Monday, August 31, 2009
Here, as a special treat, I will tell you what my first semester schedule is:
Period 1 - AP US History
Period 2 - MYP English 10
Period 3 - MYP Health
Period 4 - MYP Chemistry
Period 5 - MYP French 4A
Period 6 - MYP Algebra II w/Analysis
Period 7 - MYP Introduction to Engineering
Mehr. Not very exciting, but it could be worse, I suppose. I'm only taking Intr. to Eng. because I need it for a Tech credit (actually, I signed up for Foundations of Technology, but it was full; it's okay though because everyone who took it last year said it sucked).
My school is way too full this year, though. The building was renovated 2 years ago, so it's still a pretty nice school, but it's only designed to hold 2000 people and right now it's got roughly 2100; last year, I think there were around 1800 or 1900 people. 200 people makes a bigger difference than you'd think.
I don't think there are actually THAT many more freshman than there were just-graduated seniors; it seems that a lot of private school kids transferred to public schools this year, and at least 100 of them decided to come over here. Whoo!
A general piece of advice to anyone of any age: Don't stand in the middle of the hallway. You ARE in the way and it IS annoying (everyone bitches at the freshmen for doing this; however, I've noticed that a fair deal of upperclassman who are generally fed up with school by this point do a similar thing, they just seem more confident about it and thus escape direct criticism).
Anyways, I realize this isn't very interesting to you guys, so sorry. 3
Do you remember dreams vividly?
No, I hardly ever remember my dreams, although I wish I did. :/
What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
Do you think history is interesting?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Haha, but really I have nothing as interesting or important or thought provoking as Vita's post, so mostly this is going to consist of answering the questions... oh, and the first interesting random prompt I can find, because I think my posts need more of not answering questions just to take up space. Well, this is taking up space quite nicely, so I suppose I could just keep you hanging here, waiting for the answers to your questions... hmmmm, I rather like this, what's it called? Oh yeah...
I'm good at it, aren't I? :)
"What's your favourite type of chips?"
A: MMMmmm... regular or cheddar and sour cream. Oh, and for a while they made pickle flavored Lays. YUM. Weird, but YUMMY!
"Do you have a Twitter?"
A: Yup, and although at first I only joined to follow people (i.e the fantastic MJ, John Green, all those other people), it's kind of addictive. Sure, sometimes I won't "tweet" for a week or so, but other days I would just wake up and tweet all day, doing quizzes and other time-wasting via Internet. ** It's "drrena", if you should wish to read my -nearly- every thought **
"Do you subscribe to a newspaper (a physical newspaper that gets delivered to your house every morning) or do you just use the radio/Internet/television? What station do you usually watch the news on?"
A: I don't have a newspaper delivered to my doorstep, (we live outside of "The Independent" (local)'s mailing area or something...) but my dad buys a (Chicago) Sun-Times almost every day, (Another way to divide Chicagoans: Tribune or Times.) so I read that. The Internet is good, but I'm not dedicated to ONE news site. I jump around a bit. WaPo's website is pretty good.
As for TV, I'm sick of it. There are people who think "Access Hollywood" is NEWS. I know all news sources have a bit of a slant, but TV rarely has anything of substance to skew, in my opinion. Oh wait, is The Daily Show news? Yeah, that one.
"How do you feel about the controversial topic of the vegetable/fruit status of tomatoes?"
A: Weird, but one of my earliest memories is having this argument with this girl I hated in preschool. We were served these NASTY (not just because of the tomatoes) cheeseburgers, and I was mad that they had fruit on them. "Uh-HUH!" "Nuh-HUH!" ensued.
My question: (only one today, to make up for having THREE last time! :) )
Are you one of those people that remember dreams vividly or not?
Friday, August 28, 2009
Today, The Washington Post published an article in the Style section of their paper entitled "Opposing Gay Unions With Sanity & a Smile: NOM Head Moves His Cause to D.C." As you can imagine, the article was basically profiling Brian Brown, the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). NOM is an anti-gay marriage organization that, for God knows what reason, feels it is their duty to uphold "traditional marriage."
Ahem. They appear to be a distant relative of Jim Crow.
I'm not mad at WaPo for publishing the article; it's Brown's comments that are so infuriating. What's even more outrageous is that people actually agree with him. I've decided to (not) personally reply to some of his comments and hopefully refrain from calling him names.
BB: "People already believe [gay marriage is wrong], but the issue is so deep-seated that they've never had to create an argument for it."
"People" believe that, do they? Funny, because I don't. Thanks for telling us what we believe, because I'm sure we couldn't have made up our minds on our own.
And maybe they've never had to create an argument for it because there ISN'T an argument for it. I honestly have NEVER seen a SINGLE valid argument against gay marriage. I don't give a crap what the Bible says; the oft-quoted counterargument points out the fact that the Bible also says that eating seafood is a sin and that selling your daughter into slavery is perfectly acceptable. Unless you've never eaten fish, or think that slavery should be reinstated, then shut up about making gay marriage illegal. I'm not saying you shouldn't follow the Bible if you're Christian, but I am saying that NOBODY - absolutely NOBODY - follows the Bible to the letter anymore. Why pick this one issue out of dozens of others? Additionally, the USA is supposed to have a seperation of church and state, which means your religious arguments shouldn't have any weight whatsoever in legislation.
BB: "The racial bigot comparison is the most troubling part of the argument."
WaPo: "[He thinks] it's horrible, offensive, deliberately incendiary."
Personally, I regularly compare homophobia to racism with complete faith in the parellels between the two. I'm not sure why he thinks that being called, more or less, a modern-day racist is more offensive or "incendiary" than telling people that they don't deserve the same rights as everybody else is.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of "racism" is "The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others." Substitute "race" for "sexual orientation" and you have described most homophobes in America. "The belief that sexual orientation accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular sexual preference is superior to others."
Is this what you believe, NOM? That gay people aren't as human as straight people? If you don't believe that - as you no doubt claim - than how do you explain the fact that your actions, your reason for existence, matches that belief perfectly? If you think that gay people are as good as you are, then why do you fight against them?
The definition of "discrimination" is "treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit, partiality or prejudice." Funny, that sounds a whole lot like what NOM is attempting to do: treating gay people like they don't deserve the same rights as other people simply because they are gay.
Do you understand this, Brian Brown? YOU ARE DISCRIMINATING, like racists do. You hold irrational fears and/or disdain for a certain group of people, like racists do. You want to keep said group of people from achieving what should be their automatic rights, like racists do. You are racist without the race.
BB: (From a NOM pamphlet) "Avoid the phrase 'ban gay marriage' ... say we're against 'redefining marriage' or in favor of 'marriage as the union of a husband and wife.'"
NOM, you are such a - excuse my language - fucking wimp. There is a time and place for euphemisms, but bigotry is not acceptable in any form. If you're going to take such an idiotic stand on this issue, SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.
BB: "It is irrational when the opposition points to polls suggesting that most young people support gay marriage. 'People mature,' [Brown] says. Their views change."
ASDFGHJKL. There it is, the inevitable assumption that youth = naivity. I will never, EVER agree with you, Brown, or stoop to your level, so you can just stop right there. Just because we're young doesn't mean we're going to change our minds; sure, we will mature, but if we REALLY mature, our position on gay marriage will only get cemented into place.
It's also worth pointing out that when you use age as an argument, you don't have much to go on. >:)
BB: "Yes, there have been homosexual relationships. But no society that he knows of, in the history of the world, has ever condoned same-sex marriage. 'Do they always agree on the number of partners? Do they always agree on the form of monogamy? No,' Brown says, but they've all agreed on the gender issue."
Oh, for the love of God! Does he know that for years and YEARS, slavery was tolerated in nearly every country? Just because something has been done for years doesn't mean it's right. That argument doesn't even make any kind of logical sense.
BB: "It's what's best for families, he says. It's the union that can biologically produce children, he says. It's all about the way things have always been done."
So. Brown. A heterosexual couple that doesn't want kids, or is physically unable to produce kids, shouldn't be able to get married, either? Because in the second scenario in particular, that couple can't "biologically" produce children. Marriage isn't all about the kids; children are a seperate issue. Marriage is about two adults wanting to spend the rest of their lives (slash a portion of their lives, what with divorce rates on the rise) together, not about what they do after they actually get married.
And honestly? There are tons and tons of heterosexual marriages that aren't good for their children. Abuse, neglect, outright poor parenting are the fault of the people, not their gender.
Basically, Brian Brown, you are an @$$hole. I don't care how politely you phrase your hatred, you are a bigoted idiot. I am ashamed to say that you are an American, because your work is so thoroughly against what the United States is supposed to believe in.
It all comes down to the fact that you have to stand up for people who aren't like you. I'm straight, but I'm a huge supporter of gay rights. I'm white, but I completely back the Civil Rights dealio. I'm female, and although I haven't faced many challenges because of that, I know that other people (particularly historical figures) have, and I think we have to fight for our rights, too. If we don't stick up for other people, who will? If we don't help the people who need helping, who will help us when we need it?
If you haven't read this blog post by (YA author) Libba Bray yet, I strongly urge you to do so. :)
Is Rena being unreasonable for complaining about having 2 hours of homework on the second day of school?
Not really. If it was later in the year, 2 hours is normal, but it seems sort of excessive for the second day. How have you even gone over that much material in 2 days? Ahaha. Sorry, hopefully it gets better! :)
How long does it take to do your homework?
Probably anywhere from an hour (a worksheet or two) to five hours (working on projects I procrastinated on). Usually, it's around two or three, probably closer to three. Maybe more, maybe less, I'm really not sure. I'll get back to you on this answer in October or November, hehe.
Of course, last year, I may or may not have - ahem - fudged a few numbers in a certain math class when the amount of homework was unreasonable... that is not an approach I would necessarily suggest, but it is the honest (oh ho, how ironic) way I approached some of my for-completion-only homework last year. Generally only used when I had a crapload of other stuff to do or procrastinated majorly on the workload. Yeah...
Is "i before e except after c" BS?
Honestly, yes. It did help me during elementary school, weirdly enough, but in the grand scheme of things... it has way too many exceptions.
What's your favorite flavor of chips?
Mm, either regular, or Sour Cream & Onion. Most people I know either love love love or hate hate hate the second one, but I fall on the love love love side. It's never struck me as gross; maybe that's strange, but more importantly, it's TRUE. :D
Do you have a Twitter?
You know, I feel sort of bad about this, because I've made rather rude comments in the past about people who frequently Twitter and how the whole thing is a breeding ground for narcissists...
But yes, I do. :O Once I joined the site, I realized it's no worse than Facebook or whatever. Just follow the people you care about and it's no big deal. And besides, Super-MJ has what is possibly the best Twitter in the world, which kind of makes the entire site much more Awesome.
Mine is twitter.com/belleglass - I believe it's on Private, but feel free to request me if you have a Twitter, too.
Everyone else had 2 (cough3) questions, so I feel like I should sneak in a second one, two...
Do you subscribe to a newspaper (a physical newspaper that gets delivered to your house every morning) or do you just use the radio/internet/television? What station do you usually watch the news on?
How do you feel about the controversial topic of the vegetable/fruit status of tomatoes?
This feels like it may be insane amounts of Long, so... BYE. :)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Well everyone in my school did this, and I think it's only cool in like 3rd grade, because NOW whenever the bus hits a bump (and I don't even have to be in the back to "appreciate" the bumpiness), I fear for my life a little. That bus is going to fall apart someday. Good ole bus 17.
Anyways: It's question time!
Are you are early riser?
HAHAHAHAHA! BAHAHA! *wipes tears from eyes* Ahem. Oh. You were serious? Okay then; NO. Not in the least.
If you weren't a participant of this blog, would you read it?
Hmmm... I don't think I would've found it. (So thanks to all 26 of you! Come back soon now, y'hear?!) It's because of this blog I joined Blogger in the first place, actually. so I'm grateful this blog made me find this site. It's pretty awesome.
Sorry this is so short! ("laconic, as Alex says. Yay words!) I had around 2 hours of homework today. *ahem...some to be completed on BUS O' DOOM ride... I needed a break and the work will keep me distracted from the fact that the bus might not make it there* Am I being a whiny baby about 2 hours of it? It's so different from middle school, wherein I was the "smart one", and difficult homework took me around 45 minutes.
Damn. I miss it already.
I guess that's my question: Am I being unreasonable for complaining about two hours of homework on the 2nd day of school?
Question part 2: How much time does it take you to complete your homework on average?
Non-personal alternate question: Do you think the "i before e except after c" rule applies enough to be considered a rule?
Monday, August 24, 2009
(From their About Me: "Since 1976, Dr. Dobb's has led the computer press in covering practical technology. Unlike many magazines and web sites that focus exclusively on a single platform, language, or even a single development tool, Dr. Dobb's has 30 years of experience covering all languages, platforms, and tools."
Name is somewhat amusing; website is not very interesting.
Have you heard of Dr. Dobb? I certainly haven't.)
("Windows XP Tweaks, Tips, Hacks, Visual Styles, Support, Software."
I was wary to explore this one farther; it seems like the sort of thing that is either almost entirely trustworthy or is ladden with viruses.)
(Somewhat self-explanatory; features links about "Cheap skateboard" and "Tony Hawk."
For those brand-new skateboarders who aren't hardcore enough to experiment with skateboarding firsthand, this would be an excellent resource.)
(If you are curious about where to find dinettes, kitchen tables, 50s furniture, kitchen dinettes, kitchen dinette sets, kitchen table and chairs, or "kitchen table," this is the site for you.)
Ask Zach (dot) com
(Some sort of search engine-slash-blog.
People are raving to ask Zach questions such as "Do you want to dance?" and "What are Capri Sun Pouches made out of?"
These are questions I ponder every day, as well. All in good time, my dears, all in good time, for Zach then responds to each question in the form of a blog post.
I have come to the conclusion that either the internet is filled with crap (true) or randomwebsite (dot) com is particularly good at finding said crap.
Ask Zach actually was kind of amusing, though.
What's the song that describes your current mood?
"La Vie Boheme" from RENT.
Though I wish it was "Baby You're a Rich Man" by The Beatles. Ha!
Are you an early riser?
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Meh, I can't think of anything better to say today. I went to the dentist. Fun fun fun fun FUN!!! A-hem. Not.
I'm not really "scared" of the dentist, per se, I'm just put off by my particular one. He seems amazed that I AGE. A bit of conversation: (DP= the dentist M= Me)
DP: "So, how old are you?"
M: *tools in mouth* "Brflargen"
DP: "Try not to talk with the instruments in your mouth, sweetie"
**EXCUSE ME! YOU'RE the one who asked the question, and I find the term "sweetie" to be either slightly sexist or inappropriate, seeing as you are not my father.**
M: *tools have been removed* "I said fourteen."
DP: "Oh. So you're going to be a freshman?"
DP: "At York? I went there. I hated it. Oh, my freshman year was awful."
M: "*under breath* Oh, well that's nice..."
DP: "Well, ummm... I'm sure it'll be better for you. See you in six months."
Maybe I have no reason, but I just do not like this guy. No only does he prod around in my metally mouth, but his personality is a little... ick. Any conversation he strikes with me seems a little forced and awkward, and often one sided.
If you were a vegetable, which one would you be?
A tomato. I'd like to contribute fruit vs. vegetable controversy.
Do you have a cellphone?
No. I really don't have a use for one, and people who talk while grocery shopping or whatever and the conversation goes something like, "Ummmm, hey. Yeah, I'm grocery shopping. Hmmm I dunno. Yeah... I'm grocery shopping."
Do you REALLY need to tell this person this? Do they even really care? I'd rather not have one. Occasionally some urgent situation arises where I'm in public and need to call someone, but that's what payphones are for. If I had one, I'd lose it in a heartbeat. I wouldn't use it enough for it to be useful. (Redundant? Kind of...)
Do you tell people about this blog?
I don't really advertise it, but sometimes it comes up and I don't specifically avoid it. It depends on the subject.
My question: What's one song that describes your current mood?
Friday, August 21, 2009
I don't say this to brag or to be conceited; I say this because it is true.* Many people complain and groan and tear their hair out over every English assignment, but I don't mind. Essay writing comes extremely easily to me, and although I am not quite an essay writing machine, I have been known to sit down in front of my computer at 9:00pm and have a printed out two page long BCR** half an hour later that I receive high marks on.*** Maybe my brain is synced to those of the teachers and I subconciously know exactly what they're looking for; maybe it's the fact that as long as you answer the prompt and sufficiently back up your claim, you'll do fairly well. I have a feeling, though, that it has something to do with my lack of organization in my writing. Essays, while they are not fill-in-the-blank, strictly formatted things, do have a certain underlying structure that must be followed. Thesis, body paragraphs, conclusion; the length and style differs, but the components are still there.
This noted, I have come to the conclusion that I need to seriously work on my writing outside of English class: namely, creative writing and this blog. You may know that my main goal in life, at least career-wise, is to become a published author and/or a journalist (mehr, the second may not work out so well, though, seeing as the newspaper industry appears to be continuing on its merry slide downhill). I don't think many things would make me happier than to see my name on the front of a book. However, if this is ever going to become a reality, I should probably start actively improving how I write. You see, there is one main thing that is wrong with my writing:
- lack of organization/ability to organize
And there are three main things wrong with my so-called writing process:
- lack of energy
- loss of train of thought
- the fact that most things sound better in my head
So, yeah, it's kind of an issue. Luckily, I have composed a handy list of things that I am aiming to do from now until whenever (so specific, I know):****
- Improve vocabulary.
Okay, so when I was younger, I sounded (key word is "sounded") crazy smart because I had the great gift of a) reading an insane amount and b) picking up "big" vocabulary words that I c) tended to use in everyday conversation. Granted, the word "probably" isn't that difficult, but when you're four, these things seem more special... ahah. Unfortunately, I don't pick up vocabulary that easily any more, most likely because I am older and my brain is more formed (scientific reasoning, ooh) and have less time to read more challenging books outside of school. Tragic.
- Spend more time writing.
Seriously, for somebody who professes her love for writing on a daily basis, I don't write often enough at all. The fact that people tend to write quite poorly during their younger years demotivates me to a certain extent, it's the whole "it'll suck anyway, so why bother?" attitude. To which the proper response is either the reasonably encouraging "Well, you won't get better if you never practice!" or the more brutally honest "If you love writing so much, you should do it just because you want to, and suck it up/shut the hell up."
- Be more thoughtful.
Thinking about what I'm writing and spending more time choosing my words rather than just typing out the first thought that comes across my head is not my strong point, I will admit.
- Be more objective with the subject matter...
It's an important point; if you're not just writing for yourself, you have to consider your audience. If it's your best friend who lives next door to you who accompanies you everywhere, then naming people by name and telling an only semi-interesting story is acceptable, but when it's two people who do not share your life and, as lovely as they may be, probably do not care which classmate is going out with which upperclassman (hi, guys! :) ), you have to be a little more selective. I'm not saying I'll never talk about my life again, but... there is a bigger world out there than me, myself, and I (I am just a big ball of cheese tonight, aren't I?).
- Organize self. Really.
Um, yeah. As in "pick a train of thought and go with it" which is generally not something that I am good at doing. I just sort of... explode. Like a firework: I go in dozens of different directions, but they all fizzle out pretty quickly. (Hooray for cheesy metaphores!)
w00t. I'll let you know how that goes (although if you're planning on reading this blog much longer, you'll probably see for yourself, hehe).
Oh, and I was planning on timing myself to see how long it takes me to write a blog post, but I forgot to record what time I started, and then I spotted a big bug on the wall and went into Crisis Mode, which consists of me running into the other room and staring at it until it's far enough away that I can safely return to the computer. Even now, I keep checking over my shoulder to make sure I can still see it (yes, I know this is a very wimpy and typically "girlish" thing for me to be afraid of, but I have a very near phobia of bugs. I don't know why, I know it's not logical, but they freak me out. If they're in nature and seen only from a distance, I'm okay, but once they start landing on me or invading my personal bubble, I spazz. Sorry... though you may be happy to know that I am too much of a wimp to actually kill them [except mosquitoes], so PETA won't be after me). ANYWAYS, I'd estimate that it takes me about 30 minutes to write an average blog post, but I tend to get distracted while I'm writing them, so sometimes the page will be sitting open for two hours and I'll have only written a few sentences. Whoops.
If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
A turnip. No reason.
Do you have a cellphone?
Yes, I do. I got one almost two years ago, in the fall of eighth grade. I guess I didn't need one before that, really *cough fourth graders with cell phones cough* but I honestly do need one now. Just... whoa, I guess it's bad to be so dependent on technology, but I seriously don't know where I'd be without one.
Describe yourself in six words:
My realistic attitude conquers romantic inclinations. :(
If you could only wear one color for a month, what would it be?
Out of any color, black. Out of the clothes I own, blue.
Do you tell other people about this blog?
Not in a "you shouldn't because this is like a PRIVATE DIARY" way or a "you should because my one goal in life is to achieve INTERNET FAME;" I don't mind either way. I'm just curious. :)
I have to go listen to the new episode of Pottercast now and log off before the thunder potentially cuts off the electricity, hugs and toodles! :)
* And also because I already freely admit that I am not a genius in math and science (given step-by-step instructions, I can manage, but I am very bad at applying complex math skills and making scientific discoveries on my own) so I feel that it all averages out to a relatively modest assessment of my academic achievements
** BCR = Brief Constructed Response = less than an essay but more than a paragraph, in case you don't have those wherever
*** I usually don't do this; as I have mentioned previously, my brain works less the later it gets, and when this does happen, it is because I generally write a rough draft and edit it into a final draft a day later, so there's either little pressure to write it well or less to produce because it's mainly just refining the paper. Then again, there are (albeit rare) times when I produce my best work at 11:00 at night, simply because I get to the stage where I'm so frustrated and tired that I barge my way through the "writer's block" stage by sheer force and unlock a brainful of ideas that I can't stop even if I want to.
**** I really did write these for myself, despite the liberal use of the word "you," although you're welcome to adopt any of them for yourself if you feel the need... but they're really not intended to be sly, sneaky ways to criticise ya'll (oh God, did I really just say "ya'll?" I'm not even sure I spelled it correctly). I sort of went from "self-motivating tips mode" to "lecture the general public mode" for some reason, my mistake. :)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Many, many long lines filled with people in an unairconditioned gym. (If you wish to skip my rant, there's a summary at the end of this paragraph.)
First, we entered the "commons"* and there were tables filled with books according to subject. Once we got the books and gym uniforms and the "special lock" (a lock the school can open with a master key... for 15 bucks. It is a frigging COMBINATION LOCK.) We were given a number** and told to wait in another line. Then there was parental paperwork and blah, then we went to the (HOT) gym and stood in another line for 20 minutes or so to get a FOLDER, ONE FOLDER, containing almost no useful information, and a name tag. Then we had to backtrack to the OTHER GYM (THANKFULLY air-conditioned!) and listen to the principal speak about nothing useful (and several attempts at horrible jokes) and learn the school song (UGH. "The noble Duke of York" is MUCH more catchy.) and then the parents were forced to listen to more presentations while we were divided into our "mentor groups"*** and given a "tour". After the "tour" we got our school IDs (my picture is awful) and our planners. (and no cookies, dang.)
It was unnecessarily complicated and frustrating. Okay, enough about my terrible day yesterday, on with the question!
Answer: I'm skimming "The Odyssey" (a book we'll read this year in English that I got yesterday... it's not required over the summer, so maybe I'm just being over prepared. Which isn't a bad thing, but still.) and reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day", which WAS on the list of books we could choose to read over the summer. Actually, only one was required, but I'd already read "Life as We Knew It", and I wanted to feel like I'd done something productive.
It's a collection of essays, and although I'm not a HUGE nonfiction fan, but David Sedaris is pretty funny.
Alex, your letter is awesome. Sure, the second part is a little counterproductive (? Is that the word? Well, it kind of proves a stereotypical adult's point; that we think we're awesome and that they're boring and old. I'm NOT saying that's NOT true, but it seems best not to mention it.) I also LOVE your idea of the monthly classic blog!
Stereotypes suck. But just to play devil's advocate, there's a reason why they're stereotypes. There ARE teenagers like that, maybe they're the ones the adults are more exposed to. I read a couple of "mom blogs", because occasionally the exploits of other people's little kids amuse me, and I noticed a sort of theme; people blog about teenagers when they live up to the stereotype. And to take it further than the blogosphere, maybe they only remember their bad, (unnecessarily) suspicion-causing experiences with said teenagers. Because of the stereotypes, these memories stick. Because of the memorable experiences, the stereotypes strengthen. It's a vicious cycle.
Generally, how long does it take you to write a blog post?
Answer: Well, I guess you could say that it takes days, because I kind of form my blogging ideas days in advance, like, since I blogged about what happened yesterday, that blog STARTED yesterday. But if you mean how long it takes to physically type my ideas out onto the little typey screen, it depends on how long my blog is. Also, I type like a seven year old, only faster. I use 3 fingers, and I look down a LOT, but I can do it pretty darn fast. I've never really timed myself, but I'd say around 20 minutes or so?
My question: If you could only wear ONE color for a month, what would it be?
* The commons is pretty much the best part about my school. It's like a cafe/food court/huge semi-open seating area type-thing. Not the white, gross, hairnetted lunch ladied cafteria we had in 8th grade. The food is good, too.
** Like the kind at a deli.
*** A group of about 10 freshmen and 4 juniors/seniors. Like the counselors, but not old. They're there to "guide" us and stuff. Go figure.
Monday, August 17, 2009
'Come down now,' they'll say;
But everything looks perfect from far away,
'Come down now,' but we'll stay..."
- The Postal Service *
Alex's "Letter to the Editor" post yesterday lent me that spark of inspiration, I suppose you could call it. At any rate, it made me think more about how we perceive other people. I, too, have experienced times when my friends and I (or even random other people our age) are frowned upon simply because we're - what? Smiling too hard? Talking too loud? Having too much fun? Yes, it's irritating when you're in the library and a group of high school students stumbles in, laughing their heads off, but it doesn't make them ruffians or serial killers, for Christ's sake. I admit that there are a number of young people who commit various misdemeanors: vandalism, stealing, getting stoned, whatever. However, I truly believe that that portion of the teenage population is over-exaggerated. Sure, I screw up a lot, and so do most people I know but I'm not exactly jail material. I do know people in my school who fit the stupid teenager stereotype perfectly, but the grand majority of people, freshmen to seniors, don't do anything worse than drink at a party occasionally - and most of that percentage of the population doesn't even drink. I'm not advocating underage drinking; obviously it can lead to worse situations, but sans car crash, I do think there are far worse ways to break the law. Most of the time, the only thing we're doing wrong is writing in random numbers on our math homework that we - ahem - "forgot" to do or accidentally blocking the entrance to a local CVS.
The fact is, people have a bad tendency of judging people based on stereotypes rather than for their individual worth. I hope that'll change one day, but it seems like it's written into our DNA... maybe we're simply afraid to challenge the way we see the world. :/
I'm reading "Le Petit Prince;" it's my summer assignment for French. I'm also skimming "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which is what I read for English. I finished reading it a week or two ago, but I have to fill out some questions about it. It's not that bad, really, as far as homework goes; it's mostly composed of questions that give you free reign, like an exercise reading "Favorite lines from the book and explanation of why they were your favorites" and "Main ideas conveyed by the book and your opinion of the ideas." Not too difficult, I think.
I have two questions on blogging, but I suppose I'll save the second one for Friday:
Generally, how long does it take you to write one blog post?
* "Such Great Heights" is the only song by The Postal Service that I've ever really heard - certainly, the only one I've listened to on repeat. Maybe you've heard of it? It's really chill, I love it. :)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I'm in this movie, and apparently, I'm dead and French with awesome stationary and I had a child out of wedlock.
Wow. I should be...flattered? that my name is Frenchy enough to get into a movie about French people, but apart from the cool purple stationary I'm ashamed of the character named after me. I mean, it's an otherwise AWESOME movie (wait, have I confessed my love for Pixar before? They're all G-rated movies, but I love them.) and they pronounce Renata with an extra "REH", a cross between rolling the "r" like in Spanish and hocking up phlegm. It makes it sound snooty.
Ok, on with the questions!
What tattoo would you get: Hmmm... something subtle, but nothing on my ankle or a "tramp stamp" (lower back), because that's really common now. Maybe a small, but intricate rose around my bellybutton, or a smiley face at the base of my left middle finger, simply for the sake of irony. :)
Have you ever read Jane Austen: No, I really should, though. I don't really have anything against those books, I just never have. Regarding another "classic" author, though, I have a reason. (and a rant, so get ready...)
I was SERIOUSLY considering reading Wuthering Heights (for the sake of reading more "classics", and because the paperback was lying around my house) but before I got around to it, EVERYONE was reading it, JUST because it was mentioned in Twilight. Really? That's your ONLY reason for reading this book? And also, you're THAT obsessed with Twilight? Really? Bella jumps off a cliff, so do you want to? REALLY?
What would your Patronus be: Ok, I took the easy way out and took a quiz to decide for me... Click the link! and I got a Phoenix. Cool.
My question isn't so much a question as it is a task, is that okay? Here goes:
Describe yourself in a six word sentence.
Friday, August 14, 2009
It's sad that we get so excited about this, really, but that is what happens when you cannot drive and do not feel like Metro-ing your way around DC every day of the week. It's official name includes the word "agricultural," which accurately describes one half of the fair, but the other half is basically a carnival with rides and such. Fun stuff.
Actually, my friend is part of 4H, so we met up with her and ended up mostly hanging around the "agriculture" end. It's surprisingly entertaining. There were pig races, if that says anything (I LOVE PIG RACES, they are the best thing ever. I watch them every year, and if it doesn't sound like fun to you, then you need to FIND A PIG RACE IMMEDIATELY. The pigs are ADORABLE, and they usually race billy goats and ducks too. CUTE. Another one of my friends and I got really annoyed because this one lady who "won" the last pig race got to PET THE FREAKING PIG, but she didn't even want to, and we wanted to SO BADLY, but we couldn't. It was depressing).
Geez, if I keep going at this rate, I might actually start to embrace country life. The horror! ;)
What tattoo would you get?
Something small, like a star or a small group of stars behind my right ear. Is that what Rihanna got? I feel like it might be. The problem with tattoos is that there seems to be some much baggage with whatever you choose and it's likely that your tattoo will be called cliche at some point or another. I think it'd be pretty, though. I wouldn't go for anything big and flashy, just because that's not how I roll. I doubt I'd ever get a tattoo, though, because I hate needles. I don't freak out over them, I just deal with them and move on, but I wouldn't go looking for a needle when it wasn't needed. :)
Have you ever read Jane Austen?
I don't believe that I have ever read Jane Austen. Crazy, I know, but for some reason, I haven't. I've read a number of other "classic" authors, but for some reason, never her. Not even "Pride and Prejudice," which I really ought to read, but I somehow never have. It may be because everybody is so in love with "Pride and Prejudice" that I feel it cannot live up to expectation - it's that weird phenomenon that causes you to become less excited for something everyone else is obsessed with. It's probably why I've never seen or read "The Notebook" - I feel like I'm bound to be disappointed by it. It's probably one of the few instances in which I will shamelessly admit that I tend to pick lesser-known or so-called "indie" movies over mainstream ones, because somehow the experience is more moving when you don't have thousands of fans slobbering over one character. (I know that sounds obnoxious, it annoys me when other people act like that, but it's true. I usually don't give a crap about how popular something is - hellooo, I love Harry freaking Potter, if that says anything about that.)
The other reason is that I've seen the movie version of P & P and, horrible as it sounds, it gave me less incentive to read the book. Some details of the plot are changed, of course, and I know that movies are rarely as good as the books, but the basic idea is the same, I think, and I already know what happens. Maybe this is why I wasn't in love with "Romeo and Juliet;"I honestly love the writing and I think much of it is beautiful, but I don't like the play much. I know it basically invented dozens of modern cliches and phrases, but I find all the characters - especially Romeo - completely unrelatable to the point where I was almost relieved when he died. Mercutio is my favorite character. And I already knew what happens in the play, virtually everybody does; I didn't mind reading it or watching it acted out, but it's not without its flaws. The story itself is good, but as a pure love story, it fails miserably. Then again, I don't think it was intended to be a model of a perfect relationship, and I'm annoyed when people treat it as such. It's a tragedy, not a "life is wonderful and then you reproduce" story.
Yes, I realize that Austen has written other books besides P & P, so I'll probably end up reading some of her other books first. I should get on that, she's supposed to be good. Thus far, my favorite novel from that time period is "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte. :)
Oh, ALEX, I didn't comment this on your post for some reason, but I am SO GLAD you watched AVPM. It's great, isn't it? :D
What would your Patronus be?
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
My (nearly fiftysomething) mother (source of my crazy genetics) has once again brought up that she'd like to get MORE TATOOS. MORE. I should point out that she ALREADY has two. A flamingo on her thigh (which she'd like to get "recolored", too. I guess they fade after 30 years or so...) and a treble clef on her left shoulder. (This one is more recent, smaller, subtle, not AS bad...) But apparently this is not enough for her. Noooooo. She also wants a leopard on her other shoulder, and the DETROIT TIGERS logo on her arm. This one I have a problem with. A.) WE ARE NOT FROM DETROIT. She is not a fan of the Tigers, I doubt she's ever even been there. and B.) Pretty much the SOLE reason she wants this particular tatoo is because KID ROCK (a much younger, male musician, FROM DETROIT whom she loves. Wikipedia lists his generes as "hip-hop, country, rock, rap-metal." She has eclectic, almost current music tastes and this scares me. Why can't she just like Barry Manilow or something?) has this particular tatoo.
Her weak defense of this decision is that D is her first initial. So?
Well, maybe I'm freaking out about this because she is MY MOM, and thus embarrassing. I'll let you decide for yourselves. Think: would you want your mom to have this tatoo in full view of the public? Would your mothers even DO this? I doubt it.
Well, at least without the WORDS Detroit Tigers. Just imagine the logo. On your mom's arm.
She's thinking about getting these as an early birthday present to herself, so I have approximately 6 months to talk her out of this.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I don't want to give out her name; it's not my place to spread the news, if you can understand that. Maybe I sound like I'm just jumping on the sympathy bandwagon, but it doesn't feel like that to me. I have friends who were friends with her and I honestly can't imagine how they must feel right now. I can't imagine how her family must feel. She had a sister and a brother and parents, she was on the school's soccer team. A prayer vigil was held for her, and I kind of felt like "Yeah, of course she'll make it." It sort of makes me realize how much we take for granted... we have doctors and hospitals and everything, but they can't save everybody. It seems so unfair. For it to happen to somebody in my school, to somebody who is, however distantly, connected to me, it's awful. I feel like everybody comes together, somehow. It's a big school, and half of us don't want to be there most of the time, but it's our school, and no matter how much we fail - no matter how many times our football team loses (it's a lot) we still come to watch their games, we still wear our school sweaters when it's cold. Maybe it's stupid, but it's like we lost a member of our family. A distant relative, yes, but somebody who belonged to us. Somebody who was our friend, or could have been our friend if we'd known her; somebody who was kind of like us. It's awful, I honestly feel like crying. I mean, I never met her, and I still feel this way. I would hate to be anyone who was close to her right now. Selfish, maybe, but - wow. That word again, but it's just disturbing. I feel so sorry for her. I don't know if she's in heaven, I don't know if heaven exists, but for her sake, I hope it does. Honestly, she didn't deserve this. Nobody does.
I'm sorry for rambling, I'm sorry this is short, but I don't feel like I can blog for reals right now. <3
Sunday, August 9, 2009
It is for this reason I am going to explain to you what I tried to explain to them. I hope it goes better this time.
I don't know when I realized that wearing a logo is like free advertising. It's something you always sort of know, but never really realize as an actual fact. Companies like Hollister and American Eagle have it so easy; they just have to put their logo on t-shirts and sweaters and bags and pants and people will pay THEM to advertise for THEM. It's a pretty sweet deal.
So whether you realize it or not, when you buy an article of clothing with a visible logo, you are supporting that company as a business. You're saying, "I support these people, and I've given them money, which I think you should, too." (not necessarily the last part, but whatever)
** I think the above is pretty easy to grasp, and agree with, right? I'm going to get a little sketchier with my assumptions now. You've been warned. **
This theory also extends to songs and their lyrics. Some might not agree with this, that's okay. But the way I see it, if you listen to (and assumedly spend money on) a song, you are supporting the artist, which means you're not only saying you like their music, you're supporting their lyrics.
Are you with me? What am I saying? Of course you are, you amazingly brilliant-minded people. The question should be do you somewhat think I could be correct? An example? Alrightly.
I won't use something sexual, although there are many, many excellent examples out there, but I'll go with one of my favourites to rag on: Taylor Swift. I like Taylor Swift. I like some of her songs, I think they're fun to sing to in the car and have nice lyrics, that mean something other than "OMG you're so super awesome foxy hot, I want you. You're sexy. Take your clothes off." The thing I don't like is how often she goes off and whines about how all her best guy friends who she's in love with who are out with their unworthy girlfriends.
It seems to me like she's unknowingly promoting sitting in your room and pining over some guy who's out with his girlfriend because you're afraid to tell him how you feel. I can't respect that. It's not his fault he doesn't know you're interested. It is your job to make that fact known. Stop whining, put down the guitar and go after him. Or continue sulking and remain cowardly and alone.
It's not like I have experience in the matter, and maybe it's wrong for me to have such strong opinions about something I know little about, but I like to think that if I ever like a guy enough to write a song about him, I'd also have the nerve to go up to him and tell him what it is I'm writing a song about, before I share it with the entire world.
Feel free to think whatever you want about this. I think I'm actually okay with being the only person in the world to feel like this. However, I'd love to hear what you think about what I've said...
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Elementary school: Either "on-level" regular classes, or REACH*
Middle school: ESL/"guided" classes, on-level, or more REACH
High school: "Key Points" classes, on-level, "fast track" math for the "frosh"**, Honors, then starting juinor year official AP classes for college credit.
Confused? All will be explained in the footnotes... *skip there if you wish to read the rest of my blog un-confoozed*
Question: Imagining that you'd be successful and make at least enough money to live, what would be your dream career?
Is being filthy stinkin' rich considered a career? No? How bout MARRYING something filthy stinkin' rich? (Who is also my soulmate with a great personality, and heck, good looks on top of that wouldn't be so bad... ;) )
Okay, seriously, (since John and Maureen make it seem so fun) and since the question says I would at least be good at it and moderately rich, being a YA author would be pretty cool. Or, should I wish to fulfill my childhood dreams, a mermaid/pastry chef/detective/dog trainer/actress.
My question: What was your first thought when you got up this morning?
* REACH doesn't stand for anything, it's just supposed to mean we should REACH for the sky, REACH our goals, similar cliches... and it was only for math and reading. Just 15 minute little classes during the regular school day. Usually during recess. RECESS! AND the classroom had a huge window that faced the playground!!!! >:C TOR-TURE. At least the teacher was super nice.
** Ok, I'm in this, and even I don't get this: This year the "fast track" classes don't COUNT for real honors credit, but if we CONTINUE on that track, NEXT year THAT class will count as honors. As far as I know this only applies to a certain frosh math class that I happen to be in. This is probably explained in the course catalog, I might have to read that more...
Friday, August 7, 2009
Any person who puts their work - whether it's books, music, acting - into the public eye has to be able to handle criticism. Even JK Rowling, author of what is arguably the most popular book series in the world, hasn't captured the hearts of every person on the planet. But there is a huge difference between being critical and being downright mean. I know that a few months ago (maybe longer) Stephen King basically said that Meyer can't write. Whether you agree or not, it's not the nicest way of putting it, especially considering that he's so famous. Just because you're famous doesn't mean you have to lie about everything, but you could at least phrase it differently to make it sound less harsh. True, there are some issues that you don't want to sound nicer about, but if it's just a matter of giving your opinion on someone else's book, it won't kill you to say something more along the lines of, "Well, it's not my favorite book." Meyer is still a person with feelings. Make fun of her books all you want, but I think it's really unfair to start attacking her. Unless she actually does something horrible, like murder a litter of kittens or something, lay off.
In other book news (segway segway!), I just finished "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which was my chosen summer reading book. Thankfully, we only had to read one book this year and fill out an absurdly easy sheet on it (which I still haven't done, hehe). I say "thankfully" not because I hate reading (I don't) but because I have a ridiculous amount of Math and French that I have yet to do, as well as the first half of my MYP project*, which is supposed to be mostly completed during the summer. So yeah, these last 3 weeks should be fun. What can I say? I procrastinate.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
I remember this one time at my best friend's birthday part in seventh grade when we spent close to half an hour blowing up Peeps in the microwave (not to the point of explosiveness, but close) and then kind of fondue-d (chocolate) it with grapes and pretzel sticks. I can't imagine it was very tasty. That much sugar in one place is somewhat nauseating, and I like food.
Imagining that you'd be successful and make at least enough money to live, what would be your dream career?
* I'm in this program called MYP (Middle Years Program) that runs from grades 6 to 10 (it works because my middle school and high school are, of course, in the same cluster... you can join the program in 9th grade, but I don't know why you'd want to. The only reason I joined is because my school more or less forced everyone who was doing at least reasonably well in above-grade-level classes to continue on our magical quest through MYP-land, or something). MYP is basically the same thing as all-honors classes except with a lot more pointless crap (and I do mean pointless crap... academically, the only real difference between Honors and MYP is that there's more algebraeic equations in Geometry and the books we read for English are deemed a bit more difficult. The rest of the extra stuff is complete BS). It's part of the IB (International Baccelaureate) program, which you have to apply to get into and is for smart kids who won't die trying to do ridiculous amounts of work. Here, I will make a handy pyramid type thing for you that will explain how challenging each program is supposed to be in the minds of their creators (starting with the "smartest" on top):
Yeah. I could go (ohh, trust me, I could go on) but I'll spare you. It's annoying, let's leave it at that. :)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
"Wake me up when September endssss..."
(and while you're at it, make me a well-adjusted, organized, put-together type, straight-A's-yet-still-well-rounded person. Thanks. You've just saved me a lot of time.)
Yes Vita, I ADORED BSC. It was so awesome then, but now it seems slightly cheesy. Do you remember Mallory? She showed up in one of the later books as like a junior secretary or something. She was a minor-ish character, but I thought she was THE COOLEST, for whatever reason.
I now go back to lamenting the end of Summer...
I'm not sad about summer ending so much as I am sad about having to GET UP EARLY and "be productive". That's the great thing about summer, you don't really *have* to do anything. At least anything school-ish.
Vita's question: What is your favorite childhood book?
I don't know if anyone else ever read this (or since this is WAAAY back, had it read to them...) but I used to LURVE "The Veleteen Rabbit". The ending was so sad to me when I was little, but I loved the story because I had all these stuffed animals so I thought that made me like the boy in the book. (did they ever mention his name? I forget.)
My question: What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?