Through the eyes of a first semester senior: the college process and more
My friends and I are counting down the days until the first semester of senior year ends, until we can officially declare ourselves “second semester seniors.” Maybe then, I’ll be able to go on a proper vacation, because I haven’t gone on one in a few years, unless you count exhausting debate tournaments or college trips.
And the college process itself is brutal. I don’t hate colleges, I just abhor the process itself. The colleges themselves are merely wonderful institutions full of opportunities, but the process seems to have brought out the worst in all of us. It has torn families apart, it has stressed me out beyond belief, and it has scared me to death. Peers, who used to look out upon the world with wide and innocent eyes, now squint at the sun and scurry back inside to slave away at their homework (a little exaggeration, but that’s honestly what it feels like). My college counselor puts it simply: we are, but should try not to, sell our souls to the devil.
Is it too extreme to say that I no longer believe in altruism anymore? Maybe I’ve been feeling too pessimistic, but it seems like every service project, every volunteer opportunity, every leadership position has just become a row on a Common App, a check on a box, a mask for something to augment, to boost, to plump up someone’s college application.
at night, my mind wanders
into uncharted territory
it trespasses onto private property
it tiptoes past safety guards protecting
enforcing a barrier between what i want to feel and what i need to feel Continue reading
I May Not Respect You, But I Respect Your Work
Depending on how it is portrayed and explained, a child’s amateur collage could be transformed into a work of art that is complex, deep, and enigmatic. If you step back and simply look at it, it’s a piece of construction paper with paper triangles and circles sloppily glued on, and it might be your personal opinion that it’s a disgrace to call such a project a piece of art, a masterpiece even.
But to some, the carelessly assembled work might represent the ephemeral nature of childhood, the standard sky blue color of the background might express the utility and potential of such a common color, and the lone star shape in the corner could represent the North Star that guided the escaped slaves. But that’s just me.
When you try to interpret Picasso’s Guernica, it’s probably easy to infer what scene he’s trying to depict, given that you are familiar with his background. It’s showing the personal horror and trauma that arose from the German and Italian bombing of his Spanish town. You might know from common knowledge or shallow research that the Spanish government paid Picasso to create this mural for the World Fair that took place in Paris.
However, a more prevalent trend has been lurking in the most recent years. Especially as abstract art becomes more common and there are less distinguishing factors that allow you to identify what an artist is trying to convey, the artists are becoming increasingly reliant on art fanatics’ creativity, imagination and personal interpretation skills to properly appreciate their art. Research will only get you so far, and personal analysis will bring you the rest of the way.
Thus, what people do with their money is their own business. For some reason I’ve never been able to awaken a very strong interest or passion in visual art as most other people, as it doesn’t affect me emotionally, at all. But I do know that there are people that exist that base their careers on their appreciation for art. Some people are willing to spend millions on something that looks like 3rd-grade me could have created, and for what reason exactly? Personal appreciation is a phenomenon that I doubt I will ever understand.
But as is my opinion with music, so too shall this apply to art: you don’t need to agree with someone’s lifestyle to appreciate their work. Stop hating on Chris Brown’s music. We’re not downloading his albums to listen to him talk about his ethics and morals; it might just be that I really like the loud bass to one of his songs, in which case if I decide to download a Chris Brown song, no one should judge me because I’m obviously not going to take life lessons from him.
As is the case with someone like Justin Bieber. His “beliebers” firmly believe that he is flawless, but I personally find many character flaws that I don’t want to go into detail about because I might just spend five paragraphs on it (if you really want me to, comment below and I’m happy to write a separate post about it) >:D
In my opinion Justin Bieber is overrated as a person but I really do believe (though I will reluctantly admit) that he has raw talent as a singer. Thus, I don’t feel guilty downloading his music.
As it pertains to art, I believe it’s totally to appreciate (and heck, if you have/are willing to spend money) and purchase someone’s art simply for aesthetic reasons. As long as you are comfortable with your financial decision, you should feel free to do whatever you want. You have nothing to prove to anyone…
Not only that, but it’s also acceptable to enjoy someone’s work for different reasons. While we have professional art analyzers that may or may not be right about the meaning behind someone’s art, isn’t the point of this whole experience for the artist (and indirectly, the viewer) to explore the work and their own creativity? Thus, you can probably interpret a song or a painting or a sculpture differently than everyone else seems to, and that justifies your appreciation/purchase. If you find something profound in art, there’s nothing that should hold you back from expressing your admiration of it.
The Middle of the Night Was Mine
– Patrick Dennis
When the sun is out, the lighting is perfect enough so that you can see those math problems, so that you can see where you are going when you’re running, so that you have enough energy to do your chores, or anything else “productive”.
But if the point of life is to be forever productive, we’re going nowhere, if we follow the conventional idea of productivity. This is the idea of cranking out English essays or making your bed, but excludes periods of time of what I refer to as “personal development.”
Everyone is different and there are actually some people out there that can wake up at 8 am feeling perky and energetic. First, I’m not one of those people. I normally come to school slumped over and communicate mainly in grunts. You’ll find me the most emotionally charged and thoughtful after midnight, in the earliest hours of the morning. It’s personal development in the way that I can go to bed pensive and laden with a case of the feels.
It’s when I do some of my most honest and down-to-earth writing, after I’ve seen, heard and read anything there is to know on the internet, in reality, and in friend/family life. As a junior in high school, you don’t find as many opportunities as you want to leave the house and rule the night as kids do in movies and TV shows; often I’ll be left at home, exhausted from work but still mentally alive. So I’ll probably be online, lurking somewhere, and then its time where the night owls come out. We creep and congregate, discussing the most serious of issues, however random and disillusioned, but still meaningful. In the daytime, we have our masks, our priorities, and our peers altering the way that we think and act. After hours, we hang up our ties and wash off our makeup, left with our true personalities, surrounded by all of our fears and problems.
So after everyone else seems to have gone to sleep, the right side of my brain starts to wake up. I’m more open to random music, I seem to get the best writing ideas for this blog, and my priorities start to align themselves.
Night owl, for sure.
– inspired by the Daily Prompt
I stayed up pretty late last night, after having finished my debate research around 11. I showered, hunkered down with earphones and a cup of water, and wrote my heart out. Now, I have woken up around 11 am and am writing this post, but somehow it’s already 1:38. Where is the time going?