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Get Into The Discomfort Zone

Grad Pic 11Every day my boss forwards everyone in the office an email from his mentor, Michael Hyatt. I usually skim through whatever tips the virtual adviser lends to his audience, and then swiftly move it to another folder where I can unintentionally forget to read the email in its entirety. The other day my boss, however, added a note to his email asking for us to listen to the This Is Your Life podcast associated with Michael Hyatt’s post, as well as a thoughtful response.

Hyatt’s main point was for individuals to embrace uncomfortable situations. He goes on the say in his podcast that, “discomfort, when viewed correctly, is a sign we’re making progress.” Hyatt advises his listeners to acknowledge the value of this discomfort, lean in to the experience, notice your fear, not over thinking it, play it full out, celebrate the victory, and then pause to reflect the change. Read the rest of this page »

The Meet and Greet with Laverne Cox

My sister sent me a text a few weeks ago about a talk Laverne Cox was giving at our university. She asked if I wanted to go, and then forwarded me a link to the university’s student government page where students with tickets to Laverne Cox’s talk could win a chance to meet the famed actress and activist by submitting a short writing response.

“Yeah, maybe I’ll do it,” I said to my sister. “I’m sure I wouldn’t win it, but I could always post it up on my blog.”

A couple of weeks went by before I thought about the writing submission again. I wonder when that short response is due?

I looked up the text on my phone that my sister had sent me and noticed the familiar date. I realized that I only had a few hours before the time would be up, and so I quickly grabbed my laptop and began writing on the day the writing submission was due. Read the rest of this page »

What Martin Luther King Had Said

baltimore-cover-finalIn April 2015, Baltimore police had arrested 25-year-old African-American, Freddie Gray. He had sustained injuries to his spine and larynx, fell into a coma on April 12, and despite multiple surgical attempts, he never regained consciousness. Gray died a week later in police custody. Six police officers have been suspended pending an investigation, but not much else has been done to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics latest available report, published in 2011, at least 4,813 people have died while in custody of local and state law enforcement between 2003 and 2009. Sixty-one percent of those deaths were classified as homicides.

There were an estimated 98 million arrests in the United States by local, state, and federal law enforcement from the years 2003 to 2009, according to FBI statistics. However fifteen states, not including the District of Columbia, did not consistently report deaths in police custody during that period—and Maryland, along with Georgia and Montana, didn’t submit any records at all.

What started as peaceful protests voicing their concern for their lives in Baltimore, gave way to civil unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. As of April 28, at least 250 people have been arrested, thousands of police and Maryland Army National Guard troops have been deployed, and a state of emergency was declared in the city limits of Baltimore. Read the rest of this page »

The Fourth Roommate

Every year that I was in college has resulted me living with a roommate or two. The first year I had two roommates who ended up being pretty cool. I was a nervous freshman who didn’t have a clue about life as an adult, and the roommates that had shared our little closet of a space on Cal Poly Pomona’s campus helped me navigate the very awkward transition from high school into all things college.

Then there was the second year. I had three other roommates who were nice, however, dishes kept piling up and were constantly being stacked like Jenga pieces in the sink. Just one wrong look at the filthy pile of dishes would send the tower of grime tumbling down. Ignoring that, and the time one of my roommates ate raw uncooked spaghetti nervously in the bathroom, they were all incredibly good people who were there for me when times grew difficult. Read the rest of this page »

Learn By Doing: Graduating Into “The Real World”

My time spent at Cal Poly Pomona had taught me a lot of things. Among the incredibly valuable information that I have gathered, I have learned how to bs presentations during my brief stint as an architecture student, I learned how to write a fairly decent 20-page-paper in one night, and I learned everything else just by doing it on my own. In fact the motto of the University I had graduated from a couple of years ago, was to learn by doing.

I spent the majority of my four years as an undergrad working part time jobs, and interesting internships. The most interesting to date being the time I worked for a hypnotist. However, each position I have held over the years, each project I have completed, every piece of literature I have written has all contributed to what I know today. Read the rest of this page »

Why Your Friends And Family Are Just An Extension Of Yourself

“I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching–they are your family.” ― Jim Butcher, Proven Guilty

Photo by photon_de via Flickr

Photo by photon_de via Flickr

I remember watching this one wildly unpopular movie with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn called, Four Christmases, involving a couple who end up having to visit all four of their divorced parents for the holidays. In the movie, Witherspoon and Vaughn’s characters are a couple who had been dating for three years, seemingly without any problems, who realize that they didn’t know each other as well as they thought. *Spoil Alert* Somehow it took finally meeting each other’s friends and family to really understand and get to know one another.

Bringing home new friends and significant others to meet family and old friends is a huge part of any relationship. You can learn a lot about a person by hanging out with them, but there is always some other piece of that person that gets revealed when you meet the most important people in their life. Read the rest of this page »

Ancient Ruins And Leaving Your Mark In The World

Before I moved out of my first house on the edge of my small hometown I tried carving my initials inside my closet. My younger self wanted to leave my mark on the place where I grew up in so that the next kid who would call my room their own would know a little about the girl who lived there previously. I suppose I didn’t do it deep enough because, when I went back to grab the last of my things in my room and to check and see if was still there, the painters had painted over it and there were no signs of my signature.

I did, however, made a very crude sketch of that house in pencil before leaving and hung it up on my wall in our new home. I ended up taking a piece of that place with me rather than defacing it for the next person, and, through the image that I had created, I could look at my old house any day if I wanted to.

Me at the Roman Colosseum

Me at the Roman Colosseum

I learned this lesson at a young age, but I didn’t realize that there are some people who never seem to figure out how to capture memories. I read, recently, of two California tourists aged 21 and 25, who thought it would be cool to carve their names into the ancient Italian walls of Rome’s Colosseum, and got caught while taking a selfie with their damaging graffiti.

Looking back on my own brush with name carving, I could see how one would want to do this, however, I could never imagine me altering a piece of living ancient history at any age.

Read the rest of this page »

Math and the Patriarchy

Photo by Wanda Dechant via Flickr

Photo by Wanda Dechant via Flickr

The subject came about when she had uttered the words, “boys are just better at math.” My eyes metaphorically rolled so far back into my head that they could have fallen back into my throat.

I tried to reason with her in the most polite way possible. “I think a lot of it has to do with the different ways in we teach boys and girls, how society treats boys and girls differently, and how this notion of ‘boys are just better at math, and girls are just better at literature and language,’ has been subtly indoctrinated into the minds of the masses throughout all of time and has affected the way that girls see themselves in the classroom.”  Read the rest of this page »

The Brunch And The Broken Bet With Jesus

Photo by Linda via Flickr

Photo by Linda via Flickr

The cool breeze that subtly rustled through the tall palm trees on that Sunday morning greeted us as we made our way to the small restaurant. We had gotten up at a decent time to eat brunch and then spend the rest day together, but there was still a line waiting outside of the door with potential patrons holding white lettering printed on bright orange mugs filled with coffee.

Although the weather outside seemed a little gloomy, everyone seemed to be in an incredibly good mood. We put our names down on the waiting list and passed the next twenty minutes of time by taking a short stroll around the nearby shopping center.

We were seated somewhere in the middle of the breakfast/brunch establishment and our waitress immediately came over to ask us about our drink order.

“Would you like any coffee?” Read the rest of this page »

The Intent for Lent

Photo by John via Flickr

Photo by John via Flickr

I let the steaming hot java pour into my Beatles thermos, poured a little hazelnut creamer in to the black liquid, and capped it off with the thermos’ matching black top.

“You sure do drink a lot of coffee,” my sister said to me while watching me prepare my beverage in the kitchen from the living room.

I looked at her, “I maybe have a cup or two a day. No big deal.”

“I don’t think that’s a good thing,” my sister looked almost disgusted at my actions. “Everyone is so addicted to that stuff to where they have to have it everyday. You know it’s bad for you if you’re having headaches and getting cranky if you don’t have that daily dose of coffee.”

“Well, I’m not addicted to coffee. I can stop at any time.”

“Sure.” Read the rest of this page »

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