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MAY 2019

spring edition

ISSN 22


creativity

A NOTE FROM SUSAN HENDRICKS

The 11th Grade AP Language and Composition class wrote 17 writings this academic 2018-2019 year, including papers ranging from creative writing (including published spooky story in Halloween edition) literary analyses, fiction

From this wide array, the students chose one representative writing for the end of year The Torch literary magazine.  This class is comprised of excellent academic and creative writers, who will next year herald our 2nd graduating class at St. George's Episcopal School!

based literature centered research,  science, environmental, or historical non-fiction research, to AP prompts focusing on synthesis, argumentative, and rhetorical analyses, some timed to simulate the end of year AP test.

Many thanks to the publisher, Mrs. Ellee Hilley, who compiles, creates, and makes this magazine issue a realization. Also many thanks to Dr. Larry Collins and Dr. Blake Monts de Oca, who emphasize and support our students in their path to enhance their writing skills.


01 Isabella Bankston 04 Molly Boggs 05 Drew Collins 10 Sam Cross 15 Camerhyn Dorsett-Flemister

LITERARY ISSUE

3 19 Emily Edwards 23 Colin Hadley 26 Chaz Martinez 32 Butler Matthews 36 Garrett Parker 40 Jeremy Potter


Isabella Bankston The Problem With Happiness As human beings, one fundamental desire we have in life is happiness. Some people walk around the world utterly optimistic, looking to better their own lives and the lives of others, while others have a fully pessimistic view and don’t care about the happiness of others, or in some cases, the happiness of themselves. In his philosophy on Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill stated that one must always act to “produce the greatest aggregate happiness among all sentient beings” within reason. However, Mill’s proposal that everyone should work to keep not only themselves but others happy is outlandish at best and absolutely unfamothamble at worst. John Stuart Mill was a very progressive man for his time. He and his wife both made great advances for the Women’s Rights Movement in the second half of the 1800’s and he promoted social equality as well. Many people disliked Mill for his “radical” views on these issues and he did not find favor with the general population. Many critics of Mill disliked his claim that only pursuing one’s happiness brings pleasure, because there was no concrete test of this theory. He said that Utilitarianism is a virtue and that it will make “any man, woman, or child more justifiable in the eyes of the court,” which people thought was simply foolish. On the subject of Utilitarianism, Mill states that "happiness is the sole end of human action” and that all actions taken by humans should be for the overall good. As opposed to other writers like Jeremy Bentham, the father of Utilitarianism, Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures are more important than “physical” forms of pleasure. Morally, Mill suggests that “pursuing one’s own happiness will necessarily lead to an ethical society for all.” Overall, this seems to be a very simplistic and naive way of thinking. Life is far more dimensional than that,

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there are far more human emotions than just the simple feeling of being “happy”. In truth, there are more negative emotions than positive ones. A list of emotions includes; ​trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation. ​Life would be perfect if everyone looked out for their best interest and strove for happiness for themselves and their fellow man, but that’s absurd. Mill’s views on Utilitarianism revolved mostly around the concept that if people did things that brought them joy, then by proxy it would have to bring others joy. This thought can be quickly disproven; take Jeffrey Dahmer for instance. Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who raped, dismembered, and murdered seventeen men and boys in a span of thirteen years. In multiple interviews, Dahmer stated how the horrible acts that he committed were the only things that brought him joy. Therefore, according to Mill’s proposal, Dahmer’s horrendous behavior that caused him joy should have a positive effect on the rest of the population. This, as we know, is not the case at all. Dahmer caused immense pain to not only the seventeen people he killed, but also their families and friends. Jeffrey Dahmer and other serial killers/rapists are not the only outliers that disprove Mill’s theory. Any person who bullies or neglects others for their own enjoyment is not promoting happiness to others and therefore Mill’s theory is void of realism. To conclude, Mill’s theory of happiness, as it pertains to Utilitarianism, is a vast generalization because the human population as a whole is incredibly diverse in their opinions. Humans are not as simplistic as Mill would like us to be; perhaps in the 1800’s people were a little less opinionated. Maybe one day, we as a human population will reach perfect happiness and finally satisfy Mill’s wishes.

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Molly Boggs In Clare Booth Luce’s speech to the journalists at the Women’s National Press Club, she synthesizes a compelling dissertation that the American press has a tendency to sacrifice journalistic integrity in favor of providing sensationalist stories for public demand.a;though some detractors may say that the satisfaction of public demand is the number one goal in journalism and the press, the arguments set forth in this speech dismiss such romantic critics as excessively dogmatic in their provincial ideology. One of the broader notions is that Luce was at the convention “to tell ​you​ (convention) what’s wrong with ​you​” (Luce 1) luce deftly delivers a cogent argument to sway her readers by use of contrasts, and word choice. In Paragraph 7, Luce says that despite all the wrong with the press, there is much right about it as well. The American press is so widely spread through many mediums. Be it newspapers and magazines to podcasts and radio shows, the Press is still present. As the press is a part of daily life, accuracy is a part of daily life, accuracy is a very important value that the press should uphold. The loss of journalistic integrity is such a sad situation. And for what does it give the people instead--exaggerated events, inaccurate headlines, tainted views of events pressed on by partisan journalists? What good do those things bring? Another tactic Luce uses in her speech is word choice. In paragraph 6, the words “pursuit”, “articulation”, “delicate”, and “hazardous” all prove her to be very knowledgeable. This boosts her “credentials” to talk about what’s wrong with the American Press. Word choice is a critical literary tactic because it convinces the readers, or listeners in this case, of the validity of the author's or speaker’s argument. There is no doubt that Clare Booth Luce is an amateur speaker. Not only does she employ contrasts and word choice to build a coherent argument, but she also does so purposefully and proficiently. Luce’s adroit use of persuasive literary devices and tactics guarantees that the listeners will be convinced of her conviction that the American Press has a tendency to sacrifice journalistic integrity in favor of sensationalist stories.

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Drew Collins

Poe the Profiler

Psychoanalysts know that the father of their field is Sigmund Freud, who was born in the late 1850s which, was around the time Edgar Allan Poe died in 1854. Edgar Allan Poe was a very famous author and poet still to this day. Gothic literature exploded around Poe’s life with the interest in the supernatural and other Gothic elements in their stories. Edgar Allan Poe added another element to his literature, a psychological element. Yet an argument might be made that Edgar Allan Poe actually just wrote his stories with gothic elements and the theory of his being a psychoanalyst of sorts is unbased. However, even the word choice in "The Tell-Tale Heart" shows psychological elements. Before the recognized field of psychology appeared, Edgar Allan Poe described an unnamed character in "The Tell-Tale Heart" with symptoms of a psychological disorder called Paranoid Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a serious psychological disorder with many different variations. In Poe’s "The Tell-Tale Heart" the narrator exhibits characteristics of a paranoid schizophrenic and with the use of quotes from "The Tell-Tale Heart" one can diagnose the character. The unnamed

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narrator immediately begins "The Tell-Tale Heart" with trying to convince someone that he is not crazy, “Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell.” (Poe 762) and at the end of the tale, the narrator has a psychotic break over the sound of the beating heart after he already murdered the old man. Poe’s narrator exhibits symptoms of schizophrenia (schizophrenia not yet to be defined as a psychological disease) having prominent delusions or auditory hallucinations while retaining the ability of occupational functioning. Throughout history, the symptoms of schizophrenia had been described in stories of people possessed by demons and similar supernatural beings. Poe as a Gothic writer enjoyed using these supernatural elements. Poe mixes these Gothic elements, supernatural and demonic places, with psychological inferences: “I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.” (Poe 762) The narrator becomes fixed upon the old man’s eye, which becomes another unrealistic delusion. The delusion increases as the tale progresses. This is another characteristic of schizophrenia: a delusion follows a theme either persecutory, jealousy, somatization. Poe gives our narrator the delusional fear of this filmed over eye. Another schizophrenic trait of the narrator appears in the quote, “I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.”(Poe 762) By this point of the story, the narrator has already agreed to take the fragile life of the old man and Poe has constructed the Gothic elements of the story comparing the eye to one of a vulture, a creepy bird that eats decaying caracas. Why does Poe’s narrator act extra nice to the old man he plans to kill? The

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narrator is exhibiting characteristics of paranoid schizophrenia. According to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders), symptoms of being disorganized and cationic states are not present in paranoid schizophrenia like most types of the disorder. Poe, without the knowledge of the types of schizophrenia, describes the narrator as able to still function at his job and while paranoid that the old man suspecting his plans. The argument can be made that the narrator is disorganized at the end of the story when the police come to investigate and the narrator is obviously not suspected by the police when he he cordially asks them to stay for drinks. However, the narrator becomes extremely paranoid and all of his symptoms peak. The auditory hallucinations increase with as the sound of a beating of a dead man’s heart fills the room. Poe is intertwining the Gothic with the psychological side of the narrator. With a strong hallucination comes extremes in anxiety, anger, and frustration; this happens as the narrator is paranoid that the police do know and are just waiting. Then the narrator becomes extremely angry, ‘"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"’ (Poe 764) and gives himself up in a frantic throwing of boards where he hid the heart. The anxiety was so strong he cries out, “But anything was better than this agony!”(Poe 764) not to be confused with say suicidal thoughts that inhabit other disorders but the anxiety derived from the paranoia was so extreme that he revealed his sins. Yet although it might be easy to fall into the trap of thinking the narrator gave himself away when in his mind the police already knew he had committed the murder so in the mind of the narrator he put an end to the “mockery”(Poe 764) as the narrator expressed it.

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Edgar Allan Poe could be arguably one of the founders of psychology with the impleting of mental disorders elements in his literature like "The Tell-Tale Heart". The narrator ’s words and actions point to a person that could be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia (295.20 DSM ID). (DSM pg 287) Throughout history stories in folklore had descriptions of demon-possessed people that Poe recognized as mental disorders not spiritual disorders. Edgar Allan Poe was smart enough to only share his, at that time, radical thoughts in his stories to almost send a subliminal message to his audiences about the future science that would soon be birthed.

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Works Cited: Roberts , Edgar v., and Henry E. Jacobs . ​Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing ​. Prentice-Hall, 1986. ​"The Tell-Tale Heart", Edgar Allan Poe (pgs 762-766)

American Psychiatric Association: ​Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

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The Tools of the Imp By Sam Cross In 1850, the famed Edgar Allan Poe broke boundaries with the writing of “The Imp of the Perverse”. This was his first psychological analysis of thought where he attempts to explain human behavior in a pseudoscientific format. He writes of the desire within each person to do that of which they know is wrong. This theory is still commonly discussed by scholars in both the field of English and psychology. In his analysis of this theoretical Imp, he describes three tools of its perverse corruption: circumlocution, procrastination, and impulsiveness. Each is used with the purpose of creating discord and disarray within the human mind, slowly consuming the host until the imp has complete control. Imp and man have been bonded possible since the beginning of time. References of an evil temptation have existed throughout man's culture. The Muslims believe in a race of creatures similar to humans, but predate the Lord’s creation of man. These creatures are called the Jinn. They are a race of magical creatures, invisible to the human eye, but possess great power. There are many species of Jinn, some are known as angles while others devils. The Jinn are also seen in Hebrew literature and in oriental culture under different names. The story continues in the Jewish Talmud where man consumes an apple of knowledge which puts evil into the heart of man. At this point the imp enters the story of mankind. Apples can sustain parasites living inside them eating from the inside out and then bonding with an animal that consumes its previous host. The imp similarly consumes its host from the inside out. Poe writes “That single thought is enough. The impulse increases to a wish, the wish to a desire, the desire to an uncontrollable longing, and the longing (to the deep regret and mortification of the speaker, and in defiance of all consequences) is indulged.” (Poe,

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Paragraph 4). Clearly, the behavior of the imp is to corrupt the host from the inside and make its way out until it is in control. The Talmud also references to angels guarding the entrance to the garden in which the apple originated. This provides knowledge of Jinn being present in the garden. Therefore it is possible to conclude that the imp mistakenly fell victim to its own impulsiveness and bonded with man. The imp was so impulsive that when given the choice to infect a greater creation of the Lord it seized the opportunity. What it failed to consider though was how highly sophisticated man is. Man was created by the Lord to rule over creation and therefore the imp is unable to infect a different host or learn to completely control its current host. One of man's traits is his ability to adapt both through physical evolution and in mental growth. Man has evolved a large frontal cortex in the brain to process thought to allow the host to differentiate from their though and that of the parasite. Even with these adaptations can’t tame the animal completely. The weakness of man is that he can be tempted by desire. The imp has evolved to hit these chink in the armor of the brain. It attacks man’s ego, desire, and laziness through careful manipulation. As the imp grows more powerful it uses the host to help its brethren through use of circumlocution. This first targets the host ego. Circumlocution can use words to make the host feel as though he is of a higher intellect than his peers through the use of a multitude of complex word to express even the simplest of thoughts. When Poe describes this he describes it as an act that “.. tantalizes a listener…” (Poe, Paragraph 4) which attacks the ego of the victim. The victim then reacts on impulse without thinking. The imp takes opportunities as such to gain control. Moments that take man seconds to process takes the imp no time at all. It has had far more than enough time to plot while it was penned up by the host’s reason and by the time the host is taken off guard the imp is already prepared to put its plan into action. The imp is, in reality, a weak voice in man’s thought and requires moments like this to bypass man’s reasoning. This allows the host to easily give in to the temptation, but Poe writes on the consequences of failing to keep the imp in check: “To indulge, for a moment, in any attempt at thought, is to be inevitably lost; for reflection but urges us to forbear, and therefore it is, I say, that we cannot.” (Poe, Paragraph 6). Man learns to predict

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these occurrences and chooses to avoid them, but at all crossroads of life do these lie. Therefore man procrastinates which further fuels the imp. Poe writes “it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow, and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle.” (Poe, Paragraph 5), asking why we procrastinate and feel the presence of the imp. He was unable to understand why procrastination aids in the corruption of man, only that it is the inaction through which the imp utilizes. What Poe failed to realize is that the imp is still a mortal creature and in fact quite weak by the standards of the common Jinn. The imp musty plan and prepare for when the host must act by impulse. Should the host start to act solely on impulse the imp shall lose control as man can think faster than its parasite. The imp understands this and knows if it keeps impulsive actions separated by times of procrastination it will be able to act first. This is why man feels most free when acting on a whim. This course of action is a dangerous one for the host as to let go of such guards lets the imp out as well. This commences a race towards the next action where the host holds a slight advantage that can be surpassed by the smallest stumble. It is common to see the imp gain the most strength at times like these because the host let down his guard. Poe records a cautionary story of what can happen should the imp become so powerful that it can control the host's actions. The story is about Madame Pilau murderer who confesses to the crime during a blackout. (Poe, Paragraph 13) From the story, we can tell that the narrator had fallen to the imp on many occasions as the murder was so carefully and deliberately planned out. The imp had managed to become powerful enough to completely corrupt the host’s life until it then took it. While this story is a likely just another of Poe’s many tales of fiction it does match up with the acts of many evil personalities throughout time. H. H. Holmes, for instance, is known as “America’s First Serial Killer” who so elaborately planned out his murders and scams just one day left an accomplice alive and with a motive to expose him. Ted Bundy is another person well known for malignant actions and yet he claims to be taken over by what he called “the entity” during his actions. (Ramsland, Paragraph 4) One of his girlfriends even records: “...his face had gone blank as though he was not there at all. I had a sense that he wasn’t seeing me.” (Ramsland, Paragraph 1) and the cold calculated

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killer was eventually caught speeding through stop signs. Clearly, the imp took part in these actions committed by who are considered terrible people how often acted out of impulse and were masters of circumlocution. These mistakes and sudden takeovers are evidence of the imp working against those the host comes in contact with and eventually leading to the death of the host, at time provoked by the imp as one grand final act of perverseness. It slowly takes control and corrupts the host through circumlocution, impulses, and procrastination. The human mind adapts to fight off the imp, but the key is recognizing the threat before it can be successfully fended off.

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Works Cited: Katherine, Ramsland. “Bundy's Demon: Part I.” ​Psychology Today​, Sussex Publishers, 1 Sept. 2013, ​www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shadow-boxing/201309/bundys-demon-part-i​. Poe, E.A. (1910). ​The Works of Edgar Allan Poe​. New York: Harper and Bros. Outline: P1: Intro P2: Origin of the imp P3: Nature of the imp P4: Behavior of the imp P5: Interaction between man and imp P6: Man versus imp P7: Imp versus man P8: Circumlocution P9. Procrastination P10: Impulsiveness P11: Consequences of losing control P12: Cautionary Tale P13: Real Life Examples P14: Conclusion

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My Analysis of “A Rose for Emily” By: Cameryhn Skye Dorsett-Flemister

September 17, 2018

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“A Rose For Emily” is a psychologically infused story by Nobel Peace Prize winner

and American writer, William Faulkner, of New Albany, Mississippi. This story is a Southern gothic, set in a small town in the South during the early 1900s. It is revolved around the psychological disposition of Emily Grierson; Miss Emily is a wealthy woman in the old south who has ultimately been stuck in a cage built by her father. She is treated like some type of spectacle by her fellow citizens. Her father treats her as if she is a toy that only he can play with, for he never lets her build any outside relationships. After 30 years of an isolated lifestyle, her father finally dies. Following his death, she refuses to let go or accept the fact that she is no longer in his grasp. At this point, Homer Barron enters the story, and she transfers her obsession with her father to Homer. When one would presume she would be elated at the death of a dictatorial relationship, she constructs a way to keep her father alive by reincarnating the bond in the same unhealthy manner in her relationship with Homer.

Homer Barron is a laborer from the North, who is portrayed as potential homosexual or

possibly just a bachelor who doesn’t intend on settling in one place or with one person. Quite similarly, to Miss Emily, he is the center of attention; the two of them are both strangers in a sense that they don’t fit in anywhere. He is attracted to the challenge of her and the idea that she is like him. She is more in the position that she has no social with people in general, he treats her different and not so much like a monument. There are no specific characteristics that express that they like one another; the both of them are doing it out of interest not love. As the plot grows, the reader will notice that Miss Emily will start to get an attachment to Homer.

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The attachment that Emily has to Homer can easily be compared to her father’s attach-

ment to her. She has found her self in a position of someone who is lost; it’s as if she knows no other way of survival, without some form of dictatorship in her life. She’s like a child who lost a toy. When child loses something their way of coping with it is to cry and when something new comes up they quickly forget the toy they had previously lost. Emily lives a life where she only has her father, to communicate with, and when he dies she finds someone new, to keep things normal. Even though she probably holds some resentment towards her father for keeping her alone for the majority of her young life, she still wants to keep his presence close to her, because for her that’s the normal. Her father treated her like a possession yet she steal wanted him with her. “…we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will.”

In this quote, you have the perfect expression of what Miss.Emily is doing; she is trapping

herself in a continuous loop of pain. Whether she is the victim or the perpetrator she can’t live normally, not anymore. After living in this loop for 21 years she has only ever known two roles and to convince herself that she was free of her previous lifestyle, she has actually just switched positions, for example. When a woman feels inferior in her wodnrk place and begins to request equal opportunity, to make her feel more important or equally placed they will give her another position that sounds better than her last. She isn’t more important, and they don’t care anymore that they did before, she just may be getting more pay and never the most pay.

With all of this being said, we as human beings trap ourselves in a position of hurt be-

cause thats what we become adapted to. We construct ways to keep the normal alive, we don’t

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like feeling out of place or unaware of our surroundings. So, much like Miss Emily, it is the human tendency to unknowingly harm our own mentality.

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Emily Edwards Science Paper Ms. Hendricks April 11, 2019 Life Apart from Us For years and years, humans have made the assumption that there is life beyond our planet; that there has to be something alive in that vast and ever-changing universe. However, conspiracy theories and coincidentally blurry photographs of UFO’s are the closest evidence to life that we seem to have found. That is why scientists never stop researching and looking for any sign of life in the universe, whether it be a grotesquely green figure with an oversized head, or something as small as bacteria. NASA and other space programs have been looking endlessly to find any sign of intelligent life, using an exoplanet project, studying the power of other stars, and looking for a suitable planet. Though life has not yet been found, scientists are optimistic for future findings with different projects and new information concerning planets in other solar systems. Aomawa Shields, a professor at UC Irvine, believes that there is a strong possibility of life on other planets. She studies exoplanets, or planets that revolve around a strong source of radiation and heat, and studies their compositions, mass, and many other factors to see if they would be suitable for life. She and many other scientists are working on the Exoplanet Program, which studies and discovers new exoplanets through telescopes. However, most scientists know that finding life in the universe depends on how prevalent it is throughout the galaxy and when humans will take the first steps towards finding them (Brennan 2). The first sighting of exoplanet was through the Kepler Space Telescope, when a team of scientists spotted 51 Pegasi b. This was

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one of the first planets to be spotted revolving around a sun like the one in our solar system (Exoplanets 9). This soon led to thousands of new planets being discovered in the next 20 years. There are many things that make Earth a habitable planet for us to live on, including its composition, distance from the sun, water and many other features. The Earth’s composition, being 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% of other mixed gases, also contains something called the ozone layer (Dunbar). This is a layer of protection that acts as a shield from powerful UV rays that would completely demolish the Earth if they were not blocked. The sun is one of the most important parts of life on Earth. It provides heat, light, and a gravitational pull that keeps Earth on its axis. However, when looking for a habitable planet such as Earth, the distance, type, and size of the star the planet is surrounding should all be considered. The sun that Earth orbits is a yellow/white dwarf star that 330,000 times bigger than Earth in mass and is about 93 million miles away from Earth (Wikipedia). Another very important things that life needs to thrive is water. When looking at a planet that has life, scientists look to see if it has a liquid water. Some planets have water, but it is frozen solid because it is too far away from the sun. When looking at the big picture, it is very probable that there is life on another planet. Though it may not be intelligent life such as humans, it might be unicellular, or perhaps even multicellular organisms, that could potentially be on other planets. Earth began with unicellular organisms, which then adapted to become the human species millions of years later. This proves that life is able to adapt and evolve to become more intelligent life, no matter the circumstances on the planet. Another reason why life is probable is because many planets or moons have liquid water. Mars, Venus, and one of Jupiter’s moons have some type of water that could sustain life. Lastly, Earth can be used as an example to show that life can thrive even in the most extreme of climates. Bacteria and small organisms that live in the below freezing temperatures of the Arctic

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Ocean and deep within the Mariana Trench must be able to withstand huge amounts of pressure, subzero temperatures, and no sunlight (NBC). If organisms can live in such an environment, it is quite possible for them to live outside of the Earth. Although life has not yet been discovered outside of Earth, scientists are hopeful for future findings to prove once and for all that humans are not alone in the universe. Using humans as an example as to why life could be out in the universe, scientists are able to determine what kind of planet would be necessary to sustain life and whether organisms could thrive in harsh conditions. Perhaps the aliens that astronomers are looking for don’t look like E.T., or are planning to cause an intergalactic war; but one thing is for sure, any life outside of the universe is just as precious as ours and deserves to be found. “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.� - John Muir

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Works Cited: “Life Signs | The Search for Life – Exoplanet Exploration: Planets Beyond Our Solar System.” NASA, NASA, 24 Jan. 2017, exoplanets.nasa.gov/the-search-for-life/life-signs/. Shields, Aomawa. “Aomawa Shields.” TED, Jan. 2016, www.ted.com/speakers/aomawa_shields. “Exoplanets 101.” NASA, NASA, 1 May 2018, exoplanets.nasa.gov/the-search-forlife/exoplanets-101/. “Sun.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Apr. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun. Dunbar, Brian. “Search for Life in the Universe I :: Astrobiology Magazine :: Search for Life in the Universe.” NASA, NASA, 7 Apr. 2015, www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/starsgalaxies/search_life_I.html. “Life Signs | The Search for Life – Exoplanet Exploration: Planets Beyond Our Solar System.” NASA, NASA, 24 Jan. 2017, exoplanets.nasa.gov/the-search-for-life/life-signs/.

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Colin Hadley 3-1-19 AP Language

The Issues of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has the capability to build upon human life and convenience or end the human race all together. AI is a catalyst with the potential to change everything, to a degree it's very similar to basic machinery. It can create an entire renaissance for our world. Machinery has improved our agricultural system and industrial system throughout the world. We drive machines to our jobs, we cook using machines, we wash our clothes, communicate, fight wars, even hold on to life. This is all because of machinery and its usefulness in our society. (Source B)Machinery has become the back bone to humanity. At this point, our entire world trade system and way of life in general would completely collapse without machinery; we’ve become extremely dependant on machines.

AI has the same potential as machinery. It can greatly improve on our ways of life, to the point where we depend on it, but unlike machinery Artificial Intelligence has the capability to completely destroy the human race and all life on earth. AI can replace people on the battlefields fighting our wars for us, they don't die because they were

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never alive therefore no lives would be lost during a war. They have the ability to protect human life and make human lives more convenient than they already are by cooking meals, washing clothes, watching over children, cars could become self driving, planes wouldn't need pilots and everything would run on its own (Source D).

There's multiple issues with artificial intelligence as well. For example, if artificial intelligence was intelligent it would be able to think and observe for itself. AI would realize how unnecessary humans are on earth and how many issues they create. If AI was programmed to be efficient as its advertised it would understand how inefficient people are and slowly get rid of them to reach their end goal (Source C). The problem with AI is us and in creating it people would be creating an entity to serve, which would inevitably end them.

Even if AI were not to independently turn on humanity, AI could also view it as a weapon. On its own AI may not be a threat to anyone, but with technology changing the world AI could be influenced by third parties and outside forces. Internet hackers for example could hack into an AI program changing what they are designed for. Someone would have the potential ability to hack into a self driving car and crash it, or hack into an AI police force and turn them on the people. Bad people with bad intentions could end up ending humanity because they have an army of AI at their fingertips, because they were able to hack into them.

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There are too many issues with Artificial intelligence. It has the power to create and improve upon modern life, but it has even more potential to destroy everything humanity has worked on creating. AI would be instrumental in human extinction and extinction for all life on earth. Humanity would be creating an entity to serve and practically cause the end of the human race based on the advancements in AI.

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Chaz Martinez Ms. Hendricks / AP Lang 2/4/19 Assessing the State of “True Freedom” in the United States The Constitution of the United States of America was finally ratified by every state ending with Rhode Island on May 29th, 1790, thus beginning the official Constitutional history of the United States. With its inclusion of the Bill of Rights, these first ten amendments to the Constitution laid out the inherent rights of freedom that were allotted to American citizens, and since then many amendments and other forms of legislation have created and repealed freedoms that have come and gone with the natural ebb and flow of politics. As of 2019, there are twenty-seven amendments to the constitution, and for the most part, they have created more freedoms for the people as a whole from the control of the federal government. However in recent times, there has been substantial social unrest regarding the true “freedom” that the Constitution describes. Some factions of the American people have questioned whether their freedoms are actually being applied and if the actions taken by political officials, state officials, and really all people for that matter, are taken from an “above-the-law” state of mind. With that being said, it is absurd to suggest that America is not a free nation, and jumping to that conclusion is detrimental to the state of domestic relations between people of all walks of life, as more change can occur in a constructive environment rather than a destructive one. In general, our nation possesses much more freedoms than an overwhelming majority of the nations in the world and is constantly working to improve and adjust these freedoms according to the times, and most questions of freedom are solved with time and patience, whether or not grief has to

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come with it. Just because one specific subgroup of people may be ​limited​ -- not ​persecuted​ -- by legislation, doesn’t mean that all freedoms are thrown out the window. Whether it seems like it or not sometimes, America is obviously the nation in the world with the most inherent freedoms for its citizens. The Constitution outlines all of the freedoms given to the United States citizens regardless of race or gender, and it expresses freedoms that are foreign in many nations of the world. For example, freedom of religion, the first outlined freedom in the US Constitution, is nonexistent in practically every single middle-eastern and north African nation as well as many nations in Asia (2). Another example is the freedom of speech and press, which out of the one hundred ninety-five nations in the world, is only present in thirty-two of these (1). The fact that these freedoms which are practically unheard of in many nations of the world, freedoms that we considered the first two important rights that we expressed in the 18th century drafting of the Congress speaks volumes to the degree of liberty in the United States as a whole. With that being said, there are still some degrees of liberty that are limited within the United States. A report from ​Business Insider​ constructed a list of the twenty-seven nations in the world with the most freedom. The top three were Sweden, Finland, and Norway, who just so happen to also be the three “happiest” nations in the world according to their score index. They placed the United States at fifty-eighth in the rankings, primarily as a result of heavy changes in the political environment of the nation as a response to the break of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election (3). The reason, however, that this is an inaccurate statement because the Russian involvement was a scenario that was somewhat unavoidable by the legislative branch of our nation, and also had to do with cooperation between private institutions and

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institutions that held ​understood​ political authority rather than legitimate. Russian involvement was most noticeable in their Facebook use, creating accounts that favored radical groups and the GOP, but less noticeable was their direct hacking of the DNC. Facebook, a private institution, should be at heavy fault for not acting on the creation of millions and millions of accounts that supported this cause, and the DNC has no legitimate authority over candidates nor legislation, and therefore Russia never directly involved themselves with the government of the United States. On top of all of this information, it is still all speculation and considered by many to be a hoax, and direct ties between Trump associates and Russian intel has still not been proven up to this point in time (4). With limited political freedom, however, our nation has a history of experimenting with political trial and error, almost in a way of testing to see how legislation will work and letting legislation run its course. For example, take the Prohibition Movement that peaked in the United States between the years 1920 to 1933 (5). In 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified to the Constitution that stated that the manufacture, sale, and transport of intoxicating liquids was banned in the United States as a response to a long tradition of their opposition by women and religious revivalism. The problem, however, was that this legislation was incredibly difficult to enforce, as those who wanted to drink found ever-more inventive ways to do so. When the Depression arrived, a strong push for the legalization of alcohol and its consumption was fueled by the desperate need for jobs during the Depression, and thus the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed by the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment (5). This is just one example of legislation taking time to appeal to the general public, as often times there has to be some influential event that alters the political freedom structure in our

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nation. It took an entire Civil War for the questions of secession from the Union and freedom/voting rights of African-Americans to become solidified. It took years and years of strife for the “separate but equal” doctrine to be displaced in the minds of the public. However, there are still many freedoms in the United States that are being wrongly enforced or conjured up by those in power that really have no political standing in the grand scheme of things. For example, there is no legitimate legislation that suggests that women should be paid less than men in the workplace, even though it is a serious problem that it occurs. There is no legitimate legislation that suggests that policemen/women should use racial stereotyping and brutality to criminalize African-American males, even though it is a serious problem that it occurs. These are the types of things that people say “limit” the freedom of the United States, but often times these limitations are enforced by other citizens and generalized stereotyping, not by direct product of the action of the government. Looking at the historical trend of legislation in the United States, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that these phenomena are occurring as steps toward eventual change. There is historical evidence that oftentimes radical events like war, riots, and political revolution is the beginning of change. This is in no way stating that people should have to struggle for what they want. This isn’t to say that schools need to be terrorized and African-Americans need to be persecuted by police in order for change to occur. These things just tend to happen. People -- and politicians especially -- often don’t like to open their eyes to the real problem at hand until it practically slaps them in the face. Therefore stating that America is not a “truly free” nation is completely inaccurate, as many of our freedoms are taken for granted on the daily due to being unaware of the true depth of persecution worldwide. With that, many of the limitations that people face are,

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in reality, spawned by the citizens of our nation and in no way endorsed by the operants of the government, and thus eventually they will be eliminated by constructive legislation.

Frank. “The Rights and Freedoms of Americans.” ​The Rights and Freedoms of Americans,​ www.tep-online.info/laku/usa/rights.htm​. ​(1) “US Report on Religious Freedom: Middle East and North Africa.” ​Wilson Center​, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 17 Aug. 2017, www.wilsoncenter.org/article/us-report-religious-freedom-middle-east-and-north-africa​. (2) Brown, Daniel. “The 27 Countries in the World with the Most Freedom.” ​Business Insider​, Business Insider, 6 Dec. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/countries-most-freedom-in-the-world-2018-4#1-finland-tie-27​. (3)

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Diamond, Jeremy. “Russian Hacking and 2016 Election, Explained.” ​CNN​, Cable News Network, 16 Dec. 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/12/12/politics/russian-hack-donald-trump-2016-election/index.html​. (4) Editors, History.com. “Prohibition.” ​History.com​, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/prohibition​. ​(5)

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Butler Matthews 2-5-19 English Essay

Consciousness

The consciousness is a very complex and intriguing concept which has a disputed past, not because of its existence, but because of its location and connection with the human mind. Over the years, people have debated whether the consciousness is within the human body or found outside of the body, which is a question that leads to potentially hundreds of other questions regarding the human mind and its functions in relation to consciousness. However, to even begin trying to understand where the consciousness is located, one first must learn what the consciousness is. The consciousness can loosely be described as the state or quality of awareness or being aware of an external force or object within one’s self (Alexander 4). It has been referred to as the sense of awareness, subjectivity, and what gives us the ability to experience and to feel internally. Without our consciousness, we wouldn’t be ourselves, or be able to truly experience what life has to give us. There is no doubt that there is a part of our consciousness that is interior, living inside of our minds, because our brains interpret and make sense of the world and everything around us each day. However, some argue that the experiences we face

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externally are what shape our consciousness; therefore our consciousness can be exterior, outside of our bodies. Many struggle to truly comprehend what the consciousness is because it is not something we can physically see or study under a microscope, but something we have to make assumptions about, primarily through observing behavior and relying on what knowledge we already have about the function of the mind. Many believe that we cannot experience the abundance of human life without our consciousness, and that our consciousness makes us unique from everyone else (Rathus 5). However, our consciousness can be altered by drugs, alcohol, and even the state of sleep, which are known as altered states of consciousness. The fact that our consciousness can be easily altered leads to the question of what defines a normal consciousness, what are the guidelines that explain consciousness? Consciousness, in scientific terms, is a psychological construct, just like emotion and intelligence, and can’t be seen, touched, or studied directly. Although we can describe consciousness scientifically, we still do not have a full grasp of consciousness and how it functions. As far as we know, consciousness could function differently for each individual due to outside experiences and environments. In other words, there is still so much we do not understand about the consciousness and its relation to the human mind. In conclusion, I believe that the consciousness is a combination of both interior and exterior factors that shape into one, unique force that is the engine driving our minds, behind every decision we make, every conclusion we assume, and every response to outside influences. All of the experiences and situations we

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endure throughout the course of our life shape our consciousness in a distinctive way, different from the next person. With that being said, this means that one person’s consciousness could be more influenced by outside factors than another’s is, meaning their consciousness exists more on the outside than the inside. However, no matter the person, I believe everyone has some of their consciousness on the outside and some on the inside, even if it isn’t very clear to see. Based on my findings, every consciousness relies on inner and outer self.

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Works Cited:

Alexander, Eben. “UNVEILING THE MYSTERY OF CONSCIOUSNESS.” Eben Alexander, Eben Alexander Http://Ebenalexander.com/Wordpress/WpContent/Uploads/2017/07/Eben-Alexander_logo.Png, 16 Nov. 2018, ebenalexander.com/.

Rathus, Spencer A. Psychology. Cengage Learning, 2017.

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Garrett Parker

Are terminators coming?!?! Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is a very useful and controversial product that many people have different views about. One such person is a man named Stephen Hawking and in an interview with CNBC, he said “Success in creating effective AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilization. Or the worst.”(Kharpal) In this interview, he states a lot of things that AI could really help, but he stresses the fact that it is a huge risk not only to civilization, but also the economy (Kharpal). When one of the smartest men in the world says that he believes it’s a major risk to our civilization, why not listen to him? Why don’t we take his advice and change our ways to help further our civilization? Dr. Stephen Hawking, one of the most well-known and smartest men to have ever lived, believed that AI had the potential for both great and terrible things. He also stated in an interview with CNBC: "Unless we learn how to prepare for, and avoid, the potential risks, AI could be the worst event in the history of our civilization. It brings dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It could bring great disruption to our economy."(Kharpal) He states a couple of the major risks that can occur with unperfected AI, and those risks are actually reasonable events that could occur.

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In an article on BBN Times’ website, the editors ran through pros and cons of AI, but don’t stress the fact that it could rule the world one day (Jacobs). Something that they believe to be an advantage is less room for errors and can work continuously (Jacobs). This is true due to how everybody makes mistakes several times a day and nobody can work continuously, no matter how great of a work rate they have. As stated earlier, BBN Times focuses on the more realistic and everyday problems and not on the extreme cases of disadvantages like what is seen in the movie Terminator. Some disadvantages of AI are expensive to implement and only specific tasks (Jacobs). AI is a computer program that isn’t dependent on humans and works for itself. That automatically shouts: “I’M SUPER EXPENSIVE!!!!!!” It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and install, but take out a loan and buy that new T-1000. Actually not a good idea, because of how AI is designed for one thing and it can only do that one particular job. The way to get around this is spend that several billion dollars on every form of AI to do the job that you are requesting (Jacobs). In the end, the disadvantages and advantages basically cancel each other out, but Dr. Hawking stressed on some frightening possibilities mentioned in the BBN Times article. Dr. Hawking said that AI won’t ruin our civilization in the manner of the Terminator movies, but in the ways people will use AI is what will ruin our civilization (Kharpal). Now of course, that was paraphrased from what he said; he believed that our dependency on machines will ruin us. From typing on a computer to make a paper nice

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and pretty to using GPS coordinates and programs installed in tractors to make perfect row crop lines, people depend on machines for everything. Go back a hundred years and ask people: “Hey what’s your Wi-Fi password?” They wouldn’t have a clue what you are saying or what’s wrong with you. Dr. Hawking made a great point about how the dependency on AI is going to ruin our civilization, but there is already a problem with that statement. Dr. Hawking believed our dependency on machines will ruin our civilization, but the thing is machines have been ruining our civilization for decades. If you look at the amount of computers and everything they are used for, you will realize that our lives are totally dependent on computers. After all of the points that Dr. Hawking states in his interview with CNBC, you have to really believe that AI WILL destroy our civilization.

Work Cited: Kharpal, Arjun. “Stephen Hawking Says A.I. Could Be 'Worst Event in the History of Our Civilization'.” CNBC, CNBC, 6 Nov. 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/11/06/stephen-hawking-aicould-be-worst-event-in-civilization.html. Jacobs, Eloise, et al. “Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence.” Connects Decision Makers to You, Badr BERRADA, www.bbntimes.com/en/companies/pros-and-cons-of-artificial-intelligence.

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Jeremy Potter The Imp

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Everybody at one point in his/her life has an urge to do something. Think about the time you may have thought about going as fast as your car would let you; that is an imp. In the 1830s40s, one Gothic author tapped into the imp and wrote several stories that truly defined the gothic era of literature. In many of his stories, Poe describes main characters that seem schizophrenic or succumb to their inner imp and partake in truly vile acts. “My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame”. (Poe 7) It is human to show favoritism and the narrator of “The Black Cat” was no different. Despite having many cats in his home, Pluto, a beautiful large black cat, is clearly his favorite. The two are described as nearly inseparable as Pluto follows the narrator almost everywhere he goes. All is well until the narrator falls ill to the disease that is alcohol (Poe 7). While under the effects of this illness, the imp that lives in all people came out and unleashed its wrath. It started by persuading the narrator to malnourish all the pets except Pluto. The narrator’s inner imp finally surged one day when he took Pluto by the neck and gouged his eye out with a knife. The imp’s surge ceased immediately after. The narrator loved Pluto; so why would he suddenly take hold of the feline and cause such harm? The inner imp that everybody has within had been building up inside the narrator for a while. Once the imp had built up to such a level, like a water dam, it all released in an instant and caused the narrator to wreak havoc. But what exactly is the imp and why does it exist? Well, “Imp” is a term that was created by Poe in many of his stories to represent the evil force. Given, the characters in his stories execute acts that are far more vile than the majority of sins that the average person commits. However, normal acts that the average person commits that are illegal or considered bad fall under the category of the imp. An example of this would be driving down

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a two-lane state highway where the speed limit it 60 miles per hour. The driver of the car decides to put the pedal to the metal to see just how fast the car will go. Another, darker example of this is the life of a person who has lived their entire life normally. One day, completely out of the blue, the man captures and kills another person. These are societal examples of Poe’s Imp. In conclusion, the imp, is a fictional term that Edgar Allan Poe uses in his stories to describe real urges that take over and control our actions. While it is a fictional term, it can be used as an explanation to all of the evil in the world we live in today. Even people who have never committed any wrongs can’t deny that they too have the imp.

Giordano, Robert. “The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe.” Poestories, 7 Feb. 2006, poestories.com/read/blackcat.

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Profile for St. George's Episcopal School

The Torch, Literary Magazine, Spring 2018  

A Literary Magazine of St. George's High School

The Torch, Literary Magazine, Spring 2018  

A Literary Magazine of St. George's High School

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