Monday, May 31, 2010

A Letter To My Biff

*For blogging purposes, I have removed the names:) enjoy!

Dear ____, fellow trick, stripper chic member, stove creeper, chilis 22 year old flirter, lover, partner in crime, best frand

There will probably be lots of spelling and grammar issues in this paper. Just kidding, I’m not _______. It’s meeee, _________. Yep, spelled exactly like that. Haha. So I’ve guess I made a tradition (well I’m not sure if a tradition counts if I’ve only done it once) out of writing you letters on your birthdays. I remember last year I wrote you a letter in the IMC before school started. Haha. But I’m actually at home now. YAY, with a new car! Double YAY! Well it’s not really new I guess, but atleast I have SOMETHING to drive. Finally. But I definitely will miss our car rides. They were the best. Somehow we managed to cram the deepest conversations ranging from our favorite subject: BOYSJ all the way to families to school to college to futures into like 5 minute car rides from school to our houses. I have no idea how we do all that and manage to rock out to Miley Cyrus (our favorite person ever no matter what other people sayJ) in that little time. Just some more proof that you really are my best friend! You make me laugh till I cry or piddle (aka: pee a little) and I love you so so much for it. And on the other hand, you can listen to me go on and on for hours about people I don’t like and also the people I do like, very much;), and you don’t complain a single time. And I know it must be hard to listen to me talk so much, but you’re probably one of the best listeners ever and I know I can always turn to you for unbiased and truly good advice, and 99.9% of the time I follow your advice, and usually when I don’t it blows up in my face. Ehem ehem. You know what I’m talking about. Haha. But I guess the point of this is to tell you that I’m madly, insanely, unconditionally, irrevocably (yes, I stole this from Twilight) in love with you. You’re the definition of perfection. From your head to your toes you are the most beautiful person ever. Inside and out! Not many people can be like you, and I admire you for all the outstanding things you always seem to manage to do. From your crazy good grades (even though you’re the most ditzy person ever outside of school) to your amazing personality, I love everything about you. So live it up girly! You only turn 17 once. And I’m just happy that I’m only a year younger than you now. Cause when everyone else has their birthdays I feel like I’m always two years younger than them and it kinda sucks ya know? Hahahaha. Ok well, it’s approximately 4:46 and I have no idea where my phone is, but I’m going to text you and ask you where you areeeee. Okay. Anyways. I hope you have a fabulous day tommorow. You deserveee it love. And I know I probably mentioned this like four times in this letter already but I love you butttttttttttttloads.


My Weekend

This weekend was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while, and not it wasn’t only because we had a three-day weekend (although that probably added to it a little). Friday was graduation and choir had to sing at it, so we did that, and then after Graduation, me and a couple of friends went to IHOP and had a dinner that lasted for three hours. It was crazy. We ended up becoming best friends with the waiter we had and ended up talking to two of the servers there for hours. It was really fun, because we made new friends, and our waiter wasn’t exactly ugly;) haha. It was just a really fun night, because I usually don’t hang out with that group of people and it made me realize how much I missed them, and how excited I am to get to spend more time with them next year. On Saturday, my friend and I went grad party hopping and that was really fun. We then went to Wal Mart and got a bunch of supplies for this project we had to work on. We spent the whole day working on it and it was actually really fun. We found Blo Pens and ended up drawing all over each other. We then went to Hy-Vee (with the blo pen ink still all over us mind you) and we bought Double Fudge Brownie Ice Cream and devoured it. On Sunday, I pretty much spent the whole day watching One Tree Hill, my new obsession and then I saw Sex and the City 2 with my mom and brother, probably the most awkward part of this whole weekend. Haha. But the movie was good, it was funny and entertaining. I just would’ve picked some different people to go see it with. Haha. And today is Monday (no school yay!) And of course, I’m procrastinating and doing all my homework right now. What a good end to the weekend!

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas was a tragic movie about the Holocaust told through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy. Bruno is the son of a Nazi officer Ralf. Ralf and his family move from Berlin to the countryside after Ralf is promoted to commander of one of the worst concentration camps of the holocaust: Auschwitz. Since the story is told from Bruno’s perspective, it takes a childlike view perspective on the Holocaust. Bruno does not exactly understand the serious political situation that was occurring during this era, because he is so young.
Bruno is not happy at this new home, because he is confined to the grounds of his family’s home. He seeks companionship and adventure, but is not allowed to leave. However, Bruno eventually cannot take the boredom and his curiosity takes over. He leaves the house through a window of an outhouse and finds the concentration camp, which he naively believes is a farm. He ends up meeting a boy there, who is the same age as him named Shmuel. Bruno ends up befriending the boy, and visiting the concentration camp frequently to deliver him food and to talk to him through the barbed wire. Bruno is eventually taught that the “farm” is really a concentration camp and that Shmuel and his family were in the concentration camp because they were Jewish. Bruno eventually begins to realize the serious situation that Jewish people in the country were facing.
Bruno and his sister Gretel have a tutor named Herr, who is constantly feeding them propaganda, and anti-Semitic stereotypes while teaching them history. His sister Gretel is greatly influenced by these stereotypes and begins to support the Nazis, however Bruno knows better. He has met Shmuel and his family and know that they are innocent people. However, during this era, and in this country, so many of the people were discriminatory towards Jews. It was horrifying seeing how cruel and heartless the Nazi soldiers and commanders were when they beat and abused innocent Jewish people, especially children.

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Continued

Eventually, at the end of the movie Bruno enters the camp in order to help Shmuel find his father, he puts on the “striped pajamas” and digs a hole in order to enter the camp. However, in their search for Shmuel’s father they get intermixed with a group of people who are going to the gas chambers. These people are told to remove their clothes for a “shower”. They enter and then the poisonous gas is placed into the chamber, and people are shown begging to be freed. They are pounding on the doors struggling to live, but they are no match for such a deadly gas. This is probably one of the most intense scenes in the movie. Bruno and Shmuel, who were accidentally placed inside the gas chamber, also die. Meanwhile, Elsa (Bruno’s mother) and Ralf are terrified that their son is missing and realize that he has entered the concentration camp. They run there to save him but it is too late.
Although the ending of this movie was very sad, it just showed me that these killings and concentration camps were completely unfair. As seen in the movie, Bruno, who was not even a Jew was killed. The obsession with a perfect race, and following Hitler, blinded these people so severely that they were willing to kill eight year old children. Although Bruno’s death was tragic, and he did not deserve it, I do believe this was a “slap in the face” for Bruno’s father and his family. They finally knew what it felt like to loose a loved one to something so tragic. They knew what the Jewish people were going through. And I hope that this made them realize how wrong and horrible what they were doing truly was.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band that was created in Liverpool in 1960 and has become one of the most successful, popular, and influential musical groups of all time. The group consists of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star. The Beatles began their musical career with "Skiffle" and 1950s rock and roll. But the group later worked in many genres ranging from folk rock to psychedelic pop. They also incorporated classical and cultural events into their music. The nature of their enormous popularity, which first emerged as the "Beatlemania" fad, transformed as their songwriting grew in sophistication. The group came to embody the progressive ideals, and counterculture revolution of the 1960s. The Beatles achieved UK mainstream success in late 1962 with their first single, Love Me Do. In the wake of the moderate success of "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me" their first album reached number two in the UK singles chart after its January 1963 release. Ten songs were recorded for Please Please Me accompanied on the album by the four tracks already released on the two singles. The band's third single, "From Me To You", came out in April and was also a chart-topping hit. It began an almost unbroken run of seventeen British number one singles for the band. On its release in August, the band's fourth single, "She Loves You", achieved the fastest sales of any record in the United Kingdom. up to that time, selling three-quarters of a million copies in under four weeks. It became their first single to sell a million copies, and was the biggest selling record in the United Kingdom until 1978.. With The Beatles, their second album, was released in late November ahead of the impending single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" with the song excluded in order to maximize the single's sales. With The Beatles became the second album in UK chart history to sell a million copies, a figure previously reached only by the 1958 South Pacific soundtrack.

Friday, May 21, 2010

One Tree Hill

The reason I watch this show is above:)

This show is my new obsession and craze. I can't seem to get enough of it, and I've watched the whole first season (yep, that's 23 episodes) in two days. This addiction began one day after school when I randomly decided to watch the show on TV. It was an episode from the middle of the fourth or fifth season, so I did not really understand much about the characters, but I was hooked. The drama, and intensity of the show just pierces you, even if you are a first time viewer. I immediately knew that I had to watch every episode of the show to figure out who these people were. The story line is great and all the actors are exceptional. Basically it is a story about a group of friends who live in Tree Hill, North Carolina. Lucas and Nathan Scott are the main characters, and are half brothers, as they share the same dad. Dan Scott, their dad, abandoned Lucas and his mother when she was pregnant with him, and is therefore one of the villains of the show and is constantly ruining people's lives. Lucas and Nathan hate each other at first, because they are both very competitive because they're on the same varsity basketball team, and because they never really had the chance to get to know each other. However, they eventually grow to become good friends and brothers. Peyton, Brooke, and Haley are the main actresses in this show, and they are great as well. Peyton is a brooding artist who must constantly cope with her mother's death. Brooke is the outgoing, popular, and eccentric cheerleader, and Haley is the genius, "tutor girl", who manages to snag one of the most well attractive guys at Tree Hill High School, Nathan Scott. I probably wouldn't be so in love with this show if it wasn't for the relationship between Nathan and Haley. It's safe to say I'm a huge "Naley" fan, and love every scene that they're in together. They end up getting married in high school, and somehow managing to make it work (well, at least so far I'm on the second season). I'm excited to continue watching the show and to see how they grow as characters and to see what new twists and turns the story line will take.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Frances Kellor

Frances Alice Kellor was an American sociologist who was born on October 20, 1873 in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from the Cornell Law School in 1897 and studied at the University of Chicago and the New York Summer School of Philantropy. Frances Kellor was involved in social settlement and other social reform movements of the 20th century. She made efforts to improve migrating conditions for Black immigrants (especially women) from the South to the North, and European immigrants. She Organized the National League for the Protection of Colored Women, which educated African American women who had moved to the North and helped them find jobs and houses. She was a member of the New York State Immigration Commission. Kellor investigated the poor living and working conditions of immigrants and made the state bureau aware of this. The Bureau then initiated worker safety and educational services.Kellor was also an advocate for immigrants. They were treated horribly when they first arrived to the United States, and Kellor was responsible for greatly improving their living conditions.

Animal Farm

The story begins with, Old Major, a prize-winning boar who gathers the animals of the Manor Farm for a meeting in the barn. He tells them about a dream he had, in which humans did not opress or mistreat the animals on the Manor Farm. He tells the animals, that this dream is the ideal utopia, and leads them to accomplish this dream, and he also teaches them a song called the Beasts, in which he describes his dream.The animals are enthusiastic about Old Major's dream and are excited to begin to accomplish it. But he dies three nights after the meeting and three younger pig; Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer use Old Major's principles to come up with a plan called Animalism. Late one night, the animals manage to defeat the farmer Mr. Jones in a battle, running him off the land. They rename the property Animal Farm and dedicate themselves to achieving Major's dream. The cart-horse Boxer devotes himself completely to Old Major's dream, and has a motto of, "I will work harder."
At first, Animal Farm flourishes. Snowball works at teaching the animals to read, and Napoleon takes a group of young puppies to educate them in the principles of Animalism. When Mr. Jones reappears to take back his farm, the animals defeat him again, in what comes to be known as the Battle of the Cowshed, and take the farmer's abandoned gun as a token of their victory. As time passes, however, Napoleon and Snowball increasingly argue over the future of the farm, and they begin to struggle with each other for power and influence among the other animals. Snowball concocts a scheme to build an electricity-generating windmill, but Napoleon solidly opposes the plan. At the meeting to vote on whether to take up the project, Snowball gives a very good speech, but Napoleon attacks snowball, and takes over the farm.
Napoleon now quickly changes his mind about the windmill, and the animals, especially Boxer, devote their efforts to completing it. One day, after a storm, the animals find the windmill toppled. The human farmers in the area declare smugly that the animals made the walls too thin, but Napoleon claims that Snowball returned to the farm to sabotage the windmill. He stages a great purge, during which various animals who have allegedly participated in Snowball's great conspiracy—meaning any animal who opposes Napoleon's uncontested leadership—meet instant death at the teeth of the attack dogs. With his leadership unquestioned Napoleon begins expanding his powers, rewriting history to make Snowball a bad guy. Napoleon also begins to act more and more like a human by sleeping in a bed, drinking alcohol, and engaging in trade with neighboring farmers. The original principles of animalism did not permit that, but Napoleon did these things anyways.
Then, Mr. Frederick, a neighboring farmer, cheats Napoleon in the purchase of some timber and then attacks the farm and dynamites the windmill, which had been rebuilt at great expense. After the demolition of the windmill, a pitched battle ensues, during which Boxer receives major wounds. The animals rout the farmers, but Boxer's injuries weaken him. When he later falls while working on the windmill, he senses that his time has nearly come. One day, Boxer is nowhere to be found. According to Squealer, Boxer has died in peace after having been taken to the hospital, praising the Rebellion with his last breath. In actuality, Napoleon has sold his most loyal and long-suffering worker to a glue maker in order to get money for whisky.
Years pass on Animal Farm, and the pigs become more and more like human being; walking upright and wearing clothes. Eventually, the seven principles of Animalism and inscribed on the side of the barn, become reduced to a single principle reading “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Napoleon entertains a human farmer named Mr. Pilkington at a dinner and declares his intent to ally himself with the human farmers against the laboring classes of both the human and animal communities. He also changes the name of Animal Farm back to the Manor Farm, claiming that this title is the “correct” one. At the end of the book, they are looking through the window of the animal farm, the pigs look more like humans than pigs.
This book was very interesting and the way George Orwell compared the animals to an actual significant event in history was compelling. It helped me to understand the historical event better and this made it more interesting. This book showed that the animals slowly evolved into humans, forgetting completely about Old Major's original dream, and allowing the struggle for power and authority to get in the way of a more prosperous society. The book also demonstrated the fact that socialism fails, and that complete power corrupts all. This is portrayed in many examples through out history, from dictatorships to socialism to the Russian tsars.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


So yesterday, when I went in to take the actual test I will admit I was a bit nervous. I mean your whole future is inside that intimidating booklet of SAT questions. Your whole future waits for you at the desk you choose to sit in. Do I sit in the row with smart people? Will their smart energy waves be sent back to me? These questions sound absolutely ridiculous right about now, but yesterday that was honestly what was going through my head. That seemingly simple little test holds so much power. It decides your fate. What college you will attend, and what you do with your life. These are things that no one can take lightly. In fact, that seemed to hit me for the first time when I saw an 11 year old taking the SAT in a classroom filled with 16 and 17 year olds. My first reaction was “wow, poor kid, his parents probably pushed him into this and make him feel a ton of pressure to do good”. And although this is partly true, I feel like you need to have some sort of self-motivation to go through with something like this. So I’m sure that eleven-year-old kid, just like me, wants to find success, but wants an easy way to do this. However, success is rarely beneficial if you found it easily. So back to the test, I finally chose a seat, and sat down with ten number two pencils (yes ten, one for each section haha) and began to take the test that would seal my destiny. And I can’t tell you how I did. I never really know. I felt decent about it. Of course, there were those questions that left me stumped, and there were those that I answered instantly, but if you asked me to guess what I’d got I’d tell you I have no idea. It could be a 200, it could be a 2200. Who knows? But after the test was over, two things were running through my mind.
2.) That actually wasn’t that bad for being a five hour test. And as much as I hate admitting my parents were actually right; if that SAT prep course helped me with anything, it got me in the mental zone and focus for taking a five hour test.

SAT Part I

I took the SAT on Saturday morning, and this will sound crazy, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. By no means am I saying I managed to get a perfect score, or even a good score for that matter. All I’m saying is that this five-hour test turned out to sound more treacherous than it actually was. And I think part of that was the fact that I had taken this horrible SAT prep course at the Kaplan Center. It was every Saturday and Sunday, so I pretty much dreaded. Just think, waking up early every single day of your weekend, driving to Iowa City, and learning. We do enough of that Monday-Friday, and we definitely don’t need anymore of that on the weekends. I was furious with my parents when I found out that they had signed me up for it. They invested a lot of time and money into this course, and me being the magnificently lazy person that I tend to be, did not take the course seriously whatsoever. We would take practice tests of Saturdays that would start at 10:30 and end at 2:30 and they were horrible. I would give up halfway through the test and end up with horrible scores. However, on the last practice test, I went in with the mindset that I would not give up and that I would be focused on the test the whole time, and I did significantly better