Archive for January, 2014

I’ve spent a few days on thinking how to exactly write this. Hunter Hayes’ new single Invisible is the taunted side of being bullied. While it is only from a personal experience of being “lightly” bullied, I think it applies to those who have been bullied physically, verbally, and mentally as a light at the end of the tunnel.
The setting of the song is a high school and I find that very fitting because that is where most of this type of bullying comes from. I stuck out, I was the socially awkward band nerd who loved history and other things people never wanted to confess about themselves. I always walked with two left feet and so life never felt right. If this song was around when I was in high school, it would probably be an anthem of sorts for so many people because he gets it, he knows the pain of being the last one chosen during kickball, the pain of sitting alone during lunch, and always being the one your friends leave out when they make plans. He gets it because he went through the same thing. He was the outcast for having music as his passion and because of that, he stuck out and was mocked for what he liked. Now look where he is now…
There is so many moments where you just want to give up and throw in the towel and while that is easier than fighting to survive another day, that next day is the stepping stone to the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Oh and never be afraid of doing something different, dare to be something more”
Looking back now, I can proudly say that I have learned a lot since the days when I thought tomorrow would never come and now, after high school, you realize that all that criticism you received was useless because the adult world embraces those passionate in things like history or music. After high school, what happened in those four years are fading memories that only pertain to the walls within that school. No one judges as harshly because there are other things to worry about. So while there was so much hurt that happened then, things become so much better now. Find a friend who is just as weird and stick with them because those are the only ones who will matter once you cross that stage. Be visible, but let the hurt and pain be invisible.
“Hear me out, there’s so much more to life than what you’re feeling now. Yeah, someday you’ll look back on all these days and all this pain is gonna be… Invisible”
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The Tangents

Posted: January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is very true in the classroom. Some off topic discussions can be an advantage to reaching another grandiose goal in intelligence.

Avoiding Neverland

Dear Students,

I know what you’re doing.  It’s nothing new.  You think you’re distracting me, skillfully diverting the teacher’s attention away from the lesson and starting me on some tangential discussion.  You think you’re somehow “winning” because we didn’t get as far as I’d planned in the lesson.

I love it.  You think I haven’t seen this before?  I know who you are.  I know what to look for, when to indulge you, and when to steer us back on course.  Don’t you understand? I want nothing more than to engage these discussions, to embrace your questions, and to revel in the spontaneity of learning!

Yes, learning.  Believe it or not, this is when the “shaping lives” part of my job takes place.  This is when I can talk to you about things that are real and relevant to you right now.  Not that my planned lessons are irrelevant…

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“Like to the lark at break of day arising, from sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;”

 

Every person we encounter, every journey that we take, leads us to new experiences and equally new adventures. What we encounter today sets us up in preparation for what comes tomorrow as we approach each day wide-eyed with open mouths. So while life is limited, one thing that isn’t is love. When you see the right picture and the moment seems right, time will stand still for perfection to blossom. Just a spark of happiness surrounded by vast darkness can illuminate the blackest of days. The nightingale’s time is over now and the silent air is filling with the lullaby of the perched lark bellowing its harmonious chords to bring light into the air. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to look at the sorrow which filled yesterday and turn away to the happiness tomorrow brings. Take previous troubles with a grain of salt, but tomorrow’s pleasures with a spoonful of sugar. Too often we are caught up in what is happening later or what has already happened to appreciate what is going on right now. Now is the moment to live for. Now is what life is all about. By living for the now, we can live more while we still can before age gets the better of us and leave us only to reflect. Now is the time to fill with memories; good, not bad. When we live in the now, we learn to love what we have as opposed to yearning for what could have been. We are meant to use this finite moment to live life to the fullest, not stressing about tomorrow. In the span of creation, we are a tenth of a second, of the last minute, in the last hour, of the last day of the year. What we fight about now is insignificant to the legacy we leave behind for future generations to look back on and think, “Man, I wish I could have lived in their time, because they really knew how to live life to the fullest.” We need to spend as much time as possible with the ones we love. Our life is miniscule in the span of time, but love is infinite.

 

“For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings, that then I scorn to change my state with kings.” – Shakespeare, Sonnet XXIX

So continuing on my late night controversial topics, I have chosen one that most people I know would not go near simply because you can easily land in hot waters. The topic is equal pay for women. One might wonder why a teenage guy would choose to write about women’s pay, especially since it “benefits” me more by leaving it alone. The thing is though, it has never really been beneficial on the back burner. I will get to my main reason later, but the source of this post spawned from reading an article about Hillary Clinton’s belief that the “Clock is turning back on women.”

For as long as man have had two ways of thinking, women have been below him. This continued until the 60’s and 70’s when women’s rights became a hot topic. While this did make the issue controversial, it has yet to achieve its goal of equality. I am probably one of the few guys who will say that women probably do deserve more pay than men. The basic fact that we choose to ignore is that women are capable of so much more than men are, especially at multitasking. Women are talked down as being the weaker sex and while that is true physically, it is a lie when it comes to psychologically. With men, life is more about personal gain in a black and white world. Women, are more likely to look at a situation sympathetically and sympathize over the logical choice, if it came to it. If you looked at who is taken more seriously in the workforce, it is the men because women must live up to sexist double standards and simply cannot compete with a man’s means of tactical/brute force to get a goal done no matter the emotionally collateral damage.

One place that really must see the change in equal pay is in education. As poor as the salary is for either sex, because women make up for most of the workforce, if their salaries go up, men’s will too. Although the point would not to increase the men’s as much, equal pay will be beneficial with both. The equal pay would only apply to the amount of time spent at the school. Being paid for the time in preparing lessons and grading papers is still light-years away simply because that is more controversial. Plus, by paying teachers more, they are in turn able to provide more energy and money towards each student’s education to achieve a higher goal in life whether it is in testing, comprehension, or vocational goals.

For man to be strong, the woman must be helped first.

This is probably the oddest movie I will ever choose to review simply because it possesses such contrast to a lot of what I stand for or believe morally. The movie is called Blue is the Warmest Color. The reason why it is so bizarre for me to talk about is because in essence, it is a movie where the main character and the main supporting character are lesbians. I suppose someone reading this would question why I chose to watch such a movie and the simplest, as well as the easiest answer I can give, is that I really do not know why. I guess it has to do with the fact that it has caused controversy between the director and the two main actresses.
Controversy equals attention.
The problem the actresses had with the director was that he demanded more than the actresses were comfortable giving. With the Adele and Emma, the two main characters, being lesbians, one would expect there be some kissing, a couple of risky scenes, and a little bit of skin. My expectations were miniscule compared to what was shown. The love-making scenes were not uncomfortable because they are lesbians, it is that there is a ton of scenes that would make even the most liberal of viewers question, “Is all this footage really necessary?” But back to what struck my curiosity in the first place. I first heard about this movie on an entertainment show that occasionally discusses various movies time to time and when I found out that it was about lesbians, I did not think anything of it because it is not the type of movie I prefer to see. What changed my mind was all the stories of how the director went the extreme lengths to get the shots he wanted for the film. When you have the two main actresses lashing out against the director on the red carpet and this is only part one of the book adaptation, you know you are in trouble. Supposedly, the main problem was that you had two straight actresses playing lesbians, but through the mind of the straight male director on how lesbians make love. Either he needs to rethink his strategy for the next movie, or he will be out of the chair.
Extreme, but brilliant
The weird thing is, as uncomfortable I was during the whole love-making scenes, some of the background details were brilliantly spread out in order not to distract from the main story. One worth discussing is the obvious, the color blue. The fact that blue is in the title should say that it will be major in the story. The director uses the color blue both figuratively and literally. In the literal sense, it is used in the color that almost everyone in the movie wears, the painting, Emma’s hair for most of the movie, and the overall tint of the movie. The figurative use is a little more difficult to explain because it represents so much. From the relaxation and peace Adele and Emma find in the embrace and comfort in each other’s arms to the depression Adele experiences after the fallout with Emma, the color blue speaks volumes in ways words cannot justify. There are several ways to interpret this film and I believe that is the reason it has gained such a buzz and ambiance to it that makes the story so popular. While I would not recommend this film to most people, if you want a film that goes deeper than what is on-screen, go for it. It is quite revealing and not for the faint of heart. You gain a sense of respect for the actresses who literally bare it all to give an exhilarating performance. Blue is the Warmest Color is rated NC-17 for good reason, for this is solely for mature and willing audiences only. Beware, it is three hours long, but pulls it off quite well. One final and important note: Most findings online are in the original French with English subtitles, but is very easy to follow along.

Anyone who enters the world of teaching confronts one realization, the bad parts outweigh the good. The bad are clearly the lack of money, long hours, extra time and money commitments, and the lack of appreciation you put into each day. The worst has to be the amount of selflessness you must devote to the students because you cannot be a great teacher if you put yourself before your students. I’ve heard that to be a great teacher, you have to eat, breathe, and sleep teaching. This would be affective all the time if there wasn’t a thing called life. Ironically, this “perfect goal” is what leads to a high burnout rate among teachers. This is aided by the lack of salary teachers are given. This is not a new thing either, teachers were purposely given lower salaries to begin with because in the beginning, the only teachers were women and it was common for men to act like the superior sex. It would be centuries before women would come close to equal pay. Now this lack of pay is more geared to the whole of teaching because outside of the teaching world, teaching is seen as an “easy” job that does not merit to the same amount of pay as a lawyer or a nurse. In a way, it takes the same type of skills because in teaching, you are still in control of someone else’s life. You shape how they view life as well as how they approach tasks independently as well as in a group. It is more mind rather than physical changing. Until people realize that teaching requires the utmost in commitments and dedication, as well as the difficulty in successfully teaching, teaching will be a dream killer because people will realize how much it can suck or why it cannot possibly be worth it all.

 

Oh, but it is! It is worth it all!

 

Teaching is amazing! You get to lead the leaders of tomorrow on new adventures and experiences throughout each day, good and bad. You develop a bond with hundreds of students every year as you get to know them while they continue to thrive into maturity. Teaching is great because you sacrifice your own interests and open yourself to share with others. You conquer your fears by boldly standing before them to share the vast knowledge of your passion. If you look past the down parts of the job, you see that it really is fun because you get to approach each day with a planned topic, but knowing it is never the same class period to period. The details come and go and your lesson matures throughout the day. While there are dull moments, the spontaneous fun moments happen just as often to make that day or time worthwhile. Teaching does not have a script that you can just recite and perform, you have to mold it to your personality to make each lesson your own every day. Along with molding it to yourself, you also mold it around your students and how they respond to what you try to convey. It will not always work and that is part of being a great teacher, your adaptability. People do not understand, get sick, fire drills, assemblies, the list goes on and on. The better you adapt, the better you can teach. With that, history is made every day and is meant to be explored. Through trial and error, we find perfection.