Yesterday, I got back from work, and found the house in a mess. There were pizza boxes and slices on the kitchen floor; the house was untidy and going upstairs, found my son’s room in a mess. In fact, it stank, and on looking closely through the pile of clothes, found a week old pizza slice rotting under the bed. This has not been the first time that I have found the house in this state. Furthermore, these days, he hardly stays at home, and I cannot remember the last time we were in the same room at the same time.
These days, I hardly recognize my son. He spends most of his time locked up in his room. He is sulky, get angry for no reason, and his grades have been falling for the last half year. In addition, I have found punch holes in his bedroom wall, which he tried covering up with posters. This is a complete turnaround from the kid I used to know, who got straight A’s, and was very clean. In fact, over the weekends he used to help me clean the house, attic and garage. He was also respectful, calm, and quite reasonable; and seemed more mature than I ever was at his age.
When his behavior changed, I thought that his adolescence was finally overcoming his self composure, because we had not had any major changes at home or in school and, was not overly concerned. However, when his grades started falling, and I got weekly calls about truancy from his school, I started getting worried. In addition, when he started abdicating his roles and duties- he stopped cleaning his room; and he stopped volunteering at the local church for no reason- I sensed that something was amiss, and highly suspected drug use.
When I was growing up, I had an older cousin who abused drugs for a while, and I remember the way he acted whenever we visited. It was the same mannerisms that I now started seeing in my son. For instance, some nights he would be drowsy and his pupils would become pins. At other times, he had bloodshot eyes, and he would appear uncoordinated. However, what really narrowed my focus were the behavioral changes shown by my son. In fact, during weekends when he was not in school, his behavior normalized somewhat, but on weekdays, he would seem like a different person. Furthermore, whenever he goes out for parties to his friends’ houses, he always comes back drunk. My son may be considered mildly popular, and he has always been invited to parties, and he has never come back drunk.
Today, I am leaving work early. I am going to search my son’s room with a fine toothcomb. I am going to locate and flush down any drugs he has stashed away. Yesterday before going to bed, I peeped into my son’s room and saw him sleeping, his face as I remembered- innocent and angelic- but was rudely brought to reality when I got a whiff of pot in the room. I now know that my son is using drugs. I have no idea how deep he is into using, but I am going to start dealing with the issue immediately.
First, I am going to destroy any drugs I find stashed away in his room. So, I will search his room thoroughly, maybe I can get a police dog from somewhere to help? Second, I am going to cut off all his allowance money. I know he will not have any money because he lost his job at a laundry a few weeks ago for tardiness. Third, I am going to lock up all the drugs in the house, this is because my son may be tempted to get a high from any of the drugs in the house. Finally, I am going to talk to my son, and have a heart a heart. I will try and get him to talk to me about what is going on and how I can help him. I am also going to explain to him that drug use in my house is unacceptable and that he needs to respect everyone at home. These are rules which cannot be negotiated on. In addition, a friend of mine recommended that we visit a therapist who specializes in working with teens using drugs. My partner also reckons that we should talk to my son’s school about the situation, and let them know that there are potential drug sellers in the school.
I am scared. Six months ago, my son was perfectly fine, and my source of joy. Today, he is a stranger, yet he is 14. I have no idea if this is my fault, or if I contributed to his drug use. However, what I do know is that his fight is a family fight, and we will support him all the way.
This lot in life is not true for me. However, I have had close family who dealt with the same issue. The cousin I mention in my diary above is real, and he was addicted to drugs for close to four years. His addiction affected everyone including the extended family because he would often visit family, and steal, and generally cause chaos whenever he visited. He was able to break free from his addiction when he was admitted to a rehabilitation center, and his family moved to another city. Nonetheless, he has had two relapses lasting a few months each, but generally he has been able to stay sober, and now works as an addiction recovery coach.
Part 2: Doing the Research (15%)
Prepare a short (4-5 pages) research paper on the underlying issue you chose in the Lot in Life. This paper should be no longer than 5 pages and include at least four references in APA style. You should have at least FOUR outside sources, primarily from government and community agencies as well as scholarly journals and books. References to your course readings should be included when they are appropriate.
Your paper should have a cover sheet that lists your name, the BEHS section number, the scenario you have chosen, and finally, whether or not the Lot in Life is true or not true for you.
Paste your Part 1 assignment in at the end of this research paper.
Assignment Format and Referencing Style
Use UMUC’s Guide to Writing and Research for the format, especially for how to cite your references. You may also wish to consult guidelines for APA style. (Do not use footnotes at the bottom of the page; rather, following APA, list your references at the end of the paper.)
Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional use of another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to the author. Make sure you read chapter 5, Academic Integrity and Documentation, in the Guide to Writing and Research. The UMUC Undergraduate Catalog also contains a lengthy discussion on Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty. Plagiarism will result in an F and zero points for that particular assignment and a report to the Dean. Depending on the severity of the plagiarism, plagiarism could result in an F for the course.
As you use the Web for information, you should be aware of the fact that the Web has both good and bad information, as well as information that is biased. There are many online resources devoted to finding and evaluating information on the Web. A very detailed discussion of how to evaluate information can be found at Johns Hopkins University. Do not use Wikipedia as a source for your information.
Finally, sources that tend to have good information include the following: college or university department sites (be careful of student pages; some are very good, but some are not so good), professional organizations, governmental agencies, professional journals, and regularly published newspapers and magazines.
Use the following Check List when submitting the research paper. RESEARCH PAPERS MISSING THE CHECK LIST WILL LOSE TEN POINTS.
Research Paper CHECK LIST
(Submit with Lot in Life research paper)
Name __________________________________ BEHS 343 section _______
_____ I am submitting this assignment to the LEO assignment tab as an attached file. The file name is my last name with the number 2 after it.
______ My paper has a cover sheet that lists my name, the BEHS section number, the scenario I have chosen, and finally, whether or not the Lot in Life is true or not true for me
______ At the end of the Research paper I have pasted in my Setting the Scene paper (Part 1)
_____ I have attached the assignment in the assignment as ONE file in Word or rtf.
_____ I have completed the UMUC modules on How to Avoid Plagiarism and APA style.
_____ I have submitted this assignment to http://turnitin.com according to the directions posted in the online classroom.
Problems That Lower Your Grade:
plagiarism: the grade is 0 and you will be reported to the Dean
incorrect referencing of material
too many quotes (and not enough of your own words)
no bibliography/reference page — paper will not be accepted
large fonts and margins (insufficient words per page)
lateness (40 points deducted for lateness and assignments not accepted one week after the due date)
no check list
assignment not submitted according to directions
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