Tuesday, April 30, 2013

BITCH PLEASE

is what I felt like saying to the girl behind me in physics today.

I made sure to tell all the IB kids exactly what she and another girl across the room said when they thought we weren't listening, because it was so ignorant and bitchy that I couldn't keep it to myself, and I feel like the fact that she said that right behind me means she deserves to have everyone know exactly how ignorant she is.

Before I begin this story, I will preface it by saying Hell hath no fury like an IB student told not to complain about IB.

The sub just announced that our physics teacher was thinking about moving the test to a different day- she had originally put one half of the two-part test on the same day as two of our history papers, and wasn't even willing to let us write one half early (we have two physics classes on Monday) or anything. We all left pissed, and then Vince and Lucy and I talked to Moustache later, and he agreed to speak with our physics teacher even though he said he couldn't change her mind- it was still up to her what she did. I guess he did, because- well, the sub said that. The IB kids all breathed a sigh of relief, saying "Thank goodness, I didn't want that on the same day as our two history exams" and behind me, this ignoranus pipes up with "God you guys need to fucking get over your history exam."
I'm sorry, what the fuck did you just say?
Across the room, a girl agrees with her, a girl whom I'd always thought was nice enough, even though I don't know her well. She said something along the lines of "yeah like we listened to you complain about your extended essays for like 3 months we're sick of it."
I didn't say anything- I don't like making enemies and the first girl plays a lot of rugby- but what I was thinking was "okay first, we didn't complain to you, second, you didn't have to fucking listen, you twats, and third, do you fucking understand how incredibly stressful this is? You need to fucking get over yourselves!" But no.

Later I told all the IB kids what had happened- they all agreed that it was a completely ignorant and bitchy thing to say. We joked that we should complain about our history exam extra loudly tomorrow just to piss her off. Vince pointed out that she doesn't exactly understand what we're going through- though she agreed that her ignorance of IB in no way made what she said okay.

I'll explain what our history exam is; basically, for paper 1, we have to know everything about the causes of WWI, what happened in WWI, and the treaties after and the effects those had, in addition to things in the interwar years like the League of Nations and the Great Depression and the 20s and reparations and just... it's a lot. We get four or five sources, one being a cartoon, and we get four questions on them, the last question basically being a short essay. This exam is written in one hour. Immediately after that, we write paper 2- 2 essays on a selection of topics. The topics we have studied are "Causes, practices, and effects of wars", "Origins and development of single-party and authoritarian states", and "The Cold War." Yeah, that's right. The entire fucking cold war. That is one and a half hours. The next day we write paper three, three essays in two and a half hours that are based on things like the French revolution, the Congress of Vienna, Napoleon, the 1848 revolutions, and the unification of Germany and Italy. After that, we're done history.

So we'd have to study not only for a physics test on two chapters including things like refraction, diffraction, reflection, the universal wave equation, quanta (like the wave-particle duality), and compton scattering, but also for two history papers, which are basically 2.5 essays. So yeah, you ignoranus. That's why we can't fucking get over our history exam. Pull your head out of your ass and put yourself in our shoes. I get it. You don't know shit about IB. But that doesn't make it okay for you to just judge us willy-nilly like that, saying bitchy things because you don't understand. You can't judge other people if you don't understand their situation.

I'm not sure if I overreacted or not. I felt that she deserved to have other people know what she said- and besides, she knew I was in full IB, and Omnia and Haurie sit right in front of me, and then Vince sits nearby. Did she think one of us wouldn't hear? Seriously?
You can go home and bitch about how whiny the IB kids are to yourself, I don't care. I don't give two shits if you think I'm whining, but do it on your own fucking time. This is a hard program and I think we deserve just a smidgen of sympathy. I'm sorry, how many exams are you writing in the month of may? Just the physics one? Okay, sweetheart, let me explain something to you. I have fucking thirteen exams of an hour or more in two and a half weeks. And not just me- five other kids. And the reason we complained about our EEs? Because they were stressful! Because if we don't do well on them, we won't get the diploma we've been working towards for TWO FUCKING YEARS YOU LITTLE TWAT.

No, I was wrong. I think it's just fine to judge her a little based on what she said. I'm not going to say it defines her whole character, but she didn't have to listen to us complain. She could have moved somewhere else. We're not complaining for nothing. It's a hard program with a lot of work and a lot of stress and we don't need you bitching about us on top of it all, thanks.
Also if this comes up again, I suppose I could just turn around and ask, with sweetness, "Do you actually know what the exam is that we're writing? Would you like me to explain it to you? It kind of seems like you don't quite understand what we're going through, or how stressful it is. I'd really appreciate it if you could give us a little more understanding, or at least keep your unhelpful comments to yourself." Likely my face would turn red and I'd mess up my words- I keep doing that. It's like I'm trying to say too many things at once and if I don't just get them all out now someone else will say something and I can't take breaks so I have to keep talking and then I say the wrong thing or a word that isn't a word. I swear to god, I've got to be the slowest thinking IB kid ever. (Not that I'm stupid. I never said that. I just can't think that fast).

ANYWAY I need to do some studying for my history exams. And plot comebacks so that tomorrow I'm not left dumbstruck and angry instead of satisfied. She's not getting away with that shit again.

yer pal,
swegan >:)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nightmares

It's starting.

I've heard the horror stories from kids who took IB in previous years- off of the internet, which causes me to doubt their credibility a little bit, but still. The kids who still have recurring nightmares about World Exams. And I thought I was fine, because up until now, I'd been absolutely fine and hadn't had a bad dream in a while. My dreams are often so confusing and senseless that it's difficult to assign them a label as simple as "good" or "bad". But last night... last night was bad.

I don't quite remember all of it now, but I do remember hanging around my house, and for some reason that was school. I was doing weird things, like balancing on the railing by the stairs and doing cartwheels on the back of the couch- and it was our house before renovations, I think, so I might have been standing on the table at one point. And the whole time I was filled with this awful feeling of "Aren't I forgetting something?" And I knew that I was, but I couldn't remember what it was.
Somehow I got to my English classroom, and everyone in English class was there. I asked what they were doing, we sat down, we were chatting, and then eventually I figured out they were writing their English World Exam, paper 1. And I asked for mine, but my English teacher said no, I couldn't have it, I was late. I couldn't write the exam. I was pretty upset- I can vividly remember sobbing uncontrollably.

Later somehow it was established that I'd also missed my Spanish exam, and I remember asking my Spanish teacher if there was any possible way I could write it later or something. She looked really concerned and thought for a minute and then said something like I might be able to write it in November or next May but probably not. It then became clear to me that I was going to fail IB, that I wasn't getting my diploma, that I had made a horrendous mistake and had completely fucked up the last two years of my life. More inconsolable crying.

And in the end I remember sitting in a restaurant across from my sister and next to my old friend from middle school, who lives down the street. She was consoling me and agreed that it was totally unreasonable that the school hadn't announced over the intercom that the exam was beginning and so how was I supposed to know? Some other full IB kids came in and sat at the table next to us but I remember Vince took the chair next to Freckles, to her right, and saying "I'm just going to sit over here" and that was the end of the dream.

But that fear? That horrible, sickening feeling that I'd fucked up and could never fix it? That stayed with me when I woke up, and the relief I felt when I realized that World Exams haven't even started yet was so sweet I swear I could taste it.

So all day I've been working on History, trying to organize my notes for Paper 2. Paper 1 I am feeling okay about- it's stuff I know. Paper 2? I can't find anything, and when I can find stuff just about the topic area, it's not quite the right information I need. I know Paper 3 is all going to be my notes from last year- History 20IB was a course solely focused on Paper 3. But I can't find anything for Paper 2, and instead of just being stressed, I can feel that dream fear. It's twisting my stomach into knots. World Exams are here, they're coming, they're real, they're really happening, and the pressure is on and cranked to 9001 kPa. If I could actually FIND some notes about WWII and its causes and the Spanish Civil War (both of which I distinctly remember talking about but somehow don't  have notes on) or maybe one of the five dictators I know we talked about besides Castro, I wouldn't be panicking and feeling this fear. Like my History exams start on May 8, guys. May 8 and 9. That's like a week and two days from now. And I've only just started preparing? Holy shit, I should have been doing this since we got back from Easter! But no, I haven't, and unlike Omnia and Haurie, I am unable to donate large chunks of my weekend to just doing history and getting it done. I asked Omnia on FB how the hell she found notes for all the paper 2 stuff (her paper 2 study guide is apparently something like 48 pages long- I don't want one that long, but mine is probably like two pages at this point), and she said notes, the textbook, and google.

WHAT FUCKING TEXTBOOK? Argh! The only useful one was the one we had last year! Am I supposed to use those monographs we got this year? And Google? How the hell am I supposed to find relevant information on the internet when half the time I can't even type in my search right so I have to spend like half an hour researching just one thing? Where does she get all this time?

I love Omnia to death, but sometimes she freaks me out. Not as in she's weird, but as in how do you get so much done wtf do you have a machine that puts extra hours in the day and oh god, I am legitimately panicking.

That dream fear is going to stay with me for the rest of the day, I know that much. Hopefully this doesn't become the mood I associate with World Exams. (I should explain: whenever I remember certain portions of my life, there's always, always a mood associated with them. Like the end of grade 10, when we got out of school? I was sad because I was hanging out with Nerd and Tupperware a lot at that point and I missed them, in addition to realizing that I'd barely see my other friends anymore. That was tough to get through. And when I think of my childhood in general, it reminds me of a safe, comforting place where I feel happy. Some I can't even describe, like when I think of the process of writing my IA last year. That has a mood but that mood is just... it's that mood).

My dad did mention to me today, however, that he still has recurring nightmares about his medical school exams, and that they get particularly bad about this time of year. (Also that it doesn't help that I pointed out that his degree says it was issued or given to him or whatever on the "31th of August"). That scared me. What if I have recurring nightmares for the rest of my life about World Exams, nightmares that get worse around May? What if I keep having nightmares all month? What if they don't stop? What if this is psychologically traumatizing to me and affects the rest of my life?

Probably none of those things will happen, but I'm guessing that this mood is stuck with me for the next three weeks.

I've worked out a study schedule, though- like until my English exam, my focuses are English and History. Then until my History exam, my focuses are History and Biology. Then until my Biology exam, I just study Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish because they're pretty much all back to back although Spanish is easier and so thus needs less work. I've almost done all my Chem reviews although I still have a shit-ton of Bio reviews, so maybe those can be peppered into other study time- one or two here or there. Also I've decided that on nights before exams I'm not going on the internet, and that I'm going to go to bed early. I know the wonders a good night's sleep can do.

Does anyone else get like this, though? You're so stressed that it becomes impossible to remove the thing that's stressing you? That's what I'm doing. I'll go back to history now.

yer pal,
swegan :(

Saturday, April 27, 2013

IDEASPIRATION!

Just finished reading "Off With Their Heads! All the cool bits of British History" and then I got to thinking about the first world war again, because that for me is what really separates the past- all the monarchies and backwards thinking and odd upperclass society and weird fashion- and the future, which is everything since that war. That war, in my opinion, wasn't the war to end all wars, but the war to change all wars, and pretty much the entire future.

And THEN, I thought, what a great history class you could teach about the impact of WWI by having the central question of the class be: What if the First World War had never happened? What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand had lived? What if Austria-Hungary hadn't been such an asshole to the Balkan region about nationalism and nothing had happened there? Would Germany still have war-mongered? Would that itself have started a different war?
Would the Wall Street Crash have happened? Would the depression have happened? Would Hitler and Mussolini come to power? Would the Russian Revolution go more smoothly? Would the Cold War have happened? Maybe it would have happened earlier. Who knows if the second world war would have even happened- all those Jews would have lived.
I would take that class, and I would love it. I just think it's fun to think about all the different ways the First World War affected and changed the world- I didn't even mention the ways in which it advanced technology!- and from there you can say okay so the First World War had this effect on this. So if we remove that effect, what other things might have affected that thing? Would the conclusion have been the same?

Like the Treaty of Versailles, for example. That put heavy blame on Germany for the war. That treaty led to a lot of resentment and economic troubles in Germany. So if the war hadn't happened, the Treaty of Versailles wouldn't have happened, and so that resentment would have been removed from Germany, and probably the economic troubles. Hitler used that resentment and economic trouble to rise to power, and then he went and started the Second World War. So if the First World War hadn't happened, would Hitler have risen to power and murdered all those poor people in the death camps? Would the Holocaust have even happened?

I don't know about you guys, but thinking about these things and mulling over the way history might have gone is a hobby of mine. We're not supposed to think this way in history class because we don't know what might have happened. But that's the exciting part. Who knows? Let's talk about it. Like thinking about having a good discussion about this makes me smile.

Let's use an analogy. Take your favourite book- the one you practically know by heart, which you reread sometimes just when you need a break from the real world. Now pick one event in the book- it can be something small, or it can be the event which is the climax. Now, take it out. It didn't happen. The rest of the story up to that event happened just the same, but then that event didn't happen. How would the book have ended? Would it have been better or worse? Would some characters have died? Would others have lived? Would vital lessons be missed? Would they be gained?

See, history is just like that! It's like the story of the world. That's how I see it- History is the story of the world and everything that happened in it. We only read chapters at a time, but just like in writing fiction, rereading old chapters changes the way we write new ones. This is why I think the quote "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it" is so incredibly true.

I feel so lucky that I see the joy in this, the simple joy of the story of the world, in all its glorious chapters. And not just with history, either. There is a wonderful joy to be found in learning that I have found, and it makes me happier than anything else. Even though school is tough and we're tested on what we learn, we still get to learn a lot of cool things. I also feel lucky that I appreciate the joy of thinking- just thinking about things is such a wonderful way to pass the time, and a lot of the time I put what I think here or in a journal and that's why I love writing, and not just writing stories. So thinking- kind of philosophy- is connected with writing, which is connected with history, which is connected with science, which is connected with math- everything I learn is all connected in this big beautiful web of knowledge that I untangle and add to every single day.

I am so lucky to live in a country that values education and places value on having an educated society. Education is a blessing- too many people don't realize that. That's not to say that some people who educate aren't horrible- if you're going to be a teacher I think you have to have this same joy of learning and knowing that I do.

So, whaddya think? If I was teaching a class on the importance of WWI where the central question was "What if WWI hadn't happened?" would you take it? More importantly, would you enjoy it?

Just curious. I don't plan on becoming a history teacher.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Sleepover fun times and teenager things

Let it be known that this morning when Tupperware, Fex, Nerd and I were looking for a movie at Fex's house, Bride and Prejudice was one of the options on telus video on demand. Let it be known that Nerd was legitimately SO FUCKING CONFUSED and thought he'd been saying it wrong the whole time. He thought it was Bride and Prejudice- like instead of Pride and Prejudice.

I had a good internal laugh about it.

So last night! Was a real party. Well, sort of. It was supposed to be Fex, Tudo, Tupperware, Nerd and I, the Fabulous Five together again, but then Tudo cancelled and said she had work at nine in the morning. Since the sleepover was super late already (like I didn't show up at Fex's house until 10 b/c she had to do the play (not act, she does lighting)) I can understand Tudo's not wanting to be up too late, but she was the one who had this whole idea. She would have known her work schedule, she could have said no wait guys we can't do it Friday. I mean, surely someone told her far enough in advance, right?
If they did, I'm sort of pissed because this isn't the first time Tudo has bailed on us before, but if they didn't, then I don't really know what to think. We missed her, anyway.
We sat around on the floor in Fex's kitchen waiting to hear for sure if Tudo was coming. When she wasn't, we headed to the living room to watch Gangster Squad, which Nerd had been wanting to watch. I guess it wasn't too bad, but it really wasn't my kind of movie. I understood what was going on, though, which I was pretty damn impressed with. After that we moved onto cards- in the middle of a game of war at 1 AM, another friend showed up, and OMG SHE SERIOUSLY NEEDS A NICKNAME WOW. Anyway we were all happy to have her and she joined the game and then I taught everyone how to play 7-up (and promptly won the game by holding onto my 2 of hearts, hahaha) and then they played skip-bo while I tried not to fall asleep (6 hours/night for a whole week and then last night... I am so incredibly stupid right now, it's sad). After this, we did karaoke on the telus on demand thing, which was way more fun with a bunch of people (some of whom had been drinking small amounts of alcohol- nobody got cray, and Nerd and I didn't drink at all because we didn't want to) (it was more just social drinking I guess but not social drinking to excess WHY DID THAT RHYME). After that we went to bed. By that time it was like 4:30 or 5.

Morning consisted of the-friend-who-still-needs-a-nickname leaving early for an appointment, and the rest of us making colourful pancakes ( *evil smile*) and waffles (no, none of the waffles were blue, calm down) and then eating them, and then watching Here Comes the Boom which is probably on my top ten list of favourite movies now because HOLY FUCKING SHIT. The actors were so fucking brilliant in that movie! The storyline! It wasn't perfect, but it was a really good story. Also it made me think of my real-life biology teacher, who is seriously like 6'4" or something and could probably beat the crap out of somebody if he was motivated to. Thankfully he's not a violent person like at all and instead chooses to share with us a grand appreciation and love for science that is very contagious. Those are the best kind of teachers- my grade eight science teacher, my math teacher for math 10, 30, and 31, my English teacher this year, my social teacher last year... the kind of teachers that really love their subject and try to communicate that love of the subject to their students.

Anyway the movie made me think, which I love. I've found lately I seize any opportunity to just think about things. To just be analytical and solve my problems, solve problems of the universe, work out logical arguments to stupid statements, etc. It's quite relaxing. Of course sometimes I imagine all my characters going out to a party in extravagant outfits and what they'd all wear and do- we all have our imaginations.

Anywhoo, seventeen magazine came today and I was flipping through it and there's an interview in there with the only celebrity crush I have found who is actually probably close to my age- he's in Flipped, which is the best book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen in my life (and he's also in I am Number Four but that was the worst book-to-movie adaptation ever which sucks because the book was really good) and OH MY GOODNESS HE IS CUTE. I may have fangirled a little when I found the article.

Sadly I still haven't opened my Wired magazine from last month. I need a solid 3 hours to get through that one, because I can't just half-ass-read my way through an issue of Wired, and I don't have a solid 3 hours to commit to that. seventeen I can get through in like half an hour at most because it's all just pictures and ads.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I CAN'T STOP POSTING HERE ARE MY OTPS

Because I actually thought of a list today.

Well, first there's Niles and Daphne from Frasier, which I think bothered me for like the entirety of my middle school life. And then of course Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls, because I sometimes watch that show, enough so that they can be my OTP I think, but not enough to qualify as like, a fan. Then of course the LBD ones- Dizzie and Jing (HOORAY FOR COUPLE NAMES). And then those two hipsters who don't have names yet on Hipsterhood, another delightful web series, and then Hollis and Lyle from (character), ANOTHER web series, and yet another web series- Chris and Beth from Bravest Warriors. I'd say I have a thing for web series but there's so many other ones out there. And then, I suppose, the only one I have from TV is Kurt and Blaine on Glee, and I was kinda rooting for Robin and Barney on HIMYM. That's really all I can think of.

Of course I have my character OTPs, which my character Faith and I share- there's the ones that are already together, of course, like Sam and Alana, Anne and Dave, Whitney and Matt... and then there's Katy and Kevin, who never really were together like really, and then John and Yalee, who I swear are like my favourite OTP ever even though they've broken up like two or three times now in between novels like SRSLY GUISE GET YER SHITS IN A ROW OMG. And of course, Sally and Tup, b/c they're adorbs, and both kick ass at like everything. Cassedy and Brian because just because they are a something (HA. HAHAHAHA). That's about all I can think of.

How many does that make?

TV SHOW/WEB SERIES OTPs: 9
WRITING OTPs: 7

Ooh, a nice list of 16 OTPs. (I actually had to stop and add 9 and 7 in my head for a minute).

WOW IT'S 1:30 I SHOULD GO TO BED

yer pal,
swegan :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Teenagerism

I suppose it's completely normal to disagree with one's parents as a teenager. Like with my mother today. I brought up rape culture- I think in response to how she said she hopes I don't have to worry about something by the time I'm her age, I can't remember what the something was- and I said I hope rape culture didn't exist when I was her age.

Mom: Oh, that'll always exist. There'll always be people who get raped.
Me: Yeah mom but my point is I hope that rape culture doesn't exist. Rape culture is what excuses that sort of behaviour.
Mom: Well, there are countries in the world where that is the sort of culture. So don't move there! And don't date guys who have just moved from those countries because they'll probably have that sort of mindset. (Note: I don't mean to make my mother out as racist here- she's definitely not- but I know it totally sounds that way).
Me: Yeah but rape culture exists here too, mom, like in the western world. And it really pisses me off that it does.
Mom: Okay, but I don't see the point in getting worked up about something like that... and don't go posting things like that on facebook, okay? Because someone might see that and think "hmm, I'm gonna teach her a lesson."

GEE THANKS MOM FOR BEING SO SUPPORTIVE OF ME AND MY PASSION FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND MY DEDICATION TO MAKING THINGS BETTER EVEN WHEN IT'S THE UNPOPULAR CHOICE.

There's a reason I don't add anyone I don't know as a friend on facebook! There's a reason my posts aren't public! There's a reason I'm a feminist! I'm not going to be fucking quiet about it. I want people to know and I want people to care, I want to make people care, and it's hard enough as it is because most of my friends don't really care about that sort of stuff on facebook, and then there's my one friend who asked "When's international men's day?" on international women's day like oh good job you totally missed the point of having an international women's day would you like a fucking trophy. Like I get you're trying to play up the whole equality thing but pretending that feminism is women hating men is just wrong.

*teenager voice* I am so woefully misunderstood, I am an outcast! Nobody agrees with my wayward views! */teenager voice*

yer pal,
swegan :(

This is what I was talking about yesterday

This is why it's hard to be a feminist.



And I've had people- friends, parents, family members, even- say other things to me that are completely condescending and patronizing to other aspects of feminism, like my mother telling me it's my problem if a guy doesn't like me because I choose not to shave my legs.

So I guess this blog got a lot more feminist than it used to be. In case you hadn't noticed.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

So, just wondering...

When is it going to be enough?

Found a site called "The Everyday Sexism Project" (everydaysexism.com) which is absolutely genius, because it shows how often women go through sexual harrassment and abuse and slurs on a daily basis (I'm on page 336, and that's still only posts from March, if that tells you anything) (no I haven't been reading for that long; I was just curious to see how long it went on, although I was reading before that). I was just clicking ahead to see how many actual pages the site has, and I found this post, and it was particularly disheartening.

Anon2013-03-05 16:19
I have been crying for about an hour so far. Because I got a bad haircut. It was kinda the final straw. I hate myself. I look in the mirror every day and think "You are so fucking ugly." I can't even let my boyfriend see me naked. We've been together a year, he loves me dearly, and he tells me all the time that I'm beautiful, but I can't believe him. How can I believe him when I don't look how the entire rest of society and the media tells me I'm supposed to look??
I don't have the giant boobs all the girls on the fronts of the magazines have. I don't have the giant boobs and the perfectly toned ass that all the girls in the music videos have hanging out the bottom of their hotpants. I don't have a little nose or perfectly straight white teeth. I don't have a flawless airbrushed complexion like every single woman on any of the multiple face cream/makeup/toiletries/w hatever else adverts I see every day. I have small boobs, some cellulite on my thighs, a kinda big nose, slightly wonky teeth and some facial scars from a car accident a few years ago. And I feel ridiculous. I feel that because of all these things I'm not worth anything as a human being.
I am so so so so so sick of the constant bombardment of images of women and how we're all supposed to look. I can't leave my house without seeing billboards, buses, shop windows, posters etc everywhere with (mostly nearly naked) perfect women on them. TV, films, internet is all the same. I'm sick of seeing it. And it's not just seeing it, it's hearing it, hearing constant discussion of how women look and conversations and storylines in TV programmes etc about boobs! Or surgery, or weight or wrinkles. The world is obsessed with boobs at the moment, they even sang a song about it at the Oscars. And I don't have any so I guess I'm not a proper woman right?
I'm so ashamed if my boyfriend catches me with no clothes on, because I know I'm only the 3rd,4th,5th,6th woman he will have seen that day in her underwear, or a bikini or suchlike. And I don't match up. So why on earth should I expect him to be attracted or aroused by me? I feel so stupid. I know men experience some of this sort of thing too, but I really think anyone who doesn't realise how hugely the balance sways negatively toward the side of women is delusional, or in denial. I feel as a woman that I am just a sum of my (sub-standard) bodyparts. And it is constantly reinforced to me, in so many ways, that it doesn't matter that I'm kind, intelligent, funny, caring, because all that matters is what I look like. Projects like this are so great for letting people like me vent things like this, and for letting us all know that we are not alone. But nothing is changing. People have been talking for years about how the media is negatively affecting women's (and now very young girls) body image, but it's worse than ever. Try to go see a film at the cinema this week which doesn't contain a topless/naked woman, I dare you. Because unless it's a kids film you won't find one. Now try to go see one WITH a naked man it. Again, you won't find one. Because men aren't required to bare their naked bodies to be worth watching. Men's acting talent is enough, not the same for us. More and more females are developing eating disorders or getting surgery to try to combat all this, but we shouldn't have to feel this way.
I've cancelled my plans tonight because I think I'm too ugly to go out. Please can someone make it stop, I just wanna be able to wake up one day and not have to worry about what I look like, and how that is going to affect my day. Please can something just change now.


I think this says something absolutely terrible about the culture we have built. This post is part of what drives me to be part of the movement that ends sexism. I know now that this is something I need to be involved in, and heavily, and passionately, because it's important and it doesn't get nearly enough attention. Because posts like this still exist and girls still feel this way. I am lucky to live in Canada, where the culture isn't quite as bad as the states and where we've actually had a woman run the country once (even if it wasn't for very long) (sadly). I am lucky that my parents have brought me up to be proud of my accomplishments, and to feel good about myself no matter what, and that they have taught me healthy eating habits so I am quite healthy. Note I did not say skinny, although I guess I am that too. But I'm not proud of myself because I'm skinny. I'm proud of myself because I can play the piano, I can write, I'm an excellent student, I'm going to get my IB diploma, I'm intelligent, I can be funny, I'm caring, I can be generous, and I take care of myself and try to take care of others. That's why I like myself as a person. That's how I've been raised. It is those things that make me beautiful.
But this poor girl, who sits and cries because she has been told time and time again by the world around her that she must be pretty to be a person of worth. I am sure she is a lovely, generous, kindhearted girl, and I am so angry at the world for having done this to her.

Something does need to change and it needs to change right now and maybe the only thing I can do at the moment is be the change I want to see in the world, be the girl who won't put up with sexism, be the girl who points out when a comment is wrong, the girl who is seen as "over the top" when she tells somebody not to joke about rape. I'll admit it hasn't been easy being that girl all the time, especially when everyone accepts nerd's occasional sexist joke but when I say something like "Based on my observations I think girls in general are smarter than boys" because all my life the girls I have known have always been smarter and done better than the boys, all I get back is "that's sexist", or when I have to resist an urge to throw a chair at the girl who asked "When's international men's day?" on International Women's day (that still pisses me off, and even though I respect the girl who said that greatly, I still wanted to say a big ol' FUCK YOU to her when she said that) (but that would have destroyed our friendship and I didn't want to do that).

Sometimes I wonder if you guys ever get sick of reading about this stuff. Although I have to say, it is my blog and I'm not really here to get millions of comments- not that I would object to them, I'd love to open a discussion.

yer pal,
swegan :)
UPDATE: I'm on page 690. Still in 2013.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm sorry

I apologize for criticizing LGs based on their clothing. You're allowed to wear what you want and should be able to do so without people judging you, and I'm sorry that I did. Just because I wouldn't personally wear what you wear or expose myself as much as you do doesn't mean I have some kind of moral high ground.

I do wonder how you stay warm in these cold Canadian winters, though, and I think the reason you should wear something else is so that you don't freeze because IT'S COLD OUTSIDE.

But if you want to wear low cut tops and tight little shirts and short little shorts, then whatever. Do whatever the hell you want. It's not hurting me.

yer pal,
swegan

Oh for fuck's sake

I had this nice little post about this hilarious conversation I had with my sister where I asked her who supposedly said "let them eat cake" and she responded with "Jswag?" and then this happened (I am the one with the short name):

And I was just like BITCH REALLY. Like how the fuck would my 14 year old sister know who Marie Antoinette was? She's not a history buff, neither is anyone in our family, and her education up until now has not consisted of anything even remotely related to the French Revolution.

I don't care if people think this is a big deal or if they think I'm making a big deal out of it, that comment was just completely ridiculous and she couldn't have said "oh I guess you have a point" about my point that my sister wouldn't fucking know. But no.

I just... I don't even know. I know Vince and Artifex read this, and they know this person, and so now they might realize that I really don't like this person. She can be a real bitch... well, not all the time, but too much. But just... this pissed me off so much.

Also, nobody insults my sister in front of me and fucking gets away with it. And though I realize it sounds stupid and juvenile, nobody makes my sister cry without getting called a lot of nasty words, whether or not it's to their face or just in front of Freckles.

Maybe it's stupid to be my sister's protector, but if she's not going to protect herself then somebody has to go to bat for her. I may not always agree with my sister or always like her, but she is my sister, my bro, and my best friend. She knows more about me than anybody else in the world and she is dearer to me than probably anybody else.

Also this girl has a history of saying nasty things about Freckles, and Freckles knows it. I don't know what this girl's problem is with my sister exactly, but anybody who has a problem with Freckles probably has a problem with me as well. That is to say, this isn't just one facebook comment; this is more than just some petty little thing. This girl has said things a lot worse about Freckles in the past. Maybe not a lot, but enough.

Also she tends to be really condescending but like 80% of the time she's okay and so whatever.

I feel really mean now, but I just... I really don't like her. I wish I did. I don't like hating people, but some people are just never going to look like good people to me and I'm pretty sure it's okay not to like people who say toxic things.

yer pal,
swegan

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So apparently my parents want me to get a summer job.

I've written up an email to the lady of the lab I volunteered in last summer, but I haven't sent it yet for two reasons:

1) I'm not sure it's formal enough, even though our emails last year degraded into casuality. I just want it to sound right and formal enough but not stupid like I'm trying too hard. I'll have to send it by the end of the week, probs.

2) I don't want to do anything this summer.

SERIOUSLY. I am exhausted already from all this work. My brain. Needs. A. Break. My entire body, my entire being, does not just want a break but REQUIRES one. As selfish and horrible as it sounds, I don't want to go volunteer in the lab again this summer. I don't want to do anything. I just want to sit around and let myself vegetate and write and eat ice cream with friends and things like that. I just want to relax for the first time in a long time.

Right now I'm trying to gear up for the most intense studying I've ever done in my life, and I'm slowly getting more and more done each day, which is great. I mean today didn't go exactly as planned, but I did do piano, history, and I had a shower early. I know I have a chem thing tomorrow to study for, a chem thing on Friday I have about 8 reviews to do for (and trust me, those won't be all done by Friday but I'm thinking that if I just do some of each of them, I'll have a good general idea of what I need to do, and I'll just fill in the stuff I can't figure out with the answer keys), and a biology thing on Thursday... or was it the other way around? I can't remember. Anyway, I have bio stuff to do as well. Paper 1 for Bio's going to be a frickin' breeze. Paper 1 is always a breeze.

But I know that when I'm done, when I've walked out of my Paper 3 for Chemistry at 10 AM on Friday, May 17, I'm not going to want to do fucking anything. Literally nothing. Except, y'know, get ice cream, and possibly take a nap until May 18.

But instead of relaxing this summer, apparently I will be making lunches every day (or at least every weekday), going into the lab, and working in there all day. Standing for most of the day in my lab coat with those weird blue gloves again. And this is if she lets me come work for her again (although work probably isn't the right word- I'm not getting paid). If not, I have to find a different job.

My parents made this clear- they said "you can look for another job if you want but we just think this is a good opportunity for you."

I know next year will probably be like Paper 1 (a breeze), but I just... I've been working for SO FUCKING LONG without having a time when I literally have nothing to do, and it's all I want in the world to have nothing to do. Just for a little while- like a month. And I don't want to work more over the summer.

I guess this is how I learn that sometimes the world sucks. I mean, it is a good idea for me to do lab work (especially in a lab this prestigious, considering how small this city is) so I can have it on a resume, especially considering that I'm going into sciences in university. But I just...

How do people do this in the real world? I'm so tired! I just want a break! Can't I just have that? I've had stuff to do constantly for the past two years- and that's no exaggeration. I've had some assignment or paper or studying to do over every single school break since the summer after tenth grade. That was my last true free time, and I don't even remember what that's like anymore.

Crying isn't helping me get anything done, though, so I guess for now I just have to suck it up and try to pass all my classes and exams. My fucking Physics diploma is like two days before grad, too- it couldn't be right away after classes ended, oh no. Ugh.

Maybe I should just say that the first week of July I'm not doing fucking anything and if that doesn't sit right with people they can go fuck themselves because I need a fucking break and I don't need to be doing stuff during it.

-swegan.

Monday, April 15, 2013

OKAY SERIOUSLY GLEE WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT

I mean, okay, whoa. School shooting. Was not expecting that from Glee. But the worst part was that NOBODY WOULD FUCKING SHUT UP. They kept talking and that was supposed to be alright? No! You're not supposed to talk at all during a lockdown. You're supposed to sit down and shut up and do nothing else.

I dunno, it really got me riled up and now I'm supposed to go to bed. Argh.
The only time we had a lockdown at school half of our class didn't hear the announcement because our English teacher was out of the room. The half that did quickly got worried, saying "should we close the door?" and eventually we did, and they told us what was going on and someone shut the door and turned off the lights and our English teacher's room has no windows so it was pretty dark. We were all huddled at the back of the room and then our English teacher came back and he was glad that we were all there. He shut and locked the door and joined us, saying he didn't know anything about what was going on. It was pretty frightening, and I was worried about Freckles, and I remember sitting next to one of my friends who still doesn't have a nickname on this blog for some reason, and she grabbed my hand and we just sat there like that until the principal came around and said it was fine, they'd just wanted the halls clear so that they could remove a student from the premises. It lasted all of ten minutes.

Sadly enough, I think way too many kids have been through this kind of thing at school, whether it was mild like what happened to me, or crazy intense like way too many other incidents. I'd say that means there's something fundamentally wrong with our society, and maybe that's true, but the only thing I can think of is that as a society we don't put enough focus on mental health and people are dying because of it so why the fuck haven't we fixed that yet?

-swegan.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Missing home

I am doing my chem homework as I write- well, I took a short break just to say this one thing. Actually I'm almost done my chem homework, so I'll say it quickly.

I just realized that the place I'm going for university next year probably doesn't have train tracks running through the middle of the city. The tallest building there isn't a grain elevator. I won't hear the relentless noise of train horns at random times on random days (like today for some reason it's like EVERY SINGLE TRAIN IS BLARING ITS HORN AND I CAN HEAR THEM ALL WITH MY WINDOW SHUT AAAUUUGHH).

As annoying as those train horns can be when they're quite frequent, I'm going to have to get used to not hearing them. I just realized I've gotten so used to them always being in the background- just a part of the city I live in. But next year I'll be in a different city- and I'm really going to miss the sound of train horns.

Especially in the middle of the night, when I'm wide awake and either a) thinking peacefully or b) wasting time. They're kind of comforting in the middle of the night, actually- a reminder that other people are still awake, driving trains.

Even at the cabin we hear train horns- there's tracks right across the lake. We can even hear the trains themselves out there. Sometimes I think they make the ground shake a little. I guess I've just been around train horns my entire life.

I am so coming back to live in this city someday. It is small, but there's still things to do, and it's kind of peaceful, the smallness. Local but not local, and yet we're so close to big centres for shopping and more excitement- just a couple hours in two directions. And always, always, the train horns in the valley, blaring away through the day and night.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jellybeans and plants and translating names

I hate jellybeans. Yet here I sit, eating them.
I mean, the process of eating them is just sheer torture. You look at the back, trying desperately to match the little sugar-glob in your hand that approximates the shape of a bean with the little diagrams on the back. "Oh crap," you think. "Am I getting lemon, pina colada, or- heaven forbid- banana?" And you pop it into your mouth and it's something disgusting like fucking buttered popcorn and just UGH.

Eating jellybeans is a horribly surprising adventure and I hate it. When I was a kid people offered my jellybeans like all the time and I would only take the orange and yellow ones because those were the ones most likely not to be something like cinnamon or worse- licorice. And I would take them and eat them to be polite.

I'm not a candy person. We should establish that right now. I eat chocolate- that's my sweets. I don't like candy very often. I do like those little cherry red vine things that you pull apart, and I don't mind things like sweet tarts that I get from my piano teacher (or whatever they're called), but aside from that, candy's just sort of like meh.


There's this house plant we've had lying around the house since I was a kid- I have no idea where or when we got it, but it's just sort of always been around. A few months ago Sadie got at it and chewed off the tops- it was three tiny little tropical trees of some sort. We put it in the basement under the special plant lights with some of the herbs from the backyard that we wanted to keep over the winter (the basil died like the little wimp that it is, while the mint died and then came back like wtf is up with that and I'm not quite sure about this other one that looks alive but just sort of always looks half dead). Each stalk has grown two new tops- exactly two and no more. I just noticed that today. But my point is that even though they were chewed off by Sadie, the Adorable Irish Wolfhound Monster, that plant grew back and grew back twice as well. It's just sort of inspirational. I know that probably sounds stupid, but hey, it has a little bit of meaning for me so whatever. Like a sort of life goes on message- even if I am cut down by the great and mighty lords of IB, I'll just grow back again, slowly but surely. Life goes on.


And I just searched the meaning of my name. I'll throw it in here, although then you all might know what my name is. My full name, if you take all the meanings together, is something like pearl bright clearing angel, which sounds really weird.

Better than my grandfather's name though, I suppose. My sister and I looked it up once, and I think the meaning was something along the lines of small pile of rocks in a clearing. It was quite hilarious.

Sadie apparently means "princess". D'aw. Just as cute as Mandy, which meant "worthy of being loved". Perfect puppy names :)

I need to homework now.

yer pal,
swegan :)

This is for you, Vince.

I'm sorry I just saw this and thought of you and you have to see it because it is the most brilliant thing in the history of things.

You're welcome.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I finished reading "North and South" instead of doing my homework

I mean, yes, I did some chem review, and I did some at lunch today too, so that counts for something. And some bio review as well. But finishing this book was a top priority for me, and then I got to the ending, and.... I don't understand at all.

I'm aware that probably few of you are actually interested in reading the book, but in case you were, the whole next little bit would be a gigantic spoiler alert for the ending.

It's just... I don't understand how he got her showing love out of their little discussion of business matters. Like I understand why Mr. Lennox didn't show up- obviously he knew what was going on with her- but then HOW THE HELL did Mr. Thornton just infer that from her behaviour? There was nothing in her conduct to suggest that her feelings had changed and just ARGH I was so mad that I didn't get it. Like I know what happened at the ending (obviously I prefer the mini-series ending, because that was a) packed with way more feels, especially since b) kissing), but I'm just not sure how in the book they got to that conclusion. It bothers me, especially since I really liked the rest of the book. AND THAT ENDS THE SPOILER.

It wasn't written in nearly the same style as Jane Austen- I don't even know if it was written around the same time or not, but it was at least 200 years ago or something because it's free on the kindle. Jane Austen writes these sentences that are like calculus problems to decipher (for me, anyway), whereas this book was extremely easy to read. I mean yes it's still different and sometimes it's really hard to understand what the hell the Higgins's are talking about (Higginses? I have no idea) because of their accent, but all in all it's not tricky to read like Jane Austen is. Don't get me wrong, I did like Pride and Prejudice... it's just that it took me like two weeks to read because the language was all so old.

Anywhoo, I just watched Episode 4 of the mini-series again- I must say, they really condensed the book at the end and kind of lost some stuff in doing so, but it's still brilliantly adapted and insanely well-cast. Also very well written. I would highly recommend it.

I'd write about other things, but a) there's nothing else to tell and 2) it's almost midnight and I need my sleep to do lots more nothing tomorrow.

yer pal,
swegan :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

WELP that turned out accidentally long oops. Also, a question for you all.

This has clocked in at over 10K in views. Thanks, guys. No but seriously. You deserve this GIF of the captain of the Swedish bobsled team slow-clapping for you.
Except sorry I could not find that GIF. If you want to look for it I found it on wonder-tonic.

Blugh. I haven't done anything and it's 8:16 and I have about five zillion things to do. I am so done.

OH YEAH and I went on a trip this past Easter. Probably should have led with that. It was really awesome, 60% because my friends and some of my favourite teachers were on it (except all my teachers are my favourites) and it was just a good time and a half. We saw London, Canterbury cathedral (officially now my favourite cathedral of all time- and I've seen a lot of cathedrals), Vimy Ridge, Arromanches, Beaumont-Hamel (the monument dedicated to the Newfoundland regiment that fought and died (no literally, it was all of them and it was the saddest thing) at the battle of the Somme), and Juno Beach. The Juno Beach cemetery was way too full, and very saddening. I didn't get through it without crying a little- the epitaphs just break your heart. We were all given flowers to leave at a gravesite. I left mine here.

Unfortunately there were some ninth graders on the trip who didn't appreciate or understand exactly what they were seeing, and apparently the Newfoundland group we were travelling with were very disrespectful at the Juno Beach Cemetery. I have absolutely no respect for people who do things like that- and likewise, I have absolutely no respect for kids who think it's okay to laugh and joke and talk DURING a remembrance day assembly. It is fine to laugh and talk afterwards if you want, or before, but not during.

I get very emotionally invested in this stuff. I figure it's the least I can do in respect, aside from going down as many rows of gravestones as I could and saying "Thank you" to each one. I dunno, maybe it's cheesy, but again- it's really the least I could do.

The rest of the trip was less somber, though I was glad for the war history as seeing the battlefields and trenches and tunnels really puts things into a new perspective. It's one thing to read about it and another thing to visit where it happened. There's still craters from a war that happened 100 years ago.

Thankfully that war was won in such a way that it's culminated in the world we have now, which allowed me to continue on our trip to Paris, where I ate lots of crepes and tried not to speak Spanish when asking for food. Paris was a lot of fun. We saw the Eiffel Tower, the Seine river, Champs-Elysees, L'Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Versailles (which I got to geek out about with one of my history teachers- I suppose referring to him as his nickname, Jswag, doesn't give away too much, so I'll just call him that). Our last night there, we went up the Eiffel tower, and Fex and I blew bubbles off the middle (we forgot to do it at the top; also it was really cold up there). The next day in the airport was nice- I had a macaroon, my first of the trip, and it was wonderfully delicious. I also bought some more Daim, which is this delightfully delicious chocolate bar candy thing that I think is from Sweden or something- described on the wrapped in English as "Milk chocolate (42%) with a crunchy almond caramel centre." It is pure delight, and completely makes up for the fact they don't seem to have Reese's Pieces ANYWHERE in Europe. I also found a Milka bar with Daim in it, which was just joy and a half.

I like how the things I remember are food.

There were also a lot of in-jokes having to do with things like disabled spiders, versailles, and yelling to people from windows. Not to mention that on the first day on the bus, Freckles and Vince and I were sitting behind one of our teachers and blew on the back of his head, and he looked around himself all confused, wondering where the air conditioning was coming from. It was hilarious. Like Jswag walking with swagger- this is my history teacher from last year, and my EE supervisor. He is totally secretly five years old inside, just so you all know.

I got to watch Rise of the Guardians on the plane as well. It was excellent- I always love movies where I can feel inspired afterwards. While everyone else was watching all these serious movies about things like the CIA, here I was watching a movie for kids and feeling like I was 8 years old again and still believed Santa was real.
I miss those times. I think around Christmas I just kind of happily delude myself into secretly thinking that Santa Claus is real, just because Christmas is just such a magical time. I'm too old for the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny now- no more teeth to lose, and there's never mysterious chocolate eggs that appear out of nowhere on Easter morning anymore. I dunno. The whole movie was just really magical and beautiful and I like those sorts of movies. I try to write about those kinds of things.

I think I'll always be a YA novelist at heart. YA is where I found myself writing, YA is where I grew the most writing, YA is where I found my most beloved characters, the ones I think of when I'm sad or scared. Sort of like imaginary friends, I guess, but more socially acceptable when you're 17. Also I always found it hard to have imaginary friends because I had lots of real friends and they were a lot more fun to hang out with.

Speaking of my real friends, they all seem to love my family for some reason, and that, for reasons I will explain, takes me back to fifth grade. In fifth grade I was ridiculously popular for no earthly reason I can fathom- everyone wanted me to sit at their desk at lunch, everyone wanted to hang out with me, and I was friends with a lot of people. The same seems to be true of me now- not really, but I seem to have made a lot of really good friends who really like me for some reason and I'm not quite sure how I did it. And now everybody also loves my entire family- my sister and both my parents, because they all came on the trip, too- and I honestly have no idea how we did that. I mean, my family is awesome and I love spending time with them- hugely beneficial since I'm around them a lot- but I had no idea that awesomeness extended onto other people. I didn't know we were awesome outside ourselves. I just thought we were this weird nerdy clan who somehow all had enough similar interests to get along really well.

I've always seemed to be able to make friends easily and keep them, and this is a gift I treasure. It leads me to brilliant people and wonderful stories and crazy adventures, and most of all, to the feeling of being loved. I am at first very quiet, but if people are patient enough with me I will open up and never stop talking- and listening.

I booked my classes for university the other day and at first I thought they looked awful- five classes! Ugh!- until I realized that I don't even have all of them every day, I'm done around two each day (except for Tuesday- the only English class I was interested in was at night, so I put it on Tuesday night once a week for THREE HOURS UGH EW GROSS), and Fridays are light. Thankfully my parents told me not to book Friday labs. Very happy about that- I don't think it would be much fun either. I'm taking Biology, Chemistry, Math, English, and Philosophy.

I just realized that I've sort of been getting to this point my whole life and now when my kids ask "hey mom what did you take in your first semester of university?" I will say "Biology, Chemistry, Math, English, and Philosophy." I think somehow that says a lot about me. I guess just growing up and especially more recently I'd been wondering about what I'd take in university and holy crap I just signed up for five classes. I'm actually going to university. That's actually happening. Holy shit.

I'll be sad to leave behind high school. It's been a good time, and I've turned into a pretty cool person (I think so, anyway, and that's really all that matters in the end). I know a lot of people hate high school and hate their parents, but I love both to death and am extremely happy where I am. I think that must mean I'm doing something right. I'm stressed out beyond all belief with this IB shit, and my world exams are in three weeks, but like my biology teacher said, we're going to write our world exams and... the world's going to keep on spinning. In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't affect my future if I pass IB or not. I did it, that's what counts- the experience I gained and the friendships I made and the things I learned, oh, how many zillion things I've learned and how many more I've forgotten!

By all logic I shouldn't be happy but I guess one thing I learned as a teenager is that I can choose to be happy or miserable or sad or somber or silly. Today I choose happy. Also despite what Omnia says, I like Spanish class. I will like Spanish class until the end of time. I guess at this point I've stopped stressing myself out about whether I do the best or not because I love speaking the language and I love the fact that I know I speak it well- like I don't think I sound too North American when I speak it, I have some of the right inflections and just the way it rolls off my tongue. It's not just me that thinks that, either; my Spanish teacher has also commented on it in years past. She seems to like me, and I like her too most of the time. At this point the only classes I find myself actively not liking are chem and history- not because of the teachers, but because of the subject matter and the insane difficulty I have in grasping it.

I suppose I was classified as a hard worker by my classmates for some reason, but by my standards I've completely given up along with everyone else in IB except Omnia and Haurie, because I don't think it's physically possible for them to be done like I am.

Also, a question for you all before I depart to try and do SOME homework before tomorrow: does studying count as homework, or are they separate things? Nerd was getting quite mad with me today about it. I view studying as a kind of homework I have to do, whereas he views them as separate things. I think he was going into that "oh my god you don't know when you're wrong" kind of mode like I know he goes into with his mother a lot. I'm guessing he's now starting to think of me on the same level as his mother- someone who always has to be right. I think perhaps he does not understand that not everyone shares his reality sometimes and he has to learn to deal with that.

So, studying: homework or separate? I vote homework, but I'm curious as to what the rest of you think.

TO MY PHYSICS TEXTBOOK! AWAAAAAAY!

yer jet-lagged and mellowed-out pal,
swegan :)