All About My Writing – Poetry By JDS

In my room, I have a poem hanging on my wall by an anonymous poet. It says; “Just remember your pen and ink it is your boat that will never sink. If not long ago, you would have drowned without a sound.”

Writing for me is an outlet to express my emotions and thoughts which are sometimes are hard to talk about in person or face to face to somebody that I care about. Poetry is an outlet but it is also a place where one can feel safe and also heard. I remember meeting one of my first friends at my current college, Grove City College. I asked him if he could write a poem and the first thing he said was, “I can’t write poetry.” I disagreed. Poetry is simply just internal thoughts or beliefs or different perspectives. Now, I’m not saying you need to be like Edgar Allen Poe or Wilfred Owen. Everyone has a different style when it comes to poetry.

This is a snippet of the poem that he wrote and for someone who says that they can’t write poems, it was fairly good;

Ash and smoke twist and turn

everlasting circles above the peaks

cultures clash callously

skies heavily and lost souls yearn.

The way ain’t clear

to a gentle place where souls go

~ Ethan Pierson

I believe everyone can write poetry and be a poet. Sometimes it takes more than just a simple thought and perhaps it may take hours to write something that has meaning. For others it might take a split second and a few minutes to be consumed by one’s thoughts and write a poem.

Watching him write was interesting and profound. I remember asking my current boyfriend if he could write a poem and again he said, “I can’t write poetry.” But unlike my friend, he didn’t even attempt to try. This is a major difference. This goes for poetry or swimming or major life challenges or changes. You can’t succeed in anything until you try and try and try until you come to the conclusion that what you did, what you’ve made, what skill you trudged through, made a difference and made you more successful.

There are forces within us that say “No, you can’t do it, you’ll never be good enough.” And sometimes those voices take ahold and power of our goals, our beliefs, our confidence, and shatters our way of life. For me, writing poetry has been just that. People saying I wasn’t good enough, publishers not accepting my work, students laughing at me because they don’t understand what I’ve written when presenting in class settings, and people being upset because I had written about them.

There are always people that will try and shut you down for whatever hobby or passion that you desire to have and achieve and work on and gain but the only person that matters in your life, for your career, for your passions and drives and desires is the voice inside of your own head. What are you saying to yourself? And what you say to yourself – matters. How you overcome situations that are difficult and challenging – matters. Do you write it out in a journal? Do you go to a local park and play basketball? Do you go on motorcycle rides for the adrenaline? Or do you punch walls? Do you do drugs? Do you conceal your feelings with alcohol? Do you follow your friends in everything they do? Do you listen to music? Do you have your own individuality and push through your issues and obstacles in a positive and healthy way? Or is it negative?

There are so many things that can get in the way of our passions and interests that could lead to our careers and our futures and most of those things are internal blockages. Feelings that cause us to have so much fear that doing anything else except for reaching our goals, something that will make us feel an ounce of happiness, even if it is short lived is better than trying to push away those negative thoughts.

For some people, suicide is the answer. For some people, living but not truly living is the answer. For me, I think I’m just so realistic and consumed with every emotion that exists in this world that my poetry sometimes scares me because my feelings, my thoughts, the things I wish to say but do not are revealed in my writing. And sometimes, going back to read them after years passed I feel a bit upset at myself for even feeling those things that I had felt. Granted, I wrote a lot when I was young like middle school – high school my poems were, you know, depressing. But, not to be that stereotypical highschooler who hates school and doesn’t want to do homework, I wasn’t like that. I was more afraid of things not changing for me. For the bullying to never end for the looks I got for being skinny to never stop for people who hurt my heart to continue hurting it later or hurting others or hurting themselves because even though I was hurt and pained and despised I always felt bad for the perpetrator because there had to have been a reason they acted the way they did.

But now, everytime someone hurts me I feel guilty because perhaps they’re just going through something I don’t know about and they don’t mean it. Which isn’t a bad thing to think but it isn’t healthy to assume especially when you’re constantly being bullied or hurt or used or whatever. We’ve all experienced some kind of bullying and if you haven’t, then you’re lying. Nobody is 100% kind in this world and because of that, I write. I write about the evils of this world, I write about the pain that I felt, the pain that I’m feeling, the stuff I wish to say but cannot because when you’re realistic and honest and truthful, sometimes people get upset.

Not everyone can handle someone who is realistic and honest.

Which is okay but perhaps they’re not ready to live an honest life. Perhaps they’re afraid, or unsure of what their purpose is. I am a big thinker when it comes to the world, my relationships, my friendships, my family, literally everything I have something to think about or say or write about. There is not one dull moment in my mind where I am not thinking about something. There are people that I have met who say, “I’m not always thinking about something. Sometimes my mind is just blank.” Those people scare me. How can you not think? Desire? Wish? Admire? Sometimes I’ll be in the passenger seat of a car and look out the window and think about the way the flowers are blooming or a sign that says something intriguing or being interested in the girls outfit walking down the sidewalk and thinking about how she might’ve come up with that outfit this morning.

There is never a dull moment in my mind. There are always thoughts.

Some of these thoughts and ideas and beliefs and pain and emotions are written as poems and never shared. Some of them are. Most of them usually are but as I grow older I wonder if my writing is worthy to be read. Should I share a poem knowing the person who it is about will get upset? Should I worry about their emotions over mine? Should I ignore my worries and share what is in my heart and my mind? These questions and more constantly rage in my head every time I think about posting a poem onto: http://cafeonmars.com/

which is another one of my blogs where I post my poems.

Yet I do it anyways. I post them. Because the thing I fear the most is fearing fear itself. I do not want to be afraid to try new things or challenge myself or share my work.

So if you’re not afraid of challenging yourself or achieving your goals, maybe you can do the same. Make a blog, write about your passions. Do the job you’ve always wanted to do and take the steps to get there. Whatever it is, do not be afraid.

The Family & Children Of God

Understanding the Mind of David “Moses” Berg

Believing in a God and being religiously inclined to pray or give prayer has been around for decades. Trusting in a God to keep you safe from harm is something all people, even those who are atheists, do once in their lives. During a horrible event, a death, or a near death experience, we all have had one moment were we looked to God for help.

This is what David “Moses” Berg did for his ‘family.’ To find faith in Christ to bring everyone together. But in terms of going to church, bringing everyone together means unifying as one in prayer against any stigma, regardless of any ones sins. Berg does the complete opposite. Instead, he unifies people through the action of enforcing sins.

We can learn more about what he does in his Christian cult through Stephanie Buck, in her article;The hippie Christian cult that encouraged sex with children is still around todayThis is one ‘Family’ you don’t want to be a part oftimeline.com

She states that, the founder of the ‘family,’ David Berg, “perverted teens for Christ into his own international religious cult, exploiting young people to accomplish it.”

In a February 1971, Berg writes a letter entitled “A Shepherd-Time Story,” where he goes on to describe his “happy folds”.

Buck quotes that these “happy folds” are when, “COG members protected little lambs who “laugh and sing and dance and play and fuck and bear lots of little lambs! And the shepherds like it!”

In public, COG was a Christian group praising the name of God. In private, its purpose was to run a child sex ring.

Buck also writes about Berg’s own daughter, Deborah, who describes her father’s actions in a 1984 exposé, claiming that he, “Attempted to have sex with her several times, and engaged in a continuous sexual relationship with his other daughter, Faith.”

This was not the beginning of what Berg called “sexual sharing.” Starting in the late 1970s, Berg preached to all of his followers and their children, “God created boys and girls able to have children by about 12 years of age.”

Within another letter, there were disgusting photos pictured. One of a mother orally copulating a little boy. Another of an adult woman and a toddler laying naked in bed with her hand suggestively near his penis. The caption underneath the photos read, “Well, they told us to go to bed!”

“The free expression of sexuality, including fornication, adultery, lesbianism (though not male homosexuality), and incest were not just permitted but encouraged,” writes Richard Kyle in The Religious Fringe: A History of Alternate Religions in America (1993).

Also In 1993, TV host Larry King asked former member Ricky Dupuy how he knew such policies existed in the COG. Dupuy replied, “Because I was ordered in the group to have sex with a 10-year-old by the leadership of the group.”“Did you?” King asked.“Yes. It was to get me in so deep that I would be afraid to ever come out and speak against the group.”

In 1977, Berg issued another edict, “Female members should have sex with men in order to convert them.” In a maneuver he dubbed “flirty fishing.”

Even if women were married, Berg called on them to sacrifice their bodies in the name of God.

In Berg’s own 1979 annual report, he stated that his FFers (flirty fishers) had “witnessed to over a quarter of a million souls, loved over 25,000 of them, and won about 19,000 to the Lord.”

By 1981, hundreds of “Jesus Babies” had been born as a result of flirty fishing. Eventually, the cult had to be stopped due to AIDS-related concerns.

Buck states that, “By 1977, COG had established more than 130 communities around the world. In 1983, the group reported more than 10,000 full-time members living in 1,642 homes. The Children of God was officially renamed “The Family.””

Years later, the cult attempted to distance itself from Berg’s pedophilic dogma, especially after his death in 1994. It wanted to be seen as a legitimate international religious sect, and issued charters that allowed for personal careers and independence from the residential family unit. The Family engaged in goodwill marketing campaigns. A group of children even sang for Barbara Bush at the White House during the 1992 Christmas season.

But controversy resurfaced in the 1990s and 2000s as more and more Family members defected. Specifically, original members had given birth to a second generation, children who were raised in communal, religious environments — and in some cases, households of sexual criminality. Such isolation meant these children knew nothing outside that existence. Even celebrities like Joaquin Phoenix and Rose McGowan were part of the cult.

“At the time, I didn’t think of it as abuse,” said Peter Frouman, who left in 1987. “I had no concept that normal people didn’t do this sort of thing. I thought it was perfectly normal for parents to have sex with their children, and children to have sex with each other and with adults.”

“Sex wasn’t the only thing stolen from them. It wasn’t even the biggest thing,” James La Matterly, a member in the early 1970s, told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2005. “Their spirituality was stolen. God was stolen from them.”

According to Blake Butler, in his article;The Bizarre and Terrifying Propaganda Art of the Children of GodThe Children of God movement was founded in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, by former pastor David Brandt Berg,…www.vice.com

“The Children of God still exists today under the moniker Family International, but the Children of God movement was originally founded in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, by the former pastor David Brandt Berg, known to his followers as Moses David, Mo, King David, Dad, and Grandpa.”

Butler goes on to say that this communist cult was, “Founded around banding together to proselytize the word of Jesus in the streets.”

The group maintained an “old world” idea of Christianity, which, at least in Berg’s view, centered largely around sex. By the time the organization changed its name to the Family of Love in 1978, Berg had introduced a process called “flirty fishing,” which involved the women of the group recruiting new members by fucking them.

In 1993, more than 70 percent of the group’s 10,000 members were under the age of 18, operating under a strict and insane set of guidelines laid out by Berg and his wife, Karen Zerby.

20 of the Family’s foundational ideas (paraphrased):

  1. God loves sex, because sex is love
  2. Satan hates sex, because sex is beautiful
  3. Incest is OK, because there’s no better place for a young man to learn about doing it than from his own mother.
  4. Eleven-year-olds are capable of becoming pregnant, so why shouldn’t they be having sex?
  5. Fucking your grandpa is awesome.
  6. Everybody is married to everybody else.
  7. Children should have at least an eighth-grade education, provided by their parents, and if the children want more education, it is “up to the parents to see if the Home can comply.”
  8. Pictures of naked congregation members, referred to as “nudie-cuties,” make good bookmarks for the Bible.
  9. It is OK to lie to nonbelievers in order to protect God’s work.
  10. Men should not be gay, but it is hot when women are gay.
  11. Masturbation is having sex with Jesus. When a man is having sex with Jesus, he is no longer a man, but Jesus’s wife, so it’s not actually male-on-male anymore, and therefore OK because not gay.
  12. When you are having sex with Jesus, he likes you to talk dirty. Pamphlets were created containing suggested “Love Words” to whisper to get Jesus hot
  13. It’s not very Christian-like to say words like “dong” or “cunt,” but if you do, it’s cool, because through the instruction of the Lord they are clean. Just, like, don’t go around saying it all the time or anything.
  14. The prophecies of Jesus are called “golden seeds,” and one good way to receive them is to suck on Jesus’s “golden rod” (or another man’s rod if you are a chick and can’t find Jesus’s).
  15. Jesus was supposed to return in 1993. When he did not return in 1993, it was because he wanted to give the Family more time to grow.
  16. Rape provides a female the opportunity to witness to their rapist, and anyway she should have offered it freely, because providing free sex is a good way to convert people to the Family.
  17. “Keys of the Kingdom” are powerful words you can use for extra effect while praying. These keys also power UFOs and can turn into swords to fight demons.
  18. God allowed 9/11 to happen to “America the Whore” because the towers represent the ignorance of the fat, lazy, and rich.
  19. Hitler was on the right track, but didn’t actually do enough, because Jews are subhuman demons. Also, the Holocaust didn’t actually happen.
  20. Heaven is actually a “space city” that exists within a pyramid measuring 1,500 miles long, wide, and tall, and this pyramid either is traveling through space to reach Earth or is hidden inside the moon.

It has become clear that Berg and his wife enacted a horrible Christ loving group. Misusing the trust of their own followers and brainwashing them to believe that what they were doing was okay. Despite going against all of what God believes in. In their minds, they were doing what God had wanted them to do. But in the mind of David “Moses” Berg, he was using his sick battered brain to dismiss the truth, and psychologically destroy all of his followers with lies.

Sedated Society — How Antidepressants Affect Our Mind & Body

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https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/14/brain-zaps-misunderstood-side-effect-antidepressants-11905441/

In a sedated society, anti-depressants can first effect our mind due to a brain activity that comes into result when withdrawals strike. This activity is called a brain zap and Jessica Lindsay reviews what it is, and how it infects the minds of those who have them physically and psychologically.

In Lindsay’s article,

She express that a brain zap, “[Is] a hard phenomenon to describe, but essentially a brain zap feels like a little electric shock. It can be triggered by noises or sudden movement, or just happen randomly. It’s akin to someone sticking a wet finger in your ear, a spider crawling up the back of your neck, or a sudden flash of lightening. Although they don’t hurt and only last for a couple of seconds, they can be distressing and give you that feeling of being woken up in the middle of the night and having to readjust to where and who you are.”

There’s no definite reason as to why these brain zaps occur, but it’s thought to happen because of, “[The] amino acid[s] that work as a neurotransmitter in your brain[.][These amino acids are called] Gamma-aminobutyric acid [also known as GABA].

According to Healthline, Lindsay writes, “When GABA attaches to a protein in your brain known as a GABA receptor, it produces a calming effect. This can help with feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear.”

Also according to Healthline, “Low levels of GABA have been linked to seizures, and the theory goes that, as SSRIs increase levels of GABA, by discontinuing use and lowering levels once again, these zaps take place.”

These zaps occur when a user suddenly comes off of an anti-depressant. Each SSRI has different side effects when it comes to withdrawals yet the list is mind-boggling.

The symptoms include;

  • dizziness
  • vertigo
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • diarrhea
  • chills
  • shock-like sensations (brain zaps)
  • paresthesia (burning, prickly, or skin crawling sensations)
  • visual disturbances
  • impaired concentration
  • vivid dreams
  • depersonalization (a detached, out-of-body experience)

and

  • suicidal thoughts

Antidepressants not only have mean side effects when coming off of them, but they also affect much more than your mentality and physicality, but can also affect your future health.

Taking antidepressants can also have a significant effect on pregnant women.

According to Kristen Fischer, in her article;

“A new study [in the BMJ Open journal] finds that pregnant women taking certain types of antidepressants were anywhere from 15 to 52 percent higher risk for developing gestational diabetes. The study joins a growing body of evidence linking [certain] forms of antidepressants [to an] increased risk for gestational diabetes.”

Fischer also expresses that 1 in 10 pregnant women who have depression not only have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes but this risk can put, “Infants at risk for being overweight [and the woman carrying at risk of a] prolonged labor.”

The children of mothers who have gestational diabetes are also vulnerable to, “Obesity or diabetes [while their mothers] may be more likely to have type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.”

Antidepressants are also known for affecting metabolism rates and influence serotonin levels which can affect glucose digestion.

Dr. Bérard states that, “Although biological plausibility is not well understood, we know that antidepressants are associated with weight gain… mostly SSRIs and SNRIs, the most used antidepressants… and that weight gain is associated with insulin resistance and glucose metabolism dysregulation — all risk factors for diabetes.”

And some data suggests that, “changes to a receptor targeted by antidepressants can lead to insulin resistance, added Dr. Jodie Katon, a research assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Not only are antidepressants causing women to develop gestational diabetes, antidepressants are also causing teenagers to do more harm than good.

According to Shelley Jofre in her article;

Teenage antidepressants ‘doing more harm than good’

A girl by the name of Amiee Folan from Glasgow Scotland expressed that, “[She] had a troubled childhood and was diagnosed as bipolar when she was 12 [and] at the age of 16, when she was staying at a children’s unit in Scotstounhill, she went to see her [general practitioner] and was prescribed antidepressants that had a devastating effect — within a week she had attempted suicide.”

Folan also expressed that the doctors warned that, “The drugs could make her feel ‘low’ for a few days.”

The doctors forgoe to mention that Folan would, “Get to the point where [she] was hearing voices and seeing people who were not there.” Folan was also having, “Night terrors and [there were] voices in her head telling her to hurt herself and her partner[.] [These were] symptoms she had never experienced before.”

Folan believes that antidepressants should not be prescribed to anyone under the age of 18 due to her experiences on the drug. In Folan’s experience, the consumption of antidepressants affected her mind in ways that many individuals are not aware of. Those who determine they may need to take antidepressants are often misguided by their doctors in terms of fully understanding the side effects.

There are many doctors and article writers on social media trying to persuade individuals who are considering taking antidepressants that antidepressants has many ‘myths’ and misconceptions. Yet these myths, misconceptions, and symptoms differ for each individual who decides to take antidepressants. Not one statement fits like a glove for each person. Antidepressants may or may not affect pregnant women or teenagers the same way, yet each person who does take antidepressants are susceptible to every symptom and side effect. Despite these symptoms and side effects being labeled as myths and or misconceptions.

Based off of individual experience and statistical information, our society is becoming sedated, and antidepressants are beginning to take control of our minds and bodies.

How can we, as a whole, change our sedated society to a revitalized society?

Gender X

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Imagine going to the hospital and having a baby. Maybe you’re too young to have a baby at your age. Maybe you’re reading this and your just a teenager. But imagine having a baby that is born in New York. When your baby is born, if you didn’t want to know earlier, the first thing that makes you anxious is knowing the baby’s gender. You want to know if your baby is a boy a girl and all of the names you thought of beforehand keep racing your mind.

Now imagine the doctor giving you your baby girl or baby boy. Say it’s a girl. And you want to name her Gwendolyn. A name that not many people have used before, but to you, it’s special and unique. But wait. The doctor hands you the birth certificate and asks you to choose the gender of your baby.

Wait what 

Yes you read that right. Instead of the doctor simply choosing that the baby is a girl, now in states like New York, Vermont, and Washington State, you can decide whether or not your baby girl Gwendolyn is in fact a girl or X.

Wait but what does ‘X’ even mean? 

Well, according to society now and the push for inclusivity, society has demanded more choices to make sure that no, the child isn’t instantly referred to a male or female, but instead, the child can later on decide their gender for themselves.

Baby X, according to NBC News https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/X-Birth-Certificates-Male-Female-Gender-Identity-484441201.html , is a term used to, “encompass a gender that is not exclusively male or female, including, but not limited to, intersex, agender, amalgender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, female-to-male, gender fluid, genderqueer, male-to-female, non binary, pan gender, third sex, transgender, transsexual, two spirit, and unspecified.”

Are you following? Because I’m not.

Who in their right mind thinks that a baby will survive their childhood being taught that they can be whatever they want to be. Imagine looking at your newborn child and called it baby X or, might as well call the baby “it,” since it doesn’t have a gender. How is your child supposed to go to preschool and introduce themselves if they don’t even have a gender/ How will they make friends if the child doesn’t even know what they are. Go ahead and imagine yourself holding your baby child and telling your child that they can decide what they want to be. Imagine telling your five year old child when they turn five that they can wish for anything they want. What if they’re wishing that they knew if they were a boy or a girl instead of the parents hoping that maybe they’d decide to be two spirited whatever that means.

A baby shouldn’t have to decide what gender they are nor should they have to decide when they grow up. Children need guidance and they need to have leaders in their lives. Kids aren’t supposed to make their own decisions. Maybe, when they’re older, and they decide that they are bisexual or gay then that’s okay. But why have the option of choosing your child as the gender of “X?” When you don’t even know what they want. They can’t even voice out what they want because they’re a newborn baby. So why is it okay to make that decision for the child when they don’t even know what they want yet?

This is my opinion on this new change in New York, Vermont and Washington State. Don’t like it? I apologize that you’re easily offended. But this is my blog and this is where I let my freedom of speech thrive.

Image result for gender x

 

 

 

The Jonestown Massacre Podcast

“Just take me. Just take me and just lay me down next to my grandmamma.” And she went up to that Kool-Aid, to that death barrel and she just, I mean — didn’t hesitate, just took it and drunk it and then told me to hold her, to take her, and I did. And she died in my arms.” ~ Hue fortson 

Image result for jonestown

A few weeks ago, in Design Studio, we were told to research a topic that we were interested in. This topic that we had chosen would later become written into a script and then produced into a podcast. But why a podcast you may ask? We were told to do a podcast so that it would’ve been different from anything else we had ever done. What was the point of this project? The point of this project was that it could be different from a class presentation, or speech, whereas through audio nobody can see who you are.

After researching a few historical topics like the murder of John F. Kennedy and other historical topics, I ended up choosing the Jonestown Massacre. But what was the Jonestown Massacre? 

In my podcast, I first introduce Jim Jones. The religious leader of the whole massacre itself. I then talk about his psychological mindset, his physical condition and behavior before everything first started.

Image result for jonestown

I go into talking about the people who had found out about him, outsiders, investigators, and journalists. In my podcast, I illustrated what happened to them, and then talked about what happened on the day of the massacre.

When you think of a massacre, the first thing that you probably think of is the Boston Massacre, because it’s known. But the Jonestown Massacre is different. It’s a piece of history that not many people know, a history that seems to go untold.

In my podcast, I give the Jonestown Massacre the recognition it deserves. Listen to it here: 

https://www.spreaker.com/user/minddrippings/jonestown-massacre

Image result for jonestown deaths

Reflection: 

After producing my podcast, I had realized that it’s harder than it seems. Many people seem to think that since nobody is watching you recite the script, it’s easier. Although, that’s not the case. For the first couple tries of recording different sections, I began to stumble and stutter over my words. Later causing me to laugh at myself. Something that my dad also does as he makes his own podcasts as well. Although, after trying and again and again I gradually became better at my speech and things started sounding like a real professional podcast. I am proud of my work and I hope that others are as interested in my topic as I am.

 

 

Presentation Of Learning (POL)

What is a Presentation of Learning? 

That’s the same exact question I thought to myself Sophomore year in Innovation Lab. Sure, I understood that it was a presentation of some sort but what would I say? What is the prompt? what are we supposed to talk about?

In this year’s Presentation of learning, I had planned what I had wanted to say. The Greenwich High School has a document called the: Vision of the Graduate.

Vision_of_a_graduate

And this vision is how Mr. Winters and all of our teachers hope that we can achieve and later become. The document listed many different capacities, some which stated, “pursue their passions, interests, and curiosities”, or one that says, “pose and pursue substantive questions.” Those capacities were the ones I had ended up talking about. Everyone created their own prompt, wrote their own personalized speech to present in front of their teachers. Not one was as similar as other students.

Each student had to choose four of the capacities in the vision of the graduate to write about, in an essay format. For this, my essay ended up being six pages. But for the presentation, we only had to choose two capacities. And the ones that I had mentioned earlier were the ones I had chosen.

Back to what we were supposed to talk about…. the answer is, that each presentation and subject was different. Sure, we had to include both STEM and Humanities into our presentation but each individual had a very individualistic take on their presentation. Maybe we all had similar nervous reactions like playing with your hair a lot (which I did a lot!) or walking back and forth (which I also did). But, we all talked about different things that had made sense to us.

In my presentation, when I had talked about the capacity, pursue their passions, interests, and curiosities, I talked about volunteering and how that has become such a big influence on me. I began volunteering my freshman year. I was once a camper at the Camp Simmons day camp in Greenwich and I really really enjoyed being there. So, I went to the camp director and asked to become a volunteer when I could no longer be a camper. As I was a volunteer I learned more about leadership and responsibility. But at the same time, I learned about different personalities, cultures, and a lot of different aged kids and how they are as an individual. As I learned about these kids, I took the skills that I had gained and used the knowledge of different cultures and personalities and used my strength of that skill in an everyday classroom. The leadership side of things helped me with public speaking and letting my voice be heard. Through that experience and many other volunteering experiences (Camp Simmons volunteering sophomore year, cos cob summer school volunteering, Camp Hazen Leadership Program, and babysitting) I learned about myself but also learned about other people.

In the second capacity, pose and pursue substantive questions, I also talked about public speaking. Although in this case, interviewing others, and talking to other people about academic research and things that I am curious about. This year, for the National History Day Project I found the confidence to go out and interview a woman by the name of Camille E. Broderick. She is the Greenwich Scouting Board Member and knew a ton of facts and information on my project topic, Ernest Thompson Seton. I prepared a few questions and went to the Scout Reservation in Greenwich to Interview her. Not only have I interviewed her but I had also gone to the Greenwich Historical Society and talked to the Archivist Christopher Shields about Ernest as well.

Throughout being in Innovation Lab I’ve completed and succeeded many of the different capacities on the Vision of the Graduate. I’ve learned how to reach towards my interests, become academically knowledgeable, let my voice be heard and my curiosities be asked. After the success of my presentation, all I hope is that I keep achieving different goals of mine and to keep growing personally and academically.

The Word Silence

When you say the word silence, it’s loud. It doesn’t sound quiet or like a small whisper in the wind, but it makes noise. For the past week I have felt a sort of comfort within silence. I had a close friend out sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and for those three days of the week I had talked to nobody. It made me come to the realization of how lonely I am. How I rely to one person and if they are not there, I don’t have anybody to talk to or to lean on. I simply had the silence around me, hugging my soul and filling inside of me.

Silence. 

For those past three days I sat by myself listening to music and making myself seem busy. At lunch I watched One Tree Hill by myself and read some of 1984 by George Orwell. Wednesday night, I myself got sick. Since Wednesday, I had been stuck at home. A bad cough, stuffy nose, and a headache. It has been four days, four days ,with nothing but the sounds of sickness and the two syllables surrounding me, si-lence.

Silence. 

For these few days out of school and in bed, I have found a lot of time with myself alone. And during those times alone, comes with a lot of thinking, writing, and listening to music (unless I had a headache then I didn’t listen to music). When I listened to different songs, I came across this one song “Silence,” by Dave Thomas Junior and I started to listen to it. When I did, I started hearing; the silence right to my core.

This song was so soothing sounding. It sounding comforting but in a positive way. When people think of the word silence or think of having to sit in silence, they come to believe that it is boring or come to the idea that nobody really wants to be silent, and if they are it isn’t their choice. But for me, listening to this song was a choice. Sitting outside just listening to nothing and listening to the wind blowing near my ears was a choice. Laying on my bed and looking out of my window on a sick day, not thinking about anything was a choice.

Silence. 

Sometimes I am glad that I have the option of silence. To just be able to listen to something and be quiet and relax or listen to nothing at all and relax or to just not think of anything and relax, these are the things that make me realize that you don’t need people to breathe. You don’t need people around you to talk to you, to bug you, to laugh with you all the time. Sometimes the best feelings and thoughts and times when you can relax are those moments when you are alone and accept everything and nothing around you but the –

Silence. 

Taking A Stand With My Writing

Ever since I was a little girl, beginning at the Eugene Auer Elementary school in Lake Grove New York, I developed a passion for reading. First came reading, and then writing. My favorite book as a kid was always The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

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From that, I wished to know what it was like to write a fictional story. Like the Magic Tree House book series, I began to write my own little series. From being inspired by these authors and books I had read, I would create my own little book with some printer paper and staples, make a cover, and title, and create a series of ten short stories. By that moment, I knew that this passion for writing wasn’t simply going to become a hobby, but an obsession, something that I had to do. Writing became something that I had needed to do, to inspire someone else through my writing like Mary Pope Osborne had influenced me to start my own mini-book series.

As a reader, I’ve read many great books. Books that have become even special to me. As a reader, I was influenced to write poems to alter the way others view poetry, and to inspire connections and change for those readers. When I take stands in the craft of my writing, I write to provoke different types of imagery, thoughts, and emotions in people’s minds.

When I write poetry I use fictional characters to inform others about different topics. I can write a poem about depression and connect it to how another girl can have the desire to take away her life. Although, in the end, she learns how to be strong and beat down the people who had hurt her. xHere is an example of one of my poems about depression:

The War in Her Mind 

I knew a girl with a big heart

Who loved the night and loved the art.  

She slept with monsters in her soul,

Her eyes were filled with ash from coal.

When morning raised, the girl did not.

Her body blue, with scars and dots.

Besides her bed were pills and knives,

She wanted to take her life.

You guilty-faced crowds who said names

That made her feel like burning in flames,

Sneak home and pray before she comes

from heaven–

she’ll beat you down like drums.

It is human nature to feel different emotions, including depression.  And in life, people can share those feelings and emotions with others in different ways, or instead not share them at all. As a young adult writer, I take a stand with my poetry and share those emotions through my writing. My goal is to write relatable and intriguing pieces that can cause the readers to connect and ponder. These pieces of writing can influence different perspectives, inspire people, and or change somebody significantly. Whether or not my writing changes a group of people or one person, I believe that it is an important craft to me, and can become an impactful piece of work to someone else.

 

The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch

It floats at sea, imprisoned by the ocean and atmospheric forces. Twisting and twirling, suffocating in the depths of the deep blue. Its body still intact, suspended in water, getting pulled by the strong waves beneath. Almost drowning, not breathing, still in the water, getting ready to be digested by a sea animal.

 

A water bottle.

 

Have you ever wondered where your plastic and garbage ends up once you throw them onto streets or in rivers? The plastic that ends up on land most likely can end up in the ocean. If you don’t give enough care for the world around you, the ocean can look like the swirl from a flush of a toilet. Although, now, imagine that swirl from the flush being filled with garbage. Garbage full of debris and pieces of plastic, clogging that toilet.  Now imagine trying to clean it, and get rid of the mess, it’s difficult to clean up all of the plastic particles now, no matter how many times you try and clean it out. This is because of the microplastics, the plastics that are smaller than 1 mm. Now because of the large amounts of plastic entering the ocean. Plastic which does not biodegrade goes deeper than the surface, hidden under sand, which makes it impossible to clean up.

 

The entire ocean as a whole is filled with trash and plastic, although, in the North Eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, discovered by Captain Charles Moore in 1997, a garbage gyre can take up around 150,000 miles of the ocean. This swirling garbage gyre, that is constantly moving runs between Hawaii and California.

 

The Eastern Pacific Garbage patch is the most known and is the largest. It is what some may call, a ‘marine trash vortex’. A high pressured area, including high winds that can occasionally be lighter and blow clockwise. The plastic and other pieces of garbage can get swept and trapped by the oceanic and atmospheric forces, building up higher concentrations.

 

In connection to physics, motion, is a “change in position of an object over time.” Motion, also includes the distance, velocity, acceleration, time and speed of a specific body or object. The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, is like a galaxy of garbage, with stars made up of plastic, and darkness, suffocating the sea animals who get caught in the trash. The motion and movement of the gyre is caused by the ocean currents surrounding the gyre and convergence zone. The convergence zone is when airflows or ocean currents meet causing air and water to create an ongoing vortex of garbage.

 

Motion, generally means that it is, “a continuous change in the configuration of a physical system”. The Garbage Gyre in the Pacific, every day, continuously changes. The amount of garbage in these gyres change every year and about 60% of all pieces of plastic are eaten by sea animals, which sometimes includes birds that fly down to eat fish, but rather eats the plastic instead.

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What will it take to get plastics out of the ocean? Are you willing to save our oceanic wildlife?

An Attitude of Gratitude

This week, in Innovation lab, we were imposed a duty to write what we are thankful for in our lives. In my life I am thankful for multiple things, but when I am asked on the spot, I find it difficult to bring all of those things up. One thing, I am certain I am grateful for, is the supportive Innovation lab community, and the amazing teachers I have met with and befriended this past year and a half. I am thankful that I am in Innovation Lab, because without it I wouldn’t have been able to grow to be the person I am today.

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Besides my academic values I am thankful for many other things that make up who I am today. Without the friends that I have, I wouldn’t be as open and or confident in myself. My friends are there for me and without them, without my closest friends by my side I don’t know what I would be doing or who I would go to for comfort and encouragement.

Another thing that I am thankful for is the interest and strength I have for writing. I am grateful for my creativity and being able to grow and improve my writing throughout the years. I have two mentors, Mr. Belanger and Ms. Hawes who absolutely love to read, help revise and give me constructive criticism on my poetry, and I am thankful for these two teachers/mentors of mine that constantly help me with my writing.

Lastly, I am thankful for the things and people that are always there for me no matter what. Whether this includes my family, my friends, or simply anybody who makes me happy. I remember throughout the end of last year I was having a hard time and struggling with academic things and personal things as well. My grades were slipping and I just had a lot of stress. Now, I am happier than I have ever been before, I have the courage to do better in school and the strength to fight my past. I am on top of my work, and I have a lot of people looking out for me that I absolutely adore. I am grateful that I have these people in my life today and I’m grateful that I now have the courage to work more on myself and to be the best ‘me’ I can be with the help of those around me.