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Showing posts from May, 2009

The Final Day of High School

Tomorrow shall be my last day of high school. As I've said before, I'm not sad that high school is ending, nor do I wish it had come sooner. I feel the denouement to my childhood I've entered has been entirely satisfying; I couldn't ask for more. This last day had to come some time - and I think tomorrow is the best day it could be.

Today the senior class participated in its "Senior Skip Day," which is actually a very organized school activity where we are all bused out to Ward Lake and do a variety of things - but mainly throw each other in the lake. After returning to Kayhi we had our graduation practice, in which we learned our little stepping method for entering and went over the order of events, including our oh-so-intricate simulteaneous standing up and sitting down between rows.

I have been quite fortunate to have ended up as one of my class' two salutatorians. Along with my counterpart and the valedictorian and senior class president, I will be one …

Discrimination

What kind of discrimination are you comfortable with? You are comfortable with discrimination; I'm sure of it. The question is just what kind, and how much.

Discrimination takes places all the time in society. Not only existing on a personal level when judging others, discrimation is institutionalized - whether in gender-specific sports teams or height-restrictive occupations. We accept these kind of things because at some level they make sense: girls and boys are generally at different athletic levels, and astronauts have to fit in the shuttle. There is, however, a vast and grave amount of discrimination that occurs in our society that is noted even less than inconsistences between people of different genders, ages, or physiques. And this discrimination has not a shred of sense to it. We accept this discrimination not for any rational concept or practical situation, but simply because it is what we know - just as things were for people from the American South to South Africa. Wha…

The Importance of Minutes

As of a few minutes ago, I am now eighteen years old. I don't think I quite accept that yet, but it's interesting how I feel so... similar - as compared to how I was a few minutes before it became my birthday.

Of course, this shouldn't be surprising. Nothing really has changed. Birthdays are only important and they only affect our lives when we give them meaning. Indeed, I probably have not yet been alive eighteen years yet, given that I wasn't born a few minutes after midnight. On the other hand, I was born in Georgia, which hurtles through time four hours ahead of Alaska, and I think I was born in the morning, so I could be getting really close. If you think about things in an even different way, I've probably been alive eighteen years and a few months already - or if you're quite convinced that zygotes are life, I guess I would be eighteen years nine months for you.

Here's something that just popped into my mind: If birthdays aren't really anniversarie…

Beyond Advanced Placement

Last Wednesday I took the College Board's Advanced Placement Calculus AB Exam. It was quite the experience. The exam was the fourth AP test I had taken in my life, but it was the first and only one I took in a subject not in the humanities. The next day, I took the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Exam. It was the last AP test I will ever take.

Calculus was quite the strange kettle of fish. In the days leading up to the test I did a complete test from years before, so I actually did know what I was up against. On the practice test I scored half a point short of a five (the highest "grade" you can get)—but in some ways I still felt that I really wasn't fully enough aware of the material to do well on it. In essence I felt that although I could do the problems and come up with answers, most of the time I wasn't fully comprehending either my means or my purpose in reaching those answers. During the actual exam the experience largely seemed the s…

One Hundred Flowers

There really is something wrong with our media. It's increasingly divided, biased, stupid... at least in its so-called "mainstream." So what can we do to fix this?

I would never suggest that government regulation of speech is the solution here - not through ideas such as the "fairness doctrine" or anything like that. I value our freedom of speech and press very dearly, but what if there is something that government could do - not to regulate speech, but to regulate the businesses that process real speech - the businesses that give the American consumer their crappy little product and call it news.
You know what I'm talking about - NBC and FOX alike, CNN, all of them. All of them? What am I talking about? That is all of them.
My proposal is brief, and I hope it needs no further description than this (though all discussion is entirely welcome): The time has come again for trust-busting. The monopolization of the American media must be stopped, and it must be …

Your Bugging the Crap Out of Me

Your probably not going to believe this, but I believe that the most common grammatical mistake that you're average plebian makes is the confusion of two words - nearly homophonic and separated in spelling only by two characters, but each with very distinct meanings and what one would think would would be easily found distinctions.

Yes, I am going to write here of the your/you're dichotomy, and I hope you noticed that I used exactly the wrong usage of these words in both my title and the preceding paragraph. If you didn't, I very much urge you to continue reading. From now on I shall treat each word as it should be - correctly.

Have you ever noticed, say, teh denegration uv r spch evidenced in text messaging, internet memes, and general popular kultur? Some may claim this is all spurred by convenience, but I beg to differ. In truth these changes must ultimately lie with the desire to abuse language for the abuse's sake, and this is not something I ever deign to indulge…

A Year of Publishing

I can't believe I missed my blog's anniversary. Here it is anyways, PP: Happy birthday!

As of last Friday, the Publisher is now one year old. A year ago I was blogging about the end of my junior year, taking the SAT, the very beginnings of the presidential election, being fat... my how things change. In a year of blogging, here's what the Publisher has to show:

who knows how many comments from who knows how many visitors; visitors from who knows how many different places, visiting for who knows how many different reasons; 153 posts, 2478 visits, 3987 page views, countless moments writing, countless moments reading, countless records made, countless memories stored... one little blog.
Thanks, Publisher. In some places people give presents to others when its their birthday, but you give me a gift all the time - the gift of encouraging someone to express themselves.

Thoughts on Same-Sex Marriage

Opposition to gay marriage is something I simply do not understand. That's it - simple. I understand opposition to pacifism, I understand support of abortion, of euthanasia, of capitalism... Generally I do have some idea of the motivating factors behind ideological stances opposite to my own. But on same-sex marriage... no.

This issue is not something I talk about very often, nor is it a major issue for me (and indeed, many of my gay friends have even expressed to me that they do not consider it particularly important). Despite this, I still feel as if those who oppose the allowance of same-sex marriages just... have nothing on which to stand.

If we start with religious ideals, particularly "God's condemnation of homosexuality," you quickly realize that many attitudes reflected in the Bible are not at all consistent with what today's Christians (even the most conservative) should or do believe. Additionally, it's obvious that such beliefs are not legislated. …