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Mirrored from Oh Clementine. You can leave any comments there.

When I was younger, Christmas was all about me and what I was getting. In the past few years, it's stopped being so exciting. Honestly, now it's more about buying presents for my cousins1 and seeing their excitement. This year, it goes a little further than that.

My cousin is seven years old and in grade one. She has a friend whose mother hasn't been able to provide her with the basic necessities. She's been living with my cousin and her parents for the past week and probably will for awhile (maybe even permanently).

Now, you have to understand that this little girl is thrilled to have her own room with her own bed at my aunt and uncle's house. She's been sleeping on the sofa, which is in the living room, which is where her mother parties all night long. She usually starts the school year without the proper school supplies. Her snowsuit doesn't fit her – in Canada! You kind of need a proper snowsuit when it actually, you know, snows with some frequency. I can't imagine how she's going to feel when she gets to open presents on Christmas day.

Up until now, I haven't given it much thought. I've had the basics and I've had the luxuries, and I've taken it all for granted, and here is a small girl who's just happy to have her own bed. But, you know, the awesome thing about having these luxuries is that I have this platform called a blog, so I can share this story with you.

My mother and I are going shopping for my cousins soon, and we're of course going to buy this little girl a present too. I'm really excited to buy something for her, and even more excited to meet her. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I'm glad to be reminded about what's really important. At this time of year, it's easy to get caught up in the stress. It's easy to worry about your presents and worry about getting all your shopping done and worry about things that just aren't that important. Maybe this sounds preachy, and I know how annoying that is, but try to remember what really is important.

  1. who are 4, 6, and 7 []
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Mirrored from Oh Clementine. You can leave any comments there.

In my Civics class, we recently watched a documentary called Sticks and Stones, which is mainly about how polarised left- and right-wing politics in the US are becoming. A lot of the students in my class found the documentary – and politics, in general – boring, but I really enjoyed watching it.

The documentary featured people like Ann Coulter ("We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity") and Bill "SHUT UP!" O'Reilly. I found the things Ann Coulter said to to the interviewer (CBC's Bob McKeown) pretty shocking, but I was completely unprepared for the things concerning Bill O'Reilly.

One man who had lost his father in 9/11 but who didn't support the war was on The O'Reilly Factor1. O'Reilly told him that the Afghans killed his father, which was bad enough – but when he told the man that his father wouldn't have agreed with him, that was just too much. I may or may not have shouted out, "Do you know his father? No? Then shut up, [expletive]."2 Then, they showed him having an argument with Toronto's Heather Mallick, telling her that they (the US) had destroyed France's economy (citing a financial journal that is, in fact, non-existent) and that he would do the same thing to Canada's economy… and that it would be her fault. He asked her if she was prepared to take the responsibility for the total collapse of our economy. (Funny, actually, considering the fact that they're still in a recession and we're doing just fine.)

I don't know precisely how to describe it, but seeing the exchange between Bill O'Reilly and Heather Mallick somehow fired me up. I've been considering journalism as a possible career for awhile now, and watching this documentary almost cemented this idea. And I know I don't want to be the kind of journalist who sits in a news room and talks about an art fair at a high school, or even the kind of journalist who sits in a news room and talks about war and violence. I want to be the kind of journalist who challenges people like Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. I want to go out there and have my voice heard. I want to change the way the media works. I want to make it truly fair and balanced, so that people like Bill O'Reilly can't just yell at people to shut up when they say something he doesn't like and still claim to be the "no spin zone". I want to make a difference in the world.

Although I know there's a possibility that I will change my mind, but I don't think I've ever been so sure of what I want to do with my life (and I've changed my mind a lot of times). I guess this could be called a crucial point in my life.

Do you know what you want to do with your life? If you do, when and how did you know for sure?

  1. supposedly the "no spin zone" – yeah, just like Fox is "fair and balanced" []
  2. My Civics teacher didn't mind – in fact, I think she agreed :P []
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Mirrored from Oh Clementine. You can leave any comments there.

I have not been having a great week. I won't go into details about much, but I will mention that I am having huge problems with a certain teacher. I have mentioned him before; I had him last year for two courses, and was a little on the dismayed side to find that I had him again for World Religions this year. Last year, he made a point of pushing his beliefs on us by saying things like (and I quote), "I'm not going to tell you to not eat meat – no, wait, I am. DON'T EAT MEAT," showing us videos about a slaughter house, and generally ignoring the curriculum in favour of these things; this year, he has insulted people who don't care about religion either way by saying that they are "ignorant, boring, and uninformed" and that he "hopes to change their opinions by the end of the year", as well as creationists, saying that they "don't display a sophisticated level of thinking". This makes me extremely uncomfortable to be in his class. If any class should be a safe space, it should be World Religions. It isn't a class about his personal opinion; it is a class where we're supposed to be learning about, you know, the religions of the world.

Yesterday, we had presentations. One group was missing a member due to H1N1; he said that they would have to present anyway. That's fair enough… what isn't fair is the fact that he told them that he expected them to present their partners' information. Apparently, we should all memorise every group member's part on the off chance that they're away. That definitely is not how a group project works; the point of doing it in a group is to split up the work.

That was the last straw for a friend and me. We decided to see the guidance counsellor about switching or dropping the class. Unfortunately, it's too late in the year to do anything about it. We can't even enroll for an online course instead. The guidance counsellor did allow us to voice our concerns, and she advised us to talk to the principal about him.

Today, I was helping out a grade 9 class. (They were learning to make websites, and I'm the head of the web team at my school.) My World Religions teacher came into the room and asked if he could see me after school. I immediately got freaked out, although I told him yes. The teacher whose class I was in1 asked me what he was talking to me about. I told him most of what I told the guidance counsellor, and he said that he understood and that if I had any problems I should definitely talk to him. I think it's interesting that none of the other teachers seem to be very fond of my World Religions teacher, and are not quick to defend him.

Anyway, I was already having a really bad day, so my best friend ended up finding the World Religions teacher and telling him that I was sick and needed to go home right away. He probably didn't buy it, but I don't think it's appropriate to corner a student and ask to speak to them about something that you had discussed in confidence with someone else.

This entry has gone completely off base from where I was originally going, which was to discuss how people hold back emotions. Because of the way this week has been so far, I've had a lot of strong emotions. My natural reaction to strong emotions? Crying. It's embarrassing, and I don't like it, but that's just how I apparently have to deal with my emotions. This is especially a problem when I'm mad. When I'm angry with someone and trying to express that, the last thing I need is to cry.

When I was about 10, I read Ender's Game. I remember virtually nothing about the book, but one thing that has stuck with me was the brief description of what Ender does when he feels like he is going to cry: he starts at 1, then doubles it, then doubles that.

Since then, that's always what I've done when I'm feeling upset. It helps me concentrate on something else, and it's also a good way to gauge how upset I'm feeling. I've memorised a lot of the sequence, so if it gets so bad that I actually have to do math in my head to figure out what the next number will be, I know that I am extremely close to tears.

Now I'm curious: do you try to hold back your emotions? If you do, how?

(And, because this post wasn't already all over the place, I'm doing NaNoWriMo! I've made a lot of progress so far, and I can afford to take around 2 days off since I'm so ahead.)

  1. who is in charge of the tech group, and who is awesome []
clementine: (Default)

Mirrored from Oh Clementine. You can leave any comments there.

The other night I realised that I haven't had a proper dream in months. I used to have the regular "wow that was random" dreams every night; now I generally don't have dreams1. When I do, they're nightmares.

About a year ago, I had a dream that made me wake up in tears. This was the first time that had ever happened to me. In the dream, I was in a car with two of my friends and one mysterious person. My friend was driving, and she crashed the car. Our faces were all bloody and shredded, and we were crying and begging the driver to tell us something. Apparently she knew something about the accident that we didn't. When I woke up, I really was crying!

I had another dream a few weeks ago that had the same effect. I don't really remember the details, but one of my friends kept shaking me and telling me she was sorry. Apparently it really disturbed me, because I wasn't able to calm down very easily even after I woke up! Two nights ago, I had a dream about attending a funeral. I really don't know what brought that on, but it was apparently upsetting to me, since I woke up crying.

I also occasionally have recurring dreams. When I was around 6-10, I would have dreams every few months about a dragon in my school's library. Everyone was scared, but I would always go up and talk to it, and I would end up climbing on it and sliding down its back.

Now my recurring dreams are without fail very unpleasant. They always have to do with being unable to open my combination lock. I think this is because I was unable to open it on the first day of middle school2, and it's just transferred over to my subconscious mind. In these dreams, I end up spending so long trying to open my lock that I miss at least one class, and generally a chunk of another. As school gets closer, I find myself having these dreams more often3.

Do you also have recurring dreams? Do you ever wake up crying after having a bad dream? Do you even remember your dreams?

  1. or don't remember them []
  2. because I suck []
  3. which is weird because I'm excited for school! []

haha.

Jul. 6th, 2009 04:46 pm
clementine: (jim)
I just found this post. I won't link to it, because my site's on maintenance mode. I'll just post the important parts.


Sometimes I feel like I'm not an interesting enough person to maintain a blog. My life isn't anything special—I'm just another high school student, and I don't want to blog about how much I hate science or how I'm doing exceptionally well in math right now.

I sometimes have mildly interesting ideas, but I either blog about them (therefore running out of fascinating blog topics) or can't quite figure out how to properly put them into words.


Pretty much why I gave up on it.


I have considered taking an extended break, but I don't think I could stay away for too long.


I was so, so wrong. Although maybe the fact that I post here doesn't count - but my DW/LJ accounts are SO different from my normal blog! I'd never post anything in this journal on my blog. This is for posts that I don't want the whole world seeing, and just random memes, etc.

I'm finding it quite easy to NOT blog, actually.

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