Dream Life #2

AHHH.  If, for some horrible and devastating reason, I am unable to live on my beautiful lake, I want to live right on the beach.  Preferably in Sri Lanka or somewhere else that is equally fantastic (Is that even possible?)- maybe Australia? I don’t know. I miss Sri Lanka. Sooo much.

sri lanka 1960s

absolute love

absolute love

Subway Art

So today I was in the library… And I found this amazing giant book. It’s called Subway Art.  Basically, these two photographers joined together and photographed all this graffiti on New York subways in the 1980s. I love it. I think I’m going to be a graffiti artist when I grow up. Or at least a graffiti photographer. Who knows. Either one would be cool.

graffiti 1

g3

g4

g5

Self Reflection

In my opinion, I believe there were many purposes in why Ms. Rumford made us start blogging. First, I think she wanted to help us expand our horizons. I don’t think any of us had ever had blogs before, and doing so was completely different from anything we’ve ever done before. For the first time, we wrote for a global audience, which meant that anyone and everyone could read what we wrote. Usually, we write papers and essays that only our teachers or maybe a few peers would read. Because of this, I realized that I tried a bit harder to make sure it was interesting for others to read. For example, I made sure I did research to provide plenty information on the topics. I also tried to include pictures, videos, etc to make my entries interesting. I had to learn to be comfortable knowing that many others were reading my work even if I didn’t know it. I also think Ms. Rumford was trying to help us learn to think and make decisions for ourselves. She didn’t assign topics to write about and so we had to be able to find an interesting topic that related to our main topic. Blogging also showed me a way to express my likes and interests in a way originally foreign to me. I was able to explore this new way of writing and expressing myself.

I believe that I have become a much better writer. I have accomplished a lot more from this activity than I thought I would actually. Every week we had to write blogs, and sometimes it really annoyed me because it took so much effort and time, but now I know that these weekly entries really did help me become a better writer. I also learned discipline from having to write every week because I had to learn to spend time wisely but still make a worthwhile entry at the same time. I have also accomplished becoming an online citizen if that makes any sense. Before blogging, I really had no connection to anything online besides email and Facebook. Now though, I feel like I have become part of this whole technology thing. I’ve also learned how to be polite and supportive online. I have learned to use constructive criticism to help someone else without offending someone. I know this is very important because other people have feelings too and hurting them could eventually backfire on your own feelings.

I learned many different little things that have definitely changed the way I write. I think in every single blog I did, I did research. I was able to learn how much research makes a difference in a piece of writing. I would be writing, writing, writing all that I could say out of my brain, but it wouldn’t be enough. My solution was researching.  Because of my research, my entries were much more interesting and informative at the same time. I also learned that technology can be used to express one’s self. I’ve always considered technology rather boring and complicated, but blogging has altered my opinion.  I know now how to better use technology to write and connect with other bloggers. I also learned how to use commas correctly and how to structure correct sentences. I’ve never done this before, so it was all new learning that I was apply to directly apply into my writing. I never really studied commas or sentence structures, but I am glad to say that I now generally understand the basics. I know I’m not quite an expert at either of these things but I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn more about them.

The weekly requirements really did stretch my mind and helped me learn more. For example, the writing would be more or less easy, but then finding and using new vocabulary or maybe making sure you had the right word count was more difficult. These simple requirements forced me to try harder. I think the hardest thing we were required to do, though, was identifying and highlighting different sentences. I had never learned about sentence structures in much detail and having to identify different types of sentences was pretty difficult for me. I also had to try to make sure and include all the different kinds of sentences. Although it was difficult and pretty frustrating, I got it over with and I did learn from the activity. I learned from this activity how to identify phrases and clauses, and I also learned how to correctly combine multiple sentences to make a compound or compound-complex sentence. I actually enjoyed embedding pictures and videos in my blog because it simply made my blog look that much cooler. Plus, it was probably more entertaining for readers to be able to visualize what they were reading. I also learned about having voice in my writing. I think I usually write with facts and a neutral opinion, but blogging allowed me to show my personality through my writing. I enjoyed this because it was kind of like just writing what I would explain to a friend or a buddy. I think voice in writing makes it more personal and interesting. I also learned about how research could increase word count. Sometimes, I would be writing and I would fall short of the required word count, and so, I did more research! Researching allowed me to provide the reader with so much more information and knowledge.

Blogging has definitely helped me become a better writer, and so this will definitely help me inside school. For example, when I’m writing a paper for History or something, I will be able to apply these newly gained writing skills. This activity will also benefit me in the future because I have become more technology active. I think there’s even a chance that I will continue blogging in the future.  Maybe I won’t write as much, but it will still keep me up with computers and the world of technology. This benefits me as well because I have learned that technology doesn’t have to be so complicated and boring.  This new opinion will help me in the future because in high school I am sure that we will have some technology related activities and assignments, and now I probably won’t dread it as much as I would before I started blogging. Blogging will also help me outside of school. For example, the knowledge that I have gained will help me in life. It has also helped me have a better perspective on subjects and topics. On some of the blogs that I wrote, I tried to makes sure to be neutral to a topic so that I wouldn’t offend anybody. I knew that even though I had my own strong opinions about something, somebody else had theirs too. This will help me in the future because I will be able to listen to different perspectives and be able to compare and contrast my ideas to theirs. As a result, I think blogging has made me more open minded.

Classy.

Throughout our lives, we meet many different people who may or may not influence us in some way or another. Generally speaking, we are majorly who we are today because of people and friends we’ve met. I know this is definitely true in my case. Sometimes, this effect on us can be positive, but it can obviously be negative as well. But the truth is, sometimes, we meet so many different people that it’s hard to be able to please everyone and yourself at the same time, and unfortunately, we simply can’t. Some people continue to try and please everyone though. This stretches them and pulls them in so many different directions that they end up worn out, stressed and unhappy because, although they may have please many other people, they haven’t pleased themselves. The only solution to this problem is to be yourself no matter what. Learn to understand who you are so that you can be who you are. Usually, if you act like who you really are, more people will be attracted to you because of that natural quality. I have some friends that try to please others because they believe they’ll be more accepted, but in the end, they have just ended up less respected because they act differently with everybody. The truth is, sometimes you just need to figure out your priorities and realize that some people aren’t worth pleasing. I think being unique and not following the crowd makes someone so much more respectable- which brings me to my next topic.

So I have this friend named Jenica (Click here to go to Jenica’s blog). Jenica is one of the most unique if not THE most unique person I have ever met in my life. And I absolutely love it. In fact, I even took the time to interview her, but I think I’ll only include a few important things about her.  Jenica’s favorite color is dark green- “Like a pine tree,” she told me. Her dream job is an entomologist- which in case you didn’t know is someone who professionally studies bugs. Oh yeah, she also wants to somehow end up in Arizona for reasons unknown unto me. Jenica also informed me that her goal in life is to go into space, catch a star, bring it back and then make it her best friend. A lofty goal. Her motto is “Never make something that looks like something else.” I’m sure this has some story or other profound meaning behind it… but I have yet to completely understand why this is her motto. Jenica also told me that when she gets married, she wants to have a cake of only frosting so no one will eat it and then she’ll be able to eat it all by herself. Pretty revolting in my opinion, but this is exactly why I love Jenica- she’s so bizarre. My favorite outfit of Jenica’s is her bright purple tights and brown tweed high heels because it screams Jenica’s personality. She wears Transformer shirts and has a Hello Kitty lunchbox. My favorite thing about Jenica though, is that she doesn’t care what other people think about her. She is herself no matter what, and that is a very admirable trait in someone. If I were to pick one word to describe Jenica in one word it would be “classy.”

I guess basically what I’m trying to say is that being yourself gets a lot further in life.

Entomology

Entomology

Kia Kaha

I recently saw the movie Forever Strong and have become pretty much obsessed with it. It is definitely one of my top favorites. The movie was released in 2008 and was pretty successful. The movie is based on the game of rugby. The main character, Rick Penning, is a senior in high school. He’s the star on his rugby team in Arizona, the Razorbacks. He’s popular, he has a beautiful girlfriend, and he doesn’t think life can get any better. However, he goes through life carelessly without thinking wisely and making good decisions. After a rugby game, he and a group of friends have a pool party where he gets completely drunk and wasted. After the party, he goes driving with his girlfriend and they’re happily and drunkenly cruising along when he crashes and injures his girlfriend badly. After his trial, he is put into a detention center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rick has a hard time learning and living there because his ego and confidence overrides everything he does. Finally, his supervisor has him signed up for the Salt Lake City rugby team. The thing is, though, that the Utah team, Highland, is the Arizona team’s ultimate rival. Highland is an extremely successful team that has always beat Rick’s team, the Razorbacks. At first, Rick just goes to team practices to find out how they win. To his dismay, the team has strict standards that keep the team players out of trouble. For example: No smoking, no drinking, being clean with ladies, curfews, etc. Highland’s motto is “Kia Kaha,” which is Maori for “Be Strong.” Rick is appalled at this way of living, but he slowly starts to learn and change his personality. Rick turns into a great person and he becomes extremely close to his teammates. He eventually learns to be forever strong on and off the rugby field. But then!!!! Highland is meant to play the Razorbacks in the National Championships and Rick is forced to choose sides- his original team on which all of his friends play, or this team that has taught him a better way of living. Anyway, the climax comes, the final game is amazing and it’s so intense. I love it.

In conclusion, I want to talk about the moral of the movie. The movie obviously has many different ideas and morals to learn from, but I think the main one is that it is so important to make good decisions to be the best person you can possibly be. So many choices are given to us daily, and we need to choose a way of living so that we can easily make good decisions to have better opportunities in life. The movie also teaches about forgiveness and how necessary it is to help us move on in our lives, because no one can live happily while holding grudges. Basically, this movie is AMAZING. I highly, highly, highly recommend this movie.

Video and information from:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0840322/

18 de Septiembre

Huasos stomp their boots

Silver spurs clank

Dark woven ponchos sway

Black hats wink

 

Huasas dance on their toes

Sparkling smiles widen

Colorful dresses spin

Lacy white handkerchiefs wave

 

Barbecued steak and chicken are shish kabobbed

Outer skin darkens

Meat juices sizzle

Grease slowly drips

 

A man fills the air with loud music

His accordion sings

Spanish lyrics enchant

Listeners loudly celebrate

 

The Chilean flag waves majestically

Blue is the Pacific Ocean

Red is the spilt blood

White are the snow capped Andes Mountains

 

The independence day is ending

Chileans continue to celebrate

Cueca dancers keep dancing

Festivities keep happening

 

El dieciocho de Septiembre.

 

cueca!

Chile Flag

The Roaring 20s

The 1920s was a time of extreme change and revolution in America. This era is also known as the Jazz Age or the Roaring 20s. I have always found this era fascinating- the dancing, the clothing, the music. First of all, the 1920s began with the World War I troops coming home, and this began a great celebration. Also, in August 1920, women were able to vote for the first time, which explains why women began changing. Young people began doing things never done before- disobeying their elders, wearing less clothing, drinking, dating, etc. Americans owned cars, telephones and radios for the first time. In summarization, the beginning of the 20s was a fun, care-free time.The youth of that time changed incredibly. Movie stars began trends that were completely new and revealing, unlike the modest ways of the past. Young ladies started showing their legs and arms in the loose dresses they wore. They also cut their hair short into bobs- a first for them. These girls tried to look more boyish instead of feminine and curvy. They became flappers. “Flapper” was a term used to define the girls that cut their hair, smoked, drank, wore short dresses and skirts, listened to jazz music and wore a large amount of makeup. Young people began dating instead of courting, and together they often went to parties to dance, drink and to “have a good time.” Mothers also began dressing like their daughters. The youth became wild, and I imagine that the older generations were appalled at the way the young ones were behaving and changing. They way they had fun must have seemed wicked to them, what with the drinking and smoking and showing off of legs.Although the way they partied may have seemed evil and crazily different, I absolutely love the dancing they did during this time period. This new way of dancing involved fast paced music and energetic dance moves. The Charleston, Shimmy, Fox-trot and many others became popular during this time. Below is a video that demonstrates a life of a young person in the 1920s, including flappers, dancing, music, etc.

Unfortunately, everything good must come to an end, and thus the 20s eventually did. According to http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/s04.1920s.decade.change.pdf, the 1920s began with a roar and ended with a crash. In 1929, the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression began.

Key:

Dark Red: Simple sentences

Orange: Compound sentences

Red: Complex sentences

Information and video from:

www.youtube.com

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/mmh/clash/Introduction/Images/ClaraBow.gif&imgrefurl=http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/mmh/clash/Introduction/Intro.htm&usg=__WZdBuvIG5fKPZN74mW1Oh4wNsC0=&h=417&w=289&sz=29&hl=en&start=31&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=NdexnCrUGAq3lM:&tbnh=125&tbnw=87&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dclara%2Bbow%26start%3D18%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7GPEA_en%26ndsp%3D18%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://www.just-the-swing.com/liv/dressing/womens-fashion/wf-1920s

http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/s04.1920s.decade.change.pdf