Tag Archives: high school

Photo Challenge – Favorite Shoe

29 Jun

Let’s clarify some things first about this photo:

  • This photo is my senior photo for the year book in high school
  • This is from a time in which I thought white socks were okay
  • My eyebrows were only moderately plucked to how I do them now
  • Those black jeans are actually kind of short
  • I have always liked tight fitting shirts despite them never being long enough for my torso
  • I’m wearing my Andrew Bird shirt that was eventually lost in Mexico
  • I have really awesome shows on

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about those shoes!

I’ve never really cared for the color red.  My shirt color proportion is probably 60% Blue, 20% Green, 10% Miscellaneous, and 10% Red.  When I was in grade school I refused to wear anything red.  Since then, I have slowly recognized red as an actual color… it’s been a hard process, but I’m almost there.

Now, those shoes threw everything I believed about red off.  They were black, red, white, and badass.  Sometimes I still dream about this pair of shoes.  They were just so unique.  The best part?  THEY WERE ONLY $10.  Seriously!  That little bit of money for a killer seet of Pro-Keds.  There are only a couple of things I regret in my life, and one of them is seeing another pair of these shoes at the same store and not buying them.  I thought that the pair I had then were going to “last forever,” but, alas, they didn’t.

Still, we went through a lot, and I’m happy they were there for me nice and snug.


More talk about my love for things!?  Check out the MASTER LIST for the photo challenge!


Photo Challenge – School Binder

28 Jun

I feel like this prompt on school binders (sorry… sorry… ‘prompt’ is such a cool word) is meant for teenagers.  HEY GUYS, let’s make a prompt for high schoolers!  Loser high schoolers who spend more time on the internet than with their friends!  …Wait, I’m just like that and I’m in college…

Anyway, I imagine that the prompt is expecting binder covers with sparkles and dinosaur puff stickers.  Well, my binder is one of necessity because this is the only binder I have available to me.  My photography binders from high school would probably be the ones up here…

Instead, this is my binder for my Advanced Media Studies course from the fall.  I’m keeping it handy because my final project for the course was on Kevin Keller and how Archie represents the gay identity through their idealized community.  I’ve been waiting on the third issue of his solo series for a little while now (finally ordered it through eBay… $3 comic… plus $4 shipping T_T), so now I can begin finishing up my article in order to submit it to some journals.  Just as a FYI, in that backwards image that I forgot to flip, there is an “A” standing proud and clear.

I also presented this article at the NWCA conference which was pretty fun.

So, there you go… there’s my loser green binder with white paper that has ink on it with additional organizational tabs.



For more of the lovely Photo Challenge peruse on over to this ‘ere link > MASTER LIST.

Hello, Goodbye

4 Nov

How many songs have less than ten words in them that impact you so tremendously?  I first heard this El Perro Del Mar song in highschool going through a rough relationship patch, and it made me feel like someone was speaking to me – as cheesy as that sounds.

It has that sort of gumpsion in its simplicity.  It catches you and lets you know that beginnings are simple as are endings, but we make them extremely complicated.  But, it’s okay that we do because its exhilarating.

Hope you enjoy.

COMM370 Week 15 Responses

2 May

I found Lorde’s general examination of difference quite telling.  I especially liked the quote that “it is our refusal to recognize those differences [in race, gender, class], and to examine the distortions which result from our misnaming them and their effects upon human behavior and expectation” (664).  This comment reacts to our “Post-___” society where people are trying to move past/ignore things in order to say that our society is through with them.  We cannot say that we’re post-racial because there is still racism, and anyone who ignores that is foolhardy.

I also found Lorde’s examination of poetry as a means to convey emotion for the underpriveleged very interesting because I had never particularly thought of poetry in that way.  It’s rather insulting then that literature publications often ignore and do not publish poetry.  I feel like poetry, as a whole, is a means of conveying hardship and relieving onself of emotions that rest heavy upon the heart and the head.  Therefore, poetry and even just literature should be encouraged at all levels.

bell hooks’ argument that the patriarchal system of society should be removed because it is the foundation of “all other oppressive [structures]” is very compelling (672).  It sort of seems like she argues that the patriarchal system is the root of all evil, and I can see this because it promotes domination.  The system emphasizes oppression in all forms which carries out to involve sexism, classism, racism, and discrimination based upon sexual identity.  She focuses primarily on sexism throughout her essay because it affects not just the public life but the private life, too.  When something is so pervasive as to affect such a significant amount of life, then it must be challenged.

Once again, the article by Thompson reminded me of being called a “fag” in high school just for expressing my negotiation of identity.  Thompson suggests that boys/men need to open themselves up to a wider range of emotions and acceptability.  So much of masculinity is based on aggression rather than compromise.  I have always tried to side on negotiating through problems without violence.  Now, that hasn’t prevented me of thinking about throwing a punch or two or being furious, but I’ve learned to accept that those people were dealing with insecurities about themselves rather than plainly just attacking me.  Plus, it would be a really scrappy fight that I would probably lose if I even tried.

Nevertheless, I did not have too many allies because I did not really talk about my negative experiences and discrimination during high school.  I mostly just shrugged it away.  Therefore, I did not have the supportive network that Ayvazian envisions because I handled it on my own.  My way may have not been too effective, but it worked.  Nevertheless, I can see how Ayvazian’s way would probably be much more beneficial if I had followed it.

I feel as if Nielsen and Lovato’s articles are relatively the same because they show how organizations can effect change.  For Nielsen, a small organization can negotiate wage disputes and benefit farmworkers while Lovato shows that activism and technology can also effect change.

The volunteerism article made me think about the volunteer work that I do.  I volunteer usually once or twice a week at The Grand Cinema.  This type of work definitely seems more on the charity side of things rather than the solidarity because I do not put much effort into it (I’m just working concessions), and I come out mostly benefitting myself rather than others.  Sure, the patrons get to have kindly service buying their popcorn and some good conversation about movies, but we don’t delve into deeper social issues unless a movie (like Waiting for Superman) comes along and brings those issues up.  My volunteer work is easy compared to what other people do.  Nevertheless, it does help things run, and I feel like I’m a part of something big and positive.  This article by Leonard does show that, for future volunteer work, I should look for something that provides solidarity rather than just charity.

Week Nine Responses

21 Mar

To begin with, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights seemed very thorough.  It seems to cover many of the issues with race, class, and gender in relationship to jobs or housing.  It covers many of the public spaces like schools and work, but it neglects to mention casual racism in daily encounters.  This is harder to uncover because there are not that many cases that can be found of subtle racism in the public.  This could very easily be, for example, a waiter not wishing to serve someone because they are a different race and they expect a lower tip from that table.

Nevertheless, the breaking down of the problem of racism, classism, and sexism is meticulous; it covers many different angles.  I found it really interesting to read, at the end, the notion of blaming the victims of discrimination (249).  As the document continues to explain, people often do not take into account the history that leads up to the present situation in these occurences; that this discrimination has become institutionalized to the point that it is hard to challenge it because it acts so subtly.

The collection of stories brought up some broader ideas such as  problems in the workforce (wages for labor, language, and harrassment) and problems with school (equal representation, income and race, and benefits).  I was also surprised to find that the articles provided a smidgen of respectable journalism by often criticizing the perpetrators and supporting the victims.  Nevertheless, I feel like this is much easier to do with a subject so clearly once-sided in its exploitation of the people.

The first article that caught my attention was the sweatshop factory forcing poor, immigrant workers to work for $3.79 instead of $7.15 an hour with ridiculous hours and hardly any breaks.  It was just surprising to see all of the famous companies that the sweatshop worked for.  It seems as if the migrant workers get caught in a cycle where they need the money, but can’t leave the situation because their families rely upon them and who knows if they’re going to get another job.  It also reminded me of melon farmers in California who get paid by the pound and have to carry on their backs the bags for the melons in overwhelming temperatures.  They then take almost no breaks for water or the bathroom. 

The two articles focusing on both attractiveness in the store and trying to get the workers to have sex with the manager were quite startling.  I felt that the L’Oréal incident where an executive demanded that the successful regional sales manager fire someone for being unactractive shamefully happens frequently.  However, it seems as if these incidents go unreported.  But these incidents with Abercrombie and L’Oréal show that there are instances where people are judged by their obvious outward appearance to promote a brand-image that do draw the media’s attention.  These are moments where others who have felt the same sort of injustice should stand up and challenge the institutions that have wronged them.  I feel the same way with the man who continually tried to get his employees to have sex with him, even forcefully.  Like the wage cycle, people get caught up in their situation because they’re at least surviving on enough money to justify continue working at the establishment rather than seeking a new job.

The State Police article by Jonathan Schuppe was also interesting because it showed how manly an institution the police force can be.  This also falls through with the army.  It seems as if women have a harder time proving themselves to be capable in these lines of work to gain acceptance with the men.  The men make the rules for the women to attempt to overcome.  They are the ones who stack the deck.  As shown through the article, the women can be higher ranking then the men, but they still suffer harassment.

The language barrier also seemed to stick out to me with both a judge and a restaurant owner attempting to control what language a person speaks in!  This obviously seems totally out of the bounds of reason for someone to demand that a person speaks in a certain language.  Yes, speaking in English as a common language does help businesses where there are people who only speak in English, but that does not give owners the right to demand that the person only speaks in English because, often, it is easier to convey your feelings in your native language.  It seems as if the judge completely steps outside of his judicial boundaries by ordering that people learn English as a requirement to gain access to their children.  All this does is just make it easier for the judge to understand them when really it should be the judge learning the other language in order to adapt to a changing environment where English is no longer such a primary language.

Discrimination also injects itself into schooling.  This is often the place where black kids and other racial groups are told that they are not going to succeed unless they play sports because they do not have the brains to learn.  Yet, it should be the school taht puts effort into teaching the students rather than the other way around by emphasizing sports.  Sports should become secondary to becoming a successful individual.

I found the article about Columbia High School interesting because I went to a public high school that also had ranks to the education.  I was put into the higher learning AP (then IB) classes where I was surrounded with the same people.  Luckily, I was surrounded with a diverse group of individuals, but we were separated with the main campus (which created much animosity) because we were deemed more intelligent.  The main campus consisted of mostly hispanic and white kids in this po-dunk town where there were probably a grand total of 10 black students.  These tiers were often considered elitist because it raised the best above the rest and the bottom went even further down.  Rather than considering that the lower level students were given extra care in teaching them subjects that they struggled in, it was the common perception that these people were dumber than the rest.  So, the varying levels of education came with many negative connotations.  I suppose this is a sticky situation to break down because you do want to work towards everyone’s different needs, but it is hard to do without that stigma.

The other articles about schools were startling.  The guidance counselors telling different students to go to different colleges based upon race and income was surprising mostly because I was told I could go anywhere I wanted.  Now, this was because I was in a school that viewed high school as a preparation for college rather than the last amount of schooling before working.  And, it probably had something to do with me being white and middle-class.  I just cannot imagine a counselor neglecting to tell me about a school because they do not believe in me.  Everyone should be given an equal opportunity if they strive for higher education and be encouraged to go anywhere that would best suit them whether that be a community college, state school, or private liberal college.

I could also relate to the Lesbian suing the school district over harassment article by Judy Peet because I was harassed in high school over people thinking I was gay.  Luckily, that was at the main campus, and I eventually moved over to the Hartman specialty IB campus where it was easier to be accepted.  I suppose these issues happen because it gives the perpetrator a power boost by confronting their homosexuality and proving how much of a man or woman they are.  They demean others in order to give confidence to themselves which is a vicious cycle.  I know that I never made my persons of authority aware of my harassment mostly because I shrugged it off for people being ignorant.  Nevertheless, it’s hard to read of someone struggle for help and recognition only to never, allegedly, recieve any.

Secret Pleasures #7: Power Rangers

26 Jun

How many 90’s kids can honestly say they didn’t love Power Rangers?  The answer: very few.  Words cannot express how cool the Power Rangers were and still are.

The ones that started the craze.

First, your history lesson:

There are 17 seasons, 16 generations, and a total of 99 different Power Rangers.  The latest Power Ranger season Power Rangers RPM premiered in 2009.  All in all, the Power Rangers have been one with dinosaurs, mystic powers, and natural elements.  They’ve been to space, the past, the future, and the apocalyptic future. They’ve been high school (and one middle school) students, cops, and cyborgs.

Second, my disclaimer:

Yes, I have watched at least a few episodes from every season of Power Rangers; however, most seasons I’ve seen every episode.  I even spent my last winter break catching up on season 17.

Bright colors + chessy pose = love

Third, why we love them:

Mighty Morphing Power Rangers (MMPR) was the knock off of some Japanese show but what the Japanese lacked was the divine cast of Tommy (green/white), Jason (red), Zach (black), Billy (blue), Kimberly (pink), and Trini (yellow).  They all had their interesting quirks but as a young white girl I loved the pink ranger (Kim) and had a crush on both the green/white and blue rangers (Tommy and Billy respectively).  Two other constant characters that made the show so great were Bulk and Skull.  They were absolutely hilarious.

Bulk kinda looks like a fat version of Tommy - at least in the long hair

MMPR rangers taught important lessons about being nice, playing fairly, and most importantly being active – every ranger had some sport they excelled in.  When Kimberly left the show because of a gymnastics competition I was disheartened, but the rangers supported her dream so I did, too (turns out the actress did some naked Playboy shots and never did anything worth while again).

But, when MMPR ended it wasn’t the end of the world; more good seasons followed.  Excluding the original, Power Rangers SPD is my favorite.

The numbers on the costumes are cool but for a season with two strong women they still get jipped with numbers 4 and 5

They’re police officers from the future and each has some genetic ability.  The green ranger, Bridge, was my favorite and could see auras which was good for tracking people or investigating crime scenes.  Bridge was also humorous, rambled, and had an obsession with buttery toast.  His character is probably why I love the season so much but it had its other good points. The rangers didn’t just defeat the bad guy, they went all democratic about it and judged whether they were guilty or innocent based on the evidence.

However, my biggest problem with SPD is the dog commander.  Really, a giant dog?  A giant dog named ‘Doggie’?  He stood on two feet and talked like a person so why couldn’t he be a person?  His assistant, Kat, was human with cat like features; why couldn’t it be like that for both of them?  I don’t get it.  Then again I’m not 10 years old anymore.

He's blue, too. WTF.

As for other seasons, Mystic Force and Operation Overdrive were okay.  Ninja Storm was interesting because they did unique sports that matched their element (skateboard/air, surf/water, motocross/earth).  The girl was also an aquamarine blue color instead of  stereotypical pink or yellow.

Some of my favorite episodes from all the seasons are the reunion episodes.  Whether the current rangers go back in time to visit old rangers or the old rangers are brought to the present it’s great to see different characters from different seasons coming together.  It’s also a good time to compare costumes and the ages of the actors (the MMPR are so old now).

These aren't all of them.

One thing I have yet to mention is the Zords.  Some people may argue that that’s what made Power Rangers so cool: giant robot fighting things.  I am not one of them.  I admit to still watching Power Rangers but of the 23 minutes per episode I only watch about 10-15 minutes of it.  Frankly I just skip all the Zord fights.  To little kids the Zords and explosions are way make the show so good.  To me it’s a little boring.  Yes, the terrible one-liners and puns are amusing but I feel like I’ve heard enough already that I’m not missing anything.  So, while Power Rangers is a secret pleasure I don’t enjoy every aspect of it, but don’t get me wrong – they’re great toys.

How many of these did you have?

Another thing worth mentioning in this post is that Power Rangers isn’t always all happy-happy, joy-joy.  They touch some crazy issues like Armageddon.   In Power Rangers RPM someone created a virus that made computers go all wack and start killing humans.  The few remaining members of the human race live inside a bubbled city.  Even more wack is that the robots have made slave camps where they experiment on turning humans into machines.  The green ranger, Ziggy, also used to be in a gang/mafia and the boss tries to kill him in a few episodes.  Watch the season and you’ll discover how dark Power Rangers can be.

Overall, Power Rangers is something I love because it reminds me of my childhood.  It’s bright, explosive, and the good guys always win.  Even for an adult like me it’s nice to believe in absolute good and evil, and redemption.  The show was great, the toys were great, it was simple great.

My Secret Pleasure: watching a group of ill punning kids take on the world’s greatest problems with pizazz.

“Smile” Reevu

8 Jun

A brilliant work!

I just zipped through Raina Telgemeier’s Smile today, and, I’ll admit, this young adult genre’d work pleases on a multitude of levels.

Now, consider that this graphic novel follows a young girl (Raina herself considering this is a short teeth-related memoir) through middle school and into high school.  Frankly, I’ve always had a problem revisiting these years in the things I read.  However, this graphic novel triumphantly captures the convoluted ups and downs of growing up… with a twist.

Raina knocked both of her teeth out in a completely unawesome, typical, nothing special way (racing), and we follow her through her dental mishaps and adjustments.  Her fears and doubts rise to the surface about – not only boys or school or friends – her teeth and the perception other people must have of her physically.

The art is simplistic but very emotionally charged.  Frames may seem familiar but completely different, and it really emphasizes that Raina has mastered this style.  I also really enjoy the coloring (and when the coloring breaks the formula on the jean patterns).

One of my favorite things about this work is its beats, layouts, and pacing (all of which are fairly interconnected).  Raina really knows how to hit right on the mark for when to stop, begin, speed up, slow down, and punctuate the story; this may be accredited to Smile beginning as a web comic.

Delightfully funny while having a great awareness.

This graphic novel really works for me.  As someone who doesn’t really delve too much into the young adult genre of literature or graphic novels, I have to say that I’m thoroughly pleased.  This graphic novel obtained the rare event of getting me to smile, chuckle, wince, and feel hopeful.  Although best suited for young adults or teenagers, this work is and should be accessible to anyone in any range.  The wonderful amount of respect and awareness to and of its content really raises the bar for what sequential art can accomplish in this frank, honest, and beautiful work.

Funny that my review began with “Smile Around the Face” by Four Tet…

Check out some more of Raina’s work and Smile right here!