Monday, December 20, 2010

The Forgotten

I go to North Central High School. In the class of 2010, a young woman named Carissa Outen graduated despite having cancer. Her story was told in front of everyone at graduation, there were always posters about her around the school. This current year, the fall play, NC's True Colors Project, was a montage of skits based off essays that students wrote back in September. And the director specifically requested that Carissa submit an essay, though she was no longer a student, and her essay was pretty much guaranteed a spot in the performance.
This blog post is not to belittle everything she went through. She indeed overcame great odds in being able to graduate. But what about Bethany Oye? Why did she get no mention of her trials at graduation? Why wasn't she asked to submit an essay about her difficulties to the fall play?
Bethany also graduated from NC with the class of 2010. She was an intelligent student, a member of the band, my best friend, and she was unable to walk for about 4 1/2 months of her senior year, and it was 5 until she could walk on land. She was sick pretty much her entire senior year, as well as her sophomore and freshman years. I think she actually attended school for about 2 months her senior year.
I met Bethany through band my freshman year, her junior year, only inasmuch that I knew who she was. The summer after that year, I received a friend request from her on Facebook. I at least knew who she was, so I saw no reason to decline. We didn't talk, until about early to mid-December 2009, when I commented on a post asking why she was so down about things. I learned that she was sick, with a lot of diseases that are uncommon in people our age. I also learned that she had no visitors in the time she had been sick thus far. I became determined to be a friend to her when she needed one most.
In January of this year, 2010, she helped me through a very tough night. I was having some issues I'd rather not go into detail about, and she talked to me until something like 2 in the morning. She made me laugh and smile when I didn't want to do anything except be upset and hurt. It was at that point that I realized she had actually become my best friend. And we had not officially met face to face.
We hung out for the first time in February, and I became her first visitor. And she was suddenly unable to move her legs due to a nasty case of H1N1 mixed with her Fibromyalgia, and she was constantly in pain. I talked to her just about every night for quite a while, and did not hear any news of improvement until April or May.
Her counselor had excused her from her senior project, and she was working hard to catch up in all of her classes. But a week before graduation, she was informed that she still had to do the project, and she had 2 days to do so.
Well, she made the deadline, and was able to walk across the stage at graduation, but not without a cane. Her legs were still recovering.
Her doctors say she may never fully recover, but she can now walk without a cane or anything similar with ease, and her last physical therapy session is very soon.
But why is it that Bethany was forgotten by everyone? Why is it that everyone knows who Carissa Outen is, but people who were in Bethany's classes her senior year forget she was in there?
Why is it that I was the only person to visit her in 3 months (although eventually she did get other friends to visit) when she and I had only just met?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Well, it has been a while.

I don't often think of things to put into a blog, and that is why I rarely post. But, today, I have something.
Videogames: Evil? Brain cell killers? Waste of time?
My answer to those: depends, depends, and yes.
As for reasons, allow me to explain. (Wait, you don't have a choice in whether I explain or not. It's MY blog!)
Well, some games just are. I'm pretty sure there are videogames for Playboy.
One game I play, Disgaea DS, is not evil, in my opinion, even though you play as demons. Why not, you may ask? Because I try to draw parallels from the games I play to real life, if I can. and in Disgaea, the Seraph (head angel dude) said there is no such thing as absolute good or absolute evil. He said that even demons are capable of love and kindness, and even angels are capable of evil.
While I disagree with that statement as it is, allow me to substitute the word "Christian" for "angel" and "non-believer" for "demon" (not in any way saying that non-believers are demons, or that Christians are angels) Now, for the fixed statement.
*Even non-believers are capable of love and kindness, and even Christians are capable of evil.*
There are Christians out there who are complete jerks. I recently heard of an instance where one said "Christians are loving, non-Christians are ignorant." Just what is "loving" about that statement?
And then there's the non-Christians who are very loving and kind, not being judgmental about anyone, and allowing people to have their own opinions. Agreeing to disagree.
Though it's a game about demons, I do not consider it evil.
Brain cell killers?
Well, there are some. The ones that require no strategy, mainly. Like the Tony Hawk games. Fun, but other than memorizing moves for your skater, there's basically nothing to do that makes you think. And Guitar Hero/Rockband just work on reflexes.
However, strategy games, like Age of Empires or Fire Emblem, which require you to think the whole time, are not brain cell killers. You actually have to engage your brain to play them well. In Age of Empires (just in case you didn't know already), you are creating a civilization, and attempting to ruin another one. If you don't use your resources properly and quickly, you will be defeated.
Fire Emblem is basically chess on steroids. You move your characters around on a grid of terrain and attempt to destroy your enemy. And when units die, they die for good. No phoenix downs, no revive spells. If you want your unit back, you must start the level completely over. And using efficient strategy, like weapon types, you could have a unit equivalent to a pawn defeat a unit equal to, say, a queen.
Waste of time?
I've changed my mind. Again, it depends. You really get nothing out of it, other than entertainment. Unless you're playing a game with a friend/sibling. Then it gets really fun and interesting. Name-calling starts, phrases like "Go die!" begin flying, and it can get really competitive.
And with the Wii, you can actually get active with the game, and you're not just sitting there pushing buttons.