Sunday, October 31, 2010

The "Friend": Part 2 of 2 Part Lab

This lab has taken me a while.  Despite being incredibly busy, super-stressed, and extremely exhausted (hehe), I was wondering what was taking me so long to figure out a conclusion. I had the data. I even drew out a map of the cafeteria to help me distinguish the cliques. But it took some tooth-brushing-pondering-life-thinking-time to really get my thoughts organized (I get my best ideas while scrubbing my teeth minty clean).

So what is the conclusion, you ask? Well here I go:

For me, being friends with lots of people, which means in middle school being a part of many cliques, is better. But does being a part of a clique mean you are necessarily "besties" with everyone in it? How big can a clique be? Should the term be a 'clique' or a 'group'? Can cliques be co-ed?

Group B is co-ed, but Group A isn't. Group B is huge, but then again so is Group A. Fights go on inside Group A and B. And although it is easy to forget, a clique/group is full of different people, not clones.

So my conclusion is this: you have to dissect cliques and groups to find true friends. I, for one, don't get along so cheerily with every member of each group, because they are a different person.

But then how are cliques formed if not everyone in that group gets along? Are there cliques inside of cliques? That is another conclusion I came to. Strongly in Group A (not so much in Group B) there are seperate groups of girls amid the large party. A person in a little group may not get along with a person in another little group but they still could be members of the same clique. But does that make them friends?

So that is the main question here. What is a friend? People think that a clique controls who you are friends with. But really, they don't. Maybe a small clique does, but a big clique, like Groups A and B, is reguarly open and understanding. That's how (maybe) I am allowed to so freely swim between both groups.

But the unwritten "rules" of a clique are determined by the people in the clique. Who has more power, what they will allow, their definition of a friend. In my opinion, that's what it all comes down to. True friends determine cliques.

To better understand all the stuff I'm rambling on about, let's make up some awesomesauce terms!!

Town: A person (i.e. student of middle school, a kid)
County: A group of towns inside a clique or a group.
State: A clique or a group.
Nation: MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!!!

So, school is a nation. It may not funcution well depending on the states. The states have different opinions from each other and often get into fights. So it's not a good nation. I suspect it may be on the brink of a civil war... like Mexico... anyway, even the counties inside the states disagree with each other. However, the towns inside the counties may not like what the whole county is doing. Middle school is a political battle. And if you're like me, a migrant, er... I don't know where I'm going with this.

Sorry I was just rambling on. My school is pretty cliquey, as you can understand, but my true friends, the ones you hear about here, rock. They don't care about if I'm following the obeying the laws of middle school or not.
Ugh, I can't wait for high school. I love my middle school, but my grade is very, er, mature? Very into Justin Beaver hairdos? Very into boyfriends and girlfriends? Very into Gossip-Girl-style drama?

p.s. Marg has a blog!!! Finally!!! Check it out!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The "Friend": Part 1 of 2 Part Lab

I am home sick. I should have been home sick yesterday too but I was determined to go to school because I was convinced I was going to miss something really exciting, like a UFO landing or my English teacher giving us Jolly Ranchers (it's a once in a LIFETIME occurrence) in class. But I wish I missed what happened yesterday. Why don't I ever listen to my stuffy nose?

I'll give you a hint: a big fight between our favorite thrill-seeker Dani (who likes to be called Dan so she sounds mysterious) and a new member of our infamous GE group. He's a nice kid, but this battle between him and feisty Dani ruined GE forever. Marg and I are depressed.

It's unusual for me to be so depressed. Maybe it's because of my awful, ear-popping cold. But here are my reasons:

I used to pride myself on being friends with everyone. Marg describes our school as being really cliquey, which I agree with, but she says that I'm the exception. I was always so proud when she said that.

But now I'm wondering: what is the point of all those friends? Which ones are true friends? Maybe it's not about being friends with everyone, but being nice to everyone.

So since we've just finished a chewing gum lab in science class (it didn't bode well with my braces), and now that terms like "hypothesis" and "independent variable" dominate my jet stream of thought, I've decided to turn this question into a lab. Hopefully by Part 2 we'll have some answers.

HYPOTHESIS: If one has more friends than just a particular group, then one will feel happier at school and elsewhere because they have more friends to turn to.

Necessary Information to the Reader (aka you): Most of my friends are divided into two groups. And because my grade is small (about 40 kids) and those groups are most of the girls right there. I wish everyone wasn't so divided, but that's what this lab is for right? Group A will be made up of Jos (Jos however is a lot like me because she is good friends with Marg and Dani too) and some other girls. Group B will be Marg, TyTy, Dani, APG, Justice and Adam.

PROCEDURE:
Step 1: Jen (here out referred to as "The Professor", yeah, cuz I'm cool like that) will spend the day with Group A and collect data.
Step 2: Repeat Step 1, except with Group B.
Step 3: The Professor will spend the day with BOTH Group A and B, and other various groups, like she does on normal days.
Step 4: Collect more data in the form of interviews with fellow students and maybe some teachers.
Step 5: Summarize data-- conclusion. Days Following: The Professor will organize the data and interview her classmates, maybe even her teachers too.
This lab is really about what is more effective for social success in 8th grade: cliques or clique-less. Throughout these posts there may be some interviews from my friends, so stay tuned for those AND the conclusion.

p.s. I switched the font up. I was getting sick of Georgia.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Because We Talk Like Snooki Doesn't Mean We ACT Like Her Too

You fellow bloggers definitely don't know this about me but I am a Jersey Girl; well, my cousins may tell you differently, that I'm not a "real" Jersey girl, bla bla bla, but I was born there and I lived there and my parents were raised there. My family back there, like me, is Italian-American, and yes, they talk like Snooki.

The show Jersey Shore really upsets me. The way MTV portrays New Jersey is not at all how it really is. Worst of all, the way MTV portrays Jersey citizens is not at all the way Jersey citizens act!! Seaside Heights really is gross, according to my dad, but other than that, the Jersey Shore is the best. My memories live there. Memories of waaaay too much pizza, powdered funnel cakes, neon lights, giant waves, sandy bathing-suit crotches....

But all of this got me thinking: we really do judge people based on their accents. I do it all the time. This year at school we have two new boys from England: whenever I heard one of them talk in Algebra, I would break down into a fit of nervous/beyond excited laughter, because a) it was my summer dream that a British boy would come to my school and b) I love English anything. So basically by over-smiling, I made him nervous and BAM there goes our chance at love I mean friendship.

Which brings me to another point: kids getting made fun of (or making fun of their own, it happens at my school) their ethnicity. The boys in my school always joke about being African-American, Asian, or Italian. (i.e. "Hey yo you're just jealous you're not black!!" or "I'm Italian I can't help it!!!") Maybe I'm overreacting. But I once jokingly was called a terrorist because I am one-fourth Lebenese, which makes me Middle-Eastern. I'm proud to be from the Middle East, and it's my dream to go there one day (my parents say it's too dangerous, bla bla bla) but I DON'T like being called a terrorist.

On top of all of our accents and ethnicities, we're all 100% American. Or if you're British, than your 100% British, you know the dizzle...


p.s. this is my 75th post!! yay!! a quarter to a hundred!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Drama

For the past 4 years or so I've always gone Trick-or-Treating with this one girl. It's always a lot of fun going with her because we usually have awesome costumes that we make ourselves. In sixth grade we were old ladies getting a makeover. Last year we were 80's girls. This year we're doing one with Jos, and that girl who I go Trick-or-Treating with wants us to be fairies.

To tell you the truth, Jos and I aren't really digging being fairies. But this girl really wants to, and we can't agree on anything.

So,  what do you do in this kind of TRICKY (ha ha, get it? Like trick-or-treating? Whew, I can't stop laughing that was so dang funny!!) situation?  I have a couple brainstorms for you to take a yonder at.

  1. COMPROMISE: "How 'bout we be hybrid superhero- fairies?" or "I can be a superhero and you can be my awesome fairy sidekick."
  2. STEAL HER CANDY: "I'll give you your Kit Kat back if we can be superheroes."
  3. BE BOTH: "We can be fairies at the school contest and we can be superheroes when we go Trick-or-Treating."
  4. JUMP SHIP!: You don't have to do combined costumes. If you want to be a CIA agent like me, don't settle when it's the only time of year when you can wear dark shades and a fake badge without getting crazy stares. Although I really don't want to, because I have a ton of fun Trick-or-Treating with this girl!!!
NOTA BENE (my Latin teacher would be so proud): For Pete's sake, please read this: TRICK-OR-TREATING IS NOT LAME!!!  Why miss out on one of the most memorable experiences of your childhood because you're too busy accidentally stabbing yourself in the eye with your mascara wand applying eyeliner to collect candy in costume with your best friends.

Please check out http://www.suburbani.blogspot.com/, my new fashion/photography blog. Please. I'll give you a gold star.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Graceful VS. Klutzy

For the record books, I am a major klutz. I am tall with long arms and legs that go flying everywhere without my brain telling them to. I wish I was graceful. I wish I was graceful like Karlie Kloss. I can see myself gliding down the school hallway (see pictures on the side) looking beautiful and elegant, with all eyes on me, mouths gaping... ahhh... she's so lovely...

But is that fun? I know I have a lot of fun being Jen the Bona-Fide Klutz. Even though a lot of crazy things happen to me, my friends and I always end up smiling. For example, Thursday I (ACCIDENTALY!!) kicked a seventh grader in the temple trying to climb over a seat in the bus while trying looking like a CIA agent (what is with me and the CIA?). Yesterday I knocked over those boxes they have in public restrooms for womens' once-a-month stuff in a school bathroom while attempting to flush the toilet with my foot, shooting used tampons everywhere. Whoops.

Ok, so being a klutz may get me into awkward situations. But being a klutz is so real. To me, girls who look like they have every strand of hair in perfect order and whose every step is synomonus to Bambi gallantly galloping through the magical woods seem so fake. But that still doesn't stop me from wanting to be them.

I think it's hard for teenagers, me included, to decipher perfection from reality. To realize that perfection isn't real. I associate perfection with gracefulness, which makes it seem so impossible. Maybe one day I'll be graceful, but for now I'm just going to have fun being imperfect me. Without kicking people in the face.

What do you guys think?
*check out my new blog, www.suburbani.blogspot.com *

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kohl's Survival Guide: 10 tips on how to shop with Mom


Here in Connecticut, it's hard to avoid bad style. Bad style is like a virus you catch with every scrap of Kohl'sCash in your wallet. Bad style is like every time you're too lazy to go to the few-and-far-between mall or go thrifting and might just instead peek you're head inside the Junior's Section for a last minute concert dress. Trust me, I've been there.

I'm not here to diss Kohl's. Kohl's and I have grown up together. I remember the day when our local Kohl's came into fruition when I was a toddler. I remember discovering the Junior's Section in fifth grade (worst discovery of my life). I remember the framed 90s' picture of woman with dyed blond hair and high-waisted mom jeans purchasing a farty sweater hanging on the wall opposite the Help Center/Returns desk. By heart. I could replicate it for you. Kohl's and I are twins who hate each other.

When my mom and I go to there together (me unwillingly) we argue. A lot. I'm writing this post to help you avoid that inevitable throw down and bring home something you would actually wear.

  1. AVOID THE JUNIOR'S SECTION AT ALL COSTS. Anything Brittany Spears models with visible zippers going up the butt is to be avoided. If you look hard enough there are some cute graphic t-shirts, but they don't fit well, trust me.
  2. The shoes are good. Sometimes. Bring your own socks and try on the shoes your mom wants you to. Moms are good here. They can point out horribly bad shoes which your contaminated brain dared to try on.
  3. GO TO THE CHRISTMAS SECTION!!! (or holiday section) Admiring miniature winter scenes always brightens the mood.
  4. Bring your little sibling. If you don't have one, bring a little cousin. The brattier the better. They can get you out of trying something on you really don't want to.
  5. Try to act cool if your mom wants to underwear/bra shopping. I know it's painful. I know it feels uncomfortable. But sometimes in life you have to bite the bullet and just do it. Pretend you're an undercover spy on a mission for the CIA to memorize everything around you. Don't laugh. Just try it. It works.
  6. They have good leggings/tights at Kohl's. Just a thought.
  7. The good section is the Vera Wang for Kohl's section. They have decently fashionable stuff there. Just be careful: the further you go into the tiny Vera Wang section it gets diluted with the Lauren Conrad for Kohl's and the Elle line, which is baaaad. If it's stylish but not Vera Wang, go for it, but just a word of caution.
  8. Beware the Nautica-Nautical-Sailor-Wear stuff. It looks good on the model but not on anybody else.
  9. If you're bored and with your [fun-loving] friends, venture into the perfume area and spritz yourself multiple times until the salespeople get made at you.
  10. Now young padowans, remember this last word: as soon as you enter Kohl's, you enter another world. A world where fashion and style is available but it's not in plain site. You have to hunt for it. But sometimes hunters get confused and sidetracked by the fist fulls of Kohl's Cash and annoying backtrack of "contemporary" music. They lose their purpose. Their being. Their goal. Remember this when you're in the checkout lane, about to purchase a mustard-colored sailor sweater.
I hope this helps. Kohl's is a good place. You just need to be wary when you shop there.

Agree or disagree?
When my mom read this aloud to my grandma (Siti, see sidebar) they kept shouting "I know!! I know!! That picture is still there!!"