Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Stories 7: Yankee Swap Gone Wrong

Main takeaways of  this story:
  • Yankee swaps NEVER turn out well.
  • Teachers need to stop being so forceful.
What happened:
My advisory teacher forced us all to do a Yankee swap (nobody wanted to do it). Look it up if you don't know the rules. But basically, everyone buys a gift, and everyone gets a number, so when it's your turn, you can either open a new gift or steal someone else's. It was a $10 limit. So I bought this awesome BROOKSTONE phone screen wiper set thing, and everyone wanted it and it got stolen a bunch of times. And then when it got to my turn, there was a gift I wanted (portable phone charger) but I felt bad about stealing it, so I let someone else have it because she needs it more. So I opened a new gift. (everyone who "forgot" to bring theirs wrote the gift on a folded-up piece of paper) It was one of those pieces of paper. I opened it, and it said a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card. That would have been fine! Not great, since I'd have to track that person down to get it, but ok. But then it turned out that was from said friend, and she LOST IT, so I had to take a new one. And you know what the new one was? A CHRISTMAS CARD!!!! And the kid who gave the non-present wasn't even here today so he didn't get to feel guilty about it.
You might be wondering how everyone else reacted. None of the students really cared, but my teacher? Oh, that's the best part. He said "I'm sorry." Yeah well SO AM I. Then he offered to trade me his Mad Libs. I said no, because he wanted it more than I do. But what comes next: even better! I asked if I could use my phone in advisory for a week as my Yankee swap gift, and he bargained 2 days. I said 2 and a half. He said 2. I said 2 and a quarter. Then he said 1. So now I get one day of using my phone in advisory. As if that swap could've made me feel any worse.

My feelings about the situation:
So said friend got the phone charger (which by the way is $15, way over the limit) and didn't give ANYTHING. And I GAVE something AMAZING and got NOTHING. I doubt I'm ever getting that Christmas card. Which would have been free, anyway. You can get those at THE DUMP.
I just lost $10. Might as well have flushed it down the fucking toilet. I will forever hate this kid as long as I live. It's definitely partially about my losing $10, but it's also the principle of it. I know he has the money to buy a freaking gift. He was just too lazy, and I paid the price for it. And he didn't even have to feel bad about it.
Main takeaway: Yankee swaps always end badly because
  • Someone ALWAYS forgets their gift.
  • Someone gets a HORRIBLE gift that nobody wants.
  • Someone steals a gift, and the victim gets really upset.
WHO thought this would be a good idea?? Oh right, MY ADVISORY TEACHER! So let's discuss that.

Forceful teachers:
So my advisory teacher forced us to do this swap that nobody wanted to do, and someone (ME) got stuck with a shitty present and lost $10.  You have no authority over me. You are a freaking teacher. You have no power. Step the fuck down. You are not a principal, or a vice principal, or even a head of the department okay? You can't make me do anything. In the future, I will stop this before it even happens. I will no longer be participating in things I'm forced into. I'll slap a bitch if I have to. I don't care what my advisory teacher says, next year there is NO WAY I'm being forced into this. NOOOOOOOOOOOO WAY. I'M SO MAD RIGHT NOW!!!

Why I'm mad right now:
  • I got stuck with a non-gift.
  • I lost $10 because of this.
  • I gave a wonderful gift and got a SUPER shitty one in return.
  • I was forced into this in the first place.
  • How my teacher reacted: by saying he's "sorry" but doing nothing about it (he's the adult in the room. It's his responsibility to fix it if something goes wrong.), and lowering his bargain to 1 day of using my phone in advisory. As if I really needed 8 extra minutes to use my phone. I can use my phone whenever I WANT anywhere else.
You know what? I'm MORE MAD at the teacher for forcing me into this in the first place than I am at the kid who gave me the non-gift.

My letter to that teacher:
Dear advisory teacher,
I will no longer be participating in gift swaps with the advisory because of my bad experience. I lost $10 after being forced to spend that $10 against my will. I feel that I shouldn't be forced to do this because it only gives me annoyance rather than holiday spirit. I was reluctant to participate in the first place, and then I wasted my money on the swap and I have good reason to not want to participate in the future. I do not want to waste for money on this advisory and should not be forced into it. The Yankee swap was a bad idea to begin with because someone always ends up upset, whether they got a bad gift, or no gift, or their gift was stolen. Yankee swaps never end well, and it was your responsibility to prevent things like this from happening.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why I text people even if they don't answer

I noticed that I text people a lot, even when they don't answer.
I'm always that person who sends 5 paragraphs to their 3 words. Here's why.
This is an explanation of why I send multiple texts about something even when the recipient doesn't respond.

When something happens to me, I text someone right away to tell them about it. Usually I want to tell someone because

  • It's interesting or
  • I need to get it out
  • I need to rant about it
But it doesn't really matter who it is, because I need to tell SOMEONE (sometimes that someone is my blog... It's like my diary). Who that someone is doesn't really matter because
  • I'm not expecting any advice or a helpful response.
  • I'm actually not even looking for an answer at all.
  • If they don't answer, it probably won't even matter to me.
So how do I decide who to text?
  • Instinct. Whatever feels right (lol)
  • Whoever I texted most recently
  • Whoever I talked to/hung out with recently
  • The default is usually my group text, because I'm texting multiple people at once.
  • Someone who is a good person to talk to/rant to.
    • Friends who usually listen and agree when I rant about something
  • Someone who is non-judgemental
  • Someone who cares. I don't want to rant to someone who sits there going "k" to every paragraph I send.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pressure to take honors.

At my school, there's an intense pressure to take honors-level classes, and to me it's a huge, disgusting, insulting problem. It hurts people.
The most remarkable thing about it is that it's not just peer pressure. It's pressure from parents and other adults too... Not to mention yourself.

Parent pressure. Parents love to brag about how smart their kid is, and one "great" way to do this is by telling people their kid takes all honors. Some parents achieve this by forcing their kids to take all honors so they can brag about it. And some parents genuinely think their kids can do it, when in reality, they're either not smart enough or don't have the time or can't handle it.

Self pressure. Sometimes I ask all-honors kids why they're doing this to themselves. "Because I want to." "Why do you want to?" Some say, "So I can get into Harvard." Honey, I hate to burst your bubble but you're not going to Harvard. Nobody's going to Harvard. Probably 1% of all-A high school students actually end up attending Harvard. You can't just have good grades. You need to have a unique cultural background, a great application, hopefully a different race, and a ridiculous amount of extracurriculars.
Others say, "I dunno." Well I know. A) Because everyone else is. B) Because you feel like you have to, or you should. But you shouldn't feel that way. You shouldn't feel like if you can you should. You shouldn't feel like you should KILL yourself to take all honors just because you can; because you're expected to, coming from a prestigious town like this one.
You have to remember: school is just a place you go every day. Then you come home, do your homework, and you have your life back. School isn't your life. Your friends, family, hobbies, and interests are your life. Don't let school take over your life. Live it while you still can! Take some ACP classes to lighten your workload so you can get your life back. It's not worth it. In the end, you won't like who you are--who you've become. You won't be yourself. You won't have a "yourself."

Judgements. Here comes the ranting part of this blog post.
It's the way that they look at me when I say "I'm taking ACP physics." The way they respond. As if they're better than me; smarter than me. I could be a fucking genius if I wanted to, but I won't let school take me over. In that respect, I'm smarter. Because I'm taking the courses that are actually right for me, and I still have a personality left, and time to learn and experience things. Time to get real life experience! I'm sick and tired of feeling stupid, lesser than everyone else because I'm not taking all honors! I'm tired of getting put down with their eyes; their words. I'm tired of being judged. I'M TIRED OF BEING TREATED LIKE AN IDIOT BECAUSE I TAKE 2 ACP CLASSES!!!
Another reason- sometimes people genuinely have learning disabilities or aren't as smart as other people, and just honestly cannot do honors classes.

Why you shouldn't give in to the pressure. As I already discussed, don't take all honors if you think it will take over your life; if you think you won't have time for anything else. Also, in a logical sense, don't take an honors class unless you think you can get an A. Getting a C in an honors class is worse for your GPA than getting a B in an ACP class. Also, (if you're really worried about that already), colleges unweight your GPA then look at the difficulty of the courses. If you're getting a C in an honors class, that's gonna look bad.

Monday, December 15, 2014

First Impression: Crest Whitestrips

Snapshot from Crest's website
I'm sure everyone reading this blog has heard of, or even used Crest Whitestrips. So had I, and I was dying to try them.

The buying story
I had decided to wait until my annual dentist appointment to use them, as I'm a swimmer and I experience some chlorine stain, which is scraped off at the dentist (but physically impossible to remove at home)--and I didn't want to whiten over it and then when it's scraped off get some weird yellow spots.
I bought them at CVS, and they happened to be $10 off that day, so I got a pack of 40 strips (20 treatments) for $46 instead of $56. I had read all the reviews, and the Professional Effects struck me as the best.

Why I boguht them
I had braces for two years, which was basically as long as I could remember (I have a bad memory...). Braces make your teeth look yellower, even though blue is supposed to make your teeth look whiter. During braces, I was always self-concious about my yellow teeth (maybe because SOMEONE pointed it out one time!)--I wasn't even insecure about my braces themselves, since I'd had them for such a long time, it didn't really bother me anymore. It was like they were part of me. I promised myself that once I got my braces off, I would whiten my teeth.
My braces, pre-whitening (duh). They were actually SUPER clean, though this picture fails to depict that
The day I got my braces off, also without ANY whitening
The first impression
Not gonna lie, I was pretty scared to try them at first. It's your TEETH. They're on your FACE. Whatever you do to them is PERMANENT. I'd heard horror stories about Whitestrips gone wrong, and messing up teeth forever. But I did it anyway, figuring I'm in too deep (already opened the box). I brushed my teeth and wiped them dry with a tissue (this wasn't on the box, but I read it on Yahoo Answers), and stuck on the strips. I was dismayed to find that the strips were too short for my mouth. They don't cover some of my back teeth--and the bottom set are even shorter. I read up on it, and apparently it's not supposed to whiten every tooth because your back teeth don't matter. (?) I waited the half hour, and when it was up I peeled them off and I was horrified at what I saw: there was a weird white spot in the corner of my left front tooth! I was so worried, I couldn't deal with it and went to sleep (but it was mid-day and I wasn't tired so I kind of just sat there staring at the ceiling). When I woke up, the white stain was faded, but still worse than pre-whitening. I always had a tiny stain there, but it was never that noticeable! So I just waited it out.
When I woke up the next morning, the stain was back to normal (or close to it), but I had an awful scare. But on the bright side, my teeth were slightly whiter!
After Day 2 of treatment. Don't be fooled by the camera, my teeth aren't THAT white in real life!
The overall review
I would give this thing 4 out of 5 stars.
Pros:

  • Makes your teeth visibly whiter after only a few treatments
  • Boosts your confidence! :)
  • Only takes 30 minutes
Cons:
  • It may highlight any pre-existing white spots/discoloration on your teeth
  • It's permanent... duh
  • Super expensive!
    • $56 for 20 treatments ($2.80/treatment),
    • or $46 for 14 treatments ($3.29/treatment)
  • Doesn't whiten the backs of the teeth  - not that noticeable though
Overall, yes I would recommend it.

Disclaimer: yes, I know my teeth were fine before. I just wanted a little extra whiteness.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Victim-Blaming.

Victim-Blaming: A Response to Buzzfeed's "How Police and Hospitals Shut Rape Victims Down"
http://www.buzzfeed.com/daniellecampoamor/how-police-and-hospitals-shut-women-down

This reminds me of a particular plot in Veronica Mars Season 1: Veronica's rape at Shelly Pomroy's party. She investigates throughout the season and eventually finds out that she was drugged with GHB and raped by Beaver, who gave her Chlamydia by previously being raped by someone else.
But here's the kicker: when she tried to report the crime to the local sheriff, he is rude and dismissive.
                 Receptionist Inga: Veronica, what happened to you?
                 Veronica: I need to report a crime.
                 Sheriff Don Lamb: Is there anyone in particular you would like to arrest, or should I just round
                 up the sons of the most important families in town? (referring to Veronica's father accusing a town
                 celebrity of killing her best friend.) I've got not a shred of evidence to work with here, but that
                 doesn't matter to your family, does it?
                 [Veronica sheds a tear.]
                 Sheriff Lamb: Mmmm. She cries. Tell you what Veronica, why don't you go see the wizard?
This is another instance of rape victims being shut down. And, might I add, the "why don't you go see the wizard" comeback was TERRIBLE. How is that supposed to be clever?

Here's the top comment on the Buzzfeed article:
It's disappointing that rape victims face so much hate and disbelief, when all they're trying to do is make everything go back to normal.
Why would someone make up a rape story? To seek revenge for something? I think everyone has a little more common sense than that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Room Decor

Here's a wallpaper for your phone, I took this picture last winter in the snow and it's currently my wallpaper! :)
This is going to be sort of a combined rant about why your room decor is so important, plus room decor suggestions. First things first...

Why is it so important for your room to be exactly the way you want it?
In my opinion, your room needs to be everything you want it to be, and it has to reflect you. Because your room is your sanctuary--that's your home base, your area, your quiet space. You have to love your room, and if that means everything being pink, go ahead! Decorate it so that you love everything about it, and you can't wait to go home after school. Your room also has to reflect you. It needs to be personalized. If you love cats, put up tons of cat posters. When your friends come over, your room should represent you.

My goal for my bedroom.
I focus a lot on my bedspread and pillows. My comforter has a cool design on it, and it's mainly purple with some white and gray. I like to try and incorporate it into my holiday adjustments, such as red and green throw pillows, shams (I usually make my own pillowcases for throw pillows and shams, it's cheaper and easier. I can never find good holiday pillows in stores), and blankets. For Christmas, I hung a cute blanket on the wall, I have a mini Christmas tree, and I hung ribbon all around the room.
Other than that, I have a really cute cat poster under the plexiglass on my desk, and pictures of my grandfather's doggy all around my room.

Room decor suggestions
  • Keep your room clean and organized. It looks a thousand times better that way! Try to get rid of the clutter and throw anything out that's unneeded.
  • Decorate your bed with pillows and blankets.
  • To hang a patterened blanket on the wall: use Command hooks on the wall, and instead of putting a hole in the blanket, use safety pins to hang the blanket on the hooks. My friend came up with it, genius!
  • Shag rugs are awesome for room decor. They're awfully high maintenance though.
  • Stuffed animals on the bed are cute too.
  • Framed paintings and photos are always cool.
  • Bean bag chairs are awesome too, especially if you want a soft/fuzzy theme.