This was a free write I did about part way through junior year:
I tend to be a really negative person, so I'm going to write about why I like myself.
First is my hair. I know that's a weird place to start, but my hair is my favorite thing about the way I look. I love having long hair! The Puritans got it right when they said that a woman's hair is her vanity. I like the chocolate brown color of it and the way it curls, especially around my face. I only get it cut about once or twice a year (which I know is bad) because I want it to grow out.
Next is how smart I am. I love taking hard classes and feeling like I make high school worthwhile for myself. That's why I enjoy debate! I learn so much about politics, philosophies, and history. My sister Amelia always comes to me for questions. I'm a year ahead in math and AP Calculus is one of my toughest classes. I love feeling like I can understand and master the concepts.
The last thing that I like about myself, or at least the last one I will talk about, is that I think I'm a good leader. I like planning and organizing activities. I think I'm pretty creative. I like doing things for other people and feeling like I can make a difference.
I'm really hard on myself and I push myself to do a lot. I find myself happy though when I look back at all that I've accomplished.
Looking back at 2011, this has definitely been the busiest, craziest year of my life! If there was any one lesson I've learned, it would be this: everyone is capable of so much more than they know! I'm talking to you. YOU are grand. If you push yourself, and try to accomplish great things, you will be rewarded.
For me, the biggest example of this would be student council. I remember how nervous I was when I turned in my application. I felt so confused about whether or not it was the right thing for me. I knew that I'd be embarrassed if I actually went through with the whole process and ended up not being selected. I almost didn't want to tell anyone I was applying. Somehow word got out. (Doesn't it always?) I had near threats from other people who likewise wanted the academics position.
I had to go through an interview by the already elected, new student council. When I walked into the room, I realized that I knew all of their names, but there was a slim chance they had ever heard of me before. I was nervous, but did my best to be happy and confident. I guess it paid off.
So....what I hope you learn from this is that YOU can do great things. Heck, if I can get a spot on student council, then you can achieve whatever you'd like to, and more than you can imagine. YOU are capable of more things than you know.
Now, onto resolutions for 2012. First, I must talk about my take on new year's resolutions. People have worthy goals throughout the year, but for some reason, they always wait until January 1st to begin. There is something seriously wrong with that. Why not set goals throughout the year?
I, being a hypocrite, have decided to eat a ton of junk food and candy now, because I'm cutting it out for 2012:) I'd also like to start working out more often. Since 9th grade, I've lost about 35 or 40 lbs., and have gone from a size 9 to almost 0. I don't really know how I did all that. I swear I'm not anorexic or bulimic:/ and if you know me, you know that I LOVE food. Even if I've already lost weight, it's not going to be bad for me to eat healthier and get some sort of muscle on me.
Next, I'd like to feel pretty. Most mornings, getting ready is a task done grudgingly. Very rarely, and only with a lot of effort, do I ever say "I feel pretty today!" I think it would be nice to feel pretty more often. My case is a little unique, in that I've spent the last seven months on acne medication that has completely dried me out and emotionally destroyed me. I totally think my teacher's think I'm on drugs because my eyes are red all the time and I'm constantly putting on chapstick. But now that I'm done with accutane, hopefully I'll feel happier. And my skin definitely looks much better!! I haven't been clear since fourth grade. It feels nice. So yes, I'd like to be able to look in the mirror and say "I'm pretty" more often than I say "I'm ugly."
My last goal is hopefully going to become my year's theme - if I could call it that. It's about influence. Who am I going to let influence my life? Most commonly, I let people from the past, people who have hurt me, tell me what I should be. How do I know they even exist anymore? People change. They could be completely different now. So why would I let a past version of them hurt me? I can't move forward if I'm stuck in the past. I'd much rather let Christ influence my life. I'd much rather be known for being a nice and friendly person.
Going with that, my resolution is to redefine how I will influence other people. My Mom has always said that I'm a leader; I can choose to lead for good, or lead for bad. With all the different leadership positions I have right now, I have the great ability to influence many people. Last year when I applied for student council, I felt really small and insignificant. This year, I actually feel kind of popular, which is a new experience. I impact not only the people I regularly visit with, but everyone who sees me. It's important that I always stay "Rahrah" no matter what - that I cheer people on:)
I've heard that writing down goals, or sharing them with other people, will help me achieve them. If you ever see me gaining weight, chowing down on too much junk food, being hard on myself, or beating someone up, then feel free to straighten me out.
I LOVE YOU. Yes, YOU. If you don't think I'm talking about you, then you're wrong.
We ate lunch at sweet tomatoes and then went to the dinosaur museum! I super like going to museums, especially if they involve sharks in any way. (See picture.)
As you've probably noticed, Christmas was a few days ago. I got my first android phone (from which I am sending this blog) and it's real nifty! I also got a laptop, which was a complete surprise! I'm going to miss my netbook, but it has definitely kicked the bucket:( I'll have Brady check it just in case.
As a quick update, I have only FIVE pills of accutane left to take. It has noticeably cleared my skin, and noticeably taken a toll on my mental health. Can't wait to be done!
Anywho, I miss my dog, I miss summer, and I miss you.
I went to five different elementary schools. Because I moved around so much, I struggled with finding good friends. Being in the top of my class each year didn't help. When I began an accelerated program in 5th grade, I finally found a group.
For the next four years, my life was "Mean Girls." I was in the popular circle of girls in my class, but I obviously didn't fit in. They told me rules I had to keep. If I didn't, I was kicked out. I had to straighten my hair, dress a certain way, and act dumb so boys would like me. They told me which boys I was "allowed" to have a crush on.
I told my parents that I was happy and that my "friends" were nice.
We were rude and gossiped a lot. We never talked or cared about anything important. The two queen bees of the group would get in fights over boys. They forced the rest of us to pick sides. Things were very dramatic, and I was extremely desperate and insecure. I chose friends over confidence.
Things lightened up a bit in junior high. I still felt excluded and below them. I still felt like I had to be on my guard all the time. However, it was better to have friends, hating my life, than to have no friends and be lonely.
At the end of it all, one of the queen bees confessed that they were only friends with me to make themselves look better.
My crucial decision came toward the end of 8th grade, after four years of hell. I emotionally couldn't handle it anymore. I wanted friends who accepted me for me. I cut off all contact and am still working to move on.
I sigh now because it's a part of my life I wish I could forget. I recognize that the difference has been positive. I struggled for a while, trying to gain confidence from my nothingness, and wanting to make real friends.
I jumped around a bit between different groups until the end of 10th grade, where at a party, I met the cutest, brownest, funniest guy I've ever known. He's my best friend! If I hadn't left that group from hell two years previous, and spent time discovering who I am, then I wouldn't have been ready to meet him.
Looking back, those were my most formative years. I excelled in orchestra and academics. I took my first AP class, discovered a love for history, and tried debate. I've become extremely involved in religion and school.
Before, my "friends" controlled my life. Now, I know who I am and what I want to be.
A pearl is my favorite gem. A clam will take a grain of sand, and through much pressure, make it into a beautiful pearl. Judge me as you will. Say what you want about me. Think harshly of me for running into Alonso's arms, or that I'm crazy for trying to do all that I do. Or that my hair would look better straight. Or that my skin's too white, and I should try tanning. Or that I have no life outside of school. Tell yourself whatever you want, because you will never know me the way I know myself, and the way my Savior knows me. Through much pressure, I have become a beautiful pearl.
Things were hard, but I made a crucial decision, and that has made all the difference.
Also, as a quick analysis of the poem, many people just get it WRONG. It never once says that he chose the better path. He said he'd be telling the story with a sigh, knowing that the path he chose made all the difference. It could easily be interpreted to mean that he had taken the wrong path. He also says that both paths were equally worn. One wasn't significantly harder than the other. Just some thoughts. Love you all:)
Well, as you know, I LOVE debate! I also really enjoy talking in church. Today, while meeting with my ward's 2nd counselor, I informed him that it's been 1 1/2 years since I've spoken in Sacrament meeting. He was beyond impressed. Apparently, he's been looking for a young woman to speak next week. He explained that he typically makes calls 2 or 3 weeks in advance, but he just couldn't figure out who to call. He had free time, but no one felt right. I felt really good because not only am I relieving a burden of his, not only am I speaking in church, but I was led to this assignment! It's inspired!
The blue lights illuminated the high, pink walls. Its turrets penetrated the speckled-with-stars sky. Royal drapes hung from the towers. Small, fluorescent lights were strung around the building, brightly flaunting the details: gilded edging, stone craftsmanship, and happiness. An arch stood in the middle, proudly holding the weight of the massive establishment. Grand windows were curtain closed; yet from the ground, I peered inside. Inside, where the sun really does come out tomorrow, and it’s comforting…but disregard my prediction of what I would find inside while I describe its majestic exterior in one word: perfection.
Everything about Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was sparkly and magical. It inspired me, and I let it. Its lavish decorations and particulars were refreshing. During daylight, the castle was inviting. When dark came, it was absolutely stunning: a sight seen from the entire park. Only a palace as magnificent as Aurora’s could be deemed the icon for the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
My castle is likewise perfect. It is friendly, beautiful, and happy. Visitors look up to it, and make talk of it. Because of its size and reputation, it is easily detected. The details are similar: the same gilded trims, structure, and boastful happiness. Yet, as darkness approaches, lights, too, are shined upon my castle. As with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, mine also lacks light within. Its curtains are closed, and the inside concealed. People can make predictions or assumptions of what is kept inside of my castle, but they don’t know me. I’m only perfect.
She wasn’t answering me again. I knew that Millie was in the room next door, probably with music blaring. I pulled out my cell phone and dialed her number.
“Well that was friendly,” I said sarcastically, grinning at the sound of my 15-year-old sister’s voice. “I’m writing an essay about a family relationship. You and me, and me and you. I need a story. What’s something cool that we’ve done?”
“Uhhh…How about that time last week at Wal*mart, when the guy at the dressing rooms was a GUY! And we were BRA SHOPPING!” She giggled.
“Wow, Lia, like I’m really going to write an essay to my teacher about that.” Sometimes Millie can be so weird. “I need a story…some time when our friendship was strengthened.”
“When has that ever happened?” Now she had me laughing! “Really, we don’t do stuff like that. We go to dance class together and sometimes shopping. We work on our online classes in the same room, and you say that you value my opinion. That’s about it.”
She was right. Amelia and I have hardly anything in common. First off, she inherited my dad’s dark, Polynesian skin. Me? I’m as white as snow. We both have long curly hair, but Millie’s is more bushy, and mine, wavy. She likes anime and drawing. I’m more into politics and writing. She’s always had the best luck with friends, but I’d rather have a select few. I like sweet candy, and her, sour. Yet somehow, we get along just fine.
One reason why we’re so close is the age range in my family. I have 2 older sisters who are 1 ½ years apart. Then, there’s a 5 year gap before me. Amelia and I have always been the “little sisters.” It’s like we’re on the same team. When we were young, and the older 2 were at school, we would play with their pokemon figures, which was forbidden. We’d watch for the bus. When it came, Amelia and I would clean everything up before they arrived home. It was our little secret.
After our move to Utah, Amelia and I became even closer. We played stuffed animals, barbies, polly pockets, or all of those at once. We shared a room and bunk bed. Though we often argued about menial things, we quickly overcame those, strengthening our relationship.
Things changed as I grew up. No, Amelia and I don’t play like we used to. Instead, we talk and talk and talk! We support each other, learn from each other, and love each other. Because we’re so different, we can offer unique perspective and advice. Amelia is the sister I can go to for anything. Millie is, and always will be, my best friend.
And yes, if you’re wondering, we did go to Wal*Mart last week to go bra shopping, and there was a creepy, old guy in charge of the dressing rooms.
Last night after I prayed, as I was about to lay my head down on the pillow, when a thought came into my mind: "God loves you." It repeated itself over and over again. "God loves you. God loves you. God loves you. God loves you. God knows you. God understands you. That's why God sent Christ for you."
I've heard people tell stories about how they gained a testimony of God's love for them, and I thought I had a testimony of God's love for me, but last night was the confirmation I've been needing. Everything came to me so clearly. I'm sad...but I don't have to be. Last night, God made it very simple. All I have to do is ask Jesus Christ to take my pain away. He's already suffered for it, and he wants to take it upon himself. I have to let him.
I've been stubborn. I've been self-righteous and vain. I've assumed that this little problem is something I can take care of on my own...but now I know I can't. I've let my pride hold me down. My little problem with depression has consumed my life. It's going to take some time to change, but I'm ready to put my trust in Christ and be happy again.
His car was hot, stuffy, and lacking a radio. With any other guy, I would’ve felt uncomfortable; yet being with Alonso, even in an old Jeep, made me happy. Neither a broken AC system nor windows that don’t roll down could ruin my 17th birthday.
“Thank you for decorating my room, Lonso!” I exclaimed. Then, sarcastically, “I was very surprised.” Nothing gets by me. I knew the full schedule for the day, and I couldn’t have been more excited. Our first stop would be a small, lesser-known Peruvian restaurant in Provo.
“Are you going to have ceviche?”
“No! I had your mom’s last fall. One serving of raw fish is quite enough!” I replied, smiling nervously.
“Well, it’s your day. Have whatever you’d like!” I swear that boy is made of cheese.
I gripped my seat belt so hard that if it was an orange, juice would’ve begun to squirt out. The Jeep had begun shaking violently on the passenger side of the car, right under my seat.
“What’s going on?!” I yelled.
Before Alonso could answer me, I heard a loud popping sound, similar to what I imagine a blown out tire would sound like. Alas, the tire had blown out. He immediately turned on the emergency lights and maneuvered the car into the right lane. Unfortunately, the insane Utah county construction prevented us from immediately taking the shoulder. At 5 MPH for a couple yards, we finally made it safely to the edge of the road. This is one surprise I most definitely did NOT foresee.
Now, my birthday is conveniently placed in the month of June; this is convenient for two reasons: One, I don’t have school. Two, it’s very warm. While the latter may seem like a blessing, I was not pleased on that particular day to be stranded between Pleasant Grove and Lindon with a deficient car at 85* Fahrenheit or worse. In simpler terms, it was extremely hot and the tire was torn into pieces.
With the utmost precision in timing, a Utah Department of Transportation officer pulled up. He had all of the equipment necessary to replace our tire and get us back on the road. However, he did offer some advice that would forever change our lives:
“You should really get off at the next exit. Take State Street home and then try and get a real tire on that thing ASAP.”
No, it wasn’t exactly life-changing, but in the following moments, a few elements came together to create the 17th birthday experience I will never forget. Alonso and I thanked the man and were on our way.
Until we made it onto State, we were completely focused on getting off the freeway with no more “surprises.” Once there, we realized the horribleness, the ugliness, and the hellishness of our situation. Though it was , only 85* out, the inside of the car worked to be an oven; Alonso and I were baking at an estimated 125* Fahrenheit…fine, it was probably only 95* or so. As stated earlier, his car had no AC, no window-rolling capabilities, and NO radio! Not only were we frying, we were also trapped with a disgusting scent…
“Blech! Can you smell that burning rubber?!” We had packed the tire in the back seat.
“This is so gross. Alonso, get me home! I knew we should’ve taken my car. Yours is so…ghetto.” I giggled.
The fake tan lotion I had applied earlier that morning was dripping down my leg, leaving behind white stripes. I didn‘t want to tell him, but I was literally melting. I looked at the brown complexion of his face. Though once smooth, it was now covered in tiny beads of sweat. I leaned forward, prepared for the worst. My shirt stuck to my skin. I wish I could say that I shuddered, but it was too hot to feel a cold chill. Alonso called his mami to inform her of our situation. I gave up trying to understand his quick Spanish, and instead searched for fresh, clean air in the car. I found none.
Those 30 minutes on State seemed to never end. When Alonso finally turned onto his street, I could feel freedom kissing my fingertips. I eased out from underneath my seatbelt and prepared myself to fly out of the car. Once parked in front of his house, we raced to the shade. I fell on the grass, thankful for the immediate relief the cold blades brought my warm skin.
We laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
The rest of the date played out coolly (pun very much intended). I drove instead and we went to a different restaurant, but that wasn’t an issue. Sometimes, being with the right person can make any situation bearable. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way they’re planned; however, they always work out the way they’re supposed to.
You know those questionnaire things that people like to fill out? I've never done one before. I found this one that my friend did, and I decided I'd fill it out and post it:)
Are you taken now?
Are you in love?
What's their name?
Are they older or younger than you?
How long have you been with them?
It's been 1 year, 4 months, and 3 days since we met, and I haven't stopped thinking about him since:)
Do you think you'll get married?
That's the plan:)
Do they always say the right thing?
No:) And it's cute when he says something dumb:)
Do you think they'll always be there for you?
Yes. I trust that.
Do they know just how to cheer you up?
He does. Sometimes he doesn't always do it, so I have to give direction...but that's just the plan:)
Is there anything you would change about them?
I wish I could make him feel less-stressed:) and I wish he wasn't so insecure. I think he's amazing, and I want him to believe that too:)
Would you do anything for them?
Within my standards, yes.
Do you think you know everything about them?
Nope, but that's what eternity is for:)
Do they know everything about you?
Same as above:)
How often do you talk to each other?
Quite a bit:) We're both very busy, but we always make time for each other, and that's special to me:)
Can you see yourself having a long happy life with this person?
Do you see you two having kids someday?
Yes. I trust that by then, I'll actually like kids:) Ja.
Do you call eachother by pet names?
Lonso-poo. Does that answer the question adequately?:)
What was your first date?
The haunted forest:)
Do you remember your first kiss with this person?
July 28, 2010:) I remember every detail:)
What does it feel like to be with them?
Like he's chocolate, and I'm Vanilla:) Jajaja:)
What does it feel like when they're not there?
Sad because he's gone, excited to see him again, and safe because he reassures me that he cares:)
Will they read this just because you filled it out?
Yes because he's the only person that reads my blog, jajaja:)
***the girl who filled this out before me had perfect answers. She knows everything about the boy she's dating, they talk 24/7, and she's always so lonely without him. I'm grateful to be with a guy who I learn more and more about every day. I'm grateful that I don't need him there every second of my life to take care of me. I'm grateful for his kindness and unconditional love. Thank you, Lonso-poo:)
I'm on medication for my skin right now. It has a warning label that says to "stop medication and call your doctor right away if you notice that you have any of the following signs and symptoms of depression or psychosis:"
Here's the list:
- Start to feel sad or have crying spells
- Lose interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Sleep too much or have trouble sleeping
- Become more irritable, angry, or aggressive than usual (for example, temper outbursts, thoughts of violence)
- Have a change in your appetite or body weight
- Have trouble concentrating
- Withdraw from your friends or family
- Feel like you have no energy
- Have feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Start having thoughts about hurting yourself or taking your own life
- Start acting on dangerous impulses
- Start seeing or hearing things that are not real
I've experienced all but two of these-_- I can NOT wait until I'm done with this in 3 months.
I'm only taking 3 AP classes, but on top of that I'm on student council and the president of 4 different clubs. I stay after almost every day to manage one of those and then I'm required to be at as many school functions as possible. Work's really lightened up, but I'm still trying to put in 6-10 hours a week. Luckily, I've been raised from $8 to $10 an hour, so hopefully that will make up the difference.
I'm emotionally falling apart, as usual, and I'm barely keeping my head above water. I'm only doing my best.
I really feel like I've been neglecting you all summer.
I'm going to be honest with you: I have writer's block. I've had it so bad. Many times I can feel an idea in my mind, and I want to put it into words, but the words won't come. It's weird, considering I'm not much of a creative-writer. I just like to write about my opinions and feelings.
I have some things coming for you:) I've written a couple different essays, and one memory!! I have to wait until my teacher's graded them before I can post them, though. I can't wait!!:)
Yes, I know it's past 11, but I just had the craziest epiphany! It's been one year since my first kiss:) We were hanging out with some friends, when he asked me if I wanted to go on a walk and look at the stars. We walked to a nearby park and talked for some time. There were other people there, so we kept going. Once we passed a fence, my heart was pounding like crazy. I didn't know what to say. I tried to keep walking, but he pulled back on my hand until I was facing him. I almost blurted out that I wasn't ready. I was so nervous. Then, he stepped closer to me, put his arms around my waist, and kissed my lips:) I haven't kissed any other guy, and I don't want to. Right now he's gone camping, so I can't be with him...but I hope he's thought about me at least once today:) I love you!
TO MY BEST FRIEND,
(because I know you read this, and I think you're the only one? Besides Miranda, but she won't mind.)
You always make me so happy. I love being with you:) You're funny, kind, and very sweet. You make me feel beautiful and wanted. You encourage me. You've saved my life, and you continue to do so every day. I love seeing your name when you call me! You put up with me when I fall asleep on the phone:) sorry, by the way. I don't know why that happens so often;) You like me the way I am. You think it's cute when I yammer on about random things. When I talk, you listen, and I know you do. You are so quick to forgive me. You love me unconditionally. You're bad at singing, but you still do it for me anyway:) And in the car, when I tell you that you're ruining the song, you sing louder:) You buy me little, ugly figurines at that shop on state street because you know they make me giggle. You laugh at my stupid jokes!!:) You give me your T-shirts to wear for PJs, and your jacket during the winter. You tell me that God made you warm and me cold on purpose:) You write stupid poetry for me because I think it's funny. You take me to Taco Bell because my all time favorite soda is Mtn. Dew Baja Blast! You tag along when I go window shopping so that I don't have to be lonely, even though I know it's not the most exciting thing. Your car tire blows up on my birthday so we have to spend 30 min driving home on State without AC, the windows won't roll down, and there's a disgusting burnt tire in the back:) You've made me 2 mix CDs. You taught me how to do your magic tricks because you know those bother me. You always shave before I see you because you respect me. You bought me the cutest hat for my birthday! You let me take you on your first roller coaster:) I'm your #1 priority, and you make sure I know that. The list could go on forever, but it's past 11:30 and you know I like to get to bed earlier than this.
Thank you for everything:)
PS- I want to name our first daughter Belinda:) I think it's funny and cute:)
My online English teacher found my essay word for word on this website. Fortunately, I got that worked out.
Anyway, can you believe it's July already? My summer's already half over! 2 camps down, 2 to go. Hawaiian plate lunch sale is on saturday, and I teach hula the first two weeks of August. Not even close to being finished with my classes. I gave up writing in my journal after I got home from girls' state, the 2nd week of June. I've been putting in 10-15 hours a week at work. My room has been messy 75% of this summer and I'm barely getting all of my chores completed and the lawn mowed regularly. I had planned on spending every day with you, but complications with my parents messed that up. Speaking of which, I told you I'd give you our bucket list, but I never got around to it...So here it is now:
1) Cook off
2) Water fight
3) Outdoor movie
4) Dinner somewhere nice
5) Watch the clouds
7) Hike to the top of Timp.
8) Teach you how to sew so that you can fix your own backpack:P
9) Learn how to play chess
10) Participate in the debate sci-fi week:)
Wow, I'm pretty sure that you suggested most of the stupid ones, like 5, 7, 3, and 9:) Oh well. They probably aren't gonna happen now. Except 6:) at least we got that one done!!
This post seems very jumbled. My mind feels very jumbled. I give up.
I've been 17 for 10 days now, and I still haven't even received a facebook message or text from her...What happened? Before she left on her mission, we would stay up all night talking. She understood me. She listened to me. Then she came home and we just fought bitterly, about everything. And now she's gone.
I keep fighting with my parents. I want to get out of this house so bad.
My dad used to be one of my best friends. I could rely on him for a hug whenever I was down. We spent a lot of time together. Then everything came out. I tried explaining to him that I always feel sad. I told him about how I really struggle with wanting to hurt myself. He didn't understand. Instead of the loving, sympathetic friend that I needed, he was frustrated with me. I was punished for having low self-esteem. I think he's ashamed of me. I try so hard to do well in school and extra curricular activities, but nothing impresses him. I'm not the only one who has unrealistic expectations for myself.
I feel like my essay starts out really well, but gets worse as it goes on. I was having some issues with my tenses. Oh well:P
Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” champions the individual. It follows the journey of Equality 7-2521: a man stuck in a dystopian society of extreme collectivism. He breaks away from the people and recreates electricity--an invention that was lost with the world’s digression. Once realizing the counterproductive nature of conformity, Equality 7-2521 takes his forbidden love and steals into the forest to start life anew. He forges an anthem for himself and posterity. “Anthem” seeks to establish the individual as a source of happiness by noting the faults within a collectivist society, proving the value of innovation, and describing the autonomy of individualism.
The book is a journal of Equality 7-2521. He calls himself “We” instead of “I.” In his society; “it is a sin to write” (pg. 17) anything by oneself. The anthem of his people is: “We are one in all and all in one. There are no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever” (pg. 19). Upon reaching age fifteen, citizens are assigned a career. Equality 7-2521 became a street sweeper which hindered his creative mind.
They are not allowed to love any man or woman above another, meaning that they cannot form relationships. Yet he still had feelings for a girl whom he called “the Golden One.” Ayn Rand points out the flaws of collectivism by initially deleting the word “I” and by showing how it goes against the natural man tendencies to make one’s own decisions and create friendships.
Once when sweeping the streets, Equality 7-2521 found an old sewer drain, but he didn’t know what it was. He was curious enough to risk his life in order to explore it. He returned to it each night to study the things of the “unmentionable times” that were inside of it. Even though his actions were considered treacherous, he wrote that “in our heart there is the first peace we have known in twenty years.” He found a light bulb, and was finally able to make it work, saying “the wire glowed! It came to life, it turned red, and a circle of light lay on the stone before us” (pg. 59). Equality 7-2521’s ability to create was what made him truly happy, but he had to do it in secret. This further proves how a collectivist society--one that disapproves of innovation--cannot grant one happiness.
“I am. I think. I will” (pg. 94). Equality 7-2521 finally ran away from his home. The Golden One soon followed and joined him. What had once seem a scary and evil thing, to be alone, became their greatest joy. Equality 7-2521 concluded that it was natural for him to love a woman and to make his own decisions. They found a home from the “unmentionable times” high up in the mountains. There were books that he wanted to read. Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One soon renamed themselves Prometheus and Gaea, after gods. Their new anthem was that of freedom, ego, and the individual.
In most books, readers will say that they feel connected with the character, or that they can sympathize with them. In Ayn Rand’s “Anthem,” she paints a world that is collectivist to the extreme; one where career is not a choice and love is illegal. The whole society is centered on “we.” Equality 7-2521 isn’t the typical hero of a story with whom one can relate to. Instead, his journey teaches that individualism will lead to true happiness, something that many people take for granted. “Anthem” illustrates the way in which collectivism restricts freedoms while innovation and autonomy will truly bring joy, making it a must read for all people seeking to better appreciate and respect their culture.
My name is Sarah. I would like to share with you some of my experiences at Utah Girls’ State. While preparing to head down to SUU, I was not excited. I was bullied a lot in elementary school and junior high by girls, so I wasn’t looking forward to spending a week with 300 or more of them. I belonged to Walker City, named for the only female governor of Utah, Olene Walker. Upon arriving, I instantly had a change of heart and attitude. The girls in my city were kind, smart, and inviting. I felt included and wanted. We were immediately comfortable with each other. Naturally, we had the best city in the whole state!
I spent the week learning about political processes on a city, county, and state level. I became my party’s city chairwoman, meaning that I led party caucuses with parliamentarian order to help nominate and elect candidates. Every day I heard from keynote speakers like the Governor, Attorney General, and Veterans. By the end of the week, I felt like I had learned so many things not only about our great country, but about myself too.
The theme of the American Legion Auxiliary is “God and Country.” Girls’ State was just as spiritual for me as it was political. Throughout the week I felt promptings to listen to what was being taught or to try something new. That “something new” was running for Girls’ Nation Senator. Like every state, ours had the privilege to send two senators to DC to participate in a congress session there. I began a campaign that was emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting. I wrote a bill, took a test, and made posters. As part of the debate team at my high school, giving a speech is neither hard nor scary. I consider it an amazing opportunity to have been able to speak to every citizen of Girls’ State.
I felt like God wanted me to run for Girls’ Nation Senator. He didn’t tell me that I would win, He only told me that I should run. I prayed harder than I ever have before, and therefore felt closer to Him than I ever have before. Out of the 300 or so girls attending Girls’ State, I made it into the top four for Girls’ Nation. I ended up not winning. Do I regret a second of my campaign? No. I anticipated a week of home-sickness and torture. I was given the most amazing week of my life. I returned home to Lehi a brand new person. I now understand the duty I have to be involved in my community. To me that means performing meaningful service, educating myself as a voter, and being knowledgeable about and grateful for the rights and privileges I enjoy as a citizen of the United States of America.
I full heartedly thank you for the donation you have made to my tuition for Girls’ State. I feel that I took advantage of the opportunities provided to me while there. Now, I would like to thank you for the time and service you have given to me and every American. This past year, I took a class in school about WWI and WWII. I think war is very unreal to a lot of people. It’s easy to brush it off as only ketchup and toy guns. After in depth learning about these wars, I have earned a greater appreciation for all of the service men and women in the military. I can’t imagine fighting in a war or sending a family member to do the same. I thank you for serving in the military and sacrificing your time to protect my freedoms.
I am like a sunflower. I am delicate, beautiful, and strong. During the day time, I stand tall. I am independent and steady in the wind. I accomplish many things. I brighten everyone’s day. I make people smile. I am a friend and sister. They call me a flower child, a daughter of the sun. They tell me I’m perfect.
When it is dark, I close. I keep people out. I fall apart. I struggle with myself. I yearn for the time when the sun will come back, and open my petals, and beat warmly on my skin. I don’t tell anyone how I feel.
My friends and family only see me when it’s sunny; when I am delicate, beautiful, and strong. They think I stand tall. They think I am steady. They see and praise all that I accomplish. I make them happy. They tell me I’m perfect. They don’t know me.
I am like a sunflower that blooms during the day, but hides during the darkest moments of its life.
Today (yes, May 19th, the day before this essay is due) I stayed after school to help Mr. Edmondson put up chairs as usual. A girl from my class likewise stayed after, asking about what her grade was and how she could fix it last minute. Mr. Ed checked the program on his computer and announced that she had 23% in the class. She laughed. I pretended to not be listening. As a straight-A student (except a stupid B+ in AP Calculus that doesn’t count!), I will never understand how 23% is funny. I’m a red-type personality. I’ve always had the internal motivation to achieve everything I’m capable of, and I reprimand myself for anything less than perfect. I take school seriously; however, many times the material seems pointless. Yes, I will excel. No, I will never use derivatives and integrals ever again (hopefully). There is one class, though, that I believe will benefit me in the long run. Physics? Nope. I’m talking about AP Language! Cuz now i can speek english reel good lol. On a more serious note, I’ve learned how to write. Of course I knew how to write before, but I feel like I’ve improved a lot. How will this benefit me? Writing is not only a necessary skill for my future experiences, but it is a way to document school mastery or historical things and a tool to explore myself and the world.
Since elementary school, teachers have instilled the idea that a college education is the be-all and end-all of mortal life. Everything that I’ve done from when I first learned how to read until now has been in preparation of that pivotal moment. Now, at the climax of this preparatory state, AP Language has been paramount in giving me the skills required for college. The number one ability that will help students in college is that of writing. Timed essays, analytical writing, and the vocabulary (Gahh I hated memorizing that!) were all useful exercises and tools that enhanced my writing. Naturally, after college comes a career. Writing is exempt from almost no professional job. When I become a famous neuroscientist (with a white lab coat; tie-dye for my birthday), it’s very likely that I will be writing many reports on my studies as well as thesis papers that everyone will want to read. It’s important that I keep my high-profile position by using superfluous diction, proper syntax, and a tone that is appropriate for my audience. George Orwell said, “If you cannot write well, you cannot think well, and if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.” Writing is typically a sign of education. Education is a weapon against ignorance. Because of what I’ve learned in AP Language, I can use my writing as a way to protect myself, in the economic, social, and political world. It’s a necessary skill that can be utilized in many future experiences.
Another reason why learning how to write from AP Language will benefit me is that writing is way to document and prove what I’ve learned. Every class in school involves writing of some sort. Even the AP Calculus test had a “free response section!” When a student says, “I don’t like English, but I love _______ class,” I find it so ironic. Knowing how to write is a fundamental for every class in high school. Why? Because understanding how something works and being able to explain how it works are two very different things, the latter showing mastery of a subject. Because of AP Language, I can now pass every other class!
For a more sentimental reason, writing can document the past. As one who loves history, I appreciate the existence of language. Quick fact: the first written language developed, cuneiform of Mesopotamia, was invented to keep track of taxes…Anyway, my grandmother’s written experiences of Pearl Harbor, stories of ancestors who crossed the Mormon trail, a child's letter to Santa, and old journals of my own are all valuable writings to me because they help me connect with people in the past, including myself as a child. My heart melted when I found this in my 2nd grade journal from fall 2001: “If I could have 5 wishes I would wish for food, battories, responsibility, more fun and work. That would make life easy. I’m sure of it.” (I’m almost positive I can’t insert “sic” if it’s my own typo.) Ultimately, AP Language gave me the skills and the desire to write to prove my academic worth and to secure my life’s story.
A final piece of knowledge gained from taking AP Language is that writing is more than a dissertation of what you know; writing can teach you things about yourself; writing is an exploratory tool that can be used to understand your personality and emotions. “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard is an autobiographic collection of short essays detailing her experiences growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the book, she identified multiple themes throughout her life: exploring, learning, and breaking through one’s boundaries. From this book I learned that by writing about your life, you can learn more about yourself. I now see writing as a way to discover my emotions. Sometimes life is so frustrating that the only thing I can do is take out my journal and create word salad on the pages. I learn more about myself by putting my thoughts into words than inhibiting them. I’ve learned that writing is a healthy way to deal with my feelings. In a very personal sense, I can echo the words of Edward Bulwer-Lytton that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
Writing isn’t just for exploring oneself, but for learning about the world. In class we would write journals on random topics or debates. Oftentimes, I didn’t know where to start. Once I began placing ideas on the paper, it became easier to stem from what I knew to what I could unearth. With inspiration, like a spiral topic, I was able to formulate complex ideas about the issue. From this exercise, I could take the simple arguments in my head and expand them into something comprehensive. Because of AP Language, I learned that writing is more than saying what you know; it’s a way to discover something new about yourself or an idea. Through what I’ve learned, I can better reach into myself and outward into the world as well.
Wow, I went two whole paragraphs straight without any sarcastic comments! Before taking AP Language, writing wasn’t very important to me. Like the girl in my physics class, I was only giving 23% effort. Writing was a chore. This year, when I realized all of the applications of writing, I came to enjoy it more. Writing is a necessary skill for college students and neuroscientists; it is a mechanism used to demonstrate mastery and document historical events; and finally, it is a way to learn more about myself in a personal and global context. Thank you Mrs. P for presenting writing to me in a fun way. Thank you for making a difference in my life. My only hope now is that some day, some teacher or class can do the same for that poor girl who doesn’t know the value of a good education.