Volume 1, Issue 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS REQUIRED Inside this issue:
Meaning of Life & Describe Yourself
Most Influential Person & Time Capsule
Remember Me & Child- 4 hood Memory Future Goals & Despair 5 and Lesson Learned Top 10 Books
Top 10 Books cont’d
Pop Culture Reflections
World News Reflections
Art Reflection #1 (lyrics)
Art Reflection #2 (picture)
Perspective We do not know what another person is experiencing in their lives or what has happened to them to make them behave a certain way. We can never take people at face value because there is so much more to people than what they show. Each person in the world has passions, hopes, dreams, fears, a family, and their own desires, so it is unfair to label someone based on how they acted a certain day. You really can’t appreciate anything in this world if you only see it through the black and white lens that is your own perspective; we add color to our world when we allow ourselves to see it in a different light. We cannot expect people to behave and think as we do, because no one is you. People are themselves and we have to take the good and the bad from them and accept them for what they are. Once you are able to understand other people’s depth and their perception it allows you to understand yourself better and allows you to appreciate the world that you live in more fruitfully.
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The Meaning of Life The question as to the meaning of life is as long as life itself. After nearly 18 years on this Earth, I’ve found that our life is not defined by our time here, but how we spend our time here. The meaning of life is to give meaning to others lives. Life’s purpose is the search for purpose. It is what you can contribute to others, it is the love that overflows from your life to other’s lives. Our purpose is to connect with one another, to form a chain of brotherhood and unity with the rest of the world. We
were created to be on this brings. Our meaning is the earth to experience the great- pursuit of a connection and est Love known, or rather, intimacy with God and others. unknown to man by God, and to return this love to others. Our purpose is the pursuit of God’s divine love and the lifelong practice of spreading this perfect love. I’ve come to find that no matter how satisfied I think I may be with whatever I am doing at the time, our fondest memories are those that we have shared with others. It is those times when we have felt close to other people and shared in the joy that life
Describe Yourself…. As a friend, I try to embody the qualities that my friends should have, because I know in order to have a balanced friendship you often get what you give. I am encouraging and I listen without judgment. Everyone makes mistakes, and your role as a friend is to give your opinion, but understand that people are free to make whatever
decisions they want and are telling you their story because they see you as a confidant. A disadvantage to being a friend is finding the balance between having your own life and interests and being there for a friend. Often, I find myself caught up in my own problems, other friends, stress, or interests that I become aloof, may ignore, or
may lash out against about what qualities I value in the people a friend depending on the circumstance. around me. However, the advantages of having someone invest in your life and having someone to enjoy and spend time with outweighs the cons. My friendship with others helps shape my character; every person that I encounter has some sort of effect on me and teaches me about myself and
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Most Influential Person She was young and her smile and energy brightened the entire room. She was the only child of my aunt’s four children that had the same blonde spiral curls as her mom- a feature which made her unique in our Middle Eastern family. Her life as well as her death has shaped me
into becoming the person that I am today, and sadly, it often takes the former to appreciate the latter. The courage to battle cancer at age five is unfathomable; she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and had to undergo chemo at that age. Those blonde spirals vanished, but she was still always
the most beautiful girl in the room. With maturity and courage beyond her years, she faced it head on, often being the one to reassure her family, leaving behind letters for her siblings and mother for them to read later on. She possessed the fervent curiosity of a child and was eager to learn
and experience as much as she could with the little time she had on this Earth. She showed me that our obstacles do not define us and not to waste life spending time on the mundane, because the ordinary that we experience is what she fought desperately to have.
Time Capsule 1.) Paper Towns by John Green; I would include this book in my time capsule because it’s my favorite book and has influenced my outlook on life and also reflects that I love to read. 2.) Phone charger; I would include a phone charger because our generation is immensely dependent on our phones, myself included. We can’t go anywhere without our phones, with a plethora of social media websites, a built in camera, GPS, and the ability to put bank accounts or flight info onto our phone, many of us really wouldn’t be able to live without our phones. 3.) A DVD; only because if this was a time capsule, I’d want to open it up and find that this was a time when we still watched movies on DVD, since I’m sure that by the time our capsule would be opened, DVD’s would be long gone. 4.) My necklace with my name written in Arabic; It resembles my name and the fact that I am Middle Eastern. My culture is the most important thing to me and I would want future generations to know that about me. 5.) A cross; My faith is very important to me and that’s also something I would want known about me. I also wonder what faith will be like in the future, as I see it slowly deteriorate from our lives today.
“She showed me that our obstacles do not define us and not to waste life spending time on the mundane, because the ordinary that we experience is what she fought desperately to have. “
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Remember Me... Throughout high school, I really wasn’t a part of any clubs except for recently, Youth Alive, which is a Christian club. I hope that I am reflective of Christ because as a Christian that’s we hope to be. I hope to be remembered as a peacemaker- as someone who’s voice was used to encourage and fill people with life. I hope that I stand out as someone who wasn’t like what society breeds. Remember me as someone with ideas and a dream to change the world that
we live in, to make a difference in the lives of others. Remember me as one to voice an unpopular opinion but to have a solution and peaceful resolve to back it up, because words without actions are dead. Remember me as a girl who brought life into the room and could flip a gloomy day into a joyful experience that will resonate with people. I hope that I can brighten people’s hearts and mind. I hope I am remembered as someone you could voice your thoughts to
with a guaranteed confidence that it wouldn’t lesser your image or reputation in my eyes.
Childhood Memory... As eighth grade girls, Lily, Josee, Sam, and I believed that the four of us would be best friends forever. We were sure that our sisterhood would withstand the hardships of high school, whatever they may be. The summer before our freshman year of high school we decided that we would hold a sacred ceremony where we buried a time capsule containing individual letters to each other and little gifts and trinkets that were symbolic between each of us. That night we brought everything that we would bury and walked to the small wooded
area in Lily’s backyard. We set elapsed. up candles and played the song, “Time of Your Life” by Green Day and we read our letters off as sentimental tears escaped with each sentence. Josee wrapped duct tape all around the box to ensure that the elements wouldn’t taint anything in our box in the coming years as Lily and I took turns digging up a hole in the crusted and hardened soil. We looked at our eyes, blackened with runny makeup once we got inside, wondering what would be different when we encountered the box again after four years
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My Goals for the future... “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one,” once sang my idol John Lennon. My hopes for the future are indeed ambitious, unrealistic to some, but circulate around my passions. Something along the lines of international affairs, foreign relations, diplomacy, and even law, with a concentration in the Middle East is where my heart is. My mind never registered and clicked with the numbers and logic that math offered, but instead
with the flow and beauty of words and the past. There is nothing more important to me than my culture, and nothing I want to fight for harder than peace throughout the world, but especially in the Middle East. A dream job would be to work in the United Nations, but I don’t quite know if I want to pursue a path in law as an attorney first or perhaps something in English to teach children how to read and write. I plan on attending Indiana
Wesleyan this fall, and working far harder than I did in high school and immersing myself in my studies and the activities and clubs they offer, then either getting a license as a teacher or going on to law or business school. I know what I like, and I know that I want to help people in the world and want desperately to be a part of a movement for peace but I’m open to the journey that will lead me to my career choice.
Despair & Lesson Learned... I didn’t understand why or how a five year old could be diagnosed with one of the rarest types of cancer, or why someone half my age had to undergo trials that I wouldn’t dream of experiencing my entire life. I couldn’t bear witness to the slow degeneration of one of the most beautiful young girls in our entire family and seeing the beautiful blonde curls that were a rarity in our culture disappear through rounds of chemo therapy or the eager struggle to fit a lifetime of learning
and experience into a short three years because she was uncertain she would live to experience these things naturally. I definitely didn’t understand burying an eight year old in a white casket and kissing a cold face for the last time. I didn’t know how to deal with the enormous, crushing weight of the regret I had for things unsaid and promises not kept because of underestimated time. In this time of grief, I learned to lean not on my own understanding and trust God;
there were things in this life that I wouldn’t understand or their purpose not revealed until later, perhaps never, and that I would just have to accept that. I learned that you need to make the most of every day, as cliché as it sounds, because life truly is a gift that we are not guaranteed. I learned to have a childlike curiosity and eagerness to learn and experience life, as though my time was of the essence, just as my cousin, Dounia’s had been.
.” I learned to have a childlike curiosity and eagerness to learn and experience life, as though my time was of the essence, just as my cousin, Dounia’s had been.”
Top 10 Favorite Books 10. The Pact by Jodi Picoult
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written in the 20’s still parallels our lives today, and for this reason is a classic. 5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I loved reading this book. It was one of those books where you read it, and then you had a book hangover for the remainder of that day. One of my favorite quotes is, “You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you.” You get to choose who you invest your heart in, even if it’s just a friendship. 9. The Ghost of Fossil Glen by Cynthia DeFelice Life isn’t fair for anyone but it’s also up to you to choose This was one of my favorite books when I was a child. who gets to be apart of your life, and I feel like that’s a My cousin loved to explain the books she read to me, and very important thing to remember- that you are the author I was so enchanted by this book that I went and rented it of your life. 4. Looking for Alaska by John Green from the library and I fell in love. I went on to read the next two books by this author. I had always loved reading This book is one of my favorites because it helped me books when I was younger, but I loved reading to learn, come to terms when my cousin died, and helped me forthis was one of the first books that I read for pleasure, and give myself. The book spoke things that I myself was feeling, “We had to forgive to survive in the labyrinth. I credit this book for my love for reading and books. There were so many of us who would have to live with things done and things left undone that day. Things that 8. The Boy With The Cuckoo Clock Heart by Mathias did not go right, things that seemed okay at the time beMalzieu cause we could not see the future. If only we could see the endless string of consequences that result from our smallI love this book because it was just so eloquently and beautifully written. It was a rare occurrence where I loved est actions. But we can’t know better until knowing better the book more for its flow, metaphors, and words, more is useless.” This quote resonated with me because it is raw and has proven true with experience. The only way to surso than its plot. vive the labyrinth that is life, is to forgive. 7. Running With Scissors by Augustine Burroughs This book also gave me an interest in law which I’m now looking into in college. This book really questioned the boundaries of love and how far you’d go to make someone happy, and if that really counted as love.
This book taught me to embrace the inner weirdness that we all have, because you can never make a fool out of yourself if you’re enjoying yourself. 6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
I absolutely adored reading these books, and I’ve actually read the whole series more than once. My brother also I love this book because it sums up the empty pursuit of read the series, and it was always tradition to see the latest the American Dream and the shallowness of the wealthy Harry Potter movie with my family. I grew up with this who have nothing to lose, so use their money as a protector and in fact, do lose nothing. One of my favorite quotes series, the books were the foundation of the movies that brought my family together and were one of the few was, “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just rethings that we bonded over. This series gave me a love for member that all the people in this world haven’t had the reading and showed me that books were a magical thing advantages that you’ve had.” We really have so much, and in comparison to much of the rest of the world are so that could transport you to mystical places. fortunate, and in regards have the world at our feet. This 2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky book captivated me, because I felt like even though it was
This book was written in such an insightful way, and Charlie’s perspective is one that has resonated with me ever since I read this book almost five years ago. This book has taught me that if you feel a certain way, or want to do something you need to show it. “You can't just sit there and put everyone's lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can't. You have to do things.” This is important to me because it taught me that I should let people know what I enjoy about them or if they’re doing something I don’t like. Another valuable lesson this book has taught me that no matter if people have it worse than you, it doesn’t belittle the pain that you have and you shouldn’t have to apologize for feeling pain, even if someone may have it worse than you, you still have what you have.
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1. Paper Towns by John Green This is my favorite book of all time, because I feel as though I can relate to one of the main characters, Margo very much; she embodies much of how I feel and does things that I wish I could do, but am too scared to do. This book has taught me one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned and that is that you can’t expect people to be you. You can’t expect them to live for you, or live like you; you just have to accept people for how they are and appreciate the good in people. You can’t change a person, so it’s important to just enjoy the things that you do enjoy in a person and not focus on the qualities that you don’t like in a person.
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Lady Gaga– Pop Icon of the Decade http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/lady-gaga-our-lady-of-pop/# This article was about Lady Gaga and trying to understand who she was on and offstage. It discussed her crazy and raw self onstage and her one of a kind relationship with her fans, and what she thought of herself, and how in person she was very different from the person she was onstage. The article made a great analysis of her name, in the essence that as a performer she is “GaGa” and that in person she is more of a Lady. Lady Gaga was actually named second most influential person of the decade in a Time Magazine poll which makes her a perfect candidate for the pop culture portion of this. Although shock factor in artists has been forever, Gaga has taken it new extremes, with her Grammy egg entrance and her meat dress. Lady Gaga is also a huge advocate for equal rights in the gay community which also adds to her popularity and even controversy. Although she had only been around for three years she is a common household name and always sure to turn heads, raise eyebrows, and stir up questions about her latest performance or outfit.
A Decade of Movie Making Over—Harry Potter http://nytimes.com/2011/07/03/movies/the-fans-are-all-right-for-harrypotter.html?ref=harrypotter&_r=0 This article discusses the evolution of Harry Potter as movies and as books from becoming progressively darker and about the huge success that the movies have been in the box office and throughout the decade. The article talks about the influence that Harry Potter has had in bringing adults to the fond nostalgia or being young, and equally, the children in the fascination of growing up all the while woven in a captivating fantasy cinema. It is vital to include Harry Potter as one of the most important pop culture movements of our time because it was based on beloved best seller books that many of us read as children, and movies which literally were with us throughout most of our lives. The Harry Potter films lasted over a decade, meaning that I had begun watching Harry Potter at the age of 6 following me to age 16. This movie series has birthed an era of fantasy movies and books risen, inspired by J.K Rowling’s art work and has brought people together through a love of this book. I know this to be especially true as it is the biggest and one of the few things that my family and I bond over. We would watch every Harry Potter movie together when it came out, and my brother and I would watch it in the car on long road trips. It is one of the rare and few book and movie series that you get to enjoy as a child and actually grow up with as the characters grow up as well.
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History Repeats… Israel & Palestine Divided by a Wall http://www.aljazeera.com/indeptch/features/2012/12/20121225825178322.html There has been a wall being built progressively over the last ten years dividing Israel and Palestine, cutting through more of Palestine’s land that has been claimed by Israel. Israel has excused the division by saying it is for security reasons but many speculate that it is to set future boundaries for the would-be division of the states. The article discusses the negative effects that the wall has had over the economy in Palestine and the social structure of Palestine as well, since it has separated families and friends from each other. The wall also has forced people to leave their homes so that they would not forfeit their right to visit Jerusalem. This angers me because it’s just another step that Israel has taken in their process of ethnic cleansing that no one has done anything about. History repeats itself; is this the next Berlin Wall? When will it be torn down though? I hope to see a day where there is peace and justice served.
9/11 http”//www.dogonews.com/2012/9/10/0-slash-11-a-date-americans-will-neverforget This article gave a synopsis of the events that happened on September 11, 2001, briefly explaining the four hijacked planes and the two that crashed into the World Trade Centers, killing over 3,000 people. I think this is important to include because this was the most massive terrorist attack to happen to the United States and it happened to occur in our lifetime. This act of unnecessary and senseless violence ignited the longest war in the history of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan and ultimately the war on terror. Not only did this awful act take the life in thousands in a day, but thousands more in the coming decade. It soiled America’s name in some parts of the Middle East, believing that in the end more harm then good came out of our retaliation but we did prove our might and that we would not stand against terrorism against us. 9/11 was one of the solemn events that brought together our nation; hero’s rose up to bring people out of the ashes and help those in need, and that’s what makes me thankful to be an American. That’s something that all of us should be thankful for, that we have heroes who will fight for us and our country’s safety at all costs.
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A Little’s Enough by Angels & Airwaves When all is said and done
If you let me near
Will we still feel pain inside?
Where are those secrets now
Will the scars go away with night?
That you’re too scared to tell
Try to smile for the morning light
I’d whisper them all aloud
It’s like the best dream to have
So you can hear yourself
Where every thing is not so bad Every tear is so alone Like God himself is coming home to say
I’m sorry I have to say it but you look like you’re sad Your smile is gone; I’ve noticed it bad
I, I can do anything
The cure is if you let in just a little more love
If you want me here
I promise you this, a little’s enough (x6)
And I can fix anything
If you let me near Where are those secrets now That you’re too scared to tell I’d whisper them all aloud So you can hear yourself Green trees were the first sign The deepest blue, the clearest sky The silence came with the brightest eyes And turned water into wine The children ran to see The parents stood in disbelief And those who knew braced for the ride The earth itself then came alive to say I, I can do anything If you want me here And I can fix anything
I listened to this song nearly every night of the summer of 2010. This song really helped comfort me when my cousin died. This is one of the most important songs to me because it helped me grieve her passing and it also helped me understand my best friend being on suicide watch and his drug addictions. It was a reminder that no matter how much you closed your heart off, and no matter how much pain there was, that God and people in general will be there for you, and all you have to do is let them in. All you have to do is let love in, and even if it’s a little love, a little is all you need to make a difference. A little love would be enough to save someone. I know this to be true because when I let God’s love into my life I was filled with a peace and hope that I didn’t know existed. All I had to do was let Him and open up to Him and tell Him all the secrets I was afraid to tell. This is still true now, not just with God but with people, that all you have to do is let people in to get close and connect with them.
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Reflection I love this portrait of Adele Bloche Baur by Gustav Klimt. It stands out to me because the girl is just so captivating somehow. Her blueish tint along with her bright cheeks and lips is entrancing. Her sad eyes make me want to stare at the painting forever, and her posture makes her look timid and wary which makes you wonder why. I like paintings that can have you ask questions with just one picture. I also love Klimt’s color sheme and shapes that he uses. Especially what looks like eyes on Adele’s dress. Another reason for choosing this piece besides that I like it, an ex best friend whom I had an unhealthy controlling friendship with, would forbid me of getting this in our dorm room because it was too creepy for her. I’ll be picking up this piece from Broad Ripple Vintage for my dorm sometime this summer, and I’m absolutely ecstatic for it.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools Special Thanks to God for helping me get through obstacles I thought were impossible ,to my family who have supported me and disciplined me through it all, my true friends who have been by my side through everything, and for books and music for providing an escape.