meh

June 5, 2010

Semester Reflection

Filed under: reflection — jjlee12 @ 2:11 pm

I have exactly a week until my time as a sophomore is over.

Oh god.

And the funny thing is that if you go down my history of posts for this blog, you can find my semester reflection for the last.  I am complaining about how half of the year had passed so quickly. But it feels like the second semester passed even faster.

That’s because it was only about four months but I think that is an unncessary detail. 🙂

Instead, let us focus on what i have learned in English during that short period of time. We worked with three pieces of literature: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and Brave New World. All of those books were interesting in their own way and although I was already familiar with the storyline for them, the four months that I spent evaluating the books were not in vain – in fact, it actually triggered me to actually THINK for once. I will discuss exactly what I thought about the novels but I would first like to point out the first thing I learned in the second semester of my sophomore year: I learned that you can actually obtain something out of the books you read.

This might not sound very impressive but this revelation is quite significant in my life as a student because it explained the last ten years’ worth of books I have read. I must confess that although I do enjoy reading very much, I never understood what they – the mysterious they that seem to have quite a few advices for folks like me – meant by “Reading nourishes one’s mind.” I never considered myself as that one. Perhaps that is why I disliked most of the books on the reading list generated by an organization. They seemed boring and complex for no reason. But the discussions about the three novels we read this semester made me realize that the supposed meanings of these literary works can actually apply to society and individual.

On that note, I also learned that literature that pertains to a certain time period does not give the modern readers an insight to that era because the author tried to show the people of the future what he had to live through, but rather because the ideas implanted in his head due to his generational distinction are merely reflected in his writing. As obvious as it seems, only when we started ripping apart these literary works it hit me as to how this process of analysis works.

Perhaps these two fundamental reasons for studying literature has come to me markedly slower than for other people but I would like to thank Ms. P for allowing me to regain my interest in reading – which had subdued ever since I came to this school due to the mandatory 45 minutes of reading every week.

** I also learned that in order to pass Ms. P’s quizzes I must read very closely 😀

May 30, 2010

This is War

Filed under: 30 seconds to mars,brave new world — jjlee12 @ 1:26 am

Today I downloaded some songs by 30 Seconds to Mars and  I was listening to them while I was reading Brave New World. And suddenly I hear “BRAVE NEW WORLD! BRAVE NEW WORLD!” being screamed in the song “This Is War”…I wasn’t paying much attention to the song but when I heard that part I thought I was finally going crazy with the stress of final exams next week. Then I realized it was actually a part of the song so I put the book down – even though I really should not have considering my average quiz score – 60% – I rewound the song and typed in “this is war 30 second to mars lyrics” into the Google search engine at the corner of my screen.

And this came up:

A warning to the people
The good and the evil

This is war

To the soldier, the civillian
The martyr, the victim

This is war

It’s the moment of truth and the moment to lie
The moment to live and the moment to die
The moment to fight, the moment to fight, to fight, to fight, to fight

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world from the last to the first

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world, It’s a brave new world

A warning to the prophet
To the liar, to the honest

This is war

To the leader, the pariah, the victim, the Messiah

This Is War

It’s the moment of truth and the moment to lie
The moment to live and the moment to die
The moment to fight, the moment to fight, to fight, to fight, to fight

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world from the last to the first

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world, It’s a brave new world, It’s a brave new world

I do believe in the light
Raise your hands into the sky
The fight is done
The war is won
Lift your hands toward the sun
Toward the sun, toward the sun, toward the sun
The war is won

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world from the last to the first

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world, It’s a brave new world, It’s a brave new world

A brave new world, the war is won, the war is won, a brave new world

I believe in nothing not the end and not the start
I believe in nothing not the earth and not the stars
I believe in nothing not the day or not the dark
I believe in nothing not but the beating of our hearts
I believe in nothing not 100 suns until we part
I believe in nothing not not in sin and not in God
I believe in nothing not not in peace and not in war
I believe in nothing not but the truth in who we are

This is the actual song:

Immediately after I saw the first few lines of this lengthy song,  I knew I would not be able to fully comprehend what Leto is trying to convey. But i decided to at least attempt to relate it to Brave New World by Huxley because I feel the passionate desire to apply my academics to the culture that shapes me!

…and I want to get inside Jared’s head.

Alright! So here are some of my notes regarding the meaning behind this song.

Firstly, I thought it was important to note that Huxley actually borrowed the expression “brave new world” from Miranda’s speech in Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

O wonder!

How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in it!

I thought it meant that the new world – World State – was brave enough to abolish all of mankind’s knowledge of history and build a world on a completely new setting – thus a brave NEW world. But apparently brave used to mean “beautiful” in Shakespeare’s time.

This Is War” starts with the declaration of a war against everyone:

A warning to the people
The good and the evil

This is war

To the soldier, the civillian
The martyr, the victim

Then it proceeds on to narrow that range of subjects of the war to the leaders of the world:

To the leader, the pariah, the victim, the Messiah

So what does the song mean so far?

To be honest, I am not sure at all. But from the

It’s the moment of truth and the moment to lie
The moment to live and the moment to die
The moment to fight, the moment to fight, to fight, to fight, to fight

To the right, to the left
We will fight to the death
To the Edge of the Earth
It’s a brave new world from the last to the first

it seems to be fighting against the society that is like the World State – hence the usage of the expression Brave New World. However, this part of the song is a bit perplexing because by constantly repeating “it’s a Brave New World” it makes it sound like the band is pursuing a brave new world rather than fighting against it – which allows me to deduce that Leto went back to Shakespeare’s original use of the expression and applied it to the world opposite of Aldous Huxley’s version of Brave New World. Leto believes that a society that truly shuns all rules and codes of conformity is, in fact, a brave new world, rather than one that embraces those rules and codes. The song makes us realize the fact that the current world works much like World State, the core values of which are stability, identity, and community (where identity refers to the designated identity of an individual by the Control Centre). Therefore, it would certainly be both brave (in both our and Shakespeare’s sense) and new to abandon the current ways of society and actually pursue the freedom for individual expression – which, Leto proves to be crucial:

I believe in nothing not the end and not the start
I believe in nothing not the earth and not the stars
I believe in nothing not the day or not the dark
I believe in nothing not but the beating of our hearts
I believe in nothing not 100 suns until we part
I believe in nothing not not in sin and not in God
I believe in nothing not not in peace and not in war
I believe in nothing not but the truth in who we are

But what does it mean to have won the war?

Here, Leto did not mean that society has changed. However, he is emphasizing the ease for defeating society by stating a few minutes into the song that:

I do believe in the light
Raise your hands into the sky
The fight is done
The war is won
Lift your hands toward the sun
Toward the sun, toward the sun, toward the sun
The war is won

It implies that the brave new world that we are fighting for can be won by simply BELIEVING in the light and raising your hands to make yourself known – expressing yourself.

I never really understood the music of 30 Seconds to Mars. On this, some say that his lyrics don’t mean anything and others say that they mean something profound. I am hoping that whatever I analyzed just now was worth it.

But the real question is:

If the guy really does have some insight into the flaws of society and is able to express it in a brilliant song like this,

why in the world did he date Lindsay Lohan?

May 24, 2010

Brave New World – New?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 12:30 pm


When I first encountered Brave New World, I initially thought it merely reflected the vanity of communist ideas that was prevalent during the time when Huxley wrote the novel. In fact, because the idea seemed so hackneyed, I did not understand why the novel was considered the work of masterpiece (Exactly – I did not enjoy Animal Farm by Orwell) However, as I continue to read the novel and discuss the recurring themes as a class, I realize that Huxley was trying to convey more than what he had believed that humanity may eventually find itself. Because of this, I think the names such as Beranard Marx and Lenina and Bokanovsky and Trotsky are misleading as Huxley did not necessarily intend on focus on the political aspects of these communists but rather their idea that they will be able to manipulate the public (via propoganda etc.). Furthermore, Huxley also adds elements of the Industrial Revolution he witnessed in his world and , through exaggeration of the potential future,  expresses his concerns and fear.

Although it has been about 70 years since Brave New World was published, some aspects of today’s society coincide with the World State. Although it is not as extreme as whatever Huxley imagined the world’s future would be, they indeed do overlap with each other.

Overprescription.

We can’t criticize World State’s people’s dependence on drugs since current society, too, deals with the problems with overprescription. I recently heard about a drug that has been developed to treat Restless Leg Syndrome.

Apparently it’s a condition in small children who cannot stay still for a prolonged period of time.

There was a time when that just was a part of being a kid. But not anymore I guess. So how is this different from soma that represses the natural characteristics of humans?

Conditioning.

Everyday all of us are exposed a form of conditioning: advertisement. It takes on various forms and manages to find itself through every kind of media. Can we really deny that these corporates – in a way – whisper hypnopaedic messages in our sleep? That they brainwash us to the point that we become oblivious to it?

Pursuit of beauty and youth.

Scratch that.

Put: Pursuit of beauty IN youth.

In the World State and current society, aging is feared and ugliness is frowned upon. In both societies, people are well aware of this discrimination and chooses to abide by it.


Isn’t it scary?

May 5, 2010

Biology………………..

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 12:37 pm

It doesn’t really seem like I am learning anything from other classes but here is something mildly interesting…it’s on the asexual reproduction of certain organisms by means of parthenogenesis. Oh god. AP Bio..

Parthenogenesis refers to a type of asexual reproduction. Organisms that go through parthenogenesis are able to produce offsprings without the process of fertilization. Therefore the genes of the offspring are exactly the same as parent because independent assortment and crossing over does not take place in order to rearrange the genomes in the offspring. The only way that a species that reproduces thorough parthenogenesis can be genetically different from a pervious generation is in the case of a mutation.

This contrasts with sexual reproduction, which focuses on creating a variety of assorted genes in order to have diversity in the population. Through the process of natural selection, the generations are constantly progressing towards perfection by filtering the “bad” genes by selectively choosing the mates that have the best phenotypes.


Wanna know how gametes are produced?

It’s trhough meoisis..

Meiosis is a process of reduction division in which the number of chromosome per cell is cut in half through the separation of homologous chromosomes in a diploid cell. Meiosis usually involves two divisions: meiosis I and meiosis II. The end products of meiosis are four genetically different haploid cells, or gametes.

Meiosis starts with prophase I. During this stage, the chromosomes go through the synapsis which is the process where the replicated homologs pair up and become physically connected by the synaptonmal complex, forming a tetrad. Then the nonsister chromatids of the homolog genetically rearrange themselves by crossing over. Then the homologs separate but are still connected by chiasma.

In metaphase I these homologs line up across the cell  on the metaphase plate ready to separate. During this process, there is no particular order in which the chromosomes  arrange themselves, which is the basis of the independent assortment. Basically, the chromosomes line up at random, causing genetic variation.

In anaphase II, the homologous chromosomes move towards the opposite poles but the sister chromatids of each replicated chromosome remain attached.

The number of chromosomes are reduced to half. After the pairs had been separated, the cell goes through telophase I  and gets ready for Meiosis II.

Meiosis II is remotely similar to Mitosis and it goes through prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase and Cytokensis. However meiosis II does not involve diploid cells with replicated chromosomes but different genes on the chromatids.

During prophase II, the chromosomes appear, and the chromosomes line up on the metaphase plate during metaphse II. Instead of the pair separating, the two sister chromatids on the chromosome separate  and as the two daughter cells created during the Meoisis I go through the process of meiosis simultaneously, four genetically different haploid cells are created at the end of meiosis ii. Now there is half the number of chromosomes but one quarter amount of DNA because there still in the form of sister chromatids.

During the process of meiosis, a nondisjunction event can potentially occur leading possible syndromes such as Down Syndrome and Klinefilter’s Syndrome. This can be a result of a problem in the two anaphases that the cells go through during meiosis. During anaphase I, the tetrads can fail to separate themselves and result in one homologous pair being present in one daughter cell while the other has none. Another case that can have a problem is the sister chromatids failing to separate during Anaphase II. Either of the two cases can result in an extra chromosome.

If this extra chromosome is an X chromosome in a male human, then he would have three chromosomes as his sex chromosomes and instead of X and Y as his sex chromosomes, he would have XXY. This defect is the main cause of Klinefilter’s syndrome.

A person with Kilinefilter is almost always infertile and may be impaired in learning languages. Also, because an X chromosome has various feminine genes (hence the XX chromosomes in a female), he may have a roundly shaped body with extra breast tissues. His body produces lower testicular hormone and endocrine function.

Well that was a good review of the meiosis unit 🙂


April 25, 2010

Divine Beings Versus Humankind

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 2:32 pm

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the consequences of Dracula and other vampires on humankind demonstrate the utmost frailty and lowliness of humankind. By focusing primarily on a supernatural being – Dracula – Stoker isolates the identity of humans and relegates humankind to the supernatural, which represents the divine beings in the world outside of Dracula. As in, the vampires in the story play the same role as the divine machinery in real society. As Stoker continuously introduces Dracula’ abilities, humans are perceived as helpless and vulnerable beings. For example, Lucy’s suffering before her death as well as her death show that humans cannot defy Dracula. Through this notion, Stokers makes it clear that humans are inevitably weaker than Dracula and his representation, such as an animal to which humans merely serve as a source of nutrition. Also the final moments of Lucy’s life as a human are not displayed very honorably, in fact, as her body transitions from a mortal one to an immortal one, she becomes more beautiful and stronger than her former self. This transition is described as her death giving “back part of her beauty” (147). Furthermore, the characters describe Lucy’s state of death as having the impression of merely “sleeping,” implying that, ironically, after the transition, she had revitalized (148). By contrasting what the humans possess and what they are deprived of, Stoker conveys human’s inevitable frailty and inferiorityle in contrast to the divine beings’ immortality, strength, superiority.

April 11, 2010

Tyra on Asian eyelid surgery

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 12:58 pm

I do not like Tyra Banks.

I used to watch her shows in grade 7 in Canada – when I seemed to have a lot of free time for some reason. I can’t remember doing homework for any of the classes I took during then.

It used to be on simultaneously with the Ellen Show and every commercial break for each I used to hop back and forth. Eventually I realized that neither of them really had substance in their shows – even with the more diverse range of Tyra’s guest – because celebrities only made their appearance on the Ellen show in order to promote their most recent work and Tyra acted as if she had a worldly view on everything she hosted in the show.

And I came across Tyra’s America’s Next Top Model (actually I was only familiar with Jay Manuel’s Canada’s Next Top Model until then LOL) and to me, the essence of this show seemed like she was basically annulling every statement she made on her talk show. So yeah, I started to really dislike her from then.

I was just clicking on all the related videos on Youtube and I came across this lovely clip of the Tyra Show.

She invited a Korean girl who recently got her eyelid surgery done – which is like, a serious ongoing trend in South Korea –  and basically berated her for wanting to change her looks. And she kept telling her that she needs to EMBRACE her looks.

And what really annoyed me was that she just assumed that the girl wanted to more western.

Well, sorry Tyra, but I think she means when she says she doesn’t.

Perhaps you should have researched more on the culture of South Korea before going against a large portion of a nation’s women.

I don’t see why Tyra just can’t believe her.

I can understand her.

But she can’t.

But she wants to appear as she can.

Peer Edit of OPE 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 12:16 pm

Hey rachel!

Here’s my recording of your one paragraph essay #2!

Okay it doesn’t work

but you know what you need to work on (since you told me you didnt spend a lot of time on it):

– minor grammatical errors

– unclarity of your thesis statement

– incorporating the sentence pattern

– more decisive conclusion

– more solid textual evidence

What do I love?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 11:05 am

Ah yes.

Ms P has told us to write about something that we LOVE.

OHOHO.

Now it’s time to ponder what I like. I know, how very cliché of me. But it is rather sad that I can’t say what I like.

So let me generate a list of what I like. I bet all of the KIS sophomores are doing this right now but I’m sorry. I really really don’t know what I do like – LOVE.

Okay. Here goes:

I love my mommy and daddy. – I love my family.

I love..ice cream. Baskin Robbins must live on.

I love music: i LOVE music. I love MUSIC. I simply listen to everything. My Itunes list start with Aaron Carter (Hilary Duff’s ex-boyfriend)  and ends with 2pm (K-pop beasts). I have a playlist of Tahiti songs.

I love ______.

I love you.

TEEHEE.

I love KIS. No, seriously.

I love my macbook. No wait, I don’t love my MACBOOK but I love what it can do.

I love to laugh. I really do.

I love sleep.

Well I guess there is a lot of things I love. But I realized last that I love to sleep. Because when I’m sleeping, I can escape the reality of it all. When I am sleeping, I don’t have to think about all those things that I do think about. When I am sleeping, I am not deprived. When I am sleeping, I am creating. I am creating  version of reality. Who is anybody to tell me that dreams are not reality. They are reality. They are reality of what I want to perceive in the things that I tell myself to think of in a certain way when I am not unconscious. My friends, my family..my life takes on a different from in my dreams. And when I wake up, I am shattered by the fact that I must now once again come back to my good life that I feign as long as I am awake.

February 1, 2010

Semester Reflection

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 9:31 am

So the first semester ended two weeks ago.

Wow. Half of my sophomore year is GONE.

GONE.

GONE.

GONE.

And to be honest, I don’t really feel as though I have achieved anything in the past semester because I just feel like I did before I was titled a sophomore. My writing doesn’t seem to have improved, my vocabulary doesn’t seem to have improved and I can just make a long list of what did not improve. But that does not mean that I did not do well for the semester – I did end up with acceptable grades (for a Korean student). Well here are some of the things I thought I did pretty well:

1. Expressing my thoughts with WORDS. Loudly. So everyone hears them.

2. Finishing assignments on time – that is always a plus when it comes to school life. Even with the play 😀

3. Working in a group. This year, I barely had any problems with all the work being laden on me

4. Reviewing for classes. For the finals.

Now here are the things I did that are BAD:

1. I kept whining. I don’t think the teachers appreciated that. But oh well.

2. I didn’t treat every assignment as an important one. I don’t know why I did this for every single assignment. But it just really didn’t feel all that important. I’ll stop that.

3. Algebra II. Fail.

4. I didn’t memorize a lot of the necessary information I need to know. I never knew memorization was that important. From now on, I shall memorize.

What did I learn?

Well I learned that a teacher cannot teach everything and there is something I just have to do alone.

Oh no.

Recorded Presentation

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjlee12 @ 4:19 am

I recorded a voice over for my presentation slides the way I presented it it to the class – but it’s a bit different, its shorter

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