The Not-So-Full Story

Although there are six members in my family,  we love to travel. We manage to save up money and travel to somewhere in the world. And my father loves to take pictures of us whenever we travel. He makes us pose and he makes us look natural to take pictures. This is all because photographs are a great way to keep and remember memories.

I was going through the pictures a couple weeks back and came across a picture of the six of us smiling wide with our arms around each other in Quebec, Canada. We stood in front of an ancient castle and looked so happy to be there, so happy to be together. But in all honesty, we really weren’t.

First, so many people in Quebec ignored us because we didn’t know any French. It was intimidating to even ask for the bathroom. The people we encountered treated us like we were below them and looked down upon us. We felt ignored and really didn’t understand why the tourist rates were so high in the city.

Second, we had underestimated the weather and almost froze to death.

Third, my grandmother was once again diagnosed with cancer. She had gotten chemotherapy months back and was supposed to recover according to her doctor, but obviously, he was wrong. We couldn’t go to her and she couldn’t come to us.

Fourth, we had just found out that my father’s brain was being pressured by the liquid that was originally supposed to protect it. We had also learned that there was no medicine, no surgery that would give him full recovery.

Fifth, because of all the numbers above, we were constantly fighting and arguing with each other.

But just by look at the picture, no one would ever even guess that we were falling apart as a family. When people look at the snapshot, they will probably think that we were having the time of our lives. They might even envy us.

That’s the thing about photographs; it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but is a thousand words enough?

Word of the Day: boregasm
(n.) peak of boredom; a climax of disinterest
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Pardon?

Take a second and look at this advertisement:

Let’s connect the dots here, shall we?

“All animals have the same parts.”

Really, I don’t have to say much for anyone to sense that there is something wrong with this.

The words on the picture are talking about an animal. However, the picture shows a woman who is labeled like a cattle going in for slaughter. So does this mean that women equal animals? Or maybe basically naked women equal animals?

We must acknowledge the fact that this woman is a blond with blue eyes. She also is supposed to be white, but kind of has a tan whether it’s fake or not. Also, she has no stomach and instead has a round butt and big boobs. What is that supposed to mean and represent? What are girls who aren’t white or blond supposed to do? What about the girls who really don’t have a figure? Not everyone looks like a real life Barbie doll. But I must admit, she has really nice boobs.

Look at the words around the drawing of the cow: have a heart, go vegetarian. So does that mean, I, as a non-vegetarian, I am heartless? Plus, what does that statement have anything to do with the advertisement picture? Have a heart and stop liking girls? Have a heart become gay?

Also, why are those words around a cow with a heart right in the middle of its body? Where’s the logic? I don’t understand.

The company this advertisement comes from is called PETA. It stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Maybe, they are thinking highly or women by categorizing them with animals. Clearly, they think more highly of animals than they do of women.

Just the visual itself is quite provocative. So by looking at the advertisement far away, it probably wouldn’t feel wrong. But the closer and closer we get to the picture, the more in depth we think about the add, the weirder and worse it gets.

Honestly, though? What has to go through someone’s brain for a “masterpiece” like this to be produced?

What kind of society do we even live in? Advertisements with women, labelled like cattle, are allowed to be published for an animal company. Visual representations like this go around the internet and anyone is able to encounter or access it.

Let’s say a little boy sees this advertisement. How would it shape his reality and view on women?

Word of the Day: clinomania
(n.) the excessive desire to stay in bed

Frank

June 25th 1950, the not so famous Korean War started. It lasted for 3 years even though we had just gained our independence from the Japanese in 1945.

Heartbreaking, isn’t it? The small country, Korea, came together as one and fought for our own freedom and finally got it, yet a spark ignited within and the once united nation quickly became a bloody battle field.

But why? After 35 years under the Japanese, you would expect Korea to be stronger.

Sit back and don’t relax because I am about to do what I am best at: being blunt.

So what had happened? It first started before we gained our independence. We had been fighting and rebelling for about 30 years and was so close to gaining our independence when a small town in Japan got blown up by an atomic bomb. And instead of us earning the thing we were fighting for, we were given it.

I don’t mean to sound like an “ungrateful bitch”. Trust me, I appreciate the great help America gave. It just would have been so much better if we were able to earn our independence with our own strength and power.

That’s not a big issue, though. How were they to know that Korea was almost there? The real problem started when America felt like Korea owed them something. When the Soviet Union and America came into Korea and started treat us like their children, at first, it wasn’t bad; it was with a good intention. The two countries treated us like their children. But children have to do things for their parents whether it’s big or small: do the laundry, set the table, bring them a cup of water, and so forth.

And the two “parents” were getting a divorce. America and the Soviet Union disagreed with each other and fought in front of their child, in front of Korea. We were already doing everything the two required of us and now they were fighting. Terrified, the people of Korea scattered to who seemed more right, who seemed more strong; some stuck with the Soviet Union and others stuck with America.

Today, adults of Korea have different opinions about America. Many say that America is our ancestor. Many others disagree. You can see why, right?

But that’s not all because America is not Korea’s ancestor.

With their own greed, the Soviet Union and America made the Koreans turn their back on each other. There was the communist side and the democracy side and the “weak” Koreans who supposedly owed them the world were forced to choose a side.

Why couldn’t America have taken the fight else where? Why couldn’t the two countries just fight by themselves away from the land that already had experienced so much pain? Just… why?

Because of America, Korea went through a war that was not ours in the first place. Because the big powers fought, we were dragged into the fight as well. Because of all that, Korea is now a divided country that has halves that couldn’t be more different.

Without the so-called help of America, Korea would have managed one way or another. We would have eventually gained our own independence, we would not have had to go through a bloody war, and we would not be divided into two.

I know I may sound like an ungrateful bitch, but is it bad to think that?

Word of the Day: eigengrau
(n.) “dark light” or “brain grey”; the color seen by the eye in perfect darkness

Who Cares?

In a era where people express their opinions on a  wide range of topics–i.e. black rights matter and feminism–it is very easy to disregard everyone else’s opinions because we don’t feel it worth while. It’s reasonable, considering the fact that we are selfish beings and what others think shouldn’t really bother us too much.

But other people’s opinions about these topics are worthwhile because we as humans learn from each other. When we hear other people talk about these various things, we are bound to learn something new.

Terrorists are a big issue nowadays and a lot of the population blame it on the Muslims. Sadly, they don’t realize that the Muslims are victims too. The reason society sees them as terrorists is because of what the public has said. And we, as humans, pick that up and drilled that into our heads: Muslims are terrorists.

But they’re not. Just talk to a somewhat close or familiar Muslim about this topic for even just 10 minutes. The fact that Muslims get arrested, suspected, interrogated, and searched just because of how they look and what they believe. Sad, isn’t it? The fact that these unfortunate events happen to them just because of how the media portrays them is, indeed, very sad. Though the terrorists attack Muslims too, they never get support or help just because they are Muslims, the “terrorists”.

Christians in this generation grow up learning and are told right now that gay people are bad, that gay people are sinners. Some even attack the gay people with the Bible. Society points fingers at these Christians, but try hearing something for 18 years; we, as humans, are bound to believe it.

We all have different opinions about gay people whether we are Christians or not. But there must be a confirmation: the Bible never directly says, “Gay people are very bad bad people and are sinners.” Yes, a city of gay people get blinded in the book of Genesis, but that’s because they were trying to rape an angel, so…

There, wasn’t that worthwhile? You have learned today that not all Muslims are terrorists and that gay people tried to rape an angel in the Bible.

Black lives matter. A friend finds that statement to be stupid because all lives matter. I agree. The problem is just that to the common American society, black lives aren’t included in the “all”. That is why this movement is a real thing and why it is such a loudly spoken topic. And people find odd figures to support this movement; it took a gorilla, Harambe, for the people to actually realize that this movement was a serious and legit problem. Seriously? What will it take for people to realize that feminism is a real and true problem?

Word of the Day: cafuné
(n.) running your fingers through the hair of someone you love

A Writing Community

I have literally just come back from my SATs. My test included the essay, and man oh man, I would have really liked my fellow peer editors in there.

If you are unfamiliar with the SAT essay, allow me to explain. Within 50 minutes, you have to read the passage given and state how persuasive the writer made his or her work. It’s not a lot of time, but it’s also not too little. But time wasn’t the problem for me. My flaws were. I just read over the essay in the last 8ish minutes I had left and silently wept. God, I miss my classmates.

There are four steps in the process of writing an essay:
One, planning and thinking.
Two, writing.
Three, editing.
Four, grading.

The third step is usually not considered to be important, but it is. Oh, it is.

Usually, I hand out my rough drafts to various people. Though reading the exact same work, some people make my paper bleed out with marks and others barely write anything, usually complimenting just about everything. Seeing their paper bleed out in front of them, some may find themselves feeling stupid and depressed.

I, on the other hand, don’t. Yes, it does break my heart to see my poor paper bleed out in front of me. But no, now I see improvement. Now I know how and where to fix it and why I should. The mistakes that I missed–spelling errors, grammar errors, punctuation errors–are now caught and have a chance at getting it fixed.

Through this editing process, I learn as both the editor and the writer. When I am editing someone’s paper, it is not rare to find an amazing statement or way of wording things. Amazing how much skill these high school students have in writing. The way some argue their statement so strong and firm is also amazing. Makes me want to just highlight those lines and never return the drafts to them. Oops?

And as I am correcting my paper with the help of other editors, I learn and figure out that my “ways” of writing aren’t always correct. To me, my argument may seem clear and strong, but to others, it may be super confusing. Just like that, I learn as I go. We all do.

It’s a give and take thing; I edit other people’s works and help them, and they do the same for me. Thus, a writing community.

This is why I missed my peer editors in the big classroom far far away from my comfort zone. I knew for certain that there are so many mistakes on the paper right in front of me. I knew for sure that some of the SAT essay graders will not be able to understand what I am trying to argue. I really wished this essay was bleeding in front of me so that I could fix it. ❤

Word of the Day: frisson
(n.) a shiver of pleasure