29 February 2016

The Art of Deconstruction.

 
Around this time of year, I get all wound-up, blogging wise. This is the time of year where nothing typically happens, where the mundanity of life eats away. This is the time of year where I interact the least with the blogging community. When I'm all wound-up, the best thing to do is deconstruct.



Deconstruct. I am reminded of the building blocks which my brother and I found hidden within the corners of the room, which we had decided to create abstract figures out of simple geometric shapes. I am removing the armor that a mighty blogger carries upon themselves--a sign of protection and burden--and return to my roots, the flagship mantra of every new blogger: "I'm new, I have something to say, please listen, no matter how new I am or how messy the post is." The idea of creating a fresh start is an appealing thought, yes? That is why many ring in the new year with a new hope that dreams carry, a hope which I carry.

Here I am, at my roots, recollecting my purpose as to why I write this blog. My hands are ink-covered by one of the many prescription pens my dad brings home from his work. The night is still young and the stars are shining bright. However, despite the cliche which carries the line, it doesn't matter. Many don't look to the stars anymore, as I do walking to school. Many individuals have their attention fixated at their tiny six-inch screens. If, reader, you are reading this post from your phone: hello.

Seriously, if you have not read this book, you totally should. It discusses my three favorite topics: art, philosophy, and the meaning of life. I wish I could have a normal conversation with people about these three topics, but it's extremely rare for me to find someone who would be willing to discuss one of the three with me.

Recently I've read the novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a French novel by Muriel Barbery, a book I've chosen to do a project on for school. It has become one of my favorite novels. The novel discusses that while art and philosophy may be two things that do make up for humanity's idle minded views (the two alternating protagonists have very cynical perspectives of modern society), the meaning of life-- as this is the main question revolving around the novel-- comes from interacting with others. That is the basis of the novel, and it is from interacting with others and creating a relationship with them, mainly friendship, that the beauty of life is found.


Thanks to my brother, who wasn't arguing about having photos of his hands taken above.

Interacting with others has been, to a degree, what I have been doing. I arrive at school early and have my daily conversation with the debate team members, my friends and some other individuals in my first period class. After school, I head and out brave myself to be surrounded by about forty-nine other individuals at rehearsals for theatre. By next week, I will be adding onto my plate interactions with others during softball, a sport which I am learning to do and is taking place of track due to my Saturday schedule.

Talking to numerous people does appear satisfying, and this appears to be obvious when I was in my first community theatre show two years ago. The most recent instance where chatting was satisfying was during state declamation, where five of us from the district level recognized each other and supported each other against the other school districts, and honestly, despite the limited interaction we had during our previous encounter, I wouldn't have wanted any other group to support me there than them. For me, I can only talk to a few people at a time. Speak too much to too many different individuals, then I arrive at home, diving head first onto my bed to fall asleep. However, there is no correlation between how much I interact with others and how much I blog; the correlation lies more whether there is something interesting to post and whether that particular post is ready to be showcased and published.


Currently working on the art journal aspect of my project-- representing the rather cynical / pessimistic views the two protagonists have about society. I'm going to have such a fun time explain this theme in class, and no, there is no sarcasm there.

That is my main reason for blogging so little lately. It's better to post something meaningful and that you feel is important rather than post spontaneously and regret it later.

In result of chatting with individuals, I came to the conclusion that people do notice you despite how little you attempt to draw attention to yourself, and often times it is the more positive aspects of your being pointed out rather than your negative ones. For instance, one of the members on the debate team pointed out that this girl (who I did track last year with and thought loathed me, who also was the choreographer of our school's original musical) thought that I was pretty chill and a really great actor. A more recent revelation were the thoughts which a good friend of mine had of me, revealed by a mutual friend of ours. Both times, I'm shocked.

Photos I am currently incorporating within a school project-- the main photograph shown is of the sprinting girls of last year's track and field season; I'm the shortest one in the photo.

I attempt to see the best in others when they can't, but the opposite is much harder; frankly, when we look at our own selves, all we see is a self-degraded version of what many tend to admire about our individual states. When we perceive ourselves through our own eyes, it's often through the worst of lenses, and this is why I think we need to interact with other people.

I'm not sure how often I will be posting on the blog until this summer, but hopefully, whatever I post then will mean something and carry as much weight as the words I am carrying now.

By the time this post is published, it will be March (but I have written this on Leap Day). I do wish you enjoyed your Leap Day, as it comes only once every four years (and, frankly, you have no idea how much this day makes me feel elated). Plus, it is some of my friends' birthdays-- they are turning four.

Thank you for listening.

15 February 2016

The 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards



The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is a ninety-year-old competition which recognizes some of the most creative teenagers in various art and writing categories. I first heard about this competition when, at an annual youth writing conference, I received a copy of the competition's 2012 National Catalog, After reading the periodical a numerous amount of times, my mind became fixated on an idea-- I would, at some point or another, enter into the competition and win.

A photo of a paragraph from my piece. I don't think I'll be posting the piece online, because my region is thinking about posting all the region-winning writing as an e-book. Yes, my seventh published piece!

After two years of procrastination and setting down a writing schedule, I finally sent in a personal essay / memoir piece! The wait was agonizing-- I obsessed over refreshing my email ever five minutes. Finally, one day after school, an email came, saying that I won an honorable mention! It meant that I did not qualify to advance into the national competition, but that did not squish my elation at one bit--I would still get statewide recognition! In fact, if I remember correctly of how I reacted about the news, I was bouncing around through the school hallways an hour post-dismissal, screaming, "Oh my gosh, I'm throwing up!"






On Saturday, I was able to attend the awards ceremony and exhibition over at a local library with a kaleidoscope, a school supply vending machine, and a pendulum that one of my engineering camp teacher talked to us about. The artwork there was phenomenal, for how could it not have been? My state is more renowned for its art talent rather than its writing! I will be posting some of the art from the exhibition, but do keep in mind that the artwork is made by all their respectable owners-- it belongs to them, and not me. PLEASE don't take credit for their work. 

 This life-sized Groot sculpture (which is about six or seven feet tall) is made out what everyone believes to be foam and clay!

 The dress, if you can't tell, is made entirely out of paper!





I'm pumped to reenter the competition next year! I attempt to come out stronger, entering (hopefully) more than one piece of writing, as I did this year. If you're between the grades of 7-12 and live within the US, Canada or an American school abroad, you should totally enter! It's a positive experience, and, who knows? Maybe you'll get recognized! Also, thank you so much to Anna, Anna, Rose, and Mackenzie, for helping me out with my writing! I couldn't have gotten far without you four!

09 February 2016

The Wonderful World of Words


Words. Three years ago, on February 8th, I have started this blog with the hopes of expressing the multitude of letters which, when strung together, form the strands of thoughts that go on within my mind. They have been a part of my blogging journey for the longest time, and while I still am uncertain of what I am going to do with my lives in regards to majoring at the collegiate level, I know it will have something to do with the language formed by letters-- after all, within the first month of 2016, I have placed second in a book competition, placed first in the declamation category of Level II Spanish Poetry, and have received an honorable mention in something writing related that will be posted once its course of events have occurred. On top of all of that, I had a three hour long text message thread with one of my friends discussing the "common verbiage used in idle-minded conversation."

Since the beginning of this year, I have rediscovered my interest of collecting words. This was something I used to be fascinated with, several years ago. If one were to look at one of my bookshelf levels, alongside all my Harry Potter hardback copies are my ten dictionaries, varying by its type-- a colorful picture dictionary from second grade, both school editions of Merriam-Webster and Oxford, and even SAT-prep vocabulary books. Many of the words I would find online or whenever I would stop by the library and wander off into the reference section, also known as the place no one ever looks through anymore.

In honor of my three-year blogging anniversary, I have composed a composition of eight words, half which I have discovered this year, and the other half which I have loved for quite some time. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do, and if you have any sort of interesting vocabulary which you would like to share, then comment down below! I'd love to hear it.

Aureate just sounds as its definition says-- splendid. I love pronouncing this word, but I am 90% sure that I am pronouncing it incorrectly!


Kudos to my friend Oakstar who was the person who led me to discover the definition of this word! I have such a strong sense of wanderlust-- I'm going traveling down to some of the southeastern states over the summer, and I'm super excited! I've also been talking to my brother a lot about going to watch the Summer Olympics, when I am older and can pay for my own hotel and flight fare.


Word that I tend use around my friends, whenever we're talking about literature or art and we're admiring the artist's take on a certain piece of work. Often, in class, this refers to poetry, which I have had enough of my share of. I was voted to share romance haikus that I will be writing during a class assignment that is honoring Valentine's Day, and I am NOT looking forward to it.


This word is something that usually occurs when I am writing essays for class-- often times, I will know the direction of what I am writing and then, when a tiny part of my brain nags that there is a "better" word to be used in the essay's context, a word that I have used in the past and have had in my lexicon for quite a period of time, I will spend hours browsing through search engines until I find that exact word that I have been looking for.


True fact: when I first meet people, I cannot stare into people's eyes at all, because, to some degree, I do believe that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and when I am forced to look into a person's eyes and I am not familiar nor friendly with them, it makes my insides melt!

I discovered this word from a blogger who also is one of the executive directors of one of the theatre companies in my town. How I found their blog, I had absolutely no idea, but I do love the blog content-- relatable enough to understand the author's geeky usage of, "Wingardium Leviosa," but serious enough to discuss the importance of feminism in the twenty-first century.

There a lot of things that do end up triggering natsukashii, but mainly it is the photo wall that I have formed in my room on my mirror which now isn't a mirror-- all because I am not allowed to tape any other photos in my room.


Finally, sonder. People are constantly asking me how I can write about the tiniest little habits people have, but honestly, it's quite simple: I just thinking about people that I have seen throughout the day, and then from there I create a small story. While the stories may be false, the fact that people are real, with their own lives being small connections of this world that we live in, is true. Seriously, if you wish to appreciate this word, stop reading this sentence and close your eyes. Think about the people that you have seen today, and then think about small parts of their lives-- maybe that lady you passed in the supermarket is going home to her twelve kids after a ten-hour work shift, or perhaps that young boy with on the playground, wearing the bike helmet, wants to go to the moon but his parents haven't gotten him an astronaut helmet yet because they're saving the present for his birthday coming up in two weeks, and the money which they tip the filling station attendant at the gas station is helping him or her with their college fund.

Whoa. That seems like a lot to take in. If we think about it, you can see how insignificant and significant that we are in this world, and the realization of this fact is beautiful and bittersweet. 

But if we look at it in a certain light, we can see that it's wonderful, all at the same time.

Thank you so much for three years, and I can't wait this new year of my blogging journey, embarking on the adventures that life's ups and downs bring us, one day at a time.