May 28, 2011

I just don't get it.

Our justice system takes 8 years to convict Brian Mitchell David, a man who kidnapped, tortured, and repeatedly raped Elizabeth Smart for 9 months.

It takes less than 1/2 a year to get a case against Winn Dixie for having thorns on their roses that pricked a man.

I don't care what people say about Taylor's personal life. Her songs often describe exactly how I feel.

Long were the nights when my days once revolved around you,
Counting my footsteps praying the floor won't fall through again.
And my mother accused me of losing my mind,
But I swore I was fine.

I see it all now that you're gone.
Don't think I was too young to be messed with?
The girl in the dress cried the whole way home.
I should've known.

May 19, 2011

Presenting the awesome closing essay of an awesome class: Twenty-Three Percent. (That's the title:)

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.

Expect an awesome essay later tonight...meanwhile, here's a less awesome preview to help you pass the time.

My Dad called me a "wooliss" today. Wooliss isn't even a word:P He swears that he said "wuss," but I don't believe him. Because he called me a wooliss:)

May 16, 2011

I'm craving my favorite movie. And my favorite food, song, book, and person.

dear people who read my blog (or dear no one),

I'm so completely stupid. I feel like everything that's inside of me exploded into little, sharp pieces that keep coming back to stab me. I haven't felt so low in a long time. I'm in desperate need of my prince charming; someone who's going to swoop in and put me back together. I know I come off as strong and independent, but I've never needed someone so badly as I do now. I feel weak and hopeless. I know I can be demanding, but all I've ever wanted is to be happy. Whenever I feel like I've made it there, I find that it's eluded me once again. I feel like giving up, but so many people rely on me. I've always tried to befriend those that need someone. Whenever I'm inspired to do something nice for someone else, I do it. When is someone unexpected going to write a nice note for me? When will someone show up at my doorstep with cookies? Or call me to see how I'm doing? Why do I have to be happy for everyone's sake but my own?

Spent an hour weeding in the cold today. I hate weeding. Please, next time I'll vacuum or clean the floors:(

I do not think you realize the monopoly you have over my emotions.

I'm watching Sabrina- the Audrey Hepburn version.

One day when I grow up and I'm really cool and sophisticated and wealthy, I'm gonna buy all of my dresses from here. They should all go very nicely with my lab coat.

May 15, 2011

And the winner is..........ME!

Yes, thank you thank you. And to think, we're only 5 months into 2011 and I've already won!!

Wow I hate myself.

It's one of those days...the kind where you remember that life still sucks.

If any song, music and lyrics, could completely describe my feelings right now, it would be this one.

May 9, 2011

A journal for AP Language...what will I do without this class next year?!

Junior year is supposed to be the hardest in school. I concur. After being involved in everything I possibly could be, and stressing to the point of mania, I’ve learned many valuable lessons. I will share one from each of my ten classes. Warning: these are not at all similar to the warm, fuzzy, and cookie cutter things that were shared in class like, “I’ve learned to learn from my mistakes.” During my junior year in high school, I’ve learned that:

1) Trying out for a solo is a formality. The conductor already knows who is going to get the part, who is going to sit in first chair the entire year, and who is going to play every solo from every song in next year’s concerts. Heck, the teacher might as well name the orchestra after him.

2) If your seminary teacher’s favorite song is “All Creatures of our God and King,” then be prepared to sing it at least once a week.

3) I make way too many comments in class. When no one else has anything to say after I’ve spoken, then I know I need to shut up.

4) As long as Miss Lambert’s not in the room, hardly any math is completed during math lab. Once she takes role and leaves, that means it’s okay to eat, talk, sit on the desk, text, sleep, and wear a hat. 

5) Every presidency needs a girl to do things like plan the banquet, make all the phone calls, write all the letters, decorate the board, take pictures, make flyers, host a debate tournament, and know the names of everyone on the team. The guys in the presidency? They’re just there for...well, they just look nice.

6) Stalingrad is fascinating and all, but I will invariably fall asleep during 4th period
7) I like neuroscience. One day when I have my own laboratory, I’ll poke brains all day long!

8) After having this reiterated to me thirty times over, I have learned that the Abbasid Caliphate was invaded by the Seljuq Turks; the Uighar Turks were invited into China where they slowly took power; the Ghaznavid Turks formed the Sultanate of Delhi in India; and the Ottoman Turks took out the Byzantine Empire. YES!

9) If I ever have to find the rate of change of the volume of a cone at t=30 sec at which time the radius is 8 inches and the height is changing at a rate of 3 inches per sec ever again, I swear I’ll rip my hair out.

10) I hate physics.

I’ve really struggled through junior year, but like everything else, I feel like I’ve come out on top. Of course I’ve learned important life lessons like “don’t procrastinate” and whatnot. (Yet here I am at 10:47 PM.) Most importantly, I’ve learned what my limitations are. From there, I feel like I can better prepare for senior year. Bring it on!

May 6, 2011

PS- I made it onto Student Council:) I had an interview and it went really well, then they picked me!!


Practice essay for AP Lang! I know the thesis is crap, but I don't care :P

Ralph Waldo Emerson contradicted himself when he wrote, “nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” Philosophy, current events, and literature show that an overriding moral principle fails because it’s not circumstantial and all people determine their own standards. Because morality is defined by the individual, Emerson’s first claim stands true, that only people can bring themselves peace.

Deontology is a philosophy that weighs the means as more important than the ends. To elaborate, it doesn’t matter where you get to as long as you followed strict moral code to get there. Deontology implies that there is an altruistic set of morals, or “principles,” as Emerson called them. A criticism of deontology is that if pressed to give a murderer the location of a brother/sister/friend, one must do so. If not, that would be considered lying. Deontology advocates for the “triumph of principles” without looking to the circumstances of each situation. Because of this, a “triumph of principles” will not always bring one peace.

No two people are exactly alike. No two people have the same ideas about what’s right or wrong. Because of human diversity, a “triumph of principles” cannot bring peace to everyone at the same time. Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda believed that it was their jihad, or religious purpose in life, to kill Americans. They felt peace when doing so. Contrastingly, Americans felt peace when the announcement of Osama’s death was made. However, the triumph of our principles will seemingly not bring us peace with Al-Qaeda.

Another example of people having their own moral code comes from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat.” The twisted main character felt proud and peaceful when he was able to conceal his wife’s body after killing her. According to his standards, that brought him peace. So much so that he felt confident in allowing a police force to search his basement. Because philosophy, real life examples, and literature prove that a blanket form of morals do not work for everyone, the second half of Emerson’s quote does not stand.

The first part, “nothing can bring you peace but yourself,” is a legitimate argument for the same reason the other one is not. Because no one is the same, it is up to people themselves to feel peace. Whether that means they transcend beyond their circumstances or learn to change their thoughts, a person can feel peace only through themselves. It really is based on attitude. In the “Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne was an outcast of society. Instead of letting that bring her down, she became more than just an Adulterer; she became Able. Hester devoted her life to raising her precious daughter Pearl and involving herself in charity work. She felt peace because of her own efforts and her own attitude.

Religious leaders and scholars will always seek to find a universal moral code. However, it can clearly be seen that “nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”