Saturday, November 28, 2009

Repel On!

I didn't really call myself brave when I did it. Then again, it's not really one of my habits to brag about myself unless I'm joking.

On Black Friday, me, a few of my cousins, my two uncles, my dad, and my grandpa went repelling and rock climbing. It was really fun! My family thought that I was brave for volunteering to repel down a hundred foot high cliff first, I didn't really think twice about it. It was freezing cold up there in the mountains, and both of my uncles commented on how they could see my goosebumps from ten feet away. Surprisingly, it was a lot less cool when I started going up and down the cliffs with ropes attached to me.

The pictures look really amazing, and you could probably see all of them on facebook; I'm going to post some of them anyway because they are so scenic and cool.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Regaining Self Confidence

     For the past few weeks, I haven't really felt like myself. It's really hard for me to explain, and it's pretty embarrassing for me to admit, but I think the main cause is that I'd lost some self confidence. Talk about a typical teenage crisis; somehow I'd become so thoroughly depressed, that I honestly started to believe that I didn't have any friends that cared about me.

     I now realize that that idea  lodged in my brain was completely and entirely wrong. For the past few weeks, I've been allowing little insults to hurt me worse than bullets. Often, I found myself just curling up in a ball on my bed for long periods of time, wondering what could possibly be wrong, wondering if I just had some sort of mental problem that was making me depressed. And then rationalizing that maybe that would be the cause as to why people didn't like me.

     I'm sorry if this is making you feel sorry for me at all, that's definitely not what I'm trying to get at, but I'm being completely honest.

     I finally realized why I became so depressed- it's because I allowed every little tease and taunt to feel like an insult to me, my family, and my cow. Instead of judging myself by what I know, I judged myself off of what others thought about me. My self confidence was utterly demolished. I continued to lose even more self confidence because I haven't been doing what I love to do lately; helping people! I had been so concerned about worrying about not having any friends, that I didn't take the time like I normally do to be one myself.

     It took three lessons in church and seminary to completely heal that little hole in my heart. I can't remember everything that was said during those lessons, but I want to type up a page of quotes from on of those lessons, and I hope that this will help somebody out there who feels alone and unloved.

"One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth." ~Elder Tom Perry

"A wise teacher and stake Relief Society president flashed a large picture on a screen. It showed a bright-eyed boy with unkempt hair and folded arms, deep in thought. The caption rad,
'I know I'm somebody 'cause God don't make no junk.'
Please let me repeat, 'I know I'm somebody 'cause God don't make no junk.' ... He knew he wasn't junk. He knew he wasn't impossible. He knew he was a human being loved by his Heavenly Father." -Elder Marvin J. Ashton

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Elenor Rosevelt

We do not all have the same talents, abilities, or potential, but each of us has something that we can do well. We need to find our own unique qualities and build on them. We need to have sufficient confidence in ourselves that we can improve. We can begin by thinking that we can succeed.

There are times when we all feel somewhat less adequate than other people. We need to compare ourselves with our own best selves and seek for improvements that are within our own capabilities. One of the greatest challenges is to overcome the feeling that we are not important.

Our life has a purpose. We were born to succeed and to become like God.

Finally I've started to think postively about myself again, and now I don't really care what people think about me. Life isn't about what people think or don't think of you, it's about what you yourself and God know about you!

If you have time, please watch the video on this website.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Benjamin Franklin Values

     In English, we had an assignment to make a list of ten values that we want to maintain throughout our lives. I thought it would be good if I posted my values here so that I can read them and remember them. Now I will tell you the list of ten values that I made for class.

1. Sympathy and Generosity- Throughout my life, I will do my best to be understanding of others and their situations (putting myself in other people’s shoes. I will be generous to those in need, and never lose my human heart and empathy.
2. Anticipation- I will constantly do my best to anticipate and prepare for my future by hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
3. Courage- Even when life throws its worst at me, I will be brave: honest, loyal, and true to myself and my fellow man no matter the negative or positive consequences.
4. Gratitude- During the course of life, I will remember that God and my parents have made me who I am today, and recognize that other influences will shape who I will yet become. It is with this attitude that I will always make sure that I appreciate the many positive influences that have helped me in accomplishing my goals.
5. Learning- I will recognize that no matter how much I do that I will never be perfect; even with that knowledge, I’ll continue doing my best to always continue learning, to the benefit of myself, my posterity, and those I influence.
6. Purity and Self Control- I will recognize that eventually in my life, I will encounter negative people with negative intents and purposes; it is then that I will maintain pure self control, knowing that God is always watching.
7. Zeal- Without a passion for life, life would be meaningless. I will live my life by continually counting my blessings and reminding others that they should too.
8. Respect- I will respect all men and women by accepting their viewpoints and listening, even if I don’t agree. I will treat everyone as I want to be treated to show proper respect.
9. Firmness- I will be firm in my resolutions, and I will not allow my values to be discarded at any time for the sake of convenience.
10. Determination- In life there will always be trials that will make me lose my direction, but I will do my very best to remain determined, focusing on all of the values that I want to uphold throughout my entire life.

The Crucible

     Crucible- 1. A heat resistant container in which ores or metals are melted 2. A place or a set of circumstances where people or things are subjected to forces that often make them change. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the unhappy plot unfolds as fear and revenge heat up the whole town, despite their best resistance to it. The hot temperature of the fire around the crucible continually soars as Reverend Parris tries to serve his own needs by interrogating his niece Abigail. Abigail helps intensify the heat of the inferno even more as she takes revenge on her lover John Proctor and his wife. Following in her wake, the whole town becomes a raging blaze, accusing others so that they may remain unaccused.

     Fear can change a person into someone completely different from who they truly are inside. As in the case of Mary Warren, she ended up having to choose between risking her own life to hanging or condemning the innocent John Proctor to his own death. Eventually her courage broke, and she accused Proctor of witchcraft even though that was something totally against her value of honest. The town girls kept accusing others so that the blame for their dancing in the woods would shift onto someone else. Realizing when they first started accusing that they were completely lying, knowing that lying was a huge sin, they tried to justify their own sin of lying by accusing others who had also sinned. Fearful of what might happen if they were caught lying made them feel like they had to continue these lies to remain safe.

     Gossip appeals to people emotionally because it spreads other people’s private actions and thoughts in a dramatic fashion that appeals to our senses. Eventually our strong belief in something that can’t be proved becomes so strong through our own self analysis that we begin to believe gossip that could be completely untrue about others. John Proctor rightfully accused Abigail of lying and trying to kill his wife, but Elizabeth ended up condemning her and her husband’s lives by not revealing the actual truth. Because of Elizabeth’s inability to tell the truth, gossip and lies seemed to be the only truth. The lies by gossip could not be proved or disproved, but the actual truth ended up being told and perceived as a lie, thus furthering the “evidence” that Abigail’s and the girls’ accusations were true.

     Because of the flames started by Reverend Parris’s questioning Abigail and Abigail’s lying, the heat that they caused in the town eventually melted their crucible, the once resistant resolve of the town completely crumbled. When Proctor chose to die in innocence of crime rather than living a lie and dishonoring his name, he took the heat of the whole town into his whole being. Proctor chooses to let them kill him in innocence rather than giving them the means to justify the fact that they had killed so many people already. A name can be compared to a person’s soul; a name is a personal describing adjective that describes who you truly are as a person. John Proctor realized that he could not be true to his name or himself by continually living a lie for the rest of his life; he knew that he hadn’t been true to himself in the past by cheating with Abigail, but he also knew that integrity was a value worth dying for. At the end of the book, an honest man realized that living life after denying who you truly are isn’t even worth it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Dance #2

     On Halloween night, I went to my school's girl's choice Halloween dance with my friend Parker, and it was really fun!

      I asked Parker in a way that I made up myself, I got a Halloween Chinese fortune cookie box and then bought some fortune cookies that I customized with the help of my mom. We cooked fortune cookies in the microwave for about twenty seconds- they become soft enough to open just a crack. Once that was done, we removed the paper fortune inside and then replaced it with our own home-made fortunes! On the fortunes that I made for Peter, I had lucky letters instead of a lucky number. The lucky letters spelled out my first name.
The fortunes had awesome sayings on them that I chose like:
"Curiosity kills boredom. Nothing can kill curiosity."
"The harder you work, the luckier you get." and my personal favorite,
"Help! I'm being held prisoner in a Chinese bakery!" and on the outside I had a note that said, " I would be very "fortunate" if you'd go to the Halloween dance with me!"
Peter then responded by giving me a ton of Chinese take-out boxes that were filled to the brim with white rice, each contained a Chinese character. Admittedly, I had to get my Chinese teacher's help the next day to figure them out, but he said "yes" on the same day that I asked him!! Isn't that nice?
I like how every guy I've asked so far has responded on the same day, I know sometime that my luck will run out with that whole "same day" thing, but I'm still pretty fortunate myself.

     For the day activity on Friday, we had a Freaky Feast that my mom did a ton of work for. There was a list of crazy named items that we had to order from for dinner, but we didn't know what any of them were, (well maybe I knew a few...) Anyway, so that was really fun to order stuff that you didn't really know what it would turn out to be! After an amazing dinner, we all went to the Farmington corn maze, nobody in my group knows this to my everlasting embarrassment, but my cellphone fell out of my pocket during the maze!! Luckily we were able to call the maze and it was found and returned safely. The last thing we did for the day activity was go to Jessica's and watch "The Sixth Sense," what a creepy Halloween movie!!!

     It was really scary driving so many people in my car, because I've never ever driven more than two other people in my car at any given time, I know that I only had one more person to drive, but it really scared me. I'm not the world's best driver, and now I realize that I am absolutely terrible at directions. Oh well! It was kinda fun to drive my mom's more expensive maroon Tribeca.

     The dance itself was more of a party than a dance, the music was extremely loud, and it was that punky almost rap style of music that most teenagers (other than myself like.) There wasn't a single slow dance for partner dancing, so I started using crazy dance moves that other people started teaching me and then made myself look pretty weird! Good times!