Apply your passion to the world around you
It’s difficult to conceive how anyone could be excited about something like engineering, or chemistry, or biology. But I have met people who truly live and breathe for science. Continue reading
Props to you
Have courage, like this ledge cat.
People are effing courageous; are you aware?
I mean everyone.
New teachers could be new to a school or new to teaching, or both. They can slip up a few times the first semester and have only their mentor to aid them. They can walk into a cafeteria and feel some sort of discomfort, but they have to suppress it, because they’re an adult, and walking through a sea of high schoolers, they are already supposed to have their life figured out and gotten over adolescent insecurities.
Except these sort of insecurities don’t magically disappear the day we graduate school.
Props to new teachers, because their lives are currently harder than a new student’s. They are not only alone and unfamiliar in a new setting, but they also govern the lives of dozens of little individuals.
So, props to new teachers.
Hats off to people who face social pressure about what they do or who they are. Props to those who ignore it all, take all of the taunts with a grain of salt, and keep on the path that they are taking. To those that go above and beyond and proudly display their passion or speak freely about it, I salute you. Thank you for not hiding something that is central to your identity, and thank you for letting the ignorant haters ignorantly hate.
To people who feel the seconds ticking down or the window of opportunity slowly closing, congrats on making big moves or taking leaps of faith. Because we all know the despair of regret, of not having said something before it is too late, of having to hold something in and suffer inside.
So, in the off-chance that your big move works out precisely how you want it to work out, embrace that feeling of relief, of finally crossing something off of the list of things that you have been wanting to do for a long time.
The people who put themselves on the line and abandon their insecurities will be the ones moving forward through life, whereas the ones who sit rigid on the sidelines and wait for action to happen to them will remain static.
I want to go to a poetry slam
i want to write poetry just to verbally deliver it
i want to go to some random coffeeshop and listen to other people be really passionate about what they care about
The Daily Routine
She sits in a movie theatre and watches the main character die from the last row from the left most seat a tragic death that seems to shake the entire audience except her. The movie ends and she descends the steps one by one impassive stoic her face is dry. She comes back and sits in her bed She sits in the silence and watches another movie whose screen exists between pages of a book a spine whose binding is flimsy. sniffle sniffle She starts to cry for people she's never met whose faces she has never seen whose parents she has never met whose hands she has never held That's compassion for humanity. Her hands are bloody the skin are her nails is destroyed from stress and agitation. He holds them firmly and says I love you despite your flawed hands. hesitates, backtracks, and recants his words I love you for your flawless hands and your capricious emotions and the way you deal with your feels that your hands display the message receive the clemency. She goes back to the kitchen tea or coffee? glass or mug? pinky or no? Suddenly, she remembers the war Anguish and fury rush back to sting her Her hands are warm and she watches the color slowly disperse. Placidity counters the fury. Sympathy balances the anguish. Her hands are warm, but her heart is worn. Her mind is lethargic She lets it all go imagines it floating away this way that way out of sight, out of mind All of her efforts are spent wasted on impotence and structural barriers She wants to care, but she just can't afford to anymore. - inspired but not really much more aligned with the Daily Prompt
Guest Post: What IS Fashion?
There are people all across the world that are passionate about what they wear and how they look. Just observe the rush to pick up the latest releases of glossy magazines on a weekly and monthly basis and you will see what we mean.
A Letter To My Sister on Her First Day Of High School
We can’t always go to school completely prepared, with a pretty backpack and fancy hat.
A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write? – Daily Prompt
You are going to start high school next year. You will make the huge transition from middle school to high school. While the jump is not as drastic as it is to leave high school for college, you won’t be prepared. No one ever is. We all have this ideal of high school in our minds that we find is woefully distorted. It is too optimistic. It is too much influenced by the parties and fun that you see on TV. And yet, it’s not as dramatic as the media portrays it. But this is only for me personally, a major introvert.
So I hope I can help you just a little bit.
You need to find friends but don’t cling on for dear life. Your social group is inevitably going to shift every couple of months. You just need to know that it will happen, and it is not the end of the world if it does. People you thought would be by your side for the rest of your life will desert you in a few months. You will make friends with people you never imagined you would. High school will surprise you.
You need to keep your grades up. There’s this evil thing called GPA which measures your grades from day one of year one. The higher it is, the more likely you’re going to go to a good school. Don’t be anal, but don’t take your knowledge for granted. In high school, everything gets a lot harder. You must apply yourself and start reviewing for tests early. You have to find motivation to do your work. You don’t HAVE to learn about the French Revolution, you GET to.
You need to find teachers that will like you. Yes, it’s nice to have them write recs for you, but it’s just nice to have friends that are in positions of authority. It doesn’t look lame. It’s the coolest thing ever. Find one that teaches a subject that interests you and do not be like everyone else in the class. Smile and say hi in the halls. Go to extra help not just to review for a test. Visit them even if they are no longer your teacher. I regret so much not doing so, and I have certainly alienated a good number of teachers that could be very meaningful to me.
You don’t have to find out your passion. You don’t need to decide what you’re going to be. High school is just the very beginning (a very painful and miserable beginning) of a path of stones that will lead you through life. Step completely and heavily and confidently onto the first stone. Explore many options and join clubs. If you find one that you like, you should stick with it. If your friends want you to quit it, disregard their opinion (in this instance). High school is not for your friend group, it is for YOU. It is YOUR experience. You are your own independent person.
Before year 9 you won’t take this advice very seriously because you won’t really know what I’m talking about. Every year you’ll read this letter again and understand it a little better than you did before. And you’ll find out that what I’m saying is true (in some respects, at least). And you will look back when you graduate and regret a little bit but we’re not all perfect, are we?
Embracing Your Amateurity
Will someone buy me a cup like this? I’d love you forever.
(Amateurity isn’t actually a word, but I’ll unofficially define it as the state of being amateur)
I woke up and saw the notebook. I was so very drowsy, and so I only wrote three words down.
“such an amateur” Continue reading
On Happy Endings
Ideal happy ending, based on my childhood. Not in this real world though.
Daily Prompt: “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?
First of all, who is “they”? Right now, it just seems like it’s just me. Alone, but not lonely. Alone, not in the sense that I have no friends or people who love me, but in the sense that this year has been full of reflection time and I’ve changed so much over the last couple of months that I feel totally different. My priorities and my perspectives have shifted. There seems to be just one dominant voice in my head (mine) echoing in a collection of thoughts. Sometimes I get semi-paranoid because it’s just my opinion, distorted and volatile.
Am I living happily ever after? Well, my story isn’t finished yet. I’m just at the beginning of what I hope will be a long, fulfilling life. I’m still in high school, which I always regard as just a stepping-stone in my life. Metaphorically, my decisions will decide whether or not I stay on the correct path. At least, that’s what it seems like. The pressures of high school are starting to get to me. Everywhere, people emphasize that the trivial choices I make everyday determine who I am in the future, especially where I go to college.
It saddens me somewhat that so much of what we do in our teenage years impacts our future. Who are we, hormonal, moody teens? Do we know what we want, or do we just listen to what others tell us? How do we get there? What if we aren’t mature enough to discipline ourselves to reach our personal goals? And even if we eventually come to realize the big picture and the “objective,” what happens if we don’t take a step back soon enough? What if we’re too late?
All around me I see burnt-out people. People who don’t have any motivation or inspiration to do what they love. It seems like we’ve all been brainwashed into mindless, emotionless robots. Okay, exaggerating slightly. No doubt we all have our aspirations and our passions, and I question whether or not these zeals are valid or just hopeful, childish wishing, but in doing a little risk calculus, a lot of people decide not to invest too much in activities that might not work out in the long run.
I think a lot of them COULD work though, provided that it’s a mature, rational passion. Does such a thing even exist though? Who knows. I certainly don’t.
We should be more daring.
THIS. IS. DARING.
^What do you think I’m referring to though?
Happy endings, right. “Happily ever after.” My opinion? No, I’m not at that stage yet. Maybe I’m veering off that path a tad bit as well, distracted by everyday problems and immature desires. What it will take me to get there? A whole lot of discipline, reflection, and sacrifice.
We’ll get there soon enough.
FOESO: Why We Need to Reflect
FOESO of this post right here.
In a society where everyone is encouraged to stand up for themselves and assert their opinions, many people will do just that. They will defy standards and rebel against what they think is unfair. But those who narrow-mindedly believe in such things do not acknowledge the essentiality of reflection.
There are many regrets of mine that primarily emerge from saying or doing the wrong things because what I say and do has not been thought out thoroughly. Passion is a double edged sword. Yes, we develop strong ambitions and determinations to overcome countless obstacles. Correct, when you find your passion, you never seem to tire of it.
But there’s a different form of passion that comes from getting riled up, in the heat of the moment. Moments build upon themselves and you get carried away. Before you realize it, you’ve said something completely untrue, or you’ve done something that you will not support at all the morning after.
Taking risks and saying things “before its too late” is overrated. First of all, is it ever really late? Unless it’s a strange situation where the absolutely last available train to a certain destination leaves the next morning, there’s never much of a deadline on any decision. At worst, you have a substantial portion of time before the decision must be made, so we should take our time in making that decision.
Secondly, is risk-taking a habit to promote or relegate? It might be something best to not encourage such a tendency; generally, when we state our opinions, other people are involved. The danger in blurting out whatever is floating around in your mind exists because these other people will immediately perceive you to be an unconditional supporter of your words and actions. They will hold you to what you say and do. To avoid uncomfortable confrontations and confusion and misinterpretation, it’s best to think about what you want before announcing it to others, unless they are a part of your reflection, in which case they should know that you’re just brainstorming aloud.
Reflection comes in many forms. A long car ride in the passenger seat, or the moments before you drift to sleep as you lie comfortably under the covers. It can be your savior in many situations. But it’s not just sitting idly in one position simply thinking about a situation. There’s group reflection, where you can ask other people to help you make a decision. There’s also research reflection, which is going through evidence of some sort (totally dependent on whatever you are reflecting about) to aid in coming to a conclusion.
So yes, I agree. We should fight for what we believe in. But reflection allows us to pinpoint exactly what we believe. How easily we can be swayed! A sad video of polar bears in the Arctic and people forced to flee their homes as a result of rising sea levels might convince you in ten minutes that climate change is a drastic, pressing issue that needs to be addressed immediately. But while a certain video might succeed in tugging on your heart strings, there still exists much literature about why climate change might even be a myth. In deciding whether or not something ought to be done about the impending global warming crisis, thorough research reflection would be required.
To live up to the title of educated voter, we cannot simply go with our gut feeling and immediately support that cause. We need to decide what our priorities and our opinions are first. The same applies to people who have a duty to a community.
What if Abraham Lincoln had been quickly swayed after visiting a plantation and seeing slave oppression? What if he had issued the Emancipation Proclamation that very night, only to wake up the next morning in a nation that had eagerly believed him, ready to break the established norms? What if he randomly decided that African Americans were inferior, and that the abolishment of slavery was a bad idea? Okay, bad example.
But my point is that we should solidify our opinions by mulling over it before we go announcing it to everyone. Do whatever you need to do to decide, just try to avoid making split second decisions.
Now I’ll refute the idea that technology is causing a disconnect in communication.
NO, THAT’S WRONG. The Play-doh analogy? (a reference to the previously linked FOESO) Technology has actually helped our ability to communicate. The quality of communication will only increase, and it will only yield positive outcomes. This is for 5 simple reasons:
1. Globalization – Facebook is offered in more than 60 countries, Twitter in over 15, etc and etc. Your message can reach people across the world, and can reach more than one person at a time. It used to be that word got around through word of mouth, and only spread as far as within a community.
2. Convenience – Who has the time to sit down and write an actual letter, let alone stand up and go meet someone personally? It’s easier to send texts and emails, and in the most extreme of cases, call someone using a phone. It has reduced the burden we used to have, and has made communication only easier.
3. Speed – Technology is instant. It no longer takes days to mail a letter across the country; the Pony Express has evolved into Fedex and UPS. Pen pals seem to be fading into the obscurity that is our past, but we should regard it with bitter sweetness; even as we lose a dear and long-practiced tradition, we will embrace a novel method of communication that will yield new traditions.
4. Bigger and more diverse audiences – You don’t have to indicate an interest to receive a message. We have the ability to broadcast to millions of people through the news, through Youtube accounts, and through WordPress posts. Whether it be a wanderer or a dedicated follower, the hits of any given blog will be very diverse, which means a greater quantity of communication is happening nowadays.
5. Ability to remix and build off of previous ideas – Yes, there are certain laws that prohibit certain actions that might not give credit to the creator of an idea or work. But a majority of the internet is free information. The internet is a culmination of ideas floating around, waiting for the correct mind to realize its truth, and to expound on the truth through words or music or art. Through the sharing of ideas, each person is no longer alone. We find something great and add on to it and make it even greater. As long as we have the decency to give credit to your source of inspiration, no one is ripped off; sadly, not everyone works that way. But then we’d have to ask ourselves if we prioritize the growth and development of thinking that allows for such optimistic changes in our society.
Even if we are not able to communicate like we did in the past, that’s not a bad thing. We’re advancing at rates unprecedented, but in a positive way. I see no major consequences not being able to pass notes physically, because as the other FOESO explicitly states, that is merely a thing of a past. We’re beginning to move onto bigger and better things.
What’s in a Song?
There are infinite reasons for appreciating a song. In my experience, I’ve liked songs simply because of who it reminds me of, who suggested it to me, where I heard it, or who I heard singing it. I might enjoy just the heavy beat, the interesting music video, or the contagious and infectious catchiness.
Music represents an endless amount of ideas, and there exists a song for every mod. It can immediately add emotion and drama to any situation; it has the tendency to sooth or anger, relax or excite.
Everyone has a unique music taste of their own. You wouldn’t be able to distinguish my particular music taste just from listening to one song on my playlist, simply because I don’t think I can be defined accurately and completely with just a single song.
Music reminds me of my childhood, because there are honestly some songs out there that Ilike, but don’t know why. There are other songs that have never truly left my “favorites queue,” that I have yet to tire of.
You can dance to music; you can jump around and sing to it.
Music is used to promote, and to advertise. We use it to get revenge on others through lyrics, to express emotion, and to connect with other people of similar appreciative tastes and opinions.
What’s in an orchestra? A band, a chorus? A violin, an electric guitar, or a triangle? We wouldn’t have some of our greatest role models if instruments and music groups hadn’t been conceptualized and created over people’s mutual love of music.
Some people are just natural born performers, while others should be confined to their shower.
It’s as if you’ve taken your favorite lines of poetry, set them to a beat, and added a tune, et voila, you have a song.
It blows my mind to imagine music as an inspiration for a revolution. Of course, no one has ever stood on a podium and yelled to a crowd, “FOR THE LOVE OF DUBSTEP!” and started a massive mindset shift towards electronic dance music. What I mean by this is that some pieces have been for influential and moving that people become motivated to fight for what they believe in, and what they want. Astounding to me is the influence that people like Justin Bieber and Harry Styles can hold, because…yeah.
On the other hand, look to the Haiti earthquake in 2010. The remake of “We are the world” raised awareness of the destruction, and motivation to make donations and do service work.
In 2011, a devastating tsunami struck Japan, and a charity compilation album, “Songs for Japan,” raised over five million dollars.
Live performances are a great way for people to congregate and bond over mutual interests, because the performer knows the music backwards and forwards, sweating and crying whilst giving their best performance. It’s as if you are looking the artist/composer/singer/performer full in the face; they can’t hide behind the studio window, buried under hours of remixing and auto-tuning.
One of many of my favorite music genres is dubstep*. It’s music centered around the bass, which draws on many musical influences such as techno and reggae. Quality dubstep is just phenomenal, because no one looks cooler than someone with a big pair of headphones, dramatically bobbing their head up and down as they listen to the epic bass drum of dubstep. Whilst listening to said “dubstep,” you can’t just turn the volume down to “barely audible” and expect to receive the whole experience of what my love of dubstep is founded upon.
I used to think that I would be able to sleep to dubstep, and I did for a while. My daydreams mutated into bizarre hallucinations during the day hours, and my night dreams transformed into extraordinary illusions. The experience was…surreal.
I dramatically nod my head up and down with an obnoxiously big set of headphones, with dubstep banging in my eardrums like a raging animal. The entire experience is complete.
Ear buds are just ho-hum; if you want the full dubstep experience, you need to chuck those little ear buds out and go get yourself a quality pair of headphones.
*Warning: this recently emerged music genre is NOT for the light of heart.