Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Writing Process: According to Kira

Writing is quite a process, especially for this essay. Let's see..
So the first thing is to read/annotate the article, and do a CRJ. This is relatively easy, compared to the next part.

The next to organize all of my scribbley notes into organized thoughts and potential paragraphs.
I use pen and paper for this process.

Yeah. Did you know, back in the old days, computers looked this...?
That is correct. Except if you get really Old School, the "print" and "delete" would be on the same side of the utensil, as pens have only a writing side. And that's what I prefer.

Inastead of using the conveniently faster, paperless, won't-get-your-wrist-sore system of a Word Document, I use Pen and Paper to avoid....the dreaded Blinking Cursor!

It's intimidating and demanding. And paper lets me take my time.

So I finally got my thoughts organized, and then I went about writing my essay.
I write in a little corner of my room, behind my door. And I sit there with all my papers spread out around me for reference, and I have my computer on my lap, and I am in my PJs and a blanket (because my room sucks and its temperature reflects the one outside, instead of air-conditioning or the heater working). And then I work. Or more like, write some of my essay then take a Facebook break, write a little more of my essay then check my YouTube subscriptions, then write a little more of my essay and eat a bowl of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, then write a little more of my essay and decide I have a funny story to tell my mom, then write a little more of my essay and...anyway. You get the idea. The same process goes for revision.

And then I bring it to class on Monday. And then I conference with Mrs. Cardona. And then I establish that my organization is shit. And then I try to reorganize it without entirely rewriting it. And then that doesn't work. And then I have to rewrite my entire essay.

Yup. So that's how writing this essay looked.

Writing this blog was different, though. Writing this blog was like this:
1. Friday I went home and took a nap on accident. And then I woke up at 4:30 and realized I had to pack. And then I left at 5:00 to run to Target and pick up junk food to prepare for my weekend.

2. Remembered at 5:30 about the blog post, and that I was going to do it before leaving because chances are, Sunday after the Chruch Retreat I would get home and be exhausted and shower, then sleep, and probably forget all about the blog post...

3. Had a freaking amazing weekend.

4. Sunday, came home at noon. Was gross, and exhausted. Took a shower, took a nap. Dad wakes me up at 3:30. I wake up at 4:15. I start to unpack so I can wash clothes. I remember the blog post.

5. Yes, and then I write the blog post.

I'm sorry this is late. I'm not making excuses (well I am, technically, but I am taking full responsibility, I'm just apologizing).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

When is it gonna SNOW already?

Probably none of you are asking yourselves this.

But I am. I am very anxious for winter to come, because I love winter.
That's right. Re-read it. I. Love. Winter. I don't care what you think, and neither does winter.
You wonder why winter comes back every year despite everyone's passionate hate for it...and why it stays far longer than it's welcome? Well, let me tell you: winter comes and stays for me. We are in love, and there's nothing you can do about it.

But honestly, why do I love winter...
Winter brings with it the cold, the type of cold that makes your rib cage lock up when you walk outside, and makes you hunch over and do an awkward shuffle to your car. The cold that sits on your leather seats so that when your shirt decides to lift up a little bit as you are about to sit down and exposes part of your back, you nearly jump out of your windshield when the two make contact. The cold that the heater in your car doesn't get rid of until you arrive at your destination, upon which you have to open the door, inviting all the cold air in again.

Oh yes, this is the cold that I so love.
I love the way it makes everyone's nose and cheeks pink, and how it brings with it snow. Snow that looks beautiful as it covers the trees, snow that crunches under your boots and seeps in at the tops because you didn't quite tuck your pants into them enough. And I love the way you can try to get every seam to overlap so that no cold or snow can get in, but the second glove always ends up exposing part of your wrist. And how no matter how many layers you use, fingers and toes always end up freezing and you want to stick them in a pot of boiling water when you get inside. And sometimes you do, and then they get all tingly and start to sting.

And winter is when you get to go skiing or snowboarding...or sledding, for the untalented.
With winter also comes Christmas. And who doesn't love a good holiday?

Even with all the anticipation of Christmas, it always manages to sneak up on you. And then there's the frantic running around and cursing at how difficult it is to think of gifts for certain people, and whatever just buy them a gift certificate, but that's not personal enough, so just buy them this random thing and include a gift receipt...

And the charade when you open gifts that you don't really want, and you're like,
"BATH SOAPS! I was just saying I needed some bath soaps! Mom, wasn't I just telling you the other day that I needed bath soaps? How did you know that I needed bath soaps? And they smell so lovely, oh thank you thankyouthankyou, these are so wonderful."

And every Christmas Eve we go to my aunt and uncles house.

Christmas Eve is when Ryan and Kristy get to wear their matching Christmas sweaters! All families have a Ryan and Kristy, right?
Yeah, the sad thing is that they bought all their friend-couples matching Christmas sweaters, too. I think this year, everyone in the family is getting one.

And then Christmas. Christmas morning, once everyone is awake and has had their coffee/tea/hot cocoa, the family goes on a Christmas Walk. When we come home, we're all cold. This is when I put on my Christmas socks!
D'awww. They have little snowmen on them. I love snowmen. My mom bought me little snomen earrings that have bells in them so every time I move my head even slightly, they make little dinggy noises. I'll wear them, sometime. You'll love them.

Anyway, after our walk we make breakfast. And after breakfast we open gifts.

And last year, everyone decided my room would be a good place to hide their gifts (because I actually have two rooms, since my brother left). So everyone's gifts were in my closet. And they were like, "I'll wrap them this weekend" but then the weekend came and went and they didn't wrap them. And then it was the 23rd of December, and everyone's unwrapped gifts were still in my closet. And then everyone left me that day, and they were like, "Hey could you do me a huge favor and wrap all my gifts for me?" and I was like, "I hate you all" but I did it. I. Wrapped. Every. Single. Gift.
Except the ones for me, of course. That would have actually made me cry.

But then you know what happened? My mom and dad told Erik to wrap my gifts. So naturally, this is why my pile of gifts looked like on Christmas morning:
Yup. Erik (bless him) used the same roll of wrapping paper to wrap every. single. one. of my presents.
I love him, but it's a good thing he used my favorite wrapping paper...

So, Christmas. That's another reason to love winter.
And if that hasn't convinced you yet, winter also brings hot cocoa and fire places. And winter hats. We all love winter hats. You know, the ones with a ball on the top and little tassles on the sides?

This is why I so love winter.
So seriously, when is it gonna snow, already?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blogging Is Difficult

Have you noticed the little comic to the right?
Yeah. Well I have plenty of Nothing to say, the problem is it's not the type of Nothing I could blog about.

So I'm just sitting here, waiting for something interesting to come into my head. Just waiting. Kind of like this:

My brain feels more or less like this right now. So I think I'm just going to burble, and let all the contents of my brain clear, so there's maybe room for something interesting to make its way in for my (real) blog post.

This is what's on my mind:

1. I need a computer. Now.

2. I love Sondre Lerche. I just spent $70 on his music. New music is bad for my health: I always end up deciding against sleep and anything productive so I can listen to my new music, instead. 

3. Season 6 finale of Doctor Who. So. Freaking. Amazing. I'm really glad my prediction about River killing Rory was wrong. And obviously I'm glad The Doctor didn't die. Although, if Doctor Who were to end entirely, I would want it to end with the current cast because Matt Smith is epic, and Amy and Rory are adorable (and not desperately in love with The Doctor, and not obnoxious, and they don't keep their mouths open all the time *cough cough* Rose and Martha *cough*).

4. Super excited for Winter. It's my favorite.

5. I should train my ambidexterity. Just for fun.

6. Watchmen is a really good book. Even though it's a graphic novel. I thought I was going to hate it, but I really enjoyed it and I think everyone should read it. 

7. Never judge a book by its movie. (advice from Grouchy Rabbit)

8. If companies are trying to create anti-aging products, try inventing faux-acne. It's the true youthful appearance.

9. Pop-tarts suck. I am always tempted to eat them, and then I do and I feel nauseated and I hate them. And there's some in my closet right now, because they are there for Erik's care-package that we haven't sent yet, and I want one. But I don't.

10. I wish I wasn't so short. I hate being short. GAH.

11. I bought a blonde wig yesterday, and then I realized the hair type was completely wrong. I spent more time trying to style it than I spend on my own hair. Like, times 8.

12. We consider four-leaf clovers to be lucky, but really they are just mutated.

13. I should be doing MoPro right now.

14. Did I mention Doctor Who already? Well, it's awesome.

15. Sam Pepper's Halloween Rap with Chip Daddy was half-way disappointing. What the Hell is Swagger was really funny, so I think trying to do another rap was bound to fail. But Chip is cute. So everything's okay.

16. I love my dogs.

17. I was doing really well, for a while. But then I watched a suspensful movie, and chewed my nails. Gross.

18. I found a blonde hair in the book I got from the library, with so many split ends it looks like a broom.

19. My lips have probably become reliant on chapstick for moisture.

Yeah well there's pleny more Nothing going on inside my head, but I figured I would stop there 1) because otherwise I will go on forever and 2) because I thought it would be annoying if I stopped on 19 instead of 20. Muah-ha-ha.

Hopefully now there will be some room in my brain for interesting things to formulate and the next blog post will be legitimate...

Hence procrastination...

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it."

- John W. Raper

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Asians v Americans

Symptoms: Continuous procrastination, lack of sleep, crappy quality of turned-in assignments, low motivation, poor grades.
Diagnosis: American students are lazy and take education for granted.
Rx: Watch videos about how the Asians are winning.

Yeah. We get it. Foreign nations have better students: they work harder, take studying more seriously, and end up smarter. We should strive to be more like them. Right?

Wrong. But that's the portrayal.

The Chinese and Indian students in Two Million Minutes did a lot more studying and preparation for college, and were generally set in their career choices. The American students were not, and were made to appear nonchalant about education, and only focused on their social lives.

So what's wrong with the American education system?
The students are not putting their best effort forward, there isn't enough motivation. But so what if we don't spend every waking minute on school work? We have social abilities. Life's success isn't solely based on academics and knowledge. There's more to life than with what we are being compared. Sure, we could afford to be more focused students; it would be better if we spent more time studying; it would be nice if we took school more seriously. But we're doing okay. Better, in those regards, than the Chinese students.

So what's wrong with the Chinese education system?
Well, considering there are students who commit suicide for being overworked, or for having too much pressure on them, or for embarrassment of poor's no wonder they are striving to be more like the American system. They lack the creativity and the social benefits that American students have. Sure, a lot of successful and intelligent people come out of it. They have a lot of self discipline and go on to Ivy League schools. But they're missing a lot from their quality of life.

Who's better? The Asians or the Americans?

Well, I'm both. So I win.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Hypocriticism of Photography

It's a word.
And don't look it up. This relationship will only work if you trust me...

Picture this *pun intended*: You are in a moment, and everything about that moment is brilliant. You absorb from that moment the sights, the smells, the emotions, the interactions, everything. And you love that moment. You want to capture it somehow. So that you will remember. So that you can share it with others. Then you take out your camera, and you snap a picture.

Later, you are telling people about your weekend, or the trip you went on, or the time you spent abroad, or whatever caused that moment. And as you try desperately to capture the experience in words, you realize you've captured that moment on camera. A picture is worth 1000 words, right? So you show them. But when you look at the pictures: there's nothing there.

It's just an image. An image of people, and buildings. An image of you, and the mountains in the background. An image of your friends eating at a restaurant. Just an image. But where did the smells go? The emotions? The interactions? Where is everything else? Where is your moment?

I'll tell you where your moment is: it's gone. You've experienced something, but nothing can capture it. You can get pictures of it; you can talk about it. But in the end, that moment was a moment made only for you, and you have to savor it while it encases you, because it's never coming back.

Photography is a futile and desperate attempt. It doesn't work. But that doesn't stop me from trying. And sometimes, I forget to actually live in moments becuase I am too busy trying to capture them.

I also do (or try to do) artistic photography. You know, not just the taking-pictures-of-random-things-when-something-fun-is-happening. The photography where you find things or people or places, and you stage them. You adjust them, and you manipulate them...and then you change the settings on your camera: the amount of light being let in, the shutter speed, the focus: all of this to capture the essence of something. And I give the same criticisms to this type of photography.

The thing is: I love photography. Whether it's the taking-pictures-of-random-things-when-something-fun-is-happening photography, or the manipulative-artistic photography...I love it. Maybe it doesn't capture a moment accurately, and maybe it doesn't exactly capture the essence of a place, person or thing. But it does conjure up something new: a new moment, if you will. And it's important. Our recollection of history would be entirely different without it. Just keep in mind: those pictures you see of history or of a friend's experience, and the emotions they may aren't getting the full experience.
There's no frame around a moment.

That's my hypocriticism.
Happy shooting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Personified Fonts

Since we are talking about this in class...

Except someone dumb on YouTube flagged the video I wanted to post (which is legitimately dumb because there's nothing that needs flagging. Honestly). So I will link it from the website instead. There's also this one, but it's less funny.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Obama: Third Annual Back To School Speech *Analyzed*

Am I really going to analyze the President's speech? Only rhetorically...

Okay so it's obviously important to note that his audience is high school students. This changes his tone and syntax: he is a little more casual about his presentation and he uses shoter sentences for emphasis, but also to keep the attention of his young audience.

A few things added to his ethos: the most obvious being he it the President of the U.S. I would say that adds to his character and credibility. But he also tries to make his words relatable: he jokes around a little and adds in lists of different sports, activities, academic hardships, going through changes with friends...he mentions Facebook and Twitter as well. This ties in with the fact that his audience is high schoolers, but it also ties into his ethos: he has been through this before, he can relate to them.

He puts a lot of emphasis on how 'You are the future'. That is a big burden to carry, it takes a lot of responsibility. But he adds in his own personal stories about what type of a student he was, and what he remembered about high school. He wasn't perfect, and he's not expecting his audience to be, but he is letting them know what is important.

He uses a lot of lists to add specific details in many cases. He does this to include everyone and speak to everyone: listing different jobs or different activities so that he includes everyone's interests so he/she can relate.

He gives a few examples of outstanding cases of young people such as Will Kim, Jake Bernstein, and Amy Chyao. This shows that he is aware of individual cases, and that he is invested in them. I think this was an important part because many people might figure since he is the President, he does not have time or interest in young individuals or anything not immediately affecting him. Those examples made him come off as somewhat humble, not above everyone else, and only invested in large scale occurances. It also demonstrated what young people can do, and how they are not only the future, but the now.

Obama is a very steady speaker. He uses hand gestures to emphasize some of his words or things he is saying. He uses some repetition: "What does it look like...", or "You'll be the ones who...". He also repeats the concept of continuing education beyond high school. He plays a little with pathos when he says the U.S. used to have the highest college graduate rate, but is now 16th. This might make students feel guilty, and compelled to not let the President down, and continue with their education to change that statistic.

All of these techniques contrubuted to the speech's effectiveness. I think his ending was motivational and powerful. (Therefore it will be how I end my post). "Your country is depending on you. So set your sights high. Have a great school year. Let's get to work."