A Subject of Boredom

We all know what it feels like. It’s what we call ‘boring’, ‘not engaging’, and, as a final and the worst insult, ‘mind numbing’.

This is what I’ve found my excellerated year 12 Geography class to be like, after four periods of it (a total of 200 mins) during our orientation. With only a week until the Summer holidays to go, you’d think I’d be cheering and would be more excited than anything else.

But there’s nothing like four periods of staring at maps to bore you out of your mind.

At least, I think I absorbed the information correctly. Or most of it. Which is the important part, I suppose, but still. Halfway through I decided to try and really focus on the thing at hand and make it, well, for lack of better description, less boring. I really did make a conscious effort to try not to be board. I’m sure many have tried it before me. I affirmed to myself in my mind that I definitely, most positively, was absolutely not bored.

And, for perhaps a second, it worked.

For a second.

I keep wondering if I can convince myself that I’m not bored when I am. And I keep trying. And it’s not working, unsurprisingly.

I suppose there’s no cure for a boring class – or at least, none that I can find. Hopefully, it’ll get a lot more interesting as next year progresses.

Smell the Flowers

Many people see this place as an imperfect world – as do I. But sometimes, if you just take things in and smell the flowers, life’s not so bad at all. Sure, there’s the big things like jobs and HD televisions and houses and cars. But I noticed something today – I noticed that everyone’s recycling bin was out whilst walking home from school.

I’d already walked an entire road until I actually observed and noticed all the yellow lids. And I looked back behind me, and sure enough… there of course were more.

They’re bright, shiny, and noticeable. However, I didn’t notice them as they were not a part of my life at all, and certainly had nothing to do with my daily routine.

Not to say that recycling bins make me happy – they don’t, to me, they’re just there. Unless in a metaphorical sense to know that everyone’s recycling. But, if I missed something so bright and shiny, how much else of life have I just walked straight past without even noticing? We say we want to stop and smell the flowers, but we don’t. We instead walk right by them, in a blur of metropolitan life. When we’re sad, we  – or at least, I – even make a mostly-conscious effort not to see something happy, or nice, or anything of the kind.

It’s really kind of silly, now that I think about it. We need to stop saying we’ll stop to smell the flowers. Perhaps we need to really do the action in question, just to realise how sweet they can really be…

Intelligence

This thought was sparked in an IM conversation with a very good friend of mine, after the topic of evolution went completely off the rails and straight into speculation.

Intelligence itself, I believe, what caused the human race as a whole to become a very nasty bunch indeed. When an animal murders another, do we call it murder? No. Murder implies that there needs to be enough intelligence to have thewant to commit it in the first place.

Not to mention, mankind in its most primitive forms wouldn’t have waged war. As soon as we gained enough intelligence to know that something was wrong, we gained responsibility for it and also gained a want to break the rules. Or, I believe so, anyway.

With intelligence being, strangely enough, the root of all evil, this leads me to wonder; would intelligent alien (from another planet, you heard me) life forms be just as screwed up as this race? I want to know how much human instinct factors in and how much just intelligence did for the species and every other specie humanity shares the planet with. Would the aliens arrange their society in a much different way because of their different instinct, or is intelligence and a knowledge that we really can break the rules far too strong for any specie, regardless of how far apart from the other, to resist?

Being a Writer

It’s easily one of the best and one of the worst hobbies/occupations you could ask for.

You go on the incredible highs, and then you get smacked in the face with absolutely horrible lows. We could almost compare it with an alcohol addiction, but we won’t, since writing’s actually productive, and probably won’t have nearly as much of a negative effect on your health.

Now, when I say writing, remember that I mean the writing of fiction, not simply, the writing of this random blog post that I’m about to paste on the Internet for everyone to read, should they be misfortunate enough to stumble upon this lonely little blog.

More to the point, there are times when writers and all other artists have great amounts of inspiration. And then – well, then there are the times when there is absolutely none. You sit and stare at a blank page for hours upon hours on end, longing for something to write.

And then, on top of that, it’s very easy to get tired of what you’re currently writing. Since I’m doing the NaNoWriMo and have to get to 50,000 words by the end of this month, this comes quickly. Creative output is forced out of you and stretched into a novel-size manuscript, and by the time you’ve reached a fair amount of words, you find that it starts to get hard to keep going. To keep concentrating. To keep churning out that same style of description that you love to describe with.

Writing’s the best thing I ever got into. This is true. But sometimes, it’s also the worst. And yet, no matter how bad it gets, I still find myself infatuated with it. When I decided I’d begin writing, I didn’t know it would be a lifetime decision. But once you’re in on the game… you’re on the field, permanently, whether you like it or not – and it’s most-likely that if you picked to write, you will always like it.

It’s amazing what a bunch of once-meaningless symbols on a page can do to your mind.

Exams

There’s one thing I’ve always hated about exams. I mean, sure, I don’t really mind doing them, and I become just a tad hyperactive if I get a really high score, but do they, in all honesty, actually indicate a student’s intelligence? This is the same thing I have against IQ tests, and all tests in general, really. They can’t be trusted to really indicate where you are in a subject. Oh sure, they can help, yes, but in a test or exam, or anything of that kind, what if the person has an off day? Surely then, it is not fair. Not to mention, some people have absolutely terrible nerves with these things – so we end up with the same problem. I’ve seen it happen before, and to some really smart, capable people, too.

And then, finally, there’s the people who think they’re doing so ridiculously well. They look at the test they’ve just completed, think “Oh my God, I aced it!” and hand it up to the teacher with a knowing kind of smirk. But then, a few days later, they get their result only to realise that they’ve done everything wrong, despite their previous work being mostly correct. I have to admit that I am one of those people in the area of maths. Perhaps this is why I have a problem with tests and exams as an accurate measure.

And here, I suppose you could quite easily say that “Well, if you can’t remember it for the test, obviously it hasn’t been reinforced in your mind properly.” This is probably partly true. However, with the above mentioned points, doesn’t it seem logical not to “test” someone in this way?

I’m in the personal opinion that getting students to do large-scale projects rather than tests is a much more accurate measure of whether or not they understand the given topic. If they don’t understand it properly and have lots of time to gather information, they can go to the teacher and ask for help so that they can even learn in the duration. Not to mention, projects are a good way to boost knowledge in the gaps that a student might have within the subject.

I have, within my years of high school education, met four or five such teachers who believe in projects rather than testing. But many others just prefer things like tests and exams and teaching students how to pass them rather than the topic at hand.

If you ask me, personally, the system is just a little backwards.

Mainstream Social Networking

What are the first things that come to mind when you think of social networking sites? The most likely things are MySpace, facebook or Twitter. And, let’s be honest. There’s probably about 80% of the Internet-literate teenage population that has at least one of them – some might have two or even all three. I must be honest; I have none of them, with the exception of MySpace, which I tried for about one hour before shrugging and leaving out of boredom.

While I cannot speak accurately about the contents of these sites as a result, what I do know is that none of them actually have a point other than to connect with people. In other words, there’s no centralised topic. Personally, I prefer social networking sites that do have at least some sort of topic outline, but allow off-topic chattering as well. You’d be surprised that topic-restrictive sites (like forums and fandom sites) can actually provoke a whole range of different and very interesting conversations, and will actually give you a topic starter to go with as well.

I wonder what percentage of the teenage population would prefer this “restrictive” social networking over the mainstream?

And So it Came to This

Well, welcome to yet another blog to plague the cyberspace. Right here, you’re probably going to end up reading everything from philosophical musings to bits and pieces on surviving high school and the very dreary reality that surrounds us all. Of course, the philosophical musings are going to be a hell of a lot more fun, but when I set the title as “The Ridiculous Musings”, I wasn’t joking and I most-certainly did not specify that there was an actual criteria for what counted as a musing or what have you.

Yes, that also means that I’m openly admitting to being a geek. I don’t care – I’m beyond the point of taking it as derogatory and now instead take it as a compliment. That said, allowing myself to be labelled like this has allowed me to sink to a very low position in the high school food chain. And, you know what? I don’t care about that, either. Losers are some of the best, most loyal friends you can have, strangely enough.

You can also expect some fiction to end up on here, as well – however, once it’s posted, I’ll archive it in pages so it’s easy to come back to and doesn’t get buried in what I hope is soon to be an active blog with posts coming every few days.

There’s just one thing I’d like to specify, however; this will probably not be a diary blog in the sense of, “Oh, I did this, and then I did that, and, you know”. But it will feature excerpts of things that I have done or have come across as I find them that may be of particular interest (or in some cases, amusement) of anyone who happens to be reading.

So, anyway, I believe this finishes the very first post. Arrivederci to you all! I’m off to study for my end of year exams and to continue writing my NaNoWriMo novel. (I’m 6,810 words in! Just, you know, 43,190 words to go.)

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