Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reality TV is NOT Reality

Today, through conversation and experience, I’ve learned a lot. 

I met Atia, from New Jersey. Throughout our entire five hours of bonding, I found out that television does not portray life realistically. I imagined New Jersey to be a state of crazy accents and big hair. I even thought the show Jersey Shore depicted New Jersey to the tee. Although I’ve never watched the show before, I’ve assumed that those in the show were constantly partying and having the wild life. When I explained this to Atia, she told me that I was very wrong. For one thing, people in New Jersey don’t even talk with crazy accents. Those people are from Staten Island. Also, Jersey Shore is the worst representative of the state of New Jersey. The show isn’t even filmed in New Jersey! In fact, Atia told me Jersey Shore was filmed in New York. New Jersians aren’t wild partygoers. Most of New Jersey is considered to be a part of the suburbs. 

Atia went to private schools for most of her life and for the past two years, she attended boarding school. I’ve always wanted to go to boarding school because of the show Zoey 101. Zoey and her friends always had the time of their lives and they didn’t any worries in boarding school. I envied Zoey’s ability to spend so much time with friends and have such a great bond with them. Once again, Atia told me that in reality, boarding school is so much different. There is a lot of work in boarding school. Everyone had worries unlike Zoey and her friends. Even though Atia got to spend a lot of time with her friends, she was homesick. Being apart from family for such long periods of time is difficult to do. I myself am away from my parents for just about a month and I miss my family already. I couldn’t imagine being away from them for about ten months a year! However, I know I’ll have to learn to be independent and I’m preparing myself for the inevitable separation from family with the ILC. 

Like me, Atia was a part of her school’s orchestra. As I explained what my orchestra was like, she was very confused. Typically, an orchestra consisted of string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments. At my school, our orchestra only had string instruments with the occasional addition of percussion. Woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments were a part of my school’s band only. Her school’s orchestra had everything and she considered my school’s to be very weird. I’d really like to be in a traditional orchestra at school after hearing her criticism. Occasionally, my school’s band and orchestra combined to play one piece as a traditional orchestra, but I think it’s much different from playing all our pieces as one. Maybe one day, my school would combine both music groups to form one amazing group. 

One other student I met, Summer from Shanghai, China, made me feel truly connected with the world. As we chatted, we found out that we both watch the American show The Vampire Diaries! To think that those on the other side of the world watch my favorite television show is such a great thing. It made me feel like I had a lot of things in common with her even though we’re both from different cultures. Not only do we both watch the show, we both love the same characters. I didn't think I'd have so much in common with a person from the U.S much less a person in another country!

Some of the many girls outside Risley when the fire alarm went off
I didn’t just learn from conversation today. I learned from experience. While Tomi and I were doing our laundry, the fire alarm suddenly sounded. We were sitting on the stairs just outside the room. At first, we thought it was a false alarm, but rushed outside. When the police and fire marshal arrived, we were very worried. Then I was terrified that we started the fire from drying our clothes! I didn’t think to check the dryers for lint. I distantly recalled my parents constantly telling me to remove the lint after drying when I did laundry at home. What if someone else’s parents didn’t tell them and left the lint in there? We stood outside with the other girls staying at Risley and I grew more and more worried. How would my parents pay for the damages? What would Don, Mr. Ramsey, and Ms. Kronenberg think? I would be the next person Don told everyone not to be next year. If there would be a next year. After about fifteen minutes of my worrying, it was announced that it was a false alarm. Someone on the fourth floor accidently pulled the fire alarm. I felt a HUGE sense of relief. I wouldn’t be letting down the ILC. Nothing was my fault. However, next time I do laundry, I’ll make sure to check for lint so I wouldn’t have a panic attack if the fire alarm goes off again.

Today was a day of learning for me. First, the television is not a good source of information, so I shouldn’t rely on it to gain a perspective of the world. Second, television (unrealistic as it is) connects people from around the world. And last, my parents’ constant lectures are actually words of wisdom. I will not risk setting the dryer on fire. Once again, before classes even start, I'm already changing because of this program.
Beach balls for a brief break in the middle of a lecture on how a student should study

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