Friday, April 25, 2014

We're All the Same: My Discovery That I'm Not So Different From the "Bad" Kids

The "perfect" child
Image courtesy of
A couple things about me:
1. I am judgmental
2. I am sometimes a bit selfish

Not trying to deflect attention from my shortcomings here, but I know plenty of people have these problems. Part of it is human nature; part of it is the way society is today. But that doesn't mean you can't do anything to fix it; actually, people will respect you more if you try and work on your issues. 

The reason I'm bringing this up is because it has a lot to do with the way that we structure our schooling systems. Education today is often all about
being perfect and always arriving at the right answer. Schools praise kindness; they broadcast the ideal that not only should you be happy, smart, kind, and friendly, but that you should also be neutral and hardworking. Schools don't pay attention the fact that no one is perfect. Just because someone bullies another doesn't make them a bad person; it just means that they need work. 

I have often met children that are labeled as "bad". They do drugs, fail most of their classes, and have no respect whatsoever for their superiors. I have always been the opposite of that: little goody-two shoes who takes things way too seriously and does her homework. Judgey-judgey me doesn't really approve of those who choose to go the less conformal route. But what I've come to realize is that although I'm never going to approve of those that do drugs and flip off teachers, the "bad" kids are just like me, trying to figure out how to be a good person. And it's not fair for school's to judge them and suspend them without thinking about this is going to affect said child's whole life. Everyone has problems: some are just frowned upon more than others.

I know this post is different from the usual, but I still hope you enjoyed it.

Click here to see the article that got me thinking: Suspending Students is A Bad Idea

Friday, April 11, 2014

7 Things To Bring in Your Carry-On

1. KIND bar(s)
Image courtesy of Kind Snacks
My friend Stella recently introduced me to these and I LOVE THEM. They are so healthy and delicious- the perfect thing to pack for a trip through the sky. Also, I believe that so long as you don’t open packaged food before you reach security, you can carry it on your flight.

2. Books
I already did a post on my favorite books for travel, but I’ll just quickly mention the ones I’m bringing for this flight in particular:
Obviously I won’t be able to read all of those on the flight, so I’ll probably just keep one (or my Kindle) in my carry-on. 

3. An extra set of underwear
You never know if your flight is going to be delayed, so it’s always good to be safe. Trust me, you don’t want to get stuck in a hotel room without an extra set of underwear because the airline lost all your luggage. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. Just hopefully not to me, because I've had my fair share of delayed flights. 

4. Silly magazines
I admit, People publishes some rubbish stuff, but it can be kind of fun to leaf through the pages and discover what lie the press is making up this time.

5. A zip-up sweater
Planes are cold, but destinations are often warm. Bring a zip-up sweater for the flight to keep warm, and then take it off when you arrive at your (warm) destination. 

6. (Home)work
As much as we would all like them to, vacations don’t put a hold on (home)work. With that said, you can make your vacation more fun by getting your work out the way on the way down there. So bring it with you for a better and less stressful vacation. 

And last but not least....

7. Nail polish (a large variety)

Image courtesy Glitter and Nails
It’s super important to bring at least 30 bottles of nail polish on the plane. You never never know when your nails are going to need a little of bit of jazzing. Don’t forget the pure acetone to take it off when you get tired of the color! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Travel Tips: Aeroplane Books

If there's one thing I know about airlines, it's that sometimes they don't offer the best entertainment for non-international flights. Therefore, it's an absolute must to bring your own entertainment. Sure, you can spend your time surfing Netflix and watching Downton Abbey on your iPad, but you could also take it as an opportunity to crack open a new book. Here are my recommendations:

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
"If I’m going to be a student here, treated on equal terms, then I have to be willing to do everything that they do,” I said. “There can’t be two sets of expectations, one for them and one for me, the only girl in the class."
Image courtesy of Beauty and the Bookshelf
Set in England during the early 1900s, the novel follows a young girl named Vicky. Vicky's family is part of the upper class, so she has almost everything she could ask for. However, all Vicky wants to do is be an artist. She secretly attends art classes while at finishing school in France, and while there, poses nude. Her finishing school finds out and expels her, causing her parents to quickly try and find a new husband for their daughter. 

Just to clarify, the novel is not at all about posing nude and flashing yourself to the whole world. I was worried about that before reading it, but rest assured, the book is 100% appropriate for most age groups (probably too advanced for third graders, but not for a smart seventh grader). It's also a great novel. Many historical fiction novels are super boring and lackluster, but this one manages to be both educational and entertaining. Also, there's a bit of information about the women's suffrage movement in it, which I loved. 

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood 
“A trio of sisters will come of age, all witches. One of the sisters, who will be gifted with mind-magic, will be the most powerful witch born in centuries."
Image courtesy of Alice Marvels
 Set in an imaginative world based on the ages of the Salem witch trials, Born Wicked tells the story of three sisters: Cate, Mara, and Tess. Cate is the leader of the pack, and the main character. Her mother died when she was young and entrusted Cate with the care of her sisters. However, things are complicated because Cate and her sisters are witches, something considered evil in a society run by the Brotherhood. To complicate things even more, Cate's "choosing day" is coming up, and she must decide between joining the Sisterhood and marrying her childhood best friend... but what if she's not interested in either?

I'll admit, my synopsis is a little cheesy, but this book really is fantastic. The writing is lush, but not to the point that the book is boring, and the plot keeps at a decent pace. I really loved all the imagery in this book: the poofy dresses, tea parties, and rose gardens brought me back to the colonial era. The biggest reason that I would recommend this as a good plane read is due to the fact that the book manages to deal with more serious issues without resorting to death and destruction. The novel is more focused on the characters, plot, and scenery as opposed to the "thrill" factor. With that said, if you do decide to read the second book, be prepared for a lot more action. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing me blab about my favorite books. Goodbye for now!