Monday, October 31, 2011
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.
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.
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?
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.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Monday, October 17, 2011
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.
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….
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
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'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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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**
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.
- Paper Towels
- Milk Cartons
- Plastic Bags
- Aluminum Cups
- Six-pack rings (like those on sodas and beers)
- Water bottle
- Fishing Lines