You know when you’re watching your favorite show or listening to the newest song on the radio, and something is said that we understand, but only would’ve been understood if we had read a book or learned something in class? That may be a long description but there is one word that sums this phenomena up- allusion. Dictionary.com defines it as “a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication” or “the act or practice of making a casual or indirect reference to something.” Allusions make us feel educated and accomplished. For example, in a song by country artist Luke Bryan called ‘That’s My Kinda Night’, he mentions Conway and T-Paine. Now, if you have never heard of these artists or their music, you wouldn’t understand their purpose in the song. Bryan uses allusion in his song to make it show more of his personality and interests, this example showing his preference in music when taking a girl out. Sometimes you need to understand an allusion to understand what is going on, you need the context of it to get the rest. Allusions are used to express the artist or make them more understandable. When we understand allusions, it shows that we are educated and are capable of learning. For example, I took AP world history last year and now I understand so much more about the world and the history behind it. I can listen to songs and read books and get what’s going on. This may be pushing the boundaries of allusion but it is still helpful to the reader or listener. So, basically, stay in school if you want to understand and be able to comprehend songs, books, and even movies. You are missing out until you strive to unlock allusions.
Everyone always says it’s the best four years of your life, the ones you’ll never forget, and I for one agree. So bear with me because this is a cliché post on everyone’s favorite thing to hate: high school. Personally, I freaking love high school, I love every aspect of it, even the drama. To me, that makes it so much more like high school. For some reason when I say these things, people think I’m crazy and need serious help. But high school is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me, like if I would’ve been homechooled I think I would’ve ran away. I love the work and the people and the craziness of it all. Especially in my school, where not a day goes by that something spontaneous happens. However, like all things in life, I’m going to have regrets. I’m going to regret that I wasn’t as involved, that I didn’t join show choir, that I didn’t meet more people. But we have to look past those regrets and remember all the great times we had with the people we did meet. We have to remember that even through the bad times, high school is temporary. Life goes on. But even so, we need to cherish it while we still can because it is truly, I believe, the best freaking four years of anyone’s life, especially if they choose to make it that way. So do what you want, try out for the musical, take another AP class (since you already have five, why not even it out at six?), ask that guy you’ve been fawning over to prom, because when you have your high school reunion, you want to say, “I can’t believe I did all that!” rather than, “I wish I would’ve done more.”
These days, everyone is focused on the science, medical, and mathematical fields. After the USSR launched Sputnik into space in 1969, the Space Race between us and them was on. NASA was founded and jobs in science and math were highly sought upon, all to produce better and faster technology that would make us unprecedented globally. Nowadays, and even locally in my own school, there are classes specifically for S.T.E.M. jobs, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These jobs, for some reason, are highly fought for. A lot of people I know are going to major in different branches of engineering. Rockwell Collins is a local industry where I live and many people need degrees that relate to S.T.E.M. jobs. However, the people racing to become physicists and chemists are trampling the people who want to be writers or historians. I would like to major in history education when I go to college and hopefully end up teaching world history to high schoolers. We need to know our roots before we create new branches. People may ask why we need to care about history or reading, and I honestly can’t answer that. I just care about them because I enjoy them and I want other people to do the same. History is so intriguing to me, you can learn all about the past, a place you can never ever travel to (unless the science people I mentioned above figure out time travel or the Tardis pays a visit). My friends at least understand my love for the past because they bought me an AP world history textbook for my birthday. But some people will never understand. This goes for writers and musicians as well; people who want to publish the next great American novel, or write a hit song that will stay at the top of the charts for weeks are looked down upon, and even scorned by society, especially by those older than us. Maybe it is because of their experience, or maybe it is because they had similar dreams that had to be given up for practicality and security. Schools also discreetly force science and math into curriculums in the hopes that it will spark something in a student who isn’t willing. Personally, I believe by the time you’re in high school or if you know for sure what you want to do, you should be able to plan your coursework accordingly. I always joke that the only math I really want to know is the history of math, not math itself. Basically, governments support and fund science because it is seen as an economic and technological gain to them. History has shown what can happen when governments get too hungry for war and defense. The Cold War is a good example of this. The USA and USSR were the superpowers of the world at the time with the nuclear means to completely obliterate each other. There were many close calls, especially with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This is just one event that we can use to tell future generations the consequences of increased technologies used for negative purposes. In conclusion, I believe that more emphasis should be placed on history and especially the arts, like how many times do your parents get excited when a song from the 80s comes on? People remember places, events, leaders. When equations and formulas fail, history makes up for it.
This is sort of on topic of my blog, so don’t freak out. I just have lately been seeing a lot of tweets and tumblr posts about school and how people dread it and all kinds of things along those lines. Generally, school these days is not on top of everyone’s list of priorities. Experiencing school on a personal level, I can vouch that most students, frankly, hate school. I’m one of those weird kids that enjoys school and gets weird looks when I tell people that. However, I can see more and more reasons why students have such an extreme dislike for the thing that we spend our childhood doing. One reason students say they hate school is that they aren’t learning anything, and when they do, it isn’t valuable to them in the real world. I for one, can see this. I’m in my junior year of high school, and I know I want to be a history teacher. This has made me become more observant and scrutinizing towards teachers and now I can see what these students feel. Teachers these days seem to be presenting students with the basics and then expecting them to figure out how to create something out of it on their own. This is difficult for students like me who need outlines, motivations, and organizations to excel to their student potential. For example, in one of my classes, the teacher is always having us create concept maps to connect topics and find similarities or differences. This may have worked for this teacher in school, but not for me. I spend more time worrying about how I am going to organize the concept map than worrying about what I would put on it. This doesn’t help me in my learning and I have a tough time in this class, even though it is one of my favorite subjects. In another class, the teacher just gives us worksheets with rules and guidelines and then wants us to do the homework pertaining to those. This is, in my opinion, lazy teaching. Explaining the expected material thoroughly would help me and my classmates tremendously. These are just my personal experiences with how teaching nowadays has taken a turn, and most would say for the worse. Students also feel that they don’t have time to do any of the things teachers expect from them. Lets say you get home at 3:00 and each teacher expects homework in their class will take around 1 to 2 hours. With six classes, this would take you until the late hours of the night! Students actually do need supper and a decent amount of sleep. I get up around 6:00 everyday and next term I will have to take an early bird gym class because it is required by the state, and it starts at 7:00. Logically, this is not enough time to feel well rested and ready to learn and I believe that’s why students are never up to the challenge that school brings for them everyday. It is just too much. Add being a teenager into the mix doesn’t help. What I’m trying to say is, we might need to rethink how education is done here and see how much that benefits our lives when it is done in a healthy and sustainable way. What do you think about the modern education system that we have today?
Over Christmas break, me and my mom have been alternating in reading the chapters of the autobiography called I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This is the girl that was shot by the Taliban for wanting the right to an education. She is a very good role model and speaks truths about the hardships in her home country of Pakistan and how women are treated there. In the beginning chapters, she goes in depth on the history, culture, and traditions of her home country. We learn many things about Pashtuns and what they do and how they do things. She also talks about her family, focusing on her father because he is the one who helps her realize how important education is for all genders and how to take a stand on that important issue. Malala discusses the history of her country and the people in it and we see a different side of Middle Easterners than the side we see on the news where they are depicted as terrorists. As I said before, Malala is a very good role model and she is one of my own. Why should young girls be looking to Miley Cyrus who twerks and is half-naked all the time when they can look towards a young girl in Pakistan who just has a hunger for knowledge. It is these people that hardly get recognition, however Malala did because her case was extreme, surviving a gun shot to the face. I believe that we take education for granted here in America. Most teenagers I know dread going to school, while I am happy for the opportunity to. I know there are people out there like Malala that would love to take my place. We need to realize here that education is what brings people together and what can possibly bring world peace. Educating ourselves about other cultures and customs would prevent many conflicts or wars in my opinion. Malala is a bright light in a dark world of mistreated women who just want the opportunity to learn.
Keeping organized is how I take control of my life. Some people don’t eat or have OCD tendencies in order to take control. Me? I remind myself. I remind myself of the little things like inspirational quotes, books I need to read, or songs I need to listen to. When I take notes, I remember things easier. In my daily homework agenda, I have to write every single thing down that I need to remember or else I won’t. That’s just inevitable. Notes are how I keep organized and keeping organized is how I keep my life under control. Isn’t it easy?! Well, sometimes it can be difficult. If I’m taking notes in class or from a textbook, I am sometimes not for sure what is important and what is necessary to write down. Every high school and college student probably stumbles across this problem. However, I do feel that I’ve improved in my note-taking when it comes to something school-related.
Now if you’re wondering why I’m talking about note-taking on a blog about reading, I have the answer for you. If you remember from my post about reading comprehension, I said in order to improve remembering the content of what I read, I would start taking notes. I have started doing this and I’ve found that it actually really helps! For my post on the book, Schindler’s List, I used my first reading notes ever and it improved the content of my post. I didn’t have to go back to the book to look for things that I wanted to talk about or pull something out of my head. It is also a great resource to look back on what I read when I’m older and see if I took any of the lessons from those books to heart.
I know this post isn’t exactly what I normally do but I just thought it would be good to get out because this process might help others as well. How do you keep your life organized?