Is it Fall Break, yet?

I’m trying not to fall out of the habit of making blog posts, even if they are just bits of randomness. I’ve noticed somehow that writing a lot has made it easier to write for homework assignments – the words flow a little easier and ideas don’t get quite as stuck in my mind before I manage to put them to words. Which is good, because I’m writing several pages of stuff per week at least. And reading a whole lot more.

I feel like I’m learning a lot this semester – much of it stuff that will stick with me and be useful once I get out into that “real world” everyone keeps talking about. Three of my four classes have been some of my favorites in all my college classes ever, which is probably what is keeping me from burning out completely. I haven’t spent a day without doing homework of some kind since classes began. Add in Boone’s bi-polar weather and keeping something of a social life and be amazed that I am still alive. I’m somewhat worried that it will all catch up to me one day and I’ll fall behind like I always tend to do, but I’ll try not to think about that too much.

In about an hour I’ll be applying for a passport. I hope it works this time. Once I get that sent away and our tickets are secured I’ll be able to get excited about my trip to Japan. I’ll be going to Buddhist and Shinto temples in Japan and I’m still not excited :/ It’s a little frustrating.

There’s my morning babble. Maybe I’ll make a more interesting post later on in-between all my errands and homework. At the very least I think I’ll prep a recipe for posting this weekend.

More Homework

I have a lot of homework, people. Most of it is reading. English majors get to read a lot and we’re expected to have insightful opinions on all of it.

I’ve been a bad procrastinator already. I didn’t really do much all weekend and now I have a ton of stuff due tomorrow that I haven’t gotten too far into yet. At least most of it is pretty interesting. I have a feeling I’ll be sharing a lot. I’m taking one class called Advanced Folklore which will give me the bulk of my reading (152 pages this week) but has given me a lot to think about so far.

So as an intro to what Folklore is we were given some questions, and today I want answers!

1. How do you cure the hiccups? Hold your breath for 20 seconds or drink three sips of water.

2. What is done with the bride’s bouquet? It’s thrown to all the unmarried girls at the wedding and the one who catches it makes small children cry (true story.)

3. What do you do with a baby tooth when it falls out? Put it under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy will give you money! I always got a dollar.

4. How do you predict the gender of an unborn baby? There are a lot of these, apparently, but I remember learning that you check the veins on the wrist of your dominant hand. More blue veins means more boy babies, and more purple veins means more girl babies. I have even amounts of both so WHAT NOW, FATE!?!?

5. What do you do at birthday parties? Cake, singing, presents, in that order.

6. How long do you wait before leaving a class if a professor doesn’t show up? 10 minutes, 15 if s/he has a doctorate.

There are more, but the overall point is that you didn’t learn these answers at school, from books, internets, etc. In most cases you heard them from family, friends, or just randomly. What are some other tidbits you’ve picked up along the way?

For next week I get to read some fairy tales by the Grimm brothers. Best class ever? Maybe.

Homework Time

I got 42 page views yesterday. 42! Last week I was excited over 9. It made me happy.

Today a somewhat more serious post which is actually from a homework assignment I had to do. It’s an interesting article about whether or not reading on the Internet is killing our literacy skills.

Here is the article.

 

 

And here is the response I typed up for homework:

One of the statements from one of the kids interviewed in the article that stuck out to me was “No one’s ever said you should read more books to get into college.” I immediately thought back to my freshman year in high school when my English teacher gave us a list of books and authors that she told us college professors would assume we would know or had already read by that time.  Those that I remember from the list are books and authors that some of my professors have expected me to know. As an English major I think reading actual books is still essential if you want to do well in college. That said, I do not think that reading on the internet is necessarily a bad thing. I consider reading books versus reading on the internet to be two separate skills, both of which are useful today.

I am someone who reads books on a regular basis for fun, and I feel that it improves my writing and comprehension skills and strengthens my ability to focus. I agree with the statement from Ken Pugh: “Reading a book, and taking the time to ruminate and make inferences and engage the imaginational processing, is more cognitively enriching, without doubt, than the short little bits that you might get if you’re into the 30-second digital mode.” When I’m reading a book, I’m more invested in taking time to imagine what I’m reading and it tends to stick with me a little more than something I read online most of the time.

On the other hand, I also do a lot of reading on the internet. This sort of reading is all about quickness and making connections and gathering a lot of information directly. I feel like the internet has increased my ability to multitask and helps me to make quick connections and recall information quickly when I need to. Through the internet I have also gained a lot of knowledge and interests that I might not otherwise have had if I stuck only to books. For instance I am very interested in cooking and have discovered many techniques and recipes that I doubt I could have found in a book unless I knew what I was looking for. The internet has also led me to a lot of books I might not have found on my own, including several series. Overall I think the internet has greatly changed how we live and that is not always a bad thing.

 

I’m interested to get other people’s take on this. Are you a book or internet reader? Do you think the internet is making us all dumb? To be honest I do think that a lot of people could stand to sign off for a while and go read some books, but if I got into that side of things I’d have a much longer response up there, and I have cookies to bake.

Time to be Productive Again…

The countdown has begun. My final year of college begins in less than 10 days. I already have homework. Is it time for fall break yet?

I love making lists. They keep me organized, or at least as organized as it is possible for me to be. Something about laying out everything I am set out to do helps me keep on track. So here is the list I made for myself to finish before classes begin:

1. Make a blog. Done! Sometimes I’ll add stuff to my list that I’ve already accomplished so that I feel like I’m getting somewhere. This isn’t completely the case here, as I am starting out by copying a list I made for myself about a week ago. I’m glad I did this one and I hope I keep up with it when things get hectic again.

2. Start a painting. I’ve been telling myself I’ll do this all year. It’s sort of a messy process, which is why I’ve been putting it off, but once I get into it I really enjoy myself and feel a lot better afterward. Something about painting is very therapeutic for me. Once I get something started I might post pictures here. I did start a drawing a little earlier this weekend, does that count? Update: I made a new banner for a club I’m in and I consider that to fall under the same category as a painting. Everyone loved it!

3. Clean my apartment. I’ve been doing this in small increments but the mess catches up before I get very far. One day this week I’m going  to turn on some inspirational music and just get it all done. Update: Done!

4. Clean out my car. It’s like my second closet.

5. Go hiking. I can do this after school starts, of course, but I’d like to get one more long day hike in beforehand. The weather has been great in the mornings but by mid-afternoon we’ve got tiny hail and flash floods, so I don’t have much control over this one and therefore won’t feel bad if I don’t accomplish it before class starts. Update: Done! Sort of. We went to a park the other day that I hoped would have some nice trails, but instead we got a very nice view of the town. It looks so different from overhead!

6. Finish a short story. The aforementioned homework. I’ve got about half of one that I started a while back so I’m not too worried about getting it done. I just need the inspiration/motivation to do so.

7. Get  my textbooks and school supplies before the freshmen arrive. My university does this awesome thing where we’re rented our textbooks for free, but the only downside is that if you don’t get there early enough then you will be standing in line for at least an hour or two trying to get them, no matter what day or time you try it. Update: Done, unless there are some unlisted books that my professors will tell us about on the first day of class, which might happen.

I’m sure there are a few things I’ll add to this list before I finish it all, but this seems like a start.