I have always
wanted to write a book. Fiction, non-fiction, autobiographical; never have I
considered the type of novel that I would one day like to publish. My reverence
to historical accuracy is lacking, so maybe fiction would be best. The term,
“based on a true story” seems to fit my preferences well. Like any writer, I
enjoy my coffee black and struggle to meet deadlines. Much akin to the great
Hamlet, procrastination is my tragic flaw. Most would say my thoughts are
interesting but I do not like to exert the effort required to express them.
Maybe I am lazy.
is less difficult for me to put pen to paper than it is to verbalize my ideas.
While speaking, the words that adequately convey whatever it is that I’m trying
to communicate, seem to get muddled, misinterpreted or completely misunderstood
by the subject of my awful, blabbering attempt to connect with another human
being. Writing is obviously superior since any fool with a thesaurus can sound
intelligent if they practice hard enough. I applaud public speakers for their
ability to address an audience with gusto and improvise if things do not go
according to plan. Unlike a speech, its impossible to plan a conversation; this
is where I begin to fail.
It’s not that I
am unintelligent by any means. Uneducated? Maybe. I simply feel that during an
everyday conversation there is not enough time or depth of character to
communicate anything other than, “What do you want for dinner?” The irony of
the situation is that I should feel as if I have all the time in the world. I
am young and have almost my entire life ahead of me. Yet, I choose to isolate
myself and continue to believe that dialogue is overrated- when I should be out
discovering who I am and who I truly want to be. Of course, all of this changed
the day I met Jacob.
He was not your
typical drifter. At first glance, Jacob looked like an average young man; he
dressed simply and classically and appeared to be in his late teens to early
twenties. His speech was eloquent and his grammar impeccable. Jacob seemed as
if he had everything I didn’t, but my unskilled observation did not reveal to
me any implications behind the fact that his leather jacket was slightly
shabby, his jeans were a size too small and his Calvin Klein knit was of a
season long past. He wore a saggy black beanie and a scruffy beard; his entire
appearance screamed, “hipster.” I was immediately intrigued.
encounter was a memorable and important step in human interaction for someone
like me. Every day after school I would go to the local library to study, but
really it was to escape the company of my mother and father-whose expectations
I could never meet. Jacob’s look was one my mother would never approve of. My
subconscious desire to rebel was most likely the true reason for my initial
attraction to the strange male specimen before me.
As an eighteen
year old, socially inept individual, I quickly and completely eliminated any
notion of approaching him. In fact, I frequented the library in order to avoid
these types of Catch 22 situations since generally, the only group who
regularly visited the public domain were of the sixty-five plus age
demographic. Jacob definitely wasn't a senior citizen and an air of confidence
simply oozed from his pores, so what was he doing in a library?
In my curious
wonder I had spaced out staring directly at the subject of my interest and he
was gazing just as intently right back at me. Jacob looked like he was waiting
for something but whatever it was, he certainly didn't get it. He pulled out
the chair next to him and gestured to the seat. I did not accept. Instead, I
swiftly stood and tried to walk gracefully towards the farthest aisle of
books. In my peripheral, I noticed him
begin to follow. I had just hidden behind a large shelf when I noticed a copy
of “50 Shades” sticking out along the social and literal barrier I did not want
to cross. I glanced at the sign that dictated the section name. Just my luck,
it read, “Romance/Erotica.” I was red before he even spoke.
“Shy?” He asked.
Before I could attempt stammer out a reply, he put a strong finger to my lips
and whispered, “Don’t say a word, we’re in a library.” My nervousness was
incredibly obvious but I didn’t think he would save me the embarrassment of
having to speak. He pulled out a notepad and a pen and began to write, I waited
patiently until he was finished. The final result was a note that disclosed his
entire life story, thoughts on the world and personal values. It started as far
back as he could remember and ended with losing his mom, being kicked out of
university and getting thrown out on the street by his father. I assumed at the
time that the story had ended because there was nothing left to tell. I later
learned that the rest was just too painful for Jacob. He concluded his tale
with a question to me, “I’ve told you my secrets, what are yours?”
When he gently
placed the pad of paper and the pen in my lap, I felt the burning sensation of
shame reach my cheeks. Jacob had faced more hardship and trauma than I could
have imagine and still maintained his zest for life. I had a roof over my head
and two parents that love me, so why couldn’t I find my smile? My response to
Jacob expressed all this and more. As previously mentioned, writing down my
thoughts comes easily to me. The scary part was allowing someone else to read
them. Still though, I told Jacob all about my parents as well as my
insecurities, fears, hopes, dreams and especially, my loneliness. The entire
time he read, Jacob focused solely on the message before him. He was so intent
that he appeared to be entranced by the words on the page. My intriguing new
companion waited a long moment before he picked up the pen again. As he wrote,
I began to relax. Although I felt completely and figuratively naked, I felt as
if I could trust Jacob with my deepest, crushing, emotions. Finally his message
was complete, it read:
I am truly taken with your quiet exterior and witty
insight but instinct tells me dormant fire lies deep within you; I can feel its
heat. Own your fear, prove yourself wrong and let nature take its course. How
will you find passion if you live life only half invested? Go all-in and
discover your confidence. Mystery is fascinating but too much of it will drive
others away. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you can trust me you can
This was the
first time I’d learned his name. It seemed too simple for someone so complex. I
lay down the pen and paper and decided on a bold move. Before I could rethink
it, I leaned into him and whispered, “Thanks for taking the time to investigate
me and try to remember, trust is easy to break. Call me.” As I stood up and
walked away, I noticed him neatly fold up the paper I had slipped him. It
contained my name as well as seven simple digits that would allow us both to
solve the mystery of each other.
These are some of my favourite Lush products. As a former Lush employee I gained a personal knowledge of the products and ingredients and all of their benefits and uses. One of the most interesting parts of being an employee at Lush was learning about their philosophy.
The author of this quote is unknown to me but it speaks to what many of my peers and I am experiencing right now during the final weeks of our senior year. Graduation is fast approaching and although I am excited to move on to bigger and better things a big part of me is afraid of the changes that will come with it. The future is frightening, hopeful, inspiring, undefined and always wavering. Nothing is forever and like the future humans must remain fluid.
I went to the school cafeteria near the back table where the seniors sit.
ii. How long did you listen to conversation?
I listened to the conversation for about 20 minutes.
iii. Who was it between?
It was actually 2 separate conversations going on between 2 different groups of seniors.
iv. How did it feel to be recording the conversation?
Recording the conversation felt intrusive and wrong since the topic of conversation was mostly gossip or things that should not be repeated.
2. What insights did you gain about the way people speak?
I gained the insight that most people speak unbridled when they are in a comfortable and familiar setting.
3. How can you apply this to your writing?
I can use this to determine how my characters relate with each other depending on what their relationship is and how long they have known each other.
4. How is personality and character revealed through conversation/dialogue?
You can tell a lot about someone's character not only by what they say or the way the speak but also through body language, tone of voice and the language they use.
5. What happens when more than two people participate in a conversation?
When more people participate in a conversation the topic tends to wander a lot more.
6. What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the way people converse?
The amount of swearing and vulgar language used was the most surprising to me. Although we hear it all the time, when you stop and think it is very concerning.
7. What are the differences and similarities between written and spoken conversations?
Written conversations are a lot more thought out and any kind of space filler or unnecessary conversation is non-existent.
The visual "so what" behind this photograph to me is the metaphor that humans are too dependent on machines that will eventually all break down and human ingenuity will be the only thing that remains. I find it interesting that even after the robot has fallen to destruction the humans have found a way to reuse their original creation. I think this image presents a strong environmental message to reduce our carbon footprint as well.
-Parody the article or transform it into something new to make a statement
-Don't summarise an article, shop for words
-Circle parts you may want to keep
Newspaper Blackout Poetry is an interesting concept but to me it seems not that creative and actually kind of visually unappealing. It would be different to try the process but it seems like a very restricting way to write and much different than what I am used to. I am entertaining the idea of trying this myself just to experiment with new ways of writing but I fear I may not like it.
Last week I had the pleasure of going to the TEDx presentation at The Forks. My favourite speaker was probably Nereo 2nd or Chris Voth. I liked that both of their presentations were well prepared and their messages were clear and positive. I especially appreciated the way they related to the audience and were engaging speakers. Nereo's story especially resonated with me because my own parents are artists and deal with the "starving artist stereotype". Chris Voth's story of coming out was inspiring and brave. He was initially afraid of being open with his friends, family and teammates but gradually grew to realize that keeping such a large secret was affecting his volleyball performance and happiness. Another standout on the TEDx talks was Lauren Chopek's presentation. It was shocking and scary to hear the story of a girl not much younger than me who has lived a wild life on the streets. Although she was a powerful speaker, I found her talk to be inappropriate for the occasion and the audience. Many audience members were too young to fully understand the magnitude of what was being talked about and Lauren seemed like she wasn't in a place to share without allowing her emotions to overshadow the positive message of the subject matter. It was still interesting to hear the story of someone who was in the process of change.