Posts from the ‘Deep Matter’ Category

Parenting advice? Really?

Guess who’s freaking out.

(if you had to ask who, get off this blog :P)

I was just on the MSN homepage taking a peak at the parenting section which I like to do every now and then seeing as I keep a journal of what I think my parents did well and not so well (and I think they are the best parents in the world, but everyone makes mistakes) because I want to be the best parent I can for my kids… Because I want kids. I’m 16 and I’ll say that- besides, knowing what irritated me at the age of 16 might help me not to irritate my kids, right? Cause we all know teachers and parents throw around that excuse, “I was a kid once, too, you know” to get us to emphasise with them but we don’t by it because… well when was the last time they were a kid? And we forget half of last years syllabus so we can only know how much they’ve forgotten or how much has changed about being a kid/ teen in the past 10-30 years. (you know I’ve often wondered if I should make this a parenting blog to get teens active with communicating with there parents… but I can’t stick to a theme so its an everything blog as you’ve probably realised)

Anywho, so I was looking to see if there was anything interesting, you know? Anything I might want to make note of.

AND LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND: “Why you shouldn’t tell your kids they’re smart”

article: http://www.embracethechaos.ca/2011/02/reform-your-praise-junkie-ways.html

You can probably understand why this has caught my eye- especially after my recently having written about my own insecurities about compliments and let me tell you Ms. Waverman, I think, sincerely and honestly and as nicely as I can possibly say this I am trying; that you are wrong. Simple as that.

Somebody please correct me if you think telling your kids that they are intelligent is a bad thing?

Let me explain. Emma Waverman here states that by telling your kids that they are smart, you are setting them up to only want to appear as smart. And  are going to raise them to be a ‘praise junkie’ and so on. She draws a parallel to children’s art and claims you shouldn’t say its beautiful but instead, INSTEAD what you should say is “”Wow, what a picture! I can see how hard you worked on the drawing five fingers on that person” and maybe you aren’t aware of something but, kids DO know the difference between praise and condescending tone. If someone had said that to me I would have been reduced to a sniveling inconsolable heap, unable to understand why I was being approached in this negative way!  By telling your child this, you are basically telling your child “Good Job! You are an idiot, but you know what? You managed to notice how many fingers you have!”

Don’t get me wrong and let me further explain. At my school, for the past few years one of the art projects for the grade 9 class was to draw a picture of their hands… a study of hands. Because they are great for proportions like that your middle finger is the same length as your palm. They start off looking at said proportions, doing traces, looking at different gestures and shapes and their connotations, and then, at the end of 2 months or so produce a finished compositional piece with a story to it and everything. When I did mine, it was of a person holding a lighter at a Rolling Stones concert  reminicent of when my father took us kids to see them at Madison Square Garden when my sister and I were 7 years old (yes, he’s a good dad. We wore heavy dutty earplugs he put in us himself- don’t worry. Oh and I’m a violin player and have the sharpest ears of the family- beyond normal for any human and none of us have hearing loss so they obviously know what they are doing).

Anyways thats a tangent and my point is, there were kids then, grade 9. Jr. High students, who drew their final pieces with 7 fingers on one hand, and 4 fingers on the other. This was a piano player who drew their piece of a piano player. If they had drawn something as a child, with the wrong number of fingers and someone said THAT to them I would feel, quite honestly, like shit!

Let me tell you something. When a child seeks praise, why is it?

1. They want the attention.

2. The genuinely think they are good at something and want validation. They want to make sure its not just imagining it.

Lets look evaluate both cases.

In the first scenario, you aren’t giving them attention, causing them to try and attract it through unhealthy means and will lead to, not a praise junkie, but bully and class disturber in the making.  When a child comes running to you just having finished a drawing it doesn’t mean all they want is praise! Especially if the child drew this for you, which most often is the case, you shouldn’t be approaching them with a condescending tone, or treating them like they ‘tried their best’ which, frankly, is synonymous with “you worked hard, but its still not that good” which can be immeasurably detrimental if they actually think its good.

Anyways, the art topic is just too deep and I don’t want to get stuck just on that because there is so much more to this.  The second alternative she gave was to say “There is a lot of stuff going on, tell me about your picture!” And as a baby sitter I can honestly say I’ve used this line a lot. Because with younger kids who haven’t perfected fine motor skills yet, they simply can’t control the marker not that they’re a bad artist. It comes with time. Even the most languidly stepping ballerina once stumbled about as a toddler. Now, when a kid has drawn something, and you can’t exactly figure it out, compliment them, yes! Because if you just say something like “wow thats interesting” they know something’s wrong.  Say that you like the colours they chose, or a certain line. When they start to tell you about what they drew, engage in conversation- this much Waverman got right- but treat them as an adult. You would talk to an adult about their work of art (be it written, lyrical, visual or musical) so you want to talk to them. Becasue they draw everything for a reason. Even colour choice is specific. Why do you think kids rarely draw in black and white? Because they are so much more in touch with the connotations, or at least their personal connotations, to colours. Each aspect is significant so when you are asking them what their drawing is of, they tell you the story to it. I know a five year old, for example who loves the Shrek series and, more recently, Gnomeo and Juliet and Tangled. I watch her and her neighbour every morning while their parents get ready for work. for about half an hour, and seeing as their dad is the art teacher at my school, they normally draw. She often draws a scene from one of these movies and will explain everything about it, down to the bow in the hair. Detail wise she is amaizing and I can normally get it right what shes talking about. OUr other neighbour though- not so much. As a boy he tends to draw spiderman (I even did his facepaint as spiderman for halloween), aliens, monsters, or spaceships. I feign fright at his aliens and mosters and tell him how I want a trip on his spaceship. Sometimes though, amidst the scribbles its hard to see what he’s chosen that day. So I ask, using the line mentions or some variant. And I figure out, once hes told me whats going on and I can tell him what I like. That the bright yellow of the alien looks like it would glow in the dark, and that I think that is what has been under my bed these past few days, or that they 1157th (so he claims there are) eye of the monster is particularly spooky. Never would I tell him that he tried hard- but failed; no matter how backhandedly. Like mature adults they ask me every morning what I think of their Princes or super hero and I reply honestly, because for kids they are pretty good. Though its not them but their parent’s I worry about.

Just before I go on to reiterate what I think about something else let me make one last quote “Notice how the encouragement draws the child into a conversation about their work, and how you actually have to pay attention to the work so you can talk about it? That’s because encouragement is about the child, not about you. It sets up self-motivation, not external motivation.”

How is telling a kid they are smart, about you? While I might agree that when kids reach a certain age they should be able to steam themselves forward, 3 year old, and even 5 year old don’t exactly understand that. They do what they want to do and are the best examples of zen and living in the now that we could look for. They live to please their parents. It isn’t until they reach middle school or grade school at the lowest (and older grades at that) that they can adequately motivate themselves, because frankly how can you expect them to when they don’t even understand the word yet? Anything you want your kid to do, they have to undesrtand. It needs to be a part of their vocabulary. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Get attention. Those are things that are pre-programed into them through evolution. You can’t wipe one of those out and just replace it instantaneously.

Ok. Lets just step back away from my personal views for another second (had about 400 more words written properly explaining this all, but it wasn’t saved when the internet decided to make a software up date). Waverman has another link on her article for those of us who “think telling our kids how inteligent they are is good for them” here it is:http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/index

Now lets look at what his article has to say. It says, and rather clearly too if a teenager can figure it out- that telling your kids how smart they are is bad for them. What has Waverman interpreted this onto? Complimenting and praising your kids is bad for them. Does no one else see the difference?

And again I want to stress the tried and true saying “Everything in moderation” Praise your child on a good mark in a test. Tell them that a straight A report card is good. Because what happens if you dont? They try and over achieve and burn out. If you get straight A’s and no one seems to think its any good but you think it is, what does that do to you? It demoralizes you. When you’ve put all your effort into something and you get a good result and Your parents take Ms. Waverman’s advice and implies that their best isn’t good enough… I’ll be surprised if the amount of kids being found running away from home increases.

Ms. Waverman claims she is able to justify her views because she is a praise junkie.

Shall I tell you my story?

Most of you know I don’t like getting compliments, because I feel they are insincere most of the time. Why? Because I got them often. Not that they were bad, because I was generally pretty good at things.  Like the kid in Ms. Waverman’s link- Thomas, I’m a horrible speller (I thank whoever invented spell checkers) and though spelling tests were always a source of embarrassment for me, I tried really hard on them- and got negative results. So when my mother would be working with my on my spelling list when I was in grade school, and I was getting every word wrong, every night, she would try to encourage me. And I worked on them. Everynight. When I managed to get one right, that I had gotten repeatedly wrong during the week, she would praise me. Not on the overall poor mark, but on that specific word and achievement. Like Thomas I achieved far beyond average scores, embarrassingly beyond averages scores, on standardized tests like the sats (not the American SAT’s) that I would refuse to tell my siblings. Even try to hide it from my parents, because I didn’t want to be a source of attention or a source of comparison for my siblings. You can’t compare us. One of us is a musical genius, the other a sports god, my sister is- well the radiant, beautiful, dancer and socialite, and I’m me. For a long time it seemed I was only good at school- when I started doing my brother’s maths hw with them at the age of  5 despite that they were 3 and 4 years older than me.

I never found what I was really good at. And you might ask how that can be, when it seems I’m smart. lets look at Thomas again. His praise on intelligence led him to not want to try at anything he wasn’t good at.  He gave up on spelling, and I, who was just like him didn’t. Because I had positive reinforcement from my parents- not just praise, but praise on improvements, not things I was naturally good at so that the difference was made and the emphasise put on the effort.

Ex? I was really bad at running. Always loosing when the four of us raced. So I started to run every chance I got. What happened? I became a good sprinter. Not soo good at long distance and I would have to drop out of a race after about 5 minutes (but thats because I couldn’t understand not putting my all in it). But I still was a great runner.

I had an awful experience nearly drowning in a big wave one vacation in North Carolina. I started swimming more than just playing at the pool doing laps and coming up with games with my sister that would involve the most swimming.  Rather than never going to the beach again and now I want to be a marine biologist (yeah, go ahead and think I’m crazy. Half the world does).

I got 16 out of 30 on some new standardized test they came up with in New York state when I was in third grade. The test tracked progress over the year and took info from 3 separate tests. The second one I was up to 20/30 and guess what I got on the last? 30/30. Yeah, I remember my fear over those tests. Spelling was a big part of them and the rest was basic English such as  big:small::large:little… I can’t remember what these exercises are called any more. But I still had a phenomenal development and spent a phenomenal amount of time working on them.

I used to think I was horrible at art because I had an Irish art teacher (not that its important, I just remember that she was Irish) who picked favourites with a girl who used to bully me. She drew really good cartoons, but everything she did was anime. I put effort in. I did tone and shadding and cross hatching before this girl even knew they existed. I remember trying so hard and the teacher would just turn to me saying that it was wrong and I needed to go back and do it again, when I didn’t even- hadn’t even been told- what was wrong. Instead she would hold up a white, line drawing of a girl with bubly eyes saying it was superb, tell the rest of us to use tone and such, when her example hadn’t even done it. What happened? I ws disheartened and ready to give up art the first chance I got. (I still hadn’t found what I was good at) Two years later, right before I was about to give up, I found my saint. A new teacher at school who was praising me from the moment I did my mock ‘artistic scrawl’ of my name across my folder in cursive… (Oh yeah, and I have horrible penmanship- something I thought was a downfall until I read an article which claimed that a messy hand indicates a creative mind- though thats worrysome for the scientist in me :P). He then continued to praise what I had been doing the previous years with no explanation as to what was wrong- and I learnt I wasn’t the one that was wrong. So I wasn’t crazy and I was drawing shadow. I was drawing proportions and perception. I was an artist. Now I’m taking art as a GCSE subject.

But thats not the only place where my eagerness to succeed has kept me going- against all odds it seems- into trying new things. Things I wasn’t initially good at. Waverman says that kids who recieve praise give up once they aren’t good at something? What about me and trampoline? and other sports? And dance? I’ll say it. I’m pretty good at most sports. I might not be the fastest runner due to my short legs. I might not last the longest. I might not have the most homeruns… but my technique is solid and I’m  pretty good at them anyways. Hence I’m often an example. Hence I’m actually teaching trampoline to the younger grades.

I only just recently did my first flips completely alone (without someone there to turn me if I was too slow or kipping me) But my technique in all of it is good and I understand how to do the skills like seat drops and so I’m trusted to teach five, six, seven year olds. I’m not teaching them to do flips. I never would trust myself with that. But I show them how to do pikes, straddles, seat drops and half twists. I explain to them so they understand. And let me tell you, every one of them can do each skill now. Even after just our first lesson I can notice a difference. I can notice they jump higher, more sure. And let me tell you something else. I praise them. I sometimes ask a younger girl to show me a seat drop or a pike and she will tell me she doesn’t remember. I show her, or explain to her, which the jump is, and she does it. Some times we have to work on it for a while, doing the same skill for five, 8, 10 tries until they do it perfectly because they are  young and don’t have all the motor skills yet, but by the time they are my age they will be unbelievable. And I tell them that when they get fed up, unable to do what I’ve told them. When they get it right, I praise the,m. Tel them to remember what it felt like. The way their body was, the way their muscles worked. When next they get on the tramp and they have a harder time with a move they mastered the week before I tell them remember that. Remember what it felt like? remember what I told you? Corrections and praise. And they remember- because I remember- and if they don’t- I’ve remind them. And they remember it and they do it. And I praise them again and the next week they don’t make the same mistake.

Oh- and trampoline isn’t something I’m naturally good at (though ballet has helped it)

So.

I’m a kid. (practically still)

And if you don’t think I am- I was just 6 years ago.

And if thats not enough. I’m teaching them and I’m seeing results and I’m with them every day, and working with them.

Oh and I just remembered something I wanted to write- I still haven’t found my talent. I think writing might be it, or else scuba diving.

Oh and another thing I just remembered that I hadn’t been able fit earlier. Why it was that I didn’t like compliments? I think I’ve figured out my real problem and it brings me back to my message of Everything in moderation All around me, when I changed school and met kids with their parents for the first time, there were parents who sugarcoated their children lives. Who would say that they were brilliant genii. Great athletes. Great Dancers. Great artists. Would you believe most of them weren’t? I couldn’t believe that people who could speak so passionately and so effortlessly about their childrens’ A plus reports could have children who didn’t get a single A and who were benched at the soccer games or so on. I wondered, when my parents told me they were proud, or when I over heard them at a dinner party saying that I was intelligent, or so on or so on- that they were just like any other parent. Showing me off. I didn’t like the idea of being showed off even if I was (I think I had an aunt who told me continuously when I was little that we would make great trophy wives…).  I love my parents, and I’m coming to terms with- though with difficulty- that I am not just average with certain things (and this blog has greatly helped with the writing- though I still think that I’m not that good at writing reply’s :P)

SOOOO Prais your kids on their effort- thats the best form of encouragement. Make sure they understand that they are good at something that they are good at. Don’t tell them that they are stars- or you are setting them up for deflating.  Help them to improve- encourage them to step outside their comfort zones.

But take your own instincts and logic when you raise your kids. At the end of the day- they are your kids and no one can tell you how to raise them properly.

And I spent 2 hours writing this- so appreciate it.

AND REMEMBER- EVERYTHING IN MODERATION!

Dancing in the rain

Yes, that is one of my favourite things to do. And one of my favourite sayings.

However this year I took this to a whole new level.

When I first started this blog I had just started etching and engraving. Now I love it. Though I haven’t done any lessons and have done very little, I have a wide assortment of  drawings and sketches that I hope to re do onto sheets of metal so that I can make etches of them so I can make prints of them.

I’m very fortunate to have an art teacher who has been trained in the fine arts and who supports each of our individual talents. This year, I chose to use some of my etches in my end of year exam. They weren’t exactly of a high standard, and mostly just looked like line drawings on a sheet of metal, though I didn’t have all the necessarily equipment and only had 3 sheets of copper to work on. what we did have was left over from when our teacher tried to get his students into etching some years ago. As no one was interested he didn’t order any equipment, but now we have a printing press. He’s promised me that when we go back in September I’ll have more colours of printing ink, more utensils and a wider selection of metal sheets and sizes. We were thinking of also getting the masking and chemicals that some engravers use.

See there are many different ways that one can make a print. They all revolve around different textures and heights by either adding or removing material. When we made relief prints in class, I took a painting I had made of a forest and stripped twigs of their bark and crushed leaves to re-create the image from natural materials. It didn’t actually work in the end as I could not apply ink to my work without taking off a great deal of the leaves and then if I did managed to get ink down, it would be too fragile or thick to go through the press. In the end I like it as it is. I sprayed it with some spray mount I got off one of the teachers and it gave the leaves a wonderful frosted effect besides sticking them down more securely.

I really like working with natural materials to make any sort of art, and that’s one of the draws that Indian and Native American art has for me. The vivid colours and the shapes all using and inspired by what they had around them. An artist from today’s world would have to lug around canvas, brushes, paints, pallets and even water containers if they wanted to do an observational drawing of a landscape. A native American artist in pre collonial times would be able to go any where with no supplies and find everything he needed to make a masterpiece. I find the concept enchanting, and would love to learn some of their art, but unfortunately the opportunities have yet to present themselves.

So I thought I would finally put up some more pictures. Some of my engravings and some of the relief I made.

But first, lets clarify the difference between etching and engraving. An Engraving is made by simply pushing away the metal and smoothing out bits, using an instrument to push it off. The technique can be rather complicated, and the traditional way is extremely complicated. The right hand is supposed to hold the tool and stay still and the left hand, with the help of a round pillow underneath the metal, is supposed to move the metal to make the shapes and design. I really dont have that steady a hand and would never be able to accomplish this. Which is why I love the modern meaning of artist. It means you can do whatever you want. No one can tell me I’m doing it wrong (though I know I am, I simply can’t do any better at the present) and you can invent your own way that works for you. (oh, and in engraving you can work on wood as well… or any other material for that matter)

Etching is slightly different and much easier. In etching you coat the metal with a film of masking. Artists use masking all the time to cover a piece or section of a work, which they want to preserve while working into another. Its particularly common in water colour painting. If you want to keep one area white white (or a certain other shade you have) but want to do a wash to deepen the other colours you simply put a mask on and then rub it off once you are done and it is dry. The masking an etcher would use would be much stronger though, and chemically based. They would then take a tool and pull away the mask fromt he areas they want to deepen and so make the design. Next they leave the metal in an acid to corrode the exposed area. The mask keeps it from being corroded evenly, so that you only get the indentations you want. An artist might have to repeat the proccess many times to get the fluctuations in texture they require.

Another huge difference between the two is that and engraver can smooth out his work and so “erase” a mistake or flaw. An etcher has to watch his work constantly while it is in the acid. If the acid cuts too deep the entire piece is ruined.

Both, however, can be used to make prints by coating them with printing ink and rolling them through a printing press.

My technique is more similar to that of an etcher save the acid and masking. The only thing I dont like about engraving/etching is the noise. Its horrible! Imagine nails on a chalk board or a knife on a plate constantly for half an hour, an hour, a day. Also, because I’m only using a tool, or on occasion a mechanical tool, it takes a lot of muscle, and so is very physically and emotionally draining. You have to be patient and move slowly enough that you wont make an irrevocable fault, but with enough force that you will actually make a cut. The tools slipped away from me numerous times. THe fortunate thing is that you can prevent these faults from showing because after you coat the entire piece with ink you take away the majority so that it is only held in the groves. You have to wet the paper you are imposing your image on so that it takes the ink out of the groves.

The hardest parts of what I was doing was getting the right amount of ink off, or rather leaving the right amount on and where I wanted it. The other variables that it took a bit of experiences and mistakes to get right was the amount of pressure on the press and the wetness of the paper. Too wet or too much pressure give the same effect and take the ink all over the place so you just have a blob and not an image.

Anyways, to get to the point of this very long, very big post, I decided to make my Exam piece “Dancing in the Rain”.

And as it turns out, I can’t upload all the pictures I had to show, so I’ll upload them as a photo essay in ‘Dancing in the Rain- Take two”

Cheers!

I hate it when the thunder interupts my Yoga routine, but God, I love this weather!

I’m spending this portion of my summer in Greece. So I thought I would tell you all a little about what its like here right now.

Well for starters? Its REALLY weird! Greece is normally borderline desert in a lot of places, due to the intensity of the sun and the lack of precipitation. Naturally the land is pretty dry, and the green bits you see on google earth are the developed bits. See all over Greece, land owners are selling their large chunks of land, or else developing it themselves to make condo or maisonette type complexes. These come with nice little patches of green grass that is laid over the earth with a web and is kept alive by doggy sprinkler systems (or by possessive housewives with a hose, or else they have their hired help do it for them).  Sense the sarcasm.

And thats on the mainland. All year round. Now lets talk about the islands and summer. Everyone associates Greece with beaches. But the beaches aren’t accessible everywhere. Sure they are only 45 minutes from where I’m staying now, and its fine for a little outing. However so many houses, and new houses/developments/hotels on the islands all have their own pools. And they aren’t all small. This furthers the problem.

Can you see the problem with this? Well, I hope you can, because people here are in denial about the harm they are doing to the environment. They think its worthless to do their small part in helping the environment because they think it will have no different, but thats exactly the point. If EVERYONE in Greece cut down their water consumption just a bit, that would make the entire situation a great deal better. Why do you think we have all the problems with forest fires in the summers? Yes I know they are started by anarchists, but if the forests weren’t so dry, they wouldn’t spred so much, or at least so quickly.

Which is why I love the weather Greece has been getting lately. More than enough sun to be happy with, soak up your healthy dose of Vit. D. but there has also been a great deal of rain lately. I know so many people complaining about it. OHhh, that limits my time to go to the beach (not that they would even be at the beach then, they just want the opption of going whenever they want- sorry, but mother nature holds the reigns) Ohh, its not so warm when it rains(sorry, but I rreally dont like feeling like I’m in an oven). Whatever stupid excuses people come up with for why they DON’T want it to rain when it is so desperately needed, I say they can just get over themselves and realize that they aren’t king of the world and the universe doesn’t revolve around what they would like to do. Every summer Greece goes into a water crisis because there are so many tourists, taking extra long showers, splashing around in a pool and not to mention putting a lot of strain on drinking water.In some tourism towns, there is a noticeable dip at about 3-4 p.m. when everyone has come home from the beach to relax in the A.C. and take a nice cool, long shower to get the sand off.

Of course there is also the Power problem. Many times throughout the summer one can count on encountering a power cut, particularly if you are staying on the mainland near Athens. There are so many people with their air conditioning on full blast, not that I blame them in the city where it is horribly stiflingly hot. Who I DO blame is the shops. You can walk around the commercial areas in the summer, where ever there are clusters of shops, and you might actually feel cool with the noon time sun beating down on you. Because all the stores, boutiques, and shops have their air conditioning on full blast and leave the doors wide open.I wonder what goes through their minds, from and economic and environmental point of view.

So why do I love the weather they are getting right now? Its a warm pressure system, so its windy, which would be bad if there were any fires, but its also rainy, and the air isn’t as dry. The clouds aren’t always in full coverage, so you can still enjoy the natural light without the harsh glare of the naked sun in your eyes. Its beautiful like this. The thunder and lightning is also  beautiful to hear and see. Its a beauty Greeks don’t always appreciate, yet I love it. Hopefully having all this rain so late in the year this year will help them out a bit. Keep the reservoirs filled, tourists happy, and the forests healthy.

Happy and Healthy. That’s all our parent’s wish for us, and that’s all Mother Nature wishes for her lands. So quite complaining, and embrace this weather Greeks. Get out there and Dance in the rain!

Athens Burns with Ancient Fever- a moment of silence please

The riots in Athens Greece have been all over the news the past few days. Despite Being the birthplace of democracy,cities around Greece, Athens in particular, have fallen to chaos.

Greece has had many riots since, however yesterdays were the first time that anyone had been killed in one since 1991. And unfortunately when it rains it pours. Four lives were taken, one not even begun.

Some say they shouldn’t have been there trying to open the bank. But they were just doing their job. A day closed for a bank isn’t great for business and nor is spending the day in the street. It isn’t good for the current workers of the city, nor the future workers. All public and Greeks schools were closed. Only Foreign schools remained open the past few days.

Others say that it was fair that they be killed. Some people refuse to call it murder, but they just wont accept the facts. These people were killed because of the actions of many. One individual who threw the Molotov cocktail, and the large horde of protesters who blockaded a street so as not to let the fire engines reach the burning bank, wasting precious moments in saving the victims lives. Most likely they dies of suffocation due to the smoke. If the engines had been there earlier, they could have very easily been saved.

Alas the most infuriating thing is the lack of responsibility and initiative on everyone’s part. Mostly the bank the the victims were trying to open. They say the government should have protected them. Provided them with security. so on and so on. We’ve heard it all before. But why couldn’t the business have closed down, refused to open for the security of its employees in a preemptive strike? Especially a bank, especially in that area, the most notorious for violent riots. The Answer: Greed, but does it have to be? It seems as though since the beginning of time  people have not managed to survive past childhood without being tainted by corruption and greed.

On top of that, are such riots even legal? If we take a glance at what happens every time Greece erupts into a fit of  violent protests, no charges are made. I’m not radical, but I would like to see justice brought to the family of the victims. The point is that murder is against the law. Violent protests are against the law (people have a right to peaceful demonstration, but not riots such as we’ve seen of late). Especially when they put people at danger, let alone take lives. But at least charges could be pressed for the damage done by the rioters, no? why shouldn’t those who participate contribute to paying for the merchandise and property damaged or lost in fires? The Answer: Because no one is willing to call anyone out and have them pay the price. Also, how are you to identify one person among the hundreds of protesters.

Greece’s neighbor  with equally vivacious protesters came up with a witty solution. The riot police would use pressurized water cannons to subdue and control protesters which is highly effective. But when everyone is wearing gas masks and scarves and hoods? Turkey had the answer here too. The water in the cannons are tainted with a highly distinctive dye which is fairly permanent and has an unique molecular structure. The next day, or even week after, those who participated in the riots are exposed for all to see with dyed hands, faces and necks or any other skin that was exposed, as well as their clothes. It doesn’t come out even at the dry cleaners and if they try to throw the clothing out or give it away, its easy to tell that they are the guilty party. The idea stems from a way the ancient Greeks developed at the birth of democracy. All men were expected to attend the forums, the democratic houses of speech and discussion, and it was a great sin not to join. That person would be viewed as disrespectful or unpatriotic. So after the doors had been locked, guards would walk around the agora with a rope held between them at knee length which had been dipped into red dye. Any citizen stranded outside the forums would be spoiled by the dye which served as a form of public shaming. It was highly effective, so why does Greece refuse to implement such techniques now? That I do not have an answer to.

Anyways, more news from Greece today. My cousin who goes to a British School there sent me an email which I just read. She said the trees had suddenly started to pollinate again, with bundles of the white fluffy stuff drifting down from the sky like tears of the trees moving just as slowly as they grow. Everyone who is affected by allergies also cried their own tears again. “All in all” she says, “the attitude was very somber today at school. Almost everyone felt the pressure the crisis had put on them. Everyone felt sorrow for those souls lost and denounced those disgraced figures who took them before their time. Especially that baby. To think a life hardly even begun was affected by the riots, is a true shame. Hopefully he would have made his impression on the people who did this to him.”

I guess that really is all we can hope for. For them to rest, and for the nations problems to be ameliorated as soon as possible.

So let me ask my question of the day before I sign out. One person taking the life of one other is a horrible thing. One person taking the lives of many is even worse. So does that mean that these three live that we taken by many hands, a cynically twisted community effort, is dispersed among them to mean next to nothing in a court of law? I really don’t think it should. But leave your comments or email me at miraella_rose@yahoo.com to let me know your views on whats been happening lately or anything else. I’m all eyes.

One more thing, just to show how crazy things have gotten in Greece; soccer (or football if you prefer) games have been canceled throughout the country. At least one was canceled last night in Thessaloniki, the nations second largest city who also had a lot of riots of its own (cities throughout Greece struggled against the rioters, dont think it was just athens) and at least one other is canceled tonight. Volley ball games have been canceled as well. This is just to put the riots in scale for you. To think about how passionate the country is about soccer and how famous they are for their riots at soccer games (they provide the majority of the Greek riot police’s employment) have been canceled due to political riots. Ah, I guess for some Greeks there isn’t much difference between the two. Even I know how much politics is involved int he corrupt Greek soccer leagues. Entire books have been read about just the past ten years of it!

Paying a moment of silence (to the relief of my brother) for those who have suffered,

Mirella

When the going gets tough… do you get going???

Hello Everyone.

I just got home from a dance class around half an hour ago. Took a shower and washed my hair… nothing like a cool shower to cleanse you of your disappointment.

I guess you can guess that it wasn’t a very good class… We have recently started a new level, and let me tell you, the gap between the one I just passed and the one I’m in now, is HUGE! I can’t wrap my head around it. Some of the exercises, I get how to do in my brain, but the information gets lost on its way to my limbs in the rush because its too fast or too much is happening at once. The other half, my arms and legs get- or want to  get- but my mind doesn’t want to follow…

Ok, I don’t think that made any sense, but anyways,

Anyways, I’ve been thinking about dropping out. I wonder if it’s worth it to keep going. It seems to me that even just doing simple steps that I had been able to do easily before, I can no longer do. The fact that I don’t understand why is what makes me the most frustrated… I mean, a simple double pirouette I can no longer complete where as before I was able to do triples. Sure, now we don’t end in the same position. Now we land in an arabesque or attitude (not only do dancers dance with attitude but they have an attitude as well- pun intended) instead of the simple ending with our lifted foot on our knee as in the good old days that were not so very long ago.

For those of you who are dance illiterate, and arabesque is the easier of the two… well actually that depends on the position.  It’s when you have at least one hand extended in front of you (the other to the side or in front as well) and the leg is extended either behind, to the side or in front. For us, it rests at 90 degrees (or above) towards the back when landing a pirouette. Attitude is the same thing, (except the front arm might be raised -curved- above the head) with the lifted leg bent, but still at ninety degrees or above.

Ok, I’ve done all these before, I’ve even done pirouettes in arabesque and attitude positions… SO WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR ME NOW??? this is what I find truly infuriating…

so do I stay or do I go? I can’t decide… It has only been… not even a month maybe. I’ll stick it out till the end of the year at least.

Well my meager audience, I’m feeling rather tired so I’ll wrap it up with some nice discussion about sleep.

I came across this article from Yahoo News a few days ago. It’s rather interesting. Speaks of the different positions that people sleep in, saying which are good for you, which aren’t, which aid digestion and which don’t and most importantly, which will make you prone to snoring. Visit it and tell me which you think you are. I’m a yearner, foetus or free faller… Oh and it also speaks of which personalities tend to go with each position. I think it’s pretty accurate, for me at least.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/what-does-your-sleep-position-reveal-about-your-personality-1338293/

I find that rather interesting, the way superficial things, such as our appearance and bone structure or even the way we sleep, can have  deeper meaning. They can tell us about our personality and our most common disposition. Its for reasons like this that I find the ancient Chinese art of face reading very interesting. Some people believed that different bone structures depicted different personalities and dominant characters, and they made entire studies out of it. I also love Venetian masks. I’ve made a habit out of collecting them and studying them. I’ve learnt which colours were used most often and why and what characters they represented because at a masquerade it was your visual colours that mattered not you personality colour… For example, modern ones use a lot of gold and silver, but traditionally those are two colours to use very sparingly. They both symbolize restlessness, mistrust, greed (how unexpected) and pompousness…

Not that you asked to know…

Oh and some more news: This blog reached a top of 10 views today. Half of which were just to the home page. I can count about 4 of them… at the most. So I wonder who my mystery readers are.

Well whoever you are, I hope you enjoy.

Adieu my readers, Adieu!