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Summer plan and Brain Injury Presentation

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Yesterday was kind of a stressful day for me. The results of a program I applied for were supposed to be released, so I was very anxious. I was already practicing how I will react if I did not get accepted into the program. It is a Summer Medical and Dental Educational program for minority students interested in going into the health care field. At 12am, I logged into the site to check if the results were out and behold I saw that I was accepted at the Columbia University School of Physician and Surgeons in New York City site. I will be spending six weeks there this summer, taking some relevant classes for medical school, and participating in few hospital rotations with about 70 other students. I am excited about that and I cannot wait for summer to come by.

I had to write my blog late today because I was at the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC) conference at McDaniel’s college in Westminster Maryland. Today was the first day of the conference, but I will be presenting my research paper tomorrow. I attended today’s session because my professor proposed it to me and I am glad that I did it. The students presented came from several other Maryland two year and four year colleges and I must say that they were all doing thought provoking and interesting research work. I also had the opportunity to meet the honors program directors of schools like Notre Dame of Maryland and they told me more about their programs and encouraged me to apply to them.

 The whole day, I mostly thought about my presentation: what I should add, or what I should remove. I wish it was today so that I could have blogged about it. After this blog, I will surely have to practice the presentations a little bit and also study because I have an Anatomy and Organic Chemistry exam next week. 

On Suffering Silently

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You know that moment when you realise that you're slipping back into old habits (which die hard, it's been said)?

That feeling of dread when it hits you - I'm doing it again! I thought I was done with this. And then, the rationalization: I don't need any help. I'm fine. I can do this on my own. I'm good. No one needs to know about this. I'm sure that most people have at least one thing like that in their lives. 

For me, it's depression. I go through bouts of it, and I've gotten counseling for it, and usually I'm okay. But when crap hits the fan (especially during the insanity commonly called the "semester"), sometimes I'm more down in the dumps than usual. And I refuse to recognize it until it's gotten too far. Different things start the snowballing effect - exhaustion from too many commitments, constant changes in circumstances, reminders of past events, etc. The latter is what has me down lately, methinks. 

Many of you know that one of our fellow bloggers, Greg Dash, passed away on 14 February. Like Madonna, I had only met him a couple of times, but he was so friendly, kind, easygoing and a pleasure to talk to. His posts were always thought-provoking, and he always left encouraging comments on everyone else's posts as well. His determination not to let his cancer define or limit him was inspirational. My thoughts and most fervent prayers go out to his family and friends.

When the student blogger coordinator informed us that he had passed, it left me in tears that I didn't know what to do with. Hearing about people being sick, ill, or dying has seemed to effect me differently this year somehow. Maybe it's one of the stages of grief; I'm not sure. But every time I hear about people I don't even know going through physical difficulties or being hospitalized, emotionally, I feel so sad and just down. Not saying that we shouldn't have empathy or anything. It's just...excessive amounts of emotion for people I usually have no connection to. And of course me being me, I won't generally tell my sister or closest friends or mom or anybody about it until they notice that something's wrong with me. Like not getting any sleep, skipping class, not being all the way "there," etc.

I don't even know where I was thinking of going with this. Or if I'm even arrived. My brain is all a muddle and fog.

It's time to get help and talk this out. Don't be afraid to do the same.

Kimmie's Thursday Tunes:

This really has nothing with nothing to do with the above, but I love his sound. Enjoy! 

http://youtu.be/IIwyTMVXTuw Max Schneider | Counting Stars

P.S. As Sarah mentioned, please consider donating to the FJC/Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative in honor of Greg. 

http://www.sarcomahelp.org/donations.htm

http://hinesrinaldi.tributes.com/our_obituaries/Gregory-Nath-Dash-99855258

The Power of a Home-Cooked Meal

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Hello Friends,

I was thinking today about what I wanted to get done, and what I needed to do to prepare for class tomorrow, and wondering whether or not the snow will provide us with a delay. And, as this has pretty much been what my thoughts have revolved around this week, I eventually got to thinking about what I would share with you today. In considering my current state of mind, I eventually became distracted again by more pressing matters, like what I was going to have for dinner tonight (I think I may have a food fixation, but that’s a story for another time!) My dinner thoughts, combined with reading my fellow bloggers’ posts (Issac’s was particularly funny this week and also food-related; you should check it out if you haven’t already!) led to…lo and behold, an ‘Aha’ moment. 

I have recently (and by recently I mean today) come to the conclusion that there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal after a stressful day. Whether the day was long and busy or the cold and miserable weather has just got you down, nothing is more comforting than a warm meal cooked by or with family. It’s much easier to just pick something up on the way home or stick something semi-frozen in the microwave for a few minutes (which we all do at one point or another), but I never quite get the comfort or sense of satisfaction from those types or food like I do from real kitchen-cooked food.

My family has somewhat of an obsession with homemade soups. I’m talking soups from scratch-hours of chopping and spicing and stovetop cooking deliciousness. I think this obsession with big pot meals in the winter has been going on since before I was born, and that probably has a big influence on why I find this type of food so comforting after a busy day. Let me tell you though, I came home the other day to my dad’s declaration that it was time for another big pot of soup (we have this huuuuge pot that actually makes enough soup to last us a week of leftovers…it’s actually incredible) and it was like the stress of the entire day just melted away, I was so excited. Within the hour that smell was permeating the house, the one that speaks of warmth and family and delicious food, and it constantly surprises me how much I relax when I smell a home cooked meal. it seems cliché, but I never even realized it until I really started thinking about why I like those meals so much.

Long story short, sometimes the best cure for a stressful, painful day is a home cooked meal (and a little family time never hurt either). 

Until next time,

Sarah

~My thoughts and prayers go out to Greg and his loved ones. I did not have the privilege of knowing him well, but the few times I did speak to him he was very kind to me. As my fellow bloggers have already posted, please consider donating to the FJC/Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative in his honor.

http://www.sarcomahelp.org/donations.htm

http://hinesrinaldi.tributes.com/our_obituaries/Gregory-Nath-Dash-99855258

Muiuqolloc Monday

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Hey guys!

I’ve probably never told you that when I first decided to go to MC I was terrified of being judged. My high school was teeming with negative opinions on community colleges. In every single one of my classes there were at least five people who got accepted to ivy-leagues. They never failed to make students who decided to go the two-year route.

I needed a solution to my future status as a community college leper. So I joined this program at MC called Montgomery Scholars. It’s prestigious, it’s thought provoking, it’s widely recognized, it’s tuition free. More importantly it separated me from the community college stereotype. Whenever someone asked me why “someone so smart” was “going to a community college” I would just say I got accepted into the program. If someone asked me where I was going to school I would always tack on “the scholars program” before Montgomery College.

Now two years later I could care less that I’m attending a community college. I have much different views about the importance of Ivy League schools. I’m even planning on staying extra long at Montgomery College outside of scholars. 

I love the scholars program. It’s super informative and challenges me and helps me connect the things I learn to the world at large.

There’s no denying it though. Scholars is really HARD! And time consuming.

That’s probably why they culminate this wonderful program by making us write a gigantic essay about globalization and then present our findings at the…  cue the scary music …“colloquium”.

For some odd reason when my teachers say colloquium my thoughts are overcome by images of rainbows and unicorns. But whenever I say colloquium all I can imagine are dying puppies and screaming children.

Must have something to do with their British accents.

Point is I have this hugeee presentation tomorrow and I’m freaking out. I also have a sociology exam. And a mythology paper. And a linguistics assignment. And a blog to write...

So maybe I'm a bit of a procrastinator. It's what I rightly deserve for being such a shallow freshman.

Anyway, I have three pieces of advice for you this week.

1. Don't procrastinate. It always bites you in the butt in the end.

2. Don't judge community college goers. They’re probably smarter than you anyway. They won’t be paying off student loans until they’re forty and married.

3. Join the scholars program if you’re an incoming freshman. It’s hard but it’s fun!

Wish me luck. I’m sure as heck gonna need it.

Happy Monday friends!

Tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Music Selection:

Blue School by Blue Scholars

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCdyETGQQrE

 

P.S. Greg was clearly an amazing man. I’m so sorry for his family and friends. He was a great blogger and a great person. We will miss him. Please consider donating to his charity. 

http://hinesrinaldi.tributes.com/our_obituaries/Gregory-Nath-Dash-99855258

That Shameful Moment

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     You know that moment, the one where you make a resolution. . ? Come on, you know what I mean, it’s never a situation like, wow I just got my first paycheck, I should open up a retirement account, or I feel great right now, I should look into health insurance in order to prolong this healthy feeling for as long as I can. It’s usually uuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrgh, this is the last time I party ‘til two on a Sunday or this is my last cigarette . . . ever. Well after all the talk last week, I wanted to touch up on my week of “getting healthy.” As I not so subtly hinted, it started of auspiciously enough you know, the extended weekend leads to an extended feeling not really giving a damn which led to a Tuesday of absolute vice. Ok I’m not saying that I drank a fifth of grain alcohol, or snorted imported crystalized rhino horn, or injected separated mouse plasma into my eye (or whatever the cool kids are doing these days), but I fed my face up.

     After a light breakfast of a glass of almond milk and affirmations, I head to work. I got antsy at work, and when I get antsy at work I get anxious and when I get anxious I eat (truth be told when I get just about anything I tend to eat, be it anxious, grumpy, teary, happy, sneezy, Doc). When I say eat I mean I eeeeeeeeet eat. “Lunch” consisted from the hours of 10:30 – 12:15 of a cupcake (with what tasted like a terrible grape icing .?. why), a blueberry muffin (meh, dry), a black and white cookie (ok), jalapeno potato chips, an ice cream bar, two slices of pizza (very pedestrian), and a half empty (like the hole in my soul that I was trying to fill) spinach and feta calzone. Can you say healthy, because I can’t.     

     Fast forward six hours and I’m driving home riding the mother of all sugar crashes. I’m talking, like a sugar crash and the itis got together and made a baby and that baby is the mother of my sugar crash. . . That is the moment of shame and regret in which I decided to make good on all the talk that I’ve been doing regarding eating healthy and all that blah, blah, blah. I cut across three lanes of traffic into the Giant parking lot (I guess I’m set to eat better or die trying). Ok so I won’t bore you with the details this round (too late), but I spent about sixty dollars on spinach, edamame, broccoli, more spinach, unsweetened almond milk, cheese, more spinach and high fiber pita rounds. On paper it doesn’t sound like a lot but my mini-fridge is packed to the gills. As a note frozen boxed spinach, is more than cheap, it’s practically a steal. You know, if spinach is your thing.

     Alright, so I’m still fat, (frozen spinach won’t make you drop forty pounds in five days, but I do feel better. It’s got me back on track, and I want to say one final thing. It’s so easy to tell ourselves that it’s hard, especially as students to eat foods that are better for us but hell, you can microwave frozen veggies, and as we all know there are quite a few microwaves around campus. Now, I think you can see that I will attest to loving junk food. I mean come on, I’ve sat down on several occasions and had a pizza for dinner. . . a, as in a singular unit of pizza and washed it down with a pint of ice cream, but as a responsible adult(ish) human being, I know that I’ve got to love my body as well. All I’m trying to say and all that I will try and spell out here and there along the semester is that it can be almost as easy (and as cheap or cheaper) to spend a little extra time trying to love ourselves. Wow that sounds a little preachy. Turd! Ok that balanced it out.

 

P.S. My heart goes out to Greg, and especially to his wife and family. I can't say that I really knew him, but I do know that he accomplished so much in his painfully truncated life. If you can, his family requests donations to the FJC/Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. It's tax deductable so there's that for you as well. Cancer is a terrible disease, and it seems that the more we learn about it the more pervasive it continues to be.

Major Gregory Dash

http://hinesrinaldi.tributes.com/our_obituaries/Gregory-Nath-Dash-99855258

 

FJC/Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative

http://www.sarcomahelp.org/donations.htm              

Why

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I begin this blog with a heavy heart because of the news I got two days ago that one of my fellow bloggers, Greg lost his life to cancer on Valentine’s Day. I still can’t believe this happened; it’s a reality that has to still set it. If I was to write about how I feel about this, it will take me a day to finish. I only pray that his soul rests in peace and I offer my condolences to his family. On my way home in the bus, I kept asking myself “Why”, why did this happen? I know I will never get an answer to that question but it still haunts me.

Just as this was on my mind this week, I also had other things that I was thinking about. This semester, I am taking another Anatomy honors class and I have to choose a topic to carry out research on. My first choice was to do research on the idea of cancer vaccines. I know that cancer is a disease that is very prominent now but while looking at articles to obtain information about my topic, I could not understand most of what I was reading. We have not yet studied the immune system so most of the terms were throwing me off. I thought about changing my topic to research about the thyroid gland. You can ask me “why” and I will reply by saying that I want to raise awareness of this gland and the type of complications it could cause when complications occur. I am not sure yet of what I will do and I think the solution will come down to why I want to do this research.

I am expecting a few things to happen next week and I hope they will turn out well for me to write about them.

On Faltering Functions

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Sleep. 

O, how I cherish you!

I delight in your presence.

Always gentle, ever so kind.

Helping me to keep things in - wait!

No sleep, no sleep! Awake!

There is something I've forgot!

What time is it - eleven o'clock?!

Alas, my blog post was

due

yesterday.

Maybe next week

I shall do better.

 <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> 

Life has been insane these past couple of weeks (or has it only been one week? The days are interminable!). Between applying for transfer, homework, going out with friends, working and volunteering, I knew that something was going to slip through the cracks sooner or later (preferably sooner). And here it is. Here am I, posting this the day after it was due. My apologies, for not only am I tardy, but the extra 24 hours did not inspire me with some riveting story with a moral or lesson emphasized with a catchy tune. I am undone!

Better luck next time, eh? 

Kimmie's Supposed to be Thursday Tune:

http://youtu.be/-Tu2eZpA4yo The Beatles - I'm So Tired

Missed Monday

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So remember how last week I almost forgot to write my blog? Well this week I totally forgot to write my blog. Sorry! It all works out in the end though because now I have a really great story to tell you.

 

 

At work today I heard tell that a crazy woman was roaming the store eating products. I immediately rushed over to where the alleged culprit is and… Oh my gosh! There is a woman in our grocery store eating a dog toy. What a day.

            HA!

            HA.

            Ha.

            Ha…?

            Wait. Is she okay? Who in their right mind would eat a dog toy in public? She doesn’t look very good. She probably needs help. What do I do? I should do something. I’m going to do something.

I walk over to the woman and ask her how she is. She doesn’t respond. She is now sitting inside of our drink cooler still chewing on the toys. “I’m going to bring you some water, okay?” I say. Still no response. When I bring the cup to her I notice her ragged clothes and claw like nails and rough makeup. I push it across the floor unsure of her reaction. She falls into the cooler and her eyes pop wide open.

“Where am I?” She asks. “I’m cold.”

“You’re in a grocery store. Here’s some water. Would you like some?”

“Water is good for you. I only eat healthy food,” she babbles.

“That’s great. Here let me hold it for you. You’re right. It is good for you.” As she continues to talk I manage to lead her into the back of the store to the lounge. She finishes her water, washes her hands, and sits on the couch while telling me the story of her life in bits and pieces.

She struggles with drug abuse and suicide. Her dogs are dying of emphysema. Her landlord’s a jerk. She grew up without a dad. I don’t know what to say so I blurt the first thing that comes to mind. “It’s going to be okay,” I say. “You have to stay positive. Everything is going to be okay. You’re strong.”

She thanks me profusely and shortly after passes out on the couch.

The police waltz in about ten minutes later and rudely flick her awake demanding to see her ID. They are less than patient as they escort her out the door. The way they treat her doesn’t sit well with me. I wonder if she really is going to be okay.

It’s easy to be judgmental and it’s easy to be mean. When I first saw her I felt superior. But as she sat on the couch telling me her life story, my first impression no longer mattered. I didn’t care that her hands were bleeding or that her clothes were dirty or that her pupils were dilated. She was just another person fighting her demons. Demons that we all have.  

With the economy where it is and the job market not necessarily forgiving who’s to say in ten years that I don’t end up in the same spot as that woman? Education is important but it does not guarantee anyone a perfect life. I think it’s more than about time for us all to start practicing some compassion. Pay it forward.

Happy (missed) Monday!
tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection:

Demons by Imagine Dragons

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8&feature=kp

 

On Dorm Living

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Hello Friends!

An opportunity came up this week for me to speak about college roommates. I had a roommate at the University of Maryland for three years before attending MC, so for those of you who are thinking about transferring to a four year institute and will eventually be living in the dorms, I thought I might share a bit of insight.

People always say that you shouldn’t room with your best friend because you’ll end up hating them. I know for a fact that this happens to be true for some people. This exact situation happened to someone I know, but it did not happen to me. I knew my college roommate from high school before we left for college together and she remains one of my best friends to this day. We grew closer through living together, and made many new friends as well. So, if you know someone who needs a roommate, I would suggest going for it, as it takes away a bit of the stress of wondering what the person you are going to live with will be like and whether or not you will be able to trust them and feel comfortable around them. You can always request an exchange later if it doesn’t work out.

Also, interestingly enough, I would recommend trying to get into a dorm with freshman, or at least other first years, if you are interested in meeting new people more than you are interested in obtaining the best living arrangements. Not all dorms are equal (at least at College Park). Some have great placement on campus and some have much better and newer amenities than others, and these are definitely things you want to consider. Make priorities. Are you interested in living near most of your classes to shorten the walk? Or are you interested in living closer to the diner? Do you want newer bathrooms? Or do you want to meet people and make new friends? Once you know what you want, it’s easy enough to pick the place you want to live.

In my experience, if you are looking for a place in close proximity to certain areas, consult a map. If you are interested in amenities, research which dorm buildings are the newest (because some are pretty darn old- you’d be surprised). If you are interested in meeting new people, choose the dorms first years usually occupy. Living in both freshman and upperclassman dominated buildings over the years, I can safely say that people are much more likely to interact with strangers and try to be your friend in a freshman dorm than anywhere else. In sophomore and upperclassman dorms, people tend to keep to themselves and the people they are already familiar with. The easiest way to describe it would be to say that in freshman dorms everybody’s doors are always open. In upperclassman dorms, everyone’s doors are usually shut.

Hope that helps anybody who has been thinking about dorm living after transferring. If you have any questions (especially regarding UMD College Park) please feel free to ask!

Until next time,

Sarah

 

Also, I haven’t forgotten that I owe you all two songs this week! So, on that note, please enjoy!

For Valentine’s week: L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JErVP6xLZwg

And for this week: Homeward Bound by Simon&Garfunkel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdfBKAt1j2A

Health or Wellness

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Whew, nothing like having an elongated weekend become truncated by a cold to make you reevaluate how your work/school/life balance. I've clearly fallen back into the trappings of eating junk, getting poor sleep, holding onto too much stress and putting computer/TV/tablet time ahead of falling asleep at a good hour and knowing when to cut out the distractions before bed. Lately I keep myself up until I'm practically falling over just to get to bed. It's all that I can do to even brush my teeth, which of course means there are the instances where I don't. Bleh! All around not good times. It looks like it's time for an assessment of how I handle life's stresses. It's time time put in a little extra work in order to relieve the work of cleaning up after my own personal messes.

I'm certain I'm not the only one keeping Wendy's and 7-11 in business with orders for late night snacks and meals on wheels. It's contributed nothing but sugar spikes and crashes, a fuzzy mind and a lagging and sagging behind. 

I feel like I know better but lately it's been a slog just to get through the week. What I need to do is keep myself too regimented to slip. Easier said than done but at the same time it could just as easily be done as said. It all comes down to mindset. What's slipped is just that, my mindset. It's mindset that is a funny thing. Whether it's finding (making) time to study, eating healthy, better time management (again making and not finding the time to treat oneself better), or getting proper rest, it's the easiest and the most difficult decision we make. It's just as easy to turn in early and get the day started earlier as it is to stay up until midnight or one and lie to yourself that work won't suffer. 

I know for myself, the first step is hitting the grocery store, maximizing my purchasing power and getting as much fresh and frozen vegetables and healthier replacements for unhealthy vices as possible. . . I can share more once the deed is done. Perhaps a full rundown will be due next blog post.

If you could (and you can) make one change the streamline your life and better your health what would it be? As students, it seems we think that we can forever walk that razor's edge, balancing all of life's weights without getting sliced.

Making Plans

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Another day without school! I can’t believe we are going to have a four day weekend (even though for some people it will be five days). Just like my fellow blogger Kimberly, I also have a list of things to do. Yesterday, I completed one of them and that was my transfer essays. I finally wrote something I felt comfortable about sending to the schools I am applying to.

Sarah, another blogger wrote about taking the Teas exam which I hope went well for her and how stressful it could be when you take these national exams. For me, I know that sometime soon, maybe next year I will have to take the MCAT exam for medical school. I know it is still a long stretch away but when I study for my classes like Organic Chemistry and Human Anatomy and Physiology, I make sure that I fully understand a concept before I move to the next one so that it could be preserved in my memory so that it will be less stressful when I start studying for the MCAT.  

The Maryland Collegiate Honors Council at McDaniel College is fast approaching and I was just told that I will have to do two presentations at the conference and they are back to back. On the Saturday of the conference, from 9-9:50, I am part of a panel that has to talk about internships and I will be giving a presentation about my internship at the Library of Congress and the research I did during it. After that, from 10:10:50, I have to join another panel to give a presentation about my Traumatic Brain Injury Research paper. I feel much honored to have been chosen to give these presentations and I want to prepare well to not disappoint anyone but at the same time, I don’t want to be stressed up.  I hope I can rest well on this long weekend and get back to school on Monday with full force.

Happy Valentine’s Day all!                                                                      

On Permitting Precipitation

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There's something about relatively large amounts of snow that seems to stir panic in the hearts of DMV residents. My dad is a prime example. He woke up this morning, expecting to be able to have some semblance of a morning commute; but was met with the brilliant glare of a winter land of terrors. 17 glorious, icy cold, wet, heavy, crystal inches of precipitation (and more to come later tonight)! Instead of hopping about with glee that he was getting at least a full day off of work, he bemoaned the state of the roads and how he would not be able to go anywhere for the next couple of days. At long last, he made his way downstairs to bask in ESPN’s all-knowing, glory-filled commentary (love you, Daddy! :-D).

I have noted that many of the rest of us (teens, young adults, middle aged and the white-haired alike) seem to have a similar reaction. We get a nice big dump of snow like this every few years, and without fail, news stations make it seem like the fact that this amount of snow has not come in 4 years is life-altering; Pat Collins measures the highest drifts in a random intersection; we gripe and complain about how the trucks did not salt the roads enough; a few determined drivers go out anyway; and residents in states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and Wisconsin likely mock us running about like beheaded fowl. We think about the 20 billion errands that we will have to put off until such and such day, and dread that we are *gasp* stuck in the house with our families.

But there is so much more to this meteorological event. Dr. Borkman, my history professor this semester (arguably the best history professor at MC), announced in class yesterday that with any luck, he would not see our faces until Monday afternoon. When he first said this, I was agog and aghast. He probably was the only one of my professors truly taking this thing called weather in stride. He does not seem to have a schedule, but we are still making progress and getting things done. In another of my classes, we have missed about 3 classes already due to the frequent snowing, sleeting and icing this semester. It seems to be a source of stress as we now clip through lectures at an unbelievable pace.

Now I will admit, I tend to be more on the panicky side when it comes to weather happening, especially if I planned to do something or go somewhere that night. But over the past couple of months, I have come to approach it much more like Dr. Borkman. Sure, some plans will be rescheduled and I will have to dig my car out on Saturday morning so that I can go to work. But right now, I am going to enjoy myself! I have at least 48 hours of completely uninterrupted free time. I can read whatever I want for hours, pray for a while, do my nails, give myself a nice facial, do some Pilates, eat slowly, practice piano, plan, clean my room, complete transfer apps, finish the last season of Numb3rs, watch movies, call friends and talk, bake cookies with my brother and sister, have conversations with my parents, procrastinate on homework/blogging - and just be. No stress, no lists, no nothing. A clean mental slate. Until the plow comes through anyways. Happy snow day, everybody! Enjoy your long weekend.

Kimmie’s Thursday Tune:

http://youtu.be/-10fWHdpmks “Let it Snow” - Michael Buble

P.S. Have a great Valentine's Day, also!

Conquering the TEAS Test

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 Hello Friends!

Please excuse any awkward formatting (and the obscene amount of time it took me to type this) but I am posting from my tablet today (while sitting outside of my next class), as I have not had access to a computer at all!

It's been quite a crazy day going from campus to campus, but I have a very important piece of news to share (which is also really why my day has been so hectic). I have officially taken the TEAS test and am one step closer to applying for my major.

I must say, I was stressing about this (probably more than I should have been). I do want to share a few tips with those of you who are interested in any of the health sciences programs, now that I have this test under my belt. 

If you are stressed, DON'T BE. Firstly, because it makes it much more difficult to concentrate and secondly, because it's not terribly hard. You should definitely study up a bit (especially if it's been awhile since algebra or biology) and I would recommend buying a book of practice tests so you can get used to the types of questions they will ask. All in all, however, the test is not out to trick you or anything of that nature, they simply want to know what you know. The only odd thing is getting used to answering multiple choice questions on the computer. Other than that, study up and stay calm. You'll be fine!

Until next time,

Sarah

I'm sorry I don't have a music link for you this week, but I'll double up next week, I promise! 

Market Monday

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Hey guys!

 

Issac wrote a pretty interesting blog. And I have pretty strong opinions.

On pretty much everything. So I’ve decided to post them, prettily.

 

I am a consumer and I hate it.

So when I do spend money in our world class laissez faire free market economy, I figure it should be on things that in some way benefit the great big world. First off I try to buy things for a reason. Whether its fairtrade, organic, promotes a social cause, whatever, there’s almost always a reason that I own it. Now, like Issac I don’t have a lot of money to blow. Oftentimes that leaves me with the thrift store—which is pretty great for the environment when you think about it.

Since I’m such a ridiculous consumer I tend to buy too much stuff. So once I get it I make sure that I have room for it. And whatever it’s replacing gets donated.

For example, if I buy a new shirt (which rarely ever happens just one at a time) I make sure to donate one of my old shirts. And if I’m not willing to part ways with one of the old ones then obviously I don’t need the new one.

Basically I think of almost all of my purchases as unnecessary. That’s why I don’t really do returns either.

If something is wrong with a product it’s not the vendors fault. Its what I get for buying something that I don’t really need. Unfortunately, every day I get returns on items that customers “didn’t like” or “already had at home” or decide “they didn’t want” for whatever reason. What they don’t understand is that all those products they give back to us we have to throw away. Like literally we are required to. And we take them at a loss.

Sometimes I try to bend the rules because I just can’t stand all the waste. But when it comes to restocking warm opened milk because it wasn’t organic AND grass-fed I have no choice. It’s the trashcan or my job, ya feel me?

I think we should all think a little bit more about what we’re buying before we buy it.

 

Happy Monday!

Tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection:
You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones

 

P.S. As far as thrift stores go I think they’re pretty darn great. Maybe Issac was just shopping at the wrong one. I know places like uptown cheapskate claim to be “thrifty” when in fact they are relatively extravagant. They’re worth it though because sometimes you can find really good deals there.

P.P.S. As far as getting money for things that you donate to thrift stores… I don’t think that’s really what they’re for. If you want to make money, go on craigslist or ebay. If you just want to get rid of something, go to a thrift store. They are two very different situations. 

On Staying Thrifty

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 It’s funny how it takes radical change to notice the shifts in the little things we take for granted. . .

Small instance, in the run up to finding a new place to live, I’ve been taking items to the thrift store to better facilitate my impending move. It’s time to downsize. All of it, stereo junk, musical instruments, clothing that I miss wearing but have eaten my way out of ever fitting into pfffffffffffffft all go into the donation bin. It’s sad but I can lie and convince myself it’s all part of the price of moving on, maturing and all that.

So, once I chuck my once beloved junk in the donation bins I decide it’s been awhile and make the choice to step inside and see what’s doing in the thrift store these days. It’s been awhile since I’ve been thrifting and maybe I could scrounge up a few choice finds for not too, too much money. No dice it seems, not at this thrift store.

Granted I was turned off immediately by the clothing selection. I saw one sweater in fair to good condition from Banana Republic (yes I get it, it was from Banana Republic so it was pricy at one time) tagged at fifteen dollars. Now I get it this is a significant reduction from its new price but this item had clearly been washed and dried and worn and faded. Brand loyalty loses its cache when the item looks like it’s been around the block a few (dozen) times. It seems that this is the new norm at thrift stores these days. These stores have 25% and 50% off days that it seems items are now tagged at in order to entice shoppers to shop in droves on “special” days.

Thrift stores have taken a play from the retail handbook. Sale! Sale! Sale! But, if this is the case perhaps there are other ways to shop for reasonably used or even new clothing on a students’ budget. I hope to write an article in the future taking on this subject. There must be a better way to shop smart, effectively and economically at a time when many of us still need a wardrobe (or need a new look), but aren’t at our best earnings-wise. Many of us as students may be looking for jobs, working part time, or just surviving on grants/loans/the remnants of previous student blogging income or the like. We still need clothing.

If you’ve got a comment leave it below. Regardless, take care out there, stay thrifty if you can.

On Transfer Planning

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Before this semester began, I knew that I will have to keep track of the deadlines for the schools I am applying to but I never knew it will come this fast. The final deadline for everything is March 1st but coupled with how fast days are passing by, it seems like the few weeks left are just days. At this moment almost all the professors who know me well are writing me letters of recommendations. Some of them turned down my request but I understand that they can get very busy sometimes. I am really grateful for those who have written me more than three letters of recommendations throughout my time here at Montgomery College.

            In addition to letters of recommendations, I also have to worry about writing transfer essays. Writing essays is not a huge deal for me but the problem I have is with ensuring that the essay best represents me and includes the information that will make me suitable for the school. I guess that is why the most difficult question for me to write about is the one about describing myself to the admission personnel. I started writing it about a month ago and till now, I have written about six drafts but I am still not content with it. I think I need to be courageous one day to finally send that essay.

Even though transfer planning is pressing right now, I still have three classes: Organic Chemistry 1, Anatomy and Physiology 2, and Statistics to worry about. With everything I am juggling, I expect to perfect my time management skills this semester. One advice I give myself is that I should take one day at a time and do what is essential that day. I am having my first exam next week so I have to study hard to begin this semester well. Have a good weekend.

On Staying Calm and Keeping On

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Thunk! My car’s door slammed shut as I hurriedly ran through the parking lot. Here I was, running late, yet again (I just bet that my epitaph will be some pithy ditty about my chronic lateness and how I was supposed to be dead ages ago), on the first day of the one class I had had the most anxiety about this semester: Intermediate Spanish II. Panic struck my soul as I raced down the dimly lit hallways of the HS building and panted up the steps to the second floor. Frantically searching for the correct room, my wandering eyes at last landed on the right room number. Trying not to sound like a dying moose, I attempted to tiptoe into the classroom, dragging a ridiculously heavy bag and purse behind squeaky chucks. I finally plopped down into a seat, (momentarily thrown off by the fact that my professor had arranged the desks into one of those “learning circles” where you can see everybody’s face), dumped supplies out of my bag, and started trying to take notes.

We went through the typical first day of class agenda: syllabus run through, assignment explanations, etc. And then we started learning: about classmates, more of the class, the professor, and so.much.more. than I thought possible. I began to have heart palpitations and my eyes teared up. It was reminding me all too much of the first time that I took Spanish 202 (another campus and a different professor); in my first dark days of my full time MC career, during my stay in the Scholars program and after my grandmother’s death. I did horribly that fall of 2012, and here I was, retaking the class, nearly two years later. What business had I thinking that I could do this, I thought. I wanted to run out and drop the class before ever getting my hopes up of doing well.

But my professor’s voice of reason calmed me down. I went to her after class with my worries about not doing well (I had taken her SN 201 class back in the fall of 2011; nearly 3 years ago!), and she reassured me that I would be fine. I met with her again during her office hours, and after hearing what I had done and where I thought I was comprehension-wise, she gave me some helpful suggestions. I walked out of her office feeling so relieved!

And today, in class, not only did I understand most of what was said, but I began to feel the old wheels turning. I still felt a little intimidated looking at everything I had to do, but I am more apt to attempt them without that demeaning voice in the back of my head telling me that I cannot do it, I am a failure, etc. It is progress in my attitude...and that is exactly what I am aiming for.

 Kimberlee's Thursday Tune:

http://youtu.be/pWp6kkz-pnQ - Bruno Mars: Don't Give Up

(One of these days, I will master the art of finding songs to match my blog topic!)

 

Time Is On My Side

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Hello Friends!

So this week, while I was thinking about what to write about, I found myself marveling about how little has changed between this Tuesday and last (regarding school, at least). I can only surmise that this is because I only have class a few days a week this semester. That, in turn, got me thinking about how that has not been the case in the past. 

I must say, if you are thinking about how to schedule you classes, this is definitely the way to go. Now, I guess schedule flexibility really depends on what your life outside of school is like, especially with work. I, however, have had schedules in which I had a few classes every day, many classes every day, and just as many classes only for a few days a week. 

I have found that piling all of my classes into a few days each week actually lowers my stress level and lets me work more efficiently. I can separate out certain days for going to class, certain days for working, and certain days to focus solely on homework and studying. Having this kind of structure really works very well for me and I have had a much easier time making sure I am prepared for class and getting all of my work done with a minimum of stress. In the past, this has not been an option for me, simply because the classes were not offered in such a way that allowed for grouping them together. But, whenever the option presents itself, it is always one I will choose.

I have found that a lot of being successful in college really depends on figuring out what works for you and doing your best to replicate those circumstances for yourself. And, of course, fighting through when circumstance does not work in your favor. In short, I have discovered that having classes only a few days a week works really well for me, which was an option I never really had before, but will be sure to take advantage of as much as possible. I encourage you to do the same!

Until next time,

Sarah

This week, please enjoy The Rolling Stones, "Time Is On My Side":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHVeyo4W18U

Mark Down Monday

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Ummmm. I definitely did not forget to write my blog tonight. Like at all.

 

cricket cricket

 

Hey! Cut me some slack. I don’t have school on Mondays this semester. It's got me all off track.

So Hello friends! How are you?

Let’s talk about….

How I hate school sometimes?

Sounds like a great topic! :)

 

All my life I’ve been in accelerated classes. I started in William & Mary, then Gifted and Talented, then the IB Middle Years Program, then the International Baccalaureate Program, and now the Montgomery Scholars program.  It’s a lot of programs and a lot of work and a lot of differing opinions about how best to learn and what best to learn. All of these programs however have one common identifying feature.

They encourage you to push boundaries.

In theory, that sounds like a fantastic idea. Until of course you start to do it.

My first experience with this was in the fifth grade when I decided that I wanted to read the below, on level, and above level books as opposed to just And The Thunder Rolls (a fantastic book, by the way). My teachers looked at me like I was crazy. That is exactly why to this day I have yet to read well-known classics like The Taming of the Shrew and The Lord of the Flies and The Diary of Anne Frank.

Instead I read Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

In depth.

THREE TIMES.

Then I had to write this huge culminating essay that would determine the outcome of my entire high school career. Those are always great. The topic I chose was How was the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s a revolution in art as well as culture?  This topic, as you might expect, required visual representations of sexual art to prove my point. How then could I possibly be censored?

They managed.

I will never forget the debate I had with a professor about female genital circumcision—a gruesome topic to be sure. We definitely had different opinions; mine were of course of the more anthropological variety. Basically she shot me down without even listening.

Strike three for seemingly “free thinking” programs. 

My most recent denied idea was a topic for a major essay. I find so often that Professors are quick to judge you if you have differing opinions. And nine times out of ten that affects your grade. I don’t understand why we cant all just get along. I accept your opinion, why can’t you accept mine? No matter how ridiculous or incorrect you think it is.

Hey, people laughed at Galileo when he tried to say the earth revolved around the sun. Bet they wish they hadn’t marked down his grade.

 

Happy Markdown Monday Everyone!

Tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection:

Mean by Taylor Swift

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYa1eI1hpDE

Week Three in the Knees

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 I am the beginning of the end, the end of every place. 

I am the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space. . . What am I?

The second week of any semester is a strange time. Unless you've got a particularly accelerated pace class or a professor with a masochistic streak you probably haven't been tested or quized yet, but you begun have the pressure turned up. At this point we begin to really know our professors and we're more or less stuck with the decisions we've made for this leg of our academic journey. Now we really begin to really get into it. This is also when real life and student life begin to coexist as fitfully as it often does.

We all have individual decisions to make in life that will effect the way that we deal with the decisions that we've made to continue with our education. We have friends, and family and jobs that demand of us and our ever precious time. We have wants and needs that must be met or relegated to the back burner and tended to lightly but not forgotten, lest the consequences be dire. This is the nature of student life. 

I personally, find myself in need of a new house and a new place to live semi-suddenly. It's a pain and a situation that I placed myself in due to bad decisions and an inability to take control of my own nature. Sometimes we avoid too much and sometimes we lie to ourselves as to our own capacity to deal with the world around us. Sometimes we have to understand the simpler answers and just do just what we need to in order to be where and what we need to be.

The world that we live in often wants us to be what it needs and at the same time we crave to be what we need to be. The dichotomy between the two sometimes obscures the middle ground that a person can actually strive in yet adhere to a way of life that is productive. 

Often the answers being sought are the easiest, but the execution is difficult. It's that big first scary step that we must take but sometimes wish could be forced upon us.

It's easy to get a running start when you're pushed. 

What do you feel your biggest unmade decisions in life are? What are the opposing forces keeping your choices at bay? How much of them lay in you? Where you you find your push? 

1

Sarah Krejcik small

Sarah

Current Blogger

2

Tiffany Wilt Small

Tiffany

Current Blogger

3

Madonna Mbomani small

Madonna

Current Blogger

4

Isaac Weiser small

Isaac

Current Blogger

5

Kimberlee Green small

Kimberlee

Current Blogger

6

Greg Dash Small

Greg

Fall 2013 Blogger


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