace more of the American culture than a native culture with their games and also the language they prefer to speak. Michelle’s  brothers seem to be content playing and carrying on without the bother of what the awful grandmother is doing, and they have no references to their native culture. But Michelle tends to struggle understanding her grandmothers cultural heritage, and it seems to take her quite a bit of effort doing it. She and her brothers are stuck in the middle of the two worlds. Outside the church, waiting for their awful grandmother, they aren’t allowed to walk to the plaza, where there are balloons, punch balls, comic books, and other fun things. But they are also not allowed to come inside the church.

This story was quite interesting, showing the young kid’s struggle between the culture of a new country, trying to keep their beliefs and not forgetting where they come from. The grandmother’s character is a typical of those older generations who are trying in holding fast to their old countries beliefs. Though the story seems to occur around the era right after second world war took place, still at this current era such stories might exist where the younger generations stuck between a two cultural world. The characters in the stories are deeply rooted in the cultural contexts of their productions.  The story shows how it was like for little girl’s character growing up north of the US/Mexico border, surrounded by American influences while still being connected to her Mexican roots. The fact that the tourists think the children are Mexicans, but they speak in English illustrates the dual nature of Mexican/American children – caught between two cultures, searching for their identities.

4 Parenting New Year’s Resolutions, and Books for Inspiration

The Science of Mom

This time last year, I had a week-old baby, and my New Year’s resolutions were simple: Be present with my family, find gratitude in each day, and take care of myself. These goals were simple but not always easy. Still, it helped me to come back to these intentions for the year when I started to feel overwhelmed. I’m reaffirming those resolutions for the coming year, but I’m also feeling more ambitious and inspired about bringing more creativity, fun, and learning into each day with my kids.

I love books for inspiration, especially for projects with Cee. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I get too easily side-tracked or overwhelmed on Pinterest. I like to find great books and work my way through them. So for each of my resolutions, I’ve found a book or two as a jumping-off point for the year. (All of the Amazon links in this post are…

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