Posted in Other

The Future is Unclear

The path does not have to be clear to take the next step.

This concept is not something I am comfortable with, but I must adapt. Up until now, I always roughly knew what came next. School led to more school which led to college. That was the path, and I did well on it. It was only when graduation began to loom that my friends and I were truly diverging and going drastically different ways. Some moved out of state and got full time jobs. Some went to graduate school. Some went abroad for fullbrights or peacecorps. The world is opening up in a new way, and honestly, it is terrifying.

I had a plan. I was going to graduate school to get my masters in library and information science. I was going to start my way towards being a rare book librarian. And then I wasn’t.

School is expensive, but with most graduate programs you get funding by being a teaching assistant or research assistant. The problem with LIS is that there is no undergraduate degree so there really aren’t classes to TA for. RAs are often left to PhD candidates. The school I was going to had a fair amount of pre-professional graduate assistantships, but it is also a competitive school and I felt that competition while trying to land one of those coveted positions.

So no funding for me. Without that funding, I can’t afford the degree. I have to defer and get a 9-5 for now, and I am terrified. This was never in the plan and I didn’t prepare to go into the job market this early, but I am. I am taking this side-quest, and I think I will be better for it, but the future is so unclear right now.

Posted in Books

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trilogy)

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A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Continue reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trilogy)”

Posted in Books

In the Shadow of a Man

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World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behavior ever written. Her adventure began when the famous anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey suggested that a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild might shed light on the behavior of our closest living relatives. Accompanied by only her mother and her African assistants, she set up camp in the remote Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania. For months the project seemed hopeless; out in the forest from dawn until dark, she had but fleeting glimpses of frightened animals. But gradually she won their trust and was able to record previously unknown behavior, such as the use—and even the making— of tools, until then believed to be an exclusive skill of man. As she came to know the chimps as individuals, she began to understand their complicated social hierarchy and observed many extraordinary behaviors, which have forever changed our understanding of the profound connection between humans and chimpanzees. (Goodreads)

I bought this book and another of Jane Goodall’s two years ago when she visited my university and I was actually able to see her speak. Jane Goodall was my role model as a child. Maybe it’s because we had a poster of her in my science classroom and she was the only female scientist I know, or maybe it’s because she worked with animals and I loved animals, or maybe it’s because she’s just down right awesome, we may never know. This book is utterly amazing whether or not you have a particular interest in Jane Goodall. It’s about science, but isn’t overly scientific. I mean, Goodall wasn’t educated in science when she began her research, so she did things that hadn’t previously been done, such as naming her subjects, that help make her research read like a story rather than a lab report even while making groundbreaking discoveries about animals. In the Shadow of a Man has a life about it that I’ve never seen in another science book, not that I’ve read too many scientific novels to begin with, but that’s beside the point. While reading Goodall’s words, I cared about these chimps. I wanted to know how they interacted and what would happen to them. It was fascinating to read about Jane Goodall’s early days before the majority of the world knew her name or trusted her observations. it’s an amazing tale from how she originally got herself to Africa and later on received money to do research without previous experience to the amazing moment a chimp first let her touch him, all to getting an actual research facility and taking on students to aid in research; and I truly think anyone could find something in here to identify with or learn from.

Posted in Books

Throne of Glass Review and Guest Post

I originally wrote this review as a guest post for Mary to use as she has fun traveling the world and all that good stuff. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you really need to. It’s wonderful and so is Mary. Anyways, here’s my long-overdue review of the Throne of Glass series.

Right before classes started, I began reading this YA fantasy series I discovered on tumblr: Throne of Glass. Boy, oh boy. Here’s the Goodreads description for the first novel: Continue reading “Throne of Glass Review and Guest Post”

Posted in Mental Health

Creating Space to Feel

As you may or may not know, I struggle with anxiety and depression. Medication, weekly counseling, the whole shabang. The beginning of the new semester brought me a new counselor, and so far I’ve really liked working with her. In our work together we go about discovering more about myself and healing in ways I haven’t before. Mainly we do chakra work and meditations to help me understand my own emotions and energies better. (I will definitely do a post on this sometime, but that is not the point of today’s post.) One of the things I have found rather helpful in my emotional regulation practices is in fact a very small alteration to my internal dialogue.

Normally when feelings arise, especially if they are negative, I respond by internally saying things like “I am anxious,” “I am sad,” and so on and so forth. The issue with phrasing my emotional states in this way is that it does not recognize that those feelings are just that, temporary states. By saying “I am…” I am unconsciously equating my identity to my feelings. For someone who feels a lot of quote unquote “negative” emotions, this practice can be incredibly harmful and self-destructive to the way in which I see myself. I started to believe that anxiety, depression, and guilt were who I was. I ended up feeling worthless and inherently bad. Combine that with my previous campus ministry’s theology of sin and there was a lot of pain in my life.

After a few sessions with my new counselor, I started attempting to switch out my “I am…” statements with “I am feeling…” So far it has done a lot for me. This slight alteration in the way I speak to myself and the focus on noticing my internal realm has created space for my feelings to be feelings and not my identities. While I’m by no means “fixed” or “cured” (Damn it, I’ve got to stop saying toxic things like that. It’s just so ever present in our society’s language surrounding any kind of illness.)…anyways, I am still definitely struggling with anxiety and depression (and now I’m coming to realize codependency as well… more on that later), but this small act of mindfulness has eased things for me.

Now I need to work on saying “I am feeling…at this moment” in order to remind myself that these feelings are transient. So remember folks, you are not what you feel. You are the conscious being that notices your emotions and the comings and goings of said emotions. Do not get too wrapped up in the feels, but rather create a space for them to exist and allow them to both stay as long as they need to and leave when they are ready.

Posted in Other

Two Awards! Woah!

The lovely Mary from Mary’s Average Adventures has nominated me for two awards! This is always very exciting because it’s nice to know that other people like your blog, and I simply adore answering questions. (then I don’t have to think up things to write about, it’s selfish, I know)

The Kind Blogger Award

It is asked that you have an image of the blog, continue with the nominations, and answer the following questions:

1.) Why is kindness and giving support so important? I simply don’t understand being unkind. Now that’s not to say that I am the picture of perfection when it comes to kindness, but I am very conscious to the point of anxious about being unkind to others. I’ve known unkindness and I’ve witnessed extreme unkindness, and let me tell you, it’s more damaging than most know. I just have no desire to bring about that sort of pain. There’s enough bad things in the world without creating more of it.

2.) What is your favorite thing about helping others? I’m a big believer that the more you help others, the more they will help others. I’ve seen it happen people. Positively impacting someone’s life often leads to them doing the same for someone else.

3.) What do you think is the best movie for showing the importance of kindness? Hmmm…I don’t know. I hate to steal the one Mary used, but Pay it Forward really is all about being kind to others.

4.) If you could give one inspirational message, what would it be? Every person is worth love. I’m not necessarily talking about romantic love, but rather being cherished by other human beings in a platonic or familial way. Even if you don’t feel it or aren’t receiving it, you are worth being loved.

5.) Why did you start your blog and how long have you been blogging for? I’ve been blogging for about a year. I guess I started because I was super self-conscious about other people reading things I’ve written and I thought letting strangers read blog posts would help me allow people I do know read by critical papers. It has seemed to help, plus I really enjoy making friends through blogging. That wasn’t something I expected.

 

The Sandycademy Award

Also from Mary. Here are the questions to order for this award:

1) What story have you shared on your blog that you feel was the most inspirational! Oh gosh. I never particularly thought of my blog as being inspirational. I get the most hits on my book reviews, I also think it’s always helpful to talk about mental illness. I do hope that my writing about reusable menstrual products such as cloth pads and menstrual cups gets someone out there to use them, because I am so passionate about it.

2) What blog post have you found on here to be the most inspirational to you? Hmm…that’s a tough one. 

3) What is your favorite blog post you ever posted?  I think it’s the letter I wrote to my 13 year old self.

4) What is the nicest thing you did for someone? I don’t know that I’ve ever done grand gestures, though I do just try and be a generally nice person. I also raise money for Dance Marathon, an organization that provides financial and emotional support for pediatric oncology patients though, and I think that’s pretty nice.

5) What gives you hope and happiness when you feel down? Hugs and chocolate. 

6) What is your favorite song? Anything by Hozier. Seriously, I need more artists like him.

7) What is your favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice.

8) What is your favorite coping strategy? Yoga and tea!

9) What do you like most about yourself? My work ethic (though sometimes it goes a bit too far and makes me stressed).

10) Where do you see yourself in five years?  Either still pursuing advanced degrees or working somewhere. Hopefully happy.

11) What is your favorite thing to do in summer? Read outside or go on walks when it’s not too hot and humid. 

12) Who is the most important person in your life? It depends on what I need at the time. I know that’s a lame question 

13) Who makes you happy most in life? A sense of community/acceptance.

 

I’m not going to nominate people like I should because I find it a tad too stressful right now, and I have no intentions of doing things that stress me out if I don’t need to.

 

Anywho, a big thank you to Mary, who is super lovely. Y’all should check her blog out. I loved answering these questions.

 

Until next time,

Katie

Posted in Books

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

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I read Harper Lee’s first, and until now only, book To Kill A Mockingbird years ago when I was a junior or senior in highschool. I wouldn’t say I loved it at the time of the reading (though I did strongly like it), but it is one of those books that sticks with you and as such my fondness for it has grown. When I learned that Harper Lee was going to have a new book published, I — along with many others — was thrilled. While I didn’t preorder it, I did put it on hold at my local library before it came out. I was the first on the hold list — thank goodness — and got my hands on it the day it came in. So, now that I’ve finished the much anticipated Go Set A Watchman, I’m not exactly sure how I feel. Continue reading “Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee”