It’s Not As Bad As You Thought , It’s Worse

               The forerunner in almost all things internationally has been stalling for the past decade. The United States Of America has unfortunately been on the decline in regards to the academic sector. Only a third of fourth-graders are deemed proficient in reading this is quite literally the future of the united states, and as time goes forward literacy is decreasing. Nationally around a third of eighth-graders are proficient in reading and math. The education secretary Betsy Devos was even quoted saying the overall national results are indicative of ” a student achievement crisis.”

                       The problem is we have conformed and obeyed an archaic educational system that we continuously pour money into which is not helping the main error. Another error I would say is the conformity and obedience that takes place currently on a student’s social sphere. Kids do not read as often that is just a general fact. They form these groups and then they bully the readers of the book. This turns the landscape of education to conform with us and alter your behavior so we are more comfortable; Obey our behavioral norms and bothering and harassment stops. Children, especially at the age groups that are falling behind international peers in education, are the ones that are the most sensitive to social influences and conformity and obedience are so obviously blatant. You ask a class right now who reads, I guarantee all will not raise their hand despite them reading even if they do by some statistical miracle. This carries over as I even said prior that as it develops it becomes adult conforming to the way things are and unknowingly but actively disenfranchising America’s education.

                         The problem with conformity I would say is that it is such a hard thing to tear from as it can genuinely be a good thing. Instruction that promotes more obedience from students has especially be beneficial throughout the educational experience. In Washington, they introduced free pre-k and this has demonstrated the academic layout to come to youth.   Also, I would say the consistent boasting that America is an individual’s country and individualistic has tainted our behavior. People now think they can perform and do as they please and that the system will help pick up where we lack.

                   This is no easy task of undoing centuries of conformity and obedience, but the lagging behind of our educational system, literacy and general academic proficiency is unacceptable for a twenty-first-century society. Schools are now only five to eight-point from the national averages. There is still more alteration needed to be done to our academic system to rid our students of their conformity to illiteracy and our policymakers in their rigidity to the tradition. Officials are actively disenfranchising students and pushing them to conform with the coasters and the chillers of our generation by pushing them to graduate regardless of truancy. If we keep on this path, we will all be so damn stupid that conformity and bad/good obedience won’t matter jack diddly. 


Citations Page

Associated Press. “American Students’ Performance Lags on Nation’s Report Card.” Daily Herald, Daily Herald, 30 Oct. 2019,

Matt Lauer was once a staple for mornings in households across the country. However, accusations of sexual misconduct have begun filing against the former news anchor, which have all but destroyed his reputation. Brooke Nevils, a television producer, accused Lauer of raping her while they were on assignment covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics. After the initial complaint was filed, NBC fired Lauer promptly. Lauer now claims that this accusation is incorrect and that he and Nevils shared a consensual sexual relationship. His apology went on to confirm that he had an affair with Nevils, and that he had previously admitted to having said affair. Nevils confirmed part of his statement by agreeing that they had shared a consensual sexual relationship at times, but during the Sochi Olympics he had taken advantage of her while she was intoxicated and unable to give her consent. 

The situation that transpired between Lauer and Nevils following the Sochi Olympics embodies the idea of a cultural norm. Nevils experienced sexual assault and was afraid to report it in fear of losing her job or having her career suffer from the consequences. Lauer assaulted Nevils and went on with his life as if there wasn’t a problem with his actions. This is a common issue with powerful males in today’s culture that has been increasingly more popular as time goes on.  However, in today’s society, we have been able to observe women reporting the assaults that have happened to them and having their offenders get properly reprimanded. This is a norm in our society because it is something that happens almost daily, and it has gotten to the point where upon reading the news it is no longer shocking to read stories of sexual assault accusations. The interaction has become normalized by our society.

Lauer and Nevils also embody an example of gender roles. Nevils was fearful at the thought of filing her accusation because of the way it would negatively impact her and her career. Lauer was almost able to continue being the star of the Today Show and have the ability to hurt countless other people because his victim was scared to accuse him. This coincides with the roles that men and women typically play in theses scenarios; women living in constant fear over their assault while their male perpetrators walk free as if nothing happened. There are exceptions to this stereotypical relationship of sorts, but nonetheless Lauer and Nevils showcase this by embodying the idea that the victim, which is most often the women, is expected to move past it and coexist with their assaulter. In this case, Lauer and Nevils were coworkers, and Nevils was expected to return to work on a daily basis to work alongside the man who caused her intense damage. 

Sexual assault is no longer an acceptable cultural norm and the reaction to younger generations showcases the fact that situations similar to the one regarding Matt Lauer and Brooke Nevils will no longer be considered tolerable. The idea that a woman can undergo a traumatic experience such as what Nevils had to experience and feel as if she has to live with it in secret out of fear for her career is simply unacceptable. As much as it is a shame that these situations happen almost on a regular basis, it is rather cathartic to know that they are being handled with more respect and more seriously than in the past. This is an interesting way to consider the idea that cultural norms shift over time, and with this shift associated roles change as well.


Abbruzzese, J. (2019, October 9). Matt Lauer denies sexual assault allegation. Retrieved from

Feed it, Don’t Eat it.


Feed it, Don’t Eat it

Maria DiZenzo


Health and fitness is becoming a new trend that has been gaining increasing popularity throughout the years. Recently, many companies have been launching vegan options in an effort to better accommodate the non-meat

Image result for vegan burger nestleand/or dairy eating population. Plant-based diets have since increased to 11% in the past year alone (Wiener-Bronner, 2019.) According to the CNN article, Jefferies, an American multinational investment bank, claimed that this initiative “could reach about $140 billion in sales over the next decade, capturing about 10% of the global meat industry, up from $14 billion currently” (Wiener-Bronner, 2019; Jefferies, 2019.) The first company to launch vegan choices aside from their normal foods is Nestle. Nestle is leaning into the plant-based trend by offering new vegan options for bacon and cheddar cheese. Along with this announcement, Nestle also decided that they would launch a plant-based patty that looks and tastes exactly like meat called the “Awesome Burger” (Wiener-Bronner, 2019.) Along with launching these three new products, Nestle is expanding its company to restaurants in order to keep up with and compete with other companies also engaging in the rapidly growing plant-based products initiative. Another reason behind the plant-based alternatives is because people want to eat fewer animal products to reduce greenhouse emissions. The meat industry believes that within the next decade, the alternative meat sector could reach about $140 billion in sales (Wiener-Bronner, 2019.) Many other companies along with Nestle including Kroger, Hormel Foods, Spam and AppleGate, Tyson, and Kellogg have come out with new vegan options as well  (Wiener-Bronner, 2019.)

After reading this, you may be questioning what is making people want to jump onto the band-wagon of this vegan plant-based diet? Well, the answer to that is conformity. Conformity is when someone changes the way they behave in an effort to be congruent with the actions or ideas of a group. Nowadays, it is very common that people are deciding to change their diets to plant-based because the health and fitness trend is becoming so popular. People are researching all the chemicals and products they are consuming when they eat meat and dairy and are deciding that it is not the lifestyle they want for themselves. This concept relates to the article because vegan diets are becoming more and more popular. Many people are learning about the health benefits of less meat, so they are conforming to what society is doing. The more people that start these diets, the more people start to conform to this vegan diet as well. Normative social influence, which branches off of conformity, is when a group does not want to be left out, and they want to be accepted by others. This concept relates to our article because the reason why the vegan trend is becoming increasingly popular is due to the general population engaging in normative social influence. The general population is noticing more and more people engaging in vegan habits, and in an effort to feel accepted by this group, they start to conform and change their diet to a vegan one. Therefore, this act of conforming to the vegan population then reduces the rejection they may have felt from the vegan population if they did not conform. Another concept that would relate to this article is evaluation apprehension. Evaluation apprehension refers to an individual’s concern for how others are evaluating them. This relates to our article because Nestle, and all of the other companies who embarked on this vegan initiative, did so because they were concerned about how they would be evaluated by the growing vegan/health/fitness population. From the company rolling in three new products, if this task is easy to do, then coming out with another new vegan product would not impair the companies ability to do so. If successfully releasing a new product becomes a difficult task to accomplish, then that would impair the company’s behavior negatively. Therefore, due to their concern for how they would be evaluated and how that evaluation would affect their company’s growth, they embarked on the vegan initiative.  



Wiener-Bronner, D. (2019, October 10). Nestlé launches vegan alternatives to bacon and cheese. 

Retrieved October 31, 2019, from


Teamwork makes the dreamwork… or does it?

Picture this: One minute you’re on your way home from work, dozing off on the train. The next minute, you’re startled by the shouting of police officers yelling commands. Guns are being pointed in every direction, and every person on the train is a potential target. The passengers’ faces flicker with worry, the way the subway stops flicker when signifying a destination. Within minutes, the tranquil train is overcome with anxiety and dread.   

This very incident unfolded on the Lexington 4 train, as passengers witnessed a young boy being held at gunpoint. When police officers rushed onto the train brandishing weapons, passengers feared for their lives and quickly got out of their seats to huddle together. All except one. In the middle of this chaos, a young boy remained seated with his shaky hands held up over his head.

His name is Adrian Napier, a 19-year-old boy who was caught jumping a turnstile. When a group of officers approached him, Napier fled onto an incoming train. (Shepherd 2019). Unbeknownst to him, NYPD backup was called, and eventually 10-15 officers swarmed the train with guns pointing towards Napier and the other passengers. They tackled Napier and pushed him onto the ground, despite him being completely unarmed and compliant.

So, what happened? How did this small crime transform into something so deadly so quickly?

Deindividuation occurs in groups that foster responsiveness to group norms, whether good or bad. Police officers primarily share one goal: to enforce the law. However, when people are in bigger group settings, they tend to disregard personal views — such as the way to treat suspects — in order to focus on the goal at hand. When a large group of people work together as a singular unit, they might lose themselves, or lose a piece of who they are. 

According to Meyers (2018), “It is harder to imagine a single rock fan screaming deliriously at a private rock concert, or a single police officer beating a defenseless offender or suspect.” The same can be applied to police brutality: police officers may respond to their teammates’ abuse of authority by mirroring the same actions. This can lead to scary — and sometimes, life threatening — situations. They may disregard common protocol when they are in high stress situations Deindividuation and groupthink typically go hand in hand.  Groupthink is the practice by which group members disregard thinking for themselves, and are more concerned with group agreement. This tends to arise in situations that encourage conformity and high cohesiveness.In law enforcement, there is little to no time to think about the decisions you make before you make them. This can lead officers to hide personal concerns in order to maintain harmony and order.

When we make the decision to join groups — whether its becoming a student at a university, joining a club, or becoming an employee — we lose a piece of our identity. You are not just “you” anymore; you are another employee, another police officer, and this can take away from who you really are. In law enforcement, this can create a diffusion of responsibility, making officers not feel as guilty if they mistreat a suspect or criminal. Similarly, the actions within a police unit can influence the police officers and make them lose their sense of selves. This can result in officers who simply go along with following orders, even if those orders are not exactly moral, in order to enforce the law. The police officers were so engrossed in taking down this “criminal” that they forgot who he truly was: a teenage boy who couldn’t pay the $2.75 fare. 

I am in no way trying to defend Napier; I definitely believe that his actions warrant some form of consequence. At the same time, however, I believe that the police officers blew the situation entirely out of proportion. By becoming engrossed in enforcing the law, the police officers put many people’s lives in danger and struck fear into the hearts of people that they were trying so desperately to protect.

Myers, D. G., Twenge, J.M. (2018). Exploring Social Psychology (Eighth Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Nehorai, E. (2019, October 25). In case you’re wondering how an arrest in NYC goes down. Retrieved from^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1188139071316615169&ref_url=

Shepherd, K. (2019, October 29). Police filmed tackling and pointing guns at teenager who dodged £2 train fare. Retrieved from

Azell Rodriguez

Messing up my DRIP

October 31, 2019

Being a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), there are many rules and regulations that have to be followed. The NBA is one of the most wealthiest and most known associations in the world. Even though it’s seen as entertainment, for the company and players it’s more as a business. These players sign certain contracts where they make millions of dollars and sign off against certain rules. The NBA and its commissioner Adam Silver has a lot of power and can make some scary decisions.  These athletes sometimes like to take matters into their own hands and sometimes do things that the NBA doesn’t like, such as only being able to dress up classy with a suit for courtside games, unable to wear fancy jewelry, and different amount of accessories. If the NBA doesn’t agree or if players don’t follow the rules they can either be fined by the league or suspended for sometime without pay.

Having that type of power can affect a lot of people, and for these players this is their job, most of them players haven’t finished college. Basketball is all they know, they wouldn’t know how to do anything else. Being suspended for sometime usually comes without pay which forces these players to follow the rules even if something doesn’t seem that important. In one case with the NBA, they fined some athletes for not hiding their tattoos. Don’t get me wrong, these players also like to have their voice be heard, so they will speak up when they feel like the NBA is cooperating like they should. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), is where players throughout the league are selected to represent the players in their own right. Before the start of the 2019 season, the NBA notified all players the banning of the ninja style headbands, and for many players that rubbed them the wrong way. The NBA’s main reason for banning these headbands were “teams having raised concerns regarding safety and consistency of size, length and how they are tied, which requires a thorough review before consideration of any rule change (Saddler).” Another interesting point, the headbands were made by nike, which is a manufacturer for the NBA,  it was a nike product so it didn’t make sense why the NBA forced players not to wear them, Mike Scott said “Who knows why the league has decided to no longer allow these headbands. It’s even more confusing given that Nike is the manufacturer of this particular piece of sartorial flair, and the idea that the NBA would take money out of the hands of its apparel partner is sort of odd (Delgado).” Players right away took to twitter, complaining about how the NBA doesn’t want their players dressing unprofessionally. 

This move by the NBA shows them using their power and knowing these players would follow by the rules anyways. This action by the NBA displays the concept of obedience, which is a  type of compliance involving acting in accord with a direct order or command, these players had no other choice than to follow the rules. As stated before the players really don’t have any other choice with this ban of headbands for the league, if they continue to wear it, it will eventually lead into fines and suspensions, and with the season just starting no player wants to miss games when they don’t have to. When Milgram brought up obedience, he spoke on different situations. With the NBA they used the concept of legitimacy of authority, these players know the league has all the power in their own future, they know what consequences come with wearing these headbands.

What’s interesting about the decision of banning headbands, the NBA only looks out for themselves as a business and not the benefits of the players. With this action it shows another display of the lowball technique, which is a tactic for getting people to agree to something. People who agree to an initial request will often still comply when the requester ups the ante. Throughout training camp and practice, there was a dress code that allowed these used of headbands, which players felt excited about bringing out new colors and designs on these headbands. When the ban came to light the NBA knew players like “Jimmy Butler, Jrue Holiday, and Mike Scott, had embraced the look but would also feel a certain way with the banning of them (Saddler).” The NBA knew these players in reality wouldn’t fight back because they’re not going to want to lose their job over headbands, but most players felt it was harmless to the game. This gave the NBA an upper hand on these players knowing they still want to be paid and basketball isn’t just a job but a lifestyle to these guys.

Delgado, Dane. “NBA Reportedly Bans Ninja-Style Headbands in 2019-20.” ProBasketballTalk, NBC Sports, 8 Sept. 2019,

Brice-Saddler, Michael. “Analysis | An Ode to the NBA’s ‘Ninja-Style’ Headbands: Gone but Not Forgotten.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 12 Sept. 2019,

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