Category: Day-to-Day Adventures


Back Again =)

Well… It’s been quite a while since I last posted on this website. My absence has spanned four months, during which I have had many different trials and tribulations. My summer was quite interesting. My family and I decided to do some yard work, and we ended up planting eleven different trees, hundreds of flowers, a vegetable garden, and general landscaping as well. In addition, we painted our deck, which now looks stunning as it is a mix of red and brown, instead of the dull grey it was before. I also took a few trips to many different places, including Radium, Invermere, and Montana. In general, it was a pretty good summer.

However, the highlight of this summer vacation came at its end, with the start of my university career. Lost in thought a few days ago, I realized something interesting; the older we get, the more terrifying the process of making new friends becomes. Back when we were in kindergarten (oh so long ago), we were scared about being separated from our parents for those few hours of the day. For most people, the children that they met in kindergarten were the same ones that they graduated from high school with. But alas, that’s not the case with me. Until the beginning of junior high, I was changing schools after two years in each one, give or take a few months. As such, I became accustomed to finding new friends quite easily. At the beginning of junior high, I knew absolutely no one, yet I still managed to create friendships that I am sure will last me for many more years to come. Once high school started, I began to get nervous, as I’m sure most people would. Suddenly, we were taken from a comfortable environment with roughly 600 people, and thrust into an arena packed with over a thousand students. It is here, in this place, that we find the people with whom our friendships may last a lifetime. It is here that the true drama of life begins, as bonds are made and broken, hearts are brought together or torn apart, and where futures are created or destroyed. It is in high school that you learn about your own person, either through the compliments of others, or their criticisms. Mistakes are an essential part of high school life, because they help us become stronger individuals at a time when we are made to question our beliefs about ourselves.

Then comes university. If high school is an arena, then university is a veritable hellhole. Full of thousands of people, it seems absolutely impossible to make any new connections. You stick with your friends from high school, until you get separated by your timetable. Now you have a choice to make. Do you stride boldly into your classroom, and begin to create these bonds? Or do you enter meekly, sit in a corner, scribble down your notes, and then leave? If you do the former, you are off to a great start. I realize that I might be saying this too early, as my own university career has barely started, but I feel that I need to motivate others, as well as myself, to become more extrovert, and to create completely new friend circles than the ones they have had in the past.

Life is too short to have regrets. We, as a species, need to understand this fact. Our lives could last for another 90 years, or another 90 seconds; we have no way of knowing. Enjoy it right now, but ensure that you are making the right decisions for your future, so you can continue to enjoy once you are much older. Don’t throw away friendships because of mistakes that someone has made in the past. You never know who you might be working with later on in your career.

Put the past behind you. Live in the present, and plan for your future.

Advertisements

Rapture.

I’m sure that all of you must have heard about the fact that the end of the world will begin tomorrow. A Christian group is saying that tomorrow Christ will come to the Earth and take with him the souls of his true followers. As they ascend to Heaven, the rest of us heretics will burn in “death, disease, and destruction.” However, their suffering will only last for six months, because the world will actually end on October 21st. I, as a non-Christian, am slightly appalled by this statement. How can a group of people place themselves above us, and doom us all to torture while they reach the pearly gates? Why are we unable to go to Heaven with them? To me, it seems like a clear case of discrimination based on religion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Bible say something about treating everyone fairly and equally? It just seems a bit weird that Jesus would take a select few people with him, and leave the rest of us to die.

The sad part of this whole ordeal is that people are following this lunatic (Camping).  Mr Camping previously predicted the end of the world in 1994. When it didn’t happen, he stated that he made some “mistakes in [his] calculations.” Now, however, he states that his calculations are perfect, and that there is no chance that the Rapture will not occur tomorrow. Even so, thousands of people all over the world have quit their jobs, sold their houses and cars, and generally divested themselves of all of their material possessions so that they will be taken by Christ. These people are also draining their savings to fund this group. If the Rapture occurs, and they are not taken, their lives will be over anyway. I, for one, don’t give a damn. People are too impressionable, and if they decide to throw away their lives on the chance that the world may end on May 21st, then let them. It’s just Darwinism in action. Hopefully the gene that causes them to have this much stupidity will be weeded out of the general population, and will not allow idiots like Camping to gain more followers in the future.

Here’s to May 22nd.

For my English 30 IB class, I have to read a book called A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. This book is written in the format of an essay, that is meant to be a speech as well. I had no idea before we started reading this book that the reactions would be so mixed with regards to the ideas presented in this text. Even within my class alone, there are the ardent feminists, and there are those who say that feminists are responsible for the notions that create hatred towards men in our society. So I was wondering, what do you, my readers, think about this topic? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Pros for Feminism:

  • Seeks gender equality
  • Oppose domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse
  • Have advocated for equal pay for women
  • Suffrage for women
  • Reproductive rights (access to contraceptives and abortion)

Cons for Feminism

  • Even though it advocates gender equality, it keeps the sexes apart
  • Women try to do what is, genetically speaking, physically challenging, sometimes almost impossible
  • In trying to appease feminists, women are chosen over equally qualified men in order to prove that a team is not sexist
  • While trying to gain equality for women, feminism leads to increased discrimination against men

If you have any ideas, or thoughts about this topic that you would like to share, do not hesitate to comment below.

Positivity.

I realized a while ago that I missed a key point in my last post. I forgot to say that we all enjoy life more once someone we know has it taken from them. We start to appreciate the beauty that is present in our surroundings more and more, each and every day. From this thought, an idea began to form in my head. I have decided to post, every day, one thing that made me happy. No matter how glum I feel, or how busy I am, I will do this regularly, even if it is just to remind myself why God gave me five senses, and why he made the world so beautiful at the same time.

New Year.

Before I begin, I would like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year, and I hope that they achieve any and all goals that they set for themselves in this coming time.

It’s been a long time since I made my last post, and there are a number of reasons for this, which I will explain.

The year 2010 was filled with sadness for me, from the beginning to the end. There were some happy moments, but sadness was still, unfortunately, prevalent. It began with the death of my grandfather near the beginning of February. He was suffering from prostate cancer, and had been bedridden since October of 2008. Normally a very active man, this confinement would have come as a great discomfort to him. He lived in India with the rest of my family, where he was a logger. He would first go out into the forest every day, in the mountains, and walk about 40 kilometres one way to his site, where he would select certain trees for tapping. After extracting the sap over the course of a few days, he would then select trees to be cut down. Now, it is a Hindu superstition that trees should not be cut down, because they are the givers of all life. This superstition has been around for centuries, and we now know that trees produce oxygen, which, indeed, gives us life. When my grandfather got sick in 2008, he was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with stage-four prostate cancer. However, he was never told of this diagnosis. Instead, he was told to rest in bed until he felt better. Our entire family knew about his illness, except for him. They later told me that he was not a strong willed man; had he known about this terminal disease, he would have given up all hope. When we met him in August of 2009, he was weak, frail beyond all belief. Gone was the man who had walked among the trees in the mountains with a confident stride. Instead, all that remained was a sick old man, who could not even walk 20 steps without the help of a cane. So advanced was his disease, yet no one told him about it. In hindsight, I believe that he knew about it, or at least guessed that he was not going to get any better. Any human will guess their condition if they have not been able to leave their bed in almost a year. I spent as much time with him as I could, and he gave me a piece of advice that I will remember forever; there are more people on this planet who will lead you onto the wrong path, than there are people who will lead you onto the correct one. Therefore, he said, you must cherish any and all the people who choose to take the time out of their own lives in order to help you create a better one for yourself. When we left him at the end of August, I knew, along with my parents, that this was the last time that we would see him alive. In my memory, I try not to remember the emancipated skeleton that he became due to his disease. I try to remember the strong man who would carry me around on his shoulders all day when I was a child. His wish was for me to become successful in life; I shall not disappoint.

Fast-forward through an eventful year to November 30, 2010. This is the day that the son of my favourite aunt was born. Everyone in my family was extremely excited, because my aunt had only been married for little more than a year. Gifts were bought, phone calls exchanged, congratulations posted on Facebook, the whole deal. But that all changed soon.

On December 13, 2010, the lives of my aunt, her husband, and their son were taken in a brutal car accident by a drunk driver. Our happiness was burst like a bubble. Gone were the smiling faces of my family. Gone were their good moods, and the plans for Christmas and New Year’s parties. Instead, we packed our bags and were on a plane to India the next day. We didn’t know much about the accident, only that it was a collision between two cars. When we arrived in India, I was told by my mother that no one had yet told my aunt’s mother that she was no more; only that she was in a hospital. Once again, my relatives in India did not believe that she would be able to take such a shock, as they did with my grandfather. We arrived in India on the day of her funeral, which we were unable to attend. When we went to visit my aunt’s mother (my grandmother) a few days later, I was shocked to see how weak she had become since the death of her daughter. Mother and daughter used to do everything together. In fact, they were together on the day of the accident, during which they had lunch and enjoyed their time together. My grandmother went home by bus, because she had to go to a different place than my aunt was going with her family, and I believe that if she had gone with my aunt, she would have also passed away. The fact is, my grandmother had also had a serious accident 3 years ago, during which my aunt had nursed her back to health single-handedly over the course of 4 months. This only deepened their connection with each other.

Over the course of our stay with my grandmother, we got to know more details about the crash from my aunt’s brother. Details such as the fact that the other driver was drunk, driving rashly, and had done drugs came to light. I learned that my uncle had been travelling at a safe speed of 60 kph, for my aunt had still not recovered from giving birth to her son. At a rest stop, she switched seats with her sister-in-law, who had been sitting in the front seat. My aunt sat in the front seat, called her brother and told him that she was going to sleep, and that she would call him when she got home. She gave the baby to her sister-in-law to hold in the backseat (because there are no carseats for children there), and fell asleep. About 7 kilometres from their home, a large truck approached them in the oncoming lane. My uncle did not see this as a cause for worry, and he kept driving. Behind the truck was the drunk driver, going at a speed of 120 kph. Now, roads in India aren’t like the roads in North America; there are no dividers in between the opposite lanes, and there are almost no rules to speak of. To overtake large vehicles, drivers honk their horns to alert the truck in front, and then proceed to pass. This is what the drunk driver did. He honked, and swerved into the lane in which my uncle was driving. Witnesses say that there was a horrific crash, and that it was so forceful that the radiators in both cars exploded out from under the hoods. So forceful was the impact that my uncle’s car flew off the road and onto the grassy, unpaved portion, about 5 meters away. My uncle was killed instantly, the steering column having smashed his jaw. My aunt died on the spot as well, from a brain hemorrhage. Her child was pressed against the shoulder and chest of her sister-in-law; his death came from internal bleeding caused by the fracture of almost all of his ribs. The sister-in-law survived, however, as did the driver of the other vehicle, with broken limbs.

When someone you know and love is old, sick, and weak, you are expecting their death. That’s not to say that you want them to die. I’m saying that you’re prepared for an old man to pass on, both physically and psychologically. However, when an entire family, whose oldest member is only 25 years old, is wiped out by a careless driver, you start to sink into shock. The people that you talked to a week ago, a day ago, a few minutes ago, are now gone, and they will never return to you. The pain that one feels is so damaging, that it is safe to say the affected individuals are never the same again. And in all honesty, how can they be? An old woman just lost her daughter in the prime of her life, an older brother just lost his baby sister, 4 children just lost a beloved aunt, and countless friends just lost a near and dear one. It makes you start to wonder about how much we really value our lives as individuals.

Our home in India is in a city in the mountains; there is a narrow, almost two-lane road, that leads to it. Whenever we go to India, I keep count of all the possible accidents that we avoid. This time, I counted 15, in a 3-week period. We were almost run off the road by a truck, almost had a head-on collision with another car, almost got run over by a large truck driving in a thick fog without headlights, to name a few. It made me realize that I have lost the value of life by living in a developed country. In Canada, we hear about people getting in car accidents, and getting injured or killed, in the news on a daily basis, but we cannot relate to the suffering that these families are put through unless it happens to one of our own. We have become so desensitized to these issues by daily media that when it happens to us, it affects us profoundly. After the death of a loved one, we rush to their houses, no matter where they may be, in order to console the people that they left behind, and in our case, to meet with my aunt’s in-laws for the first time. Why can’t we rush in the same way when these people are alive? Why can’t we take the time out of our lives to go and meet these people and enjoy life with them? The answer is simple: because we take life for granted. We, as humans, feel safe in our little corner of the universe, and we believe that we cannot be harmed by anyone. Each of us has felt invincible at some point in our lives; it’s the same feeling that drives thousands of men and women to war every year. Once a friend or family member passes away, we start to realize what we’re truly missing in life. Personally speaking, my biggest fear is to die with regrets, without completing everything that I set out to do. After the death of a person who was so close to me, I discovered all the moments that we should have spent together, that we will never have the opportunity to spend together again.

My biggest regret is that, in over a year of her marriage, I never even met her husband, my uncle. How do you grieve for someone you do not know? I talked to him on the phone, sure, but the man is gone now, and I will never see him in my life.

So to all the people who have read through my anecdote, my main message is this. Live life to the fullest, and accomplish all the goals that you set for yourself. Don’t ignore anyone, or cut anyone out of your life; forgive and forget. Life is too short to be lived in seclusion. Life is too precious to be kept to yourself. Share your life with your friends and your family, because you never know when the day is coming when you wake up to a phone call saying  you can never share with them again.

 

Here We Go.

Well, that time of the year is here once again. No, I’m not talking about Christmas (although that IS coming up pretty soon). I’m talking about the last two weeks of school before Winter Break! Now for normal students, this would be a time of immense joy. However, being in IB gives you a more, shall we say, pessimistic view of holidays, for they are nothing more than extra time which teachers can use to force homework upon us. Fortunately, or unfortunately for most people (myself included), our Internal Assessments and World Literature papers are all due on the 16th of December.I have to do some serious work on these papers, as I have to hand in my rough draft tomorrow… I’ve started on two out of the three papers, but I know that I’ll soon be scrambling to get them done. Add to that 104 report cards that need to be completed for my swim classes, and homework from Physics online, and we have ourselves a recipe for disaster.  Funnily enough, I’m looking forward to this challenge. Let’s see if I can handle it without totally breaking down =].

As a side note, for anyone in my school who is reading this, come to room 209 at lunchtime this week in order to sign up to donate blood this weekend. Visit www.bloodservices.ca for more information, and be sure to go to the FAQ section to answer all of your burning questions =D. Give the ultimate gift this winter. Give someone the gift of life.

Extended Metaphor.

So I just finished writing this extended metaphor on the character of Angela Vicario from Chronicle of a Death Foretold for an English project. Read it and tell me what you think of it!

Once upon a time, there was a little ship. This ship had been built for one purpose only, to sail the Seven Seas. She was a small ship, so she had a small crew. One captain, his first mate, and two deckhands were the only people allowed to set foot on her decks. Her captain and his first mate were a strict pair. As such, they never strayed from the routes that were charted on their maps. The little ship yearned to roam in unmapped waters, to sail freely wherever she pleased. But she was bound by her masters to flow only where they saw fit. One day, as they were sailing through the day, an enormous shadow fell upon them. It was a pirate ship! From its vast, tall decks sprung a crew of men, led by a handsome, ruthless gentleman. If something that he desired caught his eye, he would not rest until he had it within his grasp. Unfortunately for the little ship, she was the object he wanted, that he needed. His crew boarded her, and they quickly tied up the small four-man crew, who sat, mouths agape, in awe of the huge vessel that floated before them. Soon enough, the pirates took them aboard their own ship. The Gentleman ordered his men to lash the little ship to his own monstrous craft, and to set sail once more.

The little ship, tied behind this floating giant, was terrified. She was saddened by the loss of her crew, all save the first mate, who had to steer her still, to the men aboard the pirate ship. And she grew more and more anxious as they deviated from her old, familiar, charted routes. At the same time, she was feeling excited at the prospect of going to places where had never gone before.

As the day wore on, the winds across the ocean started to pick up. The sky darkened, and the salty tang of seawater grew more prominent as the water was whipped into the air. As the wind whistled through her sails, it made the sound of a thousand sirens, and slowly she came to the horrifying realization that there was only one siren, only one banshee of the seas. It was a maelstrom. As she was sucked into it, she grew more terrified by the moment, and at the same time she felt a thrill pass through her timbers, the thrill of a new experience. Sucked into the spinning vortex, her ropes creaking and sails whipping in the wind, she was bound to the colossal ship in front of her as she had never been bound to any ship before. Soon the whirlpool subsided, and the seas were calm again. The pirates descended on the little ship once again, to check her for damages. Soon a great cry rose out from amongst them. The ship was damaged! She had a hole in her keel, and was slowly taking on water in her hold as a result. However, the men soon discovered that the damage had occurred before the storm. The crew of the little ship was sent back to her, and the pirates took them to a tiny atoll and beached them.

On the little island, the captain and the first mate began berating each other for not noticing the damage, as well as the little ship for not showing them the damage soon enough. The little ship grew sadder as their tirade went on, and soon began weeping salty tears from her timbers. The deckhands went off on the atoll to search for materials with which they could repair the damage of their ship. Soon enough, the deckhands returned, repaired the little ship, and the entire party went on their merry way. But the little ship had none of the previous enthusiasm for sailing with her crew as she did before, because she had seen how quick they were to go against her even when she was not at fault.

Many years later, in a lonely dockyard, amongst the masts of sunken ships, the little ship lay, waiting for a crew to come to her, and release her from the dock. She slowly forgot about her own crew, long ago lost to the sea, forgot about their anger towards her when she was weak. She started to remember a brief, but exciting time when she was captured by pirates, and allowed to roam the uncharted seas. She began pining for their return to her, and yearned for years for the Gentleman to return to her.  One day, years later, he returned, a much older and wiser man, to the shipyard. He noticed the little ship floating in the dock, alone, with no crew of her own. He climbed aboard her with his crew, took hold of the wheel and the tiller, and set sail with the little ship on the Seven Seas once more.

Parents.

As a teenager in my last year of high school, I have wondered many times about the influence of parents on our lives. Every so often I get into an argument with my mom about my studies, or with my dad about many different life topics (last time it was spiritual self-realization). I know that both of them are extremely knowledgeable, but some days I feel, as I am sure most teenagers do, that I know more about some things than they do.

For example, have you ever had your parents come up to you and get angry at you for not doing homework? This happens to me almost every day, and each day I try in vain to explain to my parents that just because they did not see me doing my homework does not mean that I did not do it (that sounds confusing, I know). They always tell me that I am lazy and that I procrastinate, even when I point out that I hand most, if not all, of my work in on time. I also frequently mention to them that I’m in IB, and that I have an immense workload from the get-go. However, this usually reinforces their point about not seeing me do any homework, and once again leads to an argument about my after-school productivity.

For my next trick, I will call upon the well-known fact which states that most teenagers believe they know more than their parents, and by extension, everything there is to know. Too often we get into arguments with the figures of authority in our lives, trying to prove them wrong. The funny part is that we continue to argue even when we know we are wrong. There are very few teens who can stop an argument and admit to their parents that they are wrong. Even so, is it true that we, as teenagers, know more about some areas of life than our parents do? Or is age the determining factor in terms of life experience?

Post your thoughts below! All comments are welcome…except for spam and rude or vulgar posts. Those are never welcome.

Awesome Weekend!

Well, I’m finally done all my homework =D. All I have left to do is re-read some chapters for my History essay tomorrow, and I think I should be good to go. I might even sleep early tonight (shocking), as I have to get up early to go to a SAC meeting. This is to the SAC Co-presidents: Really guys? A meeting right after Thanksgiving weekend? =P.

I had plenty of fun this weekend. The best part would be going to a dinner at a friend’s house, and watching “The Descent” and “The Descent: Part 2” on his 100 inch projector screen. Both of them are scary movies, and I would recommend them for anyone who likes to watch movies that make them feel claustrophobic. I just hope that none of the trapped miners have seen it…

On the other hand, I read today that the trapped miners in Chile are ready to be extracted as of 12:01 am on Wednesday this week. I can only hope and pray that after spending two months underground, these men will make it safely to the surface. The rescue operation (complete with the capsule dubbed “Phoenix”) should go off without a hitch, as it has shown to be flawless in four test runs.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend, with plenty of excitement. To top it all off, I finished all my homework, and get to sleep early for once in my high school career. I hope I do well on my essay tomorrow. Additionally, anyone with good information about the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, please feel free to comment below =D.

Good Days.

We finally finished renovating our basement, about a week ago. It’s all painted and carpeted and kind of furnished, but it still needs some electrical work done. For the past few days, my family and I have been extremely busy trying to shift all of our furniture and miscellaneous items down there. We managed to make a pretty large dent in our brand new wall (x.x) while getting our sofas downstairs, but that was the only hitch. So far. We still need to bring down the TV and all of its satellite appliances (that’s a pun, by the way =D), as well as our recently dismantled Ping-Pong table.

School is progressing very well for me, except in History, as I stated in my last post. Theory of Knowledge classes remain as interesting as ever, and I’m glad we don’t have any homework for it over this long weekend. That being said, I have to do some Chemistry projects, a Chemistry lab, and start on an English project as well. But it’s OK, I have three days to do it (this means that there will probably be a post on Monday night about my unstarted projects ^^). Anyway, busy weekend ahead for me, so I’ll keep this post short.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!