The End Is Near

The school year is coming to an end. We are almost half way through the infamous AprilMayJune that everyone has been talking about. Adventure Trip is in just over a week, in depth night is in a few weeks, and then we will start studying for our finals. This year went by way too fast. I remember starting Talons at the beginning of grade nine, and then it seemed like I would be in Talons forever, just like it seems high school will last forever, but here we are. It’s almost the end of grade 10 and we aren’t slowing down, no matter how much we try to embrace these final months.

When I first started Talons, the new environment I was put into was so weird for me. I wasn’t used to talking in groups, or having so few guidelines when it came to doing projects. I wasn’t comfortable with it and I didn’t know where to start half the time. I was trying to crawl back into my shell because for the first time in my life I was in a class that pushed me to do better. I couldn’t continue to coast like I had for my entire life. In middle school all I had to do was smarter then 90% of my class and usually that didn’t take much effort. Now, I actually had to make an effort. Once in Talons, I never thought that I was going to be comfortable going that extra mile and using the part of my brain that involves using a higher level thinking.

Now everything we do in Talons has become second nature to us. Throughout these two years we have picked up new habits, and learned more about ourselves as learners and as people because we have been forced into those positions that make us uncomfortable. Through our group projects we have discovered our strengths and through our individual work we have discovered our weaknesses and how we can make them better. Then there are all our trips that have made us leaders and team players. Talons has moulded us into well rounded people while discovering what makes us unique.

Looking back now I wish I could have made some of those special moments last longer. These last few months I have completed projects that I never thought I would be able to complete, and I’ve pushed myself more than I ever have before. I’m so excited for the Adventure Trip this year and I am determined to make the best of it no matter what, not that that should be a difficult task. I think back to our grade tens last year and how emotional some of them were that this was their last trip with Talons. I didn’t understand why some were crying and thought they were just being over dramatic. I now know that they weren’t at all. I know I’m going to have to fight to hold myself together on the final day of the trip. A few of us were laughing the other day because we were discussing planning a get together, and instantly we were like, “Let’s make committees!” It was at that moment I knew Talons will be with us long after we’re gone, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Final In Depth Post

So our In depth projects are coming to an end so we are all starting to wrap up and figure out how and what we are going to do on In Depth Night. I’m not planning on doing a performance, so I’ll just make a learning center. I don’t think I need a whole lot because I want my learning center to be visual and simple. I don’t want writing because I figure if people want to know more they can just ask me questions. I believe that it will have more of an impact if I just have a bunch of pictures. What I’m hoping I can do is get my Dads work camera and take pictures of a whole bunch of different designs. I want a few really bright designs done, as well as some simpler ones you are more likely to wear in your everyday life.

I also want to bring some of the makeup that I have been using to show people and example which brush is used for what, and which ones I find most useful. I’m also going to be doing my makeup and hopefully Chelsea’s as well. Mine will probably be more simple and hers more bright, depending on what she wants done. My set up will be a bunch of pictures, either on a poster or something else, and then brushes and makeup set up on a desk for me to show people.

Themes Surrounding Death

Why do we cheer at death? Yes, Osama Bin Laden was probably the most wanted man on earth and yes, we have probably kept more people safe now that he is dead, but why do we cheer? Death of anyone should not be celebrated, no matter who they are. He was hated by many but there were people in his life that cared about him, and will be sad that he’s gone. I’m not saying that I wish he wasn’t dead, I’m just saying that a little respect for the dead is necessary.

Our reaction to Osama Bin Laden, and the talk we had in class today got me thinking about The Hunger Games and how they relate. When I read the book, I thought about what these poor kids were going through, being put into an Arena to kill each other. I couldn’t imagine being put into that position. I couldn’t imagine having to watch it either. Yet, people watch these games for entertainment. They cheer at the deaths of different districts, and mourn at the death of their own. I found it to be a terrible thing, but are we much different?

Even in our daily lives, the types of shows we find entertaining. There are shows like Survivor, which is basically the same concept without people dying. We find it interesting to sit there and watch other people struggle to find food, freeze in pouring rain, and get injured from being stung by a jellyfish. We watch that all the time and have no problem doing so. We also watch sports such as boxing which, no offense to anyone who does, is basically two guys beating each other up until one can’t fight back anymore. Sounds horrible right? But for some reason, we love it. So I thought about it some more. I like watching Survivor, I love gory movies, and I like to watch reality TV. If something like The Hunger Games was being played on TV, and it was socially acceptable to watch, I probably would watch it. Maybe not because I love to see people I know die, but because the idea is interesting to me. Does that make me a bad person, or does that make me human?

In Depth Post

So while I was in the States a few months ago, I bought this book called Eye Candy, which had a bunch of really cool (and bright) ideas for using eye shadow. I finally decided I had gotten a hang of it enough to try out a few of the different designs in the book. By doing this I discovered a few things; 1: My Camera is terrible and cant take a picture of my make up to save my life, 2: I’m getting a whole lot better at keeping a steady hand while putting eye shadow on and under my eye, and 3: I NEED to go to the Mall and get an eye shadow palette with some really bright colours. Between my Mom and I, we both have quite a bit of eye shadow, but its all the boring and practical colours that are safe and easy to use. What I want to do is go to Saphora and get one with around 10-20 really bright colours, so I can have more options when trying out all the designs in my book. The pictures below are what I want from Saphora (or something like it anyways) and the fail picture that I attemped to take after trying out the design called Bright Eyes.THIS IS WHAT I WANT!!Bright Eyes

Passage Reflection

“No, when the time comes, I’m sure I’ll kill just like everybody else. I can’t go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to . . . to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”

This quote really stood out to me, and for the other people who are reading this book. It’s mentioned a few times because it’s what Katniss and Peeta are trying to accomplish, as well as survive, while being a part of The Hunger Games. Although rebelling proves to be a problem later in the book, they still do as much as they can to keep their pride and make a point.

Peeta says this quote the night before they enter the arena. Katniss doesn’t fully understand what he means until she kills someone directly for the first time. Then she tries to act out by doing things that you’re not supposed to while playing the Games, such as care for others. When Rue dies, she sung her to sleep, then honours her body by covering her body in flowers, to show her respect. Her and Peeta also rebel at the end by almost committing a double suicide in attempt to either force the Gamemakers to change the rules back, or to die knowing that they disgraced the Capitol in the greatest way possible, leave them without a champion.

Peeta and Katniss do a good job of rebelling in the arena, but once they were out, they started thinking about the consequences to their actions. Katniss only worry in the arena was keeping herself and Peeta safe, and once they were out they started worrying about what the Capitol would do to them for making of fool of the Gamemakers. Then their minds wandered to their families. What would happen to them? They started playing up the whole “lovers” act to insure their safety as well as their families.

As a teenager, this is something I do all the time. I don’t like being told what to do, especially by my parents. Whenever they try to control me it just makes me madder and less likely to listen to them. My parents don’t usually try to act controlling with me but when it does happen my mind instantly starts searching for possibilities to defy them, without getting grounded for the rest of my life. This is exactly what they are trying to do in the book. They want to show the Capitol that they aren’t controlling them, without getting themselves or their families killed.

Theme Discussion

The book I was reading was called The Hunger Games. I finished it tonight because once I started reading it; I could not put it down. The book got me all worked up so when I did stop reading it I would just pass around my house mad. Therefore I decided I would just have to finish it as quick as possible so I could stop being angry. Incidentally, even though I finished, I’m still mad at the characters, so I will have to get my hands on the next book in the trilogy as soon as possible.

Today in class we discussed themes. What they are, which ones we found in our books, and how they were all interconnected. The major themes that our group discussed for our book were greed, power, justice, corruption, betrayal and manipulation. All these words reflect how the Capitol acts, and treats its surrounding districts. There had been a rebellion years back by District 13 and it was completely destroyed. In order to make sure none of the other remaining Districts rebelled, the Capitol would inflect fear upon them. One of the ways they did this was holding a yearly competition called The Hunger Games. By holding these games, and having children and teenagers forced to participate, they showed that they still hold the ultimate power, and that everyone else was just pawns in their game of chess. They force kids to kill each other for their own survival all for entertainment. It was also their way of reminding everyone not to screw with them or they could make your life a living hell, or just kill you.

When I looked back at all the themes we found, the fact that they were all pretty dark and depressing subjects to be main themes of the book. I went back into the book and tried to find some lighter, whole hearted themes but I couldn’t. There were all the small ones like, “If you believe you can, you will,” but even those seemed so artificial in the context of the book. All the themes that we did find sent powerful messages, but it would have been nice to discover something happy from the book.  Anyways I am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy, and I shall start reading Life of Pi and maybe listen to a CD or two.

My Choice is…

On Monday, we started this year’s novel study, and we a choice between a few different books, CD’s or movies. I thought about trying a CD or movie. I thought it could be something cool and new to try, but then I thought about my short attention span and decided against it. I knew that my mind would wander while watching a movie or listening to music so I figured a book was my best option.

I choose The Hunger Games for the novel study this year. It worked out nicely because I was planning on reading the series this summer anyways because I have heard so many good things about it. A bunch of my friends have been pestering me to read it and it also sounded like something I would enjoy reading. So naturally I put it as my first choice as book I would like to study.

For this novel study I am hoping to get through a few different choices, whether its books, CD’s or movies so I can compare them. Last year I only got through one book and I found that to be a disadvantage during discussions. Also, as I mentioned before I still do think it would be cool to study a CD or movie so I would like try that as well. I just wanted a book as my main one just in case I fail epically with the other two categories.

In Depth Blog #5

So the past few weeks I have been taking what I have learned from the MAC event, and applying it to myself. I have tried multiply things and found a fixed order of how I like to do things. I use different eye shadow for different times of day or for the different places I am going, but otherwise I have an order that I use basically every time.

Here it is:

  1. Primer (All over face)
  2. Concealer (Under eyes, around nose and anywhere else where it’s needed)
  3. Powder Foundation (Everywhere)
  4. Bronzer (Where the sun would naturally hit the face)
  5. Blush (Usually not a lot, just on cheek bone)
  6. Eyelid Primer (All over eyelid)
  7. Eye shadow (Varies from day to day)
  8. Eyeliner (If I use it)
  9. Mascara
  10. Lip gloss

 

So that’s my fairly set routine. I don’t usually wear make up to school (other than mascara) because I don’t find the time in the morning to put it on but I do wear it when I go out at night or go someone where I need to dress up. I have started experimenting with the different types of eye shadow I have found in my house and the different types of brushes and I find that I like to use eye shadow as an eye liner instead of a crayon or liquid liner. I’ve been using an angle brush and an eye shadow called Satin Taupe from MAC. I would use it as a darker colour on my lid then as a liner under my eye and it seems to work better. I have never been a huge eye liner fan but I tend to look unfinished without it. Using the eye shadow as a liner gives it a finished look without having to use an actual liner.

In Depth Blog 4

Yesterday was my ultimate in depth day!! I had been having trouble getting a hold of my mentor because she was in the middle of moving and was doing things with work, so I signed up for this one day event that MAC  was putting on. It was a two hour session with a few make up consultants and a small group of about 12 people. There were three stations that we would walk around to in groups of three or four and we would learn a different style at each station. The theme of the event was “Spot on Trends” so it was looks that celebrities have. The three stations were The Grammy Look, The Academy Awards, and The Everyday Celebrity. The pictures below are each of the looks that we were taught how to make.

I was taught a lot about the different MAC products, how to use them, and what they were used for and a bunch of tricks to applying make up to make it easier. The first look I learned about was the Grammy look. The few main important points I learned from that station was about fake eye lashes, important brushes and a product called Paint Pot. One of the girls in my group asked about fake eyelashes because she said that she always had trouble putting them on. The consultant told us that what she usually does is cuts the eyelashes in half and places them on the outer corner of her eye, and then she places the other half on top. That way you still get thicker eyelashes and it’s not uncomfortable. Next was the important brushes, and there are three of them. Its brush number 217, 266, and 22. Brush 217 is a good blend brush, number 266 is good for liners, and number 242 is great for highlights and primer. You can complete any look for your eyes with these main brushes and she also said to wash your primer brush regularly to prolong how long you can use it. The last important lesson I learned from this station was about a product called Paint Pot. It’s a primer you put on your eye lid before anything else, to make the eye shadow you put on after a lot brighter. I bought this afterwards because that’s the issues I was having with my eye shadow. I had tons of it but the colours weren’t bright enough.

The second station was the Academy Awards. There wasn’t anything memorable from that station that is important to share. It was all just basic steps to creating a chic and classic look. The last station was The Everyday Celebrity. This station was all about not over doing it with tons of makeup, just enhancing your natural look. Again nothing that important to share, but I did discover an amazing powder foundation that I bought for myself called Studio Careblend. I felt really sad though when she pulled out the shade called “Light Plus” and said it was my perfect shade.  

Oh, I almost forgot about another great thing that happened yesterday. Before I went to MAC style session, my Mom and I went to Sears to return some stuff and we saw my mentor there. She apologized for how busy she had been and asked for my number and gave me hers, so I am going to meet up with her when she has some time. So yesterday was a great day over all, and I got lots of stuff done.

Everyday LookAcademy Award LookGrammy's Look

This I Believe (Final Edit)

It all started with a little bit of peer pressure, a bad mood, and an unfortunate opportunity. I don’t regret what happened that night. I think it’s one of those things that need to happen in our lives in order for us to have a better quality of life. The mistakes we make teach us what’s right and wrong and from that we will can learn who we are and what we want. That night taught me that we can’t run away from how we feel, because in the end, it just leads to more disappointment.

A few months before that night, due to some unfortunate influences, I had gotten sucked into this vicious habit. Whenever I was upset about something I would look the alcohol for comfort. It was a Saturday afternoon and I took a look at the bottle that had been presented before me. I’d never had a strong desire to drink before, but the vodka that was just within arm’s reach was drawing me in. There was curiosity was bubbling up inside of me. I couldn’t resist the feeling of breaking the rules and we didn’t get caught, so why stop?

I still remember the feeling I had that night, like half of my insides were missing. All that was left was a gaping hole, and no matter what, I couldn’t do anything to make the feeling go away. It had been a bad week and my body had just shut down. My thoughts were scattered and I was distanced and distracted. All I wanted to do was fill the hole and to make sense of something to feel complete again.  At that moment, vodka seemed like the perfect filler.

So then it started. I took one shot, two shots, but it didn’t stop there. My friend kept up with me shot for shot. The first one tasted horrible like it had time and time before. I gagged trying to keep it down while grabbing for my 7 up. I chugged it back until the god awful taste was out of my mouth. Then I took another. By the time it kicked in I’d had way too much, but at that point it didn’t matter anymore. I didn’t care about how much I had or how bad it was for me. I was just concentrating on the fact that I wasn’t worrying or thinking about all the confused feelings that had been cluttering my mind. I finally felt a sense of calm and was smiling for the first time that week.

The bottle was almost done and we weren’t slowing down, or at least we had no intentions of doing so. I heard the sound of my mother’s heels on the hardwood floor above us. I decided to go upstairs to make sure I wasn’t just hearing things. I made my way up the stairs using the walls to hold myself up. I opened the door from my basement, and saw my Mom with her two friends. I said, “Oh, you’re home,” and just like that she knew something was off about me. She came up to me, looked into my eyes then pushed past me, storming into the basement, her two friends following closely behind her. I tried to warn my friend, but she was completely out of it, lying on the ground, texting, and completely unresponsive.  They found our little set up of shot glasses, the vodka, and chasers.  My mother stared at me with a look I had never seen before. It was a mixture of extreme disappointment and anger. She said, “Clean up, then go to bed, now.” No questions asked I started cleaning up.

It was a long night, full of puking, moving from bed to bed and getting dirty glares from my mother. Waking up the next morning was the most awful feeling you could ever imagine. I couldn’t believe what I had just done, but I finally realized how much trouble I was actually in. I was completely disgusted with myself. I was supposed to have people over to study that day for the Socials final, but my mother wouldn’t allow it. Cancelling it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. It was almost as bad as the next day at school when people starting asking me about what had happened. On top of that, the empty, confused feeling that I had been running away from was back, and worse than it had ever been. 

What happened that night was a huge eye opener for me. I had been humiliated in front of my Mom, her friends, my friends and got in quite a bit of trouble. Along with that, my parents also no longer trusted me. It took me a long time to earn it back, and I don’t think they ever will completely trust me again. I know drinking is somewhat common among teenagers, but it was the reason I choose to drink that scared me. I was doing it to numb feelings that I didn’t want to have. I thought that the alcohol was making me feel better, but it was all an illusion. All the alcohol did was trap and hide everything upsetting me, but once it was unleashed, it came back twice as hard. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe, and I was empty and lifeless. I had disappointed my friends, my family, and myself. The humility and disgusted I had with myself really made me think about me and what I wanted. I didn’t want this to become an unbreakable habit. From this I learned you can’t rely on artificial happiness to make you feel better and most importantly, no matter how bad you feel, just trying to ignore it or cover it up will make its worse.  I believe you can’t run away from grief without losing everything in life worth living for.