Rant

I think it’s time we address something that’s been plaguing this world since the dawn of time: the left-handed population struggling to live in a world not made for them. Because let’s face it, products are catered toward the dominantly right-handed person.

Speaking from personal experience, the day-to-day life of a southpaw is easily a very uncomfortable ordeal. There’s scissors and can openers and ice cream scoopers and guitars and pens and spiral notebooks… seriously, the list just goes on. Lefties have to adapt, and it’s not easy. I still use can openers very awkwardly, because the “normal” way just feels unnatural. People get nervous when I handle knives or sharp objects in general, because there’s this stigma that the left side is just super awkward, even today. Ever hear the term, “two left feet?”

Being put next to a righty in class, you end up bumping arms with them constantly and having to say “sorry” a billion times (and not to mention messing up everybody’s workflow.)

Even the brain is wired differently. The right and left sides of the brain control opposite sides of the body, so the left side controls the right side, and vice versa. Learning a dance routine, for example, is difficult because everything is “backwards” in your head. (There’s not really a good way to explain this one, so I digress.)

Writing is probably one of the most difficult. When you first learn, the pencil grips don’t fit your fingers because they’re designed for the right hand. Then you have to try writing in all these awkward hand positions like the “hook,” til you stick with the one that works best for you and provides the least amount of smudging (although smudging is almost always unavoidable.)

And don’t even get me started on cursive. Ugh.

But aside from all the struggle and discrimination, there’s a flip-side. There always is. Just think: you are one of 10% of the world, and are likely a creative individual.

You even have your own day (August 13 is National Left Handers Day). 🙂

Have a good one,

-Phoenix Kenter

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Lyrical Scene (Lady Gaga – Dance In The Dark)

Baby loves to dance in the dark, ’cause when he’s lookin’, she falls apart.

He asks her why the moon is her best friend, and he can’t ever fully understand her. She tells him she prefers the moon to daylight, is all.

“You’re a mess,” He says.

She freezes as she sits on the edge of the bed, tangled in her shirt. Now she’s stressed. Her anxiety always gets the best of her, and she hates herself for it. She hates herself for the way she is, the way she looks. She, too, struggles with the constant worry of “am I good enough?”, but it’s far more intense.

“You’re too uptight and consumed with yourself, baby,” He scoots closer and gives her a peck on the cheek. “You gotta loosen up and enjoy the moment.”

He stands up, the moon illuminates his pale, bare chest. She finally catches her breath and joins him. She takes his hands, and they go to the other side of the room. The dark side, where she knows he can’t get a good look at her. But he leads her back to the window and looks straight into her eyes.

She turns away and laughs nervously, covering her face with her hand. “Don’t look at me,” They go back into the darkness. “I feel more comfortable over here.”

They dance the night away like nothing happened.

As long as she stays a shadow in the dark, she doesn’t mind.

Just an update…

So the 20% Project is coming along… kind of.

Some other people have shown interest in this idea. A few of us have actually combined forces, which is pretty cool because now we have more ideas on how to approach this. I already knew this couldn’t be done solo, and it’s awesome that so many people are willing to help out with it.

But the only problem is that we haven’t got much done. We’ve thrown a couple ideas around and recruited more people to be on board, but other than that, nothing much has been happening. And it’s totally okay, because we have a great start thus far. People, ideas, resources. It’s all there.

Now we just need to put it all together. That’s the hard part.

Here’s to progress!

-Phoenix Kenter

20% Project

Before you ask… no, I do not work for Google. I’m just a high school kid doing essentially the same thing. I’m going to change the world.

There are many questions you might be asking at this point. Why would I want to take on such a thing? How on earth am I planning to dominate the world with this plan of mine?

Well, let me tell you with some backstory.

The world is a place where judgement and hate crimes roam free. It’s just a fact of life, people. Everywhere you go, someone is probably thinking things and making statements against you in their head. Sorry.

For a while now, I’ve been an ally. An ally to the LGBT community, which means that while I am straight, I stand by them. I support them. Being an ally is just a conscious decision and it’s so easy to say yes. For many people, however, it’s not. A lot of people aren’t okay with this community, and it could be for a multitude of reasons. Not necessarily all of them are homophobic, but many of them are.

The goal of my 20% Project is to stop homophobia/transphobia at my school and create a supportive environment. Many schools have already done this through GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances) of their own. That’s exactly what I plan to do: create a GSA at my school. If it all works out, this would be a very good thing. Hopefully it’ll create a ripple effect to other schools, and they’ll make it a project, just like I am.

Listen, I’m just like everyone else. I fear the inevitable. And I know not everyone will agree with this. That’s okay. It’s understandable that there will be people who disagree with what I’m doing. If they don’t want to be an ally, for whatever reason it may be, let’s be accepting of that, too. Stop the hate. Come on, people, stand up and be the better man (or woman).

Let’s do this. 🙂

-Phoenix Kenter

New Beginnings

New year, new you.

It all starts when you make a resolution. You do so good for the first couple weeks, because the motivation and everything is all there. But then, you start thinking, “I’ve been doing so good. I deserve a cheat day.”

This is a mistake.

NEVER, NEVER, EVER give yourself a cheat day and expect to pick up where you left off. Because I can tell for certain you will not do it. We hear the same story every year of all the gyms being full in that first week of January, and then suddenly it’s narrowed back down to those last few loyal gym-goers that stick around all year. I understand that the struggle is real, and that people do not want to make that extra time to hit the gym or whatever, but really- human society is getting lazier and lazier. And don’t you dare come for me, because you know what I said is true. It’s an undeniable fact, people! Laziness is a growing problem. And I’m not saying that being lazy is bad, but it kind of is if you want to get anything done.

This new year, I’m offering a challenge. A challenge to myself, to my friends, and everyone else out there. Don’t let laziness get the best of you. If I made a resolution at all, this would be it. I could honestly not care less if you plan to get to the gym more, or cut soda out of your life, because if you have a tendency to be lazy (which I know we all do) none of that is even going to matter.

Rule number one is to set a main goal for yourself. Just a broad goal. Laziness. That’s my goal.

And then if you really are set on losing that holiday weight, you can go on ahead with that plan of yours. But never put that plan before the main goal here. That will be a mistake and you’ll just beat yourself up for it. Rule number one first, resolution second. Remember that, and you’ll thank me later.

Thank you for your time,

-Phoenix Kenter

Snow

When I was a little kid, maybe in third grade, I remember we had this huge blizzard. It lasted for what seemed like forever, and when it was done, everything was covered in the absolute thickest white blanket ever seen. There were drifts the size of mountains in our backyard, and icicles that hung down at least four feet. I remember that the snow buried our shed and my dad told me to go outside and dig it out. When I finally could see it, I noticed my cat in the window. The poor thing was trapped in there for at least a day until we found him.

The worst of it was during school. They had to close down and send everyone home early (which never happens around here) and it was the coolest thing ever. Some kids actually had to sleep at the school and eat dinner there and stuff, because it was too dangerous to drive anywhere. Luckily I didn’t live too far away, so my dad came and rescued me on a sled. He literally pulled me home on a red sled, with a blanket and a small Ziploc of cookies, during a blizzard.

This year, though, it looks like there won’t be any snow. (Unless some miracle happens and there’s a blizzard on Christmas Eve.) But so far it’ll be green Christmas, which I have no problem with at all. Not having snow during the holidays is a sad thing for a lot of people, but the other half of us are cheering. You can probably guess which side I’m on.

-Phoenix Kenter

Multiple Personality Disorder

I tell him to be quiet, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes his voice is louder than mine, and other times I’m just too afraid of him. He makes me do things I wouldn’t normally do.

His name is Warren, and he’s forty years old. When he takes me over people need to go away or I’ll hurt them. The last thing I want to do is hurt anybody, but he makes me do it. I can’t tell him to go away or just hit the road. Because he can’t.

Because I’m Warren.

I make him be quiet, and I’m always successful. Sometimes he tries to fight back, but he knows who’s top dog around here: me. There’s nothing he can do about it, and that’s how I like it.

His name is Steve, and he’s twenty one. He’s always so scared of everything and refuses to take risks. That’s why I’m here. I help him be more assertive and more aggressive. He can try to make me go away, but he never will.

Because I’m Steve.