Respect is not given out freely


     We all generally know what respect it, but do we know who we should give it to.

     Today, I got into a heated argument with one of my cousins and he demanded respect from me, just because he is older than me. Why should I give him respect just because he is older than me? What kind of thinking is that! I can see where he is coming from because in a typical Asian family the younger people should respect their elders, but I see my case as something different. My cousin comes into my house, and demands respect! It is not even his house! It’s just preposterous! He comes into my house and acts like it’s his with no respect whatsoever.

Why should I give him respect? It is not like he does anything besides come to my house everyday and eats all the food and leeches off everything I have. I absolutely despise him. He claims he is so smart going to a great college and yet he can’t even get a job. If you went to a prestigious college and can’t even obtain a job, what are you doing with your life? He is doing absolutely nothing yet he acts like he has done everything. He has a false image of himself and thinks he is the king of the house whenever he comes over. Why? Because he is older than everyone in the house and that apparently allows him act like a dick to other people even though he doesn’t even live in the house.

     For me personally, I say if you want my respect you have to earn it. You can’t just demand it and expect to get it if you are in MY house. Age does not mean a thing if you haven’t done anything with your life. All my other cousins that come to my house get my respect. It is just this particular one that does not get crap. While my other cousins are older they have earned my respect since they just don’t come barging in the house and demand it. They use their manners and actually have respect when they come into the house.

     Respect and how to obtain it is different in everyone’s eyes, but for me if you want my respect, you have to earn it. Nothing comes easy in life so why should respect be any different.


“Check Yourself”

Your day begins with your alarm screaming at you. 7:30 am is what is on the clock when you roll onto your side to look up at it. You roll out of bed and groggily eat breakfast and get ready for school, and stumble into the car at 7:47 am. You half-heartedly jog to your first class of the day at 7:59 and collapse into your seat a second before the bell rings. You live another day. “Projects are due right now!” Your teacher declares. You force yourself upward and hand in your 1278 word report to your teacher, which barely met the 1250 word requirement. You then collapse into your seat and sleep through the class; you pulled-an all nighter typing that thing.


Procrastination is quite a problem for some people. They wait until the deadline to turn in the project or report, and finish the whole thing before, while spending all the previous time relaxing and not doing anything. I suppose some people like the pressure of the deadline, but for others who don’t find that adrenaline appealing, it’s a problem.

I always told myself that I wouldn’t and couldn’t succumb to the disease which was procrastination; I had an almost perfect work ethic, I worked on things way before they were due, and I felt the pressure of the finish line the second the project was assigned. “What if there are complications? I must surely get the project done early, juuuust in case anything pops up, like a project for another class.” More relevant to now, the day my math teacher assigned our class a project, to create a 3D model of “a revolution of a function around a fixed axis.” While I planned out what I was going to make, many people in my class were casually talking to each other. “Is that your project,” asked my friend. “Yea, I haven’t assembled it yet,” I replied. “I haven’t even bought the things for the project yet,” he declared. We had this conversation only yesterday.

However, I did have moments where I did fall into the depth of despair. Only recently had I realized I was a giant procrastinator. I’m currently 17 and a month, and the deadline for turning in an eagle scout application is at 18. It takes almost half a year to finish, so I’m pretty worried and stressed out. It eats away at my soul and mind almost nags at me every day. As of recent, I have been going “ham” on it, but still, looking back, I realized that I’ve taken almost forever to just get to the point where I’m at. At least I recognize the problem, so I can make an attempt at fixing it.

I feel much better about myself now, I’ve gotten myself to do something about my problems. It takes little effort to look, but much more to do something. At least this change is good for me, so it’s well worth the effort to make a change for the better, like going through rehab to get off the drug that is procrastination, and it all begins with the thought of wanting change.


Your day begins with your alarm screaming at you. 6:45 am is what is on the clock when you sit straight up to look up at it. You jump of bed and energetically eat breakfast and get ready for school, and leap into the car at 7:25 am. You walk to your first class of the day at 7:50 and set yourself into your seat long before the bell rings. You live another day. “Projects are due right now!” Your teacher declares. You jump up and hand in your 1743 (high quality) word report to your teacher, which far surpassed the 1250 word requirement. You then proudly land on your seat and pay attention; you typed that thing a week ago, proofread it a couple of times, and got a great night’s sleep last night.


What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

So there was this one time I was having pizza for lunch; the pizza was plain cheese. After about half way into my meal, I was overcame by a sudden epiphany, I don’t really like plain cheese pizza very much. On another time, I had pizza once again but only this time it wasn’t plain old cheese; it was the ever so popular pepperoni. About half way into my pizza I deduced that I enjoyed pepperoni much more compared to plain old cheese. Why my non existent audience may be asking? Well it’s likely because pepperoni had a bit of variety.

©2006 Marc Resnick [CC by 220]

Okay, one topping doesn’t really count as variety I’ll admit, but the pepperoni was just enough to give the pizza a little punch which I and my taste buds enjoyed. Now I’ll come clean, over my whole, entire life, the types of pizza I have eaten are severely limited. I have only eaten pizzas of the likes of plain cheese, pepperoni, anchovies, Hawaiian, and supreme which is pretty much everything on one pizza. I was never one for anything that is fish related so I pretty much avoided anchovies after the first bite. When I was younger I had Hawaiian and I thought it was kind of weird to have fruits on a pizza, but over time I got used to and enjoyed the pizza.

Now like Hawaiian, I had supreme pizza when I was quite young and it stuck with me through the entirety of my life. It all happened when my dad brought pizza home and in one of the boxes was supreme pizza. At first I whined that there was another pizza besides pepperoni but my father goaded me into trying and I did, the taste that met my tongue did not disappoint. That was when I found that supreme was my favorite kind of pizza.

The reason supreme pizza is my favorite because of the plethora of toppings that were able to synchronize into one delicious burst of flavor. It’s like America, one huge mesh pot of mixed cultures. Well thats my favorite what’s yours?



2015 marcisim CC0 Public Domain

    Siblings as most people know are really annoying. They somehow always find a way to get on your nerves, and even when you tell them to stop they continue to annoy you because they are little brats. All the hard working taking care of them does not even pay off until they are at least 12 years old when they can finally start thinking for themselves. However, even throughout those 12 agonizing years there are times when having a little sibling is totally worth it.

    I have four younger siblings and I can tell you for the most part they are little selfish snobs who ruin everything. I absolutely despise them, especially my two younger sisters, Jenny and Vivian. Jenny being 10 and Vivian being 12, they are at the age where they absolutely have to sing every popular song they hear on the radio out loud. About 8 times a day I have to listen to their horribly singing through the thick maple wood doors. While the doors manage to silence some of the noise, the eerie screeching still manages to penetrate the wood reaching my delicate eardrums. I wish I could just shut them up, but when I try to they just yell, “mom”, and my mom always says something to like, “why do you guys always fight, pick on someone your own size”, and my sister continues to sing and I am left there forced to listen to cows trying to sing.It is very unpleasant to put it politely, to have to little sisters who think they own the house but when they are faced with any danger they coward behind their mommy.

    If you have a little brother however, life is much more enjoyable. I find that my brother, Zachary, is much less snobby and rebellious than my sisters. Probably because I’m his older brother and he actually respects me to some degree. My younger sisters have no respect for me whatsoever, while Zachary listens to me from time to time. While there are glimpses of respect he is still only 6 years old and easily gets on my nerves. What usually triggers me the most is when I tell him to do something and he acknowledges it and then continues to sit there doing his own thing and when I try to pull him up he makes his body lifeless, futile to any more progress. All these hardships however come with lasting rays of hope.

     Hardships are usually accompanied with success and this is true for siblings. After some time of “constructive criticism”m they often bloom to something meaningful. Now, Vivian is much more open to my advice and often follows it after a “couple” of times of telling her. She sees the 17 years of wisdom in my words. Zachary, still has some ways to go before he finally sees my way but he is slowly coming through. And Jenny, now she is a different case. Still in her rebellious stages, she does not listen to me and often yells no matter what it may be until she gets her way. It might be another 10 years before she finally comes around. Tow out of three siblings is not that bad. That’s passing and I’ll take it.

    Siblings are always are burden no matter how compliant and nice they are. They are loads of work, but work always pays off in the end. If you put work in the work success will later ensue. There may be times where it seems that there is no use loving your siblings, but never give up because when times get tough, family is all you’ll have.

“It’s almost here!”

AP tests are almost here! Around this time of year, Advanced Placement classes and students prepare for the national Advanced Placement tests. These classes offer advanced, college level curriculum, but are for high school students. In the first two weeks of may, national AP tests occur for high school students taking AP classes, and the scores for these tests take months to return, and can be important for getting into universities and colleges because they demonstrate a student’s expertise and “advanced-ness” in school subjects. In one week, the AP tests begin, and the antics are only building up.

Studying is quote hard and tedious, especially since I have 4 classes to study for. At least I don’t have to study too much for AP English, it’s just responses. I feel live I have studied enough for AP United States History, but I have barely studied for Biology and Calculus. Which means I have a busy couple of days before the test, and now there’s less than a week left for that.

The AP test is quite scary, but as of right now, I felt more worried about a history presentation I did earlier today. Not only was presenting it pressuring, there would be people studying off of these notes too. I had to cover everything. At least that is one way of lifting the burden off of the incoming test, whether intentional or not.

Definitely things are going better for the people around me when it comes to preparing for the test. I saw someone during our school’s annual Baron Games, a spirit competition between the grades, studying their AP Biology study book in between minigames. “Dang, I’m not that dedicated, should I be doing more?” This event has made my very nervous, because I assumed that I would have enough time to study, but now I’m thinking that I need to plan my time and set thing straight because it’s very simple: There’s not much time left.

And watching everyone else, taking after school practice tests for their classes, and I attended one for Biology, for an FRQ, in which I did decently on. Not to say that the results mean I’m ready, because I am nowhere near that. Heck, I should be studying right now. But anyways, I should definitely be prioritizing things in my life right now, I mean the future is pretty important.

Before writing this, I was agonizing myself over not studying for calc, and while doing practice test homework, I spent time studying for it. Despite not a full study of the subject, it felt very beneficial to have just referenced to notes and correct myself. I don’t know if I can do the same for Biology, maybe flashcards and practicing chronology, but I suppose reading something is better than reading nothing. Practice makes (almost) perfect, right?

Knights Looks Cool!

I don’t know how or when, but I also had an interest in knights when I my age was still single digits. Is it their admittedly awesome looking armor, made from only the finest iron or steel? Is it their intricate, difficult training and their not so difficult training from a lowly page to a fully-fledged knight? Is it their code of chivalry where they protect their lords and less folks such as peasants from “evil” (bandits)? Is it their tales of wearing shiny armor, going on fantasy like adventures, slaying huge fire breathing dragons, rescuing and consequently marrying princesses? Okay, the last point likely never happened in history but it probably what drawn me to knights.

©2014 Emperor Maximus [CCO 2.0]

Well like I have mentioned earlier, what likely drew me in to the awesomeness that are knights were probably tales that involved one slaying a fire breathing dragon and saving the princess and such. Now as I’ve grown older, and actually listened in my history class, I’ve learned that knights never actually saved princesses from stone towers or slayed dragons and what not (I mean over my so-and-so years alive, I have never seen one dragon).

Firstly, let’s learn a little bit about the training of a knight. Training starts once a boy reaches the ripe age of eight years old, but not just any boy. One must be born into it or specifically chosen out. Boys do not become a knight straight away, they start out as a page and must work their way up to squire then to knight. Training consists of writing, music, weapons, and of course the chivalry.

The Knights Code of Chivalry is an oath that must be taken by all knights. Once taking said oath, a Knight is expected to follow his lord or liege and protect his lord/liege’s land and people. The Knights Code of Chivalry also expanded to also protecting those lesser than him, such as peasants and common folk.

Even though knights aren’t the dragon slayers and princess savers that I have pictured them when I was younger, they are still honorable warriors who serve their lords and protect the innocents from dangers. They truly are awesome!

Baron Games(2015-2016) Rigged??


©2011 Unduhsun (CCO 1.0)

The Baron Games carries this long legacy that it has been rigged so that the Blue team, which consist of freshman and seniors to win. For the past three years that I have attended Fountain Valley High school, I do believe that there is some sort of trickery going on in the Baron Games. Whether it be cheating or being completely rigged so that the last year of the seniors and the first year of the freshman is memorable.

During the week leading up to the Baron Games which is held on Friday, ASB host a series of lunchtime events so that either team can score points. During these lunch time events the judges which mostly consist of seniors are extremely bias. One time during a dance competition the yellow team was clearly the winner of the competition while the blue team’s dance was lackluster and the judges called it a tie! It was like saying Kylo Ren has the same strength as Darth Vader, when we clearly know that Darth Vader is stronger. With the judges being so biased the only time the yellow team can we is when they clearly beat such as in a race which does not have a panel of judges.

Besides the bias senior judges, the Blue team also blatantly cheats and no one says a word. During the last race of the day which was a relay race which consisted of a watermelon eating contest, a hopping race where the participant had to be wrapped in saran wrap, a bike portion, and finally a scavenger hunt to find the combination inside a pool of slime, on the second portion of the race the yellow team was clearly ahead by a good 25 yards, the blue team decides to cheat by breaking out of the saran wrap and running to the bikes. By doing this they were able to catch up to us and win. That wasn’t even the worse part. Before starting the yellow team was up by 14 points and then the judges announce that the last event was worth 15 points and then the judges or whoever was judging this corrupt event changed the points to 20. Why did they need to change it to 20?? It was clearly a scheme so that the blue team would win since that is who the panel of judges consisted of. So in the end, the blue team came out victorious by cheating there way up to the top.

The win for the blue team this year meant that the winning streak would be continued once again. Before last year the blue team would always win and too many people would complain  that it was rigged. So, ASB decide to rig it again but, this year to the yellow’s team advantage so it would not looked rigged that the blue team was winning all the time. However, it was so easy to see through the facade that everyone still knew it was rigged.

No matter what anyone says, the Baron Games will always be rigged. It may not be fair, but hey, life is not fair, and after all its just a game.


The Change Throughout Society

Society continues to experience change over every decade. This remains true for both state and national levels.California has experienced massive change stemming from the events of the Great Depression and later the Dust Bowl. Personally, we as a state were not hit as hard as those in the middle of the country, at least physically. Socially we evolved. California adopted the attitudes of the migrant farmers who suffered in the chaos of the Dust Bowl. Their immigrant ideals shaped our society of both 1985, when Gregory outlined social changes and today where we still see norms that formed from the Oklahoma migrants of the Dust Bowl. Their values changed us for the better.

The Dust Bowl was an extreme natural disaster back in the 1930’s. It eradicated farmland in the middle of America, namely in Oklahoma. This caused many to leave their family farms and move out west to California, whose fields were not seared by the blistering sand. These migrants brought more than just a desire to farm and survive, they also brought with them a stricter, yet more carefree social system. The “Okies” preached for the importance of family values. Along with familial bonds, they expressed a deep passion for the Christian church. California at that time was in the midst of a mass radical reformation, but the arrival of the conservative Okies calmed tensions.

This relative calm period lasted for another 40 years. Gregory writes of this restful time and notes how beneficial it was for the state of California. The economy flourished, and not only the natives reaped the winnings. Few migrants were still embroiled in the agricultural field. Others found more lucrative ventures, such as those who struck oil or large natural gas deposits. The migrants were able to rise above the depression set forth by the loss of home and field. The Okies then could invest their new wealth back into the state. Even today this shows, as California has one of the highest cost of livings in the United States. Prices are higher here than elsewhere in the nation and its due in part to the massive resource quantities found by the Okies. Sadly not all of the values the Okies brought with them have transferred to the modern era. Today’s society has grown increasingly bitter and outspoken. No longer is it simply about having a simple life with family and the lord. Today it is all about race, violence, and corruption. I wish we could return to the values imparted on us by the Okies. Our society was once influenced by them, and as time passes that influence dwindles, though I wish it would continue to stay. That way we could all live on in the peaceful views set by them. -Zach

Quiz fill-in assignment: Steinbeck’s myth of the Okies

The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel by John Steinbeck. The novel takes place in late 1930s America or namely, The Great Depression. The books focuses on the Joads, a poor family of farmers who have no choice but to abandon their farm due to things like economy, poor agricultural conditions, and bank foreclosures. The Joads soon decided to move to California after hearing about the good wages and how work was extremely plentiful.

Even though The Grapes of Wrath, is a novel that described the conditions of the Great Depression, could this book actually be seen as a source of accurate history? A man named Keith Windschuttle says “the novel is either outright false or exaggerated beyond belief.”

©2012 ThatsABigIf [CCO 2.0]

In Keith Windschuttle’s essay, Steinbeck’s Myth of the Okies, Windschuttle refutes most if-not all social, climatic, economic, and political conditions.

In the novel, Steinbeck writes that one of the biggest reasons for the great Okies migration was due to the great dust storms that would overtake the farms. Windschuttle claims that this detail is highly exaggerated and through information from the historian, James N. Gregory, discovers that roughly only six percent of farmers were actually affected by the dust storms at such a degree.

Windschuttle even refutes Steinbeck’s claim on the bank or “the monster”. Steinbeck writes that the banks were the plight of all farmers, forcing farmers from their lands and replacing them with tractors. Windschuttle writes that the banks weren’t the ones to blame for the farmer’s move, but the policies of the New Deal which limits the production of cotton, farm goods, and such.

Windschuttle also talks about how most migrants weren’t farmers, how the Okies were better informed about California, and even how most Okies were actually employed in California due to the economic boom of 1940. I have responded positively to all of Windschuttle’s claims on the history of the Okies due to his use of actual historians who studied the history of the late 1930s.

Steinbeck’s novel is by no means an accurate representation of the Great Depression and will not help anyone who would want to understand the history of California. From the book itself, I always thought that the immigration were due to the great dust bowls and the monstrous bank. But after reading Windschuttle’s essay, I found out that my understanding of American history is incredibly clouded.

With all these in mind, should a novelist be true to facts, to history? Unless it’s a biography, I believe that authors do not have to be true to facts or history. Sure The Grapes of Wrath sets in a real moment of America history but people have to understand that Steinbeck’s novel is still a fiction. People have to understand that this novel will not be the most accurate source of history and that Steinbeck didn’t have any real obligations to make his story accurate, he just wanted to write for the sake of writing. Personally, I really like that Steinbeck exaggerated some events of the Great Depression as it made the novel much more enjoyable whilst giving me some insight on the conditions of the depression, which I treated as a sort of luxury.

In the end of the day, The Grapes of Wrath is not a historically accurate novel but a fictional story of a family trying to survive the exaggerated events of the Great Depression.

Grapes of Wrath greatly exaggerated???

grapes of wrath

Books nonfiction or fiction are for readers enjoyment or the writer’s pleasure. Fiction for the most part are stories that are made up, even if they embodied the ideas of true event.

In the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, there has been some controversy over Steinbeck greatly exaggerating the events of the Great Depression. While this may be true, the book is suppose to used for enjoyment, but at the same times it embodies the essence of the Great depression. No one claimed the book to be completely accurate and it isn’t. It allows people to grasp the big picture of the Great Depression and the Dust Bust while still being enjoyable to read.

Steinbeck did not have an obligation to be accurate. He just wanted to pursue his passion and write. While some of his facts may be true such as the people migrating to California, the reason for their migration was not. The Dust bowl of 1930 and the Great Depression only contributed to a small percentage of the migration. While the majority was due to the economic boom of 1940. Steinbeck wanted to embody the movement of migration. He didn’t necessarily care if it came from the Dust bowl or the economic boom, but the dust bowl ties in with the theme of the story so much better. That is the job of the author. History can be confusing so Steinbeck changed some information around and made the book more interesting and enjoyable, as it is a fictional book.

The Grapes of Wrath is a fictional book based on the events of a true story which can often allow readers to mix up fact from fiction very easily. While I was reading the book I always thought the the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl of 1930 were the reason people migrated to California, but now I know the real reason they migrated was due to the economic boom of 1940. After reading Steinbeck’s myth of the Okies by Keith Windschuttle, I now have a better understanding of the history behind the Grapes of Wrath. While reading the essay about all the inconsistencies in Steinbeck’s book I was completely bored. If Steinbeck wrote the truth about the Dust bowl, he wouldn’t have sold over 14 million copies of the book. The facts are just too boring to read and Steinbeck found the perfect combination of fiction and non fiction to inform the people about the migration while still being enjoyable to read.

John Steinbeck did not ask his book to define the era of Great Depression but it just so happened to do so. Readers have to remember that it is a fictional book which means that  every word can not be trusted, but it allows reader to grasp the essence of the Great Depression. In that area the Grapes of Wrath exceeds which compelled so many people to read the book and win the Pulitzer prize of Fiction.