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From the Ashes   Leave a comment

 

The thing about fire is that sometimes, the destruction reveals a clarity about the relevant and irrelevant, and the heat ignites a passion to rise from the ashes.

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Recently, I lost about 6 years worth of writing on a flash drive from my previous computer.* My first thought was that I can’t believe I wasn’t more careful, and my second thought was that I had so many plots and shorts and essays written on that, my blog history, my works in progress, my character files….the only stories I have left are stories that I have sent to people, and often I only sent the best or finished parts and not the backbones. The daunting endeavor of rewriting each plot, each character bio carried with it a sliver of fear that I can never perfectly recreate them, and that maybe I’ve can’t even write that well anymore.

What a fitting Segway into something that’s been on my mind recently. This constant feeling of inadequacy. In the last several weeks, I’ve been…not quite clear-minded. The same discipline and excitement that used to wake me up at 6 or 7 each morning has worn down; over the last several days in particular, I nestle in the warmth of bed until nearly noon. I sleep very much, yet have hardly as much energy as I ought to. Right now, I have open on Chrome, two TV shows, with unfinished episodes, because somehow I don’t really feel like finishing them and mindlessly oscillate between the two, six or seven job applications that have been open for two weeks as I put off the maybe one hour job of updating my resume, a bunch of Java guides, Facebook, Expedia because I’ve been putting off booking my ticket to college because my mother wants to make sure I fly with someone else but all the people flying from the area frickin haven’t gotten back to me and just keep saying they will (for the last three weeks), Pandora Radio, two email accounts, and a list of deadlines for college forms etc. In fact, just now, I paused my writing to go book my flight. I’ve been distracted; I can’t stay on one task for more than maybe five minutes. I managed to wake up at 8:30 this morning, a close to acceptable time, and (it’s noon now) I’ve accomplished next to nothing. The first thing on my to-do list this morning was to get this off my head, and literally after writing for a couple seconds I’ll go fiddle with the radio or go through my plans again.

I’m not being unproductive because there are other things I want to be doing, I’m being unproductive because I can’t motivate myself. Even writing, I’ve had to force myself to sit down and finish this, because every time I look at this piece, I ponder for a couple seconds and think it’s too hard to go through all my thoughts. It’s much easier to read articles that aren’t even interesting and to surf the web. My to-do list has been pushed back day after day, and I both hate my listless state and lack motivation to dig myself out of it. This summer was supposed to be a glorious time, of friends, and learning new things that I’ve wanted to tackle for a while, like Java, Spanish, hip-hop, and get back to writing, a time to mentally prepare for the new challenges ahead of me. And I feel inadequate because I am not being the person I want to be, and I know it.

As is typical with me, I turn to writing to find myself again. There is no separation between my soul and my words; writing draws me back to an innate earnestness. Loss is scary because I’m afraid I can never write that alive again, because I think I’ll never keep improving, because your footing slips. The funny thing about it is that loss forces you to confront what is most important to you, and because you have to accept the loss, it forces you to confront the possibilities of how to repair the damage. Maybe it’s the utter fatefulness and irreversible consequences of loss that catalyze a surprising resilience to grow. Or maybe, in the face of despair (or desperation), the  fears that stop me from tackling projects and taking risks are dwarfed.

 

with renewed inspiration and love,

Aderyn

 

*I later found that I had copied most of my creative writing folder on to my current computer. Though I still lost 90% of the files stored on my drive, I am immensely thankful to have found the most valuable 10%.

 

Posted June 20, 2014 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

For the non-Tiger parented Asian offspring…   Leave a comment

I’m Asian-American. For the record, I’m not anti-social, I don’t spend twelve hours a day devouring math textbooks, and I don’t have a Tiger Mother (or Father). I am, I suppose, by normal standards, academically accomplished. I took the highest math lane my school offers (AP BC Calc) my freshman year, I’m on a nationally ranked science team, I’ve qualified to the USA Math Olympiad multiple times, and I am a national finalist in one of the top science competitions in the US.

My mom calls me her Tiger Child, and for good reason. My parents are from Taiwan, and yes, I know that for all effective purposes, it is part of China, but culturally, Taiwan is very different. Taiwan has an almost rural culture. It’s somewhere where, if you decide to go hiking with friends on one of the beautiful mountains and you get lost, or it starts pouring and you have nowhere to stay, the locals will welcome you into their homes, and you will be helpful and wash the dishes and help with dinner, and you will sleep with no fear of being robbed or violated. My parents are known for caring more about how much sleep I’m getting than how high my grades are, and for making sure I bike with at least two other people, never alone, rather than that I’m taking at least two AP’s every year. Granted, they have also been very clear that I have to work hard to get anywhere, since I was young. When I was three, I begged for piano lessons, and my parents would only give them to me on the condition that I agreed to practice. The agreement was that so long as my parents didn’t have to nag me to practice, they would invest the time and money to give me lessons. Every now and then, they would have to remind me to practice, and usually they did so by reminding me that I was the one who wanted the piano lessons in the first place, so I was responsible for practicing. It was fine if I quit, but if I chose to take lessons, I had to practice. But this is the way I’ve always been; if I wanted to accomplish something, I would decide to do it. When I was trying to get physically fit, I put my mother and me through a rigorous training schedule, and she complained every time I made her do core exercises 😛 For a good couple of months, I went to bed at eleven and woke up at five every day to work because so many good things happened at the same time and I had so much work to do. I drive myself harder than anyone, simply because I want to make the most of the opportunities I have been given.

I always had Asian friends whose parents put them in SAT prep in 6th grade, or made them spend an hour a day every day after school learning Chinese and math. I didn’t consider myself to fall under the Asian “tiger parent” stereotype, simply because I didn’t have those parents. When I was in 4thgrade, my mom started her own business (a couple of years later, my father quit his desk job to help her run the company). As a result, my older brother and I were very independent at a young age. Even before then, my mother encouraged us to not require precise instruction. My mother never taught us how to cook. If we asked how much water to add to rice, she’d say “Think about it, and add how much you think makes sense”. She’d make sure we didn’t burn anything, but she figured that it wasn’t a big deal if we messed up and ended up with weird tasting rice, and we’d get it right next time. By refusing to teach us, she forced us to take initiative and figure out the answer for ourselves. She always said it was lazy to ask others for answers without trying to figure it out first.

I had a completely unstructured childhood. I think, in a lot of ways, I was allowed to be curious, and really honestly do whatever I wanted. I really enjoyed dancing, ballet in particular, and I liked reading, ever since my brother taught me how to read when he was two (he was bored, and thought it’d be fun to teach me the alphabet), and math was fun. Sometimes, if I was bored and my mom was making dinner, she’d give me an AMC problem or something to occupy me, and if I couldn’t figure it out, she wouldn’t tell me the answer for another two days, and usually, I figured it out within then. I was still playing piano, and enjoyed a lot of play dates. I came home from my friend’s house once and told my parents I had just joined a soccer team. My parents always let us be independent; if I was sleeping over at a friend’s house, I packed my things, and it was totally okay if I forgot something. Not a big deal. If one of my friends’ families was taking me to the beach, it was “don’t forget sunscreen and be super polite, always thank their mom for driving when you get there and when you come home”. As I said earlier, my mom became pretty busy when I was in fourth grade, and my dad was still working 9-5, and so I took care of my own things. If I was working on a project with a classmate, I’d arrange the time, and then check with my parents a couple of days in advance to make sure the time worked for them to give me a ride. Starting from when I was nine, I arranged my own doctor’s appointments (funny story, it took the secretary about ten minutes to realize that I wasn’t my mother, but surprisingly, she let me make the appointment anyways). And this might sound like my parents were negligent or something, but I talked to both my parents a lot, but about other things, about people, about life, or about things that were really exciting to me, or about the business my mom was building, and for any major decisions or things I was thinking about, they would always listen. Or we’d spend an afternoon building Legos together. But the thing is, partly due to how my parents raised me, and partly due to the circumstances that required me to be mature for my age, I was always self-motivated.

I think, before sixth grade, I was a very typical non-Asian-parented kid. I liked math, honestly because I was good at it, and it is fun to mess with numbers and get cool results, but I suppose that’s the only mark of being Asian.

I’ll pause here for a second, to explain. The entire concept of “being Asian” is stereotypical. Glasses, good at math, nerdy, anti-social, probably plays video games against parents’ wishes, and yet you are perfectly obedient and your parents drill you in math, and you’re just good at every other academic subject. This is the stereotype that some of my peers may hold, in varying degrees of severity. For parents, being “Asian” means, smart, perfect grades, polite, obedient, and drilled in math, Chinese, English, writing, physics, chemistry, biology, and probably also tennis or cross country. The thing is, fundamentally, stereotype can’t be avoided.  Stereotype goes hand in hand with judgment, and judgment isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, you use judgment to determine that it is a bad idea to get in to a car with a stranger. You use judgment to figure out if a friend who told someone something you told them in confidence is still a good person to be friends with, depending on the circumstance. It is true; at most math or science competitions, probably about 65% or more of participants are Asian American, and about 80% of the top 20% are Asian. So what is wrong with the stereotype? The stereotype allows people to dismiss academic achievement, and dismiss due credit to the achiever. Stereotypes are wrong because they become excuses for misjudging people. Every stereotype has a grain of truth, but little else. I don’t even have to bear the brunt of “Asian” stereotypes, but only because I don’t look “nerdy,” or “anti-social”. And I guess I don’t look “smart,” because people are always surprised that the Aderyn Huang that they hear about from other people is me. Which I suppose is the reverse of the stereotype; I don’t look or behave “Asian enough” to be “smart”. But more so than among my peers, the stereotype comes up in Asian parent circles (and I do not mean the stereotype here, I mean literally, ethnically Asian).

The summer before sixth grade, my mother jokingly suggested that I try to skip out of sixth grade math. My brother had skipped a year of math when he was in seventh grade, just for kicks, because he wasn’t learning anything in seventh grade math (pre-algebra). I used my brother’s old textbooks, finished sixth grade, finished seventh grade, and started a bit of eighth grade. I just worked through the problems at the end of each chapter, and occasionally would ask my brother or mom a question or two, and that was it. I didn’t think much of it until I took the challenge test. I didn’t know until after the test, but the teacher gave me a sixth grade cumulative exam, which she graded on the spot, and then handed me an eighth grade cumulative exam, which she also graded on the spot. Turns out I scored a hundred percent on the first exam, and then missed one out of seventy five on the second.

So here I was, entering sixth grade and suddenly taking ninth grade math (Algebra II and Geometry). Because they had to rearrange my schedule to allow me to do so, and because I broke the record for number of math lanes skipped, people knew pretty quickly. And suddenly people started saying things like, “Oh, she must have been doing math all summer, doesn’t have a life,” or “No wonder, her parents are computer scientists, of course she’s good at math”. I remember when I passed the challenge test that when I first told my mom I had just skipped three years of math, the first thing she said to me was, “You have to be humble. If you can’t be mature and humble, I won’t let you take math with eighth graders (at my middle school, we had a ninth grade math class for eighth graders who were a year ahead)”. For the most part, I tried to be normal. There were two things my parents were adamant about in middle school. My bed time was set at 8:30, and I wasn’t allowed to wear low cut shirts. At a time when everyone else was wearing Abercrombie, the latter was rather contested on my part. I definitely wasn’t planning to dress as skimpy as some of the people at school, but I thought there was a middle ground that wasn’t so bad, and sometimes my mother would go a little bit overboard. Pretty much, I was an oddball in middle school: the girl who can beat all the guys at math, who dresses unlike “popular kids,” and definitely has straight A’s. I was also, for the most part, blissfully ignorant of how my classmates’ parents would judge me.

My freshman year of high school, I was the only freshman on our varsity science team. I was taking AP BC Calculus. Later that year, I qualified to the USAJMO. And again, people started talking about me. This time it was worse, because I guess parents and kids are getting more competitive. When I carpooled to school, or to dance class, or dinner with friends, the parents would always ask me, “How many hours of math do you do every day?” and then say to their kids, “See, she works this hard. She must have parents who are really smart and teach her a lot, and she is very obedient.” regardless of what I said. And then there were people who pitied me, saying, “Oh, you probably don’t have a life, I’m sorry, you’re parents probably push you really hard.” Neither of these two gives any consideration of me as an individual, or any credit to me for my achievements. They also don’t give any credit to my parents for their brilliant parenting philosophy and wisdom. What I owe to my parents, is that they made me realize that it is worth it to work hard, and that in working hard you better understand yourself and are exposed to more experiences. And if I was working towards something and came across a challenge, whether something like figuring out Taylor approximations or wondering if I should drop one goal for another when they came into conflict, my parents would always be there to support me and listen to me.

What other people don’t know, is that I write fiction, and I recently published my first short story. What they don’t know, is that before I was “that girl who is good at math,” I wanted to dance, and was forced to quit because my feet physically cannot stand the stress of pointe shoes. What they don’t know, is that whenever my family are all home together, we play SET for hours while singing to Les Miserables (tenth anniversary is the best), and then we make pasta from scratch together. What they don’t know, is that my mother is a genius fashion stylist and we compete to see who can find the best clothes at the lowest price in the least amount of time when we go shopping. What they don’t know, is that I have a set bedtime, before twelve o’clock, regardless of how much homework I have, and I’m not allowed to wake up earlier than five. What they don’t know, is that my parents beg me to stop winning competitions so that I don’t have to fly out of the state so many times in the year, and sometimes they like to pick me up from school to have a lunch date. What they don’t know, is that my brother taught me the alphabet by using one of those foam carpets and telling me to “jump to O! jump to B!” or that we like to talk about the history of designing warships. What they don’t know, is that when the science team travels, I remember to bring apple sauce for the guy who had his wisdom teeth pulled a couple days earlier, and am always there to support someone who’s a bit in over their head at the moment. What they don’t know, is that I’m a massive Harry Potter fan and my (joint) record on the Top 200 Harry Potter Characters Sporcle is 186. They don’t know that behind the achievements and public image, there’s support and inspiration.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be Asian, I’m proud to be Taiwanese, and I am incredibly proud to be my parents’ daughter. But I hate it when people say, “Her parents only say that she does everything herself, they just drill her extra hard in secret,” or, “Look at her parents! Of course she’s that smart, and of course she listens to them too,” or, “She’s Aderyn Huang, of course she has an A in AP Physics, it’s easy for her.” I do what I do because I like math and science, and I want to be good at them, and I do work hard to be good. And I work to keep my grades, in the same inherently human process as anyone who is working towards a goal. The way I see it, gaining knowledge is just adding tools to my toolbox that will allow me more freedom to create solutions. I don’t even get the worst of the battering, because I’m a girl who doesn’t “look smart”. But I would like to be someone regarded as competent and intelligent by what I’ve achieved; I am ethnically Asian, and yes, I’m good at math and science, but no, my parents aren’t operating my actions with a remote control. I have a(n unproven) theory that people only use “Asian” as an excuse for “smart” because they are too insecure to confront that some people work harder and therefore can perform better than they can. I am by no means saying that all non-Asians aren’t inclined to academically work hard, because that’s by no means true.

After all, that’s just the same as saying that “Asian” means “smart, anti-social, nerdy, and parent-operated robot,” which I believe, is by no means true. 🙂

– Aderyn

Posted June 17, 2014 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

Publicity/Celebrity Status   Leave a comment

I have realized a fatal truth, that the world is untrustworthy. That it is very hard to have friends who are trustable. People aren’t trustable very rarely due to nature of character, but to lack of care and incompetence.

Example 1:
I talked to a friend I had trusted with information regarding my personal views on my own college admissions/decisions. I had assumed this person would know that this is something I would like to keep on the down low, given my position as a somewhat celebrity at my school. Two days later, I was in the bathroom at a cross country meet, and when I heard one of my teammates, who is friends with my friend, relay what I had said to my friend, almost word for word, to another teammate. My mother has always told me, there are some things that you absolutely must not tell, unless you are okay with everyone knowing them, because it inevitably gets out. Rarely does this occur out of malicious intent; rather, by telling someone something, you are giving them the okay to transfer this information to others under circumstances that they deem relevant and necessary.

On the flip side, this makes me realize that I don’t treat my friend’s confidences as tight and close as I ought to, as I often relay such information to either people who are mutual friends who I believe ought to know/I accidentally give it away to someone I assumed knew already/I use this person as an example while trying to help another friend. And also that, as awful as this sounds (it’s healthy, I promise ^_^), that I can’t release any information of any importance to anyone, unless I am okay with everyone I know knowing it, okay with it getting mistranslated in transit (think Telephone), and okay with this information being publicized when I’m 50 and famous. 😛 Thus why this blog is now private, because there are several of my friends whom I have shared this with.

Example 2:

As a high school upperclassman, I was interested in having a great time at my prom. Being me, an equalist (not feminist) in practice, I had no problem asking my date to prom. I planned my promposal, enlisted some of my friends and some of his friends to help, and everything went swimmingly. And somehow, there has ended up being gossip in parent circles about how “I want him”. I’m not even entirely sure what that means. The interesting thing is that this originated, in some form or another, from his father. And I would expect that yes, he would tell his parents about someone asking him to prom, but it’s interesting what someone has said has turned into something unfamiliarly gossip-y, which I’m not a fan of. Even as someone that most people in my school district have heard of by name or description, I try to keep a low-profile and act as I choose to rather than really considering any sort of expectation or pressure in any part of my decision making (although sometimes it’s unfortunately necessary to keep up certain images).

 

Verdict: In general, people/friends end up not trustworthy because they aren’t capable enough, but because it’s hard to always keep things so close. Also, thinking about this has reminded me to be more vigilant both about what I release into the world, which in this day and age is immortal, and about how I care for my friends. And that I am much less willing to talk about things important to me when once they are released, they can never come back. On the one hand, I’d prefer to act and possess a public image exactly as I am, but unfortunately that is never possible, to have a public projection be an accurate representation of self, so for the time being I’d like to be a little more careful regarding both the image I keep and parts of me that become part of public knowledge. I have also come to the realization that anything I say or do must be considered from the standpoint of an outer eye looking in, and that I can’t just be who I want to be and live in a bubble where I ignore the potential repurcussions. The person I want to be, the understanding, wise, social leader and intellectually competent individual, that person will have to learn a little something about politics and perception.

 

Goodbye for the time being, Aderyn

Posted March 18, 2014 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

September 11th, 2013   Leave a comment

So, this is what I said last year. And what has changed since then? Not much, just that more people have forgotten. The top story on the New York Times is about Syria. Around the same time last year, my facebook notifications flooded with people offering their two cents or their prayers for survivors or lost ones. I don’t know about you, but we didn’t have a moment of silence in school today. Or maybe we did, and it’s just that our broadcast television was having technical difficulties again and instead of announcements, we got a very long silence.

But I suppose, maybe it isn’t an awful thing that people have forgotten. Because they haven’t truly forgotten, no one who saw the news that day, or heard people talking, or lost loved ones, no matter how far or how close, 9/11 has imprinted on humanity. It’s been twelve years. Maybe moving past 9/11 means we as a nation, no longer have to designate a day to cling to pain, and instead are creating, and growing, and building.

So, I guess, we do honor 9/11. By living, as Americans, as humans, as individuals. And I have to say, I’m proud of where I’ve come to, from September 2012. September 11th has become more inspiring to me, as I get older and begin to understand. I feel an obligation to attempt to understand, because I’m old enough to have been alive to witness 9/11, and it is still relevant. 9/11 is a part of our collective unity, whether we like it or not. September 11th is the unifying tragedy of my generation. Even if we were too young to understand, we felt the shock waves. And the best way to honor the dead is not to grieve, it is to live, to grow, to smile. And I try to, I try to make myself a person I can admire, thoughtful, fearless, determined…it’s a work in progress, always. I went on a five mile run today, first time I’ve done that, and it was both easier and harder than I expected. Just don’t stop. And that’s how it is with everything. You don’t know how to be more thoughtful until next time someone cries on your shoulder, instead of turning away and worrying about your test next period, you hug them closer and tell them you love them, and at the same time you think about a million possibilities that will make them stronger, happier, and you want to try them all until something works. Just do it. You don’t know how to be fearless, until next time you see a spider and cringe inside, instead of sending your brother in to kill it with a Swiffer, you cup it in your hands and take it outside. You don’t know how to be determined, until next time you feel like you are never going to understand quantum, instead of putting the book away, power through it, and then take it out tomorrow and read it again, and again, until quantum makes sense. Just do it, change your reflexes. We were bystanders, we are honestly too young to understand the horror of 9/11 as it happened, but that doesn’t change the people we should be, we can be. Even if it’s no more than a reminder to be a better person, then take it like that, be a better person.

-Remember September 11th

Posted September 13, 2013 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

Gun Legislation (or I suppose, the lack thereof of logical gun legislation)   Leave a comment

Timeline

At the moment, Senator Dianne Feinstein is trying to pass an assault weapons ban. 

May 12th, 2013- New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade, 12 shot

May 16th, 2013- Maryland passes assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks

May 8th, 2013- Missouri nullifies all federal gun laws

April 17th, 2013- Background checks bill fails to pass in U.S. Congress

April 16th, 2013- Kansas nullifies all federal gun laws

April 4th, 2013- Connecticut passes three laws, limiting magazine size and requiring background checks

March 20th, 2013- Colorado passes three laws, limiting magazine size, and requiring background checks

March 8th, 2013- Teachers in South Dakota are allowed to carry guns

January 16th, 2013- President Obama signs 23 Executive Orders, intended to inhibit gun violence

January 15th, 2013- New York passes the SAFE Act

December 14th, 2012- Newtown, Connecticut, suspect Adam Lanza, 28 dead including shooter

September 7th, 2012- Accent Signage Systems shooting, 8 dead including shooter

August 5th, 2012- Oak Creek, Wisconsin, suspect Wade Page, 7 dead including shooter

April 2nd, 2012- Oikos University, suspect One L. Goh, 7 dead

July 20th, 2012- Aurora, Colorado, suspect James Holmes, 12 dead

January 8th, 2011- Tucson, Arizona, suspect Jared Loughner, 6 dead, 19 injured

November 5th, 2009- Fort Hood, Texas, suspect Nidal Malik Hasan, 13 dead, 29 injured

April 3rd, 2009- Binghamton, New York, suspect Jiverly Wong, 14 dead

October 2nd, 2008- Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, suspect Charles Carl Roberts, 5 Amish schoolgirls dead

April 15th, 2007- Virginia Tech, suspect Seung-Hui Choi, 32 dead

April 20th, 1999- Littleton, CO, suspects Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold, 13 dead, 34 injured

—————

It’s been a little over six months since the Sandy Hook massacre. Nearly a year since the shootings in Aurora. Over two years since the shooting of Senator Gabrielle Giffords. And almost nothing has changed, in terms of gun regulation.

For Christ’s sake, this isn’t about Second Amendment rights. This isn’t about gun lobbyists. It’s just logic.

The point isn’t to take away the right to bear arms. The point is to bear arms responsibly. It seems mildly ridiculous to me, to put it lightly, that little to no action has been taken in regards to arms regulation in response to multiple shootings. Explain to me, why a bill for background checks was shot down in Congress. Explain to me, why it would not be entirely reasonable to prevent, say, an unstable individual from acquiring assault weapons. While you’re at it, explain to me (and I suppose this is slightly irrelevant here), why a person would like an assault weapon (AK-47, for example) for sport, or for a shooting range, or for self defense. Explain to me, why it wouldn’t be a good idea to know if a non-felon criminal possessed a gun, or perhaps if an ex-drug addict possessed a gun.

I’m not going to say, that with tighter gun legislation, Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech, or Columbine would not have happened, because that’s not necessarily true, and no one can definitively say that. But it would have been more difficult to obtain the weapons and ammunition without raising suspicion. It would be less likely to happen. The thing is, in preventing random crime, and I say random because the crimes have no real motive, is that there is only so much we can understand and prevent in the crime. We will never know why someone is pushed over the edge and inclined to pick up a gun and shoot as many random people as possible, and the way I think about it, the shooter is a victim as well. It’s never one single cause that pushes someone past the tipping point, and but multiple pressures, and background checks of gun owners, or other precautions in obtaining guns, would have served as a speed bump and give loved ones more time to help out a friend who can’t find themselves.

For that matter, most citizens have nothing to lose. A reasonable, law-abiding citizen with a gun really ought to be allowed to carry said gun wherever he or she pleases. Part of minimizing gun violence is education about guns and gun safety. Gun education is a very good thing. But it seems to me, incredibly stupid, not to have reasonable limitations on the purchase of guns (and similarly, the purchase of high-capacity magazines). I’m pro-gun rights and anti-gun violence, which is not contradictory. Own a gun if you want, carry it wherever you want, but don’t inhibit reasonable precautions against gun violence. Guns are weapons by definition, and like any weapon, ought to be handled with skill and caution; there is no reason gun legislation is not reasonable or should not be passed. Guns are dangerous. Does that mean we should get rid of them? No, and we can’t feasibly do that. There are a large number of people in this country who fear guns and what they can do, and this can change through gun safety education; there also are a large number of people who are irrationally defensive about losing their right to own a gun, which isn’t being challenged and shouldn’t be challenged. But let’s face it: there exist people who can’t be trusted with guns. And if people aren’t willing to compromise for rational prevention of gun violence, then it is us, the bystanders, who ought to be held responsible for the next massacre.

Please, understand that this isn’t about politics, that this is about saving lives and using government to make important changes.

-Aderyn

Posted July 10, 2013 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

Brother Mine :)   Leave a comment

Sometimes, you don’t know know a good thing till it’s gone.

And it’s true. I mean, my brother and I got along really well pretty much since I was born; he’s been the best brother imaginable. But since he’s gone to college, we’ve become a lot closer. At first it was sort of awkward, weirdly enough; the first time he came home, we sort of just wanted to spend time together, and he just comes over and is like, “Hey, you can do your homework in my room, right?”

Since then, it’s totally not embarrassing to just want to hangout with my brother, or to have really long late night conversations, or to ask each other’s advice, or to do fun things just because. Hugs are always accepted. We talk about love, life, love lives :P, all the really important things, more so as we come in to our own as young people and sort of feel out where we’re going forward.

You know, don’t hesitate to love, don’t be embarrassed to love. Time is precious, it’ll be gone before you know it, so make the most of it. It’s funny, how family can be so awkward sometimes, because you care so much you have no idea what to do, or because you feel like you ought to know a lot more about these people than you do. But so what? At the end of the day, the people you love, your friends and family, and these are the people who support you and who you care about. And especially you’re siblings; they’re some mix of family, and friend, and peer, there’s no one that can replace that. ❤

-Aderyn

Posted June 21, 2013 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized

Sandy Hook Promise   Leave a comment

It’s been a couple of months since the Sandy Hook massacre.

And since the Aurora shooting.

And since the shooting of Senator Gabrielle Giffords.

Nothing has changed. A bill that called for stricter background checks was recently voted down.

This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about a rational law that serves to protect the people of this nation. Gun legislation will not infringe upon the rights of those who bear arms responsibly.

The Sandy Hook Promise is just one way to push for responsible and effective government.

Increase awareness, make some real change happen in Washington.

Please.

-Aderyn

Posted June 18, 2013 by aderyngrace in Uncategorized