It’s the End of the Year…

And I don’t know what to think. I guess I accomplished a lot this year. But didn’t everybody? It’s kind of hard not to accomplish a lot in a year. I don’t really know how proud of myself I should be, as a result. Should I still congratulate myself? Others have done amazing things, such as saving people’s lives, or done notoriously difficult things, like quitting smoking. Or maybe they made it on Broadway, or got cast in their first major role in a film. I don’t care, really. But I do know that my most impressive accomplishment this year was the fact that I passed my Grade 3 piano exam. Never mind the fact that eight-year-olds do it all the time. It’s quite surprising that I even passed it in the first place, given my current level of negligence in practising.
I nearly failed that exam.
I SHOULD HAVE failed that exam.

Oh, well. Moving on, I guess.

As I write this in the late hours of the night (or early hours of the morning??), on December 31st, 2017, I can’t help but wonder if New Year’s resolutions are even helpful. I mean, most people fail at them. So I guess the only way to not fail would be to only have one New Year’s resolution: to fail at your New Year’s resolutions. But then you have a paradox, because in not failing, you have failed to achieve your goal of failure, which was a failure in of itself… I should really write stories about thoughts like this instead of making you read them in my little corner of the internet. Not that anyone reads this thing… Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be anonymous. It was never my goal. This blog is linked on my social media accounts. People can find it if they wish to. But somehow, I doubt they will.

I know someone else who has a blog. She’s my age. She keeps hers way more anonymous than I do, however, and her blog is much more successful because she has picked a niche and stuck to it. As if I could do that. I suck at even staying on topic within my own paragraphs, within my own blog post. Which brings me back to my point: Should I be proud of what I have accomplished this year?

I’m very ambivalent about the response. Not that I don’t care… I simply don’t have an answer. In some ways, this was a good year. A very good year, in fact. I achieved straight As in school for the first time ever (which may surprise those of you who know me personally). I participated in a fashion show as a designer for the first time ever, and though it was just a high school event, it was a great experience I learned a lot from. I started a novel, breaking my (lingering) qualms over fiction writing. I discovered a love for writing dialogue. I completed three full sketchbooks and 90% of a fourth. I submitted to a literary magazine for the first time. I submitted to my school’s art show for the first time (and trust me, that can be scary when you go to an art school). I did so many wonderful things. But yet…

Here are some of the nastier things about this year:

  1. I put on weight. Not in a healthy way though. Not at all.
  2. Did I mention the lack of exercise?
  3. Did I mention the lack of sleep?
  4. I spend too much time on the Internet nowadays.
  5. I suspect I have spent more time on YouTube this year than I ever have before.
  6. Still haven’t killed my nasty procrastination habit.
  7. I panicked in front of an audience for the first time this year…

And many others. I really want to start getting in more exercise. I want to kill my procrastination habit as well. It doesn’t make me happier. It doesn’t help me get anything done. And it’s a complete waste of my time.

My relationship with procrastination is much healthier than some other people’s, though. I know someone who once left an entire summative to the night before. He had to come up with a ten page research document and a twenty slide presentation. How he managed that, I do not know.
I suspect he plagiarized most of it.
But is that okay? I do procrastinate as well, but I do understand when to pull back and WORK. I have to. I hold myself to stringent and unrealistic expectations of perfection which I almost never attain. But I wouldn’t call that unhealthy. I’m just ambitious, I guess.

This year I learned that while I have the capacity to be a natural leader, I’m not interested. Not really. I’ll do it if I feel that no one else wants to, or that the current leader is, well, inadequate. Because I can do the job. And I do it well. But in all honesty? I prefer to do my own thing. Strange for an extravert to say, isn’t it? Don’t worry, I also like to not-so-quietly critisize others. I don’t pull any punches.

But it really sucks that there is so much misunderstanding around introvert/extravert types and what it means. I am an extravert. But I do not hate being alone. I quite enjoy it, actually. I need my alone time. But I also need social interaction. I crave it. I’m the one who initiates conversations with long lost friends. I love people. But I don’t understand why people seem to think introverts hate people. That’s not the definition of introversion, it’s more like… social anxiety (but don’t take my word for it). I know introverts who love people and social interactions. But they do need their alone time. It’s simple. Extraverts are energized by social interaction. Introverts are energized by quiet time alone (or with a few quiet people) and are generally drained by social interaction. Get with the program, people. Saying that introverts hate people is like saying that all people hate running because it makes them tired. That might be true in a few cases, but it’s not a generally true statement and should not be proclaimed as such.

And… I managed to deviate from the theme of this post again. But here are a few of my goals for 2018:

  1. Exercise more regularly. Join a sporting club or something.
  2. Reduce time spent procrastinating.
  3. Draw something every day, no matter how small or sketchy.
  4. Engage in personal writing at least twice a week.
  5. Figure out a few career options (instead of blindly having no idea what to do).
  6. Finish composing one of the gajillion songs I’ve started.
  7. Develop basic dance skills (I currently have none).
  8. Learn Excel spreadsheet stuff.
  9. Read more non fiction.
  10. Submit to four literary magazines.

And there you go! Some of my goals for this year. I know I will most likely fail at some of them, but they’re nice to have anyway. Gives me a place to start. And maybe this isn’t a goal, but more of a promise to myself: I will get to know myself better. I will engage in thoughtful self reflection. Because now is  the time, right? When you’re young and teenage?

Anyways, Happy New Year! (If you celebrate it
– Rebeeks

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Am I Normal?

I don’t understand myself most of the time. Sometimes being around my family doesn’t help. Sometimes being around my friends doesn’t help. Half the time, the fact that I go to an arts school doesn’t help. And you know what helps even less? When I can’t find the right words to express myself. Like now.

Sometimes I wish I was introverted and actually enjoyed spending time in my own brain. Not that I don’t like spending time in my own brain, I do, but… See what I mean? I don’t know how to say what I need to say! And the trouble is that I need to discuss things with people in order to feel better about them. Actually, that’s not always true. But I do feel better after talking to people. But I don’t always know what to say, and that sucks. Because for all the time I spend talking to people, I still suck at communicating. God, I can’t even communicate with myself!

This post is just a messed up jumble of thoughts.

This sucks. The jumbled-up thoughts stage I’m currently in? Each year I change a little bit and I never know if it’s for the better. Not to mention, I’m at a point in my life where I’m incredibly indecisive and don’t know what to do with myself. And that’s nice, isn’t it.

I don’t know why I feel much more comfortable speaking (well, writing really) to this imaginary online audience of random people. I don’t know if anyone reads this. But it’s not like this is anonymous. This is a real, live, website that can be traced back to me at anytime. I may as well be posting this on social media, because any acquaintance of mine who reads this will know it’s me. But I would never post these kinds of thoughts on social media. Why? I don’t know.

Around me, I can see people reading, writing, and looking for books. From my seat inside a library in the (almost) heart of the city, I can see people shopping. It’s Black Friday today, a holiday of endless consumerism that happens and will continue to go on while I sit here and struggle with my mess of a brain. Because that’s what normal teenagers do.

Who am I kidding? Normal teenagers do not obsessively think about whether or not they shoukd call themselves artists. Normal teenagers do not obsessively think about their ability to make art, do not worry about really they are actually good enough to stay at the school they auditioned for. Normal teenagers probably don’t have warring parts of their brain, like I do. I love and hate both the arts and the sciences equally; I cannot live without one or the other. And that’s sad. Because in than two years, I will have to choose. I do not want to choose. I used to think high school would last forever. But now that it has become very clear that it doesn’t, I really wish it did.

I Think AI is Detrimental to Society

Our world is changing. And I absolutely hate it. I hate the fact that we are moving towards a world where robots will coexist with the human race. I hate the factt that we are developing more and more androids and more and more robots and more and more artificially cognitive machines. That also happens to be why I hate science fiction. SF kind of forces me to think about those things. Most of the time, I avoid thinking about it. But sometimes, just sometimes… Ugh.

Why would you want to have robots that look, act, and speak like humans? Wouldn’t that be creepy? What if someone tried to hit on a robot? What if that same robot responding that person’s advances?  Like, really, imagine going on a first date with a robot. Do you want to do that? Think about it.

-Rebeeks

My Relationship with Computers

I have an interesting relationship with computers. I love them, I hate them, and sometimes they annoy me to death. I had one computer that had some many issues that once one of the issues got fixed, something else would stop working.
That was hell.
My current computer is quite annoying as well because it isn’t as slow as some of the older computers but is advertised to run faster than it actually does. This is also where I learned that having more cores on your computer does not necessarily mean that your computer runs faster. Remember that. The salespeople are not necessarily well-equipped to properly help you. Or maybe they’re simply biased. I suspect its a combination of both.

Earlier this semester, I had one available slot left in my timetable and I opted to take computer science, which is A. an elective, B. an elective offered to people in the grade above me, and C. headache inducing. Do you think I’m crazy? Sometimes I myself think I’m crazy for taking the course. When people hear that I’m taking that course, a common question is, why?

If I’m going to be completely honest with myself (and you), I first have to admit that it was a split-second decision. I had planned on (maybe) taking this course, but as a grade 10 student. This summer, when I went to summer school, I took math. It was a very intensive course and I did not want to take anything related to math this year. And what did I end up in? Computer Science (or, as they call it, Introduction to Computer Studies), which is basically another version of math. Great. It was either that or take Grade 10 math, which I would do under no circumstances.

I actually like the course though. It’s a really different approach to teaching. We learn (very, very basic) programming and it’s not the “Follow the instructions and you’ll do well” kind of class. No. It is literally “Here is the problem. Solve it.” I both love and hate this approach. It is totally appropriate for a class where you learn coding. Basically what software does is solve problems for you. But someone wrote that software. In order to have the program solve problems for you, you need to understand the problem yourself. You need to be able to break down the problem into its parts before you build the code. Then, you need to understand the logic and how to do things sequentially.

The funny thing is, the more you write code, the more you start thinking like a coder. It literally changes the way you do things. I find myself wanting to simply write the word “else” instead of otherwise or something do that effect, because that is how conditional statements are communicated to the computer. Huh. If I wrote an essay like that, my teacher might ask quite a few questions. Namely, “are you sane?”

I honestly don’t think I am.

-Rebeeks

Reflection on School

This has pretty much become my default place to rant about school. That is awesome (no, it isn’t). Ranting is just something I do, I guess. It’s my default mode. None of the posts on this blog are edited. Here, I kind of just write. I mean, all the practice you can get is good, right?

I don’t know why I even bother to call myself a writer. I’m a terrible writer. Every time I sit down to write something I spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing. I know my first drafts suck. A lot of them do. Quite a few of turn out nice. Mine?
I don’t know. I don’t really know what to compare it to. Do I find out tomorrow?

Here I am, talking about being in Lit again. This seems to be my favourite thing to write about. Maybe it’s because it’s different. Because I don’t know what else to expect. I don’t know what people think of Lit kids. I feel like no one really knows what to make of us. Hell, I don’t know what to expect. It’s not exactly like an English class. That’s what I love about it. But that’s also what throws me off. You don’t take English with the same 25 people for 4 years. Life doesn’t work like that. A lot of English classes don’t involve much creative writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love creative writing. It holds a special place in my heart. But sometimes, you just can’t deal with the uncertainty that comes with creating something — weaving a story from bits and pieces and snapshots of life mixed with a generous dose of your imagination. You don’t know where to go. There is no set format, there are no rules. There is no black or white, only shades in between.
But when you put it this way, it sounds like it’s difficult to tell the good writing from the bad writing. And sometimes, it is.

Sometimes you don’t know why a story seems off, but you just know that it is. It drives me nuts. Crazy. Half the time I just abandon the story and do something else. Then I look at it a few years later, think about how crappy it is, and don’t do anything about it. Honestly, essays are a lot easier to write. And I enjoy writing essays, most of the time. But the issue with essays is that the structure tends to be a little (more like a lot) rigid. You can’t take an essay in an interesting direction, most of the time. There is a subject. Stick to it! Whereas stories have plots and subplots and plots twists and you have to keep track of them and keep them logical and believable or else the reader gets mad. Essays? Intro ,point one, point two, point three, conclusion. That is how a lot of essays are formatted. It’s very formal. It’s a formula you can follow and get results every time–as long as you follow the formula properly.

The lazy part of me loves this. So does the debater in me. But there is another part of me that actually hates this. It’s the part of me that demands change and individuality and original thinking. Listening to 5 of 6 essays is boring–most of them tend to sound the same. Listening to 5 or 6 stories is never boring. Sometimes it gets annoying, but that may be because the story is bad or because you don’t like it. But usually people people stick around even if it’s just to complain and rant about how bad it is later.

So  here I am, still thinking about the damn story that I want to write. i have ideas, but I don’t feel like putting then onto paper. I wonder if I should write one page of it everyday and see what kind of useless crap I can come up with.
Did I mention that I have a total lack of imagination?
Having a total lack of imagination is totally detrimental to me. I’m sure some people will say otherwise about my ability to put things together. I don’t think they’re right.

The issue is that I’ve never spent so much time working on a single piece, other than my portfolio for the program. (BTW, my portfolio totally sucked.) It’s different. I don’t know if it’s good different or bad different.

Pros

  • I get to spend more time making the writing perfect
  • I have to more time to ask for opinions
  • It means that if halfway through, I decide to completely change directions with my story, I have time to figure it out
  • More time for editing
  • I can bounce ideas off of people
  • I have time for tweaks

    Cons

    • I spend too much time worrying about perfection
    • Sometimes I get confused by certain opinions
    • uhhhhh

    Okay. I guess the pros outweigh the cons. Now what?
    I guess I should just stop complaining.

    -Rebeeks

    The Absurdity of Media Today

    The media twists things, changes them. Sometimes what comes out of it is totally unrecognizable content. “Why?” I ask. Oh, I don’t dont know, but I suspect it’s part of human nature.

    We are an interesting group of people. We embellish things. We exagerate things. When that happens for too long, we tend to blow things out of proportion. That isn’t necessarily intentional. Some of us have always had trouble with the boundaries of truth. Sometimes we remember things that aren’t there, that didn’t actually happen. Why? Because human memory isn’t perfect. So why do we expect newspapers, TV, and other forms of media to be perfect? Are the people who work there somehow better than the rest of us?

    Sometimes, however, things are blown out of proportion intentionally. We all love making fun of people’s mistakes. (Wait. You say you don’t? Look at me in the eye and say you’ve never laughed at someone. Harsh? Yeah. I thought so.) The issue is, when you listen to something repeatedly for long enough, two things can happen: a. you start believing whatever it is they keep saying, or b. you totally and utterly reject everything they keep saying. This is not letting people make informed choices. If you really want to make an informed choice, do me a favour snd stop watching TV coverage of events. Watch the event for yourself, then find written information from a variety of places.

    Does this mean that media coverage is a bad thing? No. This is just to say that not enough people are taking it with a grain of salt. Don’t take what you see as the absolute truth, because it most likely isn’t.

    -Rebeeks

    God, How I Hate Apple. And Steve Jobs. Even though he’s dead.

    Steve Jobs was an idiot. Yes, a very smart idiot. But an idiot none the less. Did I mention that when he first invented the iPhone, he patented the design for a black rectangular phone? Yeah, I think he wanted monopoly over smartphones. We all know that smartphones can’t be circular. Or hexagonal. 0r triangular. Well, at least they can’t be if you actually want to be able to HOLD the phone! Yeah, I’m sorry, but we haven’t actually invented the technology for floating smartphones yet. Yeah. Not that it would even be practical. And let’s just say that a square phone would be a bad idea as well.

    I have a feeling Steve Jobs had exactly that in mind when he filed the patent. Small steps towards world domination, people. Small steps.
    (And if you’re wondering why I say things like that, remember, I’m a conspiracy theorist. Just like… keep that in mind.)

    Jobs was also a jerk. And an idiot. Did I mention that he was an idiot? Let’s see… Every once in a while he got mad and threw pens at employees who ticked him off, sometimes fired them, called people idiots in public, uninvited some guy from a top 100 employee meeting WHILE THEY WERE ON THE BUS FOR THE MEETING because he got mad at him during a meeting, and oh, pretended that he wasn’t sick for a while. Until he died.

    (The way I see it, Steve was just like, “I have cancer? Nooo… Don’t tell anyone anything. I am not sick. NO, shut up, I AM NOT SICK! Yeah, I’ll just see an acupuncturist for a while… and drink herbal tea… and refuse to do the surgery that will save my life! Meanwhile, I am NOT SICK!!” Yeah. Just… yeah.)

    So yeah. He was so idiotic that he basically killed himself. Not that I care or anything… I mean, good riddance to bad rubbish. The only problem is, he left Apple behind. Crap.
    You know, Steve Jobs was really good at brainwashing people. And he’s dead now. But the people down at Apple are still pretty good at brainwashing people. Not as good as before, yes. But good enough.
    So now I have to deal with the company’s lingering influence. I mean, sorry Apple, but your glory days are over. But why does NO ONE agree with me!
    (Just checking.)

    Do you know how many people committed suicide while making iPhones? Yeah, the Chinese suppliers aren’t too fond of Apple. Neither are the other suppliers. Because, the truth is, working with Apple is basically an invitation to go bankrupk the day they pick another company. Or even just when their sales go down. (The iPhones aren’t as popular as they used to be, eh? Haha. And let’s see, they wrecked the MacBook Pro by removing the CD drive, created an ultra-thin laptop that no sane person will buy, and then released a $1400 tablet that they ruined by making the stylus unaffordable. The Apple Pencil costs $130? Hmm… what’s my advice? Guys, DON’T FREAKING BUY IT!) Then they will force you tu shut down a full factory to prevent loss of trade secrets. A nightmare! And for once, that’s a fact, not just my biased opinion.

    Did I mention that Apple once orchestrated an ebook price raise? Did they forget to tell you that it’s illegal? These people are seriously trying to control the economy. They’ve managed to pollute it. A lot. And don’t get me started on the OS. iOS is inferior to Android in so many ways…

    For you beloved Apple fans (well, I do think you’re stupid) I’ll stop writing this article. You’ll never understand its brilliancy. You’re probably contesting it line by line… Well, anyways have fun with your inferior devices. Have fun paying for your overpriced crap. (Paying for email storage? Really? How much do you even get in the first place.) And don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    -Rebeeks