My Determination

I have a dream and an almost desperate determination not to lose it.

I’ve arrived at an understanding of this “freedom of opportunity” that America has always been fighting for, and the great historical wall built by the average Joes for the average Joes. The population speaks of dreams and happy endings without believing in the possibilities. Courage, imagination, and passion are widely encouraged, but it is advised to land the plane early, wake up, and smell the coffee.

Yet, I continue to cling onto both dream and determination like a lifeline. Letting go grows increasingly difficult, while concealing true intentions to avoid meeting brainwashing words becomes steadily easier. Thus, a tendency developed in my person that causes much mistranslation and in others that leads to a lack of acceptance.

Two things are vivdly clear through my looking glass: my deepest desires and darkest don’ts.

I don’t want to simply pass through life following the very average, typical traditions of society: spending years going through schooling, marriage and raising children, simply because it’s the expected life cycle of a woman. I don’t like having my life being weighed according to the size of a child, a house or a bank account. I despise measuring my failures by my skin color, body shape and personality. All the same, I loathe hearing my potential limited to the classifications and stereotypes of the people I am associated with.

As young as I am, I have experienced firsthand the meaning and consequences of growth and choice, both in situations within and outside of my control, for the better and for the worse. Indeed, I have chosen some less favored options, but I do not regret the decisions I made or the developments I went through. I feel pride that it was I who lived and decided under a sound state of mind that was all me. I believe in growth and choice, and that they go hand in hand. I believe I am walking down a path built from my own choices, be they virtuous or sinful, and I feel a certain pride for this path even under pressure of detrimental consequences.

I want this freedom to hope and dream. So, I have decided: I will dictate my own life, whether it’s to be the life of a poor beggar or that of a billionaire princess. I will be the decider. And that’s why I am glad I am pursuing my dreams, despite how solid the barricade, far away the stars and intangible the clouds.

Growing up with Harry Potter

The first chapter was an obstacle, but once I hurdled through, I immediately became enraptured by Harry Potter the-Boy-Who-Lived and Hogwarts the school of witchcraft and wizardry. Here I will “critique” the original seven books of the Harry Potter series as a whole. However, I have no bad criticisms, so I will reveal my experience with my all time favorite series.

I was first tempted by the cover illustration in a Scholastic’s catalogue I received in fourth grade. I had immediately shelved that desire into the farthest corner of my mind because the chance that my parents would fork over more money for storybooks was slim.

About a year later, a friend insisted I borrow her copy and read it. So, I took it home, where it sat until my friend asked for the book back and I read the first chapter the night before returning it, but found it uninteresting. Meanwhile, my little brother also managed to land on a copy and, unlike me, read the entire book with rapt interest. Then, he started to promote it to me. Persistently. Never having seen him so obsessed with a book before, or so many of my friends share an opinion with my brother, the title lured in my curiosity again. So, in sixth grade, I bought the four-book box set with the $55 I spent almost an eternity saving up by doing household chores. And so I was hooked.

Each book in this series pulls me in, captures my heart and continuously drives me out of my mind even now, an aspect rarely found in chronologies. As an American-born child raised by immigrant parents, I related to the little boy raised in one society’s mindset and going to school of another society’s rules. I understood wide-eyed amazement, nerve-wracking anxiety, and the complex combination of happiness and sorrow upon entering a school where everything was different from home. In this way, Harry and Hogwarts seemed so real to me.

That magic was taught in schools, magical communities under a government, fear and love was ever present made J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world seem all the more real, like magic was just an inch from our finger tips. If only we could find that town in unchartered grounds and hidden under a Disillusion Charm or Invisibility Spell, we could purchase a real working wand and tip into our own magical cores.
Many people have pointed out that the word-choice in the first couple of books is too elementary and not enticing enough. While I agree that the first chapter is rather boring and the first few books easy to read, I also see that learning levels were put to good use in creating some of the most entertaining novels. The simplicity in jargon of the first couple books and increasing difficulty of English levels is an especially unique feature that allows young readers to grow along with Harry through his seven-year adventure. For older readers, this perk gives us the chance to step back into our childhood skins and enjoy the wonders of the fantasy world without the looming presence of the real world. This series has been deeply engraved in the minds of my generation because we literally grew up alongside Harry, year by year, book by book, movie by movie, as if we were part of his world.

J.K. Rowling did a magnificent job in setting the mood and tone of each book from the light and awe-inspiring Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to the dark and suspense-filled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The beginning is boring because the Dursleys lead dull, mundane lives and Privet Drive is a beautiful but monotonous neighborhood. Harry was living a drab life with the Dursleys in Privet Drive. So of course the beginning would be a dreadful read. …unless, perhaps, if the story started at Chapter Two… How would you want the story to begin?

Like Harry, I was always anticipating the start of a new school year at Hogwarts, where all the real actions are packed into (except for the last book, in which action starts just about as soon as the first chapter. I loved this series because it’s got the standard supply of wizards with wands, witches with brooms, bubbling cauldrons and shape-shifting, yet none of them are told in the standard tales. After reading about Hogwarts, it came like an epiphany that the witches with pointy hats cackling in the air on broomsticks our ancestors spotted were probably playing Quidditch.

Observations of the Pokemon Go Age

pokemongoIn the olden days, entertainment came from complex sedentary boxes and gamers were caged and leashed to the screen. Family and friends crowded around one shared device while music blared or images blinked by. And as video games became more and more popular and sophisticated, debates grew more and more complex. Mothers of addicted children worried about the dangers in their future. Does electronic screens cause health problems? Does video games create unsavory behavior in people? Will they spend too much money on unnecessary things? Will their children become upright, functioning adults of the society or will they become recluses, constantly holed up in their own world, without goals and direction? Those days have long past.

It’s a new day in a new age! A new movement, in which entertainment comes from complex portable boxes and every gamer is attached to one of their own wherever they go. Fans are lured into one spot while voices blared or Pokemons blinked by. But debates arose with the debut of the game. Mothers of addicted victims worry about the dangers in their future. Does electronic screens cause health problems? Does mobile games lead them to unsavory people and places? Will they spend too much money on unnecessary things? Will their children become upright, functioning adults of the society or will they forever be lost fanatics, constantly holed up in their own world, without goals and direction, unless led by the game’s GPS? And this time, like the last time, only time will tell.

Unhowling

I’ve seen the best thoughts, fictions and realities Imaginations packed tight in urbanities Blood and bone, filament fragile fragments Lit in bodies, pulsing, softly stuck on tangent Building concoctions, cars, and drones orbiting Heavy carbon thrusters, seeking, always targeting Ideals burning death holes into flesh Righteousness, wildcard bomber mess Games playing games with gamers […]

via Unhowling — Elan Mudrow