Prominent Issues in Psychology

I sent my communication to the American Psychological Association because they are a big part of the psychology world and they can make an impact in helping to stop data manipulation and supporting the update of introductory psych courses.  I chose them because I believe they could actually help in getting those solutions done.  Even though  used some of their papers in my research, the APA can see how their ideas, in combination with other ideas I found during my research, could be used.  My rhetorical situation influenced my choice of genre because my content was very informative material.  I considered a Prezi, but I felt that reading the formal writing and research that I’d done out loud would have been slightly awkward.  Putting my writing into a Google Site felt more natural to me.  Similarly, when producing my communication, I made sure to include a lot of research, citations, and statistics because I knew that the people reading it would be professionals and educated.  Some of the changes I made to the research paper’s text was to just condense things in a little more and to shorten sentences.  I used bullets in my Google Site instead of full sentences to appeal to the eye more.  My research paper also had some of my opinions in it, so I made sure to not include those opinions when creating the Google Site because I wanted it to be as unbiased as possible.

Tae kwon do: the ins and outs

For those of you who don’t know, tae kwon do is a martial art that involves kicks and punches.  Personally, I have practiced it for almost 9 years and have loved every second of it.  Until recently.  My falling out started in the spring of sophomore year when I competed in a tournament at George Mason on June 2nd.  I lost badly (like 3-14) and it really brought my self esteem down as a martial artist and as a person.  I know my value as a human being doesn’t stem just from my excellence in sports, but that’s easier said than thought – especially as a 14 year old.  That major loss wasn’t the only reason I stopped going to tae kwon do – thinking back on it now, I think I got burnt out with everything going on that year.  I had school, then cross country/track practice, then tae kwon do, then homework – every single day.  It all got a little too much eventually.

Now starting senior year, I believe I’m ready to get back into the world of tae kwon do.  I used to participate with an advanced group called C-Crew that focused on sparring.  I came into the dojang a couple times last week to pick my brother up from C-Crew (he does it as well) and I was watching my friends I knew have fun and spar and kick each other and score with headshots.  I really miss that.  I hope I can set aside time from my busy schedule and focus on the sport I know I love.

Any germophobes out there?

As I was sitting at my desk thinking about what to write next, I pumped some hand sanitizer onto my hand.  Now, I realized, I have to write about my germophobic tendencies!  If anyone with germophobia is reading this, please reply so I know it’s just not me having wildly unfounded fears of germs.

I can’t speak for other germophobes, but I always have the urge to use hand sanitizer.  Even if I just washed my hands three minutes ago, I get the feeling that my hands aren’t clean and religiously use that stuff.  If you ever see me in school, you can guarantee that there’s a little bottle of hand sanitizer in my backpack.

Right now where I’m sitting in my chair, I can see four bottles of various sizes containing hand sanitizer.  Two are on my desk: the 8 fl oz aloe-infused Target brand hand sanitizer that’s nearly halfway gone, and my (also Target brand) 2 fl oz kiwi punch-scented hand sanitizer.  On my bookshelf is an 8 fl oz original-scented hand sanitizer that is nearly gone that is, you guessed it, Target brand.  Also on my bookshelf is the newest hand sanitizer I just got: rather than the hand sanitizer gels that I usually get, this one’s a spray, so I get very excited when I use it!  It’s also lavender scented, so it really relaxes me.  If anyone is interested, the brand is called Everyone for Everybody, which I purchased from, again, Target.  In my backpack I have a small two fl oz bottle that’s scented ocean breeze and another one in my purse scented lemon.

So again, if there is anyone afflicted with the curse of germophobia, let me know so I don’t feel as alone in this germ-filled world.

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is a great fantasy author who writes novel series as well as small short stories and novellas.  If you have not heard of him, there is a very unique thing he does in his writing: Sanderson incorporates all of his works into one idea called the Cosmere.  If that does not make sense right now, I will explain it.

Sanderson’s first book is called Elantris.  It’s set on a planet called Sel.  His second book was the first of six books in a series that took place on the planet Scadrial.  The next series he writes is called The Stormlight Archive, and that takes place on the planet Roshar.  All these planets exist in a universe called the Cosmere. One of his recent releases, Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, is a collection of stories that include tid-bits about these worlds.  Some stories have a character who crosses over to other different stories.  The character is called Hoid. He is called a Worldhopper, which means he travel the different planets of the Cosmere and makes trouble.  He is a very mysterious and complicated character, so when I read about him in a story, it’s fascinating to see how his appearance in one planet differs in his appearance in another planet.

Sanderson plans to write more about the Cosmere and hopefully have some crossovers.  I am looking forward to it as well as the release of his fourth book in the Stormlight Archive, Rhythm of War (although that’s a tentative title).

Stephen King

Stephen King is a wonderful man whose writing I have read since the beginning of second quarter last year.  I originally started reading him for a book project in AP Lang last year.  I read The Shining and was immediately drawn to his writing style and content.  That was the book that really got me hooked on King.

In The Shining, there’s a moment in the book where Jack Torrance, the dad and manager (for the winter) of the hotel The Overlook, is trimming the hedges in the front lawn.  The hedges are trimmed in animal shapes such as a rabbit, a dog, a buffalo, and two lions.  While he’s busy looking at the playground that the hedge animals surround, he hears a noise behind him.  Looking back, he doesn’t see anything unusual but then notices that the hedge lions are now blocking the exit.  Getting a little scared and confused, Jack turns again to see that the dog and rabbit have moved closer to him.  Frightened, he runs to the exit and closes his eyes, hoping that it’s all a bad dream, and that there’s not actually hedge animals chasing him.  Safe at the door of the hotel, he looks back and sees that it seems the hedge animals have never even moved.

Eerie scenes like that are everywhere in King’s books.  They give me goosebumps and make me feel as if the monsters he’s talking about are real.  So far, I’ve read The Shining, Doctor Sleep (the sequel), Gerald’s Game, and Elevation.  Currently, I’m reading his collection of short stories, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams as well as Salem’s Lot.  With King, there’s something about his writing style that keeps me engaged, even if he’s talking about something mundane.  I usually don’t enjoy watching horror movies, but reading horror novels are totally different and makes me feel completely rapt in the story, like I’m actually the one experiencing the effect of the bad spirits from the Overlook Hotel.

High School Memory

My racing ribbon is a very unique accessory I have in my bathroom.  We wear them every time we have a meet or an invite. We, meaning the girl’s cross country/track team.  The racing ribbon is just a hair tie with a black, red, and white ribbon tied to it, but it seems like so much more than that.  It’s a fun thing to do for meets, since they can be really stressful at times. Wearing it makes me really proud to be a runner at Heritage.  It’s like a symbol showing that I work hard everyday after school during practice. I like wearing it and showing it off, since not many schools do the same thing.  In fact, I’ll be wearing my racing ribbon this Saturday, as I’m racing at a meet called the Loudoun County Championships at Rock Ridge High School.

We made our hair ribbons one day after track practice last spring.  A couple of the girls went out of their way to go to the store and buy some black and red ribbons as well as new hair ties.  After a hard track workout we went over to the picnic tables near the concession stand and cut the ribbons to match the length of our hair.  It was a great time and everyone was really enjoying themselves, especially when people brought pies to share. The hair ribbons not only symbolize my time as a high school runner, but my time as a Heritage athlete, which I will always be proud to be.

Black Tea?

Why do you exist?  Now, I realize that seems a rude question to ask, but I’ve always wondered how tea came to be.  So why do you exist? What compelled ancient humans to put parts of a plant growing in the ground into hot water?  I wonder so.

Perhaps we can start with your tactile properties, black tea.  You smell earthy and sweet in your processed teabag. In the teabag, you are chopped up and small; you no longer resemble a leaf shape or plant shape.  You are solid like a book and dark like the night, yet when I put you in water you cause it to turn into a muted golden yellow like the beautiful warm sunsets I experience every once in a while.  Also, once in the water, your taste is much more bitter than the smell you exude, which I believe is just so unfair.

I wonder; if you were able to have feelings, what would you think about your fellow tea mates – green, jasmine, oolong, white.  And since fruity tea like chamomile isn’t traditional tea, would you feel offended that people like those kinds better, or would you feel relieved that no one is harvesting more of your plant, the Camellia Sinensis?  What would you feel about the process of making tea over the centuries? Perhaps modern tea making has become more adulterated in your opinion, or maybe it has become more humane? Do you even have a preference for how you are steeped – that is, loose leaf style or with a teabag?  I wonder so.

However much I wonder, though, my questions will never be answered.  That fact alone makes me wonder that much more. Black tea, I will never stop wondering about you.  You could hold the secrets of the universe in that little teacup, but I will never know. I wonder so.