December 5th, 2006


Here it is. Please don't point out the many mistakes I'm sure I have. I'm not going to put any more time or effort into stressing over this paper. I'm already guaranteed and A in this class. So no worries. So.. here it is! Parents, enjoy!

Megan M. Shaw
English 1010
Mr. Como
Assignment: Documented Argument Essay
Due Date: 11-30-2006

A Trusting Relationship Protects Privacy

            Privacy. For teenagers, it is the right to lock their doors and keep secrets. To parents, however, privacy represents something much more serious than a lock on a diary. It is the invisible wall in their child’s mind that keeps them wondering what is going on behind those dark tinted sunglasses. Teenagers today are open with their friends and peers, but keep their life a closely guarded secret from their parents. They loudly protest that they have a right to privacy, but do they really? Is privacy a god-given right to each child, or is it a privilege given by parents?      

            In its June 2002 issue, Parade magazine conducted a survey for the mock “Teen Bill of Rights,” asking teens what they would include. It was no surprise that the number one item on the list was, “The right of teenagers to be secure in their persons, rooms, diaries and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” (Giannetti and Sagarese 2).Teens feel as though it is their right as individuals to have privacy, and thereby be treated as adults. However, the simple fact remains that they are not adults. A child must earn privacy by demonstrating trustworthy and responsible behavior.

            In their book, “What Are You Doing in There?” authors Charlene Giannetti and Margaret Sagarese, experts in adolescent parenting issues, state that the question to ask isn’t “Do I trust my child?” but “Does my child trust me?” They claim that mutual trust is “the best insurance policy against risky behavior.”      

            If teenagers trust their parents, then they are more likely to share important parts of their lives with them. However, if they do not trust them, then they will most likely hide behind locked doors and password-protected email accounts. But what does it take for teens to trust their parents? How do both children and parents make the crossover from Barbies to boys?

            Parents who maintained a healthy relationship with their child while in elementary school often feel hurt and abandoned when their child reaches adolescent age and abruptly becomes distant and guarded instead of open and approachable. The key to maintaining that healthy relationship is communication. However, instead of waiting until the problems arise, parents should begin talking with their child early on and should explain the basic privacy rights that he or she has as an individual, but also how such privacy must be earned through proper behavior. If the child proves that he or she can be trusted, then privacy will naturally follow. But parents must also explain that it is their duty to protect their children. Should the child should begin to display negative behavior that could lead to a dangerous situation, then the privilege of privacy will be removed. If clear rules are established and boundaries placed, then there is a better likelihood that the child will abide by those rules.
            When the lines of communication are opened in early adolescence, then the child is more likely to keep them open during later years. Children who feel as though they can trust their parents will voluntarily go to them for advice and guidance, or just to tell them how their day went. To some parents, such a relationship seems unlikely or even impossible. However, most teenagers say that they would be more likely to share information if their parents trusted them more and showed more interest in their lives.

            Many parents make the mistake of waiting until their child reaches the driving age before taking an active role in his or her life. But studies shows that many of the problems facing today’s teenagers begin when they are in their early teens, and sometimes even before then. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey in June of 2006 entitled “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance.” The nationwide survey, which was conducted with students from grades 9-12, found that 16.0% of students had smoked an entire cigarette before the age of 13, with 25.6% of students having drank a substantial amount of alcohol. Likewise, 8.7% had smoked marijuana while 6.2% of ninth grade students admitted to carrying a gun with them to school. Astonishingly, 17.9% confessed that they had seriously considered suicide with 10.4% actually having attempted to commit suicide. Of all the students surveyed, 34.3% of ninth graders said that they had already experienced sexual intercourse, 6.2% before the age of 13. Children aren’t staying children for very long. It is imperative that parents not wait until their child is a freshman in high school before developing a relationship.

            As children grow into teenagers, they expand their individuality, discovering who they are and who they can become as a person. Privacy allows them the ability to make this discovery for themselves. Because they are often insecure about themselves, teenagers are hesitant to allow anyone, especially their parents, into the world that they have created. They feel the fierce urge to defend their privacy from any would-be invaders, often feeling threatened by questions and probing. In order to take their teenager off the defensive, parents must cultivate a non-threatening image. An over-eager parent can often question his or her teenager too much, sometimes pushing the teen even farther away.

            It is imperative that teenagers have at least some form of comradeship with their parents, but parents must be careful that the teenager does not forget that they are parents, and thus, in control. All too often, parents are so desperate to gain their child’s trust that their child loses all respect for them as parents. A parent must learn to find the balance between parenthood and friendship.

            However, when their child does not want to friends, much less tell share his or her deepest secrets with them, parents are at a lost of how to be involved in their child’s life. Unfortunately, many parents stoop to finding out things for themselves.

            Nearly every household has experienced a shouting match over a ransacked sock drawer or an opened diary. Though parents will discover the information they were looking for, it is often not worth the price paid:  the damage inflicted on the parent-child relationship, which can sometimes take up to years to recover from.

            Still, many parents insist upon entering their child’s room under the pretense of putting away laundry or looking for dirty dishes. Most teens admit that they know what their parents are really there for, and that the pretense only adds to their resentment.

            Same as teenagers can view their parents as threats to their privacy, some parents view their child’s attempt at privacy as a threat to family moral. If their child tried to hide the smallest thing from them, the parents’ suspicions are immediately aroused, often times thinking that their child is involved in some sort of sinister activity. The majority of time, unless accompanied by outright suspicious behavior or signs, teens are simply “asserting their developmental independence,” according to Elizabeth Pantley, author of “Perfect Parenting.”

            One of the most-asked questions of parenting experts is, “When is it okay to invade my child’s privacy?” There is that point at which parents do need to step in and find out if their child is keeping something potentially dangerous from them. But where is the point? When do parents cross the line? Chris Crutcher, a licensed child and family therapist, says that before any “snooping” takes place, parents should sit down with their child and voice their concerns. But Crutcher stresses that the conversation should be two-way, if at all possible, and that parents rarely make any progress when lecturing. Only in extreme cases, when their child’s safety is in jeopardy, should parents cross the threshold and search their child’s bedroom. “If we want kids to respect privacy,” Crutcher states, “then we have to respect theirs.”   

            Headlines today are filled with stories of ordinary teenagers who participating in startling, sometimes horrifying, activities. One such headlines is:

            Eighth-grader Charles Bishop crashes a four-seat Cessna airplane into a forty-two story Tampa building leaving behind a handwritten note explaining that his suicide mission intended to show his support for Osama bin Laden. The fifteen-year-old’s fate dumbfounded classmates, neighbors, teachers, and his mother. Patriotic, polite, an honor student with all A’s on his December report card, a flag bearer belting out The Star Spangled Banner, a kid who washed airplanes to finance flying lesson--- none of these descriptions belied a kamikaze-esque lunatic. January 7, 2002 (Giannetti and Sagarese 6).

            Parents look at situations like that and use them as excuses to search their child’s room, saying that “the end justifies the means.” However, the fact remains that most teenagers aren’t suicidal. Most aren’t selling drugs. Most aren’t involved with thirty-year-old predators. Most teenagers are simply worried about the upcoming history test and who’s going to take them to the Spring dance. If parents work to cultivate a trusting relationship with their child, then both the chil and parents will be able to withstand whatever difficulties the teen years may throw at them. Parents will be able to be involved in their child’s life and their child will be able to lock the bedroom door.

  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished


It feels SO good to have everything done. The only thing I have left are my finals. Which.. this reminds me.. I don't have English class on Thursday!!!! Sniff... so tomorrow will be my last class. Sigh. Sad. And Thursday will be my last class for History and Communications. Sigh. That's very sad. I'll miss my teachers. I have enjoyed this semester SO much. I made sure to get Christmas cards for each of my teachers. :)

ok. here it is. History. warning, this is seven pages long.

Megan M. Shaw

History 1020

Mr. Litaker

Due Date: 12-5-2006

The Battle of Iwo Jima: D-Day

            Fought from February 19-March 26, 1945, the battle of Iwo Jima, known as Operation Detachment, remains one of the bloodiest battles in the history of American warfare.

            Long before the actual battle took place, Japan knew that the island of Iwo Jima would have to be heavily reinforced if it was going to withstand an American invasion. In May of 1944, Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi was called before Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo and was informed that he would take command of the troops to defend Iwo Jima. [History of Marine Corps] It would be his last command.

            Within weeks of Kuribayashi arriving, only four of the 80 fighter planes stationed on the island remained, the rest having been lost in conflicts with American fighter planes. But in early July, an American Navy force fixed itself just offshore and proceeded to bombard the island from point-blank range for over two days, until many of the buildings and defenses, including the four remaining aircrafts, were destroyed.

            Lieutenant General Hideyoshi Obata was responsible for the construction of defenses on Iwo Jima. He believed in the ideology that an invasion had to be met “at the water’s edge.” [Wikipedia] But Kuribayashi, after studying the way American naval and aerial attacks had virtually decimated any above-ground installments, decided on a different strategy. Instead of locating the defenses near the beach, pillboxes would be constructed on the foots and slopes of Mount Suribachi and on the high points of the island. Connecting all of the pillboxes would be a vast underground network of caves and tunnels. Mining engineers were brought in from Japan to design the system so it would best withstand explosions from the sea or the air. [Wikipedia]

            Over the remaining months of 1944, Japanese reinforcements were steadily shipped to the island, each wave increasing the speed of construction of the fortifications. In the end, over 800 pillboxes, many with walls that were over four feet thick, were constructed with more than three miles of tunnels connecting them, all on an island that was only eight square miles in size. By December, over 17,500 Japanese troops were stationed on the island, furtively preparing for the invasion they knew would come.

            While the defenses were being built, Kuribayashi was in the final stages of developing his plan for the defense of Iwo Jima:

  1. In order to prevent disclosing their positions to the Americans, Japanese artillery was to remain silent during the expected prelanding bombardment. No fire would be directed against the American naval vessels.
  2. Upon landing on Iwo Jima, the Americans were not to encounter any opposition on the beaches.
  3. Once the Americans had advanced about 500 yards inland, they were to be taken under the concentrated fire of automatic weapons stationed in the vicinity of Motoyama airfield to the north, as well as automatic weapons and artillery emplaced both on the high ground to the north of the landing beaches and Mount Suribachi to the south.
  4. After inflicting maximum possible casualties and damage on the landing force, the artillery was to displace northward from the high ground near the Chidori airfield.

[History of Marine Corps]

            The plan, which was a drastic change from the typical Japanese defense strategies of suicide counter attacks, was exact in its intentions to exhaust any invaders with a delayed and then prolonged assault. Such an extensive confrontation would require a massive amount of supplies and ammunition. With national resources already depleted due to fighting elsewhere, Kuribayashi gathered a food reserve that would last two and a half months, fully aware that once the battle did begin, outside supply sources would be cut off completely.

            Setting February 11, 1945 as the completion date for the defense preparations, Kuribayashi made sure that the construction efforts did not obstruct the soldiers’ training. In December of 1944, he gave the order that personnel spend “70 percent of their time in training and 30 percent in construction work.” Progress continued as military forces continued to arrive. By February, 22,000 Japanese Army and Navy forces were stationed on the island and the defenses were virtually complete. Inside each pillbox was posted a copy of the “Courageous Battle Vow” which ended with these words, proving the Japanese dedication to victory at any cost:

            “Each man will make it his duty to kill ten of his enemy before dying. Until we are destroyed to the last man, we shall harass the enemy by guerilla tactics.” [History of Marine Corps]

            On December 8, 1944, American bombers began a continuous aerial attack on the Volcano-Benin Islands, Iwo Jima in particular. In the last three weeks before the invasion, bombers flew 30 or more sorties (missions) a day over the island, extending the attack to 10-weeks in length and making it longest bombardment up to that point in the war. [Iwo Jima: The Full Story] Between February 1st and 16th, the “Seventh Air Force bombers flew 283 daylight sorties, dropping 602 tons of bombs and 1,111 drums of napalm; in the same period, B-24s flew 233 night snooper missions, dropping 504 tons of bombs.” [History of Marine Corps]

            However, due to the Japanese preparation against such an attack, the constant bombing proved far less effective as was initially expected. The pillboxes remained practically untouched, but the attack did succeed in destroying the aircraft on the ground as well as damaging the two major airfields, momentarily diverting Japanese attention to repairs. Nevertheless, Kuribayashi immediately ordered troops to the area and the airfields were repaired and once again operational within 24 hours.

            In light of the limited success of the aerial bombings, America knew that the success of the battle could very well rest on the extent of the subsequent naval attack. General Holland Smith, who was actively involved in the United State’s assault on Iwo Jima, warned that “unless the strong Japanese defenses were destroyed or at least neutralized, casualties far beyond any heretofore suffered in the Central Pacific had to be expected; in fact, the success of the entire operation might be jeopardized.” [History of Marine Corps]

            The commanders received orders for only three days of naval bombing, which was far below their initial request of nine days. The time limit placed even more stress on the ships that were assigned to the task of neutralizing what was one of the most powerfully and seemingly invincible enemy defenses of the war.

            The commanders themselves were chosen specifically for past contributions to the development of amphibious warfare. Admiral Raymond Spruance, Vice-Admiral Richmond Turner, and General Holland Smith would assist in shaping the battle for Iwo Jima into what would become “the most classical amphibious assault of recorded history.” [Wikipedia] 

            On February 16, 1945, the naval assault began, and it did not cease until dawn of February 19th, when more than 450 ships lay in wait just offshore of Iwo Jima. It was the largest armada that had ever been assembled in the “Pacific Theatre.” [History of Marine Corps] Everyone waited for D-Day to begin.

            At 0640, the heavy support ships initiated their final attempt at destroying the defense installments that lay in wait along the edge of beach. Veterans claim that it seemed as though they were trying to blow the island itself out of the sea as chunks of ground, ash, and fire filled the air. By 0700, the troops were lined up, grimly awaiting the signal that would send them ashore. At 0725, 482 amtracs filled the water, prepared to carry the eight battalions of soldiers ashore.

Only a few minutes after 0800, naval fire ceased and 120 bombers and fighters flew over the island in two, consecutive waves. The planes flew close to the ground and unleashed the firepower directly on the enemy, following the orders to “scrap their bellies.” At 0825, naval fire resumed, directing all its attention to the landing sites that would be filled with 30,000 U.S. Marines in less than half and hour. [Wikipedia]

            At 0830, the first marines hit the water and crossed the 4,000 yards from the line of departure to the beach. The waves of Marines would cross at 250-300 yard intervals, departing just minutes after the previous assault wave. Nine-thousand men were planned to be ashore within 45 minutes.

            The first assault wave reached the beach between 0859 and 0903. The second wave came ashore barely two minutes after that. Within minutes, the Marines, each carrying more than 100 pounds of weapons and supplies, encountered one of the first of what would be many obstacles on Iwo Jima. Expecting soft sand that would support their weight, they were shocked to find themselves sinking in the soft volcanic ash that covered the island, which all but halted their movement inland.

            Within two minutes of landing, the first wave of Marines reported experiencing enemy mortar fire. Within 15 minutes, the fire had increased on the northern beaches. By 0930, the troops had moved 150 yards inland and reported heavy mortar fire. By the time they had gone 300 yards, they were covered with artillery fire from Mount Suribachi. The shifting ash offered little protection and foxholes filled as soon as they were dug. [History of Marine Corps]

            Despite the obstacles and heavy enemy fire, by 1000, all eight battalions were ashore, pushing their way further inland.  The battle was fought, not in miles, but in yards. Gunfire was all but useless against the pillboxes, but the Marines improvised by using grenades and flamethrowers, killing the Japanese fortified inside what would become their concrete tomb. They slowly crept up the mountain with their fellow comrades being shot down all around them. It took days to move just a few yards. Finally, on February 23, the summit of Suribachi was reached.

            It was there that the immortalized photo of six marines raising an American flag was taken by the Associated Press photographer, Joe Rosenthal. But what the picture does not show is the fact that three of the men raising the flag would not leave the island alive. The fighting continued through the remainder of February and well into the month of March, with heavy casualties on both sides. The Japanese lost 650 in a single attack when they attempted to launch a counter attack against the 23rd and 24th Marine regiments. [Iwo Jima: The Full Story]

            The island was declared secure on March 26, 1945, after 36 bloody days of constant fighting. A total of 6,821 U.S. soldiers were killed. [Iwo Jima: The Full Story] Of the 70,000 marines who participated in the battle, 26,000, or one in three, were either killed or wounded, making it the only Marine battle in War World II where the American causalities outnumbered the enemy’s. {O’Brien]  Twenty-two thousand Japanese soldiers were stationed on Iwo Jima, and only 1,083 survived. [Wikipedia] 

            Years later, General Holland Smith said:      

            I felt certain that we would lose 15,000 men at Iwo Jima. This number was the absolute minimum calculated in our plans made at Pearl Harbor, though some of my officers wistfully predicted a lower figure. So far as the Marines were concerned, we had made every preparation humanly possible to capture the island as expeditiously and as   economically as possible. We were to land 60,000 assault troops, and the estimate that one in every four would be dead or wounded never left my mind. I was not afraid of the outcome of the battle. I knew we would win. We always had. But contemplation of the cost in lives caused me many sleepless nights. [History of Marine Corps]

            Many brave men lost their lives on that ash-covered island. More U.S. Marines earned the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima than in any other battle in the war, or in U.S. History. Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, said quite eloquently what was true of everyone who set foot on that island, “Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon value was a common virtue.”

  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished


It's 7:30 and I have been up for thirty minutes. Sigh. I could sleep the rest of the day, no joke. It's 20 degrees outside. Brrrrr. I'm digging through my closet, trying to find something other than a hoodie to wear to school. Normally, that would be okay, but I have to give a speech today and it's my last class in English and I'm kind of wanting to make a good last impression. I have Christmas cards for all my teachers, so that'll help. :)

All my papers are done and my speech is done too. I'm ready to go. I can't think of anything that I am forgetting. I just need to make sure to copy those other papers before I leave. Though actually, I could wait and do that at college, cause they have a copier there. I always get there 20 minutes early anyway. Yeah, I'll do that.

I got to talk to my wonderful sister Lae last night. :) Since both of us are going absolutely insane with work, church, and school, we only get to talk once a week IF that. I think this time we hadn't talked [other than online] for nearly two weeks. Sad. Sad.

I need to gets card off in the mail so they can get on their way to Alaska. Micah's birthday is in exactly one week! [he's getting so old-ha!] Um.. honey.. your card's going to be a tad bit late. :P Forgive me? Hey! It's not my fault you practically live in another universe! Alaska is in another country, right? :)

AHHHH! I'm outta here in search of warm, cute clothes. Does such a thing exist?

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    cold cold

Last Day

Well, today was the LAST day of my English and History classes. On Thursday, I just have one more Communications class and then bye-bye fall semester. Sigh. Is it just me, or has November flown by? Has this entire 1/2 of the year? Last thing I knew, it was August and I was getting ready for the assembly, then, I blinked.. and it's Christmas. Time has gone by so fast.

So what have I learned this semester? Actually, I've learned a lot. I enjoyed all my classes and am looking forward to the spring semester. I still shake my head and laugh that I was ever intimidated by the idea of college. I can do this. Easy. Now.. once I transfer to MTSU, I'll probably have a panic attack all over again. Just watch. :P But thankfully that won't be until NEXT fall, if then.

Hold on. I got a voicemail. Someone called my phone, but I didn't recognize the number, so I didn't  answer. HA! Just as I thought!  It was one of those phony bridal places saying in a really chipper voice that I've won something. :P That's code for they want me to buy their overpriced items and they'll stick me in a third-rate hotel on some forsaken beach. :P Yeah.. sorry honey, but I'm smarter than that. i think that's the 3rd call in the last week. When will they ever learn??

alright. off to work. can i go to sleep yet?

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    calm calm

I'm not used to this...

It's strange for me to walk in from work and have the house be completely quiet. I'm used to everyone being in the living room when I come home. Then again, I usually come home an hour earlier.

You know, I should be tired considering how much sleep I got last night and how busy a day I've had, but strangely enough, I'm not. I think I spent so much effort into waking myself up that I actually succeeded. Besides, I'm hungry. I'm going to go sit on the couch and watch my taped GiGi episode and eat whatever dinner mom's left for me in the fridge, all the while wishing that Micah would call. HINT HINT!


  • Current Mood
    bouncy bouncy