IB- Good or Bad?

Ugh. Why did I have to choose the super demanding academic program that consumes about all of my time in homework and studying and blech. Welcome, fellow bloggers, to the world of an IB student.

For those of you who don’t know what IB is (and unless you take it/have taken it/know someone who takes it you probably won’t know it), it stands for International Baccalaureate. It’s an international academically enriched program, and it sucks the life out of just about everyone who takes it. Basically, you take a bunch of smart kids and dump a load of work on them. The top definition in Urban Dictionary is:

IB, A.K.A. International Baccalaureate – A malicious program aimed at the unnaturally brighter population in an attempt to overload their brains, thus reducing them to vegetables without lives. However, a true IB student will respond by adapting and bsing their way through.

IB, therefore I BS.

And that’s honestly what it is. IB students count themselves lucky if they have only 2 hours of homework a night rather than about 6. Really. And just to set the record straight, IB and AP are NOT comparable. I have several friends in AP, and man their lives are so much less cluttered than mine.

But, then again, there are upsides to it. You have to do a 4000 word essay in grade 11/12, so when university profs hand out a 2000 word essay, it’s no problem. The transition to University is much easier too. You’re already learning to work hard, manage your time (mostly) and that you really do need to study for tests. Cause TBH, before IB, I was doing none of those things.
So to all of you out there thinking about going into IB, think very carefully. It can be a great thing for some people, i know i absolutely love it (despite the ranting above), but my brother would not like it. Also think about workload. You’ll probably be spending a couple hours a night working on homework, so do you have the time for that?
But you know what, overall, I’m completely certain that going into IB was the right decision for me. It boosted my self confidence to see that liking school wasn’t a bad thing, that there were others who like it too, and I don’t have to explain things a thousand times before they get it.  SO think about it, but to al you smart cookies out there, definitely think about coming to IB.
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TCWT Blog Chain Post

This month’s TCWT blog chain prompt was:

“What is something you feel is generally written well in fiction?What is something you feel is generally written poorly?”

I’m going to focus on just the first part, what I feel is generally written well.

Warning: Spoilers will be given for Light of Eidon and Lord of the Flies

So when I was first given the 9th as my date, I was confident that it would be quite simple to write about. However, as the days passed and I started to truly think on the topic of what I was supposed to write, I was a little scared. This kind of post was outside my comfort zone; I didn’t get to pick the topic myself, and I didn’t know what to write.

Then I asked myself Is there anything in a few books you’ve read recently that you really enjoyed? Didn’t like?

I thought about this a while. I was grasping at straws. I was coming up with nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I was kinda starting to panic, because I had two days to write it and edit and I still had no idea whatsoever what I wanted to write, and I knew I’d be getting homework assigned soon, so i wouldn’t have much time.

Then I thought back to one of my favourite books of all time (see description here), Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock. It’s pretty much centered around this huge battle between good and evil or light and dark if you will. All of a sudden, all these examples popped into my head of books wherein take place good and evil. Most, if not all fiction is centered around one thing: conflict. And what is conflict? Here is Dictionary.com’s definition: a fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle; strife.  Light and dark, good and evil, are in a constant battle. It is mostly the protagonist’s role to battle the evil and overcome it.

This conflict is found everywhere, not just in literature. From The Creation of Adam to The Hunger Games to Julius Caesar,  it is visible in any aspect of our society. But today, I’m going to look at the aforementioned Light of Eidon. 


In this book, the battle is fought against good and evil on both the physical and spiritual planes. The main character, Abramm Kalladorne, a prince who has given up his titles and inheritance to join a religious order, is sold into slavery by his power-hungry brothers. He is put into the Games, gladiator-like fights, and is forced to fight for his life. He escapes, and goes to a canyon-ous landscape, where he is instrumental in delaying the dark forces, and he fights the emperor of the dark country.

Abramm, representing the force of good, has to fight against physical and spiritual manifestations of evil throughout the entire book, from a false religion that seeks to ensnare him in its clutches and demonic possession, as well as “shadowspawn” physical manifestations of evil spawned by the evil desires of man who inject people with spore that can make them sick.

Abramm’s entire journey and character arc is based on his transition from the false religion, which served the same god in name only, truly it was something altogether different, to the true one, and overcoming his preconceived notions about said religion. He warms to it, then jerks back, horrified with himself for what he’s doing, because he’d been taught all his life that the followers of that religion were heretics, and they tortured people like nobody’s business.

Both the forces of light and dark are grappling to pull him over to their side, as he is to play a very important role in the future of all the countries surrounding them.


Another, more well-known example of the struggle between light and dark, good and evil is William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s about a group of English schoolboys who are sent away from England because it wasn’t safe anymore, as they were experiencing Golding’s WWIII. Their plane crashes on an idyllic island, and it all seems like a great adventure. But they soon struggle to fight against the “beast”, later named the Lord of the Flies, which is the evil and savagery that is inside each and every person.

The beast is, in this book, the dark side. The boys all fight it at first, following Ralph and Piggy, the last remainders of civilization on the island. When Jack and his hunters drift off, however, they give themselves over slowly to the beast, to the dark and savage impulses that lie in each and every one of us. What Ralph and Piggy, represent, civilization and rational thought, suppresses the beast. But when the boys are freed from the civilization, the beast is unchained, and out comes the savagery.

Ralph stays the “good guy” throughout the entire book, pretty much just sticking to laws and common sense and rationality. The beginning of the book sees him calling the other boys out from the jungle to the beach, pulling them out of the shadows into the daylight. The end of the book finds him running for his life, the boys who have given into their savage impulses are chasing him, smoking him out of the jungle to the beach where they can kill him and stick his head on a stick like they did with the sow’s head.

So to overview, in this book the dark side (savagery(beast), Jack) clashes with the light side (civilization/rational thought, Ralph). And, considering it’s a classic, it has achieved more than a superficial fight between two groups of boys; it has shown us what human nature can do when let loose of all constraints.

*Lord of the Flies analysis based on the analysis from Litcharts.com

Though these are just two examples and I’m not the best explainer ever, I hope you understand what I mean. Light and dark or good and evil are very prevalent forces in almost any story you can find, whether it’s written or drawn or painted or told. It is a deciding element wherever it is present.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this. Don’t forget to read the other posts of this month’s TCWT blog chain.

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TCWT: teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com

Blog posts in January:

5 http://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/
6 http://jasperlindell.blogspot.com.au/
7 http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/ and http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/
8 http://www.miriamjoywrites.com/
9 https://ramblingsofaravis.wordpress.com/ (You are here)
10 http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/
11 http://kirabudge.weebly.com/
12 http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/
13 http://maralaurey.wordpress.com/
14 http://dynamicramblings.wordpress.com/
15 http://theedfiles.blogspot.com.au/
16 http://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/
17 http://juliathewritergirl.com/
18 http://butterfliesoftheimaginationa.wordpress.com/
19 http://gallopingfree.wordpress.com/
20 http://alwaysopinionatedgirl.wordpress.com/
21 http://deorahcocheleau.wordpress.com/
22 http://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/
23 http://clockworkdesires.wordpress.com/
24 http://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/
25 http://wanderinginablur.blogspot.com/
26 http://anotefromthenerd.wordpress.com/
27 http://randommorbidinsanity.wordpress.com/
28 http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

Art

Isn’t it annoying when you work really really hard on a piece of art, whether it be a drawing or a painting or a sculpture or whatever, and you hand it in, thinking it’s great, but you get it back and apparently it’s awful? Yeah. I know what it’s like. It’s no fun.

So I decided I would show that I can do art. Here, I will show you all some of my latest pieces.

Feel free to comment, I’d love to know what you think!

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Favourite Movies

Does anyone ever struggle with coming up with openers for posts? I know I do.

Anyway, this post is about five of my favourite movies of all time. This is a little harder than my top five books because I don’t watch as many movies. But enough of my rambling, here are my top five movies.

1. The Day After Tomorrow

Hands down, my favourite movie of all time. This might be because of the whole natural disaster-apocalypse thing, but I absolutely love this movie. A paleoclimatologist named Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) says that “Our climate is fragile. At the rate we’re polluting the environment and burning fossil fuels, the ice caps will soon disappear.” The North Atlantic Current stops flowing, and three superstorms cover all of the northern hemisphere in feet and feet of snow (15 feet in some places). Jack must head north from Washington to reach his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is trapped in Manhattan.

Favourite quote:

Simon: [their final lines in the movie] Gentlemen,

[toasting]

Simon: To England!

Terry Rapson: To mankind!

Dennis: To Manchester United

2. Narnia

Yes, I know, very general, but I couldn’t pick which one I liked best out of all of them. I much prefer the Disney versions to the BBC versions to be honest. The effects are much nicer, and it makes you feel much more like you’re actually in the story. But, as I’ve articulated in other posts, Narnia is definitely one of my favourites. I really felt that it for a book to movie transcript, it held quite true to the original storyline. they’re coming out with a new one next year!!!!

Favourite quote (Voyage of the Dawn Treader):

Reepicheep: Unhand the tail. Aslan the Great gave me this tail and no one, repeat, no one, touches the tail. Period, exclamation mark!

3. Princess Diaries

Who can’t identify with clumsy, socially awkward Mia (Anne Hathaway) at one time or another? When her grandmother (Julie Andrews) shows up and tells her she’s a princess, she can’t believe it. She takes “princess lessons” from her grandmother and attends a state dinner. Meanwhile, she has to pass tenth grade, survive the press mob, and figure out which boy she wants. A teen classic and a must-see.

Favourite quote:

Mia: Hey Joe? Can we park a block away from school? I really don’t want to cause a riot with this hearse.

Joe: This is a non-riot hearse. And if it were a hearse there would be silence in the backseat

4. Pirates of the Caribbean

This series (do you call it a series?) was an absolute success. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) teams up with a most unlikely of allies, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), a pirate without a ship, to save his love, Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley), the governor’s daughter. The swashbuckling and ship capering are sure to capture your interest as much as they did mine.

Favourite quote:

Lt. Gillette: This ship cannot be crewed by two men. You’ll never make it out of the bay.

Jack Sparrow: Son, I’m Captain Jack Sparrow. Savvy?

5. Interstellar

(I only just saw this for the first time, but it is definitely up here in my top 5. It made me think so much more than any other movie ever has before. Yes, it’s not a movie for everyone, but it’s a movie for any science fan.)

In a world ravaged by climate change and blight, Cooper, a retired pilot and engineer, is now a farmer, trying to raise enough food to eke out an existence, and dreams of doing more. When a wormhole is discovered close to Saturn, a team of explorers is sent in to establish a colony on one of the three inhabitable planets earlier reconnaissance missions had found. It goes beyond a simple space travel movie to a movie dealing with quantum physics, fourth and fifth dimensions, and the human ties through space and time that can’t ever be severed.

Favourite quote:

Cooper: We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.

* Information, quotes, and picture from imdb.com

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Pictionary 2.0

Pictionary is a game popular at teen sleepovers and other get togethers. Everyone has played it at one time or another, and some are great at it and some are not. I think it’s a great game to work on both your art and language skills, either way.
However we’re not here to talk about pictionary, but about Pictionary 2.0.
Pictionary 2.0 is a game best played in a group of 4 or more. Each person has a piece of paper and writes a quote/phrase and passes it on to the next person. They have to draw that quote/ phrase, fold over the paper so only the drawing is visible, and hand it to the next person. They have to come up with a phrase for that drawing, fold it over, pass it on to the next person, and they have to draw again. This goes on and on until everyone gets their own paper back, and then you read aloud and show the best pictures of your page.

This game has become a new year’s tradition in my group of friends, who we’ve gotten together with for at least 5 or 6 years on new year’s. Every year it brings lots of laughter, and we sincerely enjoy it.

For those of you who like a good, clean-cut sheet, I made a PDF sheet.

Pictionary 2.0 sheets

For those of you who just don’t care, take a piece of scrap paper and just have fun with it.

Enjoy the game!

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Acronym vs. Initialism

SCUBA, FBI, CIA, LASER, AA, NHL, KFC.
There are a multitude of these short forms all over the place. They’re all acronyms right?
Nope, sorry. They’re not. Most of them are actually initialisms. They are quite similar, but they are still different.

Initialism

Initialisms, if you didn’t guess already, are when you pronounce each single letter of the short forms. For FBI, no one says “febie” and no one says for CIA “sia”. One thing I’ve noticed is that Americans are very good at coming up with initialisms: I can think of at least 30. (If you don’t believe me; government agencies, universities, sports leagues, they all have them)

Acronyms

Acronyms are much more well known by the general public than initialisms. SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) and LASER (Light amplification by the stimulation of emitted radiation) are acronyms, cause we say them all as complete words, and not as their individual letters. I find scientists are quite fond of these.

Hopefully you won’t mix them up anymore. To be honest, I don’t mix the two up, I mix up acronyms and anachronisms (an object or expression in the wrong time and/or place). It’s really quite annoying, because most people know what an acronym is, but not many people know what an anachronism is. So I’m talking to someone, and we get into a conversation like the above post, and it goes a little like this:

“So did you know that FBI is actually an Initialism and not an anachronism?” Cue the strange glances and questions of my sanity. I meanwhile thought I said acronym, and so I don’t have a clue as to why they’re looking at me so strangely.
“Uh okay, but what’s an anachronism?”
“What?”
“You said that FBI was actually an initialism and not an anachronism.”
“Ugh. I’ve done it again. Sorry, anachronism isn’t the word I want. What do you call words like SCUBA or LASER?”
“Acronyms?”
“Yeah that’s it. Thanks.”
So yeah, that’s kinda annoying.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s 2015, officially the second sesquidecade of the 21st century. Kinda special don’t you think?

Some events coming up this year:

January 1-5th : A Meteor Shower starting today and running until the 5th, but peaking on the night of the 3rd/4th

March 20th: Total solar eclipse

April 4th: Total Lunar Eclipse

September 13th: Partial Solar Eclipse

September 28th: Total Lunar Eclipse

It’s the International Year of Light, highlighting the light sciences (e.g. optics)

It’s the International Year of Soils, to raise awareness of how necessary soil is for humans

Now, I’m not going to put up resolutions I know I won’t keep anyways, but I would like to ask if there is one thing you would want to see different in the world by the end of 2015?

For me, it’d be seeing that the inequality of girls vs boys being allowed to go to school.

Have a great year everyone, make something of it.

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