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“X” is for X-Ray

XHer blonde hair was tied back in a messy ponytail, and when she opened her mouth behind her mask, she spoke with a heavy Boston accent. “So, do you floss regularly?”

I stared up at the woman with her gloved hands in my mouth. “Well, umm, I floss?”

My dentist laughed. “I don’t know, I’m asking you.”

She finished up with her examination and then went to go grab the x-rays that she had taken of my teeth earlier.

I waited for a few minutes until my dentist came back with another dentist.

“So, that weird thing you felt in your mouth was an extra tooth.” She pointed to my x-rays. “You have five wisdom teeth. Read the rest of this page »

“W” is for Waitlisted

The Thing About These Recent Tuition and Fee Hikes For Education

Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr

Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr

The estimated costs of attending college in the University Of California school system for undergraduates during the entire 2013-2014 academic school year was $36,078. With estimated costs for books and supplies at $1,500, living costs at $13,800, personal and transportation costs at $2,200, and health insurance fees at $1,700, the total average estimated cost for education can put you back $55,278 a year. As of today, approved to raise tuition as much as 28% by 2019 for at University of California schools.

For California State University Schools the price tag rings a little differently, but the costs for attending the institutions are continuing to rise as well. During the 1989-1990 academic school year, tuition fees were at $700. Today, according to the California State University website, undergraduate CSU students pay $5,472 and, on average, mandatory campus fees of $1,287 totaling their costs to $6,759.

The other day I was speaking with a friend, who also went to the same Cal State School, about registering for classes. She was nervous, as everyone else was, about getting the classes that she needs in order to graduate on time. Read the rest of this page »

Black Lives Matter

JasmineDLowe:

In the wake of the verdict for Officer Darren Wilson, that was handed down yesterday by the grand jury, I stumbled across a lot of posts and comments. This post in particular sums up a little bit of the initial aftermath and relative feelings I had about this week’s events.

Originally posted on NatashaisAlwaysLearning:

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After the grand juries decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson, I saw pictures of Michael Brown and emotional tweets and post about the injustice. I immediately started crying because all I could think about was this could have been my cousin, who happens to be a 18-year-old black man that is 6’5. When looking at him you see a huge guy, but he is one of the sweetest guys you would ever meet and would not hurt a fly. I saw this quote on Tumblr saying, “What is crazy about this story and all the others before. We are not looking for the killer of these young men we are trying to figure out if they deserved to die or not. Black people literally have to prove that we’re worthy of living.”

While trying to digest the information and quote that was displayed on my screen, I received a…

View original 497 more words

“V” is for Versailles

VThe day before we left France was another cool and slightly gloomy day. It had poured and sprinkled off and on every day in Paris except for the first extremely hot day that we arrived. It didn’t really rain as we headed for the metro and onto a train to Versailles, however, it rained for a moment while we took shelter inside of a Parisian McDonalds.

After eating our beignets and macaroons from the French-ified restaurant, we walked down several blocks to visit Château de Versailles. It was slightly strange walking off the path of the suburban surroundings and onto the property, which once housed monarchs.

There the Palace of Versailles stood as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the “Ancien Régime” in the middle of a country village, and it continued to sit beautifully dripping gold in the wealthy modern suburbs of Paris. Read the rest of this page »

“U” is for Umbrella

14820799132_0bef631731_mThe last day of our adventures in Spain was flooded with a heavy downpour of rain. The small group of travelers that I was with at the time wanted to make one last stop before hoping a bus to the airport in Barcelona, despite any of us being prepared for the weather that waited outside for us.

We had walked against the cool winds that tried to push us away from our destination. We had called in and tried putting our names down for a reservation to enter the architectural feat that is La Sagrada Família, and were to told that we could walk in with other groups around 10am. We checked the time when we arrived in front of the gates surrounding the basilica, and were told by the guards at the front that we had to wait outside for bit before they could let us in.

The day before had been so sunny and warm, but as we looked up toward the gray skies our faces were dampened with misty sprinkles. A moment later led to an immediate cloudburst of heavy rain, and all of us travelers without hoods or an umbrella huddled together underneath a small awning in line. Read the rest of this page »

“T” is for Train

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The stop in front of Disneyland Paris

I’ve noticed, after traveling Europe for a little bit, that there are often more railways than motorways. Compared to the U.S., the rail networks in Western and Central Europe are wonderfully developed and maintained, they cover more land area, and they just have their shit together.

I spent a decent amount of time in Europe standing in the Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station. I bumped into young people wearing large backpacking packs on their way to the next country, locals heading out on day trips, and other students studying abroad who were, like me, using the weekend to explore all that the new foreign country had to offer. Read the rest of this page »

“S” is for Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Palace of Versailles, Paris

Palace of Versailles, Paris

We hit the ground running after we traveled by bus from Beauvais-Tillé Airport in to the heart of Paris. We snapped our pictures under the sparkling Eiffel Tower that stood proudly against the starry sky, seen all that Disneyland Paris had to offer, saw Parisian guards in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, walked through the paths at Place des Vosges and Palais du Luxembourg, and gazed up at the gargoyles and beautiful stain glass window in Notre Dame Cathedral.

Between all the running around the group that I was traveling with, we had went from being completely confused by the Parisian metro, to mastering the city that resided underneath the surface. We were submerged in a crash course lesson of everything French. I didn’t know the language before traveling to France, but after what were most likely hours spent riding the metro; we had listened to the voice overhead announcing the stops to the point where we memorized the order of some of the places, and were taught how to pronounce them perfectly. However, for a few of us (including myself), learning how to navigate our way through the metro didn’t translate as well to the above ground city of Paris. Read the rest of this page »

“R” is for Rome

RThe last day that I was in Rome, Italy landed, appropriately, on a Sunday. I had been sick that weekend either from travel fatigue or from my fellow travelers suddenly falling ill to what seemed like the plague, and the rain that flooded the streets the night before wasn’t helping at all.

A friend of mine, who was also Catholic, had mentioned that she wanted to attend mass while she was in Rome. I wasn’t the most religious person, but I agreed to go along because it would be kind of cool to say to my other Catholic friends that I did. We both got up that morning in search for a church with a service that was held in English, but, we had missed many of those already and didn’t think it would be worth it to sit through mass in Italian. We ended up wandering around and meeting up with another friend at the hotel that we were staying at. “Did you guys want to see the Pope at the Vatican?”

My friend and I looked at each other and knew the answer, “Umm, yeah!” Read the rest of this page »

“Q” is for Quiche… And The Realization That Times Have Changed

QThe other day, as I curled up on the couch with some hot green tea after a late class, my sister asked me a strange question. “Hey, is it okay if someone borrows an egg?”

I removed the thermos full of tea from my lips and replied with a, “What? Just one egg?”

“Yeah, one of my friends who lives in the building just texted me and she’s coming over to borrow an egg, if that’s okay.”

“That’s totally fine. She can take an egg.”

Several minutes passed and there was a knock at the door. My sister answered it, inviting her two friends in and gave them the cooking ingredient that they asked for.

“Thank you!” The girls said as they moved toward the door.

“You guys just want the egg? You don’t want a cup of water or something?” My sister watched the girls shake their heads with a smile. “I just feel like I should be offering you guys something else.” Read the rest of this page »

“P” is for People and Openness

PIt’s funny to look back now and think about the time when we were teenagers and we assumed that we thought we knew more about the world than what we actually did. It took a few years of traveling, going to college, working or other life changes that commonly come after attending high school to realize that we, maybe, we might not have had such a great handle on the world as we thought we did.

I’m completely embarrassed to say, but when I was a young teenager living in a small town and in my extremely closed-minded world, I felt as though I was accepting of all people, but I wrongly believed that bisexuality didn’t exist. I had shut myself off and closed my mind from any and all people who tried to tell me differently, and honestly believed that those in the bisexual community were either confused gay or lesbian individuals or attention seeking straight women. It took meeting new people and sitting down and speaking with individuals not of the small town mindset to persuade me into opening my mind and learning about those who were not like me.

I believe, from my experience in high school, that it takes exposure, education and conversation to open the minds of others. I believe that awareness is the key to acceptance, and that people should take the time to peacefully sit down with others and share their thoughts about things in a safe environment. Read the rest of this page »

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