Jun 15 2015

Interpreting Evil (Opinion Post Rewrite)

*Revised on June 16, 2015
Original post: https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/02/
(I apologise in advance, I realise that this is very weak; I did the best I could, I hope that shows)

Evil. Evil is a very complex idea. Even more complex is when we consider whether or not humans are evil. Many human things can be classified with our definition of good or evil; actions, decisions, words, but where does this “evil” come from?
What determines if a person or action is evil? People are not inherently good or evil; a single person can choose to sometimes do good and at other times do evil, and circumstances often play a role in this decision.

People’s actions cannot define who they are as a whole. “Good people could be seduced to cross [the line between good and evil], and in some circumstances, bad kids could recover.” (Philip Zimbardo, The Psychology of Evil) People who are considered good and pure in the world can do bad things, and evil people can change. Oskar Schindler, Nazi Germany. During World War II, Schindler goes out of his way, and puts himself in extreme danger to save over 1,200 Jewish people from death. Originally, Schindler joins the Nazi party because he feels as if it holds more opportunities for him; he needs this initially because he is unemployed at the time. He eventually becomes owner of a factory that makes weapons for the German army, using Jewish people as workers because they were cheaper. When the Nazis start deliberately seeking out Jewish people and killing them, Schindler starts to see his workers as “mothers, fathers, and children, exposed to ruthless slaughter.” (The Oskar Schindler Story) [1] Although it would be much easier for Schindler to give away his workers and hire new ones, he develops certain feelings of sympathy and obligation to do whatever he can to help these people. He keeps them from certain death, while also providing them with the best living conditions he can offer them, all without the Nazis finding out. Schindler’s behaviour goes against what would be the normal expectations for someone in his situation: he puts himself in harm’s way to save people he has no attachments to, out of the goodness of his heart and nothing more. Although this does not fit the expected circumstances, this does demonstrate how people are not their actions, and how people always have a choice. Schindler was originally a member of the Nazi party; he supported the Nazis, and he ran a business supporting the German army. However, after considering his workers in a new light, he completely changes his actions by choosing to help his employees from a party which he used to support. A person’s past does not determine their future, and just because they have behaved a certain way in the past doesn’t mean they can’t change. Oskar Schindler completely changed who he was in result of his compassion for his Jewish workers. The situation in Abu, Ghraib, Iraq, 2003, shares the idea that people are not their actions, but this is proved a lot more by circumstance.

In a prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, 2003, American soldiers working the night shift in the basement of the prison were caught physically and sexually abusing the inmates. Some prisoners are being humiliated, some being lead on leashes like animals, some being beaten to the point of extreme blood loss. “Evil is the exercise of power…to intentionally harm people psychologically, to hurt people physically, destroy people mortally…and to commit crimes against humanity.” (Philip Zimbardo, The Psychology of Evil) [2] Soldiers are considered by some to be very pure and heroic people because they left their lives and their families at home to go and serve the people of their country, yet, by definition, they were doing unimaginably evil things. If the circumstances of the situation had played out differently, the whole issue could have been averted.

[referring to the abuses being caused by other soldiers when she arrived at the prison] We were just like, “What the hell’s going on?” Y’know, we’d never seen this type of stuff before. We did question it and what we got in return was “Yeah, this needs to be done, yeah just do whatever [the soldiers that were already there] say.” (Lynndie England—Abu Ghraib Prison Guard, Abu Ghraib & Lynndie England Interview 1 of 2) 

England was told what she needed to do, so she follows the orders of her superiors. England and the other guards were given a situation with complete authority and, supposedly, no repercussions. Even though soldiers are seen as stereotypically upstanding and noble people, this does not excuse the fact that they engaged in villainous actions, and vice versa (i.e. their villainous actions do not excuse all of the heroic and noble things they have accomplished in the past). They made some very bad choices, but they are not strictly bad people because of them.

[in response to the statement, “You’re ashamed of the fact that you made the military look bad, but you’re not ashamed of what was actually going on, is that what you’re saying?”] It’s what we were supposed to be doing. We did what we were told to do. I don’t feel bad about that. (Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib & Lynndie England Interview 1 of 2) [3]

The horrific incident does not stand alone in good people doing bad things; many of the same conflict were paralleled in the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment.


In 1971, twenty-four healthy and mentally able male college students are chosen to participate in an experiment, some in the role of prisoners, and some as guards. They are put into a prison-like situation, and their behaviour is analyzed by social psychologists. The experiment is cut off after only six days because of how badly the prisoners are being mistreated. The “guards” are forcing the “inmates” to do physical labour like cleaning toilets with their bare hands. In addition, prisoners are often stripped and sexually humiliated [4]. “We didn’t do any of the stuff that you see in Abu Ghraib…but I certainly subjected them to all kinds of humiliation. I don’t know where I would have stopped myself.” (Dave Eshelman—Guard in the experiment, The Stanford Prison Experiment) It isn’t taking very long for the behaviour of the guards to get to the prisoners; they start dropping out like flies after the second day.


We were told to chant something about how [prisoner 819] was a bad prisoner, and at the time I went along with it, I’m thinking, “What does this matter? We don’t believe this.” But we just go along and chant it. (Richard Yacco—Prisoner 1037, The Stanford Prison Experiment) [5]


Many of these young people, who had been chosen because they were psychologically healthy, have mental and emotional breakdowns within thirty-six hours. “[referring to prisoner 819] That night he had a breakdown. Everyday after that another prisoner broke down in a similar way.” (Philip Zimbardo, The Stanford Prison Experiment) The experiment is put to a stop. These people, the guards and the prisoners, were perfectly ordinary people when they entered the makeshift prison, but some of them executed some extraordinarily horrible things, and even if the roles were switched, it likely would not make a difference.

When we see someone doing bad things we assume they are bad people to begin with, but what we know in our study is there are a set of social psychological variables that can make ordinary people do things they never could have imagined doing. (Philip Zimbardo, The Stanford Prison Experiment)

There are a number of influences that can trigger evil. But people are not solely their choices; they have more substance to them than their perfections or inaccuracies. And decisions are set in time—they cannot be altered once they happen—but humans can change. They can rehabilitate, they can grow, they can develop, or they can retreat, compress, and repress themselves and their actions, and turn down roads they initially had no intention of exploring. Feelings of power or dominance can be brainwashing, so much so that it can also make the people “underneath” the power very obedient and blind in a way. There are so many people who just mindlessly obey whatever an authority tells them without question, whether that authority be in a school or work environment, or even at a municipal or federal level. Also, the fallout from one’s actions can have a large effect on one’s decision to act a certain way. If someone knows that there will be no repercussions to their behaviour, their actions will probably differ quite a bit from what they would do if there were limitations. Many humans things can be classified as evil, but humans themselves should not be one of them.

[1] “The Oskar Schindler Story.” The Oscar Schindler Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2015. <http://www.oskarschindler.com/>.
The Psychology of Evil. Perf. Philip Zimbardo. TED. TED Conference, LLC, Feb. 2008. Web. 25 February 2015. <http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil?language=en>.
[3] “Abu Ghraib & Lynndie England Interview 1 of 2.” Interview by Hillary Anderson. YouTube. YouTube, 8 Sept. 2009. Web. 14 June 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGjeavuAxAI>.
[4] Zimbardo, Philip G. “The : A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment.” Stanford Prison Experiment. Philip G. Zimbardo, n.d. Web. 26 February 2015. <http://www.prisonexp.org/>.
[5] The Stanford Prison Experiment. Dir. Philip Zimbardo. Perf. Philip Zimbardo. YouTube. YouTube, 20 Aug. 201. Web. 14 June 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZwfNs1pqG0>.

Jun 14 2015

Learning Reflection

*Revised on June 16, 2015
I believe that my strengths as a writer are my:

  • Vocabulary
  • Proper grammar and punctuation
  • Thorough explanations
  • Organized thoughts

I believe that these attributes showcased in my posts Romeo and Juliet Act II Scene II – Compare and Contrast (https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/05/03/romeo-and-juliet-act-ii-scene-ii-compare-and-contrast/) and Existentialism (https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/05/31/existentialism/). I think that, in both posts, my vocabulary is intellectual, yet understandable and fitting of the topic. My grammar and punctuation is likely my best writing quality because it is what I feel I am best at when it comes to writing, and I would hope that that shows in my written works. I can sometimes have very complicated thought processes, but I think I am good enough at explaining them thoroughly so that they can makes sense to readers. I would also like to think of myself as an organized writer, in the way that I like to keep my thoughts as organized and formatted as I can make them.
I believe that some of my weaknesses as a writer are my:

  • Overuse of transitions
  • Inability to step outside of my comfort zone
  • Making things unnecessarily complicated
  • Writing run-on sentences
  • Unawareness of repeating diction

Posts of mine that I feel demonstrate these qualities are Are Humans Inherently Evil? (https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/02/17/are-humans-inherently-evil/)  and The Gathering Conflict Analysis (https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/06/13/the-gathering-conflict-analysis/ [not an actual blog post, I know, but I felt it showcased these some of these qualities more than some of my other writing pieces]). I feel as if I overuse transition words. They are important in written pieces but there is a line and I feel like I cross it a lot. Also, I am not a creative person, so, unless required, I do not write creatively. My writing is based off of facts and research, but nothing more. I know I will need to be able to write creatively in the future, but if I can, I avoid it at all costs; this isn’t going to make anything easier. I also tend to add things into my work that don’t necessarily need to be there (words, phrases, punctuation, etc.), which can sometimes come across as trying to hard whilst still not making complete sense, or just rambling on for no reason. Another thing I need to watch out for is repeating diction. I repeat words or phrases constantly when trying to explain things, which can make a written piece seem dull and repetitive.

In terms of my own progression throughout the course, I’d say I have a better knowledge of format now. If you compare my news report post ( Man Warned After Thumb Biting Incidenthttps://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/03/30/man-warned-after-thumb-biting-incident-2/) to my recently written conflict essay about the book The Gathering (see above for link), even though the formatting styles for a news report and an essay are very different, you can clearly see how my attention to detail in terms of the format as greatly improved. Also, my integration of media into my posts has greatly improved. If you compare my first post of the year (Are Humans Inherently Evil? see above for the link) to a post written a couple months later (e.g. Gender, Pronouns, Orientations, etc.https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/04/19/gender-pronouns-orientations-etc/), I have really improved on my usage of media to back up or further explain my topics.

Before writing, I usually try to make sure I know what all of my points of explanation and my points of proof are so I can properly explain them, and also not forget any important points. It also helps to write down some more specific points if you have a really good idea so you don’t forget the word choice or main idea of your point. Whilst writing, I find it helpful to read some similar examples to give myself a general idea of what to do (whether it’s format/structure or content). After I write, I have recently been letting other people read my work and give me feedback, which has really been helping as it is hard for me to catch many of my own mistakes. I still feel very uncomfortable and anxious about letting other people view my work, but it has been helping me in the long run, so I suppose it’s a compromise. In order to become a better writer, I think I would have to overcome my fears of experimenting and show more confidence in my writing. However, I doubt that is something I can accomplish, at least for now, so the level that I’m at right now has to be enough until I’m at a point where I can comfortably move on.

For me, it is difficult to pinpoint certain strengths or weaknesses in reading, as I do not consider myself a very good reader. I am a very good proofreader, and I am decent at researching, but when it comes to just reading and analyzing a text, I find that I don’t ask myself questions concerning the text, or, I at least don’t realise that/when I do. I’ve always heard teachers preach about asking questions during a text, and I’ve never considered that something I can do; I’m not sure exactly what other strengths or weaknesses there are. I kind of feel like I’m failing the only requirement. I realise that there are more things to a good reader than that, I suppose, but I feel like if I don’t meet the minimum, than I probably can’t do any of the other things. For examples of things that demonstrate my proofreading skills as of late, you can read Brianna Griffith’s posts In a New World (http://bgriffit5407.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/04/19/in-a-new-world-blogger-of-the-week-post/), Year Reflection part 2 (http://bgriffit5407.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/06/07/year-reflection-part-two/), Education Abomination (http://bgriffit5407.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/06/07/re-edited-5-paragraph-essay-education-abomination/), and Blogger of the Week Reflection (http://bgriffit5407.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/06/07/blogger-of-the-week-reflection/). Also, I proofread the literary essays of Nilsu and Sebastian, although I do not have a link to either of those. Good examples of my research skills are my Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 2 and part 3 posts (part 2: https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/05/13/anxiety-attacks-vs-nervous-breakdowns-vs-panic-attacks-part-2-causes-and-symptoms/ part 3: https://kbryant7537.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/05/17/anxiety-attacks-vs-nervous-breakdowns-vs-panic-attacks-part-3-help/).

I don’t particularly use any certain strategies while reading unless I’m looking for something specific in the text, then, I would read through and make notes of any information I might need. However, when I’m just analyzing a text for what it is, I’m not sure of any strategies I use, I’m unsure if I use any at all. In order to become a better reader, I need to learn how to properly analyze a text; I need to know what to look for, what questions to ask, what aspects to question, etc. I am unsure as to how I would go about learning that, though.

I would say that I do not have strengths in the field of using media to compliment my text yet, as I have still barely gotten used to the idea or the practice. My weakness initially was just actually using the media. I was really opposed to the idea at the beginning of the course, as I was uncomfortable with it. However, when I realised I was failing the AP standards of the class, I considered that the lack of media in my work could be a contributing factor, and since I didn’t want to fail the class, I did what was necessary. After I started trying to explore using media in my writing, it did make my writing appear more visually interesting, and sometimes helped explain points I was trying to get across. I can now appreciate how using media can enhance the written word, where it is appropriate. Some examples of my better attempts at using media in my posts are Gender, Pronouns, Orientations, etc. and Existentialism (see above for both links). In both of these posts, I use a variety of photos and videos to further explain my initial point.

I would like to think that I am a good listener. If I am invested in the conversation, I will try to make eye contact when the other person is talking, and nod along to what they’re saying, indicating that they have my full attention. I’d say that my main struggle is that sometimes when I’m trying to listen to someone, what they say won’t quite register, and I will miss out on a lot of what they were saying, even if I was trying to listen. If this is something I can get over, I am currently unsure of how to do that. I find that, when having a conversation, it helps to look at the person who is speaking, specifically their eyes and/or mouth. This way, you are registering what they are saying and the emotion that they are displaying while they are talking.

As for actually speaking in class, I’d say I’m being modest when I say it was pitiful. In in-class discussions, I probably raised my hand about 3 times, total. Honestly, part of me feels like that was too much and I should have just stayed out of it, because I don’t feel like a particularly added anything to the conversation. I only ever really spoke when I absolutely needed to. Even a lot of the times when I’ve had questions, I’ve either gotten someone else to ask them, or I just haven’t done anything. The two times when I have actually had to speak in class both went horribly; lots of stuttering and anxiety and not being able to explain myself the way I wanted to. Keeping all of that in mind, I would say that I do not have any proper oral skills. In terms speaking, I do not think I have any strategies. I worry about doing, I mess up what I’m saying, and then I worry about it again after. I have not found any specific things that help with this yet, but this has been happening for years, so I am unsure of what I could do to fix myself properly.

To be successful in grade 11, I feel as if there are four things I need to try to improve on the most:

  • Stepping outside my comfort zone

This goes for all areas of my work; writing, reading, speaking. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that make me uncomfortable, which means that my comfort zone is very small. In order to demonstrate my full potential in the future, I will need to maybe not step out of my comfort zone, but at least broaden my levels of comfort.

  • Realising my own mistakes

I am very good at recognizing other people’s mistakes, but I still need a lot of improvement in being able to notice my own mistakes. I think this applies to many people, but I do believe that I should try to improve this area of my writing.

  • Asking questions when I read

Doing this will help my overall understanding of whatever text I read, and it is a transferable skill that I will be able to apply to any sort of reading I do in the future. This is the main reading skill that I am lacking, so I feel as if learning to do this will do nothing but improve my reading, and possibly my writing as well.

  • Asking for help

I have recently been doing this a lot more than I usually would because the fear of being unsuccessful outweighs the fear of asking for help, but I still don’t do it nearly as much as I could to perform better in my classes. I need to accept that there is nothing wrong with needing help, and that asking for assistance will only improve my work.


Jun 13 2015

Blogger of the Week Reflection

*Revised on June 16, 2015
For the blogger of the week posts, not including my own, I commented 10 times on the following blogs:
Alex Egorov—Why You Should Start Reading (http://aegorov5534.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/03/09/why-you-should-start-reading/)
Brianna Griffith—In a New World (http://bgriffit5407.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/04/19/in-a-new-world-blogger-of-the-week-post/)
Cameron Hildrop—Extremophiles and How They Can Help (http://childrop8174.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/04/08/extremophiles-and-how-they-can-help/)
Emily Repasi—Importance of Sleep for Teens (http://erepasi9082.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/05/10/importance-of-sleep-for-teens/)
Mahruf Khushmohammed—The Positive Impacts of Technology on Healthcare (http://mkhushmo4204.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/03/02/the-positive-impacts-of-technology-on-healthcare/)
Rauwn St. Jean—Robots or Kids? (http://rstjean0351.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/03/02/robots-or-kids/)
Sebastian Martin—Global Warming: Causes, Effects, And The Highly Motivated School Solution (http://smartin4237.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2015/04/06/blog-of-the-week-civics-civic-activism-assignment/)

I would rate my overall contributions to the blogs and the blog discussions as a ⅖. When I was present in a discussion, I believe that I had good points and that my perspective added to the discussion, however, I was rarely present to conversations and I rarely followed up with more information if the author responded to me.

For all of the topics I explored through fellow student’s blog posts, in most cases, my existing understanding of the topic was improved, or, I was introduced to a brand new topic I previously knew nothing about. Cameron Hildrop’s blog was a good example of that. Previously to reading his blog, I had never heard anything about the topic he had explored, and I felt he did a very good job explaining his topic to someone who had no prior knowledge. On my blog, Subhan Adli’s comment gave me a new outlook on the context of my topic; I had read about the like of existentialism and atheism, however, I hadn’t really considered the elements of existentialism that are solved by religious beliefs, and Subhan brought that to my attention.
I personally cannot pinpoint any certain times when a comment led me to more confusion than the actual post did, but that is probably because I wasn’t present in too many discussions. It was probably present in some discussions that I was not a part of though, because no system is perfect and different things lead to confusion for different people.

I think my comments effectively highlighted things that other people had no thought to bring to the author’s attention yet. If I had something to say about a post, I would read the previous comments first to make sure that my question was not already answered in response to someone else. I would like to believe that I brought a new perspective to think about to the author. Take this discussion on Alex’s blog, for example:
Blog Screenshot (Alex)
(In the photo, when I address the second question, the question in question was “Do you believe that reading should see an increase as part of the school curriculum, and if so, why?”)
I suggested a new thought to him, one that was not mentioned in the post or by other comments, and we had a conversation about it. I would like to think that I gave him a new outlook on an element of his post. I need to improve on the amount that I actually participate. Initially, I planned to comment on all of the blogs (which obviously didn’t happen), but then things became too busy and there were too many other, more important, things to do. I ended up neglecting commenting and never getting back into it consistently, which I should have made a better effort to do.
Honestly, I cannot think of a certain time when one person’s contribution to a discussion stood out to me or helped to move the class’s understanding forward. Generally, other than skimming to make sure I didn’t waste the author’s time by repeating someone else’s question, I did not really pay much attention to any certain discussion as a whole. I definitely should have paid closer attention to advance my understanding on the topics and widen my perspectives, but I did not.
In terms of recommendations for better discussions, I would suggest to actually have discussions. Let me explain. In many cases, these “discussions” consisted of a reader commenting their opinion on the post as a whole or a specific topic mentioned in the post, and then the author replies accordingly. The only person in this setup that receives the full impact of a discussion is the author; the author is exposed to many different points of view and opinions on their topic, whilst, in most cases, the reader’s are only exposed to the author’s view point or opinion. I don’t think this makes for much of a proper discussion. I would suggest to explore other people’s comments and outlooks on the same topic would give a much rounder outlook and a potentially more developed background of information. Online discussions enable us to do this. Although, online discussions are not a bad thing; it gives people time to process and properly convey the message they are trying to send. This can be a problem in in-person conversations because you would have less time to properly think out what you are going to say because the person or people in front of you are awaiting your response. Also, if it is a discussion between multiple people, it is a lot harder to ignore someone’s outlook when they are in front of you explaining it, whereas if you do not care about a person’s opinion online, you can just scroll away from their comment and move on. Both, online and in-person, are good platforms for discussions, but one can be preferable depending on the individuals having the conversation. Some prefer in-person because it is easier to understand what the other person’s point is, because you have various means of body language to read rather than just text. Some prefer online because it makes them feel safer and calmer in their own personal environment. It is all individual preference.
I believe that overall the Blogger of the Week assignment was not a bad idea, but people lost interest in it very quickly, because they did not feel like it was enough of a priority. If you take Mahruf’s post, which was one of the posts in the first week, it has a total of 38 comments, however, if you look at Laela’s post, which was one of the ones in the most recent week, it only has 6 comments. I would suggest that adding a specific minimum amount of comments for a person to leave on other’s blogs, while still enforcing the quality of the comments, would encourage people to prioritize commenting more. And then, you could judge on the quality of the comments, and whether people fell short of, met, or exceeded the minimum goal. This will also help the students to plan when they are going to comment it so they don’t end up neglecting it and leaving it undone all together. Also, in the beginning of the year, you said that you would conference with each blogger to make sure they knew everything that needed to be done, however, you stopped doing this very quickly, and just left a pdf on your website, one that many people didn’t know was there. I would suggest either a) making time to conference with everyone to make sure they’re on track and informed on the elements of the assignment, or b) from the beginning, don’t conference with anyone individually, unless they come to you asking for help, and let the entire class know that there is a specific outline they should be following, and to come to you with any questions or concerns about it.

Jun 6 2015

Top 10 Apocalyptica Songs

*Revised on June 16, 2015
I would suggest downloading this and deleting it afterwards, because if you just try to view it in another tab, it messes up the formatting for some reason.

Download (PPTX, 1.06MB)

May 17 2015

Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 3: Help

*Revised on May 31, 2015
*Revised on June 3, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015

*If you have not read Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 1:Definitions or part 2: Causes and Symptoms, go read those first if you’d like.
Different types of anxiety or mood disorders that may cause these types of outbreaks of emotion can always be helped. There are so many ways people can help themselves and places people can go to get these kinds of things checked out; there are so many people that are available to help with these kinds of things. All of the following methods are applicable to anxiety attacks, nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, and anything similar. Stay safe.

Ask for help when you think you need it (whether it is from parents, friends, professionals, etc; whatever works for you) [1]
Avoid mass amounts of caffeine
Avoid overestimating and catastrophizing
Calm and controlled breathing (for about 6-8 minutes at a time) [2]
Give yourself time to relax (take breaks, breathe, meditate)
Manage your time
Pinpoint direct causes (this will make things easier to deal with) [3]
Prioritize your needs (identify what your body and mind are lacking in because or in result of your anxiety/stress) [4]
Relax your muscles (for about 25 minutes a day) [5]
Try to take care of your body as well as your mind (keep everything as healthy as it can be, eat well, reduce use of harmful substances, sleep)
Yoga [6]
Here is guided meditation video to help with calm breathing and relaxation.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (focuses on living in the moment and experiencing things without judgement)
Cognitive behaviour therapy (focuses on thoughts and behaviours)
Core belief psychotherapy (assesses and heals one’s negative core beliefs about oneself) [7]
Dialectical behavioural therapy (involves concepts of Eastern meditation and helps tolerance of distress and regulation of emotions)
Exposure therapy (encourages confrontation of fears in a safe, controlled environment)
Interpersonal therapy (addresses depression and works to gather information to further understand one’s emotions) [8]
Psychoanalysis therapy
Here is a chart to help understand the process behind cognitive behaviour therapy.

Image by: anxietybc.com
Antidepressants: Anafranil, Celexa, Effexor, Lexapro, Marplan, Nardil, Parnate, Paxil, Prozac, Tofranil, Zoloft
Anxiety: Ativan, Buspar, Klonopin, Tranxene, Valium, Xanax [9]
High Blood Pressure: Blocadren, Catapres, Cartrol, Inderal, Tenormin [10]
Insomnia: Halcion, Restoril
Other: Betapace (treats irregular heartbeat), Luvox (treats a variety of psychiatric disorders) [11]

Anxiety Panic Support (http://www.anxietypanicsupport.com/chat)
Social Anxiety Support Chat (http://www.socialanxietysupportchat.com/) [12]
7 Cups of Tea (https://www.7cupsoftea.com/anxiety-help/)
Anxiety Central (http://www.anxiety-central.com/index.php/forum/10-panic-disorder/)
Anxiety Chatroom (http://www.healthfulchat.org/anxiety-chat-room.html)
Anxiety Social Net (http://www.anxietysocialnet.com/)
Anxiety Zone (http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php?topic=49173.0)
Experience Project (http://www.experienceproject.com/)
Panic Center (http://www.paniccenter.net/)
People’s Problems (http://www.peoplesproblems.org/chatroom.php)
Social Anxiety Bootcamp (http://www.sabootcamp.org/)

24/7 Crisis Line: 905-522-1477
Help Finding a Therapist: 1-800-843-7274
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-688-6868
National Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663
Panic Disorder Information and Support: 1-800-647-2642
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433 [13]
Anxiety Alliance: 0845 296 7877 (daily, 10am-10pm)
Anxiety UK: 08444-775-774 (Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm)
International Stress Management Association: 0845-680-7083 (Monday-Friday 9am-1pm)
Lifeline: 13-11-14
National Institute of Mental Health Panic Disorder Helpline: 800-647-2642
National Mental Health Association: 800-969-6642 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
No Panic: 0844-967-4848 (daily, 10am-10pm)
Sovereign Health: 1-855-423-5350
Therapist Network: 800-843-727478

Anti-Anxiety APP (only for Android)
Anxiety Free (only for iPhone)
Calming Music to Simplicity (only for Android)
I Can be Fearless (only for iPhone)
Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep (only for Android)
Qi Gong Meditation Relaxation (only for Android)
Relax Melodies
Relax Ocean Waves Sleep (only for Android)
Relaxing Sounds of Nature (Lite) (only for iPhone)
Stop Panic and Anxiety Help (only for Android)
Universal Breathing- Pranayama Free
Worry Box-Anxiety Self Help (only for Android) [14]
Anxiety Free Hypnosis
Pacifica- Stress and Anxiety
Relax Lite
Self-Help for Anxiety Management <- strong personal recommendation
Stress Relief and Anxiety Help

[1] Webber, Bridget. “How to Cope With a Nervous Breakdown.” Help Me To Sleep Org. Ipnos Spft Inc., 04 May 2012. Web. 05 May 2015. <http://helpmetosleep.org/featured-articles/how-to-cope-with-a-nervous-breakdown/>.
[2] In, Toolbox. “Self-Help Strategies for Panic Disorder.” SELF-HELP STRATEGIES FOR PANIC DISORDER (n.d.): n. pag. AnxietyBC. Web. 14 May 2015. <http://www.anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/adult_hmpanic.pdf>.
[3] Kavanagh, Sean. “Panic Disorder | Doctor | Patient.co.uk.” Patient.co.uk. Patient, 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/panic-disorder-pro>.
[4] Masters, Frances. “5 Tips for Spotting and Stopping a Nervous Breakdown Early.” TheFusionModel. Fusion Coaching, n.d. Web. 5 May 2015. <https://www.thefusionmodel.com/5-tips-spotting-nervous-breakdown-early/>.
[5] “Stress.” SpringerReference (2011): n. pag. Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Mar. 2013. Web. 15 May 2015. <http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/leaflets/Stress%20A4%202015.pdf>.
[6]   “Nervous Breakdown.” NativeRemedies. Silver Star Brands, Inc., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015. <http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/symptoms-of-a-nervous-breakdown-info.html>.
[7] Gagnon, Alice Brown. “Core Beliefs Psychotherapy.” Core Beliefs Psychotherapy. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015. <http://www.core-beliefs-psychotherapy.com/>.
[8] “Therapy.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America. ADAA, n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.adaa.org/finding-help/treatment/therapy>.

[9] “Anxiety Medication.” Anxiety Medication | Drugs.com. Drugs.com. Web. 4 May 2015. <http://www.drugs.com/condition/anxiety.html>.
[10] Schueler, Stephen J., John H. Beckett, and Scott Gettings. “Nervous Breakdown Treatment.” Nervous Breakdown: Treatment. FreeMD, 10 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 May 2015.
[11] “Anxiety Disorders.” NIMH RSS. National Institute of Mental Health, n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml#pub8>.
[12] “Are There Any Useful Anxiety Chatrooms?” « Calm Clinic. Calm Clinic, n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/anxiety-chat-rooms>.
[13] “Accepting Help Is Brave.” Mental Illness Mouse. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://mentalillnessmouse.tumblr.com/post/21961172409/accepting-help-is-brave-hotlines-crisis-lines>.
[14] Holland, Kimberly. “The 18 Best Anxiety IPhone & Android Apps of 2014.”The 18 Best Anxiety IPhone & Android Apps of 2014. Health Networks, Inc., 27 May 2014. Web. 17 May 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/top-anxiety-iphone-android-apps#1>.

May 13 2015

Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 2: Causes and Symptoms

*Revised on May 17, 2015
*Revised on May 23, 2015
*Revised on May 31, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015

*If you have not read Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 1: Definitions, go read that first if you’d like.
There are probably an infinite amount of different causes for and symptoms from these overwhelming anxious feelings, however, these are some of the causes and symptoms of anxiety attacks, nervous breakdowns, and panic attacks. Many causes and symptoms are shared between the three, but here are only some examples. Also, each example has a link on it to a definition of the example, an explanation of how it is related to these attacks or breakdowns, or their own symptoms, so if you want to continue your learning on these topics, feel free to start here.

Anxiety Attack Causes 
-Brain malfunctions (such as Encephalopathy) [1]
-Constant feelings of tension or stress
Environmental stress
Excessive worrying
-Serious fears or phobias  

Anxiety Attack Symptoms
-Difficulty concentrating or sleeping [2]
Heart palpitations
Muscle tension [3]
-Uncontrollable shaking or trembling

First Image by: neuralconnections.net
Second Image by: canstockphoto.com

Nervous Breakdown Causes 
Death of a loved one
Financial troubles
Personal relationship issues [4]

Nervous Breakdown Symptoms
Breathing problems
-Fear (see Anxiety Attack Causes for more information)
-Irregular heartbeat (Heart arrhythmia) [5]

Teddy alone on the wet path
Image by: guidingpositivechange.com

Panic Attack Causes
Predisposition due to genetics [6]
Post-traumatic stress

Panic Attack Symptoms
Breathing troubles
Chest Pain
Chills or hot flashes
Heart Palpitations
Vertigo [7]

Image by: castanet.net

Many of these symptoms can go on to cause other things as well; it does not simply stop. Here is a chart of some of the symptoms previously mentioned and some of the side-effects of these symptoms.

SYMPTOMS EFFECTS (or Symptoms of the Symptoms)
Anger [8] -digestive issues
-heart attacks/strokes
-high blood pressure
-skin problems

Difficulty concentrating [9] -emotional stress
-hormonal changes
-possible relation to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Difficulty sleeping [10] -anger
-memory loss
-slowed reaction time
-slowed thought process

Dissociation [11] -feeling detached from yourself
-feeling unsure of who you are
-forgetting things very easily
-getting lost very easily
-internal voices

Guilt [12] -aggressive behaviour
-diverting blame onto others

Instability [13] -balance issues/trouble standing and walking
-mood swings (intense depression and mania)

Muscle tension [14] -immediate pain
-long-term pain

Paranoia [15] -confusion
-low self esteem
-possibility of serious conditions (such as Alzheimer’s disease, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia)

Sleepwalking [16] -night terrors
-risk of hurting oneself or others

Vertigo [17] -dizziness
-feeling lightheaded
-probable relation to mental diseases or disorders

*If you’d like to learn more, you can read Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 3: Help
[1] “Anxiety Disorders: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention.”WebMD. WebMD, 2014. Web. 2 May 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders>.
[2] Smith, Melinda, M. A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal. “Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety Attacks: A Guide to the Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options.” HelpGuide.org. Helpguide.org, Apr. 2015. Web. 2 May 2015. <http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/anxiety-attacks-and-anxiety-disorders.htm>.
[3] MacMillan, Amanda. “12 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder.” Health.com. Health Media Ventures, Inc., 2015. Web. 2 May 2015. <http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20646990,00.html>.
[4] Remedios, Trina. “Mental Health: 16 Signs of Nervous Breakdown.” Healthmeup. Times Internet Limited, 18 Feb. 2013. Web. 4 May 2015. <http://healthmeup.com/photogallery-healthy-living/mental-health-16-signs-of-nervous-breakdown/19581>.
[5] Prior, Elly. “Signs and Symptoms of Nervous Breakdown You Should Not Ignore.”Professional Counselling. Professional-counselling.com. Web. 4 May 2015. <http://www.professional-counselling.com/nervousbreakdown_panic_attack.html>.
[6] Carbonell, David. “What Causes Panic Attacks?” What Causes Panic Attacks?N.p., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 May 2015. <http://www.anxietycoach.com/causes-panic-attacks.html>.
[7] “Panic Attacks Symptoms, Causes, Treatment – What Are Causes and Risk Factors for Panic Attacks?” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., 29 Apr. 2015. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://www.medicinenet.com/panic_disorder/page4.htm#what_are_causes_and_risk_factors_for_panic_attacks>.
[8] Collins, Danica. “The Deadly Effects of Anger on Your Health and Mind.”Underground Health Reporter. Underground Health Reporter, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. <http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/effects-of-anger-dangerous-to-health-and-mind/#axzz3ZwaIyHkj>.
[9] Stöppler, Melissa Conrad. “Concentration Problems: Check Your Symptoms and Signs.” Concentration Problems: Check Your Symptoms and Signs. MedicineNet, Inc., 3 June 2012. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://www.medicinenet.com/difficulty_concentrating/symptoms.htm>
[10] Feature, Camille PeriWebMD. “Sleepiness: Cognitive and Emotional Effects.”WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/emotions-cognitive>
[11] “Dissociative Disorders.” Dissociative Disorders. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/dissociative-disorders/#.VVNjXfnBzGc>.
[12] Barker, Phil. “Guilt and Shame.” Beyond Intractability. University of Colorado, July 2003. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/guilt-shame>.
[13]  Burtchell, Jeri. “Understanding and Managing Multiple Sclerosis Mood Swings.” Healthline. Health Networks, Inc., 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis-mood-swings#1>.
[14] Bushak, Lecia. “These Are The Ways That Stress Affects Your Body.” Medical Daily. IBT Media Inc., 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 May 2015. <http://www.medicaldaily.com/stress-affects-your-heart-muscles-nervous-system-digestion-and-even-sexual-drive-300668>.
[15] Stöppler, Melissa Conrad. “Paranoia (Paranoid Thoughts): Check Your Symptoms and Signs.” Paranoia (Paranoid Thoughts): Check Your Symptoms and Signs. MedicineNet, Inc., 25 June 2014. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.medicinenet.com/paranoia/symptoms.htm>.
[16] “Sleepwalking Causes, Safety Concerns.” Remedy’s Health Community. Remedy Health Media, 1 Dec. 2000. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.healthcommunities.com/sleepwalking/causes.shtml>.
[17] “Vertigo & Dizziness Affect On The Body.” Sharecare. Sharecare, Inc., n.d. Web. 13 May 2015. <http://www.sharecare.com/health/vertigo-dizziness-affect-body-complications>.

May 10 2015

Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 1: Definitions

*Revised on May 13, 2015
*Revised on May 17, 2015
*Revised on May 31, 2015
*Revised on June 3, 2015
*Revised on June 6, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015
Even though terms like anxiety attack, nervous breakdown, and panic attack may seem like synonyms on the surface, the deeper analysis of each type of mental or physical shutdown of one’s abilities are, in some cases, very different. It is important to understand what is happening in your head in times of crisis or panic, so you can reassure yourself that you understand why you’re upset and that the feelings will subside.

Anxiety Attack
An anxiety attack is an intense, overwhelming episode of anxiety. Anxiety itself is usually a major core feature of many mental illnesses that are deemed as a type of anxiety disorder, such as agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and several more. Anxiety usually accumulates over an extended period of time. Symptoms of an anxiety attack are often a bit weaker than those of other types of breakdowns, but anxiety can last for very long periods of time; hours, days, and sometimes weeks. [1]
Anxiety photo 1
Image by: letsdealwithit.org
Nervous Breakdown

A nervous, breakdown is when a person is temporarily unable to function properly due to stress, but are not always directly linked to mental illnesses or disorders. Nervous breakdowns usually occur when a person is subjected to a situation or environment that they find stressful, or when stressful thoughts become too overwhelming for a person to handle. Although these breakdowns are not directly linked with any possible mental health problems, if they occur quite often, they could be a sign or symptom of a disorder such as depression or GAD [2]. Here is a song that relates to some of the feelings that occur during a nervous breakdown:

Here is a link to the lyrics of the song.
Panic Attack

A panic attack is a sudden engulfing feeling of anxiety or fear, with symptoms that usually occur very suddenly (often triggered by a certain event or thought, but sometimes appear without apparent reason), spike after about 10 minutes and then subside. However, some panic attacks last longer or occur in succession. Panic attacks are often linked to anxiety-related mental disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD),depression, GAD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, or any type of phobia [3] . 

Image by: imgur.com

Here is another song that relates to stress, a common cause of panic attacks/disorders:

Here is a link to the lyrics of Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots

If you’d like to learn more, read Anxiety Attacks vs. Nervous Breakdowns vs. Panic Attacks part 2: Causes and Symptoms and/or part 3: Help

[1] Ankrom, Sheryl. “Anxiety Attacks Versus Panic Attacks: What’s the Difference.” Abouthealth. About.com, 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 2 May 2015. <http://panicdisorder.about.com/od/understandingpanic/a/anxvspanic.htm>.
[2] Hall-Flavin, Daniel K. “Depression (Major Depressive Disorder): What Does It Mean to Have a Nervous Breakdown.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Web. 4 May 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/nervous-breakdown/faq-20057830>.
[3] “Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 10 May 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-panic-disorder>

May 3 2015

Romeo and Juliet Act II Scene II- Compare and Contrast

*Revised on May 29, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015
Act II Scene II is seen as one of the most crucial parts of the entire Romeo and Juliet story, and since there have been many different adaptations of this story since it was originally written, this scene has been portrayed in many different ways. The three renditions mentioned here are the graphic novel, and the film adaptations from 1968 and 1996.
Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel cover Romeo and Juliet 1968 cover Romeo and Juliet 1996 cover
First Image by: goodreads.com
Second Image by: rogerebert.com
Third Image by: impawards.com

Between all three adaptations of the story in question, all three stay very true to the original dialogue of the play. The best representation of the lines was the comic book version, since it was just the play written out in a visual form. However, I did notice that the line, “He jests at scars that never felt a wound.” (II.ii.1), said by Romeo, was missing in all three versions of the story. Both film versions of Romeo and Juliet stayed fairly true to the original text, leaving specific lines out, but not too many that the idea of the scene is lost to the viewers; no new dialogue was added, the scene purely depended on the manipulation of the preexisting lines from the play. For example, in the film from 1968, some lines such as, “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief that thou, her maid, art far more fair than she. Be not her maid since she is envious. Her vestal livery is but sick and green, and none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.” (II.ii.4-9) and, “What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars as daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven would through the airy region stream so bright that birds would sing and think it were not night.” (II.ii.18-23) were not included.
Romeo and Juliet Quote 1
Image by: pinterest.com
Some lines left out of the 1996 movie adaptation were, “Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye than twenty of their swords. Look thou but sweet. And I am proof against the enmity.” (II.ii.76-78) and, “Or, if thou thinkest I am too quickly won, I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay, so thou wilt woo, but else not for the world. In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond, and therefore thou mayst think my havior light. But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true than those that have more coying to be strange. I should have been more strange, I must confess, but that thou overhears’st ere I was were my true-love passion. Therefore pardon me, and not impute this yielding light to love, which the dark night hath so discovered.” (II.ii.100-111). Although, in many cases, the lines taken out of one movie adaptation were present the the other; it just depends what the director found relevant and the most important to the plot itself.
Romeo and Juliet Quote 3
Image by: meetville.com1

As far as the actual scene itself, the graphic novel version and the 1968 film were incredibly similar, to the point where I question if the drawings in the novel were based off of the film. How the characters moved and interacted with each other were uncanningly similar. In both versions, Romeo sneaks into the Capulet’s back garden outside Juliet’s balcony, and he whispers to himself as he watches her stand there and talk to herself. He makes his presence known to her and then she panics, but is relieved after she realises it’s him. After discussing their situation, Romeo climbs a tree and meets Juliet on her balcony and they kiss and pledge their love to each other, and Juliet purposes that they get married the next day. After being called back by the nurse several times, Juliet eventually goes to leave, but then she calls Romeo back up to the balcony and they kiss again before they both exit.
Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel photo 1 Romeo and Juliet 1968 photo 1 Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel photo 2 Romeo and Juliet 1968 photo 3 Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel photo 4 Romeo and Juliet 1968 photo 2
(Screenshots from Romeo and Juliet – Balcony Scene – Compare and Contrast)
The film from 1996 was, in some ways, very different from the other two adaptations. In the beginning of the scene, Romeo enters over the fence and into the area near the pool behind Juliet’s house. Startled by a noise, Romeo then panics and, in attempt to hide, crashes into things knocking them over. Romeo then hides by the wall outside Juliet’s window in effort to remain unseen by the nurse; Juliet enters via elevator, and walks around the pool talking to herself as Romeo, unnoticed, listens. As Juliet is talking, Romeo sneaks up behind her, and then replies to her thought. Juliet is spooked by Romeo’s sudden appearance which causes her to scream and grab onto him as she falls into the pool, bringing him with her. Romeo then hides under the water as a guard comes in to check on things, and, upon only seeing Juliet in the pool, leaves shortly after. Romeo and Juliet, still in the pool, discuss their situation and feelings towards one another. After much discussion, Juliet starts to leave the pool, but, in a response to Romeo, runs back and falls back into the pool, again, bringing him with her. The scene ends similarly to the other renditions, as the nurse calls Juliet back to the house, and she eventually says her goodbyes to Romeo; after planning their wedding for the next day, and giving him a necklace before she leaves.
Romeo and Juliet 1996 photo 1
Image by: glogster.com

In any story, the atmosphere is very important to setting the overall mood of the story; many factors can contribute to a story’s atmosphere such as setting, music, pace, character behaviour, colours/lighting, etc. In the graphic novel, the pace was a lot slower than that of the movies, because it’s a novel, but it wasn’t too slow as to bore the reader. The House of Capulet seemed very large, as if belonging to a wealthy family, which the Capulet’s were. The colours used, around the setting and on the characters, seemed very fitting of the characters themselves and of the surroundings. Overall, the general atmosphere of the novel very well represents the intended feel of a theatre production of the same story.
Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel photo 5
Image by:
The 1968 film version was also successful in building a suitable atmosphere. The house very much suited the family it belonged to and the style of the time period, as did the clothes both characters were wearing. Of course, there was little lighting, as the scene took place at night, so the moodiness of the nature light from the moon and from the house lights set the scene very well. The music was well suited for the time period, and for what was happening during the scene. The pace was a little bit quick, but, considering the emotion happening at the time, it did not seem unnatural and, since the scene is rather long, it did not feel too rushed.
Romeo and Juliet 1968 photo 4
Image by: nhersi4167.commons.hwdsb.on.ca
Since the 1996 film was set in a different time period, the overall atmosphere was a bit different. The whole scene was a lot more modernized than the other versions, so the set had a lot more modern things like elevators; the house was also a lot more obviously fancy from the outside. The music very well complimented the scene itself and the emotions happening in the scene, changing when something different was experienced. The only issues I personally had with the mood of this rendition was that the dialogue did not really fit with the modernized feel of the movie. Everything was modernized apart from the dialogue, so it seemed very unnatural. Overall, the atmosphere got the general idea across.
Romeo and Juliet 1996 photo 2
Image by: piximggif.com

All of the differing portrayals of this scene work wonders for different aspects of it, and whichever you prefer depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. If you’re looking for a more authentic rendition to the original play, then the graphic novel would suit that well, whereas if you were looking for a more engaging, creative way of telling the same story, the 1968 version may be better suited for you. If you wanted to see a different take on the original story that has already been told in many different ways, then I would suggest the 1996. Most importantly, all forms capture the general feel of what Shakespeare was originally trying to portray, and set up the upcoming scenes perfectly.

Apr 19 2015

Gender, Pronouns, Orientations, etc.

*Revised on May 2, 2015
*Revised on May 16, 2015
*Revised on May 30, 2015
*Revised on May 31, 2015
*Revised on June 3, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015
I wanted to make a guide to some LGBTQA+ related topics that a lot of people don’t know too much about. Note that these are not complete lists; there are infinitely many types of genders and orientations, and ways to express them, because there are infinitely many ways a person can feel about these things. If I find more/better definitions, I will make sure to add or change them.

Gender identity is how a person sees themself or how they present themselves in their mind; gender is not the same as assigned sex. Assigned sex is what you are biologically assigned as at birth, and, even though often correlates with gender, it does not always. Gender expression is the physically appearance of how one presents one’s gender. This can sometimes line up with stereotypes or assumptions based on that gender, but doesn’t have to. Here is a list of only some specific gender identities and related terms:

afab– a person who was assigned female at birth (also sometimes referred to as dfab [designated female at birth])
agender– a person who feels disconnected from any certain gender, or lacks gender
amab– a person who was assigned male at birth (also sometimes referred to as dmab [designated male at birth])
androgyne– a person who presents as both feminine and masculine, but not female or male
androgynous– a person whose gender expression is not strictly feminine or masculine
bigender– a person who feels that they are two or more genders
cisgender– a person whose gender directly correlates with their assigned sex
demiboy– a person who identifies as partially or mostly male, but not entirely OR someone who usually identifies as male, but not always
demigirl– a person who identifies as partially or mostly female, but not entirely OR someone who usually identifies as female, but not always
female to male (ftm/f2m)– a person who was assigned female at birth and transitioned to male
female to non-binary (ftnb or ftx/f2nb or f2x)– a person who was assigned female at birth a transitioned to non-binary
gender nonconforming– a person who does not conform to any specific gender stereotypes or expectations
genderfluid– a person who feels as if their gender switches between two or more genders (this can sometimes a switch in name or pronouns as well)
genderflux– a person who experiences changes in their gender intensity (or can be thought of as genderfluidity between agender and another gender identity) OR it can be used as a noun (e.g. “I experienced very intense genderflux today.”) or a verb (e.g. “I genderflux, meaning that the intensity in my gender identity changes.”) [1]
genderqueer– a person who feels that they are not (just/always) the gender that correlates with their assigned sex OR an umbrella term meaning someone who is not cisgendered
intersex– a person who was born neither entirely female nor entirely male (does not directly correlate with gender)
male to female (mtf/m2f)– a person who was assigned male at birth and transitioned to female
male to non-binary (mtnb or mtx/m2nb or m2x)– a person who was assigned male at birth and transitioned to non-binary
non-binary– a person who feels that they are not (just/always) the gender that correlates with their assigned sex OR an umbrella term meaning someone who is not cisgendered or transgendered (similar to genderqueer)
pangender– a person who feels a connection to every/all genders
polygender– a person who feels as if they are two or more genders, but not all genders
third gender– a person who sees themself as not being female or male
trans*– a person who identifies as transgender or non-binary (not cisgender)
transgender– a person who feels that their gender is opposite to their assigned sex
transsexual– a person who has hormonally (hormone replacement treatment) or physically (surgery) transitioned to the gender opposite from their assigned sex [2]
trigender– a person who identifies as three separate genders
two spirit– a term used Aboriginal or Native American people who have both feminine and masculine characteristics and are seen as a third gender [3]

Agender/Androgyne/Androgynous/Genderqueet/Non-Binary Pride Flag
Image by: genderqueerid.com

Bingender/Intersex Pride Flag
Image by: commons.wikimedia.org

Genderfluid Pride Flag
Image by: commons.wikimedia.org

Transgender/Transsexual Pride Flag
Image by: rainbowdepot.com

Trigender Pride Flag
Image by: pride-flags-for-us.tumblr.com
If you are unsure of which gender a person identifies as, there is no shame in asking. That person will most likely appreciate that you asked, and would rather tell you than have you misgender them (call them/treat them like the wrong gender). However, if you learn that someone is non-binary or trans* in any way, be respectful of their privacy. It is totally okay to want to learn more, but there are certain questions that will make many trans* people uncomfortable, and they will most likely not want to answer you unless you are really close friends, and sometimes not even then. Some disrespectful questions that you should probably avoid are, “When are you getting surgery/where have you gotten surgery?” “Are you sure you’re not just gay?” “Am I still *insert sexuality here* if I am attracted to you?” and any questions about the person’s genitals, or any information about them/photos of them before they transitioned [4]. All of these questions are very disrespectful and will make most people uncomfortable, so please do not ask these types of questions.
Here is a video that further explains gender identity, gender expression, and gender roles.

Pronouns are generally gendered language that people use in second-person to speak about another person, and can change depending on someone’s gender. Pronouns do not have a specific gender that they correlate with; anyone of any gender can use any pronoun if it makes them feel comfortable. If you are unsure of which pronoun a person goes by, it’s completely okay to ask them.Here is a list of pronouns and a helpful chart on how to use some of them:



ze/zem/zir/zirs/zirself [5]


Image by: thenonbinary.tumblr.com

A sexual orientation, or sexuality, is a person’s sexual identity in relation to what genders (or lack thereof) they are sexually attracted to. Here is a list of sexual orientations and related terms:
ace spectrum– an umbrella for anyone who lacks sexual attraction in any way
allosexual– a person who experiences sexual attraction (not an asexual person)
androsexual/androphilic– a person who is only sexually attracted to males or masculinity
antisexual– a person who experiences a general dislike of sex or sexual activity (not to be confused with asexual)
asexual/ace– a person who does not experience sexual attraction
autochorissexual– a person who experiences sexual attraction, but has no desire to be a participant in any sexual activities [6]
bisexual– a person who experiences sexual attraction to two or more genders, including the gender that they identify as
cishet– a person who is cisgender, heterosexual, and heteroromantic
cupiosexual– a person who desires a sexual relationship despite not feeling sexual attraction
demisexual– a person who only experiences sexual attraction after a strong emotional bond is formed
graysexual/gray-asexual/grace– a person who very rarely experiences sexual attraction
gynesexual/gynephilic– a person who is only sexually attracted to females or femininity
heterosexual– a person who is sexually attracted to the opposite gender
homosexual– a person who is sexually attracted to the same gender as themselves
kalossexual– a person who desires a sexual relationship, but does not feel sexual attraction towards anyone in particular [7]
LGBTQA+– lesbian, gay/genderqueer, bisexual/bigender, trans*/transgender/transsexual, queer/questioning, agender/asexual/aromantic plus all of the other non-cishet identities
lithsexual– a person who experiences sexual attraction but does not want it to be reciprocated and has no desire to act upon this attraction [8]
pansexual– a person who is sexually attracted to people regardless of their gender/is attracted to every/all genders
polysexual-a person who is sexually attracted to (at least two/more than two) genders, but not all genders
queer– an unspecific way to label one’s non-heterosexual orientation OR an umbrella term for non-heterosexual orientations [9]
quoisexual– a person who finds it difficult to distinguish their sexual feelings
sapiosexual– a person who is sexually or spiritually attracted to intelligence
skoliosexual– a person who is only sexually attracted to non-binary and transgender people (not cisgender people) [10]

*Note: Gender and sexuality have no correlation (they are not related in any way).

Asexuality/Graysexuality Pride Flag
Image by: mrflag.com

Autochorissexuality Pride Flag
Image by: hunterinabrowncoat.tumblr.com

Bisexuality Pride Flag
Image by: amazon.com

Demisexuality Pride Flag
Image by: commons wikimedia.org

Homosexuality/LGBTQA+/Queer Pride Flag
Image by: crwflags.com

Pansexuality Pride Flag
Image by: equity.ubc.ca

Polysexuality Pride Flag
Image by: pinterest.com

Romantic attraction is a person’s romantic identity in relation to what genders (or lack thereof) they are romantically attracted to. Romantic attraction is different from sexual attraction. Even though romantic and sexual attractions are almost always the same; they do not have a specific correlation. This goes for romantic attraction and gender as well, there is no direct correlation. *Note: Many of these upcoming definitions will be similar to their sexual orientation equivalent, but I wanted to make it very clear that they are separate things. Here is a list of romantic orientations and related terms:
alloromantic– a person who experiences romantic attraction (not an aromantic person)
androromantic– a person who is only romantically attracted to males
antiromantic– a person who experiences a general dislike of romance and romantic activity (not to be confused with aromantic)
aro spectrum– an umbrella for anyone who lacks romantic attraction in any way
aromantic/aro– a person who does not experience romantic attraction
autochorisromantic– a person who feels romantic attraction, but has no desire to participate in any romantic acts
biromantic– a person who experiences romantic attraction to two more genders, including the gender that they identify as
cupioromantic– a person who desires a romantic relationship despite not feeling romantic attraction
demiromantic– a person who only experiences romantic attraction after a strong emotional bond is formed
grayromantic/gray-aromantic– a person who very rarely experiences romantic attraction
gyneromantic– a person who is only romantically attracted to females
heteroromantic– a person who is romantically attracted to the opposite gender
homoromantic– a person who is romantically attracted to the same gender as themselves
kalosromantic– a person who desires a romantic relationship, but does not feel romantic attraction to anyone in particular
lithromantic– a person who experiences romantic attraction but does not want it to be reciprocated and has no desire to act upon this attraction
panromantic– a person who is romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender/is romantically attracted to every/all genders
polyamory– a person who sometimes has consensual romantic or sexual relationships with multiple people at a time
polyromantic– a person who is romantically attracted to (at least two/more than two) genders, but not all genders
quoiromantic– a person who finds it difficult to distinguish romantic feelings from friendship
sapioromantic– a person who is romantically or spiritually attracted to intelligence
skolioromantic–  a person who is only romantically attracted to non-binary and transgender people (not cisgender people)

Aromantic Pride Flag
Image by: toqhbeifong.tumblr.com

Biromantic Pride Flag
Image by: devianart.com

Polyamory Pride Flag
Image by: commons.wikimedia.org

Finally, here is a video that summarizes all of the above and more.

If there are any questions regarding any of the above, or you have a gender, orientation, or pronoun you want me to add to the list, please let me know! Thank you.

[1] Casper. “Genderflux Information and Resources.” Hella Rad. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2015. <http://crushingthebinary.tumblr.com/genderflux>.
[2] “Bear without a Care.” Bear without a Care. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://kanayapapayas.tumblr.com/post/74436233946/heres-the-gender-section-of-the-posters-my-gsa>.
[3] Herbenick, Debby, and Aleta Baldwin. “What Each of Facebook’s 51 New Gender Options Mean.” The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 15 Feb. 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/15/the-complete-glossary-of-facebook-s-51-gender-options.html>.
[4] Ugwu, Reggie. “10 Questions It’s Never OK To Ask A Transgender Person.” BuzzFeed. Buzzfeed, Inc, 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://www.buzzfeed.com/reggieugwu/which-bathroom-do-you-use#.fxAjj8Bx9>.
[5] “Comprehensive List of Pronouns.” I Am Thirsty, Mortals. N.p., 23 Apr. 2015. Web. 31 May 2015. <http://synasthesiac.tumblr.com/post/117161601867/comprehensive-list-of-pronouns>.
[6] “A Glossary of Asexual and Aromantic-Related Terms.” Asexuals Anonymous,. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://asexualsanonymous.tumblr.com/glossary>.
[7] “Dear Non-Ace People…” – Acelyssie: Kalossexual: Desiring a Sexual… 5 June 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://dearnonacepeople.tumblr.com/post/87966101136/acelyssie-kalossexual-desiring-a-sexual>.
[8] “Glossary.” Asexuality Archive. WordPress, 22 Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://www.asexualityarchive.com/glossary/>.
[9]  “Saut Dans Le Vide.” Saut Dans Le Vide. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. <http://wirrows.co.vu/post/100285847121/hyourinmaruice-kanayapapayas-heres-the>.
[10] “Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Term Definitions.” Its Pronounced Metrosexual. Sam Killerman, n.d. Web. 31 May 2015. <http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2013/01/a-comprehensive-list-of-lgbtq-term-definitions/>.


Mar 28 2015

Journal Entry: 1595 vs. 1968 vs 2013

*Revised on May 28, 2015
*Revised on May 30, 2015
*Revised on June 3, 2015
*Revised on June 13, 2015
*Revised on June 16, 2015
There have been many adaptations of the story of Romeo and Juliet since the original story, and they are all told and presented creatively in different ways. This story has been created and recreated and reimagined so many times and in so many ways, but do all recreations honour the story like it deserves?


Image by: pinterest.com
The original telling of the story, written by Shakespeare, starts out with a scene between Gregory and Sampson, two men of the House of Capulet, discussing the quarrel between their masters and the Montagues. Then, the men meet a man called Abram, and a dispute begins to fall out. This cues Benvolio to enter and try to break up the fight before it got any worse. Benvolio’s efforts were shortly after stopped by Tybalt, and stirring up the fight even more. Soon after, the Capulets and the Montagues themselves entered and took part in the ruckus, which was quickly cut off by the Prince, letting all those involved know that they needed to stop causing fights in the streets, and if he caught them fighting again, it would be punishable by death. All departed apart from Mr. and Mrs. Montague and Benvolio, to which then the Montagues confessed their worries about the current state of their son, Romeo. Benvolio later approaches Romeo about his troubles, which reveals that Romeo is in love with Rosaline Capulet, niece of Capulet himself. Benvolio insists that Romeo try to forget about this girl, but it is of no avail to Romeo.
In parallel time, in the House of Capulet, a man by the name of Paris approaches Capulet and asks permission to marry his daughter; Capulet is hesitant to the idea, because Juliet, his daughter, is so young, but he is not opposed to the concept of Juliet and Paris together. Juliet, however, does not dream to be married yet, but she agrees to meet Paris and get along with him.
In disguise, Romeo, Benvolio, and some other friends tag along to a party and the Capulet residence, which, not too long after, is where Romeo first spots Juliet, and immediately falls in love. Romeo then takes it upon himself to pursue Juliet, taking her by the hand and then kissing her, forming reciprocating feelings in her. Only later do both kids realise that they have both fallen for the child of their family’s greatest foes. 

The movie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in 1968 generally followed the path of the play rather well. The story in this version did seem to move slower than the original pace. The costume choices for this movie seemed a little cheap for the high status of the main families, but suited the time period. They also used the costumes to differentiate between the two families, the Capulets wearing red, and the Montagues wearing blue. The background music is similar to the choice of dress in which it suits the time period, but the instruments seemed very out of tune at times, which seems unprofessional for the settings of the film.

Image by: fanpop.com
The casting of the main characters, Romeo and Juliet, did not seem to really fit the roles. Although their acting fit the personalities of those they were portraying, their physical appearances did not seem to fit their characters, specifically their ages. There was also an inserted dance scene in this adaptation, which took a very long time. The lighting in the House of Capulet during the party seemed very dark and moody, although that could just be because of the time it was filmed and the equipment it was filmed with.

The immediate relationship between Romeo and Juliet seemed very forced and unnatural, contrary to how it is supposed to come across as; Romeo seems very assertive and Juliet seems uncomfortable in the beginning.
Overall, this version of the story does follow the original play very closely, using most of the scenes and dialogue and doesn’t stray from the general idea of the play. There are a few additional scenes and some creative decisions made by the director that did take place outside of the authentic story, but they do not take away from the story being true to it’s roots.


Image by: imdb.com
One of the more current versions of this tale was released only two years ago in 2013. This rendition was much faster paced than either of the two versions mentioned before it. The overall story was respected, but much was changed. These two families had scheduled tournaments every year in which they could compete, and the origins of the initial fight were changed. The overall acting in this film seemed unnecessarily over dramatic. The actors in this movie seemed to fit their roles even worse than those in the 1968 film, especially Romeo, who is supposed to be 13, but looks about 18. The choice of costume seemed to better fit the suggested financial status of both the families in this movie, but the colours were switched compared to the other film; the Capulets were in blue and the Montagues in red, which, personally, seemed to fit the families better. This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet seemed to be a lot more influenced by creative justice, specifically in the sense of the dialogue. There were direct quotes from the original, but there were also a lot more additional lines added. In the scene of Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting, Romeo seems to get creepier a lot faster, and Juliet seems a lot more confident, and shows more immediate attraction to Romeo, contrary to the play. These characters did not seem to capture the same aura of the ones they were based off of. The kiss scene seemed a lot more aggressive, adding creepiness because this was their first interaction.
Although this version had obvious influences from the original play, a lot was changed, especially compared to the earlier film, which was very close in parallel to the play. The concept was modernized; subtracting ideas that might confuse viewers that do not have prior knowledge of the story, and replacing them. Modernization is not a bad thing, but it did not seem to help get the message of the story across in this instance.

Final Comparison
All three versions have their similarities and differences between them. Of course, the storyline was the same in all renditions, but they did have some unique aspects to them individually as well. The 1968 version seemed to be truer to the original Shakespeare play, but the 2013 adaptation was more experimental with the original concepts and produced something new out of a tale that had been told a thousand times before, so one’s opinion of which film is better would come out of what one were looking to get out of the film. Of course, this story is very famous, so if one is planning to retell the story, it is probable that more changes would be made as the story grows older, and as more renditions are born. This age-old love story will continue to be told and remembered in many different ways, because the impact of the play in it’s originality has already stayed relevant for so many years. This story is so easy to recreate and manipulate, so it will continue to be so.