Books I Read This Summer

I read a heck ton of books this summer. Yay, me! As most of you probably realize, there isn’t much time to read for leisure during the semester, so this summer I decided to read as much as possible to make up for all the books I WON’T read during fall semester. Here is a list of them with short reviews:

The Giver by Lowis Lowry (Re-Read)

I’ve already read this book, but I re-read it because the movie is coming out. I still think that it is a decent book, and I still think that it deserves to be considered a classic. I hope the movie isn’t absolutely awful. It’s about a “utopia” where all isn’t as it seems, and memories of the past are to be kept safe by one person…

 

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Much like the film, I recognized that it is GREAT but I had no idea if I actually enjoyed it. I read it in one day and it put me into an odd daze-like state; I really felt like I was in the place of the protagonist. Excellent writing, excellent book. Upon looking back, I feel like I DID like it because I would certainly like to re-read it. It’s a satire about two men who start a Fight Club that evolves into something much bigger than both of them.

 

Mastermind by Maria Konnikova

This book was interesting, but could have been much better. It wasn’t organized very well, and I found that I basically already think in the way that Konnikova attempts to teach readers how to think. So apparently I’m smarter than I thought and a heck of a lot more observant than most people (?!).

 

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

I read this book because my brothers really, really wanted me to. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as they claimed and felt rather cliche and wholly unoriginal. There was a ridiculous lack of character development, and it mostly wasn’t very creative. I felt like the author was used to writing for television– and upon further research, turns out he actually WAS a TV writer. This is a fantasy novel with all the typical stuff that happens in fantasy novels.

 

The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

My brothers swore that it was better than the first one and they really, really wanted me to read it. Yep, it was better than the first one. It was a bit more creative and the characters were a bit less annoying, and I didn’t feel like I was choking through the story.

 

The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease

I’ve read quite a few body language books before, and I must say that this one was one of my favorites. It could have been more detailed and maybe organized a little better, but I enjoyed this book and feel that it is very valuable.

 

Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz

Why oh why did I waste $3 on this piece of crap book?! I could’ve bought liquorise or something! This is probably one of my least favorite books ever and I can’t (okay, well, I CAN) believe that I actually finished it. The idea seems cool– two girls fall asleep and wake up as each other each night– but it’s really just a crappy, badly-done teen romance with a horribly written sorry excuse for a plot. On the plus side (I guess?) it’s painfully realistic when it comes to people trying to meet up but life getting in the way.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I started this book on one airplane flight and finished it on another, and at first I wasn’t sure if I liked but I DID know that I couldn’t put it down. It starts out as what could be described as a slow, sinister soap-opera of a semi-mystery with such an incredibly well-written narration that it’s tolerable. Then something great happens about halfway through the book that caused me to become quite impressed with Miss Gillian Flynn. Quite impressed indeed. The plot is both totally predictable and very surprising at the same time, and you’ll have to read the book to find out why. It also has an ending to rival Hannibal by Thomas Harris when it comes to twisted relationships. If the narration wasn’t so amazing, this book wouldn’t have been very good– but it was, oh, it was. When I heard there was an upcoming movie, I immediately thought that it wouldn’t be any good unless it was directed in a similar style as Fight Club– and then I found out that the director of the film is none other than the director of Fight Club, so now I am quite excited (and also quite skeptical cause that’s just how I am about all book to movie adaptations).

 

Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected by Rory Miller

This is a very important book; I think that everyone should read it. Well, first everyone should start martial arts and THEN everyone should read it. The title basically explains it all– this book is about facing violence and preparing for the unexpected. It’s very practical and direct-to-the-point, and despite it’s serious content it’s very amusing and a relatively light read. It’s even better if you read it in Micheal Weston’s voice (if Burn Notice’s protagonist wrote a book about facing violence, it would basically be this book).

 

Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller

More of the same important information that can be found in Miller’s other book described above.

 

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The famed creator of Sherlock Holmes argued that his Professor Challenger series was superior writing to his Sherlock Holmes series and I must say that I hAVE TO AGREE OH MY GOSHHH! This book was awesome, especially since it is so old yet includes captivating, modern-style writing. They need to hurry up and make it into a Disney movie already, as it has the feel of a cartoon Disney adventure. It includes memorable characters and one of the greatest, most triumphant endings of anything ever. A young journalist and a rowdy professor go on an adventure to a lost world along with a skeptical scientist and a rugged hunter.

 

The Poison Belt by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A sequel to The Lost World, our favorite characters reunite only to have to deal with madness, death, and peaceful chaos. Not quite as good as The Lost World and includes a very different kind of adventure, but a good story nonetheless with, as usual, Doyle’s superb writing style.

 

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle

Aside from one ridiculously extensive more-than-a-glimpse into the backstory of the murderer, this short book is amazing because Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle is an incredible writer. If you like the Sherlock TV series you will be pleased to find that there are loads of exact quotes and scenes from the book that made their way into the show.

 

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Re-read)

I have already read this book many times but somehow I ended up reading it yet again this summer. This is an amazing book. AMAZING. Literary perfection. Some are reluctant to read it because author Orson Scott Card is a total jerk in real life– yes, he is, but if you feel bad about purchasing it just borrow it from the library. This book is absolutely worth the read, and re-read, and re-read… You probably think that it is just a typical sci-fi story. If you think this, you are sorely mistaken. Read this book now! Just DO NOT watch the movie unless you want to collapse into a pit of despair.

 

Black Sunday by Thomas Harris

Thomas Harris is one of my favorite authors and I have been searching for Black Sunday for some time, eager to read the first book written by this writing genius. I was very disappointed. It’s supposedly about a more-than-troubled man who plans to bomb the Super Bowl, but really it is just too many unimportant characters to keep track of and terrorists who can’t stop arguing with each other. A sad lack of character development and confusion of character motivations, thank goodness Thomas Harris improved as a writer when he created the Hannibal Lecter series.

 

Making Sense of People by Samuel Barondes

I believe that am actually very adept at making sense of people, but I wanted to see how normal humans experts think to do it. I learned NOTHING. This book is awful; awful I tell you! The author just babbles on and on and never teaches anyone anything he claims to be able to teach the reader in the front flap. Also he quoted Wikipedia once, and that is unacceptable. I do not recommend this book. I can’t believe I wasted hours of my life on such nonsensical garbage.

 

Redirect by Timothy D. Wilson

Eh, it was okay. That’s really all I have to say about it.

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling

Not as good as Harry Potter, of course, but not bad at all. The writing is excellent (what else to expect from the incredible Miss Rowling?)  but the plot could’ve been better. It’s a mystery story about a suicide that is actually a murder. Also, Strike x Robin = OTP 5eva. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

The Book of General Ignorance by John Loyd and John Mitchenson

I think everyone should read this, lest they go through life thinking that chameleons actually blend into their environment on purpose or that flamingos turn pink because they eat pink shrimp. And it’s got a sequel! I shall certainly check out this sequel as soon as possible.

 

Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas

Written by a diagnosed socio/psychopath, this autobiography is highly interesting and very captivating. I quite enjoyed it, although I question the reliability of the narrator because she even states herself that she tends to exaggerate her own accomplishments. I really like how she attempts to describe certain feelings, such as empathy, from the perspective of a non-empath herself.

 

Think Like A Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Also known as, “How Patricia DeArmas Already Thinks, Apparently.” I did learn a few things though, but mostly this book came off as how to attempt to instill common sense and knowledge in those who lack it.

 

Mating Intelligence Unleashed by Glenn Geher and Scott Barry Kaufman 

“Did you know that bad pick up lines almost never work?” “OMG FOR REAL YO?!” “YEAH FOR REAL YO, WE DID A STUDY!” I actually didn’t completely finish this book (yet), but seeing as it is tediously long and I ALMOST finished it, I feel that it deserves a spot on this list because it took up too much of my summer NOT to. I’d only recommend this book if you needed citations to back up common sense statements in an essay.

 

 

 

I’m Back!

Welcome back to CCBC this Fall semester! I’m back now, ready to blog away this semester for your entertainment and (hopefully) benefit.

Not much to write about this summer– it was too long and too short at the same time.

I practiced Taekwon-Do a lot. I read a lot of books. I watched the entirety of Sherlock again (twice).  I went and visited Nevada and made a (soon to be edited) movie with my friend, and did an 80s Photoshoot for fun. I went to Jamaica and competed in the ITF Taekwon-Do World Cup tournament with my dad; we were the first people from Maryland ever to do so. Those were some good points about this summer! Otherwise, summer was rather teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeediiiiiiiiiiioooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssss.

I’m excited for Fall semester to begin! I missed a few classes (and one Ambassador meeting! I feel ridiculously ashamed) because I was in Jamaica, so tomorrow will be my first classes of the semester as well as my first Film Society meeting of the semester (we’re in ARTS 303 now; 3:00 to 5:30 pm! Come on by!)

Such 80s. So wow. Much Hair.

Me at weigh ins for World Cup. Freaking out. But I made weight by over 6 pounds so I really didn’t have anything to be freaked out about!

Last post til Fall Semester

Well, here we go– last post til fall semester starts up! This past semester felt like both an eternity and an instant at the same time. I hope that whoever has read my blog has found some educational and/or entertainment value with it. It’s been fun blogging and I can’t wait to blog more in the fall!

For those of you who are only just discovering this blog right now, until I start posting again you can check out my old posts from the spring semester at the following links:

FEBRUARY POSTS

MARCH POSTS

APRIL POSTS

MAY POSTS 

Enjoy your summer break or your summer semester!

Until August…

How to Fit In At CCBC! (SPOILER ALERT: You Shouldn’t Try To)

As I look out the window at a stop light, a flock of public school 8th grade girls cross the street.

There they go, with their form-fitting Aeropostale shirts and light blue super-short jean shorts and purple backpacks. There they go, with their fluffy, long, straight hair.

Not one looks unique, not one behaves uniquely. They all cross the street in short strides, some chatting a little, some glancing at cell phones. I suppose they are trying to be cool, trying to fit in with their schoolmates.

Thank goodness I am not a public school 8th grader.

This bit of news–This is especially geared towards those of you who are new to CCBC, and especially geared to PEP Students or those fresh out of high school– this bit of news right here is that at CCBC, there is just one way to fit in.

You DON’T. 

CCBC is really one of the most accepting places that I have ever been. It is difficult to explain, but everyone at CCBC has a uniqueness to them and everyone accepts this and moves on. No one ever worries about behaving or dressing a certain way to “fit in;” there is a sort of indefinable acceptance of the fact that everyone is to be accepted and this isn’t even something that is questioned. There is no clique-y behavior at CCBC. There are no “cool people” or “uncool people” (unless of course someone self-proclaims themselves as such).  Even though I was homeschooled, at different homeschool groups there were still clique-y people who behaved in certain ways to “fit in” with other group members. At CCBC, anyone can be friends with or talk to anyone else without being judged. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, gender, or creed, your age or your interests or your clothing style– you are viewed as a person and therefore treated like one.

I feel that this is important for newcomers to CCBC to realize. Don’t stress over trying to fit in, because at CCBC no one does fit in because THERE IS NOTHING TO FIT IN TO.  ”Be yourself” is the ultimate over-used advice, but it’s genuinely good advice. Why oh why would you want to be any other way than be yourself? Sure, everyone’s presenting self is different from their at-home self, but that’s not what I mean. Be YOU. Be the way that you choose to be based on yourself and not others, and don’t worry about trying to fit in. Fitting in is for zebras. We are not boring black-and-white zebras, we are humans and humans have the chance to be however they want to be and in that be completely amazing and interesting. If you haven’t tried to be yourself, college at CCBC is the place to start.

So how do you fit in at CCBC? Spoiler alert: You shouldn’t try to. Because that is nothing to worry about.

 

How To Ace Your Ambassador/Mentor Interview In Just One Cheesy Anagram!

Did you apply to be a CCBC Student Life Ambassador or FYE Mentor? Are you excited and/or nervous for the upcoming interview process? Then all you need to do is *mega cheesy voice* be DEAFS! Okay, that’s a really bad anagram, I know. Shhh, just read.

Last semester, I expected the interview process to be different than it was. It was actually quite fun and not much like a traditional interview at all! First, we got to ask questions to people who were current Ambassadors and Mentors, then the rest of the process began with a game. We split into groups and worked as a team to build a balloon tower. Then we had another game that involved selecting imaginary students for imaginary Ambassador/Mentor positions. Then we had interview “speed dating” where we had to talk about ourselves and answer some questions. I was so pleased to learn in subsequent weeks that I had been selected as an Ambassador! Based on this experience, I have created the ridiculously cheesy DEAFS anagram to give you some pointers.

Dress for success

Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s not a serious interview process. Dress sharply and sit up straight so that you can stand out and make a good first impression. Human minds make snap decisions about people based on initial appearances, and although it really isn’t fair it’s just what the human mind does. You want those snap decisions about to be positive, not negative! I wore nice red and black clothes and I was the only person wearing red and black in the entire room of around 40-45 people!! Why wear red and black, you ask? Read THIS that I wrote in a previous post. You might be thinking, “They are choosing me, not my clothes, why should this matter?” but really, it’s not shallow, it’s clever. Dress for success!

Enthusiastic attitude

Whether you have a louder enthusiasm or a quieter enthusiasm, show some sort of enthusiastic attitude that is unique to you.  Behave confidently and excitedly throughout the interview process. If you look bored and tired, it is unlikely that you will be selected! Ambassadors and Mentors represent CCBC, so go into the process with an “I Am CCBC” aura, as if you are ready for anything and alert to your environment. Enter thinking “I am going to be chosen” and then make that your reality!

Accentuate your strengths and qualifications

This can be tricky, because if you tend to be humble you might think of this as being boastful. Instead, think of it as pointing out things that it would be helpful for them to know. You don’t need to be arrogant, you just need to accentuate your strengths and qualifications. Do you have an active role in a club at CCBC? Make sure you point this out! Are you majoring in business management? Mention this, too! Did you win “most hardworking” in a contest during high school? Mention it! They are going to ask you some questions, so you will have the chance to focus on some good things about yourself. If it’s hard to talk good about yourself, try thinking as if you are talking about someone else and this will make it feel less awkward. If it was your friend, you would certainly be honest about their strengths and qualifications– so for this interview process, you must be your OWN best friend!

Focus on teamwork

As an Ambassador or Mentor, leadership and teamwork is very important. They will want to see that you can be a good leader who can lead by example and not just bossing people around. In the game aspect, such as building a balloon tower or whatever they might choose this semester, make sure that you focus on teamwork with the others in your group. If you don’t get along well with others, they will see that it might be problematic to have you in a leadership position– so make sure that working well with others is a priority!

Smile genuinely

I know, I know, this is probably making you think “duh,” but it’s very important. If you are nervous at all, you might forget to smile– and if you forget to smile, in a snap decision their mind might assume that you are a negative person and then they might think “there is something that I dislike/mistrust about this person.” Instead, make sure that you smile so that you are likeable and positive.

 

 

The Superpowers of Color

Let’s talk about clothes! Well, clothing colors, to be exact. I am going to guess that when choosing what clothes to wear for the day, you probably aren’t thinking too much about clothing colors. But should you be? Well, if you want to take advantage of the psychological effects (and some random cool facts) about colors, then yes. If you feel like it, I mean, I’m not trying to dictate your clothing selection process.

Colors are known to trigger psychological and even physical responses in humans, so what we wear can actually effect our day.

RED!

RED is a very powerful color. Psychologically, it is the most attractive color and it is extremely eye-catching. In fact, according to many tests, individuals found people more attractive when wearing the color red than when wearing any other color– without even knowing that this psychological trick was happening! Red is the most eye-catching color and tends to be used in marketing for this very reason. We tend to pay more attention to designs that feature the color red. When it comes to people, we pay more attention to and remember those who are wearing red. In fact, competitors who wear red actually tend to do better in sports than those who are wearing other colors because referees and judges tend to pay more attention to them and possibly even cut them some slack without even knowing it. Polititions like wearing red as well, as it symbolizes power, attractiveness, and confidence.  Physically, it is said that the color red increases enthusiasm, stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate, encourages action and confidence, and even provide a sense of protection from fears and anxiety. How cool is that? (Or, more accurately, how hot is that?) From my own experience, more people stop and talk to me when I am wearing red clothes, and people tend to pay more attention to me. I like to wear the color red to important events such as ambassador meetings and first days of class. If red clothes are too bold for you, try wearing a red bracelet, lipstick, necklace, tie, etc. Wearing too much red can be a bit disarming and even intimidating, though, so try pairing your red attire with colors such as brown and black.

Characters who wear red: Spider-Man, The Flash, Harry Potter, Jessica Rabbit, Sora, Wonder Woman

 

BLACK!

BLACK  is another super-powerful color. Like the color red, it symbolizes power– but in a different way, and it is less eye-catching. Instead of bright and attractive, black is sleek and authoritative. Too much  black can be overwhelming. Black makes the wearer seem sophisticated and mysterious, and is a thinning color despite the fact that as a tone it has a full, dense feeling. Black shows imperviousness and classiness and gives you an aura of I’m-not-easily-manipulated. Since blackcan represent a lack of color, it is full of potential but also mysteriousness. Wearing black makes one feel inconspicuous, provides a restful emptiness, and is mysterious by evoking a sense of potential and possibility. Just as when wearing too much red, wearing too much black can also be intimidating and disarming for others, so try pairing it with other colors. Unless, of course, you want to walk around feeling like Darth Vader or Batman and don’t care if you intimidate people!

Characters who wear black: Darth Vader, Batman, Lord Voldemort, Trinity

 

WHITE!

WHITE is an innocent and calm color. It is a clean-looking color that symbolizes purity and brings images of freshness, clarity, and innocence to mind. Alternatively, it can bring feelings of apprehension if you have issues with doctors and dentists, as these figures tend to wear white clothes. White might unnerve you because it is simply too cold, clean, and sterile. Too much white can evoke feelings of emptiness and isolation as well. Nonetheless, white is a color of new beginnings and is the traditional color of wedding dresses in many cultures. It can also cause wearers and viewers to recall youth and times of calm and simplicity.

 Characters who wear white: Hannibal Lecter, Princess Leia, Namine

 

ORANGE!

ORANGE is a feisty color that can bring different feelings in different people. It is considered the color of social activity, adventure, and primal sexual feelings. It is also considered the color of insanity. Orange is optimistic, uplifting, and on-the-go. Wearing orange makes you seem youthful, outgoing, and talkative. The color orange also increases the appetite and promotes conversation and social interaction– so you might see subtle colors of orange used in restaurants for this very reason! Orange is a show-offy color, but it also brings feelings of respect. Orange is a unique color because  there is usually either strong positive or negative association to orange. Either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it! I am one of the people who usually hates it. Orange is not my color, unless it’s on something delicious like an orange or a gummy bear. You won’t usually find me wearing orange or using it in any designs unless I’m pairing it with something that tones it way down!

Characters who wear orange: Tigger, the Annoying Orange, Fred Flintstone, Goofy

 

GREEN!

GREEN is the color of harmony, balance, and relaxation. It usually a clean and refreshing color that brings up feelings of relaxation, empathy, and love. Alternatively, there are the “sickly” colors of green that bring up feelings of illness and weakness– but let’s face it, most people don’t have “puss green” clothes in their closet. Generally, though, green is a soothing color that helps us relax mentally as well as physically, helps alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety, and offers a sense of renewal, self-control, and harmony. Green is a color of prosperity and a strong sense of either right or wrong, and has a subtle confidence about it. It’s usually a happy color of nature and abudance, but it can also be sleek, possessive and materialistic. Think Kermit the frog green versus Slytherin green.

Characters who wear green: Kermit the Frog, Draco Malfoy, Princess Tiana, Green Lantern

 

BLUE!

BLUE is a sincere, reserved, quiet color and is a color of trust and responsibility. Wearing blue symbolizes hating confrontation yet wanting to do things your own way. Someone wearing blue will seem to have an inner confidence and security, and is the color of communication– especially verbal communication. Blue is a trustworthy and committed color. Blue is a safe color and tends to be the most-loved color by humans. Blue suggests an individual who dislikes change and prefers a consistency. Wearing blue will represent that you are genuine and sincere, dynamic and serene. Brighter colors of blue are more exhilarating and dramatic, and overused shades of blue can be cold and distant. The color blue causes us to feel calm and cool and can aid intuition. Psychologically, blue also helps keep us awake– maybe that’s why quite a few social networking sites use the color blue. Blue and black are my two favorite colors to wear, and the meanings of the colors seem to represent me as a person quite well!

Characters who wear blue: Cinderella, Mystique, Elsa, Stitch, Superman

 

YELLOW!

YELLOW is the color of optimism and happiness, but also of the mind and intellect.  Yellow brings about optimism and energy, and also helps spark creative thoughts. Yellow represents willpower and inner strength as well, so you can look both fun and strong at the same time. Wearing yellow helps with decision-making and it stimulates the mental process, as well as stimulates the nervous system, activates memory, and encourages communication. Yellow is the most visible of all colors, which is why you can see it on signs such as PEDESTRIANS CROSSING and such. Wearing yellow can make you feel more critical of yourself and others and is a color of the head and not the heart. If you aren’t dealing well with change at the moment, do not wear yellow because it can make you feel stressed out. That being said, psychologically it is the happiest-feeling color of all.

Characters who wear yellow: Bruce Lee , Kill Bill’s The Bride, Belle, Pikachu

 

PURPLE!

PURPLE is a color that is a stimulating as red and as calm as blue. Purple is often well-liked by creative and/or eccentric type people. It symbolizes being unique and original. This color uplifts people, calms the mind and nerves, offers a sense of spirituality, and encourages creativity. Purple is also the color of royalty, and therefore power. It can be quite a luxurious color and can be overpowering when darker and calming when lighter.

Characters who wear purple: Maleficent, Rapunzel, Barney, Daphne Blake, Ursula the Sea Witch

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE

Depending on how you want to be viewed, you can change what you’re wearing. Find colors for each situation, whether it’s for your first day of class or your audition for a summer job or just a meet-up with friends. And you can use this knowledge as an excuse to wear ridiculously bright socks.

 LEARN MORE ABOUT COLORS

http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/

http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/meaning-of-colors.html

http://www.dreamhomedecorating.com/color-psychology.html

 

 

 

It’s Summer… Now What?

For those of you that aren’t taking summer classes yet, you may be wondering what to do now. For real– now what? No essays to write, no finals to study for, no time hanging out with your friends at the library— so, what now? I have compiled a list of things that you can do this summer for your boredom-curing ease. Enjoy!

Get lost on purpose– Bring a phone or something, of course, and don’t get lost in a bad neighborhood– but getting lost on purpose is a blast.  Even if it’s only in a mall, it’s a great adventure and a fun way to get to know your way around someplace. It’s more fun if you bring a friend.

Have a picnic– Whether it’s on the porch, Calvin and Hobbes style, or at a park with some friends, try having a picnic.

Have a foam-sword fight– Cut some foam noodles into halves and add on some tape for handles, then fight your friends. Pretend you’re a jedi or a samurai or whatever you want.

Travel somewhere– Buy a cheap airplane ticket and go somewhere! It’s summer; you actually can! Be sure to pack everything you need, and bring books to read on the flight.

Go jogging– Just try it. If you’ve never jogged before, just jog for a little bit- whatever is comfortable.

Eavesdrop on a conversation– And make a short story about it. Don’t be rude or nosey, but if you just so happen to hear what the people at the table next to you are saying, start jotting down notes and see what you come up with.

Go hiking– Find someplace that you can, and go hiking. Bring plenty of water and some granola bars and good shoes, and then have fun!

Walk to somewhere near your house– How often have you actually walked around your neighborhood? Go hunting for the nearest store and see what you can find!

Eat popsickles on the porch– If you haven’t done this, you’re missing out. If you don’t like popsickles, eat ice cream. Just sit on the porch in the evening and enjoy the weather and your tasty popsickle.

Talk in a fake accent all day– It’s really awkward, but if you can muster up the courage it can be pretty entertaining. Go to the store and talk to people in this accent. If no one guesses that it’s fake, go you.

Climb a tree– You’re in college, I know. Who cares?! Climb a tree anyway. Get sap on you, get scratches all over arms, maybe tear some leggings– climb that tree! Climbing a tree is a lovely experience that you need to have in life.

Swing on a swing– You’re not too old for this either. Find a swing and swing on it. Just don’t hog it or you’ll annoy little kids.

Write a short story– Pick a topic and write about it. Think about the first thing that pops into your head, and write about it.

Ask someone to hang out with you– If you normally just keep to yourself and don’t actually do the “friend” thing, just try it for once. Ask someone to see a movie with you or go to the mall or anything you want!

Draw something-- It doesn’t matter if you think you’re bad at drawing or if you’re really good at it. Just try and draw something!

Read a book you liked as a kid– How long has it been since you read The Boxcar Children or The Spiderwick Chronicles? Probably years. Read a book that you liked as a kid and bring back old memories.

Order a weird snowball flavor– Find a snowball stand and order the weirdest flavor you can think of.

Start martial arts– Talk to me about this. For real. Email jumpingfrontkick@gmail.com and I’ll help you find out when to start!

Buy a weird clothing item– You’ll end up wearing it, I just know it–  but find the oddest thing you can and buy it. That awful pink jacket is probably going to become your favorite thing pretty soon.

Go to an International Foods store– And find the oddest thing you can, and taste it.

Wear a costume in public-- And see people’s reactions. More fun with a friend!

Play a backyard game– Soccer, baseball, tag– anything. How long has it been since you actually played a game? Go for it, man!

Make a movie– It doesn’t matter if movies are your thing are not; just find some friends and film something and see what happens.

Play a video game with a cool storyline– Kingdom Hearts and Jak and Daxter are some great games that you should try and play. If you’ve played them already, revisit them and experience some lovley nostalgia.

Do a photoshoot– Find some friends and a decent camera and take pictures of each other. It can be silly or serious, but either way it’ll be fun.

Watch a TV series– I’m sure there’s something that you’ve been wanting to start but haven’t had the time to. Go find that right now and go for it!

Write a murder scene– If you have never killed anyone in a story, book, or script before, try it now. Make a character that you like, and kill them off. You’ll really get a feel for how your favorite writers feel when they kill their own favorite characters! Remember, if it bugs you too much you could always write them back to life– they’re your character.

See how many push ups you can do– If you can do more than  10 in a row I’ll give you an imaginary hug. More than 30 in a row then I’ll give you an imaginary award. If you can do more than 100 in a row I‘ll give you 2 imaginary awards. Yay.

See how many sit-ups you can do–  If you can do more than  10 in a row I’ll give you an imaginary hug. More than 30 in a row then I’ll give you an imaginary award. If you can do more than 100 in a row I‘ll give you 2 imaginary awards. If you can manage to do more sit-ups than me in a side-by-side sit up competition, you’re probably my evil clone and therefore I’m going to have to kill you. My apologies.

Watch a crappy movie-- Go to the store and find the worst-seeming movie you can buy, then watch it and waste hours of your life that you can now never get back.

Try and become more flexible– As in the splits and the butterfly stretch and all those. It’s not that hard; just practice every night and stretch a little further each day until you get to where you want to be. Find where you are comfortable and go slightly beyond it, slightly beyond it…

Make cookies at midnight– Wait until midnight, then make cookies from scratch.

Write a list of what you like in a person– Every little quality you’d want in an ideal person. It’s a fun way to learn about yourself

Write a list about what you like about yourself– This is quite hard if you’re normally quite humble. Just do it. You don’t have to show anyone– just write it for yourself.

For-fun websites– Go to Pinterest, Tumblr, and SparkLife for random time-wasting fun. Cause now that it’s summer, you can actually waste time and not feel guilty! Yay! Pinterest is sort of like shopping for stuff you can’t actually have, Tumblr is basically random fandom stuff, and SparkLife is kind of teenager-ish but it’s a bit fun if you’re bored. Coolness.

Waste your money- Or notThis Is Why I‘m Broke is a pretty self-explanitory website name. Also try Think Geek for more random stuff that you totally don’t need.

Listen to audiobooks– “This is a LibriVox recording. All LibriVox recordings are in the public domain” will totally get stuck in your head, but this website is a super cool way to find classics to listen to.

Listen to Welcome to Night Vale– Weird stuff happens in a little town and it hypnotizes you. Welcome… to Night Vale. *cool music plays now*

Design outfits and allPolyvore! Make outfits out of real clothes that you could actually buy if you were like, a bazzilionaire. It’s the kind of website that you only play once in a while, but when you do, you make about a million outfits that you’ll never wear.

Choose your own story– Travel back to the early 2000s on this cool website that hasn’t been updated since 2003. The Neverending Tale is a choose-your-own-adventure website that allows you to write your own choices in as well. If you don’t like the options offered, make your own! And write whatever because nobody has been on this site for over ten years! Yea-uh!

Insult people– Not normally of course, because that’s just rude. Instead, go to this website and learn how to insult people Shakespeare-style, thou saucy idle-headed hugger mugger!

Read some Shakespeare plays for free-- They are all online here! How cool is that? It takes a while to get the language, but with some practice you’ll be enjoying some of these classics in no time.

Talk to strangers– Do what you’re never ever supposed to do on the internet and talk to strangers at this annoying website. Make sure you don’t give out personal information, of course, and put something in your interests section or else you’ll just get people who want you to add them on their Kik sites and spam robots. It’s fun to play out scenes from movies and see how long it takes before they catch on. They usually don’t, and it’s hilarious.

Stories

Here are a few short stories that I wrote for my Creative Writing class. I am sharing them here because I think that perhaps some people might be curious about this “writing” that I speak of. Each title will be a link to the story, as pasting them here would be ridiculous.

The Measure Of Success 

A woman addicted to murder reflects on her life. Warning: this is a serial killer story, so, expect serial killer stuff. I think that this story would be better as a longer book.

 

The House That Built Her

This story is written in the style of Thomas Harris as part of an assignment. It’s a sad story about Caroline Turner, who visits her old house and confronts old memories. I quite like this story, despite the fact that it isn’t written in my typical writing style.

 

The Undesirables 

12-year-old William lives in a society where those that are considered an Undesirable are sterilized… which has come to mean killed. I’m not really sure if I actually like this story yet or not.

 

 

Me.

*”I Wanna Talk About Me“ playing somewhere in the distance probably*

I’m not really sure if I’m particularly normal for a college student (being any kind of normal is boring anyway), but the thing is, at CCBC there is no “normal” for a college student. Each person is unique and amazing in their own way (yea, yea, it’s so cliche, but I’m not exaggerating or being overly nice– it’s just true). Anyway, I’m going to write some random things about me to give readers a “glimpse” into the mind of this particular English major and we’ll see if it actually interests anyone enough to read it! Here we go…

  1. When I was little, I wanted to be a paleontologist. Then when I was 11 I decided I wanted to be a Taekwon-Do instructor, and I haven’t changed my mind since!
  2. My favorite class building at CCBC is the HTEC building. My favorite place at CCBC is the lower level of the Library near the Einstien Bros
  3. I despise wearing brand-name clothes because then you are, in fact, a walking advertisement
  4. If you talk to me about The Silence of the Lambs, I will love you forever
  5. Also if you buy me high-waisted jeans. Size 2 or 3, please
  6. The best thing at Einstien Bros is the Frozen Hot Chocolate. The second best thing is people’s faces when you ORDER a Frozen Hot Chocolate
  7. My favorite video games were/are Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, Jak and Daxter, and Pokemon Emerald
  8. When I was a pre-teen I used to trade bad Pokemon cards for rare Pokemon cards with boys who had crushes on me because I knew that they would accept the deal– which, looking back, was rather mean and manipulative
  9. I still have those rare Pokemon cards, though. I have an entire binder of foil cards only, too, and a Charizard EX worth $200 last time I checked
  10. I have Dermotillomania, which means that I pick scabs over and over. I care not. If I get scars, I put vitamin E oil and that is that– and I have enough self-control to avoid infection or picking at anything on my face
  11. I have never gotten a “B” in the history of ever
  12. When I got frustrated with life as a pre-teen and young teenager, I would add to this Wish Machine that I invented in my head. It has all kinds of rules and stuff, and looks like a laptop to anyone but me. Talk to me about it and I shall go into great depth about this imaginary wish machine
  13. I am really into the Chinese zodiac and swear by its accuracy, which basically means that if I find out your birthday, birth year, and birth time I will know everything about your personality and therefore pretty much have you pegged as an individual
  14. My favorite book series is the Harry Potter series, of course. I also enjoy Ender’s Game and the Hannibal Lecter series
  15. When I was 11 to 14, I wrote a 75,000 word novel called The Unfulfilled Prophecy: The Hornless Unicorn
  16. I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada and Mt. Charleston, Nevada from 2006 to 2010
  17. I really like getting lost on purpose and exploring new places is very entertaining for me
  18. If I ever went on a date with someone, the most awesome, ideal long date would be getting lost on purpose, eating out somewhere, watching The Silence of the Lambs, and then sitting on a porch and watching fireflies while eating popsickles
  19. When I was 12 I read the entirety of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one day
  20. My favorite quote is “Correct your mistake as soon as you have found it”
  21. I cannot think of a worst fear
  22. One time I had “California Girls” stuck in my head so badly that I barely got any sleep all night
  23. My least favorite movie is probably The NeverEnding Story 3. Yikers. Although Ender’s Game the movie was so frustrating that it is a close second
  24. “All Of Me” by John Legend is quickly becoming my least favorite song and I am not entirely sure why. All I can say is, it is not romantic, it is annoying. So, so annoying
  25. My mouth is crooked, causing my neutral expression to look like an eternal scowl
  26. Up until I was 11, I thought “moron” was a swear word, a cuss second only to the “f-word” in badness
  27. When I was 8 I made a sequel to Grocery Store Wars featuring Emperor Orange Pulp-atine
  28. I really wanted to meet fairies when I was about 6, and I was convinced that they were real
  29. I’m not sure what it is called, but I have this thing where I associate everything with a feeling. Not an emotion, a feeling– a feeling that is not describable in English because it is a feeling associated only with a thing/idea. I only recently discovered that not everyone thinks like this. How on earth can you think of something without associating it with a feeling?! Then what does it seem like– a NOTHING? How do you even remember things? The world must be so blank to you people. What must it be like in your feeble little human minds…
  30. I would rather fight a werewolf than a ghost
  31. I would rather fight a person with a sword than a person with a knife
  32. I don’t scream. I am not a screechy annoying screaming person and I find it annoying when other people scream and squeal like ridiculous little kids.  I don’t think I even know how to scream anymore, actually…
  33. I don’t like the idea of drinking, and even though I am not yet 21 when I DO turn 21 I plan to continue not-drinking
  34. I am the queen of gluten-free and sugar free cooking and no one can convince me otherwise. I can make gluten-free and sugar-free baked goods that taste exactly like (and often better than) typical wheat and sugar goods and no one can tell the difference
  35. I am extremely annoyed by fake people, arrogant people, lazy people, and most of all unreliable people. If you are all of these things than I probably do not like you. However, I will most likely pretend to like you anyway because unless I absolutely loathe you I will not want to be rude
  36. I really despise being ignored or talked-over and therefore I try to be a good, inclusive listener.  If you actually listen to me, it is 100% guaranteed that I like you
  37. When I was 5 I drew on a wall with the head of an action figure and sunk into a pit of overwealming guilt and disapointment in myself because such an act was extremely out of character for me. My parents were not mad; they actually found the situation quite funny
  38. My bookshelf is organized by book color
  39. I purposefully try to dress uniquely because I dislike looking like I’m trying to wear what’s popular. It annoys me when things that I wear start becoming popular
  40. One time I made some butterscotch pudding and I accidentally hit the container onto the fridge and it broke and pudding went everywhere and my siblings were mad and I still feel guilty about that to this day
  41. Paul Krendler from Hannibal (the book)  is the most despicable character in anything ever. He’s worse than Umbridge from Harry Potter
  42. I’ve always had my hair long and besides very short trims, I have never cut it shorter
  43. One time I asked about cameras in a BestBuy in-character as a female version of the 11th Doctor
  44. I despise talking on the phone. Text me, email me, FaceTime me any day– just don’t call me
  45. Luckily, I don’t own a cell phone yet, either
  46. I like deep, philosophical conversations
  47. People often think that my 0 and 5-year-old sisters are my daughters
  48. Lasagna is an incredible dinner, probably my favorite. I also love spaghetti and meatballs, and Viatnamese burritos, and homemade pizza. But not as much as lasagna
  49. I despise meringues because I once got a vomiting sickness shortly after eating them. I also despise Jasmine rice for the same reason. I’m feeling disgusted just thinking about this…
  50. Oh, no, one last fact. Um. Ummmm. What should I put for this last fact… Ah, I know. One time I injured my wrist cutting a potato with a fork.

 

 

CCBC Teachers & Their Classes

Some people might be trying not think about school at all. Others might be starting their summer courses soon. Still others might be already thinking about fall classes. (I am not one of those people. I am, in fact, one of those last-minute register-ers who thinks and thinks about what classes to take and then actually signs up for them like 2 weeks before classes start). For those of you that are thinking about what classes to take, I’m going to write a little about some of the teachers that I’ve had at CCBC Catonsville. Not qualifications or anything like that, just my personal experience with them and their class.

EUNITA OCHOLA

Class: English 101

What I Learned From Her: Everything. Okay, well, not literally EVERYTHING, but all the important stuff that has to do with writing papers and creating outlines. Dr. Ochola is an incredible teacher with a unique teaching style and I am so grateful that I was able to be in her class. My writing improved so much from taking her class, and I believe that it was then that I decided that I wanted to be an English major. Your writing will go from high school level to college level in the time that you take this class.

Important Points: Dr. Ochola has a unique pre-grading system that some students were annoyed with but I found very beneficial. She’ll pre-grade your papers before you actually get them, so you might find yourself staring confusedly at a “C – -” and be even more confused when she tells you that is a good start. Don’t worry, though, you’ll find that you will be grateful for this grading system once you finish the class. In fact, she actually told the class this and they didn’t believe it– until the end, of course, where those that stayed were grateful. Especially me!

 

NATASHA COLE-LEONARD

Class: English 102 Honors

What I Learned From Her: Basically a continuation of English 101, Professor Cole-Leonard lead a discussion-based 102 class that featured many short stories and works of poetry to read and write about. Although discussions tended to get off-topic, these classes were beneficial in learning how to get your thoughts together for different critiques and such.

Important Points: Professor Cole-Leonard is quite understanding and was a very interesting teacher. Although she would let discussions get off-topic at times and perhaps be a bit too lenient, she was always willing to talk to me and was especially friendly. Note that this class requires reading quite a few short stories and such, and while she will not get on your case for not doing the work you will not do as well in the class if you don’t actually participate.

 

MARGARET MCCAMPBELL

Class: English 160, Mythology

What I Learned From Her: Her class had an emphasis on the mythology of different cultures and in this class, I (duh) learned quite a bit about mythology. I also had the opportunity to improve my writing and– most notably– my quiz-taking skills. Although this class did require hard work, I found it to be very enjoyable and I was pleased with the overall environment of the class.

Important Points: Firstly, if you want to take this class to learn about Greek myths, you’re taking the wrong class. We did go over a few Greek myths, but the mythology we studied included primarily less-familar myths from cultures from around the world. We actually even went over the “myth” that Tolkien created in his novel The Hobbit.  You have to make sure that you do the readings for this class– as it is a mythology class, you’ll have to read quite a few myths. Professor McCampbell gave quite a few quizzes in this course as well. I found them fun, but be prepared to know your mythology so that you can do well on the quizzes! She is a very supportive teacher as well.

 

JOSH ACKERMAN

Class: History 112 Honors

What I Learned From Him: The question is, what DIDN’T I learn from him? Besides a lot of American history– especially the darker side of American history– Josh (as Professor Ackerman prefers to be called) posed many life-altering, deep, deep questions to ponder that I got to write about. This is quite a life-changing class and Josh Ackerman is an especially good teacher. I had a great chance to practice more writing, too, as this class has many written assignments. It also has a healthy amount of discussion paired with an excellent sense of pacing.

Important Points: This is NOT an easy class. While Josh is a friendly and has an easy-going teaching style, the class is certainly not easy so prepare to dedicate yourself to some thought-provoking assignments and mega important quizzes. This is a class that requires lots of dedication and quite a bit of writing, reading, and quizzes. Josh also gives quite a few extra-credit opportunities, so make sure that you take them! He’s also always willing to talk if you need to ask him anything.

 

ANNIE NYGUYEN

Class: Workshop in Creative Writing

What I Learned From Her: Professor Nyguyen is quite a unique teacher. She is more of a discussion-leader than a traditional teacher at times. Nonetheless, she helped me with my writing in many ways– especially through the writing workshops that we did throughout the semester, where students peer-review each others’ works. Although I did not always agree with certain critiques, I really enjoyed the overall mood of the class and found the set-up quite unique.

Important Points: Prepare to write, a lot. This is a Creative Writing class, and if you do not like writing short stories than this class is not for you. Professor Nyguyen is quite friendly and supportive, but she can be quite strict at times as well and can be a bit blunt. If you miss your workshop, it is practically a pass to getting a whole letter grade lower– so don’t miss your workshop! Also, make sure that you put a huge emphasis on character development and backstory, which is quite important in Professor Nyguyen’s class.

 

SALLIE BRODUS

Class: Sociology/Criminology 101

What I Learned From Her: Everything from the aspects that prevent people from committing crimes to the hierarchy of prostitutes.  You will learn exactly what you should expect to learn from a Criminology 101 class– so long as you pay attention and do your study questions! I especially liked Professor Brodus’ teaching style and the way that she interacted with students, so I learned good teaching tips through observation as well as learning about Criminology

Important Points: The textbook is very important. We read and answered study questions for twelve full chapters of the textbook. The set-up of the class is basically one long prep for the final, and a lot of emphasis is put on the final. You will also have five quizzes in the class, and as Professor Brodus emphasizes– quizzes cannot be made up! She is a great teacher and gives you everything that you need to succeed, so if you pay attention and work hard then you are set. For those that don’t, she is very patient and will explain things again if people ask. However, despite her patience it is very important that you study on your own– it is really up to you to get a good grade in the class, so be a good listener and have perseverance!

 

LARA HARTMAN

Class: Speech 101

What I Learned From Her: You might be thinking, oh, great, a communications class– lots of people don’t like communications classes because they don’t want to give speeches. Well, if that is you, then no worries because I promise that you will love this class! I saw so many nervous people transform into more confident speakers through the course of this class and I learned a lot myself, too! Not only about speaking, though, about myself

Important Points: This is not your average communications class. Prepare to jump inside your own mind and find the darkest places, the happiest places, the saddest places, the most fearful places… and then address issues and work towards resolving them. Mrs. Hartman is a very good teacher and I’m sure that you’ll love her. She talked quite a lot, but she is extremely funny and especially helpful. If you are someone who fears public speaking, take communications from Mrs. Hartman and you won’t regret it. If you are looking forwards to taking a communications class, take communications from Mrs. Hartman and you ALSO won’t regret it!