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Arising Ideas

Arising Ideas

After sitting here and contemplating how I’m going to start my first blog post for a good twenty minutes, I finally decided that I better get on with it…

I’m a young writer who has just engulfed on a journey that excites and scares me all at the same time, an English course. Not just any English course, an English course where I can share my ideas with writers who are just as passionate. It may not seem like a big deal but for someone who has always loved writing it really is. At the age of eight I would write children books about talking trees, at the age of eleven I wrote diaries about all the trips I went on, at the age of thirteen I created a daily journal, and now here I am at the age of sixteen writing my very first blog post. It’s been quite the journey so far.

Why did I name my blog “Arising Ideas?” Well that’s a good question. Growing up in the diverse environment that I have been a part of my whole life, I constantly encounter different people and different experiences. Throughout these moments I tend to form different views on life because ideas are always arising in my mind. As the year goes on, I will continue to face different experiences and gain different perspectives on life and I will make sure to share them on this blog.

Whether you stumbled upon this blog or you actually searched for it, I hope you get something out of my crazy ideas. Feel free to leave your thoughts because I would love to hear your perspective on my ideas.

~Nikita

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Looking Back

Intimidation came over me as I walked into AP Lang class on the very first day. The stories of stressful timed writes and heaps of work kept replaying in my mind. The first month I kept asking myself if joining the class was the right decision because everyone around me seemed to have had it all together. Now here I am one year late and I can tell you one thing, don’t quit because time flies. Before you know it you’ll have accomplished what you thought you couldn’t.

Looking back at where I was and where I’ve come, I can clearly see a huge change. I remember facing my first timed write and running out of time with only two paragraphs written down. I remember when I was first handed a rhetorical analysis essay and I looked at it with absolutely no idea on how to begin. I remember the anxiety that would rush over me with each assignment that was given. In the moment I didn’t think I would be able to get over the mountains that were giving me so much stress. Even when I really felt like giving up, I didn’t and that little bit of perseverance has brought me where I am today. I have learned so much about myself and I now know how to motivate myself to do my best.

I have learned to write in a style that fits me. I have always written according to how I thought writing should be and how others did it. Figuring out my own way of writing has made me appreciate it so much more. I hope to continue exploring my writing and maybe one day you’ll happen to read a magazine article and see “by Nikita Sehmi” written at the top of the page.

~Nikita

Appreciation

About a month ago my family and I headed over to the Sweetwaters Conservancy to “appreciate” the wonders of Kenya. Okay lets backtrack… I really didn’t want to spend my Easter break on a Safari. I mean, having lived in Kenya for all my life I have already been on safaris so many times. Anyway, I had to go and it ended up being an amazing trip.

We began our journey early on a Saturday morning and our first stop was The Ark in the Aberdare National Park. This is where my appreciation for Kenya’s wildlife spurred again. I say “again” because I’ve always had this appreciate it just seemed to have disappeared for a bit. Staying up late to watch the elephants and buffalo who happily shared the watering hole together made me realize that they are such peaceful animals who are jus trying to survive. Seeing this I began to ask the question, Why? Why would anyone want to kill these beautiful creatures? How can a whole life be taken just for a tusk?

The next day we headed to the Sweetwaters Conservancy and that’s where I really began to think about how the damage has already been done and now all we can do is take the uttermost care of what we have left. There is a large human-wildlife conflict and conservancies like the one I visited are doing as much as they can to save the wildlife. However, they can only fight so much, especially when people are not willing to listen. We are not directly affected by the killing of wildlife but think of this, you’ll be telling your children about the beautiful elephants that once roamed Africa, and they will be asking you “How they looked?” and “How they died?” It’s a scary reality and we still have the little bit of time to save what’s left. I know, it’s hard to believe that you can do something, especially when it’s such a large issue. I can tell you, you can do so much, even if it just means appreciating wildlife.

~Nikita

Nothing has Changed

We have grown up in a society where knowledge in terms of facts has become the key to success. We are taught to value facts so much that many times we forget to ask questions and think for ourselves. We are told not to believe anything unless there are facts behind it. While facts are important, they shouldn’t be the only thing that determine our education.

Many students, including myself, have crammed dates and statistics in hopes to pass a test the next day. While these facts are important, hours of memorization aren’t going to get us through the harsh realities of life. Growing up in the 21st century we experience things children shouldn’t experience. We are under pressure on a daily basis to conform to the ideas of society. We face beauty pressures, academic pressures and peer pressure among so many other things. We are exposed to so many ideals that aren’t realistic and we need to have the skills to avoid falling into such negativity. I can tell you that facts won’t solve the issues we presently face and they sure aren’t going to help us make decisions that could be life changing either.

The world has changed in incredible ways from fashion and technology to gender roles. However, there is one specific thing that is still yet to change and that is Education. We still learn in the typical classroom setting and while we do have laptops and smart boards, there is still no significant change to how we learn. We study and memorize in order to pass tests. We complete work and turn it in. We raise our hands to speak. I mean that’s how it’s always worked. Now the question is, Is that the only way it can work?

“What’s gotten in the way of education in the United States is a theory of social engineering that says there is ONE RIGHT WAY to proceed with growing up.”
― John Taylor Gatto (“Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education”)

Away from Reality

Entertainment in the 21st century has largely developed.  Entertainment has changed from reading a book and watching a play to much, much more. Don’t get me wrong watching plays and reading books is still common but now entertainment offers what would never have been imagined. Movies, video games and social media flood the phones, laptops and tablets that easily carry them around. Look around you, most of the people are carrying some form of device with them. Entertainment has become a large part of how we go about living our lives.

Entertainment has become our form of relaxation. In today’s world we always have to be doing something, even when it comes to relaxation. After we get away from the days stress we go home sit on the couch and turn on the TV. When family time comes along we all go for a movie together. Family group chats are flooded with messages that contain funny videos and cheesy memes. Entertainment has become an easy way to get our minds off of the things that trouble us.

Entertainment has become a form of motivation. Many students, including myself get through the week knowing that we will have the new episode of our favorite series waiting for us. Study breaks consist of scrolling through social media, which can sometimes end up taking way longer than anticipated. Our excitement is fueled by knowing that we have some sort of entertainment waiting for us.

Entertainment has become an easy distraction. It allows us not to feel the pain that comes with life by taking us to another planet. No one wants to feel pain, so we all conform to Entertainment.

~Nikita

 

Creativity Matters

Creativity matters. Schools have become so wrapped up in the idea of grades and standards being met that they forget about innovation. Each student has their own way of expressing creativity, whether it is in math, english or art class. Unfortunately, students have also become caught up on the mentality that grades matter more than the learning process and the creativity that come along with it. We have fallen into this hole of standards because the idea of getting good grades has been so emphasised that we have started to believe it.

I recently began taking an art class that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, in Rosslyn Academy creativity is graded. We are graded on the techniques we use, as well as the over all look. I understand that we have to meet the assignment requirements, but what looks great to me may look terrible to the teacher. Every time I finish a piece I show it to the teacher and she always tells me that I need to add a little more or I need to take away parts of my piece. I change my work according to her opinions because after all, she is the one grading it.

Many students just like me, have this mindset where they are willing to sacrifice their creativity for a grade. We should be encouraging individuals to express their creativity rather than allowing them to bottle it up just for a grade.

“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued” ~Ken Robinson

A Male Driven Sport?

Everyday after school we would head to the track with the trailer hitched on to the car. I would sit there for hours watching my brother practice for the upcoming races. One day we were headed for practice and my brother and I came up with a great plan to ask my dad if I could ride. Surprisingly, he said yes (I’m not sure if he was joking but his words became a reality very quickly), so I wore all my brothers old gear and I rode his old motorbike at the age of nine. The whole thing seemed very natural to me and that’s how the whole journey began.

I continued to practice and I began to excel at the sport. Soon I had my own gear and everyone knew me as the only “girl rider.” Once i could control the bike pretty well, I began to race. Within those years I changed from a 50cc to 65cc to 85cc bike. As my brother moved to a bigger bike I would get his old one. I won medals and certificates and every season I would win a trophy for being one of the only “girl riders” (an older girl started racing.) I have to admit I was young… and which kid doesn’t like receiving a trophy. But now that I come to think of it, why were they giving me a trophy for being a girl? None of the boys were getting trophies for being boys.

They felt the need to give me a trophy because I was a girl who had made it in a male driven sport. When we had the East African national races, there would be five girls and we would all get a trophy simply because we were girl riders. We need to break the idea that a woman should be rewarded just because she was able to do something a man did. Rather women should be expected to do the same and even better. Young girls should be given the same expectations a young boy is given, so that they both put in their best efforts and succeed based on merit.

“There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.” —Rihanna

Impact

Naomi Shihab Nye has already impacted me in the few weeks I have known her. She is kind and strong in her beliefs. She preaches about peace and unity among all nations. She is proud of her culture and background. She has the ability to communicate in ways that inspire you to change, I say that from experience. Let me tell you a bit more about her so you can get to know her for yourself.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a wolf in the midst of a harsh snow blizzard, surviving using her instincts.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a tulip because she is always ready to open up when she finds the need to.

Naomi Shihab is Rakaan because it is a rich Arab perfume that represents her vivid Middle Eastern culture.

Naomi Shihab is a pair of sandals because her writing is inspired from the local people she meets on the streets.

Naomi Shihab is Monday because all though it is the hardest and longest day of the week, her beliefs shine through the struggle.

Naomi Shihab is a date, hard on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a deep burgundy, a color that doesn’t blend in easily.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a circle because she never has a breaking point, even through the hard times she keeps going.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a hospital treating those who have lost all hope in the world.

Naomi Shihab is the word peace because she is informing both the Middle East and the U.S. that their views on each other are wrong.

Naomi Shihab Nye is a violin, as soon as her bow touches the strings her sweet music draw the attention of the whole room.

Naomi Shihab is summer, she brings warmth to the coldest nights.

Naomi Shihab is an Iron, she removes even the tiniest wrinkles that impact our world.

Naomi Shihab is lightning, bright and silent in the sky but causes a loud boom in response.

Naomi Shihab is Katniss, fighting to end war.

 

 

 

 

 

One Chance

I’ve always dreamt about graduating from college and moving to New York. I would first start off with an internship in an underground office enclosed by bright red brick walls. I would build new friendships and probably be afraid of my boss. After a few months of work, filing papers and picking up coffee I would get a real job. I would work in a tall building and my office would be on the top floor. There will be large windows overlooking the crowded, loud, beautiful… great… I am ranting. Just one more thing, I would make friends with the door man of my office building. Okay I’m done.

Now back to reality, how am I going to get that internship or even that job. It all starts off with writing a resume. You only get one chance to land the job. What may take you hours to write will take your possible boss twenty-five seconds to skim over.

Catch your hiring manager’s eye with words that will make them want to pay closer attention to your resume. Stating the companies you have worked with will catch the reader’s eye, especially if they are large corporations. Feel free to mention your accomplishments so that your interviewer knows what you are capable of. I mean don’t mention all your accomplishments, be specific and select ones that relate to the job you are applying for. Let the hiring manager know that you are the solution to the companies problems. Let the company know that it will be their loss if they don’t call you in for an interview.

Make sure that you take your one chance and maybe one day when you are in New York I’ll invite you up to my office.

~Nikita

 

Survival

Growing up we have always been told to tell the truth. I remember sitting in my kindergarten classroom and one of the ‘Golden Values’ posted on the wall was truth. We have never questioned why truth is so important, we just try to do it because we know that it is considered to be right.

Presently there are many examples of people saying things just for popularity or in hopes to gain support. The typical white lie is not common anymore. The present lies have large impacts on people and even when the truth eventually comes out it is too late… the damage has already been done. It doesn’t matter how we get there, all that matters is that we do get there.

The world has become a very self-centered place, where everyone focuses on themselves. As Darwin said, “Survival of the Fittest.” Only those who can keep up with a society that is constantly changing survive. I can’t say I agree with this statement. I mean… does “surviving” mean trampling on others to get to the top? Or does it simply mean accepting the norms that society comes to have?

Survival should mean sticking to your own beliefs, especially when everyone else alters theirs. Survival should mean being able to say what it is right and wrong, even when people may not agree. Survival should mean telling the truth even when people may not support you. Society is full of peer pressure, bullying, and corruption but being able to avoid these actions through truth is truly survival.

~Nikita

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