Resolutions

Resolutions

I realize I’m a little late on this, as it is now the end of January. Though, to be completely honest, I’ve never really been into New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s silly to wait to change yourself, your life, your situation, what have you, for one specific day. I know change is constant.

On the other hand, there’s something to be said for stating your goals at one point during the year, and checking to see if they have or have not been accomplished at the same time the next year. I don’t think that it needs to be in the new year; it can be any time of year. I do, however, realize that it is much easier to count and remember where you are when you’ve started at one. So, here are my goals for 2019.

Lose weight.

You may have seen my post in May 2018 about my struggles with my weight. In the last month and a half I have lost about eleven pounds. I’d like to keep it up, and become healthier and happier. That being said, I am also trying to love my body as it is, and I’m actually making some headway in that.

Move out.

I moved back in with my parents in December 2018 to save them money on tuition and rent, and for me to begin to save for my own future. I’m grateful for their generosity, but I’m twenty-two years old, and living at home is stifling and grating. I’m excited to finally have my own space and my own rules and responsibilities.

Spend more time outside.

I’ve always loved being outside. When I was in high school, I worked at a day camp every day for nine weeks of the summer, and the vast majority of the day was spent outside. My memories of camp are some of the happiest memories I have, and those summers are some of the happiest times of my life. Lately, though, I haven’t been making time to be outside, and I’ve noticed a definite change in my mood and quality of life. I miss the casual exercise, the feel of the sun, the fresh air, the sound of wind through leaves.

Read more.

I’ve kind of already been doing this in the last month. There were a good few years that I just didn’t read much past what I had to for school. I had other priorities, I guess. However, as an aspiring writer, the only thing that comes anywhere close to as important as writing is reading. Reading more has brought an old joy into my life, and I intend to keep doing it.

Finish my Bachelor’s degree.

This one is self-explanatory. I’m very done with being a student, and have been since high school, unfortunately. I’m now so close to completion that I may as well finish my degree. I know it will open doors for me – at least, I hope so. It will be such a relief to have it done.

That’s it for now. If I accomplish all these things in 2019, that will be fantastic. If I don’t, I’ve more than likely got sixty more years to do so.

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Unintelligible

Unintelligible

Since I got to UNCG, I’ve intended to submit some writing or photography to the Coraddi, the on-campus student-run literary and art magazine. I picked one up at the festival on Tate street this past weekend, and just sat down and raced my way through it. But now that I’ve consumed the whole thing, I’m rethinking the submission.

Almost all the art in the magazine was excellent, whether copies of student-made paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, or what-have-you. Much of the writing chosen to publish was in the form of poems. Note that I used that phrase, rather than the loaded word “poetry.” I don’t wish for anyone to mistake my meaning.

Now, let me preface this by saying there is some fine work in the magazine I just finished perusing. There is a story depicting dementia that is touching without being cheesy, interesting without being exploitative, and accurate, as accurate as is possible. My favorite writer who was featured in the magazine, whom I cannot locate online but to whom I would like to give a shoutout, had two pieces in this fall 2016 edition. Because I do not have this person’s permission to use their name, I will just name the titles of the pieces: “Young American Dragons,” and “Young Women Grow like Weeds.” They were sparse in the amount of words, but each word was clearly carefully chosen. The imagery was gorgeous, the subjects appropriate for a college student writer beginning to think not more deeply about things, but to take ownership of these deeper themes and ingratiate them into the self.

However, these three instances were outliers, as I was not impressed with most of the written work in this edition. As I said before, the vast majority of the published written submissions were poems, but this does not mean they were poetry. Now, before you accuse me of being a purist, an old-fashioned English major snob, let me inform you that some of my favorite poetry in the world is free-verse, or at least does not rhyme. Much of the poetry in the first issue of the 119th volume of the Coraddi was free verse, but this was not the problem. The problem was that it was mostly composed of phrases, completely unrelated not only to each other, but also from descriptor to object. This is fine when done well, and/or for a purpose. But it seemed in the majority of these cases that these poems were attempts to seem artistic or brilliant or innovative, when they were, truly, none of the above. They were chaotic and unintelligible.

Of course, there were simple grammatical and spelling errors, easily found and easy to fix. I can’t imagine why any existed, as the magazine is published only twice a year. It would seem to me that would be plenty of time to correct grammatical and spelling errors, especially when it comes to the names of the authors or artists. Hopefully this is now much less of an issue, as the Coraddi is no longer published in print, but rather is entirely online.

What do you think? Should I submit to the on-campus literary and art magazine? Would it help me professionally? Leave a comment down below!

 

Graduation Gift Guide

As summer approaches, so does graduation season. Whether graduating from college or graduate school, these are all great presents for the grad(s) in your life.

Gift cards

You can never go wrong with a gift card, and definitely not with cash. A lot of times college and master’s or doctorate graduates already have many of the things they need. Starbucks, grocery, movie, etc. gift cards are always helpful!

Combination churchkey/wine opener

You’d be surprised the length people go to open beers and wine bottles when they don’t have one of these. Make their lives easier, and just give them what they “need.”

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

This book is a great resource for anyone leaving what they’ve always known (i.e., school) and going into something entirely new. Why not set up your grad for success in their future endeavors?

Stationery

Stationery is definitely handy, especially for all the thank-you cards that will have to be written for gifts received. They’re handy for any occasion: birthdays, thank-yous, congratulations, anniversaries, etc.

Tool Kit

Again, you’d be surprised what people will turn to if they don’t have the proper tools. I myself have used scissors as a screwdriver and any number of things for a hammer. Getting real tools was a godsend. I’d especially recommend an electric multi-tool with various interchangeable heads.

Keurig

While it’s more than likely that your grad has one of these, if they don’t, it’s a handy machine to have. A Keurig will ultimately save your grad money on their Starbucks habit – especially if you didn’t get them that Starbucks gift card! Just remember to give some pods with the Keurig if this is the gift you choose. The Keurig is almost useless without them.

Phone Chargers

With the way phone chargers get lost, stolen, or damaged everyone could always use extra phone chargers. It’s an excellent, useful, and cost-effective gift you know your grad will appreciate.

 

The Stupidity of Higher Education

(Disclaimer: I am a big believer in higher education, and a supporter of making it more accessible to all.)

I think it’s ridiculous that it’s common for people to expect that an eighteen-year-old should know what she wants to do with the rest of her life when only a few months beforehand she had to raise her hand, wait to be called on, and ask and be granted permission to go to the bathroom. I’m referring to the tradition of choosing a major upon acceptance to and/or arrival at college.

When I was eighteen I thought I wanted to be on Broadway. When I didn’t get into a musical theatre program, I enrolled in college to study vocal performance, because I was going to work to get what I wanted.

Now I’m an English student, but I don’t think I want to be a full-time writer anymore. Or maybe I do. So far, I think I want to get a master’s degree in finance.

I think it’s ridiculous to expect someone who has most likely always lived in a parental figure’s house under their rules to pick their own career path and stick to it for the rest of their life.

I don’t think college majors are unnecessary. I think they should be less stringent, and that higher education should be more comprehensive. Especially in modern America, where it is incredibly common that a college degree is required for any upward mobility job-wise, education should open many doors, not limit a student to one. If someone wants to be highly specialized, graduate school should be an option they can choose. Someone with a college degree is likely older and arguably wiser than someone with the ink on their high school diploma still wet, and should therefore be more capable of deciding in what field to specialize. Why pressure the very young to make their beds and lie in them when they’re still figuring out how to put it together?