Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Speech: "From Who Is Aadil Malik to I Am Aadil Malik!"

Today was the day. Speech 2. The explanation of the transformation from last year to this year. From "Who Is..." to "I am Aadil Malik".

From Who Is to I Am
It’s kind of dumb
But um, this transformation from being a bum to becoming the one
Who leads others, is simply a dream for some

But you see I had never dreamt this dream
Never imagined that this would be reality
In actuality, four or five years ago, this wouldn’t be me
I wouldn’t be standing here giving this speech
Instead, I would be sitting at home, on my sofa, watching TV
Happy with getting F’s and C’s
Happy with being lazy
Happy with no prosperity
Happy with a lack of capacity

I would have never asked myself, Who is Aadil Malik?

Because we, as humanity, have a tendency to fear what we do not know
And what I didn’t know back then was the twist of fate my future had in store

A simple, rhetorical question
That spread like a pestilent disease
Eight words with determination, explanation, fascination, asked and answered with such ease -
Eight charged words that exploded out of my speech
Those eight words being:
Who is Aadil Malik?
I am Aadil Malik!

Aadil Malik-
The man who stands firmly when asked to be brought down
No fret, no frown
Like Chris Brown
Ayo Breezy, look at me now!

Speaking of that song, forget Busta Rhymes
Sometimes I rhyme like I’m inside Einstein’s mind
Finding the rhymes that chime with mine
Like a kind of mind that finds which rhymes align to those that are assigned with mine
These lines that intertwine by their rhymes that shine
You’re inclined to wonder how I combined these lines in due time
That have absolutely nothing to do with my speech
Yet I have managed to define my ability.

And you all had no idea what I just said.

But listen clearly, this isn’t about my resume
Don’t be fooled, I don’t want to be another player in that game
Those eight words exploded out of my ribcage
As a cry out to those who don’t believe me when I say
I am Aadil Malik.

As President, I have realized how much responsibility it takes
I have conquered many milestones, but I've also made mistakes.
Indeed, don't be fooled, I've got more faults than a map of earthquakes.
Just like you, I'm not perfect, but I've realized the distinction between being real, or fake. So, I'm sorry if I've created an illusion that I do things for an ego's sake, because truly pride is as inferior to me as a man to a snake.

It isn’t about me.
In fact it isn’t about you either.
It’s about ALL OF us.

We together are one diverse body of students that have the ability to change the school
We are all Presidents of our student body that have the power to create something cool
I am no one without all of you

Of course, you will see all the dances, assemblies, all the dress down days, the Facebook page,
You will continue to see all the new ideas this year’s council has portrayed
But something that I have learned this year from my mistakes
Is that my goal isn’t ONLY to bring an honor to this place

My goal is to bring an honor to the students I represent
My goal is to improve your experience at CCS
My goal is to help you to make your mark here and leave your permanent dent
My goal is to advocate and implement your ideas to the best of my competence

I am not standing here to beg you to re-elect me
I am telling you to look behind my fancy words and my speech
I am asking you to realize beyond what it is that I preach

I am Aadil Malik.

And together, what is “simply a dream for some” will be OUR reality.
Together, we will all lead. 
Thank you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

TFAT v.4.0 Pie Released

I promised you I would wait until summer until this layout. I love this one personally. I might stick to it for a while.

TFAT v.4.0 Pie Layout Released

The Art of Conversation

The other day, my aunt was telling me a story about a phone call she had with her niece's baby daughter. My aunt repeatedly called the baby's name over her iPhone, and the baby wouldn't make a sound. The reason was that the call wasn't made through iPhone's feature, FaceTime- which allows video calls. The baby only knew how to respond to FaceTime calls, so she stared blankly at the screen waiting for my aunt's face to pop up. She didn't know how to reply to simply the voice of my aunt.

Although this story is about just a baby, it still shows how conversation is undergoing a massive, technological revolution.

There is a common adage that states: "It is not what you say, its how you say it." In today's mainstream society, this adage is most definitely correct.

We live in the era of Facebook and Twitter, and the age of texting. However, these websites are what allow what some like to refer to as "Conversational Terrorism". Conversational Terrorism is the act of terrorizing a conversation while practicing a lack of etiquette and elegance.

To say the least, the art of conversation has been lost.

Saying Happy Birthday to someone over Facebook instead of calling them or visiting their house if they live close by, texting someone sitting right next to you- these are things most of us do every single day. Humans are social animals. We love to talk, but aimlessly talking doesn't make for a good conversation. Unfortunately, Facebook and instant-messaging are hosts of aimless and pointless talking.

It has become rare to enjoy a good conversation these days. In our time of cell phones, text messaging, and emails, we are having less face-to-face interactions, and thus when we do meet up with people, our social skills are fairly rusty.

Speech production is processed in Broca's area in the frontal lobe of your brain. A University of Oxford Neuroscientist, Susan Greenfield believes that the instant feedback and impersonal communication offered by social networking sites could drive human brains and behavior in negative directions.

"As a consequence, the mid-21st century mind might almost be infantilized, characterized by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathize and a shaky sense of identity," Greenfield says.

Studies prove that web-sites can indeed affect how your brain functions. A study Dr. Gary Small, a neuroscientist at UCLA, performed found increased brain activity after a computer-naive person was taught how to use Google.

Although technological advancements may positively affect the way we communicate, it may leave detrimental effects to our verbal skills.

Greenfield believes constant computer and internet use may be ‘rewiring our brain’, shortening attention spans, encouraging instant gratification and causing a lack of empathy. The neuroscientist believes technology may be behind the ‘alarming’ rise in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the growth in the use of anti-hyperactivity drug, Ritalin.

According to a 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals ages 15 to 19 read for an average of 5 minutes per weekend day while spending over an hour playing games or using a computer for leisure. Studies also show that teenagers spend 31 hours per week online, rounding up to 4.4 hours a day.

Greenfield says, "Whilst of course it doesn’t threaten the existence of the planet like climate change, I think the quality of our existence is threatened – and the kind of people we might be in the future."

I spoke to many of my teachers regarding this topic, and they told me they definitely see a decline in attention span and empathy in the past 10 years. Most of them blame the internet and it's instant gratification.

Today, students in schools use the iPad to learn their times tables, whereas only years ago students sat in a desk reading their times tables over and over again.

Today, students play games or listen to songs on YouTube to learn the Periodic Table of Elements, whereas years ago students would repeatedly write them out until it was planted in their brains.

Today, students learn cursive handwriting using gadgets, whereas only years ago, students used to practice on paper again and again until they memorized how to do it.

I may be old-fashioned, but the old way reinforced our memories, creating familiar paths for synapses. According to Penn neurologist, Anjan Chatterjee, today's children's neural networks are different. There is no pattern as there used to be, no orderly fashion in which the brain can understand.

Thanks to the internet, instead of steady repetition, people have become exposed to an infinite amount of information, prompting multi-tasking, short term attention spans, and a lack of conversational skills.

In chemical terms, our brains have been rewired from being liquids to gases. In the liquid state of matter, our brains had ideas floating around at a normal pace. However, due to heavy internet exposure, out brains have been rewired to act as gases, ideas flying all over our head, making them hard to get a grasp on.

Unfortunately, the inability to grasp on a topic has led to our inability to have an enjoyable conversation.

The truth is, it is time for us to realize the importance of face to face interactions rather than texting or Facebook messaging our friends and family.

There is simply more etiquette, elegance, and respect in talking to someone face to face.

It's time to refine our conversational skills.

-That's the TFAT.