Reflections & Web 2.0 Tools

Lets launch straight in:

Bullying:

Bullying, looked at from an outside persective, may not always seem as detrimental to one’s health as it truly is. Yes, in the extreme cases (e.g. suicide, school shootings, etc.) it is readily apparent how harmful bullying is to the victim’s mental and physical health, however what can be easy to overlook is that bullying creates mental and physical damage no matter how small. Something as insignificant as the daily snide comment from the kid with the locker across from you about can, over time, be incredibly harmful.This is because bullying warps self-perception. Victims are often those who present or perceive themselves as weak, and bullies prey on those insecurities. This spawns more and more destruction of self-esteem and confidence in the victims, which again adds more to the fire. It is a viscous, viscous cycle, and one that is very difficult to break out of. But there are ways you can stop it. Don’t be a bystander. This is often said but often ignored. It is hard to build up the strength to approach a… volatile situation, but more often than not the victim just needs to know that there is someone that will stand up for them, and then hopefully they will be able to stand up for themselves. That is the ultimate goal.

Eating Healthy:

Eating healthy is an incredibly important aspect of living a, well, healthy life. Nutritious food is the foundation of a strong body, and as such one must never underestimate the wellness that fruits and veggies and other nutritious alternatives will bring you. Overall, eating healthy is something that you always should seek to be aware of. In our day and age, however, our culture promotes obsession with eating; healthily and unhealthily. We are bombarded with advertisements and messages that promote trash food, but paradoxically we are also constantly force fed the idea that health = fitness and eating tiny portions and consuming only soy-bran-raisin muffins. Living healthily is more than eating healthily, and never ever is it healthy to rate what food you eat over what life you live.

Healthy Relationships:

If eating healthy is the foundation of a healthy body, then forming healthy relationships is the foundation of a healthy mind. The people that we choose to surround ourselves with have a lot of influence on us, so we want to be with those who build us up, not those who tear us down. Exposure to unending negativity is very harmful to your mind, and so choose your friends, mentors, significant others, or rivals, wisely. If you feel like you are in an unhealthy relationship, get out of it. If the relationship is one-sided in commitment or power; if the relationship is manipulative; if the relationship at any point feels unsafe or detrimental to your physical or mental health, you are totally in the clear to end it. Just as you should aim to feed yourself good food, feed yourself good people.

Ya know, metaphorically.

Drugs & Alcohol:

My personal exposure to drugs and/or alcohol is limited, as I have lived a fairly sheltered life with regards to those two subjects. Nonetheless, here we go.

The media is constantly playing images of people who, after drinking, become the life of the party; happiness and respect from others is miraculously in their grasp after downing a few pints. It is easy to never learn, or perhaps, understand the dangers that alcohol, and to a further extent, drugs, present to your well-being if misused. The belief that these two substances are the path to joy is unfortunately very limited. Drugs and Alcohol can create a temporary boost of your spirits, however, if used in excess or repetitively, can have extremely negative effects on your mental and physical health, and also irreparably damage your social standing and relationships. Because both of these substances have highly addictive qualities, be conscious and aware of your intake to avoid falling into a dangerous pattern. The school system strives to educate it’s students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but presented with a treacherous situation, it is up to the individual at hand to make the choice; and the only way to make a wisely informed decision is to simply remain aware of the consequences of your actions.

STI’s:

STI’s are something that is commonly misunderstood. It is a topic that people laugh about instead of taking seriously; a common misconception is that STI’s such HIV and AIDS are contained to Third World Countries, but this is a fallacy. STI’s are present here in North America, and all over the world. It is something that everyone should be aware of. Prevention methods involve condoms, as well as regularly checking in with your Urologist or Obstetrician. Sex is a romanticized concept in our modern society, but with everything in life, to be safe and healthy you must first become aware of the consequences.

GOALS:

Becoming a “No” Man instead of a “Yes” Man.

Wordle: Eliminate The Stigma (STI's)

 

My Goal: Fruits & Veggies!

The Poetry has been Slammed

Me and Emma went downtown to perform Slam Poetry! It felt super edgy.

 

The smoke from the cafe fills my senses. The music that keeps playing seems to be immeasurably loud – am I the only one that thinks so? Maybe I am just nervous; after all, in ten minutes or less I will be up on this stage in front of me, presenting a poem that I have poured my heart and soul into, for a bunch of strangers that may or may not be incredibly judgemental.

But as the MC takes the mike and introduces the Youth Poetry Slam, much of my anxiety fades away. The crowd is as far away from judgemental as any crowd can be or has ever been, and the poets that go up are warmly received. When my name is called… I am ready to go.

I am still freaked out enough that for most of poem, I keep my eye’s tightly shut.

However, the roar of the applause after I am finished forces me to daringly glance through my closed eyelids, and I walk back to my seat in a sort of happy daze.

I get my score, and I advance to the second round, where I placed fourth out of the ten performers. Afterwards, some of the other poets came over to congratulate me, and many were incredibly surprised to find out I was 14.

I found a mentor, in the form of Jacob Grenebwold, an experienced spoken word performer and a major component in the Youth Slam organization. I will write more about him later… but he seems pretty rad, so far.

I was introduced to some really outstanding poets, technically qualified for the National Youth Spoken Word Team (although as I joined late in the season, this is incredibly unlikely), and had a blast.

It was just an incredibly successful night. It felt surreal. It was surreal. It seems as though a whole new avenue of possibilities has just opened up, and I can see myself actually doing something with poetry for my life.

A huge, HUGE shout-out to my poetry partner-in-crime, Emma, who not only went with me to perform, but also placed FIRST PLACE in the Youth Slam, which is an incredible achievement especially as this was our first time performing and we were the youngest poets there. If this is where we start, I am so excited to dream about where we could finish.

Now, I am writing this rather late at night as I simply cannot get it out of my head, so the Youtube Videos with Emma’s and my performances will be linked as soon as they come out. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in a few days… we will see!

A Poetic Introduction

So I was sitting in French class, bored out of my mind. If Madame Udell reads this, I do love French! It was just at that particular moment I was finished all of my work.

So I started writing. That morning I had been listening to Shane Koyczan’s To This Day, so I decided to try my hand at poetry.

I kept writing after the bell, though most of lunch, and then during math once I was finished the day’s questions.

It kept spinning and spinning in my head, and the next day, I realized I had found my In-Depth: Slam Poetry.

Here is a recording of me reading my first ever poem: WARNING! Intensely melodramatic. Bwa ha ha. I don’t know what I was thinking.

File coming soon (Tomorrow) when technical difficulties are resolved.

^Please drop a comment, tell me whacha thought. Feedback is really going to help me out!

Oooooookay…

So. Why/how/when/where am I doing this? Well, I was really inspired by Shane Koyczan (go watch his video linked up there if you haven’t already. He’s amazing) and I always thought Slam Poetry was kind of cool. It was this sort of off-beat talent with words that some people seemed to possess, and it’s really impressive when you hear a good one. Slam is also really good at expressing thoughts/emotions/experiences that you couldn’t otherwise; much of modern slam is about some personal or global issue.

Emma (in afternoon) is also doing Slam Poetry, and we are going to do a lot of it together. In fact we will actually be performing at the Youth Slam Poetry House, every month, which is far more terrifying than I thought it would be when I agreed to do it, but at the same time I am really excited to get quality feedback and critique from 100 or so people.

Emma’s Blog <– Handy Link