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Monday, January 31, 2011

My Favourite Band and School Nonsense

Anyone who’s never heard this song really ought to. They’re one of my favourite bands…and I don’t know many people who have heard of them.

Three Ways – The Wallflowers

There’s three ways out of every box
Fall out the bottom
Or you crawl out the top
There’s three ways
Out of every, every box
But if you can’t find your way out
Then you just burn it
To the ground
Then you’ll disappear
Like smoke
Into the clouds

There’s three ways off a merry-go-round
You either jump
Or you let it slow down
There’s three ways
Off a merry-go, merry-go round
But if you can’t put your foot down
Then you just burn it
To the ground
Then you walk away
Real slow
Back into the crowd

There’s always somebody there for a laugh
Then you’re the only one
That’s left
Now that’s what you get
Left behind in the wreck

There’s three ways off a burning bridge
You pray for rain
Or you learn how to swim
There’s three ways off of every
Burning bridge
But if you can’t find strength
And you quit
Then you can just burn up
And sink
Then you’ll drift away
Real slow
Down into the ground

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Anyway, I know I’m behind in posting so I thought I’d give you an insight in what I listen to. I miss the 90's, back when blockbuster was popular, no war, music which you could actually understand and want to listen too, and nearly everyone was high on weed. Good times! The song actually reminds me of the book ‘The perks of being a Wallflower’. If anyone has read it please let me know, I barely know anyone who has. That book helped me survive middle school…followed closely by ‘The Catcher in the Rye’.

I thought I’d actually blog for the rest of this post. So, what’s new with me? Well my senior year has barely begun and the pressure is incredible. In the first lesson of every class that teacher was like, “This, is it”. Which was true but they sure make it clear. The only problem I find is that they don’t actually care about you individually, they care more so about the reputation of the school.

I don’t want to write too much about school on this. I’ve been suspended for it before so my best option is waiting till I’m out of there. I’m not trying to be defamatory I’d just like to be able to state my honest opinion without being interrogated for it because God forbid I say something bad and they treat you like you’ve just killed a person. Say something nice and get praised for it…ridiculous.

I really don’t have much else to say except school nonsense that you really don’t want to listen to.

Thanks for reading, especially if you’ve reached this point.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's funny how things change

Today was the last, first day of my school life. It’s funny when I think about it but, I used to wake up at least thirty minutes before I had to for the beginning of every term. Then that changed to the beginning of the school year. Now that’s changed to…well nothing. I felt nothing when I woke up this morning. That is, except for an overwhelming desire to switch the alarm off and go back to sleep.

It’s funny how things change like that. You don’t really know it until it happens. Take for instance when you were a kid. Christmas was the most important time of year. You would refuse to go to sleep before drifting off only to awake in the morning to excitement and presents. I know that’s not all what Christmas is about but when you were a kid that was the most of it.

Even when it was your birthday, when you were between the ages of eight and ten you would stay up until midnight to wish yourself happy birthday and then fall helplessly back to sleep. (Well maybe if you were a Happy Potter fan?)

Maybe when you walk past a playground, and watch all the kids having fun and the simple things like that mean to world to them. You think that all those kids are going to grow up some day and kiss someone for the first time. But for now just playing in the playground is enough, sometimes I think it would be great if just playing in the playground was always enough, but it isn’t.

My point is; the small pleasures we used to have that meant near nothing to us at the time are usually lost before we realise how important they were to us. I think we miss it, but we don’t realise we miss it until it’s too late and we look back and remember or watch young kids experience the same things that we did.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 Brisbane Floods


I live in Brisbane, recently this city has been inundated with water, houses have been destroyed, people have lost their lives, businesses have been forced to close and supermarkets have limited supplies. But in spite of all this, the people of Queensland have come together in a remarkable way.

Torrential rain fell non-stop from Saturday-Wednesday this week giving us a years’ worth of rain and Flood waters were raised rapidly. Fortunately at the present time water has subsided dramatically and the strong Aussie sun has emerged.

In 1893 flood waters rose to an astonishing 8.2m, in 1974 flood waters rose to 5.45m and in 2011 the flood peak was 4.6m. A few days ago I drove to the swollen Brisbane River Bank. I saw pontoons float down the River with boats still attached, cars floating rapidly down the raging currents and humorously the restaurant on the water called ‘drift’ was literally drifting down the river.

Since the power and internet services have been cut for the time being this post might not be up until late January. I’ve been listening to the local flood radio station 111.6AM and to be honest, our local news reporters speak better than our PM Julia Gillard. Who repeats the same phrase about how tragic everything is. Don’t get me wrong this flood is absolutely devastating! However, our PM needs to now turn towards solutions and reassuring citizens that there will be help in the long process of recovery. In my opinion the Lord Mayor has done an excellent job at organising everything and he should be commended for his actions.

When you watch the Premier, the Mayor, the local families, news reporters and friends break down on television – It’s just – you can’t compare to actually standing there, amongst it all. When you watch your home town disrupted, watching debris scream down the waters, when you kayak over streets you had once played in, just watching places you go regularly completely submerged in water is just heart breaking and my heart really goes out to all the people who lost their homes or worse, their loved ones.

It’s really nice when you see places like America and the UK who are good friends with us Aussies say that they want to help out and are offering support. It’s nice that in the big world we live in people are still people and are so kind and generous.

It almost infuriates me that some people have commented local announcements with “Well everyone knows we have floods every fifty years or so, why isn’t anything being done to prevent things like this happening in the future?” My answer to this is simple, if there is a city that is prone to flooding you can do one of two things: Build Walls or relocate to higher ground. The problem with building walls is that: That will work for tidal floods, but here in Australia we live in drought 90% of the time and when it rains, it rains hard. Finally when it does rain, the walls will prevent the water from going anywhere and that will no doubt result in more disaster. Secondly, although relocating to higher ground sounds so simple, in Australia higher ground means hotter climate, are Australians to swap the beach for the heat? I highly doubt it. The thing is we have done numerous things to try and divert water. We have a second catchment which filled as it should and we have a massive underground tunnel that filled with water. Flood waters never hit higher that ’74 floods but we will continue to do small things like that to divert water elsewhere.

The fantastic thing about these floods is that it has brought people together, no one is blaming the Government for the floods, and no one is pointing fingers. Everyone is just getting the cleaning done and helping each other out. It’s tough but the good old Aussie spirit continues to lift spirits. It’s also nice that the people are seeing humour in things, for instance, the statue of Wally Lewis was armed with floaties, a snorkel and diving goggles. Little things like that are really just making a difference in seeing the positive side to things.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Benefits of Passive Behavior

Okay, so I know I haven’t posted in awhile and I hoped to get this post done by boxing day but it’s become clear to me that if I set a day to have something up I won’t do it. I need the freedom of being able to write when I’m in the mood. But in any event I apologize for this post being so late. I’ve also made a new year’s resolution to make 50 posts this year.

Okay so this ‘killer post’ as I believe I quoted in my last post is discussing or defending the people who are quiet. I received my school report in the mail some weeks ago and in almost every class the teacher has written “Quiet student who...” or in one case in particular, “student portrays reluctance to articulate her own opinions’” (Religion Teacher wrote that so I was kind of expecting it)

So, in my defence or in defence of quiet people; I’m not sure I like that defence part because I shouldn’t be defending who I am but here goes:

“To be a quiet person is to always be defending your right to silence”. No, there is nothing wrong with me. If I have nothing to say, I won’t say anything. I often think a lot and I’ve been told over the years through my schools “friends program and building social skills class that I am forced to take” that being quiet is a form of insecurity, that quiet people have confidence issues, that quiet people are non-assertive and that quiet people are the people who often have low self-esteem.

‘It’s having a pre-school teacher who wants to hold you back because you don’t socialize with the other kids. It’s having a teacher tell you, “I always worry about the quiet ones.” It’s riding in elevators, knowing you’re supposed to chat about how hot it’s been but not being able to bring yourself to talk about such inanities. It’s dreading going to the hairdresser because you know she’ll try to talk to you about your plans for the weekend and what movies you like. It is being cornered by loquacious people who talk and talk and talk and you nod and “Uh, huh” and don’t know how to stop the verbal diarrhea spewing out of their mouths. It is being told you are a good listener.’

Sometimes friends call and I have nothing to say, I’m not tired, depressed or angry, I just have nothing to talk about. We don’t have to fill up the room with empty talk. Fill it up with undemanding quiet instead.

Perhaps this is why I have developed my “on” personality. I turn that part on when I have to be on stage and entertain and interact. It started out being a fake part of me, but I’ve used it so much that it is more real. I can flip the switch and be outgoing and confident and funny. But I can only power that personality for so long before I need to flip the switch off again before I get mentally fatigued and irritated. I just want to go home and lie on my bed and just stare at the ceiling, just let the quiet put things where they’re supposed to be, or on the way home simply stare out the train windows. The value of doing nothing is underrated.

Not only am I quiet but I’m also fairly somber which a lot of people mistake for sadness. I get so tired of people telling me to cheer up because I’m not chatty or smiling all the time.

I feel that a lot of individuals who are “quiet” are told by different people in his or her life that something is wrong with you and the pressure to change in order to fit in with everyone else is the real crux of the problem. A person should be respected for his or her traits and personality instead of judged for his or her perceived lack of contribution to a particular conversation. I believe that real social skills involve awareness of other individuals’ temperament and not on trying to “fix” them as if they are a project.

Have you ever thought that maybe the loud people are the ones that are insecure?

In my opinion it’s the people who constantly talk that are insecure about themselves and need to prove how articulate and confident they think they are to others and to themselves, especially people who talk too loud in public. Some of them feel they need to validate their self worth. A lot of quiet people don't.

Quiet people are generally thoughtful people. Even analytical... observing, learning, absorbing information you see a totally different aspect of life if you close your mouth and listen for awhile.

I also think motivation is a quiet thing. How can you find out what you want to do in life if you’re always jumping up and down, yelling and shouting? It’s like when you were a kid and you stirred a glass of orange cordial, what happened? The water and the cordial got all mixed up. But if you let it settle and just watched it for ten seconds, you could clearly see the difference between the water and the concentrate. Your desires and aspirations are the same. Take some time just to be quiet, and watch how things become a lot clearer.

I am quiet. I’m not broken or sad or depressed or a serial killer. I’m not ignoring you or shy. I just have nothing to say and when I say something I like for it to have meaning. My words should have value.

‘We talk to say something with meaning, not just think out loud.’

After all, "smooth runs the water where the brook is deep"