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you've got a journey to make
there's your horizon to chase
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olympics - let's have some tea
I like to think he's spitting out tea. My tea. Lovingly.

Uh, anyway.

Post anon and tell me:
1. One secret.
2. One compliment.
3. One non-compliment.
4. One love note, but it does not have to be for me.
5. Lyrics to a song.
6. How old you are.
7. How long we've been friends.
8. And a hint to who you are.

Anon is on and IP logging is off. :) I think, anyway. Uh. Tell me if it isn't.
olympics - let's have some tea
Headin' down South to the land of the pines
I'm thumbin' my way to North Caroline
Starin' up the road, pray to god I see headlights

I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Pickin' me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I'm hopin' for Raleigh, I can see my baby tonight

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama, rock me

Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a southbound train
Hey, mama, rock me

Runnin' from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time string band
My baby plays a guitar, I pick a banjo now

Oh, North country winters keep on getting me down
Lost my money playin' poker so I had to up and leave
But I ain't turnin' back, livin' that old life no more

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama, rock me

Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a southbound train
Hey, mama, rock me

Walkin' to the South, out of Roanoke
I caught a trucker out of Philly, had a nice long toke
And he's a-headin' West, to Johnson City, Tennesee

But I gotta get a move on, before the sun
I hear my baby callin' my name and I know that she's the only one
And if I die in Raleigh, at least I will die free

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama, rock me

Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a southbound train
Hey, mama, rock me

I miss it. So much. And I can't wait until the day I can play this on banjo.
14th-Jan-2010 12:28 am - Why I Hate the SATs
mlb - hair vs hair
The United States of America is all about equality. All men are created equal, and that sort of thing. But do all teenagers have an equal chance to go to college?

When colleges look at the resumes of prospective students, they weigh three factors: the transcript, the application, and the SAT scores. The transcript comprises of both academic scores and extracurricular activities; the application is what the student writes specifically for that school, including the essay; and the SAT scores are exactly what they sound like: how the student performed on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, a standardized exam that does not, in fact, test what it claims to.

It is widely acknowledged that the SAT does not measure what one knows, but how well one is prepared for the one specific test. Methods and skills for answering the kind of questions most commonly asked--that are rarely asked elsewhere, outside of other standardized tests--are often obscure and beyond the skills or reasoning of stressed-out teenagers.

The writing section, 25 minutes in length, asks students to respond to a question of opinion, referencing specific examples of literature or experiences as supporting evidence for their points. The students are given less than two pages of widely lined paper, with no option to continue beyond the space given. In a study performed by a professor of writing at MIT in 2005, however, it was found that there was a very close correlation between essay length and grade received. Furthermore, the SAT grades for essays written defending one of two possible opinions given, yet does not look for accuracy of facts. This sends the entirely wrong message to students preparing to take these tests, students preparing to go to college; they are encouraged to write long, drawn-out, often inaccurate papers stating an opinion that they don't necessarily agree with.

Although it is certainly arguable that this method tests writing skills objectively, that is not the direction in which students should focus their learning. Students and should be enthusiastic about their work, not detached and going through the motions just to get a grade on a test. What meaning does an empty essay, on a topic made as boring as possible in order to level the playing field, have? If we are hinging a third of our children's college applications on one test, wouldn't it be best if they cared?

Every passage in the critical reading section of the SAT has a one common "quirk" unique to this exam's texts: if one reads the first two paragraphs (the introduction and first body paragraph), and only the succeeding topic sentences, one gains a nearly complete picture of the message of the reading. This is almost never the case in all other writings. If we are testing students' ability to read and understand so as to determine how well they would do so at the college level, should we not evaluate them on pieces of writing such that they might encounter in an institution of higher learning? They will not be reading specially written comparative paragraphs about the cultural effects of the paperclip, that's for sure.

This exclusivity of style has wider cultural implications as well. In testing students based on this highly specialized method, there forms an achievement gap: those who prepare well, and those who don't. "Preparing well" may mean taking a course, digging through enormous tomes of SAT-centric information, or something else altogether, but one thing is certain: it will almost always be very expensive. This puts middle-to-lower-class students, families, and schools at a severe disadvantage. In a test that openly acknowledges that it measures how well takers have prepared for this specific test, it is illogical, unfair, and downright bureaucratic that middle-to-upper-class teenagers have such a leg up. Some SAT prep courses guarantee at least a 200-point improvement of test scores after taking their course; for some students, that could be the difference between a community college and a public university.

In a culture that already acknowledges that students from disadvantaged backgrounds have a lower chance of getting into academically competitive schools--a culture that employs affirmative action in a majority of colleges and universities--we are clearly widening the achievement gap between socioeconomic classes. For a country that claims to be all about equality, that's radically unequal.

The question of what should be done about the matter is a hard one to answer. The SATs are run by the College Board, an unaffiliated and not-for-profit organization that functions as a bridge between families of prospective students and schools. It would take a lot of effort to change the prevalence of SAT administration and number of students who take the test; however, many schools are omitting the usually required submission of test scores. Among these hundreds are more than sixty American public universities. More schools should make the submission of test scores optional; not only would students who don't test well have more opportunities, but we would be sending a better message to our students, preparing them more fully for the rigorous academics they will face in college, and hastening the closing of the socioeconomic scholastic achievement gap.

Ngl, I'm pretty proud of this, considering I wrote it in like 45 minutes when I really should be asleep.
25th-Dec-2009 02:39 am - New layout!
olympics - let's have some tea
Check it out:

horsecrazyliza horsecrazyliza horsecrazyliza

And a new profile, too.

The title/subtitle is from Vienna Teng's "Harbor"--

You've got a journey to make
There's your horizon to chase
Go far beyond where we stand
No matter the distance
I'm holding your hand

Sail your sea, meet your storm
All I want is to be your harbor
The light in me will guide you home
All I want is to be your harbor

ETA: Continuing this fit of overhauling, I think I'm gonna get/make all new icons. Except for some. Hmmm.
5th-Nov-2009 11:51 am - Eff the Yankees
olympics - let's have some tea
Blah blah blah 27 blah. What, gonna build another new stadium so you can win next year, too? Maybe change Girardi's number to 28?

I fucking hate Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon. Matsui, too.

Why are there so many Yankee fans here? D:
3rd-Oct-2009 04:09 pm - ADIOS RICCIARDI
olympics - let's have some tea
Make sure you let the door hit your ass on the way out, fucktard.

Much love!
18th-Jul-2009 12:51 am - This is me.
olympics - let's have some tea
My name is Eliza. I like to be called Liza because when I was 11 and went off to sleepaway camp for the first time, everyone took to calling me Eliza Thornberry, and I hated that show. My last name isn't really my last name; my paternal grandpa took on his stepfather's last name when he was a kid, so nobody in my family is actually related by blood to anyone with my last name. This bothers me for some reason. I can never put my finger on why, exactly.

I always say there are three things I love: horses, baseball, and photography. Horses have always been my favorite animals, and when I started taking lessons when I was 11, I've never looked back. I've been a baseball fan ever since I was designated to do the box scores at my brother's little league games six years ago, and picked the Red Sox to follow because I'm a Boston kid. I've always liked taking pictures, but when I got my first digital camera for my Bat Mitzvah a few years ago, I started taking pictures constantly. I got my first DSLR in April and it's become my passion.

I really like a lot of other things, too. Movies, for example--and to give you an idea of my taste, my parents like to tell the story in which they took me to two movies within a month of my birth; I cried through Sleepless in Seattle and slept through Jurassic Park (and last year, at the age of 15, I slept through two SAW movies). Music, too. I honestly do listen to everything (you should see the range of genres on my iPod), but my three absolute favorite artists are Vienna Teng (introspective folk/soft rock), K'naan (socially conscious rap/hip-hop), and The Ruse (kinda like U2 meets The Killers).

I have a lot of health problems. I've been on birth control for nearly a year because of severe dysmenorrhea. It gives me panic attacks and crying jags. I got a concussion while playing softball a few months ago and have still not healed, which means I get migraine-like headaches from time to time. I have two benign cysts in the ventricles in my brain. I always get the side effects and never fit into the medical norm.

I am a straight-A student, a nerd, a know-it-all. My parents went to Harvard and Dartmouth and I will probably go somewhere similar. I averaged an 88 on my final exams and it nearly killed me. (My year-end average was a 97.)

I am notoriously picky. I wouldn't try lasagna until I was 12, for example. It's really hard to try and get me to eat something. I also am very hard to shop for.

There is nothing sexier to me than a nerd boy who likes baseball.

I am not, and never have been, a morning person. I would advise against waking me up before I want to be up, whatever time that may be.

I cry at nearly everything. Sad books, sad movies, sad moments... not to mention happy books, happy movies, and happy moments.

Harry Potter taught me to love reading, the same way my parents taught me to love everyone I meet.

Marijuana, gay marriage, abortion--I support all three (which is not to say I necessarily want to partake, but that doesn't mean others shouldn't be able to).

Last week I stubbed my toe on the ceiling. I also once killed a cactus by forgetting to water it for several months at a time, and a few years ago nearly started a fire while making a salad.

I don't believe in god, but I don't hold it against you if you do.

I am too proud for my own good. If you try and correct me or tell me what to do, I will snap at you. I am vicious about making my own decisions.

I have been called annoying and egotistical by those I consider my best friends.

I don't care. I am who I am, and I happen think I'm great.

I wish I could say this to everyone I know.

(Comments are screened btw.)
14th-Jul-2009 01:09 am - Just wanna say
olympics - let's have some tea
(Yeah, I'm back. Three posts in one day. You're never getting rid of me.)

Because the drama llama is all up in everybody's ass today, I just want to say that I'm sorry if I've done anything to anger you at any point. I know ALL about drama (hello, I'm 16, it's all that happens in my school) and I just don't like it, wherever and whoever it comes from. I don't understand why people get so worked up about tiny little things. What ever happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? Really, preschool had it right.

That said, I may have a friendscut tomorrow, just to remove old journals that haven't had activity in months. And on a similar note, I'm going to stand by my current friends in this as much as I can--so if you don't like that, whatever. I don't want to defriend anyone still active in their journal, but if you want to defriend me, now might be a good time.
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