Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dancing with the Stars

Melissa and Tony won Dancing with the Stars!!! I am so happy for them! Although I LOVE Shawn and Derek and was rooting for them, I was really hoping Tony and Melissa would win it. This is Tony's first win, and this win was well-deserved for Melissa. Now that it's over, I'll be counting down the days to the next season. But this season has been FANTASTIC! Because it was All-Stars, I didn't much care when the couples pushed the boundaries and broke rules. Derek said it best when he said, "They've seen it all before." This brought so many great performances, and I'll share a few of my favorites.



I absolutely loved this rhumba. It was romantic, sensual, and utterly precious and timeless. I think the song's been done on the show before, but this was completely different than the others. I loved the "catch", though still not sure why Carrie Ann called it a lift. This just played on my utterly romantic heart. Titanic theme song, Derek looking sexy as Jack (he really did look like Leo had in the movie!), and a beautiful performance. What's not to love?




This was brilliant; all the details, the transitions between each couple, and the story told. It was fun, full of great lifts, and it was so much better than the other team dance. That, in my opinion, had been a train wreck. And while sometimes train wrecks can be great, this dance actually proved how great all of these couples are as individuals and as team members. :)



Although I'm usually the type of person who hates it when they don't follow rules or push the boundaries, I didn't really care about that this season. It was ALL-STARS, and they've all danced before. This was great! I loved it; I didn't care that it wasn't a typical or traditional samba. The samba moves that they put in were perfection anyway! 


This was my favorite freestyle! It was completely different from the others, and we know that contemporary dances have only been done one other time, by Kelly and Val. Which is another favorite dance of mine from this season. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE contemporary dances, as I've seen them done on So You Think You Can Dance many times. And I am so glad that they won, because after this performance, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that Melissa and Tony didn't deserve that trophy! :)

Since it's over, I will be reliving this season on Youtube as much as I can. It never fails to disappoint me, and week after week, I can't wait to see what these pros and celebrities can come up with. We've seen so many dances in all these seasons, I don't know how they keep coming up with more! :) Also, I'll missing seeing Derek every week! He's my favorite pro. ;) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Being Thankful

As Thanksgiving is right around the corner, like tomorrow 'right around the corner', I'd like to take the time to appreciate what I have and appreciate how good my life is. 
  • I'm thankful for my family. My mother, my brothers, all of my extended relatives. I'm blessed with all of these wonderful people in my life. ♥
  • I'm thankful for my friends. I have the three best friends a girl could ever ask for.
  • I'm also thankful for the new friends I've made in college. Tahlia, Crystal, and Rebba; my roommates. Liz, Sam, and Mak; the girls next door. Luke; mutual friend of my roomies. Tiffany; my archaeology buddy. And finally Maddie; my math partner. I love these people, and as I'm still getting to know them, I've become closer with them. (: 
  • I'm thankful for, positively, absolutely, being able to go to college and stay here at CMU. I love it, and I'm so glad I decided to stay.
  • I'm thankful for the unwavering faith in God that my grandparents instilled in me. 
  • I'm thankful for my dogs; they make my days shine just a little bit brighter. 
  • I'm thankful for my intelligence. It's a huge part of who I am, and I'm trying my best to make a 4.0 this semester.
  • I'm thankful for my passion for writing. Without it, I don't know what I'd do.
  • I'm thankful that there is no snow yet. Lol. Michigan has stood strong against the upcoming winter so far.
  • I'm thankful for those seven years in band. I made lifelong friendships, and it was a place where I belonged.
  • And finally, I'm thankful for everyday that I'm still alive. I've lost many loved ones, and now each day with all of the people I love is a blessing.

Although it may not seem like it, but we do take for granted so many things in our lives. From the people in it, to the lessons we've learned. We should be thankful everyday, but since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I hope you are especially thinking about all the blessings in your life and that you spend a few moments to appreciate what you have. Don't spend so much time thinking about what you want when what you need is right beside you, waiting. (: 

I hope you took the time to appreciate your blessings and took the time to be thankful for all the things that make your life good.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Me, Myself, & I

This is totally me, except for the tea part. I hate tea.
:) Romantic dreamer.















































































Friday, November 16, 2012

#RomanticHeart

This new post is not about college, but about the Nora Roberts book I just finished, 'The MacKade Brothers: Devin & Shane.' Let me just start by saying, she really knows how to write a love story. She's one of my favorite authors, quite possibly my absolute favorite. I've read so many of her books, and even though I love her, I didn't love all of them. My two favorite trilogies are the Circle Trilogy and the Sign of Seven Trilogy. She writes fantastic fantasies. I think her books about the vampires, the Circle Trilogy, should be made into movies. They would be a great addition to all of the vampire-related movies and books out there. I think people would really like them, and let's be totally honest here, they would be so much better than Twilight. 

But onto the MacKade brothers. Let's just say, I fell in love with Devin's character. Well, to be honest, what woman wouldn't have fallen in love with these four fictional MacKade bad boys? I almost can't decide which one is my favorite, because it's a toss up between Jared and Devin. And now that I've finished all their stories, I want more of them. She should write up the kids' stories, bring back the MacKade herd. But onto the book; I don't just love it because the way she writes Devin makes me want my own Devin MacKade (okay, a little bit), but because he and his brothers are flawed, like all people. They fight; they make up. They love their family, and they love their women. The books were full of humor, and the brothers' love for each other was simply precious. Even their fist fights were enjoyable to read, and as all people who have siblings would know, normal for a brood like this. The paranormal aspect was also really cool, as I simply loved reading about Rafe's inn and the stories behind the ghosts. And now that I'm finished with the last bad boy, Shane's, story I'm yearning for more about the MacKades. I guess I'll just have to make do with her new books about the Montgomery trio. (: 



I love reading, and it's never hard to find a good book with a flawed and totally imperfect character. It makes them more real. It makes them believable. Nora does a fantastic job of making her characters come to life, and does an equally fabulous job of pulling you in from page 1. Of course, reading, like many other things, is all about taste and style. If it's not your kind of book, then it's a shame, because you're missing out. But if it is, I hope you enjoyed it. If you're like me, a romantic at heart, I hope you were satisfied with the delicious love stories she gave us. And that you were equally satisfied with the wicked and handsome MacKade men. 

I just had to write down my thoughts on it, because I didn't feel like making an entirely new blog just for one book review. Okay, so it could've been more than one book review, because I read A LOT. Mostly mysteries, because I like to solve them. But I didn't feel like managing another blog. Maybe I should just change the title of this one. I quite possibly will do that. But I also don't like to change people's ideas about books, because hearing an opinion on one before you read it could make you biased and, in turn, make you not want to read it. 


Anyway, if you love Nora Roberts, or you love these books, feel free to let me know which MacKade bad boy you fell in love with. I want to see what people thought of them and their stories. And I want to see which brother is the favorite. ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

College Ready

The prompt for this essay competition was this: 'How can all students entering college be college ready?'
Here was my response, partly taken from my 'Missing Home' post: 

I don’t think there is ever a right way to be ready for college. It takes a lot of time to adjust, and a lot of patience. I think everyone misses home at some point when they're in college, maybe more than once. I know a lot of college students who talk to their parents, siblings, or friends every day. Everyone will handle the change of moving away from home differently, but this is a change that everyone will go through in life. Sometimes it’s later on down the road, and other times, it’s right out of high school. How we adjust and how we make way for the change is what makes us different.  
I think most freshman are really excited to start college, to move into the dorms and make new friends, and leave behind their old high school life. It’s a fresh start, away from drama, and damaged relationships and friendships. It’s a new chapter in their life, something they’re proud of and happy to start. Once they move into the dorms and start trying to meet the demands of their classes and schedule, it starts to take its toll. Having to make all the decisions, keeping track of your account and expenses, and for many, a new job, can be exhausting. Now that they’re adults, they have to do everything themselves; do their own laundry, buy their own books, and deal with not having a lot of free time. Even if you may have had one or two college classes in high school, it’s still hard to add more and decide how to manage your time properly. Staying up late and waking up early won’t serve a purpose, and neither will procrastinating homework and studying. Some people may think they’re ready and that they’ll adjust quickly, and some students might be that way. But for others, it’s hard and exhausting; to always have to make plans around a full schedule and to never have enough time for your friends and family.  
We start missing home; our old lives, our friends, our family. I think it's normal and refreshing. When you think back to all those moments when you couldn't wait to get out of your town and couldn't wait to be out on your own, you realize that growing up is not all it's cracked up to be. You start wishing you could rewind time, where everything was easier and adulthood seemed so far away. You start feeling homesick because you miss what used to be. It's a whole lot easier when there's no responsibility and nothing to worry about. Most of us would rather spend our lives in that little bubble than take on being an adult. But at some point, we all grow up. We grow apart, we grow as people, we move on and let go of the past. It's life. It's what we're supposed to be doing. But we all feel, at some point, that nostalgia, that moment of total longing for the past. Most people wouldn't admit it to others that they want to go home, that they miss their parents, that they miss their town. I think that a lot of the kids who live in the dorms are the ones who'd had the most desire to leave; small-town kids who don't want small-town futures. If you ask a college student if they'd ever missed their parents while they were away, and they say no, it's probably a lie.
Being ready for college is an overstatement. Your parents can help you, by taking you to a Laundromat beforehand, getting your books with you, and moving you into the dorm. But after that, it’s all you. Having them for emotional support and advice is great, especially if the change has been really hard on you. You start to learn about yourself, and about what you can manage. You’ll learn the kind of friends you want in your life, and the people you should stay away from. You’ll figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life and what you want in your future. But until then, take a breath, and just be proud that you’re here, that you’re trying to do something with your life. Many people don’t even make it that far. Give yourself time and patience to adjust to the demands of college. After all, once you master those demands of being a first year college student, you’ll learn to appreciate it more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Psychology

I love psychology, and I might possibly major in it. I've learned A LOT of cool and weird things in my PSY 100 class.
  • Smelling like vanilla or cinnamon (baked goods) is very attractive to men. ;)
  • You can potty train your kids in a day, just like my psych professor did, using classical conditioning. It just might save you a load of trouble.
  • Psychology is not just about behavior, but also about the cognitive (mental) processes. 
  • Freud thought all dreams had sexual connotations. A banana represented.. Well, you get the picture.
  • Not all psychologists work in the mental health area. Only about 60% do. That, I did not know.
  • A lot of hostility and anger can cause heart/coronary problems. 
  • Stress is not just because of negative events, but also positive ones. They're not always major events either; some are minor. 
  • Fixed-malleable. People who think intelligence is malleable tend to do better in life than those who think it's fixed. I fail a little at that. I always stress about grades and become down when I get a low one.
  • My psych prof also proposed a whole study method for reading a textbook: 1) read summary first then stop, 2) half the chapter with pictures and cartoons one day, 3) second half the next day, 4) summary again, then explain the significance of each term, 5) study guide. 
  • Learning isn't a gradual and continuous process. People don't get better and better. Practice does NOT make perfect. 
  • Caffeinism: symptoms of a panic attack. 
  • Psychoactive drugs are any that influence behavior, mood, or consciousness. Even caffeine. 
  • Correlation does NOT mean causation. 
  • Most psychologists are eclectic. Ask them two questions; what is their theoretical approach and what field are they in.
  • Psychology is NOT just common sense. People can't predict the results. 
  • I was classically conditioned to hate sleeping with the light on, and waking up to it in the morning, thanks to my mom. Lol.
  • Stressors are always a bad thing, is only a myth. Sometimes they energize us and activate us (like putting off a paper until the last minute). 
  • Stress can cause heart/coronary problems, immune system problems, and kills brain cells responsible for learning and memory.
  • I've learned that I lean towards social, aesthetic, and philosophy traits in a personality test. Yeah, that's not surprising.
  • In a test of stressors, I got a 460 score for events that I've been through in the past year. It's a high number, but normal.
  • How electroshock therapy came to be: the nurses and orderlies noticed that depressed patients who had seizures were better afterward. So they decided to shock a patient with depression to create a grand mal seizure so it would help them. <--I totally didn't know that! Or that treating depression with electroshock therapy is only used when medication doesn't work. 
Favorite class of the day(: 
If I learn more cool facts, I'll add them to this.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Missing Home

I think everyone misses home at some point when they're in college, maybe more than once. I know a lot of college students who talk to their parents, siblings, or friends everyday. We start missing home, our old lives, our friends, our family. I think it's normal and refreshing. When you think back to all those moments when you couldn't wait to get the heck out of there and couldn't wait to be out on your own, you realize that growing up is not all it's cracked up to be. You start wishing you could rewind time, where everything was easier and adulthood seemed so far away. You start feeling homesick because you miss what used to be. It's a whole lot easier when there's no responsibility and nothing to worry about. Most of us would rather spend our lives in that little bubble than take on being an adult. But at some point, we all grow up. We grow apart, we grow as people, we move on and let go of the past. It's life. It's what we're supposed to be doing. But we all feel, at some point, that nostalgia, that moment of total depression. Most people wouldn't admit it to others that they want to go home, that they miss their parents, that they miss their town. I think that a lot of the kids who live in the dorms are the ones who'd had the most desire to leave. Small-town kids who don't want small-town futures. If you ask a college student if they'd ever missed their parents while they were away, and they say no, it's probably a lie. 
I'm going home tomorrow, and it's only been a week and a half since I've been home. But it was enough. Most people would tell me I'll get over it. Maybe they'll tell me I just can't do it on my own. Maybe they'll make fun of me for needing my mom. If only they knew the half of it. The main reason I was so worried about being away from home was because of my dog. He's 13 years old, and he's my best friend. I've had him since I was a little kid, and this has a been a big change for the both of us. Because he's old and growing weaker, I've been nervous and scared to leave him for too long. But he's not the only reason I want to come home. I'm an independent person, and this has been an out-of-my-comfort-zone experience. I've never liked going to camp and living with strangers. And those only last about a week! This has been a huge change for me, and a completely new experience. I was apprehensive coming into this, knowing how much this would be uncomfortable in the beginning. After being here for three months, I've made good friends with my roommates, and I'm truly glad I decided to face my fears. My last reason? I miss my mom. Truly. We were never the best of friends growing up, but we've had to change our attitudes after a really tough tragedy. It brought us closer together than ever before. She's the greatest and strongest woman I know. I really needed her after the first few weeks, and she convinced me to stay. I call her up at least once a day, just to talk and let her know that I need her. I don't think I ever let her know how much I needed her before. She's been the most tremendous help since I moved in. 
I miss home. I miss my family. I miss my dog. But would I leave this place if I could? No. Why? Well, I'm leaving you with a quote. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." -Neale Donald Walsch. I really believe that. If you don't face your fears and live life to the fullest, then what are you living for?
Now that I've rambled on about something that I've been thinking about, I'll stop. I've got a quiz to study for and a speech outline to start. No more procrastination for this college student! ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

20 Tips for Freshmen

There's quite a few things I've learned in the first two months of living in the dorms and being away from home. Here's to the kids, like me, who need to know what they're getting into ahead of time, and for those parents who are sending their babies away for the first time.

1. Talk to your roommates ahead of time, maybe even meet them in person before you move in. It helps to know a little bit about who you're living with your first year.

2. Don't bring EVERYTHING to your dorm room yet. You should meet your roommates, see what they have, and figure out what you still need and what you want with you.
3. Get to know your roommates more when you stay that first weekend and hang out with them before classes start up.
4. Also meet your RA, as you'll be going to him/her if you have any problems with your roommates or the people on your floor.
5. Introduce yourself to the people on your floor. They could be your new best friends, or your enemies. Try to know everyone by name before too long.
6. If you have a problem with someone on your floor, or if their music is too loud, don't be afraid to let them know. If they're like my floor family, they'll be respectful of the other people living there.
7. If you have a choice, choose the bottom bunk. Trust me.
8. When you register for classes, try and give yourself breathing room. Ease into how college classes work, because they're a lot different than high school.
9. Check your email often, two or three times a day. Especially before classes, because you'll want to know if they're cancelled or there's a change in an assignment due date. The professors are pretty good with keeping up in emailing and communication with their students.
10. Get involved. Play a sport, volunteer, find a job on campus. This is the time to get out of your comfort zone and find out what you like, who you are as a person, and what you want to do with the rest of your life.
11. If you have questions about classes, minors/majors, and/or careers, talk to academic advisers. They're there to help you in anyway they can.
12. Make a schedule, give yourself time to study and complete assignments early. Procrastination is a terrible habit, and it won't suit you in college. Unless you're the type of person who can write an essay the night before it's due and still do well on it.
13. If you're like me and are having a hard time adjusting, just give yourself time. Not everything in life is going to be easy, especially moving away from home and growing up.
14. Scheduling your classes is the best thing about college. Seriously.
15. ALWAYS lock your door and keep your key and student ID with you. Don't lose them.
16. If you're at a huge university, there will always be something to do. Go to football games, use the gym, join an IM sport, go to a concert. You'll never be bored.
17. Learn how to do laundry before you move in, or you'll have to call your mom up and ask her what to do. :P
18. Use the writing centers and tutoring if you are having a hard time with your classes. They'll help you succeed and do well.
19. Always be respectful of your roommates and their things. In time, you might even become really good friends with them. But until then, you're still living with strangers and it won't work if there are problems.
20. One last thing; You'll learn a lot about yourself and about what you can handle. You'll learn the kind of people you want in your life and who you should stay away from. You'll figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life and what you want in your future. But until then, take a breath and enjoy life; don't let it pass you by.

These are just a few important things that I think will help you when you're getting ready to move into a college dorm for the first time. Everyone will handle the change of moving away from home differently, but this is a change that everyone will go through in life.