Thursday, January 22, 2015

Two Narrator Piece (original)

“You got a letter.” Dave entered the living room and tossed it onto my lap. For Jessies’s eyes only! Was written on the front in large crooked print.
“Who’s it from?”
“How should I know” Dave said savagely.
“Sorry I was just asking.”
I opened the envelope and pulled out the paper inside.
We are writing letters to our future selves in class today. Hi! Whats up? Congrats on being 25! I have so many questions. What are we? Are we a balerina, or an archeologist like Lara Croft? Did we finally save enough for that trampoline? Are we married to Jeremy Sumpter? If not that’s okay I understand. Do we ever get a puppy? Whats his name? How tall are you? Mrs. Kirkman just said she wants me to write something meaningful so are you happy?
I thought to myself, “No, I’m not.” Just then Dave came up behind me and looked over my shoulder.
“God who wrote that?”
“I did.”I replied.
“Why?” he asked.
“It was a school assignment when I was nine.”
“Were you retarded as a nine year old, because that hand writing is awful.”

As he left the room still chortling about his own joke, I drafted and response to my younger self on the back of the letter. Never Grow Up. Then I scratched that out and instead wrote It’s never too late. Find the courage to start over. I rose from the couch went into my bedroom and started to pack. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Angry Letter (original)

Dear she who will not be named,
            We became friends in the sixth grade. Not the school-grounds-only kind of friends either. We were the sleepover-every-weekend-eat-junk-food-talk-about-boys kind of friends. This meant that you knew me well, better than most people in fact. Which meant you should have known one of the most elemental things about me: I love to read. That is not a trivial fact, an attribute, or a piece of my pie. It’s the whole damn pie. I am heart and soul a bibliophile. I would rather sit in my front yard and read a good book than do almost anything else. I have a Pinterest page titled, “Books <3.” My bookshelf is always pristine, and I care for my books like a mother cares for her children. So, because you were my friend, I assumed you would care for my book in the same manner to which it was accustomed. What made your crime so horrific was that it wasn’t just some book pulled from the bottom of my shelf. It was one of my favorites. One of those books I hate to lend people because I might spontaneously get the urge to read it for the xth time, and be unable to get my fix. However, I could not in good conscious keep you from the reading the glorious book that you requested; so I lent it to you. When you received it, it looked practically new. No one would have been able to tell just by looking at it that I had already read it five consecutive times. When you rudely returned it to me three months later—I mean seriously, three months; it wasn’t exactly War and Peace—it was mangled. The protective cover was bent in several places, it had a black mark on the back, and it had scratches all over it, and the first half of the book had water damage, or should I say mysterious red liquid damage. There were also mysterious grooves on the first couple pages that looked like you took a fork them. When you handed me back my fallen loved one I was torn between wanting to cry and wanting to backhand you. If someone asked me why we are no longer friends, I would probably say something along the lines of “We’re different kinds of people now” or “Because I have standards and integrity” In reality, this is not the case. I refrain from divulging my true motivation because it would sound petty, and let’s face it completely crazy; but the truth is I may never forgive you for what I have titled The Book Debacle of 2011.
                                                                                                Truly no longer yours,


The Probability of Madness (original)

The Probability of Madness
1.27 Joey’s first 14 quiz grades in a marketing period were
86           84           91           75           78           80           74           87           76           96           82           90           98
(a) Use the formula to calculate the mean. Check using “1-Var Stats” on your calculator
Wow that’s an easy one. I hope she doesn’t want me to show my work, I hate when math teachers make me do that for the simplest problems. Where’d my calculator go? I swear I had it like five seconds ago. Oh, there it is.
A) 85.
(b) Suppose Joey has an unexcused absence for the 15th quiz, and he receives a score of zero. Determine his final quiz average. What property of the mean does this situation illustrate? Write a sentence about the effect of the zero on Joey’s quiz average that mentions this property.
Why can’t I just write down the answer? What’s with all this complete sentence crap? It’s statistics not English. I miss pre calc. Ms. Nastri never made me write complete sentences.
B) 79, this illustrates that the mean is not resistant to outliers. The zero is an outlier, and lowers Joey’s quiz average by 6 percent.
c) What kind of plot would best show Joey’s distribution of grades? Assume an eight-point grading scale (A: 93 to 100; B: 85 to 92; etc.). Make an appropriate plot, and be prepared to justify your choice.
What if I don’t want to justify my answer? Can’t you just take my word for it? This isn’t my only class you know. C) A stem and leaf plot, because it’s a medium amount of data, it will put the data in order, and allow me to access the original data from the plot.
7     4,5,6,8
8     0,2,4,6,7
9     0,1,3,6,8
                                                                2 problems and half an hour later…
1.30 Last year a small accounting firm paid each of its five clerks $22,000, two junior accountants $50,000 each, and the firm’s owner $270,000. What is the mean salary paid at this firm? How many of the employees earn less than the mean? What is the median salary? Write a sentence to describe how an unethical recruiter could use statistics to mislead prospective employees.
I’m hungry. But I don’t have time to cook. Screw you stats homework!! Ooooo popsicles! I thought I talked to my dad about keeping junk food in the house. I’m trying to be healthy. Whatever, popsicle for dinner I guess… God, I’m weak.
Mean= 60,000, 7 employees earn less than the mean. An unethical recruiter could present the mean to make people think that they would receive more money than they actually would, because the mean is greatly affected by an outlier (270,000)
                                                                Two problems and 1 hour later…
1.40 Which measure of center and spread should be used for the following blah blah blah blah blah blah blah?
I think this work is actually making me dumber! I CAN FEEL MY IQ PLUNGING.
                                                                Two problems and an eternity later…
1.54 The mean and standard deviation measure center and spread but are not a complete description of a distribution. Data sets with different shapes can have the same mean and standard deviation. To demonstrate this fact, use your calculator to find the mean and standard deviation for the following two sets of data. Then make a stemplot of each and comment on the shape of each distribution.

The quantity of remaining homework > the amount of time left in the day. I JU-UST WANNNA TAKE A NA-AP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Modest Proposal

America is facing an epidemic in its schools today—apathy. Students have lost their love of learning. What school work they do is not in the interest of learning, but is done rather merely to get the good grades that are required for one’s future. Some students are so apathetic that they do not even bother trying to get those good grades. Children’s loss of the love of learning is a terrible tragedy that needs a solution. Luckily I've come up with one.

The answer is desensitization. Students just need to get more exposure to school work, so that they stop dreading it and adjust. How do we desensitize them? The answer is simple, homework. Kids these days are too distracted by extracurricular activities. They hang out with friends, play sports, exercise, have jobs, eat, and want to sleep. We need to replace these activities with homework. If teachers assign endless amounts of homework that consume the children’s every waking moment and even limit their sleeping ones, then children will have no choice but to adjust to learning and will, perhaps, even learn to love it... eventually.

Desensitization has many benefits. Not only will it help students develop an appreciation for learning, it will also save schools a lot of trouble. Instead of teachers worrying about whether or not their class is actually benefiting their students. In fact, they don’t even need to worry about respecting their student’s time and energy. They can just assign any random assignment they can think of, which will save time on actual lesson planning.

Some might object that this plan is insensitive to the needs of teenagers. They suggest that teenagers need to eat, exercise, and sleep in order to be healthy, but is it more important to be healthy or to learn? The other objection, that teenagers can’t handle the level of stress that that quantity of homework puts on them, is false. Sure, they might have a mental breakdown, but at least they’ll have learned something.

Overall, learning desensitization will make teacher’s lives easier and help students adjust to the educational process. Some have suggested that in order to decrease student’s apathy or sometimes even dread of school classes should put less focus on grades and more focus on teaching the students to appreciate and value what they are learning. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hybridized Fan fic

The cylinder rose from around me, exposing me to the arena. I was standing in a clearing with the eleven other tributes. I could see a forest in the distance. It reminded me a little of Forks. The announcer declared “Ladies and gentlemen, let the hunger games begin!” The other tributes were poised on their metal circles. Looking around at their faces I realized they were only children. In 60 seconds many of them would be dead, and many others would be murders. I looked around frantically for Edward. I found him crouched on his metal circle a few yards to my right. Something about his stance reminded me of a mountain lion ready to pounce. He met my eyes; his expression was not difficult to interpret. He was scared for me. Perhaps I should have been scared, but when Edward was with me I always felt safe. Edward mouthed “stay” to me. He was coming to protect me, as he always did. Edward stepped of his plate in a swift graceful motion, but he was a moment too early, the gong had not yet rung. I watched, frozen with horror, as my whole reason for living was blown to bits by a land mine. Pieces of him rained down around me, I heard a cannon blast, followed by the ringing of the gong. Tributes raced of their platforms to the cornucopia. I needed to run, I needed to hide from the other tributes but I was catatonic with grief. After a few moments I heard someone approaching from behind me, but couldn’t bring myself to turn around. The tribute grabbed onto my ponytail and yanked my head back exposing my throat. I could feel the cold metal blade against my trachea. The tribute laughed coldly, whispered “like shooting fish in a barrel,” and slid the blade across my throat.

p.s. The terrible writing is an intentional commentary on how Stephanie Meyer sucks.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Humor Assignment

It was April 14, 2013, the Friday before April vacation. It should have been a day of great joy; the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, all the children were giddy with the anticipation of an entire week of fun and relaxation, and all teachers had decided to forgo lesson plans. But during last period, the day darkened. I was standing in a large group of my friends joking around, when one of our fellow classmates awkwardly squeezed his way into our circle. (For the purposes of this story I shall call him Kevin, because let’s face it, no one has ever met a Kevin they’ve liked.) Kevin stood there awkwardly for a minute or two before he interrupted our conversation to say to me, “Hey can I ask you something after class.” I froze. I wanted to say no, but despite the fact that he was without a doubt more annoying than a mosquito, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings…yet. I stuttered “uh-uh sure” in a tone as discouraging as I could muster. He didn’t seem to pick up on my tonal suggestion and said “okay” then returned to his seat. As some of my less tactful friends started to laugh and work on a couple name for me and Kevin, I desired to sink to the floor and shout a Marlon Brando-esque “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” I had three options: fight, flight, or grow a pair and just turn him down. Obviously the third option was out, and since I was pretty sure spontaneously assaulting my classmate would have resulted in a suspension, and possibly a straight jacket, that left me one option: flight. So, with two minutes left of class I made my way towards the door, where I waited, feet at the ready, with my hand on the door knob. Upon the bells ringing, I sprinted with everything I had to the girl’s locker room. Now under normal circumstances I’m not one for running, but put a weird boy waiting to ask me out behind me, and I just might beat the school record for the 100 meter dash. From the locker room I called my chauffer —sometimes referred to as my older sister Jessica— to inform her that I would be late. After a sufficient amount of time had passed and I was fairly certain that he had already boarded the school bus, I emerged from the locker room and stealthy made my way to the car, using for the first time in my life those weird mirror things they put up near hallway intersections to check that the coast was clear of undesirable boys waiting to ask me out. Upon arriving home I sank onto my couch and took a deep breath. Crisis averted…or at least so I thought until I pulled out my laptop to check Facebook, and found I had one new message.
Hey sorry I didn't catch you after class, Hmmm I wonder why. I meant to talk to you but I didn't see you, so I guess I'll just ask u here. Honestly I’d be way better off asking u in person but oh well.
Honestly my answer would have been the same either way, and at least online you can’t see the blatant look of horror on my face.
Anyways, would you wanna catch a movie with me or something over vacation?
NO…just no…no…one might even go so far as to say “never.”
We definitely don't talk as much as I wish we did,
We talk much more than I wish we did.
so maybe we can change that?
Yes, hopefully we can.
I decided to do the classy thing and just not respond. I figured Facebook would tell him that I had read his message and chosen not to reply, giving him the hint that I was not interested. Unfortunately for me…and I guess him as well, Kevin was immune to hints the way some people are immune to chicken pox.
The next morning after eating a balanced breakfast, I once again checked my Facebook. One new message. I expected it to be Kevin again and mentally prepared some snarky comments, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not Kevin but a friendly acquaintance of mine from school, Sam. Any pleasant feelings I had however, dissipated when I read the message.
Hey Kevin said you guys are dating is this true?
Have you ever seen Mean Girls? If you haven’t, you should, it’s awesome. If you have, you should know exactly what I mean when I say I reacted much like Regina George did when she found out Cady tricked her into eating nutrition bars that made her gain weight. After I felt I had screamed a sufficient amount, I angrily, and dramatically, typed my response.
“Not in a million years, and you can tell him I said that.”
                Sam relayed my message to Kevin, and proceeded to tell me he thought I had made a wise decision. Moments later I received a response from Kevin, detailing how it was none of Sam’s business and I should have given him a definite answer myself. I decided to keep my reply short, not-so-sweet, and to the point.
“Fine, no.”
Then, Kevin did something that had he been near me at the time would have landed him a swift kick in the balls. After ruining my Friday, tarnishing my reputation, and worst of all, making me run, he had the audacity to give ME advice. He said:
Make sure next time you tell them that before they get their hopes up.
                I wish I could say I asked myself “what would Julie Andrews do?”I wish I could inform you that I had a moment of compassion in a moment of anger. Sadly that was not what I did. Instead I decided to reply:
“Next time, take a hint.”
                That’s the thing about kids I guess, we’re mean.

Friday, December 5, 2014

List poem

When the little girl on the playground tells you you have chubby cheeks, don't sucker punch her, just laugh.
When your friend asks to borrow your book say no, or at least sew it a protective cover.
When your brother flips you off, don't tell your mom. You'll get in trouble not him. 
When your sister dies her short hair red, don't call her Ronald McDonald.
When a guy says he doesn't like V for Vendetta, run. He's not smart enough for you anyway.
When a friend lies to you, don't stick around. They don't respect you enough to tell the truth.
When your father asks you your opinion on him, lie.