Saturday, October 29, 2011

Distractions, Distractions

Papers. My favorite.
Even though I've never been a fan of papers, I've always been good at writing them. I've never had to prepare that much in advance to write a crazy paper for a class. Even Honors classes in high school, I always wrote the paper either a day or a couple days before the due date and really didn't revise them very much.

This paper was different. I ended up reading the article on which the paper was to be based about two weeks before the paper was due; a record for me. Even though the annotations on the article were an assignment.  I also wrote the first rough draft a week before the paper was actually due. I thought that I was being EXTREMELY productive.

Then came the week before the paper was due. That was also the week that I discovered that Pandora had a Disney station on it, which added to all the distractions in my house. I rediscovered my love for some Disney movies that I haven't seen in YEARS, sometimes at the expense of working on my paper. 

I actually can't listen to music at all while I work. I used to be able to; I could tune out the words and focus. I don't know why, but now I can't. I put on music and try to do any sort of homework, or any work where I need to think a little,  and I just can't focus on both of those things at once. I guess I'm just bad at multitasking, contrary to the female stereotype :)

I was also stressing out about my Halloween costume this week... I had to figure out something low-maintenance and easy to get quickly.

A side note about Disney: the music from Tarzan is actually EPIC. Phil Collins is actually kind of a musical genius... and IT HAS SO MANY KEY CHANGES. And I love me some key changes :)

BUT we got to work on the paper all week in class, which helped A LOT. I think I made a large percentage of my revisions in class, and it was so nice to have my classmates revise it for me. It was nice to have their input, and I implemented almost all of them. I think it made my paper so much better.

DANG. Someone just rode across the street in front of my house with a moped... I wish I had one. 
Oops. Another distraction. 
Hah :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ponderings of a Hopeless Not-So-Romantic

Open blog posts aren't very good for those who are the anti-creative, such as ME.

So I have no idea what to write about for this blog. My life currently lacks every kind of excitement, besides the fact that auditions for my favorite musical EVER are right around the corner, so there's nothing really to write about.

I have been pondering something lately, though :)

Last weekend, when I probably should have been doing homework or practicing voice or something equally productive, I watched the Disney movie Pocahontas. Throughout the progression of the sappy, yet sweet, romance between John Smith and Pocahontas, I was starting to feel a little glum about my own love life. That, like the rest of my life at the moment, is sadly stagnant.

And then I realized how unrealistic it is how all of these Disney princesses have their "true loves" walk conveniently into their lives without any female intervention whatsoever. While I watch these movies, I always think, "Aww, that's SO cute. I wish things happened exactly like that in my life."

This makes me so sad, because I know it won't. My "Prince Charming," however hackneyed the term may be, won't magically turn up out of nowhere. I'll probably have to put in effort on my end to make that guy like me enough to enter a serious relationship with me. I wouldn't be angry about that if I eventually got what I wanted, but Disney plants these ideas in the heads of girls everywhere, making them desire to have a guy sweep them off their feet.

 It'd be nice if Disney put a realistic romance in one of their movies for once. Not saying that I don't LOVE Disney movies, but every time I watch them, I always wish that my life could be that way, even though I know it won't.

Which is weird, because I'm not a romantic person at all.
I'll still watch Disney movies, though. They're SO addicting, and heighten my hopes for other things about the world. They make me hope that chivalry is not dead, that love can actually bloom in a short amount of time, and somewhere out there, there is a "Prince Charming" for everyone.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


- People who think that they're always right and have to correct everything in everyone else that they think is wrong

- People who are overly cocky

- People who think they're entitled to things that they are not entitled to

- People who disregard seniority

- People abuse the seniority that they have

- People who start drama for no reason

- People who tell you their score on a test just because they know it's higher than yours

- People who treat others like they are younger than they truly are

- People who try to act older than they truly are

- People who are in positions of power who abuse it

- People who think they can get what they want by crying about it

- People who punish sensitive people less harshly for the same offenses

PHEW. I have a lot of pet peeves I guess :)

Generalizations and the Importance of the Arts

Does it annoy anyone else that the Arts are never spoken about when students are encouraged to do well in school? And why are so many generalizations used when speaking about the tendencies of Americans?

The first thing I noticed in 2 Million Minutes was the incessant generalizations that were being made about the tendencies and behaviors of American students. The behaviors such as lack of studying, a large amount of socializing, and the inadequate use of time were shown in the two American students. The writers of 2 Million Minutes intended for these negative qualities to be the only qualities shown about Americans in the context used. However, these are not the only qualities American students possess and they are not dominant in the lives of every American student.

I know that in my academic life, I strive to learn as much as I can and be challenged, along with receiving good grades. I also know that my friends feel the same way that I do about education. I know for a fact that the only time that I go out with my friends is on the weekends; during the week, all of my time is devoted to either school, Brigadoon rehearsal, or studying tat home. These assumptions made about American students are generalizations because they definitely do not apply to everyone. 

Another aspect of 2 Million Minutes that annoyed me was that the Arts, or any subjects that were not science, math, or related to either of those, were not mentioned at all. I know that my favorite subjects, and the subjects that I have the most natural aptitude for, are the classes pertaining to literature, communications, or history. Math and science are not the only courses that contain importance for young people, and suitable careers that will assist the world can be made from subjects such as literature or history.
I believe that "I Wanna Be Average" exemplifies this importance when the author, Mike Rose, speaks of his favorite teacher, Jack MacFarlane. MacFarlane was a literature teacher, and he changed Rose's life in unimaginable ways. Rose also speaks of his fondness for literature and the ways in which literature has helped him become an intelligent, driven young man. This shows the importance of literature, and this importance should not be underestimated, especially when speaking of the future of our world.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Family

"And I'll grow old with these kids next to me, 'cause I know what I've found."
- Brookline Drive

I've found my family.
Seriously. My Theatre Family. 

We're all "theatre kids." The term, "theatre kids" has many different connotations, depending on who you ask. Some will say that "theatre kids" are the most confident people out there, the ones who are willing to put themselves into crazy situations on the stage and embarrass themselves in front of live audiences. Others will say that "theatre kids" are the crazy weird people, the people who sing show tunes all day long, are sometimes willing to fight against their best friends for a coveted role, make up fake families, and hug each other constantly.

I define being a "theatre kid" a little bit differently."Theatre kids" are usually the most extroverted, the most authentic, the most dramatic, and the most intense people in this world. At least, that's the way I see it. "Theatre kids" share a bond with each other that is inexplicable to anyone that has never done a show before. When you're in a show, you rehearse with the same people for weeks on end; perfecting songs and dance moves, sharing your time and sweat to achieve the ultimate goal. "Theatre kids" share this experience together, and this is what makes them so close with each other. I know that some of my very best friends I have met through the shows I've done.

Tonight, I went to a fundraising gala for Blue Water Theatre Company, the company in which I've done five shows now. A video was shown about all the different elements of the theatre company; the directors, the rehearsing process, the traditions, everything. This video just made me realize how extremely lucky I am to be a small part of something that has the power to change people's lives. I know for a fact that theatre has done that for me.

An alumni actor then went up to speak, and spoke about his family at the Theatre Company. I've always thought of my theatre friends as a family, but it kind of just hit me tonight how actually true this is. I am so close to all of my theatre friends; we all have very similar personalities and all experience the same feelings during the course of the show, from the butterflies when the cast list is posted, the drive and motivation felt during rehearsal, the adrenaline-fueled "high" during a performance, and the gloomy sadness felt when the show ends.

I love these people so much. My Blue Water Family means so much to me, and I wouldn't change any of my experiences with them for anything.

P.S. The song I quoted at the beginning of the post was Eighteen by Brookline Drive.
CLICK ME to check it out :)


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Not your cliche back-to-school speech

When I was preparing to listen to President Obama's back to school address, I was prepared to hear all about the future of math and science. I'm definitely a liberal arts sort of girl; I participate in music and theatre, and I get very annoyed very fast when adults stress the importance of math and science in today's society.

Not Obama.

In his speech, he spoke about the passions of students and how students need to figure out "what makes them come alive."
I absolutely loved that part of his speech, and it was an example of a pathos argument. It was obviously an effective one, because it stirred my emotions and my firm belief of the desire to follow dreams and make things happen.

This shows how effective of a speaker our President is.
Obama's audience for this speech is all of the students of America. He makes this clear when he references to the "peers across America" of the students who are listening to him directly. He speaks in third person, directly addressing all the students as "you." He also relates to the audience by speaking about his experience in school, namely his ethics class in eighth grade and how it helped him make tough decisions about America later in life. This is a very effective way to address and convey his message to the audience because it makes them feel connected and involved. From my perspective, that is a very important feeling to have because it provides the motivation to change the world. 

Obama also uses many different types of appeals in this argument. (SHOCKER :)) Many of these appeals that he uses are emotional, like the aforementioned one about finding the subjects that you love. These appeals are directed at American students to motivate them to go to school and be a success. The authority in these emotional appeals is definitely credible. President Obama, or any prior President of the United States for that matter, knows the inner workings, and the hidden problems, of this nation during the time in which they served their presidency. These Presidents, currently Obama, are the most reliable source dealing with events in America. This information is mostly implied.

Obama also uses factual evidence in order to provide background to his speech along with pathos appeals. One piece of factual evidence that stood out to me while I listened to Obama's speech was when he stated, "60% of jobs in the next decade will require more than a high school diploma." This is an effective logos appeal; it uses numbers to convey a surprising statistic to the audience. I believe that it was put into the address as a scare tactic. Subsequent to the statistic, Obama says, "That's the world you're walking into." I don't know about the rest of America's students, but listening to that sort of frightens me. It shows that the credentials are higher and that we, as students, need to work harder than any prior generation has to gain the positions and occupations that we desire to have for the future. That's scary. 
In short, the main purpose of Obama's speech is to motivate the students of America to be the best they can be and set the bar high for their success in school and in life. He does this using a variety of appeals, including logos and pathos appeals. In my opinion, Obama did an outstanding job of conveying this message to his audience. After all, he is the President :)