Saturday, June 25, 2011
Graduation was like nothing I've ever experienced. I cried more than I ever thought I would. Every time I saw my favorite teachers, I realized that I would never be in their classes again. I remembered being in their classes and growing as a student. I had great times with them. And now, it's all over. I'm starting a new chapter in my life. But not before I tell all of you about how our valedictorian ruined part of graduation.
Everyone knows that the valedictorian delivers a speech. Everyone also knows that graduation is an honorable occasion. So, why on f***ing Earth did he think it would be a good idea to make his speech a joke. My speech was serious and inspiring. It demonstrated my respect for the senior class and the school itself. Our valedictorian shredded his National Honor Society sash to show that he is no better than anyone else. He danced at the podium. He made jokes and said the word "awesomer." I was so angry as he delivered his speech. He made a mockery of his position and our senior class. I'm more than happy that I never have to see him ever again.
Other than the disgrace of our valedictorian, graduation was a happy event. My mother loved my speech. I said good-bye to everyone I will genuinely miss. And I shared the occasion with my family. To end my post, I will share my graduation speech with you. It is one of my best works.
Here you go:
"Good evening, everyone. Parents, teachers, faculty, and most importantly, fellow graduates, I have been given the difficult task of standing before you today to deliver a speech that not only does justice to my experience at Perth Amboy High School, but also leaves you with good thoughts for the future. I can honestly tell you all that this speech is the most difficult work that I have ever had to write. Knowing that when this is all over I will be saying good-bye to the place that shaped me into the person you see right now hurts me more than I ever thought it could. It makes me realize how much I've gained from this institution. And it makes me really appreciate all of the obstacles I've faced along the way. I'm sure you all would agree.
I'd like to begin my speech with a quote from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I had the means of an excellent education placed within my reach; a fondness for some of my studies, and a desire to excel in all, together with a great delight in pleasing my teachers, especially such as I loved, urged me on: I availed myself fully of the advantages offered me." We all understand how hard it is to get a good education. There is no question that we are not an extremely privileged school district. But coming from our school district teaches us something other students don't learn. We learn how essential a good education is. As students, we all took advantage of the opportunities provided for us, and we didn't take anything for granted. We also learned that nothing in life will ever be handed to us. There will always be a struggle. But as long as we have the desire to work diligently toward achieving our goals, we can all be victorious. We are all fighters. We fought for 4 years against temptation and those who told us that we weren't good enough. We fought and won and today, we will walk away with the biggest prize any of us has gained to date: a high school diploma.
Personally, I know that I have earned my spot in this stadium. I have never been the student who just slides by. For the past 4 years, this school has been my life. I took the most rigorous courses and excelled. I spent hours doing homework, writing papers, studying for exams. It may not sound glamorous, but it was definitely worth all of the hard work. Not everyone understands that when I decided to take advantage of my education, I wasn't kidding around. I understood, from the very beginning, that passing the classes was not the most important part of coming to school. Taking advantage of my education meant that I wanted to gain as much as possible from every class I decided to take. In the long run, my approach to education will benefit me ten-fold because at the end of it all, it isn't all about what knowledge a person has. Life is about how well a person can cultivate and apply the skills he or she has.
Oscar Wilde once said: "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." Mr. Wilde was always an advocate of experiencing what life has to offer. I know that after hearing me speak about the importance of fighting for an education, most of you probably wouldn't guess that I agree with Oscar Wilde's quote. However, I, like most students, realized that we learned much more than what the curriculum delineated for us. In almost all of our classes, we learned to think for ourselves. Education is about much more than learning how to isolate a variable, or define chemical reaction. Education is about building yourself up to the point where you can say: "This is my opinion, and this is why it is valid." There is only so much teachers can show us. Eventually, we will need to be able to take what we learn and use it for constructive purposes. That is how we will gain the best life experiences.
I know that after hearing me speak for about 3 and a half minutes, most of you probably want me to wrap up my speech. I will, but not before I make my final point. Once we walk out of this stadium, we're on our own. We're adults. Everyone is going to expect us to play an active role in our own education. I would like to urge all of the scholars graduating today, myself included, to take full advantage of this freedom. We're venturing into unknown territory; so, don't waste the opportunity. Continue to work hard and strive for the very best.
I'd like to conclude my speech by saying how very proud I am of every person whose name will be called today. Wearing this cap and gown means more than being hot and uncomfortable on our much loved football stadium. It unites us. The cap and gown, the diploma we will receive, they all signify our connection to this institution that nurtured us for 4 years. Never forget the time you spent or the friends you made while attending Perth Amboy High School. They put us on the path tthat we will follow for the rest of our lives. Thank you and congratulations."
I cannot wait until I begin my first semester of college. It will be the beginning of the rest of my life.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Well, I'll start by answering the basic question: why did I decide to create a scrapbook? I'm spending the month of July in Florida with my mother, step-father, cousin, and niece. Typically, when my niece is with us, she always wants me to play with her. "Titi, do my nails!" "Titi, color with me!" "Titi, let's play outside!" I always end up feeling so horrible because I don't dedicate enough time to her. But it isn't always my fault. I have schoolwork to deal with. Fortunately, this is my first (and probably only) summer off in a while. I decided to find a project to work on and spend as much time with my niece as possible.
Another reason I decided to create a scrapbook is that I need a way to relax while also feeling productive. Creating a scrapbook seemed like a good idea because I'll want something to look at when I'm all alone at college in the Fall.
I'm still in the early planning stages. My niece is 7, so there is only so much she can help with. A few websites told me that planning is essential. I started by choosing themes for the pages I'm working with. I will have 10 sheets of paper (20 pages). I have chosen themes and they include: flashbacks, family, friends, adventures, pets, prom, love, graduation, and Sweet 16. Based on the pictures I have, the themes are still a work in progress.
I have also started choosing pictures to go with the themes. Themes that I'll definitely be keeping include: family, flashbacks, friends, prom, love, and graduation. I definitely have enough pictures for those. I want to put 3 pictures on each page and include really cute borders and a really description blurb about each picture. That's about 60 blurbs. Wish me luck.
To wrap up this post, I would like to say that I'm very happy to be starting this project. I'll keep you updated twice a week about my progress. Blogging about it will be very helpful because it'll stop me from getting lazy.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Write about a recurring dream you have. If you don’t have any recurring dreams, why do you think some people do, and some people don’t?
Most people have fears. For example, my boyfriend is afraid of heights, my best friend is afraid of being alone, and another friend is afraid of spiders. From the time I was around 14 years old, I've been afraid of people in masks. I hate seeing mascots because I freak out. I hate those stupid characters at amusement parks. And, most of all, I HATE Michael Myers.
From the first time I saw the re-make of Halloween, directed by Rob Zombie, I've had a love-hate relationship with the slasher. On one hand, the re-make was really good (even though it was very different from the original movie). On the other hand, I cry every time he comes on-screen. You can see the dilemma. Do I watch the movies and risk giving myself a panic attack, or do I avoid the 2nd best (only to A Nightmare on Elm Street) slasher series ever created?
As you can probably guess, I chose the former. As a result, I've had recurring dreams of Michael Myers for the past 4 years. He's chased me in pretty much every scenario possible. He's had an ax, knife, machete. He's been multiplied over 100 times. Horrible, horrible scenes.
I usually experience these dreams around October. That's when I get myself mentally prepared to watch the horrifying movies. I don't know why I do it to myself.
Does anyone else have recurring dreams? How did they come about?
Saturday, June 18, 2011
If you knew you would live forever, what would change?
I like this question a lot more than the "20 Days" question. It gives me more options; and it's something that I've put a lot of thought into.
First, for a little background knowledge, I would like you all to know that when I think about living forever, I always go back to Oscar Wilde. He wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which Dorian gains eternal youth. Not only does he have eternal youth, but he cannot die through physical means. Stab him? Doesn't die. Shoot him? Doesn't die. Burn him? Still doesn't die. I like his idea of living forever, but I wouldn't approach life the way Dorian does in the book.
In contrast to the way I'd handle dying in 20 days, I would tell my friends and family. I think they'd get a little suspicious after seeing me remain exactly the same for 5 or 10 years. I would probably still be sad knowing that the people I love would not always be with me, but it would make me appreciate them even more.
As for my life changes, I'd become a master of everything. I'd go to law school, and medical school. I'd get my Ph.D in English and Philosophy. I'd get a teacher certification in Math, English, and Philosophy. I would have no limits. I could spend one lifetime being reckless and another one being boring. I could convert religions once a lifetime, too.
I think the only thing that would really upset me would be losing people. I'd probably get married once a lifetime and feel really bad about losing my first husband. I would live a very selfish existence because I would have no other option.
Friday, June 17, 2011
What is something that you want to do, but know you shouldn't?
I think it's really appropriate for me to address this topic right now.
I am the salutatorian of my graduating class. This means that I get to write a speech to give at graduation. Pretty cool, right? I thought so, too...until I realized how much I hate my class. I have so little class spirit. How am I supposed to write a speech about how proud I am to be part of a class that's full of ignorant pricks. Now you see my dilemma.
Well, I finished the rough draft of my speech yesterday. It was really difficult to write for more than one reason. First, I wanted the whole speech to be about me. It took all of my energy to turn many of my "I"s into "We"s. I had to make it seem as if we all accomplished something great when I'm only proud of myself and the other 19 people who make up the Top 20, plus my other friends who couldn't make it into the Top 20. But I did it. I embellished my pride and wrote a very heartfelt speech.
The other reason it was so difficult to write is that I understand how UNexcited people are to hear me speak. It isn't easy to write a speech for people who won't appreciate it anyway.
What did I really want to do with my speech, you ask?
I wanted to say: "Fuck you all. I am so glad that I will never see you again. You're all uneducated and lazy. Congrats, pricks."
But, no. I didn't say that. I played the considerate girl for the first time in my life. I wrote my speech for myself and my mother. We're the only people who really want to hear me speak anyway. And I wrote my speech assuming that I have intellectual, appreciative classmates. But, if you ask me, my rude speech would have been very interesting to hear.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
With that in mind, I would probably spend a few days crying. I mean, what person isn't going to be sad after finding out that she only has 20 days to live?
After I am done crying, I would definitely spend a day writing letters, but I wouldn't sign them. I didn't mention this, but I wouldn't tell anyone that I would be dying in 20 days. So, I'd write letters to some friends, family members, and people who just need to know a few things about themselves. I would keep them until day 19. On that day, I would leave the letters for their recipients to find.
For the rest of the 3 weeks, I'd probably tie up loose ends. I'd hang out with my boyfriend a lot. I'd spend some extra time with my family. I'd try to make them feel as loved as possible. I'd make sure that I wouldn't be a brat for 20 days, though.
Honestly, that's all I would do. I would want to have a very calm final 20 days.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I've been going back and forth on this question.
Should I take the humanitarian approach and say that it's everyone's responsibility to change the world?
Should I take the pessimistic approach and say that the world is too corrupt and vile to change?
But I can't seem to pinpoint what my actual opinion is. The only thing that I can truly say about this question is that it is very subjective. I know what you're thinking: "No, shit. Everyone is entitled to an opinion." But hear me out. There are some opinion-based questions that have a consensus, a generally accepted answer. This question does not. The only thing this question does is bring up more questions.
Does the world need to be changed?
Hasn't the world been changed enough?
Is it really possible for the world to be changed?
Shouldn't we think about changing ourselves before taking on such a big project?
I could go on for pages. Luckily for you, I won't. I'll leave you with this: If you think the world needs to be changed, then go for it! Who am I to tell someone how he/she should feel about the world? I like to think that we all change the world a little bit every day we go about life. Our actions and attitudes determine the kind of change we inflict.
So, what kind of change do you want to be responsible for today?
Many people don't know this about me, but I have a serious inferiority complex. I've always been "second best." I've always been put on the back-burner for someone or something better. I'm no one's first choice. And what makes it worse is that no one understands it. People always tell me that I should be happy with what I have and where I am in life because there are people worse off than I am. My own boyfriend gets extremely distraught because he doesn't feel loved and appreciated the way he deserves to, but it isn't as easy he wants it to be.
I try to be comfortable with where I am. Damn it, I try really fucking hard. But I don't really feel comfortable discussing my feelings. I can write them down like a true author, but I cannot bring myself to talk about them. That's what he (my boyfriend) doesn't understand. I want to be able to talk to someone, but I can't. I always feel as if no one cares about my feelings. No one cares that I'm screaming for help. So, I sit back and bottle it up. But I don't think I can do it for much longer.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
When I read this question, only one phrase popped into my head. "I don't understand your jokes. You make math jokes. Those aren't funny."
It was after my prom. Some friends and I went to TGI Friday's to get some food and hang out. I was there with my boyfriend, and my ex-boyfriend was there with his date. Obviously, she's not a big fan of me and I'm not a big fan of her. So, I sat at the opposite end of the table. There was a lapse in the conversation I was having with my boyfriend and our two friends, so I looked over to see what was happening on the other side of the table. My ex's date was laughing at something my best friend said to her. My ex responds, "You never laugh at my jokes." And she responds with the infamous "I don't understand your jokes. You make math jokes. Those aren't funny."
I think I almost died. She's such an idiot. And it most certainly was the stupidest thing I've heard all week.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I know I'm a little late, but bear with me. I needed to share this photo. Above is a picture of the Rutgers University Marching band. They made a 52 in honor of a wounded football player (Eric LeGrand). I'm pretty sure that not many people really care about this kid's injury, but it's kind of important to us RU advocates. Anyway, it fits the challenge for the week and I wanted to share something that is genuinely important to me.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
My favorite movie in the world is Grease. You all know the movie. John Travolta plays greaser Danny Zuko. Olivia Newton-John plays good girl Sandy Olsen. Plus, there's Kenickie, Rizzo, Frenchie, and all the rest. It's a classic. I've been completely engrossed by this movie since in was like 7 years old. Can you imagine a 7 year old kid singing along to "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" and "Greased Lightning?" Well, I know all the words, all the songs, and all the dances. I can watch Grease forever. Day or night. Come Hell or high water. Grease really is the word for me.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
To put it plainly, yes. People should have the right to commit suicide.
I've had many conversations with different people about suicide. They all have different opinions. Some say yes. Others say no. And they're reasons? Well, those are some serious mindfucks. I've heard everything from "It isn't my place to tell someone what to do with his life" to "People shouldn't have the right to put they're family through such grief." Everyone seems to have grand opinions about suicide and morals, but no one wants to get personal about it. As soon as you bring up a boyfriend, or a brother, people stop dead in their tracks. "Hell no! I wouldn't be able to handle life without (insert name of significant other here)." But, more than anything, no one wants to think about his own suicide. Everyone is so selfish about all of this. No one wants to think about the act from someone else's point of view.
What is my opinion? From someone who has felt broken, lost, and suicidal, I think that other people need to be understanding of such thoughts. Think about all of the people who feel so desperate for an escape that they take a handful of sleeping pills and never wake up. Think about those jilted people who slit their wrists and lie in a pool of blood for someone else to find. These people feel that the only option is death. They aren't trying to hurt their families. They aren't looking for attention. They are genuinely done with life. It's the people who have always been handed the short stick. They always get the shitty hand of cards. They never get what they feel they deserve. As a result, they take the ultimate vacation. They rid themselves of stress and horrid thoughts. They take their lives.
"But it's so selfish! What about those who love them? How will they live knowing that they couldn't help their own loved ones?" Why does it matter? Why is everyone so fucking selfish? It isn't your place to deny someone the right to handle stress in his own way. If the family was so fucking concerned with its suicidal member's well-being, then maybe he would have gotten the help he needed.
Don't sit back on your high horse and tell me that you will never put your family through something like that. If you have the audacity to say it, have the conviction to back it up. I don't mean living life as an optimist. That's easy. I mean feeling completely hopeless and apathetic. Feeling as if you have no reason to love. And then trudging through everyday and fighting for life. It isn't as easy as it sounds. Trust me. I've cried myself to sleep many nights thinking about how worthless life really is. It isn't fun.
So, should people have the right to commit suicide? Yes. It isn't pretty. It isn't pleasant. But it isn't your place to decide what is right for anyone else. If you really feel that strongly about it, use your intuition to help out someone who may really need it. Other than that, I suggest you mind your own business.
Monday, June 6, 2011
My boyfriend and I are crazy about tattoos. He really introduced me to the idea of getting a few. At this point, I want 4:
~ Half a quote by Kurt Vonnegut: "Everything was beautiful..." (to be shared with my boyfriend who will have "...And nothing hurt.") on my right shoulder blade.
~Three cheetah print scratches (maybe in pink) on my left thigh.
~"By the pricking of my thumbs..." wrapped around my left wrist.
~A tulip (I don't know where yet).
2. Go to the beach
I love the beach, but I hate the sun. I hate getting sunburned, or even tanned. The beach is so calming, though. I can spray on crazy amounts of sunblock, wear an obnoxious hat, lay on a blanket, and read. I just want to go, at least once.
3. Read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
I promised my boyfriend I would read it. Enough said.
4. Get my nipples pierced
As my I'm-18-so-I-need-to-make-a-statement act, I'm getting my nipples pierced. Will I regret it when my boobs are sagging? Maybe. But it's something I need to do.
5. Read 16 books
So, I don't know ALL 16 books I want to read. (Technically, I only want to read 15, but my boyfriend says 16, so I figured I'd humor him.) but the list currently includes:
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Othello by Shakespeare
Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert
Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Come To The Edge by Christina Haag
Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton
6. Decide whether or not I want to cut my hair
The summer before my Junior year in high school I cut my hair really short. I've let it grow until now because I wanted to have a good amount of hair for prom (which I did!). But now it's pretty long and a lot to manage. So, I think I want to chop most of it off again. I keep going back and forth on it. Pretty soon, I'll just make a game-time decision about the whole matter.
7. Spend August in NJ
This wasn't supposed to be such a problem, but shit happens. So, it's gonna be a project to find somewhere to stay for 4 weeks. Especially since my mother decided to sprint to Florida upon her first opportunity. We leave in like 3 weeks.
8. Cut ties with people
This probably makes me sound really cold, rude. Well, I kind of am cold, rude. There are some people who are like parasites to me. They feed off me, my intelligence, my spirit. I graduate from high school in about 3 weeks. I don't need these kind of people in my life. Once I go to college, I can make new friends. It will be a give-and-take relationship.
9. Watch a bunch of movies that I never have time for
On a lighter note, I am quite a movie buff. I prefer them over television shows. This summer, I just want to watch movies. Movies I've seen, movies I haven't seen, old movies, new movies, all movies. I never have time to watch stuff. This is my chance.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to relax. I never relax. Ever. My lack of relaxation has caused me to have a "scare" of sorts. What was once "regular" is now doing whatever it wants. I need to relax. I've been running on empty for a few months now. I think in deserve some time off. There are people who need me to be happy and healthy, so I think relaxation is definitely in the cards for me.
Friday, June 3, 2011
So, I was reading through the May issue of Nylon magazine. They did a short article about The Virgin Suicides (movie). It had the basic magazine insight (Kirsten Dunst was so ahead of her time, Josh Hartnett has always been a heartthrob, it does the book justice, blah blah blah). My friend recently sent me the ebook of The Virgin Suicides, so I decided to move it up on my queue. I wanted to put it to the test.
The book was great. I loved it. It is told in flashbacks from the point of view of young boys who had an unusual obsession with the Lisbon sisters. They wanted to find out everything about them (at the time). After the suicides of all five Lisbon sisters, they wanted to see what drove them to it. Confused? Pick up the book. It's by Jeffrey Eugenides and totally worth the read. Anyway, Eugenides wit and charm definitely permeate through the pages and into my consciousness. At the very least, the book is unique.
The movie was also great. I loved it. I run the risk of being called a hipster for loving such a non-mainstream movie, but I think it's worth it. The cinematography was great, especially since it was Sophia Coppola's first movie. Kirsten Dunst was actually really good in her role. The movie was accurate to the book without getting drowned by every little detail. And it had a great flow. A true work of art.
So, I leave you with this. I'm a tough critic. I don't usually enjoy movie versions of books. But these two definitely go hand in hand. My one piece of advice: Read the book first. And don't look up the movie too much. It helps when you've developed a close enough relationship with the book to picture it your head. Chances are, you'll love the picture you see more than the one from your own imagination.