National Geographic

I have not been on this blog in so long that I actually had to fight off a family of spiders from the dusty, cobwebbed corners of my poor website.

 

I interrupt this silence to bring you my new and improved photography skills. I have entered in the National Geographic Your Shot competition. Although the chances that I could win are slim to none, I like being able to associate my pictures with National Geographic.

 

As I was picking through the overgrown and underappreciated areas of my blog I noticed that the only photography I have up here is from when I was fifteen. So I am off to update my photography tab. Feel free to look at it now. Well not now, I’m probably not done. Unless you’re reading this an hour from now, in which case go ahead and check it out. 

 

Also if you feel like voting for my pictures you can make a member profile with NatGeo (which I strongly recommend you do) and click this link to visit my profile. 

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/331314/Image

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What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

verizonRecently I set out to use Twitter in an attempt to save a band from their own fans. My efforts were in vain, but as I watched people read and “retweet” my work I realized that I had just used a very powerful weapon: the written word. As I thought about this weapon I came to wonder if others were as aware as I was that the ability to communicate our ideas was such a superpower. So I asked around and…

I was very disappointed.

hieroglyphics201

To my dismay all too many of my peers do not find writing (or even reading) a useful skill. But, I was inspired to try again.

First, let’s take a moment to think about words. Words have been around for as long as history itself, and that is not an exaggeration. Without words, we would have no written records, and after all is that not, by definition, what history is?

Writing, which began through the Sumerian culture, is the primary form of communication through the ages. Consider this, through written records we have been able to see almost exactly what life was like in the past. Perfect examples of this are diaries, laws, the Bible, and even Shakespearean plays; through these mediums we have been allowed a window to the past.

“The spreading of ideas,” says world history teacher, Coach Martin, “past and present, is the central aspect of civilization…it allows for trade…it’s a founding principle of economics…if it never developed the world would be drastically different. Everything we have today is the result of some sort of printed medium.”

cuneiform

Absolutely right, Coach Martin. In fact, a world without communication is “so hard to imagine,” according to Ms. Mion, American government teacher, “I just feel like there would be a way to communicate,” she says.

Of course, there are a million different ways to communicate, as taught to me by Ms. Campos’ Special Education class .I had the privilege of meeting some of these students, and they showed me just exactly how our world has given them the ability to communicate efficiently and precisely.

“Most of my students are nonverbal,” says Ms. Campos. “So they use devices…when they do [use the devices] it gives them a little independence…so you can imagine if she can press a button for ‘I want to read a book’ it’s more independent than for her to sit and stare at something across the room and maybe not get it.”

The students use a variety of communicative forms from clapping to squealing to pressing buttons to even using iPads.

DSC_0464[1]

“You want them to be an engaged learner and that’s one thing we find more and more with assistive technology. Technology helps them,” Ms. Campos later comments.

And where would we be without technology and progress? So as long as we have technology we do not need to exercise reading and writing, right?

Wrong. After all, must great minds not communicate their ideas? Ms. Mion puts this into a government persepective when she says “Reagan and Clinton were good communicators; they could ‘break it down,’ whereas Obama is a powerful speech giver, but those two are not the same.”

So then what happens if we aren’t good communicators, Ms. Mion?

“When you lack communication,” she says, “you don’t have progress, and you can see that now in the deadlock we have in the government.”

In a world where we cannot communicate our ideas, we would be in a social deadlock. Without a way to relay thoughts and share ideas there would be no innovations, no forward movement.

idea

The ability to communicate rests on the ability to read and write. The two compliment and build each other, and not a single human lives a day without feeling the reverberations of the written word. To put something down on paper is to make it real, and make it permanent.

“You can lie to yourself all day,” says English and Yearbook teacher, Mr. Hearn. “But the moment you write something, it’s been said.”

Writing gives us a way to organize ourselves by organizing our thoughts, and for those visual learners that is a huge deal. Writing makes a nebulous thought into a tangible, visible object.

“Without the ability to communicate, to express yourself, to write clearly, you become trapped in your head. You can’t even form ideas,” says Mr. Hearn.

How many of us have felt trapped and overcome by these thoughts running rampant in our minds? The ability to think let alone organize is a blessing, should we not take advantage of it? Sometimes we first must be trapped to see the fact that there is another form of freedom available to us.

In an example provided by Mr. Hearn: “It was Malcom X who wrote that it wasn’t until he began to learn to read and write that he became free. He was sitting in prison, and he said he never felt so free in his life. So people who say that reading and writing aren’t important, they’re dooming themselves their own imprisonment.”

Now it’s high time that the doomed break out of jail.  The problem, here, is not the educational system, because as we can see from these quotations Northside’s staff is not short in stressing the importance of writing; and this is just a small portion of teachers speaking.

“I stress to my students their ability to express themselves and their ideas clearly,” states Coach Martin.

“I start every class with student responses,” says Ms. Mion.

So with the teachers doing their part, what is going wrong? Why the sudden decline in the belief that reading and writing is important? The students have lost interest. So it is up to us, the readers and writers, to lead by example.

I believe that if we can get a large enough portion of the student population to read and write as a daily exercise we can spread this to other students, and the written word will sweep through like an epidemic, engrossing the minds of young people everywhere. So where do we start?

Reading. And what will reading do?

“What reading does is it opens your mind to ideas…reading gives you what you’re going to write about. It exposes you to ideas; to perspectives…it sounds cliché but, to worlds you couldn’t imagine otherwise.”

Thank you, Mr. Hearn.

Reading gets us to think, it gives us inspiration. Students sometimes lack confidence in their ideas. They wonder if it’s good enough or call themselves a “bad writer.” But who is going to judge what is written? The pen? The paper? Oh that’s right, nobody. A “bad writer” is essentially a lie. A “bad writer” has never truly tested their abilities.

“And you lie to yourself,” says Mr. Hearn. “And you say that you don’t have anything to think. Then suddenly you start writing and you realize that you’ve tapped into all these things that were buried.”

Writing is a waterfall, it’s active and alive and once it has been cut loose it is hard to restrain. So I’m closing out with a few points to think about.

Writing and reading is the foundation of civilization. Without it we would stop dead in our tracks. We can change the world with it, and every day we take this blessing of being able to sit down and write, or even to speak, for granted. Consider Ms. Campos’ students.

“…for our kids the ability to ask for the simplest thing is…amazing.”

DSC_0452[1]DSC_0466[1]

That isn’t meant to inspire pity, either. That is meant to inspire a readiness to learn, to read, to speak, confess, write, and inspire someone else. We need to get the message of writing out of our heads, off of the paper, and into the world. So after you finish this article go; create; inspire.

 

“The way you express yourself, communication, language is what truly grants your freedom,” (Hearn).

Be free, write, and above all: spread the word.

Categories: School days, Writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Test Running the Spotify Play Button

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It’s Just An Expression

Hello lovely and faithful and devoted Peach Eaters.

As you know my age old excuse is that I don’t write much anymore because my senior year of high school is taking up too much time.

However as I have come to learn some of you don’t believe me. So I got photographic evidence today. Yes I did. I want to show you exactly what I do at school. Class by class. Hour by hour. Minute by minute. Second by slowly ticking second. So here is my photo story. It starts in first block. Math class.

I have literally learned entire LANGUAGES easier than twelfth grade math. And I’m over here in my desk like

My confused face

After an 90 minutes of that face the bell rings.

OH MY GOD THE BELL RANG

 

So I go to Physics class and my teacher tells us we’re going to learn how to calculate the velocity of the flying fuck I don’t give.

Just kidding.

But the real problem is something like “Alejandro, Pueblo, and Steve are looking at the stars. Alejandro, who is petting a zebra whose mass is 96 kg, suggests that they find the acceleration of a comet passing over head. Calculate the acceleration of the comet if the zebra is standing on a cliff that is 9 meters tall and it is a Wednesday and if the force of purple is One Direction. (HINT: the acceleration of gravity is 9.81 m/s^2).”

I don’t think so.

So I throw my teacher one of these

(It’s the Jenna Marbles face)

 

And I ask her “If you multiply mediocrity by gravity what do you get? MY GPA.” HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Then as she is explaining how to find the displacement of a space monkey I am lying in class like

Because I am just tired as all get out.

And then the bell rings.

OMG THE BELL RANG

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand time for APLit.

This is one of the better classes so at first instead of being like

I’m just normal. Which I don’t have a picture of for obvious reasons (it doesn’t last long enough to take a picture of).

We read Hamlet for a little while and the bell rings for lunch.

And after lunch we’re still reading Hamlet but since I’m full of delicious lunch and Hamlet tends to get a little…ahem, lengthy, I end up like

So to wake myself up in between reading I look on twitter and I see someone has posted a pic with the caption “One Direction”

So then I start reading all these One Direction things and looking at pictures and I go through this range of emotions.

And then the bell rings!!!

 

 

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The Lengths Women Go To In Order To Be Attractive

This post is totally about to be a rant, by the way…

 

Okay!

 

Men just do NOT understand how hard it is for women to look the way they do! And I’m going to throw the ugly truth out there: girls are freakin gross.

We’re always shaving and not eating this and putting on this and that…

And we’re always fat. Even if we aren’t fat, we think we are.

I’m going to begin at the top and work my way down to describe to you the insane amounts of trouble girls go through to be pretty, because I was thinking about it the other day, and it is crazy.

 

Hair.

We all want to look like this. So we do stuff to our hair to make it look like this.

Some girls just go with the standard blow drying technique, but some of us get dirty with it.

I am one of those people.

Let me list the crazy shit I have done in my life to have beautiful hair.

Color.

Bleach.

Color again.

Cut.

Gloss.

Pour hot oil over.

Use an aresenal of hair products.

French braid at night.

Wash on off days.

Comb when wet.

Brush when dry.

Towel lightly.

Smash a banana and put it in my hair.

Smash an egg and put it in my hair.

Vanilla in my hair.

Peppermint oil in my hair.

Coconut oil in my hair.

Horse hoof  cream in my hair.

Vitamins.

More vitamins.

SO MANY MORE VITAMINS.

It really astonishes me that my hair isn’t the length of a football field.

 

Skin.

Oh my Jesus our skin. It has got to be flawless otherwise we feel like this:

So what do we do? We scrub it with soap and sugar. We put lotion on it. We dry it. We put makeup on it. We wash it some more. We take mud and cucumbers and slather it on there like it’s going to do something. Honestly. Mud. Like dirt and water.

Facials are probably the highlight of my life.

I once put volcaninc ash on my face to make it look good.

Seriously.

Eyebrows

We take tweezers and rip out portions of hair but leave others.

EXTRA HAIRY IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES.

Let’s see face can fall under the skin category, we don’t do anything to our necks (unless we’re old and we have to staple our faces backwards), we don’t do anything to our shoulders…

Well actually I do. I don’t put sunscreen on my shoulders to get those really cute sun freckles.

Okay we don’t do…Oh wait yes we do.

Victoria’s Secret pushup bras. Nuff said.

These are literally bras with water balloons stuffed in them and wire running through the sides. Sound comfy? We don’t think so either.

Tan lines. We try to get around those sometimes with fake tans. These fake tans can be from a tanning bed, a spray tan, or lotion (I call that smear tan).

You have to be careful with smear tans though because believe me, it WILL turn your hands orange if you don’t wash it off.

Legs.

My God. Shaving. Jogging. More shaving. Lotion. Tanning. Scrubbing. It’s all to get legs like this

(We want those abs too)

But you know sometimes we don’t shave, we just do this

She is literally using hot wax and paper to rip the hair from this woman’s leg. And women don’t even just stop at their legs. You can wax your eyebrows and some women even have to wax off a mustache.

Finally, feet.

You ever seen one of these?

Well this is what we do with it

And this is what comes off

I bet you’ll never look at your girlfriend the same way again, boys.

Then we top it all off by putting on MORE lotion (just when you thought girls didn’t use enough).

You still think girls are beautiful delicate flowers?

Good.

Now the effort we put in to look like this

Can be fully realized.

Categories: Lists | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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