Hurting is not Flirting

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As a young girl when a boy would pick on me on the playground I was told it was just because he liked me.

As a young girl when a boy would hit me on the playground I was told it was just because he liked me.

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Where do we draw the line? If a punch leaves a bruise and a girl goes crying to a nurse, does the excuse that “he must really like you,” make the bruise diminish? Like the size of a bruise or the deepness of a cut shows fondness to a young girl.

The sad truth is that we have taught boys the idea of violence and taunting is a way to show a girl that you like her.

Society has a serious problem in the way that we define masculinity. Young boys are shown that they should hide their emotions and the only manly way to display those suppressed feelings is through violence. Because for some reason acting “feminine” is a worst case scenario.



In the US of A every Sunday is a day of gathering between family and friends. No, not church, football!

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Now picture this, you’re sitting with your friends on Sunday and turn on a NFL game. You tune in just as commercials start. You think, “oh no big deal, I’ll just go grab some more chips and guacamole”. When you get back one of the teams is running a play so you sit down to watch it. Five seconds later the play is over and commercials come back on.

Now you have food, but no entertainment. Unless, of course, you enjoy the same commercials being repeated for three hours.

This infuriated me, I felt that I was watching less of the actual game compared to commercial time. So I did a little bit of research.

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This pie graph will help demonstrate my frustration. According to the graph, the actual action in a football game (meaning when the ball is snapped till the play is called dead by an official) happens in a mere 11 minutes. Compared to that there are 63 minutes of commercials, 67 minutes of players standing around, 35 minutes of random shots of coaches, the crowd and cheerleaders. Even the replays take up more time with 15 minutes.

If that doesn’t annoy a football enthusiast like myself, then I don’t know what will.

Part 2

Not for even one second did the boy break eye contact with the girl until he collapsed in front of the praying people. The girl carefully lowered her glare to the wound that was slowly growing on the boy’s front; without disturbing the rest of the group she carefully picked up the feather-light boy and brought him to an empty building.

She left shortly after, only to return with singed medical supplies. She quickly and deftly removed the tooth from the long gash, and then with a large amount of rubbing alcohol cleansed his grimy wound.

The boys eyes stayed closed the entire time; she spared a quick glance at his face before starting to stitch him closed, he was awake she knew but she also knew that he would not show any sign of it. Once the stitching was done she left the boy in the ruins of the building, to come out on his own terms, but she took the tooth with her.

She held the tooth in her left hand and strange weight settled in her stomach. For some reason she knew what this meant, but at the time she was unsure; eventually she would know what to do, more specifically in one days’ time. Minutes later the boy came out of the building and sat himself next to her. The last crowd on earth stared at the two of them from afar.

The girl started the conversation: I’m not sure who you are, where you came from, why you’re here; but I can tell you this you’re not on earth anymore, no, I’d like to personally welcome you to Tartarus. He looked down, at his hands: yes, I know. Her head whipped toward him her hair flying into her face: then why do I see hope in your eyes? He looks away from the searing stare of the girl: redemption? Redemption, is that a joke? He sighed through his nose: no.

Then what is it? She snaps. The world’s screwed up enough as it is without some cracked up looney with a superhero complex trying to tell anyone left that it gets better. Honestly I don’t know why I’m here, alright? It’s the only civilization for countries and I was about to die of blood loss. She stared at him for a long time, the weight in her stomach growing: rest for the night. She sighed: there’s – there’s something important that I would like to show you tomorrow.

When the boy found her in the morning she was turning the tooth around in her hand, as if comforting herself. What was it you wanted to show me? Follow me, she stood up quickly. Her short figure moving more gracefully and quickly than the boy’s ever would. They traveled in silence for the entire journey out of the city.

The tear and dust stained people disappearing into minuscule figures behind them; at the edge of the city the girl looked back to see the people who survived, only those too afraid to live left to live out the rest of earth’s days, she shook her head. She turned back toward the road: this is going to be a long walk, try not to tear your stitches. She turned off the road and began trudging into the woods that were at a steady decline toward the south bay.

Would you mind telling me what this is about? She stopped abruptly causing him to run into her back. The forest had been one of the few places not damaged in the waves of radiation; for some unexplained reason it had remained immutable, unchanging. The thick green was almost suffocating, the damp moss-y-ness in the air sickening.

Never has a new person ever wander into this city of dead; never have we seen anyone dragging hope like a heavy flag behind them. Is it coincidence that three days after the human race got down on its knees to pray for their savior, to pray for hope, a wayward traveler with hope alight in his eyes shows up on the door step of the one city that holds what’s left of God’s will? He stumbles back from her, lightning dancing through his brain: you don’t think I’m the messiah do you? She looks down and swallows: We still have four miles, let’s continue moving.

Photo Credit: Painting By: J. M. W. Turner

When they reached the south bay the girl smoothly dragged a decrepit kayak from under a dense covering of foliage. She calmly lowered herself into the back, ready to push off from shore but he, the unlikely savior, was cemented to the higher, dry sand. The girls tawny eyes were cast downward, unwilling to meet his pale green ones: messiah or not, the last of the humans the rest of the world needs a savior right now and I – it all comes down to you, are you getting in the kayak or not?

In that moment something unknown spurred the boy on, he unceremoniously dropped himself into the front of the kayak and took the paddle and handed it to the girl. As they pushed off the boy let a question tumble from his mouth: why aren’t you the savior? The girl continued to paddle, with all the force of two people: I have my reasons. There was a pause: It’s…a story for another time.

Warm Winters

From my experience, California winters are nothing like actual winters.  With highs of 100 degrees and lows of 70 degrees, this weather resembles summer more than anything other season.

I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and it’s pretty chilly. Around this time of the year I’m usually prepared for cold weather, and lots and lots of rain.

Here, despite the fact that Halloween is right around the corner, I can wear tank tops to school every day. Instead of suiting up in my rain jacket and closed-toed shoes, I find myself wearing shorts and sandals. 

I don’t dislike the weather – it’s really pretty, and let’s be real. I can go to the beach in October! But as far as winter goes, it just doesn’t feel like one.

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To me, winter means cozying up in sweaters and blankets, and being able to lay inside and listen to the rain. Winter is the cold wind on your face when you step outside, both chilling and refreshing at the same time.

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And while I love the sun and warm weather, I’d like to save it for the summer. It’s just where it fits in! I look forward to cold weather, and the feeling of winter – and that just doesn’t happen in California!


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After years of mentally preparing myself to endure the most mentally draining four-hours of my high school career, I have just completed taking a second SAT test.

I have so many thoughts about this tedious task that every high school student in the United States is required to do.

I think it is ridiculous that a standardized test score can determine a student’s future. A good student with a high GPA and a lot of extra curricular activities can get an average score solely because they might not be the best test taker, but that one test score has a large weight on which colleges accept them.

I do not fully understand why standardized tests have become a way of determining students academic careers for such a long time, or why they have become of such a high priority. Although most colleges look at students holistically, California State schools consider students purely on GPA and standardized test scores.

However, I understand the reasoning behind standardized testing; giving students a chance to show the general academic knowledge they have accumulated in high school.

But why does a test have to be the only thing that proves a student has gained knowledge? Why is it that the pressure to get a high-test score can consume a student’s conscience for months so that they focus all of their time studying for one generalized, tricky test?

I know, because it consumed me.