A warning for Collegeboard

Dear Collegebaord,
     Ah, so we meet again. Only this time, I’m not being faced against your AP test, yet your other, darker spawn of evil: the SAT. What makes your creation so feared is that it is 10 sections of doom and almost four dreadful hours. But what almost kills me is the fact that you choose to administer the test on a Saturday. At 7:45. Thus, I awaken at an ungodly hour to prepare myself for battle.
     My pencils are as sharp as a blade. My calculator is loaded with fresh batteries. My snack is tucked away in a Ziploc. I am ready with all my tools. Yet, my biggest weapon that I shall weild upon you tomorrow is my brain! Muhahaha! You may have prepared some crazy distractors, yet I will conquer them. You may have included an extra Critical Reading section, but that’s the one I studied most for. You may have ensured that an evil proctor minion with bad body odor will create a distracting environment. I don’t have anything for that, so one point for you.
     But despite your evil plot, I will succeed! My brain of steel will outsmart your smarty pants and conquer! So put anything at me, really. I have faced your ridiculous nature and photography prompts, so give me another stupid prompt, like food. Bring it! I’m ready Collegeboard.
     See you tomorrow promptly at 7:45. Watch out, because I will own you.

Mia Colvin
SAT Champion

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PETA being stupid. Again.

There are a lot of things in this world that make me roll my eyes: spam mail, sixth-graders smoking pot, and the obnoxious price of college tuition.

But what I read in the news today not only has me rolling my eyes, but my jaw dropping, snorting in disbelief and exclaiming the classic, “Really, are you freaking serious right now?”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is suing SeaWorld claiming that the amusement park is enslaving its orca whales, thus wanting the animals to be protected under the 13th Amendment. Of the United State’s Constitution.

Gays can’t even get married and you want whales to be entitled to given a human right? Gays, whom are human, are being denied human rights to equal opprotunity and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s a little too soon to classify animals as humans, don’t you think?

PETA has sued SeaWorld on behalf of five orca whales. Last time I checked, you can’t sue on the behalf of someone else. So unless Tilikum and the four other orcas ask PETA to help them, they are going to have to continue being “slaves” to SeaWorld. Sorry.

And there is no way you can call SeaWorld a slave master or even compare it to the slavery conditions of the 19th century. These whales are domesticated, they are given a luxurious domain, they are fed constantly. Yes I know they were taken out of the ocean to be used as entertainment, but welcome to the Circle of Life/the food chain.

By going off of PETA’s argument that the marine animals are being used as slaves because they are “kidnapped from their homes, kept confined, forced to perform tricks for SeaWorld’s profit” (according to Jeff Kerr, PETA’s general counsel), dogs are slaves. Dogs were taken from the streets, kept in shelters with cages, forced to sit, shake, roll. But I don’t see PETA filing a complaint for Fido. All domesticated animals could be considered slaves. But that’s simply ridiculous, isn’t it? Exactly.

PETA is just an outright extremist animal group. Your “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaigns are extreme and raunchy. Your suggestion that Maine should educate children about the ills of lobster catching is extreme and idiotic. You are just extreme and idiotic.

Animal rights in general area joke. First off, chickens on a farm don’t have feelings and don’t know that you will be cutting off their heads in two seconds. And secondly, if it tastes good, why are you so concerned? Again, it’s called the Circle of Life/food chain. Humans are on top, animals are not. Plain and simple.

The PETA v. SeaWorld law suit will not go very far as the motion has no validity. PETA, find something else better to do with your time.

This doesn't look like slavery to me...

Truth v. Media

Well, there you have it. After four years of being locked in  prison, Amanda Knox has been acquitted after a 10-month appeal process.

Now the true question is whether or not she did it. I personally don’t think she did. Knox’s main argument for the appeal was the fact that her DNA was not found on the knife that slit victim Meredith Kercher’s throat. And the prosecution analysis of the weapon was declared shoddy and unreliable during the appeal case. Um, if this doesn’t scream reasonable doubt (thanks, mock trial), then I don’t know what does. How can someone be guilty of a murder if they didn’t even hold the murder weapon?

 Exactly.

Throughout the trial, Knox has been named “Foxy-Knoxy” and even “she-devil” by lawyers. There were so many interpretations of Knox’s character, it was hard to decide if she was “angelic” or “diabolic”. I’m sure that the “diabolic” side could have been attributed to the fact that Knox was doing cartwheels outside the police station or making out with her ex-boyfriend and co-defendent at the crime scene. But last time I checked, these are not signs of murder. At all.

As with the Casey Anthony trial, the media played a ginormous role throughout the trial. Thanks to Nancy Grace (and her loud mouth), the media convicted Anthony as a baby-killer. But in Knox’s case, the American media portrayed Knox as innocent and as a victim of a corrupted foregin justice system. Knox is a Seattle native who was studying in Perugia, Italy. So is there a sense of bias in American journalism? Um, probably.

England (the victim’s home country) portrayed Knox as guilty. Italy (where the crime occured) portrayed Knox as guilty. When the verdict was read, shouts of “Shame! Shame!” could be heard outside the courtroom. This is exactly what happened in the Anthony trial: outburts of anger at the verdict.

What’s going down here is that people are too lazy to read into the respective case itself. They rely on the media to give them the whole details. This really shouldn’t be an issue, seeing as though journalism should represent an objective, unbiased perspective. But, in both Anthony’s and Knox’s cases, this didn’t happen. I’m not saying that the media shouldn’t be relied upon (especially since I want you to rely on me when I become a journalist); I’m saying that people should research each case on their own before making a decision. This includes reading about both sides and what each side has to offer. Don’t just jump to conclusions because Nancy Grace gives her heated argument. Obviously, it is biased.

The media has a powerful influence: people all over the world depend upon it to give them the latest news. It is a disservice to the profession when only one side is represented in an only positive or an only negative way.

So if you are angry at Knox’s accquittal, can you provide any reason that has presented in the case as to why she is truly guilty? I would love to be enlightened.

How I remember 9/11

Where were you on 9/11? Our nation pauses to remember.

I was 7, 10 days before my 8th birthday. I don’t remember waking up, getting changed, or any other mundane day-to-day routines. I do remember standing in my parents’ room, with my mom to the right, watching the TV. It was the older, bulkier TV. On it was the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, engulfed in dark, black smoke. It was a clear, cloudless blue sky–a day not meant for such horror.

At first, I didn’t understand. All I saw was two structures burning. I didn’t comprehend that it was a terrorist attack or that it wasn’t an accident.

This was just before school had started, so all four attacks had already occured. I don’t remember if there was any contemplation if I would go to school or not, but I did end up going. I was in Mrs. Vela’s second grade class and if I remember correctly, the majority of the class was there. The attacks were addressed, but the whole day was not centered around it. Us students were not given a clear, direct explanation of what had occured.

Ten years later, I find myself looking at old YouTube videos of the attacks and trying to get a better glimpse at what went down that day. On live television, you can see the second plane hit the second tower. Live. That is something you see in the movies, sure. But something that is happening in real life? Unbelievable…

Where were you on 9/11?

I’m a SENIO12, betch.

For the longest time, I have been looking forward to my SENIO12 (the 12 forms an “R”) year. Disney Channel made a movie about it (HSM: Senior Year, remember?) and it’s not even that. There is something that makes you want to say hoo-rah about being Big Man on Campus. And now that it’s here, I’m not really seeing it as how I wanted it to be.

That could probably be because my schedule got totally screwed over and instead of taking a full six-course load, I have now had to down size to a five period day. And the lanyards. I understand why we have to wear them, but I still think it’s the stupidest thing ever. If some intruder really wanted to come onto campus, they could just buy a lanyard at Target. What. Ever.

In case you haven’t noticed, my senior year really hasn’t been going too well so far. It’s not what I wanted it to be.

But I still have the highest hopes and plans for my senior year.

First off, college apps is where it’s at right now! I’ve started the informational boring unintellectual part of it but that’s about it. I already have some essays written, but I feel the ones I have now could be twenty times better. Yeah, but these really are going to take a long time so it is time do them……now! Well, maybe not this second…

Mock Trial just went from being an after school activity to help me become a more articulate speaker to plain fun! It has now become my baby after taking it over from Lauren and I’m pumped to see the program grow. Flyers went up for the informational meeting last Friday and the meeting is on Thursday (for those interested). As the president, I am looking forward to planning and running all the practices and watching the noobs go from bad to less bad. Ha! No, but my goal is to have everyone improve on at least one aspect of the trial process. And personally, I want to improve. I want to be able to deliver those sketchy objections with confidence, even if I’m wrong. I want to memorize an entire closing without cues from the paper. And I want to have an intimidating presence in the courtroom.

Academically, I want to do the best I can. Realistically, all A’s are not going to happen (physics taught me one thing) and I know that. So let’s just see how the course plays out and if an A is a stretch, I will still go for it. For me, senior year has to be my strongest year academically so let’s see how this goes.

And in between all this academic stress, I want to have fun. That means, going to all football games (senior pit, anyone?) and dances and just enjoying the time left with the besties. College is just a mere year away and this is the last time I can see everyone everyday. So here’s to senior year. I’m going to make the best and the most of it! Go class of 2012!

Beauty really is pain

In ancient China, women’s feet were bound with bandanges to prevent them from growing. The foot would then break multiple times and could never be fixed.

Oh. My. God. This just sounds so excrutiating, right? Well, yeah. But in Chinese culture, it was considered beautiful for women to have small feet, at a cost nonetheless. Foot-binding even prevented women from walking without support. Which brings me to my point, is it worth it to sacrifice your comfort for looking good? In The Clique novels by Lisi Harrison, the main character Massie says, “It’s more important to look hot, than to feel hot.” Do you agree? Read about some more instances where comfort is compromised.

High Heels/New Shoes
Beauty: When I was told by Bank of America to validate my debit card with a purchase, I immediately went out at bought two pairs of shoes.  I love how high heels instantly elevate a day outfit to night and how a wedge elongates your legs. Shoes really do complete an outfit and that’s why people buy them a lot. The Real Housewives even have whole closets dedicated to shoes.  
Pain: Ok, so the shoe looks great and all, but holy crap, breaking them in is one of the worst things ever! I got a pair of Sperry boat shoes and they were super stiff. It took me a good three weeks to break them in, and my feet still get blisters. And high heels! Even after they are broken in, they still manage to make your foot look, and feel, ten times bigger. They should be called high hells, dammit! I can’t help but to let out a whimper when I take them off, it hurts that bad. 
Verdict: Worth it, high heels complete your look in a way that a headband can’t.

Waxing
Beauty: Waxing comes with a special benefit in that the hair is completely removed from the folicle, whereas shaving only removes the visible part of the hair. After a wax, the hair takes a while to grow back in, for a smoother skin surface. 
Pain: If you don’t know what a waxing entails, it’s pretty painful. First, HOT wax is smothered all over your skin. Then the lady takes a piece of paper and presses it over the area to be waxed. Then, without warning, your hair is removed from your skin, painfully. The worst part of it is the anticipation. It’s like going to the doctors and getting a shot: they count to three before they stick you with a needle. Same thing here. I cringe every time, expecting the pain. And when the actual paper is ripped from your face/leg/underarm, it’s not pleasant. It feels like a rugburn. And if you get your brows, or mustache or whatever done, it’s like a rugburn. On your face. Think about that.
Verdict: Not worth it. Unless you look like a Geico caveman, don’t even bother.

Makeup
Beauty: What isn’t beautiful about makeup? It’s amazing how a little liner and eyeshadow can make your eyes pop. Or how a simple foundation rub can hide that icky zit. If you don’t get the beauty of makeup, go put some on. It’s that simple.
Pain: Ok, this pain isn’t really a physical pain (unless you stab your eyeball with the liner pencil), but more of a financial pain. To get the good kind of makeup (the one that lasts a while and doesn’t get all pasty) you have to be willing to spend a little more than you wanted. At MAC, I spent about $50 for some liner, eyeshadow, primer, and powder. Liner alone costs $14. And after a while, your wallet could start to feel a leetle lighter.
Verdict: Eh, it depends. Use your judgement: if you have to have it, splurge, if not, well, there is always Target.

Curling Irons/Straighteners
Beauty: Having the option of different hairstyles is always fun. Enter a curling iron. They offer the versatility for creating a fancier look or whatever else you need. Or if your hair needs to be straightened to avoid the morning frizz, perfect! My sister depends on her straightener everyday. And her hair really does look good after.
Pain: Hmm, so having a steaming hot metal device near your face must come with some pain risks, right? Duh! I have heard so many stories about how people have burnt their skin from a curling/flat iron, it’s ridiculous! Once when I was six or something, my dad (I know, right) had to curl my hair for a dance recital. It is no surprise that five minutes into it, he burned the nape of my neck. Thanks, Dad.
Verdict: Worth it. Just don’t have your dad curl your hair.

Spanx
Beauty: So what Spanx does is that it smooths out your body, making it slimmer. Think of it as a modern day girdle. It sucks everything in so that wearing a pencil skirt or tight dress doesn’t make you totally self-conscious.
Pain: Tight material that constantly clings to your body. That sounds like a big problem to me. What if you had to go to the bathroom? Would you be able to shimmy out of it quick enough? Probably not. And I would just feel so clausterphobic in that; you’d see me pulling at it constantly. Total-body spandex does not sound comfortable at all.
Verdict: Not worth it. Not all tight clothes fit everyone right. Find something flattering that you don’t have to go through hell to wear.

And by the way, Chinese women no longer bind their feet. So what do you think? Is waxing the modern day equivalent of foot-binding? Ha! Probably not, but it still does hurt.

Noises of the night

I genuinely enjoy my sleep. If I was able to sleep 12 hours a night, I would do it. There is something so zen about snuggling in my bed with the covers tightly wrapped around me and Purple (my blankie) at my side. So when my blissful sleep gets interrupted, I am not very happy. Not happy at all.

And that is exactly what happened last night. First off, I couldn’t even go to bed until, like, 2 am (damn cheap coffee refills) so I stayed up and did some homework. Ok, I did plan to stay up late to do homework, but not that late! And my hand was spazzing so I coudn’t even type. At that point I just gave up and went into bed. Which leads me to my next point…

Secondly, do you know how many freaking noises my house and neighbrohood make while I am sleeping? A bajillion! It’s really weird because randomly, the wall behind my head will make a popping noise. The kind of noise like if the house was stretching and at the acme of the stretch, it would just pop. If that makes sense. That noise always gets to me! I literally jolt awake whenever I hear it and then I get paranoid that someone is in the house.

And those darned phones! I turn mine on silent because I don’t want to be awakened by a text or sometimes a call (Daniel Rojas, I’m talking about you here). But I put my phone on my night stand next to my iHome alarm clock. Apparently when you are about to receive a text, the freaking satellite signal is interfered by the stupid alarm clock and makes that static hiss. Again and again and again until my eyes pop open to see what’s up. When I realize that it’s just my alarm clock, I have a strong urge to chuck it across the room.

Not all disturbing noises happend during the night–the morning is full of them too. Today is Tuesday which means that it is Trash Day. So exactly at 7:30 AM, I can hear the obnoxious roar of that obnoxious machine on wheels. To make things worse, I had my window open which intensified the noise and made it ten times louder than necessary. And as a lazy person, I didn’t want to get up to close the window. Oh, but I don’t get to hear it once. No, the way my street works is that the truck has to circle back around to collect my neighbor across the street’s trash. After the truck passes my house, I get over it and am able to go back to sleep. Ten minutes later, I again hear that distinct vvrrroooooooooommmmm. And I am again not happy.

I already sleep with an eye mask to block out the light. Maybe it’s time for some ear plugs.