Thursday, April 30, 2009

April's Theme: Breaks and Bids

<-|April 2009|->

..Breaks and Bids..

This was one small month, alright. Two articles...that's a record! *heh*

And, presenting the super small summary...

Shivers and Silence - Do you fear public speaking over death?

Feelings of Charity - Forgetting that we're supposed to do things for their own sake.

Let's get on to the next month already (May): Quoted Inspirations

-the clam.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Feelings of Charity

(image thanks to

Why can’t one thing represent two things? Honestly, I don’t care if it’s half-full or half-empty. Half of whatever is in the container is just there. Let it be, people, let it beeee.

So I’m sitting here with absolutely nothing to write about. Yes, I’m typing an article even when I don’t even know what I’m saying. Oh, that's something. Doing things even when you’re not aware of what you’re doing.

It’s pointless to start on this topic, since I’m probably going to spurt out a bunch of crap anyway…but that’s what most people do in these situations, right? It’s not the greatest thing in the world. Doing things “for the sake of it” is pretty terrible, too. You can actually connect this to a percentage of high school students and volunteer work. Volunteering was meant to be an opportunity for the volunteer to dedicate some of their time (for nothing in return) towards doing a healthy act of charity for the community and society. NOT.

Sadly, there are students doing volunteer work “just for the sake of it”. They’d respond, “But it’s to help me look good for college!” Is that what volunteering has become? Just an extra to spiff up one’s college application? That sense of pride and accomplishment in the thing called “volunteering” has been stripped to glitter and stickers to polish a high school record.

As with most of the articles I’ve written, I’m a giant beast of a hypocrite behind each. I admit: I have done volunteer work for the “sake” of it. Previously, I didn’t have much thought for volunteering. It just felt like an obligation to waste my weekend hours away to help out with something I probably wouldn’t even support, but seemed like it was necessary to help me gain entry into a university of my choice. But, that’s changed.

It wasn’t until volunteering in a marathon did I get a drastic change in my viewpoint. My duty at the site was to hand out medals to the marathon finishers and later, pass out food and snacks to those that finished. For the first time ever, it felt like I was doing something really right in my life. The joy in the racer’s faces as I handed them their medal was astonishing. Mind you, it was raining hard, and there were extremely strong gusts of cold wind. By the end of the medal-giving, I was literally completely drenched from head to toe.

The food-giving gave me an opportunity to congratulate the racers face-to-face. They thanked us, the volunteers, for being there. But we really had to thank them for finishing the race in all that weather. Their thank-you’s were so gratifying. It felt great that they had such an appreciation for me, and in return, having such an appreciation towards them.

Just finding the inspiration to move on with the world.

-the clam.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shivers and Silence

(thanks to for image)

It’s a natural feeling to be nervous before a class presentation…I think. Maybe not when you’re about to wet your pants because you’ve downed two bottles of water in 5 minutes, or when you’re shivering like you’ve just been thrown into a below-0 degree freezer. I can recall my 4th grade experience with that…well, not the water part, but I was certainly shivering. That presentation I had to make in 4th grade was my first ever class project presentation in my entire life. You bet I was nervous. Don’t worry, it turned out okay. I could have been louder (as the usual), but I was only 9 years old, com’on.

It wasn’t until 5th grade that I had a wider experience with standing up and talking. My 5th grade teacher gave us projects almost every other week…and if you’ve guessed it, yes, we had to present each and every one of those projects. Sometimes it would be a surprise too. Then I’d have to make up a presentation right on the spot.

But the worst came when I had to present my Tanzania project with my partner. That was the worst anxiety attack I have ever had before a presentation. I did both those things I mentioned in the first paragraph…I was drinking water like crazy, and I was shivering all at the same time. When we finally got up there, we only had a maximum of 10 minutes to present. I took up 7 minutes of that time, leaving my partner with only 3 minutes. But oh well, it was good enough, in my opinion.

The only greatest time I ever had with a presentation was with another partner, in 8th grade. It was a PowerPoint presentation, so we had our script right then and there. I feel lucky to have had such a great partner. She was always loud and energetic, so it made me feel more comfortable in the process. When I was speaking, I didn’t really have a problem at all. I was reading the PowerPoint, but at the same time, I was also “teaching” the class too. Looking back, I can’t believe I was able to do that. My partner did the same, and as a result, we got high praises from our teacher. Hey, I like to be a bit conceited now and then.

Public speaking is a pretty tough thing for some people (me included). Just the thought of having to go outside and say something is hard. I’m still going through the process of finding my own voice, myself. For all those other clams out there, you’re not alone. I’m still working on it, and I guess I’m having some progress. I’d have to thank my friends for that, especially those S&D’ers ;). I think I’d throw a party the day I’m able to say “Screw getting nervous and being shy…life is loud and proud!”

-the clam.

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