A Guide to Gunn Erin Mast
Living Skills
A Period Navarro


external image brain.jpgInside the Teenage Brain
Once upon a time, scientists thought that human brain development was over by the age of three. However, recent research has shown that there is a second period of rapid brain growth—the teenage years. During the teenage years, the brain remodels itself. Brain matter thickening means that the brain is especially receptive to new information and skills, such as learning a new language. Growth peaks at about age 11 for girls and age 12 for boys, but those ages aren't absolute; it varies for each individual. After the second period of rapid growth, the brain begins to prune, letting unused parts fade away while keeping the ones that are frequently used. That's why it's important to stimulate your brain with as many things as possible. It's easy to learn new habits during this time frame—both good ones and bad ones.
But the changes in the brain during the teenage years aren't only about being able to learn better; they also change the way a person thinks. The hormones in the brain cause people to be quick to overreact, lie more, and rebel. There are also sudden bursts of intelligence, but passions tend to fluctuate. For example, one month you may love soccer, then the next you might decide that you hate sports and want to take up art. Teenagers are also more likely to take risks that common sense would normally tell them not to.

external image images-miscellaneous-2006-eye-500x500.jpgLearning Styles
There are three types of learning style: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners like to see things to understand them. They like to be able to see the text when reading as opposed to just hearing it be read out loud. They also do better when they have charts, diagrams, and models. Auditory learners learn best by hearing things. They like discussions and prefer having text read out loud. Kinesthetic learners do best when they are actually doing something. When learning to catch fish they have to actually try it themselves, not just be told or shown how to do it. If you know which one you are, you can develop study habits that suit you better. For example, a visual learner might want to draw pictures instead of taking written notes, an auditory learner might record the lesson later to listen to it, and a kinesthetic learner might make up hand motions to describe various things.


Bonobo chimpanzee
Bonobo chimpanzee
Sexual Orientation

One of the most important things to recognize about gay relationships is that they're the same as heterosexual relationships. The only difference is whether it's between a man and a woman, two men, or two women. Many people are homophobic or anti gay marriage simply because they don't know much about gay relationships. Some common myths about gayness are that it's unnatural or that gay people chose to be gay, both of which are completely false. Homosexuality and bisexuality has been reported in 450 animal species. 100% of bonobo chimpanzees are bisexual, and a certain type of dolphin that doesn't form lifelong heterosexual relationships has been found to form lifelong homosexual ones. Common sense says that people choose to be gay. People don't just randomly decide to join a minority group, risking being shunned by their friends and family. If you're still not convinced, try flipping it around. When did you choose to be heterosexual?

external image graphicmuscles.jpgMedia Influences
The media is everywhere, and, whether we realize it or not, it does influence us. The media has defined what the “perfect” man and the “perfect” woman would be, sometimes even using computer enhancement to achieve that “perfection” and making it literally impossible for anyone to fit into the “perfect” category. Women are portrayed as things, not people. They must be passive, quiet, and unnaturally thin. This has caused one in five girls to get an eating disorder. Men have to be big, muscular, and tough in order to be considered manly. This has led to men committing many more violent crimes than women.


external image stress-cartoon.jpgStress
It is guaranteed that everyone will experience stress at least once in their life, although much more likely that they will feel stressed many times. The good news is that stress isn't always bad. It's just like anything else: good in the right amount and bad when there's either too much or too little. Being stressed makes you less focused, more tired, more likely to get sick, overreact, be impatient, and less happy. It also makes it harder to learn. In extreme amounts, stress can have even more serious effects, such as diabetes, digestive disorders, dwarfish for children, impotency, depression, and neuron death. However, not having enough stresses means you aren't doing anything. If you never challenge yourself you won't be able to grow or learn. It's key to find a balance. If you find yourself with no stress at all, you may want to start an after school activity or challenge yourself more academically. If you have too much stress, stop and think. You may be overreacting to little things. It's important to remember that your body doesn't know the difference between real and imaginary stresses. If you make a big deal out of something, you will react physically as though it was a big deal. There are also other ways of dealing with stress, including meditation, prioritizing your tasks, looking at things a different way, making sure you're getting enough sleep, and thinking positive.

external image Sleep.jpg
One of the most important things is getting enough sleep. After a good night's sleep you will be able to think and learn better, and you won't be tired. Not getting enough sleep slows your reflexes, makes you more likely to overreact, and more likely to become stressed. Not sleeping can also increase your risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. It's especially important to get a good night's sleep the night before a test. It's better to do a little bit of studying right before bed than to study all night, as you'll be more likely to remember things using the first method and you'll be able to think more clearly.

Substance Abuse

external image cigarette.jpgTobacco
20% of deaths in the United States are a result of smoking. 90% of the times people get lung cancer is from smoking. Smoking doesn't do anything good, it only hurts you. Then why do so many people still smoke? Everyone seems to think that all those bad things that happen to people won't happen to them, or that they can stop smoking whenever they want to. While that may be true for some people for awhile, nicotine is highly addictive and poisonous. If you smoke, you will become addicted sooner or later, which will cause you to smoke more, which increases your chance of getting sick from smoking. Tobacco (not only smoked) can cause strokes, throat cancer, stomach ulcers, infertility, and osteoperosis if used repeatedly.

external image beer.jpg
The most commonly abused drug among teenagers is alcohol. In small amounts and only occasionally, there's nothing wrong with drinking alcohol (except that it's illegal until you turn 21). It's when people can't control their drinking that it becomes a problem. Tolerance to alcohol builds up, so the more a person drinks or gets drunk, the less the alcohol will affect them the next time. That means that they will have to start drinking more, which makes them become even more tolerant, and the cycle continues. Some short-term effects of alcohol are blurred vision, muscle weakness, and lack of coordination. Long term effects include impotency/infertility, diabetes, liver failure, cancer, mental health problems, heart disease, and stroke.


Avoid sharing needles to minimize your risk of getting HIV.  If it is necessary to share, sterilize the needle using water and bleach.
Avoid sharing needles to minimize your risk of getting HIV. If it is necessary to share, sterilize the needle using water and bleach.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is caused by a virus called HIV, which stands for Human Immuno-deficiency Virus. HIV works by attacking healthy T cells, which are the ones that tell your body to make antibodies (which fight off disease) when you get sick. The actual virus isn't what directly kills people; it's usually small infections, such as the common cold, that become much more serious because the person doesn't have enough T cells. HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex, blood transfusions, sharing needles, and mother to child (through birth or breast feeding). It takes between zero and six months to get an accurate test result for HIV. HIV can stay in a person for ten to twelve years before it turns into AIDS, the final stage of the HIV disease. Today blood going to be used for transfusions is tested for HIV and you can't prevent being born with HIV, but there are some ways you can protect yourself from getting it through sex and needles.
1) Don't use them
1) Abstinence
2) Use a new needle each time
2) Condoms/Barriers
3) Sterilize the needle
3) Get tested and have only one sex partner

Methods of Birth Control
Squeeze tip of the condom so that there's room for the sperm.  Don't forget to use lube.
Squeeze tip of the condom so that there's room for the sperm. Don't forget to use lube.

There are several forms of birth control available to teenagers. One of the best ways is to use a condom OR a female condom. Never use both, as the friction may cause them to tear. Condoms don't require a prescription, are easy to get, protect against STDs, have no side effects, and work 86-98% if the time. However, they might break or tear, and some people are allergic to latex (they also make latex-free ones). Remember to check the expiration date, as it will be less effective if it has expired. Also make sure that you know how to put it on correctly. Another good form of birth control are oral contraceptives (the pill, ring, shots, and a patch). The work between 97% and 99% of the time. They are very effective against getting pregnant, but don't help for STDs and there may be some side effects. You also have to remember to take them. It's a good idea to use both oral contraceptives and a condom for maximum protection. The only forms of protection that are effective 100% of the time are abstinence (no sex) and sterilization (surgery to make you physically incapable of getting pregnant or making a woman get pregnant). Another form of birth control is the withdrawal method. The theory behind it is that he will pull out before ejaculating and thus not make the girl get pregnant. However, this method doesn't work very well because of precome and because it's hard to time.

Other Useful Information

Self Esteem
Self esteem is how likable and/or capable you consider yourself to be. Having a high self esteem isn't the same as being arrogant. Someone with high self esteem doesn't walk around thinking about how great they are a everything. It's more about accepting all parts of yourself, enabling yourself to make decisions that are true to who you are. Some results of high self esteem are confidence, being in a good mood often, not being afraid to ask for help, liking to be with people, being able to enjoy being alone, accepting criticism, and being able to admit mistakes. Examples of low self esteem are gossiping, bottling up emotions, shyness, trying to avoid challenges, looking for arguments, bragging, making excuses, and putting people down. It's possible to raexternal image ICONATOR_f1b0ab1a4b239c2a058b8cc7cf1e1b47.gifise (or lower) your self esteem on purpose through self-talk, or the little voice in your head that comments either consciously or subconsiously on everything you see, hear, and do. Self-talk affects your outlook on life. Positive self-talk will make you more successful, while negative self-talk will lower your self-image. The first step to changing your self-talk is to catch yourself thinking negatively. Then try to look at the issue in a more positive way and reprogram your self-talk. For example, instead of thinking "There's no way I will get a good grade on this test," think "I studied a lot yesterday; I know I'll do well." Your self talk should also be practical. If you didn't study for a hard test, don't go on about how wonderful you will certainly do on it. Instead, tell yourself that you'll do your best.
external image 41BWEAQC7SL._SL500_AA280_.jpg
Gender Stereotype
Girls are expected to be moody, like the color pink, like to talk, have good handwriting, like shopping, be very emotional, have a little waist and big boobs, a perfect butt, be very hormonal, like makeup, be needy and dependent, and be interested in love more than sex. Boys are supposed to be athletic, "manly," macho, like video games, be slobs, have bad handwriting, be jerkish, have broad shoulders, be tall, horny, sexist, independent, show little emotion, and only be interested in relationships for sex and not love. If we tried to find only people that fit into one of these two categories, we would be looking for a long time. It's important to remember that each person is an individual. You obviously aren't expecting every boy and girl to be exactly like the stereotypes. As most of the stereotyping is subconscious, it's important to think about it and consciously try to stop it.

Works Cited



About.com: Marriage. 2008. The New York Times Company. 11 November 2008 <http://marriage.about.com/cs/marriagelicenses/a/samesexcomp.htm>.

Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives. September 1996. Bidstrup.com. 30 October 2008 <http://www.bidstrup.com/marriage.htm>.

Religious Tolerance. 19 Jun. 2008. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. 9 November 2008 <http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marr.htm>.

The Natural “Crime Against Nature.” 2000. Bidstrup.com. 30 October 2008 <http://www.bidstrup.com/sodomy.htm>.








Santiago Canyon College

Global Healing Center

Leslie Bradshaw


Stuff Educated Latinos Like

Tales From an Unruly Hip

UW Health