Music

Here are my recital pieces, and no I’m not playing them in the youtube clips.

The Pathetique Sonata, 2nd movement.

Asian Dream Song by Joe Hisaishi.

I will be playing it minus the cellos. 

Why am I playing these pieces? I wanted a more classical piece along with a more modern piece. I love Joe Hisaishi, and I AM Asian, and I HAD to have this piece.

The Pathetique is just magnificient. It’s also more classical, and everyone knows it. Everyone who does classical music, that is. 

Wish me luck!

Piano Recitals and Children

Love of Music - red roseMy piano teacher has an annual recital at around the end of June. 

My siblings and I are among her oldest students. We’ve been with her for a while. The funny thing is that the vast majority (about 20-25 people) are small children just learning how to pick out “Twinkle twinkle little star” with one hand. When I’m among them and listening to them play, I feel OLD. But on the other hand, it reminds me of how far I’ve come, even though I still have far to go.

It’s funny, really. I can see that some of these parents except their kids to go from “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to “Moonlight Sonata” within a year. Some of these parents don’t even come to their kids’ recital. Some of these parents praise every single thing their kids do. Some of these parents mix praise and correction, like my parents. 

I know a mother who was trying to teach her daughter piano, but quit. (The mom, not her daughter.) 

“My daughter has no talent.”

How old was her daughter?

Five.

That’s right. Five years old.

I was seven when I started. (Come on…)

What would I say to those little kids? 

Don’t be pressured by those teenagers who can memorize Moonlight Sonata. Or even your mother who claims that she was a prodigy and played in the school band and so wants  you to do it. You’re still young, and you’re still learning. Don’t rush it. Where did those teenagers start? They started by playing “Mary had a Little Lamb” just like you’re doing now. Your mom had to start somewhere, too, even though she probably doesn’t remember it. You’ve got to start somewhere.

Hard work and determination go a long away. Perseverance as well. Don’t give up.

So what if you can’t play Mozart and you’ve been learning for 2 weeks? So what if you can’t play Mozart and you’ve been learning for 2 years?

Don’t give up, and someday you’ll get there.

Clutter

800px-Ringbound_notebookI’m not a very neat person. In fact, I’m very messy. 

This is important, because I”m moving to college in only a matter of months. I will need to pack all my clothes, my cute stationery, my Star wars toys, my pens, and take them all the way to PRovidence College, which is 19 minutes away. And then unload them all into the dorm room where I will be staying, hopefully with a roommate who won’t laugh at me or run shrieking in the other direction.

A few days ago, I was bored, so I started cleaning one of my desk drawers. It took a while. I found out that my habit of dumping random stuff in there to organize “later” was a very good habit. In fact, the amount of stuff I have but don’t even use was frightening.

So I started stressing about packing to college. Then I saw these drawers that have been pushed up against my bed for years and years and years… AACK! Those drawers are filled with tons and tons of stuff that I don’t even use. Stuff that I don’t even look at. Stuff that can only be classified as “stuff” because I don’t even know what they are. What about all the make up I don’t even use and will probably never use? Or the perfume that I got for Christmas but never used? Or the marbles or the balls of  yarn or the rubber artic seal or…

Isn’t it amazing how much junk we have when we really drag it out to look at it? While they’re sitting in their boxes sleeping out the time, they’re also nesting in our brain space, where we worry about where we’re going to put them the next time we move. And then we organize and say, “I have to keep this even though I’m not going to look at it again or even think about it.”

I might as well start packing now.

Look Before You Fall

486372262_6530df5003I was on facebook when I noticed an album labeled “thinspo.” 

For those of you who don’t know what thinspo is, it’s basically what people call thinspiration. It’s what people use to inspire them to get thin. But these pictures consist of emaciated girls whose ribs poke out. A lot of the girls in the pictures look happy. Some of them don’t. 

How could thin = happy for some of us? Is our culture that messed up?

Maybe so.

What those pictures represent to those girls is basically this.

Thinspiration:

Thin-Inspiration

Thinspo, or better known as Thinspiration is used by people who having eating disorders to keep them inspired. Thinspo is usually of photos of skinny or bony celebrities or models. It sometimes takes the forms of celebrities who have lost a great deal of weight. Thinspo can be anything. Book quotes, song lyrics or films.

Thinspo targets young girls who are obsessed with becoming skinny. They have influenced girls who are about to eat, to keep going and strive to get skinnier. Once someone has the idea of being skinny in his or her head it is very difficult to get it out. Even if that person has gone to therapy and has got treated for it, it will always be in the back of their mind.

These pictures are used as a goal for these girls. My friend had one picture of a girl who was all ribs and bones and wrote, “my goal” under it. These goals are not only impossible, they are extremely unhealthy. But try to tell that to someone with an eating disorder. They may know that they could die from this. But at the same time, thin has become everything to them. To let go of it means losing control. And they can’t lose control. 

skeletonOnly sometimes do they realize that they’re really losing control. To the ones that don’t…

I feel guilty because I never really talked to that friend. She was a Facebook friend, nothing more. But should I have been more of a friend to her? I talked to a girl who once knew here. This girl used to be quite active in her church. She used to be doing a lot better…

But that was before now. Now she wants to be skeletal. Now she posts pictures of her arms on her facebook where people can see the wounds. 

Maybe it’s a cry for help. Maybe it’s a signal that I should do more than what I’m doing right now. Maybe I should be more of a friend to her… than just sit back and watch her fall.

In any case, here’s a petition you can sign to ban these sites. I signed it. I can at least do that, for her. If nothing else, I can pray.

If you doubt the seriousness of this, please take a look at this site. It’s a Pro-Ana site, which means that it’s pro-anorexic lifestyle. 

This poem is on the front page:

thinspo

In this section, they teach you how to lie to your doctors and other people so that they won’t suspect that you have an eating disorder.

Here’s just one of the tips.

As you lose weight, your skin will become dry and sallow and it will heal slowly. Make sure that you use LOTS of lotion where it is needed and take a multivitamin. If you lose enough weight, your body will develop lanugo, which is a very fine downy hair that covers your body. It can easily be removed with a mild depilatory followed by hydrocortisone cream.

This is merely a way of disguising the problem so that people won’t suspect that things are going on that shouldn’t be going on. 

They also say that getting a pedicure is a way to distract yourself from the hunger and make yourself feel prettier. 

Here’s something from another section of the site:

Anorexics usually have low self-esteem and sometimes feel they don’t deserve to eat. The anorexics usually deny that anything is wrong. Hunger is strongly denied. They usually resist any attempts to help them because the idea of therapy is seen only as a way to force them to eat. Once they admit they have a problem and are willing to seek help, they can be treated effectively through a combination of psychological, nutritional and medical care.

The pictures that you’ll see when you click “thinspiration” are nauseating. A lot of them are real girls. Several of them are celebrities like Paris Hilton. Lindsay Lohan and Angelina Jolie are other popular celebrities that are used to inspire these girls. 

This is just one of the many sites out there that encourage this lifestyle. There’s also the many xanga blogrings and facebook groups. I even found a blog on wordpress that was very very recently started. Or check out the videos on youtube. 

It’s sad. 

This is what got me started on psychology to begin with. Seeing this reminds me that there’s a very big need. And that I am needed, not as the solution but as part of it.

How Do You Edit?

This is part of an Absolute Write forum challenge.

How I edit: I read the blog post over twice. Then I save it as a draft and put it aside for a while. After a few days, when I decide to post the draft, I’ll read it again to check for any typos and add any links that I forgot to add. 

Sometimes the post gets published and there’s an embarrassing typo. If that’s the case, then I go and catch it as soon as someone tells me. 

Pencil on pad of paperIt also pays to have a sibling or parent or friend look over the post and tell exactly what they think about it. Maybe a sentence was vague. Maybe a statement was phrased awkwardly. They’re good at helping out when it comes to that. Be careful, though. Some people don’t know how to critique and it turns into criticism (this post is terrible),rather than helpful tips and comments (I felt that this sentence was a bit weak. Could you rework this sentence so it is more like…). Critique is not criticism. 

If it is a manuscript or essay that is going out into some magazine to be published, always let it sit for a while before sending it out. 

I also like going over a manuscript with a red pen and marking parts that need improvement.

Anyway, that’s how I edit. Enjoy!