December 25, 2011

The Linguistics of "Here"

It is a bit silly to say that one is "here," to signify place. One is always here. One can never not be here.

Think about it this way: You are where you are. You are not where you are not. You would say, "I am here," because you cannot say, "I am there." They very definition of, "there," is not the present location, A.K.A., not here.

So, I can say that I am here, and I will always be right. That means that by saying, "We're here!" I am not stating that I am in a specified location, like at the restaurant where I am meeting people, but that I exist at a location.

Similarly, the familiar annoyance of, "Are we there yet?" holds no water. "We," can never be, "there," because, "we," always exists in the place that they exist, which is always, "here."

Now, let's all go on from here speaking with correct usage of the words here and there. Remember, we can only be here, because there is not here; it's a letter away.

Make sense?

Your Writer,

Duke Young Writers' Camp Review

It's a long time overdue, but here it is.

This camp is not one easily summarized, not just because the classes were great. The inexpressible heat and humidity may have made the environment a bit uncomfortable, but believe me, that is the only bad part.

The environment: Apart from Mother Nature, it was caring, fun, and marvelous. I met people there who I know are life-long friends. The Readers' Forums are a great way to showcase your work with a kind group of fellow writers. It allows you to practice public speaking skills, develop confidence, and afterward, others can talk to you about your writing. It's incredibly helpful.

It has been said that writers are competitive, but you wouldn't know it by looking at this camp. Hours were spent at camp sitting around on the common room floor, writing, editing, peer reviewing, and reading aloud to others. Everyone is eager to help and support each other in writing to the best of their potential.

You get some serious writing done, but there's also quite a bit of fun in free hours. From going to Ninth Street, to activities, to hanging out, there is always something to do!

The lodgings: It's a freshman dorm, but it's honestly not bad. There is air-conditioning--the place is freezing, but you can ask your counsellor to fix it for you. Most campers have one roommate and then everyone is apart of a larger living group of people of their same age and gender. Of course, girls and boys are in different, adjacent dorms, and then younger and older campers are on different floors.

The classes: This is the important one. You must remember to choose your classes wisely, because the classes you take determine how much you get out of this camp. You can change your classes on the second day of camp if they don't work out for you. Just make sure that you pick classes you're interested in.

Once you've done that (which I did), you'll love your classes! I learned a lot from my classes, but it's very important to have an open mind. If you go there thinking that you know everything, or that the class sucks, you won't like the class. However, if you understand that your teacher is a professional editor or writer or whatever else, and you take their advice, and work hard on prompts given to you, then you'll strongly benefit from your classes. I know that I have.

Afterword: I loved my time at Duke Young Writers' Camp, and I'm really hoping to go back this summer. I recommend anyone who's interested in writing and meeting some amazing people to come to camp at Duke University!

Your Writer,

October 30, 2011

Halloween Strategies

Today's Halloween! Which, by the Transitive Property of Object and Circumstantial Equality equals AWESOME.


Candy=Candy and Pumpkin Ice Cream
Candy and Pumpkin Ice Cream=Sugar Rush
Sugar Rush=Happiness and Energy
Happiness and Energy=All Nighter Watching Scary Movies and Peeing Your Pants But Also Fun
All Nighter Watching Scary Movies and Peeing Your Pants But Also Fun=AWESOME
So, Halloween=AWESOME

August 07, 2011


It's Ramadan again, so I thought I'd give you some quick Ramadan-related updates.

Yes, it will suck to start school while hungry.

Well, actually, this may surprise you, but I have actually GAINED weight in the last 11 days of fasting.

This year, Eid is on August 31st.

Yeah, I'm still in touch with my Duke Young Writers Camp friends.

Your Blogger,

July 06, 2011


It's my birthday! Yay! Now I'm...still younger that my entire grade, and I still can't drive.... Whatever, I'll settle for having an awesome time with friends.

Now, I wrote this post because I want to hear about your traditions! In my house, my family doesn't ask what I want to do for my birthday until the day before, when I inform them that I have invited my friends over to the pool. Later on, we order pizza and ice cream cake, and we sing "Happy Birthday," in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish (depending on who is there).

What are yours? Do they involve full meals, parties, radioactive goblins jumping out of cakes, movie marathons...? TELL ME. I AM SO. DARN. CURIOUS.

Your Older Writer,

July 03, 2011

The True Meaning of a Word

Have I ever mentioned this before? I'm not sure. I find myself saying, "...and I have very specific ideas about word usage," quite a lot. Now is the time for me to finally explain my idea.

See that? I didn't say that this was my speculation, or my theory. I said idea. How different is that! Isn't that wonderful? Every word means the same thing, but in so many different ways! No footnote in any book could ever explain every connotation, every meaning, every facet, every way with which the word is spoken! It's simply impossible.

I'm starting to believe that there are very, very few people who actually realize the beauty of language. Voice in a writing isn't really about the voice, it's about the words. It's about saying something with the right words. It's about saying anything with the right words! Saying "shake," and "vibrate," are two incredibly different things, but two incredibly different things with the same meaning. In all the great written works, I can assure you that every word has been planned out tighter than a freshly botoxed face. Each syllable has been plotted to ignite a certain thought, to add a special color to the scenery you have imagined in your head.

That is my point.

My point is that words are special. My point is that no word is like any other--they each mean something so far from its supposed synonym! It is so important to choose your words carefully, because it can change everything you say!

I suppose I can't write much more on the subject without sounding like a madwoman, and so, I say good night.

Your Writer,

June 27, 2011

My Return!

It seems that I have fallen prey to the trap that at some point takes us all as bloggers, that scary luck that tears us away from our computers, that thrusts us into the scorching sunlight, that forces us to begin every post with the same ill-fated words, "It's been a long time, loyal readers...."

Indeed it has! I fear not only that it has been too long, but that when I have finally gotten back to this keyboard, I had just been reading A Picture of Dorian Gray. Beware purple prose, but I'm just in the mood, if you would not mind.

Now that I've gone meta, I seem to be out of the mood, but not entirely. Well, let's continue this, shall we?

First, for an update on my life. I've finished my SparkLife series (old news), I've gotten another article posted on SparkLife , as well as another edited version of that article published on Teen Ink (which you can rate by clicking this link). The biggest news, however, is that "My Syria" will be published in the August issue of Teen Ink, the PRINT PUBLICATION!



Most of my readers are also writers, so I hope you understand my euphoria when I say once the magazine is printed, I am a legit writer! I am not just a blogger, not just someone whose frivolous posts made it onto SparkNotes, onto another website--I. Am. A. Writer.


As a side note, isn't it strange that our legitimacy relies solely on the recognition of others? How pathetic does that make us? We, whose niches are to reveal life, entertain the mind, invert the eyes, we cannot see past our own egos and need for validation. We rely on others for our self-realization, and as wordsmiths don't create another name for that pretentious impersonation of what that term is meant to mean? It seems I hold great contempt for myself, but this is a post for another time.

Also, I will be attending Duke Young Writers' Camp next month, for which I will write a review later on.

I am truly sorry for neglecting this blog so.

Your Writer,

June 02, 2011

Diary of A Freshman: The End

During the last few months, I've had many Diary of a Freshman drafts on my Blogger account. I kept telling myself, "Well, don't post them just yet! You need to wait, spread them out!" It's the last week of May now, and I've been hit with a sudden realization: Freshman year is nearly over. There are no more posts to write, no new freshman experiences to be had. This year is over. Along with the joy that comes with a new summer, there is an emotion I certainly did not expect. I'm already feeling a strange sense of nostalgia coming over me, for something that isn't really gone yet, so I have one question for myself.

Why the hell am I going to miss freshman year?

The answer comes to me before I've even finished the thought. It's because freshman year is apart of me. Yes, I know, all experiences become apart of you, but this year especially. It wasn't as fun or as miserable as I had expected, it was something else entirely. It was like I started a new life. I made friends with people I never thought I'd be close to, I pursued interests I never would have before, I became myself. I've grown in so many ways and I've achieved what I'd previously considered impossible. I can't exactly put into words what this year has meant to me. It marks for me an entirely new era of my life.

Every person, at some point in their lives, is four people: the person you are trying to be, the person you are acting like, the person you wish you were, and the person you are. This year I forgot about the other three, and I learned to be the person I am, and I can honestly say that I've never been happier.

I had no accurate idea of what this year would be, I had no accurate idea of who I was, no accurate idea of anything. Perhaps I still don't. All I do know is being a Freshman is about change.

If I were a different person, a reader of this blog, a third party watching my life, I would not look at this past year and say, "Wow, what an amazing time!" because it wasn't all dandy. Objectively, it wasn't very good at all. My pre-Freshman self would have thought this to be a rather bad year. Now? I would hardly change a moment. The point is, know that your mind WILL change, and if it doesn't, you're not doing it right! Freshman year is about creating yourself and finding the missing pieces, and most of all, about growing up, so if you are doing it right, you're probably not like you were a year ago, and you might not be sure of much anymore, but that's alright, because the chaos, and confusion, and heartbreak, and sadness, and fun, and pain, and joy are all part of freshmen year. This has been a year of turbulence--exciting, nerve-wracking turbulence. And just as in turbulence your life flashes before you and you come out of your plane thinking, "Now I know what's important!" freshman year is equally, if not more so, changing.This year of turbulence isn't a guarantee that the next three years will be trouble-free, and it's not a guarantee that any year in the rest of our life will be simple! But I like it this way. Let's hope to God that every year is as challenging as this one has been. After all, an easy life? Where's the fun in that?

Your Content Blogger,

June 01, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Finals

Remember how in middle school, you'd take a couple tests, give a few presentations, then did almost nothing for about three weeks? Well, high school is nothing like that. You use every last day of class to learn material, and on the last or penultimate day of class, you take your final. It's crazy. It's stressful. It's sleep-depriving. However, you can save yourself.

Do not make my mistakes.

If all of your finals are easy, at LEAST review the subject somewhat. Believe me, you won't regret it.

Also, you may want to set multiple alarms so that you don't oversleep on the day of your French I did. (I didn't miss it though!)

If you are given a study guide, do it quickly. My way of studying for the math final was learning everything that my teacher failed to teach, and I don't think doing it all the night before helped much.

Pack your backpack before you sleep. If you're like me, you'll forget your calculator and evidence of extra credit. Believe me, it sucks.

Basically, be prepared for a very stressful week. Don't get too bummed out, though. They position the hardest week of the semester right before summer, because you spend so much time studying that you go into a coma for the first week of summer break. Finally, you are able to just rest!

Wait, no, that's a lie, because you have a summer math assignment. Seriously, I'm not kidding.

Well, have fun with that!

Your Final-Taking Blogger,

May 24, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Teacher Bias

There are certain teachers in high school who, when grading an opinion piece, will be extremely biased in grading because your paper reflects an opinion differing from their own. This, of course, is complete crap.

I've learned the hard way that if you try to talk to them about your grade, they will yell at you in front of the class and they will act like a child. So what do you do? Make your paper damn awesome. Give them no reason to give you less than you deserve.

Never. Buckle.

If you get another ridiculous grade, stand up for yourself. Never let them win. Never wave it off, because it's your grade. Do not let them convince you that it's unimportant because it is your grade!

If you're ever in this position, make sure to WIN! Good luck.

Your Blogger,

May 06, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Overload

Ah, May. The flowers are blooming, the sun is out, and students are in that carefree, homestretch period of the year.

Oops, I got a bit of that mixed up--we're not carefree, we're buried under a mountain of homework. Take my weekend for example. It's finally stopped rainy, the weather is nice, and it's a three day weekend. So what am I doing? Procrastinating. Yes, that is relevant, because to procrastinate, there should first be something that I should be doing. What I should be doing is finding and reading House on Mango Street, finding out about Degas, writing a speech about him, translating it into French, and then presenting it on Tuesday. Then, of course, I have a project on temperate forests due on Tuesday. I have three tests on Monday, all of which I need to study for. I need to read a chapter on Agriculture for Human Geography, and I have my AP test this Friday. Yup, on Friday the 13th.

As you can see, May is busy.

Of course, after this Friday, there will be almost no reason to go to school anymore.

However, there is more to May than finals! A bunch of clubs will take applications and hold informational meeting during this time of year. Remember, just going to one meeting doesn't mean that you're committed to the club forever, so don't be afraid to go to a few to see which ones you like.

This is also a great time to find out what you'll be doing this summer. If you're not going out of town, think about going to an educational camp. It'll look great on your college applications, it'll make you better at whatever area you'll be studying, and it will allow you to explore exactly how much you like that field. For example, I'm going to the Duke Young Writers' Camp this summer!


I'm taking Dark Fiction/Black Humor for my morning class, and Experimental Fiction for the afternoon class, and I cannot wait!

To find a summer program you might be interested in, you can go to Teen Ink's website, where, by the way, I am PUBLISHED.

It's been a good few months.

Your Writer/Blogger,

April 18, 2011

Why Don't Tongues Get Tired?

I run a mile--

HA! says the malicious reader.

Fine, I run a hypothetical mile.

Not even in your nightmares.

OK! I run the length of a football field and my legs start to feel tired. I pick up my million ton backpack--Anything to say, reader?

No, even I know that your backpack is monstrous.

You would know about monstrous. BURN. Anywhom, then my arms get tired.

So how come if we talk for hours, our tongues never get tired? Our tongues are muscles, and we have feeling in them, and we use them so often, that it must get sore sometime.

Then again, because we use it so often, maybe it's just incredibly muscly. Does that mean that a mute person's tongue would feel sore after a bunch of tongue-anaerobics? Don't look at me like that, it makes complete sense.

Even so, every muscle gets tired eventually. Everyone, your homework is to do a few push ups with your tongue. Report back. I'm sure my hypothesis will hold.

Your Overthinking Blogger,

April 15, 2011

New SparkLife Post: My Syria

So I'm Syrian American, and what with everything happening in Syria--Oh, you don't know what's happening?

Then you should go here to learn about it from the perspective of a Syrian American. Can you guess the author?

From Your Writer,

April 03, 2011

Innovators Are Strange

When I say innovators, I don't mean the engineers that build cars or anything. I mean the first people to ever do a certain thing.

Think about it. Who in the world first said, "Hey, let's tug at a cow and drink whatever fluids come out of them!"

Who decided to put little seeds into a the ground, and consume whatever sprouted upward?

Who said, "Let's throw some rocks into a fire!" to make plaster?

I have an answer. Time travelers.

In the future, they said, "This whole hunting-gathering thing sucks. I don't even have a home. This is world's only permanent settlement. But hey, we have these things we're calling se-ads in the basement. Maybe if we starting implanting them into the ground a few thousand years ago, we could have large groupings of people!"
Then the other guy says, "Yeah! Good idea! Hop into the time machine I made while mooching food off the rest of the group."

And so agriculture began.

Without agriculture, there could never have been time machines, says the infamous reader.

LIES! Well, fine, if you won't accept that, then aliens, says I.

Aliens were just ahead of us, so they came over and did us a favor. They're hoping that now that we're indebted to them, we can do them a favor later, like, you know, sacrificing our planet to them.

Don't look at me like that. It's completely plausible.

Your Clearly Sane Blogger,

March 29, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Science Fair

Recently, I went through a awful process. It was dark, and scary, and named SCIENCE FAIR!

Ask any Math/Science/Technology student in my school--the worst part of our magnet is science fair.

It is a blood-sucking leech, draining the social life and sanity out of us! I'm naming it Hirusocia. Hiru- because Hirudinea is the class under which leeches are classified. -Socia because social. Yeah, Latin's weird. Hurisocia causes many a brain to explode around January. This can be seen between classes. Observe: various students are running around frantically, screaming about how they haven't even started their projects yet.

Which brings me to another point. Most people's projects contain a certain amount of lie to it. In fact, two years ago, there was a project about how much of the average science fair project at our school was fake. According to his findings, the average student faked 51% of his/her project. Or is that fake?

Hirusocia is worse for some, it was just "not fun" for me because I was in Behavioral Sciences. Just so you know, that's regarded as the easier category. That's understandable. Because of this, though, it is usually a large category, meaning more competition.

From my proposal in October to the Science Fair in February, I procrastinated on every step. Don't be like me! It was hell. I kept planning so do work, but then I kind of blew it off. I'm an awful example.

Don't oversleep on the day of science fair. Also, when you see that you're waking up at the time at which you had planned to leave, don't tear the plug out of the wall to make your alarm clock stop. First, check to ensure that's it's not your phone.

Do not forget anything at home, because your parents will be mad if they have to drive downtown to bring you some forms.

You may want to print out a few copies of your abstract. It'll help the judges remember you by.

And about the judges--yes, you'll just be standing next to your board for 90% percent of the 8 hours you spend at the venue. Yes, all the judges will be listening to the unoriginal project four spaces down. That guy will get scholarships and internships and first place--do you know why? Because he did about a million statistical analyses.

On the bright side, a lot of the projects are really interesting. Mine, for example. I discovered that people in my city are not prejudiced against people who are Hispanic. But I got beat out by, "Science UN-Fair?!"

But that's cool. I'm over it.

On the other bright side, it is very easy to sneak food in. Also, there was a trivia contest in the break room, and I DOMINATED, and therefore, I was given prizes. (Yes, there was a Harry Potter portion.)

On the stunningly bright side, however, the more you look on the bright side, the higher your chance are of going blind.

Science fair felt like a waste of time. However, if you feel like you have a chance at winning, or if you just feel like trying, then go for it!

Your Blogger Who Is Incredibly Relieved To Be Done With Science Fair,

March 22, 2011

Music Review: Angles by The Strokes

The Strokes, famous for their amazing debut album, Is This It?, and an equally stunning sophomore album, Room on Fire, broke up after the third album First Impressions of Earth. Apparently that one was a dud.

It seems that with this newly put-together band, everyone has their two cents to contribute when it comes to discussing Angles. Since last year, I've been in love with The Strokes, so naturally I've been stoked for their new release.

A large part of the reason that The Strokes broke up was that Julian Casablancas, the singer and frontman, made the other band mates feel as if they were apart of a creative dictatorship. It makes sense that now they all have a hand in writing the music and lyrics, right? Of course, because of this, the sound would get more experimental. Well, that 's good, right?

Well, not exactly.

It seems that that Strokes sound is all Casablancas--Angles lost it, with it reappearing only in "Under Cover of Darkness." The Strokes Sound has been transformed--I loved the sound! Unlike quite a few critics, though, I don't think this album is miserable.

Among the new songs, there are a few gems.

  • "Machu Piccu"--definitely different than all their previous songs--is wonderful! With great buildups and guitars, and with Casablancas' one-of-a-kind voice, you won't be able to stop yourself from singing along.
  • "Two Kinds of Happiness" gets experimental, but is undoubtedly one of the best songs. It has epic guitar solos, that semi singing-in-the-background sound we Strokes Lovers have come to adore, and not-quite-heavy drums.
  • "You're So Right" has me screaming "This is all so wrong!" Casablancas' voice is flat, the song gets boring, and the techno destroys everything from the singing to the drums. I'm listening to each song as I write about it, and this one is giving me a headache and my face is scrunched up in disgust. This song is a demerit on the Strokes' record. I must finish this paragraph so that I may change the song.
  • "Taken For a Fool" is my favorite song on this album. It's taken me a full minute to write this sentence because I keep breaking into dance. I love the guitars, lyrics, and singing. It's not The Strokes Sound, but it's still amazing. It's not super dance-y, like the crap on the radio, but it's one of the faster tracks. I can't think of anything to dislike about this song. It's exciting, it builds up and then lets loose with some great guitar, and--ok, can you please just trust me on this one and allow me to spend the rest of the song singing and dancing? Thank you.
  • "Games" isn't remarkable, but it's not bad. It doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album. It can get bland at moments, but the chorus is good. This one has a slight techno tilt to it. I do love it, though, as Casablancas sings, "One more daaaaay / One more niiiiiiight." It actually makes you feel something, as apposed to the rest of the song, where's I feel more or less like, "Okay, write about this song, then I'll just skip to the next."
  • "Call Me Back" is the slow track of the album. This drumless song, the silence filled with a loud keyboard and an only slightly repetitive guitar, makes you sway. What my problem is, though, is that you start to anticipate this huge buildup where you expect they'll burst out with a loud guitar, and Casablancas will start sing-yelling the lyrics like he does so well. But all we get is a slightly faster guitar, and then we're left feeling unfulfilled.
  • "Gratisfaction" is happy, upbeat, and light. Some say it borders on "silly," but I don't mind. It's reminiscent of 80s rock--I feel like I should be snapping my fingers to this track. This one actually does stand out from some of the album. I never expected a song like this from The Strokes; it's so different from their music up until now. Well, I suppose that's what happens when five people are writing a song rather than just one.
  • "Metabolism" sounds an awful lot like "You're So Right," and I use the word awful for a reason. It sounds like "You're So Right," with the techno toned down, thankfully. "Metabolism" isn't too bad, but it's got the overpowering guitar and the boring sound. As certain times, the music will get loud, but the problem is that the guitar plays the same chord for the entire few seconds that it lasts.
  • "Life Is Simple In The Moonlight" is good. It starts out slow, then the drums lead us into a louder, slightly faster part of the song, with Casablancas singing with emotion that gets you on your feet. This cycle repeats a couple times, but never fails to keep you entertained. I am in love with the guitars on this one. I really like this song, and I wish I knew the lyrics to sing along with it.
This albums doesn't exactly meet expectations, but it's a transformed band--the music is transformed as well. I miss the classic Strokes Sound, but I don't think they've completely done away with it. I'm hopeful for their next project, and until then, I'll be rocking out to Angles--even if I must skip over a couple.

7.8 Stars out of 10!

Your Strokes-Lover,

March 09, 2011


If you celebrate half-birthdays, then does that mean that on full birthdays you have to use twice as many candles, one for each half-year you've lived? You would need a huge cake just to fit all the candles by the time you turn ten. If you have a huge cake, you'll need a large number of people to eat that cake. Then again, if you have two birthday parties a year, then they become less important, meaning that less people will feel obligated to attend.

Well, at least the local fire squad will attend. What happens when you're eighty and have no breath left to blow out 160 candles?

If you start celebrating your half-birthdays, are you required to celebrate every half-birthday for the rest of your life, or do you just have to acknowledge that they exist through your candles.

Maybe instead of having a candle for each half-birthday, you could just have half a candle for each half-birthday. You would just have to break a lot of candles.

Or you could be sane and efficient and just celebrate your birthday once a year.

Nah. That makes too much sense.

Your Blogger,

March 07, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: The Origin of All Drama

My year has been wonderfully devoid of any drama. It's heaven.

However, after talking to some of my friends about it, it seems that this isn't really a universal thing. (Sorry, readers!)

As I reviewed my year in my head and my peers shared their Drama Diaries, I found a common denominator in every situation--boys.

No, I don't mean that if anyone with a Y chromosome waves at you in the hallway you should run screaming to the hills, I'm just saying every story has been, "Boyfriend did this," "Ex-Boyfriend said that," and "I let it slip that A likes B."

So why don't I have these problems?

"Because no one likes you and you're destined for spinsterhood?" says that très penible reader.


Because I have perspective. How does this work? Well, you see...

Perspective > Seeing things clearly > Realizing that you know no one worthy of your romantic time > Not dating > No drama!

That, and I'm Muslim.

But remember--this doesn't mean I have any less of a high school experience or anything. Quite the contrary; I get to look back at high school and think, "Wow, I had so much fun with all my various friends!" Others can think, "Wow, I never realized how many Ben & Jerry's cartons I finished, how many hours I spent by the phone, and how many idiots I wasted time on."

Theory of Freshman Culture, Behavior, and Interaction #4: Social drama and strife is commonly caused by romantic relationships, endeavors, and situations.

Don't get me wrong, though--I'm not recommending that no one ever date. I'm just reporting my observations. If you decide to go all Lonely Hearts Club on it, be my guest. If you do date, be prepared for possible drama.

Your Drama-Free Blogger,

February 28, 2011

My Second Published Post

My series on SparkLife is like my first publication, and I'd be SO happy if you guys read it! If this wasn't published on SparkNotes, I would have posted them here, as a part of Diary of a Freshman.

Here's the link!

February 24, 2011

I Have a Great Article For You Guys


Ok, well, there's this great post on SparkLife.

Can you guess who wrote it?

Yup! It's me!!! I'm not just writing a POST! I'm writing a short series on SparkLife!

Getting something published on SparkLife was my goal for the year, and I'm surpassing it! This is amazing!

Thanks to all my readers, because if no one read this blog, I might've stopped writing and the post would be nearly as good as it is.

Also, thank you to the best person EVER who helped me edit!!!

Ok, I'm calm now. Let's see how many people have commented.

EEP!!! I am SO not calm. This is amazing!!

Your Estatic Blogger,

February 19, 2011

Why Is Wind Cold?

Why is it that when it's warm out (it's 60˚ and sunny here!), and the wind hits you, it feels cooler than the air around you? How do fans work? It's air of the same temperature of the air around you, so why does it feel colder? How do fans work????

It makes no sense! Who says that velocity is freezing? How is there windchill? It's not like the wind just whisks away all the heated molecules! Well, unless it does. But then wouldn't the wind just distribute more heated molecules onto your body? Well, maybe we feel cool in the moment before it settles.

This still makes no sense.

Why not? Because the reason you get cold going outside is that when there are molecules/particles with a lot of heat (Particle A), they want to share until all the particles around Particle A have the same amount of heat as Particle A, and the cycle spreads. Ergo, if the particles in the wind have the same amount of heat as the particles right around you, then the wind would not help!

Which means there is only one answer to this question: Hallucinations.

That's right. We get very hot, and we wish that there were some wonderful gust of air to magically cool us down, and our brain obliges. Does that mean that we are all crazy?--well, that doesn't sound too off the mark to me.

But then again, we may just live in The Matrix.

Your Blogger,

February 16, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Gym Thief!

So, as it turns out, the one day you forget to lock up your things, your things get stolen.

To be specific, your clothes. Yup. I went to go change, and my shirt was missing, along with another girl's necklace. A few weeks ago, $50 and a debit card was stolen too.

Whatever chick is doing this made a huge mistake--she messed with me.

Not to mention, she did so while my thought process has been hijacked by progesterone and other crazy period-related hormones. She's going down. Well, once we catch her that is.

Moral: ALWAYS lock ALL of your things up. Or else you'll have to ride the bus home in your gym clothes. Not fun.

My Plan: Another friend and I will stakeout the locker room (we won't let anyone see us in class, so they'll think we're absent) and catch whoever keeps stealing from us. When she is caught, she can only hope she leaves with an unbroken nose.

Plan B: Hope that there's a camera outside the locker room to see who entered the locker room from the non-gym entrance.

Your POed Blogger,

February 09, 2011

Valentine's Day: The History, Use, and Impracticality

It's almost Valentine's Day, which means that it's time for the annual "V-Day sucks!" post. Unless you're talking about Velociraptor Day. I'm cool with Velociraptor Day.

Valentine's Day started when some guy named Saint Valentine married people in secret while the Roman Emperor outlawed marriage for his soldiers. Then Valentine was put to death. The End.

We celebrate Valentine's Day on the fourteenth because that's the day he was killed and buried. Romantic, right?

Now, no one uses the 14th to elope, but rather to pay $4 to get your school to deliver a balloon that 5 hours later, your valentine's bus driver will force her to let go of. It's mostly, of course, time for couples to prove to themselves and others that they have genuine feelings for their SOs. But let's be honest--they're probably only going to be dating for another week or so, and soon thereafter, they will be all, "Yeah, that was such a mistake. I don't even know why I went out with him/her!" Let me answer your question: It's because you are a child with no perspective.

Valentine's utmost use, however, it degradation and assertion of social status (I'll discuss this more later this week). Not only are boyfriends expected to make some public declaration of their undying love, but when and if such a thing occurs, do you know what nearly always happens? Something like this:

V-DAYer: Hey, what's up?
GIRL: Nothing, I'm cramming for th--
V-DAYer: Oh that's cool. Oh, you want to know what this is?
GIRL: No, that's ok.
V-DAYer: Matt just got it for me. They're roses he planted and grew himself with love water and they were nurtured by the sound of puppy giggles.
GIRL: Uh, ok...
V-DAYer: And these roses have the ability to serenade me. Because my boo just cool like that.
GIRL: Yeah, well, I sit with him at lunch, and he's constantly talking about how annoying you are and how hot your best friend is.
V-DAYer: Oh, you bitter girl, don't you have any magic singing flowers?
GIRL: Nope, thank God, those are incredibly creepy.
V-DAYer: It's ok, you'll find someone someday. Maybe. But until then, you need no boy to validate you!
GIRL: I think you're at least pretending to be nice, but don't worry about it. I honestly don't care.
V-DAYer: Whatever makes the tears go away.

Valentine's Day is incredibly impractical. I'm not even going to attack the meaning of V-Day now. We have so many holidays that are on the 2nd Tuesday of May and the 6th Day beginning with T of July and all that, but Valentine's couldn't be the second Friday? This year it's on a MONDAY! And you know what? People are still going to expect something special out of it, then when one says they need to study for their math test, the other will proceed to stuff their faces into a carton of their new boyfriends, Ben & Jerry, and cry themselves to sleep, sobbing, "This is the worst Valentine's Day EVER!", right before they type a passive-aggressive Facebook status.

Happy Velociraptor Day!

Diary of a Freshman: Homecoming

Here at Crimson High, we have a football homecoming and a basketball homecoming. You never read a post about homecoming because I didn't go. I predicted it would be lame and awkward, and I was right. So while my classmates were being yelled at by the assistant principal, I was watching a Pretty Little Liars marathon.

This Saturday is the basketball homecoming, and now that the novelty has worn off, at least a third of your friends will have decided not to come in favor of something like sleep, shopping at the new Forever 21 (TWO FLOORS! I can't wait to go), or cleaning their rooms. But just because you're not going to homecoming doesn't mean your day has to be boring! In fact, most people feel compelled to party in their own way on the night of homecoming. This Saturday another one of my friends who is above the whole stand-around-awkwardly-looking-for-someone-to-talk-to-and-maybe-dance-in-such-a-way-that-you-will-be-embarrassed/ashamed-later ritual is coming over to watch the last season on Doctor Who in order to prepare her for the upcoming season.

And you know what? We're going to have FUN! In fact, we'll most likely have more fun than if we went to Homecoming, because we're not into popularity contests (cough cough Homecoming King and Queen), and other lame things associated with second-caliber dances.

The moral: Don't confine yourself to having fun in everyone else's way. Do whatever you'd like to, and forget the hordes of people rushing to homecoming in too-short dresses and 4-inch stilettos, who have obviously forgotten what a disappointment the last dance was. Just don't waste any of your time.

Your Blogger,

February 05, 2011

I Have A Question For You

For my AP Human Geography class, I and 14 other people will have to orchestrate an event to raise money for a charitable organization.

We have decided to sell tickets to a Student Film Festival. The films will all be about 10 or 15 minutes.

I just want to ask you all something, because I want this event to be as successful as possible. If kids at your school were having a Student Film Festival (hosted in your school's nice auditorium), would you attend? Under what circumstances (Exp.: A Friday night, your friend is in a movie, etc...)? How much would you pay for a ticket?

Please help, not only is this a grade, but if I know how to get people to come (I'm the leader of the Communications committee), then we'll be able to help children who are blind, hard of hearing, and affected by AIDS.

Your Blogger,

January 31, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Scheduling

Hey look at that! Another freshman experience! You know what that means...


I should totally get a theme song.

Anywho, today my school had Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors beginning deciding on their classes for the next year. During fourth block (my study hall, how unlucky is that?), all Freshmen trekked down to the auditorium where they reminded us to take our required courses (thanks for that golden nugget of wisdom) and where we laughed obligatorily at our counselor's catch phrase--"...but I'm over it"--and they finally handed out the scheduling booklets!

Something little to remember: when going to take your seats, stand near a friend so that you can ask them questions and talk to them and so that you don't have a seat next to that smelly person with darting eyes.

Something equally important, if not more so: do NOT go to sit with your friend who has a boyfriend/girlfriend, because then you will be sitting awkwardly next to a pair of friends playing footsie, and gosh, that is not fun. Only do this if you have another friend who is not sitting with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend.

In case you're interested, I'm taking my magnet specific classes (Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Chemistry, and Intro to Computer Programming), with Advanced English 2 (believe me, advanced English classes aren't difficult! Only take honors if you have some horrible, life-threatening allergy to effort).

To fulfill my social studies requirement, I'm taking AP World History. AP European History would be boring, methinks. It's about Europe since 1450, which I'm sure would include talks of kings and queens that I would mix up, and there would be lots of dates to be memorized, so no, thank you. Instead, I will learn of the world since 1000 C.E. Who wouldn't love that? I assume that we'll learn a lot about Chinese and Ottoman Empires, and that interests me! Tip: Pick classes that interest you and will benefit you later on.

For my world language credit, I'll be attending Advanced French 3. By the way, [in most schools] your teachers have to sign off on your choices for next year's classes, so if you take an Advanced or AP class, it is extremely unlikely that your teacher will let you downgrade to an Honors class.

I'm also taking Study Skills, of course. I don't think I can survive without it. Granted, I currently use my study hall to goof off and I survive, but let's think about it this way: If I goof off in study hall, then I can pay attention in other classes, because it's out of my system! And I know what you're thinking--why not just take Life Skills? Well that's simple! Because I don't want to.

Then, the number one perk of being a sophomore--the non-Study Hall electives. I think I'm taking Oral Communication and Debate. I like arguing. I think I could write some amazing speeches. I need to learn this stuff because it is good to know for life. Also, in eighth grade, we did a brief debate unit, and not only did I dominate, but I loved it! So of course I want to take it now!

Then, of course, are the alternates. If your chosen elective class is full, then they will place you in your alternate class. Alt1 is American Sign Language, with a Dual Credit Creative Writing class as Alt2, and AP Statistics for my Alt3.

Anyone else find it strange that this Math/Science/Technology student, this self-proclaimed cool nerd, takes only communications classes when given the choice?

Another thing to remember: Your parents have to sign on your scheduling booklet to say that they approve your choices.

Your Blogger,

January 26, 2011

Boys Must Be Freezing

Ok, so you know how girls have long hair? Well, in summer our hair makes us too hot, so we put it up, and then we feel cooler. Does this mean that all boys' heads/necks are colder than the heads/necks of girls? Are they just freezing all the time?

Humans are mammals. Mammals have fur. Fur keeps you warm. Fur is hair. Hair keeps you warm. Girls have more head hair to warm their heads and necks. Girls' heads/necks are warmer than guys'. My transitive property-based logic is fool proof.

Could super-cold heads lead to less productive brains? Wait, no, I don't think so. By that logic, hippies would be geniuses, and so would people with crazy extensions, and we all know about them.

I asked my guy friend if his head and neck are colder than the average head and neck of a girl. All I got was a, "What?" That just means that neck/head coldness is their weakness, therefore must be a protected secret.

Also, readers, I've just found a perfect present for every guy with normal hair: a scarf. They aren't blessed with the natural scarves we have, so they will always need scarves!

Your Insightful Blogger,

January 21, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Phenomena Finished!

Remember Unexplained Phenomena and Phenomena Solved? Well now it's finished.

An important thing to remember is that if something matters to you, stop being childish and fix it.

That's what I did.

Six months after all of this had started, I sent my friend a message saying, "Can we just be friends again?" to which she replied, "Yeah, of course we can be friends again!" Not so hard.

Now we're friends just like we used to be. We still have our separate groups of friends, but we always talk when we get the chance, and I like it better this way. I'm glad that we both stopped being prideful or whatever else we were.

So I think this will be the last "Diary of a Freshman: Phenomena _____!" Unless, God forbid, there's a Phenomena Reinstated. *shudder*

The point is: It's high school, guys--grow up!

Your Mature Blogger,

January 20, 2011

Word-Makers, Get It Straight!

I noticed today, while I wasn't doing homework, because the Oracle Teacher said there would be no school tomorrow, that 'awful' and 'awesome' have the same words in them, but mean opposite things!

AWful and AWEsome. Awe means a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. I wouldn't mind being awe-inspiring. Awesome means extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear. However Awful means very bad or unpleasant.

AWE has the same meaning in both words, but aweSOME means great and cool, so if you have logic, then awFUL would be super great and cool!


If someone took Latin and tried to figure out the meanings of these words, do you know what would happen? Death. That's what would happen. Because if someone who prided themselves on being able to find the meaning of any word with their knowledge of ancient languages found out that a words' definition was the opposite of what he thought it would be, then we all know they would implode. That's why so few people speak Latin and Ancient Greek--it comes with risks. And imploders implanted in your brain.

I think I'll going to start saying, "Cookies? Awful!" and then others will say, "Awful? Why are cookies bad?" and I will look at them in a confused manner, wondering why they don't understand and I will explain, "Awful is more awe than awesome so it is better. Awesome doesn't contain enough awe to explain how I feel about these cookies." Then they will laugh good-naturely and say, as they always do, "You're so strange."

Your Blogger,

Diary of a Freshman: Important Things About Gym

Important Stuff: Remember sneakers.

More Important: Remember socks, or else, oh the chaffing possibilities!

Rather Important: Bring a sports bra.

Very Important: If you forge a note saying that you can't play for whatever reason, remember to text your parent telling them about the note and asking them to just go with it if they get a call from your gym coach.

Your Blogger,

January 19, 2011

Diary of A Freshman: My Teacher Is A Psychic

Does anyone have a psychic teacher? Well, I do. I have his study hall "class," but he's really the AP Environmental Science teacher (which means I get to play with turtles!). The reason I think this is because he is somehow always able to predict snow days. He hasn't been wrong yet. We all secretly believe he's the one who decides these things. He says that tomorrow, we'll get early dismissal (no gym!) and a snow day on Friday.

So I won't bother with Friday's homework.

It's rather strange that he hasn't been wrong. I had an argument today with an MST student about the theoretical probability versus the experimental probability that he's correct. We settled at a 95% chance, because we're nerds like that.

How does he know these things, though? I think it was the snow gnomes, or perhaps the snow day fairies. When does he communicate with them, however? Well, he does spend an awful lot of time going through this big metal cabinet where he is blocked from view by a mix of filing cabinets and ficus, which, by the way, brings a whole new meaning to the term "concrete jungle." If you look at the big desks and the snakes' terrariums, then it's a high school jungle! (Think: Mean Girls) Ah, how I love the Environmental Science room.

But I digress.

To the point: It's obvious that he either collects snow gnomes who tell him what will happen, and he uses his environmental science and years of teaching to figure it out, or b) he's trapped snow day fairies who give him information.

Seriously though, he is never wrong. Students now just pop into his classroom between classes, to ask, "Hey, are we having school tomorrow?" and he will reply confidently, and no one ever even bothers to turn on the local news to find out if he's right.

That's why Crimson High is awesome: We have our own early snow day alert system. We know a day before everyone else!

When do snow fairies come out? I assume they come around at the same time that the county makes their decision. Which means I dislike them. They waited until I was leaving the house before telling me I could've slept in! I don't hate them, because they do good things for us, but it's kind of backhanded. Like a backhanded compliment, like, "I love your shirt, you can't even see your tummy flab in that!" To which of course they will respond, "I don't have flab!" Then to make it as backhanded as possible, look at them with a pitying expression and say, "Honey, your gym locker is right next to mine; yes, you do."

So, yeah, snow fairies are just like that. So my teacher isn't really psychic, he just collects mythical creatures, which as we all know is MUCH more probable.

Your Blogger,

P.S. We were let out at noon, exactly like he said we would.
P.P.S. It was just announced that we have Friday off. Oh yeah!

January 14, 2011

200th Post!

I recently began my 2nd year of blogging, and now this is my 200th post, and do you know what that means? It means that I'm changing my profile picture!
Do you SEE it's majestic lepuprechaun-ness??? It's beautiful! For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, look to THIS POST. I don't think more than one person read it, but I think it was among my best, so my new profile picture is the picture of a Lepuprechaun, which I made. It looks really good if you squint.

I really have got to thank all the readers and subscribers, without your comments of encouragement, I might've quit a long time ago, and that would have been awful.

By the way, I opted out of the 100 Something List. Too much work, not enough items for a list. And let's be honest, does anyone want to go through such a long list?

I want to give a shout-out to Holly, Ren, Orchid, Ninja Monkey, Brave Chickens, and A-Goya!

Thank everyone so much! Oh, and cue the confetti, Jimmy!
Talk to you in the next post! You guys are the best!

Your Old Hand Blogger,

January 13, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: Excuses For Every Gym Activity

I am Nadia. Not Nadia The Fit. If anything, I am Nadia The Devious. Or Nadia The Strange. But for our purposes, I am Nadia The Devious. Why? Because I have an arsenal of excuses that never fails. Would you like to know them? Of course you would! (Feel free to borrow.)

1. Sorry, no finger/self-esteem-crushing volleyball for me! I dislocated my shoulder a few months ago.
I really did, but back in sixth grade, I used a similar method to escape volleyball by keeping a wrist brace (that can be bought at a supermarket) on for an extra month. This can get you out of A LOT of stuff. Tennis to basketball, you're done for the year if your doc's note says this.

2. Awkward unflattering unisex shorts? Can't, it's indecent, and that's against my religion.
If they ask which religion, say Islam, and then if they're like, "But you're not brown," yell, "RACIST!" and then explain that you're a convert. Or say that you're a religious Christian.

3. Touch football outside in 90 degree weather? No can do, allergies.
Seriously, tell an anecdote about how your eyes puff up and that your mom used to make you stay inside during recess because of your allergies, and they might just allow you to do your read in the shade of the gym, or at the very least, tan in the bleachers. (Those stories are true, and this does work... Well, it did in middle school.)

4. You want us to run a 6 minute mile? Oops, strained my knee!
Straining isn't a very serious injury--minor strains fix themselves within 10 days, and Health teachers know it simply as one of the most common joint injuries, where you overstretched a muscle, and that they can become very serious. Just point to a bit of your shin two inches below the knee, and be like, "Yeah, ow."

5. Jumping jacks? Ok! One, t-OW! Darn, hypermobility!
This is easy to pull off if you are flexible. People who are crazy flexible have bone problems. No one ever questions it. If interrogated, invoke the words "lock," "hurts," and "weak." (I just checked Wikipedia, and hypermobility goes hand in hand with dislocation! Man, I am gonna do nothing this semester!)

6. Man, I wish I could play, but I'm in a science experiment!
If you go to a school that puts a lot of value on science and science fair, then this will work. Make up an experiment about the relation of happiness to exercise and say that you are a part of the control group. He might be so flattered that there's a project about his subject that he'll let you sit to keep a resting heart rate.

Good luck doing nothing! And wish me luck! I'm putting #1 to the test on Tuesday!

Your Lazy Blogger,

Diary of a Freshman: Oh, Gym Class

Yes, it's that time of year. The time of year for the class that incites fear in the hearts of millions. Well, at least to half the freshman class.

Ding ding ding! We've got a winner! You're right, it's Gym!

"No one said anything. And even if they did, they would have already seen it on the title of this blog. Also, this isn't a game show," says that annoying, ever-present reader.

We should give you a name. How about Illogical?

"Well that makes no sense, since I'm the personification of the logic which thwarts the ideology of your strange--some would argue disturbed--child-like thoughts."



Moving on! You se--Whoa, wait a sec! My computer is doing that thing where the cursor disappears and I can't tell where I'm typing! I love it when this happens! YES!--You see, I had my first real-ish gym class today, and because this is Diary of a Freshman, I felt that I should inform.

So today the agenda was taking a survey to help with a university study going on at the university across the street that Crimson High works with a lot. After that, we got our lockers, but we weren't required to dress out.

About that; a lot of people were quietly voicing thoughts like, "I don't want to have to change in front of the other girls." I'm telling you, I feel for ya'/them, but once you realize that EVERYONE feels kinda like that, it's suddenly not such a big deal. Everybody is self-conscious. Seriously. Today we had to check out out BMIs and see how much of us is fat, and this stick thin pretty girl was feeling self-conscious because she didn't have curves. See? Evidence that everyone is self-conscious and we therefore have nothing to feel self-conscious about! It's like multiplying negative integers. One person's negative thought X Other person's negative thought = Positive Self-Esteem. I like math. :D

About the Body Fat Index thing, I have a 21.4 BMI, which is perfectly healthy weight, but a 30.7% body fat index. You know why? Because I'm a GIRL. Keep the fact that girls have extra fat because we have boobs and butts in mind when doing this, and it becomes a rather irrelevant number.

We also checked out weights. DO NOT fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. It just sucks. Also, if anything, it's the BMI that matters. Another thing: If you at least act like you don't really care about what the gym's scale says, but act confident nonetheless, then NO ONE ELSE WILL CARE. True stuff.

Most Gym classes will require sweatpants or shorts, and a school t-shirt. NEVER forget socks and shoes, because it is not fun.

Pray you don't get the perv teacher.

Very Important: Do not lose your locker combination or forget which one is your locker. You will die. Write it down everywhere! Sticky notes, your phone, your shoes, anywhere! Also, if you have a good friend in that class whose style is not stealing your things and has an awesome memory, then tell him/her your combination, too. In my class, I am that friend. I currently have one extra rattling around in my head. By the way, when you shake your head around, can you feel your brain hitting the inside walls of your head? I can.

Your Blogger,

January 11, 2011

Diary of a Freshman: The Real Purpose of Facebook

As with any social networking site, be it Facebook, or Myspace, or Twitter, it may be used with two motives.

The first motive being to stay in touch with people, and to have contact with people. This is usually not the sole motive, however. This may also tie in with the other motive.

Social status. Yes, that is the ulterior motive. It's a way of affirming and asserting their social status. You see, with statuses and Twitter, you can notify everyone that you are having a good time, and that you have a life. These two things are central to being "popular," but even more important to being popular are the ranking friends. With wall posts where your ranking friends can write, "You're awesome, lets hang" or a reference to an inside joke, it will be transparent to see that one is a member of the Dominant Culture. This, of course, is not the only way to let everyone know that you have friends and a life--pictures are important. Now, they make sure to only take a couple per hang out session to say, "I'm having so much fun--just look at my silly face!--but I'm having so much fun, that I didn't want to waste more than a few moments taking pictures." It's not a tough language to decipher.

People do the second thing whether they know it or not. Most people are either trying to infiltrate the Dominant Culture, convince others that they've infiltrated the dominant culture, or asserting that they are apart of the Dominant Culture.

Theory #3 of Freshman Culture, Behavior, and Interaction: The members of the Dominant Culture assert their membership through publicly displayed social interaction, while others use this to their advantage in order to project a persona appealing/similar to the members of the DC.

Your Sociologist Blogger,

Mini-Blog: Late Snow Day

Today I awoke, checked the internet for a snow day--there was none. So I took a shower, got dressed, packed my backpack, and I was heading out the door when my dad said, "I think you have a snow day." WHY did they only say so at 6:10???

My school district is two things; mean, and dumb.

Your Blogger Who Is Hoping For A Second Snow Day,

January 09, 2011

Standing Up For Ponytails

Go to your wallet. Take out a quarter. Look at it. No, not the eagle, the other side! What's on it? A guy. No one really knows who he is, but he's a guy. An important guy. He at least resembles important guys from the late 1700s. And do you see what's on his head? Yes, that's right--a ponytail.

Mr. Quarter, the revered Mr. Quarter has a PONYTAIL. How is it that Mr. Quarter may rock a ponytail on the quarters in our pockets, but Mr. Person may not wear a ponytail without facing powerful stigma? It. Is. Wrong. I say that if one may do it on official American currency, then we should respect it in public on Mr. Person. Mr. Quarter is NOT above the social law! However, he is on the quarter, so it would be hard to change that, so let's change social law.

Wait a sec, doesn't that break some law, or ethical thing? You know, changing the law to fit someone, instead of someone changing to fit the law?

Ok, then, social law revision: All men wearing ponytails must be shown contempt.

Wait, does that mean I have to change the name of this post? Nah, I'm lazy.

Ok, off to do homework!

January 02, 2011

100 Book Challenge: 2011

Again this year I will be taking on the 100 book challenge. I will probably lose again--last year I had only 35, but I think I'll just keep doing this until I get to 100. So let's start!

Here is the post in which I will keep the list of books.

1. Seeing Redd (good)
2. Anna and The French Kiss (addictive!)