Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I have come out of hiding.... to RANT

I am tired of people telling other people what they can and cannot enjoy during the holiday season. There has been this ongoing debate about when it becomes okay to play Christmas music, when stores are allowed to display Christmas items, which day you are permitted to decorate your house or buy a Christmas tree, and what you should or should not be doing with your Thanksgiving day.... and I am tired of it!

Most recently, Toys R Us has announced that they will officially be starting their black Friday sales a 5pm, 3 hours earlier from last year. For whatever reason there has been this huge uproar from people who believe that Thanksgiving is a family holiday and that people should spend it at home with their families rather than camping out at storefronts to win the best deals. That's a great thought, but the truth is we all celebrate holidays differently. We have different priorities, and we all grow up with different traditions or maybe none at all. Toys R Us has no obligation to schedule their opening at a time convenient for you. When you think about it, Thanksgiving is basically the celebration of the beginning of an era where Americans took what they wanted as their own.

I've spent numerous Thanksgiving evenings waiting in line at Best Buy with my sister and cousins and countless early mornings with my mom out shopping.... Does that make me a "bad" Thanksgiving-er? I personally prefer to hold off on Christmas music so that I don't get tired of it before the actual holiday . But I'm not going to stomp on someone else's joy just because I don't want to hear that music yet!

So please rock that Christmas music... or don't. Everyone is entitled to their own level of enthusiasm :)

I will hopefully be better about updating this blog more. I got pretty busy with life! Maybe I will write a brief post catching up everyone about some cool things I've done since I stopped updating, but I'll save that for later!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 4: Favorite Quotes

Day 4: Favorite quote and why you chose it:

I had a difficult time choosing my all-time favorite quotes, so I picked several. Here's what I came up with!

This is my favorite book/movie quote. Harry Potter is a wonderful and complex series and it has stuck with me throughout most of my childhood until now. It's a gorgeous and unexpected love story and it this quote just captures the whole thing.

This is a favorite when I need a little motivation. It also makes an appearance in one of my favorite songs by Florence and the machine "Shake it Out"

I really like this thought, I just need to do a better job of putting it into practice!

If I truly only had to pick one favorite quote, this one would probably be it. It's a motto I try to live by because everyone has their own hardships in their lives. Instead of trying to judge who has it worse or try to diminish someone's struggles, we should be kind to EVERYONE. Even if that person is rude or annoying or  complaining about something trivial. You don't have to agree with them or like them, but everyone should be treated with kindness :)

On that note, do you have any favorite quotes that you would like to share?

Day 3: Awkward.

Day 3: Things that make me uncomfortable.

Something that I have discovered makes me uncomfortable is holding direct eye contact with other people.

It just feels awkward and weirdly too intimate, even if I feel totally comfortable around the person. I feel like people are staring into my soul or something!

One time in my Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Therapy course we had a guest speaker come lecture us about mindfulness. As an exercise, we were told to turn to the person next to us and give them direct eye contact for several minutes. I was dying inside!

Most people don't seem to notice or care, and it's not like I never ever look other people in the eye, I just don't sustain it for too long. It's something I am definitely working on, so feel free to mention it to me if it looks like my eyes are wandering :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 2: Let Me Share My Wealth of Knowledge...

Day 2: Educate your readers on something you know a lot about or are good at.

I happen to be an expert in the art of procrastination.

It's really quite impressive if I do say so myself.

So, I can't cure your procrastination, but I can tell you how to use it to your advantage. Hopefully it works for you like it works for me:

Step 1: Make a to-do list including even mundane things that will take no time at all to complete
Step 2: Add something really important to said to-do list that doesn't need to be done right away, but is super important.
Step 3: Suddenly, all of the other small things on your list get done because at least those are smaller and easier to tackle than that one big impending thing you must work on sometime in the vaguely distant future!

Why does this work? John Perry, author of The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing explains that "when people procrastinate, it's not that they aren't doing anything; they simply aren't doing something that's more important." This totally makes sense in my life and explains why when I have a big paper due suddenly it's the perfect time to clean my whole apartment or when I need papers graded it feels like the perfect time to head to the gym, the papers or whatever I am supposed to be doing can wait. So, the way to get me or anyone else who is a chronic procrastinator to do something important is to make sure that there is something else MORE important that needs doing!

This also explains why I am blogging instead of sending off my fieldwork letter :P

Blogging Every Day in May!

Okay so since I've been sort of uninspired lately I've decided to join in on a challenge posted by Story of My Life where I will be blogging every day in May! Each day comes with a prompt that I will be answering, and hopefully you find it interesting. You may have noticed it's already May 13th, so I've missed quite a few days at the start days at the start. I hope to make those up as I go! Even if I post more than one post per day, I will still only post links from Facebook no more than once a day so that people don't hate me for spamming their news feeds!

Day 1: The Story of Your Life in 250 Words or less

This is Amanda: The Sparknotes Edition. I was born in Illinois and moved to North Carolina shortly after. I spent most of my childhood there being really socially awkward, adventuring to a nearby creek with neighborhood friends, and playing video games and Neopets. I also dabbled in being a world champion team member of Odyssey of the Mind, had a decent run as both a dancer and an ice skater, and joined too many choirs for me to keep track of.
The summer before I started high school my family moved to Texas, where I did crazy things like join the cross country team and learn Latin. I also earned over a thousand dollars in babysitting money and took a trip to New York! I was forced to transfer to a new school starting my junior year which turned out to be a great move. High school wasn't my favorite but I had a great small group of friends that I sad to leave when it came time for me to leave for TCU.
Going to TCU was probably the most defining moment of my life so far. So many wonderful things happened in my life as a result of being a student there! I joined the marching band on a whim and marched 4 seasons with the color guard, was a member of a sorority, did many hours of volunteer work and had a pretty awesome set of roomies while I was there. I also worked as a resident assistant, a camp counselor, and at a pediatric outpatient clinic where I decided that occupational therapy was the perfect fit for my future career.
Most recently, I just finished my first year in graduate school at UIC! I received straight A's this semester and survived my first Chicago winter. I have enjoyed being closer to some of my other extended family members while still doing my whole adventurous live-in-a-big-city kind of thing. My classmates are way cool and so is my boyfriend :) I'm not sure where the next year will take me but am excited for fieldwork and graduation and jobs!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I Think About Abercrombie

Okay so many of you may have heard recently that the owner of Abercrombie & Fitch is actually a jerk.  For those of you out of the loop, basically Abercrombie will not carry XL or XXL sizes in their women's clothing because the CEO only wants "thin and beautiful people" to wear his clothing. Was anyone actually surprised by this? I mean, this is the same company that only hires attractive people to work in their stores and sell their clothes, and actually hires people to stand there half naked in their store entrances in order to advertise said clothing. The same company that intentionally blasts music and keeps their lights down low and guards their store entrances with a cloud of foul smelling cologne just to ward off any "old people" who might accidentally wander in and mistakenly think they are worthy to sport the Abercrombie brand.

Yes, discriminating against people based on size is wrong. Yes this dude is freaking INSANE and what he said is completely ridiculous and rude. However, I think the petitions etc. directed at this man and his company are stupid. You can't force someone to sell clothes that they don't want to sell. And who wins if somehow the company starts to sell larger sizes? It's doubtful that Mike Jeffries is going to completely change his worldview about popularity and the value of human beings regardless of their size just because of a bunch of names on a page. And as a shopper wanting those sizes... why would you give your business toward an industry that has historically shamed you and basically told you you aren't cool enough to wear his clothes?? I personally have never shopped at Abercrombie, but if the CEO of Abercrombie wants to make offensive statements and poor marketing decisions I will not be wasting my time demanding he change. Instead, I will wait patiently and watch with enthusiasm as his company fails due to his ridiculous attitude that he is somehow the all-knowing guru of middle school popularity. Don't let this jerk make you even think twice about how cool/popular/beautiful/awesome you are!

Mike Jeffries in all his....popular-ness?

you can go here to read more about this story!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fallen Off the Blogging Bandwagon

     I have been a rather boring/absent blogger lately... sorry guys! This time of year is always crazy for me. My first year in occupational therapy school is coming to an end. It's hard to believe that right now, I've finished more of OT school than I have left in front of me. My classes are essentially complete after this coming fall semester! Unfortunately, with the end of the semester comes a million papers, assignments and tests, not to mention my teaching assistant duties have multiplied tenfold as I now grade approximately 120 papers weekly! That doesn't even include tests and now the dreaded second journal article assignment-- it takes me around 15-20 minutes just to grade one student's assignment! I have truly enjoyed being a teaching assistant in psychology this semester and especially have appreciated the benefits financially... but I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty sure I never want to be a professor, like ever. Too many emails and not enough free time! Good thing I'm going to OT school :) 

     In addition to the world of academia, I've also been busy with some fun things too. I've visited Chris both at ISU and his hometown as well as having plenty of fun here in Chicago also. The weather is starting to warm up a little so I've been doing some more city exploring as well, and recently ran a 5k with several classmates to benefit those who were affected by the Boston Marathon attacks. I'm hoping to see the sun more after close to a week of dreary rainy days. For those of you who asked, no, I was not in the danger zone as far as flooding in the area goes. However, my idea of how close the serious flooding actually was was WAY off, it was actually quite close to me! Good thing I am on the second floor...

     So what do the next few weeks/months look like for me? Well, after I stalk all of my friends online for TCU graduation, I get a lovely few weeks of summer vacation before starting summer school classes on May 28th. I'm taking 2 classes, 4 days a week for about a month: one about adaptive technology which I am really looking forward to because it's more of a hands-on lab type experience, and another class about healthcare policy etc. I can't say I'm looking forward to that one with quite as much zeal as adaptive tech, but it should be interesting and useful information to learn as the country goes through this massive healthcare transition. After that I have about a week until I need to head home to Texas for my one month fieldwork placement at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital! I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity to learn from a hand therapist in one of my favorite places, Fort Worth! And then I get to rock my fall semester back  at UIC and then go on MORE fieldwork and then graduate and then pass my NBCOT exam with flying colors and then I'm done :) Exciting stuff, y'all!