If I Ruled the World…

“…Every man would be slaves and every woman would be belly dancers.” This is the line I pitched to my closest friend when we were in our first years of college. Both of us were stressed about our individual classes at UTPA as well as our immediate lives and situation. For years, we’ve calmed down and distracted each other with ideas for stories. Most fell down the drain, but not that day. “If we ruled the world, every man would be a slave and every woman would be a belly dancer.”

 

As our laughs mingled something stuck. What kind a world would it have to be in which almost every person was in one class below. We talked for month on end about the idea in between school and work. Created countries, characters, government structures, and the works. This wasn’t the only novel we developed together and it was far from single digits compared to those we made ourselves.

 

Stories can come from any inspiration, stress or everyday life. Sprouted in the minds that are willing to take a second look at a joke and go “Hey, yeah! Imagine a world where every man is a slave and every woman is a belly dancer. Why is that?”

 

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Confession 2

As I look down the empty hallway, the light pouring in through the screen in the sky, I can’t help but to see a smiling face in the distance. His eyes are deep and confusing. You can both see what he feels but are clueless to what he desires. Dark hair, thin form, tall stature. Who knew this boy would impact my life so much.

 

My name is of no significance; it is his that resonates within the dark recesses of my crowded mind. Person A, the name of my first love. I never thought this would happen to me. Freshmen year was the most wild and friendliest of my life. Running around, spinning until I dropped, so on and so forth. The life of a “naïve” girl trying to regain her childhood. I met Person A once before high school. He defended me from a so called friend who had spread horrid rumors about me.

 

We met once again during the second semester of his sophomore year. He was very secluded and withdrawn from everyone except his best friend, Josh. I remember walking to the bus stop everyday after school and see them laughing and conversing with each other, but as soon as he saw me he’d clam up. To me he seemed very lonely being by himself, so I continuously invited him to sit at the morning table and join me and my other friends. Within the week of him agreeing, I began to hug him. He was very nervous and timid about the closeness we shared in those brief embrace, but never shoved me off. Do not be mistaken, for I had no feeling for him at that time that I do now. I merely thought he felt like an outcast and wanted him to feel welcomed to the nosy group. He eventually warmed up after words and allowed me to do so. On the last day of school, he saved my grandfather’s memorial for me. We snuck into the building together after countless administrative personal kept trying to usher the students out. He led me to my locker so I could retrieve it and gave me comforting words to ease away the tears I had on minutes before.

Over summer, we spent day after day chatting on Yahoo!, GaiaOnline, and MySpace (along with another friend of mine). Needless to say, we fell in love. Over the course of my sophomore year we spent every day in each other’s company. Holding hands, sharing secrets of the past, and supporting one another in our schooling. No need to ask, because Yes! I did love him, too much really. He was a very jealous boy, however, and was never comfortable with me hugging my other friends (especially the boys). In November, he got into a huge argument with my best friend Person F and they both forced me to choose between them. I would hear nothing of the sort. I vowed to never take sides and tried to persuade them that this was not the right answer. Person A respected my opinion; Person F hated it. We were nearly ostracized, an experience I once had in elementary and not a very pleasant feeling, by her from all of our other friends. In February, she confronted me and I agreed to a truce without his consent. He hated her after seeing the way she made me cry on my birthday, and was very displeased with the actions that I took. Honestly, I only wanted peace.

 

In May, we shared our first break up. I was distraught, literally sick with grief. I was absent for almost a week because of it. He felt as though he had done nothing but upset me during the late of our relationship and tried to save me from more hardships, the fool. After seeing my pain, he made the decision to make up for what he had done. We were back together by the end of the month, with my parents’ disapproval.

 

That summer, we spent time talking on the phone, chatting on Yahoo! Messenger and “dating” on GaiaOnline. My parents were cruel in their strict policy. With these few rules, we were never allowed to go on an actual date. It would later be an indirect fault of more strife. After our first year anniversary, he was introduced to these two younger girls by a good friend of mine. Person D and Person C the pair that split us. In all fairness, I shouldn’t say anything wrong of Person C, for she didn’t try to wedge us apart. Person A and I were warned, however, by other friends of Person D’s malicious behavior. At first we took it seriously, but as weeks progressed Person A turned a blind eye towards the comments she’s say about and to me. Knowing fully well of my self-loathing attitude, she verbally attacked me with statements of how I was holding him back. Only a few times did I actually try to defend myself, which earned a scorn from my heart’s desire.

 

Once school started up again, we eventually drifted. He was busy with his new friends and senior duties, while I took on the role of supportive wife in the background. I knew he thought of leaving me for one of the two, so I did the one thing that could prevent him from turning into the being he hated the most: a cheater. I broke us up for his sake, and he turned it around on me. He made me regret it with his shouts of love and hurt. What hurts even more now is the fact that he was planning to do the same. Two weeks after our “fight”, he called me asking for help. He had been caught dating both Person D and Person C by the said girls. I couldn’t help him, I hurt too much.

 

After a month of separation, he came into my life again in January hoping to rekindle the friendship. It worked for a while, but was strengthen to his advantage after I got into an argument with Person F. He saw me crying after school because of what she said to me. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened, but he guessed it all. He’s my ex, of course he’s going to know what bother’s me. The next day Person A confronts her and is dragged out at the middle of lunch before it gets physical.

 

After spring break he took advantage of my trust. To summarize those three months, we dated in secrecy. I had fallen so low as to be a secret girlfriend while he dated the other in public. According to him, Person C knew and did not mind, but I find that very unlikely. After his graduation party, we argued about where our friendship stood. Did he even love me at that point, or did I become someone to take his frustrations out on?

I never found out and to this day I try to break all connections with him. He is blocked on almost all of my accounts. I will probably never forgive him for saying he was glad I might never have the chance to have a child. People say that I should forgive him so he won’t have power over me, but in my opinion: How can I forgive someone who won’t say he is sorry?

The moral of my little story is: be careful of who you give your heart, too. Person A was from a good family: his mom a paralegal and his step dad a firefighter. My dad and his step dad graduated together while my mom worked with him. Every teacher whom we had shared told me how good of a boy he was and how lucky I was to have him. He proposed to me three times! There is no excuse for being ignorant. My first love changed into a disaster because of the influence of a middle school girl.

 

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Confession

A Russian proverb states “Once a word shoots out of your mouth, it cannot come back.”

Agree or Disagree?

 

 

“I can always find someone else…” these were an ending statement to a joke that have echoed throughout my life. I had said them to my mother in false confidence when she kept making banter about our current relationships. Of course I never felt arrogant enough to believe I can just dump a boy if he didn’t agree with everything I said… but at the time I didn’t know we were being overheard in the mall when shopping for prom dresses.

 

Two months later, these words came back to haunt me as my then love interest asked me if I truly saw his as disposable. Years have passed and when people ask me what I regret about in high school, this echo bounces back through my ears. It didn’t matter that I didn’t mean it, nor that he was ever meant to overhear it. Taken out of context or not, ‘Once a word shoots out of your mouth, it cannot come back.”

 

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Flash Blub Memory

Flash Blub memory is the ability to see in vivid detail an event that one experienced. An example of a flash bulb memory that I have is the day my grandfather died. I was fourteen years old and the oldest of his grandchildren. He died after my first day of high school.

In my family’s culture, when a child reaches the age of fifteen, they go through this ceremony, which is considered they’re coming of age party, is known as a Quinceñera (or Quinceñero for boy).  Since I was the eldest, it was expected of me to hold this event first out of all the other grandchildren. It was being planned for months and so many things were being prepared from the table decorations to the colors and music style.

On August 15, 2006, I woke up feeling anxious and scared. It was my first day in high school, and I didn’t know if I was going to see all of my friends. With my mom’s permission, I called over my best friend Person F to pick me up so we could go in together. After a quick stop at the nearest gas station for some breakfast tacos and cokes, we were dropped off by her mother in front of the school. Feeling my heart race, we stood near the outside of the gym and kept a look out for those we knew. After picking up our schedules, I was feeling let down to see that I only had three friends in lunch while everyone else was on a different class period.

When everyone was together, we entered the building and searched for everyone’s first class room. To my dismay I was the first dropped off. My classroom was Photo Journalism, and on the board it welcomed both the Journalism and Yearbook students. I started joking with my friends, as we usually do that if they aren’t being nice I was going to keep them out of the yearbook. Then after a remark, I changed my mind and said I was going to put them all over the yearbook.

The class went by well and I met some older friends within it. In my next class I walked by myself to the building next door. After feeling lost, I found it and entered the room, immediately brightening up as I see some other class friends. Before the teacher entered, several older classmen entered looking for another teacher and writing graffiti on the board. It was made clear that my teacher was very strict about her work. After class, I asked if she had any extra credit work, since I knew science wasn’t my best subject and I passed last year because I was able to solve the chemistry equations. Of course she thought it was too soon for me to be asking that, “Besides, I don’t assign extra credit work.”

I can’t remember how the first day went in my AVID, French, and World Geography classes went, but I remember during lunch, it was very crowded. I was with my friends Person B, Person E and Person G, but we were having a hard time finding a table to eat at. Since my friend Person B was extremely timid, I put on a strong front for her and stood up to a lot of upper classmen that day. In my English class I was once again by myself. I knew only a few students in that class, but the teacher was very inviting. She became my favorite teacher that year. In my last class I had Person G again and several others. I was late for that class since it was on the opposite end of the main hallway. I rushed into the room and bowed as I apologized to the teacher, earning a few stunned looks and giggles from some classmates. It was very awkward for the remainder of the class, but I was glad I was able to make a good impression on my teacher and make him laugh. “You’re a big dork.” Person G had said as we walked to the bus area.

I had ridden this bus plenty of times before, so I wasn’t as nerves as I was in the beginning of that day. On the bus, I sat near the front by myself. I’m very quiet and shy when my friends aren’t around normally, so I was used to it. I had noticed that the boy across from me had a drawing on his binder that I liked. I wanted to talk to him, but was very nerves.

When I arrived home, I set to work on organizing the few notes I had on school supplies and the documents that needed to be signed for the teachers. After an hour or so of talking to my friend, Person F, my dad came home early from work. He was quiet and sat down next to me on my bed. I knew something wrong had happened so I hung up the phone and looked at him cautiously. It was then that he explained to me that my grandfather had passed away. He had been in and out of the hospital for months since his first heart attack, so I wasn’t sure if dad was saying the truth or if he was saying another joke. In the days of his funeral I missed the remainder of the week from school and spent that time in the funeral home. Everyone was hysterical except for the children, my mom and I. We knew that he wouldn’t want everyone to be upset at his funeral and would prefer laughter.

In the end the plans for my Quinceñera were scrapped and I had a smaller birthday party with my friends and some family members. Mom said that it was too soon for everyone, but it was still a huge disappointment considering Grandpa was looking forward to it.

A flashbulb memory is very useful to me to be able to remember the memories I have of my grandfather and of how peaceful he looked in his wake. This memory is very vivid to me and as accurate as I can make it.

 

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D.I.D.

For most of my life, I have been interested in psychological disorders. Out of the many, the ones that caught my attention the most is Dissociative Identity Disorder and Bipolar disorders. Since the topic said to write about one, I guess it would have to be the one I’ve been thinking about since the first time I heard about it as a child.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) is when a person has two or more distinct personalities. The main personality will suffer brief gaps in memory and will only learn of events or things they have done or said from someone else. “Note that identity disorders are not the same as schizophrenia.” (pg. 494. Psychology: A Journey. Dennis Coon John O. Mitterer)

D.I.D. has been shown to the public through books, television shows and movies. “One famous and dramatic example of multiple personalities is described in the book Sybil.” (Schreiber, 1973.)  In the book it describes the girl going through all kinds of torture as a child and escaping from it by creating another personality. She kept this up until she had 16 other personalities, each with their own voice and background.

Another example of multiple personalities is in the movie Identity. The movie begins with a group of men gathering to hear a plea to reconsider a man’s sentence the night before his execution. The scene changes to people driving down a deserted road and end up in an accident. Over the first couple of chapters, a group of over ten people end up trapped in a motel building with the roads blocked. It is later discovered that they each have last names of states and share the same birthday. One man then learns that they are all nothing but personalities created by the convicted man and that one of them is a bloodthirsty killer who had committed the murders and is killing the other personalities off. I believe it was this movie that sparked my interest in this disorder as a child.

My final example of D.I.D. is within the Japanese cartoon, Sukitsuyo, which is about a high school boy with a slight case of amnesia from falling out a window to one of the buildings. In the first episode his is introduced to a childhood friend, whom he has no memory of. It is reviled that this friend has another personality named Ran, which is in love with him. As the show progresses, the audience learns that the main character also has a dormant split personality called Yoru whom was the lover to Ran. Both kids were kidnapped and experimented on as children. The main character decided to be stronger for the younger one by becoming the determined and strong-willed protector, Yoru. Following his friends example of survival, Ran was born and together they made an attempt to escape with the help of two adults. Unfortunately, Ran had tripped and was left behind, which leads up to the plot of the series and the cause of the main characters accident.

What causes D.I.D.?  “A history of childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse, is found in a high percentage of persons whose personality splits into multiple identities.” (McLewin & Muller, 2006; Simeon et al., 2002) Another personality is typically created as a defense in order for the host personality to escape from the reality of their pain. Most of the time the new personality is someone more stronger and able to endure different sorts of abuse. In the book Identical, the main character had recreated her twin sister to both escape the reality of her death and so she would be able to live through the sexual abuse from her father. Her “sister” Reianne, enjoyed the thrills of sex and drugs; Keighla in reality tried to stay being a good girl with high grades and good friends. She learns about her sister not really being there when Reianne is caught by Keighla’s boyfriend doped up on drugs and with another boy. She’s trying to explain to him that she’s “Reianne” and that he’s mistaken the twins again. It is then that he yells that he followed Keighla after school to the house.  Other times the personality is someone who is more dependant and trusting than the original, like Ran from Sukitsuyo who was not afraid to admit he needed help, and willing to be free with their emotions then being antisocial and stubborn.

There is no real cure for D.I.D. with a shot or any kind of medication. The only way for a person let go of their other personalities is for them to come to terms with the past and go through the acceptation that they don’t need their “sister”, “defender” or “other me” anymore. “Therapy for dissociative identity disorders may make use of hypnosis, which allows contact with the various personality states. The goal of therapy is integration and fusion of the identities into a single, balanced personality.” (pg. 494. Psychology: A Journey. Dennis Coon John O. Mitterer)

It is good to know that genuine D.I.D. is very rare. “Flamboyant cases like Sybil’s have led some experts to question the existence of multiple personalities.” (Casey, 2001) However, D.I.D. is very real. It is not uncommon for some adolescents to believe that they might have this disorder with the way it is shown to the public, but a vast majority of these cases are of the teens over-thinking things with their imagination at work.

 

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Death Note

The movie begins with a sky view of rain over Tokyo City at night. There are many quick shots from different view tops of the buildings, before the camera settles on a final location. It pans in to an alley where a black notebook falls lightly to the street. There is this still shot of the notebook in a perfect circle of dry asphalt whilst the surrounding road is drenched in rain. This image shows the unnatural presence the notebook has in the human world. The next few minutes show compilations of a hand writing in the notebook before jumping to the death of a person. As a movie adaptation of a book series, I find this as an interesting angle to show first on the society’s views on the plot device, before introducing any characters. It seems this might have been the easiest way to shorten a book series, which has been adapted almost word for word earlier as a 37-episode animation, to fit into a 126-minute film.

At the 9-minute mark, the writer in the notebook is finally revealed. The music brings tense feelings and a sense of anxiety of who the person who is causing these deaths is. There are a couple of scenes introducing this character as Light and shows through his interactions with people at school and around his girlfriend on what kind of person he is on the surface. Through some clues from the female lead, Shiori, and the background characters, it is easy to determine the both of them are in law school. The next minutes have a few flashbacks show how Light had lost some faith in the justice system before discovering a notebook in an alley. This is where the plot device is explained. Light learns that the notebook belongs to a Shinigami, or God of Death in Japanese. With it he is able to kill anyone whose name he has written down while thinking of his or her face. With his strong sense of justice, Light commits to using this item to rid the world of crime.

After these explanations, the scene changes to a police station where detectives are trying to figure out why so many criminals around the world are suddenly turning up dead from heart attacks. It introduces the main antagonist, in part, known as L who is a mysterious private investigator. This slowly leads to one of my favorite scenes in which L broadcasts a worldwide live news broadcast where he challenges the mystery killer dubbed Kira. Light feels insulted and tries to kill L only to shortly realize he had fallen into a trap and killed an impersonator instead. This scene is adapted in sync with the book and show word for word and is most likely done so because of how well it show L’s genius at gaining clues as well as his cunning ways on how to obtain them. With the scenes the movie goes from a singular story of the morality involved in choosing whether or not it is right to kill the most vicious of criminals to a game of cat and mouse between two intelligent individuals trying to find one another. The rest of the movie includes thrilling scenes on how closer both are to finding the other and the many obstacles in the way.

When adapting from an already existing source, many directors try to focus on story arches differently.  In this case, a character from the series called Naomi is given a larger role in the movie from being a minor obstacle to a major threat against Light. In the movie, Shiori is also given a large role considering she was only in one chapter of the book as a girl who had a crush on Light in high school to his love interest. This gives a more soft side to Light when they are shown together. With the inclusion and expansion of these two characters, the ending of the movie was a shock to both crowds that have and haven’t seen the series. If there were anything I would change in this movie, I would give more emphasis on the lengths Light goes through in the beginning on rationalizing about the rights and wrongs of having such a power as well as the fear he first experienced with that knowledge and how he tries to hide the Death Note before L’s investigation.

 

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