A New Ending

Inflamed eyeballs were the un-established compromise to writing blog posts for English. But don’t get me wrong, it was well worth ALL of it. Now that the school year is ending, I’m disheartened to see this community of student bloggers come to its final stop. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most about English. I was able to see the inner workings of my fellow students and friends and their weird, brilliant, scary, and funny thoughts about everything. I had the opportunity to step into others’ perspectives and it felt genuine. I didn’t come across many bloggers that wrote just for the sake of finishing it. We had the freedom to talk about any topic and I feel like giving someone a certain trust that they can write about any topic, unconsciously makes people want to do well. That’s how I felt about it, but that’s also because I don’t like having restrictions on things that don’t require it.

There were some barriers along this whole blogging experience like not knowing what to write about, finishing on time, and creating something that would be satisfactory to myself. There’d be days where I had a week to write a blog post, I’d end up with ten drafts before I decided on what to write about and when I figured it out, it was too late. I would ignore all my drafts and start a fresh post that I wish I’d spend more time on. However those are only the elementary aspects of actual hindrance. I would worry about what I had already written, so as to not repeat myself because I am a person with old thoughts. It was also overcoming the fear of not caring what other people thought about what I wrote, that helped me grow as a writer. But not only does that help with my writing, I can speak my mind more freely than I have before this year started. There was also a line between being playful with words or just writing as though I was speaking to my friends. The main thing I would change about my writing, is to write poems, or mess with how things are supposed to be structured. I should have just risked the play on words, because then I would learn something if I was doing it incorrectly,luckily I realize my mistake now.

As I’ve mentioned in my last post “The End Has No End”, I struggled through organizing my thoughts so that the writing process would flow fluidly. Sequencing things is my scotoma, and I never realized it until I started blogging. I’m still not great at putting things in order, but it’s gotten better. Along with learning how terribly I organized pieces of writing, I learned how to incorporate quotes into a passage in ways where I could either bring it up randomly or have it slowly creep up as the main idea of my writing. Visually, I had to think about what details tied into what I was writing about, and using tags correctly to bring the right attention.

Some of my favorite posts have to be “Sorry for not Uploading” , “The Good the Bad and the Weird parts of Rain” , and “The End Has No End”. I was able to express bottled up thoughts that I’ve been wanting to share. There are some things you can go on forever talking about, and these topics were exactly that. Sometimes we forget them, but once it springs back to our minds again, you have to write it down immediately before the thought escapes. When we were forced to plan out the connections we made to rain, it helped me draw even more connections from personal experiences with rain. It was effective to focus on one topic to draw connections from your past, future, your five senses, or anything. And with those connections you would create more connections. I was able to dig deeper into the connections I’ve had with rain, even the insignificant details led to something bigger.

The best advice I could give to anybody who’s writing a blog or will be, is to be unafraid of what you post. If you’re passionate about something, go for it. Your writing can reflect who you are, so be bold even if it’s a little embarrassing. Also, don’t write about certain topics just because it will get views, write for yourself.

If there was something to fix about this blogging system, I would change the picture policy about having a picture as big as the blog post. I would often times find fantastic photos, only to be disappointed that it didn’t match up to the columns beside it. I understand how smaller pictures make things look “unprofessional”, but some photos are worth posting even if it isn’t big enough.

For my part, I loved blogging. I liked seeing other people’s opinions on things that people don’t share when they talk or hang out in real life. The things that go unmentioned were noticed because of our blogs. It is our own, and we can spread ideas like a wildfire which was what interested me the most. It’s refreshing to see new minds talking about unfamiliar things, rather than everyone focusing on one topic that they couldn’t find connections to. I think the best part about starting a blog post is finding the connection we made during class, it broadened our spectrum of what we can talk about as long as it connected to something we learned. It’s a good mixture of work and freedom and I hope other English teachers catch on(Future AP Eng teachers, I’m looking at you). Reading other people’s blogs were just as fun as writing posts, I’m glad I was able to experience this and I think I’m going to continue blogging. I’m going to miss seeing everyone post up a new blog post every week.

what is a bloke

“The End Has No End”

Forgive me for stealing your song name, if any of the band members of the Strokes ever sees this. Julian, Albert, Fabrizio, Nick, and Nickolai, I’m sorry, even though you guys broke up a while ago. But I can’t help that it’s a great title.

As Orwell puts it,

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

endless

A blog post has the potential to be just as similar. Especially when it comes to the conclusion. But I never really reach the conclusion. Writing is like reaching for something that gets farther away. Between the space and object are ideas,opinions, and memories that attach themselves like extra pieces of legos on an already “completed” rocket ship. All my blog posts are unfinished pieces of writing, which ends up as a mega-aqua-rocket ship. Like trees that branch off from itself or from other branches, or charmless charm bracelets begging for attention, or a plain fro-yo screaming for toppings, there’s always something to add. There is no end(oh hello title reference)!

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2014 Taught Me Simplicity

I always say the year prior to the current year is great even if it wasn’t. I’d say 2014 was a pretty progressive year. I learned more about myself, which is weird to say because you’re expected to know who you are because you are you. The majority of 2014 was a rocky road and I’m not comparing it to the ice cream flavor. My life seemed great and amazing and it was finally reaching that utopia I had in mind, and suddenly it was all taken away from me, or it felt like it. I felt small and I came up with reasons why things happened like maybe it was karma or god telling me I need to stop being so materialistic or that this was some life lesson. I took it as a life lesson, but it took me a while to learn from it. In fact, I’m still learning from it. I was always upset, ungrateful, angry and I tried to find reasons to be sad. I WANTED to be sad because it just felt hopeless. I had this desire to have a dramatic life so it could match up to be what I’ve seen on t.v. and so I thought this was my chance. It turns out that being sad makes you feel even worse, it wasn’t a surprise ,but I didn’t expect it. I got into this argument with my brother a couple months later and after we talked it out, I started to realize how I focused so much on the little things. I realized most of the temper tantrums I threw were failed acts of trying to be “lively” and rambunctious. I was like this as a kid, and growing up I accepted it as something that was a part of me, but in truth, I’m not such a crazy person I thought I was. My desire for a dramatic movie-style life was kind of…corrupt. If I’m pretending to live another life, that life still won’t be mine.Life in movies are different from actual life, and it took me until last year to understand that basic concept. Everyone says reality is awful, and hey I’m not disagreeing with that, but it’s also kind of great. I tend to daydream a lot and daydreaming can be tricky especially if you use it in the wrong context. And if you’re spending most of your time daydreaming how are you going to deal with greeting the inevitable reality? I don’t want my life to be a copy of movie, no matter how glamorous, I just want to live life the way it is(whatever that means). I also stopped believing that something like the genie from Aladdin was going to make my life more awesome, if I want something to happen, it’s my decision to act on it. I can’t count on something else to make things better, hard work will triumph over all obstacles. Wow, I’m starting to talk like my chemistry teacher and I can’t decide whether it’s a good or scary thing. And lastly, I’m going to stop obsessing about everything. So this is how my materialistic obsession starts, I see something that has a certain feature that other products don’t seem to have and I just keep thinking about how cool it is and how much I want it, that I eventually go nuts when I don’t have it soon. For example one time I saw my friend use the Hawaiian Tropic brand sunblock and it smelled good and I realized that I was low on sunblock(when I actually had a half the product left), but it didn’t matter that I already had sunblock because the Hawaiian Tropic is sunblock totally different from the Banana Boat sunblock. Simply smelling something that is pleasant is a good enough reason for me to buy something. Why couldn’t have I just used my sunblock I already had instead of hauling my mom with me to buy one thing from target? Then I have this other obsession where I start to doubt myself in everything, and question my every motive. I care so much about how others see me, and that’s one of my main problems. If I stopped obsessing over what everyone else thought and just focused on myself, I’d be fearless and I would actually be myself. So whether something is big or small, over thinking kills originality and I’m not going to let go of the one thing that identifies me. I’m grateful for the year 2014, which made me realize that my life won’t ever be a movie(thank goodness), taught me that I shouldn’t freak out so much and learned that spending time on negativity is just a waste of my precious time.

nancy fights with everyone

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird Points of Rain

I hate getting wet when I’m not showering or getting bombarded by water balloons in the summer. A couple days ago I had to walk home in the rain and  I ended up soaking wet because I didn’t have an umbrella. In addition to getting soaked, I got sprayed by murky water when cars went past me,  my mom’s efforts to driving slowly on the road made me assume that people don’t drive faster when it’s pouring, I was wrong. There are lots of things to complain about when it rains, like getting wet, driving slower than usual, having your hair frizz up, and having to dance around the snails and worms that pop out of nowhere. The worst thing about worms, is that they wiggle, and they wiggle FAST, once you step out your door you have to mentally calibrate where the worm is going, and how fast it’s moving. Snails on the other hand, stay at about the same slow pace, but there are lots of snails everywhere so you have a higher chance of stepping on one in addition to the manic worms, just thinking about crushing a snail brings cringe-worthy chills up my spine, gross!The one thing I’m most annoyed about rain ,is taking my dog out. Like most dog owners, I don’t own a dog-raincoat so it’s difficult for your pup to be comfortable doing their business when they’re being splattered by cold water. I came up with a temporary solution when I was in the 7th grade, I somehow fashioned a plastic bag as a cover up for my dog. Sure, I could have used a t-shirt, but that wouldn’t have been as fun as creating something out of trash, plus t-shirts aren’t waterproof. Besides taking my dog outside and trying to avoid the creepy crawlers, I really enjoy when it rains.What I like when it rains is the atmosphere it brings, the sky is gloomy, the temperature drops, and we all struggle like madmen reaching for the driest place we can find. Staying indoors when it’s raining is fulfilling because it’s comforting to know we’re warm and fuzzy in comparison to the cold outside. I already like staying indoors, but raining is an added bonus which also gives you another reason to stay inside. I know you’re not supposed to open the windows when it’s raining, but the smell of wet greenery is manipulating. Musky is the most appropriate word when it comes to describing how the rain smells. The rain is exciting because you hear things you’re familiar with, but love to hear. It’s like the first time you hear something new, it’s interesting, you’re not quite sure what it is, but you want to hear more. The sound of rain varies by the amount of rain that’s produced, when it’s raining lightly ,it sounds like a pen that continually taps on a soft book. When there’s a lot of rain and cars drive by, it sounds like a clean fast rip of a paper, this can also sound like you’re whistling the word “shoe” about a billion times. But these aren’t the only factors that differentiate the sound of rain hitting something. Another great thing you get to do when it rains, is taking your umbrella out! For the time that it rains, you get to experience what it’s like to be your own roof. I feel so much power when I use an umbrella because I get to choose where I shield myself. Most of all, it’s fun experiencing something that doesn’t happen often. It’s like what George Zinavoy of The Art of Getting By ,said when he told Sally Howe his rules of ditching school, rule number one being that cutting school is fun, followed by rule number two which is to cut rarely to preserve the specialness. Likewise, Voltaire said about the same thing,

  “The secret of being a bore is to tell everything”

Once you get used to common things, you know so much about it,so you get bored of it. Humans have a natural desire for change, so once we keep doing things repeatedly, we get tired of it. Voltaire is saying that people who are mysterious are more interesting than people who talk about everything, because when there’s something we don’t know about someone, we itch at the chance to find what it is. The lesson here is that you should keep some things a mystery because once you know everything, or have become accustom to it, it’s no longer as fun as it used to be.I love the rain and at the end of the day, I’m glad it doesn’t rain often so I can savor the moment and not grudgingly say “ugh, it’s raining again.

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Two Small, But Big Words

I found this awesome post at http://seayourself.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/thanking-people/ that made me think about what the words “thank you” can mean to me.Sometimes the words “thank you” can change your mood, and even your whole day. I’m not talking about the ironic thank yous, but the ones that actually make you feel good. I remember when I was a kid, I used to HATE saying thank you, this was mostly because I didn’t really like talking to people. And growing up, my older brother would scold me thinking that I wasn’t grateful for anything in my life, which was totally untrue. I was always grateful, I just never expressed it. When I did say thank you it was the most awkward thank you you would ever hear, I’d mumble half the words and scurry off and it wouldn’t sound sincere(but it was). I’m more comfortable saying the words now, but I can’t remember the last time I said the words, and I’m not talking about the little thank yous you give for the kid that holds the door. I’m talking about the big wholehearted-in-your-face type of thank you. The message you receive that tells you that you’re appreciated, loved, and cared for. It’s not the words that make others feel happy, it’s the meaning behind it. It’s a way to spread love, and it’s the only thing that should be spread from one person to another. It makes me feel good when I say thank you too because I know that at least the person I’m talking doesn’t feel like they’re not noticed. I don’t think thank yous should be limited only to people, appreciation for everything and anything should be considered. I think one of the best times to thank something, is when you’re in a bad situation because it helps you grow and learn as a person. What you decide to act on is your decision, and it makes you-you. When you’re feeling awful and you’re at that limit where you’re about to break and you can’t handle what’s going on, keep fighting the desire to give up because what would all the struggle that you’ve gone through,had been for if you just gave up in the end? Be grateful that you’ve gone through something terrible to brag about how you’ve dealt with it. Is this something to be prideful of? Heck yeah! The little thank yous are also important; at times it can be the most uplifting part of one’s day. When I hold the door out for someone and they say thank you, it makes me glad that I held the door out for them when I could have gotten in earlier. When it comes to showing appreciation sometimes the only words you need are “thank you”.

hayley

Songs could do that?

Do you ever listen to music and you feel instantly inspired? I’m feeling the exact same thing. Music and basically art in general, is so weird, it can inspire us to think/create things, it can change your mood, and when you’re listening to the right song, you can feel serene. I think this is only me, but I can never listen to music when I’m studying, especially if there are lyrics.  Currently I’m listening to Erik Satie’s three Gymnopédies, and it is insanely fantastic, the way the sound lingers after having pressed down a key is pure velvet. I could listen to this song all day- it’s one of those songs, that if you had the choice to only listen to one song for the rest of your life, it’d be this. I feel like the first of the three Gymnopédies isn’t something to listen to while you have your focus on something else, you have to take a moment to set aside the very song in peace to appreciate the instrumental. This doesn’t mean that you have to listen to music alone to appreciate it, it’s just nice to take into the detail of the tempo and melody in a song. I’m not a music genius, so for those who are musical geeks, I apologize for any misuse of technicality. It’s funny how music can further your pain or happiness, sometimes when I’m mad I just want to listen to aggressive songs and that only fuels the fire to my anger , but on occasion it provides an escape into another world. When my headphones are in(on full blast of course) it feels like nothing else matters and my perspective changes depending on the song. We all have that one song or band that gets us pumped and makes us feel as fierce as Beyoncé when she steps out on the stage with wind blowing in her hair and it is excruciatingly essential. And lastly, there’s the sad song that we listen to when were feeling blue or artistic, and I sometimes reenact the person-looking-out-the-window-scenes-in-deep-concentration pretending that I’m filming for an actual movie when I listen to something sad. I’ve barely touched the peak of how music affects and there is so much more to say about music just like how there’s always room for more ideas, but I’ll conclude by saying that music to me, is a stress reliever and possibly, a friend.

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