Thursday, January 5, 2017

What You Say Sticks To You


 I'm already close to my goal this year. I only need to read two more and then I have accomplished it. And so that's that for my goals.

I've read this book about happiness. It's called The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin. Overall I thought it was a good book to read and I was inspired to do some of the things that were in the book that the author had done.

In short, the book is about how the author attempted to make herself happier (despite already being well off) by creating a project with goals for her to complete for one year. Each month Rubin would tackle issues from different aspects from her life such as her marriage, friends, and family and try to fix them or find alternatives for it. Honestly I don't even know how she ended up doing it because that sounds like so much work. This project was a New Years Resolution even though it wasn't really a New Years Resolution

In the month of June, Rubin had dedicated her project to contribute more to her friendships. These had included not forgetting birthdays (something we all do), making new friends and not gossiping.  As she was explaining how gossip is obviously harmful to others she mentions something known as trait transference. What it is you ask? It's "What I say about other people sticks to me-- even when I talk to someone who already knows me",(158). 

It's basically when Person A tells Person B about Person C something nice or rude and Person B thinks that Person A is whatever Person A had said. That trait transfers to Person A. I'm pretty sure there's a simpler way to explain this. But I'm starting to see that from my experience it happens. When someone I know is gossiping about someone I start to think that they're that kind of person even if I know that person.

I still thinks it's weird to think of it that way. I mean the studies involving trait transference don't entirely make any sense to me. It just doesn't make any sense. But I have done this before so I mean it's just all so confusing.

I wonder if schools used this for anti bullying would this stop bullying and gossip. How about the media and just regular people thinking about this and realizing that gossip isn't worth it. Wood the world be better?

Or is it just all so confusing?

More info about trait transference 
http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1998-01060-001

Ways to Start a Happiness Project (If You Want to Start the Rest of 2017 Right)
http://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/
http://gretchenrubin.com/get-started/get-started/



Thursday, December 8, 2016

More Civilized=More Horrific Sacrifices


       So far in my reading goal I have already read eleven books. One of which was my AP book which I had written about in my last entry. Remember when I said that I was reading my tenth and eleventh book at the same time. If Little Women was my tenth book then Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West was my eleventh book.

       Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West (also known as Elphaba Frex) from her early childhood to the famed adventure of the Wizard of Oz from her perspective of things. Basically it what happened before and during the Wizard of Oz and the reasons why she became who she was. Overall I thought the book was excellent and the story was interesting enough. The character development was also surprising and exciting.

      A section that caught my attention was a quote Frex had said about civilization. See what happened was (spoilers) Elphaba was speaking to her father  about a friend that had been killed by the people in her old village. She was amazed at the sacrifices and deaths that had happened and remembered speaking to a Cow about being a victim (the Cow was speaking about how she'll be dead anyway even if she was freed in another scene). Frex then says that "The more civilized we become", which is to contrast to what Lord of the Flies (I'm really going to hate talking about this book) portrayed "the more horrendous our entertainments"(320).

      It's funny how two things can lead to the same thing. I mean I just learned that no order means more savagery but in Wicked it's more order means more savagery. Does that actually follow in real life or is it something made up to provoke thought?

     I guess when you think about it (there goes my previous question) sometimes the most civilized person can do the most horrifying  actions. You can be living in the city acting all prim and proper, but you can preform an evil deed so horrible. But as I'm writing there's a great example that goes perfectly with Frex's quote: The Aztecs.

     Here's a little history lesson. Way before Mexico was Mexico there were inhabitants known as the Aztecs. They were an interesting culture to study because of the architecture, food and the most important aspect that we basically associate the people with: their brutal and bloodthirsty sacrifices to the gods.

     There's this whole ritual on how they deal with sacrifices but basically they're gory and awful. But they're a civilized community that just kills people. It's just how their sacrifices worked. And it's not just the Aztecs but it works with the quote.

       But if we were told in Lord of the Flies that no order means chaos, why is it that a civilized group such as the one in Wicked more chaotic??

   

   

   


     

     

     


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kindness is Never a Bother


    At the start of the new nine weeks I now am closer to reaching my 16 book goal. Right now I am on on my tenth and eleventh books (yes I'm doing this again). And this time I have to read ONLY one AP title. But being my somewhat overachiever self I have decided to read as many as possible because there are some books that I had started in middle school that I never got the chance to complete.

    And to start I have Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I once read this in third grade and i never got to finish it. But I did read the third book of the series Little Men a few years after reading part of Little Women. Basically I know what has happened but I just want to finish it.

     The story revolves around four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. These sisters grow up together and help each other through some tough times in the book by sharing in there joys and sorrows.

    Meg (short for Margaret) is the oldest of the four and the more mature one. Jo (or Josephine) is the second oldest and the 'tomboy' of the bunch. Beth (aka Elizabeth) is the second youngest and the shyest of them. Finally Amy, the youngest is the vain one (that's what many people describe her because she is more selfish than the others, but I like to call her artistic).

      Because of their mother, each of the girls were taught to be gracious, and kind towards their neighbors and the less fortunate. This is present throughout the whole novel in several different events. My personal favorite was in the beginning where the girls and their mother gave some of their food to a family that had none. I liked how they were called angels because of the simple acts they did. (I wish more people would do that today even though I know there are plenty who do).

    One moment in particular stood out to me. When Jo decided to sneak to the house next door to visit a boy named Laurie, she notices that out of all her neighbors, she doesn't know him the most. The reason for this was that Laurie was worried that his grandfather might think of him as a bother towards the girls.

   But Jo having of none of that replies, " 'We are not strangers, we are neighbors, and you needn't think you'd be a bother'"(62).

    Now first off, why didn't Jo go to his house before all of this? She knew that there was a boy in the house, but didn't go. I just found that interesting considering that they knew all the other neighbors.

    In this instance, I can relate to Laurie since there are times where (actually its everyday) I don't want bother people by asking for help because they may be doing something else and might not have the time. I relate to him the most because I always think that I would be a bother towards other people when I ask for help or accidentally "intrude" on somebody. And for awhile now according to the book, Jo had wanted to know more about Laurie and his life. Except Laurie isn't  (I don't want to say scared because that's not what he is) the type of person would socilaizes a lot. But that doesn't mean he's not kind to people because there are moments in the book where Laurie has helped others. One example would be helping Jo get a ride home after Meg had a slight foot injury. Despite the fact that they've never fully met, I thought that was nice of him to do that. Especially with the situation that both girls couldn't possibly owe him (except Jo kind of did when she visited Laurie when he was sick).

     I guess from what've I've learned, most people might not mind you being there unless there's a reason why hey you can't talk to them whether it's personal or not. But Jo being taught to be kind, didn't care about that at all.

 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Formula for Exploration



     Hello again! Since I've been on here I have been going slowly on my 16 book reading goal. See I was reading two books at once. One was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and the other is the book that I will be analyzing in this post. Those two were my fifth and sixth books. Now I am currently reading Lord of the Flies which is a book that I am required to read for this nine weeks. That will be my seventh book out of sixteen that I have set myself to read. (Update 8/4: I am now currently reading my eight book which means I'm halfway there).
     
    Now for the analysis of Mark Adams' Turn Right at Macchu Picchu. This was the book that I had decided to read for my required non fiction for the nine weeks. This was also the book that took me forever to read. This book was about the author trying to recreate Hiram Bingham's  exploration  of the famous city of Macchu Picchu. Along with his tedious journey through the same trail known as the Inca Trail, the author inserts historical facts about the mysterious city and the 1911 exploration that skyrocketed the same city and its famed explorer. Overall it was a good book with some boring stuff here and there but that's basically history. 


      As I was reading, I was noticing a trend when it comes to the topic of European exploration. While not explicitly mentioning the topic itself, I noticed that these stories mostly have one thing in common. Every history textbook I've read, every lecture and lesson teachers have told me there always some explorer trying to convince not just one person, but a group of people who have no clue who the heck this person is and either unwillingly (or willingly depending on which country you're at) convert to another religion, become slaves, die of diseases that their immune systems can't handle, or get killed which as a result dwindles a once growing population of the original inhabitants of the land. 

     
       And its no different here. Some guy (a European mainly) goes off to a unknown land to find riches and fame. The usual long and boring journey in the ocean where sailors die and nasty stuff happens. Then finally land and here the are aliens (aka the explorers) who 'come in peace' (in the beginning they do). And the inhabitants are welcoming and give them gifts until the aliens turn against them, and the original inhabitants die or become slaves. They also are probably forced to convert (unless they're curious) into another religion or even force them to adapt to the explorer's own culture. It's like a formula being used over and over and over again. 

     But as Adams says, "The ability to arrive uninvited in an alien land and convince one’s hosts that almost everything they believe is wrong requires a rather forceful personality"(14). Its interesting to note that these natives have been living there lives for hundreds of years and then suddenly random men show up with technology that probably far surpasses their own. And of course after welcoming them with open arms, sooner or later they start to ransack their once peaceful villages, they're being held hostage and forced into labor. Now in some cases several rulers are bribed and other stuff that I can't remember.  
   
 But aside from expanding their empire and getting more power what's the point of conquering other lands filled with people? I get the idea of wanting more power and getting more riches and stuff, but WHY COULDN'T THEY JUST NOT BE HOSTILE AND LIVE PEACEFULLY AND MAYBE LEARN SOMETHING FROM THEM? No wonder history can be so messed up. It's like this in ALMOST EVERY STORY YOU HEAR IN HISTORY CLASS. I'm just assuming that back then they just didn't know.

    
MACCHU PICCHU

More Information about Macchu Picchu and the Inca Trail



     





Sunday, September 11, 2016

City of Bones: Is Hiding Knowledge Worth It?

Hello again!

  I'm here to update the people who are currently on this blog of about my reading goals.
If you have forgotten (I'm pretty sure you did), my goal was to read sixteen (yes sixteen) books (four of which are required reads) for the school year. The last time I was here I was on my third book. Now I'm currently reading my fourth book and will be looking for my fifth book because when I looked to see how far I have read, I'm already at little over halfway through with it. And it's been three days! So that's it for reading goals.

 (Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for ruining this book by spoiling just because you wanted to know my thoughts on it. I'm not even done with the book but there are some important things in there that I may just well, spoil it for you. Leave while you can. Or you ca watch the show that has been adapted from this certain book instead)

And speaking of my current read, The City of Bones written by Cassandra Clare, I had noticed a  quotes in the story that stood out to me while reading. In the book, the lead character Clary Fray discovers that she's part Shadowhunter after a series of unfortunate events (no book title reference intended) which includes her mother (Jocelyn Fray) being taken by demons. She also learns of a devious plan created by a malicious Shadowhunter by the name of Valentine who wants a special item (wow so unique of him) he will use to create an army (it's not the most original villain plan but it is what it is).

While trying to find answers about this plan, and Clary's hidden memories, she realizes through the Silent Brothers's (a group of Shadowhunters that are mysterious and creepy looking) attempt to search her mind, that she has a mind block placed upon her.

In order to find answers about her mother, the clich├ęd evil plan and the past buried within her, Clary along with childhood friend, Simon and experienced Shadowhunter Jace Wyland go to a warlock by the name of Magnus Bane. This is the guy that put the mind block in Clary because her mother wanted him too.

Clary wants Bane to remove the spell but Bane won't. She is insistent on learning the past that her mother wanted to conceal so Magnus decides to use a rune book to help Clary's mind. Before she does this she asks if it wil hurt.

Bane replies with this statement,"All knowledge hurts,"(232). Funny how real this statement applies to Clary both literally and metaphorically. She wants to know more about the past, but she already feels neglected or rather disappointed in her mother because she doesn't feel like her mom wasn't really showing her true self.

Knowledge can be a blessing or curse depending on how you look at it. But it can be difficult to see the same person after finding out certain secrets about them that you weren't supposed to know but you did anyway. Especially if your own mother was once part of an organization that planned on destroying a population just to make the world safe.

But what I'm saying is that no matter what kind of stuff you discover about someone or something, it may hurt knowing that this person was hiding this to protect you, but in reality it hurts knowing that you couldn't be trusted with it.

Hiding something from someone only to have them , find out later isn't any better than telling them right away. It's just not going to go the way you planned it. Especially if you're in Clary's situation.
But that doesn't mean you can keep a piece of knowledge just to yourself for the safety of others it just comes with consequences if they accidently discover it.

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Generic About Me and My Reading

I tried to start this off by saying something interesting but I failed after many (it was really a few) attempts.

Hi.

I'm Maria Barcellano. Currently a sophomore in high school. (If my future self ever comes back to this if this still exists I hope she doesn't close this tab when she reads this)

Here are things you should know about me because I'm supposed to talk about my life (at least a part of it):
- I am a swimmer (I quit the summer before ninth grade then came back after remembering what a coach once told me) And plan on competing in the Olympics
- I'm part of the tech crew in my school theatre class
- I have a blog that I never keep up with a YouTube channel (that I won't share yet....never)
- I love to doodle and make crafts and DIYs
- I may seem really shy and quiet at school, but outside I'm pretty outspoken and loud anywhere else
- I love Disney
- I write poems,short stories, and stuff about life
- I love sweets (macarons and ice cream are my favorites), matcha (green tea) flavored sweets, and pasta

And I love to read. But my problem is that I read so much during the school year then when summer hits I only read around one to two books. Unless online books that aren't published count as reading (it probably does let's be honest here).

I had set a reading goal of 9 to 10 books to read this year. This includes Lord of the Flies, a nontfiction book, and 2 AP book titles. Except I'm about to reach my goal in about a month or so. I tend to go beyond the goal when it comes to reading because 1) I read at a faster pace and 2) I just can't help but not put a book down. But this  means......I need to change it. So my reading goal for this year is to read about 16 books this year. 

It sounds like A TON of books and with a pile of homework, swim practice (which I will start soon), and theater tech duties, you wonder how I'm going to complete this goal before school ends. 
For starters I already have read three books, I have four required ones. That makes seven. Which means I have nine more to go.

Well I better get going now (I sound like I'm gonna do this right away). 

BYE!