2014: How far we have come… yet, how much we have lost.

How can you not get this card?
How can you not get this card?

Recently I asked my parents to scavenge up old cards I had written them – an easy task for any member of my family. As I sifted through the stack of cards, many thoughts came to my mind. I noticed patterns in my writing, how I signed off, the message of the card itself, and the length of my personal message.

Interestingly, while reading the cards one of two things occurred: I either remembered how I felt when I initially wrote them, or I remember details of what I was referring to in my message. Before this mini-reminiscent session I never fully appreciated the importance of cards to my family. And I definitely did not considered how this simple, generous act might not be the norm.

Writing letters used to be the norm. As time has passed and technological capabilities have increased, humans have become lazier. We, yes all of us, are lazy. Maybe some more so than others, but on average we are lazy human beings. It is an unfortunate, but honest truth.

Every birthday I save the cards I receive because the words mean something to me. I do not think my birthday would be as special if the cards did not come in the mail. It is the one day a year when I actually receive letters in the mail … besides the other “special event” holidays, of course.

Special events, like birthdays or Father’s Day, provide people with an opportunity to express their gratitude. Often people assume their loved ones know they are loved. But it doesn’t hurt to ensure this assumption because it may not be true.

My mother knows I love her dearly. Yet, I do not say it nearly as many times as I should. The cards are where I, and you, have the chance to express emotions. We give our words life by putting the on paper. They no longer live in our minds; they now live on a tangible object that can be cherished for hundreds of years. Literally.

On birthdays and holidays my father displays all the cards on the dining room table. It is refreshing to be reading a hand-written card, and not a typed up article online. Writing cards makes it real.

Please never send an E-card. They are so impersonal, and a little tacky if we are continuing with the honesty trend. Forget technology for ten minutes, take a piece of paper and pen, and write.

It is 2014, but the ink has not run out. Start now.

micro-assignments are eating away at my genes

It has happened. I have finally tipped the scale into adulthood. I sit here at four am, on a Thursday night, during Spring Break, while in FL to do homework. It is absolutely mind blowing. But this is not how I know I have fallen into adulthood. I have tipped the scale because I sit here doing homework the night before I am supposed to go to Harry Potter World. Crazy. I should be resting up so I have maximal energy tomorrow. But I am not. I am trying to complete micro-assignments. Basically micro-assignments are forcing me to age, and aging in the social term is associated with aging in the biological term which occurs because then ends of your genes shorten. So basically micro-assignments are chewing away at my very essence, my genes. Back to the scale. When did this occur? Did it truly occur just now that I turned into an adult or did it happen a while ago? It couldn’t have been last year. Yes, last year I would have been choosing homework over fun but not because “I had stuff to do that needed to get accomplished before I could have fun” rather because all I cared about were grades. Perhaps I approached it over summer. When choosing between studying for my genetics final and going out to the bars I decided to mesh the two and take my flash cards on my bar crawl. But I bombed that exam because, surprisingly, I did not get much studying done. So perhaps that puts me back on the childish side. Was I an adult this Fall when interviewing? I mean, I did wear a nice dress and boring heels. Thats adult like. Perhaps I became an adult once I realized how many points I still needed. The stress brought on by these menacing points shortened my telomeres enough for me to stay up all night and then attempt HPW. Yes, it was most definitely these points.

I never want to study ever again. Ever.

Graduation seemed like such a far off milestone that I never truly thought about what it would be like to have to essentially start again. Many of my peers and I will be going on to a form of grad school after this and I can honestly say that the thing I am most worried about is having to learn to re-study. All of senior year I have been taking it easy because as everyone knows, grades don’t really count anymore. The thought of actually having to start locking myself in libraries and with holding food as punishment for not being to page x by this amount of time is scary. That is what I did all of undergrad and I didn’t realize how much more fun school is when you just float on through. How am I ever going to be able to make myself study hard again???? Is this an irrational thought or is anyone else having these fears? I have tons of new found respect for those taking gap years because it takes a lot to have an entire year of not studying (though I recognize they are busy with other things) to go back to drilling the books into your head. August is fast approaching and all I can think about is how I just don’t want it to. All studying is, to me at least, is a test of how much I can fit into my head and how well I am capable of regurgitating it back to them on a multiple choice exam. Yes, I will be finally learning about things that interest me but can anything, besides Netflix, really be interesting enough to make me actually want to stay up until five am only to have to be on the go the next day by ten? I speculate that the answer to this is no. How do you do it?  How do they do it? How does one keep themselves going when day by day you can visible see grey hair accumulating?! img_4195

Illustrated Passages 2 #rayray

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/28/283460420/why-the-non-gmo-label-is-organic-s-frenemy

I found this article very interesting because I try to eat as healthy and fresh food as possible. I like to follow the future of food and GMO and organic are buzzing words these days. However, I found this photo to be very much related to the undertones of this article. It seems that in today’s world, choosing what food to buy is becoming more and more complicated. Whether it’s a certain brand, is organic, has GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics, knowing what type of food to buy is becoming harder to do. I think this photo encompasses the overwhelming nature of shopping for food. Most people in the world want to buy the best food they can afford, but I think this photo show how increasingly hard it is to do so.

costcoA picture of the ever-increasing complexity of food shopping

Illustrated Passage

This is an illustrated response to an article titled “Why The ‘Non-GMO’ Label is Organic’s Frenemy”.

imagesThis picture sums up my response to this article because I have seen the Non-GMO labels but did not know that they were different from organic. I guess I am confused because the many individuals that I know choose organic products because they want to stay away from the chemicals used in crops, so is the only difference between non- GMO and organic the chemicals? Are the only differences between non-GMO and others is that there is no genetic modifications introduced within the crops? Are organic products non-GMO as well? As you can see I am so not a big food or cooking person and I admittedly know very little about what I am putting into my body. Scary thought.