Sex Education: Fun Times, Good times

Ah, sex. Great dinner topic, am I right?

Many people are very uncomfortable with this subject and I can kind of see why. It’s the same way people are uncomfortable with discussing their recent bowl movement with their neighbors. Not only is it TMI, but also it is kind of a warning sign you should maybe pick a different living community.

At the same time, it is a natural part of human life. Why should people be embarrassed?

In school, at least in the USA, sex is not covered until seventh grade in public school. Sure, teachers go over basic anatomy in fifth and sixth grade, but nothing about intercourse; its just a basic run down of puberty so girls don’t think they are dying when they first get their period.  If you go to a private school, though, the admin has a lot more leeway with sexual instruction, so some worm their way out of teaching it at all.

Cause ignorance is bliss, right?

I’m going to narrate my experience in the sexual education system. My experience may be different from others, but that goes without saying. Without further ado, let’s dig in.

In fifth grade, there was a special day where girls and boys split up into unisex groups and went to separate classrooms for “The Talk.” My group went to the science teacher for the gifted program. There we sat down and the teacher presented a PowerPoint with information about the general female anatomy and menstruation. There were no specifics regarding male genitalia that I can remember and the presentation took about twenty to thirty minutes. After that was the question period where the teacher would answer questions, or we could write one down on a piece of paper and she would answer them at the end. The whole process went smoothly, and the teacher did her best to explain everything clearly.

In sixth grade, the same information was presented by the science teacher, but this time it was worked into the regular class schedule, so girls got physical information on both sexes.

In seventh grade, the school required students to take a comprehensive class about health. This class included dietary, physiological, and sexual education for one semester. This was the class most kids were introduced to sex via the school system. They may have had prior knowledge, as I did, going into the class. My teacher began with the basic anatomy, the whole shindig. She kind of glossed over what sexual intercourse actually was, opting for the ever-popular approach, “does anyone not know what sex is?” Like a middle schooler is going to honestly answer no. After that, she took several days to discuss the whole thing, and it was very informative.

Eighth grade gets a little sketchy. My original teacher moved to Texas due to a family situation and my class received a replacement teacher. He gave us a newspaper to read and annotate about the Lake Worth Lagoon for a month. Then he gave us a pamphlet on sex ed and had us read it out loud in class. That was it.

I just love knowing tax dollars went into this very in depth instruction.

Oh, but I left off the best part. So, we covered the organs and contraceptives like condoms and the pill, and that was fine. Then, we get to the page on emergency contraceptives like Plan B, and he just skips over it. A girl in class asked about them and he just said, “If you’re abstinent, you won’t have to worry about it.”

Well, thanks, asshat. Now I’m sure I’m going to join a convent.

At the time I was irritated, but I already knew what it was, so it wasn’t a huge deal. Then, I moved to High School and everything was dandy. I became acquaintances with a girl in my Marine Science class and she seemed pretty chill. Then, after the second week, I never saw her again. Apparently she got knocked up before school started and dropped out of high school at fourteen years old.

Who’s not worrying about it, again?

The people teaching teenagers to be abstinent aren’t going to suffer the consequences of this ignorance-based education. They aren’t going to have a kid at fourteen, drop out of high school, possibly get kicked out of the house, and be on welfare by the age of fifteen.

Later, when I was a junior in high school, I was talking to some sophomore girls. One thought using tampons would make her lose her virginity, one didn’t know that you don’t urinate out of your vagina, and the other decided to have sex within a few months, didn’t matter too much who with, just to “get it over with.”

10/10 sex ed right here.

Abstinence-based sexual education has gone on far too long.

So the next time you are embarrassed discussing the birds and the bees, think of the teenagers too embarrassed to ask if condoms prevent STDs in class, and certainly to their parents. If the adult is embarrassed, the teenager learns that sex is an embarrassing topic.

I was going to cite something here about teen pregnancy rates and the correlation to increased awareness of sexual activities and risks, but I found a beautiful article I would like to share instead.

Here is the link to the article

The entire platform of this ‘news site’ is being pro-life (A topic for a different time). The article popped up when I searched for information, and my interest was piqued. I did not want to share inaccurate information, so I checked it out. The main idea of this article is to demonstrate how areas with comprehensive sexual education show little to no reduction in STI or pregnancy rates. The article cites this study as its main support.

I checked out the study. First of all, the article uses the quote “There is little evidence that educational curriculum-based programs alone are effective in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents.”¹

This is very interesting, as I would have thought it was the opposite. I feel like knowing about HIV in the first place would make one more cautious when banging someone, but apparently I was wrong.

Plot twist: I was not wrong.

The article fails to disclose the rest of the abstract (where they took this quote). When taken in conjunction with the rest of the abstract, the quote takes on an entirely different meaning.

“There is a continued need to provide health services to adolescents that include contraceptive choices and condoms and that involve
them in the design of services. Schools may be a good place in which to provide these services. There is little evidence that educational
curriculum-based programmes alone are effective in improving sexual and reproductive health outcomes for adolescents. Incentive-based
interventions that focus on keeping young people in secondary school may reduce adolescent pregnancy but further trials are
needed to confirm this.”²

I know, WTF. This is completely different from what the article was stating. In reality, the study supports that these sexual education programs are needed. However, one must go to school in order for these curriculum-based programs to work. Given that five out of the eight studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, I can see why attending school may be an issue when there is no monetary incentive; one could be working and earning money instead of attending school.

It’s almost like they took this one statement out of a credible source in order to further their political and monetary (the site relies on kind donations from its supporters) agenda with little regard to the misleading and manipulative nature of their information. I’ve never heard of that before.

And people wonder why I’m a cynical teenager.

References:

¹ Hoffman, Matthew Cullinan. “Major study: Sex-Ed programs don’t reduce STI’s, teen pregnancy, HIV.” LifeSiteNews, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/major-international-study-finds-no-improvement-in-sexual-health-outcomes-fr. Accessed 24 Sept. 2017.

² Mason-Jones AJ, Sinclair D, Mathews C, Kagee A, Hillman A, Lombard C.
School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD006417.
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006417.pub3.

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Crochet is Hard?

You may walk through a store sometime and see the cutest top ever. It could be blue with little crocheted designs on it. You think to yourself “Wow, that’s really nice!” and check the price. If this cute piece of work is out of your price range, you may just do the calculations in your head an suddenly a brilliant idea comes into your head. ‘If I just had one of my friends make this for me, I could get it for real cheap or even free!’

Good for you, you have a generous friend who can crochet (or knit, we do not discriminate here at cynicalteenager). You can make them spend hours, possibly days crocheting this top for you for no cost to you. Nice.

crochet-1

Now, I’m just a little salty that everyone thinks crochet is sooooo goddamn easy. Honey, if you think crocheting is that easy, do it yourself. Reading a crochet pattern is like reading a different language. I like to challenge people to tell me what certain crochet patterns are saying.

Here’s a quick, easy, little example:

ch 22.

Anyone with any crocheting experience knows exactly what this says, but do other people?  Here’s another example, but a little more complicated:

Sc in 2nd ch from hook, *dc in next ch, sc in next ch; repeat from * across-21 sts

This is still pretty simple, just with a few more steps.

Try this one:

colour:0 sc8, colour:4 sc1, colour:0 sc5, colour:4 sc2, colour:0 sc2, colour:4 sc5, colour:0 sc2, colour:4 sc1, colour:0 sc3, colour:4 sc2, colour:0 sc4, colour:4 sc1, colour:3 sc15, colour:2 sc1, colour:0 sc9, colour:2 sc1, colour:3 sc5, colour:2 sc1, colour:0 sc9, colour:4 sc2, colour:0 sc2, colour:4 sc6, colour:1 sc13

Good luck with that one.

crochet-3

Let me tell you, crochet is time-consuming and expensive as well. A thing of good yarn costs like $3 right now, and most projects take more than one skein. It may cost someone ten dollars to crochet that top for you and probably at least ten hours, depending on the hook size, speed of the individual, and complexity of the pattern.

So next time, please do not underestimate the effort that crochet requires. If someone, including your grandmother, gives you a crochet gift, show the love a little with a thank you note 🙂

Why I Am An Atheist

Two years ago, in my sociology class, my teacher asked for a show of hands around the classroom for the representation of different faiths. There were about ten Catholics, nine Protestants, two Jews, one Buddhist/Christian (a kid with parents of different beliefs), and other assorted Christian denominations like Lutheran, etc. Then there was little old me who raised their hand when the teacher asked about atheists. He was interested in knowing my opinion; all of the kids were. I simply shared that I could not reconcile what I have personally observed in the world and what I held in my world view with some sort of God or supreme being.

Everyone seemed cool with that except this one girl, whom I have know for many years and disliked for the majority of that time. She decides to say, “I will pray for you.”

What the f*ck?

I did the traditional “I’ll be thinking of you” bullshit that atheists always do when confronted with people like this.

I understand that when people say things like this, they mean well 99.999999% of the time. They genuiely wish to express that they care for you and hope for the best for you. And that is great when someone is sick, in a bad relationship or breakup, lost their job, or some other terrible thing occurs in someones life. I would probably say the same thing to someone religious (or at least the atheist equivalent).

But what did I say that warranted that kind of response? I don’t have cancer, bitch. And it isn’t you job to save me from a hell I don’t belive exists, either.

Below are some of my reasons for being atheist:

Heaven/Hell 

Personally, I believe that, should people go to heaven or hell after death (I have an open-mind, anything could happen I suppose), it should be based on a merit system rather than a I-prayed-six-times-a-day-and-was-a-priest-and-could-recite-the-entire-new-testament kind of system. Volunteered in orphanages in Southeast Asia? Lobbied for environmental protection? Good job.

Hold on, wait just a minute! You forgot Jesus was the reason for the season? Your ass is burning for eternity! You married the same gender? Damnation. You forgot that women didn’t have the right to choose? F*ck you and your sinner ass!

In what way does this system make sense?

Blind Faith

What bothers me most about established religious teachings is the willfull ignorance of followers. When a person of another belief system or no belief system brings up a relevant point about someone’s religion, suddenly it becomes a matter of faith.

God supposedly gave us brains for a reason, but religion of any kind gives us the excuse to simply forget that things like evolution and other ideas exist. If I was on the same level as any god, I would want my creations to be thinking beings! If I wanted a colony of bees, I would not have given my creations the degree of thought humans possess. And, if I did want my creations to follow me to that degree, why would I leave room for doubt in their minds? I am all-powerful, right?

atheism 1

Sayings that will never be disconfirmed

In Christianity there is a saying “God works in mysterious ways.” So, when there is a supposed miracle, God has worked his magic to save the day. But when ISIS decapitates another journalist or another woman gives herself a coat-hanger abortion because she can’t get one legally or when a boy about to go to high school blows his brains out to escape what seemed to be a charmed life, God is still working his magic. As someone who has seem what life can throw at people, be it the death of a parent, the loss of a child, sickness, and depression, I don’t think any god worthy of praise would allow these things to happen.

The problem is that no amount of logic or reasoning or proof otherwise will ever be able to disconfirm this belief. It is vague enough to ellude contradiction but concrete enough to warrant belief. If someone can figure out a logical trap for this statement, I will give them five hundred dollars.

Religious beliefs are littered with these statements, of which have no possibility of falsification.

Morals

A popular question thrown at atheists is the notion of “If you don’t believe in God, where do you get your morals?”

There is a simple answer: your brain. More specifically, the judgment section of your frontal lobe. That’s pretty much what is doing the governing anyway. Last time I checked, the Bible didn’t bitch slap you of it own accord everytime everytime you said the word ‘shit’. No. That’s not how it works, people. Society declares the morals of the masses, not a book written by people two thousand years ago or more. As it should, otherwise we would still be stoning adulterers to death instead of going on Judge Judy for ‘pain and suffering’.

So, there you have it. Probably the most unorganized blog post by an atheist you will ever find. If you don’t like what I think, that’s fine. I am not trying to convert people. On the contrary, figure out what works best for you to acheive your own happiness. That is all I want.

 

The Young People Today…

There are many things in life that piss me off. After all, I am just a hormonal teenager. I clearly cannot assess issues with my own thoughts and beliefs, nor should I try. But three things piss me off:

  1. When people say they are going to pray for me
  2. When people are hypocritical
  3. When people complain about the youth of today and dream of the ‘good old days’

Today (or rather, this morning, for I am drafting this at 12:14 AM), I shall address the third number.

Be aware that this is my personal post. If you disagree with what I have to say, there are many options to choose from. You may: click off of this page because you can see that this is not up your alley, read it and then get on with your day, read it then leave a respectful comment, or read it and get angry and get the f*ck out. I doubt that this post will get anyone triggered though.

Moving on now, I would like to address my grievance. When I say “people complaining about the youth of today”, I am refering to the dunderheads that see the young adults in today’s society and condemn them as low lifes, filth, or not as upstanding as the ‘good old days’.

Gee, golly whiz pal, let’s go fishing! I have to be home for dinner, though; dinner is always at 5pm. If I am late, Mom will give me a lickin’ for sure!

hatsune miku

I was recently talking to my mom about her childhood. And, just a little hint: her childhood was nothing like this! She was raised by a single mother until she remarried. Her best friend was also raised by a single parent (virtually no parent, but that is not my business). My grandmother moved down here from Canada and never had a lot of money. All of the children ended up getting jobs. Her sister finally scraped enough together to buy an air conditioner for her mother, who used to cry because of the heat. So some people want to tell me it was so much better back then? And, oh yeah, my grandmother retired happily after remarrying for a third time and is now my next door neighbor. My mother went to Grad School.

Rosy retrospection is a state in which someone recalls past events more fondly then they would have assessed them when they actually occured. It is like how you recall summer during every school year as some sort of beacon of hope, remembering it as way more fun then it actually was. But when you get to your next summer, it’s half way through and you’re bored as shit. Yeah, it is the same phenomenon.

Now that the people who are doing the complaining are getting on in years, they have a tendency to remember things with a way more favorable reaction then they would have before. Goddamn, that paddle on the ass sure straightened me up! And I am sure glad that I remained abstinent, alcohol-free, and never once smoked marijuana for my entire adolescence! That’s a joke, right? RIGHT?

Open your eyes!

We live in a world dominated by technology and science. Chances are, the people fixing your internet connection are not eligible for Social Security, ya old fart. The young people are the ones the old are relying on; calling us a bunch of names is not exactly a pat on the back, gramps.

thanks a lot

It is more than that, though.

When I look around at my friends, I see a group of heavily motivated, successful, bright, engaging young adults. The entire marching band I am in is composed (eh? composed? haha) of teenagers. These wonderful individuals spend hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours to put together a show for the school and for themselves. How can someone claim these people as the ‘lazy generation’? It is inconceivable and just unintelligent to do so. And, of course, we have our faults as well. Some people may swear a lot, some people drink too much, some people are oversexed. It is the way of the world. No one is perfect.

These old people need to stop expecting us to be perfect.

We don’t need our teachers hitting us to teach us a lesson, nor should we be raised without access to technology just to prove a point. Let the children be children. Let the teenagers be teenagers. With realistic expectations and restrictions, of course. Last time I checked, the so called ‘millenials’ never got us into the Iraq War, created this huge debt hole the USA is in, or caused the hole in the ozone layer (I heard the the hole is actually starting to regenerate, so three cheers for good news, am I right?). Take a look at yourselves, folks, before you start shit.

Mistakes happen (lol, duh, Donald Trump is a nominee for President), so it is best to learn from them rather than long for the time before. It is pointless. It is unneccessary. It is downright insulting.

This is CynicalTeenagerBlog, signing off from this post at around 1:00am. Good Morning, peeps!

Gosh Darn Math

Grade school math sucks. There is no way around it. Grade school math, especially in the higher maths and the aimless word problems, is a complete waste of time.

Or is it?

I have come across a task today in which I feel a tad ridiculous. I used the damn word problem bullshit I have come to expect from Algebra 2. It is official; I have used this so called ‘pointless’ math.

I woke up this morning with the urge to make strawberry kiwi jam. Yes, you read that right. Without any prompting, I wanted to make a batch. Mind you, I have only made jam once in my life before and I did not really like how it turned out. I have never even tasted strawberry kiwi jam before.

Just for clarification, I am NOT pregnant, either.

So, I drove to the store, picked up some strawberries, kiwis, pectin, jars, lemon juice, and crystallized ginger (I did not even know that was a thing until I read the recipe). I also picked up some blackberries because they were on sale, and I have been on a diet for the past two weeks, so I figured, hey, why the hell not.

The jars only came in packs of twelve. Yes, TWELVE. What the literal f*ck am I going to do with twelve mason jars? Don’t you think it would be better to come in four, per se? For the folks like me who just want one batch and really don’t want to have to find a place for eight mason jars in a cabinet.

Resigned, I got home and made my jam. But them I glanced at the counter and saw the blueberries perched upon the granite. It was like I found Jesus or something. I snatched those up and realized that I had four cups of blackberries and four cups of blueberries. Google must have the answer!

Google did not have the answer, to my dismay. All the recipes I found were for either mixed berry, or just showed pictues. Well, excuse me if I am not Rainman here and can’t just count the amount of berries your mashing. Thanks man.

At a loss, I scanned the pectin box and found the recipes inside. I found that the blackberry needed 6 cups and the blueberry needed 5. So, that is 2/3 of the blackberry and 4/5 of the blueberry. If you multiply that, you get 5/6. So I added sugar amounts up and found 5/6 of that. Then I decided, f*ck that noise, and dumped five cups of sugar and a packet of pectin and roasted it. It tastes good, so whatever I did worked.

I had 4.3 jars full of Strawberry Kiwi and 4 jars of Blackberry Blueberry. I used the leftovers from the Blueberry Blackberry concoction and combined them. So, now I have 8.6  jars out of the twelve, with only three leftover as opposed to seven.

It’s all in a day’s work for me. And, I kind of used the jam-making as an excuse to not go to my uncle’s party.

English IV Honors is gone?

At my school, course selection sheets have just come out, and EVERYONE is chattering about how English IV honors is no longer being offered to seniors. Now, the only classes offered are ESOL, college-readiness (the flunky class), AICE Literature, AICE General Papers, and AP Literature.

At first, I was quick to dismiss the complaints as just that. Empty, angsty complaints. After all, how privileged do you have to be to really give a hoot about what English course is offered senior year. Let’s face it, you’re not going to try anyway. It is senior year, the year most notorious for senioritis and general laziness. Why does English IV matter?

However, the more I thought about it, the more befuddled I became. The whole situation was just plain unnecessary. If English IV had remained on the selection sheet, there would be no harm. Just the opposite, actually. Many students take a free period senior year to work at a job or enjoy themselves. Now, with the only only real option for senior English classes being college-level classes, those seniors now have to work that much harder in a class they did not want to take in the first place. And all for what? I’ll tell you why.

Money.

Every student that passes the AICE or AP exams in the Spring earns the school additional funding. So, by making most seniors take a college class, the chance of more kids passing the exam increases drastically. On a basic level, my school is profiting from forcing kids to take exams they did not want to take.

Now, I understand that my school needs money. I am completely fine with that. Schools pretty much get the funding equivalent to the worth of the gum found on the bottom of the governor’s shoe. But the move towards all college classes is illogical.

It is like inflation, or the Flynn Effect. The Flynn Effect refers to the gradual increase in IQ scores since testing began around eighty years ago. Researchers are not sure if the test is the issue, or if increased food supply, medicine, education, and technology are to blame for the inflation of the scores. Let’s say you have an IQ of 100, average. Back in 1940, that may have meant you were in the middle, while now it may make people think you are a dumb ass.

This is very similar to what the administrators are doing to English students. Standards are going to have to be lowered in the courses to accommodate those not ready or not willing to take the college-level class, or all the students’ little mommies are going to complain to the school board that little Johnny is flunking AICE General Papers. So, the work required is lowered, and many people achieve high marks. If you are an alumni of the school, and took the class when the standards were higher, your ‘A’ is now meaningless.

Then Spring rolls around, and AP and AICE tests are upon us. All the flunkies who took the class to get the credit are going to A) not even show up the exam B) Christmas-tree it C) try, yet still not understand it because they are stupid as hell, or D) have no idea what they are doing because the class was way easier than the test. In all these scenarios, the student has a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, and all of the work put in over the year is in the dumps. The pass rate of the exam falls, and over all, the move to all college classes was a waste of time. And the mommies still end up complaining to the school board about how little Johnny did not pass his exam, and how it is all the school’s fault.

And, yeah, it kind of would be.

I hope they end up putting English IV Honors back so I don’t have to deal with stupid kids in my Literature class next year, but it is not the end of the world. I only have a year left. Thank God for that.

The Cynical Teenager: Why the Cynicism?

Ah, high school. The tumultuous period of life where everything matters. The guidance counselor messed up your schedule? She must hate you, for absolutely no reason. Someone has the same prom dress as you? Sweet baby Jesus, it’s Armageddon. There is no point in trying on anything anymore. One eyeliner wing is more angled than another? You can’t leave your bathroom for fear of someone actually caring.

So, I’m going to lay down the law in regards to teenage ‘issues’ and the, like, million things teenagers deal with everyday.

No one cares. Least of all me.

In this blog I will document anything that pops into my head that I think I should talk about. Sex-ed? You betcha. Book reviews? Yep. The difficulties of my life? Hell no.

For example, there is a real issue at hand right under the noses of many teenagers, currently affecting their lives. The AP U.S. History course offered by College Board recently altered its curriculum after a group of conservatives criticized the course for taking a negative view of American history. Ben Carson, the one and only, stated that “‘most people’ who completed the course would then be ‘ready to sign up for ISIS'”(Found this in the Washington Post, thought it was funny as all hell).

Ignoring the frankly amusing idiocy that appears to have come over Ben Carson in this moment, let’s take a look at this issue head-on, shall we? There are two sides to this, the side that does not believe that the course was negatively slanted, and the side that does. For consolidation purposes, and I am sure you guys will agree, we will refer to these groups as the left and the right, respectively.

The right stated that in the 2014 version of the exam, the history of the U.S. was described as shifts in power, a glorious tug-of-war. The exam did not include some names such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Benjamin Franklin. The course framework did not describe the exceptionalism of America, nor the principles that unify the nation. By not including these necessary elements, the exam was doing students a disservice.

The left, namely College Board until it decided to woos out, defended the framework, stating that the right ‘misunderstood’ the course framework. College Board explained that AP U.S. History teachers are already experts in their field of study: American History. The framework was only a guide for teachers to use in the classroom.

So here is my take: What the f*** is exceptionalism? I am being completely serious right now. I even looked it up on Wikipedia, because we all know Wikipedia is legit. It says, “American exceptionalism is one of three related ideas. The first is that the history of the United States is inherently different from other nations”. Really? Are you for real? Because, I would think that the U.S. would have an inherently different history, because it is, I don’t know, an inherently different country. I mean, damn. What about Canadian exceptionalism? Peruvian exceptionalism? Icelandic exceptionalism? Their history is inherently different, and therefore must be exceptional.

The central dogma of this issue is the fact that it lies in treacherous waters. You don’t believe in American exceptionalism? Oh my God, you are a terrorist, socialist, abomination of nature. At least, that is what Ben Carson thinks. That is why the right was able to get the curriculum changed in the first place.

Again, this is all my opinion. Feel free to disagree. Actually, it may be good if you don’t, because then you would not be nearly as cynical as me.

Not all of my posts will be this heated, but if you like this, please visit my blog again!