Music, Books, and Time Wasting

There have been a lot of things on my mind lately. In short three things have been coming up: music tastes, books, and social media.

In music taste, I’ve been finding that my friends have been arguing how their taste in music is completely and better than any other music. However, what I find weird is that their justification of it is that it is just because the opposing taste is just more “lame”. I don’t really find that response credible. What I think is that a certain genre of music can’t really be classified as better as another genre because everything is subjective in the sense that what appeals to one, might not appeal to another person. One can’t say rap is worse than rock because it doesn’t follow rock’s pattern, but it is a completely different genre. I still to alternative and experimental bands, but I occasionally divert myself and listen to whatever is playing on the top 40s. If you want some recommendations from my taste, I recommend Florence and the Machine and The Shins. Here’s Florence’s hit single : (http://www.vevo.com/watch/florence-and-the-machine/dog-days-are-over-2010-version/GBUV71000249)

In terms of literature, I’ve been trying to read (but I’m awfully busy right now), Paper Towns by John Green, and Sophie’s World Jostein Gaarder. They are both wonderful books. Paper Towns is a fantastically humorous, and subtly sorrowful, tale of boy meets girl. Sophie’s World is a take on a girl’s journey towards philosophy. I’ve been also reading a lot of poems from slammer Taylor Mali (www.taylormali.com). He’s got really nice touching poems, but rowdy language is in some of them, so be wise.

Also another thing is social media, and I’ve been remarking how nice the features of social networks bring us together, but it is so distracting. I find myself wasting time on blogging sites, and Facebook, with a care of other people’s lives more than what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s almost like a drug addicting, but I digress. My point is that while social media is very friendly, it’s easy to get sucked into and waste time with it.


127 Hours

I recently watched 127 Hours in theaters on Friday. I must say, that everyone should go see it. I heard of some critical acclaim that this movie was supposedly outstanding, and it is a must-see. None the less, I agree with that statement. It stars James Franco, and by the trailer (which you can see here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlhLOWTnVoQ) you can probably tell it's basically a solo act of him. I don't want to reveal too much, but it is a story of a man who goes on a trip through a canyon, of which no one comes to often, and as he is climbing, he slips on a rock, and is stuck in the canyon. The story then follows on what he does during that time. It may sound boring, but trust me, it will leave most people on the edge of their seats.
In other news, I am bringing up the topic of learning, and how some of us from Glenbrook North always strive for the honors classes, and the prestigious programs (purely on strategic gains on our transcripts). I am currently enrolled in an AP class that started this (2nd) semester. Personally, I had no interest in the subject, and I didn't want to take a class on this subject. However, one thing caught my eye when I was looking over a list of classes, Advanced Placement. Thinking to myself, "Oh, it will probably be as intense as Honors classes. I can manage!" Needless to say, I am absolutely clueless on what's going on within the classroom. Sure I read the textbook, and I do the homework. I just don't comprehend most of it, and my mind is on a feeble twig about to snap on how much more I can handle it. Then this thought emerged in my head, "Why did I take this class? I had no interest in it? I am just digging a deep hole for myself,". It just gave me the point that part of learning is identifying what is my level is, and evaluating how should I approach it. I'm not going to give up; I'm just going to simply deal with it.


Twas a Night of Poetry

Yesterday, I went to a poetry slam called Louder than a Lawnmower. Honestly, it was the most riveting thing I've been to in a while. I competed, and being my first time competing in something in this sort, I was nervous. When it came my turn up to the mike, I stood firm and delivered with my choreography, articulation, and emotion. I recieved scores that were good, but I think the more important thing was the poem. I wanted to deliver my message, and I gave it my all. Poems are about having a say, and emotion, so I'm going to continue to write poetry to use it as an envelope for a message.

Read more about Louder than a Bomb (all of illinois Youth Poetry Festival): http://youngchicagoauthors.org/performances.html


A Year Older.

Birthdays- 3. a day marking or commemorating the origin, founding, or beginning of something. (source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/birthday).

The beginning of something, eh?

Personally I thought birthdays were exciting up until this year. Before I felt, energetic, charismatic, and amazed that it was another year of my life completed. Parties were a must for me, and I always adored expensive presents; not going to lie. However, this year I didn't feel that much. Just the day before I actually forgot that the next day (November 17 if you are wondering), was my birthday. It wasn't really a priority on my hands. Sure, some people brag about how it's their birthday and its their day to mention that. I didn't bring it up that day, because I thought it wasn't a big deal, which it turned out to be once the teachers announced it in front of the whole class. Still, I didn't really feel that much joy out of a year older, mostly because I feel like that I've mentally grown months before, and I don't symbolize a birthday as a commemoration to that. Oh well.

The truth is, I've realized that birthdays aren't about presents, parties, and fame. There about growing older, and taking more responsibility. I felt like I had taken responsibility ages ago, so I probably didn't feel much. Yes I had a party, because I wanted to get my friends together, and yes I got presents, though I didn't really materially want anything. I sentimentally wanted the presents of people being with me in the future, and I know for certain I will always get that present.


Disappointment? More Like Encouragment.

Disappointment is a big part of life. One can try so hard at something, or wish for something to happen, and their hopes get crush. I've been recently disappointed in the past two weeks. I've recently tried out for our winter production: Comedy Sportz, and wasn't cast. I was bitter about it for about 2 minutes, then I realized that I needed to work harder at my acting, and not be so disheartened. I decided to focus on my skills for speech after that moment, which helped me though out because I had a speech tournament on November 6. I must say I loved it. I loved performing my radio broadcasting speech in front of people. I loved being in my suit, and strutting (so to speak) all over the school. I loved talking to people I would never meet again. I loved going down from the stands to bring home a 6th place medal. It was quite the experience.

Experiencing the whole tournament made me realize that there are other opportunities ahead of me. Because of this, I realized that my acting skills are weak, and with the aid of my friend I have decided to take an acting class with him in the later winter. I can't wait for it. I'm also going to try to opt out of my elective in high school to switch to drama. I wasn't dedicated to the elective I had at the moment: architecture. It was sort of a phase with me, which means to me that I was always debating if I liked it or not. With drama, performing, speeches, and such I'm filled with excitement. I'm always eager to perform; whether it's bad or not.

Relating this to you, reader, you must not over fret over little things like getting disappointed. Maybe you didn't make the basketball team, or maybe you didn't win a debate tournament, or maybe you aren't the best artist. You're who you are. Maybe people are better than you at what you like to do, but that doesn't mean you're bad at it. It's the perseverance and effort that counts.


Pride in Purple

This is a sensitive topic among many people, but I think since it's the end of ally week (http://www.allyweek.org/) I think this should be discussed. In the past month there have been 6 (and counting) suicides of people who have been bullied and harassed for being a different sexuality than others. I chose to blog about this because injustice against humans just gets me angry. You may agree with what I say, and if you don't agree with what I say then that is your opinion, and I respect that.

Sexual orientation isn't something one chooses. I personally have friends who are part of the LGBT community, and they don't why they are of a different sexuality, but one thing is for sure: they didn't choose to live that way. It just happened. Life just happened. I'm very interested in biology, so I came across many articles of this subject before. For example this (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2156/11/62)

There was a study conducted in which female mice were experimented with. In this study it was shown that the female mice group in which a specific gene (fucose mutarotase) was missing showed behaviors that were of male mice. This brings up the question of sexual orientation preference is genetic. There are also many other countless cases of genetics, nature vs nurture, and such.

That's not the point though. The point is that every person a human knows, is a human themselves. We are just all humans with the same organ systems, living in the same world. We can't we respect each other because of that. First there were racial and gender barriers that caused a rift in society, and now this is an issue. I thought our country was founded on quality. In the constitution it says, “All men are created equal”. Had we just white out that part from our mindsets?

Every human deserves to live peacefully. Whether one is gay, straight, black, white, man, or woman, we are all humans, and should be treated as humans. Those six teens haven't been treated as humans. They were bullied because apparently being gay was “bad”. Those bullies aren't attached with hate, they learn to hate. As a teen myself, I can't help but notice what adults have as an impact on us. They are a major influence in our up bringing. So if the adult society pins not being heterosexual as “bad”, their kids will probably pin it as “bad” as well, and the bullies will have since risen.

Those kids took their lives because no one was there to support them, because no one knew they could support them. There are probably thousands of other situations like this, but if we can bring a generation of acceptance of all kinds of humans, then we know that it gets better

If there any troubled teens reading this, thinking that they are alone, don't worry because everything does get better:



This is Kind of Late (Blog Action Day and Other Things)

In spite of missing “Blog Action” day, I have decided to talk about water, and two things: books and theater.

Water is a fundamental necessity of humans. Without it, we can't produce energy, and we can't live. Some places are less fortunate that they don't have a supply of clean water, and they are suffering because of it. I'm not saying people who are more fortunate than them should feel bad about themselves, but I'd like to think that yes they don't live in the same conditions as us, but that's the situation at the moment. The situation, however, can change. Communities in countries with situations like these can develop into societies with better living conditions. There are different ways to help, and different fund raising efforts to help the cause (one of my favorites is : http://www.worldvision.org/)

The next thing I would like to talk about is theater. I have recently seen “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at the Metropolis Theater in Arlington Heights. Since I haven't seen the show before, I didn't have a prior judgment of the show. It was a dazzling show, regardless. I enjoyed the humor put into it, and I thought the set was cartoon-ish, but in a good way. However there were some drawbacks, like how the choreography was kind of over done, in a choppy “look at me, I'm dancing!” sort of way. Besides some of the small things, I thought some of the characters were memorable, and it was a fun night at the theater. I haven't been to a production in a while, so this was something fun.

Though, I like musicals, I never really thought/will probably not try out of them, because I can't sing well. Minus that, I still want to act. I've been preparing for my dramatic duet acting for speech, and I'm trying to memorize my lines, but since I have a major role (being a duet and all), all this memorization is tough.

Moving on from theater, I have begun re-reading Looking for Alaska by John Green. I absolutely adored this book, and I found it captivating and funny about a rambunctious set of friends who do crazy things together. It has some emotional parts, so I recommend it to young adults and even older adults who want an energetic reading. (His website: http://johngreenbooks.com/)