Friday, December 21, 2012

The Sky is Falling!

If you're reading this, 
You survived the end of the world, according to the Mayans!


I don't actually believe in the end of the world
but if I did, I'd reevaluate my life.
So far my list of accomplishments reads:
-Graduated 3rd in my class from high school
-Got in the honors program in college
-Semi-graduated college early

Yeah, that's about it.
IF the world ends today, I literally will have spent most of my life in school.
I was in preschool at age 2, and haven't stopped learning ever since.

If the world ends, here's a list of things I wish I HAD done:
1) Changed my mind earlier about my degree and graduated in 3 years instead of 3.25
2) Traveled more (I have 0 stamps in my passport!)
3) Cared less about family approval and spent more time caring about my own feelings
4) Met another blogger in real life (Some day I hope to finally meet Suz!)
5) Had more job experience, tried my hand at different fields
6) Read more books.
7) Learned more about my family's history

I'm sure the list would be longer, but my Internet access is ending soon. See you after the world ends!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Back to Regular Posting

After three back to back posts about the shootings,
I think it may be time to lighten the mood around this space.

I am still grieving for the victims, don't get me wrong.
However, life must go on, and we cannot dwell on dark times.

So, on to lighter topics!
First off, everyone's favorite topic this time of year:
This year, since I am completely lacking in the money department,
most presents will by DIY projects.
I may share some of these after the holidays - some people who read this blog may be recieving these gifts, so I better not spoil the surprise!

Sadly, thsi year, I'm not really in the Christmas spirit. 
At first it was school and moving stress,
but now, I'm just feeling a little blah. I can't get a tree, due to lack of space, 
and I can't afford presents for pretty much anybody. 
Maybe it's just a one person pity party, but I'm just not in the holly jolly spirit.

However, thanks to the lack of funds, I have a lot more time to stay home and get caught up on reading.
Anybody have any good book suggestions for me?
My library card is brand new and needs to be broken in!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I don't want to forget.

The first post after posting about a tragedy is always the hardest to write.
How do you go from the pain of hearing about 29 innocent lives being lost to writing a normal, every day post?
How do you write about frivolous holiday joys when there are families who will never get to share with their loved ones?

Instead of a light post, this is a memorial post.
Take a moment and pray, reflect, or even simply just read the names of the lives lost last week:
In Connecticut:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30Mary Sherlach, 56Victoria Soto, 27Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

In Oregon:
Cindy Anne Yuille, 54
Steven Forsythe, 45

And take a moment to remember the lost men who committed these crimes, to wonder about why, and maybe to take a moment to forgive them and their families. Their families are suffering as well, as they have lost a loved one doubled with the cruel reality of being blamed for the events. These men took their reasons for what they did to the grave with them, so nobody will ever know why these tragedies occurred. These families are impacted just as much as the families of the young victims:
Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22
Adam Lanza, 20

(Please note, I do not condone the shootings in any way. I simply feel as though the families of the shooters deserve the same decencies as the families of the victims - it is not their fault. They did not cause the shootings, and they are just as shocked, hurt, and confused as the rest of the nation.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Few Thoughts

This nation was rocked this week,
with not only one tragic shock, but two horrible events within three days of each other.
First, on Tuesday, my home state of Oregon was shocked by the shooting at the Clackamas Town Center,
a shopping mall that is now marked with three deaths. 
Then, the second deadliest school shooting in America's history happened on Friday. 

There are no words to express the grief, the horror felt at learning of these tragedies. 
For some Oregonians, both of these events have brought back memories of the Thurston High School shooting in 1998, when Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to kill two students and injure 25 more. 

All of these tragedies are hard to comprehend. 
It is impossible to understand what drives someone to commit these acts.
All of these innocent lives lost, for no known reason.
If you happen to believe in a particular faith, you pray in any way you know how.
We donate any money we can to help the families of the victims.
We turn political, debating gun laws and arguing for better mental health care.
We hold our families a little longer, say "I love you" a little more freely.

For those of us who use the web as our platform, we can use our little corner of  the Internet to help as well.
I normally avoid link ups or group posts, but this one is definitely one to join.
Thanks to Erin's sharing, NeelyMichelle, and Meg's message is being passed along.
Please read the following and do what you can to help:

To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Yesterday, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. 
We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to: 

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World 

p.s. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Life as I knew it...

is all over.
That's right folks.
As of 10:45, Thursday, December 6, I was officially finished with college classes!
Unofficially, I've graduated with my BA in English, emphasis on Literature.

Officially, though, I still have 6 months until I can call myself a graduate.

Well, I am in the Honors Program at WOU.
In order to graduate, I have to complete a thesis.
Super fun, right?
And that thesis currently is stuck, awaiting a room of strangers to give my study the green light, again.

Basically, here's the rundown.
The thesis process begins in junior year. 
A proposal must be submitted after a full term of workshopping ideas and writing draft after draft.
This proposal is given to the Honors Committee, a group of professors from various departments on campus.
After the committee receives the proposals, they vote. A proposal must be approved with no major flags raised by teh entire committee - if a proposal fails, the student must give a presentation addressing the committee's concerns.
Once the committee passes a proposal, the actual Honors program has nothing to do with the thesis again until it is time for publication. The student works solely with their chosen faculty advisor(s) to complete the project.
Some projects, such as mine, have an extra step thrown in.
If a project deals with any human subjects, or in my case, analyzes other people's work, it must pass the approval of the university's International Review Board (IRB). 
The IRB requires its own application process, and, again, a group of strangers get to vote on whether or not my project is worthy - in other words, it will not cause any harm to any of the participants in the study.

This is the stage my thesis is stuck at. I am still finishing my IRB application, trying to complete it to my advisors' satisfaction, before I can even submit the application. I cannot begin my analysis until I have IRB approval, which means I am a couple months behind my own timeline. 

Thankfully, having five months to complete the analysis and writing without silly things such as classes getting in my way should be sufficient..... I hope....

For now, it's application writing for now (IRB and full-time job apps...) while celebrating my final term GPA of a solid 3.69. 

(I'll try to be a little more consistent with the posts, but seeing as how I am paying rent for 2 apartments this month, on top of Christmas costs, I can't afford internet at home and have to write while at work. Fingers crossed I get some posts scheduled for you guys this weekend!)