Month: May 2014

BohemianNerdGirl’s Video of the Week: “Frostie the Snow Goat”

This is the story of a baby snow goat called Frostie that was brought in by Edgar’s Mission animal shelter for farm animals in Australia. Poor Frostie suffers from joint/navel ill meaning he cannot use his back legs to walk. Frostie was given an animal wheelchair for exercise and he moves around in it happily. This video is heart-warming and beautiful to watch.

“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?” edgarsmission.org.au
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(Uploaded by edgarsmission)

Death in the Friend Zone

Today, I heard a horrific story. It was about a drive by shooting which happened on Friday 23rd May in Santa Barbara in California, where 7 people (including the gunman) were killed, and 7 others were injured. The identity of the killer was 22 year old Elliot Rodger who had previously posted a video on Youtube called “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution”, explaining his motives. What were his reasons, you ask? The fact he never had a girlfriend. Yes, you read that right.

In Elliot’s video he rants about women who supposedly rejected his advances and unleashed a tirade about his ‘loneliness, rejection, and unfulfilled desires,’ and blames women for preferring ‘obnoxious brutes’ to him, ‘the supreme gentlemen.’ Here are some of the quotes said in the video: 

‘I’m 22 years old and I’m still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl,’ 

 

‘College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. But in those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it,’ He repeatedly promises to ‘punish’ women and lays out his plan for ‘retribution.’

‘I’m going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoilt, stuck-up, blonde slut that I see inside there. All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down on me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them,’

 

‘I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male,’

‘Yes… After I have annihilated every single girl in the sorority house I will take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there. All those popular kids who live such lives of hedonistic pleasure…’ 

Sadly, this case of murderous revenge for being rejected by girls is not the only one. On April 25th, a 16 year old high school student named Maren Sanchez from Connecticut was pushed down the stairs in the high school hallway before being stabbed in the neck, because she turned down his offer to be her date for junior prom which was to be held later that evening. The killer, 17 year old Christopher Plakson who is diagnosed with psychosis and faces up to 60 years in prison, the minimum charge is 25 years.

Why do these tragic stories cause concern? Because of the concept “the friend zone” . According to Wikipedia this refers to a platonic relationship wherein one person wishes to enter into a romantic or sexual relationship, while the other does not. It is generally considered to be an undesirable or dreaded situation by the lovelorn person. It has been used as a plot device in many TV shows and movies such as the Ross/Rachel plotline in “Friends” and the 2005 film “Just Friends” starring Ryan Reynolds. Many people who end up in the friend zone (commonly men) find this frustrating because they often believe that girls only go after the douchebag boys, while they claim to be sidelined for being the “nice guy”. This “friend zone” concept is bad for many reasons (don’t worry anti-feminists, misogyny is only one of them):

  1. It is extremely sexist: The friend zone is commonly seen as “boy asks girl out but girl turns him down and only wants to be friends”. It places the blame on the girl, purely because she has no sexual or romantic attraction to the boy. It is wrong to pressure a girl into liking you and trying to kiss, touch or have sex with a girl without consent is sexual assault. Not only that, the idea of girls only going after douchebag guys is a huge misogynistic stereotype that needs to stop. 
  2. It devalues what friendship really means: If a guy is friends with a girl and one of them only wants to be friends, you must respect their decision, not stalking them, or barraging them with messages, or guilt trip the person, or verbally/sexually/physically abuse them. Because THAT IS NOT WHAT FRIENDS DO TO EACH OTHER. For many, they value their friendship with that person so much, they do not want to put that at stake, just for a relationship that might not even last. And for others, they realised they were better off friends than lovers (which happened to me) and it works out fine.
  3. It doesn’t take into account how love and attraction actually works: The myth of “girls only go after douchebags” is a common argument to rejected guys in the friend zone. That is completely wrong. Girls only go after people they are attracted to. You can’t choose who you’re attracted to, just like you don’t choose to be gay. Girls have the common sense to be attracted to those who are nice to them. Unfortunately, the nasty side of his personality rears its ugly head later on in the relationship and shit hits the fan. You are not owed anything to being nice. You are not owed a relationship for being a nice guy. When it comes to love, you have to be patient and let it happen naturally. 
  4. It shows how love is seen as self-worth for many: In this current society, we constantly see, hear and read things about how important love, sex and relationships are, and you’re not worth jack until you’re with someone. People are afraid to die alone. People want to love and feel loved. And many would sell their kidney to lose their virginity. It scares me how so many people use other people and love as a measure of their self worth. If they are single and/or a virgin, they feel that something is wrong with them. They question why they are the only person ever who’s single. (I actually thought I was too “ugly” and “retarded” so that’s why boys didn’t like me, which was wrong) This causes people to hate themselves, harm themselves, starve themselves, pretend to be someone else. The message I have is this: There is more to life than sex and love. Relationships do not define who you are or your value as a person. Do not rely on others to make you feel good as a person. Because it will cause you a lot of pain in the long run. 

To the families affected by the Santa Barbara tragedy and the family of Maren Sanchez: I wish you consolation in your time of sadness and I am sorry for your loss. Rest in peace.

 

 

17 things every girl needs to remember at all times

17 things every girl needs to remember at all times

Hannah Gale

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Because life isn’t always easy, most of the time it’ll make you want to smack yourself in the face, cry for no reason and eat potato-based products. But that’s a-ok.

Go on, remember these things and try not to have a breakdown today..

1. Nobody on their deathbed ever says that they wished that they had worked more. Any dying regrets will be that they loved harder, lived fuller and embarked on more adventures. Remember that when you’re beating yourself up about your career or lack of. Your work should always be to fund your lifestyle and happiness and not to be the epicentre of your universe. If you’re moping because your career plan just ain’t happening, get a grip. Go on holiday with friends or have a boozy barbecue with family. Don’t ever forget to think about and prioritise what makes you happy.

2. £2.99 eyeliner from Collection 2000…

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Feet of a Dancer: One Year Later

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A year ago today was my graduation from Loreto secondary school. As an annual tradition, the song “Feet of a Dancer” written by Charlie McGettigon is played over the intercom all over the school for the sixth years. Because it was also a convent school, we had a graduation mass, where we learned the song. 

My time at Loreto was mostly positive, but I had some bad times. I wanted to go there since I was 10 years old (four years before I became a student there). Having no distinct talents or achievements of my own, I thought secondary school would be a good start to get some. 

First year was an awkward time for me. I was socially awkward. I learned I was autistic the year before. I was a bit chubbier, had acne on my face, didn’t own a good straightener, didn’t wear makeup every day. I preferred The Beatles over Beyonce. I was bullied for being autistic when I was 6 and I didn’t want to bullied again (I still don’t). I didn’t go to the discos to “meet” boys. I tended to express my anger openly if something or someone was bothering me. I was afraid of EVERYONE.  I told very few people about it, for fear of bad reaction.  I remember my first day of school. My mam drove me in. We gathered in the canteen. I met my two friends from primary school. I met a Polish girl who had no English. I tired to explain how to find her class by reading her name on the door. We were called to our classrooms and she followed me. I was assigned my seat (which was in alphabetical order) and met my first friend. A Chinese girl with a bubbly personality and a smart cookie. We spent the afternoon with our youth leaders who were assigned to us. One of them, I ended up getting to know her through volunteering and other family connections. I struggled with making friends in the first few weeks, until a girl invited me to sit with her. She was and still is the smartest lady I ever met, with a love for rugby and chocolate. Sitting next to her was a girl I saw before through our confirmation. She sang in it and we bonded over sarcasm (for someone with problems reading social cues, I learned how to read sarcasm from her). I met another girl in my class. She had a disability too, though I didn’t always see eye to eye with her at first. My friends from primary school also became friends with my friends which brought us together. As the year progressed, I became more confident after joining the basketball team and coming second from a talent show after reciting a poem. I came out to my class about my autism, and even agreed to make a speech about my past for CSPE. It went well and people were accepting. 

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In second year, I took part Gaisce for a bronze medal. I did volunteering with disabled people in the sports hall every Saturday, learned how to play guitar (which I started February of first year) and we did training exercises at the gym in the sports hall. Two of my friends did it too and I made friends with the Gaisce coaches including an SNA who’s the nicest and bravest lady I ever met, a resource teacher who was good at art, and an eccentric nun who was so cool and knew a lot about social justice. I was more confident, though I did struggle with getting along with some people at times. I also joined badminton. I kept on French, Home Ec, Business, Science, Irish, English, Maths, Geography and History. I bonded with my cooking partner and I developed a skill and love for cross-stitching and cooking. The Gaisce trip to Kerry was a great experience and I knew I wanted to do Gaisce again. 

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Third year was stressful because of the Junior Cert. However I was getting along great with the people in my year. No problems at all. I did clash with a teacher because I was not satisfied with the class progression.  The nun I mentioned earlier became my favourite person in the world and my confidant for my stress. She taught me a lot of important lessons including “Is there fire? Is there blood?” which I still use to this day. I was devastated when I learned she was moving away. But we gave her a good send-off. Luckily my Junior Cert went fine after months of grinds for Irish and Maths. (Where I almost failed both during the mocks)

third year

My fourth year was Transition Year. That was my favourite year in my time of school. It was the happiest time in my teenage years. I went to Rome on my school tour and it was one of the best trips ever. I did Silver Gaisce like I wanted to. I did badminton and swimming for physical, I volunteered with autistic kids for volunteering, and I learned Mandarin Chinese for my skill (I don’t remember much now sadly). I was part of the Young Social Innovators in school and we did a project on homophobia in schools. We made it to the Dublin showcase and I pretended to be a lesbian for a five minute skit. We also had the TY trip to Kerry where we went hiking and kayaking. That was fun, until I cut my hand after a bad fall.  I took many opportunities that year and I had so much fun (although maths was SO BORING). That year gave me the most progress as person and I felt much more confident. 

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Fifth year was the start of the Leaving Cert course. I kept on Irish, English, Maths, French, Business, Biology, Geography. All higher level except maths. It wasn’t easy, but I got through it. I got to know more people because of the third years who skipped TY. I did basketball for the last time that year, and it was my best. I became a belly dancer for a year, which was a fun distraction from school. I finally got to do my Gaisce trip where I went hiking and kayaking with the TYs (why I wasn’t allowed to do it when I was in TY still mystifies me to this day). I rediscovered my love for English with the help of a great teacher, and I realised I wanted to study it in college, which was why I chose arts. 

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Sixth year was my final year. In terms of my friends and socialising, it was my best year yet. In terms of the Leaving Cert and my relationship with some authority figures, it was hell. I got in trouble many times due to stress-induced anger. At the time, I couldn’t wait to see the back of them. My solaces were my crush on Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch, 18th birthday parties, and studying at Fermoy Education Centre, because I was never judged by the people in charge. I paid my fee, did my work and it was peaceful. I even got to eat at a place nearby called Café Mocha, which did great Chicken & Relish wraps with tea every Saturday while reading my John Green books. I applied to UCC in the CAO and was excited about the future. I didn’t care what job I had, what my subjects in arts were, or even if I made friends or not in college, I knew I would be happy. Although I’d miss some things. I’d miss my school friends, the general peaceful atmosphere of my peers, some of my favourite teachers. I loved the Leaving Cert sleepover where our year raised €2000 for cancer research and hospice care. I graduated on May 22nd 2013, where we went to Youghal beach and then had our mass. I got to bring the Bible up to the altar. My parents were there and I felt proud that I got through school in one piece. My classmates and I partied into the night after the mass at the pub. I got through the Leaving Cert in one piece and finished on June 13th 2013. 

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One year later, I reflect on whether or not school has served me well. Sometimes I think “God damn those exams didn’t reflect me as a person! Screw the exams! Screw the people who gave me hell! College is more relevant and served me better!” In some cases, college did serve me very well. However, this confidence that increased in my first year in college wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have the previous confidence built up from school. Transition Year helped me more ready and mature for college. School helped realise what I wanted to be in life (and suited me best) through English class. I learned more social issues, business and geography which served me well in Sociology. Renaissance History served me well in English. TY Classical Studies served me well in Greek & Roman Civilisation. Home Ec taught me how to cook, which was great for living away from home. The most important thing I learned from school is that if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. 

BohemianNerdGirl’s Video of the Week: “Le poids des apparences | The importance of appearances experiment”

An insightful social experiment done in France of how people react to someone in need depending on how they appear. This compares how a shabbily dressed man and a well dressed man cough and collapse on the street. The results are shocking.

(English translation of video description) “With respect to the privacy of people, I decided to blur all faces could be recognized. But I still received a claim for invasion of privacy by a person.

New video this weekend.

I’ve never been so sad and shocked while filming as I was for this experience.

I hope this video will make you want to help anyone. regardless of its appearance.

It speaks for itself.”

(uploaded by NorniTUBE)

What College Means To Me: A Look Back On First Year

Since my relatives decided to go there, I wanted to go to University College Cork. Seeing them go through their time living in the city I always felt that I would never get to that stage. That it was always out of reach. This feeling amplified when I got into Leaving Cert when I feared that I’ll have to repeat because I wasn’t smart enough. Or that autistic people never go to college, purely because I didn’t know anyone who did. Although I loved my six years in secondary school, Leaving Cert was hell and I did things I am not proud of. As I was getting nearer graduation, I just wanted to fast forward to September because I would be anywhere else and I would be happy because it wasn’t the Leaving Cert. On October 12th 2012, I went on an open day to UCC. I considered doing Arts because I wanted to study English. Looking at the other arts subjects and the college itself, I saw myself there in the future and it felt right.

I also discovered the course Arts International. It was exactly like Arts, except everyone in the course could study abroad in third year, no matter what subject you did. My brother went to America when I was in Junior Cert and my sister went to Scotland when I was in Leaving Cert. They loved it and as my mother says “it was the makings of them”. I always wanted to travel and I knew I’d need more time to develop as a person (which is also why I did Transition Year when I was 17).

I finished my exams on June 13th 2013. Two months later, shortly after my 20th birthday, I got my results. I got 435 points, which I knew was enough to get into UCC. The following Monday, the CAO offers came out. Arts International in UCC was offered to me and I accepted. I checked the number of points the course on the paper: 430. That made my success even sweeter. 

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I picked my subjects in arts: English, Sociology, Philosophy and Greek & Roman Civilisation. I moved into my college house a week before classes started. I got registered on the orientation day and got my student card. I met new people at my house. We had an orientation party. I got advice from my sister. Things were looking great.

 

I started college on September 16th 2013. My first class was Greek & Roman Civilisation. Shortly after, I met a girl in the UCC gift shop (which I’ll call her Mrs Potter). She was the first friend I ever made in college that stuck. We talked about Harry Potter and Korean dramas that day. I sat next to her in Greek & Roman since then.

 

I was a little nervous of what I had to learn, especially English. The timetable was misleading. I wasn’t registered to Blackboard. I joined tae kwon do and several societies (perhaps too many). I watched Iron Man 3 with a boy I liked in the sci-fi society. There was the Freshers Ball which was amazing fun.

Week 2 was not fun because I had laryngitis, which was painful and made it harder to socialise with new people. That week, I discovered the Mythological Society. They talked about myths in Marvel Comics. It was interesting. A few weeks later, I accidentally became first year rep for myth soc.

By October, my one friend Mrs Potter, I could only meet her at Greek & Roman. The boy I liked stopped hanging out with me. I was so lonely. That changed on the open day. Myth Soc had to promote themselves and I was roped in with the OCM (who I’ll call Pony Boy). We set up the stall together. We chatted, struggled to steal tables and we became friends. The following Thursday, he introduced me to his friend (who I’ll call Happy). I discovered that the three of us did Philosophy and we became “The Philosophy Three”. Happy also became my friend and I also sat next to him in Greek & Roman. 

Since late 2012, I wanted to be a journalist. I was encouraged to join Motley magazine by my mother. My first article was about selfies and Snapchat. When I saw it published for the first time, I was so happy. As the months went on, I did more articles, learned a few lessons and even got to interview Elyar Fox. The editor loved my work and even wanted me to apply for the editorial team. I fell in love with journalism and I want to do it for the rest of my life.

I took opportunities, talked to people through societies. I even rose up the ranks to OCM and Events & Equipment Officer in Myth Soc. I went to screenings regularly at Sci-fi. I attended two anime conventions: Eirtakon in November and Kaizoku Con in March. My small group of friends became even stronger after helping move in to my 2nd (and much nicer) flat. I had fun times, went to a few parties, watched animes, played Cards Against Humanity, hung out in McDonalds at 11pm, became a tae kwon do fighter, and worked hard when needed.

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College even made love my family more than I already did. I became more grateful for what my parents did to help get me here. Nobody expected a screaming 3 year old with autism to become this person in 2014. On my month off, I studied with my sister every day in the library and sometimes during the year we would eat pizza together and watch Graham Norton at her house or my house.

So the question is this: what does college mean to me? It means EVERYTHING! It made me more confident, happier and smarter. it gave me friends, experience, and this is the best thing to ever happen to me and I am so grateful for it all.  

One year down, three to go.