opinions

“Pocahontas Never Went to College”

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I know how you feel. I know that heart-wrenching, balloon-deflating feeling when you received that email and scanned through the sentences only to read the words that you were scared of reading most: “We are unable to offer you admission…

You sink into your chair, feeling like a complete idiot. You throw your phone across the room, wreck everything in sight and punch the wall as tears threaten to spurt out of your eyes. You think about how that dude you hate in class who got into your dream school while you hadn’t, which makes you even angrier.

You punch the wall again.

Then you ponder about what you’ve been doing for the past four years of high school, the past four years of your life. You’d studied your rear-end off, spent all that money on tutoring and SAT prep, not to mention spent a ridiculous amount of money on those stupid AP exams. Heck, you sacrificed your sleep and social life to get into college and guess what?

It didn’t pay off.

And it sucks.

Big time.

I even felt angry while typing that very paragraph above. Had to refrain myself from using expletives.

BUT. I know how you feel. Bartleby Gaines does too. And who’s Bartleby Gaines?

THIS IS BARTLEBY GAINES:

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And he is my newest idol.

Some of you may recognize him as the main character in the movie Accepted, aka one of the best movies ever.

Bartleby over here got rejected from all of the schools that he’d applied to. His parents viewed him as a disappointment and no doubt he felt like the biggest loser in the world for letting them down. So what does he do?

He makes his own college.

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“South Harmon Institute of Technology” starts off as a mere cover-up in order to gain his parents’ approval. But what was only supposed to be a little lie turns into an institution that suddenly thousands of other kids want to go to because they didn’t get accepted anywhere else.

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It intrigued me to see the amount of sense in this movie, as ridiculous and comedic as it was. Students were the teachers, and through the abundance of creativity and ideas shared by the entire student body, actual learning took place. Society’s so-called “rejects” were getting more learning done than the prestigious, well-known Harmon College down the street.

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The student-learning environment portrayed in the movie is actually no different from learning today. Students are more and more encouraged to survive tests and quizzes with “independent” learning. Students are expected to share ideas with each other and learn from limited teacher-student interaction. I don’t know much about college but I have heard about how most of time, it’s just lecturing. You’re basically on your own, doing your own homework and developing your own study habits.

Where am I going with this? What I got from Accepted is that grades and teachers can only teach you so much. Sometimes, the real learning comes from talking to people, interacting with them, hearing their life stories. It’s much more enjoyable to learn something when it’s told in story-form. Through people and through others, your friends, you can actually learn things that help you with life, things that you can’t learn in a classroom setting.

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The best place to start for stories? Your teachers. Love them or hate them, they were once students too. You’ll be surprised how mischievous or rebellious some teachers were back in the day. I have never found a teacher-told story boring or uninteresting at all. If anything, they gave me hope and a laugh that would last the entire day.

So keep an open mind. That athlete who sits next to you in Physics or that theater geek who helps you on homework can be some of the best teachers you will ever know. And if you have learned from them, embrace that new profound knowledge. You don’t need a quiz or a test or a college acceptance letter to prove that you’ve learned something valuable.

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And remember.

Pocahontas never even went to college.

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JFK Jr.’s Oedipal Complex

JFK Jr. and his wife, Carolyn Bassette

“Christy, let me see you make a JFK reference to Frankenstein.” 

Okay. I’ll try my best.

In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the Oedipus complex plays a crucial role in the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and his creation. Because Victor lost his mother, he is in constant search of companionship, which leads to his fondness and romantic relations with his “cousin” Elizabeth. She’d been taken in by Mrs. Frankenstein herself, and proves to serve as a liable version of his mother.

I am no expert in psychology but there are a couple of things that I do know based on my reading so far: the Oedipus complex, Freud’s idea that the child has sexual desires for the parent. It is said that children often grow up to marry people who remind them of their mother or father (depending on the gender) or have similar characteristics in general. I am honestly no expert and my knowledge in psychology is extremely limited so correct me if I’m wrong. But I do believe that history repeats itself, which would make sense in correspondence to the Oedipus complex since history is basically repeating itself with people. It seems unusual and quite disturbing to know that you have hidden desires for someone who is basically another version of your mother or father. But for JFK Jr., the Oedipus complex seems to be quite true.

JFK Jr. with his mother, Jacqueline

JFK Jr. was deeply influenced by his mother. After all, he looks just like her. But even though he was the splitting image of his mother, he had the reckless personality that his dad was notorious for. He liked action, excitement, adventure. Jackie confided with friends that she was actually very worried about John because his recklessness just made him all the more liable for injury and even more possibly, death.

They say opposites attract. JFK Jr.’s reckless nature ultimately wooed over Carolyn Bassette, a woman who, ironically enough, was often compared to Jackie. They were both very private, introverted people. JFK Jr. had grown up in the spotlight so he’d been used to all of the paparazzi following him around and such. But Carolyn wasn’t used to that at all. So she’d always put her face down and hunch her back whenever she was in front of the cameras. Her elegant and sophisticated fashion sense also won her comparisons to Jackie.

Check out JFK Jr. vs. The Paparazzi!

In my personal opinion, I find it no coincidence that JFK Jr. had married someone so strikingly similar to his mother. Not exactly in looks per se, but in my reading I distinctly remember that Carolyn was a person who consisted much of the same personality traits as Jackie: private, headstrong, stubborn, controlling. John had also married Carolyn after his mother’s passing, which may (or may not, who knows) correlate back to his need of a mother figure. However, author Edward Klein, who was also a close friend of Jackie’s, wrote that he is inclined to believe that had Jackie lived to see John marry Carolyn, that she would’ve disapproved. Even though Carolyn was similar to Jackie in some aspects, she was also incredibly unstable. She had cocaine and insecurity issues and a hot temper as well, which resulted in many fights with John. He desperately wanted children, but she refused. It frustrated him to no end.

Well Caroline Kennedy’s son, John Schlossberg, is said to be the approaching prince of Camelot, with his said-resemblance to his late uncle. I am curious as to who he will marry in the future. Caroline Kennedy, like Jackie, is also extremely private and cautious. She may look like her father but her personality is completely inherited from her mother. It’d be interesting if John also marries someone who shares the same introvert-type aspects.

Now can we all just take a moment to admire how JFK Jr. was chosen as Sexiest Man Alive back in People’s 1988 issue. Stunning.

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Also, really enjoying Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back”.

Sources: The Kennedy Curse by Edward Klein, which I am still currently in the midst of reading.

Death: The Ultimate Popularity Booster?

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

The great die young, apparently.

It’s no secret that I have a strange and possibly unhealthy interest in people who aren’t around anymore. For lack of a better word, dead people.

A couple weeks ago my dad asked me who my favorite actor was or who my Hollywood male interest was at the moment. Without hesitation, I quickly opened my mouth to say, “Cory Monteith.” But then he sharply added, “An actor who is actually alive right now.”

Well that stumped me. I couldn’t think of anyone at all, other then maybe Teen Wolf‘s Tyler Posey.

I began to ponder about my grand obsession for the people of the non-living: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley, JFK, Cory Monteith. Do I like them for them? Or just simply because they’re not around anymore?

When famous people die, the response is crazy. Their names are on every tabloid, all the news stations. Tributes are broadcasted all over television, at award shows, in TV shows. There’s non-stop publicity for weeks or even months. Because of their death, they’ve suddenly become this popular topic, this person who all of a sudden seems so great, so talented.

Since we’re suddenly bombarded with all of these great things about that deceased person, we’re left to admire their shining points: Whitney’s powerful voice, Michael’s signature moonwalk.  We begin to see how valiant or extraordinary that person was. We sigh to ourselves in admiration, as well as a hint of sadness because, well, that person is gone and we can’t meet them, ever (exactly what I do when I read things about the Kennedys to be honest).

Those bittersweet feelings of sadness and admiration are even worse when that deceased famous person dies young. “He had so much potential,” we may say to ourselves with that same sigh. “It’s such a shame.”

Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith

“You never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” is the cliche phrase. But it seems quite plausible in this case. We don’t know how great a person is, well, until they’re dead and gone. I hardly knew who Cory Monteith was until he showed up everywhere on tabloids with his death. Now he’s gone and all I can do is look at his twitter and sigh to myself, because he was such a humble and funny person. His humor and personality is rare in Hollywood, actually. I guess that’s why people loved him so much. I really wish that I could’ve met him.

On a brighter note, check out Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through The Night”. My favorite throwback song at the moment.

Opinion: JFK’s Death Premonition

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It was as if he knew.

The more I learn about JFK, the more I feel like he’d known that he was going to die at a young age. I suppose I wouldn’t blame him. He’d escaped death more than once, having scarlet fever as a young child, a strange case of leukemia in his young adult years, his PT-109 incident, not to mention his Addison’s disease and his other multiple health issues. He’d taken very dangerous medications during his presidency to ensure that he always looked fit and strong for work.

So it’s no surprise that JFK would be completely fascinated with death. He would often ask his companions how they’d want to die, and had considered the idea of assassination many times. He knew it might happen, he knew that it was highly possible. Maybe that was why he liked the press so much. He liked photographers, he liked videos. Through this obsession of mine I noticed that there are hundreds, thousands of pictures of JFK and his family. I see a new one everyday on my tumblr newsfeed, which continues to fuel my interest in him. The Kennedys even have a whole two hour home movie special on the History Channel. What other presidential family has that?

There’s so much media surrounding him, so many secrets that keep the public eye attached to him even after 50 years have passed by. I am waiting for the day that I will get over this JFK obsession of mine, the day that I would’ve learned all there is to learn about him and grow bored of him. But that time has yet to come. I learn new things about him every time I read about him, every time I watch documentary videos on him. It just doesn’t stop. And I feel like he’d intended for this to happen. He wanted keepsakes that would be around even after he died. What better way to keep a legacy alive than pictures and videos? I still see him on newsstands everywhere, right next to magazines with Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt on the cover.

JFK’s assassination is tragic, yes. But I like to think that things happen for a reason. His image had always been about “youth”, all about his young age, his young wife, his young children. Perhaps his assassination had been made for him to preserve that youth. Think about it. We’ll never see what he looks like when he’s old, when all of that youth and vigor is gone. It is even predicted by historians that JFK wouldn’t be as famous as he would be today if his presidency had gone on longer. I would even go as far to say that he was secretly scared of being forgotten. But that’s just me.

All and all, I truly believe that JFK had predicted his death. He knew he would die young, he knew his days were numbered. Therefore, he set to build a legacy for himself with the media, with countless videos and pictures of him and his family, perhaps to even avoid being forgotten. Maybe the keepsakes had even been for his children and family members to remember him by.

The theories can go on and on. After all, even Jackie had been unable to figure him out. But as a conclusion, I would like to share an excerpt from “These Few Precious Days” that states a quote so haunting, so terrifying that it sends shivers down my spine whenever I read it:

JFK believed that assassination was “not unlikely” and that if it were to happen he would be shot “while riding in an open car through a downtown street, with all the people and the noise.”

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Opinion: Lady Gaga’s AMA Performance

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Not as funny as it seems.

Let me just start off this post by clarifying that I am not an anti-Gaga fan. But, I am a strong and avid Kennedy fan.

JFK’s affairs aren’t a secret. He’s had more relationships with women than he himself (or anyone else for that matter) can count and it’s a well-known fact that he’d been quite the womanizer. And of course, Jackie had known this.

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Behold, everyone, Jacqueline Kennedy. As many of you may already know, I am currently reading “These Few Precious Days” by Christopher Anderson, a biography that tells the story of Jack and Jackie’s relationship (I actually finished it a couple of days ago but am still in the process of soaking it in). I learned much about Jackie while reading that novel. She wasn’t naive, she wasn’t that innocent little girl who waited on JFK’s hand and foot. She was a strong, independent woman, a woman who knew about her husband’s infidelities. But if she knew, then why didn’t she divorce him, you may ask?

I, myself, had wondered the same question. Apparently, she had considered divorce. Twice. Her father-in-law, Joe Kennedy Sr. had to bribe her with money to have her stay with JFK because he knew that she would make the perfect first lady. Also, JFK had originally married her only because his father told him that he needed a family if he wanted to become president. He needed a wife and children. All for the image. The Kennedys were very much into the image of things, after all.

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JFK hadn’t been the only unfaithful Kennedy. Actually, all of the Kennedy men were unfaithful, courtesy of the teachings of the Kennedy patriarch himself, Joe Sr. He encouraged them to play the field. In turn, the Kennedy boys viewed sex and women as nothing more than a hobby of sorts. In JFK’s mind, his philandering was morally acceptable.

Jackie allowed the affairs. She’d even sometimes made jokes about Jack’s girls, as expected from her dark humor. But she had always been extremely wary of one particular woman: Marilyn Monroe.

The last thing Jackie wanted to be was a laughing stock. Monroe often bragged to people that JFK was going to leave Jackie for her, that she will eventually be the new first lady. Jackie feared that JFK’s affair with Monroe would leak out to the press (which would’ve caused uprising for sure since Hollywood and politics weren’t known to exactly mix back in the 60s) and that, in turn, would humiliate her and downgrade Camelot’s image and reputation forever.

The “JFK and Marilyn Monroe” hype certainly is insulting to me. I respect Jackie Kennedy greatly, considering that she’d been the one right next to JFK when he got shot. She’d been the one soaked in her husband’s blood. She had to live with the entire world knowing that she’s the widow of the assassinated president.

And now the media decides to do what Jackie feared: publicize the Monroe affair. Not only was this award show broadcasted across the nation, but it was also performed by the extremely popular Lady Gaga. Teenagers watch this, younger kids watch this, and what will they think of JFK because of it?

“He’s the president who had an affair with Marilyn Monroe. Jacqueline Kennedy who?”

The affair shouldn’t be mocked. It shouldn’t be publicized on live TV where millions are watching. Because Jackie Kennedy is a woman who deserves to be respected, and a grand exaggeration of her husband’s affair is not only a humiliation to her, but to the Camelot era as a whole.

And now here is one of my favorite (or perhaps even my absolute favorite) pictures of Jack and Jackie. The way she’s looking at him is just simply breathtaking. It’s as if she finds him to be the most incredible and wonderful man in the entire world, which she did. She did.

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If you made it to the end of this post, I sincerely congratulate you. -throws confetti-