# Trigonometry

What the heck is this crap and why do I have to learn it!?

Trigonometry has absolutely nothing to do with what I want to be… “I’m sorry, I can’t seem to direct you to the bathroom because I can’t figure out how long this wall is and I seem to have forgotten my calculator”, or “I’m sorry, I can’t give you any medication today because I can’t seem to find the hypotenuse of this non-triangular device. What is this anyway? Is this a rectangle!?”

What the heck school?

Why doesn’t school work where you learn what you need, and if you decide you want to do something with math, you get to learn this crap? I don’t want to be a rocket scientist, and here’s a big surprise… scientists use calculators, so why am I having to show all this crazy work!?

a² = b² + c² – 2bccosA.

Okay, okay, no, I can understand that well enough, but c’mon now. This is hurting my face. I’m actually feeling quite nauseated just looking at these… things…

# Conference

I said that I’d write a post tomorrow… well, I got kidnapped, so I couldn’t, and I’m supposed to be writing an essay but I can’t focus, so I figured writing about something enjoyable may help me get inspired.

On Friday, I attended an anti-bullying conference – “Build and Empower”.

I was a student mentor.

We had middle school kids come from the surrounding towns to listen to us educate and, well, empower. As mentors, we were encouraged to be overly friendly. We also had to find ways to get our kids talking or sharing experiences. I connected with two girls in grade 6 or 7 – Morgan and Carly. Morgan had two moms! That was cool! We got to talking after sharing photos of our pets. Also, we only had one boy in our group, so getting him to come out of his shell was difficult at times, but once we started doing group work, it went well.

(I’m allowed to share these, they’re already on the internet!)

This was Cliff. He was a speaker at the “presentation” part of the conference. You can kinda see me, I’m behind the tech stuff. I got to be the mic and sound/video person. Cliff was really funny and I enjoyed talking to him about random things. His dancing and singing was definitely fun and got everyone involved. I never even knew this auditorioum place existed…

Next came a woman named Theresa. She is an elder and she came up to me and introduced herself and asked if I’d tie her apron. Of course, I gladly did, and she thanked me. I don’t really remember exactly what they were called, but they were all handmade and they came from her area on the island.

Theresa sang a song about the wolf. A lot of people will cringe at that, but in her area, wolves are good, not mischievous and bad, but instead, they are messengers. I really enjoy Native culture and I enjoyed having her there. We have a big Native influence because the land we’re currently on is all Sto:lo, so the earth is very important.

Next came a woman named River (I immediately thought River Song because a kid had a Doctor Who shirt!). I don’t entirely know what to call what she did… it was theatre, but explaining feelings. I really liked how they incorporated the kids into it. They had to tell 3 stories, choose the one they could most relate to, then break down the emotions and act it out.

For example, there are feelings of anger. So anger becomes a real person and starts chasing you around agging you on to do something based on an emotion. It was truly incredible to watch.

Oh, hey, look. I’m unfortunately in the background.

Afterwards, we made a break. We got pizza and drinks! I drank water and had probably 5 bites of pizza before I had to say enough. It really wasn’t great at all. For some reason, all the pizza here really sucks. But they did what they could, so who can be mad or upset? It was wonderful that we got lunch at all!

I had a girl and her mom come up to me. Her name was Parys. She helped start K.A.R.E. I got pamphlets and such.  She, herself, was bullied, but so was her brother. Her brother was beaten and the doctors said he’d never walk or talk again (sounds familiar), but he played in the summer games. Go figure.

Eventually, we split into our mentor group (GO PURPLE!) and we did some activities like “Connect” which is a string game to show that everyone is connected in some way or another. We also brainstormed ideas on chart paper.

This was our group, mentors and all!

Looks like I’m wearing a purple tie.

Eventually, we drew and coloured on these boxes… some of us wrote poems, like I did. Afterwards (there were 2 groups in each room), we combined the boxes from each group to create something cool.

We created the infinity sign. It represents the infinity of love.

We shortly thereafter ended our day.

I’m really not sure how these kids will take what they learned on Friday. All we can do is guide and teach, we can’t force anyone to do anything. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that people in my group hadn’t experienced or witnessed much bullying, but it’s still out there, even after you get out of school. I just hope they take what we talked about and use it for good. Maybe they’ll make a difference in somebody’s life.

Never underestimate the power of a hello, or even a smile.

# Conference

Today, it was official. It was the day of our anti-bullying conference.

I showed up just after 8. Not many people were there yet. Jenia was there and Derek. I really like Jenia, she’s super nice. Not to mention… well, she’s Russian, and it kinda bugged me that everyone was pronouncing her name wrong. I have a friend named Zhenya (Ukrainian) and it’s the same name just different spelling. I was talking to Jenia about it, lol.

Anyway… I got to be the tech person. I got to test mic volumes, run music, and videos. The one I liked the best was the “Pork Chop” video. I had seen it prior, but it still upsets me. If you’re unfamiliar with it:

It’s intense.

I don’t really feel like writing anything right now, but I’ll be sure to make a post tomorrow.

# 03-21-2013

Today was an interesting day. I woke up early (as I seem to do every morning since starting medication), let the dogs out to go pee, then fed them. W came home a little bit later, I guess Leah pooped on the floor. I didn’t realize that she usually goes twice or more in the morning. What a weird dog. She is though, she’s like a little human. I’ve found that the pets I’ve had have all been little humans – which is absolutely fantastic.

After eating breakfast (which consisted of a juicy red watermelon), my Dad and I went on a bit of an adventure. We had to drive to the vet’s office.

It has come to our attention that the dogs have fleas. They’re always scratching, so at first, we thought it was just dry skin; that is, until we started getting bitten ourselves. I find fleas all the time, even when the dogs aren’t infested, and believe me, I kill those suckers! It’s so hard to kill them too, you have to dig your nail into them and wiggle, I really dislike doing it. Anyway, the dogs are infested so we had to get pills. We don’t use Advantage or whatever it’s called, we use something called Comfortis. Within 4 hours, all of the fleas that are on the dog just die and fall off. Then, for a month, the dogs are protected and whenever a flea jumps on them, if they bite, they immediately die and fall off. It’s an incredibly product. Our vet is pretty nifty too, he works with all the zoo animals. I’ll never forget bringing Thumper in to get neutered though… nor will I forget my little cone-head Leah.

After we had gotten home, I went over my essay one more time. We had to write an essay on a poem, again, and there was a few to choose from. I don’t remember all of them but the 2/4 I remember are “We Real Cool” and “the mother.”

I like reading for pleasure, so sometimes reading other things bothers me. The road to a good essay is writing on something that stands out to you and makes you feel. I chose “the mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks:

Abortions will not let you forget.

You remember the children you got that you did not get,

The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,

The singers and workers that never handled the air.

You will never neglect or beat

Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.

You will never wind up the sucking-thumb

Or scuttle off ghosts that come.

You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,

Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed children.

I have contracted. I have eased

My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.

I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized

If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,

Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.

Though why should I whine,

Whine that the crime was other than mine?—

But that too, I am afraid,

Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?

You were born, you had body, you died.

It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.

Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

All.

Obviously, it’s a poem about abortion and the pain that a woman feels after going through with it. I’m iffy with abortion. Personally, I’d never get one if I were ever pregnant (the thought of pregnancy is terrifying, but abortion… even worse). I’m a pro-choicer though. I believe women should be given the choice to do as they please, though I believe in it more for rape and incest, or there being an extreme risk for the woman or baby. I have a lot of opinions on abortion though. I think the man should have a say too, but not to the point where he can force the woman to have one…

Confused yet?

Anyway, we had to write about theme, I said it was “pain doesn’t lessen with time.” And then there was also the tone, which is definitely remorseful. The woman is talking to her dead children and almost warning other mothers that if they do it, they’ll never forget and the pain will always be there!

Hopefully I get a good mark on my essay. It’s very difficult for me; I used to be a straight A student, now I struggle like no tomorrow. I’m so anxious about my midterm grade, I had to guess on so many of the questions… And I guess I can’t beat myself up too badly, after all, my memory is just coming back to me, though it’s not the same, but it still hurts. And you know, it’s funny, I’m doing so well in Math… I’m holding a B average in Math. That is the best I’ve ever gotten, it’s pretty unbelievable. I just wish I could pull at least a B in all of my other classes too. I MISS being a straight A student! It made me feel so good! And ah, to not study and still get 100%! Those were the days!

* * *

My first class of the day started a little bit later – 2:30. My teacher had a funeral to attend. Most of us showed up though, which was nice. I have a bit of a wait for my next class (3:50-5:30) so I studied for my math test. It isn’t a structured course, you do everything at your own pace, but I studied. I did pretty well. I would have gotten 100% except… A) I used a calculator instead of my brain because I second guessed myself, and B) I accidentally multiplied something instead of added… oops. I still got 78% – that’s a B! I’m really proud of myself in Math, I really, really am.

After class, I took the bus home. Today, I got a friendly man. He wasn’t a great driver, but compared to the grumpy man from last time, this was a nice change. I know how to take the bus home now, so I figure it can’t hurt… as long as I’m wearing my braces anyway. I’ve been trying to conserve gas for my parents. I can’t take the bus there because the stop on the other side of the road is a bit of a walk, but coming home is easy.

Now, all I have to do is finish reading “Secret Daughter” and write a journal response on it.

I can see it now… “This book was so emotional to me, I wanted to throw it at a wall!” … yeah… we have to do an oral presentation on it. I don’t mind, I get anxious over it, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

We’ll see how everything goes… I’ve made this blog far too long anyway!

# Psych 101

If you’re taking a Psychology 101 course (or it might be called something else where you are), I suggest looking and trying to answer these questions, especially if you’re having a midterm/final soon like I am. I’m working with the textbook Frontiers and Applications 4th edition. I believe it’s Canadian too, lol.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to jot down definitions for things like the myelin sheath and so on.

* * *

Chapter 3

1. Name and describe the structural components of a neuron that allows communication between neurons, and describe the steps involved in chemical communication between neurons.
2. Identify the roles of neurotransmitters and disorders associated with their malfunctioning.
3. Describe the different divisions of the peripheral nervous system.
4. Describe the methods used by scientists to study the brain and brain-behaviour relations, and identify any strengths and limitations of each.
5. Name and describe the function of the major structures in the hindbrain, midbrain, and forebrain, including the major functions of the lobes of the cerebral cortex.
6. Describe the role of the corpus callosum and how split brain studies illustrate lateralization of function.
7. Describe neural plasticity in relation to brain development and recovery from brain damage.

Chapter 4

1. Describe how genes influence behaviour including dominant, recessive, or polygenetic effects.
2. Define heritability and explain the different procedures that are used to study heritable influences on behaviour. Describe any limitations of these approaches.
3. Describe the influence of genes on intelligence and personality, including how heredity and the environment interact.
4. Describe how evolutionary psychologists use both remote and proximate factors to explain behavioural phenomena.
5. Describe what is meant by parental investment, including how parental investment helps to explain differences in mating systems and differences in physical size between the sexes.
6. Describe how an evolutionary analysis explains differences and similarities between male and female mate preferences.
7. Explain prosocial behaviours (altruism, cooperation) and aggression from an evolutionary perspective.
8. Explain some of the common errors and misinterpretations that are made from an evolutionary perspective.

Chapter 5

1. Define the processes of sensation and perception, and discuss how these processes work together.
2. Define psychophysics and describe absolute threshold, difference threshold, sensory adaptation and signal detection methods of detecting stimuli.
3. Identify and describe the structures of the human sensory organs, as well as the functions of these structures in the processes of vision, hearing, taste, olfaction, tactile and body senses.
4. Contrast bottom-up and top-down processing in perception.
5. Define selective attention and explain why it is important in perception.
6. Describe and recognize examples of Gestalt principles of perceptual organization.
7. Describe the role of perceptual schemas, perceptual sets, and perceptual constancies in detecting stimuli.
8. Describe and recognize monocular and binocular depth cues and cues for movement, as well as how these are involved in creating visual illusions.

Chapter 6

1. Define the characteristics of consciousness and describe how it is measured.
2. Identify and describe the brain structures involved in maintaining circadian rhythms.
3. Describe conditions associated with disruptions of circadian rhythms and interventions used to treat them.
4. Differentiate the different stages of sleep based on patterns of brain waves and the types of mental events that occur during the different sleep stages.
5. Identify the symptoms and potential causes of insomnia, narcolepsy, REM-sleep behaviour disorder, sleepwalking, nightmares, night terrors, and sleep apnea.
6. Describe the different theories regarding the function(s) of sleep and the function(s) of dreaming.
7. Describe and give examples of the basic drug effects including agonist and antagonist effects, tolerance, withdrawal and dependence.
8. Recognize examples and describe the effect upon the nervous system and behaviour of the major classes of drugs: depressants, stimulants, opiates, hallucinogens, and marijuana.

# Anti-Bullying

I’m just an average university (sort of) student. I check my student email regularly, read about what’s going on in the school, help whenever I can…

Something caught my eye.

“Build and Empower!”

“We need 18 volunteers to talk to kids in middle school about bullying.”

Umm, isn’t this something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now? I’ve never volunteered before, no one has wanted me, but this is something that means a lot to me. I don’t know how to go about doing this, so I emailed the people setting it up on more information. I really hope the 18 places haven’t been scooped up yet, I’d love to talk to these kids…

I guess you get trained on how to do it properly, but how perfect would that be? And it’s on a day I don’t have class!

Jeez… so cool…

Also, I didn’t go, but Bif Naked was speaking at our school the other day about “Women’s Rights.” I guess the other day was women’s rights day or something? Bif is getting an honorary degree from the university, lol. I think that’s pretty cool. I like Bif. So does my Dad, but he has stories to tell about her…

Now to study for my damn midterm.

Scientific Method? Ugh. 4 Chapters and away… at least the sleep part will be easy…

# Sylvia Plath!

Oh, Sylvia Plath, how I love thee…

I remember being introduced to her by M years and years ago. We were talking about “The Bell Jar” and it sounded so interesting to me… I actually need to read it.

Eventually, I had read up on her, found her life to be intriguing, and started to read some of her poems.

Wow!

Now, I have to say, Edgar Allan Poe’s poems are my favourite of all time, so… you can kind of see what I like. Though, I like lighter stuff too.

In English, I asked if we could read Poe. Chances are, we won’t because students find it really difficult to comprehend, which makes me sad, but that’s okay. So I asked about Plath. Well, my homework included a poem by her.

“Metaphors”

Obviously, Metaphors is about pregnancy, anyone can see that, but it fits with how I’m feeling now, and no, I’m not pregnant. Just, “Boarded the train there’s no getting off”, I know, it fits with the poem, but you can interpret poetry however you want, however you need.

I don’t want to get into too much detail, but that reminds me of A) My love life, because even though things aren’t good right now, I don’t want to get off, and B) It reminds me of a certain struggle. It’s like once the train comes for you, you can’t get off. And if you bail, you’ve instantly committed suicide.

I had to write a journal response on one of the poems, so I chose this one. Sure, there were other great poems, like “Siren Song” but S has a thing for Plath and wanted to write about her.