June 28, 2011

And now for my sister... I knew that when she got married she'd be moving on, but I didn't know that meant she'd forget about me.

She forgot my birthday :'(
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 don't even know where to start.

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.

June 27, 2011

Anthem theme essay

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.

For she's a girls' state girl, and a girl you ought to know!

Dear American Legion of my city,

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.

God bless you, your families, and America.

Thank you again,


June 15, 2011

I'm taking an online English class...I can't be kept away!

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.