This week I have been thinking about the positives of living in America. Everyone says “let's live the American dream” and I always used to be like what American dream we have people living without much and we have suffering just like any other country. Recently in AP Gov we have been talking about other countries and how their government is run and it has really opened my eyes to the things we tend to take advantage of in America. One thing I'm really thankful for is the bill of rights. I think every part of the bill of right is important and a good thing. For example we are very blessed to have amendment one because amendment one allows us the freedom of speech, petition, religion and freedom to peacefully assemble. I’m very thankful we have the right to practice whatever religion we want because in China they aren't allowed to. In China whenever a group gets too big the Chinese communist party shuts them down. I would hate not being allowed to worship because I’m seen as a threat to the communist party because most religions don't plan on taking over countries they just want to practice their religion. AP gov has also opened my eyes on how lucky I am to have the right to petition because in Ukraine a bunch of students protested and the government sent in their armed forces to violently stop the protest. In China they also can’t protest for example in 1989 students gathered in Tienanmen to peacefully protest for more democracy and the Chinese government sent in Chinese troops and they began killing innocent people. I’m also grateful for the right to jury and trial which is mentioned in amendment six and seven. I noticed how lucky I am to have this right when I learned about China because in China they’re jury is full of all communist who are all on one side of an argument therefore the person arrested stands no chance in not being guilty.
Another thing I'm glad we have in America is public school because it gives everyone a chance at an education. Although sometimes I really hate going to school I think students in America should be happy they can get an education because in other places kids would love the opportunity to learn. For example in Taliban they banned girls from going to school but Malala Yousafzai started a blog and that posted that she was still studying for her exams and then when she was on the bus she was shot three times for going to school. This really opened my eyes because in America I go to school everyday and have the opportunity to learn on a daily basis without facing violence or being shot. I’m also glad we have schools because in Africa there are a lot of kids who want to go to school but either can’t afford it or they don’t have a school near them. Although America has it's issue just like any other country sometimes we have to step back and realize how blessed we are to have what we have in America.
This week I have been thinking about what people think about when they think of girls and things people say to girls that can sometimes be offensive. We live in a society where the media controls everything including body image and the way women are viewed.
I think society has taken beauty and shaped it into something it's not when it comes to their opinion on women. I think beauty in today's society is used as a word to define someone instead of a describing word. For example in an interview with Ellen Degeneres Selena Gomez was showed a picture of herself in an interview and talked about people criticizing her body however what she said was very interesting. “But it was weird because it’s not just, ‘Oh, she’s fat’,” Gomez said. “It’s like, ‘She’s a mess. She’s gone off the deep end.’ I’m like because I’m on a vacation wearing a bathing suit?” I think Selena saying this clearly shows that beauty is how society defines and judges people.I think it's terrible that they say she's a mess or has gone crazy because of the way she looks. Naturally a woman's body has curves however I don’t think that's something we need to hide or be ashamed of. I dont think its ok to show in appropriate parts of our body however if a girl chooses to wear a bikini swimsuit I think she should be respected not shamed upon. Beauty also shouldn't define people because a girl can be extremely gorgeous in society’s opinion but she could be a terrible person or a person may not have perfect teeth or skin but might be a really good caring, respectful person.
I also think the way women are treated should be changed. I think society views girls as a toy or an item. In tv shows the guy is often seen as the dominant figure who makes all the relational decisions. I think these shows have an impact on people watching tv. For example recently in Lexington Kentucky a guy offered to help a girl get her gas but he had a poison on his hands that transfers onto things or onto other hands. As the girl was driving she began to feel dizzy because the poison is supposed to make her pass out. Since the guy knew he poisoned her he followed her car because he planned on abducting her and doing dirty things to her. Luckily the girl was very diligent and noticed the guy following her so she pulled into a driveway and honked furiously so someone came and saved her. This example clearly shows that the men abducting her were gonna use her. I find is terrible how society is taking advantage of women and using them like a toy. You barely ever hear situations where a boy is using a guy. Its normally the guy abducts a girl.
One other thing I think is offensive to the female population is the saying “like a girl.” I know sometimes people say it as a joke because it is commonly known to be in that context but then I watched a youtube video called Like A Girl and it completely changed my opinion on the statement. They interview a bunch of people and when they ask younger girls to run like a girl or throw like a girl the younger kids runs or throw as hard as they can. When one girl was asked what does it mean when someone says run like a girl the ten year old answered “ it means run as fast as I can.” I think people should stop saying you run like a girl or whatever else they're doing like a girl because it's used as an insult or way of humiliating someone. However to younger kids when they are humiliated with the “run like a girl” statement it insults the way they do something. I don't think people should say it because if you tell a girl they do something like a girl it lowers their self confidence. They should be proud to be a girl but being a girl when doing things is looked down upon. The statement that stuck out to me the most is “why cant run like a girl also mean win the race” because it brings a positive light to the run like a girl term. I hope to see in the future a generation who sees women for what they truly are.
This week I have been thinking about how happy I have been this past week. Before winter break I found myself very stressed all the time. I think part of my problem was that I was too concerned about my homework so I didn't have any fun and all I did was homework all the time. Although I still made sure all my homework was done this week I worked hard on time management and tried to stay ahead in most of my classes work wise so that I could enjoy my time at home. I didn't really notice how much happier I was taking less time on my homework and more time for myself till Wednesday. Wednesday my youth minister's wife: Shawn invited me to hang out with her at the church for the kids activity night because due to winter break it had been awhile since we had seen each other. At first I was a little hesitant to go because my homework wasn't done so I decided I would work extremely hard until it was time to drive and just finish it when I got home. Normally I don't do anything until my homework is finished but this week I decided that I don't want to look back on highschool and realize I never did anything fun because I was always doing homework. When I came home Wednesday night on the drive home I realized how glad I was that I went. It was fun catching up with Shawn and Matt and Jessica; the other high school student and I played takes with the little kids which was a lot of fun. This week since I cut down the amount of time I spent on my homework, I also had time to work on a music video I have been making to the song sorry but Justin Bieber. I was happy to work on it because I really like making videos using the app video star because it's a way to express your personality and creativity. Since I knew a lot of nights I would have at least twenty minutes to work on it I was able to take it slow and come up with good ideas. I was able to spend time on the effects and the choreography to make a pretty neat video. I think another reason I was happier was because I was feeling more confident. This year my New Years resolution was to put my effort in to myself and take care of myself. I'm not doing it to impress anyone I'm simply doing it because when I take better care of my self I feel more confident which overall makes me feel more confident. For example this week I made sure to create a solid skin care routine . Another part of taking care of myself includes taking care of my room and bathroom because when everything's organized it tends to distress me. I hope throughout this year I continue to leave time for myself each and everyday because it has made a tremendous effect on my attitude and stress level.
What does your Christmas consist of? Are you the kid sneaking downstairs to see all the presents from Santa? Are you the kid hoping to get everything you asked for? To me Christmas revolves around family. This week I have been thinking about what family means on Christmas. This year I was looking forward to Christmas break because sleeping in sounds amazing but I wasn't really excited for Christmas because it wasn't gonna be the same. My brother just left for New Jersey so he wasn't planning on coming home for Christmas which made me sad because we have always had everyone home for Christmas and the thought of him spending Christmas alone made me sad. However this week we found out he has a longer break then he did last year so he's coming home for Christmas.
This really made me value the family part of Christmas because if he wasn't there the room would feel empty. There would be no one to make childish jokes with and no one to understand my youngness. I'm sure he's also glad he's coming home because who wants to spend Christmas alone?.Making sure no one is alone on Christmas is a value my family cherishes. We make sure everyone has a family whether blood related or not to spend Christmas with. Throughout the years our Christmases have started getting bigger. A few years ago my great aunt Jean didn't have anyone to spend her Christmas with so my grandma invited her to spend christmas with us. The first year aunt Jean came we although we didn't buy her presents or anything cause we didn’t know she was coming she still looked very happy. My aunt Jean isn't around kids very much anymore so she really seemed to enjoy being around me and my cousin. Seeing my aunt so happy even though she didn't have presents to open really opened my eyes to how messed up of a society we live in. I think a lot of the younger generation is really caught up in the receiving part of christmas. When christmas is actually about giving whether it's giving gifts or giving company and happiness. For example my we didnt give my sunt presents but we still gave her something. We gave her a day with family and included her in our craziness that we call Christmas.
Our extended family Christmas doesn't stop there because my grandma makes sure absolutely no one is alone on Christmas. My cousins grandma on the other side of my cousins family also spends christmas with us. My cousins call her mima. So everyday Christmas we have my family, my mom's brothers family, Aunt Jean, Mima, and my grandma. Mima spending christmas with us has really opened my eyes on marriage. When you get married they say its two families becoming one but usually the two families don't actually become one and normally have separate holidays for each side of the family. Having Mima celebrate holidays with us has made me feel like she is also my grandma even though I’m not technically related to her. I think us having her over on christmas has also helped her feel more apart of our family. Im very glad our family includes other people in christmas because it has really helped me value what a family is. Family isn’t about relation it's about love. Christmas is a time to come together and spread love.
This week in English we read part of Walden to learn about transcendental ideas. The quote I found interesting is “What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows and makes him solitary? I have found no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another”. I think the main idea of this quote is the loneliness of mankind. It is asking why in a world full of so many people why do we still feel lonely. I think part of this is because we have a fake truth of reality. When we were little in every movie we watched no one ever ended up alone even the less fortunate had a happy ending. For example in Cinderella Cinderella is a maid and although her life isn't perfect she gets the prince in the end. I think this makes everyone think they need a significant other to not feel alone. Especially in high school you notice that some people date any person they possible can. Eventually you notice that there's probably no way he or she had a crush on that many people they just didn't like the thought of being alone . When in fact they may not have been alone all the time because maybe they were surrounded by great people but were too caught up in the thought of love to realize.Another way to go about this is realizing how be mentally lonely is different then physically lonely. For example if someone is the only person sitting at a lunch table they are alone at that table. They are physically alone. An example of being mentally alone is when you feel like no one understand you or you have no one that will always be there for you. This is very relevant to my life because last year that was a lot of illness in my family last year and I felt as though no one really understood what I was going through. I would be in a room full of people and would feel like I was the only person there. However looking back I have noticed that I chose to be alone. I think that many of us feel alone because we choose to we may not realize it but if you're not trying engage with others you're gonna feel lonely either physically, mentally or both. I realized it this weekend when I was at a youth convention with my youth group because I recently switched youth groups and my new group is very good at being a community so most of my loneliness has gone away. When the speaker was talking he said “ you need to seek community” this stood out to me because it made me realize you have to put effort into not being lonely. For example I chose to seek a new youth group and engage myself with them and my loneliness has decreases immensely. Digging into this quote I have realized most of the time were lonely because we choose to be.
This week I have been thinking about how most people try to do things by themselves. I feel like the whole world is too consumed on trying to look strong and trying to be independent that no one realizes the power of letting other people help them. I think it’s unhealthy to try and do everything on own.
One thing I think people need to realize is when you're struggling with something mentally it's ok to talk to people or ask for help. For example last year three people in my family had cancer and it was really hard. For awhile I held all my fear and hurt in and tried to present myself as strong to society however inside I was scared for my family. I never really knew the power of letting people help me mentally I usually would just put on a smile and would focus on other people. during the summer of 2014 while I was at camp one of the letters I received from my grandma had a message in it about my grandpa not feeling well. I mentioned it to one of my counselors figuring it was just his normal heart stuff so I wasn't too concerned because his heart is always a problem. The day I came home from camp we had to rush to the hospital to see him so then I was very concerned. My grandpa was very sick for most of the summer so l would text my family group leader from camp Matt every once in awhile and update him. The night we found out my grandpa had cancer and that it was spreading very quickly I texted Matt and told him and his response was how far away do you live gabby; my other counselor, Shawn; his wife and I want to come see you and talk to you is it ok if we come tonight? It was very late and things were chaotic and at my grandmas so we decided to plan to meet up on the following Tuesday. That Monday my grandpa passed away even though my grandpa wasn’t here anymore Matt, Shawn and Gabby still came tuesday and we talked and hung out outside for two to three hours. After they left I realized the power of letting people help you because if i wouldn't have told them what was going on they wouldn't have known I needed help. I always realized how amazing some people are at helping people, I didn't expect them to come out and see me and they did .Although the day was dreary with the whole family mourning those twos hours were very joyous and happy. Just being able to talk through things and laugh about things that happened at camp meant a lot because it was a chance for me to clear my mind. Sometimes admitting you're struggling and and asking for help can change your life like it did mine.
This week I have been thinking about music. Every night while I do my homework or clean my room I listen to music and I have been realizing that my song choice depends on my mood. I also have noticed that I choose the song based off the lyrics.
If I’m feeling really motivated I tend to listen to music that talks about fighting something in your life or about battling to be the best you can be. For example when I’m motivated to do my best in something I find myself listening to Hall of Fame by Script. The lyrics to hall of fame talk about how someday you could be in the hall of fame and burn bright in the world. My favorite part of the lyrics are “You can be a master , don't wait for luck, dedicate yourself and you can find yourself". These are my favorite lyrics because they state that if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything and will learn things about yourself through your journey. When I listen to this song it motivates me to get my work done. When I’m in a happy mood I tend to listen to more upbeat songs and songs that don’t have a very deep meaning. For example when I’m in a good mood I normally just listen to radio stations like cfx because they tend to play very hype songs with a very strong beat. These tend to be songs that are made to be radio hits. Normally when an artist releases the first single for their album they usually choose the catchiest one with the most upbeat vibe. They release that type of song because they want to release what the radio wants to hear. The more play a song has on the radio the more likely someone will buy the album because their first impression of the album was good . When I’m in a calm mood I tend to listen to slower songs where the voice is softer. For example one of my favourite songs to listen to when I’m in a calm relaxed mood is "Photograph" by Ed Sheeran. I think the reason I find myself listening to this song a lot is because it has a acoustic guitar sound which I find very relaxing. I also think I choose to listen to it because the lyrics are very soft and heartwarming. My favorite lyrics in photograph are “we keep this love in a photograph we made these memories for ourselves ,where our eyes are never closing” because it makes me think about all the good memories we have of our childhoods and all the fun things we experienced in life.
Some days i’m in a mood where I’m gloomy and miss people who used to be a part of my life. One of the songs I listen to alot when I miss people is When I See You Again by Wiz Khalifa. My favorite lyrics in "When I See you again " are" it's been a long day without you, my friend
And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again “ because my grandpa passed away the beginning of freshman year so it gives me hope that I will see him again someday and be able to share my high school experiences with him. Overall the music I listen to is a reflection of how I feel .
Every wednesday I help with a tap class level 2 which averages from six to nine year olds. Helping with the class really makes you realize how much of a role model you are to the younger dancers. Yesterday we were working on a step and Kaitlyn said “I just realized I used to watch the olders girls do tap and now I’m one of them”. This statement really got me thinking because although she is only in the second level of tap the level under her still watches and looks up to them even though there still technically on the younger spectrum of the dance community in the studio. ]
Kaitlyn saying that really got me thinking about my evolution as a dancer and how i stared from the bottom and worked my way up. .I was the ”baby” of the group for very long time and now I’m one of the oldest. When I was eight I was asked to be in the dance company at Visions Performing Arts Studio. I was put the younger company. Since I was at the youngest age you can join company I had to wait eight years before I could move up. I was in the younger company at Visions until 2010. In 2010 I was asked to join the jr stars at Off broadway performing arts studio. There was quite a few people in the company however there was only two people in jr stars.I was 11 when I switched studios and was still the baby in the company and many of my classes. For the most part the same group of people who danced at Visions was in the company at off broadway so many of the older girls became my role models. When eight of the older girls graduated that's when I realized I was now the role model that the younger kids look up to
My dance journey started when I was five. The first dance class I ever took was jazznastics but I didn't like it very much so after one semester I switched into tap. A few years later I started doing jazz and then eventually started ballet. I discovered I really had a thing for tap. I have been doing tap ever since I started and have experienced some cool opportunities. The first opportunity I was able to experience was a difficult tap piece called “breakout” which at age eight is a very difficult piece but I was able to dance with the older high school girls and even though I was about two feet shorter and not up to there level I kept up pretty well. This was a very big moment for me because it was the first piece I did with my role models. I thought about this when Kaitlyn said now I’m one of them because I was dancing with people who were way older then me and way more experienced. However the journey didn't stop there because last year I was asked to perform at the Wheatland Music Festival. This was a big deal because every year some of the best tap dancers of mid Michigan perform there. Being asked to be in it made me feel like I finally made it to the top even though I was the youngest one in it. Kaitlyn really opened my eyes to how far I have come and also made me realize you can be a role model at any age.
This week I have been thinking about how happy I am my brothers home . As were were driving to Illinois for my brothers graduation many things were going through my head. One thought was about how excited I was to see him however my other thought was the complete opposite. I was thinking about how I have to put up with him for three to five weeks before he moves to new Jersey. I used to be very close to my brother when we were younger and he lived across the hallway from me. Of course like any siblings we fought all the time but when we needed eachother the most we were there for eachother. When he moved to Illinois he tried to come back about every other month but eventually he was unable to come back as often because he had to work. over the course of this past year we had alot of family illness bringing him home quite often but whenever he came home I would be upset with him because he had left me here in Michigan with our emotionally drained family.
As much as we love having our family of four all back together we would somewhat dread him coming home because we felt like it was very chaotic. It was chaotic because our family had gotten used to it being two parents and one kid and had a routine set in place. When he came home he would live the old baldwin life which was hard for us because we were used to our way of living. All these thoughts were running through my mind as we were driving five hour to see him. Since I hadn't seen him since May when we met up him before the graduation all of the negative thoughts were gone and all I cared about was spending time with him.
His new girlfriend was coming back to michigan to stay with us for a week which concerned me a little because i was scared he would only spend time with her and forget about his little sister. Now that he’s home I’m realizing how much he actually cares for me and wants to spend time with me. For example on Sunday him and his girlfriend were going shopping so he invited me to come along but I told him I couldn't go because of my homework, so he helped me with my math so that I could spend time with him. I was glad he was willing to help me with it because it showed me how much he wanted to spend time with me Another fun way we have been able to spend time together is by playing board games. Monday night my mom and I and my brother and his girlfriend all played pass the pigs and then played clue with my dad. Last night they were playing monopoly and I really wanted to play but had vocabulary homework for ap government so he wrote down the page numbers for each word.
I'm very happy to have my brother back at home with us. No matter what he will always be my other half.
This week I have been thinking about the effect the internet society has on celebrities especially recording artists . The internet society affects the ways celebrities interact with fans, the way their albums are sold and the way records are broke.
In the past ten years technology and internet has been developing very quickly causing many changes in the music industry. One thing that has changed for celebrities is the way there music is released and played. Before everyone had iphones and ipods and other music devices the only way to play the new music being released was to go to the store and buy the hard copy of it. The only way you could hear the new music was hearing it on the radio, or listening to it at a friends house. However today when we want to share new music with our friends we go on youtube, find the song and then text them the link. The days of going to the store to buy music is over because now we just download music to our phones. However you don't necessarily have to buy music in order to listen to it on your phone because now we have many apps for music playing. Some examples of music apps include spotify, pandora, sound cloud, Iheart radio, Shazam, beats music and Tune in radio. Many of these apps allow you to create personal radio station based off the music you enjoy.
The internet also changes the awards recording artists win and the records they break. For example right now Taylor Swift's the record holder for the most view on a video in twenty four hours for her video bad blood. Another example is Justin Bieber is the youngest artist to have a billion views on his video. Records for youtube viewing didn’t even exist five years ago ,youtube was only invented about ten years ago. Awards at tv award shows have also changed for example last year Meghan Trainor won the award for top digital song at billboards music awards. Digitally downloading a song wasn't even possible a few years ago. Another award that exist is top social artist which was given to Justin Bieber in 2015. This award is given out to the music artist that connect with their fans the most through social media.
The interaction between fans and celebrities has changed immensely by the internet society. Fans pretty much have a microscope into their favorite celebrities life. Through the power of facebook, twitter instagram and snapchat fans are very up to date with what the celebrity is doing at most times. The Internet society also gives celebrities a way to talk directly to their fans. For example many celebrities respond to fans through Twitter. Sometimes celebrities follow their fans which makes the fans day and it's only a simple click for the celebrity. Celebrity's can also see pictures from there concert just by searching the hashtag on Instagram. I think this is a very cool aspect of the Internet society because it's help the fans feel closer to their favorite artists. Overall the internet society influences recording artists in many ways.