Last week I interviewed my social advocate, Shedna. I found her on instagram through my trainers profile. She stood out to me because she was logging her journey training for the NPC Figure competition. In a lot of the pictures she posted about herself she captioned them with empowering quotes about progression, and also in a few she talked about being comfortable in your skin, “Don’t worry if you have muscles or DON’T!” I really was interested in what inspired/motivated her to start this. I sent her text and we set up a date to meet. When I met her in person it was completely different from online. She had such an uplifting energy and vibe that made me immediately smile. When we were talking for about 15 minutes the conversation started to actually get more interesting and different stories from her life came up. From this interview I learned how you can get a lot from actually meeting a person vs. seeing someone online. She was a women who had been through so many experiences, and different environments all her life. I learned how she lived in the East and not being involved in fitness at all, moving because she joined the navy, left and moved to San Diego and came to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. When she started going to the gym she fell in love with training and powerlifting. Now, she even helps train some people and is an influencer on instagram, she sometimes gets 2 direct messages about people thanking her for inspiring them every day.
I think the boards we are making for our social advocate should have an “essay” or paper talking about them because I think it’s important for people to get to know these amazing local advocates. They deserve to be known and appreciated for whatever they do to make this world a better place with each slightest action.
This week I learned how it’s important as a student to have “project work time” or just individual time because it prepares you for the long run to be an independent person, be organized, and helps improve your responsibility. I prefer having work time because I feel like I have improved at staying in task and using my time wisely to finish the work I need done on time. I think it’s very useful for everyone in many aspects, but some peers are still working on it because they won’t be on task the whole time.
Also March 8th was international women's day, this was the first “walkout” I have ever done which was super cool. I never knew how many people around us face the difficulties of women struggling to obtain. Many people shared about their appearance or the way they are as people, the actions they makes and how they were shamed on because that wasn’t how women were “supposed” to be, whatever they did was not filling the ideals of how they “need” to look like. It was shocking to me how these things could really affect us because there was many people emotional at this walkout, or I guess you could call it celebration. But it was so refreshing and empowering seeing all of the women who performed or spoke because they were all unique and made me feel happy of being a women myself.
March 10th, I took the SAT Saturday morning at High Tech High. This was such a big positive because I felt comfortable in the environment and with the people because they were mostly my peers and friends. I think it went pretty good, I felt super energized because I slept very early the night before and got a full 8 hours of sleep with is quite rare. Only tip I have is don’t drink a bunch of water in the middle of the test because I needed to go to the bathroom halfway when there was no breaks given, and we were doing the final part of the test which was the essay, so I could barely concentrate. Other than that, I think it went super well and I definitely felt like I improved in the math portion of the test which felt so good!
This week we critiqued our zine cover that we made as a group with our classroom in prep for Thursday when it will be critiqued by MCASD. I think this day was super memorable because I realized what can come out of something when you try to make it the best you can, when you go above and beyond.
This is trait I have that is both good and bad, which is part of the reason why I love how my group works together. We set goals to make things look amazing and just how we want it. We met afterschool to do extra work for our zine. And doing more to make it great quality and quantity.. this made me feel more passionate for the project. Creating great work is what I strive for so I have more of a drive to research and put in 110% effort as a group.
Since this week, our teachers have stressing to us about the SAT this Saturday and to be prepared if we want to a good score. Most of the teachers have been reminding us that if we put that extra work it’ll show on the test if we want to, so it really reminded me of what creating the zine with the amount of effort felt like. I also connected this to internships and just even the future and what giving it all can do to you as a student and a person, that is to the extent of how much you want something.
Last week we had to create research papers where we included cited sources that answered 2 main questions leading to the socratic seminar. This was a really cool experience because I got an understanding on how we should be creating papers with evidence, preparing for it was hard and a lot of reading but it was super helpful having it during the discussion. Around this time in humanities, we were starting our research papers too and it gave me a sense of how real papers/essay should be done correctly. Right now I feel a lot more confident since I had practiced creating one last week.
I really like the setup of my paper for the discussion because I made a couple pages specifically for notes, quotes, and facts that were cited. This section was very handy because it was super easy to read just to look back on super quick for evidence. The other section was a reflection on answering the questions we were given. Then a page dedicated to the all the sources used.
I liked this topic that we discussed about because I feel like everyone can pretty much connect with it, but I don’t think it was that debatable. It felt like there was nothing to discuss about and we were just throwing information at eachother and clarifying. I think next time we should choose to debate on something and have half the class on one side of the argument and half on the other side. Even though we do not agree with the argument we have to “debate” on, it will be helpful because we would do extra research to be prepared and we would have to learn how to counter argue and have more evidence to look back to. I think that would be super fun because although, discussions are fun, I think debate are a lot more interesting and we haven’t done them in a while.
A memorable moment was the first college we visited, Berkeley. After the tour was over we had the freedom to go wherever we wanted for food, off or on campus. My friend Rebecca really wanted Starbucks so I was down to go with her. We went with a group a friends and started walking down the street where we were basically in the city. We put the directions on google maps but for some reason it was too complicated to understand so we asked a stranger and she told us we were going the right direction and just keep walking straight. So we did, and passed block after block 20 min into our exploring we noticed we only had about 15 min to be back at the campus. The whole group of friends went back because they were scared we weren't going to make it because we couldn’t find starbucks. I decided to put it on my phone and we still needed about 4 more blocks of walking for Starbucks and at this time there was no going back we were so far so we ran to starbucks and back. Once we got out food and drinks we started running because we only had about 8 min to make it back and it took us 20 min to get down where we were. We were sprinting up the hill and crossing streets with our arms full of food, when I feel my left arm completely light and empty, I look down at my hand and my sandwich had fell out of the bag at the bottom through a hole. I yell for her to stop running and see below me on the black dirty street my sandwich open on the floor. We both stared at it for a good 5 seconds in the middle of the road, then burst out in laughter. I quickly react by picking it up and running because I was not going to leave it there and after all our hard work on getting that sandwich, it was not going to waste. So I ate it when we got back to the campus. Sweaty, gross, but I will never forget the time I literally ate street food.
After this trip my perspective in attending college got a lot more exciting, I felt like I could feel the vibes of freedom. It was really cool seeing all the students with friends as well in a coffee shop studying, I feel like I could already picture myself doing that. I’m not too sure about which school I would want to attend but I feel like I would be able to adjust to any school, there's none I have visited that I can say, “I really want to go there.”
My least favorite school was probably San Jose because I didn’t like the vibe. It felt like everyone was so separated, disconnected and plain, I don’t know. Something about it wasn’t right to me. And my favorite was Cal Poly because it was a super pretty campus and the environment seemed happy and really involved with each other and as a school. I really like how they have like the upside down classes where in freshman year you don’t only take GE classes you also take your course as well which most schools don’t do and you graduate faster. I also liked how when applying to the school you are competing against the people in major you want not the actual school spots.
This week I learned about basic and social needs in our social issue presentations. Obviously I knew what basic and social needs were, but I never actually thought about it by why issues are happening or what the issues create.
It really made me think differently about society and how we should all understand these needs because I felt like these were the key points to the problem. For example when Michael presented about Incarceration, it wasn’t always in the back of my head that this could cause certainty to the victim but also their families because when they get out they might not be able to find a job and their family might be looked as with a new perspective and that ties in with status and also fairness because the person could be innocent. So there's a lot of things that could be going on socially that we don’t even notice.
Also recently in humanities we created mind maps with our groups (feminism) about our social issue and I realized the government/laws and history can also be tied in any issue, even biology. For our mind map we created a history/culture bubble and added about the type of clothing people wore and corsets, etc. Then to that we added the class people were in and to that we connected it to a social need which was fairness. So there was a lot of things that I never thought about like class for feminism/body image.
A question I have is, how can we as teenagers inform society about these social and basic needs? Is it hard?
Something that I learned this week was when we had launched our project, at first I honestly was not very excited. I wasn’t very interested because I didn’t really know what sharing our zines would do, I thought it would just be pointless. When we were introduced to the people who had come to talk about their own personal stories about being a social advocate it really changed my opinion. It was honestly super interested, I feel like everyone was really engaged. I never really thought as simple as anyone could do something or even have their career based on being a social advocate, I never thought about what it actually meant to be a social advocate in the start.
I feel like it is important knowing about these social issues that have been brought up to our attention and presented from my peers because these little things apply to everyone as much as you don’t think it does. We might not even notice where the issue is in our everyday life routine if we might be doing something wrong and being aware of it and having the slightest change can impact a lot.
I thought Irma’s story was super interesting, it completely shifted from her childhood to what she’s doing now. She creates art in the community (murals). I consider myself an artist, and love creating things. I never really thought about making art and having a meaning behind it or something that makes a difference. Something about the was Irma talked about her art and the outcome made me want to start doing something with my talents and passions. This will be one of my next goals, finding a way to have meaning behind my drawings.
I am super excited to create a zine now because I feel like they are going to turn out super cool, and I kind of am thinking of making my own too. Creating the little drawings on ideas for peoples zines in the presentation slip was super interesting because you could see everyones deeper understanding and creativity in the drawings. And also it was fun brainstorming and creating something thoughtful in a unique way.
This week we went to MCASD for the second time and it was super fun. I feel like this was one of everyone's favorite part of the week because we created our own zine’s based on our social issue. It was the first time I had ever individually really actually made a zine, and with more than one art style. I went out of my comfort zone but still made it me. The cool thing about this activity was that everyone was super into it and proud of their work. It seemed that a lot of people were into the topic they chose for their social issue so they were super inclined to make a great symbolic piece. I also feel like we all supported each other and did an amazing job. This was one a great memory because I felt like we were bonding throughout this activity, I don’t know a feeling that felt really good.
I learned that when someone is learning or has the freedom to combine education and you’re personal passion or interest, it’s like the best combo because it’s when you make the best work. When people are actually inclined to do the most, and people can share it with ease.
This reminded me of the teenage brain and the reward system how when given something it liked, it wants more of it, that feeling to come back. Like when talking about something that interests you, you aren’t afraid to talk about it or learn more since you are into that topic.
I am curious to know if there is a way to make something be liked or make something more engaging.
This week when we were writing our Terra notes, I learned that humans are very selfish. We do things to benefit ourselves without thinking of the outcome to the rest of the environment around us. For example, we take animals away from their habitats so we can grow our crops hand have land. Two of our basic needs, food and shelter. When I thought about it we were basically taking away their basic need for our own to be fulfilled, shelter.
Something new I also learned is how passionate I am about the social issue I chose for the project, body image. We come in different shapes and sizes; and people think that’s a “problem”. I knew that, but I thought about something other than being “skinny” or “fat”, muscles on women. This is something that doesn’t really come up in the issue of “body image”. I have always been interested in this, I never understood why people were so against strong women. “I don’t want to get too bulky or too muscular”, we have had this drilled in our heads because of social standards and how women shouldn’t be strong like how men should be, because that's their job not ours. I notice this everywhere, from my mom and sister, being self conscious for having big shoulders, my friends saying they want to workout, but don’t want super marked calfs… I don’t understand. When a woman is proud of her body because she worked for it and you look amazing, thats badass! It shouldn’t be looked down as an unusual thing, or a bad thing. We should have the same standards of guys that have muscles.
I feel like this week I really learned about finding meaning behind things, actually thinking about how the little things affect our lives. I realized a lot of things I didn’t even know I was interested in. I just wonder if always doing this; being aware of why things are done or shouldn't be done will change our perspective in many other things. I challenge myself to incorporate this thinking into my daily routine.
This week we read the article about pains and pleasures. From that I understood how both signals pains and pleasures are felt and processed in similar areas of the brain. The Striatum releases dopamine when the brain is stimulated to this pleasure, so the want of the same pleasure gets bigger, the reward system of your brain. That’s why teens “reward system” tends to be bigger, they feel more excitement than adults. And why is that? Because teens usually see the “fun” of something or the pro’s of an activity or action to be overpowering to the con’s. They are aware of the risks but there is more emphasis to the positive aspects because of the reward drive that is actively releasing dopamine to thrilling experiences and sensations.
Something that has been a pain is my gym. We do really hard workouts that challenge us to push ourselves the most we can, mental and physical. It’s like a crossfit class for youth athletes, it’s usually a 2 hour class. When I began going to this specific gym about 2 years ago it was a real struggle. I would start panting with the warm up. The trainers were alright around that time, but they weren’t close to us or at least willing to. So going there wasn’t a LOVE, I felt like it was just something I needed to do to improve in my strength for sports. I would leave right after my class was done, just get it over with.
Now, about a year ago they brought in a bunch of new trainers. They were different then the people who worked there 2 years ago. They have a huge heart for the kids and athletes, for their improvement and making their lives better. Making a change in them. Although, it got a lot harder, it was 10 times better. I started to see how they wanted to know about me, to do anything to help me improve as an athlete and a person. I connected this to the pains and pleasures because, just being around the people make me want to go and stay for 2 extra hours, they make me want to get better and do more. It hurts but, the pros of being able to see my family everyday is way more overpowering. I wonder if the pain became into a pleasure to my brain.
Hi, my name is Anna Nicole.