No Spelling?! No Grammar?!

Hey. If you’re anything like me, you’re silently correcting everyone’s grammar, whether it’s when on the computer, reading the newspaper, or  losing friends because they don’t appreciate the art of proper mechanics.

However, if you’re anything like my brother, you were never taught spelling or grammar until the seventh grade, where your teacher took it upon herself to find space in the curriculum and teach these twelve- and thirteen-year-olds proper usage.

Growing up, I always just assumed Roman (Ro) simply wasn’t grasping the basics of spelling and grammar. But earlier this year, when I saw that he didn’t know when to use a comma (seriously), I stopped and said, “Maybe this isn’t him, because I would think that he’d know how to use a simple comma by now!”

I did some research (a.k.a. asking my mom), and, come to find out, our public school system doesn’t teach spelling and grammar anymore. My mom told me that, and I struggled to comprehend it. How in the world is that even possible?

I remember someone saying that the school didn’t teach it anymore because now everyone uses computers, which have spell check, so, therefore, knowing spelling and grammar isn’t necessary, because the computer does it for you. I think it actually might have been the school itself that said that.

Can I just say something? Spell check doesn’t always know what you’re trying to say. Hell, it almost never does! Half the time, it wants to correct “of” to “on” even when I use it correctly. Also, I type regular words correctly, and it automatically changes them sometimes, confusing me. Another thing is, spell check doesn’t work very well for grammar. Thus the name of “spell” check. It does the basics of grammar, and that’s it. It also messes up a lot.

Personally, I like the look of red pen corrections. They stand out, and you don’t ignore them like you ignore half of the wrong suggestions in Word.

I don’t just blame the schools, though. I also blame the Oxford Dictionary. They added some words to the dictionary that shouldn’t even be used outside of texting! Anyways, if they’re going to do that, they should at least add Bazinga. #AddBazingaOxford

It truly is sad how spelling and grammar are slowly becoming lost arts. They should be necessities. Instead, they’re thrown aside, though of as unimportant because technology can supposedly do it all.

They’re so important, though. I mean, computers can’t talk for you, can they? They can’t make that amazing first impression. And let me tell you, if I were hiring someone, I wouldn’t want them to talk like “they don’t knows nothing” or “rite liek dis” either. Even if you didn’t know how to capitalize or use commas, I probably wouldn’t want you working for me (unless you didn’t have to do any writing at all). I mean, you would represent my company. I wouldn’t want bad grammar and/or spelling to tarnish my company’s name (especially because I wouldn’t be able to be in the same room without going all OCD on you).

My question is, why do people “srsly” (why is there a red line under that?! It’s in the dictionary!) believe that they can get through life without knowing proper usage? There’s just no way! You cannot seriously tell me that you honestly expect that not once in your entire life will you need to know it. You use it every day! When you represent yourself online, employers don’t want to see “som1 who tlks liek thisssss all da tiem” because they know they can get someone who actually knows how to write in English.

Maybe the majority of people in the US should read this….

Any thoughts on this? I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this, but maybe our public school system is the only one to actually believe that? What do you think?

Anyways, this post was written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge. It said to write about a “lost art” so I thought about spelling and grammar. And, if you comment, please, please, please use proper mechanics and spelling!

-Sam

P.S. As always, the original picture URLs can be found by simply clicking the images. I do not own the images, nor do I pretend to.

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My Favorite Self-Written Poem Because The Post Said To

Hey! So, the Weekly Writing Challenge for this week was to post a poem I’ve written. I know I’ve already posted this one, but I’m going to post it again, because I love it so much. My favorite poem I’ve ever written:

By: Samantha Murphy

I remember the time

We were learning to rhyme

When we learned 2 + 2 = 4.

I remember the day

We were a long time away

From finding who we are at the core.

Those were good times

When we could cry and whine

And we wouldn’t get sent out the door.

Going even farther back

When the clothes on the rack

Labeled “T” fit us quite well.

When we could do no wrong

And then for so long

The adults were all in a spell.

When the shadows were scary-

They were monsters and hairy

And would eat us as far as we could tell.

I remember when we

As far as anyone could see

Were little angels, sent from above.

But some things stay the same

And the thing that always came

And still does is never ending love.

I wrote this in eight grade. I love it. I think it’s awesome. And that’s really all that matters.

But, for this Weekly Writing Challenge, I wanted to write a new poem as well as share that one. So, I wrote this one (right now, actually):

A Doubting Thomas

By: Samantha Murphy

I’m waiting and hoping

for the impossible.

Maybe this is my way of coping.

You’re here and over there

they all point out, hopeful.

But I know the truth is you’re nowhere.

But what about that strange

Happening yesterday

It really made my views want to change.

So maybe you are here

And maybe over there

And maybe, perhaps, you’re everywhere.

When my grandma died, I wrote a lot of poems like these (except they related a little bit more to my experience). I guess it was my way of coping. I must’ve written at least ten of them (I’ll ask my mom where she put them and post them if she remembers). Everyone she showed them to was like, whoa, a sixth grader wrote this? I still don’t think they warranted that response- they were okay, but not amazing.

Anyways, maybe I’ll add another one to this post. Maybe not. But I hope you enjoyed my poems.

-Sam

P.S. The original image URLs can be found by clicking the images, as always.

I’m Happy Being In The Present, Thank You Very Much!

Hey! So, I’ve thought about time travel for a long time (years, actually) and I’ve come up with this conclusion– I’m content with staying in the present, thanks. It’s not that I don’t think it’d be cool to see the Revolutionary War take place, or witness the 100th president of the United States be inaugurated (okay, that wouldn’t be very interesting, in my opinion, but it’s the first realistic future event I could think of!), but I’d rather stay here in 2014 and learn from my mistakes one at a time, grow up in time, start a family in time. Plus, I’m scared shitless that I’d screw with time and create some sort of paradox that would make the world explode or something.

KABOOM!

Why do I want to stay in the present? Well, there’s three simple reasons. One, like I said, I’m too scared to do anything else. Two, I want to do everything in the right time, because what if, in going to the future, I misinterpret something and end up doing something horrible (I actually have a story idea for this– more on it once I develop it)? The third reason is silly, but I was born on September 11, 1998, at exactly 7:00 am. I don’t want to age in the future, then come back to the past and be born a day or two later (technically, by age). I LOVE my birthday and birth time. My birthday is awesome because no one ever forgets it (plus I just don’t want it changed since it’s been that way for over 15 1/2 years, soo…). My birth time is so awesome because it’s exact. That’s pretty cool.

I just, I can’t fathom being anywhere else. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am, and I have so much more to do. What if time travelling messes with all my hard work on trying to establish good habits (not to mention all the work I’ve done on my history quarter project for Dos during the weekend!)? Personally, I feel it’s not worth the risk, especially when I have those I love to take into account. What if they’re affected, too?

People always use this example (at least in my experience), but I’m going to use it again. What if you kill a butterfly? So what, it’s just a butterfly, but that butterfly was a piece of time. What if it was the reason your parents met (like your mom chased that butterfly four miles until she literally smacked into your dad, and they stayed friends ever since then)? You wouldn’t exist, and it would be a paradox, because if you didn’t exist, then who killed that butterfly? UGH! Paradoxes are so confusing!

It’s not like I don’t want to go back in time. If I could go anywhere in time, knowing for sure that nothing would be screwed up (which would be impossible to know!), I’d go see my grandma again. She died on June 21, 2010. I don’t really know what I’d do, because what do you do when you know it’s the last time you’re going to see someone? I do know I’d give her lots of hugs and kisses and I-love-you’s.

❤ Love you, Mammy! XOXO

But, with all the bad that came out of her death came some good as well. My other grandma became much kinder. My grandpa began to get healthier. And there’s a bunch of other things, too.

A good book on the man who invented time itself, a.k.a. Father Time, is The Time Keeper, written by Mitch Albom. It’s amazing, inspiring, a really good read. I highly recommend it, even if you hate reading.

There’s a quote in there. A good one. It brought up a point that I’d actually contemplated when I had my mid-life crisis at 8 years old, but, other than that, I hadn’t thought of this since. And, in my 8-year-old knowledge, I hadn’t been able to think of it in this way. Here’s the quote:

“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”     -Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Here’s another awesome quote from The Time Keeper (I tell you, this book way up there for containing the most inspirational, life-changing quotes, and it only has, like, 250 pages!). I took a picture from my own book and cropped it to show only the quote:

Dor (Father Time) : There is a reason God limits our days. Victor : Why? Dor : To make each one precious.

I’m pretty sure Mitch Albom wasn’t thinking of time travel when he wrote the book (or maybe he was…?). But these quotes fit this post perfectly.

So, time travel? I’m good (plus, I’m too chicken to risk screwing up the space-time continuum). I’d much rather stay in the present, where I can face similar unknowns and learn from my mistakes (as if time travel is possible for me right now, anyways– maybe for the government or something, but not for me). I’m quite content rolling with the punches as they come, in the order they’re meant to come (which is in chronological order– the ones I’m supposed to face as a 11-year-old, I’m not going to face again, at least not in the exact same way), even if it does mean no second chances. I’m fine with living with my mistakes, because it also means living with my triumphs. And who would I be without my mistakes? A stuck-up person who can’t learn, because everyone makes mistakes, and if I think I don’t, then I obviously don’t pay enough attention to learn from them, and… well, Houston, we have a problem.

I’ll end on a thought to ponder that I’ve always wondered about– how can time be reversible if it’s relative? Like weight, it changes with location. And we invented time, so how can we turn back the clock? Time only exists in our minds (whoa, my brain physically feels weird re-reading that, but it’s true!). Without us, there’s no one to measure time, therefore, time doesn’t exist.

I think there’d be both good and bad aspects of not knowing about time. I’ll start with the good. We’d never be late. We wouldn’t have to stress about deadlines. It would be a whole new world. We’d live simply. The world would live simply, be a simple place in general.

But, despite all the possible pros of no concept of time, I do believe we know about time for a reason. And that reason is just as Mitch Albom said. If our days weren’t limited, would we care about our actions of now? We would have infinite time to make up for it, which would turn into “nah, I’ll make up for it later, cuz I still have infinite time.” No one would forgive because nobody would try to fix anything, since “oh, we could just do it tomorrow.” And that, my friends, would be a big problem.

I’m glad our days are numbered. While I wish everyone went at the expected time, like parents first, then children, that’s not always the way it works. But you know what– where would we be if we lived forever? Eventually, we would run out of room on the planet, run out of resources, and there’s be a full-out war. Who knows if anyone (or anything) would be left afterwards?

I’m not going to experiment with time and space, even if I ever miraculously get the chance. I’m no better than any one of you– I’m just here to live my life in the best way possible, then move on. And if I traveled through time, that wouldn’t happen, which isn’t something I want, even if it were possible. So, even if given the chance, I’m going to continue living for now. Because this is where it all is.

The past is the past– it’s already happened. The future is determined by our actions now. I want to be part of the future, so I’ll live for now and help make it. And that’s good enough for me.

-Sam

P.S. As always, the original image URLs, if not mine, can be found by simply clicking the image. Also, this was written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge.

My 8th Grade Work Is Better Than Any Professional Work I’ve Read

Hey! So, have you ever made something that you’ve absolutely fallen in love with, and you think it’s way better than professionals could do? Well, that’s how I feel about my poem. I’m a little on-the-fence about sharing it, but I want people to see it because I love it so much, so I will. Here it is:

By: Samantha Murphy

I remember the time

We were learning to rhyme

When we learned 2 + 2 = 4.

I remember the day

We were a long time away

From finding who we are at the core.

Those were good times

When we could cry and whine

And we wouldn’t get sent out the door.

Going even farther back

When the clothes on the rack

Labeled “T” fit us quite well.

When we could do no wrong

And then for so long

The adults were all in a spell.

When the shadows were scary-

They were monsters and hairy

And would eat us as far as we could tell.

I remember when we

As far as anyone could see

Were little angels, sent from above.

But some things stay the same

And the thing that always came

And still does is never ending love.

That was when I truly realized my writing talent. I mean, I knew I was good at writing before then, but I wrote this over the course of less than ten minutes, using only my mind. Something funny- I just re-read the paper that I was given in 8th grade, and apparently I was supposed to write it on a separate piece of paper. Oops 🙂 Oh well. I still got a 100 on it.

Anyways, this is why I write. Because I love what I come out with. And I just love to write, period. The end. End of story.

I can only write because I love to read, of course. And my love of reading started in the 1st grade, when I brought home Lemony Snicket’s The Bad Beginning, the first book of A Series Of Unfortunate Events. An amazing series, by the way. But, back to my story.

Yes, as a 1st grader, I had my mom read it to me every night before bed. And we read through the whole series. THAT was when my love of reading really started.

My love of writing started in the 3rd grade, when we had to write a short story. I wrote a little something about some characters called Lameia, Haikee, and Sankium. I’ve now turned that little story into The Crystal Guardians: Book 1, which is found here on Wattpad.

My goal is to be published before I turn 18 on September 11, 2016. And I plan to reach that goal, so watch for some new book published by Samantha Murphy in 2016.

-Sam

P.S. This was written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge. And as always, the original image URL can be found by simply clicking the image.

Here’s The Thing About Age (That No One Seems To Know)

I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.     -Francis Bacon

Hey! So, in case you haven’t guessed from the title and the above quote, this post is about what I think of age (basically that it’s overrated), in response to this weeks writing challenge, found here. I found the prompt pretty interesting (which is why I chose to do it). Basically, I’m supposed to write what exactly age is to me. I apparently had the option to construct a character and explore how they change with age (damn it! I missed that part!), but, as you can see, I didn’t see that, and I already have an awesome idea of what to type up for the rest of the post. Now, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

The above picture about sums up what I believe just about every one thinks of age, which is why I put it in here (that and it looks cool). Mostly, when people think of age, they think of time. For almost everyone, “age” and “time” are two words that are tied together like the words “sponge” and “bob” (please tell me you got that reference!). But I’m going to tell you something: that’s not true.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: age, in the literal sense, is just a number. But in the long run, that isn’t how we measure things, is it? All that goes by age is drinking, being an adult (and doing adult stuff, like joining the army and things like that), and driving. Sure there’s more, but those are the main things. Even school doesn’t really go by age- it goes by how well you know the material. Society measures things in many different ways, but normally, not age. We go by height and weight for riding roller coasters and riding in car seats. We go by smarts in school. We go by gender for bathrooms. Hell, we go by money for some things, like politics because people who aren’t rich can’t advertise, which means they can’t get their ideas out, which means no winning any election because they won’t get any votes (which is sad, but that’s for another post). But we sure don’t use age as a measure for almost everything. It’s the exact opposite of that, though it may be hard to believe.

Another thing about age is, it isn’t always measured by numbers. In my opinion, how old you are in years should be thrown out the window, because think of what some really young people have been through in experience. Yeah, more than some of the oldest people you know have been through. So, not listening to someone’s advice because they’re young? That’s bullshit. This may a little cliché, but sometimes the youngest people are the wisest. Like, even five and six year olds. Example time!

So, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that happened in Newtown, Connecticut (which, by the way, is a town right next to where some of my family lives), on December 14, 2012. Well, you probably haven’t heard what six-year-old Jesse Lewis did to save his classmates just moments before he died, now have you? Let me set the scene for you: Jesse’s teacher had just been killed (who, by the way, Jesse had been standing next to, comforting, while the rest of his classmates were hiding). The gunman had stopped shooting for a second because his gun had jammed. While this happened, Jesse yelled “RUN!” to his classmates. He saved some of their lives, because some of them listened. In his classroom, eleven students survived, most thanks to Jesse. In the other classroom that the gunman got into, only one student survived. This account was relayed by several of the surviving students from Jesse’s class, who helped piece together Jesse’s last minute heroics.

Jesse Lewis

Jesse is a hero. At six years old. I’m sure that comes as a surprise for many of you, but not for me. You see, the wisest, most selfless people in the world tend to be young children, because they haven’t yet been corrupted by worries and the stress of daily life yet. Maybe I’m a little biased (but I don’t think so, because I’m not discussing teenagers), but little kids are the ones worth listening to.

Now, to get to the real subject of this post. This will probably come as a shocker to you, but… age means almost nothing to me. Keyword is almost. Yeah, I’m looking forward to being 16, when I can get my permit, 16 1/2, when I can drive, 17 1/2, when I graduate high school (my birthday is September 11, 1998, and I graduate in 2016), 18, when I start college, (and so on), but that’s just the details. I try not to worry about that too much. Because that’s the future. And do you know what ultimately decides my future? My present. My actions and decisions and experiences of now. That quote I have at the beginning of this post? That’s pretty much my life. I thought 15 was old when I was 13 (not old old, but… well, you know what I mean). Now that I’m 15, it’s nothing.

That’s because age itself is nothing. Experience is everything. You could have a 20-year-old woman who’s lost her entire family, house, has a disability, and has been bullied her entire life, and a 50-year-old woman who lived a fairly normal, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary life, whose whole family (including parents) is still alive, both available to be your mentor. If you could only choose one, based on experience, who would you choose? If you were smart, you’d choose the 20-year-old woman, because she has more experience, and she’s more prepared to help you with whatever life throws at you. I guess what I’m saying is, instead of don’t judge a book b y it’s cover, don’t judge a person by his or her age.

One last thing on this topic. Why are some people ~cough~ women 30 and over ~cough~ afraid to say their age? With age comes a certain regal air that you carry around with you. Another thing is, it’s like betraying your true self. There’s no lying to your body. Plus, karma will screw you over for that one, one way or another. So, don’t do it, for those reasons (also, stop doing it because it seriously pisses me off when I can’t get a straight answer out of you).

I have a lot more to say about age, but it can’t really be put into paragraphs, just separate sentences that don’t go together, so it won’t work for this post. Anyways, I hope you got something out of this post. Even if you didn’t, it was still fun to write (I really hope you got something out of it, though!). What are your thoughts on age? Tell me, if you want. Now, I’ll leave you with one of my own thoughts that I’ve been saying for years (just with slightly different phrasing to fit this post):

I swear, when I turn 30, I’m gonna say it loud and proud, because lying and saying I’m 29 is BS. I’m going to stay true to me, and I hope that, from now on, you will, too.

-Sam

P.S. As always, the original URLs for the pictures can be found by simply clicking on the pictures. I don’t own the pictures used in this post, nor do I pretend to own them.

Reminiscing, Emptiness, And Missing

Hey! So, for the first time ever, since I just found out about it and thought it would be fun, I’m going to do the weekly writing challenge that was posted by WordPress. This week’s prompt is to write a post based on a picture, and the picture I chose was emptiness, which is below. Now, without further ado, let’s begin, shall we?

Emptiness
photo credits to Cheri Lucas Rowlands

To my daughter,

These last few months have been really hard. Whoever says time heals all wounds has obviously never lost a child. Because that’s what you are, aren’t you? You’re lost. You were kidnapped at five days old. Your daddy and I only have five days of memories with you. That’s… I don’t know what that is. But it isn’t meant to be. Remind me to go back in time and make sure that the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is never said, either.

Anyway, I guess this whole year has been hard. The let downs, the lost hopes. Especially the loneliness. I was holding on to the hope that you would be back with us for your first birthday. But you weren’t. I was holding on to the hope that you would be back with us for your second birthday five days ago. But you weren’t. Plus, the one year anniversary of your kidnapping happened. I wasn’t prepared for that. Not at all. But I got through it. Just like I’ve gotten through each and every day without you.

I don’t know why people think anything besides you being back can fix my broken, bleeding heart. It’s broken beyond repair. I say this because recently, in the past few months, your daddy and I have gotten a few comments that have told us that maybe we would feel better if we had another baby. Even my best friend said this. Needless to say, she’s not my best friend anymore. I feel like a child saying that, but it’s true. She was the person that I vented to the most, so she should know what I’m feeling. I guess she just wasn’t listening.

Anyways, I just can’t see having another baby when you, my daughter, my only child, my everything, are gone. Your daddy feels the same way. We feel as if it would be betraying you. How could we possibly pretend to be happy with another child? All we want is you.

I don’t think we’ll ever get used to this emptiness, and I know for a fact that the gaping hole in our hearts can’t be filled without you. You are the only thing that can make your daddy and I feel complete. You, and you alone can put us back together again. But we’ll never be fully healed. We’ll never be who we were before you were five days old.

Whenever I think of you, I always wonder where you are. It always makes me feel hollow inside, like I’m nothing. I’m your mom, I should be able to protect you. Instead, I don’t even know where you are. I’m filled with so much despair and anguish at the thought, sometimes I don’t know how I’m still alive.

Wherever you are, do you know that you’ve been gone for two years today? It’s 3:49 AM right now, on November 13, 2000. Exactly two years ago right now, you woke up crying, and I fed you in the night for the last time. In exactly 7 hours and 54 minutes, it’ll be the exact anniversary of your daddy being shot trying to protect us. I remember it so clearly. I was staring down at you, and you were gazing back up at me, and our identical blue eyes, yours so big and bright, refused to look anywhere else besides each other. Your daddy had just started the fire and was standing up when they broke in the windows. I instinctively held you closer and jumped up, screaming. You started to wail. I frantically looked around, the fear settling in my gut. I didn’t see them until I saw the gun, and then a second later heard the shot.

I started to run, not looking back, knowing what would await me. Your daddy on the floor, his life going out of him. I didn’t know where to go, but I knew I had to go somewhere, I knew I had to keep you safe, I knew you were worth my life a million times over. But, despite my speed, despite my motivation- you- I didn’t even make it out the door.

Someone grabbed my hair, and as I fell backwards, I made sure to hold you close so you wouldn’t get hurt. I had time to plant a kiss on your head before they stole you from my arms. I screamed and screamed. But before I even had a chance to react, they were gone.

I curled up into a ball and wailed for a minute before going to help your daddy. I think that’s what saved his life. The sobbing helped me to stop shaking just enough to be able to slow the bleeding so he was able to be moved. He was so pale, I would’ve thought he was dead if I hadn’t heard him murmuring your name, even in his unconscious state. I ran to to other room to get the phone, and ran back to your daddy as I dialed 911, so afraid that he had died in the second it took me to grab the phone.

It took your daddy months to heal. Well, at least physically. The pain of you being gone is still as fresh and raw as it was two years ago. The only thing that keep me alive is my job, which I am so grateful to have, since it allows me to work your file. Despite how hard it is, I don’t feel worthless, like I’m not doing anything. And the thing that really keeps me going is the fact that you might still be alive somewhere. I hold on to the hope that if they wanted to kill you, they would’ve done it in front of me, to cause me more pain.

Baby, know that I won’t stop until I find you. Neither will your daddy. We won’t stop until we can be a family again.

Love, Mommy

That was written in the first person point of view of a character in the book I’m writing, Running. I’m not going to say who, but if you’ve read the first two chapters (which, sadly, is all I’ve put up right now) you might be able to guess. This was really fun to write (not that I expected otherwise! 🙂 ), and it gave me more insight into this character (I almost just typed her name!).

click this cover of Running to read what’s written of Running on Wattpad

Alright, I’m going to go work on more of Running now, which I haven’t updated in over a month since I’ve been so busy. Hope you liked my… um, well, I don’t really know what to call it. You know what I mean. Anyway, that’s it. Bye!

 -Sam