a testament to human strength

[whisper voice] It is currently 4:56 am. I have been trying to open this bag of cookies for approximately 43 minutes, but have not succeeded for fear of waking my parents up.

Will succumb to starvation in a matter of hours if I do not get to eat at least one of these Milanos.

Saw a really great edit of Dr. Phil. The fact that I was able to keep my laughter silent is a testament to the strength of the human body.

I can hear seagulls. I want to befriend them all.

Professor Snape: Human Being

So. Over the past few months, I’ve read a lot of both anti-Snape and pro-Snape posts on Tumblr (all over the internet, really). I am personally a Snape fan, and yet, I’ve found that I have issues with both sides and their arguments. Normally I use this blog for social activism … but as these fictional issues relate to real-life issues, I’m going to say this anyway.

I don’t believe Snape was a bad person. I also don’t believe he was a good person. I believe Severus Snape was an incredibly human person, and potentially a lesson in cycles of abuse, human nature, emotional health, and long-term effects of trauma.

I could literally write several essays on this man, so I’ll stick to the points that seem to be brought up the most. There are other points, including Snape’s upbringing, growing up in Slytherin, being a Death eater, being a spy, and Dumbledore, but I’ll just deal with these three for now.

The Marauders: I fully, 100% believe that the Marauders were cruel, relentless bullies toward Snape. Does this make them evil? No. But having been a victim of bullying myself—for a shorter time and much lighter bullying than what Snape endured—I can attest that it deeply affects those who suffer through it, especially those with no support system (which Snape didn’t have). Even if the Marauders changed (and there’s still debate as to how much they did, but that’s another topic), that doesn’t change what they did to Snape. Snape still had to suffer for it. And no, I don’t believe that him fighting back makes it not bullying. That’s the same way so many schools operate today: that unless you literally stand there and let them abuse you (and sometimes not even then), you are just as guilty. The Marauders sought Snape out and attacked him, four on one (or at least two on one). This is bullying, and at least counts as verbal abuse, and probably some physical, with the flipping him upside down, stripping him, and choking him with soap. And what Sirius did? I don’t care if Sirius didn’t intend it that way: in Snape’s eyes, that was attempted murder (not to mention extremely cruel toward Remus).

Lily: J.K. Rowling has said numerous times that Snape truly loved Lily, and I agree, whether it was friendship or a romance. Was this the kind of love you would want in a healthy relationship? Not particularly. Lily was literally everything to Snape, and that doesn’t tend to lend itself to healthy relationships in the long run. He was desperate and lonely and had minimal social skills and didn’t understand a lot about how to be a good friend. But I do not think he harassed her. I do not think he stalked her (where did this one come from, really?). His way of speaking around her was awkward and sometimes rude, but definitely not as bad as the things James said (“I’ll leave him alone if you go out with me” and “Don’t make me hex you, Evans,” for instance). I think what he felt was love. He had just had far too rough a life to be in a relationship, at least at that point in his development. And though I do think he genuinely regretted the “mudblood” incident and sustained no racist prejudices in the long term, I think Lily had every right to end their friendship. He was getting involved in a crowd she could see was going down a very dark path, and Lily couldn’t pull him out alone.

Potions Professor: Okay, this is where I disagree with at least some Snape fans. I fully believe that what Snape did counts as verbal abuse, just like what the Marauders did counts as abuse (although Snape never dangled one of his students upside down and pants-ed them). At the very least, it was bad bullying. Snape had greater social power and took advantage of it over innocent children (who began fighting back, a bit like Snape did). Is his attitude understandable given his life circumstances, his trauma, his spying, his lack of positive role models? Definitely. But that makes it no less unacceptable. I am very adamant about acceptable ways of treating children, and Snape falls below the line by about a mile. Just as I’ve been bullied, I’ve also been treated poorly by teachers, even singled out, and not nearly as bad as Snape did to his students. It can screw you up. I don’t condone it, and if Snape were real and living, and if he was teaching a child of mine, I would march right into his office and lecture his ears off, then pull my kid out of his class so fast the chair would probably catch fire.

However …

He did wonderful things at the same time. He was a huge jerk to Harry, but also risked his life to save not only Harry, but many others who he had made no promise to save. Lily was dead, and eventually Dumbledore was dead, too: he had nothing to gain from serving the cause except seeing what she wanted in the world realized. And he ended up dying for the cause, even while believing that all he had done to protect Harry was for nothing. Without him, chances are that Voldemort would have won, and Harry very well may have died in first year. He is a bully, but he is a hero.

(And to be frank, a lot of the Hogwarts professors do things that are … rather awful, actually. McGonagall’s animal cruelty Transfiguration class and locking Neville out of the common room while Sirius Black was on the loose, to give two examples. So it seems like Hogwarts as a school condones student maltreatment, to an extent. Not to mention the blatant unfairness and favoritism of several professors.)

In addition to all of this, Snape’s character makes sense. What happens when you are neglected and possibly abused at home and no one saves you? What happens when you are tormented at school and only one person ever cares? What happens when you are nearly killed and your near-murderer is allowed to go free, while you are sworn to secrecy and your trauma brushed aside as a “childish grudge” or “overreacting”? What happens when you realize how badly you’ve screwed up with your life choices, try and fail to save the one person you love, and are then guilt-tripped into spending seventeen years making up for it? You become bitter. You become angry and vengeful and you take it out on anyone who ticks you off because you’ve never learned a better way. You believe that life isn’t fair and think that everyone has to deal with that fact. You can’t stand anyone who makes your job more difficult, because you’re constantly on the edge of losing it. Especially, you look at the people who remind you of yourself, who remind you of those who tormented you, and deep down, you’re still afraid. Afraid of the bullies. Afraid of yourself. So you take it out on them, so that they can’t hurt you. Because you hate them, and because you hate yourself.

Severus Snape is the cycle of abuse incarnate. He is what happens when we don’t help the victims of bullying and abuse. It. Keeps. Going. He is a testament to both human strength and human limits.

And … that’s my two cents.

They say “Hope is a thing with feathers”
But this time they’d be wrong
It is not a thing with Angel wings
To lift us off the ground

Hope is construct of nerve and steel
A testament of our strength
A measure of human tenacity
In the face of our greatest fears

They say “Hope is a thing with feathers”
But we have never been so soft
Because Hope is a thing of bone and mettle
That keeps us standing tall

—  Stay strong, stay hopeful (for @thaliaai because elections)
9

I spent the day doing some urban exploring.

Intramuros is the oldest settlement in Manila established by the Spanish Empire. It literally means Walled City, and it’s a neighborhood of rich history and beautiful architecture first built in the 16th century. During WWII, the city suffered relentless bombardment throughout the Battle of Manila, resulting in the destruction of nearly the entire city.

Most of the wall (and some of the original buildings) remain, but it is fractured and fragmented – a ghost of its former grandeur. What still stands is slowly returning to its wild roots, 500 years after it was first tamed. A few buildings, like Manila Cathedral, were reduced to shards and rubble but were painstakingly and methodically rebuilt.

If this place isn’t a testament to the resilience, strength, and stubbornness of humans, I don’t know what is.


I wandered through the ruins, scaled the city wall, gazed in awe at the stained glass, and sweet-talked my way onto a roof adjacent to the cathedral.

Two cuppa coffee day. Proud.

8

Audrey has been in a historical fiction mood lately, so she thought it would be fun to go through our Goodreads page and pick out some historical fiction titles that sounded interesting to her. She will have to check to see if her library has these the next time she stops by!

Angel de la Luna and the 5th Glorious Mystery by M. Evelina Galang

Angel has just lost her father, and her mother’s grief means she might as well be gone too. She’s got a sister and a grandmother to look out for, and a burgeoning consciousness of the unfairness in the world—in her family, her community, and her country.

Set against the backdrop of the 1986 Philippine People Power Revolution, the struggles of surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WWII in the early 1990s, and a cold winter’s season in the city of Chicago, is the story of a daughter coming of age, coming to forgiveness, and learning to move past the chaos of grief to survive.

Caminar by Skila Brown

Set in 1981 Guatemala, a lyrical debut novel tells the powerful tale of a boy who must decide what it means to be a man during a time of war.

Carlos knows that when the soldiers arrive with warnings about the Communist rebels, it is time to be a man and defend the village, keep everyone safe. But Mama tells him not yet — he’s still her quiet moonfaced boy. The soldiers laugh at the villagers, and before they move on, a neighbor is found dangling from a tree, a sign on his neck: Communist. Mama tells Carlos to run and hide, then try to find her… . Numb and alone, he must join a band of guerillas as they trek to the top of the mountain where Carlos’s abuela lives. Will he be in time, and brave enough, to warn them about the soldiers? What will he do then? A novel in verse inspired by actual events during Guatemala’s civil war, Caminar is the moving story of a boy who loses nearly everything before discovering who he really is.

Cy in Chains by David L. Dudley

Cy Williams, thirteen, has always known that he and the other black folks on Strong’s plantation have to obey white men, no question. Sure, he’s free, as black people have been since his grandfather’s day, but in rural Georgia, that means they’re free to be whipped, abused, even killed. Almost four years later, Cy yearns for that freedom, such as it was. Now he’s a chain gang laborer, forced to do backbreaking work, penned in and shackled like an animal, brutalized, beaten, and humiliated by the boss of the camp and his hired overseers. For Cy and the boys he’s chained to, there’s no way out, no way back. And then hope begins to grow in him, along with strength and courage he didn’t know he had. Cy is sure that a chance at freedom is worth any risk, any sacrifice. This powerful, moving story opens a window on a painful chapter in the history of race relations.

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to navigate the world around her, she is surprised by how much she finds herself caring about near-strangers. Strangers like Edmund, a handsome medical student and war vet. Strangers who could be gone tomorrow. And as the bodies begin to pile up, Cleo can’t help but wonder: when will her own luck run out?

Riveting and well-researched, “A Death-Struck Year” is based on the real-life pandemic considered the most devastating in recorded world history. Readers will be captured by the suspenseful storytelling and the lingering questions of: what would I do for a neighbor? At what risk to myself?

How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle

Told in the words of Isaac, a Choctaw boy who does not survive the Trail of Tears, HOW I BECAME A GHOST is a tale of innocence and resilience in the face of tragedy. From the book’s opening line, “Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before,” the reader is put on notice that this is no normal book. Isaac leads a remarkable foursome of Choctaw comrades: a tough-minded teenage girl, a shape-shifting panther boy, a lovable five-year-old ghost who only wants her mom and dad to be happy, and Isaac s talking dog, Jumper. The first in a trilogy, HOW I BECAME A GHOST thinly disguises an important and oft-overlooked piece of history.

Hunt for the Bamboo Rat by Graham Salisbury

Based on a true story, this World War II novel by Scott O’Dell Award winner Graham Salisbury tells how Zenji, 17, is sent from Hawaii to the Philippines to spy on the Japanese.

Zenji Watanabe graduates from high school in Hawaii and is recruited into the army as a translator because he speaks perfect Japanese. He is sent to Manila undercover as a civilian to gather information on the Japanese in the Philippines. If they discover his identity, he’ll be executed as a traitor. When captured, he maintains that he is an American civilian despite unthinkable torture. He also survives being lost in the jungle for months. Zenji’s time behind enemy lines is grueling, and his survival is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

This is the fourth book in Graham Salisbury’s highly acclaimed Prisoners of the Empire series, which began with the award-winning Under the Blood-Red Sun.

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

Lewis “Shoe” Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he’s not used to is white people being nice to him — people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family’s poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan’s side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis’s home — will he still be his friend?

Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock ‘n’ roll.

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis

Fifteen-year-old Farrin has many secrets. Although she goes to a school for gifted girls in Tehran, as the daughter of an aristocratic mother and wealthy father, Farrin must keep a low profile. It is 1988; ever since the Shah was overthrown, the deeply conservative and religious government controls every facet of life in Iran. If the Revolutionary Guard finds out about her mother’s Bring Back the Shah activities, her family could be thrown in jail, or worse.

The day she meets Sadira, Farrin’s life changes forever. Sadira is funny, wise, and outgoing; the two girls become inseparable. But as their friendship deepens into romance, the relationship takes a dangerous turn. It is against the law to be gay in Iran; the punishment is death. Despite their efforts to keep their love secret, the girls are discovered and arrested. Separated from Sadira, Farrin can only pray as she awaits execution. Will her family find a way to save them both?

Based on real-life events, multi-award winning author Deborah Ellis’s new book is a tense and riveting story about a world where homosexuality is considered so abhorrent that it is punishable by death.

anonymous asked:

I was wondering, why do you like wonderbat (not trying to hate or anything) it's just like superwonder in my opinion, and Diana already has a love interest (Steve) in her stories why should we take that from her and make her a love interest in batman's comics ? Doesn't he have enough amazing girls to love ? Like Catwoman or even Zatanna ?

 (I really appreciate the nice way you asked this, since most people are like ‘are you stupid or something why do you ship [insert ship name here]?’) 

I like wonderbat for many of the same reasons that I like Clois. In truth, I still REALLY like Selina/Bruce or Diana/Steve. It’s just that I’ve grown to really like Wonderbat over time.

LONG reasons continued under a cut!

Keep reading

witchoil  asked:

hi there i just wanted to say thanks for that post. i've spent this holiday season w/ some v close-minded and judgmental family that puts a lot of qualifiers on what it means to be worthwhile and it's been kind of rough on top of my usual stuff, but that post just brought me back to center a little and somewhere kind of near tears. so thank you. what you have to say is super important and you are super important and thank you.

no okay that is wrong that is dead wrong you are great you are inestimable and just by virtue of being human.

like, even if you did nothing but breathe and also occasionally eat food and sometimes think about things??? indistinct and vague and unimportant things—and yet you are worthy; you are worthy beyond measure, you are inestimable, incalculable—and lots of other words meaning “beyond numbering” because the thing about humanity is that we are a lot of soft pink vulnerabilities in a universe of sharp edges and stone, and yet somehow we survive, we endure, we lift our gaze to the horizon and forge something resembling joy in the unfeeling furnace of the world. And that alone is extraordinary—that we can flinch, we can fold in on ourselves, that we can break and break and break again and yet still endure, still choose to sing—

it is a testament to our strength. to your strength.

as a human being, as a person who exists in the world, you have already done so much. You have survived bruises, scars, cold sores, broken hearts and twisted ankles; you have endured a hundred cutting words that should have bled you out but haven’t—you kept that life-renewing blood in your skin, or more has been forged on the anvil your bones. (it may surprise you, how good you can be at rebirth.) Your body renews itself and so do you, and the fact that hope still exists in the world, in your skin, is undoubtable.

by existing, you have breathed in the same oxygen that prehistoric plants once exhaled. By existing, you have been heir to whole tradition of philosophy—of ‘loving wisdom’—that has preceded you, that has articulated that aching of your existence, that has sought the pinnacle of humanity in your name. By merely existing you have defied the whole of statistics, of those unfeeling numbers that declare unimportant, unemployed, deadthe chances of a cognizant human being living in your skin, thinking your thoughts, weeping at your favorite piece of music, is so astronomical as to be ludicrous.

but you are here anyway. You breathe and weep and laugh anyway. In the cold, empty space of the universe, you find joy, you construct meaning. You dream of happiness, of something of more than this, than now, than here. And no one else will ever be your equal, no matter how many of your atoms they share, of blog posts they read, of  memories they know.In the entirety of the universe, in all of time, in all of space, you are wholly and entirely unique.

And if that if that doesn’t make you worthy—well. I don’t know what does.