BLOG #7: Paper Towns

Scrolling down the several Ted Talks listed, the one that stood out to me the most was John Green’s Paper Town video. To be honest, most ted talks bore me but, by seeing John Green in the title of one, gave me a little hope. See I don’t enjoy reading because I can’t wrap my head around the idea of “reading for pleasure” because why not just watch the movie?! I think because of my lack in reading, I have very poor writing skills and that is shown clearly in my blogs. I watched John Green’s movie on his book Paper Towns and it was an alright movie if I’m being frank, so I decided to see what this Ted Talk was going to be about.

John Green goes into explaining what a Paper Town is exactly. Basically, cartographers on maps create fake cities to trademark their map. So, if anyone decides to steal them, they will be caught red handed. He goes in depth with this story and talks about the city Agloe in New York city. Otto G. Lindberg and Ernest Alpers made up Agloe on their map. (You know while watching the Ted Talk I wondered why this city sounded so familiar and it’s because it’s the city in his book/movie Paper Towns!) One day, a man decided to make a map and guess what was on the map? I bet you got it, that’s right it was Agloe! Now, Otto G. Lindberg and Ernest Alpers could sue this man! Although, Otto G. Lindberg and Ernest Alpers were getting ready to sue the man and they found out that they actually turned Agloe into a real city. It’s a little town with a gas station and a couple of houses because people would go to this deserted area thinking it was Agloe like the map said and now there is a community there.

John Green proceeds to then talk about his experience in school and the hurdles he had to go through to get to where he is. Once he was out of school, instead of having other people jump these hurdles with him, he had to go over his own. Because he was an author, these hurdles were not paved for him like a doctor is or a lawyer. John Green had to make his own hurdles and jump over them by himself. He described the online community and how on the internet you can find so many groups of people going through the same struggles or problems you are. Through the internet, and especially YouTube, you can be a part of a community that is going through the same “hurdles” as you are.

John Greens perception on struggles and paving your own path was something I agreed with entirely. Going to a school as pristine as Mackenzie, I personally have gone through many hurdles myself. I sometimes don’t grasp ideas as quick as others and reaching for an outlet online like YouTube to help me with my struggles puts me at ease. Knowing that there are other people out there going through the same problems I am is comforting, and it is totally true that the comments are filled with ideas and questions of other students who need the help or that are willing to help people who need it.

Although John Green pointed out the fact that he was biased over YouTube, I think there are other online outlets that provide the same help as YouTube and that I have personally used. Sites like Khan Academy help me with issues that I need to resolve. Also, things like quizlet, if I have a test coming up, some people studying for the same test will put their study notes for the public to use as well. There are many other sites just as good as YouTube, but I totally understand why John Green highlighted that particular site.

In the end, I would recommend this to a friend because it was very relatable for people of my age. With high school and applying to university we start to compare ourselves to others and wonder why we aren’t grasping on to things as fast as others. With online communities, videos, and articles, we can find ourselves not being alone with our hurdles and can find comfort by knowing there is help and people struggling with the same concepts as you are!

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