Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Poem - Secrets of Goldfish

So while I've had some time off, I've also gotten back into writing regularly. However, I must admit that this particular poem is almost a decade old as I actually wrote it in 2006 for a workshop. This was my first attempt at a sestina, which is a rather fun form to play around with, and is especially good for fighting writers block.

The definition of a sestina is as follows:

It is a poem of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy, originally without rhyme, in which each stanza repeats the end words of the lines of the first stanza, but in different order, the envoy using the six words again, three in the middle of the lines and three at the end. (As stated on Dictionary.com)
Feedback is welcomed! 

Secrets of Goldfish
by Alicia Young

A glint of orange had caught her eye,
The moldy white scales of a dead goldfish,
She stepped over it as she walked down the street.
There it lay, slain in the wide black river,
She forgot all about it when she turned the corner.
It was then that goldfish had called out her name.

Her heels clicked “ignore it,” when the girl heard her name,
Yet her reflection was fixed in its eye.
Her image was trapped in the view of the goldfish,
As her pace quickened slightly down  a now longer street.
Why would a fish be so far from the river?
This thought remained buried away in the corner,

Of her mind, it was dusty, that small blackened corner,
In a place where even she questioned her name.
Were the answers she sought merely contained in this eye,
Of a storm now provoked by small, rotting goldfish?
“No,” she said quick, “I have been down this street,”
“These thoughts will wash away with the river,

of sleep. They’ll be gone, for I trust the river.”
But thoughts often find their way back from the corner,
They twist out and in and whisper a name,
Of someone who’s image is burned in her eye.
These memories are scattered, much like startled goldfish,
When she walks past that house at the end of her street.

Then she thinks of the boy, in the house, on the street,
And the way the air felt when the lights searched the river,
How she had watched, in the back, from a corner,
As city officials yelled out his name.
She watched as his mother covered her eye,
and heard her moan gargles like that of a goldfish.

In her eye, she had seen him, floating limp like a goldfish,
from  a corner the lights flickered his name through the street.
When a mother’s scream shattered the ice ridden river.

© 2015 Alicia Young, All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Netflix: Dawson's Creek

I made a strange decision this summer to complete the entire series of Dawson's Creek. I had watched the show when it was popular on and off, but I was only in elementary school when it first debuted. Seeing as I was the kid still playing with American Girl dolls in 6th grade (true story), the will they, won't they, cheesy story line of Dawson Leery and Joey Potter was kind of the farthest thing from my mind. 

However, I did catch most of the series again in college when TBS or some similar station started playing them back to back right as I was supposed to be getting ready for my 8:30am political communication class. 

Remembering how much I enjoyed putting off my day to watch these's 90's teens overanalyze their angst, I wanted to re-watch it to see how it held up. 

Oddly enough, I was not the only one who thought this was a good idea! Since I've started the series, I've been tweeting the really hysterical moments, and I've found that others are doing the same. I've found articles on HelloGiggles by women who are writing on specific episodes. And of course then there's the PaceyCon video on FunnyorDie.com.

Oh Pacey Witter...

1) I hate Dawson. (See above photo.)

Ok, maybe *hate* is a strong word, but I really dislike the character of Dawson. A couple of Google searches actually show that I'm not alone. Which really begs the question, why center a show around a dislikable teenage boy with bad hair? And James Van Der Beek, I apologize because this really is no hate on you. I saw you in that Ke$ha video and you were hilarious. You seem very likable and you have an awesome last name.

BUT Dawson is always CRYING! Maybe not always physically crying, but he just won't shut up about the most ridiculous things. Wah, Jen broke my heart even though I treated her like crap for having hooked up with any men before even meeting me. Wah, Joey broke my heart even though I didn't even know she existed as a love interest until the end of the first season. Wah, my dad died. Wait, maybe that one is legit. Oh, but did I mention that . . .

2) Dawson's dad died trying to pick up an ICE CREAM CONE off the floor of his car.

But then they put in a backstory about how the man that hit him fell asleep at the wheel. There CLEARLY is a scene where Mitch Leery is driving home from picking up milk and his scoop of ice cream falls off his cone, and he bends down to pick it up. Even if he had saved that ice cream, how would he have eaten it. Ice cream is soft, cold, and melty and floors of cars are filthy. Gross. Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself.

3) Frosted tips were a thing (See photo of Pacey.) WHAT?

4) Nobody chooses to bring their grandmother to college with them.

Grams was a nice lady and all. And I understand the whole dynamic of her being Jen's only family relative with a soul. But Jen and Jack decide to move to Boston to go to college so they sell the house in Capeside and bring Grams. OH, and SOMEHOW are able to afford that GIGANTIC, beautiful house in Boston?

5) Dawson's movies were terrible.

They were all bad. Every single one of them. The Sea Creature one was terrible and would never win an award with $1,000 attached to it to fund a second mess. The one about Joey was ridiculous. The one about the old man who was a screen writer was literally just him sitting on a chair talking about his life. How evocative. And then the horror film he was an assistant on was terrible as well, and set in the 70s. And they danced at a disco. NO.

6) Katie Holmes was a pretty good actress

I don't really care what people's opinions are on this one. She might not be fantastic. She definitely is not the best singer out there. But she did alright in this show. She's also gorgeous.

7) For the love of GOD, give Jen Lindley a break!

They really, really DON'T.  SPOILER. She dies.

8) Joey and Dawson should learn to give up this dream relationship

Seriously, after the 3rd time they kiss/hookup/whatever and it ends in literally one episode, you'd think they would know to say "well, OBVIOUSLY, we are just better off being friends."

9) Pacey should have just gone to college instead of feeling sorry for himself.

He was a second mate on a boat, which he lived on for most of season 5. He was a top chef in a really up and coming restaurant. Then he was a stock broker wanna be. Why didn't he just go to college? Man, go to culinary school, you seemed to have liked that. Go for a liberal arts degree while you're trying to figure out. Just stop feeling sorry for yourself. You're like the only male character with an actual brain.

10) What's with the one episode that Joey half narrates in the beginning of Season 6?

This isn't Joey's creek. Why are you narrating? No one has EVER narrated! Totally jarring.

That's all I've got right now. I'm sure I'll do a live blog of an episode, I just haven't picked one yet. For now, stay tuned!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Instant Gratification Generation

Last night I came across a video that was shared on Facebook of a bus monitor being tortured and bullied by 7th graders, and I have to say, I had mixed feelings at first. 

For the most part, I agree with what the majority of comments made on the video. I've had the feeling for a while now that the current '80s babies have a gigantic disconnect with most of the children born in the '90s. Sadly, I think a lot of the self-absorbed, entitled and materialistic attitudes connect with the fact that these kids were born into houses with personal computers, the internet, and yes, even nintendo 64. 

My theory relies generally on the fact that these children learned lose the ability to wait for something very early on. Think about it, I know when I was growing up, the only video game system we had was the original Nintendo. We had it for years. I was maybe 12 going on 13 when we were given a Nintendo 64, and that was an insane difference. Kids now have seen 5 generations of iPhones come out within the last 5 years. They've seen technology refreshed again and again. Not only have they seen the growth of technology at this rapid rate, but they also have the mentality that the newest form of technology makes the last generation obsolete. 

They've grown up with AOL profiles, Xanga's, Live Journals, Myspace, and Facebook. Platforms which all put the user at the center of their virtual universe. Children being born today are in a world where it's "normal" for people to brag about how amazing they are via the internet. There is no humility. They are learning that it's ok to not fight for a cause as long as you share a Facebook link from the safety of your own home. 

Don't get me wrong. I love the internet. I love reading new things, seeing new innovative ideas, and yes, it's also a guilty pleasure for me to sit on Facebook and watch my friend's lives from afar. But we didn't grow up surrounded by this stuff. We weren't susceptible to this environment, because the environment didn't exist then. 

Every generation is plagued with its own problems. It's always more comfortable to say something via the internet because we feel like there is less of a consequence. We have the barrier of the computer screen and we can just turn it off. The problem is the "no filter" issue is quite obviously effecting children off of the internet. 

People who grew up part of their lives without these privileges (because they ARE privileges) can see these perks for what they really are. The children who were born into this world think they are basic necessities. 

It's a parent's responsibility to raise well-rounded human beings. Other countries have internet, and most of the technology we have, so how are their children so different from American children? We have to start asking that question. As one of the most amazing countries in the world where it comes to opportunity, we need to teach the responsibility that comes with that opportunity. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teaching: Old School + Technology

When all of the students own iphones, how does an educator compete? There are a multitude of innovations that have made it easier than ever to communicate, but how do we utilize this technology to help educate the next generation, without distracting from our real point?

I sometimes find myself having a hard time concentrating on a novel, or a long article, because I am so used to reading 150 character tweets and statuses which are coming at me every time I refresh my browser. Because those statements are short, punchy, and to the point, it's hard to not get comfortable with the instant gratification. It really makes you think, are there really so many students being diagnosed with ADHD because the internet has ruined all of our attention spans?

When it comes to technology, I am an avid promoter. I think that when one knows how to use technology in the classroom, it is a force to be reckoned with. However, there is something to be said for the more conventional ways of teaching as well. You still need to probe and prompt students to scaffold the information themselves, otherwise they may not ever really understand it. But you can do this while still utilizing visuals and connections.

I for one love pop-culture references, as most of our society does. I think that it doesn't really matter if a student is learning to apply their new knowledge in a way that means something to them, as long as it works. Then they can also apply it to the curriculum.

But what happens when we have all of this technology and no one to train us on it? It's true that smart boards are a wonderful tool, but I have observed too many technological issues that happen in the middle of lessons. Yes, we should have a back up plan for any lesson, but technology issues also affect productivity in a large way. If the technology fails in a 45 minute period, you in no way are able to make up that time.

There has to be a balance. I'm striving to find it, and as I become more technology savvy, I hope to improve my lessons and help students become stronger writers and readers. I'm in it for the kids, and I'll never forget that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Busy Lifestyles

Hello internet, how are you today?
I’m aware that it’s been some time since I’ve written a truly significant post here, so I decided throw down an attempt. I’ve recently been drastically busy. School has started up again, I’m in the process of completing my student teaching requirements, and I have a brand new part-time job.

What I’ve come to realize though, is this, I really prefer being busy over anything else. I like having an active & hectic lifestyle. I like feeling the rush of having to get things done, because it makes me feel a level of importance. It makes me feel motivated, and driven. To be honest, it probably truly makes me more motivated and driven.
I’m not saying that there is no benefit to taking a break and decompressing, but it’s been my experience that when my vacations occur, I am pretty excited initially, and then I just become bored. There’s only so much I can find on stumbleupon, or so many people I can friend on Facebook.

It just gets to the point where I need to get busy again in order to be genuinely happy. So this is going to be another “turning a seemingly negative into a positive” statement, but here goes. Embrace the busy. Take it all with your chin up and smile wide. There may come a time, when you’re not so young, and you wish you were able to be as busy as you can be today.
Be as busy as you can right now, because the busiest people know how to prioritize and take control of their lives. The busiest people know how to get what they need, and also express what they have to in order to get what they want.
You can let fate lead you, but only so far. At some point you need to take control, whether you’re fully confident or you’re just faking it for now. 

Boorito 2011

I'm actually genuinely excited about this Halloween promotion from Chipotle. Apparently the famous burrito chain is partnering with the not-for-profit organization Farm Aid, and their own not-for-profit org, Chipotle Cultivate. If you dress in a costume on Halloween, they'll sell you a burrito for $2, regularly around $10. 

But this is the coolest part, they're donating the proceeds up to $1,000,000 to the two foundations, which work "to keep farmers on the land and nurture a better agricultural system."

Halloween promotions are not a new thing, as McDonalds has been offering free happy meals to costumed rugrats for as long as I can remember. However, it's a really cool thing that they are donating this money to a good cause. 

I haven't much else to say on the subject, other than small steps cause big change, and it's nice to see some companies recognizing this

Check it out: here. Or pick up a flyer at the register in any of their chains. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The joys of laughing at yourself.

It's no secret that I like to enjoy a glass of white wine or two when I socialize with friends. And it's not that uncommon for others as well. Not only do I actually enjoy the taste, but it causes me to loosen up a bit and not really care what people are thinking. Either way, I love to talk and laugh with people, but something I've realized is when you are able to laugh at yourself and your own antics, people WANT to be around you. By laughing at yourself, you exude a carefree type of confidence that some people rarely have when they do not drink. That's why alcohol and other substances are so addictive in the first place.

I think if we all took the time to laugh at ourselves instead of feeling uncomfortable and overcritical, we'd all be a lot happier and more comfortable in our own skins.

But that's just a small thought.
I will definitely be updating soon and hopefully writing something with a little more substance, so stay tuned.