Updates and Other Nonsense

Hello peeps, 

I know it’s been radio silence for a while, but this is my blog so I do what I want. I’m just posting some off my recent hobbies for people to maybe see (I’m not desperate for attention btw, but it does seem like that)

Crochet:

I just opened an etsy shop with some jellyfish and bags! It’s called flashysplashycrochet and I will be adding more items when I get around to working on some

Music: 

I am working with my new microphone on a piece featuring flute and clarinet, now that I have something to get a good sound with. I’ll give you a hint: Charlotte Church

School:

In about two weeks I will be moving off the Fordham University in NYC. I’m both stressed and excited, but it will certainly be an adventure.

That’s pretty much it for now. I have another post in the works, but who knows when I’ll get around to that. 

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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.

President’s Own United States Marine Band!

Right now, the President’s Own Marine Band is about to play and I’m very excited! There is a good turn out:

Right now they are just warming up, but they are playing some cool stuff. One of the songs, Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin, my band has played before.

The concert is about to begin, so bye for now!

Hurricane Matthew

I just wanted to put my two cents in about the coming hurricane. So, if you don’t live in or around Florida, this may be an unfamiliar topic. Well, the recent hurricane, a category 4, has been tracking closer and closer to my home, and I am getting a little freaked out. So, if no one reads this, I don’t mind because this is just an exercise of relieving stress.

You see, I live on the coast, a five minute’s drive from the beach. I live a thirty second walk from a major river. We are forecasted, at this point, to have sustained 100 mph winds. Needless to say, I am a little frightened. I am not sure what to do because we have done everything and the cone keeps tracking further west closer and closer to my home and I hope very much that we do not get the eye wall. If that happens, I am not sure how much of my house will be left. (Hey, I can always say my house was destroyed on the goddamn FAFSA and get some f*ckin’ money for college)

So, for any of you Floridians out there, stay safe and, for those of you far and away from Florida, wish me luck!

Update:

The hurricane ended up veering north ( wobble baby, am I right?) Everything is good in my area, but there was a lot of flooding up north. We really lucked out here!

New Flute Cover

I just recently got a new program for putting together flute covers and I believe it to be pretty awesome, not gonna lie. I am now using Audacity, a free download, to mix and record flute pieces. Hope you like it! I am really proud of myself!

P.S. sorry for the hiatus! I have been super busy with dual enrollment and marching band rehearsals

Why I Love Music?

I was so bored today. So completely, mind-numbingly, rather alarmingly bored. There are no words in the English language potent enough to describe how bored I was today. I had to utilze all of my Youtube playlists to keep afloat.

Summer has indeed begun.

I am in high school, and as such, summer is a time of rejoycing, of giving thanks to the school board gods for ending school in time for some fun in the summer heat. The sun. The sand. The waves. Nothing encaptures a summer day like the beach. The ranks of instagram and snapchat are filled with beach pictures and videos.

The only problem, for me, is that I don’t really like going to the beach.

I know, boo-f*cking-hoo. Poor ME, I don’t LIKE the beach. The whole world must stop and readjust itself to suit my needs (obviously).

Let me explain.

I am pale as the moon, alabaster, white, translucent, and any other descriptors for the unfortunately snowy-skinned population. Believe me, I go outside all of the time, and I live in Florida for Christ’s-sake. One would think I would have built up some sort of tan, but alas, this has not come to pass. And as such, a trip to the beach is not as simple as slapping on a bathing suit, climbing in the car, and going. No. I must put layers of sunscreen all over my body. Yep, 100+ SPF. Sunscreen that just has to be showered off two hours later.

I am chunky, overweight, flabby, and as euphemisms deem it, ‘beautiful’, or some other bullshit. I am down with it, but I also don’t want to worry about my breasts tumbling out of some revealing concoction of ruffles either. So, I wear a cute one-piece that is a bit of a rough ride to get over and around my ass.

I am out-of-shape, wimpy, asthmatic, and just not a physical person. So, I am content to just bury myself in the sand or float in the water, but beach volley ball is just NOT my idea of a good time.

So, not only is going a pain, but it is a little pointless to even try.

Now, you may be thinking, “You’re just some dumbass kid. You really live up to your name, Miss Cynical Teenager. Are you just some other millenial I here about on Fox News?”

fox news

Okay, first of all, if you fit into the category of Fox News watcher, please go outside right now, I mean it, and spray yourself in the face with a water hose. Just do it.

Anyways,

I like music, and I consider myself to be pretty good at it.

I can play the flute, clarinet, piano, and piccolo. I have composed two piano songs of my own( here and here). And I have taught myself how to do all of these things.

I am no master, by any stretch. I am not a prodigy or even very good, all things considered. I think this is the real appeal of music for me, which sounds weird to say.

The best thing about music is that you don’t have to be very good.  Music can be a one-man show or an entire effort by a group. Music can be out doors or indoors. Music can be subdued or expressive. Music can be internal or external. Hell, music can be all of these things at the same time.

Music is beautiful.

There is no way around it. Music contains what is the best in this world. All people here about these days are shootings and bombings and diseases and wars and discrimination and debt and suffering. Malnutrition and starvation and parasites and death and injustice and ingnorance and destruction. Music, if it is even just for a moment, can make all of these things go away.

Music can expose you to the world with different styles and traditional instruments; you can expose music with your own styles and feelings. Music is meaning without language, sorrow without sadness, joy without laughter.

And that is why I like music.

Have you ever heard someone disagree about a song? Has there ever been a #Brexit decision about a piece of music? No, because I think music is one of the only things we as human beings can agree on. And thank God for that, or else my newsfeed would be even worse.

So, while other teenagers are at the beach enjoying themselves, I will be having a grand old time working on my next flute cover.

F*ck sunscreen. I have some music to learn.

My Positively Fascinating Review Format!

That whole title is sarcastic. This post will most likely be as boring as watching a Hot Pocket microwave.

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However, it is necessary so I can avoid screwing myself over later. So, here it is, a break down of my format (YAY!!!).

  1.  I will introduce the book in some undoubtedly forced way. I will state how I got the book (most likely) or some initial thoughts.
  2. An Amazon summary or an equivalent
  3. Any other thoughts I have
  4. My thoughts on the Plot
  5. My thoughts on the Characters
  6. My thoughts on the Writing Style
  7. My thoughts on the cover and other physical attributes
  8. My final thoughts
  9. The score (a subjective, numerical value that I calculate using a score 1-10 for the Plot, Characters, Writing Style, Cover, and Enjoyment)

So this is pretty much it, unless I decide to change it. Enjoy 🙂

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!