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College student hoping to expose people to thoughts and ideas they might not necessarily come across on a regular basis.

Stress... Don't let it get to you.

Stress. It's everywhere. On a daily basis, we all run into something or other that raises our blood pressure, makes us have a mini panic attack, or just plain pisses us off.

Don't worry, though, you're not alone.

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. --Richard Carlson

Because, honestly:

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want. --Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Our stress does not have to consume us, though.

There is more to life than increasing its speed. --Mohandas K. Gandhi

We lose ourselves in the river of life, and it sweeps us away before we have the chance to kick to the surface.

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. --Lily Tomlin

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. --Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

After all...

Is everything as urgent as your stress would imply? --Carrie Latet

Remember folks...

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. --Elbert Hubbard

Stress is going to happen. Don't let it rule and/or ruin your life.

Beauty...It's complicated.

Beauty is a hell of a thing. I can be our inspiration, but it can also be our undoing. Beauty spawns obsession, yet it also breeds hate. It is a dichotomous trait, and subject to a wide range of interpretations, and yet we are fascinated by it and discuss it, even if we find ourselves gaining nothing practical from it.

Let us see what some of the great minds and writers of history have to say about it.

Oscar Wilde seems a bit unsure what to think...

No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.

And yet...

It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.

Beauty, now matter how great, is not in all cases immune to the power of ugliness. Interesting, Mr. Wilde. If we think about it in a more than superficial manner, we may gain some useful insight about what beauty truly is.

Some are more optimistic than others...

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. --Confucious

Does it take something special to bring out that beauty which is in all things?

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. --Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

And of course, their remains strong opposition to the correlation between beauty and virtue...

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. --Leo Tolstoy

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful. --Ninon de L'Enclos

When was the last time your gaze caught sight of someone or something and you couldn't help but be struck speechless, either by their physical beauty or their pureness of heart?

Keep an eye out!

To boldly go...

Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. --Louis E. Boone

So, for a while now, I've wanted to do something like this. I've wanted to make videos and share my thoughts via that medium. It makes me nervous putting myself out there on the internet like this, but the worse thing we can do is never do anything because we are afraid it will end badly.

So here is my first official vlog attempt, which I share with you:

I've realized my blog is becoming more and more disorganized. I'm not sure what I'm trying to do with it, but I like writing, I like quotes, and I like videos, and we'll see where it goes. For those of you that followed me because of the style of posts I've been making from the start, I'm sorry if this new things is not your cup of tea. Thank you for all the support, though.

See you guys soon!

Scribble scribble,

Academic writing is usually quite boring. It really doesn't have to be a drag, though. It certainly isn't going to be fun, but it's important to find a way to negate the dull monotony of typing factual information, connecting ideas together, and including quotes that are meant to substantiate your statements.

I'm working on an 8-10 page French paper about religion and communism in this book, Masters of the Dew. Excellent book, loaded with religious and communist symbolism, and not all together unpleasant to write about.

But so often, I hear people tell me how much they hate writing essays and papers for school. And while I certainly don't love it, I've never found it difficult.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
--Sylvia Plath

Many times, I hear people say that they're no good at writing, and they always get bad grades and they can't stand to do it. Well, the first and most serious problem that these people face is that fact that they think they aren't good at writing.

There is no formula for good writing. A+B does not always equal novel. Sometimes it does, but sometimes A+B = nothing. The important thing is to find a style of writing that fits you.

With academic writing, there is less room to maneuver, of course, because it requires a person to be formal. But let's look at this for a moment. There are different ways of arranging thoughts, different vocabulary you can use, and if you've got the imagination for it, you could connect two ideas together in an entirely new way that might make the person grading it sit back in surprise and decide that you've just struck upon something great.

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. --Mark Twain

One thing I would suggest doing, whether it's academic or recreational writing, is to just pour it all out. Get it down on paper, or on your computer, and don't worry about it being coherent or grammatically correct. Just see where your thoughts take you. Follow the flow of the information that spews from your brain. Make a note of where you think this is going, and then, just take a break from it for a bit. Give your brain time to rest, do something relaxing, and when you come back to it, you'll have a fresh perspective.

This approach is not a universal one, and as a matter of fact, I don't even do this. Once I start thinking about things, I don't like to stop because I'll lose where I was going. However, at the same time, I don't get overwhelmed by the idea of writing a large paper.

The thing to do is not to think of a writing project as some great wall that stands in the way of your success. Rather, think of it as a ladder. The first few steps are easy, right? And it gets a bit more precarious the higher you have to go, but once you've made it to the top, you're there! You've reached your destination, and unlike ladders in real life, you don't actually have to climb back down.

Just remember, there is no one right way to write a paper or story or play or whatever it is. There may be a preferred final form, but there are many many ways to get there. Do whatever it makes you comfortable. Write incoherent thoughts, use post-it notes, dictate ideas into a recorder, but don't ever tell yourself that you can't do it because you're not a good writer.

Belief in yourself is the key that opens all doors.

100 followers and an update on the sitch.

Okay, so literally, as I was writing this, I got my 100th follower!

HELL YEAH! Thanks so much, G! I appreciate it.

I wanna say a major thanks to all the people who follow me, especially those who take the time out of their day to read and comment on my stuff. It means a lot that someone actually takes what I'm saying seriously.

So, as I explained yesterday in my lengthy rant, school is getting a bit hectic, and my teacher sent another email today switching things around. Add on top of that that I need to find time to write my 8-10 page paper in French, I'm a little crunched for time.

Also, I was looking over my scheduling for fall classes to make sure I figured everything out and didn't screw myself over, and I realized I almost did. So, after going through everything, and talking to the people I needed to, I realized that I'm gonna have to zone in and focus on French. December of 2009, I started teaching myself French, and in 9 months I was at a French 3 proficiency. In 5 months, I need to be able read advanced texts comfortably in French, and have conversations and discussions in French. So, suffice it to say, I need to kick my brain back into high gear. I guess this is French v. Chris, round two! Ding Ding, mofo!

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
-- Mark Twain

I'm going to try to write on here as often as possible, because I really enjoy this. Quotes is the focus, but as I said yesterday, I think I'm gonna diversify it a bit. Maybe some small stories, some positive thoughts, some discussions about my day. But always quotes. And always from the heart.

So, thanks again so much to everyone who has stuck with me, helped me, and done their part to keep me going. You all mean so much to me.

I'll see you soo

It was but a single straw...

This is just going to be a bit of a rant post.

One of my teachers is a out of her mind. It's the only way to describe it. She must be on something, because she goes at a hundred miles an hour at all times. Which is fine. What's not fine is the fact that she uses her ability to juggle 10,000 tasks at once to dump as much work on us as possible. It's insane.

Two weeks ago, she told us about a 200 point project that was due this Friday. Okay. She then commenced giving us an assignment to research for that Friday. Some sort of phony baloney debate about who is better, Dior or Chanel?

Um, neither. They're both expensive as hell, and are completely uninteresting to me. The debate, and the research, which was to find 10 good things and 10 bad things about each, served no purpose whatsoever!

Then, that Friday, she gives us the standard 70+ word vocab list that she gives every week to do for Monday. Plus sentences for each. Which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't just busy work. There is no goddamn way we can possibly memorize any of those words when we have so many of them. Not the mention the fact that most of them are combinations of words that we already know. She gives us these random phrases that are supposed to be useful. I've started doubting that, because she's always telling us how 'chic' the phrases are. Hey, lady. I don't give a fuck about being chic in Paris. I want to be understood in France.

After doing the vocab, we have a test coming up before Spring Break. Studying for that takes up a lot of my time, because I now have to go through 8 or 9 weeks of vocabulary word by word to find the ones I don't remember and review the ones I do. Notice that working on this project is not anywhere in there. It would be, if I had the magical ability to pull extra time from the depths of my ass.

Take the test on Friday, which I don't do well on, because she decides to grade for things she doesn't fucking teach us.

That's another thing, that I'll interject here. She doesn't teach us anything. All the learning we do is outside of class via these ridiculous assignments she gives us. All these projects and whatnot are the only way we learn anything. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Well, you're learning something, right?"

WRONG! These projects are so random, narrowed and focused, and all done with very little direction, that it's hard to know what we SHOULD be learning from them. All class is spent listening to other people present their semester projects, which we also have, presenting some crap dialogue that she's made us write using cookie cutter phrases and not really learning how to actually converse, or going over the ungodly list of vocabulary that we had to do.

So, for Spring Break, what does she do? She gives us another 170 words. 1. That's a lot of words! 2. We're supposed to be working on the project. 3.

You can always find reasons to work. There will always be one more thing to do. But when people don't take time out, they stop being productive. They stop being happy, and that affects the morale of everyone around them. --Carisa Bianchi

It's called a "break" for a reason! 4. And this is the worst one. The second list is comprised largely of vocabulary that you learn in French 1 and 2, and this class is supposed to be on par with French 3. Words like "mère" and "père," which mean mother and father. THAT'S BASIC STUFF, WOMAN! Now I've gotta spend a chunk of my time copying this crap into a 'decorated notebook' that she made us do (What is this, fifth grade!?) and then writing sentences for all of them.

And of course, of course, instead of giving us time to work on our project this week, she gives us yet another stupid dialogue to write and memorize for Wednesday.

I'm hovering just above a B right now, and I'll be happy with either an A or a B. At this point, I'm gonna do my best, but I refuse to kill myself over this crap. She is not the only teacher in existence, and her class is not the only one we are taking. To cope with this ridiculousness, I think of this:

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict. --William Ellery Channing

The soul is like a sword. Forged it heat, and handled properly, it strengthens when it is bent and beaten, and it time, it can shine brilliantly and pierce anything that stands against it.

Better bend than break. --Carl W. Buechner

But to reach that optimal state, we must always keep in mind that survival and coping is the key. A sword cannot be forged if it is brittle, and shatters before completion. In many situations, adaptation the best path, the necessary option, to avoid failure and complete breakdown.

It's true, you can only bend so much before you're simply flattened. That's why it's key to shed some of your problems, handled your business, and tell the world to back the hell up on a regular basis. Remember, it was not the millions of straws the camel was already carrying that broke his back. It was the last one. Don't wait to see just how many straws you can carry.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance. --unknown

TL;DR: Teacher gives insane amounts of work, much of it stupid busy work, expects it all done perfectly, and disregards all other classes and responsibilities. Just because her life is a hectic mess.


I know this is way different than what you're used to, but I've still got the quotes in there, and I think they work. I think I'm going to try to diversify this blog a bit. The quotes are the main thing that I'm interested it. I'm going to try to keep it as positive and inspirational as possible, except for this, but I wanna try some different stuff. Maybe write some really short stories, known as flash fiction, to fit some of the quotes.

We'll see. I'll put up a poll or something.

Thanks for reading and being patient with that long post. See you soon!

You've won the lottery! Challenge...

From time to time, I like to give myself scenarios. Little tests that make me seriously consider certain issues and force me to think about how I would react in various situations. My favorite, and the one that tells me the most about how I feel about the people around me, is to assume that I've just the lottery, and decide how I would distribute the money. I generally tend to allot myself a lot of money, making it easier to succeed in what I want to do. This, before even undertaking the activity, can tell you something about yourself. So, here is what I'd like you to do. Ask and answer these four questions.

1. How much would you have to win in the lottery to be comfortable that you could do all that you would want to do?

2. How would you allot/what would you do with $200 million?

3. What would you do with $50 million?

4. What would you do with $2 million? (Finish reading before thinking about these questions)

I chose $2 million as the final option rather than $1 million for a couple of reasons. The first is that I'd like you to assume that this is what you'd have left after taxes, and large lotteries are generally not much smaller than that. The second is that these days, $1 million, depending on your social class, may go much more quickly than you expect.

Questions 2-4 will help you figure out question 1. And don't worry if it seems like a lot to think about. If you'd like, work your way backwards. Start with 4, and go upwards if that amount is not enough.

For example, I can automatically think of ways to spend/give away most of my 2 million dollars, and because I'd like to have enough to be comfortable for a while, I'd move up to $50 million.

There is no fixed way to approach this matter. If you wish to approach it from a different direction, by all means do so. The questions are simply guides to help direct you.

You can tell me what you decided, if you like, or, if not, I'd love to hear what you think of the exercise. Do you do similar exercises or ask yourself similar kinds of questions?

Putting yourself in these kinds of situations is a great way to help realize what you really want, who really means the most to you, and how you'd handle such a situation.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for. --Anonymous

Have fun, and don't give yourself a headache!