Archive | October 2013

Per Angusta Ad Augusta: My Search for a Mentor

In my very first year of high school, my English teacher told me something about life. He said that one day, whether in high school, or university, or somewhere completely different, you are going to find someone who will be a mentor to you. He doesn’t have to be a teacher, but he will be your friend.

Ever since then I have been searching for a mentor. Not one that I was assigned to pressure me to do my science fair project well, but someone more like a confidant. I have been searching for someone who can teach me all his tricks and push me to realize my potential and encourage me to still go above and beyond. In my young age I have tried to match teachers, old, new, and yet-to-be, to those specifications, but try as I might, I found no one who was right.

In only a few short days, I will be assigned a writing mentor for my Creative Writing class. I am excited; very excited, actually. I’m trying not to get my hopes of finding the perfect mentor too high up, but I can’t help it. I might find myself the person who will change how I perceive and do everything for the rest of my life.

The chances that I will find that one person are slim. After all, I am only in high school. Most people do not find a mentor while in high school. But I really do long for the days when I have someone who can answer my questions (both the dumb ones and the real questions), or assist me while solving something I can’t quite figure out on my own. Or to talk to. Having someone to just talk with when I don’t feel comfortable addressing my friends on random reflections of mine is a welcoming thought.

A mentor/student relationship is something I yearn for. As impatient as I am to finally have this sort of relationship, I will wait. The right one will come.

I now leave you with some questions. Are you lucky enough to have a mentor? Or are you the mentor? How great do you think this experience is treating you? If you have never had this relationship, is there anything specific you are looking for in a mentor? All these questions that I ask, and my curiousity still is not satisfied. So I say unto you, comment as you wish.

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The Dangers of Emotional Shopping

I know, I know. This topic is nothing knew, and a whole lot of people suffer from it, but I’m still going to talk about emotional shopping. By emotional shopping, I mean retail therapy, where people shop because they are not in a good mood. As good as the initial feeling is when you first buy something, it is not healthy for you or your wallet to drown your sorrows with some shiny new item.

I personally feel the need to spend money whenever I am mad, or sad, or annoyed. Considering how often I have those feelings, emotional shopping is a habit I really ought to check at the door. Recently, I bought a wrap bracelet because I couldn’t find a working printer, and I bought a leather phone case from Michael Kors because I couldn’t find the right Coach wristlet. Yes, retrospectively, I can see just how dumb those reasons sound, but at the time it felt perfectly reasonable! I guess that’s one of the main problems; you feel it’s perfectly alright until you look back and have buyer’s remorse.

Buyer’s remorse, as the name suggests, is remorse felt after buying something. Often if that something is an expensive piece it just adds to the gift felt after impulse buying. I personally have quite a history with buyer’s remorse, and the absolute best advice is don’t buy something unless you have 100% thought it through. How many times would you be able to use it? How long do you think it would last? Do you actually like the product?! Having answers for questions like those that leave you satisfied would be a good indicator of whether you’ll suffer from buyer’s remorse or not.

Emotional shopping also leaves your wallet unhappy. It’s like this: money is like a shiny ball for your wallet. Whenever your wallet has money it’s happy, but when you take away the money, it is sad and just keeps giving you “The Look” that says, “Please give me some money.” So please don’t. Retail therapy just saddens your poor, abused wallet.

So with what I have told you, I hope those of you who have this same problem and I can find different ways to cope/entertain ourselves rather than retail therapy. I mean, regretful purchases that only give you a jolt of temporary satisfaction are not the best gifts for yourself. Remember that. Even though shopping is really fun, frugality is quite the characteristic.

Let There be Rock and Roll (Reprised)

Recently I attended a concert from the Bon Jovi Because We Can: The Tour. Let me start off by saying it was the very definition of epic! The band had amazing stage presence and sounded incredible.

But what I immediately noticed was how old the audience was. I saw very few people under the age of 25; in fact most of the people I saw were probably 25-50 years old. That’s really awful to think that very few younger people like/know Bon Jovi. If they don’t know a famous rock band like Bon Jovi, what rock do they know? Do most people even listen to older rock anymore? My older brother mentioned to a friend how I was going to this concert, and his friend replied with, “Who’s Bon Jovi?” That is really concerning how some people don’t even listen to great bands from the past.
I recently read an article on slate.com about the whole Kanye-Jimmy Kimmel feud, and the writer, Forrest Wickman, states,

“Rap is the new rock and roll — or rather, it’s considerably bigger and more influential now than rock is.”

Well part of me wants to deny it because I don’t like rap and had started listening to rock at a tender, single digit age, but I know rap is huge now. I know so many people who listen to rappers like Kanye West and Drake and Jay Z considerably more than bands like Aerosmith or AC/DC or Bon Jovi. I am not saying people are wrong in liking hip hop. You are completely entitled to liking it, but to think that in 10, 15, 25 years most of the older fans who’ve listened to Bon Jovi (or any older rock band for that matter) will probably not attend the concerts. And then what will happen? Do you think they can fill arena seats if everyone is busy listening to Yeezus? Maybe. I know there is a younger fan base, but nevertheless, the numbers will dwindle.

So I thought of a, for lack of a better word, solution to this current frustration of mine. We spread rock. Just like how earnest radio callers beg for rap and the latest teeny-bopper idol, we ask for rock. Not just to rock channels, either, but also to mainstream ones, too. When our friends tell us of how awesome P!nk or Demi Lovato is as a female artist, we suggest Joan Jett or Alanis Morissette right back to them. I know some of you must be embracing this rap movement, and quite probably have for a fair few years, but rock is the holy historic genre. This birthed the very foundation of our culture.