Award winning writer, Lillian enjoys writing short stories, poems, and other personal works. Lillian also enjoys art, gaming, basketball, and archery. She likes anime and other cartoons. She also enjoys reading but rarely has the time and has been reading "Cell" by Steven King for a year.
Mental Health is a serious issue that has mainly been overlooked in the past, and it happens to affect a good percentage of homeless people. Some of these people are too poor to afford care, or simply do not realize they need it. Some mental illnesses lead these people to be a danger to themselves and others which often causes trouble. Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed having mental health courts who can order treatment and care of the homeless. This would keep them out of prison and allow them a place to stay and receive treatment for mental illnesses or addictions without just being thrown in jail. While if they refuse to treat the addiction they will receive punishment. While many argue there is not funding for the project, the Governor says it is more than necessary to help these people that have no one else to help them, and that the money could be used more efficiently in the government.
While there will be an initial cost of the project, overall I believe it would help the economy. Potentially dangerous homeless people can cause devalue in property. Also, if the program is successful it will help people get over their addiction or get on the proper care regimen to function properly in society. If these people are able to get on their feet then they can likely get jobs and contribute to the economy, therefore improving it.
Personally, I think this is a necessary step in the right direction. Is it a perfect solution? No, but nothing truly is. It is definitely time to address the issues of those who are looked down upon by society and offer them a helping hand. If we help others, oftentimes it will come around again as someone helping us when we need it.
Mental Health is real, and it is supper important. Many people have the misconception that it is not purely because it is something you cannot see. However, the sooner we start to address the problem the sooner we can start to recover from it. We are in a seriously bad time of mental health, and something needs to be done about it. We work too much and put everything before our self care, particularly countries like America where corporate runs everything.
Thompson, Don, and Janie Har. “CA’s Governor Wants Mental Health Courts for Homeless People.” AP NEWS, 3 Mar. 2022, apnews.com/article/homeless-california-
gavin-newsom-919b1464a03a27ffbe503a31088249d1. Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.
Manatees as of recent years have been starving because of pollution of their habitat killing their main food source, seagrass. While conservation efforts are underway to try to replace the lost vegetation, a plan was made to feed the manatees with donated lettuce. The effort raised 25 tons of lettuce to feed the starving manatees, attracting around 300-350 per day. “We’re making a difference,” Ron Mezich of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stated. Normally it is not advised to feed manatees as it leads them to associate humans with food, but people can donate money to the effort to help feed them.
Economically, manatee attract a large tourism industry. Swimming with them is a popular thing to do in Florida. People come from all over the world to indulge in this activity. Preserving these animals helps keep this industry afloat. Fixing our mistakes to maintain ecosystems helps many animals, which in turn helps humans. Taking care of our Earth will help preserve us and a healthy economy.
Personally, I think it is wonderful that we are trying to fix our mistakes. Manatees are wonderful creatures and deserve to live long and happy lives. It is our pollution that kills their food source, so it is only right to try to restore it and find a temporary solution. I have got the privilege to swim with one of these magnificent creatures; it was a truly magical experience. The manatee has been taken off the endangered species list, however they are very much still at risk. Hopefully these efforts help them to continue to thrive and grow in numbers.
With so much news centered around death and tragedy, sometimes it’s nice to just see some people doing what they can to help. These gentle giants are a natural beauty and should be protected at all costs. I highly recommend going on a manatee swimming tour with a guide, you must follow a few rules for the safety of the animals; but it is still very much a magical moment. Manatees are very curious creatures, and it isn’t strange to have one come right up to you if you are still and patient. They use the whiskers on their face to sense things since their eyesight it poor, so sometimes they even gently bump you with their face kind of like a cat.
We really should all try a little harder to reduce our wastes and pollutants, its very important that when you go swimming in natural waters that you use sunscreen that will not harm the ecosystems there, as some types use harsh chemicals that can make the plants and animals sick. Another thing is supporting climate positive companies; all companies have a grade on climate, if it is a poor grade you might reconsider buying products from that company. With a little bit of research it is easy to find good companies to support when making your shopping choices. Another great thing to do is buy second hand. Thrift shops and yard sales are a great place to find really cute clothes that just aren’t needed anymore. In fact, the jeans I am wearing right now are second hand, someone was giving them away, and I think they’re adorable.
Well loves, I can’t make life decisions for you, but I do my very best to make it easier. I know a lot of places in rural Mississippi have little to no options available for recycling; that’s why I have worked so hard to get a can recycling program at school. I also keep them in my room, so if you have cans, don’t throw them away, throw them at me- ok, just gently, and maybe a heads up first.
With love and Manatee Kisses, Lillian
“A Florida Plan to Save Manatees Is Working — Thanks to 25 Tons of Lettuce.” NBC News, 16 Feb. 2022, www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/florida-plan-manatees-working-
Diana Webb, a female Walmart truck driver recently filed a lawsuit against the company because the uniforms were tailored to men’s bodies and didn’t fit women properly. Webb states she had to search for other clothes that were similar to the uniform that would fit her. When she asked Walmart to reimburse her for having to buy her own uniform clothes, the declined stating they would have to pay for all the females to buy their clothes if they paid for hers. Webb decides to file a lawsuit against Walmart for this sexist policy of not having an appropriate female uniform. Drivers can wear their own pants, however the men get their pants washed for free by Walmart, if the women elect to wear their own pants instead of the incorrectly fitting uniforms they also have to wash them themselves. This might seem insignificant, but it is unfair to have a service available to men while not having that same service available for men. Webb has also filed a complaint with theU.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about the blatant misogyny.
Considering the company has 54% female employees, this could lead to a significant but necessary loss for the company. Uniforms need to be provided for the female employees that are not uncomfortable and don’t fit correctly because of their different body shape. Walmart is a giant corporation, but since this sexist custom has come to public light, they will likely see a loss in business until the issue is corrected.
In my opinion, this should have never been an issue to begin with. Everyone knows men and women normally have very different body shapes, and accommodating uniforms should be provided by the company. I hope Webbs wins the lawsuit and that the company must change this policy for the inclusion of all female drivers. It is honestly ridiculous at this point that things like this are still happening in 2022. Misogyny seems to be just as rampant now as it was 30 years ago, because we are unwilling to make progress. Men refuse to give up the hold they have, and sure some things may seem petty and small, but every little straw will eventually break the camel’s back.
Unfortunately many policies such as this still hinder females from having the same privileges as their male coworkers; if the company is gonna provide and maintain proper uniforms for the men, they need to do the same for the women; anything less is unfair and discriminatory. It is no surprise to me this happened in Alabama, the south is notorious for being discriminatory to anyone who doesn’t fit into the perfect little box of straight, white, neurotypical male, and if your a women you have to know your place- and honestly, nothing disgusts me more. I am glad that this women is taking a stand to these policies that are unfair to female workers, companies need to provide equal opportunities for everyone. Walmart is a company giant, and companies like that tend to think they can do whatever they want and no one will stand up to them, well, someone did, and I wish her the best in getting a little closer to equal opportunity.
What if I told you there was a place where every year, people changed. Well that’s obvious, everyone changes, but I mean really changes. Somewhere where every year, everyone becomes someone new entirely. Well that somewhere is the small town of Clearwater, Montana. Once a year it begins to rain. It is a light rain at first; then it becomes a violent storm. The storm takes all who once were, and recycles them into new. The old are gone, the rain misses them, they have to go to it. Each year the rain dissolves each person into water; it then reforms them into new people that are always different from before. The foundation has had trouble studying this phenomenon because when the event starts no one can enter; no one can leave. Everyone in the town becomes a totally different person with no memory of their previous self.
Rain can seem dreary, but also represents life and rebirth. This is an ironic truth in the case of Clearwater. The event is typically in June and lasts for six to eighteen days. For the first forty eight hours, it is light and calm rain; however after that it becomes a violent thunderstorm that will last until the event ends. Any attempts by the foundation to enter the town during an event have failed, either by loss of personnel, or emerging on the other side of the town; just like it was never even there. If a resident of Clearwater is absent for the event, they will simply disappear. There is also an effect on people who do not live in the town to quickly lose focus while talking about the town or its citizens. They do not forget about it, simply have trouble paying attention to it.
Our main source of information comes from a girl who was keeping a journal during one of the events, and the journal was recovered by the SCP foundation. A young woman identified as ‘Margaret Lane’ was the author, in the event of 1995.
The SCP Foundation is a fictional organization that focuses on capturing “anomalies” aka, anything that may have special powers or can break the natural laws. SCP stands for Secure, Contain, Protect, the foundations goal is to keep these creatures in check while studying them and keeping the public from knowing the truth. They seem to be a morally gray organization as they are fine with doing inhumane experiments on harmless and even friendly creatures.
Check out the story of SCP 3300 and others here: https://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-3300
The people of clearwater are not exactly people, well in the normal sense that we think of people. For most of the time they are people, down to their DNA, as the foundation can not find anything anomalous about the citizens in themselves. During the 3300 event something changes, every resident of Clearwater, Montana dies by being turned into water that makes up this storm that is the anomaly. The storm then makes a new set of people, who think they have lived in Clearwater for their whole lives. The new people behave very strangely during the event, but once it is over they seem to be perfectly normal citizens of a small town. They retain no memory of being made by the storm, or their previous selves. The dreams give us clues into the start of this occurrence, some form of ritual that started when a village tried to save itself from destruction. They did in a way save themselves by becoming part of the storm, but it came at the cost of continual, tragic loss of life, even if they may not exactly be what we consider ‘normal humans’.
The story of Clearwater may seem like mere fiction, but can also be considered in a more philosophical sense. If you think about it, the citizens of Clearwater are experiencing the same thing as everyone else, just at a much more accelerated rate. We all will eventually succumb to death, and no matter where you run or where you hide, it is inevitable. We can all learn a thing or two from Margaret and her friends struggles. You should enjoy the life you have while you have it, before you are whisked away and gone forever, doomed to be forgotten in the unforgiving winds of time. So ask yourself, is it really so different from us? Maybe you are a thrill seeker, or maybe you stay shut up in your house, scared of the outside world. But no one wants to die; not even those who say they do. Those who wish to take their own life only do so as a last resort, as the only way that they can see out, but even they do not truly want to die. It is just because their situation has become so bad, they wish to end it by any means. If they had a better life, if they weren’t so stressed, if, if, if, if…you get the idea. You have a natural instinct to survive, every creature does. Live, eat, drink, sleep, repeat. Did you know you can’t snap your own neck? Go ahead, try it, it doesn’t matter how strong you are, it’s impossible. It’s because your brain won’t let you use all of your strength as it knows it will most likely end to your death, so it keeps you from doing it. Maybe we can all learn to appreciate life a little more from now on, because we never know when our time is up.
Hercules, also known as Heracles or Herakles, is a hero of Greek and Roman Mythology. He was a demi-god, born from Zeus and a human mother, Alcmene. Zeus disguised himself as Alcmene’s lover, and slept with her, thus making Hercules. Hercules was born with inhuman strength, thus forming the preface of the song.
While we’re here / Give me something that I’ll never forget / We would fly / Through the years / As if they never would end / Jumping over the fence / Before we knew where to stop. Livingston sings of being in love, and how it can make time pass quickly and make you do rash things. While we’re here / Tell me something that you’ll never regret / Your words went over my head / But they remind me of then / Jumping over the fence / Before we knew where to stop. The song continues about love and sharing secrets.
Now I’m alive, but I’m lonely / I’m not the child that you showed me to be / I’m terrified ’cause you know me / Better than I know myself. Livingston is saying how love has shown him a lot of things about himself, and that he is afraid to lose it. Love often brings out the best parts of us, so much so that you do not feel like yourself without your partner. Ships in the night / When I found you / Now it’s city lights / Where I’m finding myself /Send me a sign, and I’ll come back / Give me a chance to bleed / I can’t be Hercules. Comparison between when they first met and now. Livingston is using Hercules as a symbol of pure strength, saying he is not Hercules is showing how he is simply a human and cannot be strong all the time; he needs time to heal from things. Nowhere to hide / Or to turn to / I’m trying to find / What you see in myself / Send me a sign, and I’ll come back / Give me a chance to bleed / I can’t be Hercules. He has no one to help him with this issue and he is trying to figure out what his love saw in him. He wants her back and is willing to come back if she wants. Now I’m gone / Sold my heart to still not know what I’m worth / New York sees through my facade / She knows that you loved me first / No, I could never pretend / As if I knew where to start. He has trouble understanding his value, and has put on a type of fake personality that can be seen through.
After a repeat of the chorus, we have a bridge off: What is the point of changing / If I only lose the one I love? / I counted my stars to make it / But I couldn’t become more than who I was. In the myths of Hercules, he is struck by a curse of madness and kills his wife; I believe this is what it is referring to. However it is also metaphorical for how he also lost his love. After this the chorus repeats one more time for lasting effect.
One, two, melatonin is coming for you. Melanie references the popular kids rhyme ‘One, two, buckle my shoe’. Melatonin is also the chemical that induces sleepiness. In the previous song, “Tag You’re It,” Cry Baby is kidnapped by the Big Bad Wolf, in this song she is planning her escape. Three, four, baby, won’t you lock the door? Crybaby is being held captive and she is reflecting on this fact. Five, six, I’m done with this. Seven, eight, it’s getting late, so close your eyes, sleep for days. Cry Baby refuses to be held captive anymore and so she plans to kill the Big Bad Wolf so she can escape.
Hush, little baby, drink your spoiled milk. This references the popular children’s lullaby ‘Hush, Little Baby’. The wolf wants Cry Baby to make him cookies, the spoiled milk references the fact she plans to poison him.
I’m f***ing crazy, need my prescription filled / Do you like my cookies? They’re made just for you / A little bit of sugar, but lots of poison, too. Crybaby is going crazy from being held captive. Here she explicitly tells us she is going to poison the wolf so that she can escape.
Ashes, ashes, time to go down / Ooh, honey do you want me now? / Can’t take it anymore, need to put you to bed / Sing you a lullaby where you die at the end. This references the children’s rhyme “Ring Around the Rosy,” which has been theorized to be about the bubonic plague; however this has not been confirmed. Cry Baby, like the plague, will take the wolf out. Ironically Cry Baby is referred to as “The Best Girl” in ‘Tag Your It’ when it tells us the wolf is trying to pick out the best child to kidnap. Ironically this girl will end up defeating him in the end.
Nine, ten, never want to see you again / Eleven, twelve, I pull off black so well. Continuing the rhyme scheme of ‘One, Two, Buckle My Shoe’, Cry Baby mentions she is wearing black, hinting at the wolf’s impending doom, and that she is not mourning it, but rather admiring her craftiness. Sh** behind the curtain that I’m sick of sugarcoatin’ / Next time you’re alone, think twice when you grab the phone. Cry Baby is sick of playing along with the wolf and decides to do whatever she has to do to escape. In this case it is decided she must kill her captor to be able to escape; as this seems to be her best option. She is unleashing the dark side of herself, just like her mother and father do. This also may be a reference to her earlier song ‘Dollhouse’ about a dysfunctional family who appears picture perfect from the outside.
At this point the chorus, Ashes, ashes, time to go down / Ooh, honey do you want me now? / Can’t take it anymore, need to put you to bed / Sing you a lullaby where you die at the end, repeats itself twice to hammer in the outcome with repetition. Cry Baby tricks the wolf with poisoned cookies, and now she can finally escape as he is no longer a threat to her.
So, it’s over huh. Junior year is wrapping up and, to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m ready. I never thought I could possibly enjoy school as much as I do here. Sure, I wish we didn’t have to get up so early; but I get to spend half of the day doing what I love instead of doing meaningless busy work in classes I didn’t really need. I don’t think I’m emotionally prepared to be a senior. I’ve always been excited to finally move out of my toxic household and be free of their helicoptering on my life but now that it’s almost over, I’m worried. Senior year means college applications, writing essays for scholarships, classes that are more difficult and no time to be getting ready for college; forget taking care of yourself!
Maybe I’m just letting my anxiety get away from me. Probably. I’m just constantly worried, no real reason why most of the time. I won’t lie and say school here is easy, but I’m not struggling with my grades. I’m just worried my work isn’t good enough. I feel that I’ve improved, but is it enough? Am I enough?
The answer to all these questions that are whirling through our heads is yes. If you weren’t talented, you wouldn’t be here. Keep your head up darling, we have an amazing year ahead of us. I can’t wait to experience MSA without all the covid crap. Honestly I feel the experience will be strange, but in a good way. I will miss our lovely seniors, but it’s their time to move on, and we have more friends coming into the void they left.
For the incoming juniors I guess I’ll take the rest of the blog to talk a little about myself for a bit.
I play basketball. I know I know, an artist who is also an athlete? Whack right. Well, I’m just a tad different than your average person, I have interests that are normally conflicting, but they all make up a different part of me.
I LOVE animals. Like probably more than people. If the cat that comes to visit is outside, you can probably find me out there petting him (I think it’s a guy… kinda hard to tell with cats, though).
I’m a gamer. I play everything from Pokemon to Fortnite. Yes, Fortnite, I can see you groaning from the other side of the screen. I know it’s been done-in by cringe culture but it’s actually fun to play with friends. If you avoid the toxic people (you can block players) and just find a nice group of people to play with it’s actually very enjoyable. I play with a group of people from a bit younger than me to a few adults. That may sound a bit weird, but it’s more like a weird gamer concloberation. If someone is being toxic, we just don’t play with them anymore. In a way, we have become some kind of weird kind of family.
I’m autistic. So, if I say things that don’t make sense, try to be patient with me.
I hyperfixate on things. Like all the time. I become personally attached to fictional characters or to one specific thing in a group of the same thing. It’s weird, I know. I used to be a lot worse, it’s led me to be a bit of a hoarder, but not like those packed places in American Pickers. If you insult the characters I have become attached to, it’s like insulting my best friends.
Finally, I am very excited, and nervous to meet you all. I’m not very good at talking to strangers, so if I seem like a weirdo that’s why, I’m just trying to start a conversation.
If there is one phrase I’m very sick of hearing as an autistic person, it would be this. People with ASD cannot just “read the room”. That’s like telling someone with a broken leg to “walk it off”. ASD sufferers struggle to pick up social cues, and often are being belittled and harassed for it. Yes, we say things that sound weird or are out of place. We can’t help it. It’s just the way our brains are. If the autism came with an off an on switch, believe me, we’d utilize it. Suffering from autism is thinking differently than everyone else, but everyone expects you not to.
Another thing that makes me want to riot is people self-diagnosing themselves with autism, and using it as an excuse to be a rude person. As someone who’s been diagnosed, it’s very frustrating. The reason no one takes it seriously is because of people like this who use it to be a horrible person and get away with it. Being a jerk isn’t autism, you don’t have autism, stop it. Honestly seeing how many people pretend to have this illness is disgusting. Maybe they are genuinely convinced they do, or maybe they just like to play the “I’m autistic card” to get out of trouble. If a doctor or therapist has not diagnosed you as autistic, then stop pretending that you are.
I want to live in a world where I don’t have to pretend I’m not autistic. I want to be accepted and not be attacked for things I can’t control. I want to not have people glare at me just because I’m neurodivergent. Sometimes people don’t care that I am and just see me as beneath them. I’m still a person who has feelings, I’m not some broken toy for you to throw out.
It’s gotten to that point in the year were even the things you used to enjoy seem to be strenuous tasks. I feel like I’m not alone when I say I’m experiencing end of the year burnout. I’m not taking care of myself as much as a should and my work is taking longer and longer to complete. Self care? Have you seen her, cause I sure haven’t. I’ve been suffering from a stubborn case of pneumonia so that sure hasn’t helped my energy levels.
I know I’m supposed to offer something but this is for myself too.
Wash your hair
Stop isolating yourself
Vent to people who care
Listen to music
Watch your comfort videos
Snuggle your stuffed animals
Refrain from throwing hands with that person who keeps pissing you off
Hang out with your friends
Leave the school once in a while (Or your house)
Sit with someone during meals
Hopefully this is helpful to anyone else suffering a burnout. You can do it, I believe in you!