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Not Long for This

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     It’s funny, the things that we forget in the pursuit of knowledge. It’s also funny the way things pop back into mind regardless of their usefulness. I still remember my ex-girlfriend’s phone number from eight years ago. . . I don’t even know if this is her number, have no need to call it and feel sorry for whomever owns it if, per chance, it tumbles out of my brain and into my fingers absentmindedly as I try to place a call to someplace important like say the Chinese takeout place that I frequent way too much that has yet to be committed to speed dial on my phone. Why do I always have to dig in the oddest places to find their menu, and still I feel bad since they always include a new one. So many trees!.!

     I have a fear that the farther I get from an academic setting that more and more useful knowledge will be pushed out with the useless trivia and the flotsam and detritus that inundate us as we pass through life gathering useless, rubbish knowledge. I’m going to be out of a in less than a week and the only things that I can think of when people ask me what I learned from this job which I spent five years performing proficiently enough until recently (I blame the Peter Principle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle) is how to log into and make and order for office supplies. I roughly two phone number for distributers and the email address of three of my superiors. Yes, these are the things I will need to carry me into the future. I’m hoping that with enough books and enough time spent back at school (those certificate programs should come in handy for more than just taking up space on a cubicle wall), I would become a total zombie. I’ve got the shuffling down well enough though.


Habitat for Humanity Spring Break Trip

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This week was another one with assignments due and exams. For anatomy, I had to draw the arteries and veins and present them to my professor. Since I traveled during the spring break, I could only do most of them when I returned on Sunday. Talking about the spring break, I think it was the best one I have ever had.

My group of 18 students and three professors left on Sunday morning after meeting together at Germantown. When we got to our lodging site, we were not prepared to see some high school students there but we collaborated and it ended up being a bonus to everyone. From Monday to Friday, we worked in two groups on two houses with some of the Habitat for Humanity workers.  On the house we were working on, by Friday, we had almost completed it: we painted it, placed the floor tiles, and placed the carpet grass on the lawn.  While we were working on one of the houses, the future homeowner came to help us and she told us how grateful she was to see us working on her house. We also met a lady who had been a soldier in Iraq and she told her that when she returned, she was homeless because of the tornado that had affected Tuscaloosa. She came to thank us and tell us that after those years, she will soon finally become a homeowner because of the help of volunteers like us.

Going on this trip helped me to get closer to other students who have similar goals like me to help others, and also to learn how to not be indifferent towards other people in worse circumstances than me.

On the Saturday before we left for Maryland, we got the opportunity to visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and it was an important experience for me to learn more about what happened in that area about 50 years ago.

I hope to go on more of such trips, but for now I will focus more on helping in my community around me.

On Past Events

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You know you've found a goldmine of a professor when they've awakened a passion for a subject you had no idea you liked (kind of like discovering that you have fallen in love with someone). I am fortunate enough to have had multiple instructors like so; my two history professors (Prof. Montgomery for American history and Dr. Borkman for European history) this academic year, especially. Both are exceptional teachers (and highly recommended). I've tended to view history as a necessary evil; yes, the background and development of a particular discipline was good and all that, but the sheer amount of names and dates overwhelmed me. I liked getting to know the global perspective, the "big picture" as it were, which wasn't necessarily the focus of past history courses I had taken.

On top of that, I (somewhat ashamedly) admit that I was always a stickler for studying the background of minority groups. Studying old dead white guys at home or abroad did not appeal to me in the least. But Prof. Montgomery and Dr. Borkman introduced me to another field of history; a more philosophical branch that focused on large ideas and their progression over time. Instantly, I fell head over heels! I began to see connections that I never paid attention to before; like a philosophical belief during the Enlightenment called Deism that ultimately ended up influencing the policies of the United States to be favorable towards religious freedom and toleration.

In every other class, I heard and saw and thought about everything more. The impressionist and surrealist movements in art suddenly made more sense in the light of the horrors of WWI and Freudian thought. The intense racism of the 19th and 20th centuries was not a puzzle once I considered the influence of Darwinism. The old adage, "there's nothing new under the sun," became ever more clear as time and again, I saw that what we do and think now is linked to part of the past. It exhilarates me for some reason! And now I have added history as another of my majors when I transfer - something completely unexpected.

It is truly a blessing to be able to have such a rewarding academic experience. It doesn't seem to be rare here at MC, though, because of smaller class sizes and thus a smaller student to faculty ratio. I frequently come across fellow students who say something along the lines of, "Oh, I'm adding such and such as a major or taking another class in such and such because so and so is the best professor ever!"

What about you? Who in your personal or academic life has inspired you in your field?

 

Kimmie's Weekly Earworms:

http://youtu.be/JSiF6H-hFvg Hillsong | Mighty to Save

http://youtu.be/dy9nwe9_xzw Hillsong | Oceans

Did You Know...?

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Hello Friends!

Well, it look like winter just couldn’t resist hitting us one last time. Hopefully we will have better weather to look forward to from now on!

Random end-of-March snow aside, one of the things I’m really enjoying this semester is my Anatomy and Physiology class. Yes, I was terrified to take it and no, it’s definitely not easy, but I have found that every day I come home with a new little tidbit that I want to share with people.

I often find myself seeking out a family member and saying something like this:

Did you know that increasing muscle mass actually helps boost your metabolism?

I learned today that there are cells in your skin that can detect foreign objects, grab a sample, and then leave the area and travel to another part of the body to show what they have found to your immune system so you can fight any possible associated health problems. Isn’t that cool?

Did you know that lifting light weights can help older people reduce the weakening of their bones? It’s because bones remodel based on demand and stress and lifting light weights makes them feel like they need to become stronger.

Guess what? There’s a bone in your sternum that’s called the Xiphoid process because it looks like an ancient weapon called a ‘Xiphous’, which was basically a sharp tip of a sword.

And so on.

I really feel like I’m learning things that are not only useful for the job I want, but also for life. I find that really exciting and I also find that a class that has the potential to be difficult and off-putting in the amount of information presented to you has become interesting and something I look forward to. Hopefully this is just another sign that I’m on the right track for a career that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Until next time,

Sarah 

This week, I’m gonna go with “Let it Out” by Switchfoot. Enjoy! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl9focF2tvg

Aunt May Monday

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I recently come to the realization that I love college.

Why? Because being in college means that you are (most likely) a “young-adult” and give or take a few exceptions that means you are self-centered—in the best sense of the word. I am one of those people. I’m working and going to school and only thinking about me. What do I want to do? Where do I want to go?

After this stage most people start worrying about other people like… kids (ugh) and spouses (vomit) and aging parents (kill me now). And once that starts its kind of difficult to be selfish—or at least less acceptable.

So let’s be real, being a young-adult is fantastic.

Yeah you probably have to pay rent and choose a career and start to take on responsibility. But with the onset of those “adult” things comes a new level of independence that allows you to say…

Buy a car.

Or travel.

Or just plain old do what you want.

Let me give you an example. When you were in high school (if your parents were strict like mine) or middle school (if your parents were normal) or elementary school (if your parents were super lenient) remember how you had to ask first before you made plans?

 

“Hey mom, can I sleep over Ashley’s house Friday night?”

“Who’s Ashley?”

“You know. Ashley. We’ve been best friends forever.”

“You mean the little brunette? I love her parents!”

“Uh. No. She’s blonde. And tall.”

“Oh. Pause. I’ll think about it. But I have to meet her parents first.”

“But maaaaaahhhhhhhmm.”

“No buts. I’m the parent, you’re the child. Do as I say.”

 

It’s been my experience that “I’ll think about it” ultimately leads to “no”. But now that you’re a young adult you can bypass the whole “let me ask my mom” thing and skip right on over to Ashley ‘s house with an obnoxiously large smile plastered on your face.

Right now my “Ashley’s House’s” are my new-old 1999 Buick LeSabre named Aunt May, my upcoming hike on the Appalachian trail, and my road trip to Austin, Texas. But your sleepovers don’t have to be so extreme. Why don’t you take a trip over to lake Needwood? Or catch the metro and go exploring in the district? Heck. You can even skip school and no one will call your parents.

Because guess what? You’re a college student! You don’t have to ask permission anymore.

Happy Monday!

Love,

Tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection:

Do What you Want by Lady Gaga Feat. R. Kelly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ShHFHx6Dk

A Retreat to Reload (or) On Studying

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Ok, so this is a re-post sort of, but I’ve edited and  think it’s still relevant and worth revisiting. . .

Lately I’ve been trying to suss out a few good study spots. I’ve been to public libraries (closed Sundays, the nice ones like Rockville have prohibitively expensive parking), MC libraries (I find them to be acceptable but a little uncomfortable and I like the option of taking drink/snack breaks during study time), Starbucks (ugh all so small, loud, and too dark . . . and I like a Starbucks drink now and then but I don’t necessarily want to spend hours there). Finally though I think I’ve found a couple of decent spots. I just wanted to share a little in case anyone out there in the vast internet world was looking as long and hard as I for a few good solid study spots and IRL hangouts.

First, near Silver Spring campus, I’ve found two decent places. Caribou Coffee on East West Highway is nice if a little crowded. The Staff that I dealt with was really nice though a little quick to say goodbye when I thought it clearly looked like I was there for business. The parking is free in the shopping center and if one gets hungry for something other than snacks there is a wealth of food around the corner from Peruvian Chicken to Chinese food. I love their Cinnamon Rooibos tea. It’s a good neverendingwintertime tea; spicy and bold. There is also another Caribou coffee in Rockville about five or so miles from the Rockville campus. It’s just as friendly if a little small. .  . Let’s just call it quaint. They both have free wi-fi.

Also in the Rockville area (though off the beaten path sort of) is Kozi Café. . . If you’ll excuse the suuuuuper cheesy name, and the get past the fact that it’s in the Leisure World shopping center, you’ll find a little mom and pop owned café/restaurant that’s got decent food, alright drinks (even alcohol if you’re so inclined and of age), free wi-fi and a cozy (nope I will not butcher the language for their satisfaction, but I will recommend their salads).

Back in downtown Silver Spring (if that’s your thing) is a neat little Coffee Shop called Kefa Café. It’s a little place that specializes in Ethiopian grown coffee. It’s definitely quaint, with solid wood furniture and a homey meets industrial feel. I will say the table placements are rough if you’re looking for an outlet as all of the tables near the walls are not necessarily ergonomic but it’s a nice little place to grab a cup of coffee or tea. It’s pretty new and the staff while very nice was also clearly learning the ropes. I guess tea drinkers throw coffee shop staff for a loop from time to time. Parking is metered in the area but not too expensive at $0.65 an hour. I was there for four hours and got a good deal of reading done as well as a little typing on some online assignments and their wi-fi is free and pretty fast.

Having a few good places to get out and go to when I need inspiration (like say for a blog post) has been helpful this semester especially when taking an online class. There’s only so much sitting in the living room in faded, ripped, mysteriously stained, hand-me-down five dollar Target sweatpants (yeah, nice image) anyone can do before they start to feel like they’re reaching the last fraying straws of sanity. It’s nice to you know, take a shower and be presentable to simply go out and study. It’s refreshing to look out the picture windows at the bustling of life while trying to take in what poets were scrawling and yammering about, or to read about the history of Civil Rights or hell even just while accessing MathXL to cursingly turn in MA110 assignments six hours before theey’re all due.

If anyone’s got anyplace they enjoy studying at and why post a comment. . . It’s no fair keeping secrets. Some of these places need all the help they can get. A few group study sessions can go a long way to keeping your favorite little spot from becoming that cool little place you used to go to, you know, before they had to shut it down . . . Damn the man!

 

 

On Taking Care

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This has been a pretty rough week for my family and me (hence the extraordinarily late post); my dad has been in the hospital since Saturday, and with this week being full of midterm examinations, projects and papers, it felt as though my mind was a frozen screen. I ended up having to cancel clients, volunteering, and most of the activities I do during the week. It was a respite, but one of the worst kind: a forced one. It was also a battle of which type of stress would win out internally  - familial/relationship stress, where I can't eat a thing and get listless, or school stress, in which I feel compelled to stuff my face with any food containing more than 20 g of sugar.

School won out. Needless to say, I felt more than a little crappy after consuming so little produce, staying up late to study for exams, waking up early for class and trying to get my siblings to extracurriculars on time. Fast forward to Thursday. I was at a friend's house with my sister and brother, and my friend and her mom decided to go on a walk (they've committed 3 days a week to walking after dinner) and invited us along. Now, if you're anything like me, when your body feels like crap and you're feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, exercise with perky people is the last thing on earth that you want to do. I felt weird just sitting inside the house alone though, so I begrudgingly went along.

My friend's family lives in a little town in upper MoCo called Damascus, so their neighborhood has at minimum 2 hills to climb just in a 20 minute round the block trip. If that wasn't enough, the scent of rain was in the air, and no sooner had we begun, then it began to drizzle...and rain...and pour. By the time we got back to their house, my clothes were cold and wet, my hair looked a mess, I thought my chest was going to explode - and I felt absolutely amazing. Finally getting to enjoy the outdoors with one of my best friends and our siblings on such a glorious (or what had been, anyway) day was just what the doctor ordered. My mind cleared and I actually felt slightly sane again. Sometimes you gotta do what you don't not can't wanna do. Morning walks, anybody?

 

Kimmie's (Thursday) Tunes - 2 to make up for my tardiness:

http://youtu.be/OT1HCQcSHW0 (BJ Thomas | Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head) - my sentiments during the rainstorm

http://youtu.be/E2VCwBzGdPM (Louis Armstrong | What a Wonderful World) - and my emotions afterwards

Win-Win

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         I have been thinking about the win-win idea for a while now and I think that it is really the only way to go if you want to achieve something with somebody. Sometimes being in college can be competitive, but we forget that as students, we all have the same goal to succeed and learn. I think I am beginning to understand the concept of win-win, but I still have a long way to go to fully practice it. For example, when I first learned about the Summer Medical and Dental Program, I thought it will be a great opportunity for someone like me since it is directed towards minority students. I knew very few of my friends who were also thinking about going to medical school, so I told them about the program and encouraged them to apply for it. I told my teachers to announce it in class and I even called some people I knew in different states to apply for it, but many were either not convinced or had other plans for summer. Anyway, out of the few who applied for it, two of them were accepted into the programs at the University of Houston, Texas medical school and the University of Virginia medical school. I felt very happy when they told me about this and it helped me to realize that there is much joy in achieving things together especially if we have the same goals.

      Another example is when I had a group project with about three other people and on the day it was due, no one had contacted me to talk about the answers. I felt bad, but if the project was not completed, we would have all lost points. I decided to do it and give it to the professor, and guess what; we all got full points for the project. I know it is sometimes difficult to think about the other parties winning, but I hope that I remember these lessons as I move on into the more competitive world.

     I am excited for my alternative spring break trip to Alabama and also to meet the other students going. I don’t know what to expect, but I know that I will learn lots from the people there and the other students going with me.


 

 

The Benefits of Warm Weather

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Hello Friends!

It’s been such a nice day today! It’s amazing to think that temperatures in the 60s and just squeaking up to 70 can feel so good, but after weeks of living in 30 degree weather it’s a wonderful reprieve. I love that warm weather can be such a boost to the mood. The stress has definitely been picking up lately, but one or two days of warm weather and it’s like all of the things that have been dragging you down just melt away.

On top of that, the weather has finally been decent enough in the past week to get out and exercise. Running is my go-to, and it gets terribly difficult when temperatures are below freezing and the sidewalks are covered in ice. Today was the third time in the last week that I have been able to go for a nice long run without worry of slipping or just the general apathy that comes from cold weather.

With warm weather and exercise, my mood has picked up considerably. My muscles ache in a way that is less of an ache of pain and more about the satisfaction of accomplishment. I feel more energized and much more willing to get up, go out, and get something done. I must say, if you can, go out and experience this weather, even if its just taking your books into the backyard to study or going for a short walk. It’s doing wonders for me, hopefully it will do the same to you.

With spring break approaching, here’s hoping that the weather stays mild!

Until next time,

Sarah

This week, I'm feeling Island Song, by Zac Brown Band:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EWLSdcxbZM

Misleading Monday

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It’s easy to let one bad thing distort your positivity. An awful test score can ruin your day. Start off late for something and it throws off your entire schedule. But those things are misleading.

Take my day, for example.

I wake up at 1:15 PM—more than a little late for my 11 AM meeting.  The exterminator is supposed to come at 2. I scrounge up some clothes and throw them on while simultaneously pushing all of my furniture a foot away from the wall. It’s during this frantic activity that I realize I have a second meeting scheduled for 3. I hurriedly check the bus schedule. It’s 1:50 and the bus is coming at 1:53. I grab all my stuff and sprint out the door shoving my hand in my bag to grab my Smartrip that, by a sick twist of fate, is not there. It’s no big deal, I tell myself. I’m catching a ride on, they’ll take my student ID. Except when I get to the corner I see it pass, just a 10 second walk away.

A ten second walk across four lanes of busy life threatening traffic.

So I decide to take my moped all the way to school despite not having a parking permit. I stop by the Starbucks looking for coffee to wake me up and accidentally order a chai tea instead. I attempt to fill out the meeting’s paperwork without a pen until someone takes pity on me and lets me borrow theirs. Then I have to go and give this “honors society” 60 dollars that I don’t really have.

From there I call my insurance company. They assure me that everything is okay and that I can finally pick up my much needed prescription. So I moped on over to CVS and spend the next hour fighting with both the pharmacists and the insurance company about a problem that someone had told me was fixed. I end up just paying the stupid bill out of pocket.

Then I rush to a dealership, sign a whole bunch of paperwork, and listen to a man tell me my car could quite possibly not be ready to drive for another 2-5 weeks.

But it’s okay because I still own it. The title will be in my name just as soon as I pay for it. I swipe my debit card; punch in my number, and… incorrect pin. I had lost my bankcard the week before and had gotten a new one. It’s written on a paper at home but the exterminator is there and we can’t go back in the house until 7:30. It’s 5:30. And to top it off, I have homework due tomorrow.

At 8 I finally go home—tired, cranky, and more than a little hungry.

It’s at that point that I start to pity myself. And it’s at this point that I give my self a good slap in the face.

The weather was beautiful. I was on time for my second meeting. I drank a delicious chai tea. I joined an honors society. I’m half way to owning my own car. Someone offered me kindness in the form of a pen. I now know my new pin. My insurance problem is finally being solved. Food tastes ten times better on an empty stomach. I did not get a ticket.

So chipper up, negative Nancy.

It’s not called a “Happy Monday!” for nothing.

Tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection:

Who Wouldn’t Wanna Be Me by Keith Urban

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOx4u1G8ZN4

 

When it Rains it Hails

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     I can remember a time when I couldn’t tell the difference between small comforts and luxuries. I thought that I could survive happily with just about any hint of comfort. It’s funny how life’s priorities change. They change with circumstance and one’s mindset.

As pointed on previously, I’m in sort of a transition. . . not still a larvae, not quite a moth (definitely no butterfly). . . The long and the short of it is that the cushy, lucrative student position I’ve enjoyed for the past few years is coming to an end and this realization has me evaluating my expenses as I search for new employment.

     Firstly, being in a relationship is expensive especially when you live together. The biggest fact of the matter is that it’s entirely unethical to drag someone you care about down with you because you’ve fallen into a lower economic status. I’m saying this because if I were single, I would definitely have a different mindset about the situation. Heck, a younger, more single Isaac would look at this as a chance for ground up reinvention. Instead of being caught in an office where I’ve felt like my eyeballs were being progressively burned out by computer screens daily, I could who knows, teach music, find writing gigs (thanks student life blog for the “writing experience”), become a world class sign twirler. . . heck go build houses as part of a charity organization. I’m not single though and I don’t want to be so I’ve got to temper enthusiasm for change with a solid sense of a modicum of, if not altruism then surely the common sense of knowing when I’ve got a good thing going. In the end if we’re not loved then what are we?

    Second, I love living in a space that is at least somewhat my own. A bed that’s not someone else’s living room couch, private, hot showers, someplace to cook a hot meal. I’ve come to grow accustomed to a comfortable home. Could I go back to a life of couch surfing, short term room rentals and/or the occasional night in flat bed my little hatchback? Sure, but per my first evaluation I couldn’t drag someone else into this and frankly I’ve come to appreciate the centeredness of having a place to call home.

    It’s just funny the way that life twists (or twists the knife) and when it rains it pours and sometimes it hails. It’s up to us to decide whether we need a raincoat or a life raft. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this specific set of challenges, but keeping one’s head in the sand is rarely of any help and neither is simply turning back and falling into old trappings      


Learning to Live

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Recently I have been writing lots of essays and sometimes it is quite common if the questions asked want similar things, but since last week I have been exposed to a lot of things related to “learning to live.” It all started after the project Lead meetings that the director of student life, Jim Walters, holds on certain Thursdays. At the end of the meeting, he showed a video that was talking about how short life is and learning from the experiences we have. At the end of the video, there was a statement that read “Life is short, so….” My conclusion was “so what do you want to do, to leave a legacy.” Two days later, I decided to do an application for the honors program at Notre Dame of Maryland University and the essay question they asked was to develop the idea of their founder which is “Learn to live.” I had planned to one day read a book authored by one of my role models, Eleanor Roosevelt, so three days ago, I stumbled on a book titled You Learn by Living that came to my attention. Obviously I started reading it. I don’t know what I am going to learn in this book but being exposed to this idea got me thinking about what it really means to learn to live or learn by living. Writing the application essay also got me to think about what I learn every day and how to learn to live. It sounds complicated now, but I take it as a challenge to learn and understand what this means. Maybe this is the best time for me to learn all of these as many opportunities are coming my way every day.

I hope that learning about what this means will help me during my alternative spring break trip to Alabama. This spring break, I am leaving with about 20 other students and faculty members for a trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is associated with Habitat for Humanity. I know that my week there will be an important one and I hope that I will return with a more matured mindset and a better outlook on life. I can’t believe the trip is almost here but before that, I still have two exams to take, so I need to work hard on those first.

I will end with a quote today that says “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt.  

(Maybe you will learn by doing that)

On Gritting One's Teeth

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Ah, Thursdays. One day past "hump day," one day prior to the start of the weekend. Usually, this day signifies that you've made it almost all the way through the week with a bit of sanity intact (or, for you blessed few with 4 day weeks, it's the end of your school week!). This typically describes my Thursdays. It's one of the days where I switch my hat from student to teacher, I'm in one of my favorite classes (Spanish con Profesora Naranjo) with some of my favorite people, and I get to fret about what to pen here. It's also the day before getting to see my friends and basking in Dr. Borkman's historical humor.

Today, though, that novelty has worn off. I'm behind in homework for an online class that I absolutely abhor (and, therefore, loathe to actually get it done), and though I love learning modern European history from Dr. Borkman, we have our first exam on Monday, and I've heard that his exams are murder (cue the heart palpitations!). So today, in thinking about all that I had to do, I started to freak out just slightly.

Ironically, in the English class in which I assist on Thursdays, the head teacher was discussing prioritizing time in regards to finishing a research paper and asked me for input. Wryly, I tried to spare the stressed-out high school seniors a monologue, and simply told them that juggling assignments is part of being in college and a great lesson to learn beforehand. Sometimes you just have to let the smaller things go to get the bigger things done (having "bigger fish to fry," in a manner of speaking). And you have to just grit your teeth and get 'er done. It might not be pretty (like this blog post), but it must be done. Just do it!

My so-called words of wisdom to them came back to haunt me just over an hour ago as I sat motionless on a couch, nearly in tears thinking about getting my assignments done and being able to keep my social engagements simultaneously. It can't be done! I bemoaned. There's no way humanly possible that I can finish every homework problem, confidently know how to answer each question on Dr. Borkman's exam and still see every one of my friends this weekend. And so, in keeping with my advice, I started to proverbially clench my pearly whites and just get crap done. I had to take rainchecks on spending time with my friends tomorrow evening. I decided to skip volunteering this week. And I put off going to another friend's house on Saturday night. Only one engagement I agreed to weeks ago will I keep on Sunday. Difficult decisions for me - I hate canceling plans last minute and missing out on a good time with friends. But, as I told my students earlier, it must be done!

Now, lest you think too highly of me, I likely won't optimally use all of the 15 or so extra hours I gained this weekend. Life happens. But, now I at least have them at my disposal to use wisely without panicking. Time to turn off my phone, turn up my Bach, and buckle down. What a weekend!

Kimmie's Thursday Tunes:

 http://youtu.be/NMCquldAWL0 (George Gershwin | Rhapsody in Blue)

http://youtu.be/zi0ENw-JlUI (George Gershwin | An American in Paris)

http://youtu.be/N1l5vgY_3tw (Ferde Grofe | The Grand Canyon Suite) 

Call me nerdy, but these are some of my favorite pieces to have on while I study. I can't concentrate on written words with lyrics in the background, so I opt for these instead. They also help because I can recall certain words in relation to what portion of the music I was listening to at a point in time. Works wonders!

Do You Know What You Want To Do With the Rest of Your Life?

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(It’s Okay If You Don’t)

Hello Friends,

So, my little sister is waiting on college acceptance letters, and has been spending time researching her intended major (Engineering). I started thinking about what I was considering doing at that age and realized that it is nowhere NEAR what I am studying now. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a teacher. When I  was applying to schools, I was thinking about going into law or paralegal studies. By the time I got to college, it was business. And now, I have just submitted my application to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program (fingers crossed) and I can definitely tell that this one is it for me. It feels right in a way that the others never did, even though I thought they were the perfect choice at the time.

My point being, you don’t have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 18, or even 30+. I feel lucky that I have figured it out now, and I am just about to turn 22. I have changed my mind over and over again over the course of a few years and I find that as my interests and priorities change and mature, my career and education choices tend to mature with them. I have wavered back and forth between things I am good at, things I like to do, and things that will get me a decent paycheck. I finally feel like I have a solid grasp on a balance between all three, but it did take a few leaps of faith (and a major head injury) to get there.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t let the stress of deciding get you down. It’s very, very likely that you will change your mind at some point (probably more than once, if you’re anything like me). It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to settle now and change your mind later when something better comes along. It’s okay to value some things more than others in your decision. It’s also okay to be perfectly sure that what you are choosing is actually what you want. Whatever you are feeling in regards to your future, it’s okay. If you keep your mind open and pay attention to how you are feeling in your classes and your everyday life, you’ll find what you’re looking for. It was a long and arduous process, but I know I did.

Until next time,

Sarah

Song selection: Songbird, by Fleetwood Mac (random, I know, but I was listening to it earlier and thought I’d share)      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTi19MPOvDw

Margaret Whiting Monday

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While brainstorming ideas for this blog I realized that not one person has commented on the snow. Maybe they’re tired of it, maybe they’re used to it, maybe they just don’t care. But let me tell you right now, if you hate snow and I’m just rekindling repressed memories then you should stop reading this blog.

Right

about

now.

I FRIGGIN LOVE SNOWWW!

It is the best and here’s why.

You never have school, you rarely have to work. The unreasonably satisfying feeling you get when you realize that other states get just as much snow as you do (and more) but STILL have to go to school. It’s undeniable beauty. Leg warmers! Snuggling. You get to do cool things like build snowmen (and women), have snow ball fights, and make snow angels. Hot tea. Hot chocolate. Hot cocoa. Hot milk. Hot water. Take your pick.  It’s the perfect excuse to act like a child. Shoveling is a workout without even having to go to the gym. It makes for really convenient ice-skating. If perchance you have a lake near by. Or you could just pretend you’re ice-skating on a lake if (like mine) your road never gets plowed. When else can you wear obnoxiously puffy articles of clothing and heavy boots? It gives you an excuse to curl up with a good book. Or sleep in. Or sit in front of a fireplace. Or one of those other decidedly leisure activities that you decided to no longer make time for. Sledding. It reminds you of Christmas. What scrooge out there doesn’t like Christmas? If you don’t like Christmas how about the Little Mermaid Two: Return to the Sea? Baldo? Snow Dogs? FROZENNN?!!! Any other magically snowy Disney Movie? The feeling you get after you switch out your cold wet socks for warm cozy ones. Two words: LONG. JOHNS. The ridiculousness of the name should be enough to put a smile on your face. Ever notice how silent it is right after it snows? Or how funny it is when people finally decide to venture outside? Especially when they don’t have all wheel drive… The pleasant surprise you receive upon realizing that it’s not actually that cold outside.

 

Point is, snow is awesome. Especially when it conveniently pushes back that test that you procrastinated on studying for. Ehem.

 

Happy Monday!

Love,

Tiff:)

 

Tiffany’s Magical Monday Music Selection:

Baby It’s Cold Outside by Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer

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

 

Lyrics:

I really can't stay.
But, baby, it's cold outside.
I got to go way.
But baby, it's cold outside.
This evening's has been.
Been hoping that you'd drop in.
So very nice.
I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice.
My mother will start to worry.
Beautiful, what's your hurry?
And father will be pacing the floor.
Listen to the fireplace roar.
So really I'd better scurry.
Beautiful, please don't hurry.
Maybe just a half a drink more.
Put some records on while I pour.
The neighbors might think.
Baby, it's bad out there.
Say, what's in this drink.
No cabs to be had out there.
I wish I knew how.
Your eyes are like starlight now.
To break the spell.
I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell.
I ought to say no, no, no, sir.
Mind if I move in closer?
At least I'm gonna say that I tried.
What's the sense of hurting my pride?
I really can't stay.
Baby don't hold out.
Ahh, but it's cold outside.
I simply must go.
But, baby, it's cold outside.
The answer is no.
But, baby, it's cold outside.
This welcome has been.
How lucky that you dropped in.
So nice and warm.
Look out the window at that storm.
My sister will be suspicious.
Gosh, your lips look delicious.
My brother will be there at the door.
Waves upon a tropical shore.
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious.
Gosh, your lips are delicious.
Well maybe just a cigarette more.
Never such a blizzard before.
I've got to get home.
But, baby, you'll freeze out there.
Say, ya, lend me a comb.
It's up to your knees out there
You've really been grand.
I thrill when you touch my hand.
But don't you see?
How can you do this thing to me?
There's bound to be talk tomorrow.
Think of my life long sorrow.
At least there will plenty implied.
If you caught pnuemonia and died.
I really can't stay.
Get over that old doubt. Ahh but it's cold outside.

Up and Back at em'

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Sorry for the delay. . .It seems like we had a few technical difficulties with the site but hey we’re back. . . I’m sure all of you out there in interwebs land were waiting with bated breath (or maybe abated breath) for this week’s blog. It does seem that we’re back.

     On the topic of things that take forever to get going, I have to ask. Why must I always procrastinate? Why do I assume that I work best under pressure. . ? I become an insufferable jerk under pressure. I might get work done, but I can’t live in a cave while I’m doing it (well maybe. . .no!) and I never get better and reading or comprehension. I have to admit I’ll never gain the skills or learning through osmosis or even speed reading comprehension by simply waiting til’ the eleventh hour to do anything. Without fail I will end up in a heap on the nearest, hardest, coldest floor panting and raving and trying to come up with a list of key topics to just scrape by; or as I call it my C+ minimum guide.

Do people still hire taskmasters? Can I be taken to one when I need help studying. Maybe the crack of a whip would keep me motivated. My guess is that there are people that you can hire for just about anything, but hey I’m on a limited income. I’m just a student.

 To anyone: How do you get/stay motivated for studying? Is there a process? Does it just come down to sucking it up?

Also, fellow procrastinators, what lies do you knowingly tell to grant yourselves just a few more hours of sweet do nothing time? You know it’s not really worth it right?

 

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