September 16, 2011

People couldn't believe what I'd become.

I've had a really crappy week. And since it was only technically four days with a student holiday on Monday, that's truly remarkable.

Before I go any further, I think it's important to mention my current physical condition. As of now, my jaw is slightly unaligned. My lips don't match up and it's frankly terrifying. The pain, however, has been intermittent so I was hesitant to make it into a bigger deal than it might be; I wasn't going to cry and drop everything. Besides, I half-figured it'd fix itself. I've 'popped' my jaw before, experienced mild pain, and then days later have been perfectly okay. I don't know what happened differently this time! My mom said it may be Temporomandibular joint disorder TMJD, but I have to wait until tomorrow morning to call the pediatrics office and ask for an appointment to be sure. I need this resolved for my sanity.

That said, I've had to battle an insanely draining, demanding slew of work the past four days. Not only did I have two Chemistry tests (that's not a typo; I seriously had two), I had an English paper to write, a psych paper, a psych test, a physics quiz, a Spanish test and an AP calc quiz. That's not even mentioning all the stress over college applications and running the math tutoring organization. It continues to amaze me how I'm not zombie. Oh wait, I sort of am right now.

Most embarrassingly, all my stress and feelings of inadequacy erupted into tears during sixth and seventh periods today. There were twenty minutes left until I could go home when I was called to the front office. I assumed my mom had somehow scheduled an appointment for my jaw. Well, no. Not the case at all. I walk in and it was none other than my best friend is sitting there and it was just so surreal that I started crying. She doesn't go to my school so to see here there, and coincidentally when I needed her most was amazing. She gave me a purse (pictured below) she's been meaning to give to me for a while. I decided not go back to class so we talked, hugged and caught up instead. It was perfect.
Excuse me while I continue to lovingly watch the Coldplay live stream from Austin City Lights.

September 11, 2011

Never forget.

I just watched the 102 Minutes that Changed America and, to tell you the truth, I am a little numb. It's as if the shock and horror of 9/11 has only deeply impacted me now. Somehow only now I am old enough to understand all the horrific events that occurred this day ten years ago.

I was a mere first grader in elementary school when it happened. Most of my worries consisted of getting along with classmates and completing the inane assignments. And when I was home, I rarely watched TV and even more rarely watched the news. Thus, no live images of the disaster have been imprinted on my mind. I was not deeply traumatized. Only after the fact did I ever learn about the absolute terror that ensued and what its implications were.

Fast-forward a year to when I'm sitting in my third grade class. (I skipped second grade.) My teacher had gathered us around a map hanging on the wall. She calmly points to a small country between Europe and Asia and says, "This is Iraq. We are at war here now." With this conflict so far away, I honestly thought little about it. And frankly, I didn't know why I even should.

For the remainder of my elementary school days, I focused more on myself. The biggest events that impacted me were hurricanes, especially Katrina. I recall for a couple of weeks we had a new student from Louisiana join our class. She talked about how she had to move because her neighborhood and whole entire city was flooded. She left our school before the year was out and we never kept in touch.

But the point is, I thought little about 9/11. Sure, as I started reading the paper more and comprehending national and global politics, the bigger picture became clearer. I began realizing exactly why it was a big deal.

During 7th grade, I participated in a model United Nations conference at my school. I represented Libya of all countries. My basis for choosing such a place wasn't because I was that interested, but because the flag was all green and thus would be no trouble sewing. (At least at that point. I believe it has since changed.) I'm glad I chose it though, since for the project as a whole, I conducted plenty of research into the nation. This meant I learned about Qaddafi and the country's politics. I started seeing more parallels between history and modern day, as seriously frightening as it was.

But I still thought little about 9/11. It was always about what was done to somehow avenge the tragedy: the war on terrorism.

All this reflection, though important, does not change what happened. This ten year anniversary can only honor those heroic citizens, fireman and policemen that responded in a time of utter uncertainty and crisis. More importantly, we can honor those loved ones and friends that died in the attacks. They're gone, yet not forgotten.

As a citizen of the United States, I wanted a way to pay my respects and this is it. I urge you to please take a moment of silence after reading this post to remember those affected.

Thank you.

September 04, 2011

It's hard to know that you still care.

Brianna and I went exploring beneath a bridge and through the local village yesterday. We discussed our lives within a quaint bakery, shared our mutual desires to get out of Florida, and she gave me some much needed photography tips. I can't thank her enough for a splendid Saturday afternoon.
Oh, and during the adventure I filmed my first HD video!!