Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Technology On the Run!

With all the possibilities in this new millennium, it is possible to find a techie tool for every aspect of our daily lives. If I could pick one of the thousands of ways to navigate through the day with the use of a modern technology, I would have to say the internet.

In just a few years, the Internet has consolidated itself as a very powerful platform that has changed the way the world does business, and the way people communicate. The Internet, as no other communicative device, has given an International, a "Globalized" dimension to the world. Internet has become the Universal source of information for millions of people, at home, at school, and at work. From 1995 to March of this year, the use of internet has leaped from 16 million users to 1,596 million users.

With the use of internet a person can chat with long-lost classmates, research their ancestral history, upload photos from their phone, and promote their personal business on their own web site; all at the click of a button, at the same time!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Company of Swans Rewind

Dance like no one is watching, love like you'll never be hurt. Sing like no one is listening. Live life like its heaven on earth......Courage is fear that has said its prayers.

--William Purkey/--Karl Barth

Eva Ibbotson's A Company of Swans captivated me with its dangerous adventures and heart-stopping romance. This New York Times Best-Selling author teaches us all a valid lesson; follow your dreams and love with no thought of failure.

A Company of Swans is placed in 1912 Cambridge, England. A world full of beautiful churches, sprawling park gardens, and prestigious colleges; life in 1912 is never as perfect as it looks on the surface. Harriet Morton is following in her fathers academic footsteps on the outside...but is a true ballerina at heart. With her very soul Harriet lives her love of dance in Madame Lavarre's famed dance school a few hours a week. When offered the position as the "eighteenth swan" in a Russian ballet company on its way to its Amazon tour...Harriet finally sees a way out of her dry, dull life full of lies. When her father and aunt deny her her dream, Harriet takes matters into her own hands. Through deceit and a false identity, she runs away with the ballet company to the wild, lush jungle of the Amazon. Little does Harriet know that as she dances away into her life dream...she is being tracked down...
Ibbotson's hypnotic, poetic language leaps like a raging river from the page straight into your imagination. Ibbotson's novels are the kind that you read from cover to cover...Putting one of her books down mid-way is an impossible action. As the story unfolds in the fast flowing manner in which Eva writes, sudden twists and turns leap into the plot.

Ibbotson was born in Vienna, but fled with her family to England when the Nazis came to power. With her priceless experience, Eva can place her novels into a time and place that she has been and understands. She makes the character's world real and to see behind closed eyelids.
For all those who are addicted to forbidden romances and whirlwind adventures; a Company of
Swans is the perfect antidote.
pages: 384

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring is Here!

I love spring! I love how everything suddenly jumps into being, growing furiously and trying to reach the sun. Unfortunately, just like the sudden freezes that be-speckle the month of March, life can change just as quickly.
My personal spring break started spectacularly. I went on an amazing mountain hike that ended with a waterfall, went camping...(in the back yard), spent time with my friends, and finally caught up on sleep! Closer to the end of the week I went to a doctor appointment concerning some swelling and pains I had been experiencing in my ankles. I am a ballet dancer and have been working tirelessly for over half a decade to perfect my technique on my pointe shoes. Ballet is a relentless, tiring, and beautiful art. I love it and planned to continue it in college and beyond. In that one meeting the doctor shattered my life plans. I was told that I had long, flexible ligaments that made dancing en pointe no longer possible. If I continued to dance on pointe shoes I would permanently damage my feet and have to stop dancing altogether. As a dancer at heart, that is truly devastating news. With the Podiatrist's words ringing in my head, I watched as a metaphorical freeze covered my "spring".
So, with a few words, I found out that your whole life can change. My spring break started out with a burst of color and ended with a dull and cold rain.
I might sound melodramatic, I probably do, but this tale ends well. After continual nights of crying myself to sleep, I realized something very obvious but none the less true. It doesn't matter how much I cry, it wont change my genetic make-up or my situation. The best way for me to handle this blow to the heart is to be strong and move on.
A note to all those struggling with grief and hardship, or like in my case, those who get dealt some bad news; all the tears in the world will change nothing. The only solution to the pain is to except the inevitable and charish what you still have.

Ayn Rand and What Kills Collective Thought

In Ayn Rand's widely known novel, Anthem, she gives an example of what life might be like if there was no individualism, no freedom, and no "I". In a recent essay contest I choose a prompt that centered around her novel. My prompt focused on the short lifespans of the citizens in Equality 7-2521's "Utopian" society.
I wrote my essay around three main concepts. 1). No Freedom 2). "WE" concept 3). Hygiene.
The first point of my essay, No Freedom, stated how strict and ridged the rules of the society were. Everything was schedule down to the last minute, and the decisions were dictated by the Council. Nothing is of an individual choice, not your job, where you will live, or even what clothing you wear. No person has the right to make their own choices. All choices must be made together and be identical.
The second point of my essay, the "WE" concept, describes the great law that all live under and many struggle inwardly with. The law states that We are one in all and all in one. There is no men but only the great WE, One, indivisible and forever. This law does not allow for any individualism whatsoever. There is no individual thought or action, all citizens must be in agreement. No laughter is permitted unless all laugh together.
My last point, Hygiene, speaks of how all technology has been lost because the ideals were not of a collective thought. Slowly all knowledge of medical treatments for life-threatening diseases were lost until Equality 7-2521's society reduced to the medival method of blood-letting to cure illnesses. Also, taking care of ones personal hygiene is not a top priority and each citizen sleeps and works in the same garment with few washes between wearing. The loss of so much knowledge has reduced the world's societies to barbaric, germ-filled cities.
With Ayn Rand's Anthem, she has introduced us to a world with no freedom and where idividualism is forbidden.