Blog Tours!! Part 1: Steve

Two sides of the fence.

Once my eyes glazed upon the heading, I knew there was going to be a deep complicated story ahead of me, and I boldly continued on.

At first, my brain focused on the phrase Steve used at the heading of his blog—two sides of the fence. My younger sister’s been using the exact same phrase (since the beginning of the school year for many reasons) that Steve has been using. Though used for different stories, it had the exact same meaning.

After reading Steve’s final project posts, I kinda did not know how to feel. I mean, I felt several emotions (like sadness, empathy, hope), but this indescribable feeling of everything combined. And I don’t know what this “everything” is. I just wanted to stop time and curl onto my bed with my blanket, but with no exact reason why.

Shifting gears, Steve’s final project is an insight of his past and his life, filled with mistakes, temporary joy, and chances. Sharing your struggles and flaws onto the internet for the whole world to see is a decisive and frightening decision. However, he has the guts to do it anyways.

If only the guy can keep us up to date.

It’s like reading a good book with a cliff hanger at the end, but there’s no squeal or continuation on the story (ahem Eleanor and Park), and it’s up for your imagination to come up with the concluding ending.

No, but his posts are very interesting and makes me want to continue to read, especially because this is all real.

Another thing to add is that he introduces his final project to his viewers. I know some people just dive right into their project without really telling us what’s their plan, and there are others that just briefly include an introduction paragraph about their final project. Both options have their pros and cons, but personally for me, I want a little background on what you’re doing. Though I know some blogs may be obvious and self-explanatory or you might catch along their theme or topic later in the semester, but still, it’s just nice to know.

Overall, reading Steve’s posts made me think a lot in the past hour. Though I should really be reading my peer’s final projects and blogs, I feel like Steve’s content is different from others. Not in that way, but in a way that shares brokenness. But, I can’t say that because I have not truly looked at anyone else’s final projects in the past couple weeks (I plan to though…maybe on the weekend). It shows that everyone around else is struggling. The person you sit next to in class may not be the person you think they are. Or the person in the car next to you or the person in the hallways trying to get to class. “There’s always more than one side to every story” (Steve).

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…it’s just me

This post is going to be a bit more personally. You could say it is like a little diary entry about school and life. Continue if you dare:)

I walk down the hallways filled with other people just like me. A hallway filled with broken young souls, trying to go on another day. From the outside, it looks all good. Some are on their phones taking photos in the Snapchat app. Others are with their friends, laughing at each other. Lastly, there are people like me. A simple person with a textbook in their arms going to their next class.

And some may think that the world is finally at peace, but to tell the truth, it’s not. It’s no where close. There are natural disasters and diseases. There are many in poverty and are starving. There are people with no opportunity. Those living in the wealthier countries face problems with society’s expectations, the pressure from families, and education. We, living in developed countries, take education as granted. We complain, worry, and at times suffer. To many, education is a gift not a privilege.

I used to think that. I used to find joy in going to school and learning. Trust me, I still love to learn, but it’s no longer a fire that passionately burns in the midst of dark. It’s a birthday candle ready to be blown out after the jolly song comes to an end.

Now, after barely making it through half a semester, I kinda lost motivation. My teachers are fine. My classes could be better, but in the end of the chaos that goes in my head, it’s just all me. It’s my fault for being such a moody tween or a quiet student who’s afraid of asking a stupid question. It’s my fault that I hate everything in my life, and I’m still too lazy to fix anything. It’s my fault for taking school for granted. It’s my fault that I’m two months behind in school. I threw away the fuel for the fire, and watch it die out. I can’t blame anyone else for my problems but myself.

I’m just going to wander around the long path for little longer, and hope that there’s a finish line for me to cross. But from here on out, I am going to take a deep breath and pretend to be okay with everything that’s tearing me down. In the end, it’s just me. It’s the way I think, and the way I solve it.

I was scrolling through blogs about school life, and I came upon a blog owned by a girl named Kelsey. At first, it was a bit funny to read because it seemed so unreal. It was written nearly eight years ago, and at the time, the girl was a freshman in high school, but still, I read the last post which was written in 2010 of March. Reading it brought joy to me. I wasn’t laughing at the content, but at the growth of how one year could impact an individual. Strangely, in a way, it gave me hope for my future.

It’s going to be okay.

If you made it this far, thank you. Thank you for being here.

 

Bujo:)

What is Bujo? It’s short for bullet journal! Then, what is a bullet Journal?

From Kim’s “Thorough Guide to the Bullet Journal System”, you can start your very own bullet journal!  A bullet journal is a analog system created by a designer in New York named Ryder Carroll. It is meant “to help track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.” It can keep track of anything you like to write down. Primarily, it is used like a planner, but with more space for your own twist and creativeness.

I have used a bullet journal in the past, and I definitely love it. It just takes some time to come up with the spreads/layouts. It can be a simple layout, but I like making mine a little extra. It’s a convenient way to hold important information and goals into one notebook that you can bring along to any place. Let’s begin our bullet journal!

First, what is your motivation? Kim mentions that it’s important to know what the purpose of the bullet journal will be for you before diving in. Take some time to plan before starting it.

Next, buy or get some tools. There is no need to go out and buy all these fancy pens, stickers, etc, but you sure can if you’re up for it. You simply need a notebook, a pencil or pen (though pen will be better to see), some color (if that’s the theme you are looking for), an eraser for mistakes, and inspiration. Feel free to purchase more stationery items over time. There are several options for picking your journal. I simply picked one out from Walmart, but you can visit Kim’s article and find a list of journal recommendations! And there are several types of pens that you could use for the journal (I use a variety of pens—Muji, Pilot Juice, Uni-ball Signo DX UM-151, and Pilot G-2). Again check out Kim’s page for more details and information! If you are not sure about this bullet journal idea, you can always start with the pen and notebook you have on hand, and if you like it, try out some new products.

Once you have your pen and notebook, start!

I can’t tell you how to do your bullet journal, but I sure can, with the help of Kim’s blog, get the creative juices flowing. There is a lot of preparation that comes into play. Start your bullet journal with an index and numbering your pages. I personally do not do that, but it might come in handy for the future. The index will help organize entries into your bullet journal. Next are the collections you have in your bujo. Every entry in your bujo is by definition a collection, regardless of what it looks like. There are three main collections—future log, monthly log, and daily log. Simply future log is like your year overview with planned events and goals, monthly log is your month overview, and daily log is your week and day to day events, to-dos, etc. There are numerous ways to set up the layouts for the basic three collections. There are other collections that you can check out over at Kim’s like lists (grocery, music, movies, books), goal setting, year in pixels, diary entries etc.

Now, you have the basics of starting a bullet journal. Give it a go!

Mental Health

I was at school chatting with my younger sister at the lunch table. We were talking about random things, nothing too serious. Then, the president of our high school came on the intercom and made an announcement. All the staffs and teachers were supposed to meet in the auditorium and the students would report to there next class ASAP. I was a bit excited as I had a math test to take the next hour, and I was not really that prepared. Once I got to class, the classroom door was locked and all of us had to stand around in the halls. Most rooms were locked, so there were groups of students wandering and standing around. I was happy about not taking the math test, but also anxious about what the sudden announcement was about. I heard many possibilities that there was a school shooting going on or maybe somebody died. As a final ten minutes had past, the teacher were back, and I realized we would have time to take the math test. Oof. However, another announcement from our high school president came over the intercom saying that he would be telling the news in three minutes. Finally, as the anxious three minutes had passed, the president announced that Daniel Parney, a junior at Mayo High School, died this morning on Friday, November 9, 2018. Though I was not a personal friend, he was a classmate. A classmate who was brilliant, kind, funny, and extraordinary.

Mental health has been a rising issue faced by children and young adults. I do not want to jump into any conclusions, but school is a great impact on a child’s mental health. Though there are several other factors that come into play, we spend our life growing up at school. We are exposed to judgement, high expectations, and stress. In high school or in college, we get excited to try things out (clubs, activities, sports). We put too much onto ourselves and end up not being able to juggle everything at once. Little things eventually build up.

I am part of Rochester’s Youth Commission, and we have a committee that focuses on mental health, especially improving the high school’s health curriculum and awareness of mental health. How long ago was your last health class? Did you take much from it? The committee talked about many things, and many commissioners suggested many improvements towards the school’s health curriculum. We are also trying to get NAMI into the high schools in Rochester. Many things are still in progress, but we hope to improve awareness and importance of mental health.

Some of you guys might not still know what exactly to do if you or someone you know is going through issues. In “Want to help, but not sure what to do?”, it talks about some tips that we can apply in any future scenarios. First, start the conversation. Nothing is going to happen if no one takes action. It’s like a group of people surrounding a person who became unconscious on the street. Someone yells “Call 911!”, but no one does it because they think someone else will do it first (but not all the time). Don’t go sitting around, waiting for the perfect timing. On the other side, if you are the one facing struggles, be open and tell someone you trust. It’s easier said than done, but it’s true. You don’t have to spill all the beans. At least share some things that’s bothering you. Though the world may seem like it’s going against you, you have control on getting help. Be brave, be bold. And maybe sometimes its easier to tell a stranger. If you want to know more tips and actions visit the article above. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Line (1-800-273-8255)

A Trip to Japan…

Japan—a beautiful city filled with seafood and authentic ramen, talking toilets, and the best stationery.

My trip to Japan has not happened just yet. Give me a few more years and a passport, but it is definitely on my bucket list. Though I fancy not only their food and anime, I have grown to love their stationery products. Growing up, I bought the highlighters, pencils, and markers at Walmart where the big brands like Bic and Sharpie overlooks the rest of the stationery options. At the time, I never really cared about what I was using at school. As long as they did the job, it was alright with me. I remember my two aunts would buy a lot of cute stationery from their trips to Asia or at the Tamagotchi Store (which can be found in the Mall of America and many other places) and gave them to my sisters and I as gifts for Christmas or birthdays. I loved those little gifts.

From then on little by little, I researched more on stationery and found more information on the popular products strolling along the stationery community. Japan was considered the stationery base. Not only are the products are cute, but they are great quality (but I cannot say that about everything). They established many great brands with many great products. Thanks to online shopping, I have purchased several different brands and products from Japanese companies. Also, from Kimberly’s “Japanese Stationery Guide: Why Everyone Loves It and Which Brands to Try” , there are several insights of the many different brands of stationery that might interest you. One brand that the author mentions is Kunisawa. It is a relatively new brand that has opened up 2017. The high-class paper quality is used in Japan only for water-colored notebooks, letter sets, etc.

There are several places to find and get your stationery, and if you are not living in Japan, it might be harder and more expensive to reach those products. However, there are some places where you could buy some great stationery products. From looking around target’s office supplies, I found the magnificent pack of zebra milliners. If you have not heard of mildliners, they are highlighters with dual tips. Though they sound just like regular highlighters, they come in interesting colors (which some, like the darker colors,  may not be suitable for actually highlighting). For a pack of fifteen, they are about fifteen dollars. They are totally worth trying, and you can always find a smaller pack if you do not want to buy the fifteen.

Planners:)

When your life is a mess filled with jumbled events and several to-do lists, what do you do? A small solution to try out would be simply using a planner.

I have to admit, I have used planners in the past. At the first day of school or even at orientation, the school would supply free planners to the students, and of course, I can’t ignore the opportunity for free items, so I always end up taking them. Then, later it’ll be found in the recycling bin with the rest of the school planners I have collected from the years. Even if I did get a chance to use them, it never lasted long.

However, it is a great help in seeing all the things you have going on on your life. Whenever I used them (though it may be for a brief period), it helped me be more organized and more mindful in managing my time. You do not have to go all out and buy an expensive or fancy planner to use. You can simply buy an affordable planner at your local Walmart or Target (or any store that brings easy convenience to you). All in all, if you are a college student and trying to spend money wisely, you can simply just use the planner that your local institute offers for free, and you will have to work with that :).

At first (at least for me), you will be overwhelmed at the variety of planners they have to offer. They come in different sizes, colors, layouts, etc. If you don not like bulky and big planners, you might want to try something on the smaller side. You might even want just the pocket-sized planners, vice versa with those who like more space. Choosing your layout, surprisingly, is very crucial. You might don’t care about the layout of your planner, but you will soon realize what works with you and what doesn’t. Some might still go with the flow and not care much for the layout. For me, I turned out to be very picky about the layout of the planner. I don’t often use the pages for contacts (phone numbers, addresses, etc.), so I often avoid a planner that offers many pages dedicated for that. I personally enjoy a planner that particularly goes in the order of overview of the whole year, month overview, week overview, and then repeat. There’s a big variety to pick from.

There is a difference between a planner and a bullet journal, but I’ll save some explanation for another post.

Once you have chosen a planner to work with, there are several things you could use it for. Obviously, you can put down your events, work, appointments. grocery lists, etc. Instead of keeping everything in your head, you can dump your brain out onto the planner. However, there are a few more that IHeartPlanners’ Laura mentions on her post. For starters, you can track habits. Habits that you want to strive for. For example, if you want to be more healthy, you can track exercise or drinking water a day. You might want to track your cleaning around the house or even to strive to go on the planner once a day. Simply, by adding a little chart of on your daily view, you can check off/mark the habits you want to incorporate in your life. If you achieved your habit for the day, then you mark it. By the end of the month, you can look back and adjust or continue on what you want to personally work on. You can find several templates for habit trackers online.

Using a planner kept me organized and on track of my own life, and it can do the same with you. Though it may seem dumb or simple it doesn’t hurt to try. And to those who already been using a planner, what do you think of it? Or to those who do use a planner or had used a planner and seen no affect, what could be another solution for the jumbled mess that goes in our heads?

Beginning Once Again

Hello! From now on, this blog will primarily focus on the “study/school” world (there will be some exceptions but hopefully its limited). There’s gonna be tips and tricks, informational things, and hopefully inspiration and encouragement. For the new followers or wanderers of the internet, I do have a little post about myself, so if you wish to know who owns this account/posts go check the About Me post. Let’s get started!

There may be several questions on why and how I want to set up this blog to be well focused on the studying and stationery world… and there may be no care about how this goes :/

But I will continue on…

For the past years, I had always planned on being an anesthesiologist. I knew I would go to college (and hopefully finish in two or three years because of PSEO credits) and then go to medical school. I always knew that I wanted to be in the medical field in anyway, especially at Mayo Clinic. However, being sixteen and indecisive, I changed from that mindset. For many reasons, I want to become a teacher. At first (like a month ago), it was kinda a joke for me. But now, I seem to really like that idea with good intentions. When school started, it became a big snowball coming down and destroying anything that comes with thin its path—and it took me with it. In a way, it opened my eyes. It made me realize that I want to support and inspire teenagers going through not only school work but with anything else in their life. So, by focusing on more academic or stationery topics, I can practice and experience some “teaching” skills. Though it may sound lame, I enjoy the topics of pens, studying ways, and overall learning.

“Annoying Ways People Use Sources” Reflection

I never realized how early we were taught about sourcing and citing the information we used on pretty much anything. I remember it started as early as elementary school. There was this huge history research project that we all had to do in the fifth grade. My research topic was the one and only George Washington. It was exciting at the time, but I realized I did not know exactly what I was doing at the time. Maybe I forgotten my memory but I just remember filling in this “formula” to get the citations. They talked about plagiarism and sourcing, but I definitely made a lot of mistakes when I was writing that paper back in the fifth grade. Though Kyle D. Stedman’s “Annoying Ways People Use Sources” emphasized integrating sources into the actual writing, in fifth grade, we did not focus on that. We looked at citing the sources and building the works cited page. In middle school, it changed slightly. We were taught on the many ways that we could integrate quotations into our papers. I remember my paper in eighth grade. It was an analysis paper on a short story we had read (by Edgar Allen Poe). I remember adding a quotation at the very beginning of the paper. I did not even site it properly. I just put the link in parentheses after I ended the quote. Looking back, I had a long ways to go. I still did no know much at the beginning of the year. However, as the year progressed, I learned several things from my teacher. Now, in this class, I keep learning on how important it is to include sources and evidence from different but reliable sources. Sometimes I still think in how do we integrate sources in a more creative piece. Maybe referencing some sources related to the topic or theme? In class we discussed about why we add in sources but I do not know if we covered writings that are not from the obvious (like informational, persuasive, etc). Through the long journey of citations and sources, there is more to learn.

“Annoying Ways People Use Sources” Notes

Summary: With being a writer, there comes several concepts that we need to properly learn—citations and works cited pages. We tend to look over our simple mistakes or a writer would call it “annoyances.” We have to follow a standard guideline on how to properly integrate a source and to correctly cite it. The author, Kyle Stedman, gives out examples (with easy to remember names) and further explains the problem or annoyance and then moves into giving us advice and fixes the annoyances that many often do. The author gives us many new helpful tips on how to successfully add in other pieces sources into the piece of writing that you are working on.

Main Idea: Integrating sources into a writing piece takes planning and simple guidelines to successfully complete.

Key Terms:

  • Annoyances: a thing that annoys someone; a nuisance
  • Citation: a quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work
  • Quotation: a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker
  • Balance: a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions
  • Preparation: the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration

Commentary: While reading through this piece of writing, I came across something that caught my eye. Stedman, the author, gives us readers great titles to remember some annoyances that many people often do. Titles include I Can’t Find the Stupid Link, Am I in the Right Movie?, and many more. However, there was one that I couldn’t agree more on—Dating Spiderman. At first, the word “Spiderman” caught my eye. You could say I have this interest in the character Spiderman. Of course I am being a little bias, but after reading the description I could find myself relating to it from past experiences. Not only in the way that Spiderman literally drops everything to the ground whenever he hears danger call to him, but in the annoyance of sourcing. I have read papers that the author drops in quotes but does not fully explain its importance or reason to be in the paper in the first place. I have done that before. At the moment, you think that adding in more evidence or quotations amps the paper, but in reality, it only solidifies your writing if it has a relative place in it.

“How to Read Like a Writer” & “…and by islands, I mean paragraphs” Reflection

After reading “How to Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn, I learned more insight of writing from both the author’s and reader’s view. I got to understand about the different perspectives and learn how enhance my understanding as both a writer and reader. Though I am still in high school and doing some college classes, I can see a definite difference between this English class and my classes in the past. Each class has its pros and cons, but getting a chance to discuss and read a higher level thinking is a step up from high school. Though my past English classes focused on analyzing in books (The Greats Gatsby, To KIll A Mockingbird, etc. ), we were never really taught more than that. That’s all we did. From reading Bunn’s work, I got to read a branching and more in depth way of understanding the author and the reader.

Originally, I was going to write a little creative fictional story and then write a paragraph or two about the methods I tried to incorporate in my writing from the process and advice in the article I read. But I am writing this instead…. way past the deadline (and I am sorry for the slow updates>.<). I am just trying to figure out everything that is happening in my life and it sucks to be juggling so many things at once. Going back on topic, I wondered why we had two very different readings to look at. One reading was straight forward and the other reading, “and by islands, I mean paragraphs” by J.R. Carpenter, was hard to grasp the meaning, especially if each short writing piece would change into something new every five to ten seconds (which was annoying but interesting in why the author choose to do it). It made me think why we were assigned this simple but creative piece of writing to look at. What does this writing have to do with anything? Then, I thought maybe it was connected with Bunn’s writing. Though I am still in the process of figuring out the island reading (which by in a few hours from now I am probably not going to try to figure it out anymore), I figured maybe we have to look at this writing in the way of a writer from taking the information we learned from the previous reading by Bunn. I tried to lowkey google more information about this particular reading (because it is good to have a bit of background knowledge), but at least for me, I did not get much out of searching. There was not much information about it (but at the same time I was not looking hard enough for any background information). I guess it must not have a specific answer. The way we perceive and try to reveal the writing is probably the closest key we will ever get for understanding the islands, even if it means there will be no correct answer or understanding.