Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Destressing

With finals creeping closer, everybody is probably starting to notice the amount of stress they feel piling up. For me finishing up project three will be a HUGE weight off my shoulders, but until then I have been trying to find ways to ease the tension and relax so the outcome of my final project will have a positive impact on my grade. So I was doing a little searching and I came across some things that I found to be pretty interesting means of stress releif. Here are a few of them:
Music - when you're stressing listening to music can actually lower your blood pressure, relax your body, and calm your mind
Take a walk - any form of exercise increases the blood flow to the brain which in turn increases your thinking skills. Also exercise releases endorphins that will lift your spirits and your mood.
Laugh - Laughter releases endorphins and reduces the level of stress hormones; it offers a distraction from negative emotions; use laughter to connect with others
Breath - Just breath! Take a couple of strong, deep breaths - inhale through your nose, hold for 6 seconds, then exhale through your mouth. While you are doing this, concentrate on your breath and breathing patterns.
Play Games - Even just a simple game of online tetris can help you to reduce stress while giving you a break from your studies. Its fun and free online games are easy to find. A site I like to use for games and funny flash videos is Albino Black Sheep.

I just thought I'd share these becasue they all have been helping me through these last few weeks! If you'd like to read up on stress relief for yourself, this is where I found some great ideas!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Storms

Last night I went to the mall with a couple friends and what we thought would be dinner and a bit of shopping, ended up to be dinner and then sitting in the storm shelter tunnel/hallway for about an hour. It was pretty crazy because when got to the mall the weather was fine; only a little humid. By the time we were ready to shop it was black outside and security guards were telling everyone one to get away from the windows. I have never been somewhere in public when a bad storm and tornadoes were in the area, and I'm not the person who freaks out during storms, but last night I was pretty scared. When we were sitting there in the the hallway, it reminded me of that scene from "Twister" where they are in that barn or whatever and everything starts flying around and then one of the characters is hit in the head by something shiny and sharp. Ok, so nothing was flying around in the mall, but there were these big pipes above us and all I could think about were the pipes falling and killing me. It is funny how when we are put into crazy and unexpected circumstances, we start thinking of the worst; or at least I did last night. As I was looking around I kept thinking "that could probably hurt me" or "I wonder if this roof is sturdy". Now don't get me wrong, I'm not the girl who walks around thinking everything is out to get her, but I couldn't help it last night when we knew tornadoes were close.
Why is it that it takes something like bad weather to make us wonder if are time is up? And then when we find out it isn't, we are instantly grateful for about 3 seconds then go on acting the way we used to without taking the time to say the unspoken words we have always wanted to or doing the things we have always dreamed of doing. Why does it take something serious to make us gain perspective. Before last night, I was worried over petty things but this morning I put them out of my mind. Why can't I just ignore the little things all the time, instead of just when something scary happens. And really I know I should stop saying someday I'll do _____; I should just do it now because who knows if I'll ever see "someday"?

One more thing...I'm somewhat obsessed with quotes and finding quotes to fit with certain situations and how I'm feeling, so I found this quote and I think it fits well.

"Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive -- the risk to be alive and express what we really are."
-Don Miguel Ruiz

I guess the moral of the story is: stop being afraid to do what you want, say what you need to to the people you love, and avoid the Tippicanoe Mall when tornadoes are close - that shelter hallway smells.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Is it just me or is everything moving too fast?

4 weeks until the end of the semester. Wow. Where did it go? Where did the year go? It seems like every year is just speeding by faster than the last and its hard to avoid wondering - "what do I have to show for it?". The end of this year should mark the halfway point of my college career, however this is sadly not the case. After transfering and losing credits I am almost a year behind where I actually should be. A good thing though, the extra time has given me the chance to look at where I'm at, where I'm going, and where I want to be when I graduate (I'm not saying that someone who graduates in 4 years does not have time to analyze what they are doing, only that I tend to be indecisive so the extra year will be helpful). It is pretty scary to recognize that in 3 years or so I will be ready to start a job that I have been trying to prepare for most of my life. What freaks me out even more is that this summer I will be working in a position that has huge potential for advancement. In my interview I was told that 3 of their recent interns came from Purdue and all 3 are now permanent salary employees. Woa. This job could lead to the rest of my life - if they see something they like in my work. But if I do a horrible job, it will only make it more difficult to get into the job I want to have. So here I am not even halfway through college, almost 20 years old and a window has opened. Not just any window but a window that could open a door into a successful career and the rest of my life. That is crazy.
So with the end of the semester nearing and 'to do' lists continuing to pile up, one thing I have learned is that life has a funny way of unfolding and working itself out, so work your butt off and eventually it will pay off.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Logic

Class on Tuesday gave me a new perspective on an important aspect to project two as well as any paper or project I will complete in the future. We discussed the proper use of logic and what it takes to get there. Mary compared logic to laundry and it really helped to grasp the concept. Look at separating your ideas as if you were sorting laundry - you never put a red shirt in with white pants so why would you put two unrelated ideas together? Also it is important to look all the way around your argument to establish ground for dismissing all possible questions or denials to your statement. This is significant when writing in the academic world because the purpose of writing in that space is to move your statement beyond the point of being questionable. I have never taken a class where the instructor explained logic this deep so I am really pleased to finally have a decent understanding of it; I know it will help make my work more concrete!

TYPOLOGY

In class on Monday we worked a little with typology. Using typology is an excellent way to enhance your text and make it really pop to reach the reader. Its also a lot of fun to play around with when you're bored :) Here are some examples that I came up with:

st st st stutter
S t r e t c h
GiGgLe

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Golden Ticket

In class on Tuesday, we discussed the National Commission on Writing's Survey of Business Leaders entitled "Writing: A Ticket to Work ...Or a Ticket Out". The text stressed the importance of writing in your professional life; in every job there is a great need for writing. Something that really clicked for me was when the text identified writing as a "threshold skill". In other words, writing is a gatekeeping mechanism: if you can write well then employer's will be more apt to hire you, but if you are a poor writer the chances of you getting a highly sought after position are slim to none. This idea is something that I have always agreed with - when you are applying for a job or communicating with your co-workers you should always check your spelling and grammar and all of that, but I never actually saw the connection until that class on Tuesday. The writing can play a significant role in your professional life, and in a way, it can control your professional life. If you are a horrible writer then that will, more than likely, be a barrier to promotion. On the other hand, if you write extremely well and the decision of who will receive the bonus comes down to you and "Mr. I only took English 106 because I had to", who do you think your employer's will choose? I am grateful that Mary introduced us to this survey and the idea of writing at work, in general; I have a completely different view on the importance of writing while receiving my education and beyond.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Culture

While listening to the audio of "Free Culture", my interest was sparked by a topic within the first chapter. The author uses Walt Disney as an example to demonstrate how copyrights have developed over time. In the 1900's, Walt Disney used the gruesome stories previously written by the Grimm Brothers as a basis for his own movies. The Grimm Brothers were a German duo born in the 1780s who used the influence of folktales to develop their own wickedly twisted stories. Disney built on various Grimm stories by tweaking the plots to be considerably lighter and of course, creating images of the characters then adding animation and sound. At the time it was completely legal for Walt Disney (and anyone else) to use someone else's material, but Free Culture made an interesting point in distinguishing the difference between then and now. By having complete access to the Grimm Brother's work, Walt Disney was able to use it with his new idea of adding sound to cartoons and hence presenting wonderful films to the public. However, if someone would try to build on any Disney character let alone a whole movie, they would find themselves in an extreme amount of legal trouble. So basically, the method of building on someone else's content that found fame and success for Walt Disney, is a method that will further prevent others from finding similar success. I find the change in copyrights very interesting. Then, Walt Disney would not be wrong in taking the Grimm Brother's stories because the stories were in the public domain. But now, the details in copyrighting are not anywhere near as simple. Really it comes down to it that our "free culture" really is not actually that free.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Update on TLB

With The Truth Laid Bear website, I have been trying to add my weblog to their site but I keep getting an error message. Last night I tried again but the server was down or too many people were attempting to use the site because it would not even let me view TLB. I am going to keep trying, but I just wanted to let you all know why that link was missing. I'll update this post when I am successful with adding my weblog.