Sunday, September 6, 2015

Exploration Three by Elizabeth

     I probably could have written about a more recent literacy event that has impacted me because we experience many of them in our daily lives. However, the one that has stood out to me the most and the one that I would like to share is my Costa Rica trip in 2012. The summer before my senior year in high school, several students from Harding, including myself, and a few teachers went to Costa Rica for a sort of "foreign language" trip. This trip taught me a few things. First, it taught me the importance of communication. While Costa Rica is very touristy and has people who speak English, our teachers encouraged us to practice using our Spanish. At times, it was very frustrating trying to communicate with the local people in a language we weren't fluent in, and some things were very frustrating. Things as miniscule as ordering food in a restaurant or asking someone directions (and understanding their directions) become very difficult without good communication. The second thing that it taught me, and probably the biggest thing I took away from it, is that we should just appreciate what we have. So many people in the United States are not happy because of the economy or their lack of  money. They let it affect how they live and don't enjoy life like they should. Some people even steal or sell drugs to get the money they need or want. In Costa Rica, it's a whole different environment. Being a Third World Country, the standard of living there is so much lower. Not many people have money, but they still enjoy life. They learn to appreciate what they do have and not become upset about what they don't have, and that is what many people in the United States should learn to do.

     One of the three issues we learned about is issue of policy. Issues of policy are basically questions about what we should do and how things should be. For example, most controversial issues could be seen as issues of policy. These could include abortion, legalizing marijuana, and the debate on capital punishment. They mostly seem to deal with legal issues and public policy.

     One issue that is the most important to me is welfare. Because of the economy, so many people get assistance from the government, including some people who do not deserve it. I currently work in a pharmacy and I have seen several people buying things they should not be using government for. I have seen people buying pain medicine like Percocet or Norco, which are heavily, heavily abused, using food stamp cards. Some of those people also buy large amounts of junk food and candy and other things they don't really need. I work hard being a full-time student and also working full-time so I can buy groceries and pay my bills, while you have other people who do nothing but get government assistance and get to buy high quality food and not worry about money. I know many people do use Welfare the way it should be used and several people do actually need it, but some people simply abuse it. I have even heard of people exchanging their food stamps to buy drugs, which also infuriates me. I know not much of my paychecks go towards government assistance programs, but even knowing a little bit does bothers me when I know some people are abusing it like that. I think that they should drug test for welfare because I don't think it's right that people who work for what they have and people who work hard just to struggle still have to give up some of their money so some people can buy their drugs with the help they get from the government.
The common neighborhood in Costa Rica


  1. People vote for a government that pays them to. As the saying goes no good deed goes unharmed. Of course welfare has good intentions and does do good for the majority of recipients but the system is easy to take advantage of, and it gives the government financial power over these people and neither the welfare moocher or the power hungry politician are willing to change their ways.

  2. I think it is a great idea to drug test with welfare. That is a simple way to make sure people aren't abusing it in that way. In my opinion, when people are on welfare they should have some kind of proof to show that they are trying to make progress and not just sitting at home doing nothing everyday all day.

  3. I agree, there are many people who take advantage of welfare and are not using food stamps the way that they should be. The government should be searching for a new plan in regards to welfare to ensure that it is only being given to people who truly need it and not people who only desire to exchange food stamps for drugs.

  4. I am very passionate about the welfare issue. I agree that a lot of people that receive welfare do not appreciate it or use it for what they should. I'm fine with people with disabilities that cannot do anything to better their financial state receiving welfare. What I'm not fine with is people who sit on the couch eating Cheetos living off welfare, not even attempting to better themselves and find another job to receive income. There should be a better way to regulate and monitor welfare.

  5. I feel the same way about the welfare issue. My mom used it when she was a single, working mother of two and trying to put herself through school. Once she finally got a job after receiving her degree, we no longer use welfare. That is what it is meant to be used for. Unfortunately, people abuse that and I find it very disheartening. I feel that it needs to be monitored and regulated so much more.


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