Sneak Peak: Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act 2017

Below is a sneak peak of the very first rough draft of the Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act.


Amending the Public School Code of March, 10th 1949 (P.L. 30, No.14), entitled an act “relating to the public school system, including certain provisions applicable as well to private and parochial schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the laws relating thereto.”

The General Assembly declare the purpose of this bill as follows:

  1. Ensure students of differing backgrounds, including but not limited to, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability, receive comprehensive, inclusive, and medically accurate sex education.
  2. To help all students understand that abstinence from sexual intimacy and contact and from abstinence of injection drug use is the only way to be 100% safe from sexually transmitted infection, HIV, and unintended pregnancy.
  3. Teach students how to most efficiently protect their health from common sexually transmitted diseases/infections, HIV, and prevent unintended pregnancy from occurring.
  4. To ensure all material is consistent, medically accurate, and unbiased when taught and to give specific goals for educators and school districts to accomplish.
  5. Help adolescents develop an understanding of healthy, positive, and safe relationships such as marriage and foster discussion on negative stereotyping of various circumstances in the United States.
  6. To provide tools for students to understand body growth and development, body image, gender, sexual orientation, relationships and family.
  7. To ensure students are understanding of the consequences of sexual misconduct and the negative effect on a person or community.
  8. To promote discussion about sexual health with parents and guardians.

The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:

  1. The State of Pennsylvania has a responsibility to help our youth gain the skills to achieve healthy and safe relationships while protecting their reproductive health.  The state recognizes discussions between parental figures and students in conjunction with comprehensive sex education is one of the best ways to promote healthy life decisions.
  2. Research has shown that comprehensive sex education programs help delay the initiation of sex, lessen the frequency of unsafe sexual contact, reduce the number of sexual partners and increase the use of FDA approved contraception among sexually active partners therefore reducing the number of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, HIV transmission, and unsafe sexual practices in the long term.
  3. According to the Center for Disease Control the rate of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are on the rise nationally and it is a matter of public health that we address this growing rate in Pennsylvania adolescents through programs that have been proven to promote less risky sexual behavior.

 

This is the very beginning of the act before previsional changes. This is a piece of legislation based off of the California Healthy Youth Act and the original Pennsylvania Healthy Youth Act which failed 2009.

How I Met Your Mother – Defying “The One” | Cynthia Ruan

As you can see, this week’s blog is going to be more of a tangent. I procrastinated a little too much last week so I have to do two blogs this week and I just don’t have the time or energy to write two film reviews back to back. (Learn from my mistakes people) I’m currently binge-watching How I Met Your Mother for probably the tenth time around and I thought it would be interesting to share some of my thoughts on the show. I’ve been writing about some pretty sad and heavy films so it’s nice to have a change of direction and talk about the theme of love in one of my all-time favorite comedy.

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Reflecting

The semester is almost over, and I’m inching closer and closer to graduation. My independent study this semester was so much more better structured than it was last semester, and I think it has been much easier because I put more time into planning out the details of how the course was going to go. However, I am still a little bit behind the schedule, because I did not expect the courses to be double the workload they were the last semester. This is only to say that I am behind on the blog posts, because it is insanely difficult to squeeze over two hours of online lectures into one page of a blog post. The learning is very much on track. Continue reading

The Lake Project: Calling an Audible

From the beginning, the plan for my project has been to create a catalog of species that I photograph from around the lake. The idea was simple: take a photo, figure out what species it is, give it a page in the book. However, if things go well, I might be making a bit of a change to the finished product. I might have to call an audible, a term used in football to describe a play a quarterback decides on after everyone is ready to go.

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Racial Auto Ethnography

 

We wrote this paper to explore how race has impacted our lives and experience at Westtown.  I found it to be a great experience.

Racial Auto-ethnography – My Master Key

        Privilege abounds before me like few other people. Cis, male, white, affluent, two-parent  household, to mention a sampling of such unearned gifts.  Life, to this point at least, has been about as much a cakewalk as possible.  Through little to no fault of my own, my life will continue along this fluffy, advantaged life.  To be honest I would be quite happy if it did.  To break down the sum of experiences that led to me, here, right now is difficult.  Separating race, from wealth, and the patriarchal advantages from which I benefit cannot be completely done.  I am going to at least attempt to untangle my web. If the great privilege of being rich is not worrying about money, than the great privilege of being white is not worrying about race. Continue reading

Deception for Good

I was discussing my procedure with my mentor last week when an interesting detail came up. The importance of making sure that the participants in the study do not think it is about race. This is important for an obvious reason, if people think that I am going to be observing how they interact with race, they will be paying more attention to how race is affecting them. But this is a study about the implicit effects of race, and so calling attention to it would completely ruin all of my data. Sadly, I must say, that means all of you aren’t going to be able to be participants. Continue reading

Moonlight – We Found Love in a Hopeless Place | Cynthia Ruan

I watched Moonlight several months ago and finally decided to write about it. I thought I would just share my complete review for this week’s blog.

Moonlight is definitely one of the most beautiful, most elegantly executed film I’ve ever seen. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, and based on Tarell Alvin McCarney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, it is a coming-of-age story about a young black man from the hardscrabble streets of Miami. In correspondence to the different stages of the main character’s life and consequently the different names he identifies with, the film is divided into three parts – “Little,” “Chiron,” and “Black.” Chiron has a remarkably high tolerance for pain incompatible with his age. His mother, Paula, is a drug addict. The closest thing he has to a father figure is Juan, a drug dealer whose all-time favorite customer is ironically Chiron’s mother. Kevin, the only person from Chiron’s school who has ever showed him any kindness, beats him up the day after they share an intimate moment on the beach. Yet somehow, as he grows up, Chiron finds it in himself to love the people who never showed him any love when he needed it the most.

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Guess what I did?

I wrote a couple of pages. An excerpt from them is below. I also talked to my editor more about the direction of my story and some of the characters. We decided to make my main antagonist more nefarious and cruel, while making my protagonist more idealistic and brave in contrast. Anywho, here’s a brief sampling of last week’s work:

 

“Alright, time for some chow! Cooks got it back at the meeting place,” I called to them.

They both turned and looked at me confusedly.

“You heard me! Go get it! I’m here to watch the position for you while you eat.” I nudged my pack into the shadows behind me and walked forward. The two warriors looked at each other, shrugged, and began to make their way to the meeting place where Warriors converged at the start and end of the day. I walked over to the ditch in which they had been standing and pretended to be on guard. I waited a minute until I knew they were well on their way and then I darted back and grabbed my pack. I clipped my rifle into a pouch on the side of my pack and swung it onto my back. I ran forward, bounded over the ditch, and hurried through an opening in the wooden barricade Fara had pieced together around the perimeter. I kept on running through the woods, not stopping until I knew I could no longer see or hear the camp. When I had finally put enough distance between the camp and myself, I knelt and took off my pack.

I reached deep into my bag and pulled out my compass. I knew that Thane’s mission had headed southwest from the camp and that their path would be a roughly straight line. I turned and oriented myself to the southwest and tucked my compass in my back pocket. I continued forward at a light jog down the decline, knowing full well that the others would soon know that I was missing. I doubted that the Alphas would send anyone after me due to the risk of it, but I wanted to put more distance between me and them just to be safe. The trees and underbrush thankfully weren’t too thick, elsewise I’d be traveling a whole lot slower. I knew that the terrain would open up as I got closer to Thane’s objective, but until then, the woods were what I had to deal with. It was no problem. The woods are home for me. A place to run, hide, get lost, and be found. Despite the trees and ravines, I never lost sight of the path I had set out on. I knew where I was headed, and the trees weren’t so thick as to limit my view of the stars when I needed direction.

The Pack had been encamped on a small plateau. The mountainside I traveled down as I ventured away from the Pack wasn’t terribly steep, but it was long. At the bottom, the terrain switched to some gently rolling muddy hills. It was there that I picked up the tracks in the dark. Six sets of them. I had been trudging through the mud and almost immediately recognized the other depressions in it. I trained my eyes in on their shapes, their patterns, the echo of the rhythm of the steps of Thane, Garrett, Jon, Shane, Summer, and Cooper. I burned the shapes of their prints into my mind and followed them forward. I’d find them. I wouldn’t lose them now.

Following tracks at night, however, is no small task. It requires immense focus. You not only have to keep your eyes trained on the ground in front of you and the tracks you’re following, but you have to stay wary of what’s happening around you. You have to heighten your awareness of all things. Breaking branches, falling leaves, tumbling twigs, you have to know where they are and what caused them. Us warriors had done this kind of night tracking countless times on hunts and in combat, and though we excelled at it, it was slow, tedious work, especially alone. I got lucky that night, as there were few clouds and a bright moon, but I was still in a wooded area when I first began following the tracks, and the moonlight was often smothered by the brush. As I followed the tracks through those hills, I could hear the animals scamper away at my approach. I caught sight of small herds of deer in the dark, my first instinct always telling me to swing my rifle off my back, raise it to my shoulder, get some sustenance. But I never did. Of course I had food in my pack, but I sure as shit didn’t want to give away my position to anyone else out there that night, members of the Pack or others. I kept my eyes on the tracks. They were my lifeline. I’d follow them back to the camp if need be when I found them. Not if I found them, when.
Thanks for reading and here’s a book I just started: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Racial Autoethnography (Part 2 of 3) – India

Racial Autoethnography (Part 2 of 3)

In addition, my early education at Westtown School, a historically and predominantly white institution, contributed to the way I experienced and thought about my racial identity. All of my teachers were white except for two during my whole elementary school experience and race did not come up too many times beyond Black History Month, or our slavery or Civil Rights Movement unit, but I do remember feeling conflicted about the way I thought about my own race. For example, there were times when I felt allowed to be proud of black people in general, during our jazz unit, or our black poetry unit, etc., but I never felt like I could be proud of myself as a black individual. Possibly because of our school’s mission for equality and essentially, “colorblindness”, we were taught that race was not something we should really think about or care about. As Bonilla-Silva suggests, dominant racial frames, or in this circumstance, the white racial frame, “provide the intellectual road map used by rulers (my white teachers and peers) to navigate the always rocky road of domination and… derail the ruled from their track to freedom and equality” (Bonilla-Silva, 74). I believe this colorblind ideology created less opportunities for me to recognize and be proud of my blackness. Continue reading