Tag Archives: high school

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

If books could reproduce – don’t ask me for visuals – Speechless by Hannah Harrington would be the child of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. All three are YA, contemporary books I would love to just shove at my future students and force them to read.

Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret. She’s one of those girls. If you’ve read any young-adult realistic fiction or if you’ve watched Mean Girls, you know the archetype I’m talking about. The totally selfish, totally conceited, totally all-I-care-about-is-my-popularity girl who gossips about everyone and cares about no one. In this case our protagonist Chelsea is second-in-command to her best friend and utter b-word Kristen. But when Chelsea blabs at a party and almost ends someone’s life, her sheltered existence comes crashing down. She decides to take a vow of silence – but even with that, can she bring herself to forgive, to face the truth, and finally, to somehow speak up for herself? Continue reading

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A Post About Prom (And Why You Don’t Have to Go)

Hundreds of dollars spent on a single night. A messy attempt to organize a herd of hormonal adolescents. Drama that could damage friendships for a lifetime. It caused one of my friends so much stress that she considered harming herself. It made another friend screenshot several posts in a Facebook group, just so I could see a cat fight unfold. Girls at each others’ necks, hunting for dates no matter what it takes. Some call it a good time.

I call it prom. Continue reading

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Personal Update: Progress

2012 reading challenge destroyed

The year isn’t even over yet and I’ve already won! Victory.

Two nights ago I submitted all of my college applications. I can’t pinpoint the feeling that followed – it was a mixture of hope, anxiety, euphoria, and relief.

I remember that at the beginning of high school, I had no idea who I was. I didn’t know my passions and I had no plans for the future. Self-deprecating thoughts consumed me and my fear of my mother  made me anxious to escape, even though I had no idea how I would do that.

But I’ve made it so far, as cliche and conceited as that sounds. Continue reading

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Are You Gay?

Around 1:15 PM, I trudge from AP Biology to AP Calculus. Three AP classes down, one more to go, I think.

“Thomas!”

I hear someone call my name and turn. It’s a junior, a friend of mine who I had a class with two years ago but had not spoken to for quite some time. I wait for her to catch up, and when she does, we continue walking to our classes together.

“What do you think of AP Bio?” she asked.

“It’s not as bad as I thought it would be,” I reply, “everyone is so quiet though, and there are a lot of juniors. What do you think of the class?”

She repositions her dark brown hair with her hand, and says, “It’s alright. Do you mind if I ask you a question though? Like, I don’t mean it in an offensive way, but…”

As she leaves her sentence halfway done and hanging in the air, I already know what she’s going to ask. Continue reading

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Personal Update: Summer’s Closing

It’s been awhile since I’ve published a post about nothing in particular. Dear diary, here I come!

Currently, it is the morning of August 25, 2012. That means that in ten days (or, the morning of the September 4, I can’t do math) I’ll be back in school. Where has this summer gone? Continue reading

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Who I Wish I Was

Sometimes, I wish I was a bird. Sometimes, I wish I was skinnier. Sometimes, I wish I was nobody and somebody else all at once.

People decide who they want to be by looking at other people. In society, those who are above us are our standards. If someone has a job that pays $100,000 while ours only pays $50,000, we want to be that person, or at least have their job. If someone has a gorgeous partner and we don’t have one at all, we wish we were that person. If someone has something that we crave but cannot have, we envy that person.

It’s like that in high school. Continue reading

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Life Isn’t Fair… But You Can Be

I’m not the kind of guy to get involved in high school drama. However, today, it happened. I won’t go into detail, though you can combine Glee (without the music) and Gossip Girl (without the attractive men) and you’re pretty much there.

Also, I ended up crying in a bathroom stall.

But this post isn’t about high school drama. Because that stuff is boring and brainless and I actually would feel guilty for going in-depth about it when there are people like this guy out there. This post is about something I learned in school today.

Continue reading

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Teenagers in High School – What I’m Really Tired Of

Guys, I’m tired.

I’ve been getting five to six hours of sleep for the past two weeks, constantly studying and completing homework assignments for school, and dealing with family drama on top of all of that. I’m not saying that I have the worst life ever. I’m not saying that there aren’t people who have it a hundred times worse than me. And I’m not saying that, overall, my life is bad – because it’s not. It’s pretty great.

All I’m saying is that I’m tired.

But the thing is, in high school, almost everyone is tired. Continue reading

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The Right to Judge

I am a high school student. It’s not exactly something I’m proud of. Contemporary culture stereotypes high school students as inexperienced, indecent, and overall unintelligent human beings. Adolescence is the awkward middle ground between innocent childhood and mature adulthood, the experience that many look forward to but most would like to forget. It’s not surprising, considering the quantity of kids who are bullied and broken apart by their peers’ cruel and cutting comments – in fact, the one facet about typical teenagers I find underplayed is just how judgmental we are.

After googling "the right to judge", I realized research on the topic would be difficult as most people think of judgement in a religious or political sense. Not my intent right now.

I must admit something now. I judged someone today. I called this person a mean name, and talked about him to a close friend of mine. But the truly terrible thing is that I felt justified in doing it – this person cheated on a quiz, and my teachers had found out about him – so I assumed that I had the right to castigate him for his actions. Did I really, though? Did two wrongs – his cheating, and my gossiping – make a right?

There’s a reason high school students are so critical. Society forces us to conform to the standards of celebrities, to the untouchable yet so dearly-beloved stars in media. However, no one is able to reach these fabricated realities of perfection, so naturally, we become insecure and target those that are just a little below us on the chain of social standing. Or we just pick on the people that are, you know, different, because who gave them the right to live their lives freely? Who told them that they could not care about what others think about them?

Remember that post about why high school relationships fail I wrote last year? I was writing a shorter version of my argument in a post online for an English class I’m currently taking. One of my friends noticed and proceeded to give me her opinion.

“I totally agree with you,” she said,” but others will think you’re like, totally against relationships because you’ve never been in one and you’re just jealous.”

“I have been in a relationship, though,” I said.

“I know that,” she replied,” but others don’t.”

“I don’t care what other people think of me,” I said, cutting off the conversation in order to finish the assignment on time, and possibly because the situation was making me more uncomfortable than I should have been.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers is one of the best books I've read that deals with gossipping, rumor-spreading, and essentially, high school drama.

I’m sure my friend had good intentions for informing me of this, yet I was honestly hurt by her comment. Not by my friend, but by the truth that she revealed – that my peers, the people I spend seven hours every day with, would judge me for something as small as one of my beliefs without the whole context of who I really am. I’ve been on the receiving end of some nasty rumors before, but this made me realize how wrong it is to judge someone at all.

You may accuse me of being too sensitive, and yes, I am a very sensitive guy. But gossiping and bullying is an issue beyond me and my high school; it is a problem that plagues teenagers all over the country. Search “bullying suicides” on Google and you will receive more than one million hits. I can supply links to such upsetting stories that it depresses me how horribly common bullying is, how awfully unsurprising suicides like this one and this one and this one are.

Going back to the conversation I had with my friend today, I admit to lying a little bit. Frankly, there are peoples’ opinions that I couldn’t care less about, yet it’s hurtful to hear someone say something bad about me when I always try my hardest to be a kind and compassionate person. I have it easy though – can you imagine how it would feel to suffer from taunting and teasing every day over something insignificant like your sexuality or your religion? Something that doesn’t even affect other people, like your weight or how you look?

Judging and bullying go hand in hand. When one feels insecure they often resort to picking out and pointing out the flaws of other people. Sometimes these things aren’t even flaws, but are surface level qualities like how we look or what we wear. It only takes one insult to instill a sense of inferiority in someone, and only a couple more before they begin to wonder if who they are is even good enough anymore.

So please, please, please think before you pass judgement on someone. Think about how you would feel if someone were to say something like that about you, or how hurtful it would be if what you were saying would spread. Of course criminals deserve to be judged, but they also deserve to be punished. These days, too many innocent teens are condemned to punishments that they simply don’t deserve.

"Easy A" was a great movie about how rumors can damage one's reputation. I especially recommend it if you enjoyed The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I apologize for the gargantuan post everyone! I honestly didn’t plan this, though the idea had been formulating in my head after that conversation I had with my friend today. It’s also anti-bullying week at my school, what a coincidence. I just noticed that you usually don’t see adults committing suicide because of bullying, probably because they’ve matured to the point of being beyond immature tactics such as taunting and teasing.

Who do you think has the right to judge others? Do you? What’s your stance on bullying and the effect of society on today’s teens? This issue has a huge place in my heart, so I’m really curious for my readers’ opinions.

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All of You Who Enjoy Math…

Go away. Seriously. Just leave.

No, I’m kidding. Stay so I can use you to improve my grade share with you what I’ve been struggling with as of late.

I considered posting my failing quiz grade, but I wouldn't want to be accused of sharing answers if someone were to find my blog. So, here you go.

The first person to explain how finding the trajectory of a projectile will be useful to me as a future English major will receive a mention in my next personal post. I doubt anyone could pull off such a feat, so, it’s okay if you don’t try.

I mean, it’s not like I hate math – I appreciate all of the obvious things it’s done for us and how miserable our lives would be without it. It’s just that I’m horrible at it. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, and as someone who comes from a family of math geniuses, my inability to perform well when it comes to arithmetic disturbs me. I’ve even created a list to count how many times Precalculus Honors has made me cry this year (which I will include in a future post… maybe).

I believe that it takes an innate disposition to be good at math. Sure, one can practice the problems repeatedly (like I do), but if they fail to implement the concepts correctly on exams (like I do), then they fail. This amazing article touches on the relationship between math and English, and let me tell you that besides the fact that they are both forms of pure logic and thinking, they do not have many other similarities.

I’m done ranting now. Do you like math or do you dislike it? Do you believe math is something that can be mastered with practice of does it require something that an individual is born with? I think I’m going to go ruminate over the fact that Justin Bieber is supposedly similar to me… thanks, Twitter.

My ideal and unforunately unattainable life.

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