Book is the New Work

Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase:
“_____ is the new _____.”

My family never had cable and by time I was in 8th grade we didn’t even have a tv anymore. So I grew up on books and I loved them. I had read every fantasy, sci-fi and interesting young adult book at the small library near my house a million times when I went off to college.

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But once I got to university, I stopped reading. I don’t like to admit it, but I haven’t read a book all the way through in a long time. It’s hard mixing pleasure reading with academic reading. It might have to do with the fact that I don’t like a lot of academic readings–big words and haughty tones aren’t really my thing and in order to succeed in my classes, I don’t have to read these texts all the way through, I just skim them.

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We watched a TED Talk in my education class called Changing Education Paradigms, which was based on the talk by Ken Robinson, which discussed problems with our education system. One of these is the distinguishing between academic people and non-academic people, the former considered smart and the latter non-smart.

One of the reasons I think reading for class is such a burden is because the texts we read are often written by academics who insist on showing off their “smartness” through word choice and confusing sentence structure. Now, I’m an English major and I’ve made it to my junior year of college so according to society I am smart. But these texts we read make me feel like I’m back in fifth grade struggling to understand the basics of math! There should not be such a decisive divide between different types of “smartness”–those who excel at math and science are just as smart as those who excel at drama and art. I do not want the things I’m reading for school, that are supposed to help me learn, to make me feel stupid instead.

Students do need to be challenged, but confidence in one’s abilities is just as important. I don’t want to approach learning with the attitude that because I don’t know something I’m not as smart as my peers or that not understanding “academic works” makes me somehow lesser. I want to get excited when I learn new things because learning is enjoyable and I want to be respected for the things I do know, be it art, poetry, or any of the liberal arts.

Do you think there is a real divide between “academics” and “non-academics”? If there is, should there be?

I highly advise watching Robinson’s talk, it makes some great points about the American school system and offers some interesting ideas for future changes.

What do you think about divergent thinking? Could we incorporate that into our school system today, or is divergent thinking too different from the intellectual model of the mind on which we currently base our school system?

I want to know what you think–leave your ideas in the comment section!

Consorting with Canadians

Here are some pictures from my trip to Canada! Keep in mind that I was only there for a weekend, so I didn’t get to see any moose. I know, it’s sad. But I had a great time with my family and a delicious Thanksgiving.

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Coffee in Canada is more expensive than in the states. How is that possible?
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It was a BEAUTIFUL day for biking!
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Cool geometric shoes deserve a hipster picture.
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Thanksgiving goodies
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Obviously I had to have some Kinder Eggs since they’re illegal in the States. I definitely did not bring them home with me….
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POUTINE.

So how was your Canadian Thanksgiving weekend? Do anything out of the ordinary or were you just glad to miss school/work on Monday (American Columbus Day)?

I know not everyone has been to Canada, so what’s your favorite Canadian stereotype? Mine is definitely that it snows all the time and Canadians live in igloos, lol. Let me know what you think in the comments!

The Land of Moose, Syrup and Sweaters!

Fall break is upon us and I’ll be spending it in Canada for Thanksgiving! I didn’t really know why Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving since they didn’t really interact with Native Americans the same way English colonists did so I looked it up.

As a liturgical festival, Thanksgiving corresponds to the English and continental European Harvest festival, with churches decorated with cornucopia, pumpkins, corn, wheat sheaves, and other harvest bounty, English and European harvest hymns sung on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, and scriptural selections drawn from biblical stories relating to the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. –Wikipedia

So there will be a big dinner and family will come together and it’ll be a great time! I’ll be sure to post some pictures once the festivities are over so you can appreciate the Canadian tradition of Thanksgiving. Until then, enjoy your weekend and remember to give thanks for what you have every day of the year.

Stop by the comments and let me know what you’re thankful for!

Choosing Joy

If I had to pick a theme song for my life right now, it would probably be When Will My Life Begin, sung by  Mandy Moore, AKA Rapunzel. She seems to understand exactly what I’m going through. Well, I’m not locked in a tower by my creepy, controlling mother, but I am wondering when my life will do something besides wave at me as it passes by.

With all this I’ve realized how important it is to choose joy everyday. It can mean so many different things for so many different people, but for me it means looking for little things that make me smile, remembering when I see them and being aware that I was happy, if only for a brief second. It also means looking up pictures of baby ducks and hot guys, therefore this is turning into a THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY MASTER POST.

  • Bare feet
  • Mr. Darcy
  • Buying sweaters
  • Knowing all the words to a song

pictures that make me happy

  • Singing in the shower
  • Sunny days
  • Family
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  • Mason jars
  • Massages
  • Climbing trees
  • Disney

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  • Cashmere Glow (perfume)
  • The country
  • Good hair days
  • Rainbow knee socks

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  • Spontaneity
  • Fall boots
  • Pick-up trucks
  • Finding things on sale

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  • Gel pens
  • The smell of real leather
  • Bubble baths
  • Dance parties

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It’s hard to think about growing up when you’re right in the middle of doing it. It’s hard to know what you want. Sometimes there are so many voices in your head it’s difficult to know which of them is yours.

-Kevin Brooks

Whatever you happen to be going through, good or bad,  know that looking for joy is a choice and you have the power to make it. Don’t let a creepy, controlling mother keep you locked in the metaphorical tower of your life–use the resources you have (even if you don’t have long hair that glows when you sing) and find joy.

Do you have a go-to thing you do when you’re down? Got any advice on how to beat the blues? Respond in the comments! I hope my list made you smile and that you have a WONDERFUL week.

 

The Winds of Change

Change. Good? Bad? Meh?

Even though I’m not always gung-ho about change, I try to embrace the process. I think it pushes us out of our comfort zones, to new places, to new people, to try new things. Change is the catalyst that introduces new experiences so that we can grow as individuals.

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Lists always make me feel like I have at least some control over my life. I might need to figure out what I want to do as an independent adult, but I also need to go to Wal-Mart and buy some yogurt. I’ve posted below a list of things that change and the great thing is that not all of these things are negative!

  1. The weather
  2. Grades
  3. Your favorite type of pizza
  4. If you have a cold
  5. Where you consider home
  6. Bad habits
  7. Hair length
  8. How many siblings you have
  9. Your friends
  10. Feeling sad
  11. Where you live
  12. If you’re single or dating
  13. The number of shoes you own
  14. How much money you have
  15. Your feelings on Justin Bieber

How do you feel when it comes to change? Do lists help you feel more in control or are they an unnecessary nuisance?

Have a great week, bloggers!