Thursday, March 22, 2012


In my lack of posting, I accidentally managed to miss not one, but TWO chances to greet some new followers!

First off, Emily from The Wide World of E started following me awhile ago - she actually comment on a post of mine a bit ago! She's pretty nifty, offering tips on topics from fitness to how to keep sane, as well as tips on picking a college (for any of my younger readers!) Go check her out - if anything, learn about Operation Smile from her. It's a great foundation and she's currently in China helping out!

The second, most recent follower, is Camilla from champagne bubbles and The Violet. I am so excited to see her as a follower - I've been reading her blog almost as long as I've been blogging! She was one of the first 10 blogs I started reading, I believe. She's more than a little amazing, guys. First off, her husband is competing in the 2012 Olympics (Go Damir!), so there's one reason to be jealous of her. Secondly, she started The Violet, an amazing online magazine. Her blog can be classified as lifestyle, I guess, if you had to label it. It's got a little bit of everything, from little daily musings to the occasional recipe and her own garden.

Hello, ladies, and thanks for reading! I'm glad you're both here, and hopefully you like what you see! Everyone else, go check out these two wonderful bloggers - you won't regret it, I promise!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Lately, I've been feeling a little lost and a little off.

Everything has been changing very rapidly, and I haven't felt like I've had any control.

One thing that has made me super uncomfortable for months now has been my writing class. I'm gonna let you in on a little secret - I'm not a writer. I think you might have figured that out by my minimal posting, but writing has never been my favorite thing. That may make me the strangest English major, but I'm okay with that.

This writing class, however, is not your normal class. It's been a hard, long class that has made me grow. It's not very often that you get a class that changes you, molds you, and forces you to be more. This class has done this to me.

Our assignments require us to reexamine our styles - we are required to write in a genre we have never written in before. It started with a literacy autobiography: freewrites about our reading and writing experiences, ranging from Pre-K to current day. We then created collages (literally cut up our freewrites and glued them to another paper) and found our WIRMI (what I really mean is), then were let loose on our projects. Mine became a children's book; unfinished, of course (how can I write the end if my story isn't over?). You'd think it would be easy, writing your own story in terms simple enough for children to understand. Trust me, it's one of the hardest assignments I have ever had.

The next assignment upped the ante even more. Our project was on workplace literacy, which required interviews and hours of observation. After gathering data for days, we followed the same process as above. We had to turn in all our prewriting with the final draft, and man my packet was THICK.

The hardest one so far for me is our final project.

This project is on cultural literacy. Based on ABCs of Cultural Understanding by Claudia Finkbeiner, our project involves interviewing an international student and comparing our cultural literacy. Literacy goes beyond reading and writing in ways I can't quite seem to put into words.

I'm in the final stages of this project, taking a quick break from writing my keynote speaker speech (my chosen format... I don't know how people make a living writing these!) to blog right now.

You may be wondering why you should read about this project. Why it matters to anyone outside of the class.

Here's why: You should try it. I would love to challenge every one of my readers, and everyone you want to challenge as well, to go out and interview someone from a completely different culture than what you are used to. Ask them about family reading experiences. Ask them about the importance of being bilingual. Ask them anything you want! (if you need sample questions, email me at

Let me tell you why you might want to do this challenge. For me, it has been an eye-opening experience. I never thought I would be able to keep a conversation going with my Chinese partner, Joy. I figured if she could afford to be here, she wouldn't have the same experiences as me at all. After meeting Joy several times and getting to interview her, I was utterly surprised at the results. She and I are so similar, it's eerie! She is an only child, with all female cousins, so our families are very different, but our parents are similar personalities, we both hate being late to anything, and we like so many of the same things it's crazy! So, by being forced out of my comfort zone, I learned a lot about me. I learned that it's not nearly as difficult as I thought to be friends with an international student. I don't have to be afraid to step up and say hello to a complete stranger - you never know who you might meet, or how they might change your life.

As for my title, I feel like this class is only one of many factors that have made me change and grow as a person this term. I am slowly learning to let go of my resentment and grudges, learning to get past my mistakes and look forward, not backward. I need to let sleeping dogs lie, not keep dragging myself down the path that makes me blue. I've tried to stop caring about the little things, the ridiculous gossip and the meaningless drama. I'm working hard on figuring out which friends I can trust, which ones I can really talk to, and how to let go of the friendships well past their expiration dates.

Anyways, I should probably get back to my final project, but I can't wait to see if anyone takes my challenge. If you do go out and do the interviews, let me know! I would love to feature some of your stories on here - I know this isn't one of the most read blogs out there, but I still would love to share these projects and at least try to get the word out!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good news has come at last

I figured out the best news ever yesterday, and got some excellent news to go right along with it today!!!

It turns out that this overachieving crazy head right here will be a college graduate after fall term 2012. Yep, that's right. I will graduate at the end of this year! So exciting!!!

Also, awesome news. My university only has one graduation ceremony, so I get to walk with my friends in June. This means that for six months I will be hanging around town, just working on my thesis and keeping my part-time job. I may even hopefully get a second job that works with my current position's hours. It'd be awesome to get a full time position somewhere nearby. as long as I can write my thesis while I work (my current job allows me to study while working. it's kinda the best job ever) I will be a happy camper.

Oh, yes. I have a thesis topic!! After two or three months of heart wrenching stress and misery over the stupid thing, I think I finally found something I can actually work on without giving me an ulcer. And the professor who I currently intern for agreed to by my thesis advisor. Which is awesome. I love her.

Oh, and I get to leave the Pacific Northwest's dreary rain and cold wind for Texas in 21 days. My aunt is flying me down to visit her for a week, and I could not be any more excited! I'm a little nervous - it's my first time flying alone, and I've never hung out with just me and my aunt before. She absolutely ADORES my sister Kailee, which makes me super nervous because while K and I are sorta similar, it's hard for relatives to realize I am not Kailee or Brittni, that I am a completely different person with different ideas of a good time....

But FINALLY. I am getting a break. a good break. I have needed this good news for so long it's ridiculous.