Last night I was part of a panel discussion on social media and the dangers posed to children and teens.
I heard from parents who are concerned about losing their teens to the screen-driven world and are struggling with the decision to allow them to use social media.
As to be expected, I left the talk feeling a mixture of worry, constriction, and sadness over the state of the world and the imminent threats that await our children.
Today, I was at another event and had the pleasure of listening to several presentations made by elementary, junior high, and high school students on famous Muslim leaders.
Throughout the day I had conversations with a few of the moms about random topics, but my lengthiest exchange was with a remarkably mature and precocious 15 year old. She was so bright and ambitious, and self-aware, ma sha Allah tabarak Allah. We had such a healthy exchange and she had so many wonderful reflections that at times I had to remind myself that she was less than half my age! May Allah (swt) reward her parents for all of their efforts and bless their daughter and all of their children with continued success. Ameen wa ajmaeen.
I left the program with hope restored. I realized that despite all the external dangers out there, and all the traps and plots of shaitan, the greatest defense we have for ourselves and our children is creating homes built with love and a healthy supply of validation, both of which require our UNDIVIDED ATTENTION AND PRESENCE.
Children, especially teens, need to know they’re visible, they’re heard, they’re important. When we give them this throughout their lives and remind them every step of the way that they not only matter to us but they matter to the Lord of the Universe who created them, then in sha Allah they will not look for validation, visibility, and self-worth elsewhere. Social media will lose its power; it will no longer be a drug they can’t wean themselves from, but will be just another distraction, another form of media in circulation.
So let us stop talking to our teens through closed doors and screens, and let us look at them ardently, listen to them intently, and love them without hesitation.
Writing Prompts: "I wanted to completely disappear"
Evan ran his fingers through Connor’s hair, “You okay?” He whispered. He knew something was wrong when he received text from his boyfriend that just said “coming over”. When he’s opened the front door Connor wrapped his arms around his waist, digging his face into Evan’s neck. Now they were laying in Evan’s bedroom, curled into one another, listening to soft indie music that was only played when the two just needed a moment. Connor’s eyes were closed, giving Evan a chance to notice just how long his eyelashes were, but the circles of sleepless nights under his eyes seemed much darker than usual.
“Senior year, junior year, high school in general.” Connor opened his eyes and looked away from Evan. “How far you’re going to be…”
He’d been waiting for this conversation. Going off to university was a big deal, especially for them. While Evan went away Connor would stay here going through community college like a handful of kids from their high school. “I won’t be so far, just an hour or two.”
“What if you meet people better than me, it isn’t that hard.”
That stung his heart. How could Connor ever think that he wasn’t enough to Evan, he was Evan’s world and at one point his only reason for living. His ever so sly smile always crept into his heart and lit up even the gloomiest of days. He cupped his boyfriend’s cheek and smiled sadly. “That won’t happen, I love you.” Connor looked him in the eyes, that single stripe of brown softening the intensity.
“It’s just my life changed so much because of you, I wanted to completely disappear, but you saved me from so many things.”
“Connor, that wasn’t just me, you helped yourself too.” Evan felt his eyes water. “You’re strong, funny, beautiful, and tragically insecure sometimes, but I just gave you some initiative to take control of your life. You’ve grown so much.” Tears spill out of his sky blue eyes and onto the pale blue sheets of his bed.
“Please don’t cry.” Connor hugged him tightly, kissing his freckles lightly.
“Please don’t ever disappear.”
“I won’t, promise.”
Hope you guys liked it! It can also be found in my collection of drabbles and one shots on ao3. here
now that i’ve actually watched “blue is the warmest color” i’m even more angry about the double standard going on with “call me by your name”. like adele and emma have almost the same age difference and dynamic as elio and oliver yet while i’ve heard criticism towards the sex scenes and the director, i’ve never heard anyone reference the age difference and call emma a predator or the relationship abusive or harmful, and it isn’t! i never got the idea that emma was patronizing or exploiting adele. maybe it’s different because we see adele and emma’s relationship over a number of years rather than just one season, but adele is still a high school junior when she meets emma.
maybe another thing is the casting choices. lea seydoux and adele exarchopoulos are 8 years apart in age but they don’t look that way, maybe 4 or 5 years. they have similar builds and everything so it doesn’t look strange during their love scenes. on the other hand, timothee chalamet and armie hammer look very very different physically. they are 9 years apart in age and unlike lea and adele it is very obvious due to tim being still quite skinny and pale and armie being tan and muscular.
i don’t know it just makes me angry that people jumped on cmbyn so fast with no info other than the ages and pictures of the actors together while even with the drama involving the director bitwc is considered by many to be a classic. a lgbt cinema blog on here criticized cmbyn for the age difference yet they included bitwc in their “iconic lgbt cinema quotes” post they made. i’m just sensing a huge double standard and it pisses me off.
Before you could even knock, Sam opened the up the door to his apartment, looking down at you noticeably worried and confused.
“Y/N, thank God!” He sighed, wrapping his arms around you suddenly. “What happened? Are you okay?” He pulled back, allowing you space to breath.
Walking inside you laughed lightly, “Yes, Sammy. I’m okay.” You glanced over at the clock within his microwave seeing the time. “Gosh, sorry I’m so late.” Sam was your best friend, your brother. You’d known him all through junior high and high school. Growing up with your billionaire uncle as your only guardian who brought home a different woman every night wasn’t exactly a normal nor nurturing childhood, but Sam understood that and didn’t judge you for Tony’s actions - unlike other people who once they found out who you were assumed you were just like him. Sam gave a sense of normalcy to your life, which you were always grateful for.
You sat on the bar stool, setting your bag down as Sam walked around to the kitchen grabbing you a glass of water. “Yeah…why don’t you explain that whole reason for being late, cause from the sound of that phone call it didn’t sound so good.” He gave you a look passing you your water.
“Ugh,” you groaned aloud, “it was just this asshole who stole my cab.” You rolled you eyes, “I was out there for like 15 minutes trying to hail one! And when I finally did, he just…took it! My cab, that I hailed!” You rambled, irritated. “What happened to being a gentleman.” You took a sip, muttering.
Sam clenched his jaw to suppress a laugh at how worked up you got. “I see. Must’ve been a brave man to challenge you.” He chuckled, raising his eyebrows.
You got up, laughing. “Yeah, yeah whatever, Wilson. You ready?” You asked, picking up your purse.
“Always.” Sam smiled, following you out the door.
You and Sam had walked a few blocks, heading down to the gym which Sam attended, the cool breeze of the beginning of fall whipping around you both. Tony, was in the process of funding the renovation of the gym thought only for appearances. And from the phone call you’d overheard, Tony couldn’t care less that the gym was run down or needed work done, all he wanted was the press to see he was doing some good. And Sam, being an employee there had the paperwork Tony needed to go through with the donations and funds which is what you were on your way to get now.
“And here we are.” Sam annouced, pulling the door open for you.
“Thank you.” You straightened out your wind blown hair looking around the gym, the music blaring.
“Okay, I’m gonna go over to the office and grab those papers, okay? I’ll be right back.” Sam walked off, heading to his office leaving you by the boxing rings.
You were glancing around the room when someone caught your attention. A man. Dark long hair pulled into a small bun, his bare muscular chest now glistening with a sheer coat of sweat. His sharp jaw line hid behind the gloves his hands wore. You were completely hypnotized by the way he moved. He had dodged a few hits from his opponent, when he turned around wiping a hand down his face from exhaustion. Something about him seemed familiar to you.
…but what? Why did he- oh my god.
“Oh, you’ve got to be joking.” You murmured, mentally cursing.
You saw Sam walking towards you and tried to turn away and not deal with him, but it was too late seeing the man was already in front of you.
The brunette walked up to you with a shit eating grin spread across his face. “Funny seeing you here. Miss me?”
Hi! I'm a junior in high school and I want to major in secondary ed and English! This may sound stupid sorry, but what are teachers supposed to do in the summer? Do you pick up a different job or does the school offer ways to continue to earn money?
Many schools will spread your pay over the summer, like mine. I get 24 pays a year.
If you end up working somewhere where that isn’t an option, figure out a budget and set up direct deposit to put money into an account you don’t touch so you have money for the summer.
That being said, you COULD get a job. I worked as a reporter four summers and a waitress another. I’ve also taken summer school for my grad degree. This summer I may be editing a book for money.
i’m going into my junior year of high school, the time when many students are getting ready to apply for college. many of my friends and peers have been concerned about what, exactly, they should be doing to prepare this year, and when. so, we held a college information session. this may be geared towards my specific area/region, but hopefully everyone can take something out of this. here are some tips that we learned:
ON COLLEGE VISITS
questions to ask:
what is your freshman retention rate?
what is the percentage of students that graduate in 4 years? (new statistic: ¾ of students don’t; the average student takes 5 ½ years to graduate)
make sure there is written documentation of your visit
when reviewing applications, colleges note “touch points”– these include things like taking an official tour, sending in those cards you get in the mail, or something as easy as emailing one of their admissions counselors with a simple question. they’ll keep your information, and it may give you an advantage over other students because you showed you’re seriously interested in their school. so, even if you’re taking an informal campus tour, make sure to stop in the admissions office and fill out one of those cards with your information. it’ll be added into their system as a touch point– and you’re already one step ahead!
some things to remember:
the SAT and ACT are, for the most part, equally accepted by colleges.
certain schools may require an SAT subject test. make sure to check out programs you’re interested in so that you can prepare all of its requirements.
the SAT is a test of aptitude, while the ACT is more knowledge-based and straightforward.
if you’re bright and a good test taker but maybe you don’t get the best grades, the SAT may be more fit for you.
if you’re more studious and focused on grades and retaining information you’ve learned in class, the ACT may be a better match.
a guidance counselor recommends: take both tests once, and whichever you feel you performed better on, take it again.
many colleges like to see growth in scores because it shows you’re really working towards something. this may change depending on the selectivity of the school, but consider this before only sending your best score.
if you know what colleges you’re interested in, check and see what they prefer/require before taking the tests. most likely, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, effort, and money in the long run.
SO, WHEN SHOULD I BE DOING ALL OF THIS?
here’s a timeline of what was recommended for your junior year
take the PSAT again (this is the year that you can qualify for NMSQT). i’m not sure if this applies everywhere but i know where i live, this is a requirement.
if your school uses Naviance, make sure you have your login information. you should be using the tools it provides to research colleges and find out more about jobs you may be suited for.
take the ACT or SAT. if you’ve already taken the SAT, i suggest taking the ACT before doing the SAT again.
this is around the time you should start visiting colleges if you haven’t already. if you can’t go to schools, look for information sessions and college fairs near you. if you’re on a college’s email list, they’ve likely sent you dates that they offer tours or perhaps are even hosting information sessions closer to you.
start asking for letters of recommendation!! many teachers give letters on a first-come-first-serve basis, so get ahead. usually you want to have 2-4 of these. think about programs and schools you may apply for, and think about what subject teachers may be most helpful in your application. also, check schools’ websites and see what they recommend/require. outside letters are also okay, if they’re from someone who knows you and your work ethic well.
consider taking the SAT or ACT again.
schedule your senior year. it’s no longer a time to slack off; colleges now look at your grades as late as third marking period. continue to challenge yourself, but also take electives that interest you to get a better idea of what careers you may want to pursue.
get the Common App essays from your guidance counselor. you should at least think about these over the summer to get an idea of what you’ll say in your application essays.
this is when the Common App is available for that year. many, but not all schools, use this. do your own research to decide if it’s a necessity for you.
very few students partake in college interviews anymore. requesting and interview may set you apart from other students (touch point!), but it is definitely not required or even recommended by the vast majority of schools.
if you know you will be going to grad school or a higher ed program, think about where you want to concentrate your money. a cheaper but respected undergraduate school may be a great idea to save money for a great graduate school. (you probably don’t care where your doctor went for their undergrad, but where’d they go to med school?)
MAKE SURE YOU’RE MEETING YOUR SCHOOL’S GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS.
check to see what courses certain colleges recommend you take in high school. this may be a good way to plan the rest of your high school schedule, and also gauge whether or not you can achieve a college’s expectations.
Stop messing round with that fire,
Living like love is just a gun for hire,
Cos one moment its just messing round,
To your wiki saying she’s your spouse,
Oh but its not just girls,
Cos yeah one moment I was tearing off her blouse,
Now she says she’s living in my house,
Babe I know you said you’d never smoke pot,
Its just; that burned Like your first splif,
Now we just hanging around in the dark, you’re pale as a ghost.
Stop messing round now, cos am too stoned,
You’re know I can’t save you cos in this game am too gone,
She’s only seventeen, and thinks at sixteen am all there is,
But a degenerate kind, baby am definitely not what you need,
She wants to dance with devil, Mr brownstone is just grave,
Oh Y’know the drugs will drown her out, just too young,
Can’t believe this is my life, smoking and fucking in the back,
This character is a combination of 艹 plant, and 匊 handful. Here 匊 is a phonetic element working to express “round and gathered together,” similar to its use in 鞠 ball. Together with 艹 this gives “plant with a circular head,” a reference to the “chrysanthemum.”
I’m sure you have already had questions about college, what you want to do with your life, and how you want to make money. For some reason people find it necessary to talk about it excessively which is really stressful, to say the least. Society (especially in the U.S) pushes the idea that you HAVE to go to college in order to be successful. That you have to immediately go to college after you graduate high school. And that you NEED to graduate high school.
This is bullshit.
The pressure to go to college is insane. Trust me, I know. During my senior year of high school that’s all I ever heard. I couldn’t have a conversation without talking about college. Not only did it get annoying, but I felt a shit ton of guilt when I suddenly started having doubts about going to college at all. I had already decided a school and declared a major, meaning there was no going back, right? Well, kinda.
In all honesty, I wasn’t ready. I felt obligated to go because my family kept pushing it onto me over and over and over again. So I tried to convince myself I was ready, when in reality I was anything but. My mental health was so poor at the time but I tried to push it away, hoping that the whole “college is so much better” myth was true (Newsflash: it’s not true). Instead I found myself skipping classes for weeks on end, getting even more depressed and anxious, and ultimately had to take a medical leave because I wasn’t doing anything but hiding in my room. And I suppose that was kind of my fault. But here’s my point:
Going to college is up to you. Not up to anyone else. It’s okay to wait a few years, or not go at all. There is no right time to go to college! Hell, I know people who still go to college in their late 30′s and 40′s.
This is your life, not someone else’s. I know that society makes it seem like you have to go, but please be reassured when I say that you do not have to go to school to be successful. My best friend’s mom is a really successful makeup supplier and she didn’t go to college at all. I know a high school drop out who makes a perfect living. I’m not saying education isn’t important, because it is, but don’t do something you aren’t ready for. That only hurts more than helps.
Take care of yourself first! College or not, just do what you love and do it the best you can!
New kpop fans who don’t know about dbsk, big bang, super junior, 2pm, shinee, beast, mblaq, u-kiss, infinite, kara, t-ara, 2ne1, girls generation and after school (forgive me if I forgot more groups) are missing out on soooooooooo much. Even though most of these groups has lost members or some disbanded, they literally are legends who need to be respected and acknowledged for making kpop as big and international as it is today.