Sunday, January 25, 2015

But they're only words...

At constant measures I am telling myself, "but they're only words..." and that these words should not get to me. Now who ever said that, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" did not think about how much the value of words has evolved as time progressed. 


The other day I was reading Dos Palabras by Isabel Allende, where this lady named Belisa Crepsculario sold words a piece with a variety of prices depending on what the vendee wanted. A love note was worth a different price than what a hate note, and I thought this idea was so clever of Allende to write about because she actually places a price on words. Although this is magical realism, words do have a price entitled to them but the worth depends on how the person takes them. This caused me to think, if the words have a price then that means that they are worth something. In this case, the quote above is false, words do hurt and at time hurt more than being pelted with sticks and stones. Words have the power to presuade, to make someone cry from tears of joy to sadness, and for many of us causes us to overthink. Which happened to the colonel when he asks Crepsculario for help to tell him a speech that will boost the horrible reputation he had with the people to win him presidency. There was a catch, a condition, that still leaves me at the edge of the seat. Crepsculario tells the colonel two word that leaves the man mentally paralyzed in other words everything he would do, all the speeches he has recited to gain electoral votes, those two words were at the back of his mind. BUT ALLENDE DOES NOT STATE WHAT ARE THOSE TWO WORDS! Such a bittersweet cliffhanger...


Besides the point, words are constantly changing. New words are being added to the dictionary and older words are being forgotten or getting harder to find. Some words I do not understand the meaning of because they are being created by us teenagers, oh the irony. Unless reading is your passion, the words are still alive. A lesson coming from Allende's story is that word choice is important. Everyone's interpretation is based on words, whether figuratively or straightforward, that may be the problem that many of us today have. Words could be tricky and confusing elements of communication and in honest opinion I do not believe that we will have the chance to deeply understand the words that are being stated in writing or orally. Leaving us with the imagination we have now. 

A tip for all of you is that control your imagination but do not be afraid to think out of your borders. Be smart in what to believe in but do not be stubborn to hear the imagination of others. Read a lot of books from different authors and cultures. Speak to people from different locations, age groups, and gender. Allow yourself to dip in your toes into someone else's world. Give others the chance to express themselves and do not judge what they have to say. 

Why do you think words are created for?

xx Chavelita 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Adaptation Proclamation

Spatial time is pretty interesting standard unit of measurement that continues endlessly like this vortex. The seconds are leaving us one by one and by the time we realize that the seconds turn into years. I remember my first day of fourth grade wearing my favorite white polo shirt with the collar having ruffles on the edges and my navy blue skirt which I approved only for the fact that they had shorts underneath or else I would of thought twice before wearing something that made me feel like I was walking without pants. I was downstairs having my breakfast as usual and when I went upstairs I complained to my mom, "Why did I have to go to school? Why do you get to stay at home?" and of course my mindset was not yet developed so almost anything I say was unfiltered. Then my mom tells me that when you graduate like me, you will no longer have to go to school. I was so desperate for that day to come quicker and now fast forwarding into what is now 2015, the year in which I will graduate, this sensation seems unreal. The years turned into memories that have this great way of popping up spontaneously. Nothing I have imagined this year is happening to me right now. I think I can say is that change is unavoidable but can be managed.

Friendships will flourish and some will soon wither away, and I am here to say that both are okay. These experiences that are created with others allows you to see how much of person you have become whether you gain the confidence you were missing or grew depressed that life is not how you imagined it to be through the influence of your peers. We are only human and changes like these will be faced and your choice is valid to stay or leave for something else. Look at what you are taught as a database, in a database you do not use all the information that is in there (and also because that would be torture to your brain) but the information is there in case you do need to refer back. Just know that there will be people who will constantly come unexpected in your life and you will learn something out of them. Many of us are used to being close-minded when we sense that a friendship is leading into a similar path that only lead us into being hurt but because of that one experience ended terribly with a friend we cannot assume the rest will be the same... Who knows how the next person will effect you.

A step out of your comfort zone is something that was extremely difficult for me and perhaps to many of you too. Where you feel like you are in a blanket when you are among those you are comfortable with or in locations you have grown used to. I believe stepping out of the comfort zone is healthy though terrifying yes as if someone were to yank off your blankets on a early school morning but healthy. From the start of my final semester of high school, my lunch schedule remained the same while everyone else switched because of the new semester. In other words I did not have anyone to spend lunch with. The first few days I would walk to the lunch room early to reserve my usual place by placing my belongings and went to the lunch line before the river of people started to fill in the room. Soon as I got my lunch I would eat alone. I do not want pity but goodness was that experience awkward because a lot of people would pass by and just look at me eating... I am not a new species wanting to be discovered. I knew I had to find someone to have lunch with before I begin to count the all the adjectives I use to describe the tasteless music that blasted on the school's speakers. Since I volunteer my time at the office so many times in the last months, that is where I found my blanket of comfort. I knew most of the staff, all the counselors, and the counselor clerk (which I should start calling her my godmother because she is ha) and I would sit there until fifth period started to watch the office as everyone else leaves for lunch. Until I was formally introduced to a girl who has also been spending her lunches alone in the office and I was encouraged to have lunch with her. Now I have someone to spend lunch with and have small talk. To take chances is the moral of this story. You will pat yourself in the back later.

Lately I have been challenging myself to do things I would normally say no to. Such as being the first one to start the conversation with a stranger, to speak up not only for myself but for the ones I care about, to wear makeup more often, and to actually talk to my classmates. Baby steps, but I feel they are necessary steps that will build my character and to be more well rounded. Academics will always be my primary goal but I do not think it will hurt to practice my social skills and have somewhat of a social life to learn more about others through their stories. Adapting to this person I have become is such an evolution for me, for once I feel detached enough from people allowing me to breathe and take my own route but close to those I trust that I can go to if needed. If this is not independence, I am not sure how else that term will be defined.

Do you believe you have the power to transform into the person you want to be?

xx Chavelita

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Money without an owner

Alright, maybe I should just create a side segment to speak about college as I am a senior in high school that is about to go to college in the next couple of months. Yup it still does not feel real that I am going to college... Though my regular day to day advice will still be available for your pleasure.

Ever wonder how in the world you will be paying for college? Or have you come to a point where you decide that you do not want to go to college because you think you cannot afford the expenses for it? Well for starters get that idea out of your head. If you want something in life you should go for it. A lot of the times people will regret not taking the extra step into success and usually this step is only done by you. When there is a vision there is a form of arriving there, so keep going. Today I will be speaking about financial aid maybe that will alleviate some of your stress. Trust me there is money out there just waiting for an owner to claim.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
Now I am not sure every country has a program similar to to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA but this program is useful for those interested in college. Questions such as, am I applicable or how much money will I be receiving, depends on the amount of income you receive. My advice though is that regardless of the income your parents make or in other cases what you make, you should apply for financial aid. The worst that could happen is that you get nothing in return but you will never know until you actually fill out the application. The drawback about this is that in order to receive this type of financial aid, you must prove that you are a legal United States citizen.

1. Your ticket to receiving your cut of FAFSA is by obtaining your high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED).
2. You must show evidence that you have enrolled or accepted a college that you will be attending as a regular student who is under a degree program
3. All males between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with the Selective Service
4. Must have a legitimate Social Security number
5. Signature on the FAFSA that states you do not owe refunds on the federal grant and the money will be used for educational purposes only
6. Maintain your grades (though this step is probably a no brainer)

Simple right? Here is another tip, if you have not applied for your pin number then go apply for one this instant! That pin number will be needed when you start to fill out your FAFSA. Both you and your parent or guardian will have to apply for a pin number that will be used on the application. The pin number is usually assigned about two to three days from the day you applied. Information that they will ask for is basic information about you (or the parent/guardian if they are filling one out). The neat thing about signing up for a pin number is that you are able to choose the four digits of your choice. Talk about power within your fingertips!

My first thoughts when I saw the amount of money I will have to be paying for to gain a higher education caused me to think twice. Reevaluating my routes of college was a must for me. If you really want to gain that associates, bachelor, or whichever degree plan you are achieving for, you need to be open-minded and take the opportunity to seek financial help in wherever places that is legal and safe. I doubt financial aid will decline when all you want is to create a better future for the world you live in.

Did you fill out your taxes for this year?
(I suggest you do those ASAP! FAFSA needs those income digits from your W-2 forms.)

xx Chavelita