Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sherlock vs. Elementary: Why CBS Isn't Getting It Right - Part 2

*Before continuing, be sure you have read Part 1 of this blog series. The article can be found here: http://julyburnsred.blogspot.kr/2012/10/sherlock-vs-elementary-why-cbs-isnt.html

   Welcome to Part 2 of the blog series "Sherlock vs. Elementary: Why CBS Isn't Getting It Right." In this part of the series, I will be looking at the pros and cons of the television shows, Elementary and Sherlock. Well, there really aren't any cons for Sherlock. But in the interest of fairness, we will look at both shows equally. Allons-y!

   In part one of this blog series, I remarked that when Elementary was first aired, Sherlock fans everywhere groaned. It was with good reason. Elementary gives a bad first impression to any true fans of Sherlock Holmes. Just looking at the name, Elementary refers to the non-canonical phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson, elementary"; non-canonical meaning that it doesn't come from the original stories. No one knows where exactly Holmes' famous line came from, but many people speculate that it originated from the films of the 1920's. The point is, if you are going to jump on the Sherlock Holmes bandwagon, you'd better make sure you are keeping it true to the original stories. This brings us to CBS's next mistake.
   With Warner Brothers making Sherlock Holmes films, and BBC making a Sherlock Holmes television series, there wasn't much room left for CBS to try and make their own mark on the screen. But that didn't stop them from trying. The problem is, however, that they came along and had to make theirs so fundamentally different than the other current adaptations. They made Watson a girl, Sherlock now lives in New York, Captain Gregson instead of Detective Inspector Lestrade. It was mistake after mistake. Although, admittedly, Aidan Quinn as Captain Toby Gregson was the one character in the show that made me laugh. He nailed his role perfectly as the student attempting to learn from the great Sherlock Holmes, just like in the original stories. But overall, CBS changed so much that Elementary is barely recognizable as a Sherlock Holmes story at all.

   The list continues on and on. Dr. Joan Watson was sent by Sherlock Holmes' father to watch over him in his rehabilitation. Really?! His father?! The Sherlock Holmes I know doesn't have Daddy watching over his shoulder, breathing down his neck. There shouldn't have been any mention of his dad at all. Miller's Sherlock is also not opposed to having casual relationships with women for no other purpose than as a distraction. The real Sherlock Holmes would never be so shallow to do such a thing, nor so immoral, for that matter. 

   The final problem with Elementary is the mysteries themselves. They don't seem very Holmesian. They're too common; too regular. Sherlock always solves mysteries that no one else can. The mysteries he solves in Elementary are a little too normal for me. Take the pilot episode as an example. Its your standard murder by a man manipulated by the victim's husband. There was no great challenge for Holmes.

   But for all its mistakes, Elementary succeeds in some places.The format of the show is in CBS's favor. The weekly, 45-minute episodes work well for it. Sherlock Holmes' personality was just the same as ever with the insults and arrogance and temper-tantrums. Watson wasn't bad. She didn't really feel like a female inverse of Dr. John Watson; she was more like her own character, a whole new person. Just the same, though, she made a good companion. As I've already said, Aidan Quinn was great as Captain Toby Gregson. The one part where I smiled and actually felt for just a moment like I was watching Sherlock Holmes was when he was on the roof writing the "Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen" in his head. I enjoyed that part because it was the Sherlock that I knew and loved.

   That's what it all comes down to. That's why I like BBC's Sherlock so much. It departs from the known just enough to keep us excited, but overall, it stays true to the original works. Elementary doesn't do that. It strays too far away from the true Sherlock Holmes. As a crime-drama, Elementary is actually pretty good. But as a Sherlock Holmes story, it falls much too short. It just isn't Sherlock Holmes. It's Elementary. I, for one, won't be wasting time watching it. I'll be waiting impatiently until Sherlock Series 3 comes around in 2013. 

Until then,
Ryan McLellan, Jr.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sherlock vs. Elementary: Why CBS Isn't Getting It Right - Part 1


On July 25th of 2010, the first episode of the BBC drama, Sherlock, was aired. A Study in Pink it was titled, a nod to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story and the original Sherlock Holmes' first adventure with Dr. Watson,  A Study in Scarlet. Pink was followed by two more episodes, The Blind Banker and The Great Game.  The first season of Sherlock received much attention from both the U.K. and the U.S. Not long after, the go-ahead was given for a second season to be aired in 2012. Season Two consisted of A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville, and finally The Reichenbach Fall. With an enormous cliff-hanger in the season finale, fans are left waiting until summer of 2013 for a resolution.
   Then, September 27th of 2012, the world was introduced the CBS crime-drama, Elementary. Sherlock fans everywhere groaned collectively. So far, six episodes of the show have been aired, with more to come. So far, Elementary has received relatively positive critical reviews, with Metacritic giving the show a 73% based on 29 "generally favorable" popular reviews. ^ "Elementary: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. http://www.metacritic.com/tv/elementary/critic-reviews.
But its number of U.S. viewers has been declining episodically, with an initial 13.41 million viewers for the pilot, and eventually retiring down from 11.13 to 10.91 to 10.31 million for the fourth and most recent episode, Rat Race. The fifth episode will air on November 1st.

Finally, a poll by entertainmentwise.com shows that 6.16% prefer Elementary over Sherlock, while 93.84% voted vice versa, placing Sherlock far above Elementary.

   Allow me to explain why I have presented you with the facts I have. I am, if you haven't yet figured it out, a Sherlock Holmes fanatic. Not just of the BBC show, but also of the Robert Downey, Jr. film adaptation and, most of all, the original works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I like to think that I know Sherlock Holmes very, very well. I've been a fan for many years now, beginning with my first reading of the Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, which I have since reread twice. Then, I saw Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law take on the role of the Victorian-era consulting detective and his loyal biographer. RDJ added more of an action-adventurer feel to it, a popular ingredient in today's films. RDJ's Holmes, however, still retained every bit of the classic Bohemian's arrogance, intelligence, and unfailing loyalty. Then, only a few months ago, I came across BBC's Sherlock series on Netflix. In three short nights I had devoured all three, 90-minute episodes. Very much impressed, I quickly jetted over to iTunes in order to purchase the full second season in HD. Only a week later, I had watched the full series on my iPad. I have since watched them a second time. Then, mere weeks later, Elementary was introduced to the airwaves. I, for weeks before it was shown, had been denouncing Elementary with everything I had. As far as I was concerned, no adaptation of my favorite book, film, and television character could be successful with such mangling as was given to Elementary.
"Watson is a girl?!" I cried. "Blasphemy!"
Not to mention New York. Spider-man stops crime in New York. The Avengers take down criminals in New York. The NYPD put men behind bars. Not Sherlock Holmes. He belongs in London, on Baker Street, pacing 221B, in a dressing gown, smoking a pipe, bemoaning the idiocy of those around him, and pondering the sheer intelligence of Professor James Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime.
But my arguments against the appeal of Elementary were lacking. I could only base them off a thirty-second TV spot. However, the second I found the pilot episode to be free on iTunes, I quickly downloaded it. That night, I sat down, grinning mischieveiously to myself, anxious to begin denouncing every place CBS got it wrong. How surprised I was when I was able to watch through the first ten-minutes of the episode with nothing to scoff at, besides the obvious Dr. Joan Watson. But I still had 35 minutes of material left. Believe me when I say, I was scrutinizing every word Johnny Lee Miller said, cross-referencing it against every bit of Holmesian knowledge I had at my disposal. I wasn't wasting my time. As the credits began rolling, I sat back, thinking hard and analyzing every second of the show. Suffice it to say, I was disappointed. I had been desperately wanting to be proven wrong; I was begging CBS to give me something Sherlock to whet my appetite until Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC's adaptation returned. But they let me down; big time. Thus, the reason for this blog post. But, as it is unraveling to be much longer than I had anticipated, it will now become a two-part argument. This will become the introduction. Tomorrow's post will be the main piece. In part two, I will break down both shows and compare the pros and cons of each.

Until then,
~Ian James~

Friday, August 31, 2012

Three Signs Telling If You're Turning Into Your Parents

   As teenagers, it's important that we realize that our parents aren't here to be our friends, they are here to be our parents. They deserve our respect and they deserve our obedience.Now, this doesn't mean that we can't get along with them, it just means that we need to obey their rules. And, more often than not, their rules are not ones that we agree with but hopefully obey anyway. Because of these rules, teenagers never get along with their parents as well as they do with friends. Those rules just get in between. Adolescents are just naturally stubborn and rebellious. Generally, however, as we get older that stubborn rebelliousness wears away as our parents good teachings rub in. Now, maybe its just me, but I'm wary of turning into my parents. Don't get me wrong, they're cool and all, but they aren't perfect like me. If you don't already know that teenagers are perfect, check out my other blog post, Perfect, at this link:


I don't want to be an adult until I have to be. Sure I'll be responsible, but just because you're responsible, does not mean you've grown up. So, if you're worried you might become your parents, read on. Here are the three signs telling if you're turning into your parents.

   1.You've Started To Sound Like Your Parents
If you've started to sound like your parents, you're on the road to growing up. Man, I feel like Peter Pan or something! But seriously, if you're correcting your friends' grammar or telling them that you think its a stupid idea to stay up until three in the morning, you may be too far gone. And if that's the case, there's not much that can be done. Speaking professionally, I suggest you take a dose of adolescent hormones and call me in the morning.

    2.You Start To Wake Up Before 12 a.m. On The Weekends
You're not staying up late enough. Adjust your sleeping schedule to match the true teenager; sleep during the day, stay awake all through the night.

    3.You Remember
A good responsible teenager forgets important things. That's just the way it goes. So if you find yourself remembering when your next doctor's appointment is, I suggest that you start remembering to forget instead. Otherwise, how are you supposed to have room in the brain for sports stats, random annoying facts that will get you nowhere in life, and lines from all your favorite movies?

   Hopefully these few telltale signs will help you to remain a teenager for as long as possible. The results are guaranteed to last until your eighteenth birthday and, if your lucky, the effects may not wear off until sometime after. Remember, you may need to respect and obey your parents, but you don't need to be them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

4 Things The Twilight Saga Can Teach Us About Girls...

    A few years ago, my mother found the Twilight saga. I'm sure that all the guys out there are feeling sympathetic for me and I thank you. But it hasn't been as bad as it could be. I've survived, to say the least. In fact, at one time, I felt brave enough to read the series myself. After having plowed through four books of vampire/human/werewolf love-triangles, I emerged enlightened. I learned four things that guys could learn from the Twilight series about girls. These things don't necessarily solve the feminine mystery, but they bring us closer to understanding it. I have decided to share these four things with you in the hopes that you may utilize them in such a way as to make you more informed in your interactions with women. Here, then, are the four things the Twilight saga can teach us about girls:

1) Girls Cannot Make Up Their Minds...
   This is the first thing you should know. Girls cannot make up their minds, period. Not easily, anyhow. They take much time deliberating especially, as it would seem, when choosing between two guys. Take Bella for example. I realize that the girls reading Twilight never like her, but maybe its jealousy... I'm not sure. However, I digress. Bella cannot, for the life of her, stop leading Edward and Jacob on. She can't just make a decision, and I've noticed that this happens to carry on to most other females. Now that you have this knowledge, hopefully you can take advantage of it by having patience when dealing with those of the indecisive nature. Also note that girls like keeping men guessing.

2) Girls Like Men Who Are Neat...
   I don't mean neat as in 'mildly cool'; I mean neat as in 'organized'. One of the attractions Edward has to all the infatuated female readers across the country is his organized nature. His room is not all out of place, for example. He doesn't have random junk scattered all over his bureau. In addition, he has good penmanship; his own calligraphy, too. Now, not every woman can expect every man to be so inclined as to spend his time creating his own form of handwriting. But, it wouldn't be amiss for them to expect every man to take time improving his penmanship. Make of it what you will, but it would seem to me as though it might improve one's attractiveness.

3) Girls Like Men Who Are Physically Fit...
   We won't have superhuman strength in the way of a vampire, but keeping yourself in shape could certainly be in your favor. Running, push-ups, sit-ups; that sort of thing. In addition to being physically fit, girls also like men who are accomplished in some sort of way. The guitar, for example. Or the piano. Edward even goes so far as to compose a lullaby for his girlfriend. Chances are, however, she won't be impressed by your number of headshots in MW3. Just sayin'.

4) A Non-fiction Girl Doesn't Want A Guy Who Is So Obsessed With Her That He Watches Her While She Sleeps...
   Need I say more?

   If I haven't made any of these things clear enough, I recommend reading the Twilight saga for yourself. I've found them to be very instructive. Hopefully, you find them to be likewise.

~Ian James~

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pasta Stravagante: A Review

   Yesterday, I found myself in the mood for some good Italian eats and, having had a certain restaurant recommended to me by a good friend, I decided to head downtown the the newly opened Pasta Stravagante. Pasta Stravagante, Italian for "extravagant pasta", is seated in the perfect neighborhood. Arriving at 17:30 on an early summer night set the mood very well. The setting sun cast an orange glow upon the bricks adorning the face of the pasta eatery, as well as a beautiful reflection on the river situated behind the restaurant. As soon as I walked through the door, I was assaulted with many first impressions and, as those are the most important, I took my time to soak it all in. For a downtown, just-opened restaurant, the decor wasn't bad. The obvious vegetable paintings were hung on the wall; tomato, celery, onion... all done in a classical oil-painting style. This, along with ceramic chef statuettes, gave the place a decidedly American feel, as no eatery in Italy would be caught dead with such decorations on display. But decoration isn't everything. People come here to eat, after all, not to sit and stare at a porcelain chef wielding whisk and mixing bowl.
   After being shown to my seat, (I chose an indoor table, although outside tables overlooking the river were available.) I proceeded to examine the menu. It was chiefly composed of pasta, but this came as no surprise, nor was it amiss. Raviolis, tortellinis, macaronis, fettuchinis, and of course spaghettis dominated the pages, in coordination with a monster amount of sauces and ingredients. White sauces, red sauces, light sauces, heavy sauces; all were present. Shrimp, chicken, beef, and pork each took their places among the dishes as well. A good amount of kid's meals were included in the restaurant's available fare, too. Drinks were served in good number, to include wine, soda, beer, and assorted umbrella beverages. A Coca-Cola sat on the table as I scoured the menu once more in an attempt to find which dish would give me the best feel as to how this eatery's food was to be rated. The waiter recommended to me the Italian Sausage Fettuchini with Cream Sauce, but I ended up choosing the simple, yet seemingly elegant, Spaghetti with Red Meat Sauce. One thing that was certainly in Pasta Stravagante's favor was the English menu. Instead following in the footsteps of Olive Garden and others with an Italian menu that makes you feel stupid and uncultured while ordering, Pasta Stravagante gave straightforward, English titles to their dishes. How many times, I lament, have a been at a restaurant, ordered and then have the waiter correct my pronunciation? Not a good way to go. Pasta Stravagante managed to keep things simple, and rightfully so.

   While waiting for my food, I sat back and looked around the room. While I was doing so, strains of Frank Sinatra reached my ears. I payed more attention and, sure enough, I was hearing "Luck Be A Lady" emanating from a speaker in the corner of the ceiling. As time passed, other similar favorites sweetened the airwaves, including the well-known "Lazy Mary" sung by the even better-known Lou Monte of said fame. This particular song got me smiling and reminiscing. But I wasn't left to myself for long, as a steaming plate of pasta was placed before me. A generous pile of spaghetti, combined with a staggering amount of red meat sauce, threatened to collapse the table. The waiter served me a helping of freshly-grated Parmesan before departing to the next table. Not wasting any time, I grabbed a fork and dug in. The pasta was well cooked, with an excellent texture that spoke of its quality. The sauce, however, was what lent the dish its perfection. A tomatoey flavor mixed with that of Chardonnay and meat and an unknown assortment of seasonings. Beyond this, the flavor became increasingly difficult to describe and much easier to wolf down.

   I soon became full, and was left with enough on my plate to warrant a leftovers container. Quite satisfied, I moved on to pay my not overly large bill, grab an after-dinner mint, and step outside, full and happy. Pasta Stravagante did not fail to deliver, food-wise. Over-all, they gave me a very good experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good pasta dinner. It's worth it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers: Movie Review

   Its time that I get around to reviewing the newest superhero action film. Marvel's The Avengers was released into theaters May 4, 2012. The film was directed by Joss Whedon and sported a cast of stars. Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson reprised their roles as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow respectively. Jeremy Renner (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) took on the bow and arrow of Hawkeye. In Thor, we got a small glimpse of Hawkeye, but he never actually did anything more than say a few lines. In the Avengers, he was incredible. Mark Ruffalo stepped into the shoes of Bruce Banner and the 10-ton body of the Hulk; very successfully, too, I might add. And, of course, Samuel L. Jackson is back as a determined Nick Fury.

   The movie opens circling around the Tesseract, the cosmic cube, jewel of Odin's treasury. We were introduced to the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger. The Red Skull used the Tesseract's galactic power as a weapon to vaporize his enemies. It was lost in the Arctic when it "consumed" the Red Skull and transported him to who knows where. Howard Stark, however, finds the cube when searching for the lost Captain America, and the cube is entrusted to S.H.E.I.L.D, a top-secret government security force, for safe-keeping. At the end of Thor, after the credits, we see Nick Fury petition Dr. Selvig, friend of Thor, to find out how it works. As we find out later in the Avenger's movie, S.H.E.I.L.D has plans for the Tesseract's use. What they are is better found out by watching the movie.

 The plots of Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Iron Man 1 & 2 all come together to form Marvel's The Avengers. As far as I know, there is no connection with the plot of The Incredible Hulk with this story beyond the fact that Dr. Selvig used to work with Dr. Bruce Banner. The main story of The Avengers is this: Loki, demi-god brother of Thor, has teamed up with a mysterious alien force known as the Chitauri in order to become the sole ruler of Earth. The brains seem to be all Loki but the "leader", I'll call him, of the Chitauri is no dummy and, from a flashback of Loki's, it would seem that the demi-god fears this alien king. But this stops Loki's determination in no way. Loki goes around getting stuff he needs to utilize the Tesseract's power in such a way as to create a portal to the outer-space-like world of the Chitauri. Nick Fury feels threatened by Loki and, against the wishes of his directors, gets the Avengers together, hoping that as one they will be a strong enough force to beat Loki once and for all.
   When the portal begins to spew forth flying snake-ish monsters longer than skyscrapers are tall, the Avengers, who haven't exactly gotten along before now, band together to go into "destroy all aliens" mode. This last battle is, by far, the most exciting part of the film. Joss Whedon does a very good job of juggling six superheroes and their various superpowers as they rocket all around New York City on a Chitauri beat-down. The Hulk, predictably, smashes. Iron Man blasts aliens with his various weaponry; Thor electrocutes and hammers his way to victory, very impressively. Captain America teams up with Black Widow as the ground force; the Widow, by the way, sports a very interesting wrist-Taser. Hawkeye, though, is the most interesting, with his high-tech bow and arrow. He can toggle various attachments on his arrows and his quiver serves him the arrow so he can grab without looking. A very interesting take on the character of Hawkeye, and thoroughly enjoyable.

   Eventually, the Avengers prevail and save the day and everyone lives happily-ever-after. Or so we are led to believe. But a mid-credits snippet shows us that the battle is not over. An old face returns, ready to lead the Chitauri to victory, as well as successfully building up excitement for an undeniable sequel.

   Overall, the Avengers rocks. The plot took a backseat to the action, but this was not amiss. No one goes to see a superhero movie that makes them think; they'd rather see Iron Man taking down alien baddies with his repulsors. The CGI (computer-generated imagery) was incredible. The Hulk, the Chitauri, Iron Man, the pyrotechnics, it was all very well-animated. The action scenes were wicked awesome. Who doesn't want to see Thor and Iron Man going at each other? Marvel's The Avengers is a job-well done, and absolutely worth going to see this summer. Now, we wait for the sequel.

~Ian James~

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where Have I Taken My Faith?

   For today, I have a more serious theme than those in recent posts. I am asking the question, where have I taken my faith? This introspective topic was born from a train of thought induced by my youngest brother's recent First Communion. Last Sunday, my sibling walked up to the altar, before the congregation and before God, and received for the very first time, Jesus in the Eucharist. It was, as a First Communion always is, a very joyous occasion. He was most excited by the ability to become an altar server. But beyond all the aesthetics of his growing age and physical and mental maturity, there is a certain spiritual maturity which is also required in order to receive Jesus in the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
   Thinking of this started me down a path of thought back to the time when I was making my First Holy Communion, receiving the Eucharist for the first time. I felt incredibly responsible, mature and grown-up in every way. I knew that I loved the Lord more than anything. Granted, I was a child and I preferred reading and playing Legos over going to Mass, but God had a special place in my life. He still does. There is that particular youthful innocence, however, that makes one dedicated to following the commandments. As a young adult, I understand the consequences of sin and am therefore wary of it, but as a child, I refrained from sin simply to not hurt God or my parents.

   Many years after my First Communion came Confirmation. Now I was older in the Church's eyes; old enough to decide for myself whether or not I would remain a Catholic, a follower of Christ. I, of course, chose to remain; chose to continue to walk in the footsteps left behind by our Lord. And, while I was Confirmed with no less conviction than when I received Communion for the first time, it was different. A different feeling, a different sacrament. I had no more of that youthful innocence which I had all those years ago. I fully understood 'what I was getting myself into', per se.

   Now, less than two months away from turning eighteen, I'm asking myself the question, where have I taken my faith? I'll be honest with the answer: I'm not sure. Allow me to clarify here. I know who God is; I know His Law and His Word. But practicing the faith is a whole 'nother animal. Just at home, trying to be loving to my siblings even when they are driving me crazy, being respectful to my parents despite how angry I might be, and just plain following in Christ's footsteps. It's a daily challenge, and sometimes I feel as though I'm coming out ahead, but other times I can tell I've fallen behind. I find that such introspection as I have in this post can help you find where you need to change. So if you find yourself wondering "where have I taken my faith?", try reading the Bible to see what God expects of you as His child and compare these guidelines he shares with us against how you treat others as well as yourself. Only He can show you the way, and He does. However, He can't make you follow. You need to take that step yourself. I pray that you do.

~Ian James~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why I Love Senior Year - Part 2

   Welcome, friend bloggers, to part 2 of Why I Love Senior Year. We previously discussed how high school is not all that the Disney Channel makes it out to be. It's hard work filled with stress and Algebra-test last-minute cramming. But we also discussed some of the pluses of high school. Or the high-school-years, anyway. Youthful recklessness, youthful ignorance, and the like are vital ingredients to the 4 years of high school. They serve to teach wisdom to the future generation. In my experience, they do their job well. I have made my own fair share of mistakes, and have learned from them.

   But all that is past me now. I currently look forward to my eighteenth birthday this summer, among other things; most prominent of them being my enlistment in the the U.S. Army. After a one or two years enlisted, I look to be accepted into West Point. But that's a bit farther into the future. For now, I focus on finishing up my senior year of high school. My final year of, shall we say, conventional schooling. It's been an adventure for sure. Homeschooling the past four years has been an experience all by itself. It hasn't been easy, and many a time have I just wished that it's over. Now, however, that it's so close to being that way, I almost wish I had a longer time of it. At the same time, I look forward with interest to my career in the military. It's a sort of bittersweet feeling. I'm getting ready to leave home, in order to make another. Preparing to abandon one way of life so I might discover another.

Deus custodiat animam meam in hac nocte, ut vitae suae vires Evangelia cras.

God watch over my soul tonight, that I might have the strength to live His gospels tomorrow.

~Ian James~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I Love Senior Year - Part 1

   While some middle schoolers out there might expect high school to be the way Troy and Gabriella had it, those of us who are actually in it know the truth: High school is not that fun. Sure, there are friends, assemblies, and school dances but they are never held in song with choreographed basketball movements. The individual years can also be broken down. Freshman year is a time of going from oldest and coolest in the school, to youngest and most looked down upon. Sophomore year is better; you know what you're doing and you know have students younger than you. Junior year could arguably be one of the best; driver's ed is a definite plus, not to mention that you are still enjoying youth, but are getting older and more mature.
   But to me, senior year trumps all, hands down. A shorter school year accompanies getting prepared to choose a career; searching for scholarships precedes the college experience. It signifies one of the largest turning points in life. For me, senior year has been the greatest time of my life. So far, anyway. I've had trigonometry, the first type of mathematics I have begrudgingly enjoyed. I've studied prose and poetry from the beginning of the English language to its present, gaining knowledge from such masters as St. Thomas More, William Shakespeare (of course), Robert Burns, Geoffrey Chaucer, Ben Jonson, John Donne, John Milton, Lord Byron, John Keats, Lord Alfred Tennyson, T.S. Eliot and many more besides. It has also been an adventure writing this very blog. Business Technology has enlightened and prepared me for my future career. I have studied American Government, learning about the inner-workings of our country's bureaucracy. The History of the Constitution has also been very enjoyable. Over all, it has been a very successful year, and it's not even over yet. I look expectantly to the future.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Surviving Adolescence = Mission: Impossible? - The Three-or-Four Steps to NOT Dying Before You're 20!

   All six of the teenage years are guaranteed to encompass copious amounts of anger, frustration, stress, and confusion. Arguments, with both parents and siblings, are sure to be a common activity in your life. High-school, and possibly the beginning of college, will take up much more of your time than you would ever want. Community service, scholarship applications, and planning for the future will also be prominent ingredients to the recipe of your adolescent life. It's a constant mess of confusion and disagreements and misunderstandings and hormones and disaster and drama and tragedy and pain and horror and destruction and distraction and many other things besides. Now, not EVERYTHING is gloom-and-doom; there are parts of being a teenager that are to be enjoyed, but the rest remains true, also. You may be wondering the point of me saying all this. Well, I'm here to tell you that it what has previously been referred to as Mission: Impossible
is now possible, due to my new process called: The Three-or-Four Steps to NOT Dying Before You're 20! Allow me to introduce...

Step 1) Think Positive When Regarding The Future...

   I know that this is a difficult thing to do, be positive, but its absolutely necessary to survival. It's a teenager's best tool for motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Use it.

Step 2) Be Cool, Stay in School...

   While school may be the root of a lot of your frustration now, it will be the source of most of your success in later years. Need I say more?

Step 3-) Stay Out of Trouble... Of All Kinds!

   Trouble with your parents, trouble with the principle, trouble with the law or whatever; stay out of it! Otherwise, your only causing more stress in your life. The avoidance of trouble is the avoidance of stress; the avoidance of stress is the act of advocating relaxation.

Step or-Four) Procrastination...
   Its harmful to survival. It often allows a huge-blind side of disaster to sneak up behind you and take you out. Some people have said things like...

But I disagree. We all know Boromir was all about personal gain, not teamwork, anyway. So, in order to survive, I recommend not procrastinating. Why put off until tomorrow what can be done today?

   Well, there you have my three-or-four steps to NOT dying before you're 20. Hopefully you can put them to good use. They work.

~Ian James~