Let’s be honest; books, television, all of that stuff, are awesome. And recently, there have been a lot more of all of those for us teens. Vampire Diaries, Sherlock, that kind of thing. And books, too! Percy Jackson, Divergent, Uglies, the list goes on. And on. And on. It’s made for us to enjoy, to kick back after a long day of working, running between classes, and just…. relax. That’s what they were made for.

Then we got excited. People started categorizing themselves into ‘fandoms’ depending on what tv show or book you liked the most. Whovians, Sherlokians, Half-Bloods, Divergent, we call ourselves these, even though we aren’t Half-Blood or what-have-you. We’re us. And we’re losing us.

Don’t get me wrong, please. I love Percy Jackson, especially Son of Neptune, but we can’t obsess over it! It’s fine to love these things, but not to let them dwell on our thoughts day and night. You like Walking Dead? Fine! Enjoy it! Catch up on the weekends! But don’t let it turn you into a tv zombie. We have our lives, our stories to tell, and we are spending our time focusing on fictitious characters. Guess what? You’ve got friends and family, their lives are much more interesting and beautiful than Grover’s, or Triss’.  We can’t trade our lives for the lives of people who don’t even feel.

Again, you can still like all of these things. That’s great, even, they were created for you to like! But you can’t let them have you! We can’t grow up and live our lives so focused on the make-believe stuff that we miss the real stuff. I know, I know. You can’t have the same experiences as those characters, but they make you feel like you are, and you want to feel that. All the time. But the truth is you’re never going to fly in a ship with a talking dragon head, you’re never going to visit a boarding school with talking paintings and spinning stairs, you’re never going to feel the adrenaline rush you’re sure everyone is feeling running from zombies. But that’s why these things are there, to fill your mind with imagination, not drain it! Our country deserves more than this!

Again, don’t cut yourself away from it all, it’s there for you to read, to watch, to enjoy. Just…. don’t let it decide who you’re going to be. There is so much more to this world than your ship, than canon versus not-canon, than fan-fiction, than this. The world is ready for you to leave your story–a story so amazing, your favorite fandom will pale in comparison. You just need to know where that life stops and yours starts.



College is a big deal, right? I mean, all of our years in High School seem to be preparing us for the big bad world of Universities and such, so it must be important. What with the ACT, college prep classes, it’s nautral to think that going to college is the only way to go in life if you want to make a decent living. Well, I am going to bust your bubble……Wrong! Well, kinda.

The reason people go to college is to prep themselves for a career that they already have an idea about. You don’t get your High School Diploma, choose the college with the coolest mascot, then cross your fingers convince yourself that what’s going to happen to you was meant to happen. That is a REALLY BAD idea. I mean REALLY bad. If your dream job does not involve calligraphy on parchment in a frame, then don’t get it!

There are amazing, wonderful jobs in this Nation that do not involve graduating from college. And, you know what? The college fever has killed most of these! Construction workers, carpenters, all of the craftsmen jobs are open! And, you know what? You’d make more money drilling a road then teaching a class of fourth graders with thirty thousand dollars of student loan debt hanging over your back.

Don’t get me wrong, college is great, I’m planning on going! But, if you don’t need it, why go? Why put yourself through all that stress just to go with the flow? Sadly, America has given us Gen-Xers the idea that going to college will get you the best jobs, the best pay, the best life. Ummmm, no. You can get amazing jobs right out of High School. You want to know another fun fact? Since so many people are ignoring the trade jobs, there are thousands out there! If you want to build skyscrapers, or carve beautiful statues, or make instruments, you can! Its not a ‘dumb’ job, only reserved for the fools who couldn’t tackle homework, they are just as challenging as any job that requires a degree. America is missing these people because we missed the big picture. Don’t you miss the big picture, too! If you want to go to college, great! Maybe I’ll see you there! If you don’t? Still great! Maybe you’ll save my life as a fire fighter, or make beautiful glass sculptures that people will be ooing and ahing at a hundred years from today. This country is famous for not having limits, let’s not limit ourselves now. COLLEGE-facebook


American Quote Thursday


           If you wou’d not be forgotten

           As soon as you are dead and rotten

           Either write things worth the reading,

           Or do things worth the writing.

                                                                          -Benjamin Franklin

New Rome

183479649-56a3ca0a3df78cf7727f2f21No, this post is not about Percy Jackson. Sorry. But, seriously, what do you think of when you think of Rome? Flowing togas? Amazing plays? Latin? Rome was amazing, no matter what it makes you think of. They constructed revolutionary buildings, amphitheaters, they created a concrete so strong, it’s still standing. They were the height of the known world. And, guess what’s even more awesome, our nation, America, is considered New Rome.

For illustration: During Rome’s glory days, they were considered the strongest Kingdom in the world. If you were educated, you spoke Latin. If you were really educated, you got caught up in the world of Roman science. If you wanted to move up in the world, or make a new start, you traveled to Rome. It was the heart of the world. Sound familiar yet? Well, it should. That’s America.

This is a good thing, right? Well, yes and no. The beauty of Rome, her learning, her power, was all seen in America, and note that I am using the word ‘was’, not ‘is’. This is where the not so great part is. Long story short, Rome tore herself apart in the 200s A.D. She got too big for her britches, and her culture started to decay. People quit carving those awe-inspiring statues, they stopped building new amphitheaters, they quit making beautiful art.

Sadly, we can see this in our county. Look at how we’ve changed over the last hundred years, guys! We’re falling apart at the seams; can’t we see it? Movies, songs, architecture, art, it’s all become less than what it was in 1918. Our culture has started to copy Rome’s fall, and we need to do something about it! And I don’t mean watch old movies, dress in a conservative manner, and quit using swear words. Those are all well and good, but it’s not the big picture.

If you sing, sing your heart out of your chest! Pour yourself into songs, write your own! Don’t sing what the country wants to hear, goodness knows music themes have become repetitive enough to drive anyone crazy. If you dance, or play sports, same thing! Push yourself to your limits. Show America that you’re there! Writers, write your mind, tell people what they need to hear, not what they want! Musicians, you can become the next Mozart! Mathematicians, architects, artists, builders, come out of the shadows! If you don’t have a hobby or dream, go find one! Make one! Guys, just because America doesn’t look like it wants or needs you, fill your life with accomplished dreams! If we can all do this, if we can push ourselves to greatness, we can escape Rome’s fate. She’s waiting for us at the bottom of this cliff; we need to stay airborne. And, if we fight for it, we can!

Kaleidoscope of Culture

c9x4trk3yo1cwdeaqsmyCulture is the ‘personality’ of a country. If you see something that reminds you of a culture, then you connect it with that culture’s country. Simple. But, when you look at America, we don’t seem to have a culture. The indigenous cultures of the Americas were all but eliminated when European explorers made their mark, bringing with them their culture.  After that, people wanting a new start came to America, and ethnicity wasn’t a problem. The result seems like a tangled, weird blend of differences in the middle of an identity crisis. But it is so much more!

We don’t seem to have a single culture because we are made up of the worlds cultures. I’m sure you are familiar with siestas, or Tai Chi. Each of these are from cultures on opposite sides of the earth (Mexico and Japan), yet we never question the blend in our country. You can have a siesta at three then catch your Tai Chi class at four. No one bats an eye. That’s what our culture is; it is the blend of beauty from around the world, it’s a messy kaleidoscope of differences, a mix of China and Russia, Mexico and India, England and Africa, everything! You have the world in your city, your state, your nation, and that, in my opinion, is one of the most magical cultures in the world.

American Drive

45th-anniversary-apollo-11-launchAmerica is a great country, that’s not in debate. We have one of the most effective and efficient governments in history, our Middle Class is richer than over half the world, we’re strong, we’re smart, we’re the height of the West.

We didn’t become like this overnight, you know. We aren’t the country we are today because fifty-five men wanted to show England who’s boss, although that played a major part. We’re like this because we’re standing on our grandparent’s shoulders, who are standing on their great-grandparents’ shoulders, who are standing on their great-great-grandparents shoulders. Their accomplishments have carried this great nation into the sky and given us the wings that we can use to soar. So, why aren’t we seeing that? Why is the news filled with missile threats and war and poverty, instead of the joy that someone has found a cure for Aids? Or Cancer? Heck, we kicked Polio’s butt last century, why aren’t we flying anymore?

Our generation is missing the drive that propelled our ancestors to accomplish what their ancestors could only dream of, even if the latter had entertained ideas of rockets and cures. We need to find that drive again, hang onto it for our dear life, and let it take us where it needs to go.
Our country didn’t plant its flag on the moon because it wanted to. You can want anything, for crying out loud! Just because I want to be the next Tolkien doesn’t mean I’m going to wake up one day with an epic on the bookshelf and reporters begging for a hint at my outstanding success. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, the USSR played a major role in the motivation of our countries greatest minds, but that wasn’t it. Our leaders could have sat in their offices, twiddled their thumbs, done a Macaulay Culkin face, and exclaimed, “Oh, dear! Whatever shall we do!” Nope. Everyone got out of their comfy chairs and ran past the Soviets, toward the Horizon, shouting, “We’re going to beat ya, suckers!” even when we were falling behind. And, you know what? Shocker, we beat them.

We did all that because we wanted to. Because we saw a mountain and thought, ‘Yes. It’s going to be tough. We’re going to fall. We’re going to bleed. We’re going to push ourselves so hard, our hearts are going to break.’ But think, fellow Americans and teens, what it’s going to feel like when we plaint our flag on our moon! Think about what the world will say when they see us, when they see how we clawed our way back to our past greatness with our teeth and nails! Just because we are falling down a cliff doesn’t mean that we have to hit the bottom. We can show the world that we’re better than that, we can learn to fly again.

President Kennedy said in his famous Moon Speech, ‘We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Guys, let’s push through the hard to our moon, for our country.