Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Heart Gingers

I don't know about you guys, but when I was little and a TV show or a movie had more than one main character, I would always pick one to be my favorite out of the three (the usual number). I would then role play as this character, I admit it, in games my friends and I played.

Usually in television shows when they have these multiple main characters, there's a brunette one, a blonde one, and a redhead, so that a wider audience can "relate" to these characters, per se. Since about the age of six, I've always been drawn to the redheads.

The Little Mermaid: Yeah yeah yeah, I know I wrote an anti-Disney princess essay but Ariel's hair always fascinated me, especially because it was all flowy underwater.
Powerpuff Girls: my favorite was Blossom. Just look at how fierce she is! She totally falls under what is known as a "fiery redhead."
Totally Spies: This show was about girls that had normal teenager problems to deal with, but they were spies, also (and their gadgets were makeup related items. That was the coolest thing ever for ten year old Fatima). It's dorky, but it was a good show at the time. The redheaded spy, Sam, was my favorite.
Charlie's Angels: Oh she's very pretty! thought a young Fatima as her mother quickly flipped past the channel this show was played on.
Harry Potter:  I developed a huge crush (which, by the way, is still going strong) on Ron Weasley/Rupert Grint after the first movie came out.
Rugrats: Who could resist the adorable Chuckie Finster?

"Gingers have no soul"? Pshhh, each and every one of them has a BEAUTIFUL SOUL.

Enjoy some pictures:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baking Adventures.

The cake that started our adventures in baking.
made by Kira, Jenna, and I 

The toffee crunch cupcakes EVERYONE LOVED DON'T DENY IT EVER.
made by Kira, Jenna, and I

Sprinkle cake! with a fade-out of blue on the inside.
made by Kira, Jenna, Sarah, Atiya, and I

Chocolate diet Coke cake
made by Kira, Jenna, Sarah, Atiya, and I

So Cheesy, and Kinda Pointless.

I've been avoiding writing this "last" blog post, if you want to call it that. I saw Mrs. Cardona's assignment for us to write one, open topic, on Thursday night, and since then I've just had thoughts of what I wanted to say in my head, but no idea how to say them.

I've been avoiding it because I know it will be cheesy and dramatic and sentimental and it makes me feel awkward to show people that. It's probably human nature; we feel too vulnerable when we let everyone know what gets to us and what makes us sad and what we worry about and what we'll miss.

That being said, I really need to get it out of my system once and for all. So, prepare yourselves for a cheesy blog post, and then we can just leave it behind us all (until I look at my old blog posts and cringe at how dramatic I'm being in this one...whatever).

Like Kira mentioned in her blog post, the feeling you get when something ends is indescribable. You feel empty, like you're reaching for something that's not there. I was not a huge fan of this semester (Physics was awful, and AP Lit was a struggle for me), but there were moments that I enjoyed. I was counting down to the end of these classes, but when the final bell rang on January 25, I was hit with that empty feeling.

It's weird. It makes me think of the fact that high school is technically more than half over. I'm so excited for college, but the fact that the structure that comes with K-12 schooling is going to cease to exist for us in less than a hundred days scares the crap out of me. Yes we have more freedom to choose our classes and whatnot in high school, but we're still babied, and adults still hold our hands through everything. Most are friends with the people they've known since they were in elementary in middle school. When college starts, some of us are going to be in Minnesota still (me). Some are going to be in Iowa, or Wisconsin, or Michigan. Heck, some people won't even be in this country anymore. I just. I want to have a giant group hug with everyone, even the people I don't like (sorry). Just once.

I know that when we start college we'll forget. We'll have moments when we're like "oh, yeah, that girl was nice. I hung out with her a few times." and move on.

Moving on.

It happens eventually for everything. "I moved on" is a really easy phrase to say one you've done it. It's just the journey there that gives you that indescribable empty feeling.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mini heart failures and sarcasm and rainbow cakes.

     BLA, CRW, FPA, CRJ, EPL...5, 19, 23, 45, 83
     for everything 5-90
     credible, emotional, to logic 23, 56, 98
     don't you dare call them by their real names 100
      is downright amazing 43
     made my life so much easier 21
     don't even think about summarizing 12
     how and why not what 30
     everything 1-200
     FML 7
     Thank God we got that over with in the first week 12
     What is he even talking about 54
     Establishing voice 2
     I will miss it 77
     IT'S 3:30 ON SUNDAY CRAP 37
     Fast Food Nation and the Female Brain 40
     I was not discussion director or summarizer...! 116
     "What pages are we reading again?" 120
     is better than "gumming together long strips of words" (see Orwell) 1-199

     will not take your crap so don't even try 150  
     good...now I just need reasons and a warrant 134
     "is it 7:05?" 107
     wants to be a piece of art 89
     works when no one is looking 187
     clique-y 126
     our class sucks at mingling 194
     our class was excellent at them 48
     will not help you to get a good grade 123

     :) :( :D :/ 75
     are the devil 198
     50 23
     on writing them 123

     avoid at all costs 158
     easy to make them 123, 187, 189
     there are so many and we always see them but don't realize it 54
     drives me crazy when it doesn't work 9
     issues  32, 90, 120, 140

     everyone needs to leave me alone about them 64
     everyone thinks I'm a snob now 82
     that one day in AP Comp... 43
Google Docs
     always had my work with me 60, 70
     auto-saving - yes. 149
     getting scoffed at for not using Microsoft word (see "always had my work with me") 32, 67, 99
     sometimes beneficial, sometimes a time sucker and waster 50
     that awkward moment when Cardona comes over and your whole group falls silent 85

     attack when you have a quiz and you should have done the reading more thoroughly 200
     attack when you wonder whether you printed out the essay 200
     best unit ever 7
     can also be an argument 21
     eating babies 89

     is a puppy 3
     my favorite in the class (along with see Kira) 10
     outbursts 8
     see Rainbow Cake

     cynical grandfather 3
     my favorite in the class (along with see Jenna) 10
     not sleeping whatsoever 14
     see Rainbow Cake

     applying your knowledge at home and getting dirty looks from your parents 60
     so much even though your grade doesn't reflect it 39

     always use it 31, 32, 98, 118, 130
     if not used Cardona will write MLA on the top of your paper in giant letters and you will feel ashamed 120
     format (best) 189
     Eric Arthur Blair 1
     mascot 1-200
     syn. freaking awesome 5, 10, 15, 20

Peer Editing
     "don't apologize" 71
     feeling awkward about your work 108
     very helpful 191
Power Writing
     every man for himself 33
     people in class will kill you to get a stamp 37
     see heart attack 
     Claim, reason, warrant, ACTION. 9
     Jonathan Swift 10
     doing it and regretting it and then doing it again and regretting it 38
     do not do this ever or you will regret it immensely 63

     2/10 89
     failing (oh well...!) 52
     were so hard 68

Rainbow cake
     best cake you will ever see in your life 52
     I made awesome friends in AP Comp 85
     it had a mustache 80
     see Jenna and Kira
     and reading and reading 74
     see analyze
     do it constantly 48
     "murder your darlings" 22
     whole essay based on it 70
     how to: use language effectively 47
     pronounced ret-er-ik 2, 4, 6, 8

     having whole conversations with oozing with it 60
     see Cardona 
     funniest man ever 42
     can I be him/have his brain 86
     can I marry him 90
     better do it or anticipate an F on the final 74
     my butt off 55
     does not exist in AP Comp 21

     112 of them officially 112
     I made flashcard for everyone 113
     you're welcome 114
Toulmin Model
     basic structure of an argument 50
     wait, what's that again...? 57

     apparently I don't finish my thoughts 60
     talking to a camera...awkward 27
     who would have thought I would make a vlog and put it on YouTube 99
     don't slip into "academic auto pilot" 11
     essential when writing 63
     make it your voice, not someone else's 72

Friday, January 13, 2012


You know that thing girls do, when they see someone in pain and cringe because they “felt it too?” There's a scientific explanation for that. And when they remember every single little fight? There's a scientific explanation for that. And when they stalk their ex-boyfriends and set their cars on fire? Definitely not a scientific explanation for that. They are crazy. Stay away from that girl.

In The Female Brain, Dr. Louann Brizendine essentially explores what makes girls the way they are; the way different chemicals interact to give certain results, how particular areas of the brain affect the way the female population acts. The book is structured in a way that allows the reader to follow the development of the female brain as girls grow from birth to after menopause. The author claims that this book was written to help girls understand why they feel the way they do (and also to help bewildered men who have no idea what’s happening to their ladies), and then adjust their attitudes and behaviors, because they’d understand that the thoughts they’re having and the things they’re feeling are normal.

I personally have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it was interesting to learn how the feelings I’m experiencing can only explained by what’s in my brain (I always need an excuse for everything, so it’s perfect...“It’s science! They’ve done studies!” she screamed.) However, I found the author to be very biased, and the patient stories she used were usually really extreme cases.

The book tended to cycle through four main ways of explaining reasons behind why girls act the way they do; scientific experiments with lots of complicated sounding terms and processes, stories of the author's experiences as well as those of her patients, and studies/experiments. I tend to not even be able to focus on terms that sound too scientific while doing any sort of reading, so I’m not going to lie and say that my eyes didn’t glaze over when I read giant paragraphs with just scientific words like vasopressin and androstenedione and allopregnanolone. However, I think that the scientific explanations were essential, otherwise the author would have lost a lot of credibility. So I’ll forgive her. Also, the patient stories often were conveniently sandwiched between the scienc-y stuff, so it was like reading a novel (thus, bearable).

Another thing that made the book unappealing to me was that I didn't pick up on her tone. She seemed to have detached herself from her work all together. Although I can understand why this would be, to raise her credibility, it would have been more interesting if she had had some sort of humor, or a sassy attitude towards the issues and brain processes (I guess, like Mr. Johnson the Psychology teacher in book form. That would have been amazing).

I would recommend it if you’re genuinely interested in learning about the chemical reactions and brain interactions, but just know that the author takes a very detached approach to the subject. If you do want to know the science behind why girls behave so strangely sometimes to read it, because believe me, I know best that girls are absolutely ridiculous.

My rating:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dear Fatima.

Dear (28 year old) Fatima,

How are things? How is the future looking? Do we have flying cars? Hopefully phones and laptops didn't get any thinner, because right now they're headed in the direction of having less substance than a sheet of paper. I also hope that Kindles were just a short phase that died out...

Anyway, moving on. I'm sure you remember what a confusing time this is, our senior year of high school. Everyone's always in my face asking me all kinds of questions, "what do you want to study in college? What do you want to do when you're all grown up? Why are you working when you can just marry a rich man?" I just want to reach my arm out into the daunting and mysterious future and yank you here, make you explain and give some answers. Give answers to both the interrogators, and me.

My main question (which stems off into a thousand more) is one related to the question that jumps into the mind of adults the minute they hear I am a senior in high school. "What do you want to study/be when you're older?" I always answer with "something to do with writing." and give a forced smile at their reaction, the one where they try to quickly cover up surprise. I'm sure you'll remember that one lady at that dinner party that went so far as to scoff "writing?! I would have thought you'd want to become a doctor, like your father." Your smile was one like that of a serial killer, but you managed to keep your mouth shut.

I know everyone expects you to become a doctor. Most of them can't help it because Pakistani people usually want their kids to become doctors or lawyers or engineers. Something typical. They're not used to hearing what they think is a hobby become a career choice for someone. It also doesn't help that you said you wanted to be a doctor when you were little, and then...high school English classes changed all that.

So, did you go through with it? Did you go through college improving your writing, something you love and what you've been told you're good at? Or did you give up, and become something that's standard, something that will make you lots of money? Success isn't measured by how much money you have in your bank account; it's measured by whether or not you look forward to going to work instead of hating it. Remember your dad's friend? The one that studied medicine because his parents wanted him to be successful and hates it? Did you end up unhappy like him, or did you prove everyone wrong by doing what you love and being happy about it?

Are you happy? That is my biggest question of all.

I hope you proved them all wrong.

Much love from a very confused adolescent,

17 year old Fatima.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Works Cited for Visual Essay

Better late than never, right...?


Monday, January 2, 2012

Visual Essay: Process Analysis

First half: Stereotype
  • The visual essay starts with how people (that don't know as much about Muslims/Islam) think of Muslims. Images of violence, and bombings, hateful messages and overall hatred is expressed in the pictures. 
  • The stereotypical section isn't composed of all violent images; there's a balance between violent and potentially violent (kids being taught bad lessons) that still contribute to the overall stereotypical image of Muslims.
  • The most overpowering rhetorical element of this essay is use of emotional appeals. Children with guns, elders teaching their young to become killers, hateful messages towards the USA are all things that are sure to get the emotions of the people watching worked up.
The Switch
  • The video started with a man with words covering his face, words that seemed to define him, such as Terrorist and 9/11. Ending the stereotype section with this image, I was trying to get the idea across that "is this what you think of Muslims, or...is this?" and then have it transform into the girl with the writing on her face that defined her as a Muslim (also, both images say "Muslim" on the face also).
  • Making the images transform from one to the other shows that there are two sides to every story. We may see a certain group of people as one way, but in reality they see themselves (or others see them) as another. 
  • Starting the "reality" section with the girl makes a frame of mind for the reader for what's to come for the rest of the project. They can anticipate pictures that are "hopeful" (as her face says).
Second Half: Reality
  • The images in this section are the direct opposite of those that were presented in the stereotype section ("Down with USA" --> kids holding an American flag)
  • The contrasting images (between the stereotype section and reality section) are organized so they're roughly equal distances away from the transformation of the faces (like parents teaching kids to be bombers versus a mother fixing her daughters headscarf). This let a thought that had perhaps been planted in the viewer's mind be contrasted later on when they had consciously forgotten about it. 
  • Close family moments, little children that seem to be devoutly religious all tug at our heartstrings. Pictures that showed strong relationships and devotion to appeal to the emotions of the people watching. 
Other Video Elements
From Animoto, I chose the "Fire" theme because it makes the images disintegrate as they change. They burn up, but then always have another to replace it. This shows that even though there are ill feelings toward Muslims, they have the potential to change.

Musical selection
The song is I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp. Though this is a Christian song, the message I got from it was just hopeful and uplifting. It starts off as dejected (stereotype section) and gets hopeful as the viewpoint of the video transforms into the "reality" section.

The Toulmin Model
Claim: Muslims aren't violent, and most are for peace and creating healthy relationships.
Reason: In the images, the tender gestures are obvious towards family and friends (hugging, fixing the little girl's headscarf), but also when they are practicing their religion, because they look very calm and at peace (the man praying in front of the mosque, men hugging).
Warrant: because many Muslims give importance to things like building up relationships and practicing their religion, it makes them caring and peaceful people.

    I Appreciate You.

    Dear Under Appreciated Fellows in the Hallway that Are Often Called Wanna Be Gangstas,

    I would just like to take a moment to say that unlike most people, I realize you are just misunderstood, and are in fact very unappreciated for all that you do for society. I am able to come up with new reasons to want to go up to you and give you a thank you hug in the halls every time you pass by me.

    Firstly, when I see you in the hall with your your pants around your knees, I know you are a true man. It does make me sad to see that the belt you slung through the holes of your pants is letting you down, because you tried to keep your pants up where it's decent. The truth is that your belt just can't handle your manly parts well enough, so it stays well past it, around your knees. It is afraid of how manly you are, how macho. I can appreciate that.

    Secondly, when I watch you struggle along down the hallway, walking with your legs wide apart and slightly bent at the knees, it hits me...what they taught me in Biology about evolution is true. How can it not be? If only your arms were a little longer, the image of the monkeys at the zoo would be able to replace you perfectly. Watching you shows me that evolution is real, and there are still some ape-ish qualities about man, and that's okay.

    Thirdly, you help my health. Even though I was a little annoyed at first when I got home from school and realized the device I keep attached to my sneakers at all times to help measure my average walking speed during the day measured at -10.7 cm/s, I quickly remembered that I had been trailing behind Master Pimpdawg. I then felt an overwhelming sense of relief; the doctor had told me to make sure I walked slowly so that I didn't overwork my heart. You're just trying to help me out, aren't you? You're so sneaky.

    I hope people learn to appreciate you more, like I do.

    Much love,