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#3 and #5 January 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 4:14 pm

Briony and Lola’s relationship is classic.  Each envies the other with polite contempt.  Lola is at the age where  she is not quite an adult but certainly feels like she can take on the role.  However because she is not part of the adult world, Lola is forced to “step down” in companionship to Briony.  I think Briony understands this whole explanation of what Lola is doing and dislikes that she is the fall back option.  She is torn though-she knows about Lola’s past/recent family history and that she must be civil.  Lola, on the other hand,  is able to hide all of her thoughts and emotions that she doesn’t want others to see.  She is difficult to read when the group is practicing the play and I didn’t know if she was on her brothers’ side or Briony’s.  Later, however, when her brothers scratch her, she puts on a huge act to get attention and sympathy from Briony.  Overall, I think Briony and Lola are bored with their lives, both are children in a mature household, but they refuse to recognize their connection and bond over it-in their minds, this “race to the top” separates them even more and they are in a battle to see who can crack into the adult’s social circle first.

I thought of the vase as a symbol of Cecelia and Robbie’s relationship.  When it breaks, it represents the impossibility that they can get back together.  The vase has been through battle and carried over long distances, just like their relationship-they went to the same school, on the tip of getting together.  Cecelia says the vase is their families most valuable possession and she handles it with care, requiring the flowers to fall perfectly in it.  The vase bridges them and before it can ever be put to use, it is broken.  Robbie’s response is confusing-he knows Cecelia is above him and that he is in over his head-and yet he gives no apology, offers no help.  He suspects that they feel the same way about each other but knows it would be inappropriate to act.  Similarly, Cecelia knows that Robbie is beneath her but can’t deny her feelings.  She is wasting away her days hiding inside her house and trying her hardest not to think of Robbie.  She is forced to face her true feelings though when the vase breaks; she can’t restrict herself from fixing what she knows is their last hope.

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How to be respectful when disrespected January 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 2:19 pm

I can’t believe that this is happening again!  I feel like I just blogged about the hard decision I had to make for racing at Dartmouth and here I am again.  My distance coach and I have set up a plan for the season and all along, everyone knew that I planned on racing the 1 mile and 800 at Southwesterns.  Yet again, my head coach is solely focused on the team result, not the individual.  She signed me up for the 1 mile, 800, 2 mile, and sprint medley-racing 4 miles.  She is claiming that I need to do this for the team.  My immediate reaction was to laugh, the situation is just so silly!  As I thought about it more though, I can’t believe how disrespectful this is to me.  I have worked so hard, scored so many points for the team all season, sacrificed myself in previous Southwesterns and States and she thinks I’m being a brat.  Clearly at Dartmouth I made the right decision.  I ran fast for myself and to represent our school and even if I had stayed at the home meet, we still wouldn’t have won.  It’s just frustrating that she can’t  look at the bigger picture-that it is taxing to race that much, destructive mentally to run a 2 mile just to run it(I want to be competitive), and that I still have a long season ahead of me where I want to peak.  In the end, I know she makes the decision and I’ll have to be respectful but I know in my mind I’m going to sabotage the 2 mile if I’m forced to do it.  I think I will be so blown away and hopefully not let it ruin the important races but I’ve already started talking with my distance coach about dropping out.  It’s hard as a kid to talk to an adult that you know is wrong- I know what I’m talking about, I know my body, I know what I can handle, what is right and I really hope she lets me fight for what I believe in and it isn’t just a closed case.

 

Reoccuring Gatsby January 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 4:08 pm

I was at first surprised at how long we were spending on the Great Gatsby in class but now I see why-because it is so relevant!  The phenomenon of learning or seeing something and then finding it or connections everywhere is happening to me!  I feel like I can connect pretty much anything to the story.  For my quarter book I read Hedda Gabbler and I immediately connected the influence that her society has on her, just like it did on Gatsby.  Both characters were ahead of their time-Gatsby embodying the American Dream that didn’t exist at the time the novel was written and Hedda as a narcissistic, secretive, complaining of the ties of marriage type of woman.  In another yet different example, the pattern of lying observed in Gatsby and now in society is incredible.  Jimmy Kimmel did an inauguration spoof where he asked people on the streets what they thought about the inauguration before it even happened.  People didn’t even think to show the truth, that they were confused, and even went as far as to say that some certain something was their favorite part.  By lying to not seem stupid, they prove just how ignorant they are.  In a less overt way, the society in the Great Gatsby acts similarly.  Gatsby fills in parts of his past, Tom and Daisy lie to each other about their affairs, Nick isn’t completely honest about his life in the West.  All that lying does is to reveal who someone really is and eventually it catches up with you.

 

Dream Job January 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 12:47 pm

I recently put my finger on what I’d like to do when I’m older (at least I think this is what I want to do-hey, I am only 17!).  I just can’t deny the love and fascination that I have had for animals my whole life.  I’ve tried to enlighten myself to the realities of the world, how cruel and hypocritical we are, and gain an appreciation of what life is like for many different people and for animals.  Through my efforts, I have looked into PETA and other animal rights organizations. What PETA produces is truly horrifying.  I understand that they want to show the cold hard facts and stun people into facing reality and actually feeling a need to change but the videos that they post are extremely disturbing.  Sometimes it feels like PETA is just trying to put out shocking videos and images.  I know that is not their intention but I think their approach is too radical.  This is where I got the idea that I’d like to go into this area-graphic design and the media but try to focus on the animal rights perspective.

Although I never knew it, ironically, my original interests are starting to formulate into a possible career.  I was previously thinking of studying psychology or journalism but I realized that a decent understanding of both of these, combined with some exposure to public policy and animal issues and a Columbia degree would set me up really well.  I’m aware that it is difficult to get to your dream job.  Especially in a field as “out there” and unstable as this-I would need to be able to pay my bills I know!  So my ultimate plan is to use my knowledge from my independent study of AP Psychology from high school, major/minor in Journalism and some type of animal related minor such as ethics, wildlife biology, public relations, or marketing.  I’ve always wanted to go into a job that would be rewarding and that would make me feel like I was really doing something and I think my tentative plan would be incredible.

 

The West January 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 4:41 pm

I think Nick mostly contradicts himself on the issue of which society is more desirable-he goes back and forth between comparing and contrasting the west and the east.  I think this signifies his genuine confusion in the end; how he was so mesmerized by east coast life and culture but winds up disgusted and saddened by Gatsby’s social circle’s tragic end.  I think of the west as this vast, sprawling, scarse land full of uncultured people-cowboys- but Nick says that it is misunderstood and very much resembles other parts of America.  I think what Nick is driving at is the key part of one’s attachment to our hometown, no matter where it is in the world, is that it remains a part of our identify for life.  Although what this means will vary, the principle of our origin sticking with us forever will not.  In the West Egg societies’ case, Daisy, Tom, Gatsby were all consumed by the atmosphere, it became their whole identity-this enclosed, superficial world was everything to them.

The set up that Nick describes in the west is the inverse of what it is like in New York.  Instead of low level civilization and the railroad at the edge of  town, the West was centered around the tracks, as it represneted their connection to civilization.  He describes the tracks as cheerful as Christmas itself.  He also talks about the snow, that in the West it was real snow, “our snow which we are a part of.”  He says that people in the west are unutterably unaware of their identity with this country and that they melted indistinguishably into it.  I think this is the lack of care about social status.  For the purposes of the tone and the imagery in this story, I think Fitzgerald included these ideas to show that real people aren’t valued in the world, that one is better off faking it or blending themselves into society.  The West “melts into the snow” as it should go unnoticed and a country identifies itself by its liveliest parts.  Yet again, this shows that this story is timeless-the attention and the grandness is reserved for the privileged, superficial, high society people and the regular folks are left to work regular jobs, live regular lives, raise regular children.

 

ZZZzzzzz January 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 10:01 pm

All my life, I never thought it was that weird that I got 8-9 hours of sleep every night, despite the sneers and jibes I receibed from my friends.  Also, the fact that I go to bed at 8 most nights, because after all, it can take me an hour or two to fall asleep.  My peers always talk about doing so much on school nights and it makes sense if they start thinking about going to sleep between 10 and 12.  Although they may wind up getting close to as much sleep as me because they are exhausted and fall right to sleep, I habe always heard that it is the hours before midnight that are critical.  You’re supposed to hit a deep sleep between 10 and 2 and missing those hours knocks you way off and it can take days to make up those few hours of missed sleep.  I think these people think that sleeping until 11 am on the weekends makes up for their messy school night sleep patterns but I actually think this adds to their self destruction.  As much as I hate waking up at 6 am, I feel like I can get through the day and have a clear mind and body.  The other kids who get 6 hours of sleep are the ones passed out on their desks; they might as well not come to school because they are completely unpresent.  Teens are supposed to get 8 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep every night and I have friends that get 4!  Although it takes me a long time to fall asleep and I just wind up getting the bare minimum of what I should, I couldn’t imagine getting less because by the end of the day, I’m exhausted.  With such a busy life right now, I love the time I give myself to just think calmly for a while and then rest for a significant time.  I’m really glad I’ve had this habit too because it will be a great model for next year.  I think people think that college is about staying up late every night, whether it is for academics or partying but either way, this is not reality.  My sisters are on Div 1 teams at challenging colleges and they usually get to bed no later than 10, plus they get to sleep in.  Now that I think about it, college is going to be great for sleep!

 

The Cons of ED January 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 12:44 pm

It’s such a relief to be into college and have one less worry for my senior year.  However, I am now starting to realize its impact.  At the end of the year, I knew things/people were going to start to separate but I never thought about the distinction between early and regular decision, how the two would connect and distance people.  I have known where I am going next year since around October, so I felt very alone then when I couldn’t really talk to anyone beside my family.  Even more so, when ED applicants were being denied and I knew I had a saved spot at Columbia, it was extremely difficult to sympathize with them but not come off obnoxious since I understood their disappointment yet did not share it. So for about 2 months, I found myself avoiding the subject-partly out of respect for my peers who were so nervous and partly out of fear of appearing too conceited.  Now that people have started hearing acceptances, the atmosphere is much lighter and friendlier.  People are genuinely happy for one another because they too have gotten into at least one school.  Also, I know I can say that I have a lot more school pride as I start to transition out of high school-I am gaining a perspective that my time here is fleeting and I am pretty pleased with what our school has offered me.  I go to an excellent high school and I want as many people as possible to get into challenging colleges or to the schools that they want to be at-this is a good reflection on TA and I want that.

For me, now that I am officially going to such a challenging school next year, the people closest to me have really upped the standards.  I am also putting pressure on myself to be better, do better.  I know that the fact that I got accepted means something but I’m beginning to rethink everything.  My organizational skills, physical appearance, manners, and most importantly, my academics are all a constant worry for me.  What I’ve done to this point has apparently worked but I can’t help to compare myself to the ideal image of an Ivy Leaguer.  My Dad especially has no problem pointing out everything that I should be adjusting.  He constantly has been asking what I’m reading and how much, why I don’t have all A’s, and that I should make some big alterations to the way I run.  I know he has good intentions but the pressure that I put on myself is enough-I think the most important thing for me to do in the time I have left before college is to work at my New Year’s Resolution, and to imagine present situations of being at Columbia and the student I want to be there.