Saturday, April 16, 2011

Adulthood, the Sequel

It has been quite a while since I updated this sewage drain of a blog. In fact, it's been since late August that I have graced my followers with my presence. I imagine all of you at the bottom of a cavern looking up into the black night sky, and every one of you is hopelessly waiting to see my face just one more time just to hear my ramblings on strange subjects.

Well, with a puzzled expression upon my brow, I now look down into that cavern and hear your excited screams at my appearance.

I have come to follow up on my last post, the one where I contemplated all the "freedoms" of adulthood. I am now eighteen, and my perspective has changed on the matter. College is still a fear of mine, for nobody in my immediate family has ever attended and I have no idea what to expect. However, I can still say that my views on all the freedoms are quite similar. I may be eighteen, but I won't even be obtaining my driver's license until April 20th. That's this Wednesday. I even had to get my permit renewed because I never drove enough to get my license before now. I also will have to pay my own insurance and buy my own car. There goes every "Oh, I'll show my parents once I get a car and can drive anywhere I want anytime I want" dream. I've had a job for nearly two years now, and I've been saving half my weekly paycheck in order to afford a car.

Now here comes the big twist in my thinking. It's come down to money for college, and that limited my choices substantially. I've been accepted into nine colleges. I probably would've been accepted into Yale had I continued the proceedings with them. However, it really came down to two colleges: The University of Tennessee and Maryville College. I really liked both, and both had their weaknesses as well. When it came down to the population of greenbacks in my parents' account and the availability of scholarships from both schools, I ultimately chose UT. Living on campus at Maryville upped the cost another ten grand, whereas it was only another eight thousand at UT. Both are hefty sums, but I can make up the difference easier at UT. Even with the tuition being fully covered by the HOPE and Volunteer scholarships, I still had to worry about room and board.Therefore my mad scholarship dash began. I have applied for seven scholarships in the past week, counting four just today. My point in saying all this is that the money I have in my savings account may end up being spent on college and not a car.

I refuse to let my parents take out loans for me just to attend a university for four years for my undergraduate studies. The only time loans should even be considered is when I decide to get my Master's degree and eventually my Doctorate. I'll even live at home if I have to, even though that prospect is really not all that appealing to me at the moment. It's not that I don't love and appreciate my parents. If it weren't for them, I'd probably be living on the streets and thinking myself quite a fool for decisions I made in my "I believe I know everything about myself and my entire life and who I'll love" phase. However, I crave some independence at this point. Getting to live on campus at UT with one of my two best friends will be a great experience, and it will only prepare me better for the almighty and ever mystic Future.

Being an adult is great, don't get me wrong. It gives me the pleasure of calling peers at my fantastic institution of a high school (that statement is dripping with sarcasm for those of you who don't go there) "children," and I can now legally ring up beer at my job. I can also purchase dry ice and buy any number of things without having to have parents' consent. I also know I truly do have more freedoms than ever before. However, that does not fully take away the fear of what is to come. I am now more responsible for my own actions than I have ever been, and that is both humbling and terrifying.

My word of advice to everyone reading this now is this: live not in the past for too long, nor should you always gaze into the future. I did both of these for much of my life, and it wasn't until this year began I realized I should live closer to the present. Gazing into the future is great and allows for foresight, but do not get trapped in the webbing of "If I do this" or "What will this mean for me then?" Such questions have their place, but focus more on the family and friends you have now. They are your future, and they will help mold you for years and years to come. Also, dwell not too much in the past. You can learn much from your old self, but everything that's been done then can no longer be altered.

So I leave you again for who knows how long. I can hear your cries of desperation as I leave you in the cavern again, but fear not! Next time won't be so long. I remember how much joy writing in this blog once brought me, and I believe I have found it again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


It seems as though all teenagers, whether thirteen or seventeen, cannot wait to become the magical and wondrous age of eighteen. "Everything will become better once I become an 'adult!'" the disillusioned teen tells oneself. I know I myself was guilty of this not even a few months ago. The allure of becomming an "adult" is surely one that captures every teenager. The only problem is that we forget the other side of all the free reign we are given once we hit that age. With all that freedom to "be ourselves," there also is a greater responsibility than we have ever experienced before.

As kids (because that is what we still are, no matter how mature one feels) we are given some minor responsibilites. We take care of our pets, do chores around the house, and many of us become employed at a part time job. Some are "rewarded" cars (while others actually have to buy the vehicle themselves), and that is an even greater responsibility. Even fewer are actually made to pay their own phone bill, and that is a great way to prepare oneself for the "real world." However, we disillusion ourselves to believe that we will somehow make enough money once we become adults to afford all the luxeries we enjoy now.

So often true foresight is never used when evaluating one's future. People may have an idea about what career they wish to pursue or what kind of person they want their future spouse to be, but these are all subjective things that we have little control over presently. Financial planning is all but forgotten nowadays, and it all starts with the youth of today. Hardly any teenagers have savings accounts in which they deposit even a small amount of money. It may sound like I am preaching from the past, but it really is effective to put back a certain amount of money for the future. Nothing is set in stone (to use that cliche), and it is best to prepare for whatever may happen.

Along with the financial aspect, maturation is another big issue. Just because you turn eighteen doesn't automatically turn you into a mature adult. Many college students are examples of this. So often teenagers make the mistake of believing that turning eighteen is the final step into adulthood, and they are free to do as they please once they hit that age. This could not be further from the truth. With adulthood comes more restrictions and more red tape. Adulthood brings about more stress and more labors. Adulthood brings with it more and greater expectations than one can imagine right now. Adulthood is not the most glorious thing in the world like so many teenagers believe it to be.

I only wish to end this by saying that I myself am only seventeen at the moment. I know I have fallen prey to the wonderings and wishings of turning eighteen. However, my views have been altered as of late for various reasons, and the greatest of those being preparing for college. I have been forced to look at the future as I neve have before, and honestly it is scaring me. The moving away and whatnot is not the daunting part; it is the fact that I am responsible for myself if I mess anything up once I turn eighteen. No longer is there a safety net there to catch me. I must take responsibility for everything I do, and I will not have the checks and balances I have now to keep me in line as effectively.

I hope that my fellow teenagers out there that read my blog think hard upon what I have said. I do not claim to be a man wise beyond my years, I merely speak about my ponderings and my experiences.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Degradation of Love

Love has lost much of its magnitude with humanity over our existence. The Greeks had drastically different views on love than we do now, and much of that can be attributed to how we have misconstrued the vision of love. Nowadays love is viewed more as a feeling and is most comparable to simply caring for someone as opposed to actually having that connection and foundation that love is supposed to have.

So often we tell our boyfriends and girlfriends that we "love" them. This is not completely false. The "love" that we feel when we say this is an immature one, and it is based on naive and young emotions. However, we believe it to be "true love" or something of the sort. We are so mistaken over love because of what we want to view it as and how the media portrays it. The media and the sort show love as something someone can fall in and out of. They, along with many naive and misinformed and misguided people, see love as merely an emotion and nothing less. They want to base love on a feeling as opposed to a connection and a commitment. So often marriages that are based upon "love" fail because the couple does not grasp what love really is; the commitment is not truly there. They believe their "love" will work everything out in the end, but they fail to realize that their love is not the deep connection it needs to be in order for that logic to even make sense in the first place.

Love is also used a simple space saver nowadays. Instead of simply saying, "I really enjoy my new car," or, "I like this song," we have reduced love to mere enjoyment or likeness. "I love my car!" is evidence that love has really lost its meaning among our people. This does not mean that the phrase loses any significance when uttered to a family member or someone you truly love, but it does show how far we have degraded love. Do you love your car like a brother, like your country/countrymen, or (God forbid) erotically? Those would be the types of love the Greeks would associate such a phrase with, and they would be appalled to see how we used that word now.

I am not saying we need to revert back to the way the Greeks lived and functioned. Their society was so drastically different than ours, and ours has its pros and cons such as theirs did. We have become a more integrated society and one more willing to accept equality among all its members. I merely agree with how they viewed love as opposed to how we do. Love meant so much more then, and I truly wish we could grasp even a portion of what love meant back then. Love is used as an excuse and a way to mend mistakes and broken relationships in our society. Love should be so much more than that.

There is so much more I have to say about this subject, but this is a blog, not a novel or any sort of literary work. I did write a poem that dealt with this too, but it was even shorter and I could not grasp fully what I meant to say in it either. I simply mean to state that love is not what it once was, and it is truly saddening.

This post is in honor of Stephen Loope, a courageous man that has endured so much pain in his life over the past year. May God watch over you, and may everyone that truly loves you comfort you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How Communication Was Forever Ruined

Communication is quite an amazing thing. When speaking face to face to one another, so many little details are hidden away among the words we say. Emotions are the key to a good conversation, and facial expressions and bodily movements make the conversation more than merely words. It has been said before that ninety percent of a conversation has nothing to do with what is being said. Words mean nothing unless acted upon by the person speaking them.

I say all this to preface my topic today. My attention was recently focused on how the majority of teenagers and young adults communicate nowadays, and that would be through texting and messaging as you do on Facebook and Twitter. During my reflection, I realized at how extremely appalled I am with the language and grammar of the majority of the population nowadays. Text language is something that, at its best, is horrid. Never before in my life have I wanted to slap someone in the mouth for something that was not even uttered from their vocal cords until I was assaulted with terrible text language a few years ago. Reading such sentences as "im dng jus fin, how but u?" and "wat bout me? am i not gud nuff?" cause me to want to rip out my eyes and scream for mercy from the travesty that is grammar nowadays. This does not merely apply to text messaging, but to any form of mass communication. Posts that I have seen on Twitter (on TV shows that use this website, I assure you. I do not have an account on there, nor will I ever create one) are just as bad as the majority of texts people send. Posts such as "i seen it happen b4 n it wuz rly stupid" and "i think he dnt no wat was gunna happen" make me clench my teeth and cringe at the mere thought of ever writing like that.

I will admit to using some abbreviations in my texts, however. The only one I use on regularity is bc for because only for the fact that it is such a space saver and the general idea is still recognizable. I do not under any circumstance use "lol" or anything of the sort. I text in plain English, and I am even grammatically correct and use the correct punctuation for words. You will never see a text from me with words such as "isnt", "dont", "im", "cant", "wont", or anything of the sort. I even make a point to use semi colons in my texts if they are needed.

My point in all this is to mourn for the loss of knowledge for grammar by humanity. This may seem like only a problem for those who text or blog or anything, but it is spilling over into educational matters also. I was literally taken aback when I was first informed that an English teacher of mine said he received papers that had text writing in it. Apparently he was not the first to receive such either. I cannot believe the degree to which this careless grammar is spreading and being used. It is bad enough that a good portion of people cannot speak correctly, but now they cannot write correctly either.

I beg all of you out there that read this to heed my warning. Your grammar and vocabulary are a metaphorical muscle. If you do not use both of them with some regularity, they will diminish and eventually you will not even notice this. I pray that there is still hope out there for English and grammar, for it looks quite slim as of late. I can brag and say that my five closest friends refrain from using such atrocious language in their texts and such, and I am certainly glad they do. Please make a habit of doing so yourself if you do not already.

May I just say that I really enjoyed going back through here with Spell check. It was quite the experience seeing all the mistakes it noticed when I was taking on the persona of the terrible texter. I was also disappointed in what it did not correct. Oh, technology.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Death of Literature

Today is a sad day. Today is the day I realized that literature might possibly be dead. The bullet that penetrated the heart of literature actually struck weeks ago, but I did not realize the significance of the bullet until today. This bullet is not a book, but a video game. Which video game? The Dante's Inferno video game to be exact.

Let me explain.

In the amazing piece of literature written by Dante, The Inferno is part one of The Divine Comedy and tells of a journey through Hell where Dante (the fictional version) is led through Hell by Virgil, the personification of Human Reason. The pairing traverse through Hell surveying all the sinners and various demons that populate Hell in the nine circles. The book was intended to show Dante's faith (the author Dante) in his God and mapped out his version of what the Catholic Hell looked like. The grotesque imagery used by Dante in the story has never been matched in any other piece of literature, and the only violence exhibited in the story is done by the demons to the sinners or from the sinners to each other. Beatrice, Dante's "crush" in real life, is looked upon in high regard by Dante in the story, and she embodies Divinity. Satan resides in the Ninth Circle, and he is frozen in place while he chews on the bodies of Judas, Brutus, and Cassius.

Now let's discuss the video game. Dante is "killed" by an assassin and Death confronts him to take him into the afterlife. However, Dante slays him and takes his scythe in the process. He returns to Florence only to find that Beatrice has been murdered. After this the story becomes a bit gruesome as Lucifer appears to Dante and steals away Beatrice. He retreats to a chapel to escape an onslaught of the undead. Then a huge crack rips open in the earth and Dante descends into Hell. He meets Virgil there and then they embark on their journey. However, instead of merely surveying the demons and sinners, Dante slays them and mercilessly fights his way to meet Satan in the final circle. Here Satan at least looks a little bit like he is portrayed in the book, however he acts nothing like what the story says. He is the final boss for Dante, and after defeating him Dante is carried out of Hell to meet Beatrice.

This is only a vague and nutshell version of the video game, yet you can see the HUGE diversities between the book and the game. I didn't even mention the army of mutilated and demonic unbaptized babies that Dante has to fight. Also excluded was the gruesome accounts of Cerberus, Charon, and various other mythological beings that inhabited Hell in the game. It's enough that the creators of the game admitted that they completely changed the storyline from the book and had no problems with doing so, but they could at least have made a decent game out of it. Apparently the game gets quite repetitive, and it takes on too many flaws that many platforming games usually have.

I was offended when I found out that this game was being made. I was provided hope, however, when I was told that a movie was to be made for The Inferno. My hope, however, was completely and absolutely demolished when I discovered that the movie was to be based on the game and not the Divine Comedy version. I am appalled that such a game and soon-to-be movie exist. Is this proof that literature is dead and now only exists to keep the bloggers and tweeters alive? (yes, I realize that was contradictory. I'll do that quite often in my blog, so don't point it out. I do it on purpose.)

Poetry is losing its form, novels can be written by anyone, and grammar is being abused every day. Please, please, please, read a book, and preferably one that was written at least fifteen years ago. Help save literature before it really does die.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Because Education Isn't Valued Anymore

Well I have bad news my children. Our school system no longer values our education and is throwing away its greatest resources. Impossible you say? Well not quite. I bring forth proof to the table, and it stinks of money and government.

The school system I'm forced to be a part of is quite possibly one of the worst in the States. This statement is not based on petty emotion or on stupid arguments. The facts present themselves in the decisions made by the leaders of the Board. This "Board" tries to act in the best interest of every school in the county and tries to help the education of the students that attend these schools. However, this is rarely achieved by their decisions. You are asking for a specific reason aren't you? Shall I present you one now? Why, yes I shall.

The School Board decided it would be a good idea to fire five of our teachers at the end of the year. That in itself is quite a bad situation, but this matter hits closer to home for many of my friends and me than for most. One of the five unfortunate teachers is my Mythology teacher who also teaches Latin. The Board also decided that another good idea was to cut Latin out of our school completely. This in itself is absurd. Latin is quite possibly the most useful foreign language offered to high schools. The practical applications of Latin go far beyond that of any other foreign language aside from Spanish (if it is actually taught correctly). Another department that is under question is the French foreign language. If they cut this class out of the school, the only foreign language left would be Spanish. They cut out Russian about three years ago and killed German a year ago as well. Theatre Arts was slashed out of the programs, and Driver's ED was given the electric chair as well. However, would you like to know one of the classes that has survived all these murders? Turf Grass Management. Because our world would be lost without all its turf being kept in order obviously.

To me, these are the most ridiculous choices of cuts I have ever seen. Let's get rid of all of our foreign languages and try to diminish the Arts! But we must keep the vital classes such as Turf Grass Management, Cosmetology, and Green House Management! All the classes they have erased so far have much more practical applications than those that I have stated above. This is so preposterous that it nearly causes me to break down and cry when I think about it. Not just from sadness do I cry, but from pity that our education has been brought down to this level.

I feel sadness for my teacher though. She has tenure at least, so she is being transferred to another school. However, the bonds she has developed here are now being broken, and it is a terrible thing when I can physically see the sadness and pain on fellow students' faces over it.

Congratulations School Board. You have provided yet another reason for me and countless other students to despise you. My advice to anyone who reads this is to value your education. If you are out of school, then I beg of you to help your community and somehow provide all you can for the education of anyone you can. If you have children, then my message is simple: care about and think about which school you put your children in. Unless you absolutely have to, please do not simply settle for a school. Research is key my friends, and use every available resource.

This wraps up this post. I am quite angry at this point, but I think you will agree that my anger is justified.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Twitter Me This

Well, well, well....come back for more have we? How pleasant. Please join me as I jump into yet another steamy debate about something I have had too much time to think about. Get your eyes ready.

Twitter is one of the most popular social devices to attack our media since the all too amazing Myspace first plagued our computer screens. However, Myspace was actually something that was worth our time in the beginning. Facebook has now taken over as the leading social networking site, and Twitter is the "cool" think to use nowadays. My one and only thing I hate about Twitter is this: it's the biggest waste of time that has ever been invented. It's all the fun of a Facebook status bar without anything else to accommodate it. The original intention of the website was to keep your friends updated on what you're doing every so often, but now it's been used for anything from awkward media blasts to stupid self promotion by divas in music and sports. This "website" is quite possibly the most pointless piece of trash that exists on the Internet, and I have yet to see the allure of it.

I have actually been tempted to create a Twitter account myself so I can post one message and one message only, then abandon my pitiful little account to starve in the cruel, cold street that is the Internet. The message would be something like this: "I am currently sleeping. If I don't tweet within 8 hours, I'm dead from my rare disease I didn't tell anyone about. Thank you." I would then proceed to have absolutely no contact with anyone for a few days, thus leading people to believe I am dead, which would undoubtedly cause much pandemonium and chaos all throughout the one square mile of land that actually knows who I am. However, having told you this, my plan is now ruined.

Some evil mastermind, aren't I?

Back to the point I suppose. Twitter is another example of how stupid humanity is becoming. If we believe that this thing is an "entertaining" media outlet, then what hope is there? I already lost most of my hope when the Croc shoe line hit it big, or when the Snuggie was the hottest buy for the winter season. Are we seriously that gullible? How can such terrible ideas thrive in our already depleted market and Internet social network?

So let me close with this: help me. Help me regain some of my sanity and do not follow the millions of fake people who bombard the Internet everyday with their tweets about their life and how "cool" what they are doing is. Instead read this and follow someone who isn't cool and who is at least true to himself and who he is. Yes, I may not be as entertaining as some crazy celebrity, but that just means I'm not another cog in the stupid social machine that is controlling most of our teens nowadays.

Until next time, this has been another ranting session brought to you by an insane writer who is using the media against itself to promote actual social activity.