Tuesday, February 5. 2013
I really took in the place, looking at every book on the wall, every signed dust jacket.
We raised our glasses.
and every then
I'm not alone
Braid, A Dozen Roses
And this is the simple truth: that to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground.
José Ortega y Gasset
The right to be let alone is the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued in civilized man.
Louis D. Brandeis
...There is no there there.
Gertrude Stein, on Oakland, CA
The Atlantic was born today
And I'll tell you how
The clouds above opened up
And let it out
I was standing on the surface
Of a perforated sphere
When the water filled every hole
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean
Making islands where no
Islands should go
Most people were overjoyed
They took to their boats
I thought it less like a lake
And more like a moat
The rhythm of my footsteps
Crossing flatlands to your door
Have been silenced forevermore
And the distance is quite simply
Much too far for me to row
It seems farther than ever before
I need you so much closer...
I need you so much closer...
So come on,
Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism
That’s what a great bar does. It stays the same so we can measure our own change. That’s why we mourn them when they disappear.
I’m from a place that’s fading.
If you look at a map of Sonoma County, you’ll see its four highways pretty clearly. You know two of them – Highway 1 (the PCH) and Highway 101 – down here. The other two (12 and 116) are much smaller, running one lane in each direction for the vast majority of their respective paths.
My hometown, Sebastopol, (pop. 7,800), lies at the intersection of 12 and 116, fifteen minutes in either direction from the PCH and 101. The proper cities in the county (here defined as having populations topping 25,000) lie off to its south and eastern halves; Sebastopol’s the biggest city between itself and the coast.
It’s an…interesting place. In some senses, it embodies the clichés one conjures up when one pictures small-town America: everything within walking distance, low crime rate, the sort of atmosphere captured in the old Cheers theme song: Everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came…
But it’s a far odder place than that description above captures. It’s a weird amalgam of farmers, hippies (both the tour-the-country-following-the-band kind and the yoga/crystals crowd), winemakers, libertarians, artists, and political junkies. It’s a town that takes its right to protest very, very seriously. If one braves the downtown snarl on Friday (trust me – you can have traffic snarls if there are only two main roads out of town, and if both roads have…limited lane capacity), one will see the bizarre sight of four disparate groups protesting, one on each corner of the Main Street intersection. One group protests against American involvement overseas; another group protests in favor of it; other groups protest the protesters. At the end of the afternoon, they cross the street, talk to each other, and go their separate ways.
Sometimes, the causes are good, awareness is raised, and everyone goes home satisfied. At other times, the town gives in to the very loud voices of the very motivated few when it probably shouldn’t. In either case, it’s the kind of place where one of my friends (along with his older sister) can spend the day standing on the edge of the town square, holding up signs promoting the Flat Earth Society, all without looking at all out of place; if you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t be able to tell he was kidding.
It's also the kind of place where artists will craft a giant stone door, then jam it into the earth next to a church, thus creating the Door to Hell. After the church (understandably) protested for a while, and the town refused to infringe on the artists' freedom of expression, a compromise was reached.
I know! Let's put it in the town square. Fabulous idea.
Every time I go back, something new and bizarre has cropped up. Apparently, someone decided it was a good idea to put cobblestones in some of the major crosswalks downtown…only the same someone also thought that fake green cobblestones would be best. Now weird green slashes interrupt the highways, as though hyper first-graders from the local elementary school had gotten their hands on the city’s construction plans.
Or I see more of these things – sculptures that are now all the rage to place in one’s front yard.
No, we don't have one.
I go home and see these things – the protests, the artwork, the crosswalks – proliferating, particularly on the tiny main drags. Those things don’t scream “home” to me.
For the town wasn’t always that way.
I’m very much the product of the town as it exists in my head: a small-town kid who will always prefer a slower, quieter pace of living.
When writing this, I flash back to fifth grade – the year I stopped taking piano lessons, as my parents were essentially bribing me to continue, and (more importantly) the year I got to walk downtown alone for the first time in my life.
Obviously, my downtown's not exactly a bustling metropolis. But when you're in fifth grade, you're not choosy. Getting to walk alone meant I was responsible, meant I was reasonable, meant I was getting older. I was beyond excited.
The walk from my school to the piano place downtown was a straight shot. The road that serves as the main artery through town runs all the way to the city limits (where my school was situated). All I had to do was follow it all the way down, and I'd get there just fine. (It might take twenty minutes to walk there because I was one of the shortest kids in my grade until an out-of-nowhere growth spurt in eighth grade, but no one was running a stopwatch on me.)
I pulled in about $4 a week, give or take, in allowance, and I saved absolutely none of it. That $4 bought me a lot of fun each practice day. My school day ended about seventy-five minutes prior to my lesson; take away the twenty-minute walk time, and that left me with about an hour's worth of unsupervised free time in my downtown. I developed my rituals quickly. The first stop was always Who's on First?, the sports-card store that eventually gave me my first "job" (paying me in basketball cards to sit behind the counter, sort cards, be friendly to anyone who walked in, and just generally act like an excitable little kid). I'd spend $2.50 on two packs of cards (nobody in the town really charged me tax when I was little), open them in the store, and carry on a very rapid and one-sided conversation with the store owner before moving down the block. The next stop was Country Home, where I'd buy a cinnamon-flavored hard candy stick for fifty cents.
After pocketing the stick, I'd move down to my last stop: the local cookie company. I'd buy a peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookie with my last dollar and sit at the bench by the window with both desserts in hand, watching people go by as I munched contentedly on what I'd purchased.
Human beings are fascinating creatures. If you take some time to just sit back and watch a group of people interact, you’ll be amazed by what pops out of the seemingly mundane. Try walking alone through the halls at the high school one day, and marvel at what you’ll see – everything from the interpersonal (quiet fights, exuberant hugs, people standing next to one another as they text others) to the societal (self-segregation, for one).
I showed three videos earlier this year called Eat, Learn, and Move. They’re pretty amazing little films, and almost all of their shots are filled with sights that can just arrest your eyes. The things they feature are exotic to us, but they’re plain to the people living in those moments: it’s the context, the perspective, of the viewer that changes them into something special.
The act of studying life’s simplicities is akin to staring at a prism. You can look right through it, just as you can miss everything I mentioned above if you put your head down and barrel through the halls every passing period…or you can tilt it and marvel at the rainbows once you’re seeing it from a different angle.
And now that I've left home, I see the beauty in the simple things that I rarely consciously noticed growing up.
Home, with the old climbing tree.
The top of the firehouse at Christmas. We celebrate with Snoopy because we're classy like that.
The best place to play hide-and-go-seek.
Where I used to run.
The Forest Theatre in Armstrong Woods, a redwood forest twenty minutes from where I grew up. My parents were married here.
No matter where you go...
You can always find a place to breathe.
I dream of living here after retiring.
I even know the road that leads there.
Those things, those places, are home to me.
And I worry constantly about losing them. About losing my place.
Those things I described earlier - the way my anticipation mounted as I opened the foil wrappers of my card packs, the affectionately maternal smile the woman who sold me the cinnamon candy always greeted me with, the easy rhythms of the traffic and people I watched while I ate my cookies - are little pleasures, to be sure. But the sum of those moments gives life its textures.
And as my friends and I grow older – get married, have children, and move away to parts unknown – it’s those textures, I think, that I’m most afraid of losing; that someday I’ll go home, as Gertrude Stein did, to find that the touchstones of my childhood have gone missing.
And at that point, I may find myself saying the same thing about my town as she said about Oakland, a city only fifty-five minutes southeast of Sebastopol: there’s no there there.
Perhaps I’m drawn so strongly to Winston’s plight because he lives in a texture-less place. A place-less place. Gertrude Stein was talking about Oakland and lost childhoods, but she may as well have been talking about Oceania.
The desperate conformity that’s taken hold of the population is the first unsettling aspect of 1984. The moments I described above – the things that comprise the joy of everyday human living – haven’t simply been hidden from view. Variety has been eliminated. To be an individual is to be alone, and to be alone is to invite destruction. (You'd never see a child wandering aimlessly around a town in this world.) To survive, you need to stay stupid, unaware, asleep at the wheel.
Winston’s never fully asleep; his service as a cog in the Party machine is akin to willingly taking just a little too much sleeping medication every day. But it’s best to describe the metamorphosis unfolding in slow motion before us as an awakening anyway.
See, Winston does invite destruction. He courts it from the moment we meet him, which seems totally incongruous when you stop to consider just who he is. He’s plain, middle-aged, used up by a fouled-up world. Yet he dares to resist the powers that be. (Selectively, yes, but even selective rebellion’s noteworthy in Oceania.)
Really, 1984 becomes something of a story about a mundane man questing for mundanity, for prisms, for moments. (This becomes clearer as you move deeper into the book.) Winston’s decision to write in his book, the movement of a quill over creamy paper, embodies his resistance: he demands the right to be a human being again, even though his resistance, noteworthy as it is, crumbles easily.
Winston begins to rebel against his old life simply in order to try something new, or to avoid the unhappiness that has slowly suffocated his entire life. He feels the first pangs of desire for a new life; he’s waking up, and he’s waking up wanting more.
Yet with all that said...
Winston's awakening seems futile; it’s impossible to get what he wants, and he doesn’t even dare let anyone around him realize that he wants anything. Winston may be awake, but he’s also alone, longing for something he simply cannot have. He's seeing his surroundings for what they really are, and paying the price in isolation.
Is it worth it to yearn for something that exists only in your memories?
Is it worth it to know that you deserve better when you can't change a thing?
Somewhere, and I can’t find where, I read about an Eskimo hunter who asked the local missionary priest, ‘If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?’
‘No,’ said the priest, ‘not if you did not know.’
‘Then why,’ asked the Eskimo earnestly, ‘did you tell me?’
+ Does one have a moral obligation to resist injustice, to fight for what one believes is right, even if doing so is deeply unpopular? What about when doing so places one at risk?
+ Do other people determine your goals, dreams, and choices? Do your concerns for other people, or respect for them, dictate your choices? Frankly, to what degree should concern for other human beings even matter?
+ When you catch yourself “standing apart” from your life, or from the people in it, what do you see? What is the world you inhabit “like”?
+ What comes to mind when you imagine “home”? Is it here or elsewhere?
+ Does living in a place like Arcadia discourage you from longing for more, for a different life…or does it encourage it?
+ Have you ever wanted a shot at something else, known what it was, and still let the opportunity slide? (Did you ever regret your choice?)
+ What determines your outlook on the future: your feelings about the past, your hopes regarding tomorrow, or your obligations?
+ If you were in Winston’s position, would you rather experience his awakening – feel that gnawing sensation that life isn’t supposed to be this way – or just completely buy into a dystopian system that you probably can’t change? In other words, would you rather live a lie, or live in pain?
The guidelines for posts this semester are slightly different. Please read the following carefully.
Please try to post insightful, specific, and polished pieces. Your post should be at least three seven-sentence paragraphs long, and punctuation, grammar, and mechanics all count towards your grade. Compose your replies carefully, and always remember to build your credibility - use proof, not hypothetical statements. Write the why for every what!
As always, you are not required to respond to every question.
For this post, written feedback for at least two of your peers is required! Congratulate them, praise them, ask them questions...reach out! There’s no comment limit for this thread, so if you feel like talking to your peers, follow your instincts! Check your work to see if someone left feedback for you, and start conversations with your readers – and classmates!
(Note: While the feedback posts don’t have to contain praise, you shouldn’t worry about offering grammar fixes and critical suggestions regarding repairs. Discuss the ideas and substance of the post. If you feel compelled to comment on someone else’s form, it should be because you want to express your appreciation for some nifty mechanical trick they pulled off. Leave the writing instruction to me, please.)
One more thing: as you develop as writers, your pieces should look more and more constructed. By that, I mean they should demonstrate not simply knowledge of writing as a craft, but an awareness of how to make your work truly profound. As we move through the semester, practice writing not simply as students, but as creators. Experiment with writing, in other words, as writers do.
Finally, please remember to nominate two of your peers for their excellent work.
The due dates for the respective components of the assignment are as follows:
+ Your main post is due to both the blog and Turnitin.com by 11:59pm on Thursday, February 7th.
+ Your feedback is due by 11:59pm on Friday, February 8th.
+ Your nominations are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, February 10th.
As always, write well, think well…and good luck.
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“Selfless” has become a burden of mine.
“You can't just sit there and put everybody's lives ahead of yours and think it counts as love.” (Sam, The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
As we age, other people’s concerns, opinions and choices have become a big influence in our own lives. We merge from a crying baby who only thinks about her own needs to an adult who cares about everyone’s needs. We were not born with a big heart and a generous chest. The expectation from society, family, teachers, and friends has made us see the grand picture of life. From time to time, we are forced to act on the will of others instead of our own.
How many times you have picked a class just because of your friends are in it?
How many times you choose the same style of clothes as your friends do?
How many times you just do things because your friends are doing them?
And how many times you go to that SAT class because your parents want a respectable score to brag about?
On the other hand,
How many times you are able to choose something that you like but others don’t?
How many times you reject your friend’s invitation to a party because you have a big test the next day?
How many times you are able to stand up and speak up your opinion?
And how many times you have the guts to tell your mother that SAT score is not your life?
We are selfless to a degree that we don’t even know we are acting that way. We spend our time to make others happy. We never really know what we really want. We do similar things and we are unwilling to show our differences because we are afraid we will be judged. We think if we give out free love so then people would like us more. We are doing all these things to maximize the happiness of everyone. It is almost like we are chanted to do these things. Utilitarianism is a good way to govern a country but not necessarily a good way to govern our lives.
At times we have to let go the rope that people tied on us. Just be free, run wild and stay alone for a while. The umbilical cord is meant to be cut. We no longer need to base our lives on our mothers’ lives. 18 is the age to realize that it is time for you to grow up and make some independent decisions and learn to accept the consequence of all the choices you make. Of course, other people’s concerns and advices are still matter. But balance it out. They can’t run your life forever, neither friends nor parents. It is hard to stand out among 4000 other people who dress the same as you do. However, if you never even realize and want to be distinguished, you will be forever buried under the mass crowd that passes you every day in the hallways.
What is the position of “identity” on your star?
Don’t rush it.
Give it a second thought.
Maybe you will want to go shopping Alone next time.
*“Any similarity is good, so is the difference” (College essay, nth edition).
Hero is usually insane.
“The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier.”(Pat, The Silver Linings Playbook)
I haven’t had the guts to say I will risk my life for someone. Whenever I think about Batman, Spiderman, Superman and all these super heroes, I tend to think about people in real life, the heroes who exist in our lives. I don’t think calling someone a “hero” necessarily means that a person has to put herself at risk to save another individual. It is more like doing something extreme for the benefit of others.
Looking back at history, I believe heroes come out because of they cannot see justice and morality within the society. Number one example would be Civil Rights Movement. It is crazy that these people were able to flip the history upside down. African Americans have been treated less humanly ever since the beginning of the United States. And now, many government officials are African Americans. They are the ones who were able to stand up and speak up their minds. They were the ones who have guts to risk their lives to change a generation. Martin Luther King, Jr. may not be seen as the Superman type of hero. But he did greater things than Superman. Susan B. Anthony may not be seen as anyone who can be so significant. But she gave women a voice.
They are insane because the extreme circumstances needed their insanity to make things right.
It seems crazy to Winston that he writes his thoughts in a diary. It seems unusual to Winston that he doesn’t feel hatred during 2-Mintutes of Hate. It seems almost insane to him that he is writing “Down With Big Brother” in his diary. He feels his security is at risk; he feels that he is doing something right.
What is the position of “security” on your star?
It only takes one to spark the Civil Right Movement.
Rosa Parks has done that.
When time comes, are you ready to fight for morality and justice?
Are you ready to do something crazier to beat the crazy?
In the end, you do want to make a history and change a generation.
Feraco has done that with his Artium Magister.
Maybe you can too. Step out that threshold and create a milestone.
It doesn’t have to be a big one since “whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly” (MLK, Jr.)
Unlike other animals, Homo sapiens have thoughts, beliefs and choices.
“I won't tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world's voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!” (Oscar Wilde)
Don’t let the opportunity slide when you still have a chance to breath. Don’t let your thoughts be covered by the overwhelming value that you believe it is wrong. Don’t let the risk scare you off.
Go big or go home.
Make every single page of your “Adventure Book” count.
When you know Voldermort can’t bring you happiness, stand up and fight. After all, Harry Potter is the same age as you are.
Security and Identity are important. But you know what is more important?
What is the value of security and identity if they can’t even make you smile? And at times, you may need to measure up to achieve that happiness you have been seeking. Living in pain doesn’t mean happiness is void. It is just the first step to get rid of the false hope and pleasure.
There is still a long way to go, my friends. But you have to build that path yourself and make your own choice.
(Happy Face, as always)
Dang it Katie! I wanted to be the first one to post.
I like what you wrote. "Go Big or Go Home" and what you wrote about happiness really makes sense. I never saw that getting rid of false hope and pleasure as the first step towards happiness.
I had this done for a long time. Will not let go the chance of being the first one. Laugh out loud.
I hope you beat me next time.
Remember the old supplement we read for SFHP, Daniel Gilbert has said the real happiness lies among the relationship we hold with people not the best sport car, the fattest check.
So before we set off to enjoy life with a bigger smile we shouldn't be burden by the our own security bubble and false image that pop. culture has delivered to us. You don't need a mansion to be happy.
For me, happiness is something really simple that we usually ignore.
It's okay! And yes I would have to agree with you. Alot of people mistaken that true happiness comes from a physical object like toys, games and or someone else but really all we need to do is just be happy and enjoy every passing moment of our lives. But still, this is war Katie. I will have the next blog! I MUST! lol
While reading this I thought that it was great! It invoke a lot of questions but I received a sense of dissatisfaction because the answers given in the post to the question did not see like a true answer based on the writer, just a quoted one.
Sorry I am new to this and not really sure how to do these things yet. If I got anything wrong please tell me.
Best of luck~
I am lost. Can you please rephrase your concern?
It seems too question and quote heavy for my own taste. This may just be because I am far more used to the traditional approach of answering things, but I feel like your post is missing the "I" and concentrates heavily on other people. Never bringing back the conversation back to the self.
Still as I said I am still new to this and most likely should complete my own before I get too deep into this.
Thank you for pointing that out. Well, I really don't know what to say. It just sometimes I like to make it appeal to the general and often I will use my personal example.
If you don't mind. You can go back to the old SFHP blog. I had a many post that I appeal more personally and some just connections of different things.
But thank you for the concern. It is Feraco's freestyle writing, you get to write whatever you want with whatever format you prefer as long as it suits the purpose. I hope that answer your concern and your question.
That it is Kaite, so I'll just have to get used to this new strange world quickly. Though the feeling is surreal and I am afraid to jump down that rabbit hole to join Alice.
(sorry for double post)
As Tom Ward says in the book Last Apprentice, "If someone has to do it, it might as well be me." Even if I am afraid, I shall jump!
You've got some awesome quotes! I really like the way you asked questions to get us thinking about how we can get the best out of our lives. Great encouragement!
You have used a lot of questions and quotes but I completely understand the direction you are going for, and you structured them pretty nicely too.
wow that was really great katie. i loved how you divided it and the awesome quotes you used! great job as usual!
Katie, you started this second semester with a powerful blog. I enjoyed reading your blogs last semester, and I look forward to reading your blogs this semester.
I notice that you have a great passion for taking risks in life, but where do you draw the line? When do you accept what you have and enjoy it?
I feel like you were probably someone who flipped the penny every time when we did the penny activity with Mr. Feraco.
I want you to understand that I'm not discouraging that, I want to know when you stop taking those big risks.
I am glad that you asked that question. I was lucky enough to be the chosen child who got to choose when Feraco asked us to flip the coin if we are in our fifties.
And I chose to pocket the coin.
The line will be drawn once I have greater obligation/responsibility of my own. Assuming that I will get married and have children, my family will be the top priority of my life. I will not risk my children's security for my own elightenment because they are MY CHILDREN. I know eventually they will leave me just as I will leave my parents. But selfless has been a burden of mine. Ans eventually it will come back but in a positive connotation.
I hope I answered your question. And thank you for reading.
I enjoy reading your blogs. Thank you for answering my question - you had a very good answer!
Finally taking it slow and reading deeper into what you have wrote I realize that this was a good post. I still wish to hear what you have to say with your own words though, but what is good is good.
Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey. -Tad Williams
When you think of “home,” do you think of a place where you grew up in or a place that makes you feel comfortable where you are? Perhaps “home” is just another object for you to go back to in the evening, maybe a place to host friends and family members. Have you ever thought of home being more than four white walls that trap you in at night?
Remember the Wizard of Oz? How Dorothy clicks her heels three times together saying “There’s no place like home” it’s all true. Through the years before I moved there were tons of events that taught me life lessons. The first night my family moved in we had a party and my grandma somehow told me not to stick a peanut in my nostril. Instead I did the opposite and there it went, stuck in my nostril and ended up clogging my nose. Minutes later I had been sent to an emergency room; there I had a doctor working on crushing that one peanut that had been stuck up my nose. Funny thing is it took the whole night before I was able to be sent home. Even then the whole peanut had to be swallowed through my nose.
Even today I remember clearly; I remember it like the back of my hand. I walk out the sliding glass door standing 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. It amazed me how big the window doors can get. That big sliding window door never lasted through the years my family lived there though. It taught me a great lesson in life and that is to never skateboard indoors. It was a Sunday night when I first received my first skateboard and that was the start of it all. I broke that big glass door that stood 10 feet tall. That following week my dad had brought home my first motorcycle. Most of my life lessons had been learned in my old house where I call home.
Things change, sadly; time passes by, and school comes around at this time of year. My family doctor does not visit with months going by. My childhood memories are all that I have left of my old home. It’s time to start a new chapter in my life. Living where I am now, there are no neighbors that I can communicate with like I use to. There are no neighbors that wake up early in the morning to water their plants. This is a trade off in my opinion. My parents chose a better place to raise me, a better place to grow up and learn. They chose a better school system to give me an upper hand in life. Living in Arcadia I have had many chances to meet different people and more opportunities to make new friends and explore the bigger world.
As I got older I came to realize that home is not just an object. Home is where I make it and who I would like to include in it. To me, home is just a place where memories can be made and remembered; it is a place that I can remember all the ups and downs in my life so far. This allows me to extend my family and home where ever I go. There is no limit to where my home is because ultimately my home is everywhere and anyone can be a part of it.
Oh man, the post I'm working on right now is like perfectly described by that Williams quote! Good job with yours though. Learning things the hard way can make for some good stories.
By the way, I was just searching for random quotes that fit what I had to say haha. I just so happened to stumble across this quote by Williams:)
I had a similar idea about home. I do agree that home isn't an object but that it's something we make. Something we establish on our own. Reminds me of a sandbox, and what I create, and who I let in becomes "home."
Enjoyed the read.
You see that one small kid sitting quietly by himself. The same three boys crowd around the kid from from all sides. “Hey! Stop touching my hair. Go away. I don’t even know you.” Despite his expressions of distress at their pestering him, they continue blabbering nonsense at him to which he responded with, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please leave me alone.” One of the boys crowding around the small kid’s chair sat down next to the small kid and logged on to the computer in front of him. He listened to some rock music and began turning the volume up. Suddenly, the room that was meant for students to finish work from the class in during lunch became a punk-like environment. I could tell everyone was pretty much fed up by the three kids’ behavior at this point. First, the bullying and now, the ruining of a perfectly peaceful work environment. Nonetheless, the best one individual working in the class could come up with was, “You know, you can use the headphones.” “Yeah, but I just want to listen to the music plain,” was the response. It was as if the suggestion was never spoken, and the rest of the people in the class were forced to tolerate the actions of the three nasty kids in silence until the teacher returned to the classroom. And even at that point, no one told the teacher of the bullying. We just felt safer in own little bubbles, doing our own work even though we all felt sorry for small kid.
One indeed has a moral obligation to resist injustice, to fight for what one believes is right, but often times, factors like fearing to emerge from one’s comfort zone to protect the comfort zone of others can cause one to not act in accordance with one’s conscience. We may be scared of being ridiculed while helping a social outcast, plunging into trouble of our own. We all want to live in a world of justice, of equality, of peace, but it takes a strong individual to make all these ideal qualities possible. Even the most just or those who attempt to follow the ways of the good may sometimes find it difficult to voice themselves, to protest against injustice, or even to protect a close or loved one due to certain fears. During the Last Supper, Jesus foresaw Peter would deny three times that he knew him at which Peter, self-assured, replied he would never do so. Yet, in the end, Peter’s fear that he would also have to take the cross along with Jesus, who was arrested that night, drove Peter to break his promise of never disowning Jesus. His fear was so intense that he even began cursing himself to prove he never knew Jesus, a social outcast, in order to protect his own life. In part, this is because one’s fears that being associated with people who do not fit into society puts one at risk distorts one’s conscience.
When was the last time someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, and your response was actually the career your parents had in mind, not what you, yourself had in mind? It was just at the tip of your tongue, but you just couldn’t bring yourself to get it out. The name of the career sounded so beautiful in your mind, but you just didn’t dare to say it because you were afraid others would scoff at you the way your parents did when they thought your dream was so unrealistic. You wanted to chase after the beating of your drum, but at the same time, you wanted to keep it a secret. People are so ironic, and much of their melancholy is self-generated, sprouting from their wacky two-way thinking. It also is produced by their inability to not care about the feelings of others and about one’s security. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could be what he or she wanted to be without having to worry about other people’s comments? But, in real life, it’s not the case. Every decision you make can affect a close one. When you do not follow the path your parents map out for you, can you guarantee you’ll succeed in the field you choose? That is the biggest question. Security. When you cannot secure your own life, who will you count on to feed you? That is the reason why some people live under their parents’ roof even after their thirties. Once you begin to think about these factors, you may start giving up the idea of your ultimate goal, the dream you’ve been having for years in exchange for a secure life and for protecting your family against the possible burden of taking care of you because of a wrong decision you’ve made that turned out to be truly unrealistic. So is it right for you to give up a dream for the sake of others? No. There is a certain degree to which concern for other human beings like family members matters, but you should never give up a dream because of others. Security is always a priority. Without it, how can you support yourself and the dream you have. First, secure yourself with a job to make yourself and your family feel more stable. Then go for your dream.
Glad that you have Feraco this semester. I still remember the old time with you in Zaidi. Always so good at writing.
Wow. I am amazed at your thoughts. It is interesting that you put "secure yourself.....then go for your dream."
But what if you never get to that "dream" because as time goes that security you hold on so dearly has overwhelmed you that you would not dare to step out the threshold.?
What if your parents do not see your potential on doing what you were born for. And there are parents like that.?
My mother wanted me to be a pharmacist for the past three years. But I know I will hate that job even I probably would be good at it. What is the point of life if you are not happy when you go to work everyday? Why do we need to waste the bests years of ours to do something that might gives us security and possibly can also burden us with security? Why can't we go out for our own will and do something that we know at least will be happy about?
And I have convinced my mother that Physical Therapist would be the one that I would go to work everyday with a big smile instead of a poker face. It is hard to persuade people that you have made a right choice, especially people who are older than you. But you gotta show them that you made the right decision with your passion, your knowledge, your dedication.
Dream can come true. I would allude that old MLK. Jr quote here "I have a dream today.I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."
I believe everyone has potential to make their dreams come true. But not everyone has the guts to speak up. I am not asking everyone to become as vocal. I only want people to know that they have a right to pursue what they want and sometimes it is not easy to get what they want if they are pressured by their circumstances.
1984 is a good book. It speaks out that "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows "
My apology if you feel offended. After all, we all hold different perspective on life and moral. I would always appreciate work that is opposite of mine. Thank you for the great read.
Thanks Katie! I'll think about what you said.
I'm still trying very hard to persuade my parents though.
Your writing is awesome too!
People resist injustice because they feel obliged to make the world a better place. They do not resist injustice simply for the purpose of being a rebel, or for the purpose of impressing others. Also, social progress often requires that people stand up for what they believe in, even if their opposition seems unrelenting.
Racism often comes to mind when people think about injustice. Some people are strong advocates of racial equality, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Others, such as members of the Ku Klux Klan, believe that it is right to racially discriminate. During the civil rights movement, people who upheld the idea of eliminating racial discrimination were at risk of being harmed by those who disagreed with them. However, the risk was worth taking. Being oppressed is one of the worst circumstances that any person can face. People would often rather suffer while trying to eliminate oppression than let unfairness limit their future choices.
Arcadia has been my home ever since I was an infant. So far in my life, I have not encountered severe cases of injustice. Maybe it is because of diversity. Or maybe it is because Arcadia is a relatively safe city. Whatever the reason, I know that I lack the experience of resisting injustice. Even in my home, my parents give me plenty of freedom, which limits my opportunities of rebelling against them. The mutual trust between my parents and me has kept our arguments to a minimum.
Since I lack the experience of dealing with injustice, I feel that I am somewhat disadvantaged. What will happen if I face injustice after I leave Arcadia? Instead of letting unfairness control my life, I will most likely fight it. The problem is that I may have trouble doing so. The people who battled discrimination before will know what to do. They will have a higher chance of achieving success. I, on the other hand, will be an untrained soldier who has been thrown on the battlefield. Hopefully, I will make the right decisions to avoid the bullets.
I look forward to moving away to college, because I will grow “stronger” from the experiences I will gain outside my hometown. I almost feel too protected living in a safe community, with my parents by my side. This protection can harm me in the long run, since I may fail to choose the right course of action when I come across injustice or adversity.
I will always consider Arcadia my home, but I will not consider it the best place to live the rest of my life. I wish to move out of my comfort zone to explore the world around me, even if I am somewhat unprepared for the dangerous situations I will encounter.
My future looks bright, mainly because I will have abundant opportunities to fulfill my aspirations. My past has shaped me into the person I am today and has given me an idea of what I will pursue in the future. Truth be told, I am satisfied with what I have gained so far in my life. My family and friends have been supportive of me. I had a nice childhood in a safe environment. I could not have asked for more. What I am looking for now is the chance to go beyond the boundaries of my current life.
Although my future looks bright, I am still concerned about the possibility of falling prey to injustice. I hope that I will be able to break down barriers of injustice, if I ever find them in my path. I am concerned not only for myself, but also for others who may encounter the same problem. Breaking down those barriers may be difficult and strenuous. Regardless, I will not give in to people who wish to control my life. Having control over my own decisions and actions is important to me, especially if I am given the opportunity to explore the world outside Arcadia.
It was interesting to read that post after leaving this blog alone for so long. It's interesting to see what I was missing, I hope that when you go out for college you'll keep your ideal justice.
The world provides us with many obligations that change the course of our days. We hold obligations to our friends, our families, and most importantly, to ourselves. Even when the world is against us, we owe it to ourselves to keep our obligations. I, as a member of the ASB Executive Council, have many obligations to uphold. I must preserve the image of our school, organizations, and our members. Since most of the Executive Council is limited on leadership, they are quick to come to decisions that don’t benefit the student body more than it benefits themselves. Although it might be unpopular for me to stand up against the majority, I, as a veteran member, must step in to advise them otherwise. I owe it to them, morally, to lead them in a direction that’s safe.
I care enough to tell them they’re wrong.
As much as I would love to stop pushing this group toward success, I cant. It isn’t in my character to abandon my concern for others. Although I may not get along with many of the members on the council, the level of my concern reaches every degree possible. I don’t just kick them to the curb and let my frustrations go, but instead I try my best to suck it up. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t even be the Student Representative to the Board of Education anymore.
The people in my life do determine a lot for me. They are passive placeholders that define the general direction I’m going in the short term, so of course I will show a bit of concern for them. However, in the circumstances and my attitude toward ASB, Arcadia High School, etc, I don’t feel at home.
Far from it actually…
The home I imagine is a place where… well… I’m happy. Even this elementary word “happy” is enough to provide a cleavage between where I’m at now and where I want to be. I’m not trying to say that I’m a depressed person, but I just don’t feel like my passions can be expressed here anymore. Under the pressure of ASB, my home, and the people I’m competing with at school, I just can’t keep up anymore. My passions have run dry here and I’m ready to make the next step and to reach new heights. But…
I always spend random nights imagining where my life is going. I think back to the coin toss game and how everything I do now might just be a flick of the finger, sending that coin tumbling in the air. I have no way of knowing what side the coin landed on until I’m actually there. What if it was tails?
My past is the past, its over an done with, but the coins tossed in my past are still waiting to fall and I have no idea how to keep them from landing on the wrong side.
My outlook on the future is blurred. I have goals and aspiration, but I don’t know what the world has in store for me. I try to think optimistically toward the future, but the fates of all those coins tossed are waiting to fall and there are bound to have a few tails. What if that’s another rejection letter? What if that’s another bad grade? What if it’s a health problem? What if that tails puts my life in a downward spiral?
I remember the day we played the coin game.
I remember when Mr. Feraco would ask if I would take that chance.
I didn’t even twitch my arm.
This was a beautifully written piece. Not only did you have great diction, syntax, on other grammatical elements, but you had real meaning behind the words. I find myself struggling with leadership a lot too; there are always those decisions that will either result in the betterment of the group but perhaps the termination of a friendship. And sometimes there's the problem when as a leader I see no benefits for myself but I have to push through because it will help the group progress and because I had made a commitment to the group.
Leadership is hard. As Mr. Feraco said first semester: "Leadership is not getting people to follow behind you, but it is getting people to confidently walk besides you." And this is sometimes the most difficult, strenuous, and frustrating task someone has to deal with.
I am also struggling with the idea that AHS has nothing left to offer me, that it's time to move on. And I am also scared of what the future has in store for me. I hope you are able to tie up your loose ends here at AHS before you leave, and that you don't just burn your bridges. But please be careful flipping that coin, it may land on tails.
You are extremely bold. You must credit yourself for such bravery. The writing is excellent.
Amazing post. You were honest and I love what you said about the coin toss. It is scary to think about what the future holds for us, but don't you think it is sort of exciting? Anyways, great post and keep up the good work.
While reading this I originally thought "Wow, so there is someone who can stand for what is right," but continue reading I noticed how fragile that strength is, but that just makes you that much wiser for saying that. As William said long ago, it's beautiful.
The red pill or the blue pill? The pain of realization or blissful ignorance?
At a glance, the latter seems to be the more appealing. My pragmatic self tells me that there is no foreseeable reward for the inevitable pain. And the lie, though flawed, is still functioning. There is no reason to fix a machine that is not broken, no reason to rock the boat. If I can be satisfied without the truth, there is no reason to continue.
But, I just cannot see myself satisfied. The same part of me that craves information, that seeks explanations, wants answers to those mysteries. Living a lie means shaking off the nagging sensation that something is off, and being ignorant of glaring oddities and errs is something I am unable to sustain, like not scratching that mosquito bite. The hunger for more knowledge isn’t quelled by the appetizer. That requires the main course, the whole truth, everything there is to know. Given the choice of external pain from absorbing the truth or an internal insatiable hunger from steering from the truth, I would choose the former. The former numbs over time. The latter grows.
Though I seek knowledge constantly, I feel no obligation to impose my knowledge on others. Having the truth does not translate to standing up for personal views, at least not automatically. Society is built upon shared ideals. Each individual shares enough opinions with the body that we are willing to put aside the others. Living together means agreeing to disagree. Living together means conforming.
There are, of course, notable events in history, especially in this country’s history, that run counter to this notion. From the colonists fighting for independence from Great Britain in 1776 to the LGBT community fighting for marriage rights today, America has progressed, and still progresses, because of individuals who fight for their beliefs steadfastly. Going against accepted values of the whole can potentially create societal instability. This instability can lead to progress through forward thinking, but it carries the risk of collapsing the system. The tipping point of whether or not such a gamble is acceptable lies at the point where the society cannot be sustained with its practices, where it is more favorable for individuals to separate from the community than to stay in the community with such practices. Standing up for one’s beliefs is a moral obligation only when it serves to save the community from itself.
When given just that tidbit of information, we end up wanting more. It is why movies have trailers, books have summaries on the back cover, and restaurants have samplings. Arcadia, or, more specifically, Arcadia High School, fits the same bill. As students to a high school that sees most of its graduates go on to college, we look around to see our elder peers excited for this journey into the unknown, far from the city they called home for years. Even when they come back to share their stories, all we receive are slices of the experience, enticing us to experience it for ourselves. And, as a result, the cycle continues, year after year, as people leave Arcadia, heading out for the rest of the world.
This isn’t to say that home exists solely to be left one day. Home is where the heart is. Home is where we are most familiar. Home is the anchor that keeps us stable. Home, though, is not always where our parents call home.
When we leave the nest, we do it not just to explore the world for ourselves, soaring to the highest vantage point our bodies can take us, but also to find our optimum location for a new nest when we eventually come down. The nest might ultimately end up a few trees down from our parents’, but it may also rest forests and oceans away from our origin. Wherever it is, home is never readymade. Home is the place we are willing to put the effort to make ourselves familiar with it. It is those very sticks and leaves that we pour our effort into scavenging and arranging to build our nest that make home home.
They are what make investment in time and sweat worth it.
They are what make home irreplaceable.
I felt sense of nostalgia while I was reading your post. It reminds me the endless discussion we have on FB. You have told me that it has way too many factors involves on choosing live in pain or in a lie. And that's how you diaplayed in your post. You chose the red pill after all.
Why? Like you said, "why do you need truth if you already have happiness?" ,"why does the pastor tell the Eskimo there is a God while it might lead him to hell?"
Is it just the thirst of knowledge? Is is just the curiosity? Or is it something else? Why it is worthy for us to flip the coin when the outcome is less favorable than stability? In other word, why would winston choose to risk his security to seem instability or even love later on!
Always enjoying reading your post always glad that you PuT full effort into your post. Thank you for the awesome read!
(happy face as always)
Sorry if I'm just misreading your words, but why would you flip the coin if you know the outcome will be unfavorable? That seems silly. That's like Gilgamesh taking risks when he only stands to lose. I think the point of flipping the coin is for the chance your outcome is favorable.
Well, don't you think it's kinda cool to defeat something that seems it is impossible to defeat. So you can be stable and live like Parsons in Oceania. Or you can flip the coin and you dare to write the words down in the old diary and meet somebody like Juliet.
Great stories come from an exciting life. Thank you for the concern. And always with respect to different beliefs
I believe the confusion originates from the fact that our separate discussion was on a distinctly different scenario where a coin flip was actually involved. Here, I made my case for my choice based on what is certain, such as the frustration of receiving pieces of a puzzle with no possibility of solving it if I choose to conform.
To Katie, I find that my reasoning can be summarized by the following.
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde.
I like what you have to say about home already, but I think it could be enhanced by adding what you said about it today.
Your hook really grabbed my attention. It was pretty neat saying, "Living together means agreeing to disagree." I really like the last part about the "nest".
I don’t have a set home, exactly – or at least not since I’ve had to leave places that have held meaning to me.
When I visit my cousins in Washington, driving through the rain, surrounded by telephone lines and green trees and crisp air, their house is my home. The lights stay on long after the sun you rarely see anyways has gone down, and we’re laughing, singing karaoke, bragging about who has the best voice. My 6-year-old cousin falls asleep first, curling up on the carpet like a skinny little puppy, so we roll out sleeping bags and blankets galore to sleep together in the once spacious living room.
Both sides of my family are entirely of Taiwanese descent, but I’ve only visited Taiwan twice. Between the endless high-rises jutting up from the sea of motorcycles, pedestrians, and 7-11 corner stores of Kaohsiung, my friend’s 5-story house blends right in. A few windows can always be found open, when there isn’t a typhoon nearing. The fans constantly run in an effort to combat the sticky air; air-conditioning is just too expensive when most of the goods in Taiwan are relatively cheap. The elevator’s a little slow, so we race up and down the stairs to get first in line for lunch. I exercise more than usual in Taiwan, and probably eat more too. Everything’s in walking distance: just follow your nose to the dingy restaurant, grocery store, or vendor of your choice. Look out for the cockroaches scuttling across the sidewalks and chilling in the bathroom next to your toothbrush! My skin breaks out with angry, red welts, even though I spend much of the day indoors playing with video games and stuffed animals. Mosquitoes make a masterpiece of me in my sleep. This place has an entirely different atmosphere, but it’s still a home to me.
Chino Hills, my hometown, has always been a rather simple place. The streets are wider, freshly painted and marked with shiny reflectors. The intersections are never more than a 4-way stop. The sidewalks seem whiter, newer, and the trees are still slender saplings. Rabbits are everywhere, in parks and as road kill on the street. They sit, ears down, nibbling on grass until your approach scares them into scampering away. They leave a trail of brown pellets around my front lawn. At night, my room mimics the sky with glow-in-the-dark stars: the moon, Orion’s Belt, and the Big Dipper, check. Those constellations are the only ones I ever bothered to learn. From the hilltops, you can see the yellow, red, and blue glitter of city lights. Coyotes howl from the wilderness just beyond my backyard, serenading me to sleep. It drives the neighborhood dogs into a barking frenzy.
My mom drives me to and from an elementary school 30 minutes away. On the road, we cut through an amalgam of rural nature and urban shops. Sometimes the hills are green and covered with spotty yellow flowers, and I compete with my sister to see who can count more flowers and hit more Target signs with our imaginary bows and arrows. Sometimes the hills are a burnt black or a dusty brown. A few skeletal trees with sparse leaves can be seen trying to grow on the hillside. Smelly cows wander about within flimsy chain-linked fences to forage for what food they can find. At my mom’s office, around the back of the cursed restaurant, my sister and I get our own room to play in. We swivel in our blue chairs, occupied with our Gameboys and books. There’s a boldly colored tent set up with cots inside for us to take naps. The air-conditioning is always just a little too cold for comfort.
It’s sold now. Someone else has that office, selling the same insurance, but surely using the space differently. That restaurant on the corner has changed ownership again. The peeling gray paint of the once bustling “marketplace” has been replaced with tacky pastels. I haven’t been to Taiwan or Washington in years. And soon enough, I’ll be leaving for college. I’ve lost my place before, but I’m okay with that.
When I first moved to Arcadia, everything was packed away. I arranged the furniture around my room and took out only what I needed. It was neat. It didn’t last for long.
“Aiyah, why is your room so messy already?” my mom laments.
“Don’t worry, Mom. It’s just a sign that my room is lived in.”
I think home is a place of rest, regardless of where that place actually is. Change is a part of life, and I will make myself a home wherever I go.
Great post, I am excited to read what your home really is.
Oh but that's the point of my post: I don't have an exact home. I will wander places in life, and I will adapt. Now there are places that hold more special memories in my heart than others, but I know that there will be more to come.
I felt like writing.
Scattered papers on a cluttered desk. My computer sits on top of this lovely mess since I use it so often, while I squeeze the relevant textbooks where I can when I need them. I am reluctant to throw anything away in case I need it to correct a grade, for sentimental value, for future reference.
Assorted clothes are draped over chairs and shoved, clumsily "folded," into drawers. It's actually organized in a way that makes sense to me. Don't mess with my stuff.
Still more is piled on my bed, even though I end up knocking it to the ground. My blanket has half-fallen off again. The sheets are crumpled and coming untucked. My dog lies on top of my pillows and stuffed animals, covering them with her scent and her fur. Her fur gets everywhere. When I sleep, she moves to curl up at my feet. She's so warm.
And there are the nooks and crannies where I could hide books. I don't have to anymore - the bookshelf is right there in my room, along with my keyboard.
I don't have to deal with people here if I don't want to. It's a sanctuary.
If there was a "like" button I would be all over it right now haha:)
Winston is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand he can continue to live the life he’s living and virtually guarantee his safety, but in exchange have to suppress the feeling that there may be more to life than following the will of Big Brother and the party. On the other hand, he can dare to live and attempt to experience life for what it really is. This, however, comes at the risk of his safety as the Thought Police would surely silence him if he tries anything even slightly abnormal.
The question at hand really boils down to an age old question: what is the meaning of life?
The Party’s core values are summed up by their three slogans, “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.” They are a society that is the polar opposite of our own – one where the ideal citizen is not one who is innovative and intelligent, but belligerent and subservient. The Party has an overwhelming control over the lives of Oceania’s citizens, down to the inner thoughts of their minds. Life, as asserted by the Party, is to serve and love Big Brother as well as oppose and hate his enemies. One who lives such a life is no better than a robot programmed to repeat a set of tasks over some period of time.
We could define life in simple evolutionary terms as a marathon where the object of the game is not to reach the finish line but to stay running the longest. This would lead to making decisions to simply prolonging one’s time on Earth. The definition fits Oceania well as its citizens are hollow shells that carry out the will of Big Brother. Everyday they wake up, go to work, and go to sleep. When comparing their lives on January 1st to their lives on December 31st, the only visible difference is their age.
But what good is a long life if it is spent without any true purpose, if it spent doing nothing?
The reason to live is not to be simply happy or rich or powerful; it is to create change, to make a difference – happiness, wealth, and power are just possible outcomes of change.
The corollary of Newton’s First Law of Motion is that an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by some external force. Similarly, society and the human race changes significantly only when the people will it. This has been shown many times throughout history in events such as when Harriet Tubman escaped slavery and became the conductor the Underground Railroad. Back when slaves were still an integral part of America society, there were whites who saw slavery as an injustice. While they did not actively go protesting to the government, some of them assisted Tubman in her bold mission to help other slaves escape. These whites did so at the risk of their own freedom and reputations as society at the time not only made such acts illegal, but also viewed such whites with disgust and contempt. Tubman may not have had material wealth or absolute power over a group, but she lived. She changed the lives of many slaves, opening the doors for them and allowing them a chance at life.
Thus, were I in Winston’s situation, I would choose to oppose Big Brother and the Party because I want to be more than another form of life on the planet Earth.
I want to make a difference.
I still miss the old time with you in Psych. It is always interesting to compare and contrast between post and post. Somehow, I really like to read posts from the "math geeks". That's how I refer Matt L. It is also how I refer you. You two hold extreme similarities on your beliefs.
"I want to make a difference" (yours)
"Standing up for one’s beliefs is a moral obligation only when it serves to save the community from itself." (Matt's)
I have wondered why people who hold similar characteristic also hold similar beliefs. So much for one full year of psychology. I cannot seem to figure out. But I always appreciate post with scientific reasoning, logic and other mathematical elements in it. Laugh out Loud. I need to give you an applaud that you actually used Newton's First law of motion as an example. I admire that art of connection skill you possess there.
Great post. Thank you for the read.
I rarely lock my doors.
I also don’t know how to work our very expensive security system either, along with the other three members of my family. I guess I justify it as I don’t have anything really that great. If someone really wants what I have so badly then they need it more than I do. My house gives protection from the elements and a place to keep safe memorabilia from my past like the perfect rock I found on the sand on a beach trip with my friends. It is a home. It is my home but not the only one.
I want you to imagine walking into B2. Your eyes are met with posters of students. You see stacks of master thesis on corners and familiar desks. Take it all away. Take all of the memories and emotional connections that you have to it. Coming from a person who had a class in that room before it became Mr. Feraco’s I know it’s not the four walls or the posters on them that make this room my home. I never met any of the people who made the posters that year when I sat in the part time math class in B2. I saw the room as I would see a house, not my own home.
It’s the people that make a home.
It’s the human connection.
It’s your life materialized.
This leads to the question what is your life? Is it the actions that you take and the thoughts in your head? Is it your heart beating and the physical aspects of being alive? Is it the hopes and dreams? Regardless of your answer, all of this is represented into one being that you call yourself.
Your life is materialized in who you identify as yourself, just as you are materialized then in your “home.”
Mine is in the shape of a seventeen year old girl at the moment. I am a home body in the most literal meaning of the term. My home is under constant renovation and is building upon past layouts. My home is me and with everything that I do or say I open my door to the world.
I never lock it.
If I have something that someone else needs, I don’t want them blocked by a lock on my door. I want them to take parts of me with them. That is what makes a home to me. As Gertrude Stein said “There is no there, there.” It was because it was never there.
It’s wherever you sleep with your soul unlocked. It’s where ever you leave a piece of your most sacred of all parts of you behind.
Piece of yourself.
A piece of your own home to become a part of something greater than the confines of your own walls.
Is this your first blog? If it is I am impressed of your post. I love how wrote the first sentence or so. When people steal my things I get so angry but after what you said about people stealing it really changed my perspective on people who steal. Maybe people do steal because they need it more. And houses are just here to keep us away from the elements. Great post! Two thumbs up
Nice post, Mickaela - it's like the saying goes, "Home is where the heart is."
I enjoyed reading your work, but I hope you don't actually leave your doors unlocked. That sounds dangerous.
Great post! I've always believed that a home never really had to be one specific place, but I've never thought that a person's vessel, itsself, could actually be a home. I liked that you wrote about Feraco's class, cause honestly, it had been a home to some, and it will be a home to others.
Interesting concepts about the locked doors, i totally agree about not locking the doors and letting anyone take what they need from me
Thank you all for reading my post! It means a lot to me. And James T. I actually do and yes it’s scary to not have that protection but if I chose to live my life hiding behind locked doors I don’t think I could experience such great things like love, happiness and even failure. I couldn’t experience love for example because there is such a high risk of being hurt ( someone stealing a part of you) but I am a believer that it is better to love and have lost then never to have loved at all. Thank you guys again for the feedback.
I absolutly loved your post. after i wrote my blog i looked at yours and we had the basic same ideas but you said it in fewer words. I love how you anwer the post with your own questions like "Is it your heart beating and the physical aspects of being alive". I loved that you said you dont lock your doors and that if people steal then, they need it more. beautiful!
I was just coming back to this and let me say the way that you wrote this, if it is your first time is amazing!
It's really cool to see your writing has been getting better and better as the blogs go by!
I'm glad I took the time to read this and thank you for the good read
What does it mean to feel at home? Is it just to be comfortable somewhere? Or is it something more?
Usually I feel at home at school. Normally I’m comfortable in all my classes and during lunch and during passing periods. As a senior, I usually feel as though the school is somehow mine, that I am, well, at home here.
Ever since second semester started, it’s been different. I feel uncomfortable in almost all of my classes. It’s not even that I’m now very lazy and unwilling to work on school work, but I absolutely hate doing anything at school unless it’s related to government and Gov Team. I really just want to go home, eat, and sleep; is this senioritis?
I have a theory as to explain this: Gov Team has our state level competition this Saturday and I’ve been really worried that we’re going to lose. I mean, the odds are stacked against us; only 5 out of 25 Arcadia Gov Teams have ever won state and progressed to nationals. I’ve worked so hard and loved this program beyond anything else, and I’m terrified that we’re going to lose this weekend and the experience is going to abruptly end. And so these last few weeks, I have not been able to focus on anything at all except for studying government. It’s just so hard to do any other subject. For example, I’ve sat down and tried to write this blog at least 6 times, but I always write a couple of sentences without much meaning, say “screw it,” and start researching Government.
However, if I’m wrong and this is senioritis, I don’t know how I’m going to last the rest of the school year. Already, I feel sick of high school and I can’t wait to leave to college and really start forming my life and my legacy. I know it’s not good to long for leaving high school because I’m never going to be able to come back, but that’s what I want now, and I don’t know how to change that.
I really can’t wait for college and the dorm life, new friends, and studying subjects I actually want to study. I want change, and I want it now.
I’m on an island where there should be no island.
I really don’t feel at home in the halls of Arcadia High School right now. I don’t know any of the freshmen, and I barely know any sophomores; half of the faces I see around school are those of strangers.
I really don’t feel at home in the classes of Arcadia high School right now. There are so many seniors in my classes that I know, but I’ve never really gotten to know and probably won’t ever know them because graduation is in less than six months and I don’t have the motivation to meet them.
I really don’t feel at home in my activities at Arcadia High School right now. All I can think of is government and whenever I’m at my other extracurriculars, all I can think is “I don’t want to be here right now.”
Right now, Arcadia and it’s high-pressure and highly academic structure is killing me and is pushing me to leaving. I hope that after this weekend and my anxiety for Gov Team is gone that it will go back to normal and I will once again feel normal.
I want to feel like a king in his own castle.
I want to be on a charted island.
Just relax. Don't stress yourself out too much. I know how your feeling. Second semester is awfully busy, but we'll get over it eventually. Let God set the path for you!
I like your last two sentences.
Don't give up! Good luck with the Gov Team competition.
Hmm do you remember AP Bio with Mr. Monden? He said something along the lines of, "It's easier to learn when you like the subject; dislike actually makes it harder for you to absorb the material. So people who are really good at studying often force themselves to be interested in whatever they're trying to learn."
I also sort of read about that in psychology: how attitude affects your behavior, but changing your behavior can also change your attitude.
So if you are unhappy with your situation, "adapt, migrate, or die." There are many potential sources of stress and pressure "out there" too.
Hello William! I figure it'd be best to create my first reply to a post I can relate to.
Content-wise your post lacks any major flaws. Forgive me if that is what I am supposed to comment on.
I just want you to consider that there is a slight lurking variable (hehe stats) in that statistic you mentioned. Yes, only 5 have advanced to nationals. But how many have advanced since they changed the system so both days would factor into the final ranking? I'm fairly certain our odds are much higher if you take that into consideration.
As for your general detachment from school, it seems to me that what you're really saying is Arcadia High School isn't your home. Your home is in Constitution team. But part of you thinks it should be your home. Well, at least, that is what I saw.
If our team is your home, then you're not on an island in the sense that you're not alone. I'm sure everyone is afraid that we will lose. But what we're doing is holding each other up so we can all conquer that fear and perform well. Ain't no Mountain High Enough
So I really like your post a lot. The whole thing about wanting to leave Arcadia is something I can completely relate to. I really liked when you said that you feel as though arcadia was pushing you to leave. It's the same for me, I just dont feel accepted in this place. It doesn't feel permanent or inviting. It feels as if they're throwing all this work at me trying to force me into leaving. How ever I am some what jealous of you. What you have with gov team is something special, a place in this school where you feel at home. So for the moment you might be on an island but at least you have some coconuts to enjoy. I myself can barely stand being on campus anymore.
hi william, stress is normal especially in this point of our lives. many of my friends, including myself feel just how you do about wanting to start our lives and leave. You aren't alone, but we all need to just learn to live in the moment. Don't get ahead of ourselves and just be high schoolers while we still can.
Hey Will it's been a while.
I remember coming to high school and being in shock. I was no longer at home here and I lost connection with a lot of friends and ended up on my own island in a sea of people. Suddenly everyone was a stranger and I wanted to leave. This place was not a home. But then I changed and I began taking in the world again. I now have friends and memories that will never fade and for the first time I feel at home here. I no longer want to leave, instead I want it to last forever but I know that won't happen. So I'm taking my time and slowing down so I don't miss this experience. I know that when I leave this place it will be gone forever and I now realize that what I asked for was more than I bargained for. This home will soon be an old shell so make the most of it while you can.
We gather here today in the honor of Nelson Leu. Throughout his life he wandered gently across the stream we call our school system. He has magnificently managed to bypass the fear we as a society give each other that testing is the most important thing and a person must pass each test given to them. Rather than submitting to the cruel fate of studying for that point-one percent better on the test; as a child he spent most of his time in a world of his own, imagining every single situation that is possible. He spent his time helping his friends or creating a reality in his own imagination. This has tragically lead to disaster during his middle school years. With all the hormones raging within his body he started to question not only the foundation of his imagined world, but the very reality we all life to this day. He spent nights on end pondering epic questions like, “What happens after death? Who am I really? What is this reality if less than 1 percent has mass?” Those questions he carried onward to his dreams each night as if they were bedtime stories. He never told the people around him that he asked himself such questions because somewhere in his heart he knew that no one held the answers to them, he knew that to find the answers he wanted to find he would have to search for them himself.
Search he did for four long years he looked through books, held conversations with teachers and peers about the subject, and watch a few T.V shows for signs of the answers he seeks. The simple belief that all things holds a small truth was his foundation of his research. Whether the truth just be another part of someone else’s story or be part of the truth he was looking for, Nelson accept that truth and moved on with his quest. Though this one feeling of guilt tingled through out his middle school career that interfered with his quest. Try as he might, he could not get rid of the guilt.
While everyone was paying for their lunch he was able to get free lunch due to the difficult financial issues his parents would not tell him about. Wishing the guilt away he asked the head cook, Emma, if he could work in the cafeteria and she although shocked that a free student wanted to work, agreed. If the law of karma is true then the reward he received was a free slushy all student workers of the cafeteria got.
Those days of joy lasted throughout middle school but it was in high school, as a freshmen the worst tragedy and largest accomplishments happened for him, his first heartbreak. This event changed the foundation of his belief in love, for before he believed that love is with one person and only that person. Only after accepting defeat and suffering two years in depression could he see the truth that love is something you give to everyone, not just a single person. He could finally at last understand that there is no soul mate, but there are soul mates. This simple realization helped him abandon the search of the meaning of reality by normal means and dive into a realm not many others are even willing to whisper unless they are stating that it is fiction, magic. Not the illusion magic, mere tricks to the brain, but rather the magic that changes the world through sheer will.
His research on this points that an old feeling he felt deep within his core was right, magic is real. At least there are so many practitioners who are no dim witted enough to just believe in magic because they want to abuse it, but rather there are real people practicing it the way his classmates study a textbook. Perhaps even better than the way they study their textbooks because these people test out what they learn for themselves. The way they speak seemed more like scientist who put trust in subjective information and not just objective information. With this act he has accomplished what it takes many people many years to do, reach out for a dream even though it is rejected by society. Sadly this stayed as a dream and never turned into a goal. He only kept on researching about this world and never became devoted to the practice. Even still, practice he did and held onto the dream he did that everyone would be able to become open minded enough to see reality some ways he did. As a product we create through the ways we treat each others. That our own feelings of others traits reflect our feelings of our own traits. He believed that one day humanity would be able to come to realize this as a whole and through this realization humanity will be able to create a world that is suggested in the Venus Project.
Sadly, he shall not see that day pass as his eyes now remain forever shut.
Hi, Nelson! Your first reply, YAY!
I like the fact that you decided to write in the third person view, and I give you extra bonus points for writing an epitaph of yourself.
Though your writing is very eloquent, I found myself lost at times. What were you exactly trying to find? It was clear what you found, but I didn't really get a clear connection of answer and question.
If you can help me clarify, that would be nice! maybe it's just me...
It's not just you, I left what I was trying to find open because there was not a word in the English language that would suit it perfectly. At least, not one that at the time of writing it I could have though of. If you would like a few words that match it then here's a few: home, truth, answers, security and a place to belong. Ya, "a place to belong" would suit it well, but still not perfectly.
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”(Mark Twain) I can honestly say my spot is where I would disappear to when I was sad or mad. I would bury my art supplies into this little hatch underneath this pile of bushes. It was completely hidden where no one could see it. Sometimes I would sneak over and just paint for no reason. Thoughts and thoughts that scramble into my mind would go onto this wall.
“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” (Thomas Szasz) I began as a kid hunting down my beloved get away spot since I was 6 years old. Fighting with older siblings and watching my parents scream at each other was not the best vision. Back then there wasn’t really much there for me so I would just sneak away imperceptibly so that I could be myself without showing my tears.
Imagine this. Places that just hold all of your insecurities, laments, and laughs that are bound to your affection once upon a time. As a kid I would always think I was a princess locked up in a tower until one day I wondered off searching in my “big” forest in the alleyway in the side of my house. Not knowing what it was or where I would end up at I did not care because that was a spot I could do want I want with my own regulations. I guess it was my little art wall bringing all my art supplies with me and drawing on the walls where I hid. I could analyze and annotate every spec of crack between the walls and every twist and turns you had to make just to get to that certain wall. It was calling me call me crazy but that wall was like home. Just being able to feel so peaceful does wonders for your soul. It did to me.
Now I sit here in this alleyway filled with blowing dark green ivy trees as the leaves drop down one by one flowing in every direction. Whenever I place myself in a certain spot I can smell the pinecone aroma scent sweeping through my nostrils. As the wind blows I can feel the calm breeze flow through my skin, while sitting here thinking I lay down on this soft grass tickling my layer of olive, peach skin. Scanning the surface view I can see two lovely squirrels playing tag, running back and forth from the bottom of the ground to the top of the leaves, and continuously I gazed at them circling the tree about twenty times.
Closely piercing my deep light, hazel brown eyes I see the water drops dropping from the leaves up above and one landing on my nose. The cold touch of the water made me laugh. I had that certain cold yet warm laugh that was remorsefully hysterically. Searching around some more I could see that there is the tree semi- circling around me trying to protect me from rain. It was my umbrella. That is my home... “Home's where you go when you run out of homes.” (John le Carré). This is my home.
~Cheyenne A. Potter
Home to me isn’t really my home. It’s not the ambiance of a warm cozy living room with a plasma television mounted on the wall nor is it with a fire place burning. Home to me isn’t when I smell chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven.
No, home to me is a basketball gym.
Yes, you read right, a basketball gym; an old beaten up basketball gym. I know that it’s a weird place to call home but after you climb up those stairs into the beginning room you see the pictures of teams before you and the trophies that have CHAMPIONS across the bottom and the year followed behind. When I was four seeing those pictures and those trophies, I never really thought about all the talent that this gym has seen. The gym was part of a temple so there was a stage on the North side of the gym and on the South part of the gym there was these stairs that lead to what my team and I used to call THE DEATH ROOM. Not only has this gym been the place of where my fundamentals in basketball have grown but it has been the gym where I made my first free throw, my first lay-up, my first three pointer. It’s where I got my first ever bruises and gym floor burns; it’s where I ran up and down the court playing hide and seek or running up and down the court because I kept messing around too much. It’s where I made friendships that would be everlasting.
Spending EVERY Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturdays in this gym for over 2 hours…how could it not be home?
This old dusty gym with the squeaky floors and the windows on the ceiling that let barely any light in but enough so you can see the lint flying in the air like feathers. This is my home. This is where I knew I could be myself and all would be well. I could lay on the half court line right in the middle and feel like everything was right in the world. It’s where I could find my serene and tranquility.
By the end of this year, not only will my picture go up in that case that you see when you go up those steps and enter through the door. This will be my fourteenth year with this gym. Yes the gym that never changes although I do.
Hearing the balls pounding against the floor and that on point squeak your shoes make against the floor looking for traction is the sound I love to hear. The grunts and the whistling and the screaming from the point guard calling the play as she’s passing half court line is the sound I love to hear.
This is what this gym has given me. It’s given me a home. This is what I consider home. This is my Elaine’s.
That’s when you know it’s a good gym. It never changes so you can measure your own change.
I am glad that you actually have a place that can compare to Elanie's. I am jealous of that. And I am also jealous of the things you were able to achieve that I cannot.
Basketball has been the only sport that I have wanted to try out but I never did. For 4 years in AHS, I printed out the athletic clearance form every year. But I never filled it out. I still remember the feeling of making that first shot. I still remember the feeling that I did my first cross over, the first block, the first cut and many other first thing. However, unlike you, I never have a stable place and a stable group to train with, to game with. I don't remember how many pick-up games I have played with different people with different age with different race. I don't have a home in basketball nor in real life. I have been wandering ever since I was born. So, I just stopped. I stopped looking for home and stability. Wherever I am, I will try my best to make it wonderful.
So I am jealous of what you have. This is a great post because it has touched me. It has an understatement. It shows identity, security, happiness, and many other concepts that you probably may not even noticed when you were writing it. People do get influenced by other people. I like this post very much.
Thank you for the good read.
You know Nicole, this was an interesting read because when you mentioned a basketball gym and all the time you invested into it, I kind of found out what may be my Elaine's.
It's a pleasant read to see your passion to stay beside you for fourteen years. I applaud you for your commitment to the sport.
I really enjoyed reading your post. The line that stuck out to me most was, "I could lay on the half court line right in the middle and feel like everything was right in the world. It’s where I could find my serene and tranquility. " I know exactly what it means to find a home in a place that isn't perfect. The pool deck that I practiced on was my favorite spot on campus. It is remarkable to be able to reflect on how much I have changed since I first stepped on the deck. Im sure you feel the exact same way about your gym. What are some ways that you have changed? What are some of your favorite memories?
Wow Nicole! your post had great imagery and i loved that a home to you was not where you live, but where you love to be. its amazing seeing others defintions of a home and its awesome that you strayed from the rest. good job
Hi Alec, I find it very commendable that you love your family so much. I agree with what you said about "home is where the heart is," because In my house i have a little recipe box in the shape of a house with that exact saying on it. All of what you said really did strike a cord, and I liked the way you lined up different versions of what home means to you, and then explained them. Good formatting.
I used to think that I didn’t belong here, in Arcadia, at the high school, or even in my own home. There was a pull, drawing somewhere that was not this town. It felt strange walking into the school, watching the people that also went there with me walk by, and understanding that it was not the place I wanted to be.
I put immense emphasis on the “was.”
When I started senior year, I went in thinking rather pessimistically, unhappy that I still had another year of high school to push through and anxious to leave behind almost everything in this town.
Now it’s five months later, and I’m unhappy that I only have one more year of high school left and anxious about leaving behind everything that I have ever known for a world I know very little about.
I want to stay in the warmth of my home forever, wrapped up in my blankets in my room, where my books lay stacked upon the dressers in massive piles, where my walls are taped up with treasured things I have collected over the years, where I have called my home for the past thirteen years.
In the time between the first day of senior year and now, I have also found the people I can call my friends. After three years of high school I finally know who are the people I treasure the most, and I will be forced to part with most of them at the end of this year. It pains me a lot when I think about it.
I need to step forward, if I’m going to achieve some of the goals on my list. It’s absolutely terrifying though, to take in a new life and leave my old one behind. I took home into a lot of consideration when I applied to colleges, choosing the ones that were within range of it for whenever I wanted to visit and only a few farther away.
It would settle my heart so easily if I could find some miraculous compromise that allowed me to keep all of my friends and my home with me and still pursue my dreams. My friends have aspirations as well though, and I know they are also planning, hoping for a way to blend two worlds together. We all understand that while we all treasure each other, we also need to heed to the calls from our futures.
I think that people must take their friends and family into consideration when they are planning on how to move forward. While dreams are important, the people that support you along the way are as well. Think about them, because when you cannot hold yourself up on your own, they will help you. Treasure them for that reason. I don’t think you should think about them so much that they divert you from your dreams, but definitely hold them as close as possible.
I hope when the day high school will end comes, I will be ready for my new life.
If it all works out, I’ll still be able to keep my friends in hand as I head off.
If it all works out, I’ll be alright with leaving my home behind.
Good Blog. I am happy that you like it here a lot more then how you felt in the beginning and I am also happy you feel like you fit in better then you use to. I am sure you are going to achieve all your goals on your list.
As a mountain climber needs time to acclimate to the elevation, people need time to adjust to their new surroundings, gradually getting more and more comfortable with it. And just as we get acclimated, we push on forward to new heights, leaving only our footsteps behind. Your post reminded me of just how much time we have with those around us. As soon as we stop loathing it, we start missing it. Great job on your post.
Change is unavoidable. It has taken you 3 years to finally feel at "home", and its really hard to leave. It's always difficult to say goodbye, especially to those who you don't wish to see go, but it happens. I can pretty much guarantee you that you aren't the only one going to miss their friends, or the one who is terrified about leaving everything behind. I just hope it doesn't take you 3 years to feel like you belong in college. That would suck. Great post.
“Success takes you, where character cannot sustain you” – Dave Chappelle.
Arcadia is a very wealthy city. My friends, whether they’re white, black, Hispanic, Asian, all have parents that make average, to above average incomes. From birth, our lives have all been planned out by our parents. We are to attend school, go straight to a prestigious college, and procure a successful job in the future. We were, in a sense, born with a silver spoon thrusted into our mouths.
For many of us Arcadians, that is our lives.
I’ve come to believe that we as young people, outside of academics, lack so many fundamental values. Values like independence and respect . We focus so much on future success that we forget the values we need to get us there.
When I see students with their stylish new cars in the student parking lot revving their engines and impressing their friends, I don’t think their cool. Instead I see naïve , foolish young people who have the audacity to show off a car that their parents bought for them with their own hard earned money.
You didn’t work for it.
You didn’t earn it.
It was given to you.
I think it’s shameful that parental dependency has been so engrained into our everyday lives that we start thinking it’s something we should have, not something we’re lucky to have.
Perhaps some of my peers be upset at me, but that’s what I believe to be true. I know that in saying this, I’ll be making myself an easy target for criticism. I’ll stand out. But that’s just what I want; to go against and question the values my society holds to be true. Arcadia, as I see it, is filled with youths that aren't quite ready for a world unsheltered by their parents. That’s why I long to be outgoing and experiment with different things. Though Arcadia is my home, I won’t be here forever. I need to grow up, leave the nest, find what it is I want to do with my life.
I really like how I read through many posts about fear and discomfort with the idea of leaving home and then saw your powerful, bolded words hinting at a completely different opinion. In other words, the formatting really caught my eye.
Ultimately I think what drew me to your post was your raw honesty. Some people hinted at discontent, but you took the risk to declare exactly what you dislike. That takes some courage and makes me consider making my future blog posts more true to what I think. So, I suppose, thank you.
However, while reading, I did get this sense that you think every Arcadian has parents that make decent incomes. I know you didn't specifically say everybody, but your tone made it seem that way. Perhaps consider writing more clear disclaimers (hope that is the appropriate word)? I don't think everyone here is well off.
This post is very bold and does not attempt to sugarcoat your thoughts for us readers at all. While I appreciate the honesty and openness, I think strong messages such as these will get more attention and ultimately be more effective if it is presented with a little restraint as opposed to blatantly judging all of your readers.
In addition, after reading your post, I sort of understand why the quote at the beginning relates, but I think your post could be much stronger if you wove a connection or two of that quote into your writing (maybe as a tie-up in the conclusion portion of the post).
Really liked your post Michael, especially how you emphasized feeling-evoking words, like "shameful."
Overall, I thought your post was a good read. Keep up the good work.
what a great post, and i completely agree with you. Sometimes i will just think about all the kids that are granted with luxuries, and think to myself, are they going to be able to earn all this by themselves when they grow up? or are they going to lose this life style, once they step into the real world.
Very bold, Michael... I love it. I agree with you and how you mention our school's dependency of something other than themselves. Some people are lucky for having nice things, but it stops them from realizing what will happen when they don't have mom and dad to hand them keys to a nice, new BMW. Many people in our school are just lucky, and not much more than that.
I agree with you, so many people have such expensive cars. Even little kids have have smart phones now.
Entering Arcadia, I had no friends. I had no place where I can call home. I just had myself.
When I first came to high school, I lost hope in getting to know this area. I figured that I would just be the shadow that hid in the corners of the school, and enter college to make a new start. I stepped back, and stood there, watching everyone enjoy themselves with one another.
Standing from the side, I see how people can easily get along. I see how people can be both good and bad towards another, from the quick chats, to long conversations. I envied those people.
Four more years until a new life? No, that is not worth the wait.
Senior year now, I couldn't believe the changes I've made throughout my high school year. The years went by quickly, and I wished for a longer high school year. After freshman and sophomore year, I realized what Arcadia was to me. It has become a home.
It's not the perfect home, but it's still a home. It's not the house I live in, but the area itself. After living in Arcadia for almost 12 years, I realized how much experiences and memories I made here. I made a group of friends up until now. I've learned to dance and found a interest in art. I found and lost love, experiencing both the ups and downs. I found a religious view. I found myself.
Less than five more months until graduation, and it's terrifying to see it all end. After building my life for 18 years, how can I say goodbye to it all? How can I say goodbye to everyone I came to know. How can I leave a comfortable life and start a new again. I did say I wanted to start again.
Out of the 18 years I've lived, the last 2 have become the most cherished. I wish I hadn't wasted the first 16 years of my life. Maybe that's why I said I want to start again.
I made my mistake in the beginning, and learned in the last two years. I can see myself leaving for college, but at the same time, I see myself staring down an empty path. I don't where I'm going, and I can't keep having people direct me to places.
When it all ends, I'm hoping I can choose the path.
When it all ends, I'll be searching for another home.
Good post Joseph. I like that you discovered your home on your own and didm't find it till these last few years. i enjoyed reading you post. good work.
I really loved your post,because I can definitely relate. After making new friends and constantly being able to see them for the past 4 years, the idea of having to say goodbye is scary. So is starting over. Needless to say, it is great that you were able to find yourself. Great start for your first blog.
Good job on your post this week, Joseph. Your post really made me feel how you felt back then and I feel like I can relate.
The ignominious label in the minds of students, almost akin to exile in the real world. And for refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance.
Granted, this was during World War II when the nation was understandably sensitive to anything slightly unpatriotic. But, nonetheless, two young children of Jehovah’s Witness believed that pledging to the flag violated their religious consciences. Their school decided to kick them out.
The Supreme Court upheld that decision.
These children, descendants of Walter Gobitis, stood up for their beliefs, despite the bullying they faced as a result of their courage. They clearly believed pledging to the flag was immoral. And yet, they were punished.
Justice Stone stated in his dissent in Minersville School District v. Gobitis:
“This seems to me no more than the surrender of the constitutional protection of the liberty of small minorities to the popular will.”
Those children were right to fight for their beliefs, no matter how small a minority they were. They best demonstrate the moral obligation humans have to resist injustice. And yet we punished them. That says a lot about the dangers of being in the minority. And it also brings to mind the question: “If we punish and silence them, in favor of the popular will, won’t we take another step towards becoming a majoritarian society? Won’t we then effectively create just one viewpoint that everyone has to follow?”
Besides, what stories have we heard from those that gave in? We only know those who resisted, who fought for their beliefs. We praise Ghandi. We praise Martin Luther King Jr. We don’t praise Hitler, but we sure do remember him.
You see, even I have experience with this phenomenon. There was this one girl who spoke out against the blind conformity of a certain special interest group I personally held silent disdain for. She caused quite a stir. Her name spread like wildfire within the group.
I don’t think anyone in that group forgot about her. On the flip side, someone in that group asked me if I was a new member years after I lurked around that group.
So one does not only have a moral obligation to resist injustice.
The chance to leave a footprint behind or else vanish completely in society is another reason to resist.
Change only occurs if you dare to push for it. Women would not have gotten the vote if they never spoke up. I would never reach my goals if I continued my daily routine of eating, sleeping, and just plain going through familiar motions.
I once discussed with a peer my observations on her attitude. I knew I was risking sounding like a jerk, but she looked at me and said,” I never thought of it that way. I’ll try to change that about me.” Unlike my experience with that one group previously mentioned, I set aside my inhibitions here and pushed for a change.
Of course, resistance is not without its consequences. So far I have discussed resistance with less dangerous consequences. However, I firmly believe that resistance punishable by death is no different.
So then should we all be martyrs for some great cause that only we each individually perceive? Well, crazy as it is, I believe if that’s what it takes, then yes. If resistance claims one’s life, it only erases his/her physical presence from the earth. However, if that one person conveys his/her message to another, the message begins to spread, and that person is not truly dead. Take Martin Luther King Jr., for example, as one who inspired many through his speeches that have outlasted his death.
Resist in order to change something, someone. Just make sure you’re not alone.
As tectonic plates slide over each other, the surface of the Earth experiences slight rumbles. That is the one person daring to resist. When others follow, the plates slide more and more, until a huge earthquake occurs, and the land shifts.
The Supreme Court later reversed its decision in Minersville School District v. Gobitis with the case West Virginia v. Barnette.
Great minds think alike; I said something similar in my post about how change. The “push” in yours is the “external force” in mine. The nerdy geology analogy at the end was very much appreciated, glad to see I’m not the only geek sneaking the disciplines of science into my posts.
On a side note, I’m not really a fan of formatting text, but your usage of it was appropriate in each case and added to your messages. Technicalities aside, I think the insertion of the more personal examples in the midst of cold, hard facts (the court cases) were not very effective because the people mentioned in them bordered on the thin line of keeping identities anonymous and being a hypothetical. Perhaps it may have been better to stick with various court cases for the entire post for the sake of flow and continuity.
Lastly, after reading your post made me wish I paid more attention in history class; the few times I draw upon historical events to back my up my opinions, I usually use the ones they teach in elementary school. On the other hand, here you are elegantly weaving current day examples into your piece.
I really loved how you integrated this court case we learned about in Gov. into this post; if you read some of my posts from last semester, especially the second one, they're about government too.
When I read the first prompt for this blog, I instantly thought "Martin Luther King Jr." and civil disobedience/equal rights movement and whether or not people were obligated to try and actively change our government for the better as some people are doing for homosexuals today. But for some reason, I wasn't able to mold my ideas into a coherent blog post and I went a different direction. You, however, were able to make something out of it and I admire that.
I really wish you had flushed out the idea of having to do something grand in order to be remembered a little bit more because being remembered and one's legacy was a huge topic first semester and it might be this semester too. Specifically, when you say "I don’t think anyone in that group forgot about her. On the flip side, someone in that group asked me if I was a new member years after I lurked around that group" I wish you had made the distinction between action leading to fame or infamy and inaction leading to neither.
Otherwise, this was very good, especially considering it was your first blog.
Whoops, I meant to reply to Joanna's post, not this comment.
I kind of agree with Tim that in that I think your anecdotes were a little too vague to clearly tie to your other points, but I wouldn't take them out entirely. Anyways, awesome post!
Aha so I'm not sure if I can reply to everyone so I'm going to reply to myself. Thanks guys for all your input! I will definitely try to flesh out my examples. I tried to force in the personal because everyone seemed to be doing that...won't do that anymore unless it fits.
Oh wow. Your very first word already caught my attention. I couldn't stop reading it afterwards. It was a really nice read. Good job!
I really liked your blog this week! I think that you have great ideas, but I want to know how you practice what you preach.
What have you pushed for in life? Where have you left your mark, or stood up for something?
Oh wow, this is gorgeous. I don't think I've ever seen anyone approach a blog post using a court example. Almost every sentence in here absolutely wow's me. I really agree with the ideas you have in this post.
Myth/Sci-Fi – 2
6 February 2012
13 years ago, I made my journey to the small city of Arcadia. I was so small when I came here, I can barely remember what the plane ride was like. The little apartment on Fairview has been my home since.
Its funny, when I turned 8, we moved out. I still went to school here, but I lived a few cities away. The commute was a nightmare, but I realize now how worth it that was.
Two years ago, the little apartment on Fairview was ours again. We moved back here sophomore year, and realized this was our home all along.
We walked in for the first time in years and smiled at how little had changed. Sure the floors were wood now, and the gray carpet that was ever had been torn out, but it still felt like the same home. The bathrooms still sucked, a fact that we've learned to live with. The garage door was still flimsy and breaking. It was no surprise to us that we would have to get it replaced within the year.
I ended up taking the room my sister once had. My brother took his old room, and at age 23, we realized how little he's changed from his 18 year old self. A lot of things had changed, but we never really realized how much we had stayed the same. I was still that silly little kid, who was so perplexed with the idea that I would be back in what I'm so glad to call my childhood home.
A week or so after, we held a housewarming party. My sister came from her home in South Pasadena and we shared a bunch of stories as from our childhood here. It was crazy. We were right back where we were 14 years ago. Life had passed by so fast, yet everything was barely beginning for all of us.
This apartment I sit in, is my life. Its the biggest part of who I am. Sure, I may not have been born here, and it may not have been where I started my life, but its where I grew up. Its where I held my first Christmas in this country. Its where I brought my first “serious” girlfriend to meet my family. This is my home. Its may be a little small, and it may be a little changed, but it'll always be the home that I can depend on.
It never changes, and thought it lets me see the change in myself, it also lets me see the beauty in what's stayed the same. This little apartment, on the corner of Fairview, is my home. It is my sanctuary, and I'd never dare to have it any other way.
What a good read. I envy the fact that you've already relived a good memory.
Thank you! I enjoy this house and the billions of memories it holds. I hope you find that too, as cliche and possibly insincere that may sound. The feeling I get from this home is something everybody should really experience. I appreciate your comment!
Haha. I know where you live. Not creepy at all.
I enjoyed reading your post. It was something I could relate too, sort of. Good job!
Haha, I hope you enjoy my comment on yours! Muriel, out.
I really liked how the way you described your home; most of it wasn't “positive”, like the breaking garage door and sucky bathrooms, but at the end of it all, it’s home. Home is wonderful, no matter what. Even though the things inside may be falling apart, the people inside aren't, which is the most important. I love that! I like how you can still love the place no matter how small or dilapidated things may be, that’s very, very special. Love this!
I think I'm making the apartment sound a lot worse than it does! Its really not that bad, but its got its negative quirks. Those are definitely outweighed by its positive quirks. I'm glad you enjoyed it, though. I feel really appreciative of the people commenting like yourself. I'm glad people understand my little childhood home.
“The city's cold blood calls me home
Home, It's what I long for
Back home, where I belong”
- “Home” by Dream Theater
I would consider myself one of those lucky few who have stayed from kindergarten to the end of high school in the same school district. I never had to face the anxiety of showing up to a brand new school to a sea of brand new faces (well…except the first time). It is scary. I remember my first day of kindergarten when I arrived at a brand new school to a sea of brand new faces. It was like I was in a strange new world…I clutched to my mom and started crying, screaming that I wanted to go home. Eventually my mom pried me out of her hands and left. I knew no one. That first day was terrible. But eventually I adapted.
I resist change.
I was three when my parents got divorced. I didn’t know about it though…for we were still living in the same house, life went on as normal…my mom chose to continue living with my dad because she wanted me to think that my family was still functional…she didn’t want something negative to impact my life at such an early age…but eventually the relationship between my mom and dad broke down to the point where there wasn’t a single hour of the day where they weren’t arguing or fighting with each other. When I was five my mom took me and our belongings and told me that we were leaving. I cried. I didn’t want to leave behind the life (albeit a short one) that I had back there...the memories (I know, I know…I am only five, what do I know…)…I grew up in that house. A part of my childhood was in that house…the living room floor…the slippery wood surface…cluttered with my Lego sets and die-cast model cars…my home…my domain. We moved from the three bedroom house into a tiny apartment…to start over again…this new, strange place…was not home to me. But I adapted. It’s home now.
I resist change.
Ever since I was three years old, I would go to this restaurant in Rosemead, on the corner of Garvey and San Gabriel. Ledo Café. Not much has changed for the fourteen years that I have been there. The owner is the same…the servers are still the same…whenever you walk in from the front door there is the same fish tank with the same goldfish (well not exactly…many generations have passed). While they have remodeled since…the color scheme changed over to become more pleasing to the eye, the atmosphere is still here; the bustling of the waiters and waitresses…the loud customers trying to talk over each other…the loud kitchen…iced lemon tea on every table…it feels like home.
I resist change.
There isn’t a pinpoint location or place that I can call home; for me home is any place that I have grown accustomed to…a place where I feel safe and warm…it can be anywhere…doesn’t have to be my house…and most importantly a place where things don’t change. Obviously over the years I will continue to evolve, and things will inevitably change…for life goes on and nothing is static…and I know that one day I will have to outgrow the home that I have now and move beyond…discover new things…and adapt into a new home. As much as I resist change…I know that it is something that I will to face.
I will confront change.
I can’t just lock myself to where I am now…as Mr. Feraco tells us…never spend the orientation week at college holed up in your dorm room talking to your high school friends…reliving the past memories…make new friends…make new memories.
Make a new home.
Who I am today and choices that I make have definitely been shaped not only by me, but by others as well…not so much my friends or peers, but my parents. Sometimes I find myself making decisions not to make myself happy but to make my parents happy. Any dreams of majoring in the arts or music have been shattered by my parents…oh you can’t make any money off art…oh you are going to end up broke…why do you think so many musical instruments end up in pawn shops…
Instead I find myself trying to buy into more realistic majors…majors that would yield a more stable job…majoring in a field that won’t shame my parents.
I fear disappointment (ironically I have disappointed my parents already…oh well).
My outlook on my own future is quite grim…I still have absolutely no idea what I want to do in life…heck I don’t even know how to start off my senior project…I am lost…
My past feelings and self-doubt have always haunted my outlook on the future…I find my contemplating the meaning of life…the purpose of it all…and all that lie ahead of me…asking myself what-if questions…what if I get married and the marriage fails (which it probably will…I wouldn’t say I am an easy person to cooperate with)…what if none of my relationships make it to marriage…what if I turn out to be completely and utterly useless and end up working at McDonalds for the rest of time…what if my social anxiety will forever block my path to employment…new opportunities…and making new friends…
What if I never take that leap of faith, and become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone…
…what if I can’t confront change…
Doubt. It forever haunts me.
Disappointment. Well Calvin you're not alone. I fear it to. I can relate to you so much, you don't even know how much. I used to be the girl who did everything her parents said, no questions asked. Not ever. Well one day I asked myself "Aren't parents to be trusted?" don't get me wrong I need their guidance but they can't be the dictator in my life. Not every single thing that they plan for me is going to go the way they want it to. It's simple math. Different people+ Different life+ Different personality= Different ambitions. This isn't 100% correct and I'm not trying to make you think the way I do, no at all. Its just that at the end of the day if you pick something you feel is right but its just not you, you might have to live doing whatever it is you choose for the rest of your life. So what happens when that one thing is something you do not like. I don't know how I exactly did it but I some how realized what I am telling you myself. One day I just said something that went sort of like "The plan you have for me and what you want me to be I will try it and try my best in it but I can't promise that I'll stick with it. I'm young and I can try different things until I really find the one that fits me, the one where I can say I am Alma Morales, THIS is what I do, and I LOVE it.
Wow that is a downer, but disappointment happens to all of us. I feel what really shows your character, is how you react to your change, so I am not sure that I agree with resisting the change. No matter how hard the circumstances may be, I like to see the positive as an outcome. Anyways, great read! Thanks for sharing:)
What Comes to Mind When I Imagine “Home”
Here I am sitting on this old wooden chair that wheezes stories of ages past—stories of what I called “guitar concerts” in my garage, stories of building furniture fortresses, stories of chair-throwing shenanigans with my friends. Now it is just a chair that I sit on to do English assignments.
My hearing sharpens as guitar feedback plays through my stereo speakers. Nirvana’s “Lithium” is playing.
“I’m so happy coz today I found my friends, they’re in my head.”
As I sit on this old wooden chair and listen to Kurt Cobain’s raspy yet comforting voice, I reminisce of the place where it all began. It’s the place where I once swung a young, golden-brown chair, the place where I first heard Cobain’s beckoning voice. It’s a place where dreams and romance harmonize together to form a warm, kindling reality.
What a marvelous place it was, the Midwest town of Cleveland Heights, about twenty miles south of Cleveland, Ohio and worlds away from Arcadia, California.
I had just moved from another small town called Bedford Heights where I felt alienated and ostracized because none of my peers ever befriended me or even bothered to be courteous towards me. I was so different. I thought different, I spoke different, and I acted different. I was different. I was angered at this, and I was frustrated that I felt alone and helpless.
I was now an incoming freshman enrolled at Cleveland Heights High School for the 2009-2010 school year.
What would be so different this year than from the previous years of loneliness and resentment? Heh, another year of tears and bruises, March.
I have never been so wrong since. Never before have I been so welcomed and secure in my whole life as I was in Cleveland Heights. You see, Heights (as the locals call it) is a very unusual for a little Midwest town. Once a town crawling with hippies in the glorious days of the late Sixties, Heights is a town that embraces uniqueness and individualism. It seems everyone is an artist, musician, or a poet, or all three. Hipsters, punks, and bohemians were omnipresent, lining up the sidewalks and roaming around parks playing their music or painting their canvases. It was very comforting in the fact that I could share my ideas with people that could accept them an also have them share their ideas with me.
Finally, I was comfortable in a place where I could call it my own, a place where I call it,
But, oh how short good moments last.
Here I am again in this old wooden chair, in a place called Arcadia, California.
Three years I’ve been here. Three years since I’ve been away from home, a home where I dwelled for only a mere nine months. I don’t even remember leaving Heights, or even why I left. All I know now is that I walk around the streets of a place where at times is still unfamiliar to me, the hustle and bustle of things so agitating and annoying.
Study this, study that, college essays, SAT classes. THIS THIS, THAT THAT, ARCADIA, ARCADIA, ARCADIA.
The fast paced, unappreciative way of life still frustrates me to this day.
You see, “home” isn’t some place where you stay a long period of time to eat and sleep. Nor is it just a place where you were born in. “Home” is a place where you feel most comfortable, where you have a sense of belonging. [Heck], I could’ve lived in a cardboard box for all I know in Heights and still feel comfortable enough to call it “home.” It’s all a perspective. It’s all up to that person and how he or she is. What comforts you? What makes your heart kindled? What makes you walk outside your shelter and look around your surroundings and feel marveled? Can you slow down your ticking clock inside of you for a minute and take your time to appreciate what is around you?
That’s home and I can tell you right now that I’m no where near it.
For now, I can only imagine myself walking in the warm-hearted streets of a swirling December day, snow brushing against my face. The smell of Mama Joyce’s hearty fried chicken wafting in the air, begging me to go through the chipped wooden doors and feast ‘till I’m plump as a stuffed turkey. I can hear the friendly sounds of friends and lovers singing Beatles songs resonating throughout the forest paths.
“Hey! You got to hide your love away”
My speakers blast screeching guitar feedback as if it were trying to get my attention.
I’m back to reality. A different tune is now playing, Nirvana’s “Sliver.”
Kurt sings just one main line throughout the outro about twenty times with a sort of sarcastic and agonizing cry for help that gets to me every single time I listen to it:
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
Grandma take me home
I wanna be alone!
Never have I felt so homesick in my life.
A good read, but I ended up lost at times with the details. Maybe a bit more details?
Don’t you ever get tired of the same old same old?
While many of you say yes, the schedule and patterns that we follow for our day to day lives remains consistent, every day surrounded by the group of people and everyday sitting in the same location. But why do we do it?
Why do we follow our routine schedules, despite our desire for change? Well I’ve come to the conclusion that by following such our monotonous routines we get a sense of security. By constantly repeating our action we know what to expect. We know what we’ll know what work we have for the day. We know who we’ll see for the day. We know where we’ll be for the day. We enjoy the stability and security that comes with consistency. It makes us feel comfortable and safe. Especially here.
Arcadia is an amazing city. It’s a haven, to raise a family, to retire peacefully, to grow up. Everything anyone could need is in this town. Libraries, malls, cafes, markets, banks, schools, everything. Why would anyone want to leave a paradise like this?
Because it’s so perfect.
This city…this sanctuary is a bubble, safely afloat. Detached from the outside world. Untouched beyond an occasional breeze that flies by. It’s the calm without the storm. The peace without the war. And it’s maddening.
For a town with everything, it has nothing. Nothing to experience, nothing to see, it’s always the same old same old.
Now after what I’ve said you would think that I’m sick this city, and that is not completely untrue. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but I now I find this place to be quite mundane. I’m ready to move on, to pursue my dreams. To leave my mark on this world. There are places to be, and people to meet. I should not keep them waiting. And in the distant future whenever it is I come back, I hope this feeling of boredom to the town that raised me, turns to a feeling of nostalgia.
I agree with you that where we live in can be boring in a sense and that it is slightly maddenning. We do have great memories here but sometimes things get very boring
The phrase ignorance is bliss is very common in our society. Not knowing something means that we are not responsible for what happens. It becomes an excuse to do what we normally do without worrying about the consequence. We learn these consequences and dissatisfaction when we learn the truth about what is going on.
What is the point of knowing something if it only brings us pain?
Why suffer when we could be happy?
We can be stagnant. We can be comfortable.
“The world we live in offers us comfort. But we were not made for comfort. We were made for greatness”
Jan Rodricks lived in a world that offered him comfort. The overlords dispelled all of the pain and suffering that burdened the earth. They created a prosperous society. However, in doing so, they destroyed man’s motivation. No longer did people seek to invent because the overlords had already invented it. Man lived a meaningless life.
Jan took a risk. He would chase his dreams by defying the over lords. His dream became a goal.
That goal led him to the stars that were once denied to him.
The other day, Mr. Feraco told us the story us the story of Air Lift, the horse who had a famousbrother and father. Air Lift had all of the potential in the world to be a great race horse. His career was short lived because at his first race, he broke a leg. Since broken legs are very difficult to heal,
the owner only had one option; to kill Airlift. This horse had all of the potential in the world but was not given a chance to use it. The owners did not want to risk spending money and time to heal the horse.
They took the easy way out.
Risk, chance. Two words that gamblers love.
They could leave the casino with more money than they came in with. I think of the coin flipping game that Mr. Feraco had us do last semester. We had the potential to get a better life or lose everything, all due to how a coin lands. Personally, I pocked the coin when it promised me an average life. At the end of the period Mr. Feraco told us about how every risk he took in his life paid off. And that got me thinking.
“Where would the world be if no one took any risks?”
“Is the chance at a great life worth the possibility of failure?”
My own life is testament to pain and progress. I joined water polo as a freshman who was way in over his head. At the end of every practice, I was dead tired. I kept coming back. I kept swimming. Kept trying. Pretty soon, I was able to work through the pain. Four years later, I was a starting member of the varsity team. The pain I went through was immense. I started off being the second slowest on the team. Through willing myself to keep improving, I gained what I was looking for. I was one of the three best on the team, which was something I never would have dreamed of being.
Jan could have been comfortable not exploring space.
Killing Airlift was the easy way out.
Quitting water polo would have made my life easier.
Jan found greatness in the stars. I found a sport that I would use to define myself throughout high school.
Pain is a part of life. Some days the pain we
feel can be unbearable.
There is more to pain than suffering.
Sometimes, we need that pain to help us find ourselves
Tom found himself when he lost Summer.
My family united when my dad was laid off from his job two years ago. We stayed united when he was hired by another company. The closeness we had outweighed the pain. I had found my family.
Times were difficult. However, Conquering that pain made my family stronger.
It brought us together.
If given a choice to live in a lie or live in pain, I would choose to live in pain.
A life that is a lie is not life at all.
The pain in my life has helped me discover who I am.
I would not trade that for anything.
“When I am weak, then I am strong.”
I really like your perception of how pain can bring unity. I really like how you weaved a prompt into the "A life that is a lie" prompt.
I'm inspired to view pain differently and feel the benefits of it.
Hey Bobby my old friend,
My oh my this was quite a inspiring read. And I agree with you completely. Without chance or risk, the thrill, excitement, and danger that comes in choices. The significance of the choices we make in our lives lose their meanings.
The question "Was it worth it?" ceases to be important because there was no danger, no risk.
By facing adversity we can grow and by growing we can achieve.
Good job Mr. Varsity Water Polo and my good old friend
I agree with your view of deciding between pain and lie. What's life without pain? Why continue living if it's fake? I completely understand these concepts.
That’s my favorite word, but it is also my curse. It only takes one question like, “Hey does my outfit look good?” or “Hey Dad, can I go and babysit out in La Puente?” The response is my deciding factor. After a simple yes or no answer, my reply will always be ‘Okay.’ It doesn’t matter that I feel great in that one outfit, or if I love working with kids, if I don’t get the answer I want to hear I will accept it as cold hard fact.
What creates my urge to not want to disappoint people—whether it is from my parents or my peers? It could be because I want the acceptance of others more than my own happiness. But maybe it is also just because I care more about other people’s opinions than my own. Somehow they tend to matter so much more to me.
I have lost so many opportunities in response to other people’s views on how I should live my life, and I let them. I let them reap the benefits from my misfortunes. I leave the things that I believe could make me happy because someone else believes “it’s a bad idea.” And the reason I let them is because don’t have the courage to do anything for myself.
There is something to say about courage. There is the courage you need to go to battle, or to go bungee jumping. But there is a different type of courage that takes more than just fear. The courage to be who you are, and make your own choices is always the struggle. Taking other people’s views into consideration with my own life is the only way I ever make a decision. I do this because I am not confident with myself and my choices. I allow myself to accept that my beliefs are always less than someone else’s.
‘Okay’ is the bridge between me and those I respect. Should I believe in myself, or just go along with what others deem fit for me? ‘Okay’ is the acceptance of the fact that I know how lost I am. I realize that I cannot truly be who I want without others approval, because I do not allow myself to think for myself. The reason why ‘Okay’ is so powerful to me is because when I know I don’t get the response I want from someone ‘Okay’ is what saves me from disappointment. It’s the word that accepts that other people matter more than my own thoughts.
I didn’t know ok could have such a universal meaning but you proved that to me. Good job on the blog by the way. I agree on how there is different types of courage and that it might take more courage to think for yourself instead of trying to impress others.
I loved how you wrote about something unique and as simple as the word "okay." It gave a whole new different perspective on the word and how many different meanings that it has. It usually just meant "okay" to me but now I think about how frequently I use it and how it translated to many different meanings. Good job on the blog!
"Where are you from?"
Every time I go to Temecula or Palm Springs, I always get this question " Where are you from?" I immediately answer Arcadia and in return the person asking the question has a blank look on their face. I then change my answer to Pasadena and then the person knows where I am from. Is Arcadia really a small town that no one living outside of Pasadena knows about? Maybe, but to me it's my home.
Throughout my 17 years of living in Arcadia, I have developed a routine. Wake up, go to school, go home, do homework, and then sleep. On the weekends, the schedule changes to wake up, chores, and if my parents are in the mood, we go out. After 17 years of doing the same routine constantly, you get bored. I start thinking, is this what I really want to do for the rest of my life? An immediate NO pops up in my mind. I can't stay here for another 60+ years doing the same routine, but instead of going to school, it changes to going to work. Boring!
"That's why we need to go out there and find out. Just sitting here won't change a thing. It's the same old stuff. So let's go." -Riku, Kingdom Hearts
It's true. Living in Arcadia, I am so used to the routine that I am bored. I just want to leave and experience the world. The best way to think of Arcadia is like a bubble. You are so absorbed in your own little bubble that when it pops and you go experience the outside world, you are shocked at how different life is. That is probably why I can't wait until I turn 18 and have a chance to experience life. I want to travel the entire world and meet new people so I can see what life is like in other countries. I have been to Jordan and life is so different compared to living in Arcadia. Women are usually covered from head to toe and kids are allowed to go to the convenient store by themselves and buy cigarettes for the adults. It would be unthinkable if a little kid tried to do that here, but that is exactly the reason why I don't want to stay here.
Even though I have basically said routine is boring and I don't want stay in Arcadia, it is still in fact my home. The feeling of finally being at peace after a long flight from a foreign country is so blissful, that you gladly welcome back the old routine. I have traveled to Hawaii countless times and it is beautiful, but when I finally have landed at the crowded LAX airport I feel so much happier than I did when I was in Hawaii. The feeling that I'm home comes to my mind.
Home is where the heart is. It is where you feel safe and comfortable. There are times where you want to leave it, but you know that it will still be there waiting for you to come back.
"No matter where I go, or...what I see...I know I can always come back here." - Kairi, Kingdom Hearts
I had lots of fun reading your post. It is really good for your first post. Whenever people ask me where I am from and I say Arcadia, they would usually know. I find it funny that we get completely different reaction for the same answer. I also like the quote you used at the end. It was great. Keep up the amazing work.
OHHHHHH You played kingdom hearts!!! After playing that game, I am certainly inspired to make an adventure out of my life.
For some reason I REALLY want to see Hong Kong, because everyone there speaks my childhood language (Cantonese!! WOOOHOOO!!!)
It's true that Arcadia is like a bubble, and we have urges to leave, but knowing we could come back is a VERY comforting feeling.
I also get bored here in Arcadia, but I go on adventures through video games!
I completely agree that life is really different outside of Arcadia. We need to experience the world more. Your post was interesting to read. Good job!
I love the point you're trying to make here. I agree that we need breaks from our routine to go do things like travel the world. Our city is really like a bubble, and I agree that things do get boring here after a while. We can find ways to make our life fulfilling. Great post!
And I think you should get a 20/20 on this blog just for the Kingdom Heart references. I love those games to pieces.
Thanks so much for commenting. That would be so cool if I got a 20/20 for using Kingdom Heart quotes. Love the game and since the quotes are so inspiring, I would probably use throughout the semester. Thanks again for commenting.
Thanks so much for commenting. That would be so cool if I got a 20/20 for using Kingdom Heart quotes. Love the game and since the quotes are so inspiring, I would probably use them throughout the semester. Thanks again for commenting.
Home! I imagine home as a place filled with love and happiness, a place where you are surrounded by people who love you and care for you and just have a feeling of joy for eternity. Home is not just anywhere, but home is where you make it. It could be here or there, but it has to be where you feel most at ease and comfortable. For me, home is the house that I live in at the moment because everyone and everything I need, I have in that one place. My Mom is there and so is my dad. I have my pet Champ there as well. Basically, home is where you make it. I know when I get older I will have my own family who love each other as much I love the family I’m in right now. We will take care of each other the same way my parents take care of me. We will find a new place to live and fill it with all the necessities and things that our family needs and that will be my new home.
My home in Arcadia has always been good to me. I love the people I am around on a daily basis and I enjoy the things I come to do in Arcadia, such as school. Life has its perks in Arcadia. I can’t argue about that, but sometimes I do wonder what life could offer me somewhere else. I have big dreams for myself in life and most of them involve leaving my home town Arcadia. I want to go and explore the world. I want to go to Hollywood and make something of myself. I practically just want to become a famous person. Arcadia is not holding me back as much as it is influencing me to get out of this place. Don’t get me wrong. I love it here, but I just think of myself be a bigger person than what I am at the moment, and the only way I think I can do that is by leaving Arcadia. I will come back and live here from time to time but I know when college hits I want to move on with my life and see better things.
By the time I am ready to leave my hometown Arcadia, I just hope I have learned to be more persistent and aggressive than I have been known to be in the past. I have let things slide in my past either because I was too scared of what the consequences might be, or I was just to embarrassed to show off my talents for something that I knew my peers would judge me for pursuing. I have given up on things because I care too much of what people would say or think about me. That is one of the traits I have that I would like to let go of. I know when I get into the real world it will all be different. It’s a dog eat dog world out there and you always need to fight for what you believe in or what you want because nobody is going to be around to help you. Just like teachers do in school, you have to do everything on your own. Did I regret not pursuing those goals I let slip even though I was determined I wanted? Yes, probably for the rest of my life I will look back and say I should have done that, but it’s ok for now. I know there will be many more doors that will open for me in the future.
Being a senior looking back on my seventeen years of life, I believe I have done pretty good. I have some regrets, but that is the whole point of growing up. Now that I am about to leave High School, my outlook of life can’t get very much brighter than it already is. I am telling myself that there is a lot I am going to accomplish in the real world, and I am going to start to make something of myself as soon as I become an adult. I can only think this way because I know I am capable of doing more than I have so far accomplished. I have more drive and motivation than I have had in a long time and this is just telling me that all the stuff I have already done when I wasn’t even that motivated goes to show that I could accomplish so much more when I am motivated.
The future looks bright for me. I hope and intend to achieve great things when I come to leave my home. I look to be this bigger and better me than I already am at the moment. I am determined to do this and I know I will accomplish this.
I am thankful to have met you Christian. I felt touched by what you wrote and that you are great at moving on always on what you do, Have no Regrets! God Bless!
Thanks Brian, im glad to have met you to i appreciate your response.
Your blog post is very reflective. I enjoyed reading your post, good job! I'm glad that you think "Arcadia has always been good to [you]." Good luck with building your future!
The Political Image
7 February 2013
What determines your outlook on the future: your feelings about the past, your hopes regarding tomorrow, or your obligations?
Society creates a pressure on me that is almost indescribable. There are many expectations as an athlete that I feel that I have to fulfill. All of the politics, tradition, and nobility that are needed to maintain a better perspective are what kills me sometime. I don’t fully understand when people that don’t compete in sports often say oh he’s a jock, he gets more attention or more help from teachers just because he plays a sport. We sometimes are rewarded for being able to maintain are grades higher then some students that do nothing all day as soon as they get home. That statement is wrong in so many ways and fuels the fire within me that wants to blow by the opinions that expect me to fail. I become promoted and more obligated to do better, grip down and become more mature when I’m put under a malicious amount of pressure. This creates a very hostile environment that most cannot handle with out maintenance and support from a higher authority such as their parents. Thankfully we have the alums that have an extreme amount of pride that they donate an extreme amount of money each year for our national competing teams and intermural sports. I remind myself where I came from and how far I have come from and do not intend on looking back-wards to any negative influences. I was extremely depressed and had no intellectual reasoning or consideration for my friends and family around me. I almost acted childish whenever I was in a rough situation. I have gotten through this experiment everyday and thankfully I just so happened to be good at it now. I ignore the negative opinions and only focus on those opinions that have been able to help me get through sitautions and those who want to, rather then making up lies to sonly cure my problems at the moment. There is many times where I find myself wanting to go back to the start of the situation and change what it has become and take back things and only create positive moods that first made me happy. But there are times when I wonder about what lies ahead which is why I want to have a plan for where my life is headed to next. I get motivated and encouraged from my peers and which helps the decisions that I make. While saying this, from here on out I have knocked down the high 15-foot walls that most could not climb over to fully understand me as a friend and brother. It is the next step of my life just like José Ortega explained in his quote explaining, “ That to live is to feel oneself lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be firm ground.”
Great job this week on the blog!
I want to encourage you to take those risks in life, and strive for what you want. You're a great football player and after reading this blog, I see another side of you that I didn't know about.
Take chances, work hard, and live a life full of prosperity!
WOW. Junior year. Bishop's class. I Thought I knew a little about "Adrian" and you've completely flipped the coin on me. I'm not speechless about your post, I think it's amazing it's just awesome. I'm speechless about how I read your post and it's YOURS but it made me think about MY plans, my next step, and how you say not looking back. Well done Adrian. Well done.
Why should I live?
Asking yourself that question and not finding an answer is scary but answering that question from someone else’s shoes and still not having an answer is even scarier. Discovering for the first time that your life holds no meaning makes you feel like you are already dead because you never began to exist. You begin to ask why you feel nothing only to realize that you feel nothing, and that you are an empty human wearing a lying mask. A mask that has taken all your feeling and in return it has also taken your meaning and existence. You can shatter the mask and let the world fill your empty shell or leave it on and know that your life is forever a perfect lie. I chose the first.
I was no longer a no-face that hid himself from the world because he did not fit in and was afraid to be different. Now that I was awakened everything around me was the same but different, I was the only one that changed and yet it seemed like the whole world changed with me. It was not the world I was afraid of but it was much better than that. I began to notice people always hanging out with each other and laughing with smiles on their faces I began to feel something else. I began to feel pain for the first time in a long while because I now realized how alone I really was. The weird thing was that I did not feel sad in the slightest, in fact I was happy in my pain because I knew that because I felt it I was alive. Knowing that I am alive made me so happy that I laughed, maybe even cried.
The pain that I felt was such a wonderful thing. Even though it hurt it also filled me with meaning. I was no longer a ghost that could not affect the world around me, forever an observer that has lost the ability to interact and longed for it to return. I now stepped outside my self-imposed boundaries and suddenly I could do something. The something I would do was undetermined but that did not matter because now I have the power to do it. This made me happy and the pain only made the happiness more meaningful.
As someone that has experienced both the world of lies and the world of pain, just like Winston except not as extreme, I would choose pain. Lies have no meaning because they are created to avoid it. People use lies to escape the truth and its meaning rather than embrace it. Lies are always fake and that helps comfort us but the truth is always real even if it does hurt. That is why truth gives meaning while lies take it away. Living in pain is painful but it is also meaningful and it is that meaning that makes me alive and not dead.
I live because I have meaning.
I must agree with your perspective that it is better to live meaningfully (with pain) than ignorantly (no pain). It is good to experience pain, because if you never experience pain, then painless will be your "default." Every luxury will be taken for granted, and then again, life would be a "meaningless lie."
Nicholas, I have also asked myself that question many times, but I never took it as your perspective. I never had the imagination that whether I had a lying mask on or if I had ever shattered it. Instead, I always thought my parents were at fault since they were the ones who kicked me into this world. This has even gave me the meaning of my life: to live for others who live for me. Through this, I take on and share the pain that they receive to me. Finally, because I can sustain more pain, whether it is physically or mentally, than holding up a body of lies, I agree with you whole-heartily that living in pain is better than living a lie.
My only objection is that you say you "live because [you] have meaning," but what is that "meaning"? What is it that makes you want to live?
Home is not always where you live permanently, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a fireplace, an office, and a living room. Home is a place where you’re willing to make memories out of, spend eternally there, and feel loved and warm.
Where or what is this place? This place is called TCHOC or Church (Triumphant Church Home of The Christian).
Church is where you first start your spiritual walk with God, where you meet people, where you feel the need to be when you’re sad or happy, going to Friday or Sunday service, where you should go when you’re spiritually dry, and most of all where you could find the love of God. Church may seem boring but it is full of surprises, like sermons, small groups, and it may seem unusual but bingo night. Church might seem very weird but, it’s one place that is filled with compassion and love and most of all, God.
My first time going to church (TCHOC) was on April 9, 2010, when someone took me to see what its like to become Christian. I didn’t think it would change my life forever. Going inside and taking the first step into this foreign place, I felt the presence of this warm welcome, like there was love everywhere. While in church, I also felt the presence of a being far beyond this world. I also met people like it was new popcorn flying at you, that was how warm the welcome was. Walking around, I observed the the dirty floors to the dusty church pews but those things never stop me from exploring more but made me feel more of home in a sense. Going on exploring in church I saw the special way the church was built, like it reminded you of a wooden house built to perfection with a huge wooden/metal cross right in the center.
Then it was the start of Friday service, people gathering up to sit on the pews with their friends and I sat with someone I didn’t know who later on became one of my best friends. When service started, worship came, and as hand raise for the impact of the song and people singing in sync, I felt love surrounded me even more, it was something I’ve never experienced before. As I was pushed to an altar call from my heart, I saw many people walking toward the altar yelling out “AMEN” and amen I felt the unification of a family. I was saved at this place on that very day I first came to church. Being at church, I felt the warmness of the environment and the people and I felt love surrounded me, and most of all I felt God’s presence. TCHOC felt like a home from the moment I stepped in, and the moment I first lay my eyes on it. This place, this church, is what I call home.
Hi. I am glad that you feel church is your "home". I am also happy that you feel the love of God. As a Christian myself, I love to serve at church, to teach children sunday school, to talk to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know the kind of feeling you are experiencing as you arrive at a specific church. It seems like all the darkness, hatred, deformity of the society have all gone temporarily.
And sometimes it seems like we Christians have obligation to bring such warmth and brightness to people around us. Good job, Brian. I hope your experience with God would touch other souls as well. I hope that people at desperate time would come to you for the knowledge of God.
An indeed touchy post with personal belief. Thank you for the read.
I love how you feel as if "church" is your home. Growing up in a strong catholic family I can't even remember when was the last Sunday I missed a mass. I love how you talk so deeply about God and helping within your church and talking about the pews that gave me a good laugh.
I love how you feel so much better in Church, because I feel the exact same way.
This was a really great read.
I hope that your journey with God grows stronger as time goes by.
I also want to say I was exactly just like you my first time stepping into TCHOC.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
The world we live in is anything but perfect. Nowhere is perfect, but some places are downright “bad” – the whole situation is going to hell in a handbasket. Specifically, I’d like to address the Middle East. Simply put, living there is horrific to say the least - especially for the women. Things are even worse over in the isolated country of North Korea – but the people don’t even realize it, they’re used to it and don’t know any better.
In both of these places, injustice is normal.
Justice will never be delivered because nobody acknowledges that anything is wrong.
For those of you who are unaware of the injustice that goes on in the Middle East, let me briefly go over Iranian law regarding women. In Iran, women must wear a hijab, or head scarf, no matter what – even if they don’t want to.
No big deal, right? Wait till you hear about how women get treated – it gets worse…
An Iranian woman is “worth” half of an Iranian man. This means that in court, two testimonies from women are worth one of that of a man. Also, a woman can only marry one man - and he has to be Islamic - on the other hand, men can marry non-Islamic women - up to four, to be exact.
It’s unjust to say the least, but everyone just goes with the flow – it’s normal.
To make matters worse, a woman in Iran cannot get a divorce unless it’s under “extreme conditions,” whereas a man could get one for no reason whatsoever! So in other words, women are considered property in Iran. This doesn’t even begin to describe how bad the situation is – men could commit adultery but if a woman does so, she is to be stoned to death. It’s ludicrous.
The situation in Iran is bad, but at least some people are putting their efforts towards resolving the problems. Female parliamentarians have attempted to pass laws that would improve the lives of women, but progress is slow…
The only way this would ever work is if the people rise up against the injustice.
While some countries may have injustice, others are the definition of it.
One of the most oppressive countries to ever be is North Korea. The people live under the rule of an iron-fisted dictator; every aspect of life is controlled by the government. I don’t know much about the country, nobody does actually – they’re completely isolated.
They keep to themselves.
Nobody enters. Nobody leaves.
Famine has spread across the nation – people have starved to death, in desperation others have resorted to cannibalism. Streets are empty – nobody has a car. Few parts of the country have electricity; most of the buildings are deserted and without power. While the poor (everyone) grow poorer, those in power live extravagant lives.
The ruling class, the Kim family, has created an ultimate cult of personality. Ridiculous stories have been told in an attempt to brainwash the people into believing their leaders are divine. Kim Jong-il, the supreme leader of North Korea from 1994-2011, was, according to his official biography, born in the mountains. When he was birthed, a double rainbow appeared in the sky, a new star was created, and winter miraculously turned into spring. A god was born.
The people believe this, undoubtedly.
The people have been brainwashed.
The people have no knowledge of the outside world. They are not familiar with any culture other than their own. It is a very poor, very sad country, but the people don’t even realize this. Propaganda plays throughout the day, over speakers and through televisions – the governing party is glorified and capitalist countries (like ourselves) are depicted as money-hungry, unfeeling monsters. They’ve hated us since they were kids – they were raised to.
It sounds like something straight from 1984, but it’s not.
It’s real and it’s happening as we speak, on the other side of the planet.
Nobody speaks of it.
This is what happens when nobody stands up against injustice.
Though I find that your pieces of evidence are a great fit for the subject at hand, I believe fleshing out your explanation relating the evidence to the topic at hand would lend even more credence to your argument. You have the cake, but you need the fork.
As Mr. Feraco has stated, 1984 is Blair's warning to the world of where the wrong path could lead it. Evidently, some parts of the world did not heed the warning. The fact that these places do exist make the day to day events shown by the local media seem somewhat insubstantial. We have had the luck of living in a first world country, even when, as you say, it is not perfect here.
Overall, great ideas for your post. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the comment, Matthew. I kinda just wrote about what was on my mind (I was watching lots of documentaries about these places, recently).
That's why it probably seemed a little random - I thought they were good examples though. Be glad that we live here, in the U.S.
Faded paint that regulated our games, told us where to go and what area to not leave. We stayed just 25 feet away from the sandboxes with iron giants for the dwelling toddlers to conquer. The perfect example of a mind that is so pristine.
I never left the blacktop, this was my sandbox. There are those few times when an air ball would be lobbed past the backboard and into the water glazed grass. Then I scurry away from my position on the court and pick up my miss. Usually I come back into bounds for an immediate hook or layup. The satisfaction to relieve the ball from my hands and take it straight for a shot is a way I keep my momentum up, after the tedious walk to get the ball back. No matter if it was a shoot around with my cousin or brother, every shot made to me was points scored. Draining shot after shot, the different techniques, perfecting my arch, learning how to return a ball after grabbing the rebound, this is what I come to practice. To me it’s either just warm ups or slimming down my mistakes and rounding out the edges until I feel like I've gotten better than the day before.
This was my zone, my home court. Open to anyone especially open to competition. To this day, my cousin and I walk through the deserted hills of Lake Elsinore to go past the houses and into the park. The one park nearby without a double rim basketball court.Traveling about a mile and a half to be there, carrying a single basketball our entire way. Arriving here is the start of our exhaustion. To us that exhaustion is another step to the process of warming up. Not worrying about how much energy will be drained by the time we arrive. Still, we play for hours. Thankfully those kids nearby playing love to take snack breaks, which attract vendors selling delights from a cart. When we are needed to leave is another time besides getting the out of bounds ball but also to hydrate ourselves with some water the vendor sells us.
As a younger child I enjoyed these things. The pick up games I played and the availability of an open basketball court that I can come to anytime and still be able to play. It’s something about having an open court so close to the city surrounded by green fields gives the warm feel of what it means to go out and play.
So like this kinda reminded me of my childhood. Like towards the end when you talk about the lake and the vendors. I was reminded of the time me and my step brothers would play on the streets and wait for the ice cream truck or when we'd bike down to the reservoir. I get this sense of summer time and just lazying about playing games and what ever. I liked it.
I totally relate to what you wrote about your basketball court. In reading your post, I can feel the passion you have for that place. It is somewhere you will never forget. It is unchanging and comforting. In our lives we need a place like that, where we can go and take our minds off of the stress we have.
What are some of the favorite memories there? If you could describe it in one word, what would it be?
Just like Dandelion’s seeds
That fluttering across the deep firmament of sky
To another world beyond their regions.
Sometimes the person like me
Would act the same.
Before I moved out the city I was born,
I spent a week,
Walking through every street and every place in my memory.
For some reasons
It was always cloudy over the beginning of that day,
The sun hid its figure over the stick layer of water
And I thought I was about to do the same.
Have you ever imagined the world behind the mountain?
Have you ever imagined the world across the ocean?
Have you ever imagined the world beyond the sky?
Not because I never watch television
But the curiosity and eagerness
To record the images of the world
Through my own eyes.
So I moved to a place,
Then to another place,
I still remember my friends
They always wait for me outside the gate of school,
Waving their hands across their heads,
Welcoming me to join the League of After-School.
We spent time sitting in a café,
Enjoying the daily special cake
When the happy moments always take place,
Among the melody of our fairy music.
Then we walked through the park
Bypassing the large lake among the trees
We filled our lungs with flesh air
And said goodbye in front of my garden.
That is the end of League of After-School.
They will never go outside of my mind
Even though I am not sure
If I would come back again.
I frequently miss my friends
So I send them messages online,
They might not reply me in the moment
But I always receive their calls,
That is something that immerses my soul within the warmth
That is my home,
The place where I belong to.
No matter how many places
They were actually from.
This is very poetic and I love it. The rhythm and just the way it flows. I caught my head like swaying in a rhythmic beat as I was reading it. Also very original like I haven't really seen anyone else try a poem like response.
I understand your feeling of the place where you came from. People may live in many different places, but there is always one place that will never fade away from their memory.
A river of thoughts flow through my mind when I hear the word, home. Usually when the word “home” is said, it reffers to someone’s house or city, but can someone’s home not be their house or the place they grew up in? Could it be possible to call a place you only spend one month out of the whole year your home?
Most would say no, that the idea is crazy but that’s how I feel. Sure my house and my city is where I live and grew up in, but the philippines is my favorite place to be, only place I feel safe, it is my home. I love everything about it, the warm sticky feel of the air, the sound of loud road raged drivers honking their horns and yelling at eachother, the way the warm ocean water feels on my feet, the sight of joy on the faces of the school kids walking on the street, the small stores that I walk to and from my aunt’s house to buy candy and soda, the beautiful green rain forests I and my cousins explore everytime we get a chance, the food and even the smell of the air. No matter how much I love it or want to live there, I always find reasons to stay here in Arcadia.
I’ve spent the last year and a half planning my future, thinking about how great it was going to be to finally start my life in the place I felt most at home in. Everything was planned out, I already had a place to live in over there, a car I was going to buy, the school and courses I would take, and even gave up my passion for soccer and an opportunity to play college ball to live a different life with different people. My heart was set, well that’s what I thought.
Things change, we change, my heart changed.
People come into our lives when we least expect it and change us. I hate thinking or saying that I changed my mind for someone special, but it’s the truth. He came into my life and just foiled all my plans, changed my future, and changed my heart. Whenever I’m with him, he makes me feel like this is my home. He makes me want this place to be my home. So for now, I am at home.
I let so many opportunities slide in the past year than ever before in my life. I thought I was letting them go for a life I wanted in the philippines, but ever since my wants have changed I have been thinking. I am not going to lie, it hurts when I think about what could’ve been if I stuck to it and worked at getting a soccer scholarship but I don’t have any regrets about letting it go. It has been really difficult and sad but the main thing is that i have a life outside of soccer. I don’t need it in my life. Opportunities come and go, and I strongly believe things happen for a reason. So if letting soccer go happened, there must be a reason. I’m not going to dwell on what could have been and focus more on what is to come.
I honestly have the same idea in mind for my future.! Thanx for the read.!
“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A place of comfort.
A place for shelter.
A place of ownership.
A place of personality.
A place of love.
A place to live.
A place to grow.
A place to learn.
A place of worship.
A place for games.
A place for cries.
A place for laughs.
A place for thoughts
A place for a couple.
A place for a family.
When I think of a “home” I think of many things, but the most dominant thought is family. Family is what creates a home, without it, its just wood, paint, and some nails. It is nothing without the special bond that is created between a family. The love shared in a home is what makes a home a true home. The memories left behind create its core and give its foundation.
I believe family is the greatest bond one can share. As my mom always said “blood is thicker then water” and she is right. Family will always be there for you and help you when no one else will. Family is important and it needs to be known that it is more important than anyone you will ever meet or share another bond with. They are the creators of you and will always love you. They are the ones who love you regardless of who you are or become. They are the ones who strive to keep you up beat and strive for greatness. Family is the who show you, the world, the main teachers.
No matter where you think home is. I belive it is where the heart is. Where your brothers, sisters, and parents reside is where your home is.
A home though is not left to only them, it gives you the chance to move it on to the next generation, to your wife or husband. From then it resides with your family and wherever that may take you. It is where you choose to let your heart lead you and no one can tell you it is anywhere else.
I couldn't agree more on the way you said that. Home is really where family is. Where every one can come together and enjoy each other, of every last minute. good job
I think you did a phenomenal job writing this. If I didn't pick talking about a basketball gym I would have totally written about my family.
I love how I could really feel your words coming off the paper, I like this so much that I told my mom I loved her when she walked by. I really do agree that home is where your family comes together. Great Job Alec!
So i completely put this comment in the wrong place. So sorry. I thought I should at least copy paste it to your actual post...
Hi Alec, I find it very commendable that you love your family so much. I agree with what you said about "home is where the heart is," because In my house i have a little recipe box in the shape of a house with that exact saying on it. All of what you said really did strike a cord, and I liked the way you lined up different versions of what home means to you, and then explained them. Good formatting.
Growing up in the city of South Pasadena, studying abroad for three years, and traveling around the world every summer, I have seen different parts of the world and experienced different life styles. I still remember the days when my priorities in life were to play baseball and maintain mediocre grades. However, this mentality and lifestyle has changed 180 degrees once I stepped into the city of Arcadia. Moving to Arcadia, a city that is highly ranked in education, comes with great competition to strive for the best college. My main priority changed from baseball to grades, and my lifestyle has changed from relaxed to intense. Everyday once in a while, I will think to myself, is this change going to make me a better person, and make me want to strive for more?
The answer was pretty blurry at first, I would tell myself, “Arcadia is going to prepare me for the real world.” By looking at my dad work more than 12 hours a day to keep up with the financial requirements needed to live in Arcadia, I found out it was completely opposite of what my goals/dreams in life are. All I want is a simple life; I want to travel back in time to when I lived in South Pasadena. Even though the location of South Pasadena is relatively close to Arcadia, the lifestyle is completely opposite, and I can honestly say that city had brought me more happiness than has Arcadia.
When I used to walk through the hallways of South Pasadena middle school, all I thought of was, who am I going to play ball with during break time, what I was going to eat for lunch, who I was going to hang out with in each class, or how I was going to enjoy that day. But in Arcadia High School, all I think of is when my next test is coming up, if I have a quiz next period, if I finished all my homework or not, if I have time to prepare myself for the next test/quiz over break time, or if I even have time to enjoy the day.
My goal in life was once to become a successful person, make a lot of money, and live a lavish life. But now, all I want is just to find a stable job, spend as much time to myself with the nature, and enjoy what life can bring to me. Arcadia is like New York City to me, everything moves in an extremely fast pace, there is no stopping, and once you stop, you are essentially lost. In contrast, South Pasadena is like a rural area; you live life step by step without worrying about your future but instead let your surroundings lead you to your future.
I agree, Arcadia might have great education but it comes at the expense of a simpler life.
Everyone has a place that they often find themselves wishing they were there. That special place could be an extravagant, luxurious vacation spot or even the warmth, comfort, and security of one’s bed. The place that I find myself often daydreaming of and wishing to be at any given moment of my time is neither, but it is in fact a place where I am always taken aback by. A place where my thoughts constantly take me to, a place where I feel the most at ease, and the place where I shall forever wish to be.
This place is also the closest where I have encountered death.
I find myself always wishing to be back to that place- yearning to drop everything and every worry that manages to squirm into my thoughts, and just simply feel the warmth of the soft, white, picturesque sand of Waimanalo Beach of Oahu. I can still feel the warm, comforting Hawaiian breeze blowing across my face while the leaves of nearby palm trees whistle and dance in the wind. I can hear the chorus of tropical birds singing melodically in harmony with the sounds of the crashing shoreline and the palm trees while the local people gather around-happy to be with one another in paradise- and add their own lyrics to such a natural song while dancing with one another with their faces lighting up brighter than even the most intense Hawaiian sunlight-how I envy these people.
I mentioned that even in this Utopia that there had been a close-call with death. It is indeed true. I had entered the seemingly peaceful clear ocean water alone and noticed that the water levels were not as deep as I had expected them to be (they were only about four feet deep in the area where I was). I began to underestimate the ferocity and immense strength that the ocean current had over me. I found myself being quickly pulled out further and further into the ocean, unable to escape the current that had trapped me. I was constantly being battered and tossed around by the undertow, gasping for air when I thought I was underwater. I was starting to fear that this would be the beginning of eternity, that this was my end.
I awoke moments later only to quickly realize that I was no longer in the water, but brought back to the shore by my father. My family was standing there petrified with fear. For most people, this might have been a traumatic event, but for me it was eye-opening.
I learned much that day; I began to understand what surrounded me.
I had an epiphany. I realized that the world-much like the water that nearly took me away- was freely moving, ever-changing, and not to be underestimated. I wasn’t scared though. I reentered the very same waters that only an hour ago (even though at that time it seemed like decades while my life was flashing before my eyes) had nearly taken me away forever. This time, I understood them. I understood to expect danger even though the water appeared peaceful-I was ready for a sudden change. Another powerful set of waves came in, but this time I felt more prepared.
This place is home to me because it is wear I learned how to deal with much adversity that I encounter. It’s the place where I grew the most inside for the amount I’ve spent there. I go back every year to that same spot on Waimanalo Beach and I relive every moment from that first visit. I feel the details of the scenery coming back to me as if they are new experiences for my senses, but most of all I feel the immense understanding of the world from those waves that barrel into the shore- ever-changing and always more than what simple meets the eye.
Hi! I thought that your imagery of the place you felt most at home was absolutely beautiful. You really made me feel like I could smell the beach, and feel the warmth. It almost made me a little bit jealous! When you talked about how you were being swept away by the current, I almost felt a sense of urgency which I think is great that your writing can invoke that intensity. Overall I love your writing style and the emotion you put into it. Great job!
All my life I have lived near Arcadia.
As a baby I lived in Monrovia.
As a kid I lived in El Monte.
Now as a teen I live in temple city. I don't really remember Monrovia I mean how could I? I was just a baby! But I do remember El Monte. My first couple of school years I had gone to a norwood elementary in El Monte and I liked it a lot because the school was 2 minutes away from my house. For a long time I had also played baseball in which was great because our teams became families and that is how I made a lot of my friends as I had teammates that I went to school with and lived close to. The thing that stood out most about El Monte is how kids would just play together out in the streets. Some may say that's dangerous or even "ghetto" but it was a kids dream. Another thing that I loved about El Monte is the ice cream trucks every thirty minutes and elote men every hour. Its the little things that mattered the most.
Temple city is a bit different but it fits. The main difference is that it is calmer which goes perfect with my age. You will no longer see kids just randomly playing outside but that's okay with me because I am a bit old to play around with random kids. Temple city is where my high school life really started. I started playing football in temple city which gained me a lot of new friends and a new sport. I began hanging out with friends going over to peoples houses. I started getting freedom and made sure to use it. With my freedom, my friends, my time I started spending a lot of time at parks. Two in particular.
Live oak park: the park down the street from my house.
The place I had played football and also soccer.
It was a place where I felt comfortable at. A place were I would go to when I was bored. It was like the hangout area for the people who lived near it. Its also the place where a friend became a sister to me. A place where I worked at one time. It was freedom.
The second park is temple city park. This park means a lot to me because it holds the camellia festival every year. A city carnival where a lot of memories where made. The festival means a lot to me because it is where I met my girlfriend. Ya ya ya don't get all gushy on me. It really was a great place. In eighth grade I had met a complete stranger who made a stunning impression on me the first time I had seen her. She kept me waiting and wanting more. And that is exactly what I did. The next year I was so excited of the thought that she might be there. That she might talk to me again. She did and I will never forget it. As for her I think she will never forget the way we started talking that night. I saw her and tried to slickly walk by her hoping she would notice me. It so happened that there was a big wire on the floor from a ride and I tripped on it which she caught me doing. The next year was the best though. Because by this time she was my girlfriend and finally I got to take her. I still do every year and I know it is something I would want to continue doing. Though I have lived near Arcadia home to me is no where close to it.
Every winter me and my family go to wright-wood/ mount high for a weekend. A weekend of pure happiness. The moment I see the big red wood trees my mood is up and doesn't go down until we leave. But sadly the weekend seems to go faster then all.
I love the mountains, I love everything about them. The cold whether, Snow, Rain and air. Everyday I wake up and hope that it is raining outside because of how much I enjoy it. Everyday I wake up hoping the sun is buried by dark clouds and cold air. A lot of times I am let down but in the mountains I'm not. The best thing in the world is being cold and wrapping up into a blanket to be nice and cozy. But that doesn't happen a lot around here and so I want to leave. Not just anywhere but Oregon. People may say whats so special about Oregon? Well, its paradise to me. Oregon is almost always cold, always raining, so open and so cozy. I don't know where in Oregon yet but probably near Portland so I don't get to far away from the city life. Anyways that is where I plan on heading and where I plan on living when I'm older.
Cold air. Rain. Snow. Everything cheaper. More space. Paradise. Oregon. Home.
Isn't it funny that somehow when people move generally in the same area, they always move more and more north? Hahaha, you're just about the 5th person I know (except I don't know you haha, YET) who, when they move, move from the southern part of the SGV (sort of) and move towards Arcadia. I don't know why but I find that interesting! It's like we all strive to move upward almost, like part of human nature to progress and excel and move up, literally and figuratively! I definitely loved the end of your post as well, "Cold air. Rain. Snow. Everything cheaper."
The memories that filled the place. Good memories.
The house was on the end of the street on a half-acre property. The house was beautiful, painted with burnt red and a tan color. It would always be there when I came back from school. As I tiptoed to open my gate door, I would hear the dog barking. I enter my house and take off my shoes and socks on the cold tile floor. I rush through the house to my backyard to greet my dogs and run around, maybe jump on the trampoline. After an hour or so outside, I come back inside to eat snacks on the big cozy furniture or maybe at the kitchen overlooking the backyard. It was an ordinary day.
Often my dad would have parties. The doorbell would echo around the house on a minute interval, with guests coming in with wine, food, or presents. Within an hour or so, people would be cooking in the kitchen, watching television in the living room, or enjoying the backyard with some barbeque along the poolside. When night comes I would jump in the pool while the adults would have their talk in the Jacuzzi. It was an ordinary day.
During the holiday seasons, the nine foot Christmas tree would glitter with the ornaments in the living room, and holiday decorations would be all around the place. On Christmas day, my sister, brother, and I would wake up early and run to the fire place to find a tower of presents. We would rip through them and share them. New Year’s was around the corner and the house would be crowded with relatives, and again guests. We would have a big morning meal and I would receive many paper envelopes filled with money. It was an ordinary holiday season.
This is where I spend my childhood, from the time I was born to around when I turned seven. The house was filled with good memories and it stuck. But those aren’t ordinary days anymore. Those are the days I cherish and the days that I hope to regain. After the yellow and black real estate sign was stuck into my front lawn, we soon moved. My sister was friends with the people who moved in, and my sister and I came to have dinner with them at their new house. As I ate dinner with them in familiar surroundings, my heart throbbed. I lost my home.
But that is my past, and now my goal. For a long time, my childhood dreams were to earn a lot of money when I grew up and rebuy that house, but that has a changed. Now that I revisit that house through Google Maps, the features has changed, the house has expanded and the backyard has been made smaller. All the features that made that house my home has changed. My childhood dreams was to earn enough money to buy back the house, but it is now the same house it was eleven years ago. Instead I will create my new home. I often like to ponder in my memories of the time I spend in that house as I look at my picture album. I use that though as a tool to motivate me so that I can live in those ordinary days.
yuta i understand your feels T^T i remember when i had to move out the house i grew up in..... my parents were debating whether to keep it and put it for rent or sell it. Of course i was like "NOOOOOOO U BETTER PUT IT FOR RENT!!!" so in the end they did. Without a doubt if the house was sold i too would want to build my own home.
I'm sorry to hear that you lost your house, but everything has two sides. I am glad that you can use it as a tool to motivate yourself. Good Luck !
I understand your pain, Yuta. It reminds me of the many times I have transferred from city to city, from home to home, and from school to school. Because of this, the best memory I've had with my family has slowly faded away over the years. It has also separated my family members gradually, that we barely talk to one another at home. As I make new friends from the new school I move into, I lose the old friends from the old school I moved away from. I have changed cities far too much that I do not even remember the directions to go to a specific building.
But it is fascinating that you use this pain as a drive for you to rebuild your cherished memories.
Wow Yuta, you had a really emotional post that sort of connected with me, and it was well-written and enjoyable to read.
Home to me is when you are able to forget about all the worries of the world, and just relax. It's the place that makes you feel safe and welcome, every single time you arrive. You come home to such a feeling of relief. Had a bad day today? The only thing on your mind that you'll look forward to, is home. It's the place where you are free to do anything your heart desires. There are no restriction, no limits, you are in a place of freedom. It's a place where you come home to be accepted, by your family that always there waiting for you. Nothing is more grateful than coming home to your family waiting for you. Knowing that they will always be there for you.
Even though I have lived in several homes throughout my life, I realized that, It doesn't matter where you live, all that matters is how you live. Coming home every day from school is always the same to me, but it'd always the best feeling that I experience all day. I'm able to take my shoes of and jump on my comfy bed that I had abandoned in the morning prior to school. How I love home after I was out doing who knows what. When I'm away from home for a long amount of time, such as a vacation, I feel that I belong here. It feels weird at first when you come home from such a long time. You actually get a chance to appreciate what you have. This magnificent place that lets me express my true self. Is here, and will always be here for me.
Home changes over the years. I'll soon grow up and will have to move out of the home I currently live in. I'll leave the place where many wonderful memories occurred. I won't forget these memories ever, I just won't be able to experience them in the same way again. But, it doesn't end there, life goes on. I'll eventually get a job and be able to buy a better home than before. I will experience new amounts of memories. New memories with my parents, new memories with my sister, new memories eventually with my wife and with my kids. Home never dies out, it will always be there. All you have to do, is find your new home and make it happen.
I lifted up the caution tape as I walked up the large glass door. As it cracked open, the morning sun rushed in and filled the room illuminating the empty desks. The desks were the same as all classed left them. Out of line to an amazing degree, but still somewhat has a unique pattern. I took an immediate left turn into the editing bay. There lied the dinosaur age technology that was considered ancient even back then. You didn't have to do much to cause one to crash. All the computers had an understanding of when they would be needed, and planned to self-destruct on that day in spite of us. The studio was almost like a mirror image of the last room, filled to the brim with decaying technology. The only difference here was the last time I had seen these contraptions; they were in their hay day. My eye caught a studio light flicker on. The light sparked flash memories of all past performance. I sat down on the sea of tangled camera wires and reminisced more of the past as the studio light continued to flicker until it finally, as I it was on cue, burned out with a spark and a pop.
Of course I don’t believe that A201 will become a deserted shell of a classroom, but it’s still possible. Returning to this sight would be devastating, needless to say. It would probably rather see my own house turn to this, than see the video production room in this type of state.
It kind of makes sense when you think of it. I don’t know where I would be without that room. Not only the room, but the people as well.
I probably wouldn't have such a strong drive toward the film industry without both of these things.
If I didn't join APN, I would just be another guy who sees the world though someone else’s eyes.
I’m glad I’m the one who holds the camera.
That’s my voice.
It gives me something to say.
A201 is my home away from home, and I hope it surpasses me in age.
Wow, this blew me away! It really touched me. It reminded me of when i would move out of my old home and just look and stare for a while, you leave the place, but, all the memories stay within you. Good job, really liked it.
I like how you incorporated APN into your post and how it makes you feel like you share your voice. I definitely agree with how you used that because it is difficult to offer your opinion in the world or just in school in general and how extracurriculars can make you feel like you have a say in what you do. Good job in your post and APN!
The word “home” has many different meanings for different people. For some, it may be their childhood home that they grew up in, or a movie theater that they would come to every Friday after school or even their favorite book. Home may even be signified as a person. It could be their grandmother or their husband or wife. People leave home and everything changes and their new lives alter who they are. They might lose themselves in the process and forget about their home and background because they get caught up in their busy lives. The world moves too fast and they forget to take a step back to remember their home and the place that made them who they are today. I don’t consider Arcadia as my first home. I grew up in Indonesia and I moved here in elementary school. It was hard leaving the home that I grew up in. I would miss the white walls that were slowly chipping away, dirty with grime and dust. It sat in a neighborhood that was full of children playing and laughing in the streets, I was one of them. It had a short black gate that protected us from robbers. It wasn't a mansion, it was simple, and it was home to me. I remembered that I would come home from school and it would be filled with the aroma of my mom’s delicious cooking. It was always a warm home; it never felt cold, even on rainy days. My friends would come over and we would play hide and seek outside my house, filling our lungs with laughter and trying hard to breathe because we were laughing so hard. I knew the neighborhood like the palm of my hand. I loved to take a stroll around the park or ride my scooter around and taking swimming lessons in the community pool.
It’s tough to deal with the fact that you will never re-experience these little moments again and it isn't forever. It’s hard to let something go and to set it free not knowing if you will get it back again. I am truly ashamed that I don’t think of these things often or that it doesn't cross my mind at all. We are so consumed in our lives trying to finish homework, study for tests, memorize speeches that we forget to think about what make us who we are. I constantly worry about these things and I never have time to reflect on my old home or even to realize that I will graduate in a couple of months. The world moves too fast and you have to take a couple minutes to reflect on life and what you are missing out on or what you are forgetting.
“You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.”
Years from now, this will all be nothing more than a memory. I haven’t visited Indonesia in a while and the last time I was there, my family drove to my house and it resurfaced all my past memories and how much I have grown up since. It was reality sinking in to me that I can’t revisit all my memories but I can take memories and choose to remember them from the house that built me. My uncle and his family lives there now. My nephew has taken over my room with his toys and video games. The wall of the kitchen has been destroyed and all my favorite yellow tiles are gone. The chipping white walls are now freshly painted and the gate is white too. All the plants that my father planted are gone. But I know that my memories are still stored inside the walls and are still waiting for me when I come back to visit it. The walls still remember me and how I grew up inside that house but it is difficult to understand that everything has changed.
“Home is where the heart is.” But what if it’s changed? Or gone? That home will still exist in your memory and it is a place that will be waiting for you when you need it the most.
“I know they say you can’t go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.”
It's a really great post, because I was able to feel the emotions you felt when visiting your true home in Indonesia. I also loved the last sentence because it concluded your blog perfectly. Good Job.
Thanks Eman! I tried hard to find a quote that would sum up my feelings in this bog. Glad you liked it!
I really enjoyed reading your post. It is really well written. They is a lot of imagery. I could just picture it right in front of me. It was also really sweet and cute. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for reading it Iris and I'm glad you liked it. I put a lot of imagery into my blog to make you feel like you were there with me.
I know how you feel. When I moved to a new house I started to slowly forget my memories of my old house and were replaced with new ones. When my old memories resurfaced I felt homesick that I wouldn't be able to see my old house, filled with old memories, again.
Yes it is really hard to remember where you came from and where you grew up because when you move into a whole new setting, you are trying hard to settle and adjust to your new life. And then you feel nostalgia rushing in when you do remember it from time to time.
People don’t determine my goals, dreams and choices. I determine all that on my own. Even though people do or could influence my decision, at the end it is really up to me. I am a proactive person and what I decide to do is a result of what I think is right or wrong. I don’t think anyone can fully control me. I have my own mind and can do things on my own. For example, my decision to become an artist is all on my own. People might have influenced me to become an artist over many years, but at the end, the final decision was all up to me because it is my own life and I won’t want to do it unless I know for sure it is something that I will be happy to wake up and do every day.
Yes, my concerns for other people or respect for them, dictate my choices. If I like the person, then I would do anything in my power to make that person happy even if it means that I have to do something that I don’t really enjoy. When this happens, it is my own goal to make the person I like happy or satisfied. Sometimes, if I don’t really like the person, I would maybe do something that makes it seem like I am helping them, but in truth I don’t have intentions to benefit them. Usually my actions would depend on how I feel about that person. For example, to my close friend, I would always help her with her homework, even when I really don’t feel like it. I feel that I should because she has helped me so much over the years. Also, she has gotten me through hard times and I want to do as much as I can to repay her back even if it is just little things over a large amount of time. Another example would be sometimes when my dad annoys me so much that I can’t stand it anymore and then he tells me to do something. I would do it, but I wouldn’t put much thought into it.
We should care for other human beings to the degree that it benefits both parties. Care should be given, but not to the extent that the receiver becomes dependent and cannot work or perform without another watching, supervising, or advising. That would not only be a waste of time for the receiver, but also the giver. Care should be given with the aim to empower the receiver such that they believe in themselves and their abilities. I would help them to understand something so they would actually know how to do it on their own next time. I would also be willing to help someone if I had the possibility of gaining some benefit. For example, once my friend was having a problem and I realized after she told me her story that it will affect me also in a negative way. She didn’t finish her part of her project so I had to help her. I decided to help her because I didn’t want to have to face the consequences. I knew that it was a selfish motivation to help her, but I couldn’t help it because I wanted a good grade at that time. Now that I think about it, the desire for a good grade wasn’t the entire reason for helping her. I also felt concerned because she was one of the closest friends I ever had. I do have concern for others, but not to an extreme. I only have concern for people when I think it is necessary.
I agreed with your opinion about care. The amount given should be beneficial to both parties otherwise the other party may become to dependent, thus you end up hurting instead of helping them. Good job with your post.
The house was white with two yards containing fresh green grass. There was a concrete area that was once filled with tricycles, basketballs, and Fisher Price tool sets. I’d spend most of my childhood at my grandparents’ house, because my parents were too busy working. My grandparents were great and all, but the environment was what I fell in love with. They lived next to a railroad. Every so often, a train would pass. Every time it happened, I’d scream at the top of my lungs. It wasn’t a scream of fear, but a scream of joy.
It sounded like “Ahhhhhhh!”, but what it really meant was “Ahhhhh! I love this [darn] place! Ahhhhh!” Grandma just kept telling me to shut up. Hide and seek was the best. Going under the bed always brought a thrill. My grandpa’s wardrobe was Narnia. There was a spot beneath the sink that I curled up in and hid until the game got so boring that I surrendered.
I liked it this way.
What more could I ask for?
It was truly my home.
And then time happened.
When I was old enough to handle myself, my parents left me at my house alone. We moved farther away from grandma and grandpa. My parents told me how much I’d love this “new home”, but my heart was still at grandpa’s house. We’d visit occasionally, and I’d revisit (or at least try to) the best times of my childhood life.
I’d crawl under the bed; I would not fit.
I attempted to go under the sink; I hit my head.
I tried to visit Narnia; I knocked out all of grandpa’s clothes.
A train came by.
I didn’t scream.
It’s all here! It really is! The fresh grass! The sink! The bed! The Wardrobe! The trains!
What more could I ask for?
It’s still the same.
And then it hit me hard.
I no longer belong here. Everything’s here, except me. I lost a home.
It’s not the same anymore.
No. I’m not the same anymore.
I changed without notice. I grew away from this hom… place.
Now, I think I’ve settled in nicely at AHS. I like to call it home, because It’s great for hide and seek, and it’s where all my friends are. Although the school is physically changing (construction/destruction), everything I need is here.
What more could I ask for?
I’m about to lose a home again, aren’t I?!
It’s senior year, and I’ve grown into this place, but I haven’t been paying attention to the fact that I’m going to grow out of this place. Once I graduate, I’m basically kicked out of AHS. I can visit all I want and see the SAME stuff, but it won’t be the same.
No. I won’t be the same.
I’ll forever be an alumni, and I’ll leave the student life at AHS behind. This “home” is inevitably going to be lost to me. I predict the same will happen in college.
Homes don’t change, but people do. It’s inevitable, and it sometimes sucks, but I’ve grown accustomed to this idea. I’ve learned to embrace change. I’m willing to keep an open mind about the idea of new homes. Change is fun as long as I don’t allow myself to be a pile of nostalgic mess.
If it is natural for me to change, then I don’t need to change.
(this might be unclear but here’s how it works.)
[My personality] = Always changing
Plug in [My personality]
I don’t need to change [My Personality]
I am always changing and I like it that way.
I really enjoyed reading your post! I agree, people change, but change will occur sooner or later and we will have to adapt to this change whether we like it or not.
Hey Albert I really liked your post because I could relate to it a lot. Suddenly realizing that you have grown out of what you loved to do and being forced to try something new isn't always an easy thing and I think you capture not wanting to change well. I really liked how you show that everything around you stayed the same but because you change everything changes even if you don't want it to.
I absolutely understand what you mean when you say that what's changed is you. I felt the same when I went to visit my middle school last year. It was fairly the same, some new construction here and there, but overall, nothing was really different. Somehow, I still felt really out of place. I also agree about feeling like you're going to lose another home again. Thanks for sharing your post.
Great job, that is exactly what I thought,
people moved and changed, while place stay the same
I often find interesting things everytime I go back to my hometown, by the time, a great sense of home and familiar would strike me heart, sometimes, it dive out my tears among the wind that blow my face.
Alma do this. Alma do that. Alma come here. Alma don’t go there. Alma don’t be out later than 9.
Parents, parents, parents. I hear it from them all the time and if not every single day, I am sure that it’s very very often. My parents and family are the most precious thing in my life. They’ve been there for me when I’ve been deep down in the ground and been there when I’ve excelled and touched the sky. They’ve been great comfort and support for when those blue days come and have celebrated when I’m the shiniest star in the sky. So if they’ve done all this, why can’t they determine my goals, choices, and dreams? Why shouldn’t they have a say in my life, after all they’ve been the only people who have been in my life and haven’t left.
They do have a say in my life and although I still try to manage and keep that barrier in which I hear and take in consideration their many strong opinions, I try to be the last one to make the final decision. It doesn’t always work and I’m not saying that I always do what it is that I think is best to do but I try.
I try to make them proud; at the same time I try to satisfy my dreams.
Their guidance is needed. Their opinions are important.
My parents don’t have tons of money and won’t leave a fortune to be divided between their 4 daughters. The only thing they will leave us are their teachings. They know this and my whole life I’ve heard from them how much they want for their daughters to have a good career, to have something which we can depend on economically. Most of all they want us to have a stable position. Only then as they say, are they able to leave this world with no worries. It might not seem like it now but those words put on a bit of pressure to accomplish something for the people who have really been there for you every single year of your life. So I try to do it but there comes a point as always that what I want isn’t exactly what they suggest for me to do. Well what happens then? As much as I hate it I somehow manage to work my way around it. Persuading is always my technique. It doesn’t always work but it’s the best thing I have left to try. I don’t like going against them or the feeling of disappointing them but after all they are my family, they will get over it, and they will at the end understand and support me. That saying about love comes once in a lifetime. There’s only one family for each of us and that comes once in a life time also.
As a little kid, I’m sure like most, I always asked after a long road trip “Are we home yet?” When I asked that question I just simply meant I wanted to be home because I was tired. I never thought about my home in depth when I was younger and what exactly it meant to be home. As I got older and experienced the world I had reasons to be home and away from the world. I wanted to be home because that was my comfort, away from judgment, negativity and the world itself.
The word home has a feeling of its own, for some its safety and comfort for others it might be pain and discomfort. For me home is about safety. I knew when I stepped into the doorway of my house that it was mine, no one else. If I didn’t want someone to be there, they didn’t have to be. If I didn’t want to be somewhere, I could go to my home. My house itself, structure and all is good, the people are crazy like me but that is what makes the insides of my house a home. Anyone can have a big house, that doesn’t mean it comforting. The people and the experience in your house make it your own.
When I imagine “Home” I picture myself running as a little girl, half naked in my back yard chasing wind (I was a very crazy kid) but to me that was comforting and I built a foundation for memories to be created. I could move tomorrow and as long as my family stays in Temple city, in my little tan house I will call that home. Family is home although, it doesn’t have to be just family, as long as there are people that will love you, it can be home. I can have another house in a week, all I have to do is build a foundation of experiences and memories to call my own cherish those memories and create new ones and call it a home.
A house is a box, to keep everything you want in and the bad things out, it doesn’t define you. I know people who live in small houses but they are happy and call it home. I know people who live in huge, nice, luxurious houses that are completely miserable. I want a happy home so I fill my home with happy, loving people because I understand how to create a good environment to live in. I’m not saying that every day in my home is awesome but it’s memorable. If it’s a bad day I learn from it, if it’s a good day I grow from it. The people make up the home and my home is made for me, I wouldn’t trade with anyone.
I love my home whether it’s here or there, it’s not the house but like I said the people, experiences and memories created that makes it home, everyone can make a home of their own.
Hey Kayla, let me first say I really liked your post. I noticed that on road trips, you'd always ask, "Are we home yet?" like most kids in the movies do. But the funny thing is, the kids in the movies usually say, "Are we THERE yet?" and what you said made me think that you're the type of person who can't wait to go home, more than any place else, because well, it's home! I thought that was so cool! I, myself love going home as well. It's like, no matter what awesome place we're going, when it's all done, heck, there's no place like home. There's definitely something special about home that keeps the bad out and the good in, and holds all the beautiful memories just like you said. I remember running through the backyard all through the sprinklers and stuff just like you, and you're definitely right, that is a wonderful picture of home. Thanks for the wonderful post!
Everybody started running towards the halls, circling around something. My natural reaction, out of curiosity, was to run over to see what could attract so much attention. It had to be either a prom related or a fight right? – Right. It was a fight. Did I do anything about it? No. Did anybody else do anything about it? No. You’d think that all of us would know better. You’d think that at least one of us would’ve tried to stop the fight or go and alert a staff. No; not me, not anybody. People had their phones out recording the fight. Almost everybody had their hands in a loose fist covering their mouths “ooo”ing, letting out an “OH!” every time a punch was thrown. Me? I stood far away with my friends, telling them, “I don’t want to be called in as a witness, so let’s just watch from here. We can leave right when a dean comes over to stop it.”
That’s what it was – the reason why nobody was willing to stop the fight. Nobody wanted to be involved with the fight. For some reason, everybody wanted to watch, knew it was wrong, but didn’t want to do anything about it. There’s a passiveness and fear that kept me, and most of everybody else, from stopping the fight. Of course, for a few others, it was the joy of watching the fight that kept them from stopping it. But the number of people that knew it was wrong and didn’t do anything about it was far greater. The passiveness comes from the thought, “it’s okay; someone else will call the deans.” When that’s what everybody is thinking, nobody does anything. The fear comes from the small chance that we would be putting ourselves in some sort of trouble or danger. “If I jump in the middle and try to separate the two, they might accidently hit me with a fist,” “If I ‘snitch’ on them, they might hold a personal vendetta against me,” “What if the deans call me in as a witness? I don’t want to talk to the deans,” “What if everybody hates me for stopping the fight, for being the party pooper?”
"I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice
anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
-Martin Luther King, Jr
Every single one of us watching the fight had a chance to do something good. Every single one of us let that opportunity not only come, but stand right in front of us, wait, then go. Where was the Martin Luther King Jr. in the crowd? – The person that felt an obligation to resist injustice; the person that would’ve fought for what he/she believed was right, no matter how bad the consequences would be or how unpopular his/her decision was. There’s never been a moral obligation to resist injustice. A better word would be expectation. We are expected, not obligated, to know the difference between right and wrong. And we are expected to do something about injustice, not obligated.
A staff eventually came over and stopped the fight. I quickly grabbed my friends and dragged them away from the fight with me. Expectations are often never met. Usually we fall short of expectations, but in this situation, no one even challenged the expectation. The dean, as a staff, was obligated to keep the school safe. It was his job to stop that fight. It wasn’t our job to stop the fight, but we were expected to. Few people willingly put themselves at risk to live up to the expectation. I didn’t and I regret it. Instead I told everybody about it the following period. I don’t know if I regret it now. I’m still plagued with passiveness and fear. I’m sure that if I had another opportunity tomorrow to stop a random fight, I still wouldn’t stop it. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s something that I know.
Last comment of the day.
It is interesting that you said "we are expected, not obligated to know the difference between right and wrong."
So if I have interpreted this right, what you are saying is basically saying that we do not need to live up to our morals and we are not supposed to do so. If we eventually do live up to the "expectation", "well, good for you." Do you think that we hold no responsibility to the society? Do you really think that expectation are really never met? Or is just other people keep elevating their expectation on us so we think the expectation is never met?
The fourth foundation question would be "do you think there is something beyond the greatness? Do you think there is a limit for greatness?"
If we hold no obligation to fight for justice, to help others, how do we expect others would help us when we are in their situation? I see you have used the quote of our dear Dr.king. I have wondered why you used that quote. I have to admit that not everyone can be MLK Jr. But was MLK Jr. obligated to fight for civil rights? Was Carl in "Up" obligated to go to paradise fall? Was Siddhartha obligated to stay behind?
You always have a choice. I see what you have chosen. And you said you are not proud of that choice? Then why? Why do you choose ignorance? Why do you choose to not meet the expectation?
Is the security you value so dearly worthy of your moral?
I hope you do not feel offended. You can totally ignore me if you are mad. And I apologize for that. With all the respect, it is a great post with personal view in it. Thank you for the read
Kevin, this is so true, every time when we see a fight break out, everyone around us only encourages the fight. But when we look back, there is so many things that one could actually do to stop these kind of violent actions from happening.
I would have to agree that I would most likely not find myself stepping in to stop a fight. It is just not in our nature to put our self in risk like that. This doesn't make us bad. it just is not in our nature
Virtue. Vice. It is absolutely remarkable that we, humans, are the only species on the planet that have the ability to discern between the two; only we have the capability to understand the concept of morale. Throughout the history of mankind, civilizations have committed myriads of injustices as exemplified through the era of slaves and tyranny. Even the great United States, the paragon of freedom, struggled through infamous moments of injustice, but what makes our nation outstanding and resilient is our respect for the rights of people to voice their opinions and protest against immoral actions. In fact, the ultimate balance of power in our government lies not only between the three federal branches but also between the government and people. We, citizens of the United States, are endowed with the liberties of free speech, petition and arms under the Bill of Rights not for recreation or improved sociability, but for the purpose of imbuing the citizens with the power to resist against injustice. Does vice exist if there is no one to expose it? If a man is beaten and robbed but never complains about his plight, are we to assume that he is content with his life? Now imagine a much more subtle scenario involving racism and other types of covert subjugation; the injustice is practically imperceptible to the eyes of those who never experienced it firsthand. This is the sad truth; that unless someone speaks out against a problem, society, by default, is blind and ignorant towards its existence—modernly manifested in the colloquial adage “that’s none of my business." This is human nature; we are inherently disinclined to engage and risk our efforts for an action until we realize the existence and magnitude of the problem. Thus, the mistreated individuals have little choice but to expose the injustice with their own hands or face the inevitable perpetuation of their oppression. True, every action comes with its risks but what can be worse than conceding to life-long brutality or racism?
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” – Denis Waitley.
Anything less than taking action is to surrender. People have risked their lives in order to advocate for a cause against injustice, despite never being able to witness the day of their success in the future. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an ardent feminist and abolitionist, fought strenuously for women’s rights against all odds and died before she could witness the success of her movement in freeing women from subordination. Only twenty years after her death did the nineteenth amendment finally pass, and although her body fell short before its passage, her fervent spirit lived on. Her legacy and passion to abolish the inequity between men and women still exists today, recently culminating in the National Defense Authorization Act in which women will be allowed to engage in frontline combat alongside men. Did her death signify her failure? No. If one’s passion for justice transcends even beyond death, then what risk is so great that one must sacrifice the rest if his/her life and the opportunities of his/her posterity for selfish security?
If it wasn’t for Stanton’s risk to fight for women’s rights, would women be able to vote today?
If it wasn’t for Martin Luther King Jr.’s risk, would we have an African American president today?
If the thirteen colonies never took the risk of fighting for independence against Britain, the most formidable superpower of that time, would our great country of liberty exist today?
Vice will always exist in mankind. None can escape its snare. It is a shadow that lurks behind its victims and can never be destroyed unless exposed by a daring soul and incinerated by the united efforts of all those who witness and seek to annihilate its immorality. But if you hide from the shadow and refuse to confront it, then who will?
It is because most men cower when faced with this that we can admire the King's and Stanton's today. They are the ones who transcend human nature and exceed the barriers placed in front of them. There are many factors that hinder the average citizen from speaking out, such as the feeling of "that's none of my business" you spoke of in your post, or the fact that protesting injustice means to admit that a society as a whole, not just the present generation but also every generation previous, something not easy to swallow. We cannot annihilate vice, but we cannot reprogram the human psyche either. What we can do is appreciate it when someone steps up to the plate when others stay behind. We can appreciate those who are more than just human.
Would my life still be the same if I chose to live somewhere else? Would my life still be the same if I didn't go to Arcadia High School?
These questions obliviously come to my mind when I stare into space in my quiet, cozy, comfortable home.
What defines a home?
It is where I can fully be myself. It is where I don’t have to be afraid of someone judging my actions. It is where I think about my future endeavors. I can easily call a place my home if it is where my family resides. Those people are the ones that shape who I am today; my concern for family is what dictates and determines my choices in life. After all, it is my family who watched me changing from being an innocent, crying baby to being an anxious, readily-to-be-independent senior in my last few months of high school. Throughout my life, I have witnessed and heard enough tragedies to understand the importance of family in one’s life. Without the elementary support, I will end up becoming a rebellious individual who blames others for all the challenges I encounter in life. A home is not a home without the ones you love, the connection you share, the happiness you bring, and the support you need.
With the graduation day slowly approaching, I feel thrilled but frightened at the same time, a mixed feeling about stepping into a new stage of life, where my family and friends have no partaking in. It’s hard to imagine; it’s scary to come to realization that it’s only a few months away. When I used to argue with my family and friends, the first thing that came to my mind was to leave everything behind and start a new life happily somewhere else. Now, the thought of separating with my loved ones to start to live on my own college life terrifies me.
Am I ready for that change?
Having lived in a safe environment like Arcadia for such a lengthy time, I would long for the bright city lights and noisy city streets with huge crowds. Perhaps, big and boisterous cities are where I belong, with everything within a walk-able distance and people, holding Starbucks coffee and walking speedily on the cemented streets. Though I’m prepared to live in a new environment, I don’t think I’m entirely ready to leave behind all the memories that I share with my family and friends in this suburban town.
When the time comes, I hope I will hold back my tears and say my goodbyes with a smile.
When the time comes, I hope I will find a new life and establish a new home.
When the time comes, I hope I will be ready to embark on a new adventure.
To answer the question, my life would certainly not be the same if I lived somewhere else and went to a different school. But I don’t regret anything. The past is the past, what I have control over is the future.
“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us”
– Alexander Graham Bell
Amazing. After reading your piece, I sincerely thought about what makes a home to someone and I can't agree with you more. You made me realize that home is not the physical shelter or materials that encapsulate a person but the love from the people who care about you: family and friends. As long as you have people caring for you, you will always have a home. Going off to college, we will always be able to find new friends, form new bonds, and ultimately, find our own homes. Great job and I can totally empathize with your feelings about graduation and our looming independence.
Home is a place where you stay at for "real "comfort; it is a place where you will not miss until it is gone.
Many times before I go to sleep in the night, I like to think about my home in China where I left about five years ago. I like to recall the happy and childish moments. I still remember when I hid a caterpillar in a little girl's pencil box and her lighting scream when the class started. I remember that I always hold my breath, covered my mouth, and ran as fast as possible whenever I passed by the stinky Pigment factory that was not far away from my school. It was a place where I hated the most. A few months ago, when I heard that the factory was torn down, a feeling of grief and nostalgia suddenly aroused from my heart. I felt disappointed for unable to walk by the factory again. Life is a twisted reality; I never knew that I would miss a place where I hated so much. Sometimes, I like to lie down in my bed and wonder about my childhood friends' appearances and their current situation. I try to catch every single memory that is fading away from me.
To me, “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to” (John Ed Pearce.)
My hopes regarding tomorrows determine my outlook on the future. Since I entered high school, my parents had been instilling my mind of becoming a doctor, a lawyer or one of those stable jobs with high payment; they failed. I understand that they want me to have a "good life" based on their definition. But, sitting in an office and facing millions of patient for my whole career is not the life I want. I am excited to have an adventurous life. I want to travel around the world and discover what people desire to have. I want to develop new products to fulfill people's need in order to expand my business. I want to have competitions with others. I want to find answers to my curiosity. There are so many "wants" in my mind that are totally the opposite from those of my parents. I have thought about the consequences of my risky goals, but I have never hesitated to keep on chasing them.
Who can believe that our senior year only has four months left? Life is so short. Four years of high school passed like I just woke up from a long dream. How many of these four years do we have in life? Why should we care about others' perspectives, including those of our parents? Forget all the discouragement. Two hundred years ago, no one would say it's impossible for human to fly in the air.
Let's chase the impossible and make it possible.
Sup Justin...I agree that we sometimes we miss things that we hated...I guess that it is because we have been so used to it that if it's gone...its like a chunk of us is missing. As I have repeatedly stated in my post:
I resist change.
...we resist change.
I have some kind of similar background with you
you did some pretty funny things right?lol
I laughed when reading your blog
and that is true, when you go back the the city where you are borned, and some things just not there anymore,
the huge gap between reality and your memory would still bring us some sense of lost
when I go back to china last summer, I see a lot of things have gone
the trees in front of my old house, my favorate book shop is closed
I really feel sad
I think you have done a good job
The thought of “Home” brings back many good and bad memories. Home to me at first wasnt about a physical place. I always thought that home was anywhere that you were would be happy.
I beleived that home can be anywhere you want it to be as long as you can imagine it.
For me though home is in Arcadia now. Home is a place where you can be comfortable around others and a place where you can fit in.
When I first came to Arcadia in 8th grade, I was the new kid. I didn’t know anyone at Dana so I sat at the lunch tables eating alone during lunch. The thought of moving to a new school terrified me and trying to make new friends seemed impossible when most people had their group of friends that they’ve known for a while. On the second day, three other 8th graders wearing shirts that said W.E.B. came up to me. They greeted me and asked me how my day was going. They made me feel like I wasn’t a new student at all.
It was tough being the one of the new kids in school. It wasn't easy making friends when everyone in all your classes would find a seat next to their best friends while you would just be hoping to find an empty seat. Going to Dana eventually got better as the days went by. I was amazed at how nice people were at Dana. I soon learned after that W.E.B stands for Where Everyone Belongs. By then I was starting to enjoy attending school in Arcadia. Back in Rosemead, there wasn't any welcoming committee or a program where students would help other students. New students would just make friends with new students or remain alone until they befriend others in their classes.
As the years went by, I started to make many more friends throughout 8th grade and continuing on in high school. My home now is Arcadia, a place where I can fit in. Having friends that accept me for who I am and a place that I can come to everyday of the week except weekends makes Arcadia a place I can call home. In 8th grade, moving to Arcadia was my worst nightmare but as the years past I started to fit in and learned to love it like it was my home because now it finally is.
I agree! It's often tough to adjust to new situations without people to help you.
Three years ago, I walked around my neighborhood.
It was a quiet neighborhood. Four houses down, a red stop sign stood tall. Across from that was a tiny park, also known as “The Friendship Park.” It held meaning. This park is the only place I have left that hasn’t been tainted with the stressful life of high school.
This park is my haven.
Two days ago, I walked around my neighborhood.
It’s still a quiet neighborhood. That red stop sign still exist.
But so much changed. A new house, apartment complex thing has been rebuilt a few house down. My neighbors left for college. The park is worn out a bit. But the trees are still there, protecting the visitors from the blazing sun. Sometimes, people hold barbeque and parties there. It’s quite the homey feeling.
I never realized the world I live in, the finer things in life.
I saw a spider spinning it’s web, a caterpillar eating the entirety of a leaf, and two birds flying so elegantly, it was as if they there dancing with the wind. A sight that pretty isn’t seen often.
Today, I walked around my neighborhood.
I heard a child’s laughter, something that brightened up my day more. I saw an old elderly couple slowly crossing the streets, helping one another. I thought that was cute. I felt the cold wind tickle my skin, creating goosebumps as it goes.
I feel at ease in my world. My world is my haven.
I like how Friendship Park is just as close to you as it is to me. We should go there sometime. I grew up in that park. This seriously brought back some memories. Alvaro, out.
I remember going to that park! I never knew that the park is called "The Friendship Park." That's so cute and meaningful, like what you said. I like how your post is short and concise. I hope the last few months of high school will be good to you!
I love how short but meaningful your post is. You were able to get the feeling that this place means something to you. Good job for your first blog, it was short and sweet.
The things I do today will be the same thing I do tomorrow.
I’ll be going to school.
On the same bike.
Down the same route.
Park in the same bicycle spot.
Go to the same classes.
And then, it is back home, again.
I have a hard time seeing my own future. What I do to help myself, is think back at what a younger version of me would have thought about my life now. Like, what would a thirteen year old version of me would have expected my life as a senior in high school.
The younger me would be surprised at how much I changed.Instead of dreaming of being a video game programmer, I (the younger me) wouldn’t believe that I would be into making video effects. It’s kind of a weird jump from typing down codes to make a character walk across the screen to motion tracking objects to make buildings crumble or build an air pump to simulate flying dirt. The thirteen year old me would have expected me to be in AP Comp Sci, not APN. The entire change started from when I was a freshman. In the first semester, I took Computer Programming C++ and well, I lacked the usual interest when I make codes. Then came second semester, when I started Beginning Video Production. Every project, I worked on. I always felt elated, even more so than when I was programming.
While, I do believe in the saying that “history repeats itself”, but I always do look forward to what the future holds. It’s hard to describe the exact feelings. It’s more of a tantalizing uncertainty, if that makes sense. What if I changed a little something in my daily routine? What if I walk into class smiling? You know, small things like that. I wonder if it would make my day better or I’ll look plain strange? I always thought of how much my life would change with a small decision or action?
Hey, Joji. It is great that you discovered your interest in making video effects. Also, I don't think that you would look strange if you change your daily routine a bit. Variety can make everyday life more interesting. Nice job on writing this post!
Joji, I enjoyed reading what you had to say. It is a good thing to reflect on how we have changed and what we changed from. When we know how we were in the past, we know where we are going in the future. How would the 13 year old you reacted? If given the chance to go through high school again, Would pursue video production?Great job!
very well written post. Really liked the repetition in the beginning with the word "same".
congrats on finding your desire in video effects. i also like your thoughts on how maybe the small things like changing your daily routine could change your day
Home. The first thought that comes into mind is a warm and comfortable place where memories are made. I would say I have 2 homes, my house and my grandmother's house. Each home has its own distinctive memory that I can vaguely remember.
My grandmother's house was where i spent almost all my time when i was in kindergarten, because right after school my grandmother would pick me up and walk with me to her house. Every day after school whenever I arrive at her house, we would either go pick oranges and apples or make origami to past the time until my parents picked me up. Also whenever my cousins came over we would play hide and seek in the yard. I would always hide behind the big avocado tree they had in my grandmother's backyard.
The next is my first house, where I really started to grow up in when I first entered first grade. My home was like a playground to me; every time I get home I would rush into my room and start getting my favorite toys out. I would also ride my tricycle around the house and the park that was next door. I still remember my first stuffed animal I got on Christmas day.
As I got older these things started to become just memories that may never be reenact again. The apple tree in my grandmother's backyard was cut down and removed. Also my favorite hiding spot has also disappeared when the avocado tree was cut down as well.
Soon I moved to my second house leaving all the memories of my old house behind. As a kid I didn't really care much at that time, I felt moving to a new place was kind of cool.
I still consider my grandma's house and my old house my homes, because I made many memories living there. But I believe it also good to live in a new home. At the new house I made new friends and new memories that I have come to love.
The baseball field has always been like a home to me. It has always been a place where I can let loose and be myself without the stress of everything else in life. I can relax and forget about all of the worries of everyday life and at the same time play the sport that I love. I play the sport all year long and because of that it has become my life. My high school baseball field is like a sanctuary for me. I go to this field almost every day and it has become a part of my life and just like another home of mine.
Arcadia has always my home but at the same time I have always wanted to gout and see more than just Arcadia. Arcadia has just been a plain place for me and it has never been enough for me. I have always wanted to see what the rest of the world is like. Arcadia encourages me to see more of the world because no matter where you call home you always want more than what home has to offer. Everyone will always to break free of their home eventually and discover more of what the world has to give.
I think that people will always have a strong influence on what your dreams are and the choices that you make in life. We will think about the effect that our decisions will have on other people. We would never make a choice that would hurt somebody that we care about. We would never dream about doing something that would hurt somebody that needs us. We care about the people around us. Because of that we base our decisions and our dreams on how it will affect the ones that matter most to us.
“A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble” -Gandhi
As conscious human beings are able to see the whole world around us. We can see the suffering and the pain of others, but yet how many times do we walk away, and ignore it?
Asking if it is a moral obligation to stop injustice is like asking if you wanted a raise. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will answer affirmatively to the question. I dare anybody to find a person who will say that they wish to see injustice around the world. Certain people want different things, and have difference ideas and definitions for justice. There's a difference between claiming that there's a moral obligation and actually doing something to change it.
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Lucy Stone
These are some of the people who were winning to make the sacrifice and stand up and make an effort to actively resist against what they saw as injustice. They did it in the face of adversity, they suffered embarrassment, beatings, and the law. The answer to the foundation question How should one face that which cannot be defeated, for them would be that they walked straight through the path of fire, and while some were burned by the flames, they ultimately walked out triumphant, leaving their own scorch mark upon the world. They never did it alone, and many could have never believed that they could have helped, but even an act like picking up sea salt in India, or just sitting where it wasn't allowed advanced causes against injustices and created a bold statement to those that would force upon others. People like these become a face of a revolution, their names ingrained in history. With it, they become a 10, immortalized because they were bold enough to do what others were afraid of.
Even today there are calls for reform, to end injustice around the world. The Arab Spring recent saw the the Middle East and Africa champion for their own rights, with it a face for the movement, Malala Yousufzai, was born. From protests of voter fraud to oppressive governments and even the arguments of gay marriage and woman’s rights here back home, the world is constantly changing, and with it people are constantly changing the world, hoping to rid of what they see as injustice.
Not always does the fight against injustices work. People go through hell to try and make their vision come to fruition. Some pay dearly for it. The consequences for failure are immense. MLK ended with a bullet in his head, so did Malcolm X, and Gandhi. People have been spit of, lynched, torture, imprisoned, and killed by others who believe that it was just. The lucky ones get exiled. Being in exiled is effective living without a home.
To me there isn't a defined place that is a home. For me a home is somewhere where I feel happy to be and safe. I don't only have one home, I have many. I may not live there anymore, but when I go back onto the streets of Duarte, there's this sense of familiarity there. I could look around at the trees, or walk 5 minutes to reach the neighborhood liquor store. I would feel comfortable there, I would feel that I was at home. It would be the same situation with the school. Next year, I will return, and take a look around. The quad may never be the same after this year's construction, but I will still see the recognizable mural of the Apache on the wall of the North Gym, and I will remember everything that I've done here. I would remember the countless hours that I've spent in these classrooms. I would remember all the friends, and all the moments. When I come back, I will smile, because it will remind me of everything that I've spent my time for here, and I'll feel at home once more. There is a misconception that a house can be a home. A house is not a home. A house is a place where a person can eat, sleep, and do everyday activities in. It can be a home, but it isn't always a home.
I guess Diddy did say it best; “Is a house really a home when your love ones are gone”.
I fairly enjoyed your post. You sounded very passionate toward the topics. I especially liked your intro, because you wrote some of the things that I never really thought about. People who got so many burns and cuts while fighting against injustice. The pain and suffering they all went through to fight for what they stand for is very inspiring. They all left behind a battle scar for the world to recognize.
When I imagine "home," a small town always comes to my mind.
A town where everyone is friendly.
A town where everyone knows your name.
A town where word spreads like a lightning bolt.
But home is not "home" without a family.
I have been moving back and forth between the home I barely remember and my childhood home ever since my parents decided to tear down the house I used to call "home." The memories of the house that was about to disappear come flooding back to me, and right before you know it, the whole structure is gone.
Then, the flashbacks come back slowly, one by one.
The time I learned to use a metal net connected to a wooden stick to pick tangerines off the tangerine tree. Sometimes it would fall off the tree, miss the net, and hit my head. Then the laughter would ensue between my family and I would just join the laughter with them.
The time my sister and I found a fluffy white bunny with red eyes behind a garage door in our backyard, unsure if it had rabies or not. We decided to scratch it between the its ear with chopsticks and eventually the bunny ran away.
The time my parent's friend's children swam with my sister and I in our pool. We would munch on snacks when we came up to take a break, then go back in the shallow-to-deep waters to play some more.
The many times I had goldfish and ended up killing them because of the inexperience I had with fish. My parents did not trust me with pet fish after seeing my impatience with them.
Then, the construction started as I began the school year in eighth grade. There was no more tangerine tree, no more pool, and no more slide.
I moved back to the home I barely remembered since I was an infant. What good was this home? It didn't have a tangerine tree, a pool, a slide, or a backyard. There was just a house with a front yard full of dried plants and a lawn that needed immediate attention. Moving here even required me to wake up an hour earlier just to get to school on time.
However, one and a half years passed in this house and the amount of memories were almost equal to those from my childhood home. I could recall the time when my sister bought me two white Oranda Goldfish in a little green plastic box. My family kept this a secret from me to surprise me on my birthday the next day. A few weeks later, the fish were dead because I did not change the water every couple of days (note that I did not know how to properly care for fish back then).
Then, I moved back to the new and improved house that my parents tore down. For a moment, I was fascinated by the modernized look of the house. The size of the kitchen we now had was incomparable to the one we had before. I was mesmerized by the whole scene but also saddened that the life I had before was gone and it could never return.
Much to my surprise, the idea of having pet fish had not left my mind since then. Months later after getting used to my own room and bathroom, I convinced my parents to purchase a 10 gallon tank for me. I wanted pet fish ever since I was little, so if its patience I needed, patience is what I'll have. Through the ups and downs, I converted to a 20 gallon tank. I learned to be patient. The result? Thriving fish, satisfied owner, and trusting parents.
Now, when I think of "home," it is not just a small town where everybody knows your name.
Home is family, and nothing can change that.
Hi, Vicky. I can relate to what you wrote here. Many years ago, I temporarily moved out of my house when it was being remodeled. Although I felt a little sad about losing a part of my childhood, I looked forward to living in my remodeled home. The future is filled with opportunities to make new memories, like how you made memories in your new house. I enjoyed reading this post. Nice job!
I really liked your writing, I loved how you expressed your reasoning behind loving your home through the experiences that you went through. I loved your constant gold fish refrence, i can relate. Great job
I really liked your writing, I loved how you expressed your reasoning behind loving your home through the experiences that you went through. I loved your constant gold fish refrence, i can relate. Great job
In August of 2008 I moved from San Marino to Arcadia. The fact that I lived in such a demanding society before, has encouraged me to push to be even better. All my life, I have wanted to aspire to be even better by curing a disease, or even saving the planet. Sure making money is important, but I want to have an impact on this planet. We were all born to do something great. The great work which really lights something in me is The Lorax.
One of the few great works by Dr. Seuss The Lorax, which set out to educate the public about saving our environment inspired me as a child, and re-inspired me when it was made into a movie. The book was written many years ago, but the many messages portrayed still apply to my generation. The health of the environment and forests depend on our desire to keep our society running.
The message of this children’s book has remained with me, adding to my interest in taking an Environmental Science course this year in school. This course has had a positive impact on my life, helping me realize how much the environment means to us and motivating me to want to make a difference in saving the Earth. The key point of Dr. Seuss’s book was to educate the public to not be greedy and take our forests for granted because once we lose them, they will be gone forever. The deforestation around the world and specifically in the US has resulted in our not having any forests that are older than a few hundred years. Forests in other parts of the world are thousands of years old, like the Rain Forest; where scientists to this day are discovering new species of animals and plants. Saving trees and preserving forests will help support biodiversity allowing humans to continue to discover new medicines, food sources, and keep the circle of life intact. This knowledge of old forests has led me to join an environmental leadership group at school that promotes conversation of energy and resources. Our efforts in this group hope to use less paper and products on campus; saving trees and money for the school.
My culture and religious practices of Hinduism have shaped my beliefs in vegetarianism and how important it is to respect everything on this planet. I have always been passively supportive of helping the environment, but after seeing The Lorax as a movie, rereading the book, and having completed the Environmental Course at school, I want to continue to be actively involved in activities that help save our very existence. In the past year I have encouraged school teachers to turn off all electronics during long breaks so that we do not over use or waste the precious energy we have on this planet. My passion to help the environment has motivated me to go beyond the classroom and into my community and push companies to go green and conserve energy.
Home has got to be all the experiences I have had. It has got to be everything that drives me and makes me want to make it better for my kids. Moving has helped me realize that sky is the limit and I can do anything if I put my mind to it, which is what I plan to do.
Goals, dreams, and choices are things we decide to do on our own, but I believe people around us lead us to those things. People might say that we are obligated to make the choices and we are not really choosing our real own goals, dreams and choices. I actually think that the people suggesting all those choices are helping me a lot. People around me suggest things I could do in the future that fit with my personality. I still don’t know how my personality truly is, but thankfully I have friends and family that help me know myself better. If I had to choose a dream on my own I would probably have nothing in mind. Also we need to make our own decision and be independent, if someone tells me a dream I should pursue and I know it is something I would not like then I would probably not consider it doing it and keep searching for what I really want to do. But there are people who have good suggestions on what we should do, it might not be the thing we really want to do but those things we are slightly interested on. It is better to have something to chase after than having nothing.
Home is a place where I could be myself, without caring what others think. It is a place where I know I am safe and belong. It is a place with lots of memories. It is a place where we probably know where everything is and spent most of our lives in. We can probably tell a lot about others just by the homes they come from. Home is a place where a lot of things happen; it is a place where it shapes us. For me home is not just a place where you live at the moment, I call it home when I know I can belong, and I can settle with no problems. My home would be Argentina. Even though I was not born there, I had spent most of my childhood in that place. All my childhood memories come from that place. Seems like a lot happened in that place. I will probably visit in the future when I have the time. I would love to visit the parks, the restaurants, the ice-cream shops. Hopefully I can visit as soon as possible, but until then I will have to find another home.
Living in Arcadia encourages longing for more and seeking for a different life. I feel that I have lived different lives, and I am looking forward to see what will the next life would be like. I have moved around places and lived differently in different places. I had learned a lot about life while living in Arcadia. I learned about people, and the atmosphere. It is funny how people and the atmosphere are different when you are in different places. Arcadia is a good city, pretty safe, clean and quiet. A lot of people would probably like to settle in and stay in a good city like Arcadia, but for me I would like to move to different places and learn more about different things. Moving around and moving on was something I had been doing, so it is something I would probably be doing in the future.
Hopes, Dreams, Anxieties.
Nesting Doll Day #1
I don't know how other people will remember me. How can I tell what other people are thinking of me? There is how I think they think of me, there is how I want them to think of me but I can't know how they actually think of me. I would hope that if I died today and 5 years later my friends got together and started reminiscing about days past, they would look back and remember the good things about me. I hope that they would remember my loyalty, helpfulness, passion, playfulness and love. When they're gathered at the bar, someone's home or even one of our old hang outs, I want them to remember my unquestioned allegiance and dedication to them. How no matter how wrong they are or how mean they are or how selfish they are I would stand by them. I would be there for them during their hardest fall or cheering for them at their most shining achievement. I want my friends to tell their stories about how I tried my best to help every one of them; no matter the problem I tried to give my opinion or a word of advice.
Moreover, how I cautioned them of the repercussions their decisions would bring and even if they didn't listen to me and they ended up in a bad situation I helped pull them out of it. I would hope that they would talk about my passions and say things like "do you remember how fiery Dominic's eyes were when he would speak about something important to him?" and "Yes he was so passionate and strong willed". I want them to laugh while remembering my sense of humour and playfulness when I joked around with them.
All in all, I just want my friends to remember my genuine love for them. My friends no matter how sarcastic or selfish or lame or rude or even just out right annoying, have all touched my heart in some way. My friends have been there for me, and they've all done the things that I wish they would remember me for and I love them for that and I want them to remember how I genuinely cared for them. That however might not be the case. The things I want to be for my friends might not be how they think of me. I might try to be helpful and they might see it as intrusive, obnoxious or nosy. If I try to advise them against something or if I try to help them fix something they might think "How dare he judge me for what I do?" or " Ugh, look at him he thinks he's so right all the time". The people I want to help might just remember me as some nosy, arrogant, fool who should mind his business.
What if instead of a loyal friend they remember someone who wasn't there for them at all. Perhaps, one forgotten decision in the past has irrevocably changed the opinion of my friends and I don't even know it, and instead of remembering loyalty they remember that one time where I had betrayed them. What if instead of passion they see stubbornness, or ignorance? Instead of my fiery eyes they remember my harsh voice, my combative tone and disapproval for all things I don't agree with. What if they remember my playfulness and my jokes as being rude and mean or I hurt them by mistake and they've never forgiven me. What if they don't remember that I cared about them and all they can remember is the mean kid who hated everyone? These thoughts are all terrifying but they can also be liberating. One can't know how friends will remember you and even if you ask them how they think of you there is no guarantee that it is true or if that is exactly how they'll remember you. All you can do is accept that hopefully they'll remember at least some of the good things about you. End
Blurry Figures and muffled laughter.
My favorite place in the entire universe is this quaint city on the west coast of France called Saint Malo. The people there literally have to coexist with the ocean; the tides run in so far that it practically floods the city. People in Saint Malo have to carry around booklets that tell them what times the tides are receding or invading otherwise they could get caught in a certain part of the city with no way back. It is so majestic and old you can feel its ancient wisdom just walking down the cobblestone roads. As you stroll along the walls you can see the gorgeous ocean and the ships that belong to the people of the city because only people from Saint Malo have the experience to navigate its alluring but treacherous waters. In Medieval times Corsairs would be hired by the French government to go on legal pirate missions and they would raid English, German and invariably all other ships on the seas. These Corsairs would come to Saint Malo after their raids because they could navigate safely through the waters while enemy ships would get caught in the nasty crags and sink. The corsairs eventually became extinct but their memory lives on through Saint Malo by its nickname, The Corsair City. The most beautiful and magical part of Saint Malo is definitely the ocean. Witnessing the tide rush so far in, it almost floods the city and then seeing it run so far out you can walk for miles on the sand. There is a castle just off the coast of Saint Malo it is not so far but it also isn't a short distance. This castle during most hours of the day is completely surrounded by water and the only way you could possibly get to it is by boat. But there is a point in the day where the tide runs so far back you can literally walk to the castle on the sand. The people of Saint Malo are so kind and proud of their city. So deep is their pride, they keep their flag above the French and European Union flags. The people of St. Malo refer to the city possessively too; like they're all a hundred percent sure they belong there. Its like a part of them owns the city and the city owns a part of them. There is nowhere in the world that has touched me so deeply as this city has. I can't explain it but I remember having this feeling there that just resonated with me and as I was staring at the castle in the waves I just felt so happy; I want to be able to refer to Saint Malo as "my city" some day. End
+ Does living in a place like Arcadia discourage you from longing for more, for a different life…or does it encourage it?
Arcadia doesn't purposefully encourage growth it happens as a side affect. Living and growing up in Arcadia is a gift and a curse. The gifts are a strong educational background and preparation for any hardship that might come your way. The curse is that you don't truly become part of Arcadia.
They say Arcadia has a rigorous school district that helps prepare people for the rigors of college and real life. This is partially true; Arcadia over prepares you by overloading you with work, exams and stress. That might actually help you when you've been given three term papers, two literature books and an exam all due on the same day but how does that help us build a connection to the school. Our school focuses so much on the grades and the scores it's completely forgotten about the fun. There is no fun at Arcadia high, there is no bonding, everybody hates school assemblies and no one is actually proud to be an Apache. They say the reason for Arcadia's "success" is its competitive education system. How does that breed success? Arcadians aren't here to learn and to better society Arcadians are here to fight and be the best you have to beat the curve because its not good enough to have an A everyone around you has to have a C. This isn't success; learning isn't about beating a curve or getting the best score on a test. Learning is about growth and evolving society; education shouldn't be a competition it should be a brotherhood. People should want to help others not try and beat them. But how can we try to help others when Arcadia over loads us on exams and work, people who want to help cant because they them selves are overloaded and cant keep up with what they're doing.
All of this breeds animosity and anxiety we end up being pushed so hard we break and when we're broken we feel alone and scared; all we want to do is get away from here find some other place. That's what Arcadia does to us, it doesn't encourage us to long for more or to branch out it just makes us want to get out. Arcadia is like that overly protective soccer mom that restricts her children so much they end up wanting to run away to freedom. Arcadia has pushed us all to the point where we don't care what happens we just want to be away from here. End
I'm glad I read your post this week because prior to reading it, I didn't know a lot about you.
1) I think that your place in France, Saint Malo, sounds like an awesome place! Hopefully I can visit it in the near future.
2) I really liked what you said about Arcadia, and how it naturally encourages you to seek more. I agree with you and said the same thing in my blog!
I think you did a great job this week. The format of you blog was interesting as well. I'm excited to read more of your stuff in the weeks to come.
Thanks so much for your comment I'm glad you like my writing. You should totally go visit Saint Malo some time it's amazing. I'm not sure if I portrayed my self correctly on the third prompt. It wasn't really supposed to be "natural" or encouraging. It was more like Arcadia makes people want to leave and find something else not find something more.
Again thanks for your comment I hope you'll like my other stuff in the future.
I will definitely add Saint Malo to my bucket list!
Thank you for clarifying your views on Arcadia.
Good luck next week, and I look forward to reading your blog.
Several years ago, when I was having lunch in a regular school day, everything was normal. I mean, the day was normal, like every other day I had school that year. My friends would talk to their friends who I never knew, and I remember after finishing lunch, I sat on the lunch table near my friends, staring at the ground. The days kept repeating itself, and I always could not hope for the suspense for the lunch bell to ring so I could get out that imprisonment. “Why did I want to get out of there?” I thought to myself. I mean, I’m sitting near my friends. Yea, this was when I caught myself standing apart from my life. I saw myself slipping away from my “friends” day by day, while they don’t call out to me to socialize. Ha, I even started questioning on how I even became friends with them. This was the world that I inhabited.
Things only got worst. After the school year ended, I moved away from Arcadia because my father needed a new job, but I never blamed him for that. After all, prices started skyrocketing at that time, and he wanted us, his family, to be poverty-free. You may think that I got along with my family; well sorry to disappoint you, but I never did. Each of our family members started isolating in the coming new year. My brother did not get along with his schoolmates in his new school year, my mother had to help out my father since there were too few workers in our restaurant, and my sister had to take my mother’s responsibility for chores, as did I. So I had to accept my reality.
You thought things are going to turn out better for me? No, things just got more complicated. On my first day of school in the new city I moved in, I noticed that lunch was between the first three periods and the last three periods of classes. So I casually joined in with the crowd, but there was one factor I left out: I did not have any friends who attended that school. Yes, I sat alone, and again, I accepted reality. Oh, but my unfortunate event was not over, it just got started. After I came back from lunch, heading to my fourth period class, I saw that the class had already started. I started having an anxiety attack or whatever craziness that was in my head at the time.
“Oh, I guess you’re back from lunch,” said the science teacher. “I understand that you just moved here and I just want to say that only the 8th graders have lunch after 4th period.”
Oh, I remember those words clearly from the top of my head. Yes, I got myself into a really embarrassing situation that I can not turn back on. So I sat on my assigned seat, waited for the bell to ring as usual but this time I ran somewhere alone, accepting my reality, quietly. And again I had that suspense for the bell to ring. I wanted my pain to go away. But in the back of my mind, I knew that it will come back and haunt me again, even to the day that I am typing up this post.
The next day, I tested my knowledge on my algebra skills to be placed in a higher math class. Yes, I passed, Yes, new class, but the pain did not go away. This was the day I met four people who became my friends, four people who would introduce me to new friends of theirs that some would eventually become my best friends, four people who changed my future for the rest of my school year. Yes, I was glad to have been placed in this class, and yes, my usual lunch time has changed. My friends and I would form a circle and sit on the ground while we ate our lunch and talk about stories of our concerns, our classes, and our habits. It wasn't just those, we talked about many other subjects too. We would always form a circle when we socialize, and it felt like home to me. Yes, this was what I imagined when I thought of “home.” Not the house that I live, sleep, and eat in, but the friends I have shared my thoughts with. This was the new world that I inhabited.
As you can tell, I was kind of “homeless” until I met those four friends I made in class. We would always hang out at lunch or in P.E class, we would never go alone anywhere without a friend beside us, and we would never insult each other. Even at the last day of school, the circle was never disbanded: not one single friend was absent in that circle, everyone was there. This is enough proof that I could make my home anywhere as long as I have friends that believe that I exist as their friends too. And yes, I accepted reality.
Not bad, children of mine - not bad at all. Remember to finish your feedback posts and nominations soon!
Everything is black. Pitch. black. It's dark. Too dark. I can't see anything. I can only pretend to see things.
I can only pretend to enjoy. I've been stuck in this darkness for so many minutes that I lost count. Maybe ten minutes so far.
I'm just falling and falling and falling some more... and then....
Suddenly, a circle of light appeared under me. The darkness beneath my feet had morphed into fluttering, pitch-black birds and they circled the space like a crow storm, fluctuating up and down across the blackness. I took a step forward, towards the center of this light, and once again, the blackness transformed into color. Color crafted itself into a nicely constructed rainbow road. Above me, little yellow stars sprinkled the blue sky, twinkling as if they were laughing at me.
This is surreal.
I ran across this road, with unknown forces rapidly extending this world beyond infinity. I witnessed two rolls of silk weaving a gigantic doorway. I twisted the doorknob, and I was blinded by light. My eyes bulged, my jaws dropped, and my mouth gasped in sheer awe.
"My sanctuary..." - Utada Hikaru
I was in a magnificent radiant garden, with little specks of light twinkling in the air. There was far too much detail and beauty to discuss.
On my left was the fluffiest bed I have ever seen. On my right was a table with my laptop, with the battery somehow connected to the cement. A serene, exhilarating world: a home, all to myself.
Suddenly, a forceful breeze swept me off my feet and threw me into a massive fountain, filled with pure water. Once my face plunged into the crystal water, I felt my burdens disappear. I felt my shoulders relax as if some hands are massaging them. I could stay here for eternity.
"Where fears and lies melt away" - Utada Hikaru
This is truly paradise. I felt all my worries dissipate into thin air. I noticed my concerns disintegrating and freeing my soul. I claimed this place as my new home. This is exactly what I envisioned in my head.
Had my thoughts sprouted into reality?
Then suddenly, in the blink of an eye (literally), everything disappeared instantly. I found myself slumped over with my head resting on my two crossed arms on the table. I snapped back into reality, and it was thirty minutes into Mr. Feraco's class; I once again began to hear his monotonous voice trying to implant its text into my head, but to no avail.
It was all a dream.
Whatever happened to my home?
Everything is gone!
All of it vanished. The colors once again transformed into blackness, and for a nanosecond I found myself in total blackness again before opening my eyes.
So I guess my ideal home is my own little world I drew out in my mind...
At home I lay on my back on my comfortable bed, staring into the plain, old, grey ceiling. This is reality. This prison is my real home. Yet it's a comfortable little prison. I'll settle for it any day.
Between two different homes...
Between two alternate dimensions...
Between the fantasy world projected by my own wildest imagination and the terrors of reality...
Between the boundless paradise that extends indefinitely with infinite possibilities and the deteriorating Earth, in which my feet are forever bound to the ground and my movements limited by gravity.
I can't float off this Earth and escape to another world (or die when I try to do so).
I could care less about which one I live on. I just want to make the most of it.
Very impressive. Oh course I wouldn't expect anything less from the guy who wrote a monstrous artium magister. The imagery was the crucial that got me hooked. Defiantly deserves more praise!
Sup Warren...your post was very interesting...how your home is in your dreams instead of reality...
You have a very intricate use of imagery, Warren. It felt like if I was in that dream myself.
Also the theme of living in a fantasy world instead of of reality is one of my favorites.
It was only the third day of the “Mission field trip” that I suddenly felt a sudden wave of homesickness. I was pretty hyped up for this field trip for the first few days, especially because I was going to leave home for one whole week! I have been anticipating for this event for almost two whole weeks. As a ten year old I felt like I was finally all grown up, ready to seize this newfound independence. With no parents around, I have to take care of myself.
I was looking forward to this field trip.
It didn’t turn out as I expected. I thought I was going to have so much fun learning about the different California Missions, but I was dead wrong. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I felt insecure and miserable. Of course I didn’t tell anyone, not even my friends. I felt like it was an embarrassment to feel homesick, especially when it was a golden opportunity to finally break away from our parents. But, I just couldn’t think of the situation as a golden opportunity. I missed my teddy bear, which was probably sitting quietly on my pillow. I missed that old clock which sings a song every time it strikes twelve o’clock. I missed the old tree in our backyard that I always climbed on. Most of all, I missed my home.
Back when I was ten I thought that was the home I missed.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that my ten year old perception of home was completely different from what the ideal meaning of home should be. Even when I was going to school that was ten minutes away, I felt homesick almost every day. When I am at home, I still feel a tinge of emptiness. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s still the same old house, I still have my teddy bear, that old clock, but something just felt empty.
Then it hits me.
I was always alone in this empty house. Coming home alone, eating alone, watching TV alone, and cooking alone. I was almost always alone. Now I understand. It’s not the home itself that I missed; it’s the family that makes up the home that I missed. I missed the time when I make dumplings with my mom, the time when we laugh at the TV show, and the times when she ask the generic question of “how was school”. I missed all that. That was what made home feel like home.
My mom has sacrificed a whole lot for my education. I am thankful for all that she has done to keep me in school, yet sometimes I wish I went to school somewhere else. Somewhere where there are fewer expectations. Maybe life would be whole lot different. Maybe I won’t be alone all the time. Maybe my mom wouldn’t have to work this hard. Maybe I wouldn’t have lost the home I once knew.
I was peacefully sleeping when a light suddenly turned on inside my room. My dad was standing at the doorway and he silently whispered, “It’s time for practice.” My comforter caressed me; and, at that moment, my bed was the most comfortable place in the world. I grunted, shifted onto my stomach, and quickly glanced at the clock - only to see that it was barely five in the morning.
I rolled out of bed, wiped the sleep out of my eyes and put on the first pair of shorts I could find. I can still hear the coffee machine echoing from the kitchen. The sound bounced off the walls, through the hallway and straight to my room. My dad took his shot of expresso, I grabbed my toast, and we were off.
Using every ounce of strength I had, I threw my oversized hockey bag into the car. The bad must have weighed more than me, and I would swing the bad around in a circle to gain momentum before I could actually throw it in the car. I looked like some discus thrower, twisting and twirling before actually releasing the bag. I was still tired from playing Super Mario Brothers Brawl the night before, so I hopped into the car and quickly fell asleep. I put the seat all the way back, covered my head with the hood of my jacket - to protect my eyes from the rising sun - and slept the whole ride.
My dad parked the car on Green Street in front of the Pasadena Convention Center. We both walked to the front of the Pasadena Ice Skating Center.
This was my “home.”
The guy that worked at the rink was late most of the time, and the whole team would wait outside. We were all so tired that no one said a word the whole time. By the time Tim, the Detroit native, opened the old rickety door, we all scurried into the old ice rink.
The design of the ice rink was very old fashion, and it was built in place of a ballroom dance studio. I knew this rink like the back of my hand. I knew every hole on the ice surface, I knew where the zamboni couldn’t reach, and I knew where I could find the lost gear if I happened to forget an elbow pad. The paint on the walls was chipping off, the benches weren’t stable, the zamboni cut the ice very slowly. The sun peeked through the broken windows that never got fixed. Something was wrong with everything - but that’s how I liked it.
I loved how there was fog over the ice surface. I wore an old Teemu Selanne helmet with a bubble visor, and every breathe I took would cause there to be fog on the visor. My dad would try to prevent it with anti-fog solutions he took from the surgical room, but it never seemed to work.
I remember how I would get off the ice and steam would pour off of my body. The heat fascinated me, and I wanted to know why I was steaming. At that time in my life, I thought it was like smoke from a fire. I thought, “What is this? Wow, this is so cool? Look dad, I’m smoking!”
The memories I created at that rink will last a lifetime, and I appreciate the sacrifice my dad made every time he brought me there. When I turned 14, my dad signed me up to play adult league with him. The age requirement was 18, but Nancy, the league coordinated, knew I could keep up with them, so she let me play. My dad and I played side by side for a couple seasons, and sometimes we would have competitions to see who could score more goals. I loved those days.
Before it the city tore it down, I went for one last skate. Only this time, I was 16 years old. I had been playing there for 10 years of my life, and I loved that place.
But now, It’s history.
All that remains of my home are great memories, and that’s what most homes come down to. We all have a home, but really, it’s all in your head. Materialistic things fade away after time, but the love that makes a home comfortable lasts forever. Home is the environment that you are most comfortable in, the place where you can be yourself without having to worry.
I have many homes. Montreal, Arcadia, the old Pasadena Ice Skating Center all served as homes for me. I think that growing up in Arcadia has encourage me to long for more. My parents have stressed the importance of hard work, while they want you to do what you love in life. They want to see us (children) happy, and that’s what I want to be in life.
I’ve been privileged enough to grow up in th affluent town of Arcadia, but I’m a “searcher.” I constantly want to see more, learn more, and meet new people. Whether I grew up in Arcadia or in Montreal, I know that I will always long for more. As I said in my “Siddhartha” baseline questions, humans need plains to conquer in order to be happy. This same idea applies to my life. I will always be adjusting my “sandbox,” letting new things in and kicking other things out. I will live in new places, and let new people inside my “box.”
I will always want to see more. It’s a part of my curious nature.
While I’m on my odyssey, I will always strive to resist injustice. “I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Most great leaders introduce new things to society, and sometimes they go against consensus. I will do the same thing in my life, as standing up for what I believe in is an important part of who I am. There have been many instances where I’ve stood for myself or others, even though it wasn’t the popular thing to do. I’m proud of doing so because it clearly established who I am as a person.
Would you do the same? Have you ever agreed with anyone because you were afraid to disappoint them?
I think that Winston, the main character in “1984,” will do the same thing. He will put his life on the line to stand up against injustice. I will commemorate if he does so, but we will have to read and find out.
I had a wonderful time reading your post. It's amazing how you chose such a public place and turned it into your "home". Also, it's great to see how you incorporated some of first semester quotes and key concepts!
I'm glad you realized that I made some connections to last semester's curriculum! I'll keep an eye out for your blog next week.
What was your favorite part of last semester's class? Where you in SFHP of MTSF?
"This is home,
Yeah I'm finally where I belong, where I belong
This is home
I've been searching for a place of my own, now I found it
This is home."
-Switchfoot, "This is Home"
All of us have a home. Somewhere. Be it a house, a city, with a person, whatever. But is that house, city, person where you really belong?
I always felt my house was home. Obviously, because that's what we've always called it. I honestly don't know how many times I've said "Can we go home now?!" in my lifetime. Too many to count. I don't really know why, but "home" is always where I want to return to, from anywhere. Even places like Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. There's always this urge to go back to the comfort of where I came from. But I sometimes get this feeling like home is not here. But if not here, then where?
I feel like I haven't found home yet.
And that's honestly weird. I mean, what am I even looking for? My house is pretty nice, I think I have the best parents in the world and a sister that truly cares about me, what other "home" could there be?
I think "home" is where we belong. We may call all kinds of places home, but those places may not be where we belong.
In the process of life, or better yet, in the Samsara cycle, we are born, we live, we suffer, then we die. So we come into the world, we live, we die. At the end of it all, we return to where we came from, hypothetically. And this part makes me think that living is uber-trippy: We enter the world, then leave. Why do we leave? Where do we go? Up to heaven, down to hell, nowhere, blackness? What was the whole point of coming to this world anyway?
I think we go home.
Back to where we belong.
Wherever we may call "home" now, as much as we'd like to, we're not going to stick around forever. We're going to leave. And I don't think we can ever "leave" our REAL homes. Where we are is our temporary home, and soon enough (hopeful not too soon) we will go home. To our real home, where we will stay forever.
I mean, where can you really run to after you die?
This was such a deep blog. I never really thought that home was not really home. Now that I think about it, maybe we don't really have a permanent home until we die...maybe death is our final completion.
Just like Never let me Go and The Fountain they completed...and lived the road to awe. If that makes sense, I think it ties in to this blog really well!
Thanks for the great read
Wow that is deep. I never saw home as an ephemeral place before. It is so true that we will never have permanent homes. Perhaps we have not lived long enough to discover where exactly we belong in order to discover our true homes. The future is uncertain and perhaps while we're still alive, our homes will never be the same. Maybe death is the only destination at which we can permanently lie; after all, life is finite so could death be the place everyone person belongs?
I think Christy's post and your commentary make an interesting point. I defined home as rest in my post, and that makes total sense since people say "rest in peace" when someone dies. That's a mildly scary train of thought though, and it's possibly why death is romanticized as often as it is. There are people who flee life in search of this permanent home.
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