Sunday, March 29, 2020

Edmund Kemper Essays - Edmund Kemper, Necrophiles, Kemper

Edmund Kemper On May 7, 1972 Edmund Kemper began his series of murders. His first two victims were both students at Fresno State College. They were hitchhiking to Stanford University, but they made the tragic mistake of excepting a ride from Kemper. After driving them around for while, he pulled into a remote deserted area. He forced Anita Luchese into the trunk of the car, and turned his attention to his first victim Mary Ann Pesce. He put in the back seat face down, and placed a plastic bag over her head. He then attempted to try to strangle her with a piece of cloth. But, his efforts were not successful at first, because even though she was handcuffed, she was able to bite a hole in the bag and to make Kemper even angrier the cloth broke. By this time Kemper became extremely frustrated with his efforts. He then proceeded to pull a knife and repeatedly stabbed Mary Ann, and eventually slashed her throat. Anita's death was much quicker, after Kemper removed her from the trunk he stabbed her with a different and larger knife. She fought and screamed for little bit, but finally wore down, and she to died a senseless death. Afterward, Kemper drove around for a while with the bodies still in his car, while trying to decide what to do with the bodies. He eventually brought Anita's body into his apartment, where he undressed her and dissected her body. He then beheaded both women's bodies. Kemper disposed of Mary Ann's body in the plastic bag he tried to suffocate her with, and buried her body. Kemper later lead the police to the location of her body. He kept their heads for a while before dumping them into a ravine. Anita's remains were never found. Kemper drew no suspicion from these two murders, so he continued to prowl. On September 14, 1972, he picked up Aiko Koo, a fifteen-year-old dancer of Korean descent. She was on her way to dance class when she became tired of waiting for the bus and decide to hitchhike. Like his first two victims Aiko made the fatal mistake of hitching a ride with Edmund Kemper. Aiko figured Kemper's plan out and began to panic. Kemper was able to convince her that he was going to shoot himself, and if she did not try to signal the police she would not be harmed. He then drove the two of them into the mountains and turned the car off of the main road. He tried to suffocate her by taping her mouth shut and sticking his fingers in her nostrils. But this did not kill her, it only rendered her unconscious and she awoke moments later. Kemper then began to suffocate her again, and this time he did not stop until she ceased to breathe completely. He then pulled her out of the car and raped her limp body. He proceeded to strangle her with her own scarf, and when he was positive she was dead he placed her body in the trunk and drove away from the scene. From there, he left for his mother's house, but not before stopping at a local bar for a couple of beers. Periodically he would open the trunk and admire his great conquest. Later that night he took Aiko's body into his apartment and placed it on his bed. He then dissected her body as he had done to Mary Ann and Anita, and disposed of her head and hands in a different location than the rest of her body. Very few parts of her remains were ever found, and her disappearance was not thought to be associated with that of Mary Ann and Anita. Four months had gone by. Victims of other murderers had turned up, but still Kemper drew no suspicion. Even though Kemper was legally aloud to buy a gun do to a prior crime, he had no problem purchasing a .22 caliber handgun. But he feared that the police would find out about the gun, and that lead him to step up his killing activities beginning that very day. He picked up a woman named Cindy and drove her into the hills near Watsonville, where he placed her into the trunk and shot her with his brand new gun. Edmund brought the body to his mother's apartment in Aptos where had recently moved back in. He waited for his mother Clarnell to leave for work the next morning, and then he had sex with

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Circulatory System essays

Circulatory System essays Circulatory system, cardiac location and structures, the heart is the driving force of the circulatory system, contracting about 70 times/minute to pump an adequate volume of blood with sufficient pressure to perfuse all body organs. The muscular organ weights from 300 to 400g, its located within the mediastinum of the thoratic cavity. Living things must be capable of transporting nutrients, wastes and gases to and from cells. Single-celled organisms use their cell surface as a point of exchange with outside environment. Multicellular organisms have developed transport and circulatory systems to deliver oxygen and food to cells and remove carbon dioxide and metabolic wastes. Sponges are the simplest animals, yet even they have a transport system. Seawater is the medium of transport and is propelled in and out of the songe by ciliary action. Simple animals, such as the hydra and planaria, lack specialized organs such as hearts and blood vessels, instead using their skin as exchange po ints for material. This, however, limits the size an animal can attain. To become larger, they need specialized organs and organs system. The heart has three tissue layers: the epicardium (outer layer), the myocardium (middle layer),and the endocardium (inner layer). The epicardium is the thin inner layer of the pericardium. The myocardium, thickest of the three tissue layers, is composed of muscle fibers that contract, creating the pumping effect of cardiac activity. The endcardium, a smooth, membranous layer that lines all cardiac chambers and value leaflets, is continuous with the intima, or lining, of the aorta and arteries. The hearts four chambers-the right and left atria ventricles-are separated by the interatrial and interventricular septa.the atria are thin walled, low-pressure chambers that serve primarily as reservoirs for blood flow into the ventricles. The ventricles are formed by muscle fibers that contract to eject blood to the pu...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Introduction to Psychology Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words - 1

Introduction to Psychology - Essay Example This is the essence of implicit memory, namely that it is memory that doesn’t have to be consciously recalled but is immediately available to the thinker. Conversely, explicit memory is an aspect of memory that must be actively engaged. For instance, if one were to attempt to recall what they ate for breakfast or what they did for their twentieth birthday they would have to implement explicit memory, as this is not readily available to the thinker. In addition to explicit and implicit memory, there is also declarative and procedural memory. When considering these aspects of memory, it’s necessary to consider them in relation to the previously articulated concepts of implicit and explicit memory. For instance, declarative memory is memory that is both implicit and explicit in that it contains memories of facts or events. Conversely, procedural memory is understood as memory that is of specific actions or skills. For instance, one the ability to roller skate or to play th e piano are procedural skills that are learned and then added to one’s procedural memory bank. Upon acting out these skills one is then implementing their procedural memory. Within this context of memory it’s noted that it is difficult to recall the declarative aspects of the action. Therefore, the actions are referred to as an aspect of knowledge compilation, such that procedural memories are grouped within this segment of understanding. 2. Define and explain the difference between short-term and long-term memory. In further articulating the nature of memory, researchers have distinguished between both short and long term memory patterns. Related to the concept of short term memory is what scientists refer to as iconic memory. Iconic memory functions by allowing individuals to view a series of images and for a short period of time recollect them in the mind. While iconic memory refers to aspect of short term memory, scientists have also distinguished a category of mem ory called short-term memory. Short-term memory has been articulated not as a particular aspect of the mind that stores memories for a limited period, but rather the function of an individual focusing their cognitive mental energies on a specific icon or memory as a means of recalling it for a short period of time. Within short term memory there are then designated means of recollection. These include rehearsal and chunking techniques that function to allow the individual to focus their cognitive energy in a way that allows them to more remember the information. As there is short term memory, there also exists long-term memory on the opposite end of the spectrum. Within long-term memory is the body of knowledge that individuals ultimately associate with memory, as it is this body of knowledge that is recalled from an individual’s past experiences. In differentiating long-term from short-term memory the main distinguishing element is the nature of the memories storage (Jalomb 2000). In these regards, one can argue that short and long-term memory are not even the same thing, but entirely different mental processes. As described, short-term memory does not consist of a mental storage base, but is rather described as concentrated cognitive mental processing. Conversely, long-term memory actually contains elements of mental storage of which the individual then must implement their implicit or explicit

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

World Religions Report Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2500 words

World Religions Report - Essay Example It is possible to say that religion or religious inquiry — is something that virtually all people have in common. People have wondered about the meaning of life since Adam was a boy and they interested in this meaning to the present day. In all corners of the world and in all eras of history people have own beliefs, faith in higher power and question if there is anyone or anything â€Å"out there†. We have learned a lot of information about religion and as for me the best way to remember all information and understand its main essence is a personal connection with a real person who will explain major aspects of own religion and show its main advantages. I think that visitation of a real religious site will give me an opportunity to learn much more about chosen religion. Thereby, the main purposes of my paper are to interview person of chosen faith and than compare and contrast this faith with other religion that I was familiar with through my class. I chose Christianity and Islam as religions for my analysis. I think that in the first place it is necessary to remember the definition of concept â€Å"religion† and then it will be easier to talk about different kinds of religions and compare two of them.. According to Asad (1993), the concept ‘religion’ in general meaning â€Å"is a system of human thought which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity or deities, or ultimate truth†. The term â€Å"religion†, however, refers not only to the personal practices that directed to communal faith, but also it refers to different group rituals and communication stemming from shared religious convictions. The notion â€Å"religion† people sometimes use except the word â€Å"faith† and usually these words consider interchangeable variants. I think that there is one big differ ence between them and this difference is caused by the specific behaviors which are the part of religious system. In the beginning of this paragraph it is necessary to mention that all religions are an attempt of man to know the truth of God. Moreover, thinking about Christianity it is possible to suppose that Christianity is not a religion, but it is God’s answer to our questions. Christians believe that the true and full communion with God can be only through appearance of Christ before people. Of course, the ancient mystics and prophets, the Sufis, the Dervishes, the Indian Brahmins - all of them have their own mystical experience and they use it to be in some way closer to God, but all of this is done through human efforts, through human striving upwards. Only in one case, in the case of Christ, God is able to show own appearance before people. This is the single most direct revelation, and therefore salvation in Christ is a unique, and the most profound approaching to Go d. Despite the fact that historical interval between Christianity and Islam is about 600 years (I-VII century AD), Koran includes a lot of information about Christianity, moreover, it includes more than other religions facts about Christianity. It can be explained by the fact that both Christianity and Islam, and even Judaism have the same geographical region at various times - the Middle East; and all of them ( the above mentioned religions) were developed among the peoples of Semitic origin (Jews and Arabs). Comparing Christianity with Islam in the way of their appearance it is necessary to state that Christianity is the second world religions by the time of its occurrence. It originated as a sect of Judaism in I century BC in Palestine. This initial relationship

Monday, January 27, 2020

Tourism And Tourist Behavior In The Past Tourism Essay

Tourism And Tourist Behavior In The Past Tourism Essay Tourism industry is one of worlds fast-growing and gained economic benefits in many countries all around the world. In recent year, technology became important part in many industries particularly the internet in tourism industry. The development of the internet has increased dramatically and many countries in the world have made efforts to improve their internet service. On the demand side, the internet consumer base increases globally every day. Consequently, the use of internet and web technologies is important and is becoming a direct marketing tool for improving the success of a business in the online environment, which is very appropriate to adapt to tourism industry as call e-tourism (Khemthong Roperts, 2006) This paper is presents what are the effects of e-tourism on tourist behavior and how to manage it. It analyzes the role of tourist behavior before and after e-tourism came to Thailand. In addition, discussions on the benefits, disadvantages and trend of e-tourism in the next coming year. Tourism and tourist behavior in the past Tourists behavior involves a consideration of various important issues regarding current tourism trends. Tourism has many factors which can define as Leiper mention thirteen factors and antecedents such as nomadism, travel for trade and business, travel by scholars and scientists, resort tourism migratory and etc. In general, tourism can be defined in behavioral terms as persons who travel away from their normal residential region for a temporary period of at least one night. Their behavior involves a search for leisure experiences from interactions with features or characteristics of places they choose to visit (Leiper, 2004). Referring the Leipers statement, it can be confirmed that understanding tourist consumer behavior is not merely of academic interest but doing so would provide knowledge for effective tourism planning and marketing. Although some writers (e.g. Meethan, 2001; Jelincic, 1999) consider that understanding the behavior of tourism consumers is less important in the globalization era. The study of consumer behavior focuses on how individuals make decisions to spend their available resources (time, money, effort) on consumption-related items (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1997). Individuals and households decide how to spend their free or leisure time in many different ways, including domestic, outbound or inbound. Tourism before technology era, the Second World War, impeded the growth of international tourism even in 1939 fewer than 50 percent of British population spent more than one night away from home. In the inter war period, the cruise liner and air travel led to changing tastes and trend in holiday taking in. in post war, the demand for holiday had increase it seen from growth income, leisure time and opportunities for international travel. These travels cannot happen without tourist demand. The definitions of demand are concerned primarily with the schedule of the amount of any product or service which people e are willing and able to buy at each specific price during a specified period of time (Cooper, 1993). According to Uysal (1998), summarized the determinants of tourism demand as shown in Figure 1. It provides a general context for tourism demand, but does not adequately explain how and why people decide to select and participate in specific form of tourist. Key factor such as age and income are significant determinants of the demand for example, the amount of paid holiday and an individuals or familys income both have an important bearing on demand. Figure 1 Determinations of tourism demand (source: Uysal, 1998) The tourist, many factor to make a decision to serve the demand to travel but before the tourist design to have a trip they have to plan and find the information. Planning generally is concerned with predetermining a course of action to achieve a desired goal (Hayes-Roth Hayes-Roth, 1979) The planning and decision-making processes employed by tourists are complex, as a touring holiday involves assimilating information from many different sources and a continual assessment of options.(Becken Wilson, 2006). In primitive societies, for most people the world beyond home was a scary an unknown place.(Leiper, 2004) In the modern world, radio, TV, book and, to a lesser extent, attendance at schools have provided almost everyone with knowledge of places around the world that might be visited. Moreover, tour operator and travel agent can be a main assistant for tourist. Tour operators are businesses that combine two or more travel services (e.g. transport, accommodation, catering, entertainment, and/or sightseeing) and sell them through travel agencies or directly to final consumers as a single product (package tour). The components of a package tour might be pre-established, or can result from an a la carte procedure, where the visitor decides the combination of services s/he wishes to acquire. A tour operator is often described as an intermediary The principal role of intermediaries is to bring buyers and sellers together, either to create efficiently and thereby to expand market sizeà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‚ ¦ In all industries the task of intermediaries is to transform goods and services which consumers do not want, to a product that they do want. (Cooper et al. 1998:189) In Thailand, 1393 travel agency available (Association of Thai Travel Agents) and more than 100 books and magazines it shown that many tourist find the information by book or magazine and buy the product and service from travel agency. In the past, travel book (manual) is very popular because is the one of most we can find the information at book store. There is done in every province in Thailand and some country around the world where most Thai people like to visited as well. Moreover, map is another travel material that most tourists have on hand. Another factor that tourist would design to have a trip is experience sharing, this can be a main influence to travel. E-tourism In recent year, the trend of globalization and the advance of information and communication technology, particularly internet play an important role both for consumer and business in tourism industry. The growth rate in tourism have moved much faster than in the overall world economy, and this trend is not expected to slow down in the near future (The European e-Business Report, 2007) As the tourism industry expands globally, the need for expanding the communication networks to connect the customers and service providers has increased. ICTs have been utilized as a mean for communication widely over the past decade in the travel and tourism industry. It has been instrumental in helping the tourism sector to expand its market across the continent and has played a major role in helping the growth of the industry. Moreover, it is leading to a shift from product-oriented organizations to a flexible and responsive market place, where success depends on sensing and responding to rapidly cha nging customer needs, using for delivering the right product, at the right time, at the right price, to the right customer. E-tourism reflects the digitalization of all processes and value chains in the tourism, travel, hospitality and catering industries. The e-tourism concept includes all business functions (e.g. e-Commerce and e-Marketing, e-Finance and e-Accounting, e-HRM, e-Procurement, e-RD and e-Production) as well as e-Strategy, e-Planning and e-Management for all sectors of the tourism industry. As demonstrated in Figure 2, e-tourism bundles together three distinctive disciplines, namely Business IT/IS Tourism Figure 2 The e-tourism concept and e-tourism domains (source: Buhalis, 2003) E-tourism presenting by web, the web is a cost effective means for enterprises in the travel and tourism sector to directly market their offerings to a large customer population across the globe. It is also a very convenient means for the customers to gather information as well as data about the resources, history, social and economic structure of destinations. In this sense certain consumer groups are better equipped to engage in social interaction with locals and use their travel as a educational experience. Research of tourist demand proves that it has become more important for tourists how to spend an unforgettable holiday than where to spend it. Special events have to become a tourist product designed especially for tourists, which is already the case in successful tourist destinations in order to appear different on the market and create or strengthen their image and create a recognizable brand. In such cases the support of web design becomes crucial. (Bevanda, Grzinic Cervar, 2008) In general, tourism and hospitality websites tend to be easy to comprehend with a single level home page. There are different ways in which clients reach the webpage of a tourist facility, like direct access to a certain page, after which one reaches the web page through various advertisements or banners on portals. The picture is one of the most popular to present the product and service because the picture can explain by itself. These are summarized tourism website into two types. One stop service Website developed for use in information, advertising, communication and a system of reserve seats, accommodations and/or transportation. The tourist can find everything in website as one stop service. For example; www.agoda.co.th is online hotel reservation service and providing the lowest available hotel prices in every destination worldwide. www.kaoyai.info is another website that useful for tourist this website specific for who is interesting in Kaoyai and Nakhonratchasima. The website presented the general information, attraction, history, map, restaurant, and accommodation and also booking system for accommodation as well. These websites would help tourist to make a decision easier because the tourist can get the information from text and photo that the owner presented it and then the tourist may decide from these information and reserve it immediately. It is better than other websites that would not have the reservation system on the website because the tourist might change their decision. Advertising Businesses website development should be done with the purpose of providing information only do not have the channel for tourist to make a decision immediately. This website is appropriate with non-profit organization as the government or association such as Tourism Authority of Thailand (www.tourismthailand.org) or Thailand Incentive and Convention (www.tica.or.th). These website shown the general information to guide the tourist make a decision or for tourist knowledge. Moreover blogs and Bulletin boards (www.pantip.com) these are another website that most Thai people like to share their travel experience Advantages and Disadvantages Information technologies have a dramatic impact on the travel industry because they force this sector as a whole to rethink the way in which it organizes its business, its values or norm of behavior and the way in which it educates its workforces (Faulkner, Moscardo Laws, 2001). Tourism is another industry that has the competition intense especially in borderless communication era. Internet is tool condense of world community included businesses and consumers. Most people would use the internet as a communication channel with other people, find the information or do the business. This communication channel is very useful in tourism industry as many business and tourist have interaction in this channel. Marketing is another factor that effected many businesses uses this channel to do marketing with less cost but more efficiency and promote their business as well. This can be a one stop service which can find everything in one place and also comparing quality and price of product as w ell. This is an open source, everyone can access and higher possibility of new customers into the business 24 hours a day. Moreover, the consumers could see the product and service as many times also ask of help immediately by e-mail or call on working hour, it speedily and do not waste time. On the other hand, the internet also has the dark side, it easy to compared price and quality which more competition in the business. The consumer can access the internet at home or everywhere that has signal so they might lazier and forget how to participate like conversation on face to face. On the internet, the business may know the real feedback from their customers. The customer may give the real of not real feedback but how did they know the real feeling without see the face or lesson the voice. In addition, business online has less employee that affected to high unemployed. How tourist behaviors change? Tourist behavior has significantly changed in recent years. Increasing by tourism become much more sophisticated and discovering as they have experienced high levels of service and they enjoy advance of facilities. Tourism become demanding, requesting high quality products and value for both their money and time. Travel reservations are more likely to be made without using a travel agents expertise. The tendency is toward individualism due to the development of new computing techniques and especially through the possibilities of e-business. The technological age is the result of a series of sociocultural changes taking place in advanced societies that parallel postmodernism or post-Fordism (Ioannides Debbage, 1997; Lafferty Van Fossen, 2001; Smeral, 1998). Most people use the internet to search the tourism information and reservation by themselves it seem from internet user in Thailand was increased 12.89 million in 2007 to 16.1 million in 2008 (Nectec, 2009). In hotel industry, th e number of travel customers booked accommodations online in 2007, researched by Tourism International Association (TIA), was 75% which 40% from all leisure and 35% from business travel. We can see that customers, today, prefer to use the internet than book through agencies because of speed, choices and flexibility E-marketing is marketing on the internet, after the world smaller by internet this is the best way to do the marketing it less cost and published quickly. Tourism industry selected this way to promote tourism product to worldwide to increase tourist demand. In fact, it is found that many tourism reliant countries have developed various tourism products such as spas, natural-based resorts, and ecotourism destinations in order to supply the changing tourism demands. In this case, Thailand can be taken as an example. It is found that as a result of a current tourism trend in health-concerned tourism, Thailand has developed many spas and health-based tourism sites to supply the tourists demands (Circle of Asia, 2003). This shows an important of the e-tourism that people around the world can see what Thailand have as well as e-marketing. Moreover, it shows an important role of tourist consumer behavior in developing tourism products. It is possible to say here that understanding tourist c onsumer behavior is very beneficial for developing tourism products in order to supply the tourism demand. How to manage e-tourism? Innovative organization which respond to current and future challenges by designing new processes and adapting to new trends, will take advantage of the emerging opportunities and increase their market share. Corporations need to convert their operations from business functions to business processes, as well as redesign their distribution channels strategy. Even more significantly, this implies changes to long-term planning and strategy. Website is one of the main factors of e-tourism, most visitors to your website need to know and understand your message instantly from the very first page. If not, visitors can leave your site as quickly as they could press a button in their TV remote control. Your site must load quickly and immediately direct your visitors toward your message. Too much information on the opening page of your tourism site can make it appear cluttered and unorganized. As a general rule, keep your message simple and to the point. Moreover, domain name is also important, the name should be easy to remember and relate to your online presence, use your operations name whenever possible. Wed design is involved with customers decision; the graphics can be an important element on a tourism related website. A picture is worth a thousand words, particularly in this industry. Nevertheless, many of the people in your target market will be accessing your site from their computer; their speed connections maybe slow. Thus, the graphics that are too much consuming to download may cause visitors to leave your site before they get a chance to see it. Using your important keywords in your information and in your image tags will improve your ranking in search engines. E-Tourism Trends in Thailand in the next coming year In the future the tourism industrys challenge is to provide increased value for money either through innovation-driven cost reducing changes in production and marketing processes or through product changes providing more varied tourism experiences for quality-conscious and saturated multi-option customer (Weiermair, 2001). Therefore, Thai entrepreneurs have to adapt themselves to the e-tourism environment. First, they have to focus their business to serve niche markets such as trekking tours, eco-tourism, or cultural tourism instead of competing directly with large enterprises for general markets (e.g. air tickets, accommodations, and car rental). Second, they may have to join with large enterprises as subsidiaries to help them handle domestic business or niche products. Third, they must accommodate the special needs of innovative-driven markets such as e-commerce development, customer relationship management, mass customization, product differentiation, and community involvement. Travel agency products are usually sold as packages. Instead of offering only accommodation, they may include flight tickets, transfer fees and sightseeing. But if customers want to buy a package online, they may need to buy separate items and combine them which are not very convenient. These are some of the problems that the experts have noted. The effects of E-Tourism will be felt most seriously by the middlemen which, in this study, are the travel agencies. They need to adapt in order to stay in business. Human resources are also becoming critical for the success of tourism organizations of the future as they will need effective and innovative user of information and communication technology who can lead change in a dynamic and uncertain environment. Conclusion Tourists are defined as persons traveling away from their normal places to other unusual places (Leiper, 2004). Understanding consumer behavior is very useful for developing tourism products. It is also an integral source of information for promoting tourism products and highlights how to sell tourism products particularly in this era, in which the patterns of tourist traveling is highly influenced by global factors such as the mass media (Pembroke, 1996). In short, the study of consumers behavior is solely of not academic interest but it is also substantially beneficial when practicing managers have the need to know and respond to tourists needs and wants correctly.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Return: Midnight Chapter 38

Damon had stopped and was kneeling behind an enormous broken tree branch. Stefan pul ed both girls to him and caught them so that they al three landed just behind his brother. Elena found herself staring at a very large tree trunk. Stillas big as it was, it was nowhere near as large as she had been expecting. It was true; the four of them certainly couldn't have held hands around it. But in the back of her mind had been lurking images of moons and trees and trunks that were as tal as skyscrapers, in which a star bal could be hidden on any â€Å"floor,†in any â€Å"room.† This was simply a grand oak tree trunk sitting in a sort of fairy circle – perhaps twenty feet in diameter on which no dead leaf had strayed. It was a paler color than the loam they had been running on, and even sparkled in a few places. Overal , Elena was relieved. More, she could even see the star bal . She'd feared – among other things – that it might be up too high to climb, that it might be so entangled with roots or branches that today, certainly after hundreds or even thousands of years, it would be impossible to chop out. But there it was, the greatest star bal that had ever been, ful y the size of a beach bal , and it nestled freely in the first crutch of the tree. Her mind was racing ahead. They'd done it; they'd found the star bal . But how much time would it take to get it back to where Sage was? Automatical y, she glanced at her compass and saw to her surprise that the needle now pointed southwest – in other words, back to the Gatehouse. That was a thoughtful touch of Sage's. And perhaps they didn't have to go through the trials backward; they could simply use their Master Key to go back to Fel ‘s Church, and then†¦Well, Mrs. Flowers would know what to do with it. If it came to that, maybe they could just blackmail Her, whoever She was, to go away forever in exchange for the star bal . Although – could they live with the thought that she might do this again – and again – and again to other towns? Even as she planned, Elena watched the expressions of her comrades: the childlike wonder on Bonnie's heart-shaped face; the keen assessment in Stefan's eyes; Damon's dangerous smile. They were viewing their hard-won reward, at last. But she couldn't look for too long. Things had to be done. Even as they watched, the star bal brightened, showing such bril iant, incandescent colors that Elena was half-blinded. She shielded her eyes just as she heard Bonnie inhaling sharply. â€Å"What?†Stefan asked, a hand in front of his eyes, which, of course were much more sensitive to light than human eyes. â€Å"Someone's using it right now!†Bonnie replied. â€Å"When it went bright like that, it sent out Power! A long, long way out!† â€Å"Things are heating up in what's left of poor old Fel ‘s Church,†said Damon, who was staring intently upward at the branches above him. â€Å"Don't talk about it like that!†Bonnie exclaimed. â€Å"It's our home. And now we can final y defend it!†Elena could practical y see what Bonnie was thinking: families embracing; neighbors smiling at neighbors again; the entire town working to fix the destruction. This is how great tragedies sometimes happen. People with a single goal, yet who are not in sync. Assumptions. Presumptions. And, maybe, most important of al , the failure to sit down and talk. Stefan tried, even though Elena could see that he was Stillblind from the bril iance of the star bal . He said quietly, â€Å"Let's talk this over for a while and brainstorm ways to get it – â€Å" But Bonnie was laughing at him, though not unkindly. She said, â€Å"I can get up there as fast as a squirrel. Al I need is someone strong to catch it when I knock it down. I know I can't climb down with it; I'm not that sil y. Come on, you guys, let's go!† That's how it happened. Different personalities, different modes of thinking. And one laughing, light-headed girl, who didn't have a precognition when it was needed. Elena, who was envying Meredith the fighting stave, didn't even see the beginning. She was watching Stefan, who was blinking rapidly to get his eyesight back. And Bonnie was scrambling as lightly as she had boasted, up on top of the dead tree branch that sheltered them. She even gave them a little laughing salute just before she leaped into the barren, sparkling circle around the tree. Then microseconds stretched infinitely. Elena felt her eyes slowly getting wider, even though she knew they were flying open. She saw Stefan leisurely reach across her to try to twine his fingers around Bonnie's leg, even though she knew that what she was seeing was a lightning-fast grab for the petite girl's ankle. She even heard Damon's instantaneous telepathy: No, little fool! as if he were speaking the words in his accustomed lazy tones of superiority. Then, Stillin slow motion, Bonnie's knees bent and she launched into the air above the circle. But she never touched the ground. Somehow, a black streak, stunningly fast even in the slow-motion horror film that Elena was watching, landed where Bonnie would have landed. And then Bonnie was being thrown, being hurled too fast for Elena's eyes to track, outside of the barren circle and then there was a dul thud – too fast for Elena's mind to track as being Bonnie's landing. Quite clearly, she heard Stefan cry â€Å"Damon!†in a terrible voice. And then Elena saw the thin dark objects – like curving lances – that were already shooting downward. Another thing her eyes couldn't fol ow. When her vision adjusted, she saw that they were long, curved black branches, spaced evenly around the tree like thirty spider legs, thirty long spears that were meant to either imprison someone inside them like the bars of a cel , or to – pin them into the strange sand beneath her feet. â€Å"Pin†was a good word. Elena liked the sound of it. Even as she was staring at the sharp recurved barbs on the branches, meant to keep anything caught by them held permanently in the ground, she was thinking of Damon's annoyance if a shaft had pierced his leather jacket. He would curse at them, and Bonnie would try to pretend he hadn't – and†¦ She was close enough by now to see that it wasn't as simple as that. The branch, which was proper javelin size, had gone through Damon's shoulder, which must hurt like hel , in addition to having splattered a blood drop right at the corner of his mouth. But far more annoying than that was the fact that he had closed his eyes against her. That was how Elena thought of it. He was shutting them out deliberately – maybe because he was angry; maybe because of the pain in his shoulder. But it reminded her of the steel wal feeling she'd gotten the last time she'd tried to touch his mind – and, damn, couldn't he tell he was scaring them? â€Å"Open your eyes, Damon,†she said, flushing, because that was what he wanted her to say. He real y was the greatest manipulator of al . â€Å"Open your eyes, I said!†Now she was real y irritated. â€Å"Don't play possum, because you're not fooling anyone, and we've real y had enough!†She was about to shake him hard when something lifted her into the air, into Stefan's line of vision. Stefan was in pain, but surely not as badly as Damon, so she was looking back to curse Damon when Stefan said harshly, â€Å"Elena, he can't!† For just the tiniest fleeting instant the words sounded like nonsense to her. Not only garbled, but meaningless, like saying someone couldn't stop their appendix from doing – whatever it was an appendix did. That was al the respite that she got, and then she had to deal with what her eyes were showing her. Damon wasn't pinned by his shoulder. He'd been staked, just slightly to the left of center of his torso. Exactly where his heart was. Words drifted back to her. Words that someone had once said – although she couldn't remember who right now. â€Å"You can't kill a vampire so easily. We only die if you stake us through the heart†¦.† Die? Damon die? This was some kind of mistake†¦ â€Å"Open your eyes!†Ã¢â‚¬ Elena, he can't!† But she knew, without knowing how, that Damon wasn't dead. She wasn't surprised that Stefan didn't know it; it was a hum on a private frequency between her and Damon. â€Å"Come on, hurry, give me your axe,†she said, so desperately, and with such an air of knowledge that Stefan handed it over wordlessly, and obeyed when she told him to steady the curving spider-leg branch from above and below. Then with a few quick strokes of the axe she cut through the black branch that was thick enough in circumference that she couldn't have clasped her fingers around it. It was done in a spurt of pure adrenaline, but she knew it awed Stefan and al owed him to let her continue doing it. When she was finished, she had a loose spider-leg branch that drooped back to the tree, anchored to nothing – and something that looked more like a proper stake in Damon. It wasn't until she began pul ing upward on the stake that a horrified Stefan made her stop. â€Å"Elena! Elena, I wouldn't lie to you! This is just what these branches are for. For intruders who are vampires. Look, love – see.†He was showing her another of the spider legs that was anchored in the sand, and the barbs on it. Just like the backward-facing tines of a primitive stone arrowhead. â€Å"These branches are meant to be like this,†Stefan was saying. â€Å"And if you pul ed up on it hard enough, you'd just – just end up pul ing out chunks of – his heart.† Elena froze. She wasn't sure she real y could understand the words – she couldn't al ow herself to, or she might picture it. But it didn't matter. â€Å"I'l destroy it some other way,†she said shortly, looking at Stefan but not able to see the true green of his eyes because of the olive light. â€Å"You wait. Just wait and watch. I'l find a Wings power that wil dissolve this – this – damned abomination.†She could think of many other words to cal the stake, but she had to stay in some sort of control. â€Å"Elena.†Stefan whispered her name as if he could barely get it out. Even in the twilight she could see the tears on his cheeks. He continued, nonverbal y, Elena, look at his closed eyes. This Tree is a vicious killer, with wood like nothing I've ever seen, but I've heard about it. It's†¦it's spreading. Inside him. â€Å"Inside him?†Elena repeated stupidly. Along his arteries and veins – and his nerves – everything connected to his heart. He's – oh, God, Elena, just look at his eyes! Elena looked. Stefan had knelt and gently pul ed up the lids of Damon's eyes and Elena began screaming. Deep in the fathomless pupils that had held endless night skies ful of stars, there was a glimmer – not of starlight, but of green. It seemed to glow with its own hel ish luminescence. Stefan looked at her with agony and compassion. And now, with one gentle pass, Stefan was closing those eyes – forever, she knew he was thinking. Everything had become strange and dreamlike. Nothing made sense anymore. Stefan was careful y laying Damon's head down – he was letting Damon go. Even in her fuzzy world of nonsense Elena knew she could never do that. And then, a miracle happened. Elena heard a voice in her mind that wasn't hers. All this is rather unexpected. I acted, for once, without thinking. And this is my reward. The voice was a hum on their private frequency, Damon's and hers. Elena ripped herself away from Stefan, who was trying to restrain her, and fel , grasping Damon's shoulders with her hands. I knew it! I knew you couldn't be dead! It was only then that she realized that her face was dripping wet, and she used her soft leather sleeve to wipe it. Oh, Damon, you gave me such a scare! Don't you ever, ever do that again! I think I can give my word on that, Damon sent – in different tones than his usual ones – sober but at the same time whimsical. But you have to give me something in return. Yes, of course, Elena said. Just let me get some of my hair off my neck. It worked best like this when Stefan was lying down – when we were carrying him out on his pallet from the prison – Not that, Damon told her. For once, angel, I don't want your blood. I need you to give me your most solemn word that you will try to be brave. If it helps at all, I know that females are better than males at this sort of thing. They're less cowardly at facing – what you have to face now. Elena didn't like the tone of these words. The dizziness that was making her lips numb was traveling al over her body. There was nothing to be brave about. Damon could stand pain. She would find a Wings power that would obliterate al that wood that was poisoning him. It might hurt, but it would save his life. Don't talk to me like that! she snapped harshly, before she could remember to be gentle. Everything had begun to float, and she couldn't even remember why she had to be gentle, but there was a reason. Still, it was difficult, when she was using every ounce of her concentration and strength to search for a Wings power she had never heard of. Purification? Would that take away the wood or would it just leave Damon without his wicked smile? There was no harm in trying it, anyway, and she was getting desperate – because Damon's face was so pale. But even the stance for Wings of Purification eluded her. Suddenly, a huge shudder – a convulsion – went through Damon's entire body. Elena heard broken words behind her. â€Å"Love, love – you real y have to let him go. He's living in – in intolerable pain, just because you're keeping him here,†the voice said, and it was Stefan's. Stefan, who would never lie to her. For just an instant Elena wavered, but then a blazing rage came rushing up through her body. It gave her the strength to cry hoarsely, â€Å"I†¦ won't! I won't ever let him go! Damn you, Damon, you have to fight! Let me help you! My blood – it's special. It'l give you strength. You drink it!† She fumbled for her knife. Her blood was magical. Maybe if she gave enough, it would give Damon the strength to fight off the wooden fibers that were Stillspreading through his body. Elena slashed at her throat. Maybe subconsciously she avoided doing more than nicking her carotid artery, but if so it was entirely subconsciously. She simply reached down, found a metal knife, and with one sweep set the blood to gushing out. Bright red arterial blood, that even in the semi-darkness was the color of hope. â€Å"Here, Damon. Here! Drink this. As much as you want – al you need to heal yourself.†She got into the best position that she could, hearing but not hearing Stefan's horrified gasp behind her at the recklessness of her slashing, not heeding his grip on her. But – Damon didn't drink. Not even the heady blood of his Princess of Darkness – and how did the phrase go? It was like rocket fuel compared to the gasoline found in other girls'veins. Now it just ran out of the sides of his mouth. It flowed onto his pale face, soaking his black shirt and pooling in his leather jacket. No†¦ Damon, Elena sent, please. I'm – begging you. Please. I'm begging you for me, for Elena. Please drink. We can do this – together. Damon didn't move. Blood spil ed into the mouth she'd opened and it fil ed and spil ed out again. It was as if Damon were taunting her, saying, â€Å"You wanted me to give up human blood? Well, I have – forever.† Oh, dear God, please†¦ Elena was dizzier than ever now. Outside events passed dimly around her, like an ocean that only slightly bobbed a person out deep in the swell s. She was entirely focused on Damon. But one thing she did feel. Her bravery – Damon had been wrong about that. Huge sobs were rising from somewhere deep inside her. She had made Stefan let go of her and now she couldn't hold herself up any longer. She fel right on top of her blood and Damon's body. Her cheek fel against his cheek. And his cheek was cold. Even under the blood, it was cold. Elena never knew when the hysterics began. She simply found herself shrieking and sobbing, beating on Damon's shoulders, cursing him. She had never properly cursed him before, not directly to his face. As for the shrieking, that wasn't just a sound. She was once again screaming at him to find some way to fight. And final y, she began the promises. Promises that deep in her heart, she now knew were lies. She was going to find a way to fix him in a moment. She already felt a new Wings power coming to save him. Anything so as to not face the truth. â€Å"Damon? Please?†It was an interlude in the shrieking, when she was talking softly in her new husky, hoarse voice. â€Å"Damon, just do one thing for me. Just squeeze my hand. I know you can do that. Just squeeze one of my hands.† But there was no pressure on either of her hands. Only blood that was turning sticky. And then the miracle happened and she once again heard Damon's voice – very faintly – in her head. Elena? Don't†¦cry, darling. It's not†¦as bad as Stefan said. I don't feel much of anything, except on my face. I†¦feel your tears. No more weeping†¦please, angel. Because of the miracle, Elena steadied herself. He'd cal ed Stefan â€Å"Stefan†and not â€Å"little brother.†But she had other things to think about right now. He could Stillfeel things on his face! This was important information, valuable information. Elena immediately cupped his cheeks with her hands and kissed him on the lips. I just kissed you. I'm kissing you again. Can you feel that? Forever, Elena, Damon said. I'll†¦take that with me. It's part of me now†¦do you see? Elena didn't want to see. She kissed his lips – icy cold – again. And again. She wanted to give him something else. Something good to think about. Damon, do you remember when we first met? At school, after the lights went out, when I was measuring for the Haunted House decorations. I almost let you kiss me then – before I even knew your name – when you just came drifting out of the darkness. Damon surprised her by answering immediately. Yes†¦and you†¦you astonished me by being the first girl I couldn't Influence right away. We had†¦fun together – didn't we? Some good times? We went to a party†¦and we danced together. I'll take that with me too. Through her daze, Elena had one thought. Don't confuse him anymore. They'd gone to that â€Å"party†only to save Stefan's life. She told him, We had fun. You're a good dancer. Imagine us waltzing! Damon sent slowly, fuzzily, I'm sorry†¦I've been so horrible lately. Tell†¦her that. Bonnie. Tell her†¦ Elena steadied herself. I'll tell her. I'm kissing you again. Can you feel me kissing you? It was a rhetorical question, so she got a shock, when Damon only answered slowly and sleepily. Did I†¦take a vow to tell you the truth? Yes, Elena lied instantly. She needed the truth from him. Then†¦no, to be honest†¦I can't. I don't seem to have†¦a body now. It's comfortable and warm, and nothing hurts anymore. And – I almost feel as if I'm not alone. Don't laugh. You're not alone! Oh, Damon, don't you know that? I'll never, ever let you be alone. Elena choked, wondering how to make him believe her. Just for a few more seconds†¦now. Here, she sent in a telepathic whisper, I'll give you my precious secret. I'll never tell anyone else. Do you remember the motel we stayed in on our road trip, and how everyone – even you – wondered what happened that night? A†¦motel? A road trip? He was sounding very unsure now. Oh†¦yes. I remember. And†¦the next morning – wondering. Because Shinichi took your memories, Elena said, hoping that hateful name would revivify Damon. But it didn't. Like Shinichi, Damon was done with the world now. Elena leaned her cheek against his cold and bloody one. I held you, darling, just like this – well, almost like this. All night. That was all you wanted, to not feel alone. There was a long pause and Elena began to panic in the few parts of her that were not numb or already hysterical. But then the words came slowly to her. Thank you†¦Elena. Thank you†¦for telling me your precious secret. Yes, and I'll tell you something even more precious. No one is alone. Not really. No one is ever alone. You're with me†¦so warm†¦nothing to worry about anymore†¦ Nothing more, Elena promised him. And I'll always be with you. No one is alone; I promise it. Elena†¦things are beginning to feel strange now. Not pain. But I have to tell you†¦what I know you already know†¦. How I fell in love with you†¦you'll remember, won't you? You won't forget me? Forget you? How could I ever forget you? But Damon was speaking on and suddenly Elena knew that he couldn't hear her, not even by telepathy anymore. Will you remember? For me? Just that†¦I loved once – just once, really, in my whole life. Can you remember that I loved you? That makes my life†¦worth†¦something†¦ His voice faded. Elena was so dizzy now. She knew she was Stilllosing blood fast. Too fast. Her mind was not sharp. And she was suddenly shaken by a fresh storm of sobbing. At least she would never yel again – there was no one to yel at. Damon had gone away. He had run away without her. She wanted to fol ow. Nothing was real. Didn't he understand? She could not imagine a universe, no matter how many dimensions there were, without a Damon in it. There was no world for her, if there was no Damon. He couldn't do this to her. Neither knowing nor caring what she was doing, she plunged deep, deep into Damon's mind, wielding her telepathy like a sword, slashing at the wooden connections that she found everywhere. And, at last, she found herself plunging into the very deepest part of him†¦where a little boy, the metaphor for Damon's unconscious, had once been loaded with chains and set to guard the great stone that Damon kept his feelings locked in. Oh, God, he must be so frightened, she thought. Whatever the cost, he must not be al owed to go away frightened†¦. Now she saw him. The child-Damon. As always, she could see in the sweetly rounded face, the sharp-cheekboned young man that Damon would become, in the wide black eyes, the potential for his look of fathomless darkness. But although he was not smiling, the child's look was open and welcoming, in a way that Damon's older self had never been. And the chains†¦the chains were gone. The great stone was gone too. â€Å"I knew you'd come,†the boy whispered, and Elena took him into her arms. Easy, Elena told herself. Easy. He's not real. He's what's left of Damon's mind, the deepest part of his hindbrain. But Still, he's even younger than Margaret, and he's just as soft and warm. No matter what, please God, don't let him know what's real y happening to him. But there was knowledge in the wide, dark child eyes that turned up to her face. â€Å"I'm so glad to see you,†he confided. â€Å"I thought that I might never talk to you again. And – he – you know – he left some messages with me. I don't think he could say anything more, so he sent them to me.† Elena understood. If there was anywhere the wood had not reached, it was into this last part of the brain, the most primitive part. Damon Stillcould speak to her – through this infant. But before she could speak herself, she saw that there were tears in the child's eyes and then his body spasmed and he bit his lip very hard – to keep from crying out, she guessed. â€Å"Does it hurt?†she asked, trying to believe that it didn't. Desperate to believe it. â€Å"Not so much.†But he was lying, she realized. Still, he hadn't shed any tears. He had his pride, this child-Damon. â€Å"I have a special message for you,†he said. â€Å"He told me to tel you that he'l always be with you. And that you're never alone. That no one is real y alone.†

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Refutation: Is the American Dream Still a Possibility? Essay

The American Dream can be defined as- â€Å"a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful.† (Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary) As we watch our country’s struggle throughout financial crises, we, as citizens, are torn in the belief that the American Dream is still possible. Although the outlook for our country includes events ranging from an apocalypse to another Great Depression, I am optimistic my â€Å"American Dream† can still be achieved, although it might be difficult. Although the Merriam-Webster Dictionary pinned the nail straight on the head, I see my American Dream as one with one day having a husband (who I do not divorce), children, a job teaching 2nd grade preferably here in Cortland, and a big brick house complete with a two-car garage and a vast backyard. I am aware that this essay is not about how my life should look like in about 10 years, but it is about if this dream is possible to becoming a reality. By the looks of our economy, by a college student’s perspective, the sky rocketing prices of education and the cost of living in a middle-class household, my American Dreams may be put on hold. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, â€Å"Between 1999–2000 and 2009–10, prices for undergraduate tuition, room, and board at public institutions rose 37 percent, and prices at private institutions rose 25 percent, after adjustment for inflation.† (â€Å"Tuition Costs for Colleges and Universities†) Everyone tells students to go to college to get an education, because without one, one will go nowhere in life. If I had a dime for every time I heard that, I would be a millionaire, therefore not needing to be in college. Although having an education is very important to make any sort of significant amount of money in one’s life, sometimes it is impossible for many middleclass households to put multiple children through a 4-year institute. I find the amount of tuition many colleges are charging is ridiculous. Since the recession, it seems prices in all aspects of life  have been raised, especially education. I understand college is important to succeed in a particular career, but a student has options. There are many alternatives to spending unnecessary amounts of money on 4-year institutions. One of which is going to a community school. Community college is a sufficient alternative for saving significant amounts of money. Communtiy colleges are also very apprpriate for many professions that require less schooling like criminal justice, firefighting or even nursing, all of which are professions with substantial incomes. Why waste money on an expensive 4-year school to land the same job? Another solution to spending less money on education is to not go to college at all. I know this might sound bad first hearing it, but in many cases, parents and teachers are the driving pressure for students to go to college. We have been told ever since we were adolescents that we need to be something impressive when we grow up, but what if the student does not want to be something that requires going to a 4-year institution. If the parents and teachers truly let the students figure out exactly what they want to do with their future, then many families could possibly save a lot of money, making the American dream much easier to be achieved. Another issue that usually results from going to college has raised much concern for the graduating seniors: the job outlook. The recession has played a large role in the loss of jobs, as well as the difficulty to be hired. After the economic downfall, recent college graduates paid the price. â€Å"New college graduates had 40% fewer job prospects,† says Hibuh Yousuf of â€Å"CNN Money†. Due to the stats like this, many graduates believe that this is still true, and in some cases, it is, depending on the field of choice, but there is a solution to this problem. NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) states, â€Å"Students earning engineering degrees have seen some of the highest salary offers.†(Baden) They also go on to advocate that, â€Å"Students earning engineering degrees have seen some of the highest salary offers. As a group, the average salary offered to engineering majors rose 2.8 percent from last year’s average, to $60,291. The a verage salary offered to petroleum engineering graduates grew 7.1 percent to $82,740, making it the highest-paid major, according to the report.† (Baden) As one can tell, jobs in the science and math fields are much needed and have an impressive job outlook. If one choses a career that they enjoy and has a good job outlook,  then the American Dream is not that impossible after all. No one ever said it would be easy, but I believe the American Dream is still alive, even for us poor college students. I feel as though through the recent hardships our country has faced many people believe the American dream can no longer be achieved, but they only think in those terms because America has become lazy and we have forgotten how to work for what we want in life. Unfortunately, there is no solution for America to be more motivated, but the future is truly in our hands, and we have the choice to fight for it.