Peace Out

Enjoy this picture that completely resembles me ending my blog. I’d say it’s been real but… I did that in my last post and to be honest, it hasn’t beethZ4MEKKDPn real at all.                     🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can we just take a moment to enjoy this picture though? Like how funny is this?!! I really wish there were emojis on this computer so I could express my love for this picture. I actually cannot stop laughing. This is exactly what I think of when I think of ending my blog.

I feel like no one will actually enjoy this as much as I do.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

“Peace to my haters” as the kids say nowadays.

Oh, not to mention the guy on the left is like, “Um excuse me, but what do you think you are doing?”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Deuces!

 

Saying Goodbye

As I wrap up my junior year at Kennedy High School, I am looking back on all of the accomplishments I have made, as well as, how I have matured as a young adult.

It is crazy to think that without AP Lang I wouldn’t have this blog and without this blog, well… I think I’d be less stressed to say the least. As harsh as it sounds, it is true. I have struggled with my blogs since day one and it is all due to the perfectionist in me. I was told to read some of my classmates’ blogs, and although they were mostly fabulous, it made me feel like mine wasn’t good enough. Everyone knows that feeling like something of theirs isn’t good enough sucks, but backing out of it was not the right thing to do. So what’d I do? I continued my blog. However, the school year is ending and so is my blog. I am tired of constantly stressing about having something to write about, when half the time it doesn’t even make sense because my blog is supposed to be about Pop Culture type stuff. Ugh. I am not trying to be negative because my blogs have really helped me develop into a well, matured writer, but they are very hard to prioritize.

I applaud Dr. Ayers for making his students blog regularly because it truly does help. I wish I would’ve taken mine more seriously from the beginning. Well, now that I think about it, it’s not that I didn’t take it seriously it’s that I didn’t quite understand myself enough to blog on a weekly basis. When becoming a blogger, it’s important to understand yourself fully and like I said, I struggled with that. Being a blogger, you are constantly writing about what interests you. In my case, I didn’t really know what I wanted to write about so I just picked something random. However, choosing something random doesn’t work… at all. It turns out, my random topic was too broad and there weren’t many things I could talk about three times a week, every week. PLUS, oh this is a good one, being a blogger you have to devote a lot of your time to your blog. Being able to blog multiple times a week was too hard for me considering all of my extracurricular activities; I ended up doing all of my blogs on Sunday night, which I don’t recommend for future bloggers.

Needless to say, blogging is HARD. It is very hard. It is so hard that it sometimes makes you want to rip your hair out or poke your eyes with needles. In order to be a good blogger, you need to be devoted, inspired, and dedicated. All of which, I was not. I can tell you right now, blogging has a very, very small chance of being in my future. Sorry. 🙂

I have realized that I really don’t enjoy writing, unless it is about something that I am truly passionate about. For example, my book review essay. I LOVED writing that because there were so many different ways that I could’ve gone with my argument and it actually related to everyone (it was about what makes life worth living: check it out on the page called “Book Review Essay”- really clever, I know.).

On a more positive note, I actually really enjoyed AP Lang, besides blogging of course. 🙂 Dr. Ayers is really cool and made the class enjoyable for everyone, except for making me blog (I’m going to keep repeating this… just wait). I developed as a reader, even though the class was mainly focused on writing. I obviously developed as a writer, even though it doesn’t show too well in my blogs, I’ve come a long way.

Ok…

Now I’m just trying to hit the word count…

It’s been real y’all.

Shout out to my one and only viewer (that’s you Dr. Ayers)!!! You the real MVP.

 

Art Matters.

Art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

What is art? Does art matter? Why or why not?

These were just a select few of the deep-thinking questions I was encouraged to focus on while I attended a live cello performance with my fellow classmates earlier this past week.

As the Internet puts it, art is an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination that produce works appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. To some extent, this is true. Art is something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. Whether it be a painting, sculpture, dance, or song, art emotionally impacts oneself. However, art is different to everyone. Your understanding of what art is more than likely will be different than my definition of it, which ultimately is what makes it such a broad topic and extremely powerful subject. If one were to look up on Google ‘What is art?’ they might find things like, “it’s thought expressed through form,” or, “a sense of calm in a chaotic world”. Art is whatever you interpret it to be.  

At this particular cello performance, I was able to listen to a some pieces that this cellist had performed before and really perfected… they were incredible to say the least. She didn’t focus on playing pieces with the same tone and melody, she had a wide range of music, which made it so much more engaging for the audience. I was also able to hear her interpretation of what art is. She stated that art is in fact using your talents to inspire others and to make something that seems so basic so powerful.

Not going to lie, going into this performance I was not very excited; really only because I am not musically talented, so I don’t understand that much about music. However, I was completely transformed from the beginning of the performance to the end. The music orchestrated by this cellist was so great and just very empowering… like WOW. I caught myself a few times sitting there in awe just wondering how in the world it’s even remotely possible to create such intense music. At that moment, I particularly realized that art had impacted MY life. It’s crazy to think we are all unnoticeable to the way art affects our everyday lives. Art matters.

Oldies but Goodies

Do you ever just think back to your childhood or middle school days and notice how different the music was back then compared to what it is now? Not even just the music was incredibly different, but the TV shows and movies have changed so much over the years.

If you grew up in the ’90s and 2000s, Disney Channel Original Movies taught you how to navigate through middle school, what to wear, and that your best friend of the opposite sex is definitely in love with you. Growing up in the early 2000s my childhood memories consisted of watching Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven, Phil of the Future, and other various Disney Channel hits that remain oldies but goodies. My favorite movies back in the day included Pixel Perfect, Stuck in the Suburbs, Zenon, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Nowadays the movies range from The Hunger Games and Divergent to Daddy’s Home and Neighbors. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining about the present-day movie selection, but it’s nice to reminisce back to the old days and what things were like back then. (Fun fact: I recently spent a sick day reliving my childhood on YouTube watching all, or at least most of, the old Disney Channel movies.)

Throwback music has got to be among the best music of all time. Back in the day, and I mean 5 or 6 years ago, the music that I listened to was a variety of things from artists like Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Usher. Now, this might be dating myself a little bit, but way back in the good ‘ol days I ate, breathed, and slept NSYNC. The leading bandmate, Justin Timberlake, was my idol– and in some instances, my “boyfriend”… keep in mind this was the early 2000s so I was really young. I remember riding with my mom and my sister everyday to Nixon Elementary School and as we ventured on the fifteen “ish” minute drive, we jammed out to NSYNC while eating our little cereal bars for breakfast. Our favorite song to sing was their hit single Bye, Bye, Bye; if I had to guess, we probably listened to that song at least three or four times in just that one car ride.

It amazes me how these oldies but goodies can bring back such amazing memories that we often times forget about. I think this is one of the better qualities that throwback music has and why I consider it some of the greatest music of all time.

Why Do Parents Coach From the Sidelines? (Part 2)

Many times parents try to live through their children and set expectations for their kids to take on their own dreams and goals. It’s clear that screaming and yelling from the stands in fact does NOT help an athlete to perform better, but instead causes an immediate distraction and lack of focus. To better understand a parent’s motive behind doing such thing and what they should do in order to change their “sideline coaching”, we can resort to kids sports psychologists.

According to www.kidssportspsychology.com ,  parents should learn to find a balance between being overly involved and not showing enough interest in their kids’ athletics. Parents tend to be overly critical by evaluating their child’s successes or failures based on their performance rather than their happiness. Parents need to instead take a step back and quit expressing enthusiasm by coaching from the sidelines. To help eliminate this poor behavior, try to understand why your child part-takes in sports. For instance, focus of things like: Do they play to be with friends? Or because he/she loves to be part of a team? Or do they enjoy competition? Once you understand your child’s motivations, try to support his or her interests. Make it a priority that he or she has the opportunity to spend time with teammates, to feel like part of a team, AND to have fun; being supportive also means letting children lead the way.

Various sports psychologists state that kids who excel in sports are those who are passionate about it: their drive comes from within–not from their parents.

“They’ll beg you to bat balls in your front yard with them, to rebound while they shoot baskets and to kick a ball in the neighborhood park.”

You don’t ever have to force these kids into practicing for something that they don’t naturally want to do.

From a kid’s perspective, it is among one of the most annoying things ever to have a parent who screams from the stands. Not only does is draw attention to them, but you feel like everyone is judging you because you’re their daughter/son. It is also incredibly annoying because the parents who generally do this the most don’t actually have a clue what they are talking about so they just end up looking like fools. I mean… whatever floats your boat, but you look ridiculous. Plus, why get caught up in kids sports? Like take it to your living room and scream at the TV for God’s sake. So what if your daughter shanked a pass at a volleyball tournament? Who cares if your son missed a free-throw? NEWS FLASH: IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. I feel bad for the kids who have parents who coach from the sidelines (thank God mine don’t) because if that were me I would want to just run to the bathroom and hide forever. It is so embarrassing, so disrespectful– not only to the coaches, but to the athletes, referees, and other parents and friends watching.

This is definitely a lesson to all parents out there because whether you realize it or not you are more than likely participating (at least a little bit) in these “activities”. Make your kid come first because nothing is worse than when your child feels they aren’t getting any attention from you. Focus on the positive aspect of things: good health, happy family, a safe home… there is so much more to sports that people don’t realize. So, stop freaking out over a missed foul or a bad referee, they’re trying their best.

 

 

Why Do Parents Coach From the Sidelines?

I have been playing volleyball for nearly my entire life and I could probably tell you a lot about the sport that most people wouldn’t know. However, there is one thing that I still don’t know the answer to… and this isn’t limited to just volleyball, it comes with every sport: Why do parents consistently coach from the sidelines?

Having been a dancer for the first ten years of my life, I never really noticed if parents did this or not because I was always in the studio or on stage and they were always in the crowd. Looking back I now realize how psycho some parents can be towards their children in ANY sport. With dancers, parents tend to let the instructors do their thing at the studio, but immediately after class, they make corrections to their child’s “flaws”. Usually, you see parents over-exaggerating when a dancer’s toes aren’t pointed or he/she’s leg isn’t completely straight. As a volleyball player now, I notice so many things that parents do from the sidelines and it is way more intense than any “dance mom”. With volleyball, you have parents who literally scream from the crowd when their child messes up. There are also parents who, believe it or not, gossip about other players to other parents, hoping it’ll make their daughter/son look better.

There is a parent on my team who, I swear, is either incredibly insecure or just flat out crazy. I have been on the same team as his daughter for two years now and each year he stays the same. He acts like our coach doesn’t know what he’s talking about-which I have to admit, most of the time he doesn’t- but this parent will literally pull players aside after a game and tell them what they did wrong and what they need to do to fix it. Not to mention he has no affiliation whatsoever with volleyball so he really doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about! A few years ago, he would do private lessons with his daughter, like any other coach would with an athlete, but he would tell her things that were just so wrong that it actually made me cringe. To this day, he tries to act like a “know it all” and it really just grinds my gears. Like you (and every other parent) are paying money for us kids to play the sport we love and get coached by an ACTUAL VOLLEYBALL COACH… please stop ruining the experience for us!!

Obviously, the situation get’s me heated, but that’s because parents always think they know what they’re talking about (don’t get me wrong, they are 99.9% ALWAYS right) even when it comes to a sport they know nothing about. I don’t really understand why parents constantly do such a thing, but my hunch is that they are living through their child. I know if I were to ask a parent why they do this they’d say something along the lines of, “I just want you to get better”. In reality, when parents do this they aren’t making the situation better at all… it’s makes it much worse. It distracts us as players because we can’t help but hear screaming from our parents who are supposed to be our biggest supporters and #1 role models, and we then feel nervous to make another mistake.

If there’s one thing that I want parents to get out of this it’s to let the coaches be the coach and just enjoy watching your children play the sport they love, as they’ll grow and mature as a person, and it won’t last forever: cherish these moments, don’t ruin them.

“A Mean Girls Musical? That’s so fetch…”

Huffington Post has confirmed with actress, Tina Fey, that a stage musical adaptation of her 2004 teen hit movie Mean Girls is “definitely happening”. The actress shared that creating a musical based on the movie has always been an ongoing idea, but now the idea is finally happening. This is great news for all of the Mean Girls fans out there because what’s better than a musical of one of the greatest movies of the 2000s?!

Personally, Mean Girls has always been a favorite movie of mine. I enjoy how it brings attention to the stereotypical idea of high school with the use of humor. I think with the right director and variation of actors, the musical could be a real hit. I am curious, though, as to how they are going to reenact the movie and what songs they will sing in the musical because the movie doesn’t have any musical scenes… that I can think of.

As of right now, there aren’t a lot of resources that clue us in on what is going on with the musical, due to the recent confirmation of the idea. I look forward to hearing more about it and will most definitely blog about it again soon!

Humor (Vine) Saves the Day… Again

I previously published a blog post about the very popular app known as Vine. In my post I discussed the importance of incorporating a little humor into my day. In particular, I mentioned how I like to watch little six second videos (from Vine) every night before I go to bed. I truly believe that this helps me relax and forget about all of my problems that I may have been facing at school… it honestly is the best stress relief that I’ve found so far.

As I have been continuously on Vine, I have of course found some new favorites. One of my new favorites is of a character from Sesame Street talking to this little boy about being happy. He then tells the little boy, “Let me see you when you’re happy.” The look that the little boy makes is PRICELESS. PRICELESS. PRICELESS. He is so cute and adorable you can’t help but just laugh and want to squeeze his cheeks. It makes me so happy watching it!

The clip above is the full-length version of the vine because I could not find the vine version on YouTube, but this is just as good, in fact it might be even better!

Another one of my all time favorite vines is of this little girl getting “traumatized” by the top of a convertible closing while she is still in the car. The description sounds absolutely terrible, but it is so funny- I laugh more and more each time I watch it!!

The way her dad drags on the situation by pretending the hood is some sort of monster just really has me in tears… in a good way. Also, can we please notice the way she puts her hands up like, ‘what did I do to deserve this?! Somebody please help me!!” OK I really shouldn’t be laughing at this because she is actually like scared for her life, but seriously?! IT’S HILARIOUS.

These short clips are probably really lame to most people who don’t find “stupid humor” funny, but like how do you not just laugh hysterically at some of these vines?! It’s really crazy to me how these short videos crack me up so much and I honestly don’t have any idea why they do, but who cares! It makes my day ten times better and that’s all that matters. If you are ever having a bad day and are in need of a laugh, I 10/10 recommend that you go to Vine. You never know what you’re going to see on there, but I can guarantee it will make you laugh!!

Inside a National Qualifier

I recently spent a weekend in Indianapolis at a National Qualifier for club volleyball. For those of you who are unaware of what a volleyball national qualifier is, sit back and relax because this might take a while. A national qualifier is exactly what it sounds like: a huge (and I mean HUGE) tournament that attracts club volleyball teams from all over the nation to travel to one large city and compete for a bid to nationals. At a national qualifier there are over 100 courts in one convention center, where over 300-400 teams play; it gets a bit overwhelming at times.

There are many different divisions at such qualifiers for each age division, which consist of Open (the highest and most elite division- this is for the big time volleyball players), American, Club, Patriot, and so on. In each division there are different brackets that each team will end up in based on how they play all 3 days– Oh yeah… did I mention a national qualifier is 3 days of ongoing matches? These individual brackets start with gold being the best bracket (if you make it to the gold bracket you’re pretty darn good), silver comes next, and then there is bronze, copper, jade, and nickel. The first day of the tournament you are put into a pool of four teams and automatically guaranteed three games; like I mentioned before, your record determines which bracket you will move on to the next day. For example, if my team went 3-0 on day one we would move to the gold bracket because of our undefeated record. On day two, every team is then seeded into a new pool of four teams where they are again guaranteed three games. Just like the first day, a team’s record determines whether they continue to go up in the brackets or if they move down. So, going back to the first example, if on day two my team went 3-0 again we would be competing in the upper half of the gold bracket on day three, hoping to make it to the championship game. However, if on the second day we only went 1-2, we would be seeded in a lower bracket, like the copper bracket, and would be out of the running for a bid. On the third and final day of a national qualifier you basically play until you lose. You never know how many games you will end up playing so it’s basically a mad house on every court because every team is dying for the win. The great thing about national qualifiers is that no matter what bracket you are in on the final day, you are able to finish out the tournament. This means, like instead of just ending in the copper bracket without a bid, you get the chance to win the copper bracket- or whatever bracket you are in. For instance, at this particular national qualifier in Indy my team ended up in the Jade bracket- which, let me be the first to tell you, it was not ideal for anyone on our team- but instead of just quitting because we had absolutely no shot at getting a bid, we pushed through and won the entire Jade bracket! Like I said, it wasn’t ideal for our team, but it was definitely a proud accomplishment and we got a nice-looking plaque out of it, too!!

The atmosphere at a national qualifier is so tense, but yet so surreal. You are in this ENORMOUS convention center with what seems like a gazillion other teams, all competing for the same opportunity. You can’t help but get this sudden urge of competitiveness as you pass several teams. The ‘who are you looking at, I’m way better than you’ facial expression that some teams gives you makes you just want to shrivel up in a ball and hide for the rest of your life because they seem SO INTIMIDATING and you’re like ‘wow OK I really have no shot at this… why am I here? I’d much rather be at home’, but really they’re not even that good, they’re just trying to convince you (and themselves) that they are. These little, negative feelings are certainly overwhelming at the time, but don’t even matter in the long run because the feeling you get when you step onto the court is so much more powerful and really reassures you as to why you’re playing such an incredible sport.