Bah Humbug: Part II

 Disclaimer: This post, along with several others soon to come, was mostly written around the holiday season and never got uploaded. What’s my excuse, you may be wondering? Mostly procrastination: a.k.a the bane of every student’s existence. But nearly five months later, I’m back from the dead and ready to make my last year blogging count for something…. I guess. I may be a chronic procrastinator, but I hate leaving things unfinished. So, prepare your notifications for these very relevant topics that will be discussed in the next few weeks.

 


 

Jerry,

Remember the post I made about Christmas music last year? Well, I’m here to report that Christmas 2k16 left my opinion quite unchanged.

No one is surprised by this.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I will not be rambling about my opinion on Christmas music that no one cares about. Instead this will be on the topic of every materialistic person’s favorite part about Christmas: presents.

All throughout the holiday season, the media continuously tries to convince us that there is no better feeling than receiving presents on Christmas Day. While finally getting a long-desired gift can be an exciting moment, the initial joy fades away rather quickly as our envious minds find other objects to desire. This holiday season was the year I finally came to understand that giving gifts to others elicits a far more meaningful impact on one’s soul than simply receiving them.

 

Christmas 2016 crept up on me unexpectedly fast. The realization of its existence didn’t really sink in until less than two weeks prior. Realizing the predicament I was in, I frantically searched various stores for things that could at least pass as gifts. But as many of us know too well, shopping for others can be surprisingly difficult. So, I did what all creatively-inclined cheapskates do and descended into the all-consuming void of Pinterest for inspiration.

After much digging, I finally decided on a few easy but practical projects to challenge myself with. And I’m proud to say that I did succeed in making most of my gifts this year, despite my chronic procrastination fighting me every step of the way. Among these creations include light-up constellation decor for college friends and a sketchbook I made entirely by hand.

Making one’s own gifts is incredibly satisfying. Readers, if you have a strong desire to find deeper meanings in over-commercialized holidays, I would highly suggest making gifts for the important people in your life. True, it can be fun shopping for presents. But in my experience, it is much more satisfying to create something unique with your own hands – even if it’s something as simple as a card. It’s a great way to expand your creativity and build confidence in your own abilities. Plus, the result is a one-of-a-kind gift that your friends are guaranteed to appreciate.

Until next time Jerry,

 

-Hannah: Procrastinator Supreme

NaNoWriMo Hell

Well Jerry, this is the post you have been waiting for since the end of November. For various reasons, it has been metaphorically gathering dust in my draft box for some time now. But no more. So grab yourself some popcorn, because my infamous blog about NaNoWriMo is finally here.

By now I’m sure, Jerry, that you’re very familiar with this bizarre trend, considering One Room has been participating in it for years now. For the readers who don’t yet know what those dreaded words entail, consider yourself lucky. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month – a sentence that instills dread into the hearts of many a student. NaNoWriMo is pretty self-explanatory. It’s essentially a challenge for people of all ages to write an entire novel in 30 days. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. It’s actually the hardest school assignment for me to complete on time every year.

As you can tell by the title of this post, I’m not exactly a fan of National Novel Writing Month. At all. To the three people that actually read my posts, this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the general dislike I’ve expressed towards writing in the past. Creative writing is probably the most challenging for me. I’ve been imagining stories in my head daily since I was a kid. I have thousands of abstract concepts floating around in my head at any given moment – trying to form them into coherent thoughts is like pulling teeth. This coupled with the impossible time constraints and unattainable goals of this particular challenge absolutely ruin the NaNoWriMo experience for me. This is not to say I dislike novel-writing as a whole, however. In fact, I quite like the idea of using it as an outlet for unique and individual creativity. After all, the world was built upon stories and it would be a terrible place without them. So if you’re someone who enjoys the stress of National Novel Writing Month, that’s great! I’d even say I envy you. This is just my personal opinion on the NaNoWriMo challenge and I understand that not everyone can relate.

 

Now with all that being said, it should be noted that this post actually isn’t supposed to be my opinion on NaNoWriMo. The real assignment is to publish a segment of my chaotic mess of a novel that I will inevitably regret for the rest of my teenage years. Cool.

Welp. Before I plunge into the sea of regret, here’s a little backstory. Because of my crippling perfectionism, the plot is nowhere near concrete. My imagination can be pretty turbulent which causes me to change stories often. So instead of trying to repress my crazy mental storm like I’ve done every year, I decided to embrace it by writing whatever nonsense pops into my head. Initially I wanted the story to be just science fiction for the sake of time, but of course that wasn’t good enough for my brain’s impossible standards. It ended up being a bizarre combination of paranormal, thriller, and science fiction with a horror vibe. It’s ridiculous, but it will all come together soon enough. There’s a method to the madness…. somewhere.

Soooo without further ado, my novel…

 


I open my eyes and suddenly I’m met with a wall of scorching heat less than a foot away from my face. My body instinctively flinches backwards away from the fire and I desperately try to assess my situation. The ship is in flames and only a sheet of glass separates me from the growing fire. I have only a few precious seconds to escape before the flames reach the fuel tank. The ship’s power is completely down, so I muster all my strength to pry the hatch open. When the latches finally give way, I grab my com device and leap from the cockpit of my beloved starfighter. My body tumbles to the ground and I waste no time seeking cover from the impending explosion. The ship violently explodes within seconds. I quickly hide behind a large, crystal-like bolder not far from the wreckage, hoping it will shield me from the falling debris. My heart thunders against my ribs as I lean back against my temporary refuge, taking in my surroundings. The ground beneath me is like rocky sand. The color is an unsettling jet black, like a black hole waiting to consume me at any moment. My eyes look to the mountainous horizon, the ominously dark sky above it sends a chill down my spine.

As the adrenaline from my near-death experience begins to wear off, I become aware of a stinging pain from the upper left portion of my face. Small rivers of blood trickle down my cheek, so I press my sleeve to the wound in an effort to stop the bleeding. I search my body for additional wounds, finding a large gash on my left shin that will inevitably need stitching. I reach for my earpiece and call to my ship’s AI for help, “Kali. Kali, status report. Come in, Kali!” No answer. I curse inwardly as the gravity of my situation sinks in. I am stuck on some godforsaken planet in the middle of the Maelstrom Nebula, alone. No supplies. No ship. Great.

Fortunately for me, you’ll just have to use your imagination to figure out the rest, Jerry. I can assure you that my novel will never see the light of day. This post is long overdue, but hopefully this piece of my skeleton of a novel was interesting enough.

 

-Hannah M.

 

Nobody for President 2016

Jerry,

With Election Day being practically around the corner, the blog assignment for the week is, unsurprisingly, voting. I am supposed to write about my thoughts on our country’s presidential election this year and the candidate I “support”. While I don’t really have a problem stating my thoughts on this election (spoiler: it sucks), I have some issues with being required to publicly side with a candidate.

First and foremost, I am not yet eligible to vote. Therefore, I have no say in this election whatsoever. That in itself is a strong enough reason for me not to write this blog, but I digress. Secondly, I strongly dislike and disagree with both candidates. They are both the worst of the worst in their own ways. Even the third-party candidates are, though preferable to some, difficult to fully side with.

Finally, because of the controversy surrounding this election, I feel like posting a political opinion of this nature on a public blog would be unwise – especially for someone my age. Once something is uploaded to the internet, it’s there forever. Who knows what kind of consequences that could have in my future? Besides, I’m somewhat of a private person. So I’m not exactly thrilled that I’ve had to put some of my opinions and aspects of my life on this blog already. Perhaps this isn’t as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be. But with this election being as controversial as it is, I’d rather be cautious.

As for my thoughts on this whole ordeal, I think it’s an absolute mess. Two of the most disliked presidential candidates in history are running against each other and it’s up to the American people to pick one of them to mess up our country. At this point, I am 100% done with all of it. All traces of amusement I originally had are long gone and I’m ready for this election to be over.

This post was probably really boring for you Jerry, since you’re only a lizard. Sorry. I’ll try to be more witty in my next post.

 

-Hannah M.

 

Dad

Hey Jerry.

So, this week’s assignment is to interview an influential person in my life. To be honest, I rolled my eyes when I saw this topic on my schedule. I was at a loss in the beginning. Then I figured I could quickly go to my dad for a few jokes and be done with it. But I ended up getting more than I expected.

My dad has had his fair share of experiences in this world, probably more than most. As we were talking, he began to tell me about some of the highlights of his early days. This old Wisconsin native started his own California beer company in 1988 that was published in Surfing Magazine. He’s had a poem that he wrote on the Berlin Wall published back in the day. Then he went to law school and was a prosecutor. Then eventually he started his own granite business that he sold in 2005. He’s done a lot in his 50+ years of life – a lot more than I can list here. Ever since I could remember, my dad has always been full of advice. With that in mind, I asked him if he had any advice to give regarding success in life and business.

What’s some advice you could give to a young person looking to be successful?

“I would say, position yourself to be ready to take advantage of opportunity. For some people that’s just working and saving money, and for others it’s going to school and learning something. But opportunities present themselves all the time. If you haven’t saved your money or taken the time to get experience, you won’t be able to take advantage of opportunities.”

Is there anything you think someone could do to be a successful entrepreneur?

“Yes, I would say to always be a ‘learner’. [That is to say,] learn from your mistakes and learn about opportunity. If you’re a learner, you’ll generally be open to new things.”

As he continued to tell me some more stories, he mentioned his regret for carelessly passing up opportunities when he was young. He said, “There are opportunities everywhere. When I was young, I wish I would have taken advantage of them.” He emphasized how he wouldn’t want anyone to make that same mistake. “You gotta be a learner. That is what characterizes someone as being successful.”
This was basically our stopping point, because he was on the verge of falling asleep. So yeah. Underneath all of the lame jokes and movie quotes, he’s pretty smart. I guess. :b Hope some of our readers found his advice helpful.

Talk to you soon, probably.

-Hannah M.

what is my life even

Hey, Jerry.

I apologize in advance for the quality of my writing this time around. I typed this during the late hours of the night. You may be wondering why I wrote this at such a ridiculous time. Well, I kinda sorta forgot that I was assigned this until the very last minute. Oops. I don’t really feel like getting a lower grade by not posting anything, so here it is. [#RIPHannahsSleepCycle2016] Side note: Yes, I am aware that the title is lame. Deal with it.

Anyway. The topic for this week is explaining what I do in my spare time. Apparently we are supposed to have a life outside of school. Weird, right? As I’ve said before, my life isn’t the most exciting, especially at this point in time. Most of the few friends that I still have [somehow] are currently gone, so I don’t have much in terms of a social life. At all. Plus, as cliche as this excuse is, school and work have really been eating away at my time. I guess that means having a nonexistent social life is a good thing right now? I have no idea. All I know is, whining about life does not count as a blog post. So. What do I regularly do to waste my free time? The short answer is, not too much. But I will explain.

When I’m not tolerating impatient customers at work or trying not to drown in schoolwork, I can be found in my lair plotting world domination. Then when I get bored of that, I usually go browse YouTube and Netflix. But I won’t recommend any of my shows to you, since this is a school blog. :b I find great amusement in watching cringe-worthy movies and engaging in heated discussions about tv shows with my friends. Except they’re gone, so yeah. Debating the future of the Marvel MCU is another amusement of mine lately. I also dabble in the realm of cosplay and crafting, although I’ve lost some motivation because of (you guessed it) school. But my creativity isn’t dead yet, I know it will soon return with a passion.

That’s pretty much all I have going for me as of this moment. I may not be accomplishing much with my life compared to my friends, who are doing everything from finishing USMC boot camp, to winning mock trial tournaments, to exploring the field of medicine. But I know my time will come soon. I have plenty of exciting plans for my future and I can’t wait until the day I can finally reach my full potential.

Talk to you soon, probably.

 

-Hannah M.

um what

Hey Jerry,

Well, here we are again. Another year of school. Wow. I am so enthused. lol sike. No, but for real though, I’m very glad this is my last year of high school. So, as my first blog assignment of the year, I’ve been told to reintroduce myself to our new readers.

Hi, I’m that other Hannah. I am a senior this year. I’ve been causing prob- I mean, attending One Room for three years now. I grew up in the forests of Mirkwood- wait no, the swampland of Florida but I’ve been living in Northern Virginia for almost 6 years. I am an INTJ and lover of science. I’m also a full-time geek and very amateur cosplayer. Watching Netflix is my favorite pastime. I also enjoy gaming, crafting, reading, listening to metal (so #edgy, I know), and hunting Pokemon. So yeah. I may not seem like the most interesting human being in the world, but let’s just say that’s my strategy so people don’t discover my secret identity. (heh heh) If for some weird reason you want to know a little more about me, feel free to read my other posts. Although I must warn you, some of my older ones are a bit, uh, cringe-worthy and ill-informed. Reader discretion is advised.

And with that, I should probably end this post here before I sound like a narcissist. :b I look forward to writing you again in a few weeks, Jerry.

 

-Hannah M.

Wildfire in Canada

Hey Jerry,

Today I want to shed some light on a not-so-great problem Canada has been dealing with for the past week: Wildfires. More specifically, a massive wildfire that’s currently blazing through Alberta. The fire started near the town Fort McMurray last week and the lack of rain, and strong winds have caused it to spread out of control. Some 90,000 people were forced to evacuate the area as the fire quickly reached the town and destroyed their homes. The monster of a fire continues to consume the area and there’s no telling exactly how long it will take to be contained. Needless to say, it’s a bad situation. The good news is, there have been no reported deaths from the fire directly as of yet and reports have said that they are beginning to approach turning point. The town has had some rain which has slowed the fire a bit. However, it is likely to last for weeks to come. The fire is nowhere near contained as of yet.

I honestly can’t imagine being in a situation like this. Not many people know this, but fire was something that really scared me as a kid. There was a good few year period where I was constantly paranoid of being caught in a fire at school or my home. In my defense, being burned alive is probably one of the worst ways to die, so I’d say my paranoia was somewhat justified. Anyway. While I’m no longer worried all the time about my house spontaneously bursting into flames, this would still be a nightmare situation for me. So my heart goes out to the people affected. Also, my respects to the firefighters who are putting their lives on the line to fight this beast.

I don’t really have much else to say about this, Jerry. I will be following this story closely for the next few weeks. I sincerely hope everything will be resolved soon enough.

 

-Hannah M.