Saturday, November 26, 2011

When I Was Your Age...

Process Analysis
1. Childhood is often referred to as "innocent", which is an extent. Children are innocent in the respect that they believe the world belongs to them, and they don't understand the danger in things. Thus with no danger in their worlds, they are always safe and content. Yet it is this mindset that also causes the playful mischief and rebellion. Eventually, they learn. People tell them, "Don't do this; don't do that". Parents scold them for their selfish behavior. They are expected to "know better" than to misbehave; they are taught of the dangers in the world. Children lose their innocence, and they grow up. This is when childhood ends.

2. Why is childhood something so cherished in the eyes of adults? Children don't cherish it. They live it the same way adults live "adulthood". They live in the moment; sometimes they are happy, sometimes they are upset. There's nothing special about it in a child's mind. But it's valued when being looked back upon because now it's lost. The reason childhood exists is because life changes. Once people are taught morals and values, once they have responsibilities and expectations...childhood is gone. And don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?

3. Not everyone has a childhood. Sure, people experience life in early years, but childhood is more than just being young. Childhood is being naive, and ignorant. It's when you think everyone's purpose is to serve your happiness, and it's throwing a physical kicking-and-screaming tantrum when they fail to comply. It's thinking everything is safe, as long as you are with mommy. It's begging Dad to read a story, and another one, and just one more, please!, all to avoid bedtime. It's having endless energy. It's giggling at silly faces and funny dances. Childhood is wanting to be older, so you can be unrestricted. Oh, the irony.

4. What happens when one gives into his desires and passions? When he lets his emotions control him, instead of squelching them? What happens when he does whatever he wants, rather than what others tell him to do? Some say he has sinned because he is impulsive and obscene, he acts upon desire and doesn't mind the consequences. But what if he is only 5 years old? Now we call him adventurous and joyful, and his mindset is viewing the world as safe and wholesome. What is thought to be cute and acceptable when one is a child becomes immoral when he is an adult. Enjoy your childhood, while it's allowed. Your freedom won't last forever.

5. When my friend Sammy and I were young, we always built an elaborate fort in the house that was placed in the most inconvenient location, and we would hide in there all weekend playing with Mr. Bear and Taya (our favorite toys). We laughed at stupid things, and would play pranks on my brother, Erik, and the rest of the family. Sometimes we would go around the kitchen finding strange combinations of food to blend, and dared each other to eat it. But now we are older, and we spend most of our time talking, and sometimes going out to the mall. Childhood is when all the fun happens.

6.  I remember waking up late in the mornings to sun beams coming in from my blinds, and the sound of muffled conversation between my mom and dad in the kitchen downstairs, probably over a cup of coffee. I remember the day Amber and I decided to skip school and walked to the playground instead. I remember sneaking M&Ms from the goodie-jar at daycare with Denise and Lori. I remember the smell of crayons whenever we had coloring-time, and I remember playing outside for recess, and avoiding boys because they had cooties. I miss those days. I wish they weren't over.

"Where'd the days go when all we did was play? And the stress that we were under wasn't stress at all...just a run and a jump into a harmless fall..."-Paolo Nutini, These Streets

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Snowing!

I was really unhappy today, and I don't know why.
Ever get those days, or even just those little blurbs of time, when you are inexplicably angry?

But then it snowed, and that cheered me up.
It's a cliche, but it's so true: snow is fresh.

Every time I see a cool journal on a shelf, I want it. I have probably twenty blank journals, because I buy them but never write in them. I don't buy them with this intention though, I always think I will use them. But I love how clean and open they are: the potential that exists for them. I never do anything with that potential, but I like the idea of it. On the rare occasion that I do start a journal, or even when I write in a notebook for school, I always leave the first page blank. I do this because it's a new book that I can fill with whatever I want, and it's the first page. That's the page that carries the most potential. And I like to keep it that way.

I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind today, and there's a point where Mary talks about how babies' minds are so blank and clean, and adults' have so much clutter. I like the thought of that: having nothing cluttering my mind. There was a time when my mind wasn't filled with so many memories. There was a time when my mind was more or less blank. That sounds so refreshing and calm.

And whenever there is a new snowfall, I like to step around in it, leave my footprints everywhere, make snow angels...but I love the clean patches. They're so pretty, and so tempting to run through.

I like the sentiment of new things; clean things; open things. I like how journals can be filled, and how minds can be filled, but they start out blank. And snow gives that feeling. It covers everything up, as if it can start fresh. Not just for a "second chance", but for many chances.

Once you start writing in a journal, the new-ness is gone. Eventually, your brain is full of memories and thoughts and facts and tasks...
But snow. Snow comes fresh perhaps hourly, or daily, or weekly, or at the very least it comes seasonally. Start over and over and over. And I love it.

And now that it's started snowing, I can wear my snowmen earrings!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


There's something big out there, and it's taking over. It's where ever you look; it's everything you see. Sometimes, it's exactly where you expect it, but sometimes it starts to change you and when you're not even aware of it. It hides by mirroring your surroundings, making you believe it's the truth. It infests the minds of children, teenagers, one can escape it. Even those who try to avoid it are affected by it.

Of course, I refer to: the social media. *dun dun dun*
Oh, it's a monster!

Some people tend to think mass media is bad. I mean, it has to be: something so influential and widespread is bound to realize its capabilities at one point and abuse its power...
But that's not all true.

I think that mass media reflects a society's values, and exaggerates them. And if people aren't careful, they will start to believe the exaggerated versions and those exaggerated values will become reality.

What's portrayed in the media as reality isn't always accurate, because it wouldn't be as entertaining. The media puts things out there that people want to see. In return, the portrayals are more extreme. For example the portrayal that, for teens, everything is about sex and partying: Skins can be an example of this (or any show you may watch, I don't watch very much American TV). Teens may be like this to some extent, but the media portrays it as a norm, and thus it becomes more of a norm.

Another example is models, and what is considered to be the "ideal" look. Sure, people have already forumlated their opinions, but some people devote all their time to fitting that stereotype and exaggerate it. And then it's expected that people start looking that way. Hey, if that Victoria's Secret girl can look like that, why can't my girlfriend? If that guy on the Hollister bag looks like that, why should I settle for a guy with fewer abs than that? And for some people, it gets to their heads; alters their self-images. That can lead to health problems. And it's all because of the media.

Or how some shows (again Skins can be an example, or for those people out there who watch Glee, another example) are brining gay characters in to show their struggles but also the process of accepting them. This is the use of media to show different values and using it for good to give people more understanding and the potential for a more accepting nature. And it seems that there are more people who are openly gay, perhaps by the influence of media.

And of course I have to bring up Doctor Who. Anyone who watches SciFi nerdy stuff like I do will understand that the media is also used to bring up realistic potentials in the world. Or maybe not-so-realistic potentials. But they are always interesting, and it opens up questions to scientists about real life possiblities. Could something like this be done, ever? But they also play with your own beliefs about the world. Do aliens exists, are we alone? Are there parallel universes? Can time and space be bent? Are the laws of physics really "laws"?

The media is also important for information. REAL information. Facts. Such as newscasts or maybe updates about sports teams. It's important for people to keep in touch with reality: what's going on globally or locally, what the financial status of businesses are, what the economy of their country is, what wars are taking place, what natural disasters are predicted or have occured...all of these things matter. All of these things are brough to us through the media.

So yeah, the social media is there for a whole hullabaloo of reasons, and has triple the amount of effects on society. We can uplift and praise it, we can disregard it, we can follow its lead, we can protest against it...
But who are we to criticize it, anyway? We're the ones who created it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How To Be Just Like Me!

First things first. I'm asian. So in order to be like me, you must:
  • Be Chinese. Because all Asians are Chinese.
  • Speak Chinese. You're Asian, aren't you...?
  • Be a bad driver.
  • Be good at math. And every other thing you do.
  • Like Pokemon and everything anime.
  • Be short.
  • Have yellow skin.
  • Only have Asian friends.
  • Make peace signs in every picture.
  • Know Karate (or some variation, but call it Karate).
  • Eat rice with every meal. With chopsticks.
  • Be prude.
  • Like Hello Kitty.
  • Never Sleep.
Also, you should know that I'm a girl. So you also have to:
  • Like the color pink.
  • Watch reality TV.
  • Wear a ton of makeup, and spend at least an hour getting ready in the morning.
  • Take lots of photos of yourself.
  • Go shopping.
  • Giggle.
  • Like to wear dresses.
  • Have inside jokes.
  • Cry often.
  • Keep everything you own in your purse.
  • Have side bangs.
  • Be jealous and judgemental of other girls.
  • Have a boyfriend, but really like another guy. And have your best friend's boyfriend like you. It's complicated.
  • Have your relationship status on Facebook be with another girl.
Have I mentioned that I'm a teenager? So:
  • Never see your parents, always have plans.
  • Text. All the time.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Procrastinate all your work, and then don't sleep at night cause you're trying to finish it. Or just go to sleep and get bad grades. Either one...
  • Have a Twitter.
  • Always update your Twitter with things no one really cares about.
  • Get distracted by Facebook, even though there's nothing new on it.
  • Watch endless YouTube videos.
  • Cause trouble.
  • Be dramatic.
  • Be exclusive.
  • Wear inappropriate clothes.
  • Swear.
  • Have acne. It's the true youthful appearance.
  • Everything is a sexual euphemism.
Oh yeah, and I play rugby. Just:
  • Be a lesbian.
Basically, that's how you be like me. You're welcome.

But honestly. I just wanted to address the stereotypes that can form around any given feature. I think you probably know as well as I do that stereotypes do form from somewhere, and to an extent these things happen. But stereotypes are stereotypes. And they don't apply to everyone.

Okay, so I'm Asian. I happen to be Korean. *gasp* No, not all Asians are Chinese, believe it or not. And no, I don't speak Chinese, or Japanese, or Korean. I speak English and (barely) French. Yes, I happen to be short, and I happen to like Pokemon and Princess Mononoke, and I happen to know Tae Kwon Do. But I have non-Asian friends, I don't like Hello Kitty, I don't eat rice with every meal...
I'm just saying. I may be Asian, but that's not "who I am".

Right, so I'm a girl. I like pink, right? WRONG. Least favorite color. I like shopping, right? WRONG. I hate hate hate hate hate shopping. I take a ton of photos of myself, right? WRONG. I do take a ton of photos, but they are never of me. Sure, sometimes I do things that are "girly". I'm allowed to. But don't jump to conclusions about me because I am a girl.

Yeah, so I'm a teenager. Okay okay okay. I procrastinate, I get distracted by Facebook, I am on YouTube constantly...I get it. Mostly where I get peeved about "teenager stereotypes" is adults in stores or businesses, though. For example, a few years ago, a bunch of Churchies went out to go bowling, and a few of us went to Caribou to get some drinks and blah blah blah we weren't allowed to have them in the bowling alley and basically the manager started calling one of my friends a "smartass little bitch". NOT KIDDING. Those were his actual words. Three times. And she wasn't being disrespectful. We were leaving because he asked us to. And he heard her mumble something back, he even admitted to not actually hearing what she said. He just assumed that it was disrespectful, so he blew up at her. She was saying sorry. That's all. Anyway, don't judge.

Lastly, so I'm a rugby player. I. Am. Not. A. Lesbian.
Sure sure, there's maybe one girl on the team who is. And whatever, she's allowed to be, no one cares, because that's not why she joined rugby. UGGGG. And it's not that I'm bothered because you think I'm a lesbian, I don't have anything against it. I'm bothered that you think I'm a lesbian because I play rugby. This stereotype is so dumb. Stop it. Just stop.

That's all I wanted to say today. I'm sick of judgements based on steretypes. So, sorry if you were really looking forward to learning how to be just like me (which I know you were). I may be a female, Asian, rugby-playing, teenager, but those features do not truly make up who I am.