SAT Test Taking

※ NOTICE: I wrote a shorter version of this to the LA Times as a letter regarding one of their OP-ED. So yes, I’m not copying because it is mine ※

The SAT that we, class of 2015& 2016, have to take puts us in a serious disadvantage if we were to compare ourselves to the students that will graduate in the years to come. While we have to slave over memorizing useless vocabularies and spend literally thousands of dollars on SAT prep classes, the future graduating class won’t have to take this ridiculous test that was already proclaimed flawed by the people who administer it.

You might be wondering why the future graduating class doesn’t have to take it, this is due to Collegeboard (SAT administrator) making a new SAT that will base our scores on our real knowledge. Some people may not understand how the current SAT is flawed if it had been used for so much years. This is how, the SAT is based on (as stated before) useless vocabularies that aren’t used in our daily lives and test us on “skills” that can be acquired only if the person had studied with their expensive SAT study guides. Pretty much, the SAT is a test for the wealthy as our scores depend on our much money we spend to acquire the “knowledge” that the colleges so much adore.

It is ridiculous that our acceptance to colleges depends on our so-called “knowledge” that was already proclaimed flawed! How can we let such a useless test guide our future? How is it possible that we, the middleman of New SAT and the Old SAT, have no changes to our own tests that can possibly put us on a fairer ground? It’s already hard enough to take the SAT as it it, how do you expect us to calmly accept our tests if the New SAT is wagging its tail right in front of our tests? Isn’t unfair that the chance that can change our life is right in front of us, yet we are unable to reach it? I plead to the Collegeboard and others to not judge our skills, our knowledge with a test that is incapable of demonstrating our real knowledge.

 

giphy (4) <– Our dissatisfaction

Expected School-wide Learning Results

giphy (5)

(use the critical thinking skill!^ Do you see it? c: )

In my school, we have a poster that hangs almost everywhere in school that has the words “effective communicator, critical thinker, self-directed learner, and responsible member of society” on it. These 4 things stand for Expected School-wide Learning Results. As the title says, we should be able to be all four of these aspects when we leave high school. Pretty much all our lessons should somehow relate to one/more of these four aspects.

Most people, of course, ignore this banner and think of it as another reminder that they’re in a structured building where the teacher pile you with more back-breaking work after another. I, not so long ago, thought these same things when one of my teachers will say suggest something like, “Good. You’re becoming a responsible member of society by doing this, that…etc.” and point at the poster in front of the class. But as Sophomore year rolled by and Senior year creeped up,  I found my teachers referencing to the poster more frequently than before.

Then the day came, my English teacher decided to elaborate on the poster and tell us on what it means to be an effective communicator, critical thinker, self-directed learner, and responsible member of society. The meaning aren’t hard to grasp, pretty much the meaning is exactly as the words imply. An effective communicator means that you’re able to communicate with other in a way that you get all your points across without having to use an essay to get to your point. A critical thinker means you are able to think outside the box, think of the words, “so, what?”. A self-directed learner means that you are able to comprehend the lesson or subject by reviewing by yourself or pretty much directing yourself in your studies so that you’re able to understand the concept. Being a responsible member of society means that you are independent and don’t cause harm to anyone else around you because you are incompetent/ something.

Even without constant posters and teachers bombarding you with these Expected School-wide Learning Results,we personally know that these 4 aspects are important. Why? Well, to me, it’s because these 4 aspects are basically what your life kind of revolves around. Without being an effective communicator, how will you communicate to others? If you can’t communicate with others, it will be very hard to cooperate with others and in the end, there won’t be a lot of people around you. Human’s basic instinct is to interact with others, without that you are all alone, miserable. Without being a critical thinker, how will you understand things? If you can’t think on basic in depth levels in daily basis, you will only be able to think what’s basically there. No in depth thinking, to me, means that there isn’t some kind of strong opinion lurking in the person’s mind somewhere. Without being self-directed learner, you will be forever dependent on others to understand things. Even small things count, if you understand something without someone ever teaching you it and you figure it out yourself, that is pretty much a self-directed learner. Sure, it’s more effective to learn when there are others around you but without directing your learning by yourself, you will have to dependent on others for every little problem. Without being a responsible member of society, you are pretty much an (excuse my language) ass. If you cannot be responsible for your actions or be a member of society without any disturbances, bluntly I have to say you’re useless. Being a member of society is NOT hard, it pretty much means you respect others around you and  respect the rules that are laid around. Clean and simple.

All these 4 aspects are something that we have been doing/ been taught since pretty much beginning. So why emphasize it NOW? Out of all times, why in out Junior year? Although I do still think it’s clearly foolish for them to put this up in school, I have to admit that it is worthwhile because it gives us an embodiment of what we, as students, need to be able to do.

The Grapes of Wrath & 30 Followers!!!

In the book, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck details on the story of a man named Tom Joad that struggles in the time of the Great Depression. The most interesting part about this lovely book is that it’s completely different from the novels I had read so far. Not EVERY chapter is about following the main story line. It’s noticeable that between each chapter that shows the main story line, there is one intercalary chapter that kind of gives a background detail on the situation that is happening currently in the book. I thought it was very interesting because to where I have read to, all the intercalary chapters have great details in them.

The most comparable was the first chapter when it details about the Dust Bowl area in the US where during the Great Depression, they had a lot of dust storms. I thought how they described the dust storm, like when they say “All day the dust sifted down from the sky, and the next day it sifted down. An even blanket covered the earth. It settled on the corn, piled up on the tops of the fence posts, piled up on the wires; it settled on roofs, blanketed the weeds and trees”, was really similar to the dust storm that Esperanza experiences in the book, Esperanza Rising. Esperanza details the storm when she says, “Thousands of acres of tilled soil were becoming food for la tormenta and the sky was turning into a brown swirling fog…The dirt showered against the cabin, pitting everything in its path”.

The dust storm both greatly affected the main characters in the book as Esperanza’s mother catches Valley Fever due to the storm and that causes Esperanza to take up her mother’s work to support their family. Meanwhile, Tom’s family is more of the one affected (I assume this because he hasn’t been on the land for several years and doesn’t seem to be greatly affected) because they have to move to California as their tenants are kicking the farmers off their land since the dust storm killed the crops and such.

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This is the 2nd part of my blog post, CELEBRATION OF MY 30 FOLLOWERS!!! :DDD I know VERY much that 30 followers aren’t much of a BIG deal anymore since there are whole BUNCH of people that can be reading this, but I consider this a great deal since it’s 30 individual people willing to read my blog posts and not get annoyed at my random rants. But really thank you all for following me and putting up with the stupid rants… Thank You! :D

thank-you-for-following-me-pusheen-the-cat

Unfortunate Losses

In life, we lose MANY thing. We lose friends, life partners/ partners, family, home, money, and our very own lives. These losses cannot be gained again nor can it be replaced because just because the item that had replaced the old one doesn’t mean it’s the SAME. That includes money, the $100 you received from your grandma that you will never see again won’t be worth as much as the $200 or another $100 the person promises to give back to you. But in life, you sometimes have to make sacrifices for your loved ones, even if it is your lousy brother. I realized for the first time in me life, I wouldn’t know how I will react if I lost my loved ones/ things.

I had realized this in my English class when we did an activity, a very simple activity yet so devastating. Take three pieces of paper and individually write your Dream, Talent, and Love. Or what I thought more affecting would be getting whole bunch of pieces of paper and writing things/ people you know you can NEVER live without. Now put it in a hat and choose one. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t choose again. Face reality. Whatever you wrote on that piece of paper is now lost. How do you feel? If you feel nothing, that means you didn’t write down your MOST precious things that you CAN’T LIVE without. Does your heart wrench at just the thought of it or is your mind spinning out of control saying, “No. No. No” ? Guess what? It’s possible.

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Reason why it’s MORE of a dramatic moment for me:

Before I had never thought of ANOTHER person dying, I never liked thinking about it. This actually makes sense I have Thanatophobia (fear of death) which got A LOT better than before. I used to have attacks where I would suddenly think about myself dying and my heart will just feel like it stopped, my heart rate will hasten, a cold sweat will run through, and my brain felt like it would explode. At those times, I feel like screaming, I feel like bashing my head to get rid of those thoughts it’s just horrible. It got better to the point where I just have to take long breaths and calm my mind instead of crying or other activities I did to get my mind off the fear. I remember I had those attacks in classes when my class started talking about dying or when my parents will say something like “Oh. I’m going to die soon”, those times were the worst since I felt like running out of the room or telling them to shut up.

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Anyway back to the main topic. You HAVE to face reality. I realized this more these days because for one, I’m not in the bad stages of Thanatophobia and two, my dad has high blood pressure and that is REALLY bad. Also a lot of my relatives are in the hospitals due to illnesses and I’m starting to realize that life isn’t all that great as Disney movies and such portray it as. People die and losses do happen. You can’t prevent this because the world itself is a cycle of losses and gains. Yes, there are unfortunate but so what? You HAVE to move on, you can’t be stuck in the past forever. I KNOW it’s hard and I KNOW it’s hypocritical of me saying this since I don’t exactly yet know what it feels like to lose something precious but REMEMBER this- Life is a cycle of losses& gains and it’s better to try to move on then stay in the past. Without moving on, what  will you be achieving? What exactly are you doing? Are you doing nothing? If so, now what? Are you just going to let one great obstacle stop you from moving on or will you keep moving? Will you climb over that obstacle and conquer it?

To this very day, I don’t know what exactly I will do when that time comes but I know I will be devastated. I had been bullied before and I KNOW the feeling of the WHOLE class turning on you. I KNOW how it feels to be isolated, even if I ‘m still stuck in the past trying to overcome the fear of betrayal. I’m TRYING. And I hope you try too because it’s NEVER too late to start again.

A great example of this is Luffy:

I SERIOUSLY recommend watching this anime (One Piece) if you get the chance to. Or reading the manga. Although the drawing is pretty bad in the beginning, it improves and the story line is a pure genius.

Anther great example is from Naruto:

Another recommendation ;)

Watched ALL of them and my reaction:  tumblr_inline_mm1fvpl0hi1qz4rgp

Very Postponed Project

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So… I really haven’t started on my project and I’m planning really on starting to paint and all on my canvas around this week maybe… It kind of depends on how much homework or tests I have… So to make up for the time I haven’t updated about my project… Here’s my 30 min quick sketch of a basic format what my painting will look like. Okay first of all, I have to say my left side of my Luffy and the ride side is totally disproportional … DON’T JUDGE!! Another thing, I actually never tried to draw a back side of a character before.. Let me just say that it was REALLY DIFFICULT!!! Also clenching fish thing turned out bad too… :’< Seriously, back side is hard!!! T^T I really want to take an art class that will tell me more about proportions and such…

Anyway, back to the main topic!! This is a really BRIEF sketch, that means it’s not going to be 100% what it’s going to look like when I finish painting… The 1st mistake I did was that I made Luffy too big so I couldn’t include Ace’s grave in the left bottom side of the paper… Like I had said before I’m basically basing it off my favorite anime, One Piece… If you don’t know the story, it’s okay… Pretty much I’m trying to portray the main character getting over the death of his brother and the main character seeing the light of hope in his moment of darkness.

I’m going to TRY to make a path which begins with the main character grieving over his brother’s grave and the path “ending” with the ray of hope he finally finds. The backside of the character I drew above is the main character and will be included in the main picture. Also I’m trying to find a background I can paint when despair turns into hope.

Off topic: In one of my previous post for my project, I had stated that you shouldn’t draw on the canvas unless you have certain tools. Well the thing I had found out in my rough sketch is that it’s going to be really hard if I’m ONLY painting since I have never painted before (already stated before).. So I have decide that I’m going to try to  see if I can just draw on the canvas lightly and see if it comes off… If it doesn’t I might have to do something a bit different since painting a human seems hard…

If there are any advice that you guys can give me, please leave a comment below! Thank You! :D

 

Valentine’s Day

Two weeks ago it was Valentine’s Day, EVERYBODY knows this day as a day for love and couples.                                                                                                                                             tumblr_n0zumyHHZd1shasdvo1_500

Even Google set up their website to have a “special something” for their consumers. Although the day is a day of celebration of young and old lovers, it’s also a day of pessimistic singles, unrequited love, and heartbreaks.tumblr_mjllvqmGuw1s86yovo1_500

There are always two ways of looking things: optimistic or pessimistic. Is the glass half full or is it half empty? I felt that the essay that my class read in class, “Class Dismissed” by Walter Kirn was a great example of this. Although I haven’t graduated nor have I reached senior year yet, but it has always been said by graduates to “enjoy your senior year”. I felt that senior year of high school is highly regarded among graduates as their sacred year of high school. From all the positivism that comes from the mouth of graduates that I have met, it seems as if senior year is nothing but heaven. But the essay “Class Dismissed”, explain in a unique description that shines the pessimistic light on out favorite senior year.tumblr_n0qo5f7UIl1s0u1nao1_500

(I wanted to put this GIF in… DON’T JUDGE ME!!!! *get the reference ;) ) Pretty much the essay outlines how horrible and unnecessary senior year is, this is shown especially in the opening paragraph (AKA first paragraph) where is says that senior year is “less a climactic academic experience than an occasion for oafish goofing off, chronic truancy, random bullying, sloppy dancing… [with] moody, wan philosophizing… while still half-drunk”. I thought this sentence pretty much downgraded our view of senior year as he is pretty much calling the year as useless, resourceful, and a time for the students to pretty much go loco. It will be pretty much like if I said that Valentine’s Day is horrible because your boyfriend/ girlfriend can possibly dump you, you can’t meet your loved one because he/she don’t live in the same area, or you simply think it’s a waste of money to buy something expensive for your partner as an expression of love when you are supposed to express your love pretty much every day.

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Thinking about proposing someone on Valentine’s Day? Guess what? Either you might get rejected or you just landed yourself in a pile of debt! :D

This video clearly shows that pretty much you’re wasting your money on a priceless stone, show your partner this and ask him/her if he/she still wants to buy/get it. If he/she still does… Well if it was up to me, I’d dump him on the spot! Money management is important! You can’t waste anything on non-necessary items.

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Well.. I hope you enjoy my pessimistic blog post! If you like the pessimistic blog post, you can read my other rants I’ve done in the past or you can simply read other.

Read, Like, Comment, Follow~!  

Ideas on Project

When starting on a painting project, you should always have an idea of what you’re going to draw. In my case, although I figured out that I wanted to paint something related to my favorite anime, One Piece, I’m not exactly sure what to draw in the canvas. At first I thought I should have some trees and a path in the middle with the main character walking in the middle but I realized that it will turn out very much like these 3 paintings:

Autumn_Rain_by_Leonidafremov Misty_alley___OIL_PAINTING_by_Leonidafremov    oil

Which is pretty much a lot of the paintings that exist today. So in order for me to get something that sounds unique and different, I’m going to try to form an idea about about the background (what’s the daytime, color), inanimate objects (objects supporting the main subject of the painting), and the main object (what’s he/she/it doing, wearing, closer to back/ front).

It’ s very exciting to wait for the next idea to pop into my head, even though it’s sometimes really hard to imagine them without drawing them. Also  I have to consider the fact that I won’t be able to sketch beforehand so I have plan everything before my paintbrush touches the canvas. As mentioned in the last post, sketching beforehand can be done with certain necessary tools but since I do not have any, I shall just be painting.

 

Background

So for my Painting Project, I thought at first that I was supposed to just draw and color in like how I would do regularly on a piece of paper. But I was proven wrong as I looked up if I was supposed to draw/ sketch first and I discovered that painting is not filling it in but actual painting with only paint. That is unless you want to use certain gears that is necessary for this. This link (http://www.finearttips.com/2010/01/painting-with-acrylics-the-mystery-explained/) will help as a guide on prepping the canvas and such.

Also this link (http://http://www.wikihow.com/Paint-With-Acrylics) will show different techniques that can be used to paint your canvas.

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Now that the “introductions” are done (it’s like part 2), I still have to think on what to paint on my canvas because I can’t do a sketch before hand like I usually do. I have to figure out if I’m supposed to paint the background first or paint the object first and then paint the background.

warios-dilemma

Devoted Relationship (One-sided)

In a lot of romance typed genres, sometimes the romance consist of one person in a “relationship” pursuing the other. In the book The Great Gatsby, Gatsby has been pursuing Daisy since the moment he had met her while Daisy has been frolicking around. Another great example (in the anime world) is Naruto. In this anime, Naruto, the main character (Naruto) chases after a girl named Sakura who in return pursues another guy named Sasuke but Naruto is also being pursued by Hinata, although he doesn’t know this. These two sources demonstrate real life in a certain degree because it always seems that the person you like doesn’t like you back and another person likes you, like your friend or something. I thought these two revealed the harsh truth that you can’t get everything you want even though you’re strong, rich, nice, etc.

Also One Piece kinda has it like when Boa Hancock loves Luffy and although she’s “the most beautiful person”, Luffy doesn’t love her. Helps contribute to the fact that people can’t gain everything.

great-gatsby-quotes (when Gatsby sees Daisy)

giphy (Naruto)

tumblr_mrwh18wF5D1s515j6o1_500 (Boa in love with Luffy)