Thursday, October 15, 2015

My inner Herminia

I feel like we all have many different sides to ourselves. Our own Herminia. Take a second to think about the way you act in school, in the clubs you're involved in; the way you act with your family, your friends, your teams; around someone you like and someone you hate. Do you act the same in each of these situations? If you do, I envy you. But I would assume that most of us don't.

I believe that these different faces are unknowingly us lying. We show bits and pieces of our personality to selected people, and act a certain way depending on who we're around. Sometimes I wonder 'What friends would I have if I acted how I truly was to everyone I know. I'm sure my life would be a lot different if I did.

Herminia isn't the only one living a double life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A world's musical culture, in one building

Walking through the various halls, the sweet sound of music fills your headphones, a soft melody playing in your ears. Every couple minutes or so, the song will change, and so will the country and culture it came from. Giving you the opportunity to learn so much without particularly having to see anything. The Musical Instrument Museum, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is an experience on its own, carefully crafted for all the other music enthusiasts out there like myself.

The state-of-the-art technology allows your to hear, see, and observe the music from over 200 countries. You're given a headset as you enter, kind of old school looking, maybe even a little bit dorky, and I first I wanted to refuse to wear it. Little did I know, that headset is the museum within itself. As you pass the displays, your headset automatically connects to a wireless hotspot located at the exhibit, playing the sound of music from that particular country. It allows you to experience about 200 countries, totally hands free.

You might be set on keeping the One Direction album or new Justin Bieber song on repeat. But music that isn't so mainstream and from a place other than where we live, might have hidden stories about their culture behind it. So put in those headphones and who knows? Maybe you'll learn a thing or two.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dress Code Violation

As the temperature gets higher, the shorts get shorter, and administration gets more strict on the dress code.  Dress code violators sit and wait for someone to drive up to school and bring them a change of clothes. So where is the line crossed when it comes to dress code? Here's what the Student Code Of Conduct says:

"1. Pants should not hang below the waist.
2. Clothing designed to be worn as undergarments or clothing that reveals undergarments (including boxer shorts or tights) are not acceptable school attire.
3. Form fitting Lyrca or spandex styled appearel may only be worn with a top covering the backside area.
4. Shorts, skirts, and skirts should be no shorter than 3" above the knee. (Even if student wears tights or stockings.)

  • Lower garments will stay, unassisted, with or without a belt, at the top of the hipbone or above. Lower garments must be no shorter than mid-thigh and will not expose undergarments. Form fitting Lycra, spandex, tights, and leggings may only be worn under another garment with a top covering the buttock area.
5. Shirts or tops should have a high enough neckline to cover all cleavage. Camisole tops designed to be worn as undergarments may not be visible. Shirts and tops will cover the entire shoulder. Shirts or tops that reveal portions of the waistline, torso, or chest area are not appropriate. 
  • Clothing must be worn in a manner that does not expose the shoulder, torso, midriff, chest, cleavage, back, buttock, or undergarments."
Yet the confusion comes in because during the first week of school, students were called down and had a talk with administration about dress code. The conversation went along the lines of, "You're in highschool now. We aren't going to have a strict dress code, you should just dress yourself  how you want to be perceived in the future."

Does that mean that students are allowed to wear whatever they want? At least that's what I thought when I threw on my mid-thigh length shorts and a t-shirt, preparing myself for the 81 degree weather.  But clearly it's not what administration believes. How did I know? Maybe it was the fact that I got pulled into the office first thing in the morning being told my shorts were too short; and then called down to the discipline office 2nd bell being told my shorts were too loose and that's why I got a dress cut.  

The line of what we can and can't wear is blurry. I get called down for loose mid-length shorts and  other girls don't even get in trouble for wearing shorts that show their buttcheeks. What about boys? Never have I seen a boy get in trouble for what they're wearing. Even if they're sagging so low, their whole backside is hanging out. 

We need guidelines. If we're not allowed to wear loose shorts, tell us. If our shorts need to be down to our fingertips, tell us. If we're not allowed to wear tank tops, tell us. If we're not allowed to sag, tell us. If you want us to dress like nuns, tell us. If you don't care what we wear, tell us. Because it isn't helping any student at MHS by expecting us to follow an invisible dress code that no one really knows. We need clarity. 

It's a great day to get dress cut here in Comet Country. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Catfishing: it could happen to you

Imagine staring at a Twitter profile, name completely different from yours, tweets completely different from yours, username completely different from yours. Yet, there is one thing that is the same.Their profile picture is you. Their pictures are of you. But the strangest thing of all? They are saying that all those pictures of you, are pictures of them. This happened to me, and it could happen to you too.

Her name was Gracie. She had 5,000 or something followers. It was such a weird feeling scrolling through this girl’s account. Her feed was flooded with pictures of me. Picture after picture with captions like, “Just got back from the movies!” or “Going to hang out with my friends!” or maybe even, “Look at this new outfit I got!” The thing was, I hadn’t just gotten back from the movies in that picture, and I wasn’t going to hang out with my friends in the other picture, and that outfit in the next picture wasn’t new. She had taken my images and created an alternate life for me, a life that wasn’t real. I didn’t know what was supposed to scare me more: that she took all of my pictures or that people actually believed that was her.

The act of impersonating someone online is commonly known by its slang term catfishing. The term was coined by Nev Schulman who created a documentary about falling for a girl online that turned out to be a 40 year old woman. She was married, and not young and single like she claimed to be. After hearing the woman’s husband, Vince Pierce, relay the following story, Schulman had come up with a title for his documentary. And the name stuck.

“They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China.” Pierce said, “They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn't have somebody nipping at our fin.”

But can catfishing someone online lead you to legal trouble? In some states it can. In New York and California impersonating someone online is a misdemeanor that can earn you up to a year in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. On the other hand, in Texas you can be charged up to ten years in prison for this crime according to Victor Luckerson for 

“When someone both steals your identity and damages your reputation, there ought to be consequences.” says Joe Simitian, former California state senator who drafted the state’s online impersonation law.

You might be thinking I wouldn’t be stupid enough to get into a relationship online. But believe it or not, it can happen to the best of us. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame football player, got into a relationship with a girl, Lennay Kekua, after meeting her on Twitter. Shortly after they met, Te’o found out she was diagnosed with cancer. On September 15th, 2012 Te’o was informed of his grandmother’s death and shortly six hours after, Te’o is told that his girlfriend, Lennay, had also passed away that afternoon.

Although Manti Te’o claimed to have met his girlfriend after a Stanford vs. Notre game, the couple actually never met in person. Nor did he have any proof that Kekua was real. No Skype calls, no visiting each other, no late night phone calls, and no snapchatting. The relationship was completely and solely typed letters into a phone.

“Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua did not meet at Stanford in 2009.” Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey say for, “The real beginning of their relationship apparently occurred on Twitter, as an encounter between @MTeo_5 and @lovalovaloveYOU, on Oct. 10, 2011.”

Te’o is humiliated by the whole situation.

“This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but over an extended period of time, I developed an emotional relationship with a woman I met online.” Te’o said.

The online universe isn’t always as reliable as it seems. Faces are hidden behind messages, tweets, statuses, and profile pictures. So watch out, because you too could encounter a catfish.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two Directions?

One Direction isn't just going in one direction anymore.

As much as it pains my heart to say this, Zayn Malik, once a member of the world's biggest boy band, is now no longer a part of this group. On March 25th at 12:30 pm, a link to a Facebook post was tweeted out. The post broke the hearts of millions of fans around the world, me included. Their album titled "Four" will now only be sung by four of the five. Ironic maybe?

Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Liam Payne will continue on to create a fifth album despite the loss of their fifth member.

"The four of us will now continue." One Direction said, "We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."

Malik claims that he's leaving because he wants "to be a normal 22-year-old." If this is his actual reason for leaving, I can't help but to think of how stupid he sounds. To the true fans he will always be Zayn Malik from One Direction. The fame won't stop. The only thing that is going to change is the One Direction Wikipedia page. And maybe the minor detail that he will no longer be performing with One Direction.

#AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik trended worldwide on Twitter.

Zayn Malik, you and your high notes are always in our hearts.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Six Whole Days

This year we have been burdened with a new test that Ohio has decided to make a  graduation requirement. I have to admit, like many others, I am not a huge fan of this test. Six whole days of sitting in a lab for 2 hours, staring at a test on a computer screen until my eyes got watery.  Not my favorite thing. 

But that being said there are many pros and cons with this test. The positive things, mainly for myself being a busy person all the time, is the reduced homework and easy curriculum over the six days. I guess you could say it's good that we aren't using that much paper, but on the other side of that, it's very difficult to show your work in math on a computer. There are also many negatives including: we haven't learned half of the material on the test, the computers glitch and error (this morning we all had to take the tests on laptops because our computers weren't working) plus it's hard to show work on a computer. 

I guess I'm indifferent about this test. Although I don't love it, technology is the future and we are getting ahead of the game. This is what we should expect in the later years of our life so it's good to learn early. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Road to State

This season on the dance team, myself personally, has endured many ups and downs. My limits were tested farther than I ever knew they could go and I have improved more in a season than I knew was possible. 

Our season was a lot different than I was used to at the old studio I danced at. Changes were constantly being made, people were quitting meaning more changes for our team, plus so much more was expected out of us. There was no time to teach and learn, as a part of this team we were held to a higher standard. We either knew it, or we taught ourselves. 

The OASSA Cheer and Dance State Championship was something that once seemed so far away, almost a figment of my imagination. But as the season rounded to a close state was less of a figment and more of a speeding truck coming right at you. 

I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't nervous. I was something way beyond that. And although I had improved a ton over this year, I still wasn't where I wanted to be. That scared me. 

Being able to look back on this weekend. I am beyond proud. Although we may not have taken home the ultimate prize, we did phenomenal for all of the obstacles that were thrown our way. We may not be number one in the state but this season was definitely winning.