Beginning this month, the Teen Voice Blog will be hosting a series of posts from the Teen Advisory Board called Home Ec At Home. The idea is to present useful tips on how to perform basic but important skills you can use at home! making food, cleaning around the house, mending clothing, even what foodstuffs are safe for pets! Both myself and the Teen Advisory Board hope that you will get some use out of the material they’ve put together.
Home Ec At Home posts will appear on the front page every other week. If you end up trying out some of the activities, let us know how they worked out for you in the comments!
Fictional worlds–from the rich and expansive Grishaverse to the extensive landscape of Middle Earth to the modern world of Percy Jackson to the incredibly detailed Wizarding World–are wonderful destinations for readers to travel to every so often. In fact, many of these worlds are so rich and detailed that it requires no great effort to imagine oneself living in them. The following quiz will give you an idea of which fictional world you might belong in, if you could live in one. This is in no way meant to be an affirmative test; I simply thought it would be a quick, fun activity for book lovers.
Included Worlds: This quiz includes only four of the multitude of incredible fictional worlds: Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse (from Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows); J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World; J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth; and Rick Riordan’s world of Percy Jackson.
How to take it: It’s pretty simple; please look at each question (there are 7) and choose the letter that answers the question best for you. Somehow record your answers, on paper or in your head. When you’re done, you can look at the answer key to discover which of the four fictional worlds you might belong in!
1. Which location would you want to visit the most?
a. New Zealand; b. Scotland; c. The United States; d. Russia
2. Which drink do you think you would enjoy the most?
a. Mead; b. Butterbeer; c. Nectar; d.Kvas
3. What is your favorite mode of transportation?
a. Pony or horse; b. Broomstick; c. Flying ship; d. Carriage or boat
4. What is your preferred form of communication?
a. Moths; b. Owl; c. Iris messages; d. Messengers
5. What is your preffered form of magic/fighting?
a. Traditional weapons (swords, bow and arrow); b. Magic spells; c. Special abilities inherited from my parents; d. Control/manipulation of elements
6. Which body of water do you like the most?
a. Rivers; b. Lake; c. Sound (i.e. Long Island Sound); d. Oceans and canals
7. Where would you most like to live and train?
a. No place in particular; b. Hogwarts; c. Camp Half-Blood; d. The Little Palace
Answer Key: Your potential fictional home depends on which letter you chose the most.
Mostly “a”: Middle Earth
Mostly “b”: The Wizarding World
Mostly “c”: The world of Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Mostly “d”: The Grishaverse
Thank you for taking this quiz! These are all wonderful fictional worlds–and of course, they are only four out of of many incredible universes. I hope you enjoyed taking this quiz!
Nathan Pesta, going by the name of Npesta on Youtube and Twitch, is a famous content creator with a large following. Like many other content creators on these platforms, not many people know about his personal life. Pesta was born on August 1st, 2002 in Pennsylvania, where he would continue to live even today. His followers know him for streaming on Twitch and uploading stream highlights to YouTube, but the large majority of the internet knows him for having a very loud and funny reaction to beating a level in the game Geometry Dash. Ever since this reaction became a meme and was featured in a Pewdiepie video (a very famous Swedish Youtuber), Pesta’s Youtube and Twitch channels have been growing exponentially, with his Youtube having 160 thousand subscribers and his Twitch having 53 thousand followers. Along with Geometry Dash, he also loves to stream other games such as Super Mario Maker, Osu! Mania, Minecraft, and others. Pesta has also hired an editor who goes by the name Doggie on Youtube and Twitch. Unlike Pesta, Doggie only streams and uploads content related to Geometry Dash. Pesta hiring Doggie as an editor has contributed to his massive growth, as Doggie’s edits are really good at amplifying Pesta’s funny and vibrant personality. Today, because of the Covid-19 virus, Pesta has taken leave from college (due to online classes being expensive and therefore not worth it). This has allowed more time for Pesta to stream and make content, as he does not have to worry about school work.
Every place you’ll ever find yourself in is more than meets the eye. This is the central idea of Leigh Bardugo’s new novel The Ninth House, a supernatural fantasy about the life of Yale student Alex Stern. The story follows Alex through her freshman year of college, recruited by a secret society at the university known as Lethe. This society supervises 8 other organizations across campus, each of them specializing in a certain magical concept through rituals and other supernatural events. Lethe has been interested in her for most of her teenage life due to strange occurrences in police reports that reveal her secret; Alex was born with the power to see “Grays”, the ghosts that fail to pass over beyond “the Veil” and wander the living world. As someone who can see them, Alex plays an important role in protecting the societies from supernatural interference with their business. She studies the ways of Lethe and magic under her mentor Darlington, and receives help from grad student Dawes and Dean Sandow. However, life as a college recruit is not an easy path, and Alex must learn to navigate her struggling GPA and avoid suspicion from her roommates, all while keeping the existence of magic and the Nine Houses a secret.
However, life gets turned even more upside down when Darlington disappears and a random girl is found dead on campus. Concerned about the societies’ potential involvement in both cases, she goes out to solve the mysteries in a collection of twists and turns. As the murder investigation unfolds, people are tossed in and out of the scapegoat role, even some of the people she trusts most. At the novel’s conclusion, everything is made clear through shocking revelation that leaves its readers yearning for a second installment in Stern’s universe.
This book took me a little bit of time to get into. Being a “New Adult” book, it was a large jump in detailed writing from the book I had just read. However, once I sat down and committed to reading, I found soon enough that I couldn’t put the book down. The characterization of Alex fascinated me, and became more enthralling as her past is revealed. The interwoven stories between the world of the living and the dead and the world of Lethe and Yale as a whole make for an interesting story. I am looking forward to the next installment, hopefully to come out late 2021 or early 2022.
I remembered reading this series in the fifth grade, so naturally, when I stumbled upon this series again on Netflix I had to watch it. Although it has been over years since I’ve read it, I was still able to make connections. This series is all about the orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire as they try to get to the bottom of their parents’ sudden death. On top of this, they have to escape the clever Count Olaf who is willing to do just about anything to get his hands on the kids’ fortunes. Every episode gets them one step closer to uncovering the big mysterious deaths, which I must admit is like nothing I’ve seen before, but also includes Count Olaf and his clever disguises. Unfortunately for the three orphans, Mr. Poe (the man who is in charge of getting them to a safe home) doesn’t always see eye to eye.
At first, I did think the series was a bit repetitive, but a couple episodes later everything started to get interesting again. There are points where you feel as if the plot is similar in every episode and personally, I’d rather watch a show that continues the same plot. After continuing the series, I realized that the more I watched the more the plot would continue, rather than seeming like every episode was a new story. Regarding the ending, it’s like nothing I’ve heard of before, but I would have preferred more closure. Although the ending wasn’t what I hoped for, it’s still worth watching because the story behind their parents is super interesting! I would rate this show a 8/10!
Renowned for its masterful portrayal of a Hobbes-inspired misanthropic view of human nature, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies serves as one of the greatest novels to come out of World War II, despite being published nearly a decade after it. It chronicles the tale of a group of young boys stranded on a remote island, and depicts their struggle to maintain peace and civility without any authority, which eventually culminates in the creation of two radically different tribes – one for violence, one for rationality.
Lord of the Flies opens with the crash of an airplane containing a class full of British schoolboys. Ralph and Piggy, two of these unfortunates, use a conch to summon the rest of the boys who have crashed on the island, who have ranging ages and needs. Initially, Ralph and Jack, the power-hungry leader of the school choir boys, get along with each other in order to be rescued, but as the time drags on with no sign of civilization, the boys begin to crack, and turn to the darkness for salvation.
Over the course of the novel, the bright light of civilization begins to flicker and die in the face of the overwhelming darkness brought about by the boys’ belief that there is a “Beastie” watching over them, waiting to kill them all. Using the fear to his advantage, Jack turns the group against Ralph, Piggy, and those allied with them, and the majority of the boys become savage hunters, and violence becomes their only means of communication.
Overall, Lord of the Flies is a classic read, and definitely raises some interesting points. It reveals that despite humanity appearing to be a civilized group, beneath that mask lies violence and savagery, which is only uncovered when people are distanced from established civilization. In a way, even in a civilized environment, the beast in man continues to rear its ugly head, and unless humans are able to control their violent urges, humanity will end up exactly as Hobbes predicted in Leviathan, living lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
These are the well-known words of none other than retired United States Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, spoken during his commencement speech to the graduating class from the University of Texas at Austin. McRaven spoke of the ten lessons he learned from Navy SEAL training, ten lessons needed if one wants to change one’s life, or even the world. These simple lessons at the basis of his remarks dealt with overcoming the trials of SEAL training, but those ten lessons are equally important in dealing with the challenges of life, no matter who you are.
Admiral McRaven was not at all expecting much of a welcoming audience among college students. But to his surprise, they embraced his inspiring speech. McRaven’s wise words seemed to have a universal appeal, and many people wanted to know more about how the ten lessons shaped his life.
As a result, McRaven decided to write a small book, called Make Your Bed. There are ten chapters, each giving a little more context to the individual lessons. The book is filled with anecdotes about the origin of the lessons and the people who inspired McRaven most. These are the ten lessons:
If you want to change the world…
Start your day with a task completed. “Start off by making your bed.”
You can’t go it alone. “Find someone to help you paddle.”
Only the size of your heart matters. “Measure a person by the size of their heart.”
Life’s not fair—drive on! “Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.”
Failure can make you stronger. “Don’t be afraid of the Circus.”
You must dare greatly. “Slide down the obstacle headfirst.”
Stand up to the bullies. “Don’t back down from the sharks.”
Rise to the occasion. “Be your very best in the darkest moments.”
Give people hope. “Start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.”
Never, ever quit! “Don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”
Now, these lessons may seem like the boring stuff you were told constantly as a kid, but Admiral McRaven’s book will go further than that. Reading through his heartwarming and heartbreaking stories, I took a different perspective to these lessons. McRaven’s powerful words touched me, and these days I’m trying my absolute best to live by these lessons so I can change my life—and maybe the world—for the better. Read Make Your Bed, and it will change you as well.
But that’s not it! If you don’t have time to read this life-changer, please watch a 15-minute YouTube edit of Admiral McRaven’s unforgettable speech by MotivationHub instead. McRaven’s speech is intercut with footage of SEAL training and powerful music, and it will leave you speechless and determined to change your life.
After watching the video, if you’re interested in learning more, check out Make Your Bed by Admiral McRaven! The simplicity of the ten lessons he teaches is astounding, but if you live by these morals, you will change your life—and maybe even the world!—for the better.
Don’t miss out on this chance to change! Admiral William H. McRaven’s wise words just can’t be passed over—try Make Your Bed or even his famous commencement speech! I promise you, you will close the book (or the video) with a newfound mindset of determination.
“Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up… if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will indeed have changed the world, for the better.”
Quite recently crystals have sparked an interest in a lot of people. This got me invested in finding out what the whole point is, other than the beauty of the rock of course. With this curiosity, I decided to do a little research and discovered so many rad things about these crystals.
Each crystal contains a vibration and energy that re-aligns with your energy resulting in a higher vibration for you which is like a higher state of mind. There’s quite a lot of evidence and research from lab tests about these crystals proving this as well. The vibration is emitted at a constant frequency and uplifts you resulting in healing. Depending on what aspect you’d like to heal in, there are usually specific crystals sorted out for that job. One of the most common crystals is Rose Quartz and it’s used for a lot of emotional healing and love. Other healing powers of other crystals include balance, protection, empowerment, optimism, grounding, and even inner growth. There’s really a crystal for everything. There are even ways to energize your crystals. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, with a new year comes new beginnings and you should definitely consider checking a couple crystals out. I know I will be.
There are a lot of places where you can purchase crystals, but some of my favorites include crystals.com, crystalvaults.com, or other Etsy shops. There are so many stores and personal crystal quizzes! The options are endless.
The film Bad Genius is a 2017 Thai movie filmed by Nattawut Poonpiriya and can be found on Netflix. There wasn’t much media coverage over this film simply because it wasn’t produced in the United States and therefore didn’t gain popularity outside of Thailand; nonetheless, it’s a cinematic masterpiece.
This movie is very unique; it’s difficult to find movies where you enjoy the stress and emotional rollercoasters. Although the movie is considered as a mature film, it’s an extremely underrated movie that holds a lot of meaning and can connect to students regardless of nationality. Every student understands the immense pressure of test-taking, especially for tests that can determine your entire future.
With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this thriller-type heist movie is based on a student named Lynn, one of the best in her school, who gets accepted into a private university. Her wealthy friend Grace is struggling with school and persuades Lynn to help her cheat on an exam in exchange for money. Realizing the amount of money necessary to financially support her family and attend university, Lynn begins making money off of helping kids cheat during exams, but another top student named Bank gets suspicious, Lynn and her friends get caught, and Lynn loses her scholarship. The other kids who were caught cheating then take revenge on Bank by leaving him injured in a junkyard, forcing him to miss his exam and lose his scholarship as well. With hope for their academic future low, Lynn and Bank work together in creating a well-thought out plan to help students cheat on the STIC (an SAT exam for international countries).
At first, the plot of this movie may serve as a bad example for students, but the movie includes so much more in-depth meaning. Nattawut Poonpiriya, provides direct references to the social class inequalities and corrupt systems found in schools, specifically Thai schools. Both Lynn and Bank are underprivileged and come from poor financial backgrounds; the only reason they choose to help their rich, privileged friends cheat is because they need the money to afford a good university.
The way they filmed this movie is innovative as well, adding onto the stress and tension during specific scenes. During their exams, viewers can see that the only nervous ones are Lynn and Bank, while their friends are simply at ease; in reality, intelligence and top grades can only get you so far without family connections and wealth.
Although the message is quite negative, the impact of the movie reaches its viewers in a different way. Not only is it an external battle, but also a moral dilemma between dreams and reality.