Vaccine

Today I got the vaccine, and boy can’t I be more relieved. I feel safer knowing that I am almost fully vaccinated.

I got the first dose today and in a couple of weeks, I am going to get the second dose. I encourage anyone who can to get the shot- it is painless and will protect you from COVID. I know there were lots of disputes around these vaccines- Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson- but whichever one you get will help you tremendously.

I am not one to be afraid of needles and this shot felt like nothing, I didn’t even flinch.

Photo credit: CDC

If you can please get one, it is the most relieving feeling ever. The wave of joy is really hard to explain, you want to jump for joy. Soon enough life can go back to normal and we can hang out with large groups of people. Unfortunately even if you are vaccinated hanging out in large groups can’t happen yet. This due to the fact that not everyone is vaccinated yet.

Slowly but surely everything with be back to normal.

Music

It is strange the way that we associate music with memories.

It is like a strong perfume that is impossible to disassociate with an era.

There are songs I cannot listen to because I was sad during the month it was in my playlist, or even because I feel that I have moved on from that time period. I now listen to a song knowing that one day, likely very soon, I will have grown out of this small era and will associate the song with the general mood of the month.

Small things in life change rapidly, including the clothes you choose, the breakfast you eat, your daily routine, the people you talk to, and the music you hear. Listening to music from a different era of mine often makes me feel uncomfortable, even if it was a good era, simply because I am not there anymore. It reminds me that times have changed, even if it is month to month.

Sometimes I regret listening to the same four songs day after day on my drive to school because I know what I am building. It will be a memory for my future self to listen to and reflect.

The automatic association of music and memories is hard to shake. They are not implicit memories, it is the general tone of the era that went unrecognized until you hear the songs and realize the moment has passed.

Image Credit: Apple Music

Women Issues

Today in the United States, women make 82 cents to their male counterparts 1 dollar. Then this is broken down into different races and ethnicities. “Black and Hispanic women workers are paid only 65 cents and 58 cents on the dollar, “stated epi.org. “Compared with 81 cents for white, non- Hispanic women workers and 90 cents for Asian women.” Inequalities between different races and ethnicities between women are also so different. Women who are white and Asian get a step higher than those who are Hispanic and black. Women are treated like shit still to this day.

We can not leave our houses without protection- pepper spray, knives, tasers, and more. We fear our lives; wondering if we are going to be killed, sexually assaulted, or raped. We are scared of our shadow and men. When we say all men, we do not mean all men, but we do not know who will hurt us and who will not.

The Pink tax exists. Products that are geared towards women and females are marked up higher than products that are the same but are geared towards men. This makes feminine products more expensive and harder to buy. Menstrual products are expensive, and these products should be free. Every person who experiences menstruation should be able to have these products for free.

photo credit: Indy100

Media and Society pick women apart for their bodies, thus creating lots of body dysmorphia in women and teens today. If someone is not the perfect hourglass figure or what society deems as skinny, then they are considered fat or overweight. They could be healthy and still be deemed overweight, and this could cause lots of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. But if someone is too skinny, then society comments on their weight as well. Society and the media love commenting on women’s bodies.

Speaking on commenting on women’s bodies brings up the topic of abortions. Men love commenting about women and what they should do with their bodies. There are laws set in place against women having abortions, such as the gestation limits. This law states that “43 states prohibit abortions, generally except when necessary to protect the women’s life or health, after a specific point in pregnancy, ” (guttmacher.org). These laws are made by men who try and restrict women and their bodies.

Women all over the world experience inequality.

Bibliography

“An Overview of Abortion Laws.” Guttmacher Institute, 1 Mar. 2021, http://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws#.

Gould, Report • By Elise. “What Is the Gender Pay Gap and Is It Real?: The Complete Guide to How Women Are Paid Less than Men and Why It Can’t Be Explained Away.” Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/what-is-the-gender-pay-gap-and-is-it-real/.

Sick

Gross…

The annoying feeling of being icky and sick, it’s not comfortable. Having your immune system compromised- coughing, throwing up, and sneezing- makes you feel miserable.

Being sick during COVID- 19, is horrible. You do not know if you have corona, or if it’s just the common cold. It’s a scary feeling for both you and everyone around you. They wonder if you have Covid and you have to tell them that it’s just a frog in your throat. Being sick during Covid just makes everyone on edge.

Speciality Medical Dialogues

I despise being sick, it is the worst feeling ever. I got so sick one time that I had to go to the ER. The ER is the one place where I would never ever want to go back to. Although it is very clean, it grosses me out and the ER causes me to have shivers down my spine. The feeling of being around other sick people worried me.

Journalism

Journalism can be strange. It is a new way of facilitating my love for writing, yet with emphasis on the most important element – storytelling. Instead of researching my topics online, I now must go into the world and obtain information from people.

The reactions differ – some are more than happy to tell their story. Others, however, remain reserved as you push your way into their schedule. I enjoy the social element of journalism. I have an intriguing conversation with at least one person per week.

Journalism has taught me how to reach out to people, even if you don’t know them. I understand the format of an interview request email, and how to conduct a conversation where I get the other person to say all the right things. In journalism, I am but the message man, bringing other people’s stories into the limelight. I have enjoyed this experience as it has shifted me away from academic writing, improved my social skills, and made me a better storyteller.

Image Credit: Nicole Schuman

Social Media

In this day and age, almost everyone has a social media account whether it is Tiktok or Twitter.

Myspace used to be big, but then it got taken over by Facebook. Stereotypically Facebook is used by moms or people older than 30. Tumblr was also really big, and the popularity of the app is still there, but not as popular as other apps.

The big three for GenZ is Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Twitter could also fall into that as an honorary member. These apps are very popular to show what you are doing and talk to friends. Tiktok is an app that has dancers, comedians, fashion inspiration, and more.

photo credit: MN2S

Pinterest is also a social media, but there are no likes involved. It is an app to put together boards and get ideas for things.

Social Media is fun, but it could also be a toxic place. So when using social media, be careful about what you put out onto the internet.

A year like no other—2020 in review

in shuttering silence

happiness is fleeting

buoyancy is turbulent 

and the grey world deteriorates

breath is belabored

and the periphery begins to seep in

the color is fading fast 

fast

faster still than hot flames

the fury and the fire in the center

burns has burned and will burn

hot

hotter than before

but still it burns through its fuel

and the sides still fall away than the center can build back

better to be honest 

better to be free

better to seek the middle even as the edges fray

better to worry about the now than lose hope in the future

as the color fades into gray

Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

Buzzfeed Quizzes

Buzzfeed Quizzes are quizzes that are based on nothing. It could be like Pick Out Your Outfit For The Day and We’ll Give You Your Dream Vacation.

These quizzes were designed to waste time as well as have something to talk about with your friends.

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

I do buzzfeed quizzes with my friends all the time, and we end up laughing on the ground. My favorite ones are Choose a Cat and We’ll Tell you your Favorite Color.

One time I tried making my own quiz, unfortunately it did not work. I had no patience to sit down and make something along the lines of Pick Your Favorite Foods and I’ll Give You Your Dream Picnic.

Sometimes these quizzes are based on your favorite tv shows, and sometimes they are based off how many states do you know. They are random and new ones appear everyday.

These quizzes are fun to do to see the ridiculous answers at the end.

Surplus

Just because something is currently relevant doesn’t mean it should be used in everything. This is something that I have learned since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, it’s obvious that this disease is the most important current event. But it doesn’t need to be included in everything we do. I recently worked with a former teacher to craft a letter to a college that I was wait-listed at. We had a disagreement over a section where she insisted that I mentioned we were “shifting to online learning due to COVID-19.” This allusion was not relevant, and I refused to include it. I’m sure that everyone else is as tired as I am of hearing it over and over, especially an admissions officer who already knows that this is affecting students throughout the world.

Another reason why a constant stream of coronavirus related media is detrimental is because it usurps other important global news. For example, locusts are tearing through eastern Africa, demolishing crops and leaving many farmers with nothing. On a lighter note though, a second individual has been cured of AIDS, which is a huge victory for everyone. But you may not have known that, as virtually everything is about the bloody coronavirus.

It’s important to talk about major events, especially if there is a life threatening aspect to them like now. But it is equally important to provide a breather from all of this information, as it can be stressful, and honestly annoying. I also realize that I am contributing to the problem by writing this. Oh well.

Also the image below is a piñata that you can buy in Tijuana.

Credit: Mexico News Daily

Why we chose to do it this way.

Much like the concept of God, Capitalism is a system that cannot be defined by a word. It is not a rock solid object, that can be easily seen or understood. Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor for the United States, recently said that the 26 richest people in the world have the same wealth in dollars as the 3.8 billion poorest. 26, the size of the OVS senior class, vs 3,800,000,000, the equivalent population of North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Africa combined. So basically everything beside Antarctica. Yet this wealth distribution is not specific to the global level. The United States, prided for being a land of economic opportunity and no class boundaries (foregoing the dynamic of ethnicity). But as the year strays farther from the millennium, the more the middle class dissipates, leaving many in a sink or sink situation. Although the political statement-turned-meme “Okay, Boomer” is now annoying and a reflection of the younger side of Gen-Z, the economic proportions of millennials vs baby-boomers are astoundingly different. A common talking point of the difference between these two generations is real estate. At the same age, Boomers owned 32% of real estate in the United States, wheres Millennials owned 4%. (Business Insider). This isn’t just because old people have poor taste. Decent houses for low income and even entry level houses for average salaries are sparse. That, coupled with a stagnant minimum wage and record student debts (paired with record college educations per capita), make it more difficult than ever for Americans aged 20-40 to afford a house. Renting, although disproportionate to inflation, is still a cheaper option.

There are a million other examples of how I could list the caustic nature of the capitalism that we maintain as a nation, but as someone who must soon face these realities, I will stick with the most relevant. I don’t know why we chose to do it this way, but we have the ability to change it yet again. It’s just up to how much we are willing to sacrifice.

Image result for capitalism
Credit: Foundation for Economic Education