My Journal

I realize I’ve forgotten about my daily planner. It’s been sitting in my desk for the past couple of weeks, leaving me to keep track of all my assignments in my head. Without it, academics have felt like one big game of whack-a-mole. I’ve been barely holding on, about to turn the lights out for the night before I realize an assignment is due tomorrow.

It can feel annoying writing every assignment down as its given. However, without an organized book to keep track of my assignments, I have felt like I’ve tuned out of academics.

Today I wrote down everything I needed to do. It’s not too much when you look at it on paper. When it’s all in your head, however, it can feel overwhelming. Just when you think you’ve cleared your agenda, another task appears. When I write down my assignments or meetings, however, I can accomplish things in a more mentally civilised way.

It is important for me to not let my own head be in charge of keeping track of things. Not everyone works the same way, but for me, writing down my responsibilities is the best way to get them done, and erasing them is very rewarding.

Image Credit:  LEUCHTTURM

Vision Therapy

I have really bad eyesight, like horrible. I have had to wear glasses since I was four years old, and I could never wear contacts. 

Every time I ask about contacts the optometrist says that my right eye is too weak. Over the years I have had to train my right eye to open.

My left eye used to open and work, but my right eye would always squint. This led to my eyes being different prescriptions. 

When I was younger I had to wear an eye patch over my left eye to make my right eye stronger. It worked a little bit. 

Photo credit: acotv.org

I had many different glasses and prescriptions, but it never felt like my eyesight would get better. 

Then I discovered vision therapy. I was skeptical at first, but I was surely mistaken.

I went twice a week and did eye exercises throughout the week. Over time my eye got stronger and my depth perception was immaculate.

My vision became 20-25 in just under three months. Going to vision therapy was the best decision I have made in a while. 

New Sensation

Video games are an immense sensation throughout the world. There are many different types of video games that can cater to many kinds of people. There are cute games like Animal Crossing and horror games like Phasmophobia. There are games that are considered classics by everyone such as Minecraft and Mario Kart. Personally, Minecraft is one of my favorites.

There are many ways to play these games, as well. There are consoles like PS4 and Xbox. Many people also play mobile and PC, which is a personal computer.

Photo Credit: pcgamer.com

Recently there has been a new game that has taken the world by storm. Among Us is a multiplayer game that everyone has been raving about. People can create private games to play with their friends, or they can play public games with strangers.

There are two roles assigned at the beginning of the game, Imposter an crewmate. The crewmates have to fix the spaceship and the Imposter has to sabotage it. The Imposters can kill players in order to help them win.

Among us can be played on PC and on mobile. I have recently been obsessed with the game and have been playing non-stop with my friends. I have won a couple of times, but to be honest I am not the best.

Reflecting on the past

Recently I have found myself looking back and reflecting on life before March 13, 2020.

Prior to that date, i was busy being social, going out with people, even sharing drinks from friends waterbottles. But today, that all seems so bizzar.

Its crazy how much seven months can change someone.

I now can’t seem to remember how life was before we had to wear masks or make sure we obsessively washed our hands.

I am now so used to making sure I put my mask on before I enter a building or if I am around people, but why was it so easy to completely re-program the way I live my life.

I do miss the days where I did not have to think twice about approaching someone. I miss long hugs with friends and family that you haven’t seen in a long time. I miss meeting someone for the first time and shaking their hand. I miss being in a room with people all together and seeing smiling faces. I miss it all.

I miss life before March 13, 2020. It was simpler and there seemed to be less evil in the world, even if that was not the case.

Art credit: peakpx.com

Changes

Because of this global pandemic situation, all the standardized tests including APs and SATs are modified. Currently, all the SATs before are canceled and the college board announced that if this global pandemic situation continues they might change the policy and make students take SAT online. Cancellation of SAT on March was devastating for me, first of all the school announced that SAT testing is not happening the day before testing date, and March SAT was the test that I was looking forward to getting the score that I wanted since I’ve been studying a lot for it. 

AP testings are also modified in a way, where they allow students to take it at home and most of the AP testings contain 2 FRQs, and the college board announced that they will still grade those APs on 5 point scale.

These modified testings upset me frankly, but it is a situation that I have to deal with. I will try my best to get a good score on those testings. 

Again I hope this situation gets better soon.

PC: VHTSP.com

Weakness

Humans are weak. We’re not born to be the fastest runners, the strongest lifters, nor the most adaptive creatures. An infection could kill us, or a virus, even a fall that happen to hit your head. It’s weak to be human. 

I had this toothache for three days last week. It was the infamous wisdom-teeth that everyone has. As soon as I mention it to someone, they gave me the deepest condolences. Everyone would likely have the wisdom-toothache at some point in their lives. Humans share the same weaknesses. 

Pain medicine kept me alive. In those three days, the toothache took away my nice sleep, my patience, and my pride to be human. Advil, Tylenol, Advil, Tylenol again… Every 4 to 6 hours, I had to sedate myself to keep the pain in an unreachable box somewhere in my head while it is ready to burst out of the box at any second. 

Fortunately, my surgery was moved up by the dentists as my teachers negotiated with them, begging for them to treat me earlier. The wait might take 5 or 6 days before the time change. Knowing that I couldn’t overcome a little toothache, that my survival depended on luck and sympathy, I felt so weak, and so rotten.

Three hours before the surgery, I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything. “Not even Advil?” The mere thought astounded me. The wait was painful. Without using the pain reliever, trying the hardest to distract myself, with a swollen face… 

On the way to the surgery, I wondered what people did to their wisdom-teeth before, you know, before all this technological madness. Did they just suffer? Did they die because of a toothache? 

Humans are weak.

Photo Credit: mystrengthsandweaknesses.com
Music Credit: Music written by Daniel Licht, from the show Dexter, Music played by Symbiose Piano
This song happened to be played while I was writing this blog, I thought it fit the mood

Daily Mandala Challenge: Everything You Need To Know About This New Self-Care Trend :)

A Mandala is a symbolic spiritual geometric design which, when reflected on, has the ability to bring out profound inner transformation.  The Mandala is self-expression in the design, meant to represent the universe. The first evidence of Buddha Mandala art dates back to the first century. The Mandala is rooted in Buddhism but later became present in Hinduism, new age spirituality and other religions. Each Mandala has significance and represents an aspect of wisdom and is supposed to remind the meditator of a guiding principle. The Mandala’s purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones with the assistance of deep healing. 

The “Mandala a day” challenge was created by Australian artist Elyse Lauthier and it is now showing up in select areas across the world. Drawing, painting or somehow creating a Mandala a day helps express yourself creatively in ways you wouldn’t normally. It promotes self awareness and Chakra alignments. 

The Challenge is simple: Each day you make a Mandala and simply let your creativity flow, embracing your originality. Creating Mandala is therapeutic because you can express your feelings through art. The Mandala a day challenge is a form of meditation and art.  Mandala’s take “The meditator on a wordless journey into the minds deepest mysteries” said in Eastern traditions. 

Another way to fully grasp Mandala’s intentions is to work/meditate with them. I would recommend investing in Mandala Source Book by David Fontana and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, as it gives you specific guidance while approaching the artworks. The book includes 150 Mandala’s grouped in four sections: beginning Mandala meditation, healing mandalas, nature mandalas, And other mandalas. This book is a good reference for your own Mandala challenge or meditations. 

Obtaining Mandala mindfulness is a path of self discovery. This challenge challenges us to open up and learn more not only about our conscious minds but also our unconscious minds as we remain unaware of the deeper mysteries of our inner selves through Mandala realignment.

Image from Pinterest.com

2020 Siege Invitational Brief

Since 2017, the hit tactical FPS Rainbow Six Siege has hosted an eSports event in it’s home town of Montreal called the Six Invitational, due to the process in which teams are selected. If you are a prospective team with an eye on the now $2,000,000+ dollar prize pool, there are a few ways in which you can attain a spot in the 16 team bracket. The first, as the name suggests, is to be invited by Ubisoft, the game’s developer. The second is to get first place in one of the four regions (North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe) during the normal Pro League season. After each season though, the teams that performed well get to compete in a Final in order to attain one of those rare spots. The third method is to come first or second in a Major Tournament, i.e. DreamHack Montreal. Tickets just went on sale, and there are some major differences this year from previous Invitationals in team participation. G2 (formerly Penta) has swept almost every major event for the past year and a half, including the two most recent Invitationals. But this year, they were not able to attain a position at the LAN event. When they won their first Invitational in 2018 with a 3 map comeback against NA’s EG, their roster consisted of Fabian, Pengu, Goga, Shatte, and jNSzki (Joonas). But as of December 2019, only Fabian and Pengu remain from their original squad, now with their top fragger Kantoraketti, support player UUNO, and the newly added CRYN. Although outside factors could be significant in their declination of dominance, these dramatic roster changes are likely the cause. But the giants that remained in power do not even have a spot at the Invitational this year, due to an all around lackluster performance. The lineup currently consists of eight teams (two of each region) which qualified through the normal Pro League season, one team (TSM, NA) that qualified through DreamHack, one team (Liquid, LATAM) that qualified through the OGA PIT Minor, and one (Empire, EU) that qualified though the Raleigh Major (where they defeated G2). There are four spots remaining, one for each region, as well as a position designated for the team that receives a formal invite from Ubisoft. As it stands, there are numerous teams that have shown incredible talent and promise, so no matter what,the upcoming Invitational should be unique and exciting, with plenty of upsets and re-hosts. Tickets are available now, event goes from February 7th to 14th.

Image result for six invitational 2019 g2

Pengu holding trophy after winning the 2019 Invitational. Credit: Rainbow Six Siege

To be sure, unsure, etc.

Image credit: fineartamerica.com

I don’t know much about most things, but I do know that some things are just supposed to happen, and some are not –

I know that the moon is supposed to rise in the east and that dogs are supposed to bark at each other through chain link fences and that pomegranates are supposed to stain my shirt sleeves

and I know I would never want to be inside when they sky looks the way it did tonight.

But I’m not so sure that things are supposed to be like this;

I am not so sure that the pepper tree I stopped at today is the same type of pepper tree that I grew up with. It didn’t remind me of home in the same way they usually do. It should have been familiar to me, and it wasn’t.

I’m not at all sure of people like you, and I am not sure that the world should be melting and that we should all just be okay with it.

How should I be allowed to miss things before they’re gone? How can I possibly miss you when my hands are on your face and you’re standing directly in front of me? I’m not sure how that is even possible, and yet I do.

I must remind myself to look up every once in a while.

Does shampoo cause cancer?

We use shampoo in our everyday life. “Dove,” “Head & Shoulders,” “Suave…” There are over 10 categories of different shampoo, but often times we’d use shampoo without investigating what we’re actually putting on our head. 

Photo credit: bustle.com

Cocamide diethanolamine, or cocamide DEA, is a kind of emulsifying agent used in the making of shampoo products. According to the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), cocamide DEA is an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, which means it has the potential of causing cancer. 

However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has declared that there is no need to worry. In a document that gets updated only when needed, and hasn’t been updated since the March of 2018, it says “FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the use of these substances in cosmetics” because the NTP‘s (National Toxicology Program) study result in 1998 didn’t find a connection between DEA and cancer. Plus, if the customers still want to avoid using carcinogen-related products, they can do it simply by “reviewing the ingredient statement that is required to appear on the outer container label.” 

So, it would be overreacting to panic. Nevertheless, checking the ingredient statement of the products that we eat, use, spray, and wash with, is indeed important. We use shampoo everyday, but do you check what you use, everyday?

Photo credit: goodhousekeeping.com