Learning to let go.

These past couple of months (or past month, I guess…) have been really hard for me with dealing with stuff. I’ve always said that I’m okay and I’m fine but in reality I’m not, and I think a large majority of people have noticed that.

Since the start of the year things haven’t been how I had expected them to be, and it’s both good and bad. Good, because some really good things happened and bad, because along with good things, bad things happened.

And for the past month, I’ve been trying really hard to let go of some of the good and bad things that have happened… and long story short, it involved some feelings where I’ve never felt (and I’m not good with dealing with feelings and emotions) and… well, a person.

To some people, the way I deal with stuff might seem very self destructive (and honestly, it kind of is), but also a little part of how I deal with stuff, aside from the self destructive things, really does help.

But, one thing that I’ve really been struggling with is letting go… of this person. The sad part about this whole situation is that I let myself be happy based on this person (it’s sad, not necessarily a bad thing though). It’s sad because I never thought I would let myself have someone dictate how much I feel, and not necessarily about that person, but about really everything. It’s sad because, even though (in the grand scheme of things)  the time that they were in my life was very short, I still let myself feel so strongly about them as I did. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but now that I can’t feel that way about them, that’s what makes me sad. (I think that’s what I’m trying to say.) (Also, side note: This person is still in my life, but not in the way that I wanted them to be in… I think that I’m still glad that they are in my life, but it’s also bittersweet.)

So in the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying very hard to let go of this person. But, every time that I seem to, a little piece of me seems to stop me from letting them go and I get sad and hurt again. I’m not sure what that’s trying to tell me, but it’s starting to really mess with me. So with this, some people might not feel that I am working on letting this person go in the way that needs to be done, but rather still trying to cling to them (or whatever people might think). And, that’s not what I want to do.

I think that some of what I’ve been doing to let this person go has been working, but then there’s that small piece of me where I can’t seem to. I don’t know if it’s subconscious or whatever it is, but I really am trying. It’s just very difficult for me to do so because of how bad I am at dealing with feelings and emotions and all of that.

But, all I can really do is take it one step at a time. This person seems to have made it clear that they’ve let me go (in the sense that I’m talking about), so in reality, I shouldn’t let them have that control over how to feel. (Should I have let them have the control over how I feel in the first place? Well, that’s for another time…)

Anyhow, I’ll probably write more about this and related topics, because it’s seemed to really help.

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First Amendment Rights for Student Journalists

Often times student journalists are censored for “controversial” stories, whether the topics of the story is truly controversial or not. However, this censorship of student journalists is a gross misjustice of their First Amendment rights.

However, before I get too far into my thoughts on the First Amendment rights for student journalists, here is some background information on two court cases that have played a huge role in student journalist First Amendment rights:

The first major case was the Tinker v. Des Moines case in 1969. Three teenagers wore black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. However, the school deemed the armbands as unfit, suspended the students because of that. The parents of the students seemed this was unfit and brought it to court. The Supreme Court recognized, in this case, that the First Amendments rights protects expression. The result of the Tinker v. Des Moines case means that principals and school administrators can not censor something because they do not like it. The school has to show substantial proof that there will be disruption.

The second major case is the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case in 1988. The decision of this case completely undoes the rights gained from Tinker. The Supreme Court limits the First Amendment protection for student speech in school sponsored student media. In years since the Hazelwood ruling, it has allowed schools all over the U.S. the right to prior review (allowing school administrators or anyone of authority outside of an editorial staff demanding that they be allowed to read – preview – copy prior to publication and/or distribution) and censorship to school funded student publications. This opened the door for more censorship, which in turn lead students having to censor themselves in order to avoid censorship from the school administrators, principal, etc.

Since 1988, 10 states were successful in enacting laws after the Hazelwood ruling, 23 states tried without success. From 2016-2017, 18 states have efforts to pass a bill to protect student rights. Thus with passing this bill, student journalists would regain their previously restricted First Amendment rights.

My own state, Arizona, currently has a bill that was just recently passed into House (SB 1384) that states “a student journalist may exercise freedom of speech and freedom of the press in school-sponsored media.” This bill was introduced by Senator Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix; former student journalist) and would place limitations on what school administrators can censor form student publications. If this bill is passed it would mean that my First Amendment rights would be reinstated in my journalism classroom. It would mean the end of censorship of “controversial” stories.

But why have student journalists’ not been able to have their First Amendment rights? Why has it taken this long to gain them?

Well, to answer the first part: Student journalists were not able to have their First Amendment rights because their journalism class and newspaper (by extension) was school/district funded. The school had the power of prior review, prior restraint (suppression of material that would be published or broadcast, on the grounds that it is libelous or harmful), and ultimately censorship – which is a violation of the student journalists First Amendment part (particularly to part of freedom of speech and freedom of press). But, since the newspaper is funded through the school/district and distributed on school property, they ultimately have the “power” of censorship.

To answer the second part of the question of why it has taken so long on gaining these rights: people fear the power of giving student journalists, and even students in general, of their full First Amendment rights and strip a few at the school gates. Now, I am not saying every single person feels this way, but obviously enough do in order to restrain a students First Amendment rights. When the Columbine shooting happened in 1999, it only reinstated and heightened the fear that people felt in protecting the rights of students. (Sidenote: I included this because in the efforts of passing the bill on protecting a student journalists’ First Amendent rights, there was a dry spell between Arkansas in 1994 and Oregon in 2007.) They thought it would be far easier and ultimately “safer” to vastly restrain a students First Amendment rights than to have be student be able to exercise their rights and understand how they work.

Thus, with the fact of restraining a student journalists’ First Amendment rights, it poses the question of: How can civics be taught at school but then down the hall have the students First Amendment rights restricted down the hall?

By revoking a student journalists First Amendment rights, it does absolutely nothing in helping them to understand their rights they have outside a school or university. Schools and universities should have a Tinker standard (Tinker standard: states that students have the right of free speech unless it disrupts class work or abuses the rights of others) for students because after all, aren’t student journalists’ still deserving of their basic First Amendment rights (freedom of speech and freedom of press)? Don’t student journalists’ deserve the right of uncensored publications so they understand how their rights work?

Places to be (and behind you is not one of them)

Picture this: the bell rings to go to lunch and you want to peel out of your class as fast as you can. You have a three page essay to finish before your next period and a chicken salad to eat. Your only dilemma: the slowest walkers that you have ever seen. They mosey on through the courtyard and you just can’t seem to find a way around them. They congregate in groups, in bunches, swarming to Senior Lawn in hoards.

Every single day I am faced with one of my biggest pet peeves — slow walkers. I cannot stand them. I know that I walk fast (like really fast, if there was a speed walking race in the Olympics I would probably get gold), because I have places to be, things to do, and people to talk to. If I have to squeeze myself between two loud and over-perfumed girls to get around the slow walker that has somehow taken up the entire hallway that is a) going to give me a headache and b) make me even more annoyed.

Now, I would run people over without thinking twice, except for the fact that I’m skinny and would get pushed down by a single nudge… So, that option is out. Trying to fit through incredibly small spaces is also impossible between the slow walkers like to also stop in the middle of the hallway! Why? Why do slow walkers feel the insistent need to stop in the middle of a hallway?

I just ask, to all the slow walkers out there, please, know that there are people who need to get places in a hurry and don’t stop in the middle of the hallway.

Objectification of girls

Recently, my school watched the Code of Conduct video… and while there were quite a few things wrong with it, the one thing that I think got the most backlash from it was the dress code.

It states: “Ladies, please don’t show your bra straps, backs, butts, breasts, or bellies. Gentlemen, please make sure to wear a belt.”

Right after the video finished, everyone in my class erupted in argument over the laundry list of codes for a girl while the only thing a guy needs to worry about is making sure to have a belt. (Side note: how is the administration going to know that a guy a wearing a belt unless he tucks his shirt in or they ask the guy to show them, which the latter is very… creepy.)

Now, my question is why are girls slandered for their bodies and clothing? We (girls) can’t help that we have boobs or that fact that, yes, sometimes are bra straps do show or fall down ON ACCIDENT. There are things that a guy can get dress coded for (Chubbies, wife beaters, muscle tank tops) but the only thing the school administration decided to say was make sure to wear a belt.

It’s honestly degrading to young women, most of who already have negative body image views on themselves, eating disorders, and/or mental health issues. A guy is not going to get turned on by seeing a bra strap (and if they do, then that’s a whole different issue).

In my opinion, the school administration over sexualizes a girls body and it’s not okay because if this was the subliminal message we are teaching youth, then it will carry on when they are adults.

If you have to pull a girl out of class to tell her that she needs to show less skin, not wear that shirt, or change into disgusting gym clothes (and in summary, tell her to ‘be less of a slut by covering up her shoulder’) shows, time-after-time again, that schools, administration, and society in general values a man’s education over a women’s.

 

Summer school in 117°F heat

Instead of sleeping until noon and writing this summer, I’ve decided to do summer school, but not a history class, I’m doing PE.

Now, this was fully my decision (kind of, I need the credit, but didn’t want to take a full year of PE and I decided to get it over with in one month), I regret it greatly and wish I had never done it.

PE in the middle of summer in Arizona is probably one of the worst decisions I’ve made in my life. It’s 117°F outside, I don’t want to have to run or try to hit a softball. I get that it’s a part of the curriculum, but still, is there anything we can do that’s indoors?

Anyways, there is only one more day left of session one, then finally session two and then I have my credit done with. I’m just counting down the days where I can start sleeping instead of running in insane heat.

 

Can’t we be friends?

(Warning: This is kind of an angry rant, so read at your own risk. I also wrote this a while ago, but decided to post it now regardless…)

Break ups suck, especially when you’re the person being dumped. And even when the person dumping you says ‘You did nothing wrong’ ‘It wasn’t your fault’ you still can’t help but think ‘What the hell did I do? If I did this differently would we still be together?’

Nothing hurts worse than when the person that you really, really like suggests that you should just be friends. (A bullet wound might hurt about equally.)

I do think that some people might not work in a romantic relationship and might work better as friends, but that means that the two people have to make an effort to be friends. If you completely ignore and avoid the person that you broke up with but still want to be friends with, then is that friendship?

You can’t just say ‘I think we work better as friends,’ ‘I still want to be friends with you,’ and ignore the person… because that person still holds out hope that you will still be in their life.

I know I would rather be friends with this person than not have them in my life at all. They are still a good person. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not mad, I am, but what makes me (a little bit) mad is that they gave me hope that I would still have them in my life without them ignoring me, making me feel even worse about the situation and making me feel it’s my fault (which I know it’s not); or whenever we are less than 2 yards apart, having it be awkward, which no surprise, makes me feel like it’s my fault.

The standard with double standards

Imagine this: You see a teenage girl walking down the school hallway dressed in shorts and a tank top. She is talking to her friend, a boy, also dressed in shorts and a tank top (more commonly known as a “bro-tank”). But who does the teacher stop to call out for their appearance? The girl.

This is called a double standard, and I guarantee that you have come across them in your life in one shape or another. Webster’s Dictionary defines a double standard as “a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially: a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to woman than to men.”

I’m really peeved with double standards, especially double standards between men and women and how we dress. I know that girls can sometimes wear shorts that are too short and tank tops that show too much cleavage. However, most teacher and administration in schools don’t look twice when boys show up in “Chubbies”, shorts that, in my opinion, are too short for any respectable man to wear. But, as soon as I show up in my shorts I get sent to the principal’s office where I then have to call home. Taking time from my learning because my shoulders are showing is saying that my education is not as important as a boys.

Why don’t we tell boys to focus on their schoolwork rather than on the bare shoulders in front of them? Telling girls that they have to dress a certain way to avoid distracting boys is not only sexist, but also a huge issue when schools, and even society, only call out girls for dressing that way when boys do the same thing.