Thursday, May 21, 2015

Video of The Week: The Front Bottoms: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The Front Bottoms are one of my all-time favorite bands. I know almost all of their songs by heart. Their music makes me feel good no matter how upset I am and I almost cried when I got the vinyl version of their Talon of The Hawk album in the mail. This video is a bit longer than the ones I usually post but this is so worth the watch if you like pop punk music. So click below to hear one of my favorite bands play live. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Simpsons on Sexism

It is an undeniable fact that gender roles are introduced into children's lives from birth. People talk about how "she'll grow up to be a great mom." or "he's probably gonna play (insert sport here)." Parents who let their sons play with Polly Pockets or their daughters play with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures are ridiculed. When I was little I didn't question that girls played with "girl toys" and boys played with "boy toys." But the older I got I realized that there wasn't even a reason to assign genders to toys. If I wanted to play with a lightsaber I would play with a lightsaber! Although I didn't even learn that sexism was a thing until I was twelve, this episode of The Simpsons opened my eight-year-old eyes. This 2004 episode  titled "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" speaks volumes about the sexist ideas that are fed to young girls through the toys they play with. Below I added a piece of the script from my favorite part of the episode. The dialogue I included takes places right after Lisa goes to the Malibu Stacy factory to complain about the blatantly sexist doll.

"Don't you have anything relevant to say?"

Lisa: It's awful being a kid. No one listens to you.
Grandpa: It's rotten being old. No one listens to you.
Homer: I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me -- no matter how dumb my suggestions are.
(Homer holds up a can reading "Nuts and Gum, Together At Last")

What I Learned My Freshman Year Is...

So, I wanted to write some reflections on my first year of high school since our final week begins Monday. I heard a lot of different things about high school and had my own preset notions on it but really I made some discoveries this year that you can truly only make on your own. I was terrified of high school and the thought of moving from a school with about 700 students to a school with about 2,500 students. Every time high school was mentioned I started to freak out inside. Scheduling made me panic, orientation made me panic, so did open house and getting my schedule.

 In the weeks leading up to the first day of my freshmen year I was crying and freaking out a lot. Like, a lot. I tried asking for advice from upperclassmen I knew but no matter what they told me, nothing was helping. After weeks of panic and nervousness the first day finally came and by the end of the week I realized that my fear of getting lost in the halls and being late was something that wouldn't be a problem. Another thing that freaked me out was that I wouldn't have any friends in my classes and that I would totally lose touch with everyone I knew prior to that year.

 I thought I would end up completely friendless. That did not happen. Although I definitely grew apart from some people I still talk to and spend time with a lot of my friends from middle school. I made quite a few new friends this year too. I have surely made some friends for life. It hasn't really come through on this blog but I love theatre. I did my first musical in sixth grade and ever since then I have really wanted to perform onstage.

 Theatre brings me a kind of joy that I've never found in anything else. I knew that I wanted to be in the shows at my high school and when I got cast in the Children's Play I felt so proud of myself even though I only talked in one scene. Through that show alone I met a lot of the upperclassmen in the theatre program and finally felt like a real high schooler. It's worth noting that my high school does three plays and a musical each year but because of other shows I was part of outside of school I only auditioned for the spring Children's Play. Being in that show though, and meeting all of these other kids who loved stage performances as much as I did made me feel like I had finally found my niche in my giant ass high school.

 As you can probably tell, I've avoided talking about the bad parts of my freshman year and I'm doing that for a reason. Being positive is a difficult thing for me sometimes so as I reflect on the school year I am trying, not to ignore the bad parts of it but rather to just focus more on the good things that happened and the little lessons I learned. This year I was not like a white kid from a teen novel who learns all the answers to life's questions in her first year of high school. But, I am satisfied.