Better keyboard this time.

So now I’m typing on my mom’s Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. Surprising it’s pretty comfortable. The only thing that bothers me is where it splits down the middle of the keyboard. On the right-most part of the left half of the keys are the T, G and B key. This upsets me, because I always used my right hand to type a B. Now I make this awkward movement with my left index finger to hit the B. Unfortunately this is my mistake as I remember in my 5th grade typing class being told that B is supposed to be reached with the left hand… I don’t know how you people do it. 

So yeah it’s 3:03 AM and, of course, I can’t sleep. This is becoming a common theme of the Summer if you couldn’t tell. At least I have a much nicer keyboard this time, though.

I honestly cannot wait to go back to college. I’m bored to hell. I work 4-5 hour shifts at The Market doing work that doesn’t matter at all… And when I’m not working, I’m sitting around either hanging with Steph (which is okay) or just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I also use my fair share of Minecraft. 

I want to go back to school so I can be productive again. I want to have important work to be done. I want to be up late at night doing things that actually matter. I can’t wait to pull my first all-nighter at the library due to over-procrastination. I’m looking forward to the new subjects I’ll be covering. Multivariate calc I heard was tough but I love calculus, so it’s cool. I’ll be taking two core computer science classes: Computing and programming methodology. I’ll also be taking an intro to C programming. Then physics, which should be fine because I covered it in high school. Then some gened about comic books. I’ve got a 20 credit semester ahead of me, but that’s alright. I took 21 first semester and 19 last semester. People hear that and look at me like I’m crazy.

I can’t wait to go downtown on Friday nights with the guys to get Antonio’s and stay up late playing ping pong. I can’t wait to not be the stupid ass who parties every night and doesn’t do well in class. I can’t wait to feel like my future is actually going to happen soon. 

I don’t know if I’m repeating anything from my last two posts… Whatever, I’m making good progress here.

I’ve already considered grad school. I’m considering game development. This all started with when I decided to watch “Indie Game: The Movie” on netflix one night when I was bored. I watched it and was amazed. Something clicked. I grew up attached to my N64 and PS2. I’ve always loved gaming. And ever since I took computer science classes, I’ve always thought about games differently while playing them. For example; Whenever I play a game, I might think to myself “I wonder if this is just a series of if statements that deals with limiting where we can go and when we hit a wall” and then I might watch a video one how to program graphics in Java and I’d learn that it’s something called collision detection. And what’s even better is that I’m seeing how things I’m learning in college will definitely be relevant to all of this, like linear algebra… (Fucking hate linear algebra…)

I think that if I do well in computer science here at UMass, and if I don’t come up with another idea by graduation, I’d like to go spend the Fall/Winter with my Dad in Florida while attending grad school at UCF’s FIEA video game development program. It’s rated by the Princeton Review as one of the top grad schools for video game dev. and I think I’d love it. I’ve watched a ton of videos and read up on it quite a bit. Pretty much every student who graduates gets a job in a big time game company (EA, Irrational, Bethesda, etc). 

But I still wonder, is this something I can see myself doing?

For some reason, I have this feeling that I’m going to fail out of computer science and I’ll need to switch majors. Like it’s going to get way too hard. I don’t know.

I feel like I still belong in the field of music. I wish I didn’t care about money at all or else I would have definitely continued with Jazz Bass performance. I would love to record with amazing musicians. Maybe I’m just still in the process of accepting that music will always be my favorite hobby. 

Speaking of music, I’m obsessed with a dude named Thundercat right now. He’s fucking nasty. He plays a six string bass and plays chords and sings and nandan;to;gni… Listen to him.

Alright. I think I’m officially ready to go to sleep. It’s 3:22 AM.

Good night.

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Typing on an old-ass keyboard.

So I plugged in my old ass ZBoard keyboard that I used back in my World of Warcraft days. It’s just some big empty keyboard that has interchangeable keyboard layouts that you can get specifically for certain video games. Right now I’ve got the standard keyboard layout snapped in. It’s loud as fuck… But I get some weird nostalgic satisfaction by typing on a clunky keyboard again. Makes me feel young **insert reminiscent face here**. 

Once again, I’m very tired, but not enough to sleep. It’s 3:06 AM.

I got into bed and thought about how tired I was but couldn’t fall asleep. So I got out of bed  and grabbed the keyboard, and set it up. Then I thought, “Well fuck… Now what?” Of course I had to break it in, so this was my best option.

My mom had her first chemotherapy session on Monday. She said it went well. She goes in for a biopsy tomorrow morning (technically three hours from now). 

I’ve been watching Breaking Bad lately. Of course Walt’s cancer is much more serious than my mother’s, but–I don’t know–it makes me feel like I’m learning something about cancer… Like how to respond to my mother’s possibly eventual pain. I’m trying to be ready for when she’s too exhausted to do anything. She’s already been telling me that she notices fatigue.

Anyway, I tutored some lady’s two sons in math tonight. One’s a tenth grader; the other’s a seventh grader. They’re both well behaved kids. Sadly, they just aren’t grasping math. The older one is busy all the time with sports, and the younger one has ADD. They were both very cooperative tonight, however. I feel like the older brother understood a lot of what I was trying to tell him. 

Whenever I try to tutor, I get flustered and go way to fast. I have to stop myself and ask the student if I’m making any sense at all. They both said they understood, but that could have just been because it was near 8 o’clock and they had both just gotten back from a long day of school/sports practice. Who knows?

I like tutoring though. Sure, getting paid is nice, but I like seeing people learn and making them feel a little less frustrated about something they might not understand. I let them know it’s okay that they don’t understand something. Hell, I was that way a LOT in high school. Practically all throughout English class. 

This keyboard is getting old fast. It’s not even worth it because ZBoard most likely went out of business and the drivers are nowhere to be found online (for special buttons on the keyboard). Whatever. 

My eyes are getting tired. 

I just checked my bank account. Direct deposit is awesome. Taxes suck… Thank you, gov’t, for taking 20% out of my check. I love you too.

So I’ve started playing minecraft. I’m somewhat addicted. I’m partial to it because it’s both 8-bit and 3D. Also because it’s coded in Java, which is really the only programming language I can understand. If it crashes, it throws a “NullPointerException” and I sort of understand that! I got plenty of those this semester…

I just want to go  back to school already… Steph might not be able to because of money. I’d like to help but I can’t. A while ago my mom said she’d be happy to sign off on her loans, but I don’t know how possible that is now; going through treatment and all. 

Steph said that if it comes down to her not being able to go back to school in the Fall, she’ll enlist. That’s a scary thought. I mean, I have absolutely no idea how the military works and how likely it is that she’ll be stationed in a hostile environment, or if she’ll be stationed at all. Most of it is scary because I just don’t know what will happen to her. 

If she can’t go back, her dreams will be crushed. She won’t get to come back a semester later. She could, but not back into the nursing program (which she loves). I see a long stretch of hard times ahead of us. Probably a lot of crying. But that’s okay. We’ll get through all that.

I’m fucking tired. I wish I could sit down and draw something awesome, instead of sit here and type away with a narrative that makes me sound schizophrenic or some shit. (Don’t worry, I’m not. I’m just really fucking tired)

On that note, I guess I’ll lay down. It’s 3:25 AM.

 

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Not feeling sleep right now.

Hello,

It’s 1:12 AM. I’m listening to Daft Punk’s new album, Random Access Memories (it’s awesome by the way), and have nothing to do. I guess I’m procrastinating from sleep…?

So my second semester of college is over, but it’s really my first semester of my declared double major in mathematics and computer science (Fall 2012 was when I was a music major. That changed quickly). I got a 3.81 GPA for this semester, which wasn’t as good as my 4.0 from the Fall. That could be because math and computer science classes are a lot tougher than practically introductory music classes–but I’m pleased with my grades. I passed Calc 2 and Data Structures which resulted in me being an officially declared computer science double major. There was no way I expected such a change within the first few weeks of college, but I’m glad I made that change.

Music will always be my hobby, to put it lightly. It’s more than that. Music will always be one of my best, and closest, friends. I will never give up on music. I will always be interested in it. I will always try to make music whenever I can. I can’t believe how much my musical taste has broadened since I could first remember. The first actual song I remember hearing is Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”. Then I remember listening to all the pop fads from the late 90’s and 2000 like the Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney Spears, etc. (I was an odd little boy). I remember being obsessed with No Doubt for a while. Somewhere along the lines, I got into Blink 182 and Sum 41. That branched out into a large group of punk-pop bands like Simple Plan, New Found Glory, and bands of that type. I think I stuck to all that stuff until around seventh grade where I finally decided to listen to the greatness that was classic rock (and by that I mean probably every band that performed at Woodstock plus more). All this rock lasted pretty much throughout middle school. I even had a very short screamo phase. Then when I started taking a music class freshman year of high school, I got into jazz. I have not stopped listening to jazz. I had a Rush phase during my sophomore year, but jazz trumped Rush. Only because I’ve stopped studying jazz have other music genres pushed their way into my playlists. Right now I’m really into a mix of jazz and r&b. I think one reason I really like this new Daft Punk album is because I’ve recently been listening to a lot of beats. Idk… I’m ranting about music.

The point is, I fucking love music, but I don’t think that I’m cut out to do it for a career. It’s not that music isn’t practical, it’s just that it’s not practical for me… Well… maybe it is. I’m not sure… Steph suggested that maybe music didn’t present a hard enough mental challenge for me. That’s true in some cases (like first semester of college), but recently I struggled through a jam session with my friend, just trying to imagine a rap/hip-hop bass line. I couldn’t do it. It pissed me off. There is SO much left to learn in music, and so much left to aggravate me, but I feel like I would get so enthralled and aggravated with music, that I’d eventually build up a negative connotation toward it. I would be to frustrated to do music. I don’t ever want that to be the case. Therefore, I switched to math/compsci. I’d be delighted to do math/compsci, even if it gets me frustrated–its meant to happen.

Part of it, I admit, is also because I want to be able to provide for a family. I don’t want to be a struggling jazz bassist or even college graduate looking for a teaching job to make a shitty starting salary at a public school with administration that make me want to kill myself. Of course I’ll face this fate anyway, but at least when I do get a job, I’ll make a good deal more than if I were to be a musician/music teacher. I want to be able to pay off college debt soon, and be able to get engaged soon. Sure I might not enjoy my career as much as I would if I were a jazz musician, but I think I’m more cut out to be a dad than a jazz musician. I’ll be much happier with kids who don’t have to worry about money.

Anyway…

Tomorrow, Steph and I go into Boston to see the Sox play against the Indians. It’s going to be a fun time, especially if it doesn’t get rained out or delayed. We both need a day together; away from work/problems at home. If it does get rained out, we’ll find something to do.

Speaking of problems at home, I recently found out that my mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Of course I’m nervous, but there are multiple things making me feel confident that my mom will be okay. Steph tells me that she’ll be okay. My mom says that everything is under control. Her nurse seems confident that everything will work out. I know I can’t be 100% sure. I don’t think it all has really hit me yet. As soon as it happened, people bombarded me with “Don’t worry, she’ll be okay.”, so I think I’ve just accepted that. But I need to accept that there’s a chance that she won’t be okay. I don’t know. I haven’t gone online to see percentages of survival or any sort of numbers. Even if I do, it won’t really hit me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think my mom as portrayed such a strong attitude towards it that I feel like she’s going to be okay and it’s just another 8-month project to get through. I’m keeping myself busy to not think about it.

I started going to the gym a week ago. I’m planning to go five days a week. I’d like to get in shape. It feels good–every time I leave the gym. I like being sore. I like having proof that I’m doing something right. I haven’t lost any weight, but that’s only because I just started. Sadly, I’m still eating pretty poorly. I eat way too much. I definitely won’t lose weight if I keep eating like I do. But whatever… At least I’ve started exercising. I’ll handle my diet later on, like when I go back to school and don’t have piles of delicious food thirty feet away from me.

What else to talk about…

Steph and I have been dating for three years now. It doesn’t even feel like that long. I don’t even know how to describe it–I can’t tell if it feels longer or shorter. I feel like I’ve known her forever, but I still feel like I’m in love with her. Idk.. *insert all dat sappy shit here* She’s awesome.

I’m fucking tired. I’m going to sleep. It’s 1:48 AM.

Good night,
Nate

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Wow… Things have changed a bit…

So it’s been about eight months since my last post on here. The only reason I’m posting now is because it’s 3:06AM and I’m trying to make myself tired. I briefly reread some of my posts that were required for my senior year English class and it’s absolutely crazy how much has changed since then. 

First of all, I’m currently attending UMass Amherst (according to plan) and having an amazing time. I was swamped with music classes last semester that had me going, some days, from 8AM till 6:15PM (with some space in between for food/nap-time). I absolutely loved every minute of it. Sure, waking up at 7:30AM every morning sucked, and so did not being able to get to sleep till around 2AM every night due to homework and loud floor-mates (I forgive them. It was a fun kind of loud… If that makes sense..?). But despite the lack of sleep, I loved my music classes. I learned a TON about music theory and sight singing, and even more about improvisation on electric bass. I think I have improved a ton since my senior year in high school. Whenever I had free time, I was practicing bass in my dorm on my pocket amp (or my actual amp if it wasn’t too late). I even arranged some of my own versions of classic jazz standards. My first ever arrangement is a pretty cool reharm of “Autumn Leaves”. I use the original melody that I think is in G-Minor, but all I did was change the chord progression to follow C-Major (the F#-b5 chord became a Fmaj9). I did another loose arrangement of “Red Clay” with very odd modulations in tempo. The last arrangement I did for my jazz combo was “My Favorite Things” in seven. Naturally, I had to call it “My Seven Favorite Things”. It has a latin feel and uses a lot of syncopation. The A section was easy to come up with, but the B section was completely different. I had originally written for it to go into 4/4 swing, but my graduate TA had better ideas. He practically rewrote it with some nasty chords and it sounded SICK! It went into a very slow, rocky 12/8 and manipulated a 4:3 tuplet that just blew my and pianist’s mind. Well enough of all that. The point is, I had a lot of fun with music this semester. But now I’m a mathematics major.

Yes, a math major. “Who the hell wants to major in math?” Good question… Someone as stupid as me, I guess? I’ll try to explain how I came to this crazy decision. So I entered UMass Amherst declared as a Jazz Studies major on UPRIGHT bass. The problem was, I SUCK at upright bass. I rented one and it aggravated the living shit out of me–because of this, I decided to drop the major. There was no way I was going to subject myself to that torture. Trust me, I know that it takes serious talent to be good at upright, but I decided that it just wasn’t for me. I dropped the major and realized that maybe electric bass should always just be a hobby of mine. But while all this was happening, I obviously had to think up some kind of back up plan. Keep in mind, I was having serious anxiety at this point. This whole scrambling of changing majors and freaking out lasted like a week, and I think it was the first week of classes. I went to the Dean of the music college, and told her I had to drop the major. She was like, “Alright, sweet. You’re officially dropped.” That was a load off of my back. I started to feel good. But for the back up plan, all I kept asking myself was, “What the fuck am I good at other than music…?” (Not to sound conceded… I just never saw myself having to face this decision haha). I realized that I was pretty good at math and did very well in AP Calc during my senior year. So I decided to become a math major.

I went to my academic advisor and he was very, very chill. I was obviously very high strung from everything that had been going on, and he could tell. I sat down in his office and told him, “I’d like to join the math major,” to which he replied, “Okay, let me just fill this out for you to take to administration.”  … Seriously? Yes. It was that easy. I was not used to not having to audition for a major. It was so relieving! 

So, after declaring myself a math major, I added one more course to my schedule and that was Computer Science 121: Problem Solving (blah blah blah whatever it is). It was basically an in-depth introduction to the high-level programming language Java. It’s a departmental requirement for all mathematics majors. The class started out very simple, but then got extremely difficult. I had never thought like this, not algorithmically. Sure I thought in calculus and even physics, but not algorithms. Mad props to the compsci wizzes!!! I honestly don’t understand how it is so second nature to some of the kids in this class. It amazes me. Maybe some girls I tutored in music theory (that were really struggling) that about me with music? Anyway, CS-121 was awesome and I did way better on the final than I expected. I got an A in the class and that is really effecting how I feel about my current major in math. 

I think I want to double major in math and computer science. I’m really afraid this might be another one of my fads or obsessions that take hold of me for a month or two… Like my obsession with Rush (the totally futuristic rock-band) or cooking… But I think this really might work. My track in math is currently the teaching route. I know I’d love to teach, but after visiting my high school to talk with some of the math faculty, I feel like it’s less of what I’d desire… I don’t know. I mean, I’d love to teach, but I’d also like to make a lot more money when I’m younger. Teaching might be something I’d consider later on in life… (I NEVER thought I’d say that. A month ago, I was saying “I KNOW I want to teach”) If I switched my math track to “mathematical computing” and then double-majored in computer science with a track in either “software systems”, “networking”, or “theory of computation” I think I would make a lot more money while being very interested in the work I’d be doing. I’m still researching the possible job opportunities, but I think a starting salary for that type of major is around $75,000. Which would be awesome. And also about $40,000 more than if I became a teacher. 

This computer science shit is really interesting and I have been practicing algorithms on java and in another programming language I’m trying to learn called c++. Soon, I’m going to fill out an application form and email to the CS department for them to review. I think I’m making the right decision, but I really hope I don’t end up changing my mind again… 

Alright, I’m finally exhausted, so I’m going to sleep. 

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Comparing Antigone and Maze Runner: Last Blogpost of High School.

            Determining morality has been a key aspect for this year, and somehow our class has managed to bring it full circle. I have just recently read Sophocles’ Antigone and could easily tie it back to a few other books we have read this year, possibly because ancient Greek plays are relatable to almost anything. Having made connections through reading this book however, I have decided to compare it to one of the first books I read for English this year: James Dashner’s The Maze Runner. Both books deal with the major theme of how loyalty or obedience determines morality of a person.

            Antigone begins with Antigone telling her sister about how she plans to bury her brother Polyneices, although it is against the law set by King Creon. Ismene does not agree to help Antigone because she does not want to risk death by disobeying Creon. Antigone makes it clear that Ismene mustn’t care about her brother by not helping, whereas Ismene argues that she is just following the rules so she does not end up dead. With this argument there are two opposing views of morality: whether being obedient of authority or being loyal is the more moral thing to be. Antigone would argue that if you love someone, you should risk anything to fulfill your loyalty to them, but Ismene would refute that going against the law is simply out of the question. Neither argument is necessarily wrong, considering both Ismene and Antigone both end up dead in the end. However, Sophocles uses outside characters to make it seem like Antigone’s argument is more valid; he uses the logical Haimon to stand up for Antigone by looking intelligent and voicing the opinion of the public. Creon stands alone in his opinion, only to be backed up by the Chorus and Choragos who truthfully fear his power.

            The Maze Runner involves a large group of kids who have been randomly dropped in some sort of maze as an experiment with no way out. When the main character Thomas arrives, he is immediately thrust into a democratic group ran by a select counsel of boys. Each boy in the counsel represents a group of workers for the Glade, where they reside. However, after being given distinct orders not to enter the maze for any reason at all, Thomas goes in to help his friend who has been locked out overnight. This shows Thomas’ morals of being loyal to a friend. Despite the consequences of one day’s banishment to a forest within the Glade, Thomas goes to help his friend in need.

            As seen in both The Maze Runner and Antigone morals based on loyalty or obedience are present. By looking at these two works, we can see that society has had an argument between loyalty and obedience for centuries. With a comparison like this between a modern and ancient piece of literature, we can get an idea of society’s general views. Because they have been unchanged since the time of ancient Greece, it is safe to assume that it is human nature to hold morals; whether they are based on obedience or loyalty. The point is, morality is an evolved part of human nature and literature can remind us of that.

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3 Revolutions that Have Shaped the Modern World (Hamlet Prepaper..?

Today’s world is centered around technology, or at least in first world countries. It can easily be said, that today is facing a technological revolution, with it’s huge counterparts like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs contributing to the rise in “need” for useful gadgets. However, because this technological revolution is so broad, it could be broken down into several subgroups. Of course, the internet has been around for decades, and so have computers, so why is this “revolution” suddenly hitting us? The world is coming to depend on technology in social, occupational, and recreational aspects, and there are some ups and downs to this reality.

I recently have caught myself sitting down at the computer to conduct research on an English paper, and when I was brainstorming ideas, instead of typing “CNN.com” into the search bar, my first instinct was to type “Facebook.com”. Without even thinking, my fingers began to type the name of the world’s most popular social networking website. Teenagers, such as myself, will probably facebook more than they do watch tv nowadays. For some reason, getting the scoop on your friends personal lives is a lot more pleasing than cartoons (something I never thought possible in my pre-Facebook days). The reality is, people check Facebook constantly, and update it periodically. Just previously, I used the term “facebook” as a verb which is widely accepted in todays culture (hence, “Facebook me!”). This piece of technology has easily become an immense part of first world culture and therefore could be considered as the core of “The Social Networking Revolution.”

Something else I have experienced first hand was witnessing my mother struggle to find a job for the past year and a half. Sure, the economy dropping had a big influence on the difficulty in finding a new job, however it is also due to the increasing dependency on technology to do the job. A company will always seek the option that will end up saving money in the future, so if it means paying some extra money for an expensive software/machine to get the job done but resulting in one or more less pay check(s) every week, then that company will see a profit much quicker. Therefore, because of technology’s ever-growing ability to do human tasks, I think that the dependency on jobs will see a slight decrease. Of course, in order to keep the economy running, people need jobs to keep money flow circulating; but because technology will do the job for free, the workplace will see a revolution very soon in technology replacing people.

The last sub-revolution among the technological revolution involves recreational use of technology. When I was eight years old, I remember going out on my bike during the day and hanging out with my friends around the neighborhood. Now, I see my little cousins seldom visiting each other because they can simply connect with each other via Xbox Live to play Call of Duty together online. It makes me feel old to have to say, “What happened to the days when kids went outside?” and I’m only ten years older than my cousins. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone, and I’m sure there were couch potatoes back when I was younger, but I see much more children walking around staring mindlessly into their Nintendo DS rather than jumping around and driving their parents crazy. Perhaps some parents saw this coming and use video games and other technology to occupy their hyperactive children.

To conclude this poorly backed up (reference-wise) paper, I would have to say that use of technology has seen a dramatic increase in the past ten years. It’s kind of crazy actually. During Hurricane Irene in the early Fall of 2011, I realized just how much we depend on technology for interaction, the workplace, and for fun.

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Response to modern genocide posts.

Will genocide ever stop? As long as there is the capacity for evil in the world, probably not. Genocide starts with the fear of a group of people, and then is drastically escalated to the level of murder due to a certain individual’s or group’s evil ideas of mass executions being the best solution. The world will always have differences, there is no way that will change; so the only possible way to end genocide is to eliminate evil from the world (and it’s pretty obvious that won’t happen if it hasn’t happened by now). In Adam Ferguson’s blog, he speaks about the atrocities committed against the Bosnian by the Serbian forces in 1995. Ferguson elaborates on the ways they were murdered, emphasizing the disgust in such a crime. From his post, we can see a dark undertone to the reality of genocide; one that is often overlooked: There are people with evil minds in the world who will come together to commit evil acts, and this is inevitable. Holly Matthew’s post uses a very similar method. She describes the 2003 genocide in Darfur by mentioning the concentration camps the people must stay in, and the horrible consequences if they don’t (rape, murder). This further backs up the point that genocide is motivated by an evil root of man, and will not go away until that part of man is suppressed.

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Modern Genocide Blog Post – (Research included!)

When the word “genocide” is spoken, thoughts of the Holocaust are most likely to be thought of first. This is because the Holocaust is the most covered, most written about, and one of the deadliest genocides of the twentieth century. However, since the Holocaust, a number of genocides throughout the world have taken place. Despite the fact the world may have bore secondary witness to the Holocaust through violently graphic movies, moving novels, diaries, etc., there are still those who wish to persecute a group of people. Genocide still happens today and from acknowledging its existence, humanity can start to understand the reality of the world through moral and political viewpoints.

Believe it, the 9/11 attacks were an act of genocide from the command of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to the iPhone Application “Dictionary+” manufactured by Catalystwo Limited, the definition of “genocide” is “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation,” (Catalystwo Limited). Now if one were to consider the 9/11 attacks, it of course just looks like a terrorist act on the United States, but according to “page 11, exhibit 941 of the Massaoui trial,” (reprasentativepress) Sheikh Mohammed purpose for the attacks were written out clearly; “to wake the American people up”(U.S. Courts). Sure, this doesn’t seem like genocide, in fact Sheikh Mohammed’s purpose really has nothing to do with genocide, however, those who supported it looked at it as genocide. The followers (or majority of followers, at least) of Sheikh Mohammed and Osama Bin Laden were people who disagreed with the American way of life, and after the attacks celebrated the death of nearly three thousand people. This is genocide. A large group of people was deliberately murdered, and in many views, it was because that group was different.

On another account, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran responded to a question at Columbia Universtiy, “we don’t have so many homosexuals in Iran because we believe  this act is against the human spirit and humanity.” However, reports of up to 300 executions had taken place in 2010 (Weinthal). So in response to Ahmadinejad’s statement, the reason why there aren’t so many homosexuals in Iran is because Iran is busy executing them. Also, according to Iran’s Sharia system, “Tehran punishes male same-sex intercourse with death, and lesbian sex with 100  lashes for the first three offenses and execution thereafter,” (Weinthal). So why do these actions go unpunished? It’s almost as if society turns its shoulder on the whole situation. The United Nations has a branch called the Genocide Convention, but its policies do not cover the LGBT community and therefore it practically ignores what goes on in Iran. Just because the Convention cannot intervene, they simply don’t, even though innocent people are being murdered.

It just goes to show that even though genocide is still taking place in society, there are still people who have the power to stop it, but are to weak to use that power. Not much has changed since the Holocaust.

Reference:

Catalystwo Limited. Dicitonary+. iPhone Application.

United States Court System. Substitution for the Testimony of Khalid Sheikh MohammedExhibit 941. Page 11. Pdf.

RepresentativePress. Purpose of the 9/11 Attacks. http://sites.google.com/site/911motive/purpose-of-the-9-11-attacks. Web.

Weinthal, Benjamin. (2011). Iran’s “Crimes Against Humanity”. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-592696?ref=feeds/latest. Web.

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Music Theory Writing Assignment

Of course music is something that is vital to most of our daily lives: We sing a tune in the shower, we turn the radio on in the car, we download music so we can have it at the press of a button. In the past year, at least one of these instances may have included the new popular artist Adele. We may find ourselves singing along to “Rolling in the Deep” as we step into the shower, or, not surprisingly, “Someone Like You” will be on one of our preset stations, both of these situations possibly leading to logging into iTunes and purchasing either song. Why is Adele so memorable? Why is she all over the radio? Like most lyrics, hers are written about love and breakup, so what makes her so special? 

First of all, the most unique thing about Adele is her voice. Unlike most whiney pop singers who strive to hit high notes (often resulting in yelling…), Adele is definitely in the range of an alto voice. She hones a very distinct thick quality to her tone as she sings and it stands out in the crowd of today’s solo artists. This itself is one of the very marketable things about Adele; her voice attracts attention because it’s different. However, a unique voice would not be enough to get her a Grammy; no, she must also have music to accompany her that would attract a listeners ear.

On her album 21, Adele uses her songs to vent anger and sadness towards a nasty break up she experienced. One of the album’s songs, “Rolling in the Deep,” contains lyrics that hold true to the albums theme, but also very driving music behind the lyrics. In many popular songs, emphasis is put on beats two and four, but in this song, there is a constant beat (subdivided into eighth notes, actually) that does not let up. This constant rhythm reinforces Adele’s anger and also can amp the listener. If this song came on in the radio, you’d probably tap the steering wheel to the beat as you drive (no pun intended).

An admirable thing about Adele is her stage presence. No, she does not make use of fireworks or trapeze artists during a show. In fact, she’s practically motionless. As Adele performs, she simply stands at a mic stand, delivering raw emotion through her lyrics. She uses here hands and facial expression to emphasize emotion. Audience have actually been driven to tears as she sings “Someone Like You”. Sure many people love Katy Perry because when she performs she is all over the stage in crazy attire, however Adele’s simplistic nature on the stage is loved by an enormous crowd who simply want to go to a concert for music. 

In conclusion, we could say that Adele is a very gifted new musician. Her personality is loved by many, as she cracks jokes on stage in her goofy British accent, and her emotion is shared by millions as she writes songs of heartbreak. People can identify with Adele, and possibly even look up to her. She is more realistic than other artists as she is not incredibly thin, nor is she incredibly beautiful, but her music speaks for her. 

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Found Poem – ‘Survival in Auschwitz’ – “Shoes and Whistles”

Shoes and Whistles

They worry about shoes.

One manages to gain equilibrium after the trauma.

But the man ejected into the dark and cold is as helpless as a new-born baby.

I find myself in these conditions but I am in luck. I have my best friend.

            He entered unscathed and uncorrupted and did not become corrupt.

            I still see in him the strong man.

But I did not manage to bunk with him.

Pity, for trust is an advantage – it is winter and the nights are long.

            Forced smells and warmth exchanged under the same blanket.

            It is desirable that he be a friend.

            In the winter, the nights are long.

They worry about those numbed sores which bleed at every step all day.

            And so, the bell rings for the last ceremony of the day:

            ‘Wer hat kaput die Schuhe?’ followed by desperate haste.

            Then there is quiet, the lights are turned out definitively.

I do not know my bed-companion.

            He wraps himself in the blanket, I struggle on the straw mattress.

            Forced into immobility on the wooden edge, I soon fall asleep;

            Asleep on the tracks of a railroad.

I am not yet so asleep as not to be aware.

            My sleep is light, only one step higher on the ladder

between the unconscious and the conscious.

I can still register noises: this distant whistle.

My sister is here. She looks at me, gets up and goes away.

            Desolating grief is born in me.

            A pain that makes children cry

            I awake.

 I can hear the sleepers breathing and snoring

            Some lick their lips and move their jaws; dreaming of eating.

            A dream which the creator of Tantalus must have known.

            The dream of food is held up to your lips, then the dream dissolves.

Nights drag on; the dream of Tantalus woven into indistinct images:

            Suffering of hunger, cold.

            Fear of blows, nightmares, and unheard-of violence.

            Exhaustion.

I worry about shoes.

            I climb down to the floor and put my shoes on.

            The sores reopen.

            A new day begins.

 

 

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