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!

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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 ❤

LEGO Imagination Center

Hello lovelies! I hope your weekend is going well. Mine is great, thank you. (: So who loves LEGOs? I know I do, except for stepping on them of course. I’ve always loved LEGOs. Since I was a kid, I loved building the tallest towers with my younger brother. Not too long ago, my family went to DownTown Disney and we came across this massive LEGO Imagination Center. This was literally a child’s dream place to be. It was crazy crowded, but my eyes were set on the massive lego sculptures or whatever you want to call it. My dad took a picture with one!

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Even my dad was fascinated about all the LEGOs. Need a present to give to your kid for their birthday? Well, you know where to go. I’m not going to lie, I probably had more fun in here than my brother. I wanted to build my own things. They had a spot for you to do that. Oh my goodness. There’s nothing bad about this place. Well, if you don’t like a place that’s a bit too overpopulated with kids, then this isn’t your place. I basically stood there for 3 minutes with my dad admiring this work of art.

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Yep, I was pretty mind blown. It was so massive and cool. Gosh, I wished you all could see it. Look at that dragon behind there. I sound like a five year old right now, but if you were there, that’s how you would feel. Young and free. Of course, it’s not Disneyland, but if you come from a family that likes walking around DownTown Disney and watch the fireworks at night, you should definitely stop by here and check everything out, maybe buy something. 😉

Have fun!

Hannah xx

GELATO!

Hello Humans!

It’s definitely been a while, but hello again and welcome back to reading my words about random food places. Don’t worry I still love food and writing about it. So this week, getting ready for the blazing heat of summer in southern California, I wanted to talk about ice cream. But not just ice cream, frozen yogurt! No, wait… Gelato!! Gelato is more special than plain ice cream or froyo, it’s Italian. We’re very culturally diverse here.

The main difference between ice cream and Gelato is the name, as Gelato is basically ice cream in Italian. But, besides that the way Gelato is made is much healthier than the way ice cream is made, well as much as Gelato can be healthy. Gelato is made with about 25% less butterfat, the worst part of ice cream. It is also made with real fruits, nuts, and chocolates, not any of the syrups or chemically made ingredients that bigger food chains use for ice cream. It’s also made at about 15 degrees lower than ice cream, making it a bit more soft serve and faster melting in your mouth, having the flavor hit you immediately.

Mangiamo Gelato Caffe by yelp.com

Now that you know the background of Gelato, you gotta find a place to go! There’s this little hole-in-the-wall shop in Huntington Beach near FVHS Mangiamo Gelato Cafee by Yelp.com called Mangiamo Gelato Caffe. It’s a tiny and super cute place that has a bunch of flavors, all with these vibrant and delicious looking colors. They even have a mystery flavor every week! This week it was birthday, super yummy! They also serve it in this tiny cup with a neon color flat spoon, even better for scooping this soft-hard Gelato.

DIfferent flavors of Gelato by MangiamoGelatoCaffe.com

So, if you’re having a hot day and you need to cool down, go down to Mangiamo Gelato Caffe and try some Gelato! It’s super yummy and never lets me down. The flavor of Gelato just tastes smoother and seems to last longer in your mouth, making you want more! Careful not to eat too much for that summer bod. Until next time!

-Sebastian

Kayaking!

Kayaking at Huntington Beach Harbour

Upper Back Bay, Newport Beach

From what I heard, it’s one of THE best spots to kayak in all of Orange County. There’s a stunning view of the wildlife. Upper Back Bay provides an area where the salt and fresh water meet. The calm waters guarantees the perfect afternoon.

Take a two-hour kayak tour with Newport Beach Conservancy. The tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. for $25 per person. This tour is for ages 8 and up. Learn more here. If you’d like to opt out of the tour, rentals are also available at Aquatic Center for $14-20 per hour.

Stand Up Paddle at Huntington Beach Harbour

-Bree

Mitasie 3

Hello lovelies! How has your weekend been? I hope it has been fantastic. Summer is just around the corner. What does that mean? School’s almost out! When school’s out, that means you need places to hang out. I know that there aren’t a lot of vegetarians out there, but if you are a vegetarian (or a vegan) I know how hard it is to find a place to eat. My dad and I are both vegetarians. We’re always looking for a place that we can eat at, but we’re kind of tired of looking through menus and asking the waiters if they could substitute the meat for something like mushrooms.

On Friday, I was talking to my friend, Ari. I was wondering if she had a hard time finding a place to eat as well since she’s a vegetarian. She told me it is difficult sometimes, but she’s been going to this place called Mitasie 3. I have never heard of this place in my entire life, yet it has 489 reviews on yelp. I went on yelp, and already, I am fascinated by the variety of food there was at this place. There were meals that looked like actual meat. I wanted to try it, so that day, I asked my Dad if he wanted to try it out and he said okay.

When we got there, there were so many things that I wanted to eat. My brother immediately got attached to the desert menu, particularly the chocolate vegan cake. I’m not very fond of chocolate cakes, but this cake was so moist. It was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had in my entire life. But of course, that’s my opinion.

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Other than the cake, I had pad thai. Oh my gosh. I have been looking for a place that has really good pad thai, and this is the place. It had the perfect sauce, the texture was amazing, everything about it just has me speechless. I’d like to add that my dad is a very picky eater and he fell in love with this place, so that’s definitely saying something. Plus, we’re Vietnamese. We’re pretty picky people.

If you’re a vegetarian and you’re having a party, but you’re tired of taking your friends out to a place full of meat, I recommend this place. They’ll be so surprised that the stuff that they’ll be eating isn’t meat. I really hope you guys do try out this place whether you’re a vegetarian or not. Here’s their yelp page if you guys want to see what other people thought about this place. There’s so many pictures. Forewarning, you’ll be drooling.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/mitasie-3-huntington-beach-2

I hope you guys have a wonderful day!

Hannah 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.