Monday, October 31, 2011

Say the Right Thing!

As a part of being in charge of making fun activities for the freshman Journalism/TV Production class at my school, today I moderated a pretend debate on the issue of homework and whether there should be homework every night, a topic they and I could relate to easily. After 10 or so minutes of prep time, they let their ideas free and voiced them against each others'.

While the activity ended up being one of those classic, way too loud classroom arguments between two groups of kids trying to one up the other, what happened afterwards gave me some, quite frankly, frustrating food for thought.

Right after I finished up with the freshmen, it was lunchtime. I sat down next to a girl I like and her friends, and I swear; I couldn't come up with anything interesting to say! I said a few obnoxious comments about the sodium content in my Ramen noodle soup, accompanied by an outburst of pretend joy when a friend of mine passed by me and gave me his sandwich, which he didn't plan on eating.

But that's about it.

It's incredible to think, in retrospect, how I could have thought myself capable of leading a classroom session whose focus is eloquence and substantiation in public speaking when I couldn't even come up with something remotely fascinating to say to a person right in front of me at lunchtime.

In fact, a few days ago, I did a full-on lecture about Internet journalism for more than half an hour to the freshmen, and managed to keep most of them remotely interested for the duration of the damn thing - and yet, I can't manage to come up with something cool in front of one person?

But what's even more elusive is just what it is that keeps me from having the Gift of Gab at the most inopportune time possible. I mean, I guess it's cause I'm nervous (not shy, certainly) or worried about what my impression will be, but could I possibly be that nervous so as to lose my otherwise natural ability to dole out remotely interesting things to say?

What a mess.

90's Alternative Music

Is it just me, or is 90s Alternative the best? Lately, I've been really digging The Red Hot Chili Peppers, which have recently come out with a new album, I'm With You. I tried listening to their latest hit, The Adventures of Raindance Maggie, and honestly, I didn't like it as much as their older stuff.

Personally, my favorites are Under the Bridge, Scar Tissue, By the Way, Californication and Around the World. Another band I've started to listen to is Jane's Addiction, which has also come out with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. I really love I'll Hit You Back and Broken People, two tracks on their new album.

And then, there's the always classic, never-gonna-go-away Nirvana. Their underground, grunge sound dosen't always appeal to me, but I love Smells Like Teen Spirit and Heart Shaped Box. Sadly, they don't have a new album, since the lead singer Kurt Cobain has been dead for seventeen years now.

It might be just me, but I rather like all of these 90s bands making new material. It keeps things fresh, ya know?    

Rain,Rain Go Away

If you live in Broward County, then I'm sure you were aware of the massive flooding that occurred this morning and is still continuing! Waking up, I figured school would be cancelled due to the flooding and I could enjoy the day off. Of course, for some students, that thought was completely wrong. On my way to school, I noticed most cars driving at about 10 mph and kids trudging through the water. Many were absent or late and overall a dreary feeling took over the school.
I was surprised to see that much rainfall and flooding, especially during this time of the year. Some yards were filled with washed up bottles, while runaway trash cans floated away. With no hope of school being cancelled for some of us, we must face another day of rain and wet socks.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Homemade

Every year since I started trick-or-treating when I was four, I have bought a costume for Halloween.

Partially because I quickly decided on my costume, and also because a little spark of creativity ignited inside of me, I decided to make my own costume.

This year I was planning on being Pocahontas, so with the help of my mom, I found some brown cloth, paint, a brown shirt, and a pair of moccasins, and started upon my project.

I'm proud to say, although, it took me a full day to create the costume, in the end it turned out pretty good.

Not only was making my own costume a new experience, but it was also considerably fun.

I encourage everyone, next Halloween, to try and make their own costumes at home.

In fact, I think from now on, I will continue making my own costume instead of buying them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trying New Things

So I played volleyball for the first time this year. I thought should try something new and join an extracurricular activity. It was fun though we only won 2 games. I've decided to join soccer. I've never played soccer so this will be a challenge.  I've had 3 practices so far and while I'm not completely horrible, I'm not very good either. But them again I've never played. Our first game is on tuesday and I'm so nervous. I feel likes its too soon for me to be playing in a game. I need to learn the basic before I  can just go out there. I'm happy that I'm doing sports this year. I spent freshman and sophmore year doing nothing so I'm excited.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Surviving High School: Stressin' Out!

As you all know, Report Cards come out this Thursday. All I can think about right now is brining my grades up to where I'd like them, or better yet, where my parents would like them. Don't get me wrong, my grades are good, there's just some things I would like to change.

In my opinion, we have too much stress in our lives. From report cards, the FCAT, and SATs, sometimes it seams that life is just one big bowl of worries. However, thank God we have a three day weekend coming up to relax after all of this stress.

All I know is, Thanksgiving break is coming up, and I'm counting the days.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Falling In Reverse: I'm Not A Vampire Music Video

For those of you who are fans of the band Escape the Fate's former vocalist, Ronnie Radke, you might be pleased to hear that Ronnie and his new band released their second music video off of their new album "The Drug In Me Is You" today, October 24th, 2011. I have always liked Escape The Fate's old sound when Ronnie was in the band, and Falling In Reverse has quickly become one of my favorite bands. Check out their music video for I'm Not A Vampire!

The Incredible Catharsis of Submitting College Applications

By Anthony Segreto
Archbishop McCarthy
I never knew that clicking a yellow button that read "SUBMIT" could be so intimidating. But the thoughts that ran through my mind were anxious: "I wrote my name properly, right?" "My essay addresses the prompt, correct?" "Did I enter the ten activities that best represent me?" I could have gone on forever, back and forth, nitpicking at every little detail of my college applications. But on Saturday afternoon, I finally decided to bite the bullet and submit the applications to ten of the schools that I am applying to. To say that the confirmation screen that read "Congratulations! Your application has been submitted." was glorious would be an understatement. Months of writing essays, asking for recommendation letters, sending in transcripts, and perfecting my resume were finally over-my apps were in! I enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction for about ten minutes until I quietly said to myself: "And now we wait."

What's Practical? | The Illegal Immigration Situation in S. Fla.

As part of my research for a documentary about the illegal immigration situation in the United States (perhaps with a focus on South Florida since it's right up my alley [literally]), I've been leafing through a recently-published work titled The Dream Fields of Florida: Mexican Farmworkers and the Myth of Belonging.

Though I haven't made much progress yet, the introduction told the gripping story of a Mexican teenager in Texas who, having performed so well throughout high school with an emphasis on mathematics, arrived to the college phase of her life and found that she had no little to no options available to her. Some colleges would take her, sure ... but she would still be illegal during and after her years of college. 

She explained how her dreams: whether they involved math or another one of her callings, such as art, had been shot by the reality of her alien status and her place - or lack thereof - in American society. 

Again, while I've yet to read the rest of the work, the introduction already has me puzzled. Why is the general consensus regarding stumped illegal immigrant youth that once they're out of high school and into college or out of college and into the real world, they've got no place to go? 
I am someone in the same situation as that of the girl in the story. The only difference is that I'm Argentinean and I'm living in South Florida. As the solution to this conundrum, I am planning to move to Argentina to further my college education. Its academic offerings are up to par, I have family there that could help me out both financially and just advice-wise ... it seems like a perfect plan. I can return to the US upon my decision, and with a clean slate since I'd depart before my 18th birthday. 

The central doubt, then, becomes this: is such an option, namely that of returning to your home country, available to other young illegals? Is it desirable, sustainable? Finding the answer to such a question would warrant the evaluation of the conditions of third-world countries that young illegals would be prone to return to, and whether they're doable or not. 

I'll probably end up doing something like this as part of the research,  but I'm just surprised that it hasn't already been considered. 


So Thursday during my third period English class my class was told that we had to write Shakespearean sonnets, which I wasn't too happy about. Sure I'm a writer and I also like to write poetry sometimes but sonnets are different. They're evil!!!!

But anyways I got right to work on my sonnet. I knew that i wanted it to be a love sonnet but I wanted it to be different than others. At first I wanted to make it about toilets like I did with a free verse last year but I couldn't think of anything, But I finally found something to write about (even though I didn't right it in iambic pentameter):

My love is far more true than most others,
Which usually brings me nothing but pain.
For I who live with two thieving brothers,
have to find myself happiness in vain.
I feel as if something will soon go wrong,
Between our families that could be bad.
It will keep us apart for oh so long,
I will always and forever be sad.
But I know that our love is far more great,
And that we could always find other ways,
To keep alive what a love-able fate,
that is to go on for many countless days.
And for my love of pop-tarts is so keen,
It's much stronger than those of other teens.

I hope you guys liked it, I wrote it the morning that I had to preform it.

With Qaddafi Gone, Who Next?

Moammar Qaddafi was reported dead last week, marking the death of one of America's last recognizable big-name enemies. Over the last year, Bin Laden and Qaddafi have both been eliminated, and with Saddam dead years ago, the question arises: who to fight next?

The U.S military, of course, is by far the most powerful, well funded fighting force in the world. Though the military helps facilitate the export of democracy and American values, it's also one of the major sources of taxpayer dollars – and with cutting spending a major issue in American politics, one can't help but wonder if downsizing the military might be the right move for America. The death of Qaddafi certainly makes this smaller military more and more feasible. Hopefully, the military budget can be made more reasonable, while still performing the duties required of it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Pop-Culture Prayer, Answered.

If you said I wasn’t your typical teenager, I would look at you and say “Well, it’s about time you noticed.”

Yes, I’m 17, but unlike my teenage counterparts, when I hear current teenage pop stars, I don’t scream for joy, but rather of a slight degree of agony. It’s not that I particularly dislike boy bands or mass media pop stars, but rather what they represent: a blind following of crazed teenagers who think the “singer’s” severe electronically altered voices are the best thing since sliced bread.

But, since this past spring, I have (proudly) become one of these lovestruck teenagers. Il Volo, none other than the three very attractive, insanely talented, and young pop-opera singers caught my heart and attention with their first single “O Sole Mio.”

Comprised of Piero Barone (18), Ignazio Boschetto(17), and Gianluca Ginoble (16), Il Volo has taken over the world since their recording contract with Geffen Records. Due to their careful selection of songs, Il Volo’s music appeals to an array of people-- regardless of their unique taste.

Il Volo’s almost instantaneous success, to me, isn’t as much as a surprise as much as a long overdue answer to a prayer. Finally, teenagers all over the world can listen to a “boy band” whose chorus verses incorporate more words than “baby” and “ooh.”

I am proud to call myself an Il Volo fan. Not only are they breathtakingly talented, but they are down to earth, humble boys, who actually love singing.

Upon hearing the boys in concert, my respect and love for them solidified ever further. Not only do I hold high standards for any live performer, but especially for the ones who turned me into a “lovestruck fan.”

While I knew the boys were talented, I never imagined they’d be “true performers.” Their perfect pitch throughout the show matched their enthusiasm and passion for the music. But, it was their charisma and consistent joking with each other onstage surprised me the most; these guys look and behave like my best friends... so how come when they sing, they sound like the best of seasoned performers?

For lack of better words, they surpassed my expectations and left me, an outspoken critical patron, speechless.

And, by the looks of the crazed fans attempting to stand in the pit and the bouncers keeping them off the pit, I could tell I wasn’t the only one who fell further in love with the boys after the concert.

Only two days before their Miami concert, I had the phenomenal opportunity to interview Piero Barone, the eldest and my personal favorite from the group.

While the boys have been touring for months and rarely get to see their family, I could see, through Piero’s words, that performing in front of an audience of adoring fans every night made all the sacrifices worth it.

“This is my dream,” said Piero Barone over a phone interview on October 4th. “I just want to be Il Volo forever.”

Well, Piero, if that’s your dream, it’s my pleasure to inform you (without a doubt in mind) that Il Volo won’t be going away any time soon, and that your dream will, most definitely, come true.

Questions and Answers with Piero Barone

1. When did you start singing

"I start to sing since I was 3 years old with my grandpa. I really started training since 1 year with the same teacher."

2. How did you decide to audition for "Ti Lascio Una Canzione?"

"I didn't decide. I came from the piano lesson and my dad received one call from a lady and she told us 'Do you want to do casting from Ti Lascio Una Canzione?'[...] and I say, 'OK, lets try.' I do it and I get in Ti Lascio Una Canzione."

3. How does Ti Lascio Una Canzione work?

"It's like an American Idol for the young people. Since 8 years old to 17."

4. Is that the first time you realized how talented you were?

"Yes, first time."

5. You guys decided to start Il Volo there?

"Yes. It's hard to find three guys like Ignazio, Gianluca, and myself, because we started like three normal friends and now we are like brothers."

6. Why "Il Volo?"

"Do you know what Il Volo means? The flight. Because the music makes us fly... everywhere, every day, to all cities of the world, every moment of our life."

7. Where do you plan to go with your music?

We keep singing these kinds of music. We sing in five languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. But, we keep this kind of music because we were born with this music. Our grandfathers introduced us to this music. It's what we sing better. We were born for this music... it's not opera. It's operatic-pop."

8. Will you ever sing just Opera?

"No. We sing traditional Italian songs like "O Sole Mio" and "Il Mondo," and pop songs like "This Time." We sing romantic songs. But we don't sing absolutely opera. We can't sing this kind of music. We'd have to study, study, study, for many years."

9. What is your biggest dream?

"My biggest dream is coming true. My dream is now. Always to be Il Volo. Every day, Il Volo... Il Volo. We had to give up a lot for this life. We had to leave our families and don't see them for months and months. It's very hard, but we know what we're doing. We're building our future."

10. What did you want to be before you started to sing? Any career aspirations?

"My dream was to be a player of piano, or a piano teacher,or be a driver of sports cars."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Found Cat"

Yesterday after leaving the library at around 7 PM, I saw a cat laying in the middle of the parking lot in the rain. Being the kind person that I am, I went to see if the cat had any tags so I could call the owners.

The cat (now named Daffodil) had a beautiful collar, with a cute bell on it, but unfortunately no tag.

After searching for a place to take the cat, my friend graciously let daffodil sleep in her bathtub.

Today, we went to the vet and Daffy (short for Daffodil) has no chip! ): The humane society doesn't accept strays. What? Isn't that their job? haha

So now, we are posting pictures all around Weston in search of Daffy's owners.

Daffodil is such a cute and friendly cat. I refuse to call animal control, in case they put her to sleep!

If you or anyone you know lost a cat wearing a collar with a bell, comment! Daffy can't live in my friend's bathtub forever!

Should We Worry For the Future?

Today, I had to take a general paper for AICE Exams (a different version of AP/IB exams) and one of the questions I had to write an essay about was "To what extent should today's generation worry about global warming and climate change?"
And I know most teens (heck, many adults as well) will roll their eyes at this, scoff, call me a hippie, show me that there's evidence that all of these extreme consequences won't happen for a while, etc.
But the truth is I really am worried about the future of this planet, and so should everyone who inhabits this Earth.
We are already seeing the effects of global warming, climate change, etc. on this planet and we have been for several decades. We've been taught about carbon emissions, about greenhouse gases, about the hole in the ozone layer that's just getting bigger and bigger--and as a direct result of human pollution.
We've seen the long list of species on this planet today that are on the endangered list, very quickly making it to the extinct list. Wild tigers could be gone in 12 years. Polar bears are slowly dying off as their habitat is melting away and they find it harder and harder everyday to survive. Species in rainforests, such as lemurs, are finding it harder and harder to find a place to live because of deforestation.
These occurrences aren't an entirely new concept. But it makes me wonder why no one ever does anything significant to stop it? Just the other day, President Obama delayed smog protections until 2013 ("President Barack Obama has announced that he has requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards that would have protected Americans from air pollution.").
My question is: why does everyone pass on the responsibility of taking steps to stop the planet from sinking into further deterioration? Why does everyone ignore it, put it at the back of their heads? This isn't an issue that can just be ignored, because sooner or later, it will come back and bite us in the butt.
Or, more literally, show up in the consequences of the future in the lack of resources (clean water, clean air, clean land, fuel to run our lives). We depend on this earth to live, and it's our responsibility to try and treat it in the best way possible.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Something Intangible | Young Humanitarians in Africa

 When thinking about the perfect summer, a lot of teenagers might think that a sunny day at the beach or a night out with friends would be their cup of tea. And yet, a unique group of youngsters made part of their summer into the adventure of a lifetime, more than two thousand miles from home, in a foreign country; learning, helping, and understanding a culture so fundamentally intriguing. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with one of the adventurers, Kira Levin, a junior at Miami Palmetto Senior High, who described the summer 2011 trip into the Tanzanian landscape as a lifetime experience.

From the get-go, there were several questions I had in mind – where’d you go, how’d you get there, what did you do, and most importantly, what did you find? But I made the conscious choice to start from the very beginning: what inspired you to go on this African adventure? It turned out that a genuine fascination with world history was the cause; more specifically, a fundamental misgiving about the idea of imperialism upon the African continent. How can people just take other peoples’ lands?

Thousands of miles later, you found yourself in the middle of a Tanzanian village, having gone through so much to get this far, in the company of like-minded American teens who wanted more than just a safari tour through one of the most troubled regions of the world – they wanted to help. The idea of giving back to the community was not foreign to you – you’d already had experience mentoring little kids in the ways of tennis, here in sunny Pinecrest, Florida – but the surroundings made you feel out of your comfort zone. Through bus rides that lasted hours on end, through hikes that went on way too long, and through living conditions befit solely for the rampant globe trotter, somehow this spirit of benevolence towards a society well removed from your own persevered.

You told me about your experience teaching African youth, at Himo Primary School, about an hour away from the compound you and your fellow Global Leadership Adventures mates were staying at. It began as a frustrating venture: the kids didn’t understand you too well, and they essentially copied whatever you guys were saying. But as you and your mates learned more Swahili and were able to communicate better, naturally your students began to respect you more.

Another part of the trip was meeting your host family: a kind bunch, with a grandmother, a 22 year old named Carles, and a few other children. Here came a vital lesson – perhaps completely unintelligible by Western notions – in humility. This family – and by extension, much of Tanzania’s people – lack many basic things we take for granted. Food, a shower, a bathroom. And yet, their capacity for kindness and amicability is unsurpassed. Having yawned once, you were immediately offered to sleep in one of the family home rooms; having fallen by your own misstep, you were immediately offered aid as if someone else had to have made sure you weren’t hurt. Happiness, it seems, transcends even basic living accommodations, perhaps even to the point of folly – Carles has malaria four times a year, so pilgrimages to the hospital are mundane excursions for him and other Tanzanians.

Back home, well before your departure date, concern regarding your welfare on the trip was widespread: from your parents, to your friends, to your teachers. Many lampooned your expressed desire to go on this trip, others thought it fundamentally risky. It took a lot on your part, but also some on theirs, for them to be at peace with this very unique field trip.

And upon being put on a hike by the Masai tribesmen – rural folk well away from the townsite you and your friends were staying at – some of their concerns possibly rang true. These African tribesmen are used to walking through the desert at high temperatures for hours on end – but your “kind”, the white people, were reaching a dangerous point of exhaustion that Saturday afternoon as you kept walking through the sandy dunes and cliffs iconic of this part of Tanzania.

Surely, the way of life in a place like Tanzania is too removed from our Western way to even bear comparison. While some similar rituals exist – such as your experience strolling through the town market and being pleaded, almost, for your money in exchange for some salesman’s jewelry – the whole of it is color black to our white. Take the Chagga women, for example, and their experiences with female genital mutilation. You ask yourself, how can they talk about this so nonchalantly, almost cynically or sarcastically, when the subject matter is so genuinely appalling, disgusting? Why does it happen?

Yet other confusions are more cultural, more aesthetic in nature. You said people are happy there. I asked, is it simply because they don’t know there’s something better out there? Well, education is key to that, you said. Carles, for example, goes to school and is getting an education. He is aware of the problems that plague Tanzania, and that they are circumstantial in nature, not impossible to change. He agrees that education is almost solely the way to societal progress, particularly in Tanzania. If people knew that something better is out there, they would become cognizant of the relative condition of their lives.

So is ignorance what keeps these people happy? Perhaps it is. But you told me that there’s something beyond that. There’s another factor that may be what keeps these people in such good spirit. It’s something intrinsic, something intangible. When you had a Swahili lesson with Mama Simba, a local Tanzanian leader, she brought you all together when she said “we are all one family” and “you are all my children”. When you hung out with your host family, you were treated as another one of their children. It is such demonstrations of unrestrained love and companionship that both characterize these peoples and set them so fundamentally apart from our own Western notions of individualism and self-sufficiency, which, while economically sound, have visible social shortcomings. There’s something beyond the "ignorance" clause – something from the heart, something from the culture …if only we really knew what it was.

And as the last word, you told me, Kira, that this experience showed you what you want to do with your life. You named joining the Peace Corps and continuing to travel as some of your future aspirations. Less remotely, you plan to travel to India this coming summer. I can’t help but give my own positive evaluation of this. While you may not yet stand alongside the great humanitarians of our time, you’re definitely headed in the right direction. The realizations and experiences you’ve had as a result of this trip – before, during and after – are bound to serve you well in many ways beyond choosing a suitable career.

Yet the questions posed here remain unanswered. How can these people be so blind? Are they blind? Are they simply so strong-willed as to smile in the face of plight? Your experience, both for yourself and I, is but the beginning of a long road of understanding the world, of understanding its people. It’s sure to be a road worth traveling.

Tomas Monzon
June – October 2011

Surviving High School: Homecoming Week

It's finally here- that week where you can come to school dressed like a banana, and no one would critisize you. Homecoming Week is definetly going to be one of my highlights of the year, because it's just non-stop fun.
At West Broward, our theme is "Let The Games Begin". Each grade was given a hallway to decorate wiht a certain theme (the freshman's: Harry Potter) and let me just say that they all look amazing. They were judged today, so I can't wait to find out the results.
Homecoming, in some ways, can be quite stressful. Especially this one, since report cards come out next week (ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh).
Anywho, Homecoming is a week of activities that is sure to be entertaining. (Tomorrow is Guess Who Day, where you have to dress like a celebrity).
All I have to say is, let the games begin.

Adam and Eve

Not the average stud or dangling earring, “Adam and Eve” emphasizes the outer curvature of your ear. Adam and Eve is a silver plated snake that appears to be moving through the ear. This unique piece is only $30. Ear Wraps are the hottest trend for fall and extremely popular in Greece right now. Maybe you’re feeling like a goddess or desire something exclusive to add to your collection… Adam and Eve will do just that.

Available at

WBHS Homecoming Week- Unlike Any Other!

Every year at West Broward High, the week of homecoming is always madness. The first day is Color Wars; freshman are yellow, sophomores are green, juniors are purple and seniors are black. Then it's "Guess Who Day", when you dress up as a celebrity, "Video Game Character Day" (self-explanatory), Connect 4 Day (grab 3 other friends and go to school matching) and then Spirit Day, when you deck yourself out in the school colors. That Friday night is the homecoming game, where we get to crown the kings/queens of WBHS. I'm not one to usually participate in them too often, but seeing people who go all out are fun to watch. Our homecoming is this Saturday, and while other high schools are having them in swanky hotels for over 80 dollars, ours is going to be in none other than the cafeteria. But don't think too far into it! Last year, our SGA did an amazing job at decorating the place to look better than any Hilton ballroom. Our awesome Principal Trager always joins in the fun, and I love seeing his outfits during the week. For a new high school in Broward County, West Broward is already making it's mark in the craziness of homecoming!

The Dentist

So Friday morning I once again had to go to the dentist so they could replace my temporary teeth and find out the size of the permanents that I'm getting in a week or two. Instead of going after school like usual my mom decided to have the appointment early in the morning so we can get it done and over with early.

So we get there at eight in the morning thinking that we wouldn't be in there that long but after three hours of a dentist running back and forth out of my room barely doing anything I was finally released.

After this appointment I have realized that dentist waste a lot of time when they are working. It took them thirty minutes just to figure out what color tint they should use on my permanent teeth they are making.

Why didn't they just ask me? It's my teeth, I think my opinion on them is important. Instead they just kept having women run in and out of the room looking at the different tints that they had. It would've been way easier and faster just to let me pick, especially since I have no clue what the color is going to be.

They also numbed the front of my mouth but not the back, where they decided to take one of those hook things and started to stab all over the back of my mouth saying "the back of your mouth may be numb but if it isn't then it's alright." If you were going to numb my mouth then why didn't you numb the part that you were going to work on?

Anyways, every since my visit Friday I haven't been feeling too happy about going back in a week or two. Hopefully this visit won't be as bad as the last one.

Fall yet?

Whether or not climate change is caused by people is up for debate, but it's unquestionable that Florida has been unseasonably hot this fall. With temperatures in the high 80s every day, the Miami-Dade area is having summer weather deep into fall.

It usually doesn't feel completely like fall until the temperature has at least fallen into the 60s. If we, as Florida residents, want to enjoy whatever sad semblance of fall we usually get (the leaves don't change, but usually there'll at least be some wind or something) we need to either get lucky or figure out a way to change the weather.

Hopefully the temperature will drop soon, because a weather-changing machine seems a long ways away….

Dealing with People

Time and time again people tend to get on my nerves. People tend to get on all of our nerves and it is quite difficult to just leave the situation alone as many times we are told to do. Majority of the time, we don't always have the strength to just ignore the issues basically sitting right in front of our faces. We want to stand up for ourselves and tell people exactly the way we feel.

I am the type of person who just tries to ignore people when they anger me and upset me. But by ignoring them, I grow this built up anger inside of me and I need to vent.

Now, trust me, when you get to a point like this, it is nearly impossible not to say one word to the person. Sometimes not even to the person. Sometimes people post those little things on networking sites, not stating who exactly they're talking about, but saying it knowing the other person will see it, and knowing the other person will know it's about them.

So here's a friendly little tip to all those panicking about what they can possibly do to end this incessant nagging at their brain to do something about these rude peers. Don't fight fire with fire. In the end, the only person you are hurting is yourself. I am aware sometimes even talking it out isn't good enough. But just try to find the humor in such things and laugh about it to yourself because in the end, if this person is really bugging you so much, are they even really worth a second of your time? Laugh it off, vent in a letter you won't actually send, confide in a loved one, but don't sink down to the same level as someone you don't even like very much.

The power of a myth

Tom the zebra was the his district’s most renowned chef. He was an incredible chef as he made lovely rice dumplings in many different shapes and sizes. In his rice dumplings existed in different various colors-it existed from brown to orange. It contained luscious mushrooms, mouth-watering, deboned meat, and organic eggs. He attracted so many girl zebras. Although Tom was not interested in any girl zebras, there was one that caught his eye. This beautiful Zebra went by the name of Candy. Tom decided to ask Candy out. Candy, flattered and thought she was in love with him, went out with Tom.
Tom had the time of his life. Until he met Candy, he never understood what it meant to be in love. Aside from the kisses, flirtations, and love words that they exchanged onto each other, Tom’s favorite part of their togetherness was when Tom would come home from a long hard day of work-making rice dumplings non-stop-and Candy would surprise Tom by creeping behind him as he unlocked the door and would tackle and wrestle him to the floor. The two would continue just teasing each other the rest of the time as the night sky rolled across the sunset sky, and ended up spending the night watching the stars.
Tom, besides earning a living through his rice dumplings, was also a doctor with a degree in psychology and an understanding on radiology (x-rays) Tom was a well-respected doctor (gastroenterologist) and one day, he had to go out of his district for a business trip to announce his new discovery on curing stomachaches. While Tom was gone, Candy was a very good-looking zebra and unfortunately only liked Tom because of the amount of money that he earned. Candy, while in a relationship with Tom, this whole time was cheating on him and was physically attracted to Tanks. This whole time Tom never found out, but one day as Tom had a day off on his business trip, he was touring the city of Paris, where his business trip was located, and he saw a zebra that looked like the same exact replica as Candy, except this zebra had an orange wig. This orange-wigged zebra was laughing at a joke that her zebra boyfriend, Tanks had said. Tom was 75% sure that orange-wigged zebra was Candy. Tom was determined not to feel betrayed just yet. Then, Tom walked up to the couple and asked the orange-wig zebra if he could borrow her phone, Candy, immediately recognizing that the zebra was Tom, sat there motionless and had this stoic look on her face. Tanks, confused, and seeing the look on Candy’s face, asked what’s wrong and being well-mannered, insisted that she let Tom borrowed the phone. Candy, still being reluctant and hesitant to give up her phone, shouted : “All right , all-right, Tom, I’ll confess the truth, I cheated on you for Tanks, ok?!!” She threw down her orange wig and stomped off into the nearest alley to go cry her tears out. Tom and Tanks were very confused, discussed their perspective of Candy and became best buddies who kept in touch with each other, even as they both started their own families. It dawned on Tom that life is a journey and his relationship with Candy resembled Tom being naïve. As for Candy, she ended up not being successful, and not being married and lonely for the rest of her life. It was when she finally became old age that she learned the importance of being faithful.

As you can see, I was using my creative side to compose this myth. Psychology deals with the study of the mind, which involves also neuroscience. According to neuroscience, the right brain deals with creativity. Hope you enjoyed this myth:)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meet Freud, he is an odd psychologist-psychoanalyst to be precise. Sure, he was a famous psychologist that made so many contributions on modern-day psychology, and Freud through observations, determined symptoms and was able to come up with follow-up observation OF patients; however Freud attributed symptoms of, for instance, one's anger toward one's husband to sex and aggression. In fact, even during the stages of growth (baby to adult), at one point, Freud believed that toddlers had the feelings of Oedipus complex, which is when all the boys secretly had feelings to their mothers, that was greater than how a son would love their mother, and therefore developed feelings of jealousy towards their father. Moreover, Freud prescribed LSD (cocaine)to his patients, before it was even illegal. Very interesting, eh?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Memes | Studying a Funner Culture

I want to be a journalist. I want to be an investigative reporter, be it on television or in print or on the radio; the kind that cracks the big stories but also knows about trends and history. And yet, becoming a cultured person - at least when this involves knowing about history,about past societies and landmark events and everything in between - is a task much easier said than done.

I mean, think about it. To become one of those philosopher types that could tell you the history of any country or society off the top of his head is a daunting task, and it's also one that has the potential for being positively boring to work towards. That's why I've decided to become friendly with a different culture, one connected to the shared human experience only by mechanical and technological bridges.

I'm talking memes. Memes, or internet phenomenons, have given me a way of familiarizing myself with a culture no great philosopher has yet tackled. Fawning over everything from over 9,000 to Joseph Ducreux to Y U No to the classic Trollface/Coolface/Problem? has put me on the right track towards finally becoming an expert on something cultural, something greater than myself, something that I can have back-of-my-hand knowledge of, something that can put me on equal bragging rights as those of professors, veteran journalists and timeless reporters.

And it's easy to see why. These memes constitute a culture that is genuinely hilarious and good-spirited ... well, for the most part. It can also be crass, sarcastic, cynical and downright unpleasant. But it's a very unique kind of culture that bears no contemporary. What kind of culture have you seen where a picture of a dinosaur looking like The Thinker is common knowledge? Where a comical picture of a Renaissance-era artist produces instant LOLs when accompanied by wordier versions of 21st century sayings?

It's a very unique culture, one that I'm glad to be on the way to becoming professionally familiar with. My research in the field of Internet cultural phenomena shall continue.

It's That Time of Year Again...

Time for lots of scares, itchy wigs, over the top costumes, and best of all, lots of candy. But the only problem is- Halloween falls on a Monday this year.

Will that hurt or help your Halloween plans? Will overprotective parents put your one night of spooks and scares to a hault? Only time will tell.

Halloween is an interesting holiday within itsself, it was origionally called "Hallow's Eve", with the word "Halloween" not appearing until the 16th century.

It's also a picky holiday for certain religious people, for example, I have a few friends whose parents don't allow them to partake in any Halloween festivities because they think it's the "Devil's Day".

Whatever your take on this scary holiday may be, I hope every one has a wonderful one, whether it entails sitting at home watching horror movies, or visiting the neighbors for a sweet treat.

Fall Fever!

I've always loved autumn. When I lived in New Hampshire, fall seasons were amazing, we'd spend almost every night drinking hot apple cider, going pumpkin picking and decorating with our apartments our rooms with autumn room decor and scented candles. But in South Florida, fall always seems to come late! It's October 10, and the temperature when I came home from school at 3 was 96 degrees F. I couldn't believe it. Fall is supposed to be about the warm colors, the amazing weather, and the festivities! South Florida always gets the memo late, since our cold weather comes usually around late November. I just wish that for one year we could have the stereotypical fall season the rest of the United States gets. Chilly days, cuddly evenings, snow flakes gently falling in the morning, those gorgeous red, yellow and orange leaves.. I guess I better move back up north soon!


Before I start this I want everyone to know I'm not singling out one person or saying that all girls do this but I just would like to say this to the general public.

I know a lot of girls, a majority of my friends are girls. If there is something that I've noticed about them is that they are pretty lazy. Now I'm not talking as in they don't like to do anything but as in when it comes to friendships and relationships.

For one example, I had a few friends who did me pretty wrong, so I decided that I would stop talking to them because it would lift them as being a burden off my back. So apparently a few of them still want to be friends with me, but instead of saying sorry they will send people to me to do it for them or slip me a little bit of the money that they owe me.

I know it's not they are bad people but it seems that they are just really lazy. It's as if they want to say something but since they know I'm a very forgiving person they'll just say to themselves "Oh, he'll forgive me on his own sooner or later so I don't have to worry about actually telling him sorry so I'm going to just wait here for him."

I know it's probably not just girls like this but I just want to know why do people do this? I mean, do they actaully believe that what they are doing is the right thing to do when they know they are in the wrong.

People need to start stepping up and taking responsiblity for the things they do. I know I don't do it all the time but if and when I see that I'm in the wrong I say sorry, so why can't they?

Still deciding what to be for Halloween?

This year has been the hardest for me to figure out what I want to be for Halloween. I love everything Disney, but I'm running out of options! This is a picture of my friends at the mall when they were all looking for Halloween costumes, while I took some pictures of them messing around with different costumes. I love this picture very much, it describes my friends perfectly, the way they act usually is brought out by the costumes they're wearing. My suggestion to anyone who is still having last minute thoughts on what to be for Halloween, is to think about your personality and how you act every day, and pick something that's the complete opposite of how you act regularly. If you're usually shy and inverted, be the boldest thing you can think of. You have one day to be anything you want, you might as well be something totally different!

End of an Era

During any time, it's difficult to tell exactly which men, objects, or events will come to symbolize and represent that time in the future, but with Steve Jobs and the early 21st century, the opposite was true. Jobs' Apple products dominated the beginning years of the 2000s, changing music, communications, information. The popular image of the Pabst-drinking, bearded hipster with an iPod and an ironic t-shirt was shaped by reliance on Jobs' products.

But more than just the loss of the visionary technologies, Jobs' passing marks what may be the end of a revolution in how we process information. The products marketed by Apple completely changed visual media and linked the world together. This rapid technological change has been the primary thing identifying the times we live in. With Jobs gone, this period of change may have come to an end.

Jobs' passing then, is more than just a visionary's death, but an epoch's ending.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

got emotions

"Don' be fooled by me....Don't be fooled by the mask I wear...................Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying; what I'd like to be able to say; what, for survival, I need to say but I can't say. I dislike the hiding
I'd really like to be genuine, spontaneious, and me; but you have to help me. you have to help me by holdlng out your hand, even when that's the last thing I seem to want or need. Each time you are kind and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings. Very small wings. Very feeble wings. But wings. With your sensitivity and sympathy and your power of understanding, I can make it. You can breate life into me. It will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. but love is stronger than strong walls, and therein lies my hope. Please try to beat down those walls w/ firm hands, bt with gentle hands, for a child is very sensitive, and I am a child
Who am I, you may wonder. For I am every man, every woman, every child...every human you meet

This excerpt is from Sean's The 7 highly effective habits for teens. I really like this, besides at this moment its relatable. It's my last yr of high school, and have well-intentioned BUT annoying parents, and I have crushes that usually come and go, but currently I have one that's been lasting for quite a while and just won't go away (stupid hormones!) this excerpt encourages me to hang in there. Also sometimes when people are like "how are you", like every human, I answer "good" or "fine" but occasionally I will answer like that, yet there is everything that's going on, feeling insecure because of a crush......or I'll be mad @ my friend and I'll mask my emotions

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Let's talk iPhone"

Cypress Bay High School
Tomorrow's Apple event keynote is sure to please customers across the board as new CEO Tim Cook releases the product we are all waiting for: the next iPhone.
Techies around the Internet are buzzing on specifics as far as what exactly will be released tomorrow morning.
The new iOS5 release date will most likely be revealed, bringing entirely new features to the operating system - this includes the interesting iCloud addition. After being presented at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the OS has received positive feedback.
The iPhone 4S, a cheaper version of the latest iPhone, will probably be the only phone announced tomorrow. After iPhone 4S information appeared in the latest iTunes beta, this prediction became confirmed.
iPhone 4S specs include more RAM, possibly improved camera and design and the new, faster A5 processor. New voice control systems have been built, including voice navigation. The lower price point should convince more customers to switch to iPhones as well.
Chances are slim to none that any news on an iPhone 5 will be revealed at the keynote. Little evidence has been found that it is ready for release.
iPod touches have previously been announced during iPhone events, so it is possible an improved iPod will soon be available. The now "old-fashioned" iPod classics should begin phasing out as the iPod touch takes over.
Anyone interested in tomorrow's keynote can follow live updates through Twitter via those present at the event and video of the presentation should be up on Apple's official website soon after the announcements.

What is psychology?

I was at orchestra today, and a new member joined today:) she happened to be my close friend's sister, her name is Sarah. My close friend is in my orchestra class as well. What was really interesting and caught me off guard was that I could not help but notice that my friend looks soooooo similiar to her sister, I mean they both have the same eyes, eye brows, nose, and teeth. They are both musically talented too! How is this related to psychology you may ask, I'm going to tell you, this has everything to do with psychology! The genes that are passed down from their parents, makes up the genetic makeup, which shows why they look alike; their genes that determine their eye color, eye brows, nose, and teeth! What psychology goes in depth too is environment, which means that even though they have the same appearance, they surely do not have the same personality even though raised in the same household.

When one thinks of psychology, what does one perceive? Do they think of one sending a classmate to a psychologist after the classmate believes that what they exhibited is bad? Or does one think of therapists, rather than psychologists that pop into one's mind and get the wrong misconception. Either way, psychology is known when the study of the mind and how one could think. Stay tuned on psych (short for psychology 101), and be prepared for a journey of amazement, wonder, and laughter :)

Young Seniority

As a senior in high school, you're bound to feel some sort of superiority over the lower grade students. Whether that seniority remains genuine or turns snobbish is your call.

For me, the seniority remains quite genuine, and quite easy to comprehend, too. You see, the term "seniority" (excluding legislative or categorical uses) is quite a silly term. In this situation, it means having experienced something before the person before you, who has yet to experience that which you've already experienced.

Seniority, thus, is incredibly easy to achieve since it's relative to your experiences. Suppose there's a new ride at the local fair. The group of four riders in front of another group of four riders will build their seniority quick, in 10 minutes or less, over the second group.

The first group is the natural fit for a mentor to the second - with respect to the ride, of course.

And so, when I apply such thinking to my grade level in comparison to those of my younger classmates and friends, I find myself brimming with the seniority I once never had. Just the other day, I was talking with a couple of freshmen about some of the issues they were having in school, from academic ones in their courses to social ones in their lives and relationships.

Some of their concerns were legit, but others were pure rookie mistakes: freaking out about ONE subpar test grade, worrying about ONE failed relationship ... I could've dismissed everything they were saying as insignificant concerns that won't really matter in the long run ... but I played along. I played along and did my best to sympathize with their concerns and offer the most serious advice I could.

I wish I could be more explicit as to what they were saying, but I had this realization a while ago so I can't remember too many details. The point is that I stopped short of vitiating their worries because I didn't want them to experience things too hastily. There's beauty in making rookie mistakes. If I were to reveal to them the secrets I was never told as a freshman growing up, their experience would be less than half what mine was.

And I can't injure them so.

Surviving High School: Report Card Blues

This is it: The last few weeks 'till the first report cards of the year, that means stress, cramming and trying to please the 'rents.

My grades are pretty good so far, I have all A's and B's, but one darn C in Biology that doesn't seen to want to go up. This has been an ongoing battle, and I can sadly say that right now, I might be losing.

It is, however, very close to becoming a B, but those gosh darn tests are weighted so heavily, and if I get a bad score on one, my whole grade will go tumbling with it.

All of this aside, my first year of high school is going smoother than I excpected. I am loving every minute of it, where as it was more or less the opposite in Middle School.

My advice for handling those last few shaky weeks before report cards, don't let that one bad grade pull you down, or else you'll be singin' the Report Card Blues.


The much dreaded PSAT is next week! **simultaneous groans of complaints**

For all the freshman and sophomores out there, don't worry, the test doesn't really count. All it is for is to see where you are academically in terms of the SAT.

For all the juniors out there, this test is to basically see if you will get national merit. (Which looks amazing on college apps!)

Bottom line is, you want to do well on this test.

**nerves kicking in**

Here are some semi-helpful tips and strategies you can use during/before the PSAT:

1. Do all the "normal" things you would do before a test. (Get plenty of rest, eat a good breakfast, etc.)

2. Bring peppermints with you! Besides making your breath fresh, they actually help you concentrate!

3. You are allowed to omit on the test, so if you don't know, don't put an answer. For instance, say you don't know the answer but you guess the letter C...and it was will get a point off and 1/4 of a point deducted for putting the wrong answer. BUT, if you don't put any answer, you only get 1 point off.

4. Usually, in the math section... There are 20 questions: 1-10 are easy (first half) 11-15 (medium) and 16-20 (hard) if you're bad at math, focus more on 1-10.

5. Bring a number 2 pencil & a calculator.

6. HAVE FUN! haha

Mylo Xyloto

Listen up Coldplay fans! The wait is almost over! Their new album titled, "Mylo Xyloto" comes out October 24th and is available for pre-order now! I fell in love with Coldplay's last album "Viva la Vida" the first time I listened to it. It offered simple, but catchy, deep, perfect alternative rock songs and this new album is sure to have all that plus a modern twist. Many of the single songs can already be accessed on the internet, but don't let that keep you from purchasing the CD. Coldplay is an amazing band that I've grown up listening to. Whenever I hear a song by them, I become at ease and smile. The music is not artificially positive, it captures the truths of life in a beautiful way. Though they're a bit off the mainstream, Coldplay has consistently created amazing music and this upcoming album will not be an exception. Keep your eyes out for this new album, it's sure to change you as I know it will change me.

School Daze part 2

School is just as stressful as ever. I still have four AP classes loading me with work even though I'm sure I'm not going to pass any of my AP Exams. I have volleyball practice and its hard for me to get home and have the energy to do my homework. I've been slacking on my work and my grades aren't as a good as they should be. I've been stressing alot lately and I just need to relax and ease my mind. I'm a procastinator. I have two days to read a whole book and take a quiz on it on Wednesday. I know I'm probaly going to read it tomorrow which means I'm going to have to stay up all night after a volleyball game. I'm stressed and I need a break.

Green Teen

Cars Could Run on Recycled Newspapers
Newspapers can be just as eco-friendly as the Internet. How?
A recent study, published by Tulsa University scientists, shows that car could run on recycled newspapers!
The scientists at Tulsa University have discovered a bacterial strain, called TU-103 that can convert cellulose in papers to butanol--a biofuel that can replace gasoline.
This is a major discovery because previously, other strains of bacteria have always been killed off by oxygen, but TU-103 stands up to oxygen and still produces butanol.
Butanol is much more safe, less erosive than ethanol and can be adapted to much more easily.
Replacing the use of gasoline by butanol will prove to reduce carbon dioxie an smog emissions, compared to gas, as well as having a positive impact on landfill waste.
For more information:

Eco-tip of the (bi) week: RECYCLE! Almost everything can be recycled, you'd be surprised. Keep a separate trash bag for plastic cans, aluminum, paper, styrofoam, paper. The tabs on soda cans? Those are actually recycled to produce medical equipment (Google Ronald McDonald can tops or soda tops). So many things spend ages in the landfills, never decomposing, bringing harm and clogging up our already polluted world. Did you know? These are everyday items that are thrown away, showing how fast they decompose from least amount of time to the most:
  • Paper Towels
  • Newspapers
  • Milk Cartons
  • Plastic Bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Aluminum Cups
  • Six-pack rings (like those on sodas and beers)
  • Water bottle
  • Fishing Lines
  • Glass

May I Buy a Muffin?

So today at lunch I actually had money and i decided instead of eating my schools' fail at cheeseburgers I would get myself a muffin that they sell in the lines. After I put in my number I ask for a muffin so the lady gets it for me and ask begins typing it in on the new cash register.
But when she was done on the cash register she took the muffin back and told me I owe 95 cent from middle school and I couldn't buy anything while I owed them money.
Now how do I owe the cafeteria 95 cent from middle school and they don't tell me anything until my senior year when I decide to buy something from them. I would understand if they would've told me this my freshman year when I first left but nope, they decided to wait till I wanted something from them.
How did they expect me to pay it before when they didn't tell me I owed them anything, I have free lunch, it's not like I didn't pay for a couple of days. And if I didn't have free lunch why would I owe them 95 cent? What, I only had a nickel to pay for something in middle school so they took that and told me to pay the rest later when I had money?
Well today I ended up only eating some fries and drinking some juice since they decided not to just let me get the muffin so I'll have something other than the cheeseburger (or at least that's what they claim it to be) to eat. I would complain about having to pay for something I didn't buy in middle school but who cares, at least it's only a dollar. Plus, at least I don't have to pay for their crap every day.