When Words Mock

Below is a VERY short story that I wrote as I procrastinated (should’ve been working on my research paper, or an actual analysis) and posted on my Facebook account the other day. It only seemed fair to share with you. Please feel free to comment. :-)

When Words Mock

by Bernadette Rocha

26 Jan. 2015

“Excuse me? You want to do what now?” The student stared in disbelief as the words on the page she read from kept shifting its focus. It was as if the story knew it was being analyzed, and was doing everything in its power to tell her to go and take a hike. Literally, the page changed its entire structure into a stunning piece of word art which read, “take a hike.” She was dumbfounded. Never before had she been so rudely spoken to by a work of fiction. Then again, never before had fiction ever spoken to her.

Then, a light bulb shone in her mind. Much to her chagrin, the page shifted to read, “a mind can only shine so bright when there is hardly any grey matter to shield the photons from passing through.”

Grabbing the nearest eraser, she tried to erase the words on the page that so blatantly mocked her. They simply jumped around, avoiding the object. Screaming, she tried to rip the paper apart. To her dismay, each character leaped off the page, avoiding the flames, which by now had set fire to the curtains and bedspread through wildly flown embers.

The characters gathered before the door, climbing atop one another, creating the form of a laughing face. She grabbed a pen and ran at the face, stabbing wildly.

“Julianna! Julianna! Wake up!”

Opening her eyes, she looked about her. Her roommate, Sophie, was standing next to her, wide eyed. She, herself, had apparently fallen asleep while staying up late to work on a Literary Analysis, only to have the analysis work on her!

-Bernadette Rocha
26 Jan 2015

Gift Giving

Bernadette Rocha, 24 Dec. 2014

A true gift comes from the heart and doesn’t necessarily need to come from the pocket. While jewelry, clothes, books, and etc are nice, it only really shows that the person giving such a gift happened to remember the occasion, whatever it may be. It is widely expected as well as encouraged for one, at least in American society, to exchange gifts on birthdays and Christmas. Therefor, department stores, jewelers, toy stores, and etc have chosen to seize this golden opportunity, ultimately capitalizing upon it.

Advertisements flood the vision of helpless consumers, catching them unaware. No doubt advertisement companies put out ads that play upon our subconscious minds, meaning that it is highly likely that they hired psychologists to figure out how to create ads people would respond to, whether they know it or not. If you are still unsure, just look at the current Christmas commercials depicting Santa Clause and whatever product he is selling — usually to adults. Seeing Santa will likely dredge up your childhood memories. You will remember how anxious you were for Christmas morning to come so that you can run down stairs, grab a neatly wrapped gift with your name on the tag, and rip it open. The rush of ripping the gift rap apart, and seeing whatever cool thing you were given is enough to make anyone have those warm fuzzy moments of remembrance. After the image of Santa (or his reindeer or elves) is brought up, all an advertisement company must then do is show the product they are selling or the store they want you to come to. By showing Santa next to the product, they are ensuring that you, the consumer (who is now educated), will be conditioned by equating their product with something good, and then begin buying it, or going to certain stores.

Many people have a hard time deciding what gifts to purchase during the holiday season because so many businesses are using this psychological scheme to vie for your attention, and therefor business. When people stop and remember what the meaning of the holiday itself is (open to their own interpretation), they will likely have an easier time when deciding what gifts to provide and for whom. It is even better when you can personalize this gift.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself. Thou must bleed for me. Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a stone; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.”

If you have some kind of talent, then use it to your advantage. A musician can produce a song for his beloved, a child can do arts and crafts, a teenager can clean up the house and cook for the family, a Writer can write a blog post to his or her readers, etc. The art of writing letters seems to be a thing of the past, but it is such a beautiful thing that should be resurrected. Whatever the gift is, whether it is a thoughtful gift out of the pocket, or a gift of talent, the result should always be from the heart.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Learning to Type in a Foreign Language

Bernadette Rocha, 22 Dec. 2014

One thing that I have learned during my awkward and slow journey to learn and master the Korean language is this: It is extremely important to also learn how to type in Korean.

In order to do so, I typed “virtual Korean keyboard” into my favorite search engine and chose one of the links provided. Then, I magnified the page until the letters were slightly bigger than the letters on my physical keyboard and took a screen shot and printed it. Then, I cut each letter and placed taped it with tiny cuts of tape on its corresponding key on my laptop’s keyboard. I then practiced typing each key and tried to type out words.

You might be asking yourselves why I’d even bother doing something like that. Wouldn’t learning the language be enough?

For me, sure, it’d be enough to simply learn a language and leave it at that. But where’s the fun in that? Besides, my reasoning behind this, and why I also believe schools should provide (if they don’t already) a corresponding typing lab when teaching a new language, is that, JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING requires internet and computer use these days, whether it be school, work, or even down time on that good ol’ social media.

Someday, I’d like to go to school in S. Korea, even if it were to be only for a summer. When there, in addition to classes in English (if even offered), I’m sure I’d have to take a couple (or even all) classes in Korean. Which means, there would probably come a time when I’d also have to write one or more essays in the language as well. How many schools these days still accept handwritten essays? Not many, I’m betting.

Learning to type in a foreign language isn’t too difficult. Depending on the type of computer you own, you might even already have the fonts pre-installed, such as I did. A quick search on my favorite search engine brought me to a site that showed me via pictures exactly how to activate such fonts and be able to toggle my keyboard back and forth in between languages.

Of course, being able to type in a foreign language means you also need to have at least a basic grasp of that language’s alphabet. For me, I can write the Korean alphabet and sound each letter out phonetically, though I don’t know to this day which order the letters go in or even what each letter’s name is. One day, I played a song I liked, “Crooked” by G-Dragon, on a loop. While doing so, I looked up the Korean lyrics to the song and wrote them all down. By the time I was finished hand-copying the lyrics down, I realized that I knew what sound each letter made. There were very few left that weren’t in the song, and through other songs, I mastered those as well.

Time to master typing. Practice makes perfect. I still remember the time when I could only type about 40 wpm in English, my first language! Now, I can type around 70-80 wpm. So, even if I can only type a few Korean words per minute right now, I know that with practice and perseverance, I can type equally as fast in the future.

I challenge those of you who are learning a foreign language who can’t type in that language to push yourselves to try. You never know what good things will come out of having done so!

North Korean Internet Shutdown

Bernadette Rocha, 22 Dec. 2014

Imagine my surprise when I logged onto CNN this evening only to find out that the North Korean Internet had been shut down for several hours. Many thoughts ran through my head as I tried to process this. At first, I thought that I had read the article wrong. Then, after reading it again, and reading other articles online, I realized that it was true.

Since I don’t believe for a second that N. Korea hacked Sony, here are my two theories about what went down:
Theory 1:

Someone hacked Sony and did their best to make it look like N. Korea did it so that whoever it was could have a scapegoat ready for when they decided to take down N. Korea’s internet. Whoever it was did it to try and make it seem like the US was retaliating. Naturally, N. Korea would become extremely ticked off. Should we be worrying about real attacks from them? Furthermore, since I speculate that neither N. Korea or US was behind either problem, rather than making fun of what happened in N. Korea, we should be worried. Who is truly behind this, and what do they gain from starting problems?

Theory 2:

Since N. Korea got ticked off that US kept accusing N. Korea of attacks, they threatened to attack US. US decided to do a preemptive attack, effectively shutting down N. Korea’s internet service. Since this is the speculation, I surmise that the internet was only allowed back on later on after talks between our two countries. The talks, I would guess, were probably along the lines of letting them know that US figured out who actually hacked Sony, and to let them know that it won’t happen again, and that there is no reason for war.

Let me know if you disagree, agree, or have any theories of your own!

Peace!

Meet Ayana, my New OC

Here is some artwork I did of my OC (Original Character) Ayana. Ayana is a character in a story I am working on. I found that it helps me visualize better when there is an actual visual. I hope you like it.

I drew the picture on paper with pencil first, and then uploaded the image to my desktop. After, I imbedded the image in InkScape and used the tools to go over my drawing. Then, after I was satisfied enough, I deleted the sketch underneath and added some more minor details.

Hope you like it!

AyanaAyanaAyana

My name is Ayana, and I am the creation of Bernadette Rocha. :-)

Check out some of my poetry via DeviantArt Site: http://irishberdie.deviantart.com

-Bernadette Rocha

19 Dec. 2014

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Pakistan Begins Three Days of Mourning After Peshawar Massacre

Bernadette:

That’s so sad, so many kids…

Originally posted on TIME:

Pakistanis were in mourning Wednesday after a brutal attack on an army-run school in Peshawar by Taliban militants claimed more than 140 lives, 132 of them children.

Islamabad announced the commencement of a three-day mourning period. Vigils were held across the country as the nation struggled to come to terms with the brutality exhibited in one of the deadliest single-day attacks in the country since the Pakistani Taliban launched its insurgency seven years ago.

In Peshawar, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on officials from all parties to attend a multiparty conference this week, where they hope to present a unified front against terrorism.

Opposition stalwart Imran Khan, who has previously sought reconciliation with the Taliban, joined the litany of voices on Tuesday condemning the indiscriminate slaughter.

“Fight with men, not innocent children,” said the former cricket star, according to the New York Times.

The deliberate targeting of children appears…

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