Valentine’s day started as a Christian holiday to honor several saints with the name Valentine; it later morphed into a holiday celebrating romantic love due to the poems of Chaucer in the 14th century. I see it as a day to celebrate family and friends, not just to acknowledge romantic partners. I don’t really have strong feelings about it in particular--romance in general gets overblown a lot of the time, so the hype around Valentine’s day is always irritating, but really, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating love. It is an excuse to eat candy, though, which is always a plus.
My favorite Super Bowl commercial is the Doberwawa one from 2014, since--like pretty much all of the Super Bowl commercials--it’s so ridiculous and over-the-top. The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial is $4.4 million dollars, which seems like a ridiculous amount. I don’t know about other people, but I’ve been surrounded by so many advertisements my whole life that my first reaction is to tune them out or feel irritated—I could count the number of times commercials have actually influenced what I bought on one hand. It’s a rather sad look at our society--millions of dollars thrown into one 30-second ad.
This is an incredibly important concept. No matter what I do in life, I never really stop learning. My perceptions adapt constantly as I grow, mature, and gain more experiences--even in the span of a year, I feel like I've changed (and I cringe when I think of myself in middle school). Some concepts that seemed rock solid in elementary school don't actually work well in life, so I modify them. I don't think there's anything that should be completely and utterly thrown away--if anything, take it as a sign to do something new or different.
I agree with the idea that more support causes teams to perform better. In band, it’s helpful to have more people in the audience (at least, when they’re showing some common courtesy and respect and not talking during the song, but that’s another issue entirely), because it feels like people are actually interested in our performance. It’s also easier to put on a play when the audience is clearly involved, and the best Hi-Q games are the home ones, where we know that the audience is supporting us. I suppose the same concept applies to sports, although since spectators tend to be louder and closer to the players than anything I’ve participated in, it might also feel more distracting--I suppose that part depends on the player.
One of the worst habits a person can get into is thinking that they can’t do anything to change the world; they’re too young, too busy, too inexperienced…The truth is, there are plenty of stories out there about social entrepreneurs of all ages and circumstances who ignore those limitations and decide to be change makers.
Change makers can be anybody--the people who are willing to creep out of their comfort zone, the ones who start new activities and projects, anybody who strives to improve their community, whether it be a school, a town, or the whole world. Our world needs people who stretch the limits, because that is how our society changes for the better.
Social media had both a positive and negative effect on the reaction to the Paris attacks, mostly concerning the spread of information. On the negative side, a lot of misinformation got out and affected how people responded--for example, somebody tweeted that the Eiffel Tower went dark to acknowledge the victims, when in reality it goes dark every night.
However, social media played a positive role as well. Twitter was used to let people in Paris let their family and friends know that they were safe, to help residents offer shelter for those stranded, to help search for missing loved ones, and to just convey messages of support. The power of social media has never been more apparent.
Google 20% time is an idea, started by Google, where employees are allowed to dedicate 20% of their time to a personal project. This gives them something to work on that they're passionate about, and may even contribute to a larger breakthrough.
Some people want to use this idea for schools as well, which I think is a brilliant idea. Instead of memorizing and regurgitating information that they will promptly forget, students have a chance to work on something meaningful. They learn how to plan, outline, problem solve, and carry out a project, skills that they sorely need in the real world.
I’m the type of person who likes to scroll through everything in my feed (not that I necessarily do all the time, thanks to time constraints), so I have no patience for people who clutter it up with offensive or inane posts. Thus, it’s really not so hard for me to unfollow them.
An important thing to note is that bullies, both online and offline, thrive on attention. When you unfollow a person you see being offensive, it sends a message: you don’t tolerate their actions. They aren’t worth listening to.
Forward thinking is what causes our society to advance. Look at what forward thinkers have done in pretty much every field, from politics to science to literature. They’ve built worlds and fought for rights and discovered so much about the universe, it’s incredible.
The ability to look beyond what’s in front of us and see what can be instead of what is--in other words, viewing the world in a different light--is an important skill. In fact, it’s probably the greatest skill a person can have. No matter what their future holds, there are going to be problems and obstacles. If a person can use forward thinking to eliminate those problems, they’re going to be very successful in life.
My thoughts concerning books, school, and everything else.
To see the prompts for the posts in my school journal, visit my teacher's journal blog.