Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rate My Professor?

Maybe I'm super out of the loop, but I just found out Rate My Professors is a lot more commonly used than I thought.
I mean, I knew the website existed, but I didn't think anyone actually looked up their professors before the semesters started?

There are a lot of issues I have with this:
(and yes things are about to get real because I'm making a numbered list)

1. Who's writing the reviews? Only students who have strong opinions, most likely. And this means that most of the reviews are either completely negative or ridiculously gushy. This isn't an accurate consensus of what a professor is going to be like.

2. The content is insanely superficial. The website itself is superficial, but it gets worse. Most of the time the reviews are some asshole's opinion of aspects that aren't even truly related to the professor. The class is hard. The textbook is boring. She makes bad jokes. And there's a fucking HOTNESS RATING?! What the actual fuck.

3. I'm sorry you got a bad grade but that doesn't mean the professor sucks. I like how some people post that they received a grade like a C- or a D and that they "barely cracked open" the textbook, and then they have the audacity to blame the professor for their lack of success. Saying things like "worst teacher ever" and not elaborating on what qualities make this particular professor the worst makes it seem like you had a personal problem with the professor, and that doesn't mean that the professor isn't good at his job. And to be clear, I don't only have a problem with the negative reviews...

4. Just because you think the professor is "cool" doesn't mean she should get a good rating. Yes: all professors are smart. That goes without saying, so you don't have to say it on every fucking review. They all have their Ph.D.'s so yes they're intelligent. But can they teach well? Are they trying to help you be successful? And seeing comments like, "Dude this professor is awesome! super chill!" or, "Easy grader, I loved her" aren't really insightful to their abilities as a professor.

5. Why should I care about someone else's opinion of my professor? I honestly hate the concept of trying to see what someone is going to be like by reading other people's opinions. Especially with  college courses, everyone's experience is so unique that it's hard to judge how your opinion will compare to others'. And with everyone looking to jump on a bandwagon, people love to come in with their preconceived notions about a professor and they aren't open-minded enough to let their own opinion form. This is something I've noticed happening based on word-of-mouth reviews, and that annoyed me. So imagine my disgust at seeing this website and finding out it's actually taken seriously.

Maybe this is a dumb thing to rant about, but I've been burned a couple times by taking courses from teachers or professors who are allegedly awesome, and found that their class was a huge waste of my time. And I've also found that a lot of times the professors that students complain about tend to be some of my favorites.
All this because I live in my happy little bubble where my opinion goes uninfluenced by what others have thought of professors in the past.

I feel strongly about this. So I'm ranting.
Also, I have an exam tomorrow that I'm supposed to be studying for. So I'm procrasti-ranting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


I hate to be a cynic.
Who the fuck am I kidding? I (apparently) love to be a cynic.

It's not so much that I enjoy finding ways to be let down, but as it turns out, most people suck. And it hurts significantly less to discover this if you're prepared for it.

Let me be clear: I'm not sitting high-and-mighty on my throne overlooking all the shitty people of the world, thinking about the ways I've been wronged by people, or which injustices have been done to me, or the unfortunate circumstances that have happened upon me.
I'm people too. And I suck.

Recently I've come to find that friends are only "friends"when it's convenient. People care about you, and they share themselves with you, but then suddenly they stop. And they only begin again when they need you.
I'm guilty of this too. But I'm sorry. Aren't I?

He cared so much about me and was being so supportive. But now I haven't heard from him in weeks.
But how have I treated him? I was always there for him when he needed me. And now that his life seems in order, I keep thinking that I'm not even needed. But everyone needs a friend, even when you don't need a friend.

She shared everything about her life with me, and now I'm discovering new information about her second-hand.
Well, I told her everything about me, but now I've been telling her lies. That's even worse than with-holding information, isn't it?

He checked in on me every once in a while, and made sure to keep encouraging me, even when I wasn't in particular need of encouragement. But now he's too busy to even say hello in passing.
And yet I'm the piece of shit friend that never once told him that everything was going to be okay. Not sincerely, at least.

They were such good friends of mine, and now I can't stand the sight of them.
Although to be honest, I didn't even try to communicate with them, and my patience wore thin with no attempt to resolve it.

So I'm a little heartbroken. But maybe I deserve this.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Thought Vomit

I'm going to throw all my thoughts out and not try to organize them or worry about grammar or anything. I'm just going to "freewrite" if you will; so don't be offended by my lack of coherence or elegance or transitions or whatever else you think is lacking from this post.

On April 1st I talked to Dr. Tokorcheck, and although he didn't say anything that was particularly encouraging, I left that meeting with a changed perspective, and a true deeply-rooted happiness.

That lasted (surprisingly) until September. And yes, I know I wasn't bound to stay in an unusually happy state forever, because people go through cycles... you have highs and lows and that's just how it is.

But here's the thing: I totally and completely believed that I was going to stay happy forever. I thought that I had reached some sort of really cool "zen" understanding of myself, or of life, or whatever.

You might just roll your eyes and think, how naive!, but it wasn't like I was giddy-happy, in love, or had received wildly uplifting news. It was sort of the opposite: I had been told that I was stuck, trapped, and had virtually no options. But that made me feel a sort of liberation from having to make decisions (which we all know I'm terrible at), and I wasn't high on this realization, I was just... genuinely content? I don't know how to describe it.

What I'm getting at is that I wasn't being unrealistic in thinking it could last forever.
Well, I didn't think I was, at least.

So I've been reading a lot of psychology texts recently, and I've come to realize that there are so many things in life that we don't actually have that much control over. And as scary as that is, it's also kind of a freedom. And it's weird because everyone, no matter what circumstances are presented to their life, eventually end up at the same level of happiness they started with, meaning you're always going to return to your "ground zero", and the cycles are always going to temporary.

I don't know, I guess I'm going through a bit of a low right now, but I feel that I understand enough about the way I'm feeling to know it's going to blow over soon enough. And yes, I'm allowed to feel a little down, and yes I'm allowed to sulk a bit, and yes I'm allowed to want to be alone for a couple weeks.

No, I'm not depressed. No, you shouldn't be concerned.

Anyway, there's actually some really fun results of this weird funk I'm going through. I've been reading more, and I'm SO IN LOVE with Michael Chabon and his book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It's incredibly written: artful, cynical, witty, and brilliant. I've also come to find there are some unexpectedly cherishable friends in my life, which is nice. And a weird result of my putting less effort into how I look has been a gain in comfort with my appearance (yeah, weird right?).

So I mean whatever. Life is okay.
It's not even Thursday, but hi.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015


You're allowed to like the way you look.
You're allowed to be happy with your body.
You're allowed to recognize your accomplishments.
You're allowed to be proud of yourself.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


I had to say goodbye to two people today.
And I've only just met them.

It's weird saying goodbye knowing it's a true farewell. But I'm just not ready, yet.

People fade in and out of my life all the time. Some connections just wither as time passes.
But it's strange to meet people that could have been really great friends... if only for better timing.

I guess it doesn't make meeting them any less meaningful. It makes me sad, and in some ways I feel a little cheated. But this is life, I guess. And from here on out these types of quick-fading connections will occur frequently.

Goodbye, almost friends. I'll miss what we could have had.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Week 30

The weeks are getting longer.
My blogging is getting shorter.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It's Thursday again.

Keeping up on blogging is difficult because I really want to keep the pattern of posting on Thursdays but I always forget about it until Thursday evening when I'm too exhausted to think.

Gina and I had dinner tonight and got to talk one-on-one which is always great.
Also Kaitlyn called me tonight and we were able to mindlessly chat while she drove to New Orleans.

I think through both of those conversations I was able to establish this:
I'm not confused. Everyone else just doesn't want to face the facts.

I know that doesn't make sense to anyone but me, but I'm the only one who reads this anyway.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I think about this a lot

Lindsay's café crush is "Latté Guy", as we call him, (also known as "The Guy Who Hates Cream Cheese") and one time upon receiving is his latté he said, "Oh, it's a fish today!" in reference to the latté art (which was obviously accidental because none of us know how to do latté art) and I think that was a super endearing moment.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Okay okay okay...

This week hasn't been hectic but for some reason I've been falling behind in things.

I think I'm just going to give a quick little update instead of trying to be creative since I'm already rushed on this.

I finally got my phone back from that crazy lady in Des Moines. I didn't meant to get the police involved, but I ended up picking it up from the PD in Carlisle, which worked out well so I guess whatever.

On Tuesday (to replace our Wednesday shenanigans on account of everyone leaving for the 4th) we went to the boys' volleyball game and hung out at BK's afterward drinking beer, eating pizza, and watching Archer. It was a very "college" evening and I loved it.

This upcoming weekend I was supposed to only work on the 4th, which was a little disappointing since I'm going to be stuck in Ames anyway... I'd rather be working most of the time. Megan ended up being okay with me taking her Friday and Sunday shifts, so hopefully that'll be good money.

Other than that, life is still going great.

I interviewed with BAM on Thursday. It was a group interview which was weird, and I don't think I was particularly impressive. I also am not entirely sure I want the job anymore. I mean let's be real: I'd love to work at a book store. But I'm not sure juggling everything will be easy, and they probably don't want to work with my sporadic schedule right now anyhow.

Time will tell! Until next week...

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, June 25, 2015


My laptop is still with the IT guys.
I'm wondering if this means the malware issues are really deeply rooted, or if they are just as lazy as "The IT Crowd" would suggest and haven't done much with my computer except turning it off and on again.

On any account, I'm writing this week's post from my second home (Sweeney).

It's a bit more awkward thinking of topics to write about because I can't just pick up my laptop whenever I have a thought about something that might be worth writing down, and I sort of have to just sit here and hash it out instead of getting to intermittently write when I feel like it.

But this past week has proven to be quite interesting regardless, so let's see what I can pull from that...

I met someone recently, and we've been getting to know each other over the past few weeks. We met at the Toga Party for Kaitlyn and immediately hit it off. It turns out we have Organic lecture together, so we've started sitting together and have studied a few times. We've also gone to the bars a couple times with our mutual friend Dan (who is responsible for us meeting).

I can't say for sure if I have a "crush" or whatever. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Liking someone has always been a little scary, but I think this one is scarier than most.
I'm not sure if I want to be brave and face my potential feelings, or if I should retreat (like usual) and hope that someday someone really shakes me awake and makes me stop being such a coward.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy things

  • Doc Winter's quirky jokes
  • Wednesday nights
  • Spontaneous Frisbee on Central Campus
  • Becoming distracted at work by talking to Dominique
  • Getting to know Jennifer
  • Seeing Shaylee today
  • Fresh Veggies guy at Panch
  • Bev Cart
  • Bailing on Boot Camp this week
  • Naps
  • Reading A Confederacy of Dunces

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, June 11, 2015

This summer is the best.

Okay so I don't have an internship, I'm not traveling, I'm re-taking a course, and I'm working less than 20 hours per week between two jobs. BUT. This summer is honestly the best.

The disappointingly-sparse schedule I have gives me plenty of free time which usually consists of reading (all those I've-Been-Meaning-To books), getting to hangout with my Summer-Ames friends (who are all great), and of course getting to occasionally watch some mindless Netflix.

Every Tuesday we go to Taco Tuesday at Es Tas (the bar I live above), Wednesdays are for family dinners, Pint Night, and broomball (which is rad as heck), the weekends are for chilling out and drinking, and any night is a good night for spontaneous events (drinks or dinner with friends, sitting outside and chatting, playing Frisbee..) and honestly I'm loving life.

Working at Bookends was initially upsetting because I wanted to work at Courtyard since it's my usual café, I already know my co-workers, and know the regular customers. But Dominique is a hoot, and I've become acquainted with new Regulars which is refreshing.

I adore working bev-cart so far. I'm slowly getting to know my co-workers who didn't seem too promising to begin with, but of course.. "the results of being open minded will always surprise you". And the Regulars there are a lot of fun too (heavy drinkers, big tippers).

Knowing that I hate summer with the heat and humidity, it's surprisingly nice to be outside for most of the days. Yes, I get sweaty and gross, but I'll probably get tan soon and I feel good which is so wonderful.

I'm loving Doc Winter; he's adorable and a great professor. I'm thinking Organic might be like Transport in feeling a lot of satisfaction in truly working hard to understand the material. Even if I don't get an A and have flawless exams, I'm getting a lot out of this experience.

And of course, the friends I have in Ames this summer aren't my usual crew to hang out with, but I'm getting to know these friends a lot better and I'm meeting new people.

Life is fun. This summer feels very "college", and I'm hoping it's the last summer I'll have that feels this free and unproductive, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.


This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wise people do not always speak wise words

Someone recently told me that emotions should be independent of experiences.
I was immensely confused by this statement, and I don't remember exactly what he said to me after I expressed this, but it was something with the general undertone of: "of course you have a hard time understanding this concept".
Initially, I took offense by this response. So I tried desperately to understand in order to prove him wrong.

But here's the thing: even after trying and trying and goddamn trying to wrap my head around this, keeping an open mind, and working out how this could be a useful way to live life... I still disagree.

Logic and emotions are separate; we often use this to justify weird things.
I mean, say you have a gut feeling about someone, and even though logically you should trust her, you find you don't because of this feeling.
Or love (ugh) is another one. Sometimes you fall in love with someone who logically you shouldn't be attracted to, and yet you can't help being head-over-heels with heart eyes bugging out of your head like a cartoon.

These are emotions. They can't be controlled.

And how demanding do you have to be of life to think this way? I thought I was a control freak, but this to me sounds like something that would take a lot of power... and can you truly enjoy power? Does it make you happy?

Emotions are freeing. They're what bring any sort of color to our lives. Sometimes you are uncontrollably happy and you feel on top of the world! And sometimes you are down and you feel like you can't sink lower but then surprise!, you do...

Most of the time, you aren't experiencing one extreme or the other, yet there's an artful beauty that you're capable of these emotions (however exhausting they might be). I DO believe that emotions are (and should be) based on experiences. And I think that's wonderful and beautiful and tragic and horrifying: that's exactly why life is worth living.

Can you imagine if you were able to control your emotions? Everything would feel the same all the time, and would thus become neutral. That sounds terrifying.

So what I've learned from this whole ordeal is that wise people do not always give wise advice. I mean, he's probably content all the damn time. And maybe that sounds like a good thing to you, but to me it sounds rather boring.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sorry for being boring today.

Everything takes maintenance. Which is hard.

And usually you're striving to better a situation (or yourself), not just maintain it.

So there's that.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Searching for an answer to the question Haddaway voiced for us all:

What is love?

Plato had a Theory of Forms which essentially states that there are non-material "Forms" which are perfect and ideal, but which the material world (although continually trying to reach this fundamental purity) cannot achieve.

What does this mean? Well it kind of invalidates Webster (sorry, dude) since dictionary definitions are an attempt to give words an exact meaning. Words do have an exact meaning, but according to this theory they cannot be accurately articulated.

Basically, the answer to the question, "What is love?" cannot be verbalized.

Disappointed? I sure was, initially. But you see, no one asks this question out of interest the definition of the word "love"; it's asked because people want to understand the concept (or Form, if you will) of love. Alright, so it's not something we can explicitly define (which is difficult anyway since it's an emotion) but that doesn't mean understanding it is a hopeless wish.

I made the mistake of trying to understand it via logic.
I dissected the word "love". I broke it down to a science (like a true engineer). I plotted out which questions needed to be answered in what order, and systematically attempted to answer each question. All this work only to discover that each question brought up even more questions, or would lead back to formerly unanswered questions.

I had to tear myself away from this method, since the only thing I was getting out of it was a headache. Upon giving up, I suddenly felt as though I understood love - when I wasn't thinking.

So what is love?

Well you know, it's... love. Maybe we have such a difficult time understanding love because we can't articulate it. But it's so deeply rooted that it's almost like instinct. Being in love isn't like having someone complete you, rather it's that someone is an extension of you. That person's needs become of equal priority to your own. Love: we can recognize it, we feel it; deep down we understand it. No definition necessary.

Love is beautiful and painful. Relationships are hard, but in some ways... love is easy.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, May 14, 2015

When things come to an end

It's a sort of bitterness that you can't savor, and you're not quite sure why you want to. Something keeps pulling you along. It's as though nothing is really ending.

And yet...

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Saying Goodbye

It's weird. For the first time in college, I'm not ready to say goodbye.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Burn bright

I stood outside and watched all the lights go out around me.

I kept mine on until the sun returned.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, April 23, 2015

*shrugs shoulders* ...Why not?

Last week was all about spontaneity.

Monday I decided to go to the lab to finish my homework (which I never do), and I ended up being really productive and finished most of my presentation material before the night ended.

Tuesday I picked up a shift for Maranda at the last minute to close at the cafe. It was a long shift but I enjoyed it.

On Wednesday I had unplanned lunch with Philip. After my group meetings, since the weather was nice, I took a little walk around campus. It was lovely: everything is in bloom.

Thursday night after Help Room, I decided on a whim to go with Kaitlyn and Philip to Chipotle, after which we went to Sweeney to study (I use this term loosely since I did three o-chem problems and then we proceeded to watch very strange YouTube videos).

Then on Friday I saw a bunch of Chem Es playing frisbee/soccer and I joined them. We decided to do wheelbarrow races and three-legged races (I lost both because I collapsed in laughter halfway through).

So it was a good week. Unexpectedly.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Avoiding misery does not lead to happiness.

This seems obvious, but I'm a bit slow.
Yes, avoiding misery often means you will end up being not-miserable. But how often do you strive instead for happiness?
Perhaps this is just my logic, but in the past I thought that avoiding situations where I knew I'd be let down would ultimately make me happy. So that's how I'd been living my life up until recently. Well, lesson learned.

The results of being open minded will always surprise you.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Each day this past week, I made note of the worst part of my day.
This sounds cynical, but wait.

I did this with the intention of proving to myself that the worst part of each day isn't so bad. I assume if you keep a log like this constantly, you will run into a few days where the worst part is actually pretty terrible. But upon analysis, you'll realize that most days go by with hardly any turmoil.

This is actually quite refreshing to discover.
Try it sometime. Even better, try it at a time when you're feeling pretty low. Despite the apparent cynical undertone, I think that even at a time in your life when you are particularly stressed or anxious, you'll discover that living day-by-day isn't so hard.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, April 2, 2015

General Advice for College Students (aka 5 important lessons I learned this week)

College isn't easy.
Life isn't easy.
But neither are as hard as you think.

1. Do not overload your schedule. Learn your limits and respect them. A classmate named Anna was considering taking 19 credits next semester in an attempt to keep her graduation within four years. I could not emphasize enough how poor of a decision this is, and how if I could make sure no one has to learn this lesson the hard way, I would. Here is my small and meager attempt at making this possible, because trust me... you don't want to learn this lesson based on experience.

2. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Again, this point is hard to over-emphasize. Especially in the context of constructing a professional document, whether it be your résumé, an e-mail to your professor, or a document intended for a potential employer... DO NOT FORGET TO PROOFREAD! Do it a million times, and then another ten. Read slowly; read it out loud; double check your information. You don't want to look like a fool to your superiors, or even to your peers.

3. Take things in stride. Being open to new experiences is great, but you also need to be open to the fact that any situation could come at you, and sometimes you just need to flow with it. Maybe it's not going your way, but that doesn't mean it's going the wrong way. Your ever-so-thought-out-and-concrete-plans are not truly a measure of your success. So you failed an exam? Relax, things will get better. So you don't know where you're going with your life? Breathe, things tend to work out. Unexpected does not mean you're unprepared.

4. Never take anything too seriously. Especially yourself. Look, circumstances will arise and you will freak out. It happens. My first advice is to let yourself freak out, because you need this. The second step is to let it go. I know it feels like every decision you make is a huge weight which is slowly (or quickly) affecting and building your future. Nothing is that set in stone. Stop worrying so much. Learn to laugh at a situation, and learn to laugh at yourself.

5. Being happy is the most important aspect of your life. So be happy! In some cases, you'll need to make changes in order to be happy. In other cases, you'll need to change your perspective in order to be happy. Whatever it takes, do it. You can't keep wallowing in self-pity, because there comes a point when the only person who feels sorry for you is you. And feeling sorry for yourself is pathetic. It had to be said, so there.

This week's Weekly Distraction (because Maroon 5 sounds like summer, and this song is Miami) 

Thursday, March 19, 2015


This past week made me feel like anything is possible.

I'm happy.
Life is good.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's not like I'm falling in love I just want you to do me no good... you look like you could.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"I'm sorry"

I say it. You say it.
Everyone says it.
Far too often, I might add.

For what are you apologizing?
Something that you intend to fix?
Something that truly deserves an apology?

Most of the time, it's just a natural response to situations.

You bump into someone. You get in the way. You babble a little bit and realize it's probably not an interesting story.
You're merely existing. Stop apologizing for that.

Sometimes, it's a response to an actual problem.

But what does an apology mean?
Sure, you're regretfully acknowledging something that happened or went wrong. Maybe something you did, said, or even failed to do or say.

An apology is meaningless unless you intend to amend the situation.

Stop being apologetic for your existence.
Start following through on your apologies when you truly mean them.
Change your habits to make apologies less relevant in your life.

This week's Weekly Distraction (cause I'm obsessed)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

October 17th

Sometimes you wake up, and you think it's a normal day.
But you never know.

One day can change everything.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Life is fun! Or at least it was this week.

Good things about this week:
  • Work was insanely fun last Friday because everyone was in a crazy mood.
  • I went to the 356 Help Room twice this week for the sole purpose of hanging out and just seeing the Help Room leaders cause now we're pals.
  • ALTON BROWN LIVE!!!!!! Yeah it happened on Monday and that was THE best. Also Dan and I went to Zoey's Pizzeria and got a Zookie which is a ridiculous thing that exists in this world.
  • My 356 Exam went well (I think). *update: it did not go as well as I had thought but it didn't go horribly so I guess I'm stuck between being disappointed but not upset.
  • I got caught up in French and now I feel like I'm competent enough to participate in discussions.
  • Lunch with Eli, Kait, and Bryan today.
  • Schneider's office hours.

Bad things about this week:
  • Just discovered today that on my 356 Exam I got the FUCKING REYNOLDS NUMBER WRONG AND I'M SO MAD. 
  • I forgot my oatmeal muffin at work today!!!!!!!! 

So yeah. Positives and negatives, but I'm being less cynical! Life is looking up; I'm on a high streak.

This week's Weekly Distraction (because this never gets old)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lost like a bug in the night

Last week I kept track of something beautiful that I noticed each day.

It was triggered on Day 1, when I was out on my balcony.
I looked at our porch light, and noticed a cluster of bugs which had gathered on it, having flown toward the light due to their innate sense of navigation.

Bugs navigate by the light of the moon, and sadly, we have created these artificial beacons for them.

Their use of moonlight is to keep it at a constant angle, so that they can keep a straight path. Upon their detection of a porch light, the attempt to keep the light at a constant angle causes them to fly in circles around the light, since it radiates on all sides.

Eventually, many of the bugs fly straight into the light, which leads inevitably to their death. Burning from the intensity of the light that was supposed to guide them... now that's why I call a fatal attraction.

My senior year of high school, I read Our Vanishing Night by Verlyn Klinkenborg. It was fascinating, but mostly in a sad way. I would strongly encourage you to read the essay.

When I had initially noticed the bugs which had become entrapped by our porch light, I thought it was a sort of beautiful concept. Of course, I took a rather philosophical view on it, imagining that the bugs were attracted to the light out of its allure, and seemingly being unable to resist it until they were literally ignited by the attraction. It reminded me of the Sirens who taunt the sailors with their dangerous enchantment.
I like the idea that something can be so intoxicating that it kills you... but was it worth it, in the end?

Now, thinking about it as a reality and understanding the real cause, I feel sad and somewhat disgusted by the whole situation. I know they are "just bugs", but there's more to the problem of light pollution than killing a few insignificant beings. And who are we to say they are so insignificant, anyway?

Some food for thought, maybe. Or perhaps I'm just over-analyzing.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tell Me

The most important lessons you learn in life are going to be learned the hard way.

You can tell me I'm imperfect,
Yet darling, so are you.

You can say that I need changing,
And yes, it may be true.

But don't tell me I'm undeserving
Of the love that I pursue.

I ask only that you lie to me,
So I might blossom, too.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Last semester I thought I was drowning. I thought I needed to find something to hang onto in order to stay afloat.

It turns out I just needed to learn how to swim.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I've seen him smile so many times. But yesterday was the first time I noticed his dimple. 
There are times when a regular part of my day seems new all of a sudden.

There's a dent on my wall right at my eye level when I sit at my desk.
I wonder why I hadn't noticed it before...

She usually wears an expression of indifference, but today she looked eager. Maybe she looked the same as she always does, but today I felt it, too.
... or looked at it in that way.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Daily Challenges (for a week)

This week, I'm going to do a new one of these seven things each day.
  • Make a new friend.
  • Help a stranger.
  • Push myself to do something I don't want to, but know I should.
  • No recreational internet.
  • Accomplish something to be proud of.
  • Do something outside of my comfort zone.
  • Go without my cell phone.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Weekend with Rentao

My friend Rentao visited me this last weekend!

The first night we made a pizza from scratch. We made two, actually! Which sounds exciting, but the actual reason we had to make two is because the first one ended up getting thrown in the trash. What a disaster.

We watched Broken Flowers (disappointing) and The Babadook (less disappointing) and of course we watched some Spongebob because you can never be too old for that.

On Saturday we baked cupcakes and on Sunday we made Alton Brown's grilled grilled cheese.
These last two were much more successful than our pizza fiasco.

It's officially a year since I left for Scotland, today. That blows my mind.

This week's Weekly Distraction

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Hello! Welcome to 2015.
I've come up with five resolutions to focus on this year:

Improve Academic Performance
Since my entire POS changed when I had to drop Transport last semester, from here on out it's smooth sailing. Well, not really. But compared to how it's been in the past... each semester is much more manageable, now. I should have more time and energy to focus on taking things in stride and doing well in each of my classes. It's time to buckle down, procrastinate less, and stick to a study schedule.

Improve Fitness
Having more time on my hands will hopefully equate to more motivation to exercise. I'm getting kind of squishy, so it'd be nice to exercise 4-5 times each week. Even if it's just a short work out, I think it would be a good way to end my days. Ideally, by the end of the semester I will be back to running between four and six miles.

Be Less Apologetic For My Existence
This sounds dramatic, but I know that I can be awkward and self-conscious at times. It gets to the point where it interferes with some of my relationships, so gaining confidence and being more comfortable in my own skin is something I'd like to work on. This probably means I'll have to stop being so self-critical and more accepting, but it also will include changing habits that I'm unhappy with in order to like myself more.

Read More
I love reading, but it's easy to justify lounging around, browsing the internet, watching shows, or listening to music after a day of coursework. None of these things are particularly bad, but I'm hoping if I make a more deliberate point to read frequently, I'll cut down on the amount of time I spend doing useless things and being a bum. Plus, there are too many books on my Booklist for me to keep on ignoring it like I have been.

Keep In Touch Better With Friends
I'm not sure why this is so difficult, but it is. Obviously, this resolution includes international friends, and friends at different schools. But I also want to make a point that this includes friends that are easily accessible to me (like friends that are at Iowa State, or friends that are home when I'm home). Writing more letters, checking in with old friends occasionally, and just calling to make plans with friends that are nearby is all it takes.

So here's how I plan on improving my life for 2015.
Let's do this.

This week's Weekly Distraction