Can Virtual Reality Really Compare?

Virtual realty isn’t something that I’ve actually had the pleasure to try out… yet. Seriously though, I think Virtual Reality is something that would be quite amazing to check out. But can Virtual Reality replace Actual Reality? I’m not so sure.

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Sure Virtual Reality is totally awesome. You can see some amazing things without actually being there. You can swim with sharks in the great depths of an ocean, or you could watch an eagle up close as it pierces the air while it flies. Virtual Realities generate realistic sounds and images to appeal to the user. A person could look around their artificial world and see things they’ve never seen before. It creates a life-like experience. All you need to do is put on a headset (of sorts), slide in your phone, and you’re ready. You can actually be in your game fields, watch a movie with a perfect view, and you could train for real life situations. What’s not to love?

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Not too long ago, I found out that some schools are even using these Virtual Realities to go on “field trips”. Except the field trips aren’t things like skiing, or going to the museum. Not by a long shot. They’re more like, “oh hey, let’s go see the Great Wall of China!” Now those are the type of field trips I want to have. But then again, are you really going on a field trip at all? I mean, sure you’re going to see it, but it isn’t really happening. You aren’t really experiencing it. Everything you feel is happening, is not actually happening.

Personally, I don’t think Virtual Reality could  ever  replace Actual Reality. What would happen if everyone was so engrossed in their virtual world, they stop living in the real world?

I think it would be pretty upsetting to experience so much in your virtual world, only to come back to reality a few moments later knowing that none of it actually happened.

Despite all of this, I also think that Virtual Realities are a really great thing. Let’s say that someone has trouble speaking in front of large groups of people. They could practice speaking in a virtual world. It would reduce the stress, since the person would know it isn’t real, but at the same time they would be improving their speaking skills, because soon enough they’ll be so used to speaking in front of crowds, when they see the real thing, it wouldn’t be all that different.

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It would also be useful if a person just wants a sort of  escape. Sometimes people just need some time to get away from the real world, they need a way to leave all their troubles of the world behind them. Just go ahead for a few moments and forget to look back. Just follow the path until you get so far ahead you can no longer see what you left behind. But the thing is, if they do go, would they ever come back? Would they ever actually want to return to the real world? With all the pleasures of the Virtual world, they wouldn’t really ever want to come back.

Personally, if I ever got to go into some sort of Virtual Reality, I doubt I would ever want to leave. I have always wondered what it would be like to live in a jungle, just imagine if I got the chance to. I’d probably forget what the real world is like. And that’s the problem.

So yeah, Virtual Realities have their pros and cons, but the question really is, do  you think they could ever replace the world we live in?

Fly on

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The Residential Schools

I am positive that everyone reading this is well aware of everything that has happened with the residential schools. But really, have any of you done ever everything to show that you are not okay with it? I know that it isn’t going on anymore, but I think we need to realize that perhaps the scars may fade, but a person’s memory of those tragic times are eternal.

Residential schools are no little thing. Personally, I cannot imagine having to go through that. Having to leave my home and my family, no longer being allowed to practice my religion, being stripped of every reminder of where I come from. Having my hair cut because someone else doesn’t like it. Being abused both physically and mentally. Being treated like I’m nothing. Feeling inferior because I am different. Being looked down on. Would you want that? Would anyone want that?

The residential schools were designed to eradicate any sense of Indian-ness. They denied us the opportunity to learn about ourselves.

-Phil Fontaine

It is not okay to treat others badly because they don’t believe in what you do. Because they don’t look like you. Because they don’t act like you. It may be over now, but is it really? People still remember it, and to me, that feels like far from over. The residential schools were made to take away a person’s identity, to take away who that person is, and fill that hole with who they want them to be.

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To me, reconciliation means to restore our friendship. To show them that although we may have not gone through the same thing they have, we share their pain. We have to show them that we support them. All of us are equal. No matter where we come from, how we dress, what we believe in, our skin color. None of it matters, because, when you really think about it, we’re all humans.

We all know about the horrible past, so we can help change the future by showing support for those that have suffered. One of the easiest way is to wear an orange shirt on Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day may not seem all that important to you, but do you know the reason behind it? It is about a girl name Phyllis Webstad. When she was going to her residential school, her mother had bought her a beautiful , bright orange shirt for her first day. But what happened was that when she arrived, feeling incredibly proud of her wonderful shirt, her shirt was taken from her, and she never got to see it again. So we can support the Indigenous children by participating on every September 30th. We can show them that we know about it, and we want it to change.

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We can also help reconcile by learning the truth about what happened. A lot of us think that the residential schools are old news, but really, the last school to shut down was actually in 1996. Not all that long ago if you think about it. We also think that not too many kids had to go, but that is far from the truth. 150 000 children were taken from their homes and forced to attend the residential schools. And a lot of the poor children were treated horribly. They had been expecting a normal school, but instead got a place where they were rejected, forced to all act one way, abused when they did something wrong, locked in dark basements for entire nights. We would be crazy to think that the kids weren’t getting the slightest bit fed up by all of this. And some had even tried to run away, but didn’t get far. The schools were often built far away from the children’s homes.

It is beyond important that we all become aware of what happened, because, although many of us did not have anything to do with it, it still happened. We may not have anything to do with it, but seriously, we didn’t have anything to do with preventing it either. It happened because no one tried to stop it. Now you might be asking why the Indigenous people didn’t fight back. The answer’s simple, because they didn’t know. They had thought that their children were going to get a better education, and, as parents, they wanted what was best for their kids. So really, if you think none of this has anything to do with you, think again. We didn’t start it, but it’s not like we can say that we stopped it either. This is one of the biggest ways it had impacted me. When I was younger, I thought that they had nothing to do with me, since I wasn’t the reason for them, but, like I just said, I was wrong. I think that you should take your knowledge, then do some extra research. Compare what you know to what you don’t know. Then compare what you do know to the truth. How far off base are you?

Now imagine if we all did something to help the Indigenous community. To show that we support them. How different would everything be from how it is now?

Fly on

Take Action

In class, I was told to visit this one “Digital Bytes” website and in the beginning, I didn’t see why I needed to. I had thought it was going to be talking about a bunch of boring tech stuff. What I wasn’t expecting was to see something motivational. So of course, that was what I saw. Digital Bytes is all about how someone can influence the digital world that we all live in.

Let me tell you about what this website did to me. When I went onto the website, and scrolled down a bit and saw a question asking me what I felt like at the moment: a pioneer, a creator, a doer, or a thinker. Unsure of what to click, I did the whole “Eenie meenie miney mo” thing, and landed myself on doer, so that was what I clicked on. From there it gave me a few questions from which I was supposed to choose one. The questions were definitely not what I was expecting to see, but one question in particular really caught my eye: “Can one individual’s effort really make a difference?”

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When I read that, the first thing that came to my mind was “not really, no.” I was wrong. There was a short video attached that I watched, and seriously, that had to have been the most motivational two minutes if my life. Well, okay, maybe not literally but you know what I mean.

The video talked all about how there are several problems all over the world, but the reason no one is doing anything, is because they feel as though their actions will mean nothing.  Then the whole rest of the video was just motivating watchers to get up and do something. We should never feel like what we do won’t help anyone, when in reality, it could be our one action that causes someone to feel like they are being supported.

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In the end of the video, there were another three questions listed, I chose the question asking about which part of the most. This was my answer, “I think what really struck me the most is how they tell us that every persons effort can make a difference. It is true, so much horrible stuff is going on and no one does anything because they feel as though what they do will not change anything. But this video talks about how each person can have an impact. If there is an issue, just a single person showing their support can cause a chain reaction to occur. If someone is afraid, one person standing up to help them can inspire other people to do the same. One person can make a difference, but they just need to find it in themselves to stand up and take action.”

It’s nothing much, but it is something, because sometimes, what one person says, can be the cause of change.

Fly on

Notebook

Turns out inventing something isn’t as easy as it seems. Even thinking of something to invent is near impossible. So much has already been invented, what’s left for me? It isn’t as though I’m actually trying to invent something, just thinking of something that I could invent. Something that would really help people out. That’s my latest assignment: what if I was the one to create the next big thing? What would it be and how would it help?

Now that I really think about it, I wouldn’t want it to be something really fancy. Just something that would help out. It doesn’t have to be something that’ll end poverty, because there is no way I’d be able to come up with something like that. I think something helped with school, more specifically, studying.

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I don’t know about other people, but to me, I find it easier to study, with someone else asking me questions. If I ask myself, for some reason, it just doesn’t have the same feeling to it. I feel like I still don’t know it. Maybe that’s just me, but maybe it’s other people too. And if it is other people, you would know that sometimes it gets a little difficult studying with other people. At times it is better to be around others to study, but sometimes, other people can be distractions. Having someone else that can get in the way of your studying is a pretty big problem, especially if they, themselves, don’t even want to study.

In my Science class, we organize our notes by using the left side of the page for questions we should know how to answer after learning the lesson. The right side is for the notes you take during class. and the bottom three lines is for a summary. So, I think it would be neat to have a notebook that comes with a special pen. The notebook would already have the different sections for your questions, notes, and summary. Then, you could use your pen and whatever section of the page you tap, your pen would read that part out to you, but wait a little bit for you between each question, giving you time to answer.

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Different people have different ways of studying. Some only need to read, to remember. Some need to rewrite their notes, and some need to hear their notes being read aloud. Some people can do all three (I can do all three, although I’m best with just reading my notes myself, but have someone ask me the questions). This would help people that need to hear the notes being read aloud. It would also help people like me, that need to have someone ask them the question.

This would not only help with studying, but it would also help with organizing your notes, which would help people that only need to read their notes, since it would keep everything a little more neat.

So yeah, it’s not to complicated. Just a little notebook that reads your notes, summaries and questions out to you, with giving you enough time to answer any question asked. I know it’s not much, but I think that it would be pretty helpful. What do you think?

Fly on

Summer’s Out- Forever

Or… at least until next summer. But then again, next summer feels so far away. It is a dangerous quest, getting to the end of this school year. Wish me luck, for I may not make it out of this alive. Okay, maybe that was a slight overreaction, but seriously, school is something that is so unbelievable long, it hurts my head just thinking about it. Yup, I’m one of those teens that isn’t overly happy school’s started again. Especially since I had a totally awesome summer.

I spent my summer in New York, people! It was awesome! Like, seriously, by far, this was the best summer ever. See, I live pretty far from all the rest of my cousins, and we barely ever get to talk to each other, so this summer was pretty great. We went to Flushing (at least, I think that was it, I’m pretty sure I’m right but, well, you know), Brooklyn and Virginia. Brooklyn was my favorite, ’cause that’s where my favorite cousins live. So, naturally, we spent most of our time there.

Flushing (um. . .) was nice to, we checked out Time’s Square twice, and each time my amazing uncle bought me one of those really big pretzels. You know, the delicious ones? Yeah, I’m kind of obsessed with them, they’re great. But what I didn’t like was that we were supposed to go to go to Six Flags, but then we ended up going to Virginia, so I didn’t get to go! It majorly sucked. Especially since I was looking forward to it since the moment we arrived. But whatever. At least we went  on The Staten Island Ferry, that was amazing. I really love the water. It’s amazing to see the waves crashing, and feel the wonderful breeze, it really is something. Check it out sometime, if you ever get the chance.

Virginia was also pretty neat. We went to some mall (I can’t remember its name) and I am actually being very serious when I say this- it was huge. Like, mega big. We went early in the morning, and came back at around 5:00-6:00. My cousins probably had the most fun, though. They were running in and out of stores while my mother and I were just like, “Yeah, okay. We’re the ones on vacation here, but please, act as though you are.” So yeah, overall, it was a blast. The best part was that my brother didn’t get to come. He needed new shirts and pants because my mom accidentally put his in the washer with a bunch of pink stuff, ruining all of his clothes. It was awesome. I just sat back and laughed as he held up a pair of his favorite grey—now pink—pants.

But, like I said earlier, Brooklyn was the best. We only have one family that lives there, but it is a pretty big family- eight kids, and two parent. So, yeah, big family. Add in my family, and you get a very happy me. But something tragic did happen, someone passed away- three someones actually. See, my cousin (he’s seventeen), he had four chickens (who has chickens these days?), and he loved them… a lot. He’d always take me and my brother to their backyard, to hold the chicken, but my brother would never touch it. I was sure that it was going to peck me to my death, but actually, they were pretty gentle. One of them tried to peck at my necklace a little, but it was cool. We’re friends. So, I did get pretty close to the chickens, but then one day, early in the morning, when only my 17 year old cousin and his mother were awake, it happened. The chickens were attacked by a cat. And my cousin had to watch as his poor chickens were devoured by the bloodthirsty beast. He tells me that it was a gruesome battle, and only one of the chickens made it out alive. I swear, he makes that chicken sound like some kind of hero. He is now not only a chicken, but a warrior as well… Pfft! Yeah right!

Anyways, when we all woke up, we come downstairs and see him staring out of the window, but I actually kind of ignored him. Then later that day, he took me out back, and dude, their cage was literally covered in blood and feathers. Needless to say, his sisters, my brother and I found it rather funny, but man was he angry at us. He didn’t talk to us for, like, seven minutes! *Gasp* After that, he insisted on keeping their last chicken in the garage. His dad wasn’t too happy, but eventually agreed. Then some time in the afternoon my cousin called all of us outside to attend the chickens funeral. My brother and I were kind of standing awkwardly to the side, cracking some stupid  jokes, while he’d turn around and glare at us every now and then. They even put a stone over their grave, my brother and I told them to write stuff like “A brother, a husband, a friend.” We were asked to leave the funeral. We refused. What was really funny was that the three chickens were all shoved into one grave.

My cousin tried to get me to name his last chicken, but I actually couldn’t think of anything. Like, what was I supposed to say, “Oh, hey, call him Bob!” Yeah, how about no? It’s not like it mattered either way, the last chicken died too. I kind of feel bad for my cousin, poor guy was heart broken. He literally had a dark cloud floating on top of him. But he perked right up once the food was served.

We even went to a big park while in Brooklyn. It was nice, I spent the first half hour just swinging (I always loved it), but when I got off, I was actually about to throw up. So anyways, we all had fun, then about half way through, my 12 year old cousin comes up to me and tells me she wants to take a walk. See, the park had a trail that joggers, well, jog on, so we walked on the path for a bit. Not too long later, the path split into two sections, one normal path and another beat up, dirt path. So, of course, we took the beat up path. We walked for what felt like a half hour, and then we came across a place where the path split into two again, and this is the creepy part.

There was some dude standing there, and we were like, “Okay, what do we do?” And it wasn’t like we even knew the way we came, so we were just standing there dumbly, and the guy was all like, “Oh hey, come this way.” And let me tell you, he sounded very happy. He was seriously so happy, it was just creepy. We stood there for a few moments wondering what to do next, when eventually we took the path he told us to (I know, we shouldn’t have done it, but hey, we actually had no idea where we were). What really creeped me out was that the dude insisted on walking behind us, so my cousin and I kept sneaking glances back at him, but he wasn’t holding a knife to either of our backs, so we were okay. Turns out he was actually just a good citizen trying to show us our way out. But still, when we were leaving, he very cheerfully called out, “Bye!” So the second we got out of sight of him we ran as fast as we could, turning around every now and then to make sure he wasn’t following us. And we even took some random turns, and hid behind trees every now and then.

What sucked the most though was that when we got back, we came across our little sisters who were, apparently, “worried” about us and were trying to find us. Yeah right, like we were going to believe that. So we just told them off and to “get lost”, I swear, you do not want to see tiny 9 year olds getting angry. It’s just so weird, since they’re trying to act cool, but they actually look pathetic. They gave us the cold-shoulder for two days, it was mad creepy. And then we came across her brother (also running on the path) and his face was completely red, and he was breathing so heavily, so of course, we worried and starting asking him what was wrong. Worst decision ever. He literally gave us a lecture about how he was sooooooo worried, and how he didn’t know where we were, and some other stuff that I tuned out.

So yeah, I guess it would be a tiny stretch to say that I had a normal summer, but, normal or not, it was definitely the best summer ever. Try and beat it, I dare you.

Fly on

I Don’t Know

Photo Credit: Magdalena Roeseler Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Magdalena Roeseler Flickr via Compfight cc

I don’t know what to say, 

I don’t know how to find my way.

Lost in the dark, no place to go,

 I don’t know how to find my way home.

I don’t know what to do,

 I don’t know where to go to.

Cold and dark, in the night.

 Sitting alone, waiting for the morning light.

I don’t know what I see, 

I don’t know what is standing before me.

Is it something, is is nothing at all, 

Is it a person, should I raise my voice and call?

I don’t know, is it a person, whom I can trust?

I don’t know if I should go to them, or walk alone through the dust.

I’ve decided my own way, no place to go,

 Stuck in the dark, all on my own.

Fly on,

Eeman

My Extra Classes- Week 7

Photo Credit: indiariaz Flickr via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: indiariaz Flickr via Compfight cc

Hi, Hola, Bonjour, Ni Hau, *some other form of greeting*. Sorry, I wasn’t sure how to start this post. Okay, so, hi, how are you? Whoa, now I just sound weird. You know what? I think I’ll just jump right in, before I start arguing with myself about how to greet you guys. This weeks challenge had a lot of options, but I chose to write about something that relates to schooling all around the world. So, as you probably know, every school teaches their students some form of language. For example, all around Canada, teachers teach their students French. Well, you want to hear something cool? At my school, we learn Arabic. I bet you weren’t expecting that, were you? Usually people would say that they learn French, or Spanish or something, but not me. I’m learning Arabic. Okay, well, maybe not this semester, but I am going to learn it next semester, but it’s not like it will be something new for me. Oh, hey, you want to hear something kind of depressing? Well, I’ve been learning Arabic since I was in grade 4, and I’m in grade 9 now, but I don’t know how to say anything more than hello, how are you, and I’m fine. Sad I know, but give me a break alright, language classes have never really been my strong suit, but I do know how to just say some random words like chair, table, shirt, boy, girl, basically stuff like that. Yes, I know, I am very intelligent. Yup, you can’t beat me when it comes to learning other languages, I’m the ace! Ha ha.

Well, your probably wondering why we are taught Arabic, right? Well, allow me to explain. I, being a Muslim, go to an Islamic school. Over here we actually have three classes that aren’t usually taught in other schools. What are those classes,you may be wondering? Let me tell you, they are Quran, Islamic Studies, and Arabic, and I can pretty much guarantee that you guys aren’t taught these in your school, unless you happen to go to my school, or some other Islamic school. Well, now that I’ve told you that, the thing is, the Quran is written in Arabic, so if I learn Arabic, I would be able to understand what is written without having to go online and look for the translation. Also it is very important in my religion that I understand what the Quran is trying to teach us. Cool, right? Well, it would be, if I could remember anything I learn. Okay, well, I’m not a hopeless case, I do know some things, just nothing important. But I do know some useful phrases like “Are these snakes poisonous?” and “But you’re too young to be a police officer!” Just stuff like that. Well, I bet you weren’t expecting that, and yes, I actually do know those phrases, I would write them out for you, but I stink at transliteration, if you want to know how to say them, check out Google Translate, I’m sure it will help you. So… yeah. Anyways, thanks for clicking in.

Fly on,

Eeman