Communication and Expression

Hello Humans!

This year has been a crazy experience, and definitely the most difficult and eye-opening year thus far.  I have become friends with so many new people, and just as I have become more mature, these new friends have differing and strong opinions about topics up for discussion. Nothing is more satisfying to me than a nice, intellectual discussion where both people are open minded and there’s no judgment but just pure back-and-forth debate. Though I wish these perfect discussions happened all the time, there are people who feel they can’t speak up, or those who seem to lack the words to say how they really feel. This begs the question, what obstacles prevent people from expressing themselves?

There are of course various reasons for this, but after just finishing reading the novel The Catcher in the Rye, you see common take on why someone can’t express themself. The main character, Holden, has a difficult time expressing himself, and an even harder time finding someone to listen to him. You find out early in the novel that Holden’s younger brother passed away, and after an episode of breaking windows in the garage and refusing to talk to a psychologists (pg. 39), he was left with a lot of undealt and bottled up emotions all while being shipped off to boarding school. From a medical standpoint, this is most likely why Holden continuously looks for someone to talk to and understand him, and also has to do with his love for the past and hate for change. Though, ironically, one can infer the whole novel is a dialogue between him and some kind of psychologist, meaning the only one who listened to him was a professional listener, but sometimes that may be just what someone need when going through traumatic experiences.

Barnes and Nobles

Another reason someone might not be able to express themselves is because they don’t know how. In today’s society, more and more people are becoming more open-minded to the discussion of emotion and the human psyche. The amount of people going to therapy (without any defined mental illness) has risen and activism is becoming more popular to help minority groups gain recognition. Yet, the second most highest cause of death in males ages 15-24 is suicide. Though we’re moving forward, we still seem to be teaching young boys that emotions are too feminine and shouldn’t be discussed. Obviously this isn’t working, and as our generation moves forward, we must remember to teach our little siblings and our future children how to be healthy and strong, both physically and emotionally.

On the same note of being unable to express oneself because they do not know how, people in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer ++) community most often don’t realize they fall into this category of humans. Though labels aren’t necessary, for the sake of growing up people like to know a little bit about where they belong. Most LGBTQ children don’t know the feelings they may be having actual exist! Luckily, in the United States there is a majority support for equality in all fronts, but unfortunately in many other countries being LGBTQ is not talked about, and in some cases is even illegal. From our classes thinglink wall, I posted a video by Ashley Mardell titled “The ABC’s of LGBT” where she talks about the different terms someone can use to identify themselves as and how to properly address others. Link to the amazingly educational video is below. People like Ashley on YouTube or other public places make me so happy, as they keep up this conversation to make everyday life easier and more inclusive. And as said before with suicide being a leading cause of death in our nation, helping even one person by helping them discover who they are, or simply being respectful enough to treat them as they are can help them begin to express themselves as who they truly are and continue the cycle of generosity.

This year, though most academically challenging, has been emotionally stabling and opening for me. As I said before, nothing makes me happier than a conversation with open dialogue and open-minded people, but until this year I didn’t know how to have a conversation like that. This year has truly made me come out of my shell, while also making me realize I have a shell to come out of. In my English class we have done so many activities forcing you to reflect back on what you’ve done, and it really makes you look at what you’re doing wrong and what needs to be changed. Through many interactions with my fellow classmates, I’ve learned of many ways to speak in a classroom through various class discussions. I also learned how to research newspapers and websites through various projects, teaching me how to look for the information on what is important to me, such as the statistics in this blog or different activist topics I’ve recently found myself interested in. This year I also applied myself to activities outside of the classroom, making sure I’m actively involved in groups and clubs to make a change in the world. Sometimes expression is difficult because people don’t realize the problem, but once you do, it’s a whole lot easier to overcome.

-Sebastian

P.S. BE YOURSELF AND LET OTHERS DO THE SAME PLEASE!

Goodbye Junior Year

Hello lovelies! Today I’m, unfortunately, not going to be introducing you guys to a new place to go in your spare time. I kind of just wanted a blog post to myself today. You guys can learn a little bit about me and my junior year, while I’ll have a bit of something to look back at and be like “Oh my gosh, Junior year… Yeah…”

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This, is Mr. Ziebarth, one of the most lively and full of enthusiasm teacher I’ve ever had. It was Halloween and we, our AP English Lang/Comp class, went outside because there was a fire drill during first period. At this point, school was still pretty fun, nothing stressful yet, and I still felt like a sophomore living the life of being able to sleep at 10:30 or 11:00 at night. Oh how I miss that ever so much.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of the school year. This is David and he is full of sass, but everyone just loves him. This was during Bell Week on Tie-dye day, I’m not sure which day of the week.

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I also took a picture with Cynthia who’s also in UndrgrndOC. She’s very stunning as you can see. She’s helped me get through Junior year. Whenever I needed help with something, she’d be there for me. Whenever someone was annoying one of us, we’d complain about it. We’ve been through a lot together, but she’s probably the only reason why I didn’t leave high school and go to community college. Yeah, I actually thought about it. Haha…

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Oh, my lovely group, excluding Bree. Unfortunately, there’s not enough desks at our table for her to sit with us, but she sits at the next table with Vicki and Maggie, close enough for us to still communicate with her. We, as a group, have gotten so close. This was the day before their AP English exam. I didn’t take it because of personal reasons, but hopefully I can take it next year. 🙂 There’s Andrew with his pancake that Mr. Ziebarth made, Naomi with her tiny little thumbs, and Cynthia and Sebastian with their amazing smiles. I couldn’t ask for a better group. I’m really going to miss them. Hopefully I’ll see them a lot next year. ❤

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Well, just for the fun of it, here’s another picture of Mr. Ziebarth. Here’s the thing, I was going to take a picture of our class with my phone, but I didn’t know that my front camera was on so Mr. Ziebarth poses for the camera, and I just clicked the camera button. I will always have this picture, that’s totally not creepy. LOL… He has no thumbs. 🙂 Cool right?

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There’s also this that I wanted to talk about. Here’s Naomi and me with cut out hearts. FVHS ASB decided to do this lovely thing called “Share the Love”. For every student at our school, they got a heart with their name on it, and there was a cute little note on it. It brought smiles to people’s faces and made us feel special, maybe for the first time, who knows. It was a very sweet thing to do, and I’ll probably keep the heart for the rest of my life.

Here’s one thing that I won’t forget about junior year. I will never forget that in every class, no matter what class it was, I would always keep checking the clock to see when we would get out. I was so tired. I had tennis and all my homework to do, I didn’t really know how to balance all that out. I also live in a house with 8 other people, so it was hard to concentrate. With that being said, I couldn’t focus on my homework, so it took me a lot more time to finish my homework. I then started to finish my homework at around 12:30 or so, but even when I got into bed, I couldn’t call asleep until 2:30. I would wake up two times each night, and it was a pain going through that every single day. Hopefully, my senior year will be better. Maybe I’ll adapt to my environment. I’ll never know what’s ahead of me. I’ll just have to keep living life to see what’s up for me the next day. Maybe something awesome will happen.

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This is Hannah, signing out. xx ❤

Surprise!! A Book!

OC Cover

SCAN CANS SNAC

All: WE MADE A BOOK!

Cynthia: Hey readers! It’s been a while hasn’t it!? We’ve been super busy with our book, but we’re back!

Sebastian: Surprise! So as a blog group we made a book! It’s all about the blog posts on here and different pieces of writings we made on our own.  And it’s available now!!!

Andrew: Our book is made up of our very own essays and the best of our blog posts. If you guys liked our blog posts, you’ll definitely LOVE our book.

Naomi: I know! I can’t wait for you guys to read the book. … Six high school students making a book and it has finally happened.. can you guys believe it? I would like to thank all of you guys for reading our content and following this amazing and hardworking journey. We are all truly grateful!

A: We love you guys so much for sticking with us all year, and hope you enjoy our book. Here’s a quick snippet of some of the interesting work in our book:

“My toes squirm and curl when I step into the cool sand. It slips between my toes as I walk and it sends chills up my spine. Its beautiful golden color fills my eyes and is all I can see for miles and miles. Images of my past from when mother and I used to walk along the shore, kicking and splashing water at each other, before starting our day fill my mind.”

N: In case you guys are a bit lost, our goal with @UndrgrndOC was to write, put together, and create a book full of our blog posts and our own thoughts, found through our essays. These essays, like that of the excerpt above, have never been fully read by an audience other than ourselves.

 

C: We’ve worked really hard to put together this book, and I’m sure I can say for all of us (+ Hannah and Bree) that we are extremely proud of what’s been created. Various posts from our blog and essays that we have been editing all year are included in this book.

 

S: This year has gone by so quickly, but definitely not without some late nights writing for you guys! Our book is actually available on a PDF that you guys will get very soon! Don’t worry though, we’re back to writing on our blog and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

 

A: We laboriously designed our book using Bookwright, a free program provided by Blurb to help aspiring authors publish their books. Everything in our book is 100% independently created by our book, from the cover image at the top, to the design of every page.  It’s an awesome tool, and if any of you had ever wanted to write a book, I highly recommend that you try this program out.

 

N: Although the book may not be the typical hard copy book, I love how our book is PDF format because it will enable all of you guys to acquire the book for free! To add on to Andrew’s, blurb definitely was a great application for ¨book entrepreneurs.¨ Although there are no graphics or icons options with Blurb, they do offer layouting options for pages and different types of books that one could use. Depending on the number of pages or type of ink printed, the books may be more expensive to produce.

 

C: Please check out our book when you have the time! The book is our gift to you readers, who have been so loyal to us throughout this whole year. The PDF version provides easy access with only one click of a button for anyone who wants to read.

 

S:  So a bit more about the book,  although it has blog posts that you have seen on here, for the most part it has pieces of writing that we haven’t shared that are really meaningful to us. I wrote about Taylor Swift in one section, so you can tell where my priorities lie.

 

A: Most of the things I personally contributed to the book were essays about my interests, like Star Wars and Star Trek, and other essays describing interesting things in my life. Of course, when you hear Star Wars and Star Trek in the same sentence, you know what that means; COMPARISON!

S:  I’m sure you can find something in here that everyone can relate to or enjoy. Some are more serious than others, but there’s writings all about going to the beach or even just eating IN ‘N OUT so whatever you’re looking it’s in here! So take some time and read! And share with your friends too!

 

A: The best part of putting the book together was the freedom and independence we had to choose how our book looked and was organized. Most of the time, classwork is heavily structured, so you can bet that I enjoyed making all the decisions for once.

 

S: My favorite part about writing this book was working on this together with everyone! It was so much fun writing the others on this all year and being able to talk to each other about what we like and what we should change. Trust me, a lot more work goes into writing a book than you think, and it was so nice having people I enjoy to do this with. Especially on those long days of editing. Also shoutout to Andrew who basically did all the formating on the computer for the book to look as clean as it does.

 

C: I think my favorite part about our whole book-writing journey was being able to connect on a different level with old friends and someone new. Like what Sebastian said, we spent A LOT of time together writing, editing, and putting together this book. The project was completely different from a regular group project. Rather than just working together for a short period of time, we spent the whole year together. From sitting at the same table to picking up 6 sets of materials to sharing the snacks meant for later in the day, we had plenty of time to bond. I knew 4 out of the 5 other people in this group at the beginning of the year, but I can honestly say that I’m walking away with a more positive opinion about each person. I’ll definitely remember these 5 for a long time. I mean come on, not everyone can say that they wrote a book with a group of really cool friends.

SoundCloud, more like dream clouds

Hello Humans!

This week i wanted to try something a little different and talk about a website rather than a place. I know, crazy. But a website is just a domain right? So it’s almost the same thing. (You can tell i don’t get out much.) The website I wanted to talk about is SoundCloud. SoundCloud is a platform where people can put their music, podcasts, and virtually any sound piece they have, but no video! Its unique in the way you can have the app on your phone and listen to almost anything on the go, kind of like an audio book but YouYube version!

My favorite part of SoundCloud are all the remixes to music there are! Some really talented artists can make their start and build a fan base using this site and grow themselves from the ground up. A Youtuber i watch, MarkeMiller, Made a playlist with his boyfriend just for springtime that I LOVE! You can check their YouTube here and their playlist here.

My favorite artist to follow is MrSuicideSheep. He is an amazing DJ who shows some of the greatest songs and remixes them to sound even better! He has a YouTube with over 2 million subscribers, all just there to listen to music! You can check him out here. My favorite DJ and remixer of all time has to be Gryffin, just look for his name in the ()’s and you’ll know the music you’re about to listen to will be AMAZING! Always gets me in a great mood, or whatever mood I want to be put in in fact!

Besides the music, there are also podcasts, basically converstation that you get to listen in on. My two favorite are Shane and Friends Podcast, a very humerous podcast, featuring a new guest every week with the host Shane (rated R for you youngins). Listen here!  I also love Psycho Babble by Tyler Oakley, a random stream of consciousness with him and his best friend. You can listen here.

That’s all for today! Hopefully you guys check out SoundCloud.com and make some playlists of your own! Be sure to share them down below, and remember, it’s completely free! See you guys next week!

-Sebastian

More About Hannah Bobana

Hello lovelies! How are you? c:

So I’m just about three weeks into the second semester of Junior Year. So far, so good. I thought that since I’m starting a new semester and a new year, our readers should get to know me much better!

Let’s start fresh, this is what I look like. c: I know, silly.

Do you like my tie-dye shirt? I made it. Yup, I’m pretty proud of it.

To start off, I am 3/4 Vietnamese and 1/4 French. c: I have cute little freckles, although you can’t see them in this picture.

If you were here at the beginning of Fall, then you should know that I play tennis. I’m still happily playing, and enjoying every bit of it.

That’s my tennis racket, Debbi. She’s gorgeous, except she’s really old now and sadly falling apart. :c

I play tennis for fun. I dislike competitions. I don’t like the feeling when I win nor when I lose. When I win, my opponent will be upset and claiming that I cheated to their team mates. If I lose, I feel bad because I didn’t score a point for my team. I plan on playing for as long as I can so that I can stay fit.

In tennis, we just got two new physical fitness trainers, and I’m so sore right now, but I love it. This is how I know that I’m working and I will be even more fit than what I am now.

I’m in love with animals, especially dogs.

This is Dusty. I don’t know what breed he is, but he is absolutely adorable. I could spend a whole day with animals. They’re so cute!

I also don’t have a favorite food. There’s just way too many foods to choose from. From Asian, Mexican, Italian, Indian, and much more. I’m all up for trying new foods. You guys should comment some good places that I could try out! Tell me your favorite foods! Anything. c:

Another little fun fact about me is that I love singing. I sing so much that it gets so annoying and my mom tells me to be quiet most of the time.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed reading a little bit more about me. I hope you guys have a fantastic Valentine’s Day! Bye ❤

Hannah xx

Marina and the Diamonds

Hello Humans!

Today i wanted to talk an artist that has come back with a new album that has some seriously psychedelic sounds. Of course from the title i’m talking about Marina and the Diamonds with her new album Froot. First off, if your new to her, you should know that it is just one singer, Marina, who goes by a band title name. Marina is her first name and the diamonds are all of us, her fans. (cute right!) It was 2 years after her 2010 album, Electra Heart, with chart topping singles such as PrimaDonna  and How to Be a Heartbreaker. Marina is unique in the way she takes on a persona for every album she releases, in her Electra Heart album she even got a temporary tattoo of a heart on her face, representing a youthful, playful side to her.

As for he new album Froot, so far it seems to have a much more adult vibe to her sound, having songs about life and death and the reasons why your living and what your living for. Unfortunately the entire album will not be released until April 3rd, but with her first 2 singles off of the album, we can see some very emotional and electric beats coming from the track. Froot has a very 80’s beat, i say Abba meets Lana Del Rey, and the music video was beautifully shot, definately my favorite realesed so far. Her newest single, I’m in Ruin talks about looking at a relationship and realizing you could be doing better, and that you should be doing better. The music video, much like the song, starts off slow and rises in intensity with the music, adding vibrant colors to dance with Marina.

I really hope you check our Marina and the Diamonds! She’s truly one of the best artists out there today!

Thanks for reading!

-Sebastian

Another Top 10?!

Yeah another one. But why not!?

Hello Humans! This week we’ll be looking back at some of the best songs and music videos (in my own personal opinion) of 2014! I hope you look back and put some headphones in to enjoy this look in the past.

10.Out of the Woods-Taylor Swift

This year was all about Taylor Swift, so don’t expect this to be the only song of hers on this list. Out of the Woods, part of her 1989 album, and her first all pop album, has such a soft yet suspenseful feel to it that I feel like listening to it no matter what mood i’m in. I often find myself in deep thought listening to this one, it’s just a really good song!

9. Bang Bang

Jessie J., Nicki MInaj, and Ariana Grande! WOah! This song had some heavy hitters behind the vocals. With Jessie J. as the genius behind the lyrics, and beat, this song makes anyone want to get up and dance! When this first came out everyone was shocked as such a collaboration of powerful female vocalists had not been done in a while.

8. Boom Clap

Be ready to make some booms with all your claps for this one.( HAHAHAHAH! oK) Charlie XCX, after gaining much fame and success from her part in Fancy by Iggy Azalea,this is her first single since then and it reached the top of the charts for the first half of 2014. Made for the movie The Fault in Our Stars (in my top 10 movie list by the way!), the song really takes a typically love song topic, the sound of your heart, and turns it into a fun “teenage” sound that was perfect for the movie and our ears.

7. Shake It Off

Taylor Swift’s first single to her all new 1989 album made records when it was released. From its sales to the view on this video, everyone was talking about it. What’s not to love about dancing and just relaxing and shaking off all the negative things on your mind!? Shake it off! Shake it off!

6. 7/11

Off of Beyonce’s extended version of her record breaking album, 7/11 was a shock to many when the music video came out and such an electronic beat came with it. It was fun to see Beyonce acting so casual in the video, and it really makes you want to get with your friends and act like your weird selves, dancing and twerking to this song all the while.

5. Hey Mami- Sylvan Esso

A different vibe from the rest of my top 10, Sylvan Esso brings a very smooth electronic alternative sound with his self titled album, and Hey Mami shows off that alternative side of him very nicely. It’s a really nice song to listen to when doing homework or just relaxing, as it picks up and slows down nicely with simple lyrics that will stay in your head.

4. Anaconda

Oh my Nicki! Controversy may as well have been the title of this song. Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda is definitely a song still on people’s radar half a year later, if not for the actual music but for the music video that came with it. I put the lyric video on here as it may be a bit too explicit for some, but just type the letter A in the youtube search bar and “naconda” will surely be a suggested filler.

3. Elastic Heart

Though the video did come out in 2015, Sia’s Elastic Heart from her 2014 album 1000 Forms of Fear has such a unique sound to it that all of Sia’s songs come with. From her breakout song Chandelier, Sia has an amazing talent to come up with such strange infectious sounds and lyrics that no other could come up with. I mean who can rhyme Chandelier with anything! Let a lone in a song. Plus the music video has Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler (again)!

2. Blank Space-Taylor Swift

Taylor swift hit it out of the park with this song, though the music video really reveales the hidden Swift message in this song. Basically she’s making fun of the media attention she attracts by dating many different people, and the music video really dramatizes it to a point of humor that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. She really put thought into writing this song and it deserves all the views it’s getting.

1. Pretty Hurts

Beyonce really made history with her self titled album, coming out secretly and still topping sales and charts all over the world! Pretty Hurts is one of those songs with a really strong and beautiful message behind it, empowering women from all over to love themselves and not care what people think. Shout out to Sia for writing this song, and Beyonce just killed it with the vocals, I couldn’t think of a better person to sing this. Plus we learn Beyonce’s aspiration in life to to be happy. So be happy!

I hope you all enjoyed another trip down memory lane! Put some headphones on and listen to these all, maybe remember some more songs i didn’t mention and tell me about them in the comments. Thanks guy!