Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not "Out" Yet


Ok, so AP exams are officially over for me! Can I hear a giant YIPPIE?!? Well, now all I have to do is get through the last couple weeks of school and then I am out!!!! The only problem is that I could use some of that “out” feeling now! Like, usually I can live with the last couple of weeks of school just fine because I know that they are not that stressful and for the most part there is more room for everyone. I mean in past years once the seniors left there was more room; the parking lots were emptier, the hallways were roomier, the lunch room was less crowded and quieter, the whole school has just had a more “out” feeling around it. This year I know that is not how it is going to be, because it is not just a few people that I know that will no longer be there but an entire class of people that I have become close to. I know I have said this before but to reiterate I really am going to miss this year’s seniors. They have less than two weeks left and most of them are super excited for the school year to end and for them to move on to their new lives and make that big transition from high school student to adult/college students. I think that is why this year I can’t handle the waiting for school to end, because I feel like I have only a little bit of time left with my seniors and I want to cram so much into such a little time period. I want to do so much with these people so that I can hold onto the memories of the last moments before they leave. I need those memories so that I can hold onto part of what I am leaving. So while I am trying to goof off and count down the time until I can get “out” I am working to make sure I spend my time with my seniors before they are “out” and off into the world. Some of them I am sure I will see again and others I this is likely our last few weeks together. I need the memories to last and so I must wait for my “out” feeling and be cautious of the little time left, and to truly embrace these people I have known for so long!

Protect the Frogs!


All around the world amphibians are disappearing from the wild and becoming extinct. Already 122 species of amphibians have become extinct since 1980 and 500 more are suspected to follow in the next fifty years. There are several factors involved in the sudden drop in numbers of amphibians; habitats becoming parking lots or destroyed due to dams, their thin skin absorbing pollutants, and what seems to be a major threat in recent years is the parasitic fungus known as amphibian chytrid, which was accidentally spread by African clawed frogs that were shipped worldwide. In attempts to save amphibians are proposing a project known as the “Amphibian Ark,” which is the suggestion of zoos and other suitable institutions to host as many species of amphibians and breed them in captivity until they are able to safely return to their wild habitats. Unfortunately the project requires vast funds which seem to be unavailable because hosting specie and maintaining breeding requires at least 50 wild specimens and is the same price as keeping a single elephant in captivity for one year. Scientists are hoping to raise enough funds this year and have even dedicated this year as the “Year of the Frog.”
Species going extinct is always a big deal to this world, but this epidemic is not talking about just one species it is affecting the entire class of Amphibia. This is very bad news because it is such large scale extinction, though many of the species are not extinct many are no longer found in the wild and returning an entire class to the wild is a difficult, in the least, if not impossible thought yet it is the best ideas we can come up with at this time. People should care to know that amphibians are becoming extinct, because they play a crucial role in their ecosystem. Also, Kevin Zippel, the Ark’s program director, went as far as to say, “We might see what’s in store for us,” which is a very frightening thought to think of as we see their numbers dwindle. Some questions that really need to be answered are; how long does the chytrid last after wiping out the amphibians in the region in three months, Is there any way to immune all amphibians and future generations from chytrid, and how do we plan to put thousands of species into captivity and return them back into the wild? The article attached has important information that affects the natural world and every ecosystem that involves amphibians that should not be taken lightly.
After reading this article I became aware to a horrible epidemic that is striking that I have not heard of yet. It seems that this problem has been going on for several years but few really know about it. I believe everyone should read this article to become informed about a terrible tragedy, the possible extinction or an entire class of animals. Anyone who reads this article would benefit by learning valuable information about amphibian extinction especially anyone who knows they can help.

Saving Kermit
Choi, Charles Q.
Scientific American
Jul 2008
Pg. 27-28
http://web.ebscohost.com

Visigoths

When a person first thinks about the Dark Ages they think of Barbarians who were probably not the sharpest tool in the tool shed and were complete savages in every aspect of life, but in reality the Dark Ages were something entirely different. The dictionary defines dark ages as times of decline in a civilization, but is a civilization really in dark times if it is just coasting but not declining? The Visigoths, a Germanic tribe, controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula for about three hundred some years and had several accomplishments so can they really be considered dark? There were definitely aspects of their civilization that were dark and some that were not; population, warfare, government, and their impact on later societies all our examples of how the Visigoths lived in the supposed Dark Ages.
The tribe known as the Visigoths had a population less than one hundred thousand people by the time they had migrated to the Iberian Peninsula which seems small compared to the population of thirty-six million that lived in Europe in 200 C.E, but the Visigoths ruled over most of the population on the Iberian Peninsula during its control. The population had declined approximately ten million during the Dark Ages in Europe which affected every community. Also, most of Europe was at war during the Dark Ages to an extreme far worse than during the rule of the Romans which the Visigoths did participate in by fighting with neighboring tribes for land and power. Fighting is the main cause for the population drop in Europe and was another unfortunate aspect of the Dark Ages for the Visigoths.
Visigoths were governed by a monarchy where kings were elected but many came from the same line of small families which makes parts of the Visigoth period a dynasty. Law in the period of the Visigoths was definitely advanced by the Visigothic Code of Law which went into detail about how both civilians and slaves could live and their rights. The Visigothic Code of Law was written in the Gothic Alphabet which is the contradictory characteristic of the Dark Ages, lack of documentation. Visigoths left a major impact on later societies with their code of law but also their culture and arts. Visigothic architecture was an influence to other societies who used their concepts even in today’s architecture and is known as Gothic architecture while Visigoths created many artifacts, mainly beautiful works of jewelry, considered art. The code of law and architecture and art helped to advance the Visigoths and impacted other societies which are not a normal aspect of the Dark Ages.
So the ultimate question; were the Visigoths really what people think of when they think of the Dark Ages? In my opinion, no but the Visigoths definitely had decline from the Roman Empire, but they also improved themselves and left a respectable impact on societies that followed which are never thoughts that a person comes across when they are thinking of the Dark Ages. The Visigoths are not the average Dark Age tribe; they lived complex lives that had both good and bad, they went through a minor decline, and were neither dark nor light but more of a happy medium.

Why are there so many different skin pigmentations?


Even though we are all “out of Africa” there are numerous skin colors, because of how people have evolved differently in different regions of the world after the first migrations out of Africa. Scientists have related this back to two main hypotheses; sunscreen in the skin and vitamins.
Sunscreen in the skin which can also be referred to as melanin produces pigment in the skin. Scientists believe that before the first migrations we were all dark pigmented and had high concentrations of melanin in the skin. After migration patterns took people outside of Africa, a region close to the equator that receives large amounts of direct sunlight throughout the year, Homo sapiens no longer needed such high concentrations of melanin and could have possibly slowly lost the concentrations as the generations past until the skin had appropriate concentrations of melanin for the region the family was located.
The other hypothesis about different skin colors is humans’ intake of vitamin D. When UVB penetrates the skin it allows the skin to make vitamin D which is very useful to the body. Scientists have discovered that the world can almost perfectly be distributed into three vitamin D regions each with different levels of skin pigment degrees. It showed the farther away from the equator the less vitamin D a person could produce from UVB rays and the lighter the skin pigments were. There were exceptions which showed up when groups of people ate large amounts of vitamin D in their everyday diet such as the Inuit people in the far north. Which actually shows that vitamin D is actually very important to the differences in skin pigment.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

AP exams

Well my last post touched on the subject a little bit but this time I just got to come right out and say it…”OMGSH AP EXAMS ARE HERE AND THE WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO DO????? I WAS ACTUALLY SUPPOSED TO BE LEARNING SOMETHING!?!?!” HA! But seriously, I am kind of freaking out about these exams. I am so stupid, like seriously really stupid. I thought it would be cool to sign up and take four exams this year. DID NO ONE THINK TO HAVE ME COMMITTED!???? I have no idea how I am supposed to get through the next couple of days. I don’t know whether it would help to cram or if I should just give up and say I know what I know and I am not going to learn anymore. HA again, like I really know anything right now. Honestly, I am drawing a major blank on pretty much all the classes. Ok, so George Washington was our first president and E=MC² but I doubt the exams are going to have a question like who was the first president of the United States of America and I have no idea what exactly M or C stands for. Out of all the exams, I actually am not that worried about AP Language and Composition because if I don’t know my own language (how to read it, understand it, and write about it) then I am just a lost cause, but as for my AP Chemistry, AP US History and AP Physics B exams. I am in one small boat without a paddle headed for Niagara Falls! For starters AP Chemistry is just mean, plain old mean. Some of the concepts you are supposed to understand and know should be unconstitutional because they are cruel and unusual punishment in my mind. AP US history I should know since it is the background for my country and all but the thought of that exam gives me nightmares at night and so of course it is the first exam! Oh, but AP Physics B takes the cake for being the meanest! HOW THE HECK WERE WE SUPPOSED TO LEARN EVERYTHING YOU COULD POSSIBLY KNOW ABOUT PHYSICS IN ONE YEAR!!! The sad part is my teacher even told us that in a few years it is going to be a two year course because there is just too much information to teach for one year, but what good is it going to do me if they change that policy in two years? I have to take this exam in less than a week and we are still learning new information! I just love AP exams so much! Can’t you tell? :P

any chance they will let me wear this shirt to my AP Physics exam?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Goodbye Facebook


When Miley Cyrus got rid of her twitter she posted a video on youtube explaining why. I thought it was pretty cool so I thought I would do my own reason listing for why I deactivated my facebook. I doubt I will get the views she did but that would be a little weird anyways, so here it goes… I decided to deactivate my facebook for a little bit because of several reasons. First off, I have like four AP exams starting at the end of this week and I need to focus on them more than I need to focus on being social and talking to friends. Sure, the AP exams don’t really affect your grade in the class but it does tell you just how well you learned what was being taught the last year you have spent in a classroom and I really do not want it to show that I really didn’t learn much. I figure get rid of my facebook and then I will be less tempted to spend long hours on there that should be spent studying but in the end who really knows in what way they will be spent. Even without the facebook distraction I am sure I will have to fight several other temptations if I want to get any studying done but then again when are there never distractions? Another reason I deleted my facebook, I don’t really talk to anyone on facebook chat anymore anyways so there is hardly a lot of communication going on. I mean if I want to talk to someone, it is more than likely I would have their number and just text them. This is only not true in one case that I can really think of and in that case I really just need to stop chatting with that person anyways. That leads me to my final reason for deleting my facebook, I was using it as a crutch. I know there is this guy that is just not right for me and yet I am drawn to him and facebook was just making it worse. I absolutely loved and hated how my facebook just seemed to know me so well. My newsfeed somehow figured out what I was thinking and decided it would be cruel and post his news all over the place. Like I really need to see that!?! And so I decided I just needed to get away from this awful habit of not only facebook creeping on him but on other people too. It is just weird. Oh, and if you are reading this post and find this weird DON’T JUDGE! I bet you have done it once or twice. I am not trying to be creepy or anything, I was just really bored and was avoiding other things, like AP exams:/

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Songs stuck in my head!

So I have had quite a few songs stuck in my head lately and I thought it would be nice to take a break from long posts and just post something someone could listen to and hopefully get stuck in their heads too:P Seriously, so we can sing the songs together and people would stop looking at me so strangely for my random singing outspurts!









Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What you deserve and what you get


It has taken some time but I think I have finally figured something out. What we deserve is not always what we get. Ok, so this post is probably going to sound really depressing and stuff so if you are in a good mood this is your warning, RUN AWAY! THIS POST WILL CHANGE YOUR MOOD FOR THE WORSE, SO GO WATCH SOMETHING NICE ON YOUTUBE.COM. So now that anyone who may have been in a good mood is gone hopefully I can continue on about what this post is about. I realized today that as much as I like to think we get what we deserve out of life the case is often not. You may be the hardest worker in the office but that doesn’t mean you are going to get the promotion. You may be the nicest person in the world but that doesn’t mean people will treat you with the same niceness. And you may have been through some really crappy guys and boy troubles but that doesn’t mean the next one will be any better. There are plenty of people who die alone. They die by themselves, either not knowing love or just never being able to capture it tight enough to keep a hold of it but not too tight that you crush it in your grasp. It has always been one of my biggest fears to die alone and that is just sad to think about; a teenager scared they are going to die alone. Sure I have my whole life in front of me but what does that mean? It could just be more time spent wondering what the heck is wrong with me that I can’t seem to find the one. HA! The one, I am pretty sure there can’t just be one person for another person otherwise how could so many people actually find their one in such a big world. And what if some tragedy struck a person’s one? Are they just destined to live either alone or with someone who can’t truthfully make them as happy? I like to think that there is hopefully not one person that I am supposed to go find in this big world, but if there is and they are reading this post…please call me. A little knowledge on your location would be nice too! I really don’t know anymore. I have this friend, no seriously a friend (NOT ME well I am in a similar boat but still NOT ME) who has had the worst trouble with guys. The ones she like either end up with her friends or people she is somewhat close to and the creeps end up falling for her, but then again who wouldn’t!?! She is one of the sweetest, nicest, smartest, prettiest girls I know. Oh, did I mention how talented she is because she is super talented too! It is crazy that she is single. Like the only reason she should have for being single is because she wants it that way and I know that really isn’t true. Then there is another friend (again NOT ME) who is equally amazing as the girl previously mentioned and she to is single and always seems to fall for the “taken” guy. It is so sad that either one of these girls would ever doubt their amazingness because they have been “alone” for what may seem like forever to them. It is because of this I have decided that we don’t always get what we deserve otherwise they both would have great guys who realize what amazing catches they have and treat them accordingly. I know these girls will eventually find their “one” I just hope they don’t lose hope and belief in their amazing, gorgeous selves.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why Must I be Confused?


I have just decided that I am to just live confused from now on. The more I try and figure things out the more confused I get, so what is the point I obviously am just meant to be confused about everything from now on and remain that way forever. The sad part is I am not just talking about one aspect of my life but really there is just a giant blanket of confusion that has covered every aspect of what I do anymore. In school, I am sick and tired of learning so I am pretty sure my brain has just given up and shut down. It refuses to learn anymore and it just wants to be in summer mode but the problem is that it isn’t summer and I need to pick my grades up a bit if I want to keep up with the ace of all the other kids who are just as worried as I am about getting into the college of my dreams while hopefully receiving enough scholarships to make it even a possibility. If that wasn’t bad enough I am just confused pretty much everywhere else too. I have a dance recital this Sunday and I am freaking out because right now in all likelihood I am going to be walking on stage with very little idea as to what the heck is going on. I just hope I don’t flub up enough that it 100% obvious to everyone in the audience that I have no idea what the heck I am doing and probably never will with my modern dance. I have decided just to rename that lost cause #2. It would be lost cause #1 but of course that spot belongs to a boy problem that I just can’t seem to wrap my finger around. Like honestly it would be so nice if I could just look into this guy’s head and know what the heck is going on there. I am sure I would probably be very frightened by what I see but at least it may clear a few things up for me or at least I would hope it would. If that wasn’t bad enough my mom keeps harping on me about what I am going to do with myself during the summer and I am just so confused I am about ready to scream!!! I absolutely hate being confused. It isn’t fun and in fact it bothers me to no end that I am like bouncing off the walls wanting answers! Obviously, most of my problems either don’t have answers or the answers just think it funny to see me in pain and have hidden themselves from my viewpoint. They are probably right under my nose but of course I can’t really see under my nose and I doubt looking in the mirror is really going to help much. But seriously, of all the feeling and emotions there are in this world I hate being confused. It is a little funny that I am using an emotion to complain about another but it really is so true. I can’t stand it and would give anything for some answers!! Preferably to Lost Cause # 1 and #2 first but truthfully I am not picky. I really wish there was some way of finding an answer to every problem, like pulling it out of a hat! That seems like a good idea. Let’s make a hat where you can just pull an answer to any problem that is bothering you right out of it! Well, almost any problem at least, we don’t need to go and have people solving problems that really need to stay confusing but my personal problems would be nice. So if anyone finds such a hat please let me know as soon as possible! Thanks.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweeney Todd Takeover

This past week has probably been the longest, craziest and best week ever. If you look at my earlier posts, you probably think I lost it this week. I want to go back to an old-fashioned society and I couldn’t sleep for the life of me. Well, I would like to tell you I managed to get to bed fairly quickly after that post but I did however have a problem with the fact that I only got like three hours of sleep before I had to be back up but that isn’t the biggest excitement this week has held. This week has been the week of the premiere of our spring musical Sweeney Todd. It has been two and a half long months of hard work and effort put into this project and it has finally come to an end. I will admit most of the time I was complaining and this week was just torture but overall I really did have a lot of fun and met some really great new people. It is crazy how close you can get to a group of people because you have spent so much time together. I definitely think most of the major bonding came during this week because we were with one another so much! Like seriously from 3-10 on several nights and other nights even later! It kind of sounds like complaining I am guessing but it is so not true. Sure, I didn’t enjoy every minute of it but all the fun and people I spent my time with made it a heck of a lot more enjoyable than it may sound. I am really going to miss not seeing all these people every day like it has been for the past couple of months. I almost wish that practice would continue on even though the show has come to close, but purely for the social aspect! We don’t need any more real work time, just pure social!! Haha I doubt I could convince all eighty of the cast members to join me in the auditorium after school for the rest of the year, after all we were just given our lives back and I intend to make the most of it! I just wish I could make the most of it with my cast members. They will be missed and I hope to maintain some of the relationships I formed during the show!
Here is a video of the amazingness we produced!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

SLEEP

Right now I should probably be asleep but for some weird reason I just can’t fall asleep. I have been up for well over eighteen hours, my eyes seem like paperweights, and I have had to rewrite this sentence twelve times already, yet for some reason I just can’t sleep. It is really frustrating when you are tired and you want nothing more than to snuggle up under your sheets and go off into your personal dreamland. I am partially used to this annoyance though, because I always have such a hard time falling asleep because I am either thinking about way too many things at once or I just get too caught in something that had been on my mind that I just lay there completely consumed in an idea. What sucks the worst is when you know you need to get to sleep soon or you are going to be a zombie in the morning but there is nothing you can do. You toss and turn and try every thinkable position to be comfortable and yet you still are nowhere. It got so bad for me once that I actually attempted to fall asleep propped up against the wall next to my bed. I usually try and work on something boring and hope I just bore myself to sleep but even that hasn’t worked so far. I finally decided to try and do something useful with my annoying ability to keep myself up even though my body aches for rest. That is why I am writing this post. I wouldn’t be surprised if I fall asleep while I am writing it though because as soon as I try and do something productive the tired feeling just increases tenfold. Like really, I have no idea what I am really writing about and I am sure this is just a bunch of word vomit but that’s ok because at least it is somewhat productive word vomit. I really hope that after I get this done I will be able to turn off my lights again and this time actually keep my eyes closed for good, unless you don’t keep your eyes closed when you sleep. Whatever, I just want to sleep! Haha it is kind of funny because right now we are singing this song in choir that is about a problem similar to this one I face right now. My body is exhausted and crying for sleep yet my mind is all over the place and as hyper as a kid in a candy shop. Hmm, I wonder if I sing that song it will help me fall asleep…I doubt it but hey I am willing to do anything right now! Well nighty nighty! P.s. you are probably asleep right now…I AM VERY JEALOUS!!!

For a pretty video with the song I was talking about click here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A different Society


I wish society hadn’t changed. I mean, I applaud those who fought to change our society and I am not saying that some parts of society didn’t have problems, but truthfully I think the society we live in today is just a giant wreck. Everything seems a million times more complicated and confusing that sometimes I yearn for the simple. It might seem crazy at first but if you really think about it, it’s not! My mind swerves to the movie called Pleasantville, where it partly made fun of the way of the older society, but in truth what was there to make fun of? Children went to school and after school they would hang out with their bodies at the soda shoppe or somewhere else. They weren’t too worried about their future because most of their futures were set in stone. Likely a boy would follow his father’s footsteps and would even ask his high school sweetheart for her hand in marriage. Now, doesn’t that just seem nice and sweet? It is simple; there is no real concern as to where to go or what to do next and definitely no major stressers. Well now, you have to jump to our society. High school is more challenging with its AP courses and competition for valedictorian or the highest GPA, all because kids know that they are supposed to go to college and do well and make even more money than the family’s earlier generations. Too many kids are pushed into careers, of which they supposedly choose for themselves, and supposed to maintain good standing. There are several issues with our society. The major one is the kind of pressure we put on the students. There is so much pressure to do well and to be in the top of your class that it is almost ridiculous! Of course to release themselves from some of this pressure students will go off and do stuff like drugs or drink because they need the high for a moment to make themselves feel without pressure if only for a little bit. This just leads a whole domino effect which has created such a twisted society. When kids are high or buzzed they make stupid mistakes and they let go of all their inhibitions. Without inhibitions stupid stuff is done, such as driving drunk or having sex and a bunch of other things that just put more stress on students and creates this awful little cycle. Well it needs to stop before the damage becomes overwhelming and just takes complete control of society. That is something I would definitely not want to be around for.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

SPRING

Right now I am sitting on my trampoline eating an apple and trying to write another blog post for the week. I thought if I went outside my temptations of being lazy and putting off my homework would settle and I could get down to business but I am starting to realize how stupid an idea that was. It is official I have caught Spring fever. All I want to do is sit outside and soak up the sun while I listen to the birds chirp away and the winds softly caress the trees. It sucks because I have been so busy at school lately that I hardly ever get time during the week to just sit and enjoy spring, and there is so much to enjoy. I find it incredibly interesting how full of life the world seems during spring. The flowers bloom and the trees become green again; it is like life leaves for the winter only to return in full force during the spring. Everything is so full of life that it somehow fills me too! Although, I doubt you would ever be able to tell at school, because I am stuck inside while spring is living outside. Now that is torture! I really think teachers should think about classes outside during spring because I doubt I am the only one who feels so energized when out on a beautiful spring day. Sure not all the students would listen to whatever the teacher is saying and they would probably mess around but who’s to say they aren’t already doing that locked up in a classroom. I mean I am very tempted to stop typing and just start jumping around and pretend I have no worries as it was when I first got this trampoline several years ago, but at the same time I am getting this post done and it doesn’t even seem like any trouble because I know that it is almost done and that I am out on a beautiful spring day, enjoying the weather while actually getting something done. It is kind of amazing! It’s a having my cake and eating it too kind of feeling, being able to enjoy the life while not walking away from my responsibilities. This post is living proof that stuff can get accomplished while outside and beautiful weather all around and I intend to show it to my teachers in hopes they will read it and decide to try a lesson or two outside. It would do us all a little good. Let us all go out and live with spring:)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It sucks to be a Junior...



I have decided it sucks to be a junior. First off, you are more than likely pushing yourself into just as many rigorous classes as the seniors if not more, but then you actually have another year of it to deal with while they get to get off with senoritis and leave a month early at that. I think I could probably live with that whole conundrum just fine but the by far worst part about being a junior is the fact that one evening you realize that in a month all the seniors you have gotten to know these past three years will be leaving. This terrifying thought really hit me earlier tonight. I had just finished watching Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (really good movie by the way) and I was thinking about my friends and then “Pow!” in a month no more seniors:( I don’t really know what possessed me to really realize it at that moment but it made me really depressed. This group of seniors weren’t like the ones before them, this year it was going to be different. I got to know a lot of this year’s seniors really well and in a month a lot of them I probably will not see ever again! Now, I like to think a few of the people I have gotten to know really well I will see from time to time but it will never be the same. There will be no greetings in the morning hallways or free time in class to gossip and talk about how our day or even year is going. We only have one more month of that. When this thought first hit me, my first response was to ignore all seniors (stupid I know but still). I thought you cannot miss something if you ignore it. Yeah well that mindset lasted a whole hour or two before one of my junior friends was like, “You have lost it!” Yeah, she was right I had kind of lost it, but at the same time I do not want the internal clock to tick louder every time I am having fun with or talking to a senior. The truth is the clock is ticking and I guess it has always been ticking but now it is so close that everyone can hear it. Most seniors hear it and you can tell by their actions. They only have one more month of high school and so they don’t have to worry about what repercussions their actions could have because they will not have to deal with a lot of them because they leave in a month. I don’t know how they seem to be taking it all so well, because I am a junior and I can hardly stand it! But then again, I still have another year. I don’t really know what kind of year it will be though because so many people that you can expect to make things good will be gone and I think that is what scares me most and what sucks the most about being a junior this year. We have to somehow fill the shoes of these amazing seniors while getting over the fact that we miss them so.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

King of Contemporary Jazz

Michael Buble is the king of contemporary jazz. I love jazz. I love Michael Buble. It is as simple as that. What is surprising is that my friend who first introduced me to him really isn’t into jazz herself but he somehow was able even to catch her musical heart. It is safe to say we both are now obsessed! He is just so amazing! I could go on and on and on and on and well you know the drill about how amazing his voice and how he has brought an old genre back to life, but I am sure a lot of people would just scoff their noses and turn back on their pop or alternative but that isn’t going to stop me from trying to spread the joy that he brings to the souls of me and others! Not only has he remade some of the most well-known songs of jazz but he has also added some new ones or at least ones I had never heard of before. I cannot help but sing along with his warm jazzy feel and you don’t even want to get me started on how much I want to dance whenever I hear one of his songs. Now, this is how I felt even before googling him to see what he looks like (DANG!!). Seriously, this man is very blessed. He has the sexy but refined look and the raspy yet warm voice to match. If you don’t want to take my word than I suggest you just listen to some of his songs I have gathered below. You will realize that I am not exaggerating his talent and if you still think I am than you just don’t know what real talent is or you are deaf, which sucks either way.

Everything
Haven't Met You Yet
Feeling Good

Sunday, April 11, 2010

People


Boys are stupid, but so are some girls. Boys are lame, but so are some girls. Boys are jerks and so are some girls. Boys can make you cry, but so can some girls. Boys can hurt you, but so can some girls. Ok, so this may sound really stupid or weird but if you think about it, it is kind of an interesting concept. So many times I will yell and complain about boys and the problems they cause like probably every other high school girl I know, but then again it’s not like we girls are perfect either. There are plenty of girls who cause just as many problems for me as there are boys but for some reason no one seems to think about that when it comes to the boy bashing time. In fact, I am sitting next to my best friend right now and she is asking me why the heck I am even writing about such a topic! Haha well honestly I am not really sure why I thought to blog about this, in fact this post was originally going to be a boy bashing post. As I started writing about how they were mean and made you want to cry I thought about how there are plenty of girls that are the same way, if not worse! Like seriously we girls can be pretty mean to one another and to boys! We cannot sit around and group the sexes and say one is worse than the other because it will always be bias to who is saying it. I really doubt a girl will ever argue that males are the better sex or vice versa because neither sex wants to declare themselves the lower sex. It is impossible in my opinion to be that impartial, and if you really think you are that impartial good for you but I will bet a million dollars that you are lying to yourself. It is time that we all realize that we have to stop looking at each other as of a certain sex because that is just causing more problems and arguments that are meaningless and in the end will never have the rightful winner that every person is arguing for in the battle of the sexes. The point is that there are a lot of people, both good and bad. There are people who are stupid, lame, jerks, and who will make you cry or hurt you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spread Too Thin


So I am once again sitting around trying figure out what it is I want to write about this week, and I am drawing a complete blank. I feel like this blog has become more of a chore than anything which is really depressing because I really do love to write and to express my feelings but anymore that just doesn’t seem to be happening very easily. I think part of it is I don’t know what to think about things anymore, everything is just soo confusing and people coming to me asking me for help and honestly I don’t know how to help them. Part of me feels like I am just too busy to think anymore. I have soo many things on my plate that thinking about them all just makes me dizzy and so I have decided to shut off thinking period. I have put up a little ‘Out Fishing’ sign on my head but that doesn’t seem to stop the people coming to me for help. All I can do is say I don’t know and then they start to think I either don’t care or think their problems beneath me which is so not true I am just way to out of it to think. I have to spend all my time trying to keep up with my school work and classes, while keeping in mind that my AP exams are just around the corner and I am so not ready for them, but on top of that I have a dance recital I am not fully prepared for because of a recent injury and a musical in a few weeks that feels the need to take up hours of my time every day! It is soo much to handle, not to mention the fact that my mom is freaking out because the house wasn’t how she wanted it to be when she came home from England and on Sunday she leaves again for Dallas, and I have a solo vocal competition next Saturday that I am freaking out for because I don’t feel fully prepared for it either. I AM OFFICALLY SPREAD OUT TO THIN! The trouble is how do you get unspread out??? I obviously have no idea because I just seem to be spreading myself more and more thin and it is not doing me any good in any aspect of my life. Not only can I not help friends out with their troubles anymore I don’t know how to even approach my own worries. It seems like I am just pushing everything away and hoping it will solve itself but I doubt that will happen. I guess I just need to remember to breathe and get back into focus so the things I used to love will no longer be a chore.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Last Song

So basically I went to go see the best movie in the world this past weekend and anyone who denies it is lying to themselves. Of course as soon as I tell you what this great movie is most oh you will gawk and then cease to finish reading this blog but I promise you there is a reason to continue reading:) Ok, so here it goes the best movie in the world….(drum roll)THE LAST SONG!! Haha ok so I am sure if any guys were reading this post they will have already ceased reading because I will admit it is very much a chick flick but I don’t care. First off, Miley Cyrus is an amazing actress, again denying it is just lie you can keep telling yourself if you must, she really took the part and made it her own. Like I started out with mindset that she probably was going to suck and that it would take away from the amazingness that is all Nicholas Spark’s books. Like I think I really like her music and clothing line but now I am certain she is just ridiculously amazing in every aspect! Like even going in with a negative attitude because of what I had heard from Miley haters, I still could not keep that attitude in mind for even the first half of the movie! She was able to capture the rebellion and the love and passion all at the same time! I was blown away but not just by her but by the hunk that is her male lead, Liam Hemsworth!!!?!?! OMGSH!! I am pretty sure I found the perfect man and he is Will/Liam :) ok so seriously not only does he have the most delicious body ever but he too was able to capture the emotions required for this movie. Of course, you are probably like me and are thinking oh it is just a character he is playing and that no one that perfect truly exists but then he has to go and answer questions for seventeen magazine so perfectly about love that you just want to push Miley, his real life girlfriend (that’s right she got the man both on screen and off), off a cliff and have him scoop you up in his magnificent arms! It is just soo frustrating to see that there are men like that in the world but they are nowhere near here:( but that is a whole other subject that will likely be discussed in my next post. Just go see the movie because their romance is so remarkable but it is also not just another sappy movie there is actually a plot and there is so many other little stories that go on throughout the movie.

Friday, April 2, 2010

High School


High school. It is something we all must suffer through and for some it is the best years of their lives. To me, it is an obstacle I have to work past to get on with my life. When I was a little freshman I had nothing but high hopes for this new place where I was supposed to have fun and grow up but now as a junior I am not sure that either goal has been fully accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some really fun times in high school, one of them includes making a teacher believe my name really is Katrina, but sadly the bad has definitely overpowered the good times of these years… I used to think all the shows and movies about high school were just exaggerating the drama to make entertainment but now I think that they had to tone it down for general audiences. It is so ridiculous how high schoolers can take the simplest of problems and turn them into a bomb explosion. Too many people are immature and feel the need to cause problems and make a big deal about everything that it is like high school is a digression of maturity. It is almost impossible to have a good time when every ten seconds someone is crying about the fact that someone gave them a funny look. The worst part about it is that it slowly seeps into your head too. You can be the most chilled person and enter into high school and then slowly everyone is making such a big deal about everything that you start to loose perspective and you in turn become drama-hungry. It is petty and stupid but it happens and part of me knows it has happened to me too. That is why I cannot wait to get out of high school and hopefully be released from the binds of drama, but until then I have to make sure and always keep my mind in check and make sure I think about something through before making a big deal about it. Oh, and in case anyone reads this and is like that is not true, I am not saying all high school lives are like this. It is just my perspective on a situation and sure you may have a different idea but then again we all have different opinions.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reality Check



Reality is only what people are made to believe it is, is one of the major themes of the novel 1984 written by George Orwell. In his strict practice of doublethink and forcing others to commit to doublethink, O’Brien is the greatest example of this theme. O’Brien represents people in the world who are strict followers of this theme without even realizing it. In reality, people show certain degrees of this theme throughout their everyday lives. The major examples where the theme is found in the world we live in is through the media, elections, and cover-ups made by all different types of culprits.
O’Brien states several times throughout his cleansing or reprogramming of Winston that two plus two equals five when the Party tells a member it equals five. Along with this statement is the process of doublethink that shows the theme at its strongest during the plotline of 1984. Doublethink is a word that comes from the new language of newspeak that means that a person is thinking two contradictory thoughts at one time and believes that both are true without having the feeling of contradicting themselves. O’Brien is the character that demonstrates the strictest practice of doublethink because he is part of the Inner Party and wrote “the book” that tells how the world really is doing while still believing that the Party is the right government and has done nothing wrong. He also helps Winston along his path of reprogramming to be able to practice doublethink without having conscience thought that his thoughts are contradictory. Winston even thinks, before his reprogramming, that it was astonishing how O’Brien truly believed in and loved the practice of doublethink.
If O’Brien was to take a look at our world, he would find several similarities between it and Oceania. Though not to the extreme level of Oceania, people follow the theme in this world by believing what they are told by outside sources such as the media. The media happens to be the largest influence in people’s perception of the world because it is common for people to sit at home and watch the news and believe what is being told to them without even questioning it. Whenever a television turns on these days it is filled with advertisements that belittle one candidate or another in an upcoming election. People listen to these advertisements and start to form a biased opinion about the candidate, which they take with them to the voting polls, and that is how they determine which candidate to support. If I was to ask who killed John F. Kennedy, I would be presented with varying answers of the “truth” about what happened because of cover-ups that circulate throughout our society. Unfortunately, people suffer from these cover-ups by being the scapegoats, while others come out on top and victorious like the Party did as it cover-upped various incidents to make it seem as if Big Brother was never wrong.
O’Brien used the phrase two plus two can sometimes equal five, but it is only another approach to the theme, reality is only what people are made to believe it is. George Orwell does an amazing job of presenting this theme throughout the novel, 1984 by showing a society that could have possibly evolved from some of the totalitarian governments that became intimidating forces during his life. His description of O’Brien’s practice of doublethink brings aspects of our society under a theoretical microscope that truly represents a shallower, existing form of doublethink that controls parts of the world we call our own. Reality is only what people are made to believe it is, is a theme that is strong in our world, and is brought to a strong position in our lives during years of elections, but also can be found in everyday life such as in the media influence. It ultimately means that people are too na├»ve to aspects of their lives and will believe the first thing they are told, which can be a dangerous decision.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

JonBenet Ramsey


“Statistics show that in the United States, 58,000 children are kidnapped by people other than their families each year, and 40 percent of them are slain in the end” (“The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2002”, china-embassy.org). Those who are returned are left with years of emotional damage that they must deal with, but in the case of JonBenet Ramsey the emotional damage was left for her friends and family to work past. What made JonBenet a case still remembered by many today? What exactly happened to JonBenet Ramsey that sent many into stage of grief? JonBenet Ramsey’s case is special for several reasons; JonBenet lived a short life, but a life so different from other six year olds, her death was considered cruel and unusual to many, the case did have several suspects, but has never been solved.
By the age of six, JonBenet was already an experienced model and pageant contestant. She had one over half a dozen crowns including being crowned Little Miss Colorado. Several pictures of JonBenet were of her in her showgirl costumes and bright lipstick that she loved to wear. ''Beauty pageants in particular blur the lines between what is cute and what is sensual,'' (Pappano, “Never too Young to be Perfect”), but those who knew JonBenet would describe her as a little girl with a beautiful spirit and who always seemed to bring happiness where ever she went. “JonBenet was a beautiful and typical 6 year old American child. She loved pigtails, she loved kitty cats, she loved blue jeans, she loved standing on her head,” (Ramsey, “A Memorial for JonBenet Ramsey”). JonBenet is still missed by many whom wish that they could reverse the events of December 26, 1996.
It was the morning after Christmas and Patsy Ramsey was on her way downstairs when she noticed something on the stairs, a ransom note. The ransom note was two and a half pages of anger toward John Ramsey and asked for 118,000 dollars for the safe return of John Benet. “You will withdraw $118,000 from your account. $100,000 will be in $100 bills and the remaining $18,000 in $20 bills” (“Full Text of the JonBenet Ransom Note”, http://www.cnn.com/US/9703/ramsey.case/documents/note.html). Patsy Ramsey then called 911 at 5:52 in the morning, to report JonBenet missing. The Boulder Colorado Police Department arrived and started to follow the terms of the ransom note gathering the money asked for and waiting for the reply of the kidnappers. Unfortunately eight hours after the call to 911 was made, John Ramsey found his six year old daughter lying dead on their basement floor (“Justice for JonBenet?”, http://www.cnn.com/US/9712/ 26/ramsey.year.later/).
JonBenet Ramsey’s life had been taken away from this earth in a malicious and destructive manner. “The murdered 6-year-old girl had a white cord wrapped around her neck that was attached to a stick with the word "Korea" written on it,” (Meyer, “JonBenet Ramsey Autopsy Report”). A full report of JonBenet’s autopsy was later published with objections by the police department. The report showed that the cause of death was asphyxia caused by strangulation. Unfortunately the coroner could not determine whether JonBenet had been sexually abused or not, though there was said to be inflammation of the vagina. The police are still baffled as to who could commit such a terrible crime against a little girl of six (Meyer, “JonBenet Ramsey Autopsy Report”).

Though the case has never been solved there have been many ideas as to what happened the day of JonBenet’s murder. The Police department has always thought of three people who may have committed the murder of JonBenet; her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, and John M. Karr, a school teacher who was arrested for child pornography. Patsy Ramsey was the only family member whose handwriting samples came back inconclusive when tested against the ransom note causing many to believe that she was the one who wrote the ransom note. Though John Ramsey’s handwriting samples proved that he was not the author of the ransom note, he is still under suspicion by the police because he was the one who discovered the body and some things didn’t seem to add up (“Justice for JonBenet?”, http://www.cnn.com/US/9712/26/ramsey.year.later/). John M. Karr, the only non-family member suspected of killing JonBenet was considered obsessed with her and was arrested for her death after sending several disturbing emails to a professor asking him to read them where JonBenet’s body was found. Unfortunately, DNA evidence left at the scene did not match so charges were dismissed leaving no strong suspects (Johnson, “Ramsey Case Suspect Cleared after DNA Test”).
Over ten years later, JonBenet’s murder is still unsolved, but her case will never be forgotten. JonBenet had her whole life before her; she was a pageant contestant on the rise and was known for her sparkling personality. Her murder was a terrible crime that has not been brought to justice yet, but many still are searching for answers. Sadly as years pass by the chance of answers dwindles so that we may never know who committed this terrible crime. We must all trust that JonBenet’s memory will be left unsoiled by the terrible act that brought about her untimely death. Her memory will live on inside of those who knew her hopefully bringing her loving personality to all.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

High School Dances



Last night our school had our annual winter dance best known as WPA or Women Pay All. Normally the dances can be a big drag because we have them in our cafeteria and it gets all sweaty and humid because of all the people crammed into a small space. WPA usually isnt as bad as Homecoming because fewer people attend but it can still get pretty hot. I think that last night's dance wasnt as bad for a couple of reasons. First off, I never actually went into the middle of the dance floor because that can get awkward with all the 'interesting' dancing styles that take place there. This can also be described as the "please get a room" dancing style. Also the cafeteria is in the middle of construction so there is not a complete ceiling which means that more heat could rise upward rather than loom amongst the 'dancers.' I have never really been a big fan of the actual dance; it is my opinion that what occurs before and after the dance is what makes the night most memorable. Getting all dressed up with every detail of appearance done special is usually what I love the most about dances but there were soo many other memorable moments at this dance. My group had a blast taking pictures and going out to eat that we arrived rather late to the dance, not a problem in my mind, and even left a little early to go to our favorite store WALMART!! YAY!! haha. It really shows you that a dance can be fun even if you are not really that kind of a 'dance' person so long as you go with a group of people that can make the night memorable in other ways:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jezebel and Mammy


The first chapter in the book Ar’n’t I a Woman? discusses the hardships of being a black woman and the two personas that black women were given in the South, Jezebel and Mammy. The chapter starts by referring back to the supremacy white men held over women and blacks. However, white women and black men could in some cases be released from their inferiority by accomplishing a goal such as becoming freed from slavery. Black women unfortunately have no chance of being freed from the myth of white male supremacy which also stuck them with the two personas previously mentioned.
Jezebel was the first persona of black women that was created when slavery originally began and Englishmen traveled to Africa. Once there, Englishmen saw that black women did not wear the several layers that white women wore but rather very little, which was mistaken as vulgar rather than an attempt to stay cool in the hot weather. Jezebel became a black woman who craved flesh and would seduce white men or any man for that matter to fill her sexual desire. Because of this false persona that white men had created about black women, several women slaves were sexually assaulted. Records talk of slave women being given choices to either sleep with their masters or be sent off to hard labor in the worst of field. Some slave women were actually sold as slave prostitutes and others actually used sex to get themselves and their families a chance at freedom from slavery which was successful for some but for most it was a risk that ended up with great pain to their dignity and being sold off to another slave holder. Young slave women often took harsh treatment not only from their masters but their bitter mistresses too. Several cases of mistresses beating slave women often were due to their husband’s wandering eye. Rather than pity the assaulted slave women, mistresses blamed them for their husband’s infidelities and were very bitter about the situation.
The second persona was Mammy, the kind, nurturing and aged slave women who cared for the white children and supervised the big house, is again a misconception. Records show that it was actually the mistress of the house that not only supervised over the house and cared for her children but cared for the sick slaves and slave children while their parents went to work in the fields. There are some testimonies of black women filling the persona of Mammy but the dynamics changed from plantation to plantation. Some women who past the age of field work worked in the house because the labor was less intense but there are accounts of some being abandoned by their masters and left to die like Frederick Douglass’ grandmother. There are beliefs that most “Mammys” were actually not as old as the persona makes them out to be but rather young because they would have to be available anytime night or day which often meant little sleep or tiredness. Making Mammy old in the persona is believed by some as an attempt to separate her from the Jezebel persona and to give the possibility that the two personas could cohabitate in Southern men’s minds.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jamestown


Jamestown was founded in 1607 in Virginia and was the first permanent colony under England’s name. Stability did not exist in the first several years of Jamestown as it went through several stages of successes and setbacks. The first three ships that embarked on the task of creating a colony were the Susan Constant, Godspeed and the Discovery, and on board the Susan Constant was the rambunctious John Smith. Angering his fellow shipmates, John Smith was almost sent to the noose until word was given that he had been chosen along with six others to run the colony. The survival of the colony was later dependent on John Smith who decided that everyone must work for their food rather than being lazy and sitting around the colony complaining. John Smith not only rallied everyone into working for their food but also dealt with the issue of the Natives.
Throughout the history of Jamestown the Natives and the settlers were weary of friendship and often were in and out of truce. John Smith was at one point captured and brought to Powhatan, the powerful chief of the several tribes in the region, and the two became fickle acquaintances that would try and communicate with each other. Smith and Powhatan’s friendship status was usually based on whether Powhatan felt that he had some power over the colony. This relationship between the colonists and the Natives worsened after Smith returned to England leading to several massacres on both sides and the Indians refusing to help the colonists with their dwindled food supply due to rotten crops and an accidental fire that lead to the destruction of part of the city and its food supply. The time that followed was known as “the Starving Time.” Famine struck the colony and got to the point of men eating anything they could get their hands on; horses, dogs, cats, rats, leather, and a wife or two.
The people of Jamestown almost called it quits and was even packed up aboard a ship to go back home when their governor and ships containing ample supplies was seen entering the Chesapeake Bay. Lord De La Warr stayed for a mere ten months before returning home due to illness but his successor, Thomas Dale restructured the colony. Thomas Dale did two things of importance; he did away with the system the colony that resembled communism in the way of a common wealth and he took John Smith’s idea of everyone working and made severe consequences for people who did not work the required amount of time. Thomas Dale was not the only man to increase the success of Jamestown. John Rolfe took the tobacco plant from the West Indies that had become very popular in Europe and combined it with Virginia’s original tobacco plant. The combination of these two plants produced an even more successful plant that grew easily which the colonists quickly planted in every available plot in the region. John Rolfe also helped to quiet the increased violence between the native and the colonists by marrying the chief’s daughter but this peace only lasted until Powhatan died.
Overall the colony of Jamestown could be considered a success because of its ventures in tobacco and its eventual popularity that caused more Englishmen to settle in Virginia. However if you take into account that fewer than one out of six settlers managed to live through the first seventeen years of Jamestown it could reasonably be said that Jamestown had a very shaky beginning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BLAH BLAH BLAH!

This song has been stuck in my head for the past week! It is a rather fun song to listen to and I just cant help but dance when i hear it...enjoy:)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Killer Angels


Michael Shaara’s novel The Killer Angels tells of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg. Shaara puts an unusual spin on his vision of this battle by having researched the letters and documents written by leading players about Gettysburg and using them to create a storyline of what was going through the minds of the key commanders. Each section of the book is from the point of view of another man who played a key role in what occurred and the decisions made on both sides of the battlefield.
The book starts out in the mind of the spy that informed General James Longstreet of movement of a Union army that perplexes Longstreet because he believes the General J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry are supposed to be tracking them, but moves his army south to intercept the Union army anyways. While this is going on, other events are taking place that will end up setting up for the battle at Gettysburg such as Union Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain who received more soldiers and General John Buford hears of approaching confederate troops and stops in Gettysburg and sends soldiers to gain control of the hilltops believing that a battle may commence soon.
Later in a Confederate camp Longstreet meets up with other commanders such as General George Pickett along with the Commander of the Confederate army, Robert E. Lee. Longstreet, Lee’s secondhand man, argues with Lee on whether or not to continue their defensive strategy but Lee believes cutting the union army off from Washington D.C. in an offensive strategy. The fighting begins once confederate soldiers fire on Buford’s men.
More and more generals start to arrive with men and begin to fight immediately with their tired soldiers. The first day’s fighting ends with the union forces retreating to the hills, Buford being blamed for the loss of the day and with Longstreet worried about how good of a defensive position the hills are and also angry with the cautious General Ewell that Longstreet had asked to take the hills so that the union forces could not take them. The next day brings Chamberlain heading toward Gettysburg and Longstreet fighting against Lee, Ewell and another general by the name of Early on what to do next. Unfortunately Lee refuses to go with Longstreet’s plan of swinging the army around and cutting the union off from Washington D.C, the plan Longstreet believes now more effective. Ewell and Early suggest rather that the army separate into two flanks and attack which is what Lee agrees to.
Chamberlain finally arrives for the union forces and Stuart for the confederate forces and Chamberlain’s men start to immediately fight while Stuart is berated by Lee for being so late and off task. Later Pickett’s charge occurs as an attempt to split the union army in two. In the end, Pickett loses over 60% percent of his men and the Confederates start to retreat after their heavy losses. Michael Shaara created an excellent image of how the events of the battle of the Gettysburg started to unfold and became the bloodiest battle on U.S soil.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Historical Fiction


In The Red Badge of Courage the main character, Henry Fleming, deals with an issue that plagued many soldiers in the Civil War: the thought of abandoning their post once fighting commenced. Henry is forced to face his greatest fear once word reaches that his regiment is to march which Henry knows will lead to battle. Henry was not alone in his fears of death as many soldiers did abandon during the Civil War. Throughout the book the question of abandonment and courage are questioned by Henry until he finds his own answer.
During his regiments march to battle, Henry hears fighting in the distance and starts to panic. When they finally do reach the battleground and assemble for battle, Henry becomes trapped in the regiment’s formation and knows that there is no escaping this battle, no chance for him to abandon. After a victory the troops celebrate and Henry relaxes enough to take a nap. When he is awoken from his nap another regiment is about to attack his own regiment and he feels certain doom and flees. The burden of what he believed to be certain death was too much for him to bear. Again this book brings you into the mindset of a soldier who abandons because he believes he does not have the courage required.
Once he has fled the battlefield Henry found himself wandering in the woods trying to convince himself that the men who remained were fools that were about to meet their match. He comes across a dead soldier that frightens him even more so he changes direction and ends up finding a line of wounded men marching. He thinks to himself about how all these men had the red badge of courage, bandaged wounds to prove they were courageous in battle. He finds a comrade who has been terribly wounded and promises to take care of him only to watch him leave the line to die. Another wounded soldier keeps asking Henry of his injury as Henry has now joined the line of wounded men. The wounded soldier and Henry break from the line after the death of his comrade and head for the forest. The wounded soldier starts to lose health but keeps pestering Henry about his wound. Henry then commits another act of abandonment, leaving the man to die.
Henry wanders about in the forest only to find himself back at the battle he had abandoned and the men now retreating. Henry goes to ask one of the retreating soldiers what has happened when the soldier hits Henry in the face with his rifle which causes a bloody gash. Henry is then helped by another soldier back to his regiment where he meets up with his comrade Wilson who thinks Henry has been shot and therefore takes care of him. No one but Henry realizes that he had abandoned because of his new “red badge of courage.” The next day fighting commences again and Henry finds himself fighting for his fallen comrade from the wounded soldier line, Jim Conklin, and takes out this unknown rage on the enemy soldiers. Slowly, Henry and Wilson both become known as the best fighters of their regiment, Henry even replaces the color bearer after he falls which brings even more honor to his name. Henry becomes fueled by anger as other commanding officers call his regiment terrible names such as “mule drivers” and “mud diggers.” This fire beneath Henry gives him the energy required in the last battle where they take control of a fence, Wilson captures the opponent’s flag and four prisoners are taken.
After the final battle the regiment is again sent to march back. Their task has been completed with a great victory. While marching back Henry is again drawn into his head to recap the past two days and his actions of the days. He tries to balance the overwhelming guilt he has for abandoning both the battlefield and the dying man in the forest with his pride from his courage and strength in the final day of fighting. In the end Henry reaches peace with himself and revels in “quiet manhood.” Henry was given a chance that most soldiers who abandoned were not, a second chance without grievance. Since his abandonment was his own little secret his return to the battlefield and second chance at fighting was taken as if he had been there the whole time. Most soldiers who abandoned were looked upon as cowards and often killed for their actions. In the end Henry found his courage and was able to look past his own actions without guilt.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pamper your Confidence


One of my friends and I were having a conversation via facebook chat last night. My friend was trying to get me to do something that I just could not get myself to do, talk to someone I didn’t know on facebook. She is like one of my best friends and so confident and comfortable with putting herself out there that has done this all the time! Well, I am not as confident in myself as she is so that fact that she was even trying to get me to do this was causing me great concern. I have been working hard lately to be more open but it is just not the way I am exactly so it takes quite a bit of effort. Well, long story short I didn’t end up talking to the said person on facebook, but my friend and I came with an idea that would help me to work on opening up more and being more confident in myself. She and some of my other friends were going to come up with a list of stuff that I would never do and then in a few weekends we would go around and complete this list. It of course would not just be me who is completing a list of things to increase my confidence but we each would be completing lists and through completing these lists we would all be boosting our confidence. It would be a weekend focusing on boosting our confidence, how great is that?! So many people go through high school and are tormented by their peers because they are different, that don’t follow the fold. It can be really difficult sometimes to stay true to yourself and to do so with confidence. I think everyone should really think about spending a weekend where they focus on boosting their confidence because it is my opinion that everyone could really use a weekend where they really look inward to just make themselves feel special. It is like a spa day for your self esteem and confidence. We spend so much time primping and trying to boost our outer images that we forget to pamper our inner selves. I definitely think everyone should make lists with their friends that would help them with their confidence issues; if they have them (there are some people who are perfectly confident enough but not many) and if not a little boost in your confidence could never hurt anyone. So I really cant wait!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

RELAX


Recently my nerves have been getting the best of me. This time of the school year always seems to suck the most. It is like the teachers have decided that a test every week is necessary to make the world go round. It is also a really difficult time because we are in between breaks. I am pretty sure that this time of year is the longest period of the year, meaning no real breaks for two months. It is also the middle of the school year and winter, so outside is cold and dreary so that everyone’s spirits are terribly low. It got to the point this week that I was so sick from stress that it was almost impossible for me to get through the school day and so I had to stay home sick for a day and a half. While I was at home sick I turned on the T.V to find an America’s Next Top Model marathon. I managed to wake up in time just to watch an episode where one of the models was dealing with being too stressed out. She managed to relax and win the challenge set up that week and to help her remind herself to relax she wrote it on her wrist. At first, I thought that was a pretty silly thing to do, I mean could just writing something on your wrist really help you to accomplish that? Well, that night I had to go to dance where one of the girls was showing off her new tattoo. Now, I have always wanted a tattoo and the very mention of someone showing their tattoo off made me want to get out my pen and start drawing my own on, temporary one of course. (I am not 18 yet) Well, the next day in class I was stressing over the test I had to makeup after school that day and I also had an assignment that I needed to remember so I decided to write it on my arm. Next thing I knew I was drawing all kinds of designs on my arm and I thought hey why not try writing relax on my wrist, hoping it would calm my nerves a bit. When I actually went in after school to take the test I was extremely nervous. Well while I was taking the test I would look down at my wrist and see relax written on my wrist and suddenly I would feel a sense of relaxation! I was pretty surprised because just looking at my wrist would remind me to relax and then I would actually feel more relaxed! I was really surprised that it actually worked but now I plan on doing it all the time because it really did help me :) I have to take the ACT on Saturday and I know exactly what will be written on my wrist…Let’s just hope it helps me again!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Greatest Freak Out Ever Fake or Real???

So my friends and I were looking at youtube videos and I decided to show them one I was first shown in AP physics class; it’s called the Greatest Freak out Ever. There is a series of these videos on the youtube website and they are all about this boy who freaks out to extreme degrees over the littlest of things. Well, first off we basically laughed our heads off, but then had a disagreement as to whether they were actually real or not. I personally am of the belief that they are real but that is also because I do believe there are people who are seriously that messed up in this world, but my friends did make a good point about how some people will do anything to get their name and videos viewed by millions on the famous website. It still seems like that is pretty ridiculous to put yourself out there and look like a complete idiot just for a million people to see. I do understand that they are making money off of t-shirts and other souvenirs from their childish freak outs yet you could not pay me any amount of money to show off a hissy fit of mine that extreme…and so many of them, too! That is another thing for the side of saying they are fake, there are so many of them! I am not really sure how the brother manages to get so many of these freak outs on camera and what would make him decide to put them on youtube in the first place. That seems to be an awfully cruel thing to do to your brother no matter how crazy he is. There is a lot of evidence that just doesn’t add up with the freak outs but I just cannot help thinking they have to be real. I mean they are just so out there that I don’t know that anyone could possibly make that stuff up! I don’t know I guess I just will have to agree with my friends to disagree, but why don’t you check them out for yourself. Below is the original Greatest Freak out Ever!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love and Hate


Encarta Dictionary defines love as a feeling of tender affection or desire and the word hate as an intense dislike or distaste for something or someone. It is rather interesting how easy it is for some of us to use these words with so little effort when actually they really do mean a lot. I find it very cute when someone is scared to tell someone they love them or are worried about the repercussions but I also find that to be when the word is actually taken the most seriously. In our everyday lives too many of us use the words love and hate way too much that when we truly do mean them, they have lost their significance. I know that I am at fault here. I never like something I love it and I never dislike something I hate it. I have noticed in recent days that it is not just the words love and hate that are losing their significance due to over usage but all kinds of other words as well. Words that used to be considered derogatory have lost their face value. Some girls I know will start calling you a B&@*? just because you don’t answer a text fast enough and because these words are losing their significance more people are saying them and next thing you know you have little kids calling each other B&@*?s. This presents a problem because the more words are overly used and lose their significance the more new words appear to take their places that are just as bad. It is sad but true. We are using our words insufficiently and for what? So what if you are bored in one class more than another or a girl gave you a weird look, it is time that we just get over it and not use words that once held very strict meanings so quickly because then when you really do mean it how will you express that? Don’t ruin the word love or the word hate for people who do still care about its original significance and are scared to say them too quickly.

Birthday Weekend

Happy Birthday to me! Another year older supposedly means another year wiser but I’m starting to think another year closer to my life. There is only one more year left before I am out of high school and out on my own in the world and that at times can be frightful and at other times it is a giant relief. This weekend seems to have boasted both of these in extreme levels. On Friday I was able to have an amazing party with my friends where we acted like little kids by dressing up, playing with glitter and staying up to unreasonable hours just because we didn’t feel like going to bed. But before all the childish fun commenced I had an argument as to whether my family believed I was responsible enough to have a party and whether my actions from previous parties had been acceptable. In the spirit of acting like a little girl again I threw a tantrum about how ridiculous it was to believe that every ridiculous thing I have ever done at one of my parties was to get the attention of boys. I just couldn’t believe why anyone would think that acting like an idiot and doing crazy stuff like going outside to jump on my trampoline at four in the morning was to attract boys. I decided to ignore what had occurred earlier and just party once my friends arrived and continued on into the early hours of Saturday. After getting about two real hours of sleep I found myself saying goodbye to some of the guests while the rest of us just hung out and played sorority life on facebook and talked about the previous night. Most of the day was pretty boring but I never really managed to get more sleep than the two hours so I was pretty lethargic most of the day. I attended a function with one of my friends that evening and we again acted immature and goofed off just to less extremes because we both were still very tired. Once I get home I had every intention of going straight to bed when my brother starts to annoy me to go out and get him Burger King. I kept pushing it off until at 12:30 I get into the car with him and his friend, after having no more sleep unfortunately and head out to do their errand and return to find myself unable to sleep and back on facebook. Today I was sent back into reality of how I had to think of my responsibilities. I had to get my homework done even though all I wanted to do was sleep and I also had to go out to eat with my family for my birthday and be questioned as to what I planned to do with the rest of my life and then criticized about my said plans. Overall the weekend ended with an exhausted me going through a roller coaster ride of worry about what to do with my life and how to be responsible with just plan goofing off and about 9 hours sleep between the three days.
At least I have some yummy birthday cake to eat:)

Monday, January 25, 2010

3 idiots


"AAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL IZZZZZZZZZ WELLLLLLLL!" These words may not actually be able to bring a baby to life but they are the catch phrase to the movie I am now obsessed with, 3 Idiots. Not many people have seen this movie and few people I know will and that is because most of the movie is not in English. One of my best friends asked me to go see an Indian movie and I thought, “Why not? I was bored and anything could be better than sitting around doing nothing.” It turned out that the movie was absolutely amazing, no doubt the best movie I have seen in some time! I sat in my theater seat in awe of how I could feel such emotion from watching a movie that I had to read subtitles to understand. For three hours, I switched between laughing until I cried and crying because it was sad. The plot was about three guys who were making their way through engineering school by not following the way of the others and worrying about schoolwork at all times. The movie switched back and forth to these men looking back on their college years and searching for their friend who weirdly disappeared right after graduation. Their old rival calls them back to the college and claims that he has found their old friend and plans to go and rub it in the man’s face that he is not successful as his rival who he picked on because of his methods of learning. The three men, two looking for their good friend and the other looking for revenge, embark on their adventure. The movie takes a turn when they find that their friend had lied about his identity and instead of going to college to get the degree which he ended up giving to another man; he did it for the learning. They eventually find their friend and realize that he is far more successful than any of them but that he is also happy and teaching in the way that he believed is correct, in other words more relaxed. Throughout the whole movie there are several themes; for example, love, suicide and the pressure of Indian students to become successful engineers. Another part of the movie that I absolutely loved was that throughout the movie the people would burst out into singing and the whole mood of the moment would change and the whole scene would become a music video with hundreds of dancers singing and creating a lively mood. Even though the movie was rather long and even had a section for an intermission there was not a moment that I felt bored or my attention was not wholly attached to what was happening on the screen. I found this movie in my heart and I am still saying “All Izz Well!”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

GO FOR GOLD!!

Start the countdowns. The Winter Olympics will commence in 19 days! As I was flipping through the channels today, avoiding my homework sitting next to me, I saw that very little of anything was on. I decided to settle with watching some figure skating program but soon could not take my eyes away. It was rather interesting to hear that Sasha Cohen that after not competing for FOUR years to return and try and go to the Olympics in Toronto. She managed to come out second after the short program but sadly had a fall that took her out of the competition during the long program. She still received a standing applause after her performance because of her well done job after such a long break. The tickets to Toronto went to two skaters that are still quite new to the skating world and that will definitely be going into challenge at Toronto. Both are still very young, sixteen and seventeen years old, but they both are very talented. I could not take my eyes off the youngest girl, Mirai Nagasu, who skated oh so eloquently.

She held the lead after the short program but somehow dropped to second after the long program. That I didn’t understand at all. Her movements were the most flowing and skilled of all the skaters and even the commentary throughout hers was more splendid than any others. The girl who is seventeen, Rachael Flatt, was said to have been unhappy with the fact that she was ranked third but then she should have been satisfied with her movement to first overall. After a few more errors with jumps than Nagasu it was rather unusual a fact that she moved past her….I understand the movement past Cohen who had had a done right fall but the young girl’s routine was not without its faults. I cannot wait for the competition that is to come with the Olympics in 19 days. I have always been interested in knowing the results of figure skating but this year I will definitely tune in to watch these girls fights for the podium! Good Luck, USA!!!!

Independence!

So things around my house these days have been fairly quiet and I think it is because for the most part I am the only one at home. My mother left last Tuesday for business in Florida and my brother and I have been staying home alone. It has been somewhat of a challenge to manage an entire house, my younger brother and my schoolwork but it is also very pleasing. My mother has to travel quite a bit for her work during this time of the year and will not be home until the first weekend of February. Our mother has learned to trust that we can stay at home and be responsible without the destruction of the house. This was a very hard task to accomplish but one that was very much needed. It was far more difficult to have to stay at my grandparent’s house in past years because I worry of leaving something I would need during the night or the next day so usually I would bring everything imaginable and then I would have to truck it all back. I have always been very independent and after getting my license last year my independence increased immensely. It is not unusual for me to worry about myself in all matters of the day but when my mom is away I also must work to keep my brother satisfied. He has always had someone to look after him so therefore is nowhere near as independent as I am and so therefore I must supply him with meals because he seems to be unable to follow the simplest of cooking directions. It can be rather frustrating but it is worth the fact that for the most part I can do what I want as long as I clean up after myself. I love, absolutely love candles. I like to burn vanilla candles when I just need to be relaxed and my mother hates the smell of any kind of fire or burning in the house so it is pleasing to be able to burn candles at any time and not get bothered about it. It is the little things like the ability to burn candles and have most of the house as my playground that makes the time my mother is a way that makes me the happiest. It is my independence and it gives me this look into my future when I really will be on my own and I am kind of excited for it!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr.


Today was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and therefore this past weekend people across the nation celebrated by participating in community service. I commemorated his work by doing some civil service of my own and on Saturday I spent five hours at a local business painting. It was a very enjoyable process and it really got me thinking about people giving themselves to their community and their world. As I suited up for what obviously going to be a rather difficult day of work, I was feeling a little anxious as to what was ahead of me. When I got to the building I was rather timid in going in because part of me knew I would be the only teenager helping out that day and I would also not know who any of the other people were. We were showed the level that we were to paint and then slowly we all kind of tapered off a section that we would work on by ourselves. It worried me a little that no one was really telling me what to do because I feared that I was going to do something terribly wrong. After getting over my first couple of fears I started to tape off the spot I had been placed in. It was this little lounge that had a balcony that looked over the main level so that I could see the offices below. I liked the position but it involved a lot of taping. As I was taping and working on this room alone I was definitely feeling good about the fact I was helping the community but also the fact that I could sit here and work while still be able to think internally about the thoughts on my mind; that was probably my favorite part of the whole day. I like to go inside myself and just think about anything and everything and it was a good time to do that. We had a small break to eat and get something to drink and this was the first time we had to really conversate as a group. The others talked so much of their work in and around the community and how one’s entire life was put into projects to help poverty at the moment. It was rather an unusual thought to me that someone would put so much of their life into their community. It really gave me something else to think about when I finished up my painting and the five hours. As the time was coming to an end, we all cleaned up and said our farewells but everyone’s efforts and the time there will always be remembered in the newly painted walls of a building hit by the flood just two years ago. It was a good way to remember the work that Martin Luther King Jr. had done himself and think of others who have dedicated their lives to the cause.