Seniors Working Half Day

May 10, 2010

Should seniors be able to go to school half day and get a job the other half?  I feel that if student have all their high school credits then they should be able to work the other half of the day.  Some high school students need to work to pay for their college and working during their senior year will help them pay for college.  It will also help them to be responsible for their own money.  If students don’t have all their credits or need extra help in high school then they should have to stay the full day.


Oral compositions

April 25, 2010



What is the authority of the commentary?

What type of argument is attempted? (definition, evaluative, other)

What eveidence is cited?  Is the evidence convincing?

Where do the two viewpoints conflict?

Which do you judge to be the most convincing?

Drinking Age

April 15, 2010

The legal age of alcohol in the United States is 21 years old.  The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol age to 21.  States that did not comply faced a reduction in highway funds under the Federal Highway Aid Act.  The national law specifically prohibits purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages.  It does not prohibit persons under  21 (also call youth or minors) from drinking.  With evidence that a lower drinking age resulted in more traffic injuries and fatalities among youth, citizen advocacy groups pressured sates to restore the minimum legal drinking age to 21. 

The term “public possession” is strictly defined and does not apply to possession for the following:

–          An established religious purpose, when accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian age 21 or older

–          Medical purposes when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital, or medical institution

–          In private clubs or establishments

–          In the course of lawful employment by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer (

A higher minimum legal drinking age is effective in preventing alcohol-related deaths and injuries among youth.  Because of such advocacy campaigns, 16 states increased their minimum legal drinking age between September 1976 and January 1983.  Resistance from other states, and concern that minors would travel across state lines to purchase and consume alcohol, prompted the federal government in 1984 to enact the Uniform Drinking Age Act, which mandated reduced federal transportation funds to those states that did not raise the minimum legal drinking age to 21.  (

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that minimum drinking age laws have saved 18,220 lives since 1975.  In 1998 alone these laws saved 861 lives.  Although significant progress has been made over the past 15 years in reducing alcohol involvement in fatal crashes by young drivers, they are still at risk and over involved compared to older drivers.  More 18 year olds died in low blood alcohol content crashes than any other age. 

The Surgeon General of the United States determined, in a series of reports in 1991, that many states’ laws contain loopholes that permit underage drinking.

–          Although no states permit vendors to sell to minors, some states do not prohibit minors from purchasing alcohol

–          States allow minors to possess alcohol under certain conditions

–          Many states do not specifically prohibit consumption by minors

–          Some states allow minors to sell or serve alcohol without adult supervision

–          Most states do not prohibit minors from entering drinking establishments. (

A higher minimum legal drinking age is effective in preventing alcohol related deaths and injuries among youths.  A common argument among opponents of higher minimum legal drinking age is that because many minors still drink and purchase alcohol, the policy doesn’t work.  The evidence shows, that although many youth still consumer alcohol, they drink less and experience fewer alcohol related injuries and deaths.  People under age 21 drink less overall and continue to do so through their early twenties.

Running (Subjective)

April 14, 2010

I know why I ran my first half marathon and what I learned from it.  I woke up one morning and just decided that I’m going to run a half marathon and just signed up and signed up my husband.  I learned it hurts and that’s why my first was also my last. 

I woke up to my alarm clock that early morning surprised that I actually got a decent night’s sleep.  I ate my bagel and peanut butter and gulped down some blue PowerAde, checking and rechecking that I had everything I needed.  Taking extra time to make sure I had my water bottle.  There is nothing like getting dehydrated during a run because if I learned anything during my training about running it was never leave home without my water bottle.  My mind was whirling as I got all my gear on, were my shoes going to make it another 13. 1 miles.  Speaking of shoes, it gets me sometimes what shoes people actually run in.  At the start of the race, when I was waiting for it to begin I couldn’t help but look to the ground and look at what types shoes other people were wearing and I was  amazed to see the odd basketball trainers, cross trainers and other types of heavy looking shoes.  In looking at the shoes I imagined them as boats maybe this is how some people sail across the finish line so fast.   I wondered how people run in those kinds of shoes that look like boat anchors; maybe they are actually boat anchors.   I think those shoes are hiding some type of motor which they turn on when they get tired that helps them get up the hills. 

I ran my half marathon in 2003 with my husband as my running partner, I remember thinking I was going to pass out and die.  His encouragement before the end of the first mile helped see me through and past the thirteenth mile.  I remember at approximately two and half  hours after the start seeing the last mile marker, it was a hotel building and I knew the second I passed it the show would be over and the curtain would be pulled.   

Now in 2010 my best friend is trying to get me to run the 10-10-10 in Tyler Texas.  It is a full marathon, half marathon and a 5k.  We have started training and I told her just yesterday something I have heard through the years, “running is a metaphor for life”.  The more I run, the more I feel like the lessons I learn in running are lessons for life.  Running is more than exercise.  It is bigger than that! It is about accomplishing something, being better than we were yesterday, and encouraging others to join the running community.  Now as I take a run around the track with my kids for fun I see the track as a carnival with many more adventures to come.  The only difference is there is no beer at the finish line.

Home Schooling (Final Paper)

April 8, 2010

Home Schooling

The trend towards home schooling has improved the quality of education because on the average, homeschoolers out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.  Race of the student does not make any difference.  Also, money does not play a factor in home schooling education but the parent that plans on teaching their child should be aware of the sacrifice of their time and energy to educate their child at home. 

In a study, “Strengths of their Own:  Home Schoolers  Across America”  was that the race of student does not make any difference.  There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students.  In grades K-12, both white and minority students scored, on the average, in the 87th percentile.  In math, whites scored in the 82nd percentile while minorities scored in the 77th percentile.  In the public schools, however, there is a sharp contrast.  White public school eighth grade students, nationally scored the 58th percentile in math and the 57th percentile in reading.  Black eighth grade students, on the other hand, scored on the average at the 24th percentile in reading.  Hispanics scored at the 29th percentile in math and the 28th percentile in reading.  (

Each state determines their own rules and regulations for home schooling.  Some states have very few regulations and getting into homeschooling and continuing is a very easy with little to no supervision.  Then there are some sttes that regulate and control homeschooling and require much more information and participation from the homeschooler.

 In the state of California, the home schooling has four options; option 1, the individual home school could qualify as a private school by filing an annual private school affidavit:  the instructor must be capable of teaching, the instructio must be in English, the instruction must be in the several branches of study requierd by public schools and attendance must be kept in a register.  Option 2, homeschooling could enroll in a private school satellite program and “homeschool” through the private schools.  On August 8, 2008, the California Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District ruled that “California statutes permit homeschooling as a species of private school education.”  www.hslda/org/laws   The California Appellate Court defined homeschooling as full-time education in the home by a parent or guardian who does not necessarily possess a teaching credential.  Option 3, the home school could have instruction provided by a certified private tutor and option 4, the child could be enrolled in an independent study program at home, using the public school curriculum.  Under this option, the child is considered a public school student and has to abide by the rules and policy of the public school.

Another issue in homeschooling is the need to spend a great deal of money in order to have a good education.  In Strengths of Their Own, the average cost per household student  is $546 while the average cost per public school student is $5,325.  Yet, the homeschool children in this study averaged in the 85th percentile while the public school students average in the 50th percentile on nationally standardized achievement test.  In another study in 1998, 20,760 students, found that eighth grade students whose parents spend $199 or less on their home education score, on the average, in the 80th percentile.  Eighth grade students whose parents spend $400 to $599 on their home education also score on the average, in the 80th percentile.  Once the parents spend over $600, the students do slightly better, scoring in the 83rd percentile. (

The public school system is in dire condition, with overcrowded classrooms, and underpaid teachers.  Home schooling is a valid alterative for parents who are willing to make a serious commitment to their children’s education.  By teaching their children at home, parents are able to give them the kind of individual attention and personalize lessons that public, and most private schools are unequipped to provide.  Parents can structure the day in a way that works for their children, and provide variety with field trips to museums and historical sites.  Under these circumstances, many students thrive and excel. 

These finding show that when parents, regardless of race, commit themselves to make the necessary sacrifices and tutor their children at home, almost all obstacles present in other school systems disappear.  More money does not mean a better education.  There is no positive correlation between money spent on education and student performance.  Loving and caring parents are what matters.  Money can never replace simple, hard work. 

Sources Cited:

 “Homeschool Rules & Regulations.” Web.

Homeschool: HSLDA-Home School Legal Defense Association. 22 Oct. 2004. Web. 08 Apr. 2010.

Homeschool: HSLDA-Home School Legal Defense Association. Web. 10 May 2010. <;.


April 7, 2010

I always heard “the sky is the limit”.  I am now 40 and totally understand the meaning of “wait until your my age” that my mother used to say to me and my siblings growing up.  

Tammie Pate was born in Cleburne, Texas but grew up in Quitman, Texas.  After a year at college she decided to adventure out and join the United States Navy.  Tammie was station in Rota, Spain and stationed  in Virginia Beach.  After residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia for eleven and a half years, she and her family moved back in Fort Worth.  

 Tammie was currently working on her Bachelors in business, and attempting to get a job in an area where she had little experience. It is a scary thought yet exciting to do and try new things just because she can.  Tammie was proud to live in the United States of American where she could feel free to make any choices she wanted even if she wasn’t prepared to face the consequences.  The sky is the limit for her and she will not stop at a cloud.  Tammie always considered herself a domestic diva that puts my family first.

 Tammie was married to my best friend Matt.  Tammie had known him for eighteen years and have been married to him for seventeen years.  Tammie wasn’t for sure what it means but she has seen the world through her daughter Shelby’s eyes.  Tammie has a handsome son named Bevan who still makes her eyes light up like stars every time she saw him.  He was the best valentine’s gift a mother could have ever received.   She was a teacher to her children and a listening ear to all her friends.  

 She always expected the best from herself and others around her. She was genuine and honest. Tammie cared deeply about enjoying life and people. She was always very generous. It is the depth of life not the width that is most important. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) She hoped that her life is a useful endeavor. Tammie was passionate about knowledge of self, others, and life experiences. She believed that she could learn something from every individual. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” is one of her life’s mottos. (Socrates, in Plato, Dialogues, Apology Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC).  

 Tammie enjoyed movies, books, and music that changed her. She believed that life is constantly evolving and changing and learning to accept that change is one of the most difficult life lessons. Tammie loved challenges and thought-provoking anything.  She believed in virtue and believing in something. Tammie liked taking walks, the best coffee and wine, and her best friends. Tammie forever wanted to ride in the car with the windows down, music blaring, and be joyful with a friend or her children singing at the top of their lungs words to songs they don’t know.   Her favorite sound is that of her children laughing.  Tammie had high standards.  She loved good smelling cologne and doing things that made her feel more alive. Tammie was a Christian, and she pursued God with zest.

 That’s me Tammie Pate and I am not dead I am just sleeping so you are stuck with me forever in your dreams and mine.


March 31, 2010

     If you steal my car you will make me very happy because I will file an insurance claim and get the car I actually want which is a Mercedes-Benz GL550 SUV.  But being realistic I know I will never get that vehicle so this is what I would do to get mine back.  I will make a police report with my local police department followed by a call to my insurance company.  I will do this in hope of them helping me recover my car or get compensation. 

     Before initiating the report I need to make a list of the items I know were in the car. I had a long day at work yesterday also followed by a night class.  All I remember is  I was tired when I got home so I left my personal items in the car including my backpack.  Inside of my backpack was my cell phone and personal laptop.  My laptop contains private information but my husband being the computer geek he is has it locked down with Anti-Theft technology.  The laptop enters theft mode after five failed log-in attempts, the system reboots and erases all information from the hard drive.  After this it is good for nothing more than a paper weight.  At least I can know I will not be a victim of identity theft because of being dense and leaving it in my car that is now stolen. 

            Once a police report has been officially reported, my State Farm policy states that I have 24 hours to report my vehicle stolen.  When I  report the claim, my policy states that I need the following information:  date and location of the occurrence, insurance card, general description of what happened, and police department involved and report number.  I will most likely be out of money due to this crime.  If my car is not found, which it is not likely, I will have to pay my deductable of $500 and also have to start looking for a new vehicle.  Since I go to work and school I need transportation as soon as possible.  Not only do I need a new car, but I must also get a new laptop, which has all my personal information along with all my school work.  I will have to contact my school and let them know what happened and my teachers since I have homework due.  I will also have to take the time to go get a new cell phone and hopefully get all my contacts downloaded. 

            Once the person responsible is tracked down, and believe me I will do everything to help catch them.  They will find out that in Texas auto theft is classified as a state jail felony.  State jail felonies carry penalties of six months to two years in a state jail.  I will be there asking the judge to give them the maximum penalty for all the headaches and issues that were caused to me and my family.  If given the opportunity to ask the person when caught why they stole my car, I would like to ask if this crime was worth the penalty.  If this person needed extra money then get a job like the rest of us.  I would also like to know why they didn’t take the Cadillac next door it is nicer than my car anyway.

Works Cited

Claims Center. Rep. State Farm. Web. 30 Mar. 2010. <;.

“How to Find Information on the Penalty for Auto Theft in Texas.” Web Log post. Web. 30 Mar. 2010. <;.


March 31, 2010

The recent bill of H.R. 1895:  Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act of 2009 is good because it provides driver safety to States with graduated driver licensing laws that meet certain minimum requirements.  Each state has certain laws for drivers 16 years of age or older and 18 years of age and older. 

            During the finding under this bill, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that:  (a) motor vehicles crashes are the leading cause of death of Americans between 15 and 20 years of age, (b) from 1996 to 2006, over 76,000 Americans between the 15 and 20 years of age died in motor vehicle crashes, an average of 122 teenage deaths per week, (c) teenage drivers between 16 and 20 years of age have a fatality rate that is 4 times the rate for drivers between 25 and 70 years of age, and (d) teenager drivers who are 16 years of age have a motor vehicle crash rate that is almost ten times the crash rate for drivers between 30 and 60 years of age.  (www.govtrack)

            To be in compliance each state had to set its own set of laws for drivers 16 years of age or older and 18 years of age and older.  For 16 years of age you must have a learner’s permit and have it at least for 6 months, prohibits  the use of cells phones, night driving.  For the state of Texas, all new drivers under 18 must complete an approved education course before they can be licensed.  The state of Texas allows the parents to teach the student using approved curriculum and materials.  Teens may begin the program at 14, but will not be able to get a learner’s permit until the age of 15.   (  Texas all requires that the teenager complete at least seven hours of behind-the-wheel time and seven hours of in-the-car instruction.

            For laws for drivers 18 years of age some of same laws apply for 16 years of age, like prohibits nighttime driving and prohibits the use of cells phone, but adds, prohibits driving with more than one non-familial  passenger under the age of 21 if there is no licensed driver 21 years or older present in the vehicle.  When the state enacted this program for teens, it didn’t change the basic requirements for obtaining a license.  If you are over 18 and wish to apply for an instruction permit, you will follow the same guidelines at 16, but you won’t have to provide proof of attendance in school, or completion of a driver’s education course. Also, will not need a parent’s signature.  (

            A few reminders to young drivers, which I have a daughter that just turned 16, don’t make or receive calls on your cell phone will driving, don’t under any circumstances send a text while  driving, wear your seatbelt every time you get into a car, even for a short ride, obey all speed limits, be aware for other drivers and keep your distance, take it easy, pay attention and take the rules of the road seriously.  If you can follow these simple little rules of the road you are making the roads safer for you and all other drivers on the road.

Sources cited:

USA. Congress. Legislation. Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act of 2009.

“Teen Driving.” DMV. Web. 30 Mar. 2010. <;.

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March 30, 2010

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