Monday, February 28, 2011

Congrats to Natalie Portman and Colin Firth.

I've learned a lot this past week.
I learned that a community can do great things in short amounts of time.
On Wednesday, we held a candlelight vigil for the two boys who died. It was one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen. Over a thousand people came to celebrate their lives.
One of the boys' family needed help paying for a funeral and burial expenses. People at school raised over 11,000.
It's nice to know that even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, everyone pulls together like that. There was so much love all over.
Another thing was the power of empathy.
I didn't know the boys too well, and neither did a lot of people.
Even so, looking at their memorials in the quad was heartbreaking.
sitting next to their prom dates in class was awful.
At the same time, it was empathy for others that led to the vigil and the funeral and the overwhelming sense of community this past week. For that I am grateful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rachel, I'm very sorry about what is happening in your school. I know this must be a very difficult time in your community and I wish you all the best in this time.

Ellen, I can totally relate to your library/librarian story! If you have a study, the library at our school is not hard to use, however if you need to use it before or afterschool it's a nightmare. Our head librarian seems to hate sentient life. Our computers don't log you in for twenty plus minutes, so if you need to print a paper before class expect to be late by about twenty minutes before the computer can complete the complicated tasks of logging on, connecting to the internet, logging into my email and opening the document, which for some reason, the computer feels it must install Microsoft word Every. Single. Time! I really hope my printer doesn't break because with my first period teacher if you walk into class five minutes late, your paper is late. Also if you aren't in class you have to email the paper by 8:10 am. This just makes me uneasy like I understand the reasoning here, but if I'm really violently puking or deal with a family emergency I'm not going to stop and suddenly go, "Let me email Franklin my paper now!" I'm wondering what if I am in the emergency room or something like that and can't email the paper until like the next day, is he going to bring down his overlording grade power and stamp late on the paper any way? Really I just hope I don't run into that situation.

This week is a fairly good week for me because I am off on February break. This brings back a lot of nostalgia because last year's February break was spent going through all the old vlogbrothers videos. However this vacation I am doing something significantly less fun, which is cleaning my room. It's been a disaster since practically last summer and I'm trying to finally get it in working order. I'm tantilizingly close and am trying to finish before I sleep even if that means being up til four in the morning. My theory is that it is not a proper vacation if I don't wack out my sleep schedule!

Other awesome thing I'm doing this weekend is I'm working at the Real Food Summit in Boston:
My friend Muller is in that video and I only found that just now when I was Googling for a link to show you guys (like this one) but basically 300-500 people will be there and I'm going to do some workshops and possible a skit in front of all those people and it's going to be awesome!
Anyhoo, I hope everyone's week gets even better tomorrow, because I think we can always use a little more awesome.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Death And Dying

I think today's post is going to be short. Just a warning.

Two boys at school died Saturday. They drowned.
it's so awful. They were two of the nicest people in the school.
They were best friends. I never saw one without the other.
Today at school was so awful. The entire place was just in shock.

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I wasn't feeling like being on the computer much.

Playlist Tuesday

I love how my top25 most played on iTunes is actually a really accurate representation of what music I have on my iPod: Glee, musicals, youtube/internet artists, JPop... and Maggie Stiefvater.

Though I'm not sure why the first two songs have so many more listens than the others LOL. Almost twice as much as the third song.

I don't really know what this says about me as a person, though. Uh... that I listen to anything with great lyrics and a catchy beat?

I see you drivin' round town with the guy I love and I'm like... forget you! (Oo--oo-ooh!)


Don't unplug me or or or just shut me out, please just love me with with your steel heart!

And that was a "I don't know what to blog about Tuesday" with Sandy! So. Uhm. Uh. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU GUYS LIKE? Does it look like my playlist XP?

See you guys next week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

*Ding Ding!* Debate Time!

Update: My grandmother is doing better but she's still in the hospital while they try and find a medicine that will help with her dizziness, however we hope to have her home soon.

So topic of the day: Voting
In class right now we're studying the Civil Rights movement, today's planned discussion revolved around some of the ways voting was limited like the poll tax and literacy tests in order to vote. The talk started to morph into what if we had some sort of test like that for today's elections. One very vocal kid in our class was saying that we have to get rid of arbitrary votes and there should be some sort of test to see if you understand what is going on in the election. We had a fairly heated debate for the rest of class which boiled down to this: If you are an idiot you shouldn't be able to vote. My side of this is that everyone should be allowed to vote, regardless of your intelligence or knowledge of the issues.

I've been tossing these questions and debates around in my head all day, I knew that straight from the beginning something made me distinctly uncomfortable about the argument. I know that nothing like this was likely to happen and that our voting system isn't going to change but there was still something uncomfortable about the whole thing. What I realized is that I was seeing the beginnings of discrimination in my classroom. We've been talking about racism all week in class and how we're all trying not to have this preconceived ideas about people yet still do. We've talked about how we're always working to get rid of these biases. However today I saw a classroom full of elitists who thought that they knew better and that this was how things should be run. I saw how racism and prejudice could get started.

I don't know if you guys are familiar with the concept of group think. If you're not, it's basically how ideas spread through a group. There are a few different ways it works like during the witch trials when people would really and truly believe that someone was a witch because so-and-so had seen them do such-and-such soon everyone is convinced of the validity of the statement. It made me squirm to be in class today because in some ways that is what was going on. It seems perfectly sensible that we shouldn't have arbitrary votes if we want a valid election, however when you think about it, what counts as arbitrary? How do you test for that? By the end of class our teacher was saying to everyone, "You're an idiot, you can't vote!" I don't think it is possible for anyone to define what qualifies you to vote, beyond your age. Intelligence, race, religion, hair color and shoe size should not limit the democratic process; everyone should be able to vote.

I truly hope that history is not doomed to repeat itself and that we are making more progress in eliminating prejudice rather than creating it.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

*somersaults in*

Emily, I wish you and your family luck. I am so sorry to hear about that.

I suppose my thoughts don't matter post Valentines Day, but here I go. I agree with Ellen and Rachel. A lot of my friends were bashing V-day, but I think it's a pretty harmless day. It's marketing/media that makes it seem like a couples only event. When really, it's just a day to spread more love, love, love.

Today was the Economics Fair! Where my partner and I debuted our thingrings. They sold out in the first ten minutes of the fair, which was TOTALLY AWESOME! There were a couple of people who came by after it sold out frowning that they missed out. The only downside is that we could've charged so much more for them if we'd known they'd be so popular! Even so, we ended up with a $71 profit, so I guess that wasn't too bad :D !

Now I have the Fine Arts Festival to look forward to! Auditions were rescheduled, so I'm having them tomorrow... which means I should really be preparing now! My posts will probably become shorter and shorter as the day comes nearer and nearer...

Hope you guys have an awesome week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Elephant In the Room

These days just keep coming faster and faster. Life is so crazy right now. A little weird too, actually. Lots of drama at school. Upset friends and such. It's somewhat upsetting.
Good news! My team won our first two ever mock trial matches.
Other than that, there's not a whole lot of news to report.
Steelers lost the super bowl. WOO! Actually, I don't really care all that much.
What's that you say?
Am I forgetting something?
OH! Valentine's day! Of course! I hope it was wonderful for everyone! It's my mom's favorite small holiday, so this morning I got up early and made her and my dad breakfast and picked them flowers. It was cute.
Valentine's day is sort of a big deal at school. Everybody gives each other roses and such. I might have liked that, but I'm sort of newly single. So it was a little odd. Oh well. Footloose and fancy free is always best, in my opinion.
Valentine's day isn't just couple love though. It's mothers and fathers and mailmen and best friends and teachers and random cashiers at the supermarket love. That's why I like valentine's day. Even when I'm single, it's nice to know everybody loves each other.

With that, I have 25 pages of Fast Food Nation to read in a half hour. Night everybody!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Things are crazy

I am sorry for my lack of post on Wednesday and then subsequent failure to make it up since then, but life has been dumping heaps on me at the moment.

Everything is okay, but my grandmother went into the hospital late last week. I live with my grandmother, aunt, uncle and mother. When my Grandma went into the hospital (my aunt and uncle took her) nobody bothered to call me or my mom and let us know this was happening. This lead to a fight between my aunt and uncle and my mother the next morning before school. My grandmother also had/has a disease on her foot which means that it is very difficult for her to get a bed in the hospital (in two days she went to five different beds). Things have just been kind of stressful, however this was all Thursday/Friday.

Wednesday was a different kind of stress. I had a poetry competition (not too, too stressful) and then my mom and I went out for dinner at a nice restaurant. Somehow the conversation turned to my dad and all the tough times we've been through as a family. We talked about why she and my dad haven't divorced yet and lots of heavy stuff. After that I was emotionally exhausted and pretty much came home and directly went to sleep without blogging/homeworking/anything else I should have been doing. So I'm sorry about the late post but it appears I wasn't the only one.

I hope everyone is having relatively better and less stressful weeks and here's to this week being filled with much more awesome than not-some. (There's lots of awesome in Your Pants! Go. Enjoy.)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Still super busy D:

In fact, I may be even busier this week than I was last week /cry.

This week I have auditions for the Fine Arts Festival, which I mentioned in my last post. It's an all-day talent showcase, unique to my school only. No other schools in the district does this (and we have this in addition to the annual charity/talent show!) This year I'm in a dance group with my friends, as well as singing a Disney medley solo. I'm not too nervous about auditions, but rehearsals and auditions take out a chunk out of my schedule. Some days we practice until 7, oi.

I'm really excited for all these new things coming into my life, but at the same time very nostalgic and sad. I was just performing in LAST year's festival - wasn't I!? It's hard to fathom I'm graduating in a few months, and I'm a bit reluctant to be a big girl and venture the world quite yet.

Anyway, I'm still buried in this pile of work so I'll report back next week.
Signing out!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another monday! My how they come.

This week is going to be exciting. Sort of. More like scary.

1.) Mock Trial
Mock tiral is a hypothetical court situation acted out by high school and college students. It's my school's first year. All the other schools think that we're 'cute'. It's not a good way to go into a competition.
Our competition begins tomorrow. It's gonna be intense. It's two and a half hours of straight court. Good thing I like it.

2.) People.
Let's just say they're intense, too. Even the ones who seem like they'd be so easy to deal with. I think everybody needs a week in the woods by themselves. Especially me. Sometimes you just need a break to recover from being so out there all the time. You know?

3.) Choosing classes
We have to choose our classes for next year by next Monday. I feel like this is going to be one of the biggest decisions in terms of my life next year. There's a lot of interesting classes at school that I want to take. One is an architechural design class. Another is journalism. All are interesting. 

I think that's it for now. Those are the big ones. 

I thought I'd leave you all with a poem for this week. They're actually lyrics. Analyze how you will. I just like the thing itself.

By Andrew Bird

I dreamed you were a cosmonaut
Of the space between our chairs
And I was a cartographer
Of the tangles in your hair

I sighed a song that silence brings
It's the one that everybody knows
Oh everybody knows
The song that silence sings
And this was how it goes

These looms that weave apocryphal
They're hanging from a strand
These dark and empty rooms were full
Of incandescent hands

An akward pause
A fatal flaw
Time it's a crooked bow
Oh time's a crooked bow

In time you need to learn to love
The ebb just like the flow

Grab hold of your bootstraps
And pull like hell,
'til gravity feels sorry for you,
And lets you go
As if you lack the proper chemicals to know

The way it felt the last time you let yourself
Fall this low
Oh time
It's a crooked bow
Time's a crooked bow

Fifty-five and three-eighths years later
At the bottom of this gigantic crater
An armchair calls to you
Yeah this armchair calls to you
And it says that
Some day
We'll get back at them all
With epoxy and a pair of pliers
As ancient sea slugs begin to crawl
Through the ragweed and barbed wire

You didn't write you didn't call
It didn't cross your mind at all
And through the waves
The waves of a.m. squall
You couldn't feel a thing at all
Your fifty-five and three-eighths tall
Fifty-five and three-eighths tall


Friday, February 4, 2011

You are the only exception...and I'm on my way to believing it.

Guess who forgot to do their post again? haha that's right ME :D

Lol, I'm just sitting here next to my sister, theawesomeone, watchin the office.
I looooove Jim and Pam. They're like my favourite people ever, I can't wait until they get married. (I'm on like season three right now btw) any spoilers are welcome for anyone else.

Next weekend we're going to Ottawa for Whorshiplude/ Winterlude :D I for one am super excited. I'm kind of nervous though, I don't know many people. Not as many as my sister does, I hope she doesn't leave me for them :/ she probably will though, there's this guy she likes that's coming. I'm not very fond of him, so I can't decide whether I'll hang out with them or not...

I was just watching the new preview for Glee... Puckleberry were singing Need you now and it just didn't sound right. And for a few seconds I couldn't figure out why. And then I noticed it, and I've never even noticed this before...probably because they tend to listen to songs I don't like, or don't know well enough. But I love this song, so that's probably why I noticed... But Lea likes to Scoop WAY too much. There was not a line there where she didn't scoop. And I know I do it too much too, but I do it on my own songs. Not songs that aren't meant to have that many scoops. Gosh.
And really...they're pairing Puck and Rachel back together? No, PuckandQuinn, and FinnandRachel forthewin. No one else. I dislike how they can't seem to get these right. They said they loved each other...can't they just keep it that way. What the hell is Sam? He needs to be with Kurt, it's the whole reason he's here. He and Quinn aren't a good couple, Puck and Quinn are -.-

Has anyone noticed how good a movie the newer Pride and Prejudice is? Because I have. Keira and Matthew are completely adorable. I was just watching music videos on Youtube. The best ones are the Only One one, and any one to the song The Only Exception ... just because that song fits them so well. I haven't read all the book so far, but I loooove the movie. I haven't seen the Colin Firth one yet, but in my eyes Matthew makes such a better Mr. Darcy. He's hott, and awesome ^^

So that's all I have for now, mostly because I'm doing this quickly 1) because it's late, 2) my sister wants her computer back, and 3) because I accidently alreaady pushed post, and I don't want any potential readers missing anything :)
so ta-ta for now :) ttfn.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bullying should not be a rite of passage

Excuse me while I spew awesomeness (I truly hope you don't mind).
Tonight was the launch of the latest HPA Horcrux which is the Bullying Horcrux. This will mainly focus on the aspect of bullying based on LGBTQ. So this blog post will mostly be me flailing about this horcrux, just so you know.
A great question that was asked during the livestream was why are we only focusing on LGBTQ bullying why not bullying in general. I absolutely loved Andrew's response which was something along the lines of:
Bullying is usually about us not falling into the categories of the gender roles. We sometimes do not fall into the lines of what people expect a girl or a boy to be. If you want to know what a girl looks like, look in the mirror. If you want to know what a boy looks like, looking in the mirror. If you don't identify with either gender, look in the mirror and see what a human being looks like.
Just wow. I mean this is so accurate and amazing and true and that's why I love these meetings.

So I'm not sure if you guys are aware but in Uganda this issue of LGBTQ rights is HUGE right now. It's a legal battle one where instead of fighting for the right to vote they are fighting for the right to live. The government in Uganda is working to pass a law which not only makes it illegal to be LGBTQ, but makes the punishment for that death. Even straight people allied to this cause are under threat from this law. Recently, a newspaper published the names of people who were gay under the headline (paraphrased) These People Must Be Hanged! Over one hundred people were murdered because of this. It is terrifying and horrible and really puts in perspective this fight, it's not just about letting people marry who they want, it's about making sure we do not come to the point Uganda's at. All of that started with basic bullying, people hating and hurting other people because they don't fit in our neat boxes of what another man or woman should be.

I personally have never been against gay marriage or being gay in general. I will admit though, the concept of homosexuality made me uncomfortable at first. I wasn't all that comfortable with the idea of heterosexual sexuality at that point, so throwing in another idea which wasn't in the way I grew up, I must admit I was uncomfortable. I never really admitted that, even to myself. However the amazing thing about the internet is that it has introduced me to so many people and given me access to communities where any sexuality goes and is entirely accepted and rejoiced. I find myself today completely comfortable with the idea of any sexuality. This even makes me comfortable with the idea that if I were to ever question my own sexuality that there would be a community out there who would accept me no matter what. I think that's truly amazing.

So this has actually turned into a very personal post and I want to thank you all for reading it. I want to end this by talking about my transformation over the last year. I am coming up on my one year anniversary of being a nerdfighter. Though for many people irl I think it is hard to understand how much the internet could mean but I think you all might get it. Discovering Nerdfighters is something that has changed me and changed me for the better. From Nerdfighters I found the Harry Potter fan community, and from there the Harry Potter Alliance. I've discovered YouTube in a whole other way than I dreamed possible. I've become a part of that community. I've met so many people, become a part of so many projects. From this one, to a vlog collab even to the Project for Awesome. I've met musicians who I feel like I can relate to even more than those on the radio because they are YouTubers and it has just been an amazing year. It has been tough and things will continue to be tough as I apply to colleges and try and figure who I am as an independent person, but I am happier now than I ever have been in my life and that is because of Nerdfighteria and everything and everyone I've connected to because of Nerdfighteria. I guess I just want to say thank you. Somehow. So here it is, thank you Nerdfighters and thank you internet for making me a better person, thank you for making me, me.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One hundred and one!

100 is a beautiful number. This also means we're 27% through our first year, a little more than a fourth! That's pretty darn awesome. I was touched that you guys liked my music video so much *___* Taking the time to say thank you!

I have a LOT of new things going on in my life. Fun things, thankfully, but very time-consuming. They come in three formats.
a) the Economics Fair
b) the Fine Arts Festival and
c) Chinese New Year.

I'll probably talk more about A and B once they come closer, but C will be this Thursday! The third of February. Though the actual day is well, a day long, celebrations last all through the month. My favorite part is probably the receiving of money part. I quite like money. But there are also some weird Chinese New Year traditions that I'd like to share:

1. You aren't allowed to wash your hair.
This is supposedly bad luck, like you're washing out all your good fortune or something like that. Again, this is a month-long thing, but the holiday's become Americanized so we only skip on the day of.

2. You cannot buy shoes.
More bad luck stuff. The word for "shoes" in Chinese also sounds like "misfortune." I don't buy many shoes but...

3. You cannot but books.
THIS IS WHERE I DIE. The word for "books" sounds like "lose" - people don't want to "lose" their money, their good fortune, or whatever... which means I suffer for a month because my mom refuses to buy me any new books.

See you guys next week!