Advanced Essay #3: Regret and miscellaneous emotions.

The things that make people who they are can be very complicated, being built from many experiences and events. People like to say things about how the past is just the past and it doesn't affect them now, or about how they do not have any regrets. Regrets are a necessary part of becoming a better person. The regrets and events of our life are what make us, us. We wouldn't be the same person if we lived in a vacuum with no outside forces acting upon it. We are based on events and those events define who we are. How we react to trauma, how we choose to stand once we fall make us who we are, and the idea that events in your life don't affect who you are as a person is incredibly naive. Think about how childhood traumas still affect people well into adulthood. The idea of having no regrets is the ideal, but God only knows I have regrets. I would be a completely different person if I went to a different high school or elementary school. Even the little things shape who I am as a person like whether or not I am friends with someone.

There are many moments I regret, believe me. One regretful memory that stands out is my first girlfriend all the way back in 5th grade. As with all 5th grade romances, it was the end all be all of human creation, we were destined for each other, clearly the universe served no other purpose than to put us together that fateful class. We were disgusting, braces filled, balls of pre-pubescence, and man was it vile looking back. In the moment it was pretty good, but the standards weren’t that high. I took this girl out on our first date and we went to dinner, then a movie, a classic, nothing could go wrong. I was wrong about that. We first went to dinner with a parental escort, which was as painfully awkward as it sounds. After our meal had arrived, I devoured it with extreme incompetence. How do you improperly eat one may ask? I am not exactly sure myself, but I am certain that I was missing the prime objective of landing food in my mouth. I then proceeded into the bathroom and spent way too much time in there defiling it. We then went to the movie, we watched some romantic comedy with Channing Tatum. Several times during the movie I tried to slide my hand over her shoulder with the classic yawn technique, and boy that didn’t work. We eventually took a very awkward car ride home, I spent the whole time wallowing in my failure and awkwardness. Getting out of the car and entering my house was such sweet relief. I thought I was gonna regret that day for the rest of my life because of how awkward I was. I did end up regretting that evening in many ways after, but not because of how I acted, but because who I was with. The girl I was with turned out to be crazy, and not in the way that's manageable or funny. She thought that the Earth was 6000 years old, that Alaska was a Country,  and that evolution wasn’t real. Regret never works out the way you think it will.

Last year in World History we learned a lot about various religions and faiths, we read texts from beliefs. This quote stood out to me, even looking back a year later. “And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life.” -Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha  The author is very good at describing how the bad and good make up people, and how regrets and bad emotions are necessary. We feel all these emotions and they make us who we are. Regret is an important part of our lives. This quote opts for a ying and yang style where you need both light and dark, good and bad. We need both to not only survive, but to thrive. In most high schools it is becoming a running joke how much you regret who you were in middle school, or even as a freshman. We acknowledge our regret in a healthy comedic way. We understand regret is important in this way, we know things were bad and that things are getting better.

Should Our Identities Be The Same or Different?

In this essay, I discuss what I think it means to belong and what I think it means to explore ones identity. I focus on what makes us different and the same when forming our identities. I use my past experience in a new environment with not much diversity to discuss the common themes that build bonds and friendships, as well as what is used to build a sense of belonging.

If we look through the evolution of movies that take place in the high school setting we always see a common thing, cliques. The students mentally divide ourselves into these groups from how we identify ourselves. However in the movie, there is always those few students who still feel they are alone even though they are surrounded by people “like” them. Many would argue that the problem with cliques is we separate based off of one or two common interest that can be instantly be seen and shown. What then becomes an issue later is that they feel like they aren’t like them, and most likely they are right. Instead of finding similarities such as viewpoints and personality. That is not the proper way to make friends and create groups of people to interact with.

“Embracing otherness… Well, embracing otherness is embracing myself. And the journey to that place of understanding and acceptance has been an interesting one for me, and it's given me an insight into the whole notion of self.” These are words of Thandie Newton’s when she did a TED Talk called “Embracing Other, Embracing Myself”. I believe this quote relates a lot to during my summer of 2015. I went to Virginia for a writing program and lived on Sweet Briar campus for 2 weeks. I was eager to be in a new place to help me form my identity, I hoped to do so by exploring different environments with different people in diverse groups.

The first 5 days out of the 15, I just observed everyone in silence. I noticed patterns, personalities, just different and new people in general. From my observations, I noticed a connection. They were all divided in non diverse groups. No one was really trying to separate. At first everyone stayed with their Houses when we had free time or during lunch. In those Houses, there were at least 1 person in each class but the diversity of that was by chance. By the 8th day I started seeing groups of white people sitting next to each other, Asians sitting next to each other, and the other 4 African Americans in the program scattered against that. These cliques were a cliché to me. Somehow by day 7, I made friends with a girl named McKenna. I like the diversity of the friendship because she was in Poetry and I was in Screen & Playwriting, her being white and me being African American, and just how different our personalities are. She would hang out with the people in her House. In her house, there were all Songwriters and Poetry students. They were mainly white and there was one Asian. I instantly judged them, thinking that they were only friends because of their common class the Songwriters, their House, and their race but after a few more days I began to see that they were connected by similarities that were not instantly seen. The main people I talked to in that group besides McKenna was Savanah, Songwriter and white, and Miranda, Poetry student and Asian. They all played sports and all of their personalities were similar but had outlier differences keeping them different people. I remember during the last day of the program when I was saying my last goodbyes to my new friends, I began to think about all the different things about them and how we were really good friends making the 2 weeks feel like years.

There are times where I could be surrounded by many people but feel as if I’m alone. Isolation is the main feeling I am have when I step out my house. Everyone has this sense where they do not belong because we identify ourselves as someone different from others.

People should always be ready to identify themselves by what makes them different and not what makes them the same. The similarities between friends should be a coincidence and a group of friends should be diverse. If you randomly ask a group of friends what is their identity, each person should have a different answer. I don't think that friends that are all too similar are not good ones, but I think that those who are very different bond the best. If we always go by the similarities of one another, me become clones and dont explore our own separate and different identities but instead mold ourselves to be the same as everyone else to allow us to belong.

Feminist Film Review

Movie: Spirited Away 

This movie passes the Mako Mori test a little more than the Bechdel test because there is at least one female character. One of them that is focused on the most is the main character Chihiro. She is given a background story and the movie revolves around her trying to get her and her parents home since they are all trap in the spirit world by a cruel business owner who is a witch named Yubaba. It really does not support any man's story. There are also other female characters in this movie that I think, in my opinion, help this movie to pass the Bechdel test as well because there are points where the main character, Chihiro, interacts with other female characters, like Lin for example who also happens to work for Yubaba as well, and Yubaba. She has conversation with them that are not man at all about a man, like when she was talking about getting her parents freedom with Yobaba, and about getting a job with Lin. 

Bias Film test: For my test, I will call it the Heroine test, a movie has to have at least one female lead. She has to be able to work independently or with only a little bit of support, and her purpose in the movie is not for a man 

The "Town Devil"

This is the philosophy of the Town Devil. The Town Devil was an idea introduced by an anonymous teenage designer. He introduced a line called Town Devil and no one knew what he meant by Town Devil and so this essay is the explanation for Town Devil. Through this, I am explaining what the world failed to see and even what the designer himslef failed to see which is the deeper meanings of this "Town Devil". Although it is something that is not easy to comprehend, it is easy to connect it to many other things in society once you have it down. One example is social rules which is also a big topic in this essay. I hope you enjoy. 

TD Philosophy

We all know how I was treated for being a fan of fashion and the industry. Ridiculed and questioned about my sexuality. This happened because of the place where I lived and the knowledge that people gain while growing up in that area. Baggy/sagging jeans, polo rugbies, thug life, get girls, disrespecting your elders. All the more sophisticated kids growing up around this area would be completely different…outside of the box, outside the lines, away from the masses, doing something with life. Yet the people around us kept judging, breaking us down and I looked around to see the others disappearing from the world of “differentness” slowly. One by one they all faded away and if I pass by the hood today you’ll see the meant to be millennials with baggy/sagging jeans, polo rugbies, thug life tatted on their arms or chest, surrounded by the promiscuous and immoral ladies who have been passed around by the entire “crew”. They think this is right but then again who am I to judge others, the rules are very important to everyone no matter how you feel about them.

Many people never really know what is going on around them at all times. But then again, what is going on at all times around us is actually invisible, we cannot see it unless we are some type of enlightened philosopher. This problem is a psychological issue. Everyone, according to the anonymous teenage designer, is a Town Devil. People constantly push each other away and separate themselves because of the tons and tons of rules that certain “public figures” establish. “You are gay if you wear skinny jeans”, “I like my women this and that way.” Because of these things that these figures say, people begin to make these things a priority therefore making them unofficial rules.

The teenage genius put “Town Devil” on his shirt and I wondered what it meant. He is a wealthy New York cat. A teenaager who just wants to do what he loves most. He told us about the “Town Devil” in the craziest way. The genius sent sends an extremely long iMessage. It connected to society and the way we are all disconnected from each other. “Town devil,” he said. Yes Town Devil… and I knew exactly what he meant before everyone began asking questions on what he meant by, “Town Devil”. Town Devil is the person you hate most. Society forces people to make decisions on acting harsh towards other people for your own safety. What you did not know is that everyone is the Town Devil. Everyone. I say this because there is always a time when people feel like they have to be alone. Cut from society like a piece of unnecessary fabric. You act harsh towards others because you feel like they are the ones hurting you or they will eventually. That is when you become the Town Devil. The person you hate the most. You become jaded… living life in caution just trying to protect yourself from everyone else. With that being the reality, as stated before you just became the person who you are trying to protect yourself from. You act in ways that you know are wrong but no one is mad at you because they know deep down inside that you HAVE to. The saddest part of all of this is that everyone honestly just craves true and pure connection but they destroy that themselves in the act of trying to protect themselves. It is a cycle of endless sadness. Only when you become the Town Devil and become enlightened on the subject, you will understand the true meaning of connection. Women criticize men because men want a connection but it does not happen because they automatically go into their Town Devil state. This happens to men as well. Everyone is a Town Devil. But the true sadness comes upon those who are enlightened. Those who sit back and wonder just how long the world will live in disconnection.

If you connect the Town Devil philosophy to the theorem of social rules, then you will have very extraordinary realizations. If you realize, social rules are different for different groups of people. People push each other away, or disconnect from each other because they are different from one another. This forms the different types of groups that you see in school, in the street, in movies, in cartoons, etc. The topic is so broad that it can be made into a worldwide investigation for philosophers. The Town Devil, something out of one of those really good mystery movies that gets so much hype for being great, or something that comes out of those types of dreams that you just have to go and tell your friends. The Town Devil philosophy is really something to behold.

US#8 Reflection- Sharron Norton

  • In class, we watched a video called Digital Nation. It was about the continuation of the virtual frontier. How it affects us and how we it becomes the center of our attention, and also the internet may help/hurt the world. The most memorable thing about this show was that the army recruits via gaming and when in the video when they showed all the things Movies such as this are documentaries which children our age don't watch because they pack information in like a balloon filling up with air.  We should watch videos on this topic because it tells about everything we already know, but don't want to pay attention to. Videos like this help people see their reality and how it affects us and it should not. And for my future family, I think by putting rules in place will keep them safe, but also showing them how you trust them. To always tell them when they start to look at sites that might affect their health and wellness. I don't want to be like the parents who kept the computer in the kitchen, but I also don't want to be the parent who lets their child do whatever on the computer. I want to be the future who has a give and take relation when dealing with the internet. Such as: the parents of the girl who expressed herself through picture art. In order for her to trust them with what she was doing, they first had to understand. At first the parents didn't until the realized how the internet brought something out in their daughter, then they excepted.